Spilling the Beans on MONTREAL
Hello again lovelies! I think it’s FINALLY time that I spill the beans about my little adventure to Montreal… so get cozy (this may be a long one!) and please allow me to share a little bit about my crazy adventure across the country this past year.
As you may know, I spent the past 10 months living in the crazy city of Montreal. Although I was born and raised a Vancouver gal, I have dreamed about moving to Montreal since I was a little girl. Part of this dream comes from the fact that my dad grew up there, and the other part comes from my love for fashion, and my curiosity about the amazing fashion culture in Montreal. Plus, moving to a new city is such an exciting feat, and I really had nothing holding me back!
Early last year, I finally made the decision to go out on a whim and just DO IT. I booked my flight in February for just a few short days after my graduation in May, and there was no turning back! Mac was skeptical at first, but he came around (as I knew he would!) Once our flights were booked, the wave of emotions set in. Nerves, excitement, what the HELL are we doing… We knew no one, had to commit to an apartment based on a few Craigslist photos, and had to just hope for the best that we’d get jobs without speaking French. We packed up our lives and shipped our things across the country, (got scammed BIG TIME) and before we knew it we were on our way. This all sounds so crazy as I look back and write this, but I honestly think that moving to Montreal is the best decision I’ve ever made. While naturally there were many ups and downs involved in leaving our friends and families, and taking to a new city, there were SO many highlights, and so many memories that I’ll cherish forever.
Our First Apartment
Aside from the fact that Mac and I moved all the way across the country together, our apartment in Montreal was our very first place together! In Vancouver, Mac had his own apartment, and I was still living with my parents while I finished school. Wrapped up in the excitement of moving to a new city, we almost forgot to celebrate our first place together! Although we basically walked in to our new home blind, we LOVED it. We were so lucky. It was in the perfect location in a trendy area called Plateau… close to downtown, and right off of the famous St. Laurent Boulevard. Although there were a few (minor) quirks with the apartment, it had so much character. It was built in the 1920’s, so it had a special charm with amazing high ceilings, a spacious living area, and adorable details like vintage crown molding and old school heaters. It truly was the perfect first little home for Mac and I!
The Summer of FUN
If you have not visited Montreal in the summer… you MUST go. On top of all the amazing activities and places you can explore, there is an event or festival or some sort of party going on every single week. Seriously though… there is actually only one weekend that nothing happens, and it is an ongoing city-wide joke! If you’re used to the West Coast weather though, be warned that the city heat is not for the faint of heart. The whole summer was stinking HOT and not to mention humid… a few days even reached close to 40 degrees celsius with the humidity. Although those days were not so fun without air conditioning, I personally love the heat, and having a whole summer of blazing sun and 30 degrees was pretty amazing! I can’t even begin to choose my favourite things that I got to do this summer… from Osheaga, to Grand Prix, to Mural Fest or Jean Talon Market, and of course I always love a good cinq a sept on a terasse! Now, do NOT get me started on the winters…
I’ll be completely honest with you. Making friends in a new city is HARD. I actually really enjoy meeting new people, and I don’t mind putting myself out there, but making friends is really is not as easy as it sounds. I did get to meet some really great people on my little adventure, but I was truly so lucky when I met two amazing gals that I will call my friends for life. I met these gal pals working at the Aldo Head Office, and we just instantly clicked. They honestly made my time in Montreal as wonderful as it was, always making me laugh, and always down to b*tch about how damn cold it was outside.
Jen and Tess- I am SO grateful for your friendship, and love you crazies more than I love a glass of wine on a Friday!
Surprisingly enough (kidding), Mac even made some friends too! The amazing people at Cho Restaurant where he worked, very quickly let us in to the family. The kind of people that would keep Mac out WAY too late having fun (and making me worry), but would always have his back. I even got to know and love them over a glass of wine (or two) at the restaurant bar!
PS. Stay tuned because Jennaaay is coming to Vancouver! (Tess, please just get on the plane with her…)
Okay you may or may not know this, but the food and bar scene in Montreal is UNREAL. There are so many amazing restaurants. Ones that have been there for decades, as well as so many new ones popping up everywhere. I swear I came across a new opening down every street I turned! Being the big list-writer that I am… naturally I kept a “Bucket List” of places that Mac and I wanted to check out. Talk about mission impossible. It was seriously too hard to keep up with the food scene, and there was no way we could have gone to every place on our list! That being said, we did get to go to TONS of amazing restaurants, bars, and cafes. While there are far too many places to mention (although I would be happy to share my “impossible bucket list” for anyone who may be interested!) there are two places that will be forever favourites. The first is a beautiful restaurant and wine bar called Le Vin Papillon. Created by the same team from Joe Beef, this cozy yet bustling spot is almost inexplainable. From the wine, to the service, and of course the absolutely DELICIOUS food, this was by far the best meal and dining experience we have ever had. We honestly walked out giggling with joy… again, almost inexplainable. The second place was “our place.” We were regulars at this bar and restaurant, and pretty much ended up there every Saturday night. Funnily enough, it was the very first place we went for dinner and a drink the night we got off the plane from Vancouver. I will never forget sitting at Darling that night, scared sh*tless, yet SO excited about what was to come. Quickly enough we had our regular orders and our regular servers, but even from the first moment we stepped foot into Darling, it felt like home. Okay, okay, I know this is getting a little cheesy but this place holds SO many memories of our nights laughing, freezing our butts off, staying up way too late chatting, and just enjoying life in Montreal.
What an Adventure
At the end of the day, this adventure was one of the best things I have ever done. Yes, there were tough moments, (LOTS of them) but I have absolutely no regrets… only amazing memories, new friends, love for a new city, and SO many lessons. Not only did I learn a lot about how to be a real life adult out in the great big world, but I learned so much about myself. To anyone thinking about taking a chance and moving to a new city… DO IT.
Now you may wonder why we ended up moving back to Vancouver after such a crazy, yet incredible adventure. At the end of the day, it really came down to missing our families, and knowing where we want to be long-term. I’ve always known that my mom is my bestie and that I’m daddy’s little girl, and although they have always told me that distance makes the heart grow fonder, I didn’t realize that it could actually be true. Sappy, I know. But all things considered, from our friends and families, to career opportunities and future goals, along with missing the ocean, kale, and craft beer… Vancouver is where we want to be. Montreal will ALWAYS have my heart (and I think Mac’s too…) but Vancouver is home.
So there you have it! Enough blabbing from me… I think I will have to save some details for a second post (sorry, this one got LONG.) I was even thinking about sharing a Montreal travel guide? Let me know what you think… and as always, I’d love to hear your comments, and would be happy to answer any questions you have…
Thanks for reading!