Montreal 2013 – Part 1 of 2

Well I’m finally back home from Montreal and I’m glad to say it’s over. Not that it wasn’t a good trip or anything, but when you’re away from home and you’re out everyday from morning till night, it takes a toll on your body and you start to get tired of vacation life. Eating out everyday, walking 10+ km everyday, the humid weather with the scorching sun… You can imagine being exhausted at the end of each day and just wanting to go home.

Now that I’m back on the grind and trying to get back into the normal groove again, I’ll be posting up some pics from the trip. Highlights, cool stuff, food porn, the usual. It’ll keep you guys entertained until Sunday School pictures start popping up next week. I’ll make sure to get some good pics for that as well.

Anyways – I’ll split it up into two parts. This first post will just be of the trip and cool things we saw along the way. The second post will be of the random car meet that we happened to stumble upon while we were visiting the huge orange place (literally) for drinks.

The first day we got there, we went to check out some fashion show that was going on right outside on the streets. It was scheduled to be starting at 6:30PM or something, so we walked around to kill some time. The super cool thing about Montreal compared to Calgary is that the city is so influenced by art and fashion that you literally see it on every street corner and in almost everybody walking around. From graffiti walls on every building with amazing art, to people dressed up in the weirdest ways – to Calgary standards – but look good doing it.

In this pic – Maybelline was set up giving out samples and putting some cake on girls.

On the other side, models were getting ready and people were watching and taking pics just a few feet from them.

Maybelline graffiti board.

The DJ stage and catwalk. I’m just going to end the fashion show part here because it never really even started. That screen was getting updated with a new “start time” every time it went passed the original time. Eventually we just got tired of standing around waiting for shit all to happen. Not to mention “Joey Scarpellino” – the DJ that was playing on center stage sucked balls. The camera was on him the whole time, all he was doing was slicking his hair back while pretending to mix songs. Every time the song switched, he would stop the first one and quickly press play on the second one – no cross fade, no creatively thought out way of mixing it up, just a quick switch-a-roo. I’m surprised no one yelled BOO.

Went to visit some stationary store. Found THE ring. I gave it to her right on the spot. It was something like 23ct. hahahahahahahahaha

Went back outside one more time to see if the show had started yet. But nope… I did happen to catch this dude in the full asian photograher stance and to be honest, I’m not even sure what he was taking a picture of. When I looked, there was no one posing lol.

Also spotted Pitbull.

Finally, we actually got tired of waiting and walked around a bit. There were a bunch of cool stations set up displaying art and crafty things that have been done by students. One of them was this hallway built out of plywood and 2X4’s with canisters of wood chippings from different trees and you would just go up to them and smell them. Interesting.

We also made a visit to Gay Village. The whole street was lined with thousands and thousands of pink ball ornaments. It’s a pretty cool place and everybody is so open about everything which is cool. In the short amount of time that we walked around, I think we heard maybe 2 or 3 gay guys talking dirty and just hinting at things to come…

More artsy stuff. This was just on one side of Gay Village.

Not sure what any of it says, but it’s cool.

Took a stroll through Old Montreal as well. Lots of cool buildings and cobble roads.

Stopped inside a treat shop. They had a bunch of Cupcakes – similar to Crave but not as good.

On one of the days, we spent a lot of time at the Gardens where there are sculptures from various countries. Super cool cause some of them were gigantic – some as tall as houses or taller.

Before you go on – this is probably one story that nobody will believe, but I’ll tell it anyway. As we were walking to the Insectarium, there were these globes with various insects inside – dragonflies, beetles, bees, etc. As I was taking a picture of this one, all I could hear was Diana quietly yelling (yes, it’s possible to quietly yell and I know you’ve done it before), “JASON! JASON!” and I look up slowly and she continues to yell “A HUGE ANIMAL!!! A HUGE ANIMAL!!” and as I’m taking all of this in, I’m standing there – slightly paralyzed because I don’t want to be killed by any sudden movement and I’m looking around, behind her, up ahead and I see nothing. In the few seconds that I was looking around and not seeing anything, I started to panic and I’m not going to lie, I think I was ready to run.

Finally – Diana yells “HUGH JACKMAN!!!” and she’s pointing behind her furiously while trying to keep cool. I look up and he was standing right there, a few feet from where I was standing from where the picture above was taken. I looked at him and he’s a lot taller than he looks in the movies, but he had his sunglasses on, his wolverine beard still going on, and his hair was all down but it was definitely him. As I was getting my camera ready to take a picture of him, a couple behind him call out “excuse me, would you mind taking a picture?” and he politely replied “Oh thank you, but not when I’m with my kids” and he rushed off trying not to draw a crowd.

This was the only pic I grabbed of him, and I was just 2 seconds too late. Hard to tell, but it was him for sure. You can see that couple talking to him and that’s when he rushed away.

Cool experience, I have to admit. Even though we didn’t get a shot with him or anything, it’s crazy seeing “Wolverine” out of costume.

Finally headed inside the insectarium and that was probably one of the cooler things we looked at while we were in Montreal. Lots of crazy looking bugs that you’d never see here. Above is a beetle from Indonesia. I just can’t imagine seeing something like that walking around outside my house. Even stepping on one would be nasty as F.

Another one that could FLY. I get the shivers just thinking about what it sounds like buzzing around, flapping those massive wings. I just picture it being so clumsy in the air because of its size that it could bump in to your face or something.

A side profile shot of the first beetle. Those horns. Jesus.

OK Back outside to the other creations. This one was from Japan.

Japanese Garden.

Another cool part of the garden was the Bonsai Trees on display. It explains how Bonsai Trees are made and the careful process of how to get it to curve and stay small. Basically a lot of pinching and wires to help guide it. This particular Bonsai was the oldest one in the garden at 270 years old.

Another one of my favourites was thing one at 80 years old. It looked like a mini forest.

Cool face on a tree.

One thing we saw tons of was people bringing their iPads and taking pictures with them. I think it looks ridiculous enough that some people do selfies with them in the mirror. Taking it out at shows is also weird.

On our way back, it started pouring like crazy. When it rains in Montreal, it usually rains hard but it ends quickly. We were on the way to the Metro so we made a run for it.

Soaked.

Stopped over at a family friend’s restaurant and chilled for drinks and food. Took a snap of the new “wrist game” bracelets I picked up. Good ol’ French items.

A shot of the Metro – which btw is super sophisticated compared to Calgary’s transit system IMO. The Metro runs to almost every major area and small neighbourhood in Montreal making it extremely convenient to get you where you need to go. Each train takes about 3-5 minutes for it to arrive after the first one passes and there is really no need for security since the entrance/exit needs a pass in order to go through. Each station has an employee at the gate to watch for jumpers, but the likelihood of it happening is very little because once you’re down there, you can’t get out without getting caught.

Emo shot of Diana waiting for the train.

Also made sure that we tried poutine every where we went. One particular place was Poutineville – serving specialty poutines and custom ones if you’d like.

Cool joint with a nice open atmosphere to the street outside.

The Rocky Poutine. Hot dogs, bacon, sausage, poutine sauce and fries.

The Famous Poutine from Poutineville – braised beef, cheese curds, poutine sauce and fries.

The other thing we wanted to try was Reuben’s for Montreal Smoked Meat sandwiches. We stopped here on St. Catherine St for a nice dinner.

Of course, Julee didn’t get the Montreal Smoked Meat sandwich – instead she got the smoked salmon on a bagel.

I got the Famous Montreal Smoked Meat sandwich – delicious and melts in your mouth.

My parents got the 1LB Smoked Meat sandwich.

And our Dessert. Baked Apple Cobbler Pie – Diana and I went back on our last day to have this again. A must-have if you go!

We went and walked around and tried to get lost then ended up at some park. Needed to take a breather from all the walking we did…

I’ll end it here with Diana chucking up the deuces. That was the main part of the trip that was worth sharing.

All I can say is that I’m glad to be back home, I think I’m vacationed out for now… Going to be a busy summer! Stick around, I’ll post the car meet up in a few days!

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