JOEY HOLLIDAY

This blog needs an audio recording to it. For real. So, let’s just imagine you are leaving on a road trip to cross the border, to go international, and head to Montreal. The play list starts off with ‘Oh Canada’ and that’s when you know it’s going to be an awesome trip and an amazing play list, by the one and only master DJ VerRonica!!

VerRonica is the queen when it comes to creating playlists and thinking of the right artists and songs, at the very right moment…let’s just say one of my favorite memories of the trip is when VerRonica cues up the songs ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ and ‘I’m Proud To Be An American’ as we are about to stop and go through the border into America. And who knew (obviously not me) that so many Canadian Artists were such a pivotal part of my 90’s musical experience. ¬†Naturally, VerRonica’s play list for our Montreal road trip only included Canadian artists such as: Bryan Adams, Sarah McLaclan, Celine Dion, Alanis Morissette, Shania Twain, Micael Buble, Justin Bieber, & Carly Jeppson etc. It just felt so good along to sing to some the 90’s classics while hitting the open road…I mean who isn’t happy when they are singing along to ‘Any Man of Mine,’ ‘Good Enough’, ‘Ironic’, and ‘My Heart Will Go on.’

Any trip with this crew (Calleen, VerRoncia, and Brent) is and will always been amazing!! Thanks my dear friends for all laughs, attempts to speak/read French (we struggled), epic singing, and fantastic food partaken of!!

Here are some of my favorite moments of our trip:

1. Seeing the Olympic stadium. I am obsessed with all things Olympics. I am not sure why. But I am. So, I was naturally giddy as a child when we saw the Olympic stadium in Montreal. You bet I played out loud the’Olympic Fanfare’ by John Williams while taking in the view of the stadium. I was SO happy to be there.
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2. Celebrating Calleen’s birth!! Obviously, the birthday girl got to choose the activities for the day. And if you know Calleen, then you know she will choose nature. So we went to Montreal Botanical Garden or in French the Jardin Botanique de Montreal..it really is more beautiful in French. The gardens were absolutely beautiful and hot!! It was FREEZING outside and within seconds of being in the green house we were taking off our coats!! I wish I could tell you all about the plants and flowers we saw. But, I am not a green thumb. In fact, quite the opposite. I don’t buy real plants as I know I will only kill them. But, I really did enjoy the beauty of what we saw!!

Oh, on a side note…we could not understand why this statue was on the grounds of the gardens???

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Calleen, the birthday girl!!
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The garden had an amazing butterfly exhibit!
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3. Poutine. The trip would have never been complete without eating poutine. So naturally, we went to a poutine restaurant called La Banquise and according the guide book, it has been a legend since 1968. Believe us, this poutine was legendary, maybe a little too much legendary…meaning overwhelming. Poor VerRonica may never been the same. She ordered the La shoot-out. The topping included: cheese curds, smoked meat, bacon, spicy sausage, and pepperoni. Of course, gravy did not sound right with all this meat, so she topped it all off with a tomato meat sauce. As shown below, we all ordered different types of poutine and attempted to conquer all four plates. We actually laughed out loud when the food arrived, knowing we ordered way too much. And as demonstrated in the second picture there was NO conquering La shoot-out (top right of the pictures). I think we all felt a little overwhelmed by the thought of meat the rest of the trip!!
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4. Climbing to the top of Mount Royal Park. Although, spring definitely had not arrived in Montreal by the time we were there, the park was still beautiful! ¬†As shown below, the view from the top was stunning and worth the climb (so many stairs). On our attempt to get home, we got a bit lost and ended up walking through the park twice…we definitely got our steps in that day and walked off a portion of our poutine!!
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5. Walking around the historic district of old Montreal. The Notre-Dame Basilica was beautiful. But, if I am completely honest, the reason I was most excited to see the church was because this is where Celine Dion married Rene!! I was defintely singing (silently) ‘My Heart Will Go On’ for a moment or two!!
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6. The street art in the area of town we stayed in was everywhere and amazing!! These few shots were just from the parking lot near our apartment.
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7. Last, but SO not least…the market Marche Atwater. Thank goodness Calleen suggested visiting the market on our way out of town. You think we would have been so sick of French pastries by the end of the trip, but no way!! We got fruit, cheese, homemade pasta & sauce for dinner that night, and many pastries/breads. It was SO hard decide what to get and it was all SO delicious. I may still have some bread in my freezer, two weeks after the trip…I told you I bought a lot!
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Montreal, Canada-Calleen, Joey, Brent, & VerRonica