- Stay at a funky little Air B&B in an artsy borough on the east side. Like Uncle Erwin, our host Stephanie was really nice and helpful.
parting tea gift from Mlle Stephanie
Unlike at Uncle Erwin's, though, Stephanie's room was centrally located to east side attractions...
like the home of the 1976 summer Olympics
... and the city is small enough that it didn't really matter much, anyway. (Bonus: the room wasn't in a dark, damp basement and we had a real kitchen where we could cook, and two balconies where we could eat meals.)
- Have fun exploring (both east and west) by foot and by their vast network of underground subways. The east side is a bit artsy...
where the trees have no names, but talk to you
... the west side has a downtown historic/financial-district-ish area and a small Chinatown, Latin Quarter and Little Italy (we mostly found restaurants in these boroughs, but the intermixed row homes and quirky little shops were interesting).
- Take a nap in Parc Maisonneuve.
seriously, naps in city parks might
become our new afternoon routine
- Skip the $30 botanic gardens (unless you have time and cash - it looked pretty amazing) but wander around the outside and stop by the "scratch and sniff" walkway. Designed for the visually impaired but open to everyone, this free exhibit lets you see, touch, and smell various herbs, spices, and flowers as they grow. We left with aromas of verbena, curry, sage, and mint on our fingers - and growling in our stomachs.
- Have lunch in legendary Parc du Mont Royal, then walk up a bazillion stairs (okay, 256) to Kondiaronk Lookout and enjoy the panoramic view. (Don't forget to thank The Universe for stopping the rain that threatened your only day in Montreal.)
But the real unsolicited advice is this: figure out how to spend at least three more days in Montreal. Patrick's pre-arranged flight from Quebec City to Portland for his best friend's wedding meant we arrived Monday afternoon and left early Wednesday morning. So we will add Montreal to the ever-growing list of places to visit again on our way back to Portland... whenever that is... and move right along.