On Saturday I headed off to Montreal for a work trip and my second trip of the month. Two more to go, but both of the next two are fun ones, so I’m very excited for them! I was a little leery when we had to walk outside of the airport to board our plane – a very small one at that. There were 13 rows of seats and it made for a bit of a crowded and noisy ride. We arrived to beautiful weather in Montreal though and I managed to fall asleep for half of what was a pretty short flight.
After checking into my hotel I hustled over to the Convention Center for lunch a few hours of bag stuffing and other pre-conference prep. Then I got to explore the city in one of my favorite ways – on a long run. I set out from my hotel in search of the river enjoying the perfect temperature and low humidity. About 90 minutes later I still hadn’t found the river, but I had gotten to tour a good portion of the city. My Garmin battery died on me around mile 8 so I’m not sure exactly how far I ran, but it felt great to just run. I conveniently ended my run right next to a pizza/pasta place. Once I got past the menu being in French and thankfully realized the waiters did speak English too, I ordered a delicious pepperoni pizza. It was the best meal I’d have all week.
The conference went well and I was also happy that I was able to still find time for my workouts. It dramatically increases my mood when I’m on the road and still able to get my runs and workouts in. I did find the river on a later run. Turns out I just had to turn right instead of left! I also hit up the hotel gym one night for some time on the elliptical and strength training. It was a pretty decent hotel gym – especially for an older hotel. There were even individual TVs on all the cardio machines so I was able to watch some of the NBA finals while I got my cardio fix in.
The food left a little to be desired for me on this trip. Granted I am a pretty picky eater and my food reviews should probably be taken with a grain of salt. I stayed in to eat at the hotel bar one night and was surprised to learn it’s a federal law in Canada that you can only be served hamburgers cooked well done. Does anyone know why this is the case? I decided to go with pizza again instead. Bad choice. It was thin crust, which I normally like, but this crust was cracker thin, burnt and crunchy. It kind of tasted like they’d made the pizza on a bunch of saltines. Oh well, the beer that I washed it down with tasted just fine!
Next came the fancy dinner night. Not being the most adventurous eater, I tend to not really enjoy these kinds of places and oftentimes try to avoid them. Still I understand that most people do like them and sometimes I do need to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. This one was a bit too far out of my comfort zone though. A French speaker translated the menu for us and there was not a single thing that I liked. There was one pasta dish and although it included seafood, I figured I could just eat around what I didn’t like. To my surprise, the pasta dish came out and was completely black. Apparently the sauce was squid ink and it came loaded with every kind of seafood imaginable. I tried to eat as much as I could, but it was a bit hard to stomach. Thank goodness we ordered dessert or I would have gone home very hungry. The restaurant itself looked very cool. It was in what looked like an old, converted church.
Overall, it was a good trip, and while it’s a very cool city, Montreal is definitely not my favorite Canadian city.
Are you an adventurous eater while traveling or do you like to stick with what you know?