I finally found my camera cord so I can share photos of our vacation two weeks ago!
We spent 5 (+1 extra) cozy days in Canada/Montreal/Mont Tremblant together and it was just lovely (and really freaking cold!) Dr. J went to Mont Tremblant to ski when he was growing up, but this was my first adventure to Canada.
Day 1: Wake early to catch the Amtrak Adirondack train. It’s cheaper than flying and less stressful than driving – although it takes about the same amount of time (more with the ridiculous border crossing events we encountered), we would totally recommend it! The view was along the route (Adirondack mountains, Lake Champlain, the frozen Hudson River) is gorgeous, you can bring all the snacks/food you want, there’s plenty of leg room, and there are no baggage fees! We arrived in Montreal at 8:30PM, so we spent the night in the city before renting our car to drive to Mont Tremblant.
Day 2: Driving to Mont Tremblant through the mountains is stunning! And there are also a lot of Costco stores – like more abundant than Target stores in the states – Canadians must really like to buy in bulk. We had already made plans to cross country ski on Day 2 before checking into our hotel, so we ate lunch in the little village outside of Tremblant before heading over to the cross country ski area. I like to cross country ski because 1. it is slow going – less risk for serious injury, 2. the scenery is beautiful – and because you’re going relatively slow, you can enjoy it, 3. you’re more likely to get hot/sweaty cross country skiing than you are to freeze – and I hate being cold, 4. cross country ski areas usually have groomed paths where you can just put your skis in the grooves and go – so it’s basically fool proof. It was very quiet and peaceful in the forest around Tremblant, so much so that a bird landed on Dr. J’s hand while he was taking a picture! It started to snow just as we ended our three hour rental – perfect timing to head to the hotel to grab some hot cocoa!
Day 3: Dr. J’s ski day! Dr. J knew full well when we got married that I do not enjoy downhill skiing, nor will I pay money to engage in something that makes me so nervous I want to vomit. So, I slept in while Dr. J woke up early to get a head start on the freshly fallen snow. Mont Tremblant does have a cool/lucrative lift pass for pedestrians to take the gondola up to the Summit where theres a lodge with crazy overpriced, underseasoned food – but a glorious view and a great meeting place for skiers and non skiers to meet for lunch! After lunch I picked a spot with a beautiful view of the mountains/lakes at the summit lodge, and got cozy with my Kindle while Dr. J got in some afternoon runs. And when Dr. J was finished, I just took the gondola back down to meet him at the base where we ate Beaver Tails (aka flat fried dough with nutella on top and maple syrup taffy aka maple syrup poured on snow to haren up just a bit. It was Superbowl Sunday, so we cuddled up by the fireplace in our hotel room to watch the first half and then decided we should probably eat some dinner at one of the conveniently located sports/apres ski bars in the Mont Tremblant Pedestrian Village.
Day 4: Dr. J ski’s again! We also went on a walk around the ski area, saw some deer and some more lovely scenery, went on a road trip out the resort area, and watched curling (yes, that Canadian sport) on TV in front of the fireplace. We then splurged, because when you’re on vacation and that’s what you do, and went to the AquaClub aka pool with rope swing/outdoor hot tub area – there’s something about going to the pool when you’re on a ski vacation that is both a little ridiculous and awesome at the same time. Our fingers were thoroughly pruned by the time we were leaving. We ate dinner at a little Italian restaurant called Auberge du Coq de Montagne (recommended by Dr. J’s oral surgeon 10 years ago) outside of the resort and it was easily the best meal we had since arriving.
Day 5: We woke early to allow for twice the amount (3 hours instead of 1.5) of time to get back to Montreal for our train in case of traffic, etc. Unfortunately, we did not account for an epic 4 hour traffic jam and missed our train, which also happened to be the only daily train from Montreal to the US. Major oops. In our efforts to make the train on time we also decided to just not fill up the rental car with gas as required and just ‘take the hit’ on the charges. Oops again. Luckily Amtrak kindly switched our tickets to the next morning without a charge, we found a hotel room around the corner, a super nice ViaRail man let us store our bags for free at the train station overnight, and decided to just make the most of our extra day in Montreal. We ate macarons, went to the Canadian History Museum, ate the best Indian food, considered opening a food truck on the premise of our Indian dessert (honey donuts), and watched more curling (we were fans by the end of this trip).
Day 6: We made it to the train station on time! The best part of the last day of our vacation was coming home to Luke Skywalker – I imagine it’s how parents feel a coming home to their children – I don’t know who was happier but Luke ran up to us and literally gave us a hug (and lots of licks) when we finally made it home.
Dr. J is now on MICU (that’s medical intensive care unit) night float (that’s working 9PM until 11AM) for two weeks (that’s torture!).
Happy Snow Day to the East Coast!
P.S. Special and huge thanks for Dr. E and her boyfriend for taking care of Luke while we were gone! He got to spend the 6 days at home in the apartment (instead of a kennel or other scary new place) with his new friends coming over to walk him and feed him at his usual times.