“Traveling in the company of those we love is home in motion.”
– Leigh Hunt
Family vacations were always kind of a thing in our house. Multiple trips to Disney World, summers spent with church family at Rice Lake in Canada, quick getaways to the Toronto Zoo or visiting moms high school friend in Ohio (I guess that’s why I enjoy traveling so much). As I got older, vacations happened less frequently. My brother started his own family, I moved out, and my parents continued to live their best lives traveling across the globe (I’m low key hatin’ on all their amazing adventures together lol). But in May we were able to to do our first family road trip with my, my brother, my sister in-law and my little niecey pooh. We booked an air bnb about 20 minutes from downtown, rented a van, drove 6.5 hours and headed to the Island of Montreal (who knew).
It took alot of convincing for this air bnb thing and a lot of pressure to make it work. My parents can afford “luxuries” like hotel rooms lol that neither I nor my brother and sister and law can afford. It was just more financial feasible for all of us. But they were happy with how cute and clean the apartment was, and my dad and brother were especially happy about the free Netflix available. And the host said we were the cleanest guests she’d ever had and wished everyone was like us lol.
The main reason for the trip was to see Michelle Obama. But while there we toured the Notre Dame Basilia, strolled through Parc du Mont-Royal, visited the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and got to see the in laws.
Musee des beaux-arts de Montréal (Museum of Fine Arts)
My brother has a degree in graphic design and always had a thing for art, so I knew we had to stop here. General Admission to the special exhibits and collections was $24. But because we had my niece and was coming to the free Family Pastel Class we got access to all the other parts of the museum for free 99. The best part about this was walking past all the art, fake thinking intently about the underlying message with in the paintings or sculptures, then renaming them. My niece had the best names by far, simply pointing out the colors or shapes the artist used lol.
Notre-Dame Basilica Montréal
For $8 you can tour the inside of the Notre-Dame Basilica. There are guided tours every 20 mins and the option to go on 60 min. private tour of the balcony, organ, and a part of the crypt.
Parc du Mont-Royal (Mount Royal Park)
In 1874, Fredrick Law Olmsted designed Mount Royal Park (spanning over 2400 Acres). It was only right that I visit because I went to Fredrick Law Olmsted School from Kindergarten to 5th grade and he created several parks throughout Buffalo (he also designed Central park). I may be biased, but I truly appreciate his landscaping.
I made everyone match because I’m extra and all about the optics. lol
Visiting the In-laws
I met them for the first time at my brother and sister in laws wedding about 11 years ago, but we were welcomed as if we were blood. And what was originally planned to be a quick stop, turned into dinner and a 6 hour conversation about language laws, filtered history, racism in America, how the family ended up in Montreal from Barbados, and just the regular “whatcha been up.” Man, cousins and Auntie made us feel so loved, as if we’ve always been apart of the family. Auntie is 84 years old and cooked the whole dinner. I think one of the secrets to her mobility at this age is drinking Mauby everyday (which I tried for the first time). It’s basically a tree bark based drink. Really an acquired taste, but if It helps me to be lit at 84 then I will literally drink it everyday for the rest of my life lol.
So overall, it was a nice little family mini getaway. Can’t wait for the next one! And can’t wait to visit Montreal again because I really love it. I definitely plan on going back when it’s warmer. The first time I cam in January, and all though it was literally FREEZING, I had a blast at the Biodôme (currently closed for major renovation until December 2019) and Insectarium (currently closed for major renovation until Summer 2021). I still have to go to the Botanical Garden, have lunch in Old Montreal, and explore the planetarium. So… à bientôt Montréal.