I love Quebec. Well, Montreal that is. Quebec City is lovely and I’m sure the rest of Quebec is too, but Montreal has my heart. It is almost the perfect city. First, it’s bilingual, and as I’ve written about before, I have a passion for languages. I love the idea that you can be walking down the street and no one knows if you are a French or an English speaker until you say something. Then, there’s so much culture, so many festivals, so much delicious food, Lake Ontario, good public transportation, affordable places to live, and a passion for the outdoors. Which brings me to that big almost. Montreal winters, thanks but no thanks. I spent 23ish years in Buffalo, NY. I spent several winters in Russia. I’ve done my time. But in the summer in Montreal, everyone is in the parks, bicycling everywhere, sitting on patios. It’s delightful. If I’m ever lucky enough to own a summer home, it will be in Montreal. In the French-speaking half of town.
I lived in Montreal for what was, in my memory, an entire summer, but in reality was only 3 weeks, give or take a few days. I went to UQAM’s summer French immersion program and got to town right in the middle of the International Jazz Festival, which was amazing! I literally just threw my bags in my dorm room, grabbed my new roommate by the hand and out we went into the streets to hear performers from all over the world. And so began three fantastic weeks. My classmates were a fun bunch, my teacher was professional and patient and kind, the coursework was just the right level and intensity, the excursions were entertaining and educational. Great memories all around.
I decided to relive the Montreal experience last year between Christmas and New Year’s. My partner and I drove up from his family’s house in New Hampshire for a few days. We got dumped on by several feet of snow and it was about 25 degrees (or should I say -4 degrees) the whole time. A necessary reminder of why I could never live there full time but I was so happy to be there nonetheless, visiting my old hot spots, eating some poutine, walking by my old dorm, and making use of my rusty French. Certainly none of the locals were deterred by the weather and I wasn’t about to be either. People were out everywhere enjoying life in this world class city. It was all marvelous. Montréal, je t’aime!
What else are people writing in the A to Z Blog Challenge? Check out today’s featured blog, sponsored by the letter Q: The Quiet Writer. This A-Z challenge is all about the one thing I never get tired of exploring when I go to Europe – castles.