By Day 2 we had hit our stride — waking up early-ish to grab breakfast at the nearby McDs, back to the apartment to eat while we watched cartoons, and then leaving for the day’s adventure at 11AM. Day 2 was a bit cloudier, and the wind far brisker, so we decided to head up to the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, a cemetery that was a good 45 minute walk away from our apartment. We eventually made it there, but what we hadn’t realised was that of those 45 minutes, approximately 25 would be “walking” up incredibly steep roads. Toronto is fairly flat, so those inclines felt more like hiking than walking. Packing water and apples to munch on was a lifesaver.
We explored the cemetery for a little while (I saw my first gopher!) and headed back to the city centre for the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, which both Mikaius and I were pretty stoked to explore. And, entry is free if you’re under thirty! Score! There were four major galleries to explore: World Cultures, Decorative Arts and Design, International Art, and Quebec and Canadian Art. These were in different buildings, linked together by underground galleries, which was great because (a) it kept us out of the cold, and (b) there was no breaking the moment by having to step out of the Museum to get to the other buildings.
More than anything, being with Mikaius and exploring that wonderful place felt so much like home to me. We were in no particular hurry, we were going home together afterwards, and it felt like a preview of what we eventually want our life together to be like.
Afterwards, we went for dinner (a chocolate and banana crêpe for him, pork shoyu ramen with hand-pulled noodles for me) and a late-night walk around our neighbourhood. There was a bottle of white wine and two different kinds of chocolate waiting for us at home, but we wanted to take advantage of our last night in Montréal, so a walk was had. About two or three blocks away from our place, we saw the most adorable bookstore, Librairie Astro. It’s owned by the kindest and warmest old lady, and she told us a little bit about the history of the neighbourhood, as she had been there 30 years. She also stepped out onto the street with us and pointed out which restaurants were good (“There’s a constant line outside that one for a reason”) and gave us ideas about exploring the city. More ideas for next time! We were so engrossed in the conversation that the other employee had to remind the old lady repeatedly that it was closing time.
Mikaius bought me a $5 surprise box of books from the lady, which we were very excited to open when we got home. And that was how we spent our last night – having chocolate and white wine, Netflix on in the background, tearing into the surprise box and laughing our asses off at the old books it contained.
I couldn’t have asked for a better vacation.