Bonjour Montréal

Montréal Honeymoon

In 2022 I wrote about our trip to Paris, a city I’d always wanted to visit. The premise for that trip was to celebrate our ten-year dating anniversary. But I’d had something else up my sleeve: a plan to propose in the most romantic place possible. (She said yes!)

Flash forward to September of 2023. Our wedding happened, and it was wonderful. Some of our closest friends and family members traveled from faraway places to join us in Amherst, Massachusetts for a beautiful outdoor ceremony.

The day after our wedding we traveled to Montréal, Canada, for our honeymoon. We wanted to visit a place that embodied the same Old-World charm as our beloved Paris, but in the same time zone as where we live. Montréal was a perfect fit. Below are some photos from our first vacation as newlyweds.

We stayed in a quaint hotel in the Old Port, and explored the city on foot.
Old stone building
The architecture in this part of town mesmerized us. Lots of old stone buildings with beautiful details, like vermiculated rustications and arched windows with arched glass. They don’t make them like they used to.
Antique motorcycle
One of the first restaurants we visited (and ordered our food in French) was a place in the neighborhood called “Slice and Soda.” The décor inside featured this antique motorcycle, and a pinball machine (not shown), which we played.
A street scene
Old Montréal was full of life—pedestrians, cafés, street musicians, shops, and the gorgeous architecture I mentioned previously.
Another street scene
Another street scene in the Old Port.
Rebecca in Old Montréal
It rained on one of the first days of the trip, but we put on the rain jackets we had brought with us, and explored nonetheless. Here, Rebecca strikes a pose.
Rebecca poses beneath an archway of flowers.
Me, leaning up against an old building with ghost signs. Photo by Rebecca.
Rebecca eats poutine
Rebecca eats poutine. I’m not going to lie—we did sample a fair amount of poutine that week. Every place we visited made it slightly differently, but it was all good.
bronze sculpture
A bronze sculpture called Les Chuchoteuses (The Gossipers), by
Rose-Aimée Bélanger.
Old Montréal
I loved all the vestiges of the old city that we discovered, and explored on foot.
street scene
A few times, we ventured out to more modern parts of the city, and enjoyed some of the sights we saw there.
Rebecca enjoys a pastry and a chocolat chaud (hot chocolate) at one of the cafés we visited.
More stunning architecture. I am a little obsessed.
Montréal street scene
A Montréal street scene blends the old with the new, rather gracefully.
street scene
Scooters and motorcycles parked in a row. I’ve always been a fan of Vespa scooters, and there were plenty of them here in Montréal.
Another bronze sculpture, the French Poodle, by Marc André J. Fortier, situated on one corner of the Place d’Armes, near where we stayed. (The subject is holding a French poodle in her arms.)
Place d’Armes
A wider view of the Place d’Armes, in Old Montréal, near where we stayed.
old building
Another stunning example of architecture from a bygone era. I would love to see modern architects and builders return to a similar aesthetic in their work.
Grand Quai du Port de Montréal
Sign at the entrance to the Grand Quai du Port de Montréal.
Montréal, as seen from a boat on the St. Lawrence River.
Trace. Photo by Rebecca.
C’est moi. Photo by Rebecca. We took a tour boat up the St. Lawrence River, to see sights and listen to a guide share details about the history of the city, and various buildings along the way.
A portion of the Jacques Cartier Bridge, which crosses over the St. Lawrence River.
couple portrait
Sculptural signs welcome visitors to the Island of Montréal. Rebecca strikes a pose inside the mirrored “o” of “Bonjour.”
Couple portrait
Two can play at that game. Photo by Rebecca.
couple portrait
An “ussie” in the mirrored “u” of “Bonjour,” with the Old Port of Montréal behind us.
old stone building
Another gorgeous architectural specimen. Love the “LOVE” sculpture in front, and the red awnings over the first floor windows.
Nile Rodgers in concert
One of the nights we were there, we went to a concert at the Centre Bell: Nile Rodgers and his band Chic, opened for Duran Duran. We really loved his show! If you are a Chic fan as I am, you may appreciate this video in which Rodgers tells the hilarious origin story of his hit song “Le Freak.”
Duran Duran in concert
Duran Duran put on a great show, too!
at the concert
Rebecca adds her light to the sea of people contributing ambiance to the concert. Back when we were in high school and Duran Duran were just ascending to popularity, these cell phone lights would have instead been Bic lighters.
Trace and Rebecca
The two of us, happy to be on vacation in this magical place.
colorful building
A colorful modern building downtown.
glass building
A glass building offers interesting reflections of other buildings.
street scene
A street scene from back in the Old Port, near the Bonsecours Market (the building with the silver-colored dome).
Ferris wheel
We went on a Ferris wheel and saw some nice views of the city.
Ferris wheel and J’aime Montréal sculpture
J’aime Montréal, indeed.
Couple portrait
Us, in front of the j’aime Montréal sculpture/sign. A nice passerby took this photo for us (and we returned the favor for her family).
View from the top
A view from the top of the Ferris wheel.
view from the top
Another view from the top, looking out over the St. Lawrence River. Note the shadow of the Ferris wheel.
old buildings
Obsessed with old buildings.
Rebecca at the botanical garden
We went to the Montréal Botanical Garden, which was nice.
vermiculated rustications
A detail of the vermiculated rustications that adorn one of my favorite buildings in the Old Port. I love this detail. Part of me wishes that I were an architect—I would incorporate these kinds of details into my work.
We went on a guided walking tour of the city’s murals and street art. Here, Rebecca stands in front of the work of one of my favorite artists, Shepard Fairey, of “Obey Giant” fame. (Fairey’s is the upper mural. Not sure who painted the rooster.)
Another one of the murals we saw.
Another one of the murals we saw. Some tagging (graffiti) has been done on the bottom part. Our guide explained to us that many graffiti writers observe a code of conduct, allowing new murals a period of time to be appreciated, before the graffiti writers add their own marks to the wall. (And when they do, they often “respectfully” keep their tags toward the bottom of the wall, leaving much of the original work intact.)
Another one of the murals we saw.
Another one of the murals we saw.
Another one of the murals we saw.
street art
Sculptural street art.
Jackie Robinson mural
Jackie Robinson mural. Before Robinson became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era (playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947), he had been recruited and played for Brooklyn’s then farm team, the Montréal Royals.
Leonard Cohen mural
A mural of the late, great Leonard Cohen, a native of Montréal.
street scene
After the mural tour, we walked back to the cozier Old Port part of town, and started preparing for our vacation to wind to an end.
street scene
Looking up our street—with our hotel on the left—on the morning that we departed fair Montréal. We loved our time here, and plan to return someday.
couple portrait
The obligatory plane selfie. Tired and happy.