Usually, in my Dream Month posts I conjure up an itinerary that takes me around the world to all sorts of events – most of which (both cities and events) I will likely never be able to see. But for August – I’m mixing it up.
You see, I’m one of those people who likes to take my vacations in the early fall. Taking a holiday in the summer just makes no sense to me – why pay peak season pricing, deal with crowds and miss out on the easy commute traffic back home while every one else is on vacation? The downside of this is that I usually spend my last month of the summer wishing the days away and daydreaming about finally stepping onto that jet plane for my annual escape. I don’t enjoy all that my city – Montreal – has to offer.
But I want that to change this year – so here are 4 things in Montreal that I’m excited to do or see before the summer is up.
The Festival de Loto Quebec is an annual firework festival held at Montreal’s amusement park, La Ronde. About once a week during the summer, I’ve sat at my desk at home listening to the booms and bams coming from the festival…but haven’t actually gone. Even without purchasing a ticket, there’s a great vantage point from the top of the Jacques Cartier Bridge – they close it to traffic on the nights of the shows, so pedestrians can gather to see the lights. The grande finale is tomorrow – a tribute to U2 via fireworks…and this time I want to be right up there on the bridge, instead of at home.
2) Ripples Ice Cream
On ‘The Main’ (St. Laurent), Ripples has the best ice cream I’ve ever tried. Picking a flavour is difficult (so I usually end up sticking with the chai tea one – divine, just like a frozen chai latte) and they’ve got everything from basic vanilla to exotic spice mixes. I haven’t been yet this year, so I think that a wander along St. Laurent and a bit of a cool treat are in order. Ripples 3880 St Laurent Blvd (at Napoleon)
3) Lachine Canal
Whenever I visit Ottawa (or New York, or Paris for that matter) I find myself thinking that if only Montreal had a great waterfront path, I could be out there running or biking or power walking all the time. And of course, this is just me forgetting that the Lachine Canal really is a great place to get active and have some fun. In my Dream Month, I’ll put on the sneakers and take a walk along the Canal through the Old Port to the Atwater Market. Maybe I’ll even bring a snack, book and blanket and make an afternoon of it.
4) Hitting a terrasse
After 13 years in the city, I’m finally used to calling outdoor drinking areas ‘terrasses’ rather than ‘patios’. During the summer months, Montrealers love to spend time outside, having a few drinks and people watching. In August, I’m going to make it my goal to get in at least 1 more terrasse session – I think that sipping a biere while the sun starts to drop would be a great way to spend a weekday (!) evening.
How are you going to spend August? Do you ever find yourself wishing the days away ahead of an exciting event? What are the highlights of your latest ‘staycation’?