Oh Canada!

Call me une folle (crazy lady) but I thought it would be fun to take mon fils (my son) to Montreal to show off a little bit – uh, I mean, expose him to a francophone culture.

So – passports in hand – my son and I packed our bags (brought the stuffed animals along for the ride), filled a cooler with Diet Coke, lemonade, and Reese’s peanut butter cups, made a couple of mixed CDs for the car stereo, and hit I-87.

And even though it meant this Jersey girl had to pump her own gas, it was an awesome trip.

Since I was traveling with a seven year old, I had to take it a little easy on the sightseeing. Instead, we enjoyed the simpler pleasures of exploring a new city.

We walked down unfamiliar streets taking pictures of everything from street signs to graffiti.

We rented bixi bikes for $5 each and rode around Montreal’s waterfront for a half-hour.

We pedaled a paddle boat next to the Bonsecours Marche and bickered like old men.

We listened to a man with a totally awesome Quebecois accent sing American folkie songs like “Blowin in the Wind.”

We watched a nearly endless train pass through the tourist area to my son’s supreme delight.

And I got to eat some of the best moules (mussels) I’ve ever had. But don’t just let your mouth water over our fun vacation, take a look for yourself.

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Now, go book your hotel room because not only does Montreal have a lot to offer as an echo of France in North America, but it has charms all its own that make it – and all of Canada – a really great, family- and budget-friendly vacation.

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