It’s 8:30 p.m. and we are exhausted! Although it was smooth sailing while traveling, it still was mentally exhausting! When we boarded our flight at 7:20 a.m. it was lights out for just about everyone (except Hunter… who watched the first 30 minutes of Hidden Figures!). And by lights out, I mean most of us (chaperone Ebling included) were out before the plane even took off. We snuggled up in our as-comfortable-as-it-gets airline chairs and did not wake up until the wheels were hitting the tarmac and we were in a different country, a different city, a different world (okay, maybe not so far as that…we did see a Walmart almost immediately after getting on the bus from the airport).
Customs was a breeze; we filled out a couple of forms, swiped our passports at the electronic kiosks, and chatted with border control agents before we were en route to the rest of the group. We are travelling with two other groups – one high school and one middle school, both from California, and both equally tired as us! Total, we are about 30 students and 5 adults.
On board the bus, we headed for the city center. It was kind of like BOOM. MONTREAL. THERE. Outside the bus, we watched the highway turn suddenly into busy city streets and shops, pedestrian walkways, old stone buildings, and fresh green parks. Zoe observed and commented on the beautiful architecture, and envied how such a big and crazy city (the 2nd biggest in Canada!) could have so much green space. The US has some real work to do if it wants to live up to Zoe’s standards!
After our bus ride, we headed to our first stop : the Centre Eaton, a shopping mall that runs underground that has over 175 stores. We were all famished, so we decided to get some lunch in the food court. Alisha and Grace enjoyed some sushi and fresh made miso soup, Jaden enjoyed salmon and chicken, Hunter embarked on his first poutine adventure, and Kitana and Andrea stuck with a simple salad. Lunch was followed by bubble tea, which was a r
eal hit or miss amongst the group (some loved it, some could have done without it). Then, it was time for some shopping. Maci found some really cute Montreal-an clothes that she got for a great price (and she will be wearing later on the trip!) at a local shop, Zoe found ketchup flavored lays potato chips at the dollar store, and Taryn and Sage people watched and noticed how great the (general) Canadians’ style was. Hunter, Zoe and Chaperone Ebling went for a little stroll outside, leaving the underground city, and stumbled upon the Cathédrale Christ Church. An Anglican Gothic Revival Cathedral dating back to 1814, it had beautiful stained glass windows and chapel. What a find!
After lunch and our free time, we headed up Mount Royal! Mount Royal is the only mountain in downtown Montreal! Go figure! Hiking up 764 total feet, WHS travelers got a beautiful view of the city. Photo cred goes to Taryn for these ones! Kitana was killin’ it up the hill. The middle schoolers were jetting around with lots of energy, and the gang was pretty tired- except Kitana! Students remarked at her ability to run up the hill like a champ. You go girl! Andrea was laughing as she got mistaken for Chaperone Ebling, after taking a group picture for one of the other schools. To the blog, she says “I don’t look like Madame….I am not Ms. Ebling!” We all had a good laugh about this, and Andrea may be referred to as Madame a few more times throughout the trip to keep the joke running!
After hiking up the hill, we went to dinner at Itali.co, an Italian gastro-pub where students had their choice of soda with either a burger, pizza, or pasta primavera. The food was delicious! We scarfed it down quickly, as the hike really tired us all out! The burgers were juicy and the fries were AMAZING. The pasta was very creamy and filling. The pizza was scrumptious and topped with delicious pepperoni and veggies. We all left full and happy, onto the next adventure!
Musée Grevin, the wax museum, was our next stop. We captured very memorable pictures with multiple celebrities. Maci was lucky enough to meet the wax figure of the singer of her favorite song, Elle Me Dit… Mika! Check out this photo of their beautiful meeting! What a fan girl! There are awesome other photos down below as well… can you tell if they are made of wax? There are also some shots of students creating their own wax figures with the technology provided by the museum. They turned out to be kind of strange looking, but we had a lot of fun creating and playing with the costumes (my favorite was when Maci accidently selected a pirate-looking outfit for her wax doll).
Well, folks, we’re back at the hotel now. With horrible wifi. So, if your son or daughter hasn’t contacted you, the wifi is definitely to blame. Or the fact that they are so tired. In the words of Alisha, “Je voudrais mourir parce que je me prive de sommeil” (I want to die because I have deprived myself of sleep). Or Sage, who said, “I had fun… I’m just really tired.” Or Taryn, who dramatically declared “I’m deceased.” Oh, how we are all in need of a good night’s sleep tonight!
Well this is Chaperone Ebling signing off for the evening. We have an early start to tomorrow – 6:30 a.m. and bed checks are coming up soon! Bonne nuit tout le monde! We will be dreaming of future adventures to come in our comfy wifi-less hotel rooms! Montreal, Day 2, you’ve got a lot to live up to!