Road Trip Up North

Hello everyone!!

About 3 weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit two new cities in North America for my oldest brother’s bachelor party. The main destination for our trip was Montreal, Canada, but first we visited Burlington, Vermont for one night.

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The bachelor with the Montreal skyline behind him

On our drive up we stopped in Stowe, Vermont at the Stowe Mountain Resort for our ZipTour Adventure.ย This ski resort is amazing and I can only imagine how busy it gets during the winter months. It was much more tame in July and the weather was perfect to fly down the mountain on a zip line.

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Getting the countdown before the first run

After 3 different zip lines, everybody made it back to the bottom of the mountain and our thrill seeking was done for the day. However, we had all worked up an appetite and needed to get some food. After listening to advice from a local, we made our way to Sushi Yoshi for a Thursday happy hour of unlimited free wings! They were really good and they had quite the selection of beer to wash the wings down.

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My brother Mike flying down the mountain

If you aren’t familiar with Vermont or beer, you may not know that Vermont is home to The Alchemist Brewery and one of the best beers in the world, Heady Topper. While their original brewery is in Waterbury, Vermont they have another in Stowe, Vermont. Although they don’t brew the ever coveted Heady Topper here, they distribute it and before heading to Burlington for the night we made our way there to buy some.

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The Alchemist’s Stowe brewery

After a fairly early night out in Burlington, the next morning we decided to grab breakfast at the Skinny Pancake. This place had really good food in a modern type restaurant. Energized from a solid meal it was time to explore our cliff jumping options around Lake Champlain. We hiked for a while and finally found the spot that we were searching for. All in a similar area there was a 70, 50 and 20 foot jump into the water. Only a few were brave enough to conquer the 50 foot drop, and we were told it was far too shallow for the 70 foot one. Regardless, we all enjoyed the water on a hot day and escaped with only minor injuries.

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Jumping off the 20 foot rock

Then it was time to set off for our final destination of Montreal, Canada. Although none of our party spoke French, it didn’t matter because pretty much everyone can speak English. However, French is their first option and it was like being back abroad because everyone else was speaking another language.

I think the biggest hit of Montreal for most of us was the poutine. If you don’t know what this dish is, let me explain. Poutine is based with potatoes, usually fries, and covered with tasty goodness. On top of the potatoes is a gravy sauce and cheese curds. I must admit that it does not look particularly appetizing but it did taste great.

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Whether you are buying it from a street vender or from a restaurant, I suggest you give poutine a try when visiting Montreal. There are two restaurants we ate at and they are both worth mentioning (and they both had poutine)! The first restaurant where we ate dinner was called Le Saint Bock. The food was great, and they even had a whole section of the menu dedicated to poutine, which we ordered two for appetizers. The more impressive part of this restaurant was the drink selection. On tap they have 44 beers of different types, from different countries. Then they seemed to have an infinite number of other bottled beers like the Chimay trappist beer I ordered.ย The next morning we had breakfast at the other restaurant called Eggspectation. I love breakfast and this place more than satisfied my morning appetite. They have a wide variety of breakfast foods and even a breakfast poutine.

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CHEERS!

The night life in Montreal is very happening and on any given night you can find something fun to do. Some of the places we visited were Sir Winston Churchill and Blvd 44. However, we went to my favorite place during the afternoon. It was an arcade bar called Arcade MTL and it more than satisfied the child inside me. Since this type of bar is uncommon it was a cool experience. We got to play a bunch of classic video games such as Mario Kart on Nintendo 64, Pac Man, Ninja Turtles, Mortal Combat and more on their original arcade machines. These games with a few round of beers was a perfect change of pace in the weekend and I would suggest checking it out if you find yourself in Montreal.

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Mario Kart was a huge hit at Arcade MTL

It was definitely a great weekend and we made it out alive! My biggest piece of advice is that when returning to the states, try to get to the border before 11 am because it starts to get backed up after that. We were there around that time and still had to wait about an hour, but I know it can be much worse than that.

Stay tuned for some news from the other side of the wedding party, with the bachelorette party in Wisconsin.

-Mark


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