Travel on the Side

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I could eat my way through Montreal…in fact, I did! We didn’t have a bad meal there. A lot of people I know make lists of restaurants they want to try when they visit a new locale. We prefer to just wander around neighborhoods and pop in when a place looks good. By far, one of our favorite experiences was the Old Montreal Food Tour–highly recommended! Besides that, we had good meals… Read More

Montreal hosted the 1976 summer Olympic games. The first Olympic hosted by Canada, the highlights included gymnast Nadia Comaneci getting a perfect 10 score, Britain’s Princess Anne competing in equestrian events, and Bruce Jenner’s gold medal in the decathlon. We took the Metro to the Pie-IX station. Walking down Avenue Pierre-de Coubertin we were treated to an odd site: cyclists and rollerbladers – both men and women – covered head to toe… Read More

When we were in Montreal, we decided to purchase a Passeport MTL card. You can choose either a 48-hour pass or a 72-hour pass. The pass gives you automatic entrance into 23 popular tourist attractions, plus unlimited travel on the Montreal metro and buses. For us, it was good deal. So we decided to make the most of our Passeport MTL! One of the included attractions was a cruise on the Saint… Read More

One of the best ways to acquaint yourself with a city is to eat local food! On our second day in Montreal, we signed up for a food tour of Old Montreal (Vieux-Montreal) from Local Montreal Tours. We met the tour guide and our merry group of 12 at Crew Collective and Cafe. It used to be the headquarters of the Royal Bank of Canada. The bank moved out. Now it’s been taken… Read More

We decided to make the most of our first day in Montreal. After making our way from the airport on the convenient STM 747 bus and Metro, we checked into the Hilton Garden Inn Montreal Centre-Ville on Rue Sherbrooke. From the hotel it was a few blocks walk down Rue Sherbrooke and through the campus of McGill University to one of the entrances for Mount Royal Park – the namesake of Montreal and… Read More

Bonjour! At the end of July, we made a quick jaunt to Montreal – our first visit there. It’s a lovely city with friendly people, good food, and lots of sightseeing and entertainment options. We were there for Montreal’s Just for Laughs (Juste pour rire) comedy festival. I’ll blog a little bit over the next week about some of the major highlights. We stayed for three nights. From our home base near Milwaukee,… Read More

After three weeks of touring Italy, I decided to jot some notes down on the things I learned. Some of these are tips, some are surprises. I’ve broken it down into daily life, transport, food/dining, and comments about the U.S. that we heard from Italian friends and co-workers. Daily Life How many things can the word “prego” mean? It’s so much more than just “you’re welcome.” The acceptance that daily Italian life… Read More

A short 35 minute train ride from Florence and we were in Bologna. I think tourists are just starting to discover the charms of Bologna. Of all the well-known places we visited, this was the most low-key and we liked it. No tour guides with their flags leading hordes of tourists. Just every day Italians going to work or university. In Piazza Maggiore, we met up with a local actress dressed as… Read More

OK, maybe the title of this post is a bit over the top, but it fully encapsulates my view on Pisa. I had a free afternoon in Florence, so I decided to take the 50 minute train ride over to Pisa to explore. Hopping off the train at Pisa Centrale, I followed the tourist markers to the torre. And there they were, loads of tourists trying to get that classic holding-up-the-leaning-tower pose…. Read More

To me, Milan is a bit like the Chicago of Italy. It has the skyscrapers, wide streets, and industry. It’s underrated, or maybe understated? I dunno. Sometimes in Florence I felt hemmed in by the buildings and the medieval alleyways–and of course, the hordes of tourists. In Milan, I had space and it was welcomed change. Milan can be done as a day trip, although overnight would be OK too. We had… Read More