Meeting my Blog Buddies in Montreal!๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆPart Deux!

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Remember this motley crew from part one of this visit? We last heard that Dominique, Darren and I were heading to Mount Tremblant ๐Ÿ”ย for a fun filled day of laughter, food and reluctant hiking. And Linda and Bill, were scheduled to arrive the following day in Montreal.

Dominique saved the trip to Mount Tremblant for when I could go with her and Darren. She thought I would like it, and she was right!! She knows me so well๐Ÿ˜Š

This ski resort is a couple hours Northwest of Montreal in the Laurentian mountains. Like any ski resort it has a vibrant presence year round. Something that I forgot to mention in part un, is that it was hot in Montreal! We were experiencing some really warm temps, and it was gorgeous up here in the mountains.

We arrived and set out for the village. There was stunning architecture everywhere and I took far too many pictures. I will restrain myself and just post a couple.

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The main building at the base of the mountain

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This is one of Darren’s pictures, I didn’t even know he took this one! ๐Ÿ˜‚

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I loved the colors of the village shops and hotels

It would take two gondolas ๐Ÿš ย to make it to the top of the mountain, where the hiking paths were located.

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The first gondola took us to the shops and restaurants

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It truly was a gorgeous day!โ˜€๏ธ

By now, it was lunch time and we (meaning for sure, me๐Ÿ˜‰) were hungry. There were many restaurants to choose from but I saw a Crepe shop, and lobbied hard for that choice! Dom and Darren were kind enough to let me have my way! I could have had any one of the dishes, they all looked good. Dom and I settled on ham and cheese crepes and Darren went for the yogurt. Look at the differences in our lunches ๐Ÿ˜ณ

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Darren’s sensible and healthy lunch!

 

Look at these crepes!!! They are massive! And, mind you, Dom and I each had one plate of these๐Ÿ˜ฒ, and don’t forget the maple syrup we added ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ˜‚.

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Clearly Darren is the healthiest of us all! With a couple pounds of protein and carbs in us, we were ready to head to the top of the mountain. This required gondola ride number two, and was a rather long trek up. We had plenty of time for some photos. ๐Ÿš 

In all combinations possible!

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Damn, I have a lot of freckles!!

 

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Dom loaned me her hat

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This is my favorite picture of them both โค๏ธ

Now, we are ready to hike, or are we?๐Ÿงย The tricky part about the term “hike” is that it is subjective. What one person sees as a hike, might be a walk to another. I was prepared to let Dominique and Darren choose what they wanted to do. We were all full, and Dom had ย her running shoes on, so we went to the map.

I made a few modifications to the map, just for clarification purposes ๐Ÿ˜‰

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The star marks the gondola, which we were informed, would be closed by 5pm.

The arrow shows the “360 trail”. This is a short loop that is known for its views and observation tower. The three of us decided that would be a smart place to start.

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The views were as advertised!! So pretty๐Ÿ’•

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Dom told me that this lake has canoes, paddle boards and kayaks for rent. ย I may have to make my way back out here!!

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Darren’s picture of me being a big dork๐Ÿ˜œ

 

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Darren caught this image of Dom and I attempting to lure a crow out of a tree with some chocolate. We wanted a picture of it for Lisa! This did not work as the crow was too smart and the chocolate melted in the sun!

As we neared the end of the 360 trail, the observation platform became an option.

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Well, for one of us! Two of us decided that there were too many stairs๐Ÿ˜‚

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We made our back toward the gondola, where we faced a decision. There were many more paths to choose, should we go on another hike/walk? After careful study of the area, and some quick calculations on mileage vs time until the gondola shut down, we settled on the Sasquatch trail. We would go down the Sasquatch and back up one of the other paths to make our way to the gondola.

It is important to note that every opportunity was afforded all members to vote down this idea!! It was Dom who said “we have plenty of time, lets do it!”

The peppy girl with her hand up on the map is Dom!

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We started off well. As usual, Darren and Dom would stop and take pictures of inspiring critters or plants. About half way, Darren started casually mentioning that we were going down in elevation quite a bit. Then he would speculate on when we might be going back up. We had a group meeting to determine if we should just turn around at that point.

We decided that we would have time to make it, if we didn’t stop for any more pictures and picked up the pace. Ya, that did not last ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚. You can’t have three bloggers together and not take pictures!

We made it to the bottom of the route, and turned to head back up the other trail (yellow arrow). That’s when it happened! Dom went down, voluntarily! I was a little further ahead scouting for the best/shortest path back up. I turned around and Dom is laying on the ground (๐Ÿ˜ต) and I hear Darren’s sweet, soft voice saying “are you ok?”

We really were not that far away from the finish, but I was getting worried that Darren and I may be carrying her the rest of the distance! I resorted to, what every hiking guide does at some point, lying! “Its just over the next hill!” They saw through my deception immediately! But, once Dom was vertical again, and with some well placed hands on her back, we made it to the gondola, with time to spare ๐Ÿ˜Š

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Another brilliant capture by Darren!ย 

We had another couple hours in the car to make it back to Montreal. And a delicious and hearty meal at a Thai place (I think). We were discussing what to do the next day, we knew Linda and Bill were planning on arriving, but not exactly sure when.

Dom and Darren had some photo work to do with Lisa, and I thought that they might need a break from me the next day๐Ÿ˜‚. We decided to do our own thing in the morning, and meet up for lunch. Dom and Darren were going to work on some photo shoots and me…..

I was starting to feel the need for a work out ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ! There were several climbing gyms in the Montreal area, however, I was on foot and wanted a good one within walking distance. Allez UP turned out to be just the right fit!

It was a 4 mile walk to the gym, actually 4.5 thanks to, you guessed it, more construction! I had to get going early so I could get there, climb, and get back for lunch with my buds๐Ÿ’•

It was another beautiful day โ˜€๏ธย and there were some cool things to see. This bridge, near the gym, had hundreds of spider webs! ๐Ÿ•ธ๐Ÿ•ทย Had to take a pic!

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I finally found an unblocked entrance to the building! And, had a great time climbing the auto belays and bouldering ๐Ÿง—โ€โ™€๏ธ

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I felt good and ready to walk back. Near the end of the trip I realized that I was seriously low on nutrients and caffeine๐Ÿ˜ฌย ย I didn’t want to eat lunch without Dom and Darren, but what to do? Remember that beautiful gift basket they gave me when I arrived at the hotel?
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I tore into this like a pack of hyenas with a fresh kill! Well, not the gourd! This, and the in-room coffee at the hotel, got me through!

After lunch, we still had some time to kill while waiting for Linda and Bill. Dom took us for a short walk to a beautiful cemetery. Ya, a cemetery. Honestly, I could have spent all day there ๐Ÿ˜Šย So serene and full of old architecture that you just don’t see anymore.

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Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name, but I do know that it is hundreds of years old.

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You just don’t see headstones like this anymore

 

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I loved this angle, where you see the old statue with the newer church dome in the background

While we were roaming around, we got the word! Bill and Linda were at the hotel๐Ÿ˜!

The three of us rushed back to find Bill in the hotel lobby. Somehow, Darren recognized him from a picture Linda posted three years ago!!! I am now officially in awe of Darren!

We chatted for a bit, the five of us, and decided to head to a nearby park that Dom knew to have amazing views of the city. Once again, she was right๐Ÿ’•

It was a short walk to the top of the view point. And, once again, I took too many pictures! I will just post this one.

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It was at this point in the trip that Dom revealed a very personal battle that she has been having with her phone. Apparently, she has “selfie” issues ๐Ÿ˜ฒย So, at the top of a very steep drop off, she decided to work on her craft. Darren and I were a little concerned as she seemed to be teetering on the edge of a long drop!

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My picture of Dom’s selfie form, it looks good from here๐Ÿ˜‚

I still haven’t seen any of her selfies and do hope she is making progress on this vital skill ๐Ÿ˜‰.

My last night in Montreal was upon us, and we went to a Thai restaurant (or was it Indian?) for the only meal I would share with Bill and Linda.

Sadly, I only saw them for a couple hours, and the lighting at the restaurant was not awesome for photos.

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Linda getting a shot of Dom and Darren

 

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Not sure what Linda and I were thinking with this one!

 

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I love this one of Linda! This is who she is, fun, warm and so very kind! Bill is pretty awesome too๐Ÿ’•

 

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These three are up to something!!

We ate, we laughed, we talked way too loud, we took tons of pictures, we told stories and we closed the place down!! Honestly! The dude had to kick us out๐Ÿ˜‚

And then I was out of time๐Ÿ˜”! I had a very early flight back to Washington, plus I walked a total of 14 miles that day๐Ÿ˜, I was tired!!

I know this was a long post, and most of you gave up reading by now. But this was an emotional journey for me. I never dreamed that when I started my blog, almost two years ago, that I would make such important connections, with such amazing people! It’s true that not everyone could make this trip, and there are other bloggers out there who are just as important to me. But the fact that I pulled myself out of that dark place, and put myself out there, and let’s be honest, that is scary, and came away with these friends…Well, all I can say is thank youโค๏ธย Thank you Dom, Linda and Darren, for rescuing this once sad, lonely and invisible person. I love you all๐Ÿ™

 

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