When He Marveled at His Montréal Family Vacation

I’ll start with a quote that I remembered from having watched Captain America: Civil War for the millionth time, “They say there’s a correlation between generosity and guilt.” Now, for context, here’s a summary for those who don’t remember the scenes leading up to the quote. Tony Stark had just finished delivering a motivating speech of innovation to students at MIT which concluded in the announcement of Stark-sponsored fully funded student research. Stark leaves the stage and is confronted by a woman who reveals that her son died from the Avengers’ efforts in saving Sokovia during the events of Avenger’s: Age of Ultron. She says the quote as a way to question Stark’s generous behavior in response to his moral responsibility as an Avenger. This interaction then goes to motivate the decisions and events for the rest of the movie.

I start with this quote because it helps me process my thoughts and feelings on familial guilt. After another year of wild changes, ups and downs, I decided to end the year with a trip to Montréal with my family. I wondered if this was a gift of gratitude or if it was a gift motivated completely by something else. I absolutely love my family and there isn’t anything negatively conspicuous but could it be that my generosity was fueled by guilt? Sometimes I felt guilty of spending less time with those that I care for in exchange for looking at a life beyond the horizon. My life has always been on the move, and it’s scary to expect others, let alone my family, to keep up if I can’t even keep up with myself. The way things have been going on in my life lately meant there was less time spent with family. Was my generosity to do nice things with my family a response to this guilt? There need not be an answer but it left me thinking in much needed reflection.

As to not further put a somber spin on the topic of family, I leave this as some food for thought! I could think of many other reasons as to why I would want to show my appreciation for my family that don’t necessarily stem from guilt. Whatever the reason may be, time with family is forever irreplaceable. Now onto the fun stuff! Here are all the things we’ve done together on our trip to Montréal.

Walked 10 minutes on a cold morning from our hotel to Place d’Armes Square and Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal

Lit candles for the ones that were lost

There were a few important individuals that we collectively had in mind when deciding to light candles. Thoughts, prayers, hopes and wishes were all in line for peace and remembrance.

Took an Uber to the top of Mont Royal where we walked to Kondiaronk Belvedere for sweet city views

We grabbed some hot drinks before making our way back down to the base of the hill by foot.

Ordered poutine at Dunn’s Famous Restaurant

We just had to make sure we got poutine on this trip!

Rode the Métro to Le Vieux Montréal and Vieux-Port de Montréal

The neighborhood of Old Montréal had a lovely historical charm. Before we could actually get to the port, we were stopped by cargo trains which took about 20 minutes to pass.

And spent the rest of the day in full relaxation at Bota Bota Spa!

Unfortunately the spa didn’t allow any phones or photography but I can say that it was amazing! The hydration cycle consisted of an indoor sauna and resting chairs, and an outdoor hot tub overlooking Old Montréal. Our spa package even included a tasting set of snacks and wine in the dining room. There were floor to ceiling glass windows that overlooked the snow-covered frozen-over water with nothing else in the distance. I didn’t know this minimalistic view was so serene. The entire family had a scheduled 60 minute massage and I’m pretty sure I slept through mine. After a pleasant stay at the spa, we satisfied our cravings with ramen and room-service.

Took a shuttle bus to the base of Saint Joseph’s Oratory and explored its halls, exhibits and gift shop

Detoured around the Place Des Arts Plaza and The Ring, and concluded our family trip with a lovely dinner

It’s been a long time coming since we’ve had quality time together. If there was anything that I’m actually guilty of, its prying mom for family gossip, indulging on bottles of wine with dad, and clowning around with my sister. These are the guilty pleasures that I take to heart. These are the moments I live for.

Happy Wedding Anniversary to mom and dad and a special thank you to my sister for helping me plan. Special thank you to Mac for some touristy Montréal recommendations!

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