Saturday we took a quick day trip to Montreal. For us, it was very last-minute, having decided just the weekend before. There are always pitfalls when we plan last minute, this trip was no exception, but we did have a wonderful day there. We started out by visiting family in Laval and having lunch, which was really awesome. We hardly get to see them and I’m glad we made sure to visit them first. After receiving expert local directions, we headed out to visit St. Joseph’s Basilica (more well known as St. Joseph’s Oratory), home to Saint Andre of Montreal. We arrived late enough to also attend mass there at 4:30 (though it wasn’t in the basilica, but in the crypt church). The basilica itself is an amazing worship space – firstly, it is magnificently huge; secondly, it is minimally adorned; thirdly, the few pieces of artwork that are present are beautiful and enhanced by the simplicity of the worship space. It really gears our focus towards the altar (which is awesome) where there is a very large cross and Mary and John underneath. It speaks so loudly through its simplicity.
Our evening was not as nice – we meant to go to a restaurant for supper (by this time it was 6:30/7, so it was about Spencer’s bedtime), but we drove around and around and around the downtown area not able to find any restaurants. Finally, we just parked in what we thought would be a promising area and walked around only to find either a) the restaurant was closed (on a Saturday night!) or b) it was reservation only (and what idiot names a reservation-only restaurant ‘Steak and Fries’?!). So, being 8/8:30pm, it was too late for us (and especially Spencer) to find a sit-down restaurant and I was angry because I was getting so hungry and our searching felt fruitless. On our way out of the city we stopped at an A&W. I had onion rings with my burger. That made up for a lot (I like onion rings). So perhaps we’ll be able to venture to Montreal again, but with people who know the city, or perhaps a better plan of attack, and we’ll be (finally) able to enjoy the cuisine of this city. I’m glad the daytime was wonderful, it helped counteract the evening.
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Looking at the front sanctuary
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A side room that we didn’t have access to, but could view through the wrought iron
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Part of the entrance to the crypt, a hallway of votives entirely devoted to the intercession of St. Joseph.