S: MIRO'S 4OTH BIRTHDAY TRIP - DECEMBER 2008
BC: created by Shannon Bartol | made with love by Shannon Bartol
1: For Miro's 40th birthday, I surprised him with a trip to Montreal, Quebec to see his beloved Canadiens play against the New York Rangers. We combined the trip with a visit to see Miro's Mum & family who live in Berwick, Ontario (just outside of Ottawa). He had no idea this was coming, as you can see by the expression on his face. I phoned Miro's boss & got his time off work approved before I made our travel plans. I made up a few clues for him to try & figure out what the gift was, followed by a booklet with all the details. To say he was excited, is a huge understatement.
2: Miro & I rented a car and drove to Montreal for a one night stay on our own to see the big game. Cameron stayed behind with Nana, Poppa and his cousins.
3: Our hotel - The Montreal Marriot Chateau Champlain It was possibly the fanciest hotel we have ever stayed in. A special treat for a very special occasion.
4: The view from our room was pretty spectacular! It overlooked Dorchester Square. Wish we had more time to just sit and enjoy it.
5: Getting ready for the big game! Woo-hoo! It's going to be great!
6: The changing view from our hotel room as the sun went down.
7: The Bell Centre was just a short walk from our hotel. You can see the Marriot in the top left of this photo. | We saw the ultimate Habsmobile on our way to the game.
8: It was great to walk around the Bell Centre checking out all the 100th anniversary memorabilia.
9: Waiting for it all to begin. I think Miro was having a hard time believing we were actually there. We had awesome seats just a few rows up at centre ice.
12: We got there early so we could take it all in right from the moment the guys hit the ice to warm up.
15: Some NHl legends were honored in a 100th anniversary ceremony before the game. Another added bonus for Miro.
17: Finally the game was underway! Ten minutes into the game, Montreal scored the first goal! Woo-hoo!!! Way to go Habs! The place went wild & so did we!
18: The Habs really kept the pressure on and played a great game. It was all very exciting! | With every goal Montreal scored, the crowd erupted with thunderous sounds of celebration!
21: The Habs win the game!!! What a rush! A perfect outcome to Miro's life long dream to see his favourite NHL team play in their home town.
22: The city lights were beautiful on our walk back to the hotel after the game.
23: The day after the game we were greeted by a gorgeous, sunny day. We had breakfast in our room while enjoying the view.
24: Montreal is an amazing mix of old and new. Such a wonderful city! We definitely want to go back some day and spend more time exploring.
25: We happened to be in Montreal on the day they unveiled Centennial Plaza outside the Bell Centre. It was a nice surprise! That's where we went first, the day after the game.
27: There were several impressive statues of famous Montreal Canadiens players around the plaza. There were also many plaques on the ground, like the one above, with various stories and facts about the Habs.
28: Before the plaza opened, people were able to purchase bricks and have personal messages put on them. They were placed all around the plaza. It was interesting reading them. Wish we had done one!
30: Miro spent quite a bit of time in the Habs Zone gift store. He got himself a few souvenirs to add to his Habs collection.
31: After leaving the Bell Centre, we hopped on the Metro train and headed over to Old Montreal. Our first stop was at an historic restaurant for some traditional French Canadian fare. Check out the thickness of those stone walls!
32: We found this really cool, and very old, music box in a Christmas store. It sure sounded amazing and was beautiful to look at too.
33: Place Jacques Cartier with City Hall (under construction) in the background.
34: Place d'Armes Square Left: The Basilica of Notre-Dame Above: Bank of Montreal and monument to Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve
35: Montreal as seen from the top of Mount Royal Park.
36: Above: luckily the ice was on the hill beside us and not on the road as we started to make our way back to Berwick. Right: George-Etienne Cartier statue in Mount Royal Park.
37: Beautiful sunset on our drive.
38: We had a great visit with Miro's Mum and her husband, Richard. It was so nice for Cameron to spend some time with his Nana & Poppa. We don't get to see them as often as we would like because of the great distance between us. Cameron loved Nana's dogs. She used to breed Scotties.
39: It was also great to spend time with Miro's nephews, Aiden (18 months) & Blake (7 months). We all had fun playing with them.
41: Ilsa and Richard live in a very rural area. Cameron loved visiting with their goat, Billy, as well as the cows that lived next door. He also had fun with Poppa in the snow.
44: The day before we left, we had an early Christmas celebration together. The kids had fun opening presents and we had a turkey dinner with all the trimmings as well. A great ending to a fabulous trip!