So what can you say about three wonderful days that are now over?
That they were wonderful. That we walked for miles and miles. Or so it seemed. That we didn’t pack warm enough clothing. Well, two of us didn’t. So the tee shirts did not get worn and the turtleneck and scarves did yeoman service. That we ate, and yakked, and drank, and yakked, and then yakked some more. And we shopped.
But let me back up. My friends Marina and Karen and I took the train to Montreal on Wednesday for a girls’ getaway. We stayed two nights in a hotel in downtown Montreal, right around the corner from Ste. Catherine Street. Which, if you know Montreal at all, will tell you that we were steps from where we wanted to be for shopping.
I have to say before I say anything else that I thoroughly enjoyed having a whole hotel room to myself. A huge shower. Bliss. All the pillows. And a bathroom which did not involve going outside. Ha.
We ate well. Steak frites and red wine for me on the first night. Just exactly what I was in the mood for. And on the second night fresh fish at Ferreirra, a Portuguese restaurant which I’d been to before a few years ago. The food was wonderful. The service was wonderful. And we had a great time both nights.
You know, an attentive and knowledgeable waiter makes all the difference sometimes, I think. A waiter who doesn’t mind tons of questions, and who always has great suggestions, or ideas for sharing, and who maybe twinkles just a little at three middle-aged ladies who are obviously in a great mood.
I wore my leather pants and a black crew-neck cashmere sweater from Everlane to dinner both nights. I always feel fierce in my leather pants. As if the pants are saying… I may have white hair but I ain’t done yet. Ha. The temperature dropped significantly once we were there, so on the second night I had to layer up. I added a striped merino turtleneck that I’d bought that morning at COS, a woolly scarf that I’d also bought that day at Simons, and my old black wool Max Mara blazer.
Of course we shopped and shopped. On the first morning we all three started the shopping day together, and then split up. I made my planned pilgrimage to COS. Whereupon I had a long conversation with a lovely sales girl, toured the whole store, and bought two merino turtlenecks. One navy and one navy and white striped. These were on my list, particularly the striped one.
Then we met up at Simons where I bought socks and a lilac wool scarf. I love Simons’ socks. They were on my list too. The scarf was an impulse buy.
On the second shopping day, I ventured back to Holt Renfrew Ogilvy on my own. I had some serious thinking to do. The day before we’d toured the store together, and I’d been mesmerized by a green coat at Max Mara. You may or may not know that Max and I go way back. Before the saleslady set the coat aside for me, Marina took a photo of me in it. I’d been poring over that picture all night. Should I or shouldn’t I? The coat was pricey. A definite splurge. But hadn’t I said back in January that this would be a splurge year for me? Still, splurge or not, I had to love it. I mean, really love it.
As you may have guessed, the second time I donned the coat, I knew. We were going home together. Max had not let me down. I love, love, love it. Even though it’s a huge departure for me in colour. I mean, it’s green. Not camel, or tweed. But green. I texted Marina and Karen that I had done the deed. I was kind of ecstatic. That coat. The fact that I was totally confident in my decision. And the lovely chat I had with the two saleswomen in Max Mara had buoyed me up.
I still had an hour before I had to meet my friends so I decamped to the cosmetic department. There I spent another lovely half hour with a sweet girl at the Chanel counter. She proffered very good advice. I bought mascara and eye shadow. She loaded me up with freebies. And we yakked about makeup, about working in cosmetics, about career paths.
You may not know that many years ago, before I started my real career in teaching, I spent two years working full time as a cosmetician at a department store here in Ottawa. I was untrained, but had a love for painting my face, and working there was fun. Well, except for standing on my feet all day in high heels. And on Friday, that Chanel girl and I bonded over talk of mascara mishaps, the endless dusting required when one works on a cosmetic counter, and helping desperate clueless husbands choose their wife’s gift on Christmas Eve afternoon. Ha. I’m still smiling as I write this.
I made a little video montage of my friends and my three-day adventure. You can watch it below. It’s very short. You may not even need to refill your teacup.
Late on Friday afternoon we headed for home. After having done our bit for the Montreal economy, as Marina said to her husband when we arrived back in Ottawa. We were tired, but replete. And feeling grateful to have had these three wonderful days. How privileged we are to be able to just pick up and go on a girls’ getaway, like we did. Just because we wanted to go.
I really needed this escape. I’d forgotten what it feels like to just have fun for a few days. And we did have fun. And so many laughs.
I think my favourite line of the trip is when I returned from the bathroom at the restaurant the first night. I sat down and said in a conspiratorial tone, “So… I’m in the bathroom…” Karen guffawed, and said, “Only you, Sue, could go to the bathroom and come back with a story.”
And we all laughed. I loved that she said that. That she noticed that I always, always make a story out of everything. And that she appreciates that quality. I mean, I felt seen, people.
Many, many thanks to my two friends for joining me in my escape. For making this girls’ getaway happen. I’m so grateful for friends who, when I ask if they want to come with me to Montreal for a few days, simply say “when are we leaving?”
So, tell me, my online friends, have you been on a girls’ getaway lately?
Here are some links to what I wore, and what I bought. Everlane reCashmere cardigan. Everlane black, boxy tee shirt. Cashmere crew from Everlane. COS merino turtleneck sweater. Simons wool socks. Aritzia cargo pants. Aritzia Melina faux-leather pants.
P.S. All of the above links are affiliate links, except the links to Aritzia products. If you make a purchase after clicking one of my affiliate links I will earn a commission which helps to pay for the blog. But although I include links to pieces I wear from Aritzia, Aritzia does not pay commission. I post the links as a courtesy to my readers who may be interested.