montreal, qb

Canada has a lot of things I can get down with: poutine, universal healthcare, baby bears, etc. Plus, it's a great option for a romantic winter weekend trip, and growing up in the heart of New England means I am not phased by a blizzard, and totally willing to wear a minimum of 5 layers before leaving the house.

That being said, traveling to Montreal for Valentine's Day this year was not totally hot and steamy, only because it was -40 below with windchill. This trip was really unforgettable, and not just because I thought for sure all my extremities would freeze and fall off on multiple occasions throughout the weekend.  

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First thing first: poutine. We ventured out into the snow to Poutineville, where you can customize your gravy cheese fries to your heart's desire.  As in, you can get hot dogs. On your gravy cheese fries. To sum it up, if Poutineville was its own Canadian province, I would book a one way trip. 

For croissants, Mamie Clafoutis

If you're into brunch, go to Prohibition

We also had a v romantic valentine's day dinner at Le Robin Square - a hidden gem, pretty sure the nicest Canadians in all of Canada work there.

40 below zero, eh?  il est putain de froid.

40 below zero, eh? il est putain de froid.

This is fine. We're fine.

This is fine. We're fine.

After we were full of poutine, croissants, and bloody caesars, we bundled the fuck up and explored the city. Some of our favorite stops throughout the weekend:

Montreal Biodome

Café Chat L'Heureux

3 years of french class and the only word i remember is poisson.

3 years of french class and the only word i remember is poisson.

Airbnb came through again, and we stayed in a swanky high-rise apartment in downtown Montreal. You can see the listing here, and the views are even better than the photos. Montreal has a TON of amazing Airbnb rentals. To check out some other great options for a weekend trip, you can scroll through my potential choices for this adventure here.

china, maine

I love Airbnb. I'm not sure where the line is between "fan" and "fangirl", but I'm pretty sure I've crossed it. The hours I used to spend browsing Reddit are now spent lusting over lava caves in Santorini and treehouses in Australia. (...alright, sometimes I still check Reddit.)

My first Airbnb experience was in China. 
That's right. China, Maine.

Population: 4,328. 

This incredible custom built cabin, hidden down a dirt road in a tiny town, had a huge back deck overlooking a secluded pond, kayaks and a firepit, and was generally just the most magical place ever to exist.


A lot of cribbage games went down on this deck.


The main bedroom, with wood beams and vaulted ceilings was, (and I hate to use this term but I feel like it applies here), #loftgoals.

This photo got some social media love on Instagram (@cabinchronicles) and tumblr, and every now and then, when I'm climbing through Boston's snowbanks, I mentally transport myself back to this bed in the trees.

Also, the ensuite bathroom had an awesome, super deep claw foot tub. I have FOMO just writing this, and I already went there.


One of the best parts about this kind of travel experience is the community of Airbnb hosts. 

Even without meeting face to face, when a stranger makes you feel at home in their home, the connection goes beyond hospitality.

Our host in Maine, Michael, had built the cabin from the ground up (we loved checking out an album full of construction progress pictures). He had set out wildflowers in every room and even prepared a huge pot of homemade fish chowder that was ready on the stove when we arrived. We didn't get a chance to meet him in person, but I'm sure we will in the future, since we've decided to make this trip a summer tradition.