Friday, February 26, 2010

Sanur Beach, Bali Indonesia.

Only in the Great White North

Jerry and I went to the annual Camping, Fishing and Hunting expo at Place Bonaventure in Montreal today. A huge meeting of camoflage, guns, fishing rods, fishing lodge owners, kayaks fittedfor fishing, boats, sno cats, trailers, and more. Including something we've never seen before (although our great friends to the north who love ice fishing have probably dreamt of one of these). A ice house trailer for pulling out on the frozen lake. It can be cranked down to sit on top of the ice. It comes with toilet, bunks, stove and MOST importantly predrilled holes in the floor with manhole like covers. the one we looked at had 7! As jerry said, the beer you can just put outside the door!

Chocolate in Montreal

One of my favorite guilty pleasures in Montreal is hot chocolate and brownie at Juliette et Chocolate. We have traditionally gone to the one on Laurier but just noticed that one had opened on the corner of St Laurent and Prince Arthur. So today, after a couple of hours wandering around the Hunting, Fishing and Camping Show at Place Bonaventure, we drove up for a treat.

Juliette et Chocolate has a wonderfully large, high ceilinged corner space with tall windows looking out on to the street scene. They have a extensive menu of all sorts of hot chocolate prepared in a variety of ways. Today i had the milk jivara (a milk chocolate made of criollo and trinatario criollo beans from Ecuador made with brown sugar and a touch of malt). As always i indulged in the raspberry chocolate brownie w/ a balsamico "sauce". It was heaven!

Winter Humor in Montreal

As the old license plates in Quebec province used to say (in French) "Quebec is Winter" (just like Canada IS hockey). Quebecers know how to embrace and enjoy every last ounce of winter through festivals, outdoor skating, skiing, good boots, big coats, and a good sense of humor. This sense of wry humor is no better demonstrated than in this winter "ski cap" toppers to downtown St Paul street sign advertising kiosks advertising Milk. Here are just a few.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rest and Recharge

Yesterday was a perfect day of resting and recharging. The day started out with snow which eventually turned to spitting rain. We gave ourselves permission to read, write, and rest in front of the fire. Watched a little Olympics. Ate a great lunch that Jerry fixed. Read some more (Malcolm Gladwell's What The Dog Saw). Then went for a walk in late afternoon around Old Montreal. We stopped into Olive et Gourmande on Rue St Paul west for coffee and their spectacular apple turnovers (really the best I've ever had anywhere...second in greatness only to their palmiers). We sat on high stools at a lovely wood table in a nice warm atmosphere and read the Gazette and drank coffee. We continued our walk and then ended up at home to enjoy the rest of a lazy afternoon with more reading and more Olympics.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Montreal: Highlights Festival 2010

This week Jerry and I are enjoying our favorite city, Montreal. The City is celebrating its annual Montreal Highlights Festival which is a celebration of arts, food, and winter activities. There are culinary extravaganzas and shows (we went to a Celebration of Cheese last weekend). Musical, dramatic, and comedy performances at a number of theatres. And then all the fun activities in the Old Port/Old Montreal, our favorite. Ice skating, ferris wheels, bands on the nighttime stage, fireworks, acrobats, bonfires where we can roast sausages and marshmallows (my fave). And on Sunday there will be the annual musical concert comprised of the horns, bells, and whistles of the ships wintering in the port. (maybe a few church bells as well). I'll have more about that with pics after sunday.

The weather has been beautiful: a little snow, a lot of sun, temps right around 32. But snow is coming over the next 3 days. Maybe up to a foot. I'm smiling, because that's what we come here for in the middle of winter.

Eating? Of favorite Montreal activity (next to naps in the winter afternoon). Breakfast at Le Cartet on McGill: excellent omelet with asparagus and comforting hot chocolate bowl. Dinner: Marichi's a new Indian restaurant on Place d'youville in Old Montreal. Very good. nice atmosphere, warm and inviting, not too noisy. Late afternoon lunch: Cafe Griffintown on NotreDame West. Odd little neighborhood spot with limited menu but excellent meatballs! At home: great cheese, mandarin oranges, almonds, and baguette