Posted in Random Stuff

Surprise! Arcade Fire!

Hey everyone!

Yes, we went to the Arcade Fire show last night! I cannot believe it still.

We went to see Arcade Fire at The Garden last year in September for their Infinite Content tour, it was our second time seeing them; we went a few years before to see their Reflekktor Tour. A few months ago, I saw this show added to the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion. When I had seen it I mentioned it to my husband in passing, but followed the conversation acknowledging this busy Summer and backing myself out of it. I don’t know why I do that, but I do. Thinking we probably wouldn’t have the time I guess.

Then this week happened.

It has been a week of surprises… Why?  I don’t really know, but I try not to question things because I like surprises.  Actually, my husband does this sometimes for no reason, but I think it’s because he feels guilty working so much.. or at least that is what I feel.

So, Thursday, of last week, my husband came home with a vintage map of our town. Something I had mentioned I wanted because the history here is kinda cool.  It is a lithograph from 1872, hand painted, and it shows the layout of the town with streets/pin dots for houses with owners last names. It looks so bare. Our house is not on the map, though our street is. We spent all night Thursday after the kids went to bed looking into the history of some of the street names and neighborhoods from our Memorial Hall Library website.  I just had so much fun looking at all the history!!

img_3801

Then on Saturday he came home with a baseball cap I have been wanting for a year or so. It’s the Fenway Park Citgo sign trucker hat.  I just liked it to wear to the beach or when we travel and I don’t feel like doing my hair.  IT IS SO CUTE ON! I can’t wait to wear it on our lake trip in a couple of days!

img_3917

THEN, he tells me on Sunday night that he planned out a date night for us.  Nothing more.  Then Monday mentioned that he got us tickets to see Arcade Fire!!  AHHHH WHAT!?!?!  And that he reserved dinner too.  I was so excited to hear that!!  He got us tickets in Section 2, row U.  SO CLOSE!!

The night of the show, we had dinner at Legal’s Harborside, my favorite spot on the harbor.  After talking there a few minutes, he told me we had VIP access at the show.  Which meant CLEAN BATHROOMS!  YAHH!  haha  I hate public bathrooms…blech.

The show was amazing.  They are definitely a great band to see live. Their set list was different from the other times we had seen them, and I LOVED IT.  They played a lot of their older songs, which made the place go nutty.  A lot of super fans there, not just me.  The whole place sang along and danced, it was a lot of fun.  I hope to get the chance to see them again someday.

Here are some shots of the night..and a video of their song Reflekktor.  So. much. fun!!

Posted in My Travels

Montreal 2018- Day 4

Hey guys!

Here we are, the last blog post of our trip to Montreal. It really was a fantastic four days, and this day did not disappoint!

Day Four:

We slept in! OK, I always start the posts off with how we woke up, may be weird but I think how we wake up sets the tone for the day. We had planned to get up early, but instead, no one set an alarm and we slept till around 8AM. Big win in my book since it’s Summer, and I have been naturally waking up at 5/5:30AM from the sunlight.

Which I love, I am actually an odd duck in that I am a night owl who wakes up like an early bird, because I sleep without my shades down on purpose to rise with the sun. This is something I love because I don’t need an alarm clock, which is the Devil’s creation. What a horrible sound!!

Ok, back to our last day.

We really had no plans other than eating breakfast somewhere different because we swapped our quad bike reservations to the night before. I had packed up the room the afternoon before when we came back to the room to cool off from the parade, so all we had to do was shower and go out for the day.

We went to check out a fun spot we read about that was nearby, Artisans. It is basically like an upscale food store, like Williams-Sonoma, that has cookware and linens, but also a places to eat: a creperie, a bakery, a charcuterie, a pasta area, a market, and a teaching glassed in classroom etc etc. super cute and amazing quality.

We loved it!

The girls got a sweet crepe, raspberry, and a waffle topped with strawberries. The raspberries were the sizes of champagne corks, and the fruits tasted like what I imagine Heaven tastes like. If Heaven has a taste. My husband got a savory crepe with French ham and cheese, and I got a savory crepe, which was a buckwheat pancake, and I filled it with spinach and mozzarella. It was all delicious and so light, that we felt great.

After breakfast we walked around the store, bought some stuff to take for the ride; like French bread and maple flavored homemade marshmallows. Then we walked around the city a bit before heading back to the hotel to leave. We had late check out, and plans to stop in VT along the way home.

It was a beautiful morning, Montreal is just a wonderful city. If you have never been, well, I hope you consider it a stop sometime. The people are wonderful. The sights are to be seen. The food is fantastic. And the bread! My gosh, for that alone I hope you go. Haha. But, seriously. It is like traveling to a European country, but just not as far. You get the European mentality mixed with Canadian, in a bubble where they appreciate food, art, sports, music and cultures from around the globe.

Now it was time for us to go. (Insert sighs and sad faces here.)

As I mentioned before, my husband and I have been going up to Montreal since we met. We were dating a few months when he asked me to go away with him. My first real boyfriend asked me to go to a foreign country!! I was so excited that I started prepping right away and told no one that I was going till the day before!! Sorry Mum! Haha.

The best part of that trip was all the surprises he had in store for me, things have not changed in 22 years. On the way up, he told me we would make a stop to rest and eat. Which was great. He surprised me with the location, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory in VT. I was so excited when I saw the signs (I am like a child about everything). So we walked over to this grassy area where they had tables, as I noticed he was carrying a cooler. He didn’t tell me was that his very Italian, very old, great-aunt Lucy, whom I liked a lot, packed us a picnic of my favorite things to eat. It was the sweetest gesture I had ever had in my life at this point and one of my favorite memories from dating.

Ok, now that we have all gone down memory lane… so, as we were going with our kids I wanted to surprise them with a stop at Ben and Jerry’s too! Since on the way up my husband ended up having a meeting change to earlier in the day, we couldn’t make it, so we planned going on the ride home.

The girls were ecstatic! And the place was totally different than how I remembered it. It seemed more built up. We took them on the tour. You start the tour off with a movie of how Ben met Jerry, and how they made ice cream… and how they sold to Unilever. I forgot they had. Then they walk you through the processes, packaging and advertising. The tour is super quick, cheap and totally worth a go. Plus, you get a super delicious ice cream sample at the end, which was the size of a kiddie cup! But we got ice creams after it anyways, because that is what we do.

It was a fantastic stop along the way home and a great way to end our quick getaway to Montreal.

Xoxo

Posted in My Travels

Montreal 2018- Day 3

Alrighty, guys!  Here we are on day three.  This was by far my favorite day.

Day Three:

It was Saturday, and my husband did not have to work anywhere, so we were able to spend the whole day together from the start.  Our only plan was to grab coffee at Myriade then grab pastries for breakfast nearby.  We walked up to Myriade, which is in the basement level of Club Monaco.  Super swank store, if you don’t know it.  The basement level is their sale section, but right at the bottom of the stairs going down is the Myriade Cafe.  The coffee was so good. I got my usual latte, but I stupidly allowed my girls to have iced mochas, which I forgot to say decaf…so womp.  It didn’t haunt us till bedtime.

When we left Myriade, we realized that we were a short block away from the Barbie Expo.  So before grabbing food we went over to check it out.

WOW.

We had read about this expo, as it was listed as a fun free thing to do with kids in Montreal.  It is an exhibit of Barbie dolls dressed by all these world-renowned designers like Bob Mackey, Christian Dior, Armani, Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Louboutin, Zac Posen, and so many more.  There were a lot of celebrity look-alike Barbies, like Michael Jackson, Barbara Streisand, Prince William with Princess Kate and Cher, there were a few of Cher!  It was probably the most impressive collection of Barbie and Barbie Fashion any of us have ever seen.  I don’t know for sure, but there had to be- at least- a thousand dolls.  It was definitely a fun walk through for all of us. I grew up on Barbie, and my kids love her too.

From Barbie, we headed straight to Maison Christian Faure, a fun pastry shop, patisserie. This place was just a sweet tooth’s dream come true..and they had some amazing croissants.  We grabbed a chocolate twist croissant, chocolate filled croissant, a plain croissant, and a Napoleon…and another coffee! This place did not disappoint.

Feeling full and happy, we made our way back to the hotel. Our plan was to go swim a few hours, but we stopped to shop a little bit, souvenirs for the girls. Then on our walk towards the hotel, we heard these crazy sounds of a party. Then we saw a street blocked off, which we walked down towards the noise and it opened up to this cool sight. My husband had read somewhere that there was going to be a parade but we didn’t expect it to be so big. It was the Caribbean Parade on one of the major boulevards. Huge!! I am talking it went for miles! The sounds of the crowds, proud to see their country represented. The crazy awesome and different Caribbean music blasting from each truck bed. The traditional costumes on people walking along…and the dancing. IT WAS SO FUN!!!! We ended up staying to watch, and I danced, for an hour to each beat. It was a beautiful day, I personally love interacting with all cultures, so I truly appreciated what I was watching and learned some great moves.

When we got to the hotel, we decided to just chill a bit to refresh ourselves then head back out. We started our evening off by exploring the areas of old Montreal we hadn’t before. This part of Montreal is the best to walk around as there are parts not made for cars, so walking is nice. Lots of shops and restaurants, but mainly art galleries. The end of this walkable strip comes up to a piazza filled with artists, caricaturists, vendors and cafes. It felt like we were in Europe, not Canada. By this point we were hungry, so we decided to indulge on a late lunch/early dinner, or as we paraphrase it from Seinfeld, linner.

My husband got us reservations that morning for Terrasse Nelligan, it is a hotel rooftop restaurant that overlooks the city. My husband had stayed in this hotel a month ago during his last work trip. Super cool. We had a great time with the people and the food was really good. The girls loved it because they had music pumping, and a lot of the songs they knew. The girls got a shrimp taco and a cheeseburger. We got a carafe of red sangria and a wagyu burger each. We all enjoyed our meals and yet again the topic of dessert came up. I mean, did any of you eat dessert as much as these kids? It’s like a sweet toothed epidemic around me. But anyways, we promised them crepes..again because well they’re awesome!! Our kids are awesome, too.

We left the rooftop to walk the seaport/boardwalk area. We had pre reserved quad bike rides for the next morning but we swung by to see if we could use them this night instead. And we could. Yes!!

Some backstory… my girls LOVE to ride bikes. They have been riding bikes since they were able to run. Though we have a horrible driveway for riding and a stone paved patio, they persisted to learn and ride. Eventually, moving on to parking lots and side streets. Now, they go on daily rides together after school or camp for an hour or more exploring the neighborhoods or going to friends. So when I mentioned bike rentals as an option, they were all for it. Only thing, I was nervous to rent single bikes in the city for them, because I wasn’t quite sure what the city would be like with them; though now I wish I had brought their helmets! Next time!

Anyways, no single rentals because we decided to surprise them with renting quad bikes instead (the ones with dual rider pedals). We rented them for a half hour because it was late evening. It was the perfect amount of time. We got to take them through a huge paved lot facing the river, down a walking path and park along the water to this historic clock tower and back. With time to take picture and switch up riders, which means my husband and I got to ride alone. Finally alone!

As we returned the bikes, we opted to sit marina side for a while to enjoy the views and catch a sunset. Our plan was dessert then back for fireworks. Apparently, Montreal is home to an international fireworks competition every Wednesday and Saturday. This night’s theme was ABBA. We didn’t want to miss it.

When the sunset ended, we hopped across the street for crepes. Yup, back to Chez Catherine, but this time we only got two crepes, one filled w vanilla ice cream and maple syrup, the other filled with Belgian chocolate and cream. I had some glow sticks and necklaces for the kids that were opened at this point.

All garbed in glow, we ran to grab the perfect spot for the night’s attraction. The funny thing is that in the middle of the seaport there is this two floored metal structure, what it is for I don’t know, but we went up it and watched the show from there. It was perfect. You could hear the music softly (they had it pumping in from far away), and the fireworks were impressive. The cool thing was, do you remember I mentioned in my previous post that there was a lighting exhibit across Old Montreal? Well along the tree line in front of us where the ferris wheel was located, they had projected people’s faces onto the trees. They would move with emotion and it was just super cool to see. I tried capturing it in the pictures so you can see what I am talking about.

So Saturday. Woke up to sunshine, ate and drank delicious food and coffee, saw Barbie, danced to an insane parade, rode quad bikes AND watched fireworks… it was a good day. 🙂

Posted in My Travels

Montreal 2018- Day 2

Hey Everyone!

Here we are on day two:

The big man left early for his half day of meetings, so the girls and I ventured out to find breakfast nearby.  One of the cooler things about Montreal is that there is a whole underground city right under your feet in the city!  Their subway system is probably one of the most organized underground systems, and it comes along with a whole world of shopping, salons, bakeries, and cafes.  It is what makes Montreal, Montreal!  This comes in super handy when it is unbearable outside, the whole city goes underground. Which can be great to actually walk the streets.

The girls and I had a great time grabbing coffee at the Starbucks under Bonaventure Place, for the first one of the trip, and making our way in the underground finding a boulangerie, a bakery.  There was so much to see and smell, it was actually quite amazing, but the amount of people who use the underground for food is simply impressive. Highly recommend taking a day to search through all of it.  We grabbed 2 plain croissants (one for each girl), a chocolate croissant (for my youngest), a brioche cinnamon roll (for my oldest) and a braided bacon bread (pour moi).  I split half of almost everything to have at the pool later, and scarfed down the rest at the central seating area while watching some of the World Cup.

‘Have you had the bread?!?’. Gah bread is my favorite food group. YES, that thick, crunchy and airy type bread, though. Oh, and croissants. Holy buttery awesomeness.  I am so glad to live in a city with not this caliber of breads. My kids take after me too. They wanted me to get like three more croissants each right after eating one, but no.  haha

We rushed back to the hotel to hit the pool because this time I was NOT going to show up to no chairs. But guess what?  I found only one to start, but then this really nice, GIANT, French speaking man waved me over to take some loungers he saw freeing up near him.  Which was super nice.  Actually, people in Montreal, all around, are gracious, polite and generous with their smiles. This guy at the pool went out of his way to help me out, why? Just because he was a nice person, and maybe nosey haha jk.  But I’d of done the same thing for someone else I saw struggling with kids or alone, because I am nosey. I mean nice hahaha.

My husband ended up arriving two hours later because of timing and traffic, which wasn’t that big of a deal.  I pushed a lil pool time on him so the girls could get tossed around in the water. You know, real father daughter time. He is a pretty big guy and crazy strong, and patient as heck, so he can take on the girls’ pool energy; picking them up on his shoulders, tossing them a handful of feet away or whatever horseplay that lasts a long while. Long enough to tire them out and let me be alone in the sunshine… silent. We were at the pool from 10:50AM to 4:30PM, and the girls still grumbled when I said it was time to get ready to go out. haha

We quickly got ready to go out for a night on the town!  We walked through old port to our destination, the Notre Dame basilica.  Before the trip we had plans to go to see Lumina in the woods of Coaticook, a multimedia show done by Moment Factory, the company my husband was collaborating with for his company.  But going there didn’t pan out with the amount of time we had, so we got tickets to their other show, Aura inside the Basilica of Notre Dame!

WHICH WAS SO GREAT!!  

By chance, a viral YouTube video was floating around Facebook a month ago. So I sort of knew what to expect for this show but not really.  Gosh, this show was special.  The whole basilica was bathed in so many different types of lights and lasers, and the music was spectacular that went with it.  There was even a part where the whole basilica looked like it was under glass that was facing a storm, and the storm was so strong it was breaking through the glass… it looked so real that when it broke open everyone flinched!!  So amazing.  I can’t even give it enough justice with words.

I felt so lucky to be there.  We got out of the show just in time for our dinner reservation at Holder Brassiere.  We had THE best waitress, she was beyond friendly; and the food was perfection on a plate.  I got the veal steak & frites, and holy wow.  I ate the whole thing, every fry, too.  So good.  My husband got the filet mignon with vegetable risotto special, which was to die for too!  The girls shared panko crusted, or Holder style, fish and chips that was crispy and eaten in minutes flat.  haha  I love my lil piggies.

While we were eating, the girls were talking dessert with their dad, cause that is how my family rolls.. “Oh, look, I am eating food. So, let’s talk about what we will eat after we eat all this food we haven’t finished yet. Because, FOOD!”  haha  I wish I was kidding, but I am not. 🙂  Ok so we were talking dessert, and we promised to take them for their first crepes.  There was a fun spot along the boardwalk of Vieux Port down the street, Chez Catherine. It was super cute inside, with seating outside on the street.  We got a caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream crepe for my husband and oldest to split, a mint choc chip ice cream (because I love mint) and a chocolate ice cream; everything was amazing!

We ended the night full of awesome food and cocktails, walking around the boardwalk.  There is so much nightlife!   On the walk back to the hotel, we saw the light show that was going on all over the city, Cite Memorie.  There was a map of locations where they set up street light shows; interactives or projections, but there were so many stops in Old Port.  A definite must see.  Some were streams of vintage movies, or changed adverts, or just words streaming, just real cool stuff.  The best was the interactve down one of the alleys, it went from a babbling brook, then as you walked on it changed to rustling leaves to a bright path to a bloody path, etc etc.  Super fun!

It was a great day!!

 

 

Posted in My Travels

Montreal 2018- Day 1

Hey WordPressland!

It is Summertime, my favorite time! We kicked off Summer with our Fourth of July BBQ which I shared this week, following that we took off on our first getaway of the season to Montreal, Canada.

Ahh, Montreal.  L’architecture, les cultures, l’histoire, l’amour… le pain.

This trip was a work trip for my husband, he had two important meetings, so our girls and I hopped along to enjoy the city …AND EAT BREAD…my God the bread.

Lordy lordy lordy.

It was so good. Like being in Italy or France good!

Gah.

Ok, let me focus.

Since we don’t live terribly far from Canada we drove up.  Part of the fun is the road trip,  right?  Getting to the destination.. and snacks.  At least that is what I was told.  The scenery through Vermont and Canada was beautiful; the amount of green farmland is breathtaking; along with red farms flanked with silos.  Picturesque.  My husband and I had driven up to Montreal for years; our first trip was a couple of months after we met, but I don’t ever remember all the beautiful landscapes like we saw this time.

Day one:

We stayed at the Hotel Bonaventure, right in downtown Montreal.  There aren’t many hotels with outdoor pools in the city.  We booked another hotel that had an indoor pool, but then when we saw the weather was going to be avg 90F all week, we rebooked to this hotel for the outdoor pool.

The girls and I arrived in Montreal itching to get our swim on.  So my husband checked us in then left for his meeting. We three girls went to get our white bodies to the sunshine!  The pool area was aesthetically pretty basic.  There was a pool with chairs around, a large hot tub and a cocktail bar, EXCEPT you are on the fourteenth floor of a high rise…super cool!  The pool was heated  which was nice, and it had an interior entrance point for Winter outdoor swimming. The hot tub was super hot, but I actually sat in it most of the time …yup in 93F, too!! I LOVE ME SOME HEAT!

Ok. So, MY ONLY COMPLAINT  this whole trip is that everyone and their grandmother staying on property was out there all day and night. So loungers or seating were pretty slim, if there was any at all.  This first day, I had pieced together three seats in an hour, just in time for us to eat some lunch.

After a few hours of swimming and sunbathing we got ready so once my husband got back we could head right out to dinner.  We explored the hotel a bit when he got back, then walked about three blocks to Rue Metcalf (Metcalf Street) to the Dominion Tavern Square.  This place was right up my alley; he always reserves fun places.  It was a historic, 1927, tavern. I love vintage pubs.  We sat at a round table in the middle against the wall, where my husband and I sat on a vintage booth style unattached bench, upholstered in vibrant orange leather.  I LOVED THIS SEAT!!  It was comfy. And I love sitting next to my husband since our kids like to split us up all the time.   It was nice they let me sit without racing their dad for the seat.  hahah

From dinner we decided to take a walk through our old stomping grounds.  I was surprised at how much of the city had changed, but it has been almost twenty years.  Erg, has it been that long? Wow, I AM old.  But, I liked the changes.

We walked down St. Catherine’s till we hit the JazzFest.  Which we had gone to on our first trip, and it was totally different!! They had the area zoned off, flanked on each side of the street with vendors then it spilled out to a huge stage at the center.  There were so many people and things to see.  We had a blast!

It was a great start to our Montreal getaway. 🙂

 

Posted in Party Time!

Fourth of July 2018

Hey Everyone!

July 4, we cooked together and drank together…and sweat..uhm, together? Haha.  It was actually a lot of fun!

This year we decided last minute to throw the big BBQ bash, just a little smaller than years past.  Just family (and our besties).  The decision came after we had made plans to travel up to Canada the following day. Which I will post about when we are back.  We are in Montreal at the moment, last full day of a long weekend getaway, so time has been a little tight since we left Thursday to post anything about the Fourth…  but here I am!

This Fourth was a hot one, over 90F!  We had rented an inflatable slip n’slide from Perfect Parties USA, and I had bought a six foot tall inflatable unicorn sprinkler from Target for the lil ones.  I am so glad I got that majestic beast!  It came in handy after everyone was tired from slipping and sliding for hours.

We planned a potluck. With us grilling burgers n dogs, then we added sausages because, well, that’s what we do…sausages.  Everyone brought a dish, like potato salad, corn on the cob, peppers, Thai spring rolls, and desserts.  It was a fantastic food turn out!

Well, I am going to photobomb then run since it is past midnight and tomorrow is our last day up here. It has been a wonderful trip but I am in need of beauty sleep!

Ttys! xoxoxo