Posted by: anniebananie784 | April 6, 2014

Visit to the cabane à sucre :)

What spring would be complete without a visit to the “cabane à sucre”? Even if spring has been long in coming and the sap has only begun running, I had great difficulty waiting until now to enjoy my maple taffy :P I wouldn’t have needed to wait so long but I just recently learnt that most sugar shacks serve last years maple syrup – here I had thought it was always fresh from the trees hehe.

Mmmm

Mmmm

I went to the same cabane à sucre as last year and was not disappointed. This time I organised the visit with my good friend, E., and her family. First time experience for her daughter, but we’re not too sure she actually liked the maple syrup, alas! Like we say in good québécois “je me suis bourré la face” – I was so full after lunch that I didn’t need any supper. I know, I know….only happens once a year though ;)

Some photos taken on E.’s phone to share:

With E. and her family :)

With E. and her family

In all seriousness, I don't make a habit of drinking maple syrup directly from the bottle. It's my brother's former pirate-style wine drinking that inspired my pose ;)

In all seriousness, I don’t make a habit of drinking maple syrup directly from the bottle. It’s my brother’s former pirate-style wine drinking that inspired my pose ;)

A meal is not finished until one tries the maple taffy! And here they poured out big portions :p

A meal is not finished until one tries the maple taffy! And here they poured out big portions!

At Alcide Parent

At Alcide Parent

Now it’s time to dance off all that sugar ;) And the dance show is fast approaching for the rec dance programs, the last Sunday of April!  Hopefully I won’t be overwhelmed by all the parents with questions! If you can’t find me in a few weeks, I might be lost somewhere between all the costumes and the ticket orders :p

Thanks for reading! à la prochaine!

Posted by: anniebananie784 | March 3, 2014

Girls’ night out :)

For my good friend A’s birthday, a couple of us girls got together to offer her a night out at a restaurant of her choice. Her birthday we the end of November, and being the busy group of ladies that we are, it took us several months to find a date that worked for everyone! Either my evenings were full of dancing, or A was working or someone had family or other events planned, and of course the restaurant A. wished to visit was closed on Sunday and Mondays. So it was with great joy that we found a date ;)

A. chose the restaurant “Le lapin qui tousse”, a pretty fancy place for Joliette. While Joliette is not the biggest city we do have a considerable number of high quality restaurants. It’s nice not to have to drive all the way to Montréal for a good meal.

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with the birthday girl :)

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Pretty ladies

Anyways, six of us ladies piled into a van to drive to the restaurant. My friend N. was a champion and parallel-parked her van with the side door slide wide open :P It was my first time in the restaurant, and I am quite happy with the experience. They were accomodating for my gluten intolerance (which I would hope considering the scale of restaurant haha) and the portions were quite generous. Of course, having crème brûlée for dessert scores a lot of points in my books. A delicious meal, good wine and great company makes for a good time :)

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L’entrée au canard (duck)

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Main course

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Mmm, crème brûlée!

We were having so much fun, we almost forgot to get a picture taken of the whole group! The poor waitress was a little concerned when she saw us come back into the restaurant but relaxed when we explained we only wanted a photo taken. It hadn’t registered in my mind that the place was already supposed to be closed. Oops :P

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Les filles!

Being that many of these ladies are Moms, we ended up going home and to bed a very reasonable time (i.e. midnight) instead of staying out till all hours of the night. And to finish the festivities, we hung out again last night to watch a movie. If you are looking for a good girly movie to watch, check out “About Time“. For those of us who like to cry in movies, I’d make sure you have some kleenex for near the end ;)

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Bonne fête!

Not that I’m trying to make an open suggestion, but I would not be opposed to having a birthday dinner in a restaurant like that myself this year. I mean decadal birthdays are worth celebrating well, aren’t they? ;)

À la prochaine!

Posted by: anniebananie784 | February 15, 2014

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow :)

After a week or two of bitter cold, clouds and dry streets, I was so excited to hear that a snowstorm was announced for Valentine’s Day. Kid’s were hoping that school would be closed and I was hoping for a nice big pile of white fluffy snow. Which we did get – though not enough for them to cancel school ;)

We are fortunate in Quebec to have a pretty decent snow-removal system, at least compared with out west. The only thing that can be kind of frustrating is the huge pile of snow pushed up by the snowplows onto the driveway. It’s definitely a good workout to clear all that away.

First x-country ski in Québec :P

First x-country ski in Québec :P

One of my housemates is keen about his cross-country skiing and he invited me to come along a few weeks ago. The track is just around the local golf course but it’s still a 7km loop with a few ups and downs. Took me a while to get into the “groove”.

With the snow yesterday, it meant that my housemate was eager to get out again on the *fresh* snow. I decided to come with him again, though this time I tried out my snowshoes (yay!). I brought them all the way from Calgary and still hadn’t used them. It really isn’t too exciting to snowshoe on rock-hard icy snow, so today seemed like the ideal time to try. The golfcourse was perfect for a meander in the powder and not too hard. And by the end I was in the mood for making a snow angel. Poor D. fell in the snow trying to take my picture :P

Angel!

Angel!

Heroic effort to save my camera from the snow

Heroic effort to save my camera from the snow

Maybe some of you wish it was spring already, but I am ready for another snowfall to enjoy!

À la prochaine :)

Posted by: anniebananie784 | January 25, 2014

I’d like to introduce you to somebody :)

I’d like to introduce you to somebody special that I’ve just met. My sports therapist introduced him to me the other day. We hit it off right away and I think he’ll be a good influence on me – he’s a good listener, supportive and he’ll be someone who challenges me to push my limits. In fact, he made such a good impression on me that I asked him to come over after this first time we met. Time will tell if it’s really meant to be.

Of course, I hope by now your curiousity is peaked and I suppose you’d like to see who he is.

Drum roll…..

Meet my new “chum”, Larry :)

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Perhaps not the guy you were imagining. :P Now I hope you had a good laugh at least.

I certainly did after I learned how many new exercises I was going to do using this little balancing ball/cushion. So I gave him a name and got to bring him home for a few weeks. :P Hopefully we can remain friends when all is said and done haha.

à la prochaine !

 

 

Posted by: anniebananie784 | January 11, 2014

The Perfect Tree

My family is notorious for putting up our Christmas tree late in the “season” if you will. Of course, we put it up before December 25th but we didn’t go get one until the weekend before. This year we decided to cut down our own tree in the Ghost River Forest Reserve. For the price of 5$ we had the privilege of cutting down up to three trees under 2.5 metres tall. First time we actually went out to cut our tree there. Last year we had one straight from the cabin.

My Bro, Sis-in-law, my Mom and I all hopped into my Dad’s truck with snowshoes, ropes, axe and saw in tow for our adventure. Not to mention popcorn and tea for the way back home :) It didn’t take us long to find a spot in the reserve with a clearing-ish space not too far from the road and some smaller looking trees. On went the snowshoes and we trapsed about 5 minutes into the forest before taking a look around at our choices. Upon my Mom’s request, we all chose a candidate tree and presented our arguments, which you can check out here. Then we stumbled across a tree that was not too tall, not too crooked, with decent branch coverage and lots of space underneath for presents. It was the *tree*. People recommend that one use a saw on these things, but we decided to be old-school and my brother chopped it down with an axe. I’m glad it wasn’t me because I don’t swing very straight :P

with our tree

with our tree

We liked the tree so much that it stayed up in our house until Epiphany, and then until Ukranian Christmas, and it may still be up for all I know. Freshly cut trees sure last a lot better than ones from the lot. I think we shall have to search for another one next Christmas too :)

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Look how shiny it is!

Posted by: anniebananie784 | January 11, 2014

Ski date :)

Over the holidays I went skiing with my family a couple of times, mostly to Sunshine where I snowboarded, but we also spent one Saturday in Peter Lougheed Park doing some cross-country skiing. It has been over 10 years since I last did that.

with the Momma in style

with the Momma in style

my brave x-country companions. or maybe just patient :P

my brave x-country companions. or maybe just patient :P

I was surprised at how easy it felt and I kept a good pace up and down the trail and on the hills. Amazing what time and a few trips to the downhill resort do to change one’s perspective on what’s steep. Of course, cross-country skies can be a little more exciting going down a reasonable sized hill, particularly when you go from track-set to free for all and then back into a track. Fortunately I only fell once :P

Kananaskis Lake

Kananaskis Lake

Mountains! The best views unfortunately involve power lines on these trails...

Mountains! The best views unfortunately involve power lines on these trails…

My Mom follows a blog from a “skiier Bob” who reports on the various conditions in the National and Provincial Parks in around K-country. He had a set up a contest to win 2 nights at the Lodge at Emerald Lake, and to enter you either had to make a comment on his post answering a certain question or send in a picture related to cross-country skiing (which would give you two entries in the draw). So pretty much everyone in my family sent in a picture or two, including myself. I decided to have a little fun with mine and I brought out my flapper dress with some black gloves for my photo. You may have seen the link already on FB.

Bobbert poses for the camera

Just being silly

We even made a short video, in which I look a bit ridiculous keeping my arms straight as I ski in my outfit, but I’m up for sharing a laugh so click on the link to see it ;) We skiied up to Blueberry hill turnoff, then had our photo session. Of course our break was not complete until we had some tea.

Fashionable afternoon tea

Managed to make it all the way up to Elk Pass and back again. It was a beautiful day, not too warm and not too cool, lovely mountain backdrop and we finished our day not too worse for wear. With the exception of my feet. I thought I was being smart by putting duct-tape on my heels to prevent blistering. Let’s just say I ripped the tape instead of cutting it, and I ended up with some pretty puffy looking blisters underneath where the duct tape had been. Not the best of my ideas.

View from near the pass

View from near the pass

I’m glad to have gotten out skiing and I hope I shall have an opportunity to try it out in Québec too. That is, if the freezing rain stops and we get some nice new snow!

Posted by: anniebananie784 | September 13, 2013

Roadtrip to Kingston

Last week my friend A. had some time off and we decided to undertake a roadtrip together. Because of my training sessions for teaching dance this fall and other appointments on the Friday, we had to pack everything into three days. It wasn’t nearly long enough!

A. wanted to visit Ontario and take advantage of the fact that I’m a native English speaker. We decided to head towards Kingston and the 1000 islands region.

View of the St.Lawrence along the way

View of the St.Lawrence along the way

Tuesday morning we set off for Ontario, just missing out on all the Montreal traffic and we crossed the border in good time. We stopped at the first rest stop which had a tourist office to get some recommendations. And we weren’t disappointed. Our route took us down the Long-Sault parkway – which is a series of islands, past the Iroquois locks – which after the Panama canal were a little less exciting – and the bridge to the USA, and down the 1000 islands parkway. Honestly a much more interesting route than sticking to the 401 :P

Long-Sault Parkway

Long-Sault Parkway

Long Sault Parkway view

Long Sault Parkway view

and another :)

and another :)

Iroquois Locks - Unfortunately I didn't catch a big boat passing

Iroquois Locks – Unfortunately I didn’t catch a big boat passing

Bridge to the USA

Bridge to the USA

Once we arrived in Kingston we headed up to a lake near Perth Road to visit my Mom’s cousin (B.) and her husband. Last year B. retired and she likes to travel. When I called before the trip, I wasn’t sure if I would just get the answering machine but we were in luck because they were home. So that’s where we stayed – and where we were so warmly welcomed and spoiled! For starters, the view from their house – which was all made by B,’s husband(!) – is amazingly beautiful, not to mention how hospitable our hosts were. And the delicious crepes that we enjoyed each morning!

In front of the lake

In front of the lake

with cousin B :)

with cousin B :)

Roasting marshmallows in a rather epic fire-pit - I confess to have eaten at least 15 marshmallows that night :p

Roasting marshmallows in a rather epic fire-pit – I confess to have eaten at least 15 marshmallows that night :p

Quest for the perfectly roasted marshmallow accomplished!

Quest for the perfectly roasted marshmallow accomplished!

Wednesday we got a whirlwind tour of Kingston from cousin B. – we saw many, many sights! Starting with the Kingston town hall, followed by lunch with my second cousin, a visit to the Penitentiary museum and Olympic sailing site on Lake Ontario, visit to Sir John A. McDonald’s home – which unfortunately was closed on Wednesdays! – a tour of Queen’s University complete with students during Frosh week -haha – drive-by of RMC (Royal Military College) and a guided tour (by B.) of Fort Henry.

Kingston Town Hall - built when they expected Kingston to be the capital of Canada

Kingston Town Hall – built when they expected Kingston to be the capital of Canada

Trolley Bus - so happy! If we had been there on our own, these buses would have taken us to many of the popular sites!

Trolley Bus – so happy! If we had been there on our own, these buses would have taken us to many of the popular sites!

B. and her son with flowers gifted by A.

B. and her son with flowers gifted by A.

Sir John A. McDonald's house "Bellevue House"

Sir John A. McDonald’s house “Bellevue House”

Nicol Hall, my parent's favourite haunts during their PH.D. days

Nicol Hall, my parent’s favourite haunts during their PH.D. days

View of Kingston from Fort Henry

View of Kingston from Fort Henry

with A. in Fort Henry

with A. in Fort Henry

And to finish off the evening, we started watching Downtown Abbey. B. owns the first three seasons on DVD and we began watching 3 or 4 episodes of season one. Which got me slightly addicted and more than a bit curious. So I borrowed the DVDs to bring home and now, one week later, have devoured the episodes to find myself somewhat lacking for sleep but starting season three. Good thing dance classes are starting up soon, so I will have something to occupy my time as I wait for season 4 to appear ;)

Lake view from the house

Lake view from the house

Thursday we woke up to a beautiful sunny day, and definitely with torn sentiments we had to say our goodbyes. Fortunately, there was enough time for us to spend a short moment on the lake in a kayak :)

Exploring in the kayak

Exploring in the kayak

on the lake

on the lake

view down the lake

view down the lake

From there we proceeded to Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg to enjoy a quick jump into the past around 1866. A. was quite fascinated by all the different exhibits and the knowledge of the people who worked there/the know-how of the earlier pioneers. I even got to milk a cow(!) for the first time since kindergarten or thereabouts when we took our fieldtrip to a farm.

Funny poster from the olden days

Funny poster from the olden days

Proof that  I milked that cow :P

Proof that I milked that cow :P

It was time to head back to Joliette after our stop in Morrisburg. We got back fairly late at night, tired but in good spirits. We enjoyed our short visit down to Kingston area so much that we just might have to go back. And I shall because I have some DVDs to return ;)

Now it’s back the busy routine of Fall, but surely more adventures are to come!

Thanks for reading. A la prochaine!

Posted by: anniebananie784 | September 13, 2013

September News :)

For the latest news from my activities in Quebec check out my newsletter.

Happy reading!

Posted by: anniebananie784 | August 5, 2013

Of travel and other things…

At long last an update, but moreso in picture form :p

In July I went to New Brunswick with our King’s Kids camp, where we did have a few outings. To the beach at Cap Pelé, to the weekly free concerts in Dieppe, and just goofing around at the church where we stayed.

Free showers

Free showers

Playing Loup-garou (werewolf or I think we call it mafia) everywhere...even at the beach

Playing Loup-garou (werewolf or I think we call it mafia) everywhere…even at the beach

Wednesday show

Wednesday show

Goofing around in the car

Goofing around in the car

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The paper bag game. Pick up the bag with your teeth, no hands allowed!

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Sundae in your mouth. Complete with ice cream all over your face :P

Flashback to pre-school

Flashback to kindergarten

Of course life continues after King’s Kids camp, and I had the chance to attend a Folk music festival held in Joliette for the first time since I have been living in Québec. The festival is called “Memoires et Racines” and my friend Anne received 2 free tickets for the friday night activities as a citizen of Saint Charles Borromée. It was a pleasure to attend and if I hadn’t been going out later with some girls from my dance troupe, I would have stayed to dance the night away…or at least try and learn how to jig :P  Apparently I didn’t hear the announcement because I took videos of some of the performances and we were not actually supposed to…*whoops*. Which means I won’t actually post the videos on my blog.

The next evening, however, I took some friends with me to Montréal to watch the international fireworks competition at La Ronde. From the street side though – the actual entry to La Ronde would be quite pricey.  I took some videos of the show….it was Canada’s turn. You can check them out here or here. I was farther back from where I had been when I visited two summers ago, and there’s a lovely ad board in the middle but the fireworks were still quite the show :P

Last weekend I went on a roadtrip with a girlfriend up to the Saguenay region and over to Tadoussac. It has been a number of years since I was in the region, and I was reminded of why I fell in love with the Québec landscape in the first place. My two favourite spots of the trip: Sainte Rose du Nord and the little bay near our B&B, and the hidden beach just off the main bay from Tadoussac. That and the spectacular sunsets. And the few whales we spotted off the rocks :)

en route vers Chicoutimi

en route vers Chicoutimi

La Baie Ha! Ha!

La Baie Ha! Ha!

Sainte-Rose-du-Nord

Sainte-Rose-du-Nord

Raspberries!!! Just growing on the side of the road mmm

Raspberries!!! Just growing on the side of the road mmm

Tadoussac. Re-enactment of the arrival of "les filles du roi" in 1663

Tadoussac. Re-enactment of the arrival of “les filles du roi” in 1663

Looking down the Saguenay river

Looking down the Saguenay river

Sunset from Tadoussac!

Sunset from Tadoussac!

What's a trip without dessert? mmm

What’s a trip without dessert? mmm

Exploring the bay

Exploring the bay

With Rachèle

With Rachèle

Hidden beach <3

Hidden beach <3

Dancing...what else is new

Dancing…what else is new

St. Lawrence

St. Lawrence

And now I shall keep dreaming of other travels that could be done. With all my summer dance classes, I am somewhat tied to Joliette but perhaps I shall fit in another trip before the fall.

Thanks for reading! À la prochaine :)

Posted by: anniebananie784 | July 28, 2013

July Newsletter :)

I have written another newsletter! You can check it out here.

Happy reading!

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