Petite Bourgogne

Petite Bourgogne

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Art, Wine and Movies

February was definitely a series of adventures in Montreal. As many of you may have seen on Facebook, I officially became a homeowner again. Buying property in Quebec is an adventure in of itself, partly due to Quebec property laws and partly due to a fresh, newly licensed notary handling my rather complicated transaction. The condo is 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 1000 or so square feet in the heart of the Plateau - near St. Denis and Mont Royal. I'm looking forward to living there... in July. Everyone tells me the neighbourhood is worth the double move.

Socially, February was a roller coaster ride. The MeetIn group had a lot of fun events. I had a chance to check out Montreal's Chinatown during Chinese New Year when a group of us met at Mon Shing, which apparently has the best wonton soup in the city. The next weekend, four of us met for brunch and then went to Le Musée des Beaux-Arts to see the Cuba Art & History. It took over two hours to walk through the exhibit. Since it covered Cuban art and history from 1868 to today, I also learned a lot about Cuba. I'd love to go someday. Maybe next winter... It might be interesting to go now after Fidel Castro resigned the Presidency. As for the museum, I only saw a small section. I need to go back and see the other exhibits. Last weekend was the monthly meet-n-greet on Saturday and watching the Oscars at a local movie theatre on Sunday. The meet-in-greet was at Brutopia on Crescent Street. About 40 people of all ages and backgrounds showed up. I even met someone who lived near Kelowna airport for several years. Small world! In addition to MeetIn, I also got back involved with my Alumni Association... and became the branch Director of Communications. The down side to February was Valentine's Day, which was particularly hard this year, followed by the final exchange of stuff without even a single word exchanged. Now all I can do is wait until the year is up.

On a more positive note, my apartment is pretty much unpacked. Yay! Now I can really spend more time enjoying Montreal!

Saturday, February 9, 2008


Winterlude wasn't the only reason I needed to escape my boxes in my tiny apartment to go to Ottawa and hang out with friends... but it was a great one! Montreal has a similar winter festival, but for the first time in 25 years it was canceled due to a labour dispute. So, last Saturday morning I hopped on a bus to Ottawa. By the time I arrived, the sun was shining and the city was digging out of a major overnight snowfall. It was winter at it's finest - fresh, fluffy white snow, sunshine and it wasn't freezing cold. What better way to spend the day than having brunch with a friend followed by baking the best brownies ever. The evening was sort of a reunion of former coworkers and friends I haven't seen in years. Good food, good wine, and the sweetest little kids you've ever met running around.

Sunday morning started out snowy and cloudy as we headed to the canal. I haven't skated since, oh, 1998 or 1999, so at first I was taking tips from 4-year-old James. After awhile I found my skating legs... and James was skating piggy-back with his dad. By the time we stopped for Beaver Tails, the sun was shining and it was an absolutely perfect day. For my friends out west, Beaver Tails are an Ottawa must. It's a whole wheat, deep fried pastry roughly shaped like a beaver's tail - kind of like a crispy flat donut. My favorite is the Killaloe - cinnamon, sugar and lemon juice on the top. As we passed under the Banks street bridge, we stopped to look at the paintings on display - and laugh at a portrait of Wayne Gretzky from 1983. At the 5th street rest stop, we had a nutritious lunch of hot dogs and had to call it a day. I had totally forgotten how uncomfortable ice skate can be!

James and I spent the afternoon playing "spaceship" with the couch pillows, imagining we were flying around Pluto and capturing aliens who were plotting to destroy all the planets. For the record, that was completely James' imagination. I was just along for the ride. Playing with kids is a great way to feel 20 years younger :) By the time I got back into Montreal Sunday night I had made a new friend and I was both completely revitalized and completely exhausted. All in all, a perfect weekend!