Re-united with Charlie

Charlie, my four legged princess has finally come to Canada after being looked after by my dear friend Stephanie.

She arrived arrived three months ago in July and she has adapted really well. A few things people should know when importing a dog from another country. Shop around to get the best price as it isn’t cheap and each service, although similar, is still different with their processing.

A friend I know explained to me that they used to inject dogs before the flight with a sleeping drug to knock them out so they are not stressed at the beginning of the process however this practice has ceased. The animals would wake up mid flight and be totally disoriented and highly stressed due to the fact they had not been awake during the initial boarding process. This was particularly the case with long flights such as the flight from Sydney to Vancouver taking approx. 14 hours.

To transport your best-friend, you will need a dog cage that is authorized to be on Cargo flights so the dog has sufficient space, a compartment for food and water and also a cage that secures onto the cargo deck so it doesn’t move.

I chose Jet pets for her travelling needs and it was a distressing time for Charlie, as well as her godmother “Steph” and friend Ruby. The neighbours in Woollahra, Sydney all loved Charlie so after many tears shed, she made her way to Vancouver where she had a stop-over before getting on the next plane to Montreal. What a trip for her.

We were eager to welcome her and as soon as she saw us, her tail was wagging and she was jumping and running with joy. It was a beautiful moment to have my little girl back in my arms.

Driving her home was wonderful. She loved her new backyard with plenty of grass for her to run on and her new sister Ananda (Yorkshire) were playing the territorial game for a little while until they all adapted. It has been great and I even shed a tear when I see them playing together outside. What joy they bring to our lives. They really are precious souls.

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This was the pick up guy in Sydney for Charlie to take her to the doggy waiting rooms at Jetpets.

Below is charlie at the Vancouver pit-stop terminal. I can she she is in a little shock looking around in this unfamiliar environment but still looking as cute as ever.



I am glad we made the decision to bring her to Canada in the summer so she gets used to the environment before the snow begins to fall. I am unsure how she will adapt to the snow as she has never seen it before but that will be the next update.

Le Folichon Restaurant Terrebone QC

Le Folichon is such a cute restaurant. It is located in Old Terrebonne, and I love walking around that area looking at all the little hidden restaurants. It’s a great space.

This particular restaurant has a special feel to it. You can hire out the side section to the restaurant which is covered with a marquee type tent. The inside of the restaurant has two floors with the scent of wooden fittings around the fireplace and an intimate environment.

I ordered the ‘Lamb’ with vegetables as my main course and it was well cooked and still tasted tender. The creme brûlée dessert was perfectly made with a crisp layer on top. I have taken some photos below to share the experience with you all.

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Coco et Fruits Quebec

Since moving to the Laurentides and getting used to the area, it took quite a while to find a place to enjoy breakfast. We finally found a place in St Jerome, Quebec. It is called Coco et Fruits. From the outside, it seems like an office building with glass windows, fairly plain looking however it is deceiving as a little gem of a place. As you enter, you realized how large it is inside and how far back it extends. It has seating areas all around utilizing the front window areas overlooking the street, and the back terrace section which seats people indoors and outdoors.

Coffee is served freshly brewed from the pot and service is quick and affordable. I tend to order the benedictine florentine. I love the fact they pile the fruit onto the plate and the serving reminds me of the typical American large servings at their diners.

I recommend it in this area as there aren’t a great deal of shops that can cater for the locals at this price and quality. They also make great smoothies and the coco mango is my favourite mix.

I took some photos when I was there recently showing the menus, the inside eatery and a plate of the food.

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Old Montreal

I love Old Montreal. I wrote a blog recently about the Horse and Cart rides around Old Montreal and they show you a different angle of things. Walking around on foot allows you to capture everything, including down near the port. It’s a cute town with a lot of character.

Pictured above is this big plaza in the centre and cars are not allowed to drive through it. In summer, it is filled with stalls and artist works. Below is this old abandoned factory and it has a great look and texture.

This is the Lachine Canal which runs along the old port. A great spot to visit.
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The old coloured fire hydrants. Love them. They are yellow in Montreal and red in New York.



Everywhere on big buildings are these fantastic paintings. I loved this one with the train on the wall. Such an awesome way to integrate art into a city.


The brick and sandstone shopfronts give it that european feel. 


The actual port area is always nice to view.


I love walking down to this old heritage listed manufacturing plant. Parts of it are falling off and vandalized. It is cool to see and has a lot of historical character. 

This is a famous lobster roll bar where they make ‘lobster rolls’. I have never tried one but they say they are good.

How cool is this piano. It is outside one of the exhibition centres and this girl sat down and started playing. It was fantastic.

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We started having fun with this crossing after watching the man above walking across it. 

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Woodbury Common Shopping Outlets NY

Over the last few years people have been raving on about the Woodbury Common Shopping Outlets in New York. They are about two hours North of Manhattan so you really need a car to get there or you can catch the bus from Times Square for around $30.

I have had mixed reviews from people so I was always undecided whether to go. Some people say that the clothes weren’t from that season or that they make specific lines for the factory outlets only. Others said it was fantastic and they couldn’t wait to go again. I wanted to see for myself, so one day on our way back to Canada, we decided to stop in.

The first thing I noticed was how big the entire complex was which of course was accompanied by a massive carpark to cater for all the shoppers. There are maps to find your way around and it is like an outdoor plaza with different shops everywhere. There are a few basic food courts and toilets but the highlight is certainly the shops. I think the key to the place is making a list of the stores or labels you are interested in and go to those stores first. If you have time and haven’t spent all your money by then, you can go and see the rest.

We got there late so we had limited time before it closed but it was fantastic. I love G-Star, and Diesel so when I found those stores I loved it. The prices were affordable and I saved a lot on products that would usually cost a lot more.

G-star in Australia is so ridiculously expensive and I found that the same jeans they had inside the store were the same jeans they were selling in the city so it certainly wasn’t the season before. I think it is worth the trip with a big suitcase and money to spend.

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Italian Food Centre NY

I love heading down to Little Italy in downtown New York City. It’s a nice spot to visit during the day, and even better at night. In the whole time I lived there, I never went to eat at the Italian Food Centre which a restaurant/Bar on the corner of Mulberry St, Manhattan.

When we were there, it was autumn and you could still sit outside. In the past two years, there has been this big move to serve cocktails in old glass jars. I like the idea to recycle things for use.

We ordered the scallops for entree and they were fabulous. The meat balls were tasty but the scallops were the real winner. We shared the pizza and that was great too but the photos say it all when it comes to imagining food.

If you are in the area, check it out next time you are in town as its groovy. The inside of the restaurant looks like an old warehouse style that they have renovated. It’s funky.

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Horse and cart around Montreal

I love the horse and cart. Maybe I am just a traditional romantic at heart. I thought I would publish this on Valentines day, even though we did this ride last summer. I enjoy the fact that I get to be driven around a city slowly, having time to take in the sites. I also love the fact that if you have a good driver, he will tell you about the sites so you can learn about what you are looking at.

The city of Montreal, especially around Old Montreal, is really beautiful. It has many old historical buildings and it reminds of some areas in Spain and Italy with the cobblestone roads and the shopfronts with the flowers on the window sills. Really really cool to walk around this area and even nicer to take the horse and cart.

The government wants the horses to be on the roads to attract tourists so they may not charge too much or bargain down as there are price limits.

The rides are usually for half an hour and we started at the front of the Basilica Church in Old Montreal.

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Hotel Place D’armes Montreal

This is a really cool hotel in Old Montreal called Hotel Place D’Armes. It is right near the Basilica church and a great location to get around the city.

As you walk into the grand hotel situated on a corner, you go through to a ground level lobby with a restaurant and bar. You walk past this to the elevators to get to the terrace.

On the top of the hotel is a great terrace where you can have cocktails and some light food, watch the sunset and enjoy the music as well as the view.

It has a nice energy and the staff were friendly (except for the door girl). Lately I find that door girls are a lot less friendlier than male ones, but then again, that is a very big generalization and only a recent observation.

I ordered a Basilic Rose cocktail with Grand Marnier, Basil, Bacardi, and cranberry juice. A very nice mix.

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Hot Air Balloon Festival Quebec

I have never experienced Hot Air Ballooning and before now, I never knew what the fuss was about. My friend Dimi was always talking about how good it was to experience but I haven’t done it.

In Quebec, near Montreal, there is this huge area that they hold this hot air ballon festival at each year. It is usually in Autumn. Companies sponsor the balloons and others have big characters on them to entertain the kids. There is commentary on each balloon as it rises and it is televised when they launch. The whole place is set up with big tents for eateries, gaming spots and live entertainment during the day and night.

We headed along to the festival and I remember being so excited about seeing all the balloons get ready to go up. It’s crazy looking up into the sky and seeing these huge balloons one after the other launch away with their gas fire igniting it.

I captured heaps of photos as usual to give you an idea of what i saw.

The live concert
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We saw all these bikes as we were leaving.


Chinatown in Montreal

People would think after living in Downtown Chinatown in New York for so long, I would have tried to avoid coming into Chinatown in Montreal. The truth is, I love China town. No matter whether it’s Sydney, New York, or Montreal, Same same, different country.

It’s a busy area, there are heaps of asian food stores to choose from, plenty of dumplings, asian sweets, funky items on sale and plenty of supermarkets to pop into. In China town in New York, I couldn’t get over the amount of spitting they did, however I haven’t experienced it to that degree here in Montreal, thank goodness. It seems a lot cleaner here in general and that’s a good thing.

My favourite food shop here is Pho X.O Vietnamese Cuisine. It opened it’s doors in 2013 and it’s right near the China Town entrance. They make great food. I order number 10 off the menu every time. Creature of habit.

There is this shop called Miss Kiko which has all these glittery hats and caps. An interesting shop to take a look in. We buy all our dumplings from the supermarket next door to Pho X.O which is underground down the escalators.  I still cannot find my favourite dumpling sauce here that I get in Sydney and New York but they have similar options. I took some snap shots of the area in general so you get the picture. You will notice it has a similar feel to hay market but it doesn’t have the big marketplace we do which is a shame. I miss all the bargains you get from there.

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Camping at Lac Simon Quebec

I love going camping. When I got to Canada, I remember thinking how I didn’t have any of my things from Australia to use here. My camping gear was a big part of that. I had everything back home such as an eight man tent, a camp kitchen, tables, chairs, bbq, and everything else you need.

It gave me a good opportunity to look around here and check out some camping gear. I noticed a few differences with their gear and the biggest difference was the quality of sleeping bags. They demonstrate how to determine the warmth of the – minus temperatures. I never worried about that back in Sydney. It didn’t get cold enough.

I got myself a decent sized tent for the two of us, along with a tarp, rope, a chair, torch, two sleeping bags and a cooking gas portable BBQ. That is what I call the bare minimum.

We headed to a new place I hadn’t been called Lac Simon. We decided to pick up some firewood on the way and lucky we did because it had been raining and all the firewood at the campsite was wet. When we arrived we had to register in the office first as our camping spot had been pre booked by a friend of ours. I noticed that the place was one of the biggest camping sites I had ever scene. There were different zones set up for camping vans and tents, and another zone for permanent cabins which you can hire. It was great. You could drive to your spot and park your car. There was a beach (with no waves of course) right next to the camp site but far away enough not to hear it. There was a small room set up with movies playing every night as an option for kids entertainment. Great idea when it rains. There was also a swing set and play area for kids away from the tents. It was certainly a family set up.

I took some photos of us setting up so you can see. It was nice to go there with friends and even better if you book a site next to each other. People book their spots from the year before so that gives you an idea about how busy this place can get if you want a good spot.

The bathrooms were clean in the off peak times. The showers operate on a coin system. You put the coin in and it turns on for 2 minutes so that you have enough time to clean yourself up. During the peak times there was a line up for the showers. Considering how many people are there, it didn’t feel too bad.

They have a wooden table with its own bench on each land plot and a waterproof electricity outlet that you can hook up your power too in order to pump up your mattress or put any heating on. It gets so cold outside that people use a heater inside the tent to cut the humidity. We rarely would need to do that in Oz. Friends of ours had a great set up with a huge table so we could all eat dinner together. This is the time when i began to fall in love with fondue. Putting your broth on the table with all your cut up meat, vegetables and cheese, and using a fondue fork to cook your piece. It’s extremely common hear as it is a great dinner plan during the cold winter nights.

I had my first swim in the lake here at Lac Simon. I remember thinking that I could see the bottom of the water. I always thought of lakes as dirty with mirky water. The lakes I have experienced here have been mostly clean. I felt safe swimming in the water. I put my goggles on and did laps. Lucky for us here, there are no sharks or creatures in the water that will kill us.

Overall, we had a great time on the camping trip. I would recommend it as a place to go.

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Parking Meters in Quebec

Every city has different parking meters so I thought I would dedicate a post to the meters in Quebec. I still laugh at the name of the New York Parking Meters “Muni Meters” and every Greek would laugh with me here.

Anyway, back to Quebec, Canada. At first, it always takes me a while to work out the parking. I kept seeing these little black posts cemented in the ground with a letter and number either side of the post. I was a little confused initially because I couldn’t help but think how much the cost of placing these posts everywhere would be for the government.

It turns out that they are for the parking and you have to take note of the letter and number facing your car as that is your parking Identification. You then have to remember that letter and number, walk to the meter and select the letter and number to pay. It spits out a ticket. If you are in the city of Montreal, you do not need to display the ticket but if you are in the suburbs, I believe it is better to display it.

The parking officers can find out digitally if you’ve paid or not, by driving around and checking to see if your letter and number are paid. If you do not pay, expect to see a fine on your front window. That is the same in every city I have seen. The dreaded parking fine on the window.

One day, I noticed that some enthusiastic parking activists had gone around overnight and blacked out every number on every pole so that you couldn’t pay for parking. I thought it was very funny at the time, but it clearly showed how expensive the system is to maintain. Not only would they have to replace the meters if they are damaged, but each pole. The cost must have been enormous to the government to set that up.

I took two shots showing the poles and the meter so you know what I am talking about.


This is purely a blog of interest.


Boat Party in Montreal

Who doesn’t love a good boat party. When I get invited to boat parties, I always turn up. Lucky for me, every time I have been on a boat party, the weather has been absolutely fantastic and no need to worry about motion sickness.

We were invited to a surprise birthday party for a friend of ours. The boat was in good condition, clean and it was docked at the port in old Montreal. This party was during the summer and well before the snow came along. The main point of this blog is to show you around the port of Montreal. It is very different to Sydney and I find it has a much more industrial feel along the whole waterway.

Regardless of where I am though, as the sun is setting on a balmy summer night and I close my eyes feeling the breeze on my skin, I always think about how grateful I am to be having such a wonderful experience.

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Most boats have the red and white Canadian flag on the front with the Maple Leaf on it as well as the blue and white flag which is the Quebec flag.



Film Clip in Montreal

I love walking around the streets in New York just to see who is filming on the street near me or what show I would see in production in one of the lane ways. I would always get a buzz from seeing them in action.

In Montreal, I was walking along when I felt for moment, I was in New York. There was this whole production crew set up, filming this guy singing to the camera, making his music video clip. I have no idea who it was and maybe someone reading this may even recognize him. I remember there was a whole audience trying to get a glimpse of what they were doing and the music was so loud that I felt they were looking for the attention really. It was like having a live rock band playing near you, and you can’t help but have a look at what all the fuss is about. I snapped a few shots but it was a very dark lane way.

I rarely would see this happening on the streets of Sydney and this is part of the reason why I love the energy in these cities on this side of the world.

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Local Coffee in Montreal

We all know that Americans love their starbucks. I thought that was the same for Canadians until I realized that Tim Hortons is their equivalent.

While we were walking in Montreal, I saw this big brick wall with some beautiful colourful flowers on it that looked so pretty. As I walked around the side of the wall, I noticed it was the side wall of the local Starbucks. I haven’t seen a lot of starbucks around the province of Quebec but there are a few in Montreal. This one stood out to me because it had that Paris, French feel with the intimate front window and the flowers outside.


A little but further along is Cafe Bistro Mon Plaisir. I loved the look of this shop with all its coca cola products inside. It had an old style vintage feel to it. These places really set the scene here. These are the parts of Canada that I find different from what you see on the streets of Sydney.


Vulcano Pizza in Mascouche

I have had a few people ask me about the differences between Canada and Australia, and even between the USA. I guess by writing about the different restaurants I go too and taking snap shots of their menus etc, I can let you see the similarities and differences I experience every day. Most of the time, between Canada and Australia, I don’t find too many differences when it comes to the globally recognized food chains, asian food stores, pizza stores blah blah. The difference is when you go to the places that are more culturally related. Some of the nice bakeries here are fantastic and have a very French feel to them. They also serve poutine here which is traditionally fries smothered in melted cheese. It is quite popular.

Vulcano is one of their pizza stores. It is a fairly simple red, green and white coloured layout and stands out on the cars which is great advertising for them. The pizza is good for a general chain store. There are a few stores around but I have only been to the one in Mascouche so I took a few snapshots. There are snapshots of the menu too so you can compare prices here for food compared to what they charge in Sydney. Keeping in mind the CAD is different, however in saying that, I believe currently it is fairly even to the AUD.

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Falun Dafa Montreal

The last time I walked through Chinatown in Montreal, I couldn’t help myself but to stop and see these elderly people in a deep meditation right in the middle of all the chaos.

It was so nice to see. Like the calm within the storm. I had no idea what they were doing apart from what the signs said, calling this form of meditation ‘Falun Dafa’ which focuses on Truthfulness, compassion and Forbearance. I am sure someone reading this may know everything about it and can share some of their knowledge with me. I loved to see the focus within each of them as they held each pose and gracefully moved to the next one, staying in control each moment. I would be a lucky  woman if I have that much focus and control, and more importantly, the calmness within when I get to that age.

I took some shots of them doing their poses.

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Marabou Restaurant St Sauveur

I loved the food at Marabou. It was really good. The restaurant is in my favourite little town in Quebec, St Sauveur. The inside decor is contemporary, with some moose heads on the wall that lit up (Very unique) and an open plan set out. The bar is a great size and you can sit, drink and even eat from the bar stools. In the warmer months, the outside area is large and wraps around the whole front of the restaurant. My friend knew the owner of the restaurant so we had a nice time. I had the scallops as a main because it was a big serving and they melted in my mouth. They were served on a bed of mash, with eggplant and broccolini. The photos are below and it was very very delicious. So, if anyone out there comes this way for a visit, I suggest you head down and order that dish, or call me and I’ll come with you. 5 Stars for that dish. The cocktails were also good. I had my usual Cosmo and you can’t go too wrong with them if you make sure they serve it with good vodka and Grand Manier, as opposed to cointreau.

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Adonis Supermarket QC Canada

This supermarket is cool because it is a place I visit weekly to buy my Tarama (Pink greek dip) and mixed pitted olives.  It is called Adonis. It is located at 2425 Boulevard Curé-Labelle, Laval, QC H7T 1R3. Email contact is and phone number is (450) 978-2333.

There are some more stores in Montreal and other places and it is expanding all the time. I love it. The employees speak either greek or some speak either lebanese or other middle eastern languages. I love talking to the greek employees as it allows me to practice speaking it so I don’t lose what little I already know haha.

The huge warehouse supermarket has a whole fruit and veg section, deli section with all the cheeses and olives you could imagine are available. It has Meat, poultry, seafood and fresh bakery and cakes sections also. Plenty of baklava with a mixture of Greek and lebanese influenced desserts.

The middle of the store is laid out in aisles of herbs, spices and cereals etc, like most other supermarkets however it really only stocks products that you would need if you were living in a european, or middle eastern household, or if you wanted to make dishes influenced from these areas, and needed ingredients. The tarama that they sell is quite a bright pink. The price is reasonable. Not too cheap and not too expensive.

I took some photos of the place recently to share with you.

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Kam Fung Yum Cha Montreal

I have asked a few people about Yum Cha in Quebec and alot of people I asked really didn’t know what it was. I can certainly say I miss that back in Sydney in World Square. Yummmm. When I was near Chinatown I saw this building with a big sign “Le Maison Kam Fung” so when i went in to check it out, I was excited.

I spoke with the owner of the place and he told me there were three Yum Cha places in the whole of Montreal. The good thing about it is it’s quick, fresh, and a good price. You get to try a few different types of dishes which I love.

I have been spoilt with two of my favourite Yum cha places in Sydney so I didn’t feel that I loved the dumplings in this place at all. They weren’t ‘Wow’, however the noodle dish was really tasty and great as well as the fried round dumpling with pork and vegetable. That is about it. I would be interested in checking out the other two places. I took a whole heap of photos at the place so you can see what it was like. I found that the actual dumpling ingredients were soggy and not cooked enough. There was not enough flavour inside the actual dumplings. Anyway, the rest was good.
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Bota Spa Montreal Canada

I wasn’t into Spa’s back in Australia much. I think that is because I had access to the salt water pools off the beaches and the warm climate sun. Since travelling, I certainly have had more of a chance to enjoy some relaxing moments to just have some space and peace.

I recently came across a spa that is located on the water in Montreal. They have converted a boat into a day Spa called Bota Spa. The boat is black and off the boat there is a section with some running water, hammocks and grass to relax. It is located in the old port of Montreal. Number for bookings are: +1 514 284 0333.

In order to access the boat all day and enjoy the sauna, steam room, hot tubs and cold baths, as well as outdoor terraces and restaurant, you need to pay around $65 on weekends and around $55 during the week. It is cheaper for under three hours and they have promotions for couples. To get a 90 minute relaxation massage, you are looking at a price of $130. I found there were alot more guys at this particular spa, and mostly well groomed gay guys too. It seemed relaxing but if you want absolute privacy, you may be better off choosing a different spa because when you relax on the outdoor decks, the tourists on the boardwalks can definitely check you out. I think it’s a great idea and something that could be tried in the Sydney Harbour.


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Skyping Family and Friends

This blog is about one of the joys about being away and yet feeling like I am still in touch with my family and friends. Thanks to Skype, I am able to travel and still feel connected. i really don’t know if I could have lasted this long without it. Viber is another app that I use often but it’s really only great for iphone users. It is still fantastic so if you are reading this, and you have an iphone, download Viber (Purple and it’s free calls and texts).

Back to skype. Its funny seeing how you can see each other on the screen. That is of course if you have a good connection and everyone can see each other. I do personal and business calls from it and it’s great. When you sign up and get on, the rest is easy. It is a lot cheaper for me to have a debit account with them so that when I am needing to call my parents or friends, or even businesses for any follow up, i can just call using Skype. It is connected to my phone and computers and it is simply just great.

Recently I took some photos of some skyping sessions because I loved what I saw, although I didn’t look great. In fact, I just woke up for one, ahhaha. My expressions are hilarious.

My godson likes to Skype and recently when we were skyping, he started putting all these things on his head from this app that is connected to his skype. I was laughing. The things they come up with. I haven’t really explored that stuff as I’m not interested in it, however I can see why kids would find it great. I took some photos of it to share below.

Below is my friend, who i won’t name because he might kill me if he knows i blogged about him bahaha.



This is my godson below, with all these things he used on the computer. I love the ones below of him in Times Square.

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Notre Dame Church Old Quebec City

This blog article is not about the huge Notre Dame Church that is well known. This one is about the one located near the historic spot of Le Fresque des Quebecois. A blog I did earlier. I was fascinated by this church for two reasons.

1. I love lighting candles and taking a moment out of my day to connect spiritually with my inner self and guides.

2. When I walked in and went around the side, they have this glass coffin with what looks to be a human sized Jesus Christ lying in the coffin.

It is not everyday you see something like this and I had to take a photo to share with you all. The connection I had in this church was special. It was a small church, the inside entrance was nothing stand outish at all but the front and little side prayer section was fascinating where this coffin was. I will share the photos with you and that’s it.

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Shopping in Quebec City Canada

I love shopping and I loved shopping in Old Quebec City. Not only do you get to check out different things, but you are constantly walking around streets that have so much history and old art galleries, as well as cafes etc. It’s awesome.

We went into a really great jewellery shop which had some pieces made out of Pewter and looked cool as well as sterling silver too. Awesome and fashionable. They had a good selection and I liked the diversity in the pieces they had. Right opposite that shop was an awesome Painting and leather good store called conception Cuir. Had these paintings of flowers and animals where it was textured making the flower come out shiny, giving it a more 3D look. It was great to check out that shop. My favourite was the giraffe and that was on sale for around $2000 just to give you an idea of the prices. The pieces come with the full certificate from the artist. No idea who the artist was because I can’t remember, oops.

There are heaps of shops to look at in the whole city. From the common clothing stores that you see around, to boutique stores and they are located sporadically around the old city. You basically have to walk around and just look at places.

The famous Chateau Fontenac Castle. Love it Love it Love it. I have developed this strange fascination to castles in the past 12 months. I think I have secretly loved fairytales and always wanted to be a princess although really, I never would have suited one. A queen possibly, but more like the queens that are played in the latest Snow White movies as opposed to the traditional UK Queens.  Ha Ha.

Shop: Conception Cuir. Loved this Giraffe picture a lot.


It stocks all natural leather good products.

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Shop: Joaillerie Langevin in Quebec City. Loved this jewellery shop below because it had heaps of pieces I could buy and enjoy wearing. I was spoilt with a ring from here. Photo below. 

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A big ring but I love it. Thank you Veronique.

The Fudgerie shop. 


This was different types of chocolate available in the fudge shop also. 


Historic Quebec City Canada

Love Old Quebec City. The old buildings are amazing. If you are just reading my blogs for the first time, you need to know that Quebec City is the capital of the provence Quebec. It’s around 2.5 to 3 hours North of Montreal. A really great place to drive too and visit.

I have added some wikipedia information here because It was founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, and is one of the oldest cities in Nth America. The ramparts surrounding Old Quebec (Vieux-Québec) are the only remaining fortified city walls that still exist in the Americas north of Mexico, and were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985 as the ‘Historic District of Old Québec’. In 1665, there were 550 people in 70 houses living in the city. One-quarter of the people were members of religious orders: secular priests, Jesuits, Ursulines nuns and the order running the local hospital, Hotel-Dieu.

Quebec city was the headquarters of many raids against New England during the four French and Indian Wars. In the last war, the French and Indian War (Seven Years War), Quebec City was captured by the British in 1759 and held until the end of the war in 1763. It was the site of three battles during Seven Years War – the Battle of Beauport, a French victory (July 31, 1759); the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, in which British troops under General James Wolfe defeated the French General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm on September 13, 1759 and shortly thereafter took the city; and the final Battle of Sainte-Foy, a French victory (April 28, 1760). France ceded New France, including the city, to Britain in 1763.

This spot I have dedicated it’s own blog too was one of my favourite spots in Old Quebec City. It is ‘La Fresque de Quebecois’. It is this huge wall with this magnificent painting on it. When we were there we saw school excursions going on, and teachers were teaching students about the historical relevance of it. The whole town is like this. I loved it. The energy around it was fantastic too. I took heaps of photos of the same wall and shared them with you because I couldn’t decide which one to choose.

So you know, the term Quebecois is the term they use here like “Aussie” or Australian. The provence is Quebec but they call the people a “Quebecois” (Pronounced Quebecwaaaa) Drop the last letter as is the case with most French words.


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Cafe Du Monde – Quebec City

We recently visited the Restaurant Café du Monde. It’s at 84 Rue Dalhousie, Quebec City, QC G1K 482. You can book on +1 418 692 4455 however they don’t take bookings for the outside seated areas.

It was on the waterfront near Old Quebec City and a friend told us to check it out. I found it pretty cool inside. It had a little but of a cold feel to the set up of the place but it is located in a great spot on the water. It is a huge place inside, with a really long curved bar. The toilet is downstairs on the ground level and really big cubicles that have painted pictures on the doors. It’s cool. Very French Feel. The photos below are best to see.

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Old Quebec City

There is Quebec City and Old Quebec City. A great place to go and visit for sure. I will certainly go again. Quebec CIty is the capital of the provence Quebec and in French called Ville de Quebec. For some background information, the population is 516, 622 people and the area is 484.1km2. It is about a 2.5 hour drive from where we are. The same from Montreal give or take 20 minutes.

The vast majority of city residents are native French-speakers. The English-speaking community peaked in relative terms during the 1860s, when 40% of Quebec City’s residents were Anglophone.Today, Anglophones make up only 1.5% of the population of both the city and its metropolitan area. However, the annual Quebec Winter Carnival attracts both Francophone and Anglophone tourists alike, so the Anglophone population increases considerably during the duration of the event.

When you get there, you can’t help but notice the age of the buildings and you can see the huge historic castle hotel up the top of the mountain. It is grand. It is the Famous Chateau Frontenac Castle.

It has this little strip where you can walk along with pebble stone grounds and you walk along looking at these little cute stalls and intimate cafes. I loved it. You can walk up the mountain via steps or a lift so you can go to the Famous Chateau. We took the lift and you can get to it through the little grocery store on the walking strip. We had a great day out there taking it all in. Worth the drive up. It’s probably best to stay a night or two because there is lots to do and see.

It’s probably best to see the photos below to know what I’m talking about. I am writing separate blogs about the shopping there and one of the cafes we went too.

When we were driving to Quebec City, I saw this sign post to a town called “Yamachiche”. I kept saying it out loud because I loved the sound of this name.


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Le Lapin Saute Restaurant Quebec City

Did you know there is a restaurant dedicated to Rabbit meat in Quebec City. I wanted to check it out. I don’t tend to eat a lot of meat, I tend to eat a lot of Salmon as it is one of my favourite meats, however sometimes I crave some red meat, as long as it’s damn good.

This restaurant we came across in Old Quebec City was awesome. It’s located at 52 Rue du Petit Champlain, QC. The actual layout of it and set up was inviting enough and seeing I didn’t understand French at all, once I found out what the cafe title meant, I was interested. Summer time is great in Old Quebec City and you will read a few more blogs about my time in this cool city because it is the capital of Quebec. A bit like Sydney being the capital of NSW. Although, isn’t Parramatta coming close bahahaha.

The cafe is situated in a corner pocket along a strip of stores. Right next to it is a small little outdoor seating area to break up the stores. They have some live entertainment on in this little spot which is great because as you sit and eat your lunch, you are entertained as well.

The staff were really friendly and the tables were small, intimate and cute. There is an indoor section also but when it’s a summers day, the outside is best by far.

We chose to try the rabbit selections because this is what they are famous for. We selected a couple of dishes to share with a different combination of rabbit in them. The food was good. I enjoyed it and the cocktails were good too. Veronique loves white beer at times, so they had this there too.

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La Ferme Guyon Markets Canada

La Ferme Guyon is a Farmers Market that has been opened since June 2010. It is located at the junction of highway 10 and 35. It comprises a nursery, many greenhouse productions, a flower shop, an herbalists shop, an educational farm and a butterfly house, home to over 400 butterflies. They basically stock Quebec’s local producers.

I loved walking into this place. The look of it with the high wooden beams and it was really cool and ultra clean inside. They have good sized trolleys to use and you are not overwhelmed by too much of anything. It had a little bit of everything and they keep everything stocked up. I bought some great fresh organic meat and great produce. It is corn season at the moment, so we bought some corn and enjoyed eating it. They have white and yellow corn here so it’s different to what I’m used too. It’s nice though.  I loved seeing the different statues for the garden. Some were a little creepy but okay. It is better to go prepared with a cooler / esky to be able to keep the meat and produce cool, as it may be a bit of a drive heading home. It really depends how far away you live. It would be great to see some more places like this back in Oz because I am sure they would go well. Lucikly for the Australians, They have access to really fresh produce everywhere all year round so pretty lucky. Not always the case here, outside of summer due to the cold climate hitting hard. At least in Canada they have land for crops. In the USA, they have hardly anything and they import most of their produce. I know in Manhattan, some of the produce comes from Ecuador or Mexico.

I remember talking to the guy in the meat section of this market to see if he had any scotch fillet. They just don’t have it here which sucks and the lamb they get imported from New Zealand is much cheaper to buy than the lamb from actual Quebec. The word on the street is that the New Zealand lamb has too much a strong smell and taste for them here so it’s cheaper. I bet if they came to my relatives house at the next function back in Australia, and they got to try the Lamb on the spit, their opinions would definitely change. Lamb is really dependant on how you cook it also. The longer you cook it, the better it is.


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Canadian Tire Canada

It isn’t until you get to another country that you have to start working out what stores are what. When I first saw the huge warehouse buildings of Canadian Tire, I kept thinking it was some automotive warehouse chain. When I finally got to go inside, it reminded me of a  mixture between Bunnings, Kmart, and Big W. It has outdoor furniture available, as well as camping gear, sports gear, pool accessories, kitchenware, blah blah blah.

It really has a bit of everything.

We used it recently to stock up on some camping accessories, torches and batteries, and even dog leads. It is reasonably priced also, in other words – affordable.

I enjoy going into big shopping stores. I love seeing what they have. I always find things that I think are interesting and it’s a great way to pass time in order to have your creative mind on the look out. The last Canadian Tire I went too, I took some shops so anybody coming to Canada from out of town, will know where to go, to get things they need. They also have more specific shops like ‘Rona’ (Which is an exact equivalent of Bunnings in Australia) and they have Walmart (Equivalent of Kmart/Big W) so between all of these stores here, you eventually find what you are looking for.

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Maitre Glacier Ice Cream Saint Sauveur

‘Maitre Glacier’ is another word for a great bloody ice-cream shop. Glacier means ice. I have learnt that from all the camping trips and road trips we go on and we need to buy ice from the service station, or the “Depaneur”. I will learn french fully at some point. In the meantime, I am learning some words gradually.

This shop is the shop that allows me to have fresh dark chocolate sorbet. I can’t believe I finally found a place that has it. What is even better, is it is located in one of my favourite towns at 18 Rue De La Gare, Saint Sauveur in Quebec, Canada. It is quite reasonable in price too. For $14.50 you can have a 1 litre tub. In Coogee, Sydney, I was paying around $18, and in Bondi, a little more.

I went with my wife and Mother in law Linda (Belle Mere) to have some ice-cream and this is what we found. Linda had the Caramel with coconut gelato in a cup and Veronique had the ice-cream twirl with dipped chocolate whilst I ordered the dark chocolate 1 litre tub of sorbet. Heaven in a tub.

I tried all of them. The sorbet as you now know, fantastic. The twirl ice-cream just didn’t compare to the shop in Mascouche. The Caramel and coconut gelato were also amazing. Sometimes when I have tried Caramel gelato in other places, it is so sweet, that it isn’t enjoyable. This was perfect and I will certainly try one next time. Mixed with the coconut is great too although I think next time, they will just eat the caramel only. It was really good.

The awesome part about this shop too is the outside seating area. In Canada, they have these wooden swinging chairs that you sit on with up to four persons and the seats can swing from side to side. I think they’re great. I have seen them everywhere but haven’t actually sat on them until now. I have seen them on sale at Canadian Tire (Similar to a Big W mixed with Kmart and a little Bunnings)

I took some photos of the shop with us.

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Camp Borreal – Quebec, Canada

The last blog about camping with the dog is linked to this really. This time I will talk about the awesome camping experience when you take away dangers to dogs. I love camping. Actually, I will clarify, the type of camping I like, is the camping where you have a toilet and shower block available. I don’t really fancy camping in the thick of the mountain bush with no facilities to clean yourself. I am not saying I wouldn’t do that if I needed too however I just prefer the access to amenities but still having the experience of being on a campsite, away from civilization to just relax.

I thought I was pretty much super organized. On the day we decided to go on this particular camping trip, it was more a last minute decision. There was no electricity in Laval and Saint Sauveur (45 minutes North) also had a power cut out failure so we were without ice. We luckily managed to find a servo (depaneur) in Piedmont that had a few bags left to save the day. We stocked up and drove. Our friend Sophie had organized for us to camp in Mont Tremblant however when she got there, it was full. We settled for another place she found called Camp Borreal. It is between Saint Sauveur and Mont Tremblant. Basically, North of Montreal. At first, as you drive through the gate, you see a man made lake and some interesting people sitting around but when we drove to our camping spots, the location was great. Every spot had privacy. It was nice. It was closer to the highway so you could hear the traffic in the background at night when it was quiet but apart from that, it was a great location. It wasn’t super busy with kids swarming around screaming, it was perfect. People would go on walks following the car path around and kids would ride their bikes on the same path which was good.

There was a pool near the entrance to the site and we enjoyed swimming in it when the other kids had a break for ten minutes. They consider a spot of sand near the lake, a beach which to me did not come close to earning that title. We did lay down on the brown sand but when I was faced to decide whether or not to swim in murky man made lake water, I opted for the pool. A much better choice all round.

We enjoyed sitting around the campsite, setting up the tents and I had bought a little two burner Coleman grill so I enjoyed cooking on it with the butane gas bottles. I loved it. Around 6pm, we would start the fire, because let’s face it, I’m not in Australia now, and even though the sun is still up at 6pm, doesn’t mean it is warm in the mountain areas. The camp fire was great. So warm and after dinner, which consisted of salad and steak / salmon on the grill, it was awesome.

For dessert, we had marshmallows. I found these huge camping marshmallows at the IGA store where I went so we had those. I loved the whole experience of burning the outside of the marshmallow and then eating it in bits, heating it again and eating it. It was a slower experience this way and so good. If you cook it lower to the burning wood on the bottom, you can get a better lighter burn, instead of a charcoal burn if it’s directly on the fire. Once you get used to the technique and master it, you can sit back and relax.

The first night, we had a blanket and sheets on our blow up mattress inside the 8 man tent we pitched. Let me tell you, when they say 8 man tent, in reality, it is a good size for two. Especially if one of those people are from Greek Decent and are used to living in big spaces. I froze the first night. The climate in Canada just isn’t warm like Australia at night so the next day, we went down the road to Canadian Tire and bought a thick sleeping bag that we could open up for extra warmth. It made all the difference and the second night, we slept very comfortably.

Loved it. Unfortunately it was on the morning we were leaving, that the incident with the dog burning her eye occurred but we were at least grateful that it happened at a point where it was day time to access a vet close by.

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Dogs and campfires Canada

Recently, we learnt a very big lesson about owning a dog and deciding to take the dog camping. We love camping, in fact, I think the whole of Canada goes camping in summer and spring. It is a huge thing here. I am not complaining at all because I love it and I love eating marshmallows on the fire too.

We have a little gorgeous dog, Ananda, a small beautiful Yorkshire and while we went camping we let the dogs roam around however had them tied to a tree with an extended cord so they could enjoy their time. Bigger dogs would not be as much of a danger however the smaller dogs are lower to the ground. This particular campsite had these rusty small couldron type things that you put your wood in and light for the fire. You don’t think much of it. The dogs could feel it was hot so wouldn’t get too close. What we didn’t really take into consideration is that as dogs walk around, their eye level is at a much lower level to the ground than ours, so the ash from the fire as it bursts can be closer to a dogs eye, than a human eye. A piece of ash or burnt substance popped up and landed in her left eye. At first she whimpered a little and we thought maybe the heat just scared her but then we saw a white film over her cornea and we straight away went hunting for a vet.

The vet was close enough and she removed the white film from the eye and started her on antibiotics. The substance that they put on, turns a really bright green if there is deeper damage to the cornea. At first it was a murky green but when we left and went back to pack up, it got brighter. It was time to take her to an eye specialist. We quickly discovered that in all of Quebec there are only three dog eye specialists. If anyone out there wants to study something, great opportunity to go into this field as you will be well off in no time due to demand.

The lovely Dr Elise Perierre saw us that same afternoon and she was fantastic. A really great Dr and a great practice. They have all these thank you cards on the wall with wonderful praise because they are so compassionate and lovely with their patients. They decided to treat the eye aggressively in the next 24 hours so that we could try and recover her vision. Three different drops every two hours and pain tablets. Thank goodness for pet insurance. On that note, pet insurance costs double in Canada, than what it does in Sydney Australia. You get 80% of the benefit back. It is still worth it but I just don’t understand why it costs double.

As good dog parents, we treated her with love and care and after 24 hours she was already making great progress. Her eye was bright green, and still is at times, but getting better. The specialist is expecting a full recovery and we are all happy for getting help immediately and going to see the specialist first thing. If we waited, the outcome would not have been the same. It’s been over a week, we have decided to keep the cone around her neck on to avoid her scratching the bottom part of the eyelid which was burnt and still healing. She hates wearing the cone but she got used to it. She is a good dog, rarely complained or whimpered and she is moving around with her cone head. At first, when the vet puts on the cone head, it looks fascinating and sometimes you just can’t help but giggle a little but it’s part of the process. I would laugh if i had to wear a cone around my head. I would look like a lion with my hair.

My advice to anyone with a dog. Carefully decide whether it’s best to bring the dog camping or not, and if you decide to take your pet, make sure you tie them freely to hang around the tent and away from the campfire. It is much safer. Its always important to know wherever you go, where a vet is close by and also a human hospital for any emergency. Being prepared is always better than trying to work it out at the time, with the stress of the emergency.

This is the couldron in the back that the fire is lit in.

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Marche Jean Talon, Montreal

I found some fresh fruit and vegetable markets called Marche Jean Talon in the Little Italy District at 7070 Avenue Henri Julien in Montreal and ever since, I drive all the way to Montreal to get fresh Fruit and Vegetables. The fruit and veg on sale here comes from the farms in Quebec, Canada. It is good but you need to shop around each stall and pick the best produce. Canada is known for their strawberries so you see them in nearly every stall.

The farmers market has been around since 1933 to the public. It was a field before then. It is open all year round however in winter, there are fewer stalls and they build a big wall around the complex for the excessive cold periods of winter.

The flowers are fabulous too and I wrote more about them below with the photos. My favourite place at the market is one of the permanent stall shops across from the side entrance. It stocks the best watermelon I have tasted. I spoke with the owner of the place about the watermelon and he said that they hunt around for ages to find the best ones to sell. I like that. I have no problem driving further to eat great watermelon. When you are home in summer, and you bring it out of the fridge, nice and cool, well, it’s like eating great dark chocolate sorbet in my books. It’s just sublime. The simple things in life are often best.
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Cremerie et Cafe Mascouche Canada

Most that know me, know I love ice-cream. I am lactose intolerant so I had a few withdrawal periods when I first found out about how I was going to live life without ice-cream and more so without dairy (I used to love cheese). For years, I did without and then discovered dark chocolate sorbet which I love. I am yet to find a really great dark chocolate Sorbet here in Canada that is fresh.

However, the other day, I decided to challenge my stomach a little and try a full normal icecream twirl cone dipped in dark chocolate, like I used to have growing up from the “Mr Whippy’s” truck but without the bacteria. The shop is called ‘Cremerie et Cafe – Sainte Marie’. It’s at 2685 K Chemin de Sainte Marie in Mascouche. Number +1 450 474 7583. There is an ice-cream poster on the street front which is how I found the place to begin with.

Oh boy, I was in heaven for a moment and I think in the short time I have discovered this ice-cream shop, I have put on some excess sugar rolls. Yum, the dark chocolate topping is the perfect consistency and tastes great. The actual ice-cream itself is perfect. I have on occasion tried other ones, but they just don’t compare. I found them bland. This was delicious.

The lady that runs this little Cremerie (Ice creamery in english) is lovely but only speaks French so when I first got there, I had to go around behind the counter to show her what I wanted. I just love this type of interaction. Reminds me of the lady at the Sushi shop down the road. I find this part of Canada very intimate like that with the small town feel and you feel like you are part owner of the shop when you are in there. It’s nice.

To my surprise, the ice-cream didn’t affect my tummy as much as other dairy products have so it was bare able and to be honest, worth the cramps you can get afterwards because it tastes so bloody great.

I took some photos of the shop for you and the ice-cream itself and what I love the most, when I walk into the shop, I nod to the lady and she just knows instantly what I want. I put my hand out with French coins and she takes out what I owe and presto. Everyone is happy.

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Ski Bromont Water Park, Montreal

Living in this side of Canada gives you limited access to water fun activities. It is a colder climate here so summer is never really too long. I think I nearly fainted when I realized there was a cool water park I could go to for a whole day submersed in water all around me. Oh, the pleasure of such delights.

The Park is called Ski Bromont, Water Park (Parc Aquatique) It is at 150 Champlain St, Bromont and it is about $35 per person for the day, or you can pay around $50 for a season pass. Lucky for me, my friend Sophie made the suggestion and all three of us packed an esky and headed to the Water Park. We hit a little traffic on the way. This is a typical scenario here as the person who had a terrible vision of creating the roads here in this part of Quebec, really failed to have the vision of what would happen if more than one million people were to be using the roads.

Back to the water park. I love having the opportunity to be taken back to childhood memories of enjoying fun parks with my friends. It was no different. We found a great spot to leave our things. Within a few minutes we were heading up to the big tube rides down the water slides. It was so much fun to laugh altogether. One particular ride has all three of us on the donut tube and as it went along the sides, I felt like i was literally sitting above the other two. It was very funny.

There was another slide where I had the similar donut tube but this time we were on our own. Every time I would hit a flat spot, I had to look behind in case some strong teenage boy on his tube didn’t wipe you out.

The next slides were the individual slides with no mat or donut, just me and the slide. I let the others go first so that I knew when I hit the bottom water pit and my bikini bottoms were up to my hips and my bikini top fell off due to the pressure, at least the people watching were not strangers hahaha. I love it how as you do get to the bottom, it is a quick few seconds to try and put everything back in place, try to contain your laughter as well as manage the shock of the slide. I love it. I love adrenalin like that.

We had a great lunch, relaxing and sitting in the pool water. They had a ride which was the man made wave pool which I remember so well from the Queensland, Australia Water Park ‘Wet n Wild’. I didn’t go in it as it was packed and I am sure would have felt like a urine pool. What I thought was impressive about the Water Park was that they painted the cement ground White so that when you walk bare foot around the park, the soles of your feet don’t burn. Very smart idea and very appropriate design.

I know some of the parks in other countries have closed down as they are had to maintain funding to run it. This park was similar however they also use the park area for skiing in winter and you can also do mountain bike riding in summer down the same slopes. They take your bikes up on the chair lifts and you ride down. I saw a lot of young people on the track while we were enjoying the slides. A great concept to keep the park open all year round and funded.

Here are some photos below to share with you of the actual venue itself. I couldn’t take photos of the slides close up because I didn’t have my camera with me.
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Beauty’s Cafe Montreal Canada

Beauty’s Cafe is a popular breakfast place in Montreal. It is located at 93 Avenue Du Mont-Royal Ouest in Montreal. It’s on the corner of Saint Urbain. When you first see it, it looks like an old laundromat. The official title of the cafe is Beauty’s Luncheonette. The phone number for enquiries is +1 514 849 8883.

The place reminds me of the old New York diners I grew to know so well whilst living in New York. It’s nice enough. I met a friend there for brunch and we both had the Beauty’s special for breakfast which is eggs, a choice of meat, and toast. I ordered the sausages and they were great. My last experience with sausages at a diner was terrible so thankyou Beauty’s for turning that around. There are typical breakfast choices however like everything in a diner, it comes with diced potatoes taking up the majority of the plate. I liked it. The orange juice was fresh and it was a nice environment to talk in, with enough space between you and the next booth to talk.

I recommend going there as it’s a cool spot, hip and they don’t take bookings so if you are there on a weekend, expect to wait in line for a table. The waitress was great, smiling and probably too much service which can interrupt conversations but it wasn’t too over the top.

That’s it. Lot’s of parking on the street opposite from 9am when the restrictions stop. Go there, try it and enjoy.

Oh, before I forget, they had these cool paper place mats with pictures of smoothies on them so if you wanted to colour them in, you could. I liked that idea. Shame I didn’t look like a kid to get some pencils. Don’t they know that sometimes adults like to colour in too???

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Carlos and Pepe’s – Montreal

I recently went to have a birthday dinner at Carlo and Pepe’s. It is located at 1420 Peel St, Montreal. It is a Tex Mex Restaurant in Golden Square Mile. If you want to head there to eat, I suggest making a booking on +1 514 288 3090.

If you like spice and cheese, this is the place for you. It’s tasty food but you may end up with a little indigestion as it’s heavy. The guacamole we had to start was my favourite. Great consistency and tasty. I love avocado so it’s one of my favourite appetizers.

The great thing about this place is it has the bottom level inside and outside at the front terrace in summer. If you walk up the 30 stairs, you can stop half way at level two and you will find a cute narrow bar plus eating section where you can order the same as the menu downstairs. I find this spot a lot more intimate. The bar tender was full of smiles and he made us these huge margarita cocktails. I had the mango, and tried the strawberry. They tasted like they used real fruit which is great and they were good. I would have preferred them to have some more frozen ice but you can’t have everything. Maybe some of us are a little spoilt from New York City cocktails. I enjoyed it overall.

I don’t remember any loud music playing or no live entertainment so we could talk and it was a good night. There is plenty of parking around but you’ll need to drive around a while to find a good spot. After all, it is the city. We were lucky and found something close by. Montreal is a friendly city to walk around at night.

I ate these lamp fajitas but being Greek, I really should know better than to order lamb at a non greek restaurant. I should have eaten chicken. It was nice but nothing compares to lamb roast and lamb on the spit which is the way lamb should be eaten. I can’t wait to be in Australia at Christmas time to try some lamb on the spit, made by my uncle. Yummo. I highly recommend it.

Back to Carlos and Pepe. I got a little distracted, oops. Tends to happen when I’m talking about food. Well that’s it. A good night, a good experience. 



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Sushi Machi Mascouche QC Canada

Since being introduced to Sushi a long time ago, I think I developed a major obsession with it. My favourite sushi combination (when I’m not at the Coogee, NSW Sushi Shop that is) is the salmon and avocado roll with the rice and even tempura on the outside, and extra ginger. That’s it. I prefer to have some miso soup for appetizer and apart from that, I order that religiously and rarely budge off that selection. Whenever I eat sushi, I feel like my stomach has been blessed with great food.

I thought I was doomed when I came to New York and then to Canada, developing separation anxiety from my favourite Sushi shop in Sydney, but I have been reassured recently with two great sushi shops. One is a Sushi shop in Laval Carrefour, Laval, Quebec (right in the food court) and the other is Sushi Machi which is a tiny little shop in Mascouche, Quebec on Saint Marie ave. One lady runs it. She is hilarious. I met her once and when she saw me again, she made it out as if she new me for ten years. Way too funny. The great thing is, english is not her first language, and Chinese or French is not my first language. Communicating is fabulous. I love going there just to talk with her and leave with a smile on my face. When she makes you sushi, she cares about what she is making you and aims to make it exactly how you want. You can’t ask for more than that.

The shop itself is like a cheap, empty shop with no specific major design. A fridge on the side and the back has enough necessary to make what she needs. A very simple set up. She runs it herself and if there is more than one person ordering, best to take a seat and wait. She is on her own and cooks to direct orders only. I always wander how places like that survive and if there isn’t something more going on in the background like another business where they make money and keep the shopfront as an image to hide other things happening. Who knows but all I know is when my stomach is satisfied, I am happy.

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Visiting Ottawa, CANADA

The Capital of Canada is Ottawa. It is a two hour drive from Montreal where I am based. I was excited to go and check it out and the Australian High Commission (Embassy) is also located there. The first thing I noticed, is it reminded me a little of Canberra because it was just so clean. Maybe it’s a trend in all British Empire countries, that the capitals are clean, as though the royal family live there.

Driving around Ottawa certainly felt like I was going to visit royalty. There were three huge looking castles that I fell in love with. The castles are their parliament office buildings. They are so beautiful and worth checking out. Don’t worry, I snapped some shots of my time in Ottawa and I really enjoyed the visit. There were some great restaurants and shops to go visit too. We ate at this cool seafood restaurant called the Fish Market, and we were very impressed with their shrimp appetizers. I will definitely be going back.

I went to a pastry shop and they were selling Obama Canada cookies in the shape of a leaf. That is the symbol on the Canadian Flag. I am really not sure of the significance of the leaf so if any Canadians are reading this, feel free to fill me in. I love the red and white colours. Funny that I’ve settled in a country with the flag being Red and White. It is a sign because I have always been drawn to those colours. Probably why, back in Australia, I was a fan of the Football St George Dragons and in AFL, the Sydney Swans team (full credit to my friend Kos for this).

There were little markets set up that had the famous Canadian Maple Syrup and other clothing and market flowers etc. Driving around the city was pretty easy and not daunting. Thanks to the GPS, I feel confident driving anywhere now.

Here are some photos below I snapped up of my visit to Ottawa.


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The Ferry Crossing, Ile Bizard Montreal CANADA

There are several ways to get to West Island In Montreal, Canada. One way I discovered recently was driving across the river and taking the ferry across. We wanted to get to Ile Bizard in West Island, which is a cute part of the island and very quiet, with big land size homes and a national park in the area to walk through.

Anyway, back to the ferry. It was cool to watch. As I was waiting, I was snapping some shots as I do to share with you all.

I am glad I did it, however, I wouldn’t recommend it if you are in a rush. On this particular day, they were taking four cars at a time back and forth, so do the math, if there are a dozen cars in front of you, you need to wait for three ferry trips before you get on. Apparently though, I’ve heard that on some days, they can get 6-8 cars on the boat and ship them across but I cannot confirm this. I do know, that it saves you a lot in petrol to drive there because for those that aren’t from Canada, Montreal is a big island and has other smaller islands like West Island and Nun’s Island that still form part of Montreal but are surrounded by water. The water is from a damn reservoir so there are a lot of waterfront homes along the river. The chance of flooding is minimal as there are reservoir tanks as backups available if overflow happens.

From Memory, as you drive onto the boat, you must turn your car off and the lady comes around to your window to collect the money from you. It’s approx. $3.50 – $4.50.

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Driving and Parking in NYC

I drive down to NYC when I need to go because it is easy to get there from Canada. When you drive, you get to see some of the cool buildings and tunnels around Manhattan. I must warn anyone that visits New York. If you have to drive, be careful and make sure you are confident to drive there. Many cars and taxis don’t indicate and I really can’t understand how they don’t have more accidents.

Secondly, be weary of the tolls. They cost a fortune. If you get the Lincoln Tunnel from New Jersey to NYC, be prepared to pay $13.50 US to use it. That’s correct. Rip off. The Ferry across and back costs $18 if you go and come back on the same day, so it is an option, however if you drive, consider traffic and do not leave NYC via the Holland Tunnel between 4-6pm. I left at 4pm, for what should be a 20 minute journey, and I arrived 3 hours later due to traffic. Not a cool thing to sit in. There are car parks around the place to park your car but you are paying exorbitant prices. There is a carpark on Centre and Hester Street, Chinatown and it is approximately $36 for 24 hours. This is actually a really cheap deal for NYC so if you are heading to Chinatown / Little Italy and you are considering driving, then park there. Warning in advance, in any parking location in NYC, if they tell you to collect your vehicle at 1:04pm, than make sure you get there five minutes before and have them swipe your ticket to pay before that time spot clicks you even a second over, because you will get charged anywhere from $20 to $50 more.

Another thing to note is the parking metres. They are called Muni Metres (My Greek friends would love these parking metres, because Muni means Vagina) Clearly the council Mayor was not a greek person. Anyway, the reason there are strict clearing zones is because of the street sweepers. They come twice a week and you mustn’t leave your car there as it will get you a tow and hefty fine. The street cleaners do not come on US Public holidays so if you are parking in NYC, than the parking restrictions don’t apply for that day.  you still need to pay the meters if it says to pay, but you won’t get kicked out or fined on those days.

Below are some of the quick shots I took recently that I just liked for business purposes. I can see the images and location spots appearing in future film projects I may take on.

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Pier 66 Bar NYC

This place is bloody awesome mate. In true Aussie terminology. In summer time, you must get down here on a weekend. It is Pier 66 Maritime. Located off West St, along the Hudson River.

There is a fairly long line to get in that stretches along the fence line of the Hudson River. Don’t let that out you off though because it moves pretty fast. There is a big boat and deck out off the pier and as you enter and walk through the wooden deck walkway, you are greeted by security and id checks. Once you get through, you have a choice to go onto the red and white boat on the left to eat some food and relax, or you can find a seat and table along the bottom deck and mingle, socialize etc. The back deck section is more of a sit down and get served area. If you sit around the bar and sides of pier, or go upstairs to the upper deck area, you can find a little round table and chairs and go to the bar to order your food, drinks etc. A bucket of 6 beers is the most popular choice of beverage as they just serve it that way with ice to keep it cool. A very cool place and everyone there is in a great summer, mingling mood. I just loved the experience of being in that atmosphere. I am certainly eager to  get back there when I’m back. Next time, I will go with a group of people and let loose and enjoy the time.

The food was good too. You can order burgers and fries and typical food like that however, I ordered the blackened salmon with salad and it was fantastic and tasty. When you go to the bar and order, they give you a buzzer and when it vibrates, you go to the back bar and pick up the food. They have trays in case you are carrying too much.

I got my usual cosmopolitan cocktail and I recommend asking for the better quality vodka. It is usually only $1 extra and much better. They serve the cocktail in small plastic glasses and they don’t last long so if you drink beer and wine, I suggest that is the better option to make your drinks last more.

The place has an industrial rustic type look. Old wooden steering wheels lying on steel pipes. I took some shots of the place when I was there to show you.

The toilets downstairs. Freaky part is, the steel walls have holes in them so the person next to you can see what your doing from your butt downwards. Not cool. Beware.


Security checking people as they walk through the entrance.

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Wall St and Downtown NYC

If you head downtown to the financial district in New York, you will get to see some things that you have probably heard people mention throughout your life. One is Wall Street, being the stock exchange hub of the world, and the other being shopping.  When you head down there, you can go and see the grand building of Wall St Stock Exchange and the big statue of George Washington standing proudly facing the Stock Exchange. If you can get around the tourists down there, all wanting to take photos standing next to George Washington, than you can breathe.

When you have taken enough photos, you can go to the 911 Memorial at the World Trade Centre and take a look. There are always a lot of people in this area so be warned not to be in a rush. If it gets too crazy, I suggest you walk a few blocks over and head to Century 21. This is a department store that has five levels of shopping. It stocks all the designer brands like Bonds, Calvin Klein, Diesel, Guess, Armani and everything else and you get to go through the different sections and purchase what you need. They have clothing, accessories, handbags, sunglasses etc. Don’t forget, the shoe department is in the building next door and you need a few hours just to get through that.

On the bottom floor. The basement floor is homeware products, towels etc.

I noticed that when I went a few weeks ago, the whole store had changed and the renovations had been complete. They now have all the clothing a lot more spread out and more presentable. There are registers on each floor and plenty of cashiers to buy your purchases. The experience has certainly been a lot better compared to how it used to be years ago. You will no doubt walk out with heaps of bags in hand so be prepared for a wait to get a taxi. If you catch the subway, the Cortland St subway is right there at the bottom corner of the street outside the store.

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Buying my Jeep in CANADA

Jeeps are so cool. I’ve always thought of having one but I was married to my two door Rav 4 Cruiser. When I had to leave that car behind and sail to NYC and Canada, it was a sad goodbye, however, I have embraced the Jeep Sahara Wrangler and I am now a huge fan of this car. There is apparently a Jeep Club here in Quebec too which you can join and they come and take off your hard top and put the soft top on for you. Pretty Cool hey.

It is like a car that just pulls apart. Like a big lego toy. The roof comes off, the doors, and back boot area. It is pretty amazing and a very solid, beasty car. I feel tough in it, ‘Tonka Tough’, hahaha.

It is a very practical car. It is not the type of car you should get if you have a bad leg or can’t get in and out of cars easily because each time you get in, you need to climb or assist yourself in. Once you are in, you are sitting pretty high and I’ve never felt safer in a car than what I have in the Jeep.

I bought a white four door hard top. Canadian cars only have registration plates on the rear of the vehicle and the steering wheel is on the left hand side like the USA. It takes a little getting used too, but when you get the hang of it, it’s good.

One thing about driving in Quebec is the amount of stop signs in Quebec. Instead of roundabouts and traffic lights (even though they still have them, most intersections, on all the local roads have stop signs at every t – intersection. It is such a time wasting experience. It does work because there are never big lines for the person at one end, however, every 50 meters, you have to come to a complete stop, even when there is no one around. It is crazy. I think it’s the way for the mayor to make money off people. It is rare for every person to come to a complete stop every time they drive. I can compare it to the streets in Australia that have huge speed humps along the whole street.

If you are from another country and you wish to get a license in Quebec, you have six months to get it. You need to be a permanent resident to get a license and when you apply, regardless of how many years you have been driving, you still have to study for the written test and then do the driving test. I can’t believe it. I find that ridiculous. I can understand if they gave you a manual on road rules and made you read it and give you a quiz to check you’ve read it however to put you through all that is ludicrous.

Anyway, here are the photos of my new baby below.

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Saint Sauveur Church, CANADA

Ever been to a town and walked down the street, and fall in love with an entire town? This happened to me in the town of Saint Sauveur. The restaurants, outdoor cafes, park area, horse and cart rides and the beautiful Saint Sauveur Church with the big red doors in the middle of town. We went in recently to visit, light some candles, get some Holy water and look around. I love checking out everything and it was always a great experience.

On this particular day as we went in and sat to do some spiritual connecting, we walked outside the church and down the front stair path. As we got towards the bottom and wanted to take a photo, we were approached by a rather unusual couple that were quite comical and entertaining. I am still not sure what they were doing, however they requested to jump into a photo with us which we allowed. I’ll show you the photos and you can make of it what you will. Very funny day. IMG_1246 IMG_1247 IMG_1248 IMG_1249
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Flower Time in Quebec, CANADA

Canada does not have a huge summer period. In fact, when people think of Canada, they automatically think about how cold it is. Quebec is certainly a part of Canada that this whole theory applies too. Saying that though, with the strong French influence in the provence, they are huge on Flowers in this town. Every you drive, people have little pots with flowers on their window sills, balconies, patios, shop fronts, everywhere really.

Most people plan exactly when they buy the flowers and plant them so that the entire summer period is blooming with flowers. It is very beautiful. My biggest concern is making sure I have my anti histamines close by. I’m not sure what is in the air lately but all through Montreal and now they have hit Mascouche are these little white balls of fluff that are airborne and at times when I am driving, it feels like a summer snow storm. Maybe someone who is reading this can tell me what these white things are?? Someone said to me that they think they come from these tall trees and then get shaken off with the wind and fly about.

Recently, we went and visited a friend in Terrebonne and upon arrival, in true romantic Italian style, he had covered the driveway with flowers for us because we were visiting for dinner. How great is that?? I was very impressed and wouldn’t it be great if more people were that way inclined. In true Quebec style, his back yard had started to blossom with flowers too. I snapped a few shots to show you what I saw.

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Out and About in Montreal CANADA

Montreal is a cool city. Some describe it as a mini NYC. Well, having been there alot recently, I guess I can see what they are trying to say, but I also believe most big cities resemble each other. More people, tall buildings, public transport, taxis etc. There is a downtown area and Mi land area which is the ‘New cool place to be at’. Old Montreal is also a part of the city with a totally different feel and I love it. I have a different blog on that altogether.

I don’t think anything could come close to NYC. The mere size of it alone and the amount of people transiting through daily, allow it to flourish and continue to thrive. Back to Montreal. When you find a good eatery in the city, it’s damn good. I’ve been to a few nice ones. There is this great one i came across recently in chinatown. It is Vietnamese and has been open for a year. For the life of me, I can’t remember the name of it but its right at the entrance to chinatown on the left. It’s big inside and the waitress is a crack up. They have awesome Vermicilli with Beef and chicken. I’ll go there again soon and write more info on it because I’m suffering here and may have lost your attention by now.

They have these shopping centres in Montreal with a variety of stores. They aren’t huge shopping centres or anything but have the typical food section and a few separate levels with some jewellery shops, phone shops, clothing etc. A lot of the main brand stores are on the main strips. The arts theatre area is great to sit down on the stairs and enjoy the atmosphere in Montreal. Traffic like every other city is ridiculous. Anything after 3pm and it starts. At this time of year, there is so much construction going on because they only have summer for a short period of time and all the rest of the time, it’s snowing and how can they work on the roads when it’s snowing. We are talking major construction works. I still find the roads in Sydney are in much better condition than here and even NYC especially. They are woeful. This adds to the traffic congestion and it all becomes too much to sit in really.

I always find it interesting in a city looking at the different business names that are popular. Tim Hortons is like Starbucks to the Americans. A popular chain that is everywhere and people love it. It sells coffee and donuts too. The other main two coffee shop franchises are ‘Second Cup’ and ‘Cafe Depot’. I prefer Cafe Depot because they make awesome frappucinnos. Great in the summer. The banks are the ‘Bank of Montreal’, ‘CIBC’, ‘HSBC’, ‘Desjardins’ and ‘Banque of Scotia’, “BMO’, TD Canada Trust’, ‘Royal bank of Canada’. For international relations, CIBC or HSBC are the better choices. The others are more local and don’t deal with alot of international transfers. You would have to go to Western Union to do this. They are the main ones I’ve seen everywhere.

In most adjoining suburbs they have these huge carparks with stores set up but you really need to drive to each one separately because the shops are fairly big. I have noticed a pattern of the same big stores in most of the carparks. Walmart for everything you need, like Kmart in Oz. Winners is a store like Target. Homesense has lots of things for the home which is a mixture between Target, Kmart and Big W.

Structube is a cool shop for furniture on the more expensive side of things. Modern and great quality. ‘The Party Expert’ pops up everywhere and is fabulous for a party at a really reasonable price too.

Petrol stations are ‘Petrol Canada’ and ‘Shell’ with some other French local ones too however they are frustrating because they mostly have the system where you need to swipe first and then fill up which is fantastic when it’s working however when it doesn’t, it’s a pain in the ass. The current petrol prices I’ve seen range from 134.90 to 149.90 and so when I’m filling up my jeep, it usually costs $100 for a 75 litre tank on empty. I guess for many reasons, this is why canada reminds me alot of Australia.

To buy food at the supermarkets, you need to go to Super C, IGA, or Metro Plus. If you want that Mediterranean/Greek supermarket touch, you cannot beat Adonis. My place away from home. I love the Tarama, fetta and olives and it’s a great one stop supermarket. Spot the Aussie inside type thing.

The pharmacies are called Pharmaprix and Jean Coutu which are the main two I visit. They sell prescriptions, bathroom products, some food products, sunscreen and outdoor objects, chocolate and even lotto. Actually all of them have a huge beauty section so when you walk in, the girls say ‘bon jour’ and tend to offer you something to try, in order to get you to buy a beauty product. The one Jean Coutu I go to in Mascouche also has the small post office inside which doesn’t close until 8pm. How cool is that. No long post office lines because it is open for long periods of time.

The beauty about the pharmacy set up is that you when you put a prescription in, and it has repeats, it is on their system so you never need to bring in the old prescription form. The computers talk to each other and it’s an easy system. For some reason though, I find the service always takes so long to get the prescriptions. In Sydney, You are never waiting more than 2-5 minutes. The last antibiotics I got were $59. Expensive, so the point of getting private health insurance here is a must. Medicare does not drive the prices for medication down here. The medical system in general is great here and the public medical card that everyone gets covers people for lots of things. The beauty of it though, is it covers them when they travel too. If the private insurers don’t pay, I’ve heard that people can get the expenses back from the government medical insurance. Nice to know really.

The bike shops I’ve noticed here are called Centre Velo and have alot of race bikes and mountain bikes but it is a sport that you really only can do in the small space of summer. It is way too slippery for winter cycling here.

They have co working spaces in Montreal so if you are looking for a place to work out of, visit ‘Station C’ and you can find a good location for yourself to get in and get amongst the people of Montreal. Whenever I am in other cities, I think of all the shops back in Australia like Gelatissimo and Boost Juice, and even places like JB HiFi and I wander what they would be like in Canada. The US has Best buy which is very on par with JB Hi-fi so I guess they’re covered. Quebec is a very french speaking provence and you need to be very aware of this influence when considering business choices and even building homes or shops because some areas have very strict guidelines and laws in place to keep the feel of the area and design the same.

The one thing I really miss is seeing live entertainment and movies that are in English. I like alot of choice and being in Quebec is limited in that respect. They have movies on in both english and french but not every session so the times you have available to you are not as flexible. The shows are the same and with me being spoilt, having come from NYC and the availability of the shows there, It will never compare.

Here are some shots below of the actual city of Montreal.

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I love the strip / Street called Saint Denis. It is a really long strip that you can walk down and have a great choice of restaurants and small shops. It reminds me ofa really long version of Norton St, Leichhardt years ago, but much cooler. Saint Catherine is a huge strip for the big name shops with all the brands. Saint Denis is pictured in the three shots below. It looks like a street with French Styled terraces above but on ground level, really cool eateries and boutiques.

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The city of Vancouver CANADA

Vancouver is such a nice city to visit. It reminds me in many ways of Sydney. Well, it isn’t the same however it is the closest city I’ve travelled too that has the same feel. I’m sure I’ve even mentioned that before. If you stay in the city, you can pretty much get anywhere you want easily enough. Whether it’s on a bus, the train system, walking, or even flying around the city on little water jet planes. I stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel last time and the location was fabulous. I recommend heading to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Stanley Park, Granville Island, and catching the aquabus water taxi along the river. I heard Victoria Island is great too but that will be on the agenda on my next trip.

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Getting Married in Quebec, Canada

Anyone who has been married, or is about too in Canada, specifically Quebec area, then listen up, you may find this blog of interest. When you meet that love of your life and you both decide to tie the knot and get married, than the next thing that springs to mind is that you have to prepare for a wedding. Where do you start? If you are gay or straight, it doesn’t matter. In Canada, when two people are in love, it is legal to get married. I love the open acceptance that Canada represents.

First, you need to consider if you have a religious marriage. This may be limiting if you are gay because even though it’s legal in Canada, the church does still not recognize it. However, keeping this general, you have three options. Civil Union, Civil Marriage or Marriage (religious based). The marriage and civil marriage have the same acceptance. If you decide to do a civil union however, it is not recognized in other countries like Australia so you would have to have a Civil Marriage if you find someone you fall absolutely in love with from another country. With Civil union, if it doesn’t work out, you don’t need to file for divorce. With Marriage, you do. I guess it depends on you and your partners choice. We’ve decided to have a civil marriage. If you go down the civil path, then you need to find a ‘notaire’ which is like a celebrant / justice of the peace who meets with you and your partner to determine when the wedding will be, if you want contracts (pre nups) they explain the procedure and service etc. There are things you need to consider though. When you see a ‘notaire’, the details of your wedding ceremony and the day of the big event must be published with the courts and also must be visible at the location of the ceremony at least 21 days before the ceremony commences. The ‘notaire’ prepares all this. You must have a witness to come and sign the paperwork. If you are from another country, you must have an original birth certificate and a certificate of no impediment to marriage. Sooo, for anyone who tries to hide the fact they may still be married, well try and explain that one to your partner when the certificate comes back. Honesty is always the best way forward. If you are from another country, you need to go to your embassy or High Commission to organize the paperwork like this. Most embassies are in Ottawa, the capital of Canada, and are also located in Vancouver. You really want to make sure the notaire you find, suits you and your needs because they are the ones that are going to be there on your wedding day, in front of you and your guests. We chose a fantastic and very sweet, professional young notaire called Elisabeth Fontaine in Saint Marie, Mascouche. I totally recommend her. She is awesome. She speaks both French and English which helps because the last thing you want on your wedding day, is to not understand what is happening. If you wish to contact Elisabeth, her details are: and contact number is +1 450 918 4688.

Now to the actual wedding. Where to have it? A house? A church? A wedding reception centre? A park?

We opted to have the big occasion close to the little town of Saint Sauveur. It is the most gorgeous town and I would seriously contemplate living there. It is so cute with all these little boutique shops and small restaurants. My partner was baptized in the same town and her parents were also married in that town so it is like a perfect town for a wedding. It has a very French/European Feel to the town and in Summer, there are beautiful horse and carts to ride people down the strip for $50 for half an hour. The area is popular for it’s ski season and many people have their ‘second home’ in this area to visit as a getaway from the city. It is about 45min to one hour North of Montreal so it isn’t far at all. There are many homes to rent up there because of people staying for the ski season and summer periods. We thought it would be a great idea to hire a house that would be perfect for a wedding ceremony, as well as a great relaxing getaway to do some swimming in and take advantage of the short Canadian summer period.

What food do you want to have? Catered? Formal sit down? Waiters serving food? Stand up eating type set up? So many decisions. I love cooking and so I thought it would be great to prepare beautifully presented food and have waiters serve the appetizers and then have a big easy to eat buffet style lunch to follow with wine, and maybe even a wonderful watermelon martini to surprise the guests with. Whatever you decide to present, if you are doing the celebration yourself, than go and get the serving dishes from The Party Expert. They have awesome little appetizer ideas and reasonably priced too. We tried to go to the dollarama stores and big hire places but all of these places have certain things you need to get from there specifically. For the serving of appetizers and also for the bridal books, envelope box (for presents) and ring pillows etc, I totally recommend The Party Expert.

The guest books we saw at all these other places were okay but not at the same standard as there. Michaels arts and crafts store had a selection of fairly decent things too so either one should be able to offer you some choice and variety to choose what’s best. Invitations can be gotten from here and also from DeSerre. The nicest selection I found was at the other two places.

Alcohol can get expensive, so if you want to get a better wine for you and your guests, head to SAQ in Montreal because they have 15% off your selection. This one particular store is like a warehouse and have alot of boxes of whatever you need. Alcohol in canada, is monitored and owned by the government at the stores called SAQ. Not beer though because you can buy that at the supermarket, however wine and spirits are all served at SAQ. It certainly has it’s disadvantages to the community. The prices never really go on sale too much and there is not competition to drive the prices down. The up side is that the government makes the money and can use the profits to run the country.

There are three main hire places in this area specifically. Lou-tek in Saint Jerome, Diva and Cle Main. All very different in price, quality and choices in products, delivery limits etc.

Which chairs do you go with? Do you want bows on the chairs or full chair covers? What table clothes do you want? Cotton or Satin? We found Cle Main had the same and cheapest selection when it came to hiring the bows for the chairs, table cloths, and flower balls that you can use for the tops of vases etc. The cheapest hire place was Lou tek and their delivery fees were a lot more reasonable than the other two places. If you can pick up your things from Cle Main and then get your Lou-Tek stuff delivered, you will find that this is the better option.

Music is an important part of a wedding. Do you do the typical dj thing or do you want to maybe go to the conservatorium of Music in Montreal and get some live violinists to come and play for a few hours. I couldn’t say no to live violinists for a touch of romance and beautiful atmosphere at my one and only wedding. Expect to pay anywhere between $300 and $500 for a few hours of live performances for two performers. If your wedding is out of the main city of Montreal, then this can increase the cost. It is worth it. You always need a good sound system so if you know of someone with good speakers to set up outside and a microphone, than ring them up and book them in.

Don’t forget to find a photographer and Videographer to capture your special day. For outdoor weddings, you really need to consider where the ceremony will be and I find it always best to go and visit a florist, see what price they have for their flowers and ask them at the same time if they come and set up outdoor arrangements. We were lucky and the florist ‘Fleuriste’ in Saint Sauveur could come and set up the beautiful outdoor pagola and make it look special with whit tule and champagne roses etc.

When all these things start to fall into place, things start to get really exciting. Now for the creative fun stuff. Making signs with your names on it, organizing and preparing your vows, and working out what you want to do on the day exactly, what wedding song and what dessert to have. Don’t forget wedding cakes too. We ordered ours from ‘Boulangerie Patisserie Dagobert’ (76, Chemin Grande Cote Boisbriand, QC J7G1C3, phone number +1 450 437 7771). It is a great cake and pastry shop towards Montreal. When you order, you need to know for how many people, and what flavour you want. You can even try it if you want. We ordered a beautiful three tiered white cake with a few flowers on the side and a lemon cake inside. We didn’t want chocolate or vanilla. It’s all a very personal journey and you quickly learn what your partner does or doesn’t like. Lots to consider. You don’t get much spare change from around $200 for a party of 30 servings. Expect to pay more for bigger cakes.

If you love chocolate like I do, consider going to the Belgium factory outlet in Montreal and ordering a pack of 50 chocolates for $16 and that way you can get a few packs and set them up and display them how you want on the dessert table. Things like writing your names with chocolate or having a heart with chocolates on the table. Something creative and nice to add to the appearance of the dessert table.

I haven’t even touched on the actual dress part or rings. I find this the most important decision because you look at the ring the rest of your life. If you go cheap, it won’t last and if you go too expensive, it gets ridiculous so look around, work out the differences in the diamonds and the gold and then you will have more of an idea of what you are getting for your money. Don’t get sucked in to the whole, “We will give you your ring certificate when the jeweller is here so come back and get it”. This is mostly a gimmick. Be warned.

I will write a different blog on rings and dresses because I chose to get mine from NYC. More variety, selection and more so, the fact i lived there, I know my way around and everyone speaks english to understand me. It was my best choice. I ended up going with a dress designed by Rebecca Taylor in NYC. She does not specialize in wedding dresses specifically but she makes great clothing designs. As for the ring, my partner liked the selection at Mozart Jewelers in Carrefour Laval ( I got mine from 42nd St and Park ave. Right in the heart of Manhattan. I love my ring. I certainly suggest getting rings in the states because if you go on a sale weekend, you will get a great price and a better quality diamond and gold piece, as well as a genuine certificate straight away.

That is my take so far on the wedding. I cannot explain the feeling I had when I found my partners ring and as we left the shop, it was at that moment the reality of getting married kicked in and i feel deeper in love instantly. I had tingles up and down my whole body from sheer happiness and finally committing to that one person who makes my life happier and more content. It is a blessing so for all of those people out there about to get married, or who are married, love it, be kind, be good to each other, and enjoy each day as if it was your last.

The last thing to remember to do, Make sure you tell everybody that needs to know, family or friends you may have forgot to tell. Not because you don’t love them, but with everything going on in your mind, let’s just say, you cannot think straight, so when you decide what you can / can’t afford to do, then start telling people and inviting who you can, and get your invitations out to people asap to give them notice. My theory is, that those that really give a shit about you, just say yes, regardless of when it is, or if it coincides with a show they are booked to see or a small trip you have planned. If they care enough and are genuinely happy for you, they will make an effort to be there.

Check out the photos below of the wedding prep. Make sure you wake up to a good coffee every day lol.
IMG_1152 Choosing a house with a great outdoor area you can work with is vital.IMG_1211 IMG_1217 IMG_1218 IMG_1220 IMG_1221 IMG_1225 Choosing chair covers.IMG_1232 Fold up chairs or single chairs.IMG_1233 IMG_1235 Flower balls on vases and other wedding pieces. These below are from Diva.AIMG_1238 A very french looking Diva table setting.IMG_1239 IMG_1240 Options of candle coverings ate Diva.IMG_1241 Holy water from Saint Sauveur church is good to bless yourselves with the morning of the wedding. IMG_1249 Horse and Cart?? They are located on the street of Saint Sauveur. You can contact them on 450 602 2383 if you want to see how much it will cost to get them at your wedding. IMG_1271 Do you have engagement bands and wedding rings?? Yessssss. These are our favourite engagement bands together. IMG_1273 Violinists play for you to get a feel of what they are like at the conservatorium. IMG_1309 Where to find shoes. This is something you just need to go out and do. IMG_1311 These are flower balls and vases available at Cle Main. A lot more affordable at $10 to hire, than $50 to buy at a florist.IMG_1315 Table cloths in Satin from Cle Main.IMG_1316 Guest book selection at Michaels Arts and Crafts. IMG_1337 IMG_1338 We loved this one. Very simple and very French looking to match everything else. IMG_1339 IMG_1340


Nerves are normal so if you think of running away from it or changing your mind, it is just the nerves kicking in so breathe, and go and get a massage to relax.