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.

IMG_2172 IMG_2191 IMG_2189 IMG_2188 The Creme Brûlée below:IMG_2187 Strawberry Cheesecake:IMG_2186 IMG_2185 Selection of Teas offered with Dessert:IMG_2184 The lamb main below. IMG_2181 IMG_2179 IMG_2178 IMG_2177 IMG_2176 IMG_2175

 

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.

IMG_3334 IMG_3333 IMG_3332 IMG_3331 IMG_3330 IMG_3329 IMG_3328 IMG_3327 IMG_3326 IMG_3325 IMG_3323

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.

7R1A49247R1A4925
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.

7R1A49567R1A49557R1A49477R1A49357R1A49317R1A49287R1A4927
This is the Lachine Canal which runs along the old port. A great spot to visit.
7R1A4963 7R1A5010 7R1A4975 7R1A4967 7R1A4965
The old coloured fire hydrants. Love them. They are yellow in Montreal and red in New York.

7R1A5071

 

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.

7R1A5074IMG_2310



The brick and sandstone shopfronts give it that european feel. 


IMG_2329IMG_2335IMG_2334IMG_2333IMG_2332IMG_2331IMG_2330

The actual port area is always nice to view.

IMG_2337IMG_2336

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. 



IMG_2338IMG_2345IMG_2344IMG_2343IMG_2342IMG_2341IMG_2340IMG_2339
This is a famous lobster roll bar where they make ‘lobster rolls’. I have never tried one but they say they are good.

IMG_2382IMG_2383
How cool is this piano. It is outside one of the exhibition centres and this girl sat down and started playing. It was fantastic.

IMG_2384 IMG_2385

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

IMG_2387 IMG_2396 IMG_2393

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
7R1A5197 7R1A5194 7R1A5193 7R1A5192 7R1A5190 7R1A5188 7R1A5187

 

 

 

Love this Bird. Tweet Tweet7R1A5186 7R1A5181 7R1A5180 7R1A5178 7R1A5175 7R1A5173 7R1A5171 7R1A5168 7R1A5167 7R1A5164 7R1A5161 7R1A5157 7R1A5156 7R1A5155 7R1A5152 7R1A5145 7R1A5140 7R1A5131 7R1A5121 7R1A5096 7R1A5089 7R1A5088

 

We saw all these bikes as we were leaving.

7R1A52077R1A52057R1A5203

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.

IMG_2468 IMG_2466 IMG_2463 IMG_2462 IMG_2459 IMG_2457 IMG_2456 IMG_2454 IMG_2453 IMG_2452 IMG_2451 IMG_2450 IMG_2449 IMG_2448 IMG_2309 IMG_2308 IMG_2307 IMG_2306 IMG_2305 IMG_2303 IMG_2302 IMG_2295 IMG_2294 IMG_2293 IMG_2292 7R1A5080

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.

IMG_2248 IMG_2247 IMG_2246 IMG_2241 IMG_2236 IMG_2234 IMG_2231 IMG_2230 IMG_2222 IMG_2217 IMG_2212 IMG_2210 IMG_2208 IMG_2207 IMG_2204 IMG_2203 IMG_2201 IMG_2200 IMG_2198 IMG_2197 IMG_2196 IMG_0745 IMG_0723

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.

IMG_2318IMG_2311

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.

IMG_2510 IMG_2511 IMG_2512 IMG_2513 IMG_2514 IMG_2515 IMG_2516 IMG_2517 IMG_2518 IMG_2520 IMG_2521 IMG_2522 IMG_2523 IMG_2524 IMG_2525 IMG_2527 IMG_2528 IMG_2531 IMG_2535 IMG_2540 IMG_2541 IMG_2547 IMG_2548 IMG_2554 IMG_2555 IMG_2559 IMG_2564 IMG_2604 IMG_2607 IMG_2608 IMG_2616 IMG_2623 IMG_2626 IMG_2627 IMG_2639 IMG_2670 IMG_2671 IMG_2672 IMG_2674 IMG_2688 IMG_2702 IMG_2713 IMG_2718 IMG_2746 IMG_2748 IMG_2779 IMG_2782e.

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.

7R1A4984 7R1A4985 7R1A4987 7R1A4988 7R1A4989 7R1A4991

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.

7R1A4915IMG_2320IMG_2321IMG_2322IMG_2325IMG_2326IMG_2327

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.

IMG_2317IMG_2313IMG_2314IMG_2315IMG_2316

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.

IMG_2484 IMG_2485 IMG_2487 IMG_2488 IMG_2489 IMG_2490 IMG_2491 IMG_2492 IMG_2493 IMG_2494 IMG_2496 IMG_2499 IMG_2500 IMG_2501 IMG_2502 IMG_2503 IMG_2504 IMG_2505 IMG_2506

 

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 courriel.laval@groupeadonis.ca 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.

IMG_2166 IMG_2157 IMG_2158 IMG_2159 IMG_2160 IMG_2165

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.
IMG_2258 IMG_2259 IMG_2260 IMG_2261 IMG_2263 IMG_2264 IMG_2268 IMG_2269 IMG_2270 IMG_2272 IMG_2273 IMG_2274 IMG_2275 IMG_2276 IMG_2279 IMG_2281 IMG_2283 IMG_2284 IMG_2286 IMG_2288 IMG_2289 IMG_2290 IMG_2291 IMG_2469

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.

 

7R1A4950 7R1A4961 IMG_2355 IMG_2356 IMG_2357 IMG_2358 IMG_2359 IMG_2360 IMG_2361 IMG_2362 IMG_2363 IMG_2364 IMG_2365 IMG_2366 IMG_2367 IMG_2368 IMG_2369 IMG_2370 IMG_2371 IMG_2372 IMG_2373 IMG_2374 IMG_2375 IMG_2376 IMG_2377 IMG_2378 IMG_2379

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.

IMG_1651 IMG_1652 IMG_1653 IMG_1654 IMG_1655 IMG_1656 IMG_1657 IMG_1658 IMG_1659 IMG_1660 IMG_1661 IMG_1662

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.

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

IMG_1613

It stocks all natural leather good products.

IMG_1615 IMG_1616

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. 

IMG_1617 IMG_1618 IMG_1619

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

The Fudgerie shop. 

IMG_1644IMG_1643IMG_1642IMG_1641

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

IMG_1645

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.

 

IMG_1663 IMG_1664 IMG_1665 IMG_1667 IMG_1668 IMG_1669 IMG_1670 IMG_1671

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.

IMG_1556 IMG_1557 IMG_1558 IMG_1560 IMG_1561 IMG_1562 IMG_1563 IMG_1564 IMG_1565 IMG_1566 IMG_1567 IMG_1569

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.

 

IMG_1547 IMG_1548 IMG_1549 IMG_1550 IMG_1551 IMG_1552 IMG_1554 IMG_1555 IMG_1570 IMG_1571 IMG_1572 IMG_1573 IMG_1574 IMG_1575 IMG_1576 IMG_1577 IMG_1579 IMG_1580 IMG_1581 IMG_1582 IMG_1583 IMG_1584 IMG_1585 IMG_1586 IMG_1588 IMG_1589 IMG_1590 IMG_1593 IMG_1594 IMG_1595 IMG_1596 IMG_1597 IMG_1598 IMG_1599 IMG_1600 IMG_1601 IMG_1602 IMG_1603 IMG_1604 IMG_1605 IMG_1606 IMG_1607 IMG_1608 IMG_1610 IMG_1611 IMG_1612 IMG_1620 IMG_1621 IMG_1622 IMG_1646 IMG_1647 IMG_1648 IMG_1649 IMG_1673 IMG_1674 IMG_1675 IMG_1676 Info

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.

IMG_1623 IMG_1624 IMG_1625 IMG_1626 IMG_1629 IMG_1630 IMG_1631 IMG_1632 IMG_1633 IMG_1636 IMG_1638 IMG_1639 IMG_1640 Info

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.

 

IMG_1741 IMG_1742 IMG_1743 IMG_1744 IMG_1745 IMG_1746 IMG_1747 IMG_1748 IMG_1749 IMG_1750 IMG_1751 IMG_1752 IMG_1753

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.

IMG_1905 IMG_1906 IMG_1907 IMG_1908 IMG_1909 IMG_1910 IMG_1911 IMG_1913 IMG_1914 IMG_1915 IMG_1916 IMG_1917 IMG_1918 IMG_1919 IMG_1920 IMG_1921 IMG_1922

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.

IMG_2026 IMG_2027 IMG_2028 IMG_2029 IMG_2031 IMG_2032 IMG_2033 IMG_2035 IMG_2036 IMG_2037 IMG_2038

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.

IMG_1955 IMG_1956 IMG_1957 IMG_1958 IMG_1959 IMG_1960 IMG_1961 IMG_1962 IMG_1963 IMG_1972 IMG_1973 IMG_1974 IMG_1975 IMG_1976

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.
IMG_1690 IMG_1689 IMG_1691 IMG_1692 IMG_1693 IMG_1694 IMG_1695 IMG_1696 IMG_1697 IMG_1698 IMG_1699 IMG_1700 IMG_1701 IMG_1702 IMG_1703 IMG_1704 IMG_1705 IMG_1706 IMG_1707 IMG_1709 IMG_1710 IMG_1711 Jean Talon InfoThese flowers are on so many balconies as you drive around Quebec. They hang off the edge, or off the windows. Gives the whole place a very French feel too. They are so beautiful and bright. It is a huge thing here in the summer for everyone to go out and plant their flowers and show them off. They really do have the four seasons and they make the most of them.

IMG_1708 IMG_1712

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.

IMG_1925 IMG_1926 IMG_1927 IMG_1929 IMG_1930 IMG_1931 IMG_1933 IMG_1934 IMG_1994

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.
IMG_1723 IMG_1726 IMG_1727 IMG_1728 IMG_1729 IMG_1734 IMG_1735 IMG_1736 IMG_1737 IMG_1738 IMG_1739 IMG_1740 Info Screen Shot 2013-07-27 at 3.21.11 PM

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???

Beautys info IMG_1996 IMG_1997 IMG_1998 IMG_1999 IMG_2001

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. 

 

 

Carlos and Pepes IMG_2040 IMG_2041 IMG_2042 IMG_2043 IMG_2044 IMG_2046 IMG_2047 IMG_2051 IMG_2052 IMG_2053 IMG_2055 IMG_2056

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.

IMG_2003 IMG_2004 IMG_2005 IMG_2007 photo copy IMG_2171

 

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.

 

IMG_1163 IMG_1164 IMG_1165 IMG_1166 IMG_1167 IMG_1168 IMG_1169 IMG_1170 IMG_1171 IMG_1172 IMG_1173 IMG_1174 IMG_1175 IMG_1176 IMG_1177 IMG_1178 IMG_1179 IMG_1180 IMG_1181 IMG_1182 IMG_1183 IMG_1184 IMG_1185 IMG_1186 IMG_1188 IMG_1189 IMG_1190
IMG_1192 IMG_1193 IMG_1194 IMG_1195 IMG_1198 IMG_1199 IMG_1200 IMG_1201 IMG_1202 IMG_1203 IMG_1204 IMG_1205 IMG_1206

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
IMG_1252 IMG_1254 IMG_1255 IMG_1256 IMG_1258 IMG_1259 IMG_1264 \
IMG_1266 IMG_1267 IMG_1268 \
IMG_1271

 

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.

7R1A2911 7R1A2912 7R1A2913 7R1A2914 7R1A2915 7R1A2917 7R1A2919 7R1A2920 7R1A2921 7R1A2922 7R1A2923 7R1A2925 7R1A2926 7R1A2927 7R1A2929 7R1A2931 7R1A2932 7R1A2933 7R1A2934 7R1A2935 7R1A2936 7R1A2937 7R1A2939 7R1A2940 7R1A2943 7R1A2944 IMG_0636 IMG_0637 IMG_0648

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.

7R1A2910 7R1A2908 7R1A2909 7R1A2905

 

 

 

 
7R1A28277R1A28447R1A28457R1A28467R1A28927R1A28937R1A28947R1A28957R1A28967R1A28977R1A28987R1A28997R1A29007R1A29017R1A29027R1A2903

 

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.

7R1A1800 7R1A1803 7R1A1804 7R1A1805 7R1A1809 7R1A1810 7R1A1811 7R1A1812 7R1A1814 7R1A1815 7R1A1816 7R1A1817 7R1A1820 7R1A1824 7R1A1825 7R1A1826 7R1A1827 7R1A1828 7R1A1938 7R1A1948 7R1A2149 IMG_0305 IMG_0307 IMG_0309 IMG_0310 IMG_0426 IMG_0427 IMG_0428 IMG_0532

Aquabus Transport Vancouver CANADA

The Aquabus in Vancouver is so cool that it needed it’s own personal blog. The colours around it reminds me of the Sydney Mardi Gra and probably should be a float with dancing gay boys inside cheering about their lifestyle.

It is equivalent to a Sydney Water Taxi although the difference being that you really need to use this if you are in the city and wish to go to Granville Island or get to anywhere else you need to go. It is quick and easy and the staff were always smiling and friendly. It probably helps that the weather is generally warmer in this end of Canada although it does rain most of the time. The little aquabuses have a plastic shield around them so if it is raining, you are protected but still get to see out at the city view. From memory, it was a few dollars to use the transport.

7R1A2235 7R1A2236 7R1A2239 7R1A2240 7R1A2241 7R1A2245 7R1A2247 7R1A2248 7R1A2249 7R1A2250 7R1A2253 7R1A2255 7R1A2258 7R1A2260 7R1A2263 7R1A2264 7R1A2265 7R1A2267 7R1A2268 7R1A2269 7R1A2270 IMG_0544 IMG_0546 IMG_0547 IMG_0548 IMG_0549 IMG_0550 IMG_0552 IMG_0556 IMG_0557

 

Edgar Muenala Musician Canada

I was recently in Vancouver and went to Granville Island. Lucky I ventured there because for five minutes, I sat there listening to this beautiful talented musician called Edgar Muenala. Here is his direct link to You tube to listen to his music. He does covers and performs them using multiple wind instruments to get an amazing sound. It is a shame I cannot post the footage I took of him playing because it is 1gb in size and I would need his permission, however I took a few snaps of him in action and i am sure you can see how beautiful and peaceful these pan flutes sound.

 

7R1A2434 7R1A2439 7R1A2440 7R1A2441 7R1A2442 7R1A2443 7R1A2444 7R1A2445

I captured his performance really well and if you are reading this Edgar, please feel free to get in touch, because I am confident you will love what I captured.

 

Damn Cool Graffiti Montreal CANADA

Since being in Canada and venturing around the place, I have noticed that in the short time I have been in Montreal specifically, the city is a hub for graffiti. I mean most cities have graffiti but it is like this place has a place for it that adds to the beauty of the city. The artwork is really damn cool and I can’t help but wander if some of the actual work is paid for by the government of funding bodies that support street art.

There is no way that these artworks can be done by someone quickly spraying the wall secretly. Some of the images are full wall size artworks. In fact, some of the art covers entire buildings. It is fascinating so for all those graffiti lovers out there, I highly recommend you travel to Montreal and take a drive around all the streets.

I was previously using an office space to write from called Station C in Midland, Montreal and there is a really cool old train docked nearby on the tracks. The whole train is covered in it and so is the surrounding area. As a photographer and film maker, I couldn’t help but be drawn to the area creatively.

7R1A2828 7R1A2829 7R1A2832 7R1A2833 7R1A2835 7R1A2837 7R1A2838 7R1A2839 7R1A2840 7R1A2841 7R1A2842 7R1A2849 7R1A2850 7R1A2853 7R1A2855 7R1A2856 7R1A2857 7R1A2858 7R1A2861 7R1A2862 7R1A2863 7R1A2864 7R1A2866 7R1A2869 7R1A2870 7R1A2871 7R1A2872 7R1A2873 7R1A2874 7R1A2876 7R1A2878 7R1A2880 7R1A2882 7R1A2883 7R1A2885 7R1A2887 7R1A2888 7R1A2891 IMG_0056 IMG_0057 IMG_0637 IMG_0638 IMG_0639 IMG_0640 IMG_0641 IMG_0642 IMG_0643 IMG_0645

Arts Theatre Montreal CANADA

Every city has an arts centre. The main one I’ve been too in Montreal recently has two theatres inside and a few little shops. It has a room set aside for digital media artworks which is cool to walk through. I’ve taken some pics below.

What i really loved, was walking through the middle section along the ramp. On the side wall there are digital displays constantly moving and changing. It is a clever idea because you can stand there and watch the changes every few minutes and you get to see different artists work constantly. I guess that is the beauty of digital art and media.

Below is the entrance table indicating the theatre directions.

7R1A2949
This was very clever. Through the glass wall, you could see images of people working and living in their different rooms. It is as if you are walking along and watching people in their homes. I loved it. The actual environment is quite dark so it is a little hard to see the photos however, here is one below of a man that reads alot and seems to be a writer.

7R1A29777R1A2976

As you walk into the centre, you can pick up some flyers to see the different productions that are on.

7R1A29547R1A2950

This is the room where you can sit and watch the digital interactive media works.

7R1A29587R1A2959

This is the same digital wall. This particular one had all sorts of facial expressions designed and separate light spots that kept changing colour. It was cool. 

7R1A29607R1A29617R1A29627R1A29637R1A2964


This was a sculpture that doubled as a light. 


7R1A29667R1A2967

7R1A2970 7R1A2971 7R1A2973

 

Downtown Vancouver, CANADA

Downtown Vancouver. It was certainly an experience. I generally love visiting all areas of a city. In Vancouver, Downtown consists of the lower end of the city, China town and other surrounding areas like East Hastings, Eastside Down town Vancouver.

Starting with the homeless problem. There are approx 2,700 homeless people in Vancouver that associate with either being Relative, or absolute homeless. The main cause of the rapid increase of homelessness was due to the housing market price increase and also lack of income. Talking with some locals however, I was informed that the homeless issue has increased since the year 2000. Apparently in trying to clean up some other Canadian areas, the government issued a whole stack of homeless people a one way ticket to Vancouver so that they could survive in the outside areas in a warmer environment. The west side of Canada is a lot warmer than the rest of Canada that basically freezes in Winter.

The whole homeless population has overtaken eastside downtown, specifically on East Hastings Street. I accidentally ended up on the corner innocently taking photos of what I thought was interesting human interaction shots, and groups of people lingering around an area. The next minute I am approached by some obvious mentally challenged people that were eager to volunteer to get their photo taken. I start to look around and notice hundreds of people looking at me wandering what the hell I was doing with a camera on their street. I quickly put my camera away however this did not mean their eyes stopped following my every move. I slowly played the tourist card, looking around, and looking at the fastest way to get the hell out of there before getting rolled. As I start to walk away, a man approached me asking me to hold on. Taking a deep breath, heart racing, I innocently turn and smile, welcoming his approach. He asked what I was doing and at that moment, I am glad i had a strong Aussie accent to which I replied “I’m just a tourist mate, taking photos. I can see that the people here don’t like that much right?”

Thank God he smirked and kindly informed me that most of the people on the street were alcoholics and took drugs and they wanted to make sure I wasn’t a cop, or snitch trying to catch them out. I told him I was an Aussie and he basically wished me a good trip and ‘Hasta La Vista’, I was out of there.

Curiosity killed the cat Right?? So at this stage, I wanted to now check it out more, without my camera in their face this time, so I stopped and got dumplings in the local Chinese shop called Jade Dynasty which was recommended and they were really good. Some quick pics of the shop and the shrimp dumplings I had.


7R1A2150 7R1A2151 7R1A2154 7R1A2155 7R1A2157 7R1A2159 7R1A2160 7R1A2161 7R1A2162 7R1A2163 7R1A2164 7R1A2165 7R1A2166 7R1A2167 7R1A2168 7R1A2169 7R1A2170 7R1A2172 7R1A2173 7R1A2174 7R1A2176 7R1A2177 7R1A2178 7R1A2179 7R1A2181 7R1A2184 7R1A2185 7R1A2187 7R1A2188 7R1A2191 7R1A2192 7R1A2194 7R1A2195 7R1A2196 7R1A2197 7R1A2198 7R1A2199 7R1A2200 7R1A2202 7R1A2203 7R1A2204 7R1A2205 7R1A2206 7R1A2207 7R1A2209

 

After that, I walked to the other end of the street and decided to walk along it and get amongst the homeless on the street. I stood out like a sore thumb, however I figured if I just walked quickly and just took in everything i could see and feel, that would give me a good feeling of what people were there.

The fact that these people stick together in big groups and hang out together is a good thing for themselves and company, however, most of the people I saw, were mentally ill or clearly doing drug deals, or more so, trying to ask for money to get their next hit. The concerning part was seeing a a few teenage faces in the crowd. It is sad to know how most of society can sleep peacefully at night with a roof over their head, but these people just stay continuously on the street. Even if the mentally ill people were put into housing, they would stand out and it would be a matter of time before the police were could to settle them down etc. It is always a hard solution dealing with mental illness as well as homeless and drugs etc. The crime rate in this area is also a big concern and it was only a matter of time before I saw cop cars speeding into the area.

Below are some pics of the street adjacent to East Hastings. There is a mural of some great artwork and directly opposite, some locals hanging in the laneways.

7R1A2222 7R1A2225 7R1A2226 7R1A2227 7R1A2228 7R1A2229 7R1A2230 7R1A2231 7R1A2234

 

After getting the buzz of experiencing the homeless situation, I wanted to check out China Town a little more and went to the Chinese Botanical Gardens. They were small compared to what we have set up in Sydney but the small amount of garden they do have was pretty. The guy let me in for $5 because I only had half an hour to go. That was more than enough time to see the whole thing and capture it on camera. I love how detailed the Chinese are when they build things. It makes me realize how traditional and passionate they are as a race. What was really cool about the gardens is when you walk to the back end, there is a calligraphy section where they have drawing ink set up and these special drawing boards with symbols displayed. You can take a seat and try and draw the symbol you see with various symbols varying in degree of difficulty. I loved trying this because I had never done it before. It wasn’t long before I realized how precise the Chinese are when writing. Each stroke takes a certain amount of ink, pressure and precision to create the symbol beautifully. I attempted but I think I turned Chinese symbols into a two year old garbage diagram of what they think it should look like. Terrible. I am sure I would improve in time, but really, I sucked at it.

IMG_0395 IMG_0398 IMG_0399 IMG_0400 IMG_0402 IMG_0403 IMG_0404 IMG_0405 IMG_0406 IMG_0375 IMG_0376 IMG_0377 IMG_0378 IMG_0379 IMG_0380 IMG_0381 IMG_0382 IMG_0383 IMG_0384 IMG_0385 IMG_0386 IMG_0387 IMG_0388 IMG_0389 IMG_0408 IMG_0409 IMG_0410 IMG_0411 IMG_0407 IMG_0390 IMG_0391 IMG_0393 IMG_0394 IMG_0397

 

Capilano Suspension Bridge Vancouver

I really wanted to see as much as I could in Vancouver so I decided to take the advice of the locals and check out the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. I took a bus as that was the easiest way to get there from the Four Seasons Hotel. It was actually really good for checking out Vancouver from a higher seat in a bus.

7R1A1848

The bus ride takes about 20 minutes and it leaves every half hour to hour, depending on which season it is and what time you wish to get there and leave. The park is opened between 9am and 7pm. The whole park was bought by a lady called Nancy Stibbard. The actual address is 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver, BC V7R, Phone number +1 604 985 7474. Vancouver is part of Brittish Columbia.

I was on my own and most people on the bus kept to themselves with their own company. I was happy to look out the window. I couldn’t help but think how similar Vancouver was to Sydney. It had a similar feel in terms of the harbour, boats docked, the big Stanley Park, the bus rides around, the city buildings, different sections like China town etc. Although, I believe there is a china town in every city. Without being biased, I still find Sydney is on my top list of cities because of the weather factor. It rains alot in Vancouver.

Back to the bridge. It is special because it is so close to the city, however it is this pristine natural habitat park that they have literally built a bridge to join one side to the other. Looking at how long the bridge is, and how high it is suspended above a flowing rapid fall, I was gob smacked about how on earth they built it without damaging the nature around it. It apparently started back in 1988 when George Grant Mackay, a Scottish Engineer bought 6,000 acres of land and they used horses to take hemp ropes across the river so they could build a little cabin on the other side and use a small footbridge made of hemp rope and cedar planks to get across. When you start to walk along the bridge, you need to just walk steadily across and not move side to side or else you rock the bridge and others walking tend to find it hard to walk when it’s rocking. I love to push the boundaries so of course, I secretly tried to see what I could get away with rocking. The next minute I hear through this speaker mid way on the bridge “Rocking the bridge is forbidden”. Oops, I pretend of course, it isn’t me, and then look ahead to see a bridge officer at the end watching over the bridge. It is fun to experience. When you get to the other side, they have some information signs posted up about the animals in the area etc. There are more wooden bridges set up to allow you to walk around and also experience what it is like looking over the top of the treetops. The energy at the place is really beautiful and a nice day out. Keeping in mind that it mostly rains in Vancouver, they give you rain ponchos that are bright yellow, in case you get stuck in the rain. If you go to the three main attractions at the site, you get to see the bridge from another angle by walking along other bridges that give you a different look of the nature reserve. It is really peaceful. I had my Mark III and enjoyed taking photos and filming.

There is a cafe just past the entrance where you can have some lunch and coffee and just take your time. If you are by yourself and are on a mission, you can do the whole thing in 2 hours with great photos etc. There is a tourist shop next to the cafe and it stocks lots of Maple Syrup products (Which Canada is known for their Maple Syrup). It also has T-shirts, jumpers etc with ‘Vancouver’ and ‘Suspension Bridge’ on it. They actually allow you to order their products if you email retail@capbridge.com

I couldn’t help myself and checked out the Fudge section in the shop and aren’t I glad I did. I ordered the dark chocolate and caramel fudge combined with sea salt on top. It would have to be the best fudge I have eaten in my life. It was amazing. In fact, after writing this blog, I am about to ring them and see if they deliver the actual fudge interstate to Montreal. I can’t stop thinking about how good it was. I really regret only buying one piece. I broke it up into small pieces so the taste would last and I could remember how good it was.

IMG_0374
When you finish the tour and bridge walk, you go out through the entrance and if you managed to participate on the ‘Collect the stamps’ game they run, you hand it in, and get a certificate for making it over the bridge. The game is really set up for kids, to make sure they reach each point they need to locate and get their form stamped to verify they have been to that location. I secretly think adults have more fun doing this and it’s funny to see how committed adults are to making sure their kids get the stamps. I got a certificate too. Not because i participated in the stamp game, but because I played dumb saying I didn’t see the actual form and I really wanted a certificate because I crossed the bridge hahhaa. He gave me one with a smile. Here it is below.

IMG_0351

 

Below are all the photos I took of the trip at the actual park and some of the displays they have presented on site.

IMG_0349 7R1A1833 7R1A1834 7R1A1835 7R1A1836 7R1A1838 7R1A1839 7R1A1841 7R1A1842 7R1A1843 7R1A1844 7R1A1845 7R1A1846 7R1A1847 7R1A1849 7R1A1853 7R1A1854 7R1A1855 7R1A1856 7R1A1860 7R1A1861 7R1A1862 7R1A1864 7R1A1865 7R1A1866 7R1A1870 7R1A1871 7R1A1873 7R1A1874 7R1A1876 7R1A1880 7R1A1882 7R1A1884 7R1A1885 7R1A1888 7R1A1890 7R1A1891 7R1A1892 7R1A1893 7R1A1894 7R1A1896 7R1A1898 7R1A1899 7R1A1900 7R1A1901 7R1A1902 7R1A1904 7R1A1905 7R1A1906 7R1A1908 7R1A1909 7R1A1910 7R1A1912 7R1A1913 7R1A1914 7R1A1917 7R1A1918 7R1A1919 7R1A1921 7R1A1922 7R1A1923 7R1A1926 7R1A1927 7R1A1929 7R1A1933 7R1A1934 7R1A1935 IMG_0322 IMG_0324 IMG_0328 IMG_0329 IMG_0330 IMG_0331 IMG_0332 IMG_0334 IMG_0335 IMG_0336 IMG_0337 IMG_0338 IMG_0339 IMG_0340 IMG_0341 IMG_0342 IMG_0343 IMG_0345 IMG_0346 IMG_0348

Next time you are in Vancouver, check out the bridge, save some money for the actual fudge experience of the dark chocolate and caramel one specifically and order a whole heap of it. Enjoy!!!!

On the way back down, nicely ask the bus driver to drop you off at Stanley Park and hire a bike and ride around the park. It is a must see, very beautiful. The bus drivers are not meant to drop you off, but if you are nice enough, they may just throw you out hahaha.

 

 

Old Montreal Canada

I love this town. I cannot wait until Summer until I can go down here and be amongst the beauty and atmosphere in this great part of the city of Montreal, Canada. It is bloody cool.

It reminds me of Spain, Italy (Rome) and a touch of London architecture. It certainly has a european feel and considering most of the signs are in French, let’s throw Paris into the equation, except I haven’t been there, so I can only imagine.

Anyway, I want to share these photos with you of Old Montreal because I love it. The waterside is really nice and you can just stroll or roller blade along it, taking in the old train track and the boats docked in the harbour. There is a science exhibition right on the water too and apparently in summer it’s full of people.

I’m excited as summer is approaching.

IMG_0061 IMG_0062 IMG_0063 IMG_0064 IMG_0065 IMG_0069 IMG_0070 IMG_0071 IMG_0123 IMG_0124 IMG_0125 IMG_0126 IMG_0127 IMG_0128 IMG_0130 IMG_0133 IMG_0135 IMG_0136 IMG_0137 IMG_0138 IMG_0139 IMG_0140 IMG_0141 IMG_0142 IMG_0143 IMG_0144 IMG_0145 IMG_0146 IMG_0148 IMG_0150 IMG_0151 IMG_0153 IMG_0154 IMG_0155 IMG_0156 IMG_0157 IMG_0160 IMG_0161 IMG_0162 IMG_0163 IMG_0165 IMG_0166 IMG_0168 IMG_0169 IMG_0171 IMG_0172 IMG_0173 IMG_0174 IMG_0175 IMG_0176 IMG_0177 IMG_0178 IMG_0179 IMG_0180 IMG_0183 IMG_0185 IMG_0187 IMG_0188 IMG_0189 IMG_0190 IMG_0191 IMG_0192 IMG_0193 IMG_0195 IMG_0199 IMG_0200 IMG_0201 IMG_0203 IMG_0204 IMG_0205 IMG_0206 IMG_0207 IMG_0208 IMG_0210 IMG_0212 IMG_0213 IMG_0214 IMG_0215 IMG_0218 IMG_0219 IMG_0221 IMG_0223 IMG_0225 IMG_0226 IMG_0227 IMG_0228 IMG_0229 IMG_0230 IMG_0231 IMG_0232 IMG_0233 IMG_0234 IMG_0235 IMG_0236 IMG_0237 IMG_0238 IMG_0239 IMG_0240 IMG_0241 IMG_0242 IMG_0244 IMG_0245 IMG_0246 IMG_0247 IMG_0248 IMG_0249 IMG_0250 IMG_0251 IMG_0252 IMG_0253 IMG_0254 IMG_0255 IMG_0256 IMG_0257 IMG_0258 IMG_0259 IMG_0260 IMG_0261 IMG_0262 IMG_0263 IMG_0265 IMG_0266 IMG_0267 IMG_0268 IMG_0269 IMG_0270 IMG_0271 IMG_0272 IMG_0273 IMG_0274 IMG_0275 IMG_0276 IMG_0277 IMG_0278 IMG_0279 IMG_0280 IMG_0282 IMG_0283 IMG_0285 IMG_0286 IMG_0287 IMG_0288 IMG_0289 IMG_0290 IMG_0291

Just Thai – Canada

Just Thai is great. Service is wonderful, the atmosphere in the little one we go to in Terrabonne is so cute and intimate, its fantastic for dinner.

I order number 95 which is aubergines with a few vegetables but i get them to put peking duck in it also and it tastes sensational. I love it. You need some plain rice to be able to soak up a little of the sauce on it but it’s not much sauce. Probably oil from frying the aubergines/eggplants. The tom yum soup is also amazing. I try and get it mild but its apparently best with full spice.

I thought id share this because the idea of good food is always nice to share.

IMG_0623 My aubergine and duck dish with zuchinni too. YummmmIMG_0624 The margarita was amazing…IMG_0625 These noodles look hard but they soften with the sauce. What a cool idea and it was my friends dish and it tasted great. IMG_0626 IMG_0627

Cactus Club Cafe Vancouver

Cactus Club is the ‘latest trend’ in Vancouver. This particular cafe only opened in the past 12 months and it is a huge venue that gets ridiculously packed out at lunchtime. I went there at 1130am and was seated. By 1230pm, the cafe was full with a line up of people waiting to be seated. There are a few Cactus Club Cafes that are now opened but this one in the heart of the city, and in walking distance from the Four Seasons Hotel was a great choice.

The waitresses are really quirky and they remind me of the waitresses in the 70s in the old fonz days. Their hairstyles were lifted and curved like beehives and in skirts and heels flirting with the male customers. This is what this cafe is like so when I look around at the mostly male filled room, I completely understand the market they are targeting. High ceilings, trendy furniture, opened windows all around with views of the high rise buildings.

The lady recommended I try the rocket and goats cheese salad and it was delicious. Wasn’t totally keen on the coffee they served but the rest was great. I took a few photos of the atmosphere and some snaps of the waitresses inside. The chef is the first iron chef in Canada, Rob Feenie and they rave about his food. I enjoyed what I ate but I’d need to try a lot more dishes to rate the overall quality.

I loved the lights as they looked like pumpkins hanging from the ceiling. 7R1A1777 7R1A1780 7R1A1781 7R1A1788 7R1A1793 IMG_0320 Directions to walk from the Four Seasons HotelIMG_0321 The rocket and goats cheese salad with chicken. IMG_0325 IMG_0326 IMG_0327

 

Bloody Henry at Canada Film Festival

I love creating films, thinking of stories and bringing them to life. I completed a film back in early January 2012 called Bloody Henry. I wanted to make a suspense film that made people laugh too. I came up with the idea of this film when there was a theme at Tropfest for lightbulb. I needed to find an older woman and a much older man to represent older men suffering from Dementia and alzheimer’s disease. I found Tina Bursill, who in the past, has won Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series called Skyways back in the 70s. I found Kevin Healy to play Henry and both of them bring so many years acting experience to the film that it was great working with them. They did a great job and I hardly needed to direct much with Tina as she was brilliant to work with. Both of them have had a long career in Australian Television.

The film is only 7 minutes in length and it was filmed in Sydney. It has recently won a place in the Official Selection of the Canada International Film Festival which means it will premiere on April 5th 2013. I am so pleased that this short film will start to be seen in the festivals.

To see the trailer of the film, check out this link.

The film was shot by Christopher McHardy and edited by George Gryllis.

The flyers for the film designed by Steve Fanale
Bloody Henry JPGThe Riding Santa
IMG_4728 Kevin Healy as HenryScreenshot Bloody HenryBROUGHT TO YOU BY:

LSBS WHITE HD LOGO for POSTER AND DVD