Hiking: Mont Chapman (Stokes, Quebec)

The next hike went back to probably one of the most popular areas in Quebec and pretty well-known for its nature and that’s the Eastern Townships. After some research, we landed on finding this location called Mont Chapman. Its one of the farther hiking trails in Eastern Townships as we headed into a smaller country road that lead to a little parking lot in the middle of nowhere, with actually a few cars as the starting point for the hike.

Mont Chapman

The part that we did is the Boucle du Mont Chapman which goes around. We ended up doing the entire loop (and some more…I’ll talk about that later). Its pretty much a loop to the summit and back. With the shorter distance and the height of the summit, the elevation went up fairly quickly and it was almost a constant sloped trek, which is one of the bigger challenges of the path especially going upwards. We took the 4.9 km path upwards and did the 3.3 km downwards.

The path was pretty well maintained. There are a lot of little stones and twigs sticking out of the path through which can be hidden by all the fallen leaves. That is the only issue but its all about being observant. At the same time, there are some efforts to put planks to cross over little streams and some steps were made out of the terrain to help the process. There are some rocky steps as well. If not, in the little streams area, there are little rocks to walk over to stay a little more dry. It has to do with the weather still be cooler and more rainy this spring, I think. There were also some unique things like walking between boulders to get to the other side or on the down path, there’s some boulders to climb down from, as expected as the return trip is shorter distance, making it a steeper downhill trek.

And then, the view at the summit had a few angles, here it is:

Mont Chapman

Its a pretty hard track to be honest and it probably has to do with the fact that we expected it to be milder than it turned out to be. The issue with expectations, right? Either way, it was listed as an intermediary path, I believe but at times it did have some difficult moments. Setting that aside, my biggest issue was that we went the 4.9km path up where you follow the orange and white indicators on the trees, but going down, we had to follow the red and white indicators and man, was that confusing. Why I said that we ended up doing more than the total was because in between, we had to try three paths and each headed back to the fork, taking us over an hour to figure out where to go while walking up some really steep paths up and down to come to the conclusion to go back to the summit and take the path back and realized there was a sign at another angle in the distance that gave you the right path to follow. A lot of issues for my ankles (almost twisted it a few times on the downward jumps or hidden protruding rocks) on this one hike that I had to use some the trusty KT Tape and we had bought recently. That’s one of my complaints about this track, the unclear signage. While a part of the path has some work being done and didn’t have an alternate route so we checked that it was still just muddy but safe so kept going through the area to get to the other side since it was so close to the summit.

On the more positive side, this was the hike that got us ready for some harder trails. While we were both fed up of the trail on the way back and it was a tad painful (for my ankle specifically), there is a good amount of satisfaction to toughing it out and getting through it at the same time, having a good idea that we’ve really improved our preparedness over the years that we still had water left and food to sustain our energy. Not to mention, we had also got some pasta salads in the cooler at the car as a reward.

This was a rough one. 
Can’t say the view was a huge reward since it was also bug-infested. Insect repellant is a must on this trail.
We are hoping to squeeze in one or two more hikes before event season starts up in July. 😉

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My Weekly Adventures: Hiking, Grand Prix and Food!

Its mid-June now! Summer is just around the corner although the weather probably doesn’t really feel like it much. Its been feeling very spring lately, which is normal but its been a while spring has lasted so long. Either way, enough about the weather. With the season well underway, we’ve been keeping ourselves eventful while different events have been showing up as well. I’ll wrap up with a little gardening update.

Hiking: Parc de la Yamaska

Parc National de la Yamaska

June kicked off with our walk in Yamaska National Park. Its a casual walk along a fairly flat walk also set for cyclists as well. Its one thats great to kick off the beginning of the season. You can see the full recap HERE.

Grand Prix in Downtown Montreal

Grand Prix

As usual, Grand Prix landed in Downtown Montreal last weekend. Its always a busy weekend. I ended going with my mom for dinner at Noodle Factory in Chinatown and then heading to see the stuff going on on Peel and Crescent Street. This year was pretty disappointing. It felt not very special with not a lot of cars in general being showcased. It was kind of boring..although the music performed on the Crescent stage was probably the best show I’ve seen so I believe the line-up might be the highlight.

Hiking: Mont Chapman

Mont Chapman

Being the hiking crazy people that we are trying to be and working hard to keep up with it as much as we can before any potential things with events all pan out in July, plus the weather being cooler works well for those long hikes. After some long debate, we ended up going to the Eastern Townships in the middle of nowhere on a mountain hiking trail that we found called Mont Chapman. I have a few good things to say about this, mostly how challenging it was and how I somewhat disagree on the difficulty level they put it as and well, some complaints as well about this location and warnings/suggestions I’d give on this hiking track. That is coming up very soon in the hiking recap for this one. 😉

E3 2019

As usual, we had our E3 2019 off site coverage over at Game Warp. I talked about it over at the What’s Up segment this past week. It did set the course off over here a tad bit but other than some late posts, most of what I wanted to do still stayed relatively on track. You can find all the written recap coverage on Game Warp blog HERE.

Shopping Haul: Prep for Bridesmaid Duty

Its a week until my best friend gets married. I decided to take care of my hair and make-up so I had to go hunt down some stuff since I don’t normally put on make-up or do my hair in any particular way.  I did also get a curling iron which was on sale. I have a general concept of how do it and its going to simple but still match with the dress. Anyways, lots of new things that I’m trying out here so I’ll have to do a test-run at some point before since its a fairly early morning.

Gardening Update

Flower Garden Flower Garden

First part of the gardening update is planting in the flowers that I didn’t get around to plant the last time. Its not too obvious but I ended up putting the Hibiscus into the patch because I lost my chrysanthemums. And then in the other patch, I pulled up some of the other plants that was there that wasn’t looking too healthy and put in some foliage and the Monarda (Bee Balm).

Garden

Cabbage, Marigolds & Lettuce/Kale

Vegetable Garden

Vegetable Garden

Gardening

Kale, Tomatoes, etc

The vegetables are all in. The garden is now all planted. The cabbage/marigold containers are growing very well. At the same time, the kale and the lettuce containers are also growing incredibly fast and pretty much ready for the first harvest. As for the poor tomato plant that was supposed to be hanging, it looks so miserable even through the last few rainy days.

Restaurants

Noodle Factory Noodle Factory

The restaurant that my mom and I went to was Noodle Factory in Chinatown. We got some pan-fried dumplings and then some fried handmade noodles. They were pretty decent.

Labothery

Labothery

A new bubble tea concept place opened up in Quartier Dix30 called Labothery. I will do a more elaborate post for it soon. Its a neat concept but as with any customizable ideas, the price increases accordingly.

Cute Kitty Pic

Cat

That’s it for this Weekly Adventures!
Its been a fun two weeks even though a bit busy as I was working out some press pass application also! 
Events are coming up in Montreal so I’m hoping to get ahead with some posts.

Hiking: Parc National de la Yamaska (La Digue & La Pinede Trail)

Hiking is still top on our list of activities when we get to chance on the weekends. The last weekend, we headed out a little later than normal due to a prior appointment. After some thinking, we decided to go for a closer location and ended up going to Parc National de la Yamaska (Yamaska National Park) which is mostly known for the Yamaska Beach. I hadn’t gone to this park since a really long time ago. At least over 20 years ago, I’d say when I went with my mom and her friends to the beach. However, its been so long that I don’t remember any of it.

One quick walk around, you can see that there are a lot of water sports that are available on site. At the same time, the hiking trails are for both cycling and walking and if it interests you, it seems there are some winter trails here as well.

Parc National de la Yamaska

While we would have wanted to their Grand Tour trail, which is 19+km long, it just felt more like a cycling trail to do in a day rather than walking so in the end, we decided to go via the La Digue trail and connect to the La Pinede Trail. Parc National de la Yamaska is a fairly flat park so there aren’t a lot of elevations or many views either but they do have a few spots that we found. Its not exactly exciting in terms of hikes but it is a good one to kick off the season and warm up a little before hitting anything more intense.

I’m not exactly sure where the La Digue actually starts so I’m just going to share some pictures.

Along the path we found a little lookout path that pretty much looked out at the river. It didn’t really have a lot to see but there was some views of the water sports going on outside.

On the La Digue Trail, there is also a secondary path. The La Digue also leads to the Choiniere Reservoir which is a stone wall on the North Yamaska River. There are some signs that talk about the wildlife there as well and looks out into the best view on the trail (in my opinion).

Parc National de la Yamaska Parc National de la Yamaska

The rest of the trail looks a bit like this…

Parc National de la Yamaska

Parc National de la Yamaska

Parc National de la Yamaska

That’s really it for this walk. We walked probably around 10km and something. Its a nice little walk although a little lacking on the viewpoints (as mentioned before).

Music Obsessions – June 2019

Music Obsessions (2)

Its the first weekend of a new month and that means time for this month’s Music Obsessions! Its been a fun and colorful month to say the least. There was a lot of music that I discovered and some new artists that I’m following.

Hot Blood – KALEO

Its been a while since I’ve listened to Kaleo. I love their style a lot and it was when I went to Brasserie Elements (recap HERE) that I heard this song and it is really awesome. It was then that I introduced my husband to Kaleo (at least the songs that I had already known) and then we went on to look for some other songs as well to dive further into their work.

你,好不好? How Have You Been? – Eric Zhou 周興哲

While I’ve known of Eric Zhou for a while in the Chinese music industry, I haven’t really heard much from him however this song was picked as a performance vocal song list in Produce Camp 2019 so I went to listen to the original and have been absolutely in love with it. The lyrics and the tune itself is really good.

工筆 – Awaken-F

The newest song from Awaken-F is really good. It has that ancient Chinese music instruments sort of usage but also keeps it very soothing and energetic. I like this stuff every once in a while and to be honest, I can see this as part of some TV series set in ancient China soundtrack.

作為怪物 As A Monster- 李宇春 Chris Lee x 吳青峰 Qing Feng Wu

My favorite song and the most recent release in this batch of music obsession. This one has all the elements that I love. I had never listened to Chris Lee before but I’m definitely sold on her voice. Its really unique and matching with Qing Feng Wu’s voice, it works so well and they have similar styles in their music. Its more indie but this one is so fun and addictive.

Where Do You  Go – Shaun Frank (feat. Lexy Panterra)

It feels like a while since I’ve shared some electronic music but I like Shaun Frank’s music ever since I heard Heaven so I was intrigued right away. This one didn’t disappoint at all. I like the video and I like the energy of the song in general.

FIREMAN – Produce Camp 2019 Original Production Performance

And a little extra bit..since I don’t usually share anything from these variety competition show things except as little ending pieces. However, in their specialty performances which was separated in dance, vocal and original production categories, one of the two teams doing original production not only completed a completely original song but also managed to deliver a great performance called Fireman. Really talented! I like this song a ton.

That’s it for this Music Obsessions!
What have you been listening to on repeat?

My Weekly Adventures: Let the Gardening Begin!

And May has come to an end! Man, this year is flying by. Its hard to imagine that we are almost at the half year mark. I’m not sure how to recap the last half of the month, probably in frequent garden oriented content. As mentioned before, Gardening updates might just stick to these updates now since I don’t really have too much on the schedule once festival seasons start and such (depending on situation and work, of course) so to keep things interesting, I’ll be tracking some other stuff in this segment starting with this Adventures post. 🙂

Gardening Hauls (over 2 weekends)

1st Haul: Geranium Citronella, Green Lettuce, Kale, Foliage, Monarda, English Lavender, Cabbage, Phlox

The first haul was quite disorganized. The main thing was that I wanted to go but had a lot of unformed ideas and unset plans on the whole landscaping aspect. Plus, the weather was still a bit too chilly for vegetables be in ground, without risk of losing the crop so I stuck with some safe choices and perennials. You may notice that I picked up cabbage when I had completely planned on getting brussel sprouts and only realized when I got home that it was the wrong thing. Oh well, guess that’s my experimental crop for this year.

2nd Haul: Marigold, Snapdragons, Phlox, Campanula, English Lavender, Thyme, Sedum, Aster

On Victoria Day, after some debate and discussion with the husband to clear my mind a little, we decided to go back with a solid plan on how to take care of the the bee garden plans I had wanted to do. We settled on where to plant it and how to set it up and then what flowers to get along with getting the final pieces to my mosquito repellant container garden as well.

3rd Haul: Eggplant, Cherry Tomato, Cucumber, Zucchini, Red Bell Pepper, Green Bell Pepper, Carmen Pepper

The weekend after, we went again for (probably not the final) time to get the vegetable plants. We decided since the last visit to get a hanging tomato plant (which might not be hanging anymore after some observation) and a bunch of other ones: the husband’s must-have is cucumbers and peppers, my must-have is zucchini and decided to try another variety of eggplant, hoping that its the type that I like.

Battle of Ingredients

Chicken Skewers

We finally got back to Battle of Ingredients with the whole gang and trying out our new barbecue. The husband was the grill master while Phoebe and I got all the food prep done. You can check out the recap post and some of the marinade and recipes HERE.

Ottawa Day Trip & Haul

Ottawa marathon weekend happened last weekend. While I don’t go with my friend to help with the racing anymore, my husband and I do head down to check up and hang out on the Saturday before his 5K and 10K race in the morning and leave in early afternoon. We also go because Eddie Bauer usually has great sales to replenish some hiking gear. This year, I ended up being the big purchaser and getting some new long hiking pants. I only had capris, which made the last hiking a bit complicated as I had to go in my jeans. We stopped at LCBO to pick up some Ontario Ciders and the husband wanted to get more Hard Root Beer. I went to Disney Store because to add another Disney plush to my collection. While there was a heavy debate between Timon (The Lion King) and Steamboat Mickey, the latter won the debate mostly because its price tag matched its size and Steamboat Mickey adds to my Mickey collection. I should do an Instagram post of all my Mickey plushes. We also went to the running convention to get some tape and ended up picking up KT Tape. The husband needs it for hiking while I need it for running. One of the main reasons that my running season hasn’t started yet. After that for the final visit is always T&T Supermarket to get some hot food for dinner, get some fun snacks and pick some cute stuff. We tried out this very interesting concept of heat-conducting hot pot sort of cup noodles. I’ve seen it in TV series before so was interested about how it works. It works fine except they only have extreme spicy varieties so we ate two pieces, had a bowl of ice cream to wash away the burning heat in our mouths and threw it out. If you like spicy things, its pretty cool though just to watch the process and then have this cool eating experience.

Gardening Update

Bee Garden

Bee Garden

The bee-friendly garden has gone next to the vegetable garden. Its a good spot because its next to the blueberry and the echinacea which are also bee-friendly plants that was already there. We left some space for all the perennials to grow into place while leaving room to swap around the annuals every year as I like to other bee-friendly flowers. I still have some grass and weed removal to maintain this space but I’ll get around to it soon.

Container Gardening

Cabbage & Marigold

Since I got the cabbage with not a whole lot of knowledge, I did some quick research and found that it companions well with marigolds so hence, these containers are now all over my garden. The hope is that the cabbage will grow well and have enough room. If not, it’ll be leaves I guess and beautiful flowers. I do have some cabbage going in ground so we can see which works where better.

Much of the same as last year. I have some lettuce in hanging basket and some hanging off the back patio. This year, we are changing up the garden as well so where I put my kale is where I’ll have more container gardening while also opening up a raised garden.

That’s the update for now! I’ll be doing more gardening to finish getting everything planting this weekend.

Restaurant: Yunnan Rice Noodles

YUNNAN RICE NOODLES

Not going to say too much about this restaurant visit but a new(ish) restaurant opened up on the South Shore of Montreal and I went with my friend to check it out. I’ve never had this Yunnan Rice Noodles which is quite unique in how its presented especially the traditional rice noodle variety. I will do a recap post on the experience very soon (probably next week)!

Cute Kitty Pic

Kitty Cat

That’s it for this adventures post!
What have you been up to?

Hiking: Gatineau Park -Sugarbush Trail/Waterfall Trail (Gatineau, Canada)

Hiking season has officially started for us! At the point that this post is going out, most national parks and provincial parks around us should be open. It wasn’t quite the case the previous week when we went to Gatineau Park as they were in a transition phase and only certain trails were open.

The first stop we made was at the information center at Gatineau Park. In that area, the only path open was the Sugarbush Trail. We ended up doing that one as a warm-up since we were already there before heading to the next area.

Sugarbush Trail

Sugarbush Trail

The Sugarbush Trail is one of the winter hiking trails at Gatineau Park. It runs for 1.9 km all around. Its a fairly flat trail with just the normal nature scenery like a mild walk in the forest. Its a good place to warm-up especially since its our first hike just to warm up the legs. There are a few little things to see but it also is quite packed with people. We weren’t sure if its because its an easy trail or the fact that it was the one at the Visitor Centre and people just went because they were already there. Whatever the reason, good warm-up but not really something challenging either.

Moving on to the next trail..this time at P6 of Gatineau Park running through Mackenzie King Estate is the Waterfall Trail.

Window to the Forest

P6 is the parking at the Mackenzie King Estate which we also haven’t been to before so it was an adventure to also see the parts of it that were open. I didn’t really take any pictures of it other than this Window To the Forest one.

We had to cut through the Gardens to reach the Waterfall Trail.  Here’s a few pictures of the the constant running creeks along the way, which is exactly the type of hiking trail that I like because water sounds are about the most soothing in the entire world (at least to me). There is a little bit of elevation here as well but it is fairly gradual.

Waterfall Trail Gatineau Park

The trail starts in its first part with a creek running alongside. As we we walk further on, its a fairly tame experience. The forest is calm and quiet.

As we head into the second part crossing towards the waterfalls area, we need to traverse through a tunnel which is pretty much a giant pipe. Cue in all the horror films that I’ve seen before where it was in some dark passageway. This one is done pretty well however because it has a nice wooden pathway inside.

Gatineau Park

Waterfall Trail Gatineau Park

On the other side of the tunnel, the ground elevation still is fairly gradual in change but there are more of the little drops in water throughout. Its one of those parts that are particularly  nice to see. The water is still more of a creek winding to the waterfall, which marks the end of the trail. You can see it below.

Waterfall Trail Gatineau Park

Waterfalls are a my thing for sure. Its one of the reasons a lot of the times, our trails have some kind of waterfall for my likes or some peak of the mountain view. The waterfall isn’t exactly the biggest we’ve seen but then its also quite surprising that hidden in the woods behind the Mackenzie King Estate is this beautiful walk in the park. You can’t say that Mackenzie King didn’t know how to enjoy life back in the days, right?

That’s it for our first official hike recap at Gatineau Park. 
My guess is that we’ll go back to Gatineau Park later in the summer to check out another trail.
Or at least until the summer trails officially kick in because when we went it was still the winter trails which were quite limited. 

My Weekly Adventures: Day Trips, Hiking and Foodie Adventures!

Its a day of recaps today! After this morning’s What’s Up, we are going to see the last 2 weeks adventures. Its been a lot more adventurous than normal. Most will have its own post at some point as I sort through pictures and writing and such but here’s a nice overall look at what’s been going on.

Brasserie Elements

Smoked BBQ Chicken Wings

Its been a while since we’ve had date night. My husband had a bit of work change and because of that we had time to go out for a spontaneous night out for dinner. We chose to check out Brasserie Elements.

You can see my overlook of the Brasserie Elements HERE.

Parc de la Chute-Montmorency & Restaurant Cochon Dingue

Parc de la Chute Montmorency

On the same weekend, we also decided to kick off out hiking travels and headed out for a more travel and sightseeing than hiking journey to Parc de la Chute-Montmorency. It turned out to have a lot of nice pictures and I saw a different side on this visit. I was able to see so much more this time after so many years.

You can see the recap of the time at Parc de la Chute-Montmorency HERE.

Restaurant Nom Nom

After a crazy time at work, my coworkers and I went out for a lunch out. We had a few choices but finally decided to go to my suggestion at Nom Nom at the W Hotel. If you were following here back in November 2018, we went for the MTL a Table back then. You can see it HERE.

This time going back, it was with the normal lunch menu. I’ll have a post on that later this week.

Gatineau Park & Mackenzie King Estate

This past weekend, we went looking for out next hiking location. We decided to go to Gatineau Park which  had some trails open. Due to their park situations, only certain trails were open. We ended up going to Sugarbush Trail and the Mackenzie King Estate area primarily towards the waterfall. Its really nice and I have a ton of pictures so I’m going to share a post on this location and kickoff the actual hiking season for this year.

Brasserie t!

brasserie t

Let the foodie adventures continue, right? I went out for a week night dinner to check out the Brasserie T! at Hotel Alt in the Quartier Dix30. A little hint to those interested in checking out this place, remember to ask for their special because its not on the menu and the waiter/waitress will let you know whats on the menu. I’ll do a short post on this as well in the coming week! I think its a pretty nice place and makes me wonder about their downtown location, which I have yet to go try.

Cute Kitty Pic

Kitty

That’s it for this weekly adventures!
I was mostly travel and food, which is pretty much how I like it!

Have you been on any adventures lately?