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.

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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).

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?

My Weekly Adventures: The Calm Before the Storm

Welcome to the mid-April Weekly Adventures! Its a bit weird to call this the calm before the storm as we supposedly should have had a rain storm (there was a rainfall warning on The Weather Network) but it was a lot more mild than expected. Regardless, my meaning is that the first half of April was relatively calm but the second half of April is going to be crazy. I sometimes skip the month end April Adventures post because my life is going to be mostly work and more overtime work so just putting it out there in case, things get crazy. For now though, April was a little quiet, mostly because there weren’t any holidays and then nothing huge happened and I didn’t really do a whole lot of anything. Still, let’s see if I can rummage something to talk about. I will end with some little planning things I have set for myself in anticipation for some stuff down the line.

Restaurant ChuChai

I’m going to keep this short since I already did a small post on it before. ChuChai is a Thai vegan restaurant. It was a spontaneous visit to say the least while being in the area.

You can check out the entire Restaurant ChuChai post HERE.

Courses Thematiques Le Tour D’Horloge (& Old Montreal Stroll)

old montreal

old montreal

old montreal

To be clear, my outdoor running season hasn’t started. I’ll talk about that at the end of the post. My friend’s that I help out has. This was a new one for him but it was a nice double race to start with a 5 km and 8 km. To be honest, I’m considering this one for next year, the 5km probably since its still early in the season and on the rare occasion, I’d have time to run in March. Either way, my friend did alright especially for the first outdoor races. However, I liked it mostly because I got to finally walk around during that time and take some nice pictures in Old Montreal. I work around the area but its not the same on a weekend morning or when its gloomy and stuff. The emptiness of it in some areas makes for some nice pictures. I only showed two with actual runners in the background. Talking about the race, the course looks pretty nice.

L’Instant at Casino De Montreal (again)

Casino de Montreal

One of my friends are on a gaining casino points mission so its been all about taking advantage of the bonus points events so on the start of a gloomy weekend, we went out to have dinner. I finally got to try Fish & Chips there which was what I wanted to try last time but decided to choose the pasta instead. It was the special of the day and I don’t think its a permanent selection? I really don’t know the menu here at the L’Instant, the deli at the casino that well. Either way, it was pretty good. I only went to the casino to eat so it was pretty much in and out.

Upcoming Plans: Workout Plan

As the 2 months and one week countdown starts until my best friend’s wedding and I’m one of the bridesmaids, I need to lose some of my winter fat and get a little more in shape (at least to make sure that I can still get into the dress at the end of June. I have started walking the stairs to the office at our building and trying to not take the elevator. Its been  pretty nice. The project coming up is finding a cardio and weights workout schedule that I know that I can stick to and try to eat more healthier. I’d like to start clean eating again but I’m not sure that I’m totally ready for it. Either way, I’m going to gradually try to get back to a more balanced diet, more veggies probably. Gardening season also starts soon and weather is starting to be good for running so I’m looking forward to putting some outdoors activities in as well as in May, hiking starts. So, I’ll work it out accordingly. Especially going to try to add in using the park workout stations facilities to incorporate something different to the running path. I won’t do a segment specifically for workout (too many segments right now) but I will do some updates here. 🙂

Cute Kitty Pic

That’s it for this Adventures post!
Its been relatively calm lately and its nice since I’m enjoying the staying at home time.

Hopefully I keep up with posting (or getting things done in bulk beforehand) for the second half of April.

My Weekly Adventures: Birthday Post!

Welcome to the weekly adventures!

I’m 33 today! Just taking it easy like every other year. Some plans are postponed to next week and some keeping to this one. However, this post might seem a bit long although very suitable that its a food heavy post seeing as I love to try new things and hang out with friends over meals.

Festival G: Perles et Paddock

perles et paddock

Kicking off was the replacement for Battle of Ingredients in March and we went to check out Perles et Paddock and their menu for the Festival G, a new festival in Griffintown area of Montreal. I’ve already talked extensively about it in a post before so I’m not going to talk too much about it.

You can find the post HERE.

Casino de Montreal: L’Instant

L'Instant Casino de Montreal

My office move finally happened after much delay. Its a whole lot of adapting and such. I have no pictures as I don’t really want to share that part of my life. However, after that early start, things wrapped up a tad early as well and my friend who eats some expensive meals at the casino wanted to redeem some points so picked me up from work and we went to eat at the deli there called L’Instant. I hadn’t been there since it had been renovated. I got the pasta quattro which is a fairly good deal at $15.95 for pasta (where you can choose out of 4 types of pasta, 3 kinds of sauce and 4 groups of ingredients), soup, garlic bread and a drink. I like the whole having a choice to DIY your own pasta.

March Birthdays Group Celebration

Last Saturday, we had a big family party as the whole in-laws side (almost) has their birthdays in March, just like myself. We got together for a delivery chicken meal like previous years and spent time just catching up and chatting. Its always a nice time with family to just hang out. We’re all busy with our own lives so we take these moments when we can.

Plattsburgh US Grocery/Snack Haul

Market 32 by Pricechoppers

Walmart

Target

Last Sunday, I headed out with my friend to Plattsburgh to do a little grocery run. It was more for snacks and such and it was to pick up some goodies for the husband’s birthday. We had an early start so came back fairly early as well. We went to Target where I stocked up on some Spring & Easter Oreos, Easter Lindt bunnies, some L’arabar flavors that we don’t have in Montreal and some Pressed Coconut Coconut Water. The coconut water isn’t here either the last time I checked. Next stop was Walmart where I kept it fairly tight as I picked up unfrosted Pop Tarts (which I don’t get why isn’t in Montreal), Birthday Oreos (they are my husband’s favorite), and some Love Crunch granola which are super expensive and much smaller package. Last stop was Market 32 by Pricechoppers where I picked up some discounted Kind bars. They were $10 for 10 which is, even after exchange, a better deal. I’m stocked up for snacks for at least 2 to 3 months now.

Restaurant: Le Belle et La Boeuf

Le Belle et La Boeuf

For the husband’s birthday, I took him out for a long-awaited date together. We rarely go eat out together unless its for film festivals or something so we wanted to go try something new. I already posted about La Belle et La Boeuf HERE.

Birthday Breakfast & Marché Jean Talon

Le Cartet

Every year for my birthday, my friend takes me out for a big meal. Although I get to choose any breakfast place, I can’t seem to get past going to Le Cartet which is super delicious. My fave is their Brunch Canton which I absolutely love. The ham is so awesome and the sausages are good. Its really great. I probably talked about it in previous posts but still, if you are in Montreal, like breakfasts and want somewhere delicious in the Old Montreal area, this one is definitely one to consider and probably go to.

Marché Jean Talon

Westrose

Westrose

After that, we had some parking left so we headed to a new bakery that opened around the corner that I walk by to go to work called Westrose and picked up a loaf of bread for my husband. We took a quick run to Marché Jean Talon. I haven’t been there since at least 15 years ago. I remember going when I was really young so it was nice to head back. I didn’t buy a ton of food since we still had stuff at home but got so beautiful looking brussel sprouts and since I can’t eat most cakes and don’t want to bake a cake for myself, I decided to pick up a strawberry-rhubarb pie at Creations Madeleine. Its a really delicious pie.

Its my Birthday so shameless selfie time 😉

That’s it for this Adventures post!
It was a bit overloaded with stuff but hey, promise April will be much less adventurous!