My January Adventures

Welcome friends! January is behind us now! It was so busy that it almost felt like a blink of an eye and it was gone. Montreal is in lockdown and ongoing curfew but the whole being busy actually made this whole thing not very bothersome either except for some appointments that needed to be swapped around. This January was probably the least post that I’ve ever posted for the month despite all the craziness at work. This month’s adventures isn’t exactly anything exciting, just a few little updates!

Tranquil Dreams Podcast

Perhaps one of the biggest announcements for here is the launching of the podcast for this blog called Tranquil Dreams Podcast. I know, creative, right? Either way, at the current time, there’s three episodes uploaded for the What’s Up 2021 segment. If you haven’t listened to it yet, you can listen it to it on various platforms. I will be doing more diverse content once things slow down a little bit more at work (probably in mid-February or beginning of March).

With that said, I do invite you to go check it out. Its available on these platforms:

Anchor
Google Podcasts
Spotify
Breaker
Pocket Casts
RadioPublic

You can also access the podcasts posts on the right side of the blog.

Letterboxd Year in Review

Letterboxed Year in Review came in after the New Year and I thought that it would be fun to share it here as I usually do it with the year-end wrap-up post. Most of it is pretty expected except for the most watched actor who I actually had to look up.

  • 267 Films Logged
  • 423 Hours Watched
  • Most Watched Director: David Fincher (I have watched 100% of David Fincher films)
  • Most Watched Actor: Richmond Arquette
  • Highly Rated 2020 Films: The Haunting of Bly Manor, Red Post on Escher Street, The Oak Room

Announcement: Ultimate Decades Blogathon

Drew over at Drew’s Movie Reviews and myself announced the 6th Ultimate Decades Blogathon! We’ve love to get as many people to participate as possible! Plus, we changed the structure so it’ll be a fun time. If you haven’t seen the announcement post, head over and check it out HERE!

Valentine’s Marathon

We’re a bit behind with the Valentine’s Marathon but its still happening this year! The current rundown is to get some TV binges and some romance films lined up. I might not go the typical romantic comedy film path so may wander into more romantic drama depending on what I find on Netflix. However, the highlight will probably be getting in a review of To All The Boys 3 when it is released on Netflix. At the same time, I might do something special for the marathon, maybe some baking or a podcast special.

Workout Update

From now on, I’m going to start tracking a very general list of workout for each week as a nod to the workout goal that I set at the beginning of the year. Its a tad slow and work got in the way in the last week. At least its some progress.

  • Week 1: 2 Workouts (cardio and arm workout)
  • Week 2: Cycling (on machine, 5km)
  • Week 3: Shovelling & Walking
  • Week 4: Nothing (working a lot so only exercise..walking and chores)

Cute Kitty Pic

That’s it for the January Adventures!
Nothing too exciting but a bunch of new things and announcements!

2021 Upcoming Plans

It’s 2021!! Happy New Year everyone! Hope everyone has found their own way to celebrate. The beginning of the new year means that its time to get back to some plans for this coming year and some changes in projects, etc. I needed an extra day to figure some little things out since I hadn’t quite decided on everything yet. This time around, I’ll share some projects for the blog and some more personal little goals to get back some good lifestyle habits. Let’s take this section by section!

BOOKS

  • 2021 Goodreads Challenge: 30 books

I’ve had a hard time reading the past few years and most of the time when I set the 30 books reading, I don’t get there but I really do want to read more, despite having some different types of projects this year and may result in less time. Either way, its a challenge that I’m up for. Plus, between blog tours (which I might participate a little less in this year depending on what I’m interested in), TBR of my own both in physical books and Kindle books.

MOVIES

Movies is more of a free flow sort of deal. I do want to dive into a focus on Chinese cinema whether from Mainland China or Hong Kong or Taiwan. However, I do know that that angle is for my own interest so I do have quite a bit to get through whether on Shudder or Netflix which is my main source of movie matching other than the random cheap rental that I pick up or the movie selections for Movies and Tea which is getting into Season 7 production soon with a director that definitely will bring on some interesting discussion for their retrospective. Seeing as we’re really ahead, I’m going to keep it a secret for now. However, last year I didn’t even reach 300 movies logged on Letterboxd so if I manage to get 300 or more movies watched this year, I would be quite pleased.

As for structure, I am keeping to the double feature format unless its a newly released Netflix film or even Shudder exclusive. I will try to get on top of that much more this coming year since I don’t foresee theatre releases or visits to happen anytime soon in Montreal.

Other than the normal themed months below:

  • February 1st – 14th : Valentine’s Romance
  • October: Halloween Horror
  • December 1st-25th: Holiday Films

I was unsuccessful at doing the themed months of other genres/subgenres during random months last year but that is a goal that I would like to do. As for what themes? I have a few in mind.

TV

As I watch much more TV (which is probably why movies had a drop last year), I’ve been giving this segment a lot of thought. I will still be doing TV binges however with a much more relaxed structure. I already started it at the end of the year. While I love the structure that I had for Chinese dramas for analysis of plot, pacing, characters and the overall view, it also became this long arduous post that took a long time to put together. Less division and more just free writing for future TV binges, much like the non Chinese drama TV binges that I do as some series really don’t have that much to write about.

However, what has been on my mind for TV is something will be a bigger change/addition to this post and that’s the next section…

TRANQUIL DREAMS PODCAST

Its a solo podcast! I don’t know how I’ll do talking to myself about anything but it has been something that I’ve been thinking about structure, title and content since the beginning of the pandemic last year (probably even longer). My thoughts years ago when this idea first started was a Youtube Channel but I just don’t have time to edit video and audio since it takes a ton of time so here we are. Podcasts do not limit the length because its audio and I’ll have it on a format that people can download. Its going to be another learning curve since right now, my fantastic co-host takes care of all the audio for the other 2 podcasts.

I know the name isn’t exactly inspirational but its connected to the blog originally wanted it to be about only Chinese dramas as an English review and introduction so that people can find the ones that are readily available on Youtube or Netflix (only those with English subtitles, of course). However, the reason for Tranquil Drams Podcast is that it opens up for a few little ideas I’ve had to move here also hopefully.

  • What’s Up segment will be moved completely over on a weekly basis. If it gets a little too heavy to produce, I might change it to biweekly frequency.
  • TV Binges will be moved here. Some less chat worthy will be in written formats (or maybe I’ll do both). Regardless, some series like big productions or Netflix gives me a lot to talk about and its hard to get it all down.
  • A segment that I wanted to revive since last year is Sunday Lists so maybe in podcast format will give me boost considering I have probably 2 or 3 already partially drafted.
  • A new segment as a new goal for the podcast which was how the Youtube idea started is an Adaptations versus Source Material comparison. This is kind of a maybe as I’m not sure how things will look in the coming year mostly on the real life side of things.

OTHER RANDOM SEGMENTS

Most segments have no change other than the ones mentioned above:

  • [changes] What’s Up: moved to podcast format (see above if you skipped it)
  • My Monthly Adventures: I will keep this in written format however with the pandemic still going on, its more of a place to put together what’s been released on my other projects and such.
  • [changes] Battle of Ingredients: in hiatus. We didn’t address it last year at all but with the pandemic, we have no choice but to put this project on hiatus for obvious reasons.
  • Music Obsessions: Still on monthly basis. Not a lot of views but I do love putting together this post.
  • Ultimate Decades Blogathon: Production meeting has already happened and confirmed to happen. Announcement post coming up once we iron out some little details.

PERSONAL GOALS

It sure feels like I’ve stopped sharing my personal goals over the last few years. Maybe that’s why I’ve grown lazy with some of it. Here we are again and it will be a complete balancing act. I made the decision that regardless of anything that when I set time aside from something, I will do it. Work is a huge factor to why a lot of things get postponed but I need remember that its not my entire life. With that said, main goal for next year is mostly exercise related:

  • Workout: 2-3 times a week and gradually increase to 3-4 times a week
    • Indoors during the winter (bodyweights, weights, yoga, cardio)
    • Outdoors running (hopefully by April)
    • Hiking more often
  • Eat healthier and more balanced meals: This year, we’ve lowered drinking alcohol in general to once or twice a month and its been a pretty good feeling. Its more to eat more fruits since I always forget to keep the fruits and vegetables daily intake as well as hydration on par.
  • Start Streaming: I’ve been thinking about streaming games for a good while. The hesitation is pretty much the same as for solo podcasts where I have to talk to myself. Its mostly for fun and not exactly to promote anything. I started teaming up on voice chat with one of my friends on a weekly basis during his stream to experience horror games together on Monday. You can check out his channel HERE as he streams about 5 – 7 times a week playing three to four different games. I’m having a lot of fun with it and its been something that I’ve been wanting to do more and more. I’m slowly fixing up the info and such on the channel to get it ready gradually. Hopefully a little later in January, it will be up and running. I’m not quite as ambitious as my friend so I’m going for once or twice a week playing mostly indie games which are more focused on narrative but no limits as I just want to get through all the games I’ve bought and haven’t played on Steam.
  • Buy a new sofa, office chair (and maybe bicycle): being first time homeowners, we were lucky to get a lot of second hand relatively decent quality furniture from family to help us get through the first few years of paying the mortgage but as much as I do like the sofa, it needs to be changed before it damages our backs. The same applies for a new office chair. Working from home more has worn it out more than it already has from my cat and its not great to have a squeaky office chair especially for podcast recording. As for a bicycle, considering everyone in Montreal swept the stores of them last year because of the pandemic, I’m hoping that I finally find one this year that isn’t going to break the bank.

Upcoming plans post are rather bland to read overall and I did try to keep this not so lengthy, but hey, look at this length. If there’s something you find is missing, well, its probably either cut or indefinitely in hiatus or its something that I’ve moved to Instagram content (which I need to do better also). If you have any suggestions for movie themed months or what topics for the podcast, etc, let me know in the comments as well.

This is it for the 2021 plans!
As usual, the goal is not procrastinate as much and stick to the tentative schedule!
Happy 2021 everyone and all the best in this coming year (hopefully things will get back to some form of normalcy gradually pandemic-wise)!
As always, stay safe!

My December Adventures: Best Films, Movies, Books of 2020 Watched Recap

Happy New Year’s Eve, my friends!

As our holiday lockdown continues, we’re keeping very much to ourselves and waiting for our virtual game night with the normal NYE crew, I’m taking a little time to relax and put together the last post of 2020! Suffice to say that My December Adventures is less adventures and much more a recap of the year to the current highlights of the blog. Let’s go!

Holidays Marathon

The only thing to highlight for December is that the Holidays Marathon happened. It was fairly well planned but not as well executed! However, it still happened and its all updated on the page HERE.

2020 Recap

Its time for the recap of this year and where we’re at now. I want to skip through stats in general this year as its something that I’ve looked at fairly little although I am happy that in 2020 in terms of views did go up compared to the past year or two (at least from a quick glance).

Top 5 post published in 2020

  1. TV Binge: Eternal Love (三生三世十里桃花, 2017)
  2. Announcement: Ultimate 2010s Blogathon! Sign Up Now!
  3. TV Binge: Ashes of Love (香蜜沉沉烬如霜, 2018)
  4. TV Binge: Unrequited Love (橘生淮南·暗恋, 2019)
  5. Hiking: La Boucle du Mont des Trois-Lacs (Brompton, QC)

Honestly, I’m a little surprised that the TV Binges for the Chinese dramas are ranking top posts for what I released this year. Some posts that I put a lot of heart into so I’m glad that they did top the list. I did 3 of these thinking that it was just for my own liking and not thinking anyone would be too interested. The Top 10 all time is not anything from this year but some older posts.

Books: I had set a goal of 25 books for the Goodreads Challenge and ended up reading 26 books.

According to My Year in Books on Goodreads, I read 5,129 pages with an average rating of 4.1 stars (which is fairly high).

While the ratings might change if I were to go back to look, the books that have made an impression:

  • Buried In My Past by Eva McKenzie
  • Blackthorn by Terry Tyler
  • Undead Ultra by Camille Picott
  • Conscience by Jonathan Pongratz
  • The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

Movies: According to Letterboxd, I watched 267 movies this year. I know that I did watch a whole bunch of short films that weren’t on the list and some festival films as well. So its definitely a little more than that number.

My top movies watched in 2020 (doesn’t have to be released in 2020):

  • The Farewell
  • One Cut of the Dead
  • Sheep Without a Shepherd
  • The Crossing
  • The Oak Room

TV: With over 15 TV binges sitting in backlog from this year alone, I have some work ahead of me. However, here is the list of 8 TV series that I saw this year (not all aired in 2020):

I’ve been focusing on Chinese dramas lately and because of that, it will bring in some changes for 2021. However, as we wrap up 2020 , I just couldn’t choose 5 so that’s how we’re at 8. And that isn’t even mentioning some of the variety shows that I watch which is a huge amount as well.

I’m sure all of you have better things than to sit around reading my recap on the year (despite the pandemic situation) so a much shorter post than previous years. By the way, this post published marks the 300th post published this year. The only little stats that I want to share. Its definitely not the best years in terms of posts but in terms of views, I think its been very good. Plus, I can’t remember the number of followers last year but I’ve past the 3000 followers mark so its pretty awesome!

With that said, that’s it for the December Adventures and 2020 recap!
I have some small changes for 2021 that I’ll announce tomorrow!

My November Adventures

November was a bit of a mess of a month. I was close to a burn-out after back to back film festival coverages and its why it took a while to wrap up the remaining films for those festivals. Luckily, that’s all done. With work also being an explosion of work, its been quite the crazy ride. I don’t foresee December being a lot better but at least, the slowed down posting schedule got my focus back on writing posts. With that said, not a really exciting month overall but still a few things to talk about plus at the end, there’s some December plans.

Not talking about any new projects until December’s wrap-up or January’s beginning of the year post as I have some final decisions to make on some possible changes or a new project/segment.

Blood in the Snow Festival

The ranking for the feature films (with the except of one Parallel Minds that I didn’t see):

  1. Come True (Review)
  2. For The Sake of Vicious (Review)
  3. Anything For Jackson (Review)
  4. The Return (Review)
  5. Hall (Review)
  6. Bloodthirsty (Review)
  7. Bleed With Me (Review)
  8. Shall We Play? (Review)

Overall, Blood in the Snow Festival was a good one. There were some really fun discoveries and some good direction on the stories that were being told. All the reviews for the feature films are up. I usually do something for short films but it already took so long to get this batch done that I haven’t had time to do that. I might still go back and highlight a few that I thought were rather unique and entertaining.

New Restaurant

New restaurant opened up yet and its a Hong Kong style noodle shop who has both curries but even more for the fish soup base that they have for their noodle soup. The noodle soup is ordered similar to what you’d do for Japanese ramen where you get to pick the base, the type of noodle and then 2 toppings. The soup itself actually has quite a bit of extra ingredients added in. I had the combo which included a drink and mine was the lemon ribena which is something very much part of the Hong Kong landscape. Can’t go back to visit in this current landscape but at least there’s food to make me feel more connected, right?

New Spices & Masks

The husband had some company coupon codes sort of deal so we went ahead and took a look at the catalogue. I have some fun candles on the way that didn’t make it on this post but we ordered the spices kit from Gourmet Inspirations. So far, we’ve only tried the Veggie Fusion which adds a nice kick to the veggies.

As for the masks, the Instagram posts says it all. I’ve tried a few companies that make masks and Hop La Gogosses is by far my favorite so I’ve returned a few times. Not to mention, they are close so when I have time, I usually try to do a pick-up instead of getting it delivered. They have these custom ones so you get to choose the front and back from a range of choices.

Black Friday Haul

  • Best Buy: Chromecast
  • Google Play: The Almost Gone, Very Little Nightmares
  • Cineplex: Rental: Guns Akimbo
  • Steam: Gnog, Jenny LeClue Detectivu, Celeste, Transference, Sea of Solitude, The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories
  • Xbox Ultimate Game Pass

Black Friday has pretty much mostly been an online deal even before the whole pandemic landscape so seeing as I did overall spend less this year, I ended up picking up on some of the sweet deals online for games and such. The only physical item I got was a new Chromecast. Our old Chromecast was starting really casting some things really well and was starting to get a little tempermental so we changed it and it seems to work better.

Everything else was mostly gaming related. Xbox Ultimate Game Pass for PC was dropped to $1/month and that’s great since I had a few games to catch up on so my next month of gaming is pretty much sort out since when I cut my subscription 2 months ago, I still had a few games that I hadn’t tried out yet.

As for Cineplex, there was some good rentals but the one that I’ve been meaning to watch is Guns Akimbo so that’s going to be done soon.

Christmas Marathon & Upcoming Plans

End of November means that its time to welcome in the Christmas Marathon! Christmas movies have been fairly slim pickings but thanks to Netflix releasing an immense amount of Christmas movies (whether good or bad), there’s a little more selection. Hopefully enough to fill out these few weeks leading to Christmas. It should start tomorrow December 1st if all things go well.

A quick mention on December plans while we’re at it. I’m trying to work out all the backlog and releasing some more current release stuff, mostly TV (Netflix and Chinese Drama TV binges). I’m going to blend it all in this month while catching up with some 2020 TV series that I’ve missed or didn’t finish. Fingers crossed that I can work on as much as possible.

That’s it November Adventures!
Nothing too exciting and just a lot of spending overall.
What have you been up to?

My October Adventures

In a blink of eye between 31 Days of Halloween and festival coverage, October wrapped up. Our partial lockdown has been extended for another potentially 28 days as Montreal hopes for the new cases/deaths number to decrease in the next month instead of the current constant. I’ve reverted in the middle of October to a partial work at home status which is kind of the best scenario that I could hope for. With that said, its been a fairly calm month as we kept to regional protocol and stayed home other than to pick-up the occasional food pick-up or grocery runs and mostly for work purposes. After a little glimpse at what’s going on personally, let’s see what I managed to muster up for this month’s adventures…its mostly recaps at this point. Let’s check it out!

Festival Du Nouveau Cinema 2020

Festival du Nouveau Cinema ran for the majority of the month. It was a wild ride as this festival always has deeper movies and takes a little more time to process which makes the writing process in a tad of a delay since I’m not going to lie that the movie choices started a little rocky. Still, I wanted to do a little something for it and here’s the rankings from best to worst (obviously in my opinion) of the 19 films that I watched based on my current feelings and memories of them:

  1. Topside
  2. My Salinger Year
  3. Red Post on Escher Street
  4. Caught in the Net
  5. Moving On
  6. La Hija de un Ladron
  7. Violation
  8. Undine
  9. Poissonsexe
  10. Wisdom Tooth
  11. Mum, Mum, Mum
  12. Cocoon
  13. The Book of Vision
  14. Drowsy City
  15. The Tremor
  16. The Cloud In Her Room
  17. Sin La Habana
  18. Kill It and Leave This Town
  19. Siberia

That’s the rankings. Half of the movies have been reviewed at this point and there will be the rest of the reviews going up in the coming week.

Halloween Marathon

This year was a little different as I aimed to do 31 Days of Halloween/Horror which overall worked out as I did mostly double features and then wrapped up the last few days with Blood in the Snow Festival coverage. There were some off days and I had fallen behind by one day with a week left and pulled it together to wrap up on October 31st. I consider that a win even though I didn’t count the TV Binge of The Haunting of Bly Manor as one of the days, which I probably should have. Out of all the movies, here’s the top picks that I saw in no specific order:

  • A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
  • Raw
  • Unfriended: Dark Web
  • #Alive
  • Trick ‘r Treat
  • Happy Death Day
  • For The Sake Of Vicious

You can find all the reviews and full list of this year’s and previous year’s Halloween marathon HERE!

Blood in the Snow Festival 2020

Blood in the Snow Festival 2020 started up at the end of October and is going on until November 7th. Different from Fantasia Festival and Festival du Nouveau Cinema, its showing on Super Channel and has a specific schedule for the different features and programs airing. You can find all the info for how to sign up for Super Channel and schedule on the festival’s site.

I’ll be covering everything here: shorts programs, features, pre-feature shorts and perhaps the Web Bites if I figure out a good way to do it.

Trying New Restaurants

1930 Shanghai

1930 Shanghai is a restaurant that specializes in Xiao Long Bao which is the Shanghai soup-filled dumplings. They are one of my favorite foods. This place makes decent ones. While they look the same here, I had one order of the normal pork -filled flavor and then had one where it was chicken and mushroom. Both were really good.

Comon Restaurant

I’m usually not a huge fan of Fried Chicken nor do I tend to eat it a lot but my friend told me about this place and picked up some chicken. . Their take-out boxes for the chicken are in pizza boxes which is pretty creative. I ordered a Bibimbap which was pretty good but felt was a little overpriced for the size and the taste wasn’t anything too different from other places. The fried chicken is also pricier but it does taste really good. I ordered the Fried Chicken with Green Onions (pretty obvious) but unlike some other restaurants in Montreal, their chickens are all bone-in, which isn’t a huge problem since I like bone-in meats but definitely something that others might want to keep in mind if you want to try it out.

Cute Kitty Pic

That’s it for this weekly adventures!
What have you been up to? Any Halloween celebrations – simple or not?

My September Adventures!

September has come to an end as Canada has officially announced the beginning of the second wave of COVID-19. We’re going through regional alert levels where with the past weekends leaps in increase of cases, Montreal (along with two other regions) will enter into maximum alert on October 1st meaning generally that other than shopping centres and retail businesses/personal care services, everything where social gathering can happen (theatres, libraries, bars, dine-in at restaurants, etc) are all closed for the next 4 weeks including all private gatherings. Just a little update on the currents of my whereabouts.

New Restaurants in Town

Perhaps my fave place so far to open would have to go to Shuyi Tealicious where I just love the Jasmine Tea or Oolong Tea with Grass Jelly. Its some delicious stuff in the simplest way. So good. Whereas the husband loves the milk tea with oats.

The first dine-in since COVID-19 and the only one for a while, I’d assume seeing the current state of situation. Either way, this new ramen place was pretty good. Its new so there was a line-up which if it wasn’t for my friend’s birthday, I wouldn’t have lined up for it or chosen to dine-in. Luckily the tables here were spread out pretty good.

With the new restrictions in place, we’re back to hibernating at home and cooking our own food or taking out or maybe trying out some delivery services if we want to try new food. The little joys in life, right?

Fantasia Film Festival Wrap-Up

Fantasia International Film Festival ended on September 3rd with a successful first ever virtual edition which had a very good platform for its movies and loved the mix of live screenings, Q&A as well as the on demand film selection. If only I didn’t have actual work, I’d have done a much more elaborate coverage of many more films. Still, I managed to do a bigger load of movies in a shorter timeframe so I’m rather proud of myself in general plus, I picked some solid choices with maybe only one or two that was a little disappointing. As a final wrap-up since I don’t want to do another post for it, here is my top 10 (which I’m thinking whether it would have been great if I did it in a Youtube video format or even podcast format, right?)

  1. The Oak Room
  2. The Paper Tigers
  3. Sheep Without A Shepherd
  4. Detention
  5. A Mermaid in Paris
  6. A Witness Out of the Blue
  7. Chasing Dream
  8. The Mortuary Collection
  9. You Cannot Kill David Arquette
  10. Jumbo

Movies and Tea Podcast

The latest episode of Movies and Tea Podcast transferred to Youtube is here as Season 2 is in progress of being put up.

We’re in Season 5 David Fincher on the Movies and Tea blog. The latest podcast episode released was our After Hours special for You Cannot Kill David Arquette HERE.

Hiking: La Montée du Dragon

Parc National du Mont-Megantic

Nothing like a little hiking as we return to Mont-Megantic National Park earlier in September. You can check out the hiking recap HERE.

Announcement: Halloween Marathon Starts TOMORROW!!

October is around the corner (tomorrow) so its time for the annual Halloween Marathon! I’ve got quite a nice line-up as we tackle two different franchises. I was only suppose to be one and then I started watching the sequels of another one and finished it so kind of wrapped up another franchise as well. Its the Living Dead franchise (including the remakes) and Insidious sequels (since I already reviewed the first one before). I also have some random movies to slot in between so it should be fun. Living Dead franchise is a little hard to find some of the movies and I didn’t plan it better so I’m hoping that I will find some of them if not I might just skip over it depending on the situation. If you have any horror films that you’d like to recommend for me to watch, let me know and I’ll add it on to my list if I haven’t seen or reviewed it before.

That’s it for this September adventures!
What have you been up to during these crazy times?

Hiking: La Montée du Dragon (Parc National du Mont-Mégantic – Secteur Franceville)

Our monthly Friday off came around and the weather worked very much to our favor with the temperature being much cooler and comfortable for hiking. We decided to go back to Mont Mégantic National Park, that we went to two years ago HERE, except this time, we went to the other sector called Franceville to check out other trails. We did an easy to intermediate trail La Montée du Dragon plus a little extra viewpoint. You can find the link to Mont-Megantic National Park HERE.

As with many of these trails, this one is not too clear on the map as its a different name. However, it passes through two different trails and stops at two viewpoints (maybe three if you count one of them as one).

Promenade du Ruisseau

Parc National du Mont-Megantic
Promenade du Ruisseau

Promenade du Ruisseau is a short and easy trail that is absolutely relaxing and beautiful as the trail runs along a stream the entire way and has very little elevation. Its about the most calming type of trail with a lot of green ferns and lush plants all around. Its a pleasant little trail that leads out to connect to Sentier Des Cimes, which is where we do part of the trail.

Sentier des Cimes

Sentier des Cimes – Parc National du Mont-Megantic

We only did a part of the Sentier des Cimes. Its an intermediate trail since it has a lot of gradual elevation. Its also very beautiful so its a nice little adventure. Since its a SEPAQ, there is an obvious difference in maintenance of the trail compared to the other trail network that we had done for the previous trails this year. We even got to see some leaves starting to change colors.

Viewpoint: Repos Du Dragon

Repos du Dragon

The first viewpoint is Repos du Dragon which would mark the end of the Montée du Dragon trail. It has a little bit of obstruction with the trees and such so the view from the camera doesn’t look too good. However, it is a pretty nice view overall.

Viewpoint: Gardien des Méandres

Parc National du Mont-Megantic
Gardien des Méandres

Our final destination was one viewpoint over to Garden des Méandres which is almost one kilometre further. The view is a little more open than the previous one and a nice little spot to take a break before deciding to head back.

Halte du Vieux-Barrage

Before cutting back before the connecting point between Sentier des Cimes and Promenade du Ruisseau, there’s a little path over a bridge to the other trail (Sentier des Escarpements, I think) and it should be the Halte du Vieux-Barrage, which has this lovely little path over the stream. Its a nice little spot that we took a few pictures before heading back on the Promenade du Ruisseau to head back to the parking lot.

Overall, Our trail came to about 6 kms altogether and took a little about 2.5 hours. Mont Megantic National Park offers some fabulous trails. The observatory is still closed due to the pandemic, I believe however, the trails whether in that sector or this one has a lot to offer. We already have plans to go back and finish the Sentier des Cimes and some of the other trails when we’re a little more in shape to tackle the intermediate and difficult trails. This area is full of beautiful viewpoints and lush green trails.

My August Adventures

Can you believe how fast 2020 is going by? We’re at the end of August in a blink of an eye. Its been a bit of a whirlwind this past week but the previous time before was pretty alright as well.

Hiking: Colline du Lac Trousers (Bolton, Quebec)

Colline du Lac Trousers

Kicking off the month before all the rainy and thunderstorm season hit us sporadically for the rest of August was a hike. I wouldn’t call it little since it was one of the longest hikes we’ve done in the past 2 years. You can check out the full hiking trail recap HERE.

Movies and Tea Podcast

As we kick off the Season 5 of Movies and Tea in audio version for David Fincher with our Alien 3 episode HERE, the Youtube channel is slowly catching up as the Season 2 transfer has started for the Guillermo del Toro episode.

Deep Blue Sea Podcast

Movies and Tea had the pleasure of being guests on the Deep Blue Sea Podcast which deep dives into one of my favorite shark movies ever, Deep Blue Sea and discusses chapter by chapter. The instagram post of the episode is above has the link to the episode. Give them some support on this uber fun project.

Fantasia International Film Festival – Virtual Edition

With only a few days left of Fantasia, the movie roster is pretty much set with only a very little of these not seen yet either because of live screenings or simply last minute decisions for on demand films and I haven’t gotten around to watching it yet. That said, a lot of the earlier movies have reviews up already and you can find them all under the Movies section on the menu above. Fantasia going virtual is great since it gives more time to cover more films but at the same time, I still miss some of the theatre reactions and meowing pre-show and whatnot but then this might be the new landscape we’re faced with. Overall, I chose some pretty decent movies with a few that I absolutely loved.

Workout/Gardening Update

Not a ton happened in terms of both of these things hence why I’ve done this section together. I managed to get in one run which was a decent length and relatively alright pace. There was a lot of rain and I’m not so intense that I want to go out and brave the rain for a run just yet. Excuses, I know… The weather has cooled down a little so I’m hoping that after film festival coverage and work crazy phase is done that I can get back to some more runs.

As for the gardening, mostly everything is over. We still have the peppers and two cucumbers still alive. Our raspberry finally decided to have some fruits so we had some harvests now. The bee garden is looking decent as well. The one that’s doing the best has to be the water lily in our bucket that has been having a lot of flowers.

That’s it for this August Adventures!
What have you been up to?

Hiking: Colline du Lac Trousers (Bolton, Quebec)

Unlike a lot of people, I didn’t have any time off during this hectic times so with the current landscape I’ve been working on taking random day offs to have some breathing space instead of going on long vacations. The first day that I took was last Friday and it was given to doing a morning to early afternoon hike in the Eastern Townships.

This year’s main focus for hiking destination has been the Les Sentiers de l’Estrie hiking networks. We went to a closer area in the Bolton zone of the network and chose the Colline du Lac Trousers which is a 9km round-trip trail. The trail itself is a bit vague. It actually gives you the parking not the closest to Lac Trousers but actually on the Missisquoi-Nord trail which leads on to Lac Libbey in the first leg and walks a portion on a road before heading into another stretch of road for a quite a distance before turning into a road that leads to another trail to the final summit spot. The last leg has a constant upwards trek with the final 100m being mostly steep upwards climb up to the summit. That’s a quick rundown of how the trail works. I’ll have a detail description below. You can check out the details of the trail HERE.

This is the start of trail which is part of the Missisquoi-Nord trail. This picture is looking back at where we come from by the parking. The parking spot is actually down a road where you walk towards this park where its a Sentier Mise en Forme meant for workout stations along a trail. There’s a park and marshland at the beginning and its full of a lot of weeds and wild flowers. The first part of the Missisquoi-Nord towards Lac Libbey is fairly flat. If anything, the beginning portion is either flat or going downhill for most of it with very little uphill until it goes to Lac Libbey which is a fairly flat road by some very pretty houses. You can get a peek of Lac Libbey from afar. There should be a trail around Lac Libbey but we didn’t notice it. At the end of the road is the entrance to the next part of the trail.

Colline du Lac Trousers

Its also part of the Missisquoi-Nord trail for this portion to the next road area. In reality, there isn’t much of difference in the whole way. Missisquoi-Nord trail goes to the next road area where it changes to the orange trail of Les Sentiers de L’Estrie sector which is following a little left turn into a road. The next road around is actually fairly calm and a few houses along the way but mostly forest on both side. As you go into the next section, its the final trek upwards.

Colline du Lac Trousers

The final trek upwards is pretty much the last 100 meters or so if I remember correctly. It starts off like this with rocks as steps and gradually increases in steepness going up and up. You can tell that its a more narrow path with little paths between trees and rocks and such and needs a lot more attention even if they have two blue ropes aligning the trail all the way up for extra safety.

After that trek, we get to the summit. There was quite a few people there so in order to respect social distancing rules, we just slipped into the higher rocks to get the view and then we left. Although the trail in general is pretty much just wildflowers and weeds and tall grass and shrubs and trees and just this one viewpoint, the summit view is still rather pretty.

Overall, Colline du Lac Trousers was an average trail. It does fulfill the easy trail element but it also doesn’t have a whole lot to see since its one where its very much based on your own focus and patience for the one payoff of a beautiful scenery. If we knew that, we might have done the closer parking spot instead. The entire trail averages around 3 hours going and return but we did it in around 3.5 hours or so. Its definitely one of the longer trails we did this past year or so.

My July Adventures!

These might be some unusual times but July has been right on cue with the hot and humid weather along with some random downpours. There’s a few changes as things get back to some form of normal since Montreal is pretty much in their last phases of deconfinement as offices has the okay for up to 25% of staff to get back to work and masks are mandatory on public transit and indoor public places. I’ll talk about all those things below as well as some updates of July.

Hiking: La Boucle du mont des Trois-Lacs

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After some rainy weather, we finally found a day to go out for a hike to hit the other trail in the same spot where we went in the previous hike. You can see the recap of this hike HERE.

Movies and Tea Podcast

Movies and Tea Podcast is still going pretty strong. We’ve been wrapping up Season 4 for Ang Lee and After Hours this month and will be starting up Season 5 for David Fincher shortly.

On Youtube, we’ve been posting up on a weekly basis and we’re pretty much updated almost the entire first season. As we step into Season 5 for Movies and Tea, it will be updated on Youtube while still catching up on the older episodes in between. Above you can find the latest episode updated on Youtube.

Back to the Office

Back to the office doesn’t really have much to talk about. I wasn’t exactly excited about it since the whole public transit thing is rather stressful mentally. It was okay for the first week or so until the buses started getting more people, probably because of 25% capacity of office able to open. I’m trying to keep a relaxed mindset about it all and just make sure to stay on high alert. Of course, with masks mandatory not only on public transit but expanded to indoor public places, its all about amassing face masks since the government has said that its something that will likely remain mandatory for the foreseeable future.

Gardening Update

All the garden vegetables are doing fairly good. Everything’s have some kind of vegetable growing. We have an abundance of cucumbers and Hungarian Wax peppers. I’m hoping that at some point we’ll get more than the one or two squashes. The downpours will hopefully  help.

Quick Road Trip to Ottawa

I didn’t take any pictures but I went to Ottawa for quick Chinese grocery store run since I had some things that I needed but some Chinese grocery stores here don’t have a lot of. At the same time, it was mostly also a chance to take care of a wrong delivery item from an online order for Eddie Bauer that I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of calling and getting a Fedex pickup and whatnot. Its just nice to take a road trip since there’s no other form of travelling that seems reasonable in the current times. I got a chance to pick up a hiking bag on discount at Eddie Bauer, half a dozen of donuts from Maverick Donuts, ciders from LCBO as well as the above-mentioned grocery run. At least one less thing to deal with for the whole Eddie Bauer wrong item situation that got sorted out fairly easily.

Workout Update

  • Run: 8.19km/ 1hr1min
  • Pool Workouts

With only one hike and one long run this month due to the extreme heat, I’ve been moving every week’s workout into a few pool workouts. Its been mostly about endurance and resistance workouts as well as swimming. Going back to the office also means that I can get back to the normal everyday walking. Point is, I’ve been trying to get more active and lose some weight and stay fit.

Cute Kitty Pic

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That’s it for this July Adventures!