My Weekly Adventures: My First 5KM!

Welcome to February! We just passed through Valentine’s Day yesterday which I spent with my mom for dinner and then went to do some errands and wrapped up the night preparing for a podcast recording and writing and gaming. Suffice to say that I didn’t celebrate but then I’m hoping that you did enjoy the ongoing Valentine’s double feature celebrations going on here. Its been a packed first half of February whether its personal stuff to settle or working (yay to overtime) or trying to get everyone to join into Ultimate 2000s Blogathon and much more. Its been a packed 15 days!

Let’s see what went on!

MY FIRST 5KM – MONTREAL SOUTERRAIN

While I did get forced into doing the 5km and it was a painful experience especially afterwards because I hadn’t trained for it. However, I did a pretty awesome time, coming in 10 minutes faster than I initially expected. Time was: 35:21.9 . Not too shabby,right? Anyways, I’ll be getting back to working out soon since I need to fit into dresses for two upcoming weddings in 2019. And I’m sure that after my good time without training, my friend is going to try to get me to do more 5km runs. I’m not opposed to them because it was quite fun but then running inside through the underground and running outside are two different things completely.

CHINESE NEW YEAR 2019 – YEAR OF THE PIG

February 5th was Chinese New Year and we did some nice decorations different from last year and went crazy looking for flowers to decorate. 5 flower shops but at least now, we know where to buy some flowers near-ish to our neighborhood. Yay to discovering new things, right? Its the year of the pig so Piglet and Pua made its appearance onto the shelf outside of my office as piggy decorations. I also picked up some new fake flowers from Michael’s for the tall floor vase to give it some color.

VALENTINE’S MARATHON

Valentine's Marathon

For the first time in all the years that I’ve done the Valentine’s Marathon, this is the first time its extending past the 14th. Because of the theme this year with the Netflix alphabet, I am going to continue through this until the end of February to finish out the alphabet. There are some fun changes due to lack of choices. Anyways, point is, I have a nice little tentative schedule to pair up with the blogathon as they overlap and be able to finish off the Valentine’s Marathon with the entire full alphabet runthrough. I’m pretty excited. I’ve picked a nice variety of subgenres so it still feels very fun.

ULTIMATE 2000s BLOGATHON

Sign up has ended as of last Monday. If you are just seeing this and want to join, you can drop me and email and we can see if we can get it arranged. However, we will be emailing out notices to participants on their posting date. It starts on the coming Monday! Time flies, right? I believe we have over 3 weeks of posts so its going to be a fun time because there are some nice additions this year, some new blogs that haven’t joined in before and then returning ones and some other pieces aside from written reviews. I love seeing our participants getting creative! As usual, I will have a page ready to go on the menu so you can catch up on any posts you missed on either here or Drew’s Movie Reviews.

If you haven’t followed Drew yet, then you definitely should HERE. My blogathon co-host is absolutely fantastic!

MONTREAL SNOWSTORM

We are currently in the aftermath of the snowstorm which means sitting here waiting for the city and boroughs to clear out the snow. The day after the snowstorm in the morning to work was when this photo was snapped. As you can see, not much as been clear and well, walking on the streets is because the sidewalks were pretty much non-existent or just snow-covered ice which is almost more dangerous. The city whether Montreal or suburbs have been doing a pretty slow job in general this year. As I’m writing this post, its raining outside so bye-bye to snow but welcome rain on ice and giant slush puddles at all corners of the street. You know…the fun stuff, right? 😉

However, I can’t complain too much because we are incredibly lucky at our home. I went out to shovel at 11:30pm and the city was clearing their second round of snow and the very nice guy plowing saw me, the crazy lady that shovels in the middle of the night, and decided to move his plow up my driveway and cleared it all including the path. Its the first time its happened to me so I was pretty shocked in a really happy way. Although, when we woke up in the morning, it was so very tall that I had to climb the mountain at the foot of the driveway to head to the bus stop. But we are also super lucky because my neighbor has a snow-blower and he does our driveway when we get storms or lends it to my husband.

Cute Kitty Easter Gnome Pic

**Pictures taken at Winners Homesense at Quartier Dix30**

Thats it for this Weekly Adventures!
What have you been up to?

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My Weekly Adventures: Announcement Time!

Hey! A late post going up today! I had to insist on this going up today because I do have an announcement here, which if you are familiar here, you’ll have an idea of what happens in February.

Life’s pretty routine when it comes to the beginning of the year. January is a crazy month in general so I don’t have as much time to do a lot of stuff outside of work and home. I also have some personal stuff that’s been lingering in the background that I have to settle (well…follow-up at this point). Either way, enough of this serious stuff but not a whole lot to talk about in this weekly adventures.

Snow Storm

Winter took a while to get here but it finally did. We got a snow day of maybe 20cm or something. I don’t remember anymore but then it turned around a few days after with some lovely ice rain and such turn it into a slippery ice rink and then massive puddles because the city didn’t get the snow cleared fast enough.

Ultimate 2000s Blogathon

So, we’ve been attacking everyone with announcements and reminders but I’d like to share for anyone who is interested to share their fave 2000s film in a form of review (or some other format that we can discuss). You can find all the details HERE.

Yokato Yokabai

As I mention the snow storm above, the crazy people in us decided to go get ramen as per our last year’s journey with my good friend. This adventure took us to another ramen place which we’re having debates whether we like it between than the other place. I think this place is better because I like the sides. Of course, this also sparked my first time pushing a car because it got stuck. Luckily, my husband and I had a passerby that hopped in to help us both push which was the extra strength that we needed to get out. All around a memorable day, I’d say.

Montreal DemoNight 2019

A few nights ago was Montreal DemoNight 2019. I was swamped with work and overtiming like a crazy person but luckily they did stream it so I was still able to watch it. There are quite a few games that look incredibly interesting. I don’t have much to talk about right now but I’ll leave it for the recap. I’m usually more efficient but the recap will be out some time over the weekend over on the Game Warp blog.

Announcement: Valentine’s Marathon

Valentine's Marathon

And we’re here again. Valentine’s Marathon starts tomorrow! This time I’m going to be a bit more ambitious and do a little Netflix Alphabet Valentine’s Marathon in the form of double features. I couldn’t think about a feature franchise (since I didn’t finish last year’s) and I wanted to get through my neverending Netflix list so this seems like a super awesome idea. If things go well, I’ll get double features everyday from Feb 1st to 14 but lets be realistic that it won’t happen whether its not being about to catch up with watching movies that fast or writing up fast enough while having other stuff going on on the blog since I won’t just do movies, of course. So we’ll see how things go.

As this post goes up, I’ve already watched A-D films so hey, who knows, right? 😉

Cute Kitty Pic

Kitty Cat

That’s all for this Weekly Adventures!
Hopefully next time, there will be more to talk about!

BITS 2018: Montreal Dead End (2018)

Montreal Dead End (2018)

Montreal Dead End

Directors: Remi Fréchette, Priscilla Piccoli, Quentin Lecocq, Emilie Gauthier, Loic Surprenant, David Emond-Ferrat, Eve Dufaud, Frederick Neegan Trudel, Mickael N’Dour, Julie De LaFreniere, Catherine Villleminot, Tiphaine Dereyer, Hugo Belhassen, Audric Cussigh, Gaelle Quemener, Mara Joly, Charles Massicote, Jimmy Pettigrew

Montreal Dead End is a 15 part horror anthology set while “a supernatural mist is seeping through the cracks of the city, causing various evil enchantments related to the neighborhood from which it escapes, waking up a dark spirit here, a vengeful ghost there, releasing a plethora of terrifying creatures, possessing numerous citizens and even turning some of them into zombies, or entities from the beyond. The key to this paranormal chaos lies within a First Nations legend, a shamanic amulet and a guardian (Marco Collin) in search of a book of prophecies and premonitions which only he can decipher.  The quest takes us from one part of the city to another, crossing paths with unexpected events and multiple creatures along the way. ” [BITS 2018]

A fifteen part horror anthology that runs over less than an hour and a half is a marathon in itself. Some of these are barely snippets and is truly a short film in itself set in the different boroughs of the city. Between these films is one part of the anthology called The Guardian (“Le Gardien”) directed by Remi Fréchette that is the key behind all this chaos. It is intertwined between all these different stories and brings the entire story together. The beauty of Montreal Dead End is that it acts as a tour of the island of Montreal. Its panning scenes taken by drone takes a lot of aerial landscapes of this city, at the same time also showing off its many touristic areas. Being knowledgable of Montreal probably adds to the enjoyment of the city because of the familiarities and the preconceptions of each neighborhood.

Montreal Dead End

To call this anthology a beauty is not accurate because it is better described as a quirky movie experience. Many of the stories grow from some very odd ideas, for example “Part 10: Who Listens to Celine Anyways?” where anyone who listens to Celine Dion music will automatically be possessed and some can see some indirect influence from other films like “Part 13: Folie Legumineuse” that feels a bit like the gingerbread man scene in Krampus. There isn’t any story in particular that is extremely horrific however. It acts more of a horror comedy with perhaps a few slight exceptions. A lot of the merit of these stories are in its creative ideas even though some of the execution is overly obvious.

This anthology’s heavily lies on the main plot that runs throughout with the guardian played by Marco Collin as he goes in search for the book of prophecies that only he can control. It is well-timed each time the appearance of these small snippets appear from one location to the next just like a treasure hunt as it also helps gain a better understanding of what is going on. After the resolution of it all seems a little hasty. 

Montreal Dead End

A movie anthology like this has its charms. To be fair, any anthology has its great, good and lackluster bits. With one with so many different parts, it is hard to escape that fate. With that said, Montreal Dead End won’t be for anyone. Maybe one story or another will please someone but this one has some very odd ideas that might just seem off putting for many.  You can’t fault any of these directors for not putting their twist and being incredibly creative with their ideas. Its going to appeal to a specific audience who will appreciate what its trying to do here.

Montreal Dead End is showing on November 24, 2018 at 9pm at The Royal Cinema for BITS Festival.

My Weekly Adventures: The Wrong Side of the Fence…

Following the last Weekly Adventures, I was on the fence about something. And well..seeing as its the title of this Weekly Adventures, suffice to say I made a decision on it. If you didn’t see the last post, don’t worry, you will know soon enough when we get there. These two weeks was a lot of eating… that’s all I got honestly. Something crazy happened at work that stressed me out so very much but really gave me the kick in the pants to motivate myself to get back into the groove of things. Find back some of the focus that I’ve seem to be missing.

MTL a Table 2018: Nom Nom Cantine

This year’s MTL a Table in place of the November Battle of Ingredients is at Nom Nom Cantine. We had a pretty good time there, eating delicious food with great company.

You can check out the post HERE.

NaNoWriMo 2018

The wrong side of the fence is refering to this. Which can only mean one thing…that I decided to start NaNoWriMo this year. I started on Day 7 and the late start and my recent cold has impacted a lot of progress. To be honest, with all the projects right now, I don’t plan to finish but I have an idea that I kept wanting to write about so I just couldn’t resist. Of course, I wasn’t going to do this madness by myself so my awesome podcast co-host graciously joined me in working on his own thing.

My progress leaves a lot to be desired right now so I’m going to try to push myself over the next half of the month to really catch up. Next Weekly Adventures, I’ll share the final result.

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon

Like last year, as an end of season marathon thank you for all my early mornings and such, my friend took me out for a fancy dinner at the Casino de Montreal at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. This restaurant definitely is expensive and fine cuisine but the one place that never disappoints me because of how well they adapt to making everyone feel important especially when it comes to my lactose intolerance and having French cuisine.

You can see the full recap of this restaurant experience HERE.

MEGA MTL

This past weekend marks one of the last gaming festivals that I will be going to (since there was also the summit earlier this week which I don’t go to because its on weekdays). MEGA MTL was morphed from the Montreal Independent Games Festival which used to be free and held at Dawson College. Now, it occupies the Marché Bonsecours in Old Montreal and it always shows off a lot of indie games to try out and showcase. Its a lot of games to write about so currently the post is still in the works for That Moment In but should be up soon.

My game of the festival is hands-down a game that has already been released called 39 Days to Mars, which is a coop puzzle adventure game developed by It’s Anecdotal.

Cute Kitty Pic

Thats it for this Weekly Adventures recap!
A quick and easy one this time. We had a few busy weekends so probably the next one will be even more quiet.

Restaurant: L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon Montreal

If you want to see last year’s L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon recap HERE.

Located in the Casino de Montreal, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon is tucked in a little downstairs corner accessible by elevators at one end of the casino. Different from last year is how it was bustling and full of action this time with tons of customers there. After last year’s experience, I was a little more knowledgeable about how to approach this year’s dinner so was a little less ambitious. If you had seen last year’s dinner, it took well over 3 hours, this wasn’t really that much more different.

In terms of decor, there wasn’t much change. I’m back at the same time after all so I do wonder if the decor changes especially in the display case with the seasons. Maybe one day, I’ll go not in autumn.

Green Tea

Due to the rainy weather outside and a rather under the weather feeling like a cold was creeping in, I ended up vouching to get a green tea. This is a Japanese green tea recommended by the waitress for us. It tasted great. I don’t usually drink Japanese green tea but this one definitely was a treat.

Bread

The breads here are also quite good. This time, we had the baguette one the left and the bacon and mustard braid on the right. Not shown here but my friend got two other ones which had dairy products in it. One was a flaky cheese one I believe and I can’t remember the other one right now.

Amuse Bouche

A refreshing starter amuse-bouche to kick things off. Tonight’s starter, the dairy free option, I assume since my friend got something different but he also had the 7 or 9 course seasonal discovery tasting menu. This amuse-bouche is a eggplant topped on one side with a red pepper and the other one is topped with a zucchini (or maybe eggplant) chip? I can’t remember anymore. But I can tell you that it tasted really good. I’m not much of an eggplant fan. I really just eat it for its health benefits on a daily basis but this was really lovely.

Tasting Portion Dishes

Like I said in the beginning, last year’s tasting menu traumatized me to my core. Not that the food wasn’t good but the duration and the sheer amount was just way over what I could handle. So this year, I went a different route. I asked the suggestion of the waitress to tell me what would be a good approach and she gave me a very accurate one of taking 3 tasting portion which should be enough and went along with her knowledge and suggested the ones that she knew could be modified to be dairy-free or already was dairy-free. With that I chose three (with her help):

L'atelier de joel robuchon montreal

Le Homard

Le Homard – Lobster over mashed avocado tart  and pomegranate arils

My first choice when I first saw my choices was this one. Avocado tart and pomegranate and lobster all sounds so fresh and delicious. From the presentation to the delicious balance of flavors to just the crispy different texture of the pomegranate seeds and little bits and the crunchy fresh vegetables and the lobster was such a delight. Not to mention of course the creamy avocado tart base.

l'atelier de joel robuchon montreal

La Morue Noire

La Morue Noire – Stewed Black Cod with “Malabar” peppercorn, baby spinach

The star of the show, my friends. I picked this one because the waitress highly recommended it. Normally, this one would have a frothy creamy coconut foam. Mine is just coconut sans the cream for the obvious lactose intolerance issue. With that said, this dish is absolutely heavenly. I kid you not, the cod is done so perfectly.

l'atelier de joel robuchon montreal

L’Agneau

L’Agneau – Quebec lamb ribs with eggplant and lemon pulp confit caviar

Talking about the final dish in my selection is the lamb. I’m starting to realize that I have a tendency to get lamb whenever I go out, mostly because I wouldn’t eat it at home. This was done the perfect doneness. The eggplant caviar as they call it is really delicious along with the eggplant chips which are both very good. Paired up with the lemon pulp, it worked so well together. The only thing I wasn’t a big fan of based on personal preference is the date puree thing. I’m personally not a fan of dates so it didn’t quite appeal to me. Overall, the whole dish worked together really well.

Dessert

La Bulle – Blown sugar ball with coconut cream, fresh coriander sorbet

The original La Bulle is made with yuzu lemon in the menu. However, this version is dairy-free version so its made with coconut cream. I have to say that the coriander sorbet is somewhat of an acquired taste that took a moment to get used to but it cuts through the sweetness from the coconut so it works out well.

Overall, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon Montreal is a great dining experience. It offers fantastic cuisine, comfortable ambiance, flexible with their dishes to accommodate allergens as well as great service. Its honestly one of the restaurants that I love going to. It is quite pricey but worth every penny.

My Weekly Adventures: Its Here Again… Announcements

My Weekly Adventures

Welcome to the next Adventures post. I shouldn’t use Weekly adventures but we’ll keep it like that for now since I can’t figure out a better name. These past 2 weeks didn’t feel particularly like it was busy but when I thought back, a decent amount of small things happened and it was really tiring.

Its October right around the corner so of course, that also means that we have an important announcement (and another one as well). If you saw my tweet then you might already know what I’m talking about.

Let’s get started!

Hiking: Reserve Naturelle des Montagnes Vertes

Reserve Naturelle Montagnes Vertes

Keep this one short and sweet. We finally got back out to hiking. Everyone’s health seems to be okay again. We have some little things that happened after the hike but still, it was a good one. I’ve already did a post on it so you can check that out HERE.

Hangout with High School Friends

Last weekend, we had a little get together with some high school crew to see one of our friend’s baby. I probably talked about the baby shower back in October last year or something. I can’t remember right now. Either way, we had a little food and some tarts and chatted the afternoon away. It was great! Plus, her little one is so adorable.

Montreal Oasis Marathon 2018

montreal marathon

Last weekend was the Montreal Rock & Roll Series Oasis Marathon 2018. It had a move from the more eastern side of Montreal to downtown near Chinatown area. They shifted the event earlier as well. Suffice to say that, the pick up package and the picking up bags after the marathon left a lot to be desire in terms of organization but the race itself was great. It started off in Rene Levesque which is one of the main arteries in downtown. There was little firework moments for each coral’s start. Plus, the location made finding a place to sit down good especially since its kind of my turf. So it made the whole event for my being there to pick up my friend easy, especially when the temperature dropped that morning drastically so I had my scarf and hat for winter with me in the morning.

Setting Up New Social Media

A little side note and I guess a follow-up from the What’s Up segment (unless I edited it out and forgot then it would make no sense and be slightly embarrassing), I decided to continue on my research into the China social media world and actually signed up for a Weibo account. Its pretty much a Facebook/Twitter mesh but since Chinese characters are a word in itself, its satisfies the microblogging corner of the market. I’m not great at writing Chinese but I do recognize words so typing it is actually a good practice. Consider it a social experiment or whatnot, but I have an account now so I’ll be checking it out. If you have an account also, give me a shout. Its lonely to trek new territory alone.

Moon Festival

moon festival

Moon Festival came around last Monday. I had dinner with my mom. After some debate, as her kitchen renovations continue, we decided to stay in to eat since the restaurant we wanted to go to was closed on Mondays. One of her friends dropped by to have dinner with us as well. Delicious as always and we had moon cakes and everything.

Halloween Marathon 2018

Official announcement tomorrow! Keep your eyes posted! Short and sweet announcement, right?

Festival du Nouveau Cinema

On that note, I got press just a few days ago for Festival du Nouveau Cinema, which is a festival that has been running for a long time but I’ve never been to. It usually hits the busy and event hiatus that I take for my own sanity. This year, a fellow Montreal blogger DM’ed me on Twitter and gave me a heads up to check it out and since I’ve been in the Weibo world and checking out movie reviewers and saw one of their movies being listed as this year’s top 5 Chinese movies, I wanted to go. So yay, that is happening. Not sure how its going to fit into the whole schedule but I’ll talk about that more very soon. I’ll have a post for my picks in a day or two.

Cute Kitty Pic

Kitty

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

Restaurant: Les Enfants Terribles – Place Ville Marie (Montreal, Canada)

Last weekend, we went out to celebrate my in-laws marriage anniversary – 45 years! #marriagegoals right? Anyways, I’m no good at hashtagging so that might be all wrong. My sister in-law suggested that we head out to a restaurant in downtown Montreal located at the summit of the Place Ville Marie building called Les Enfants Terribles. If you look at their site, they have a few other locations. However, the summit on gets a terrace view of Montreal at its 44th floor height above the city. We were a decent sized group and had a 9:30pm reservation. I can’t say that works as dinner but we tried to work that out as best we could since you know, the point of this is family time! And we did have fun hanging out, especially since my mom went out with the group.

Do note that I took pictures only of my husband and my own dishes and drinks because it was a fairly big group and walking around in the bustling restaurant would have been almost impossible. To be fair, mostly everyone got similar dishes. I’ll talk about it in the main meals section.

Les Enfants Terribles – Place Ville Marie

Les Enfants Terribles

Les Enfants Terribles

I didn’t take much of the interior design but the outside did have a pretty lovely view. There is a plastic wall fencing off the entire surrounding so its more for observation than pictures particularly at night. They also have a beautiful vegetable garden planted right in the middle of the terrace which I thought was a great addition.

Cocktails

Les Enfants Terribles

Left: Rye Lemonade – Right: Collins

There was a pretty nice selection in terms of cocktails to choose from. We arrived a little earlier than the reservation so we had a little wait time where they arranged a table and seats for us on the rooftop terrace and gave us time to order some drinks. My husband and my mom both ordered the Rye Lemonade. Their only thing was that it was sour, excuse me, tart is the accurate word. Which I took a sip and it absolutely was. I ended up choosing Collins, mostly because there was something I didn’t know in it and also, it had a vodka base which I’m a fan of. It was alright after I remembered to stir it. Amateur mistake perhaps. It was okay. Cocktails, especially trying out new ones, is usually a hit and miss based on preference so I can’t say it wasn’t executed well, more that this wasn’t exactly my preference. They did look good, although a tad pricey for the size, but every restaurant with a view does boost up its prices.

Main Meals

Seared Salmon

Seared Salmon with Red Quinoa, Kale, Cucumber, Grapefruit and Edamame

Not surprisingly that my mom and I have the same sort of dining schedule. However, after long debate, we ended up not getting an appetizer but went for sharing a full meal. My mom likes to eat healthy and be healthy. Her ability to stay persistent to her healthy lifestyle is one that I look up to. With that said, as we debated fish and chips or seared salmon, it was obvious which one she would prefer although this seared salmon was one that yielded a very homely lady response of how she could probably make this at home for so much less. You know, moms, right? However, as healthy as this dish looked, it was also very good. Everything was cooked well. I was a little skeptical about the whole grapefruits being part of the meal but it works surprisingly well as a balance for the flavors here. Its also not overly salty either and flavored in a well-balanced way. It was pretty delicious especially since the cook of the salmon was also right on.

Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips

My husband got the fish and chips. Total coincidence that he ended up with this one and it also being a choice for me and my mom. I had a small taste of the fish and the batter and its honestly pretty nice. There’s a nice crunch to the batter and a nice flavor and the fish is cooked in such a tender way that it just falls apart. Its delicious. My husband also enjoyed it.

As for everyone else, a lot of us chose either fish and chips or the seared salmon. My mother in-law got a Ceasar Salad as an appetizer and had a pasta dish to follow. There was a pasta gratin that someone else took, I believe. My brother in law took the beef burger, which was a choice my husband was thinking about. The niece and nephew took each a kids meal, one of which was pasta and the other, I can’t remember right now.

Atmosphere/Experience/Service

Probably the biggest critique that I have of this outing was the atmosphere itself. I’ve been to rooftop terrace restaurants before. While the terrace area was pretty sane and comfortable to just enjoy the view and get some lovely air, the inside atmosphere is relatable to most modern lounges where its very loud with a lot of people talking over each other and talking over what I think was music since it was so loud that I barely could hear myself think. I spent a lot of time talking to my mom since she sat close to me and still talking very loud for her to hear me. At the same time, a little frustrated with having to repeat everything that I said. I feel like when I say that, it kind of makes me old. However, its a choice of how they choose to angle their restaurants. Its just a pity in my mind at least that such an upscale looking brasserie (which should have tipped me off on the noise level) would choose to be this sort of loud affair. However, I believe that is more of a personal preference.

The second critique of the night did go to service. I’ve heard of the service here being a tad below par. However, it was surprising to see it happen to ourselves as we chased over a few drinks that didn’t make it to the table for an extended time. However, after we canceled one of the last drinks that didn’t make it there at all, they gave it to us anyways for free as an apology. Its a nice gesture but in a spot like this, the drinks should be the bread and butter and especially for the price we pay for the experience, it definitely warrants better attention and efficiency. I was going to say quality of service but the waiters were friendly so that is a plus.

Overall…

Food is delicious, drinks were good, service is lackluster, loud atmosphere and great rooftop view
Not exactly sure that I’ll go back unless we have another family event there but it was an experience I can cross off my list now