Cité Memoire: Daytime Trail (Circuit 2-60 mins)

Last week’s My Weekly Adventure, I had talked about this free historic event in Old Montreal. All you needed to do to learn about architecture and history of Old Montreal was to strap on your comfortable walking shoes and head out for 30, 60 or 90 mins, depending on what you liked and even choose day or night. There were different circuits for the thirty and sixty minute ones exploring different area of Old Montreal. If you didn’t want their circuit, you needed to get the app (you need whether or not you follow a circuit) and go the points of interest.

I have yet to do the nighttime trail but I have done the daytime trail. Its the Circuit 2 which runs somewhere near where I work and was a good after work activity.

Cite Memoire

What makes Cité Memoire so special, right? The point of it is that it is a free history lesson using modern technology (aka your cellphone) and using this year’s new favorite technology, augmentative reality. It is educational and is a good reason for a walk around Old Montreal and admire the city a little while having a little guide in your hands telling you where to turn and what the highlight is. I think its pretty nifty and I’m not even a tourist. There was some stuff I knew before but there’s also information that I never learned about. It isn’t like there is a Montreal history course in school, there is World History and Canadian/Quebec history.

What I’m going to do is take you on this Trail again! I didn’t actually snap a lot of pics on the trail so I went back to some of the locations.

BMO Building

BMO Building Montreal
And with augmented reality…

Cite Memoire
New York Life Insurance Building

New York Insurance Building
Place d’Armes

Cite Memoire

Molson Bank

Molson Bank

Canada Life

Canada Life Building
Merchants Bank Building

Merchants Bank
Gas Lighting

Gas Lighting
Saint Anne’s Market & Parliament Building/The Grand Trunk Building

Grand Trunk Building

St. Anne's Market

Centre D’Histoire de Montreal

Centre d'Histoire de Montreal

The Grey Nuns

Grey Nuns

Allan Building

Allan Building

Joe Beef’s Tavern

Joe Beef's Tavern

Berthelet House

Berthelet Building

John Lovell and Son Building

Lovell and Son

Lewis Building

Lewis Building

CPR Telegraph Building

CPR Telegraph Chambers
Centaur Theatre/The Montreal Stock Exchange

Centaur Theatre
The Old Custom House and Place Royale

Place Royale

De Maisonnveue’s Path and The First Seminary

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Notre Dame Basilica

Notre Dame Basilica
Aldred Building

Aldred Building

Here’s your walkthrough in pictures. I hope I got most of the buildings right. It was mostly by memory of the path that I took and little bits of historical things I retained. You’ll see some buildings will have American architecture influence like the last picture. Some will have European influences and others are just historical symbols of the city. Its sad that I can only do this mostly in the evening so some of the sculptures on the building like the gargoyles and whatnot, are not as apparent. I used to never notice them until this walk.

I hope that it returns next year. I’m not sure if it is still running now. Maybe the nighttime one? I’ll have to double check. But I’m hoping to go check out more if its still on if not, next year, I’ll be back out to learn more!

Vancouver + Kelowna: Trails, Winery & Family BBQ!

Kelowna is located in the Okanagan Valley area in Canada. It is beautiful and stunning and just absolutely breathtaking to explore. The day after my cousin’s wedding, we only had a late afternoon gathering at my cousin’s home for a barbecue with the family. We decided to head out for some hiking/walking trails to see capture some lovely scenery and get some exercise. We went out to a winery for lunch and then rounded up the day with the barbecue. That is the quick runthrough.

Kuiper’s Peak Mountain Park

Kuiper's Peak Mountain Park

Kuiper's Peak Mountain Park

Kuiper's Peak Mountain Park

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Kuiper’s Peak Mountain Park is a short 5 to 10 minute trail. There are mountain bike trails as well. This park’s wildlife is still recovering after a forest fire in 2003.

Bertram Creek Regional Park

Bertram Creek Regional Park

Bertram Creek Regional Park

Bertram Creek Regional Park

Bertram Creek Regional Park also suffered from the forest fire in 2003. It is a casual walking trail along the Okanagan Lake. There’s a beach and a little area to walk out to take pictures.

Cedar Creek Winery Estate

Cedar Creek Winery Estate

Cedar Creek Winery Estate

Cedar Creek Winery Estate

We went to Cedar Creek Winery Estate to have a quick lunch and then went out to walk around. Suffice to say, it was absolutely gorgeous. I’ll be talking about the lunch portion in a separate post.

Family Barbecue

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The family gathering was fun and grand. My cousin’s home is beautiful. They had food catered there and they made burgers for everyone as well. There was this cool sparking wine or cider (local) called Bling. It tasted really good.

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The view from my cousin’s place is absolutely breathtaking. It kind of makes its a life goal to try to move out to Kelowna eventually just to live in this quiet little city.

That’s it for Day 3!
Drop by again to check out the Cedar Creek Winery Estate Restaurant post later this week!

Foresta Lumina

This past Saturday was a busy day with one event in the morning, Montreal Independent Games Festival (which I will cover over at That Moment In) and another late evening one, which is this one I’m about to talk about called Foresta Lumina! Foresta Lumina has been an event we’ve been planning to go to since last year but never found the time to last year. Finally, after our first reservation was cancelled due to thunderstorms, it was rescheduled for this past Saturday night. Foresta Lumina is located in Coaticook, Quebec which is about 1.5 to 2 hours depending where you are heading out from.

Foresta Lumina

It is located in the Parc de la Gorge which during the day is a park for hiking and outdoor activities. The Foresta Lumina trail is adorned with lights and visuals telling a story of an enchanted forest which once had a lot of fairies but was plagued by a monster that could turn into a handsome man to trick them into the fairy’s eventual demise. However, before the fairies were taken, a mysterious force from Foresta Lumina appeared and saved them. This is why the forest is magical and protected by enchanted forces.

Foresta Lumina

There isn’t really much to say about the trail and even pictures are hard to judge. Still, here are some more acceptable shots that turned out alright. I need some serious night time photo shooting practice.

For those that want to go on this Foresta Lumina trail. It is extremely dark in some parts but also quite enchanting and pretty to see. However, those with walking difficulties should be aware that there are some pretty steep slopes and the path winds up and down with tight walkways and stairs also. You do cross the beautiful suspended bridge which happens to be one of the longest in Quebec (I believe). It is also where they create it where it seems like we cross realms into the magical world.

Foresta Lumina is a fun experience however it is only 45 minutes and perhaps the hype of it got the best of us. We were a little underwhelmed while it was still pretty magical for the most part. We did discover that Coaticook may have quite a bit to offer to explore.

My Weekly Adventures: Vacation, Festivals (and some pondering…)

Welcome back! Its been a month since a proper My Weekly Adventures. This tiime, we’re catching up a little and getting in some updates. You know, actual updates. Last night was Midautumn Festival so yeah, I was planning to do a vlog and get all fancy inserting pictures and videos but nope, not happening for this one yet. But, a vlog is coming up… I hit over 2000 followers in the past week and color me happy. It also somewhat confirmed something about the blog that I have been thinking about for a while now. It kind of puts me in a rut. Give me some time to have those thoughts calmed down and I’ll post up a chat with you all to ask about your opinion on it. That is for probably near the end of the month seeing as right before writing this, I recorded and then deleted it again because I ramble just too much and it was missing the point completely. Things to look out for soon…

Now, back to My Weekly Adventures!

Vacation Time!!

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Its funny that this time, we went on vacation, we flew somewhere and then rented a car and ended up doing quite a bit of road trip out and about. Vacation was in Vancouver and Kelowna. Two posts have gone up already. If you are up to date, don’t think that the rest are by days because they aren’t. Some of them might be just by location if there’s too many pictures that I liked. However, pictures are incredibly a lot (they still are) but I just had my phone so I couldn’t go crazy.

Regardless, we had some good food, beautiful scenery, lovely road trips. The weather didn’t agree with us all the time but we didn’t mind it and just kept enjoying our vacation. We even had a talk about what vacation felt like a vacation. One, bustling cities are a big no-no because we already live in a big city. It is probably the main reason why we really stayed in further out places when we stayed in Vancouver except the one day we went to Stanley Park and Vancouver Aquarium.

Lots of vacation stuff coming up in the next few weeks. I didn’t want to swamp my blog with just that so we’ll take our time with it. 🙂

Festivals!

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I did an entire post on YUL EAT festival so you can check it out HERE if you missed it. What more is there to say: Old Montreal, great companies with my girl friends, lots and lots of food, free samples and learning and seeing a waiter race. I’d say it was a pretty fantastic day. I am currently peeling on my shoulders from the huge sunburn I got and thinking about how its been quite some time since I had a sunburn to that extent. Hmm…Need to remember sunscreen all the time. Although autumn is around the corner so sun is going to decrease significantly soon by the time we hit winter at least.

Festival des Vendanges

Festival des Vendanges also had a post right HERE. This one is in the Eastern Townships of Quebec located right next to the Memphremagog Lake which is absolutely beautiful to walk along. We had a train pass right behind us (almost because we crossed the street). Odd urban planning structures but that kind of applies to a lot of places. This is a festival I’ve been looking forward to checking out and we finally did so I’m super happy about that.

The Long-Awaited Somewhat Garden Update

At this point, after coming back from vacation, my garden is pretty much non-existent except for a few things. The leeks are still going. I think its almost time to harvest before we lose them all. Lettuce is seeding, which means I can use it for next year. Same goes for broccoli. I didn’t harvest any of the florets in time. We had a few cucumbers but we froze them before we left so that it’d still be good. They are all eaten now so there’s nothing to show you. However, the raspberries are at full ripe state and we’re just harvesting every other day. This was from last weekend.

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For the record, that’s a pretty deep tupperware.

Next up is a little surprise discovery in my geraniums, a ground cherry popped up on the side!!

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Aside from that, I have completely revamped the side front yard flower patch. It finally doesn’t look like a cluster of a mess. The cure was to pull out almost all the irises. They just spread way too much. Although next year, I am almost positive it’ll be overflowing with these lily of the valley that just ended up popping up in the garden. This is what it looks like after I finally bought some chrysanthemums. Chrysanthemums are perfect for autumn but they are biannual so I have to get them every other year pretty much.

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Before winter comes, I just need to separate the roses from the echinacea a little. There’s a bit of shifting on the front yard part lining the front of the house where I need to move some plants around. The raspberry patch needs some serious work to control mint overgrowth, raspberry intensive spreading and strawberries.

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I don’t have a vegetable garden here but that will be for the next update. It just has too much overgrown grass that I need to figure out how to control better. And we need to figure out how to fence the garden in but leave room for the pool hose to run along the back without it destroying my shallots.

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And one more thing is the clematis finally has lots and lots of buds and as this post goes up, its already starting to bloom.

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Apparently we have the late summer-early fall variety so that’s why it is going crazy now. When it all blooms, it is going to be so pretty! You might want to head over to Avenue of Daydreams and I’ll have lots of artsy close-up shots of it!

That is really it. We have lots of raspberries, apples and pineapple sage (which has its own accident). The herbs need to be planted into the ground before it gets super cold. That is the next mission also. Updates next time for that.

Cité Memoire

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If you happen to be dropping into Montreal, this is an event I really think is worth your while. All you need is to download the app, have some temporary storage space on your phone and some good shoes to do the walking. Cité Memoire is a concept where it is a history walk around different locations in Old Montreal. There are 30 mins, 60 mins and 90 mins circuits. Both 30 mins and 60 mins have two different circuits each. 90 mins only have one. There is also a Daytime and Nighttime. I have yet to try Nighttime and actually might soon. There are some places that tells you at the stop in a recording with a text (that you can choose to read or not) about the history of the location and the significance and what it has become now with some old photos of what it looked like. There are some spots where you can use your phone and do augmented reality segments where its like a little video. I think the concept is really cool and although I didn’t retain all the information, I did learn a lot about the architecture and the background of some more obscure buildings (not like the Church or Board of Trade or Banks).

Funny story is that I was doing this circuit after work and this Amphitours bus goes by and they are saying the exact same thing passing by the building that I had just listened to the recording for. So you see, all you need are your legs and this history lesson is for free. Plus, Montreal even has set up a wifi that stretches along the entire path so that no extra data fees. I’m not sponsored or anything but this is one of the better ideas Montreal has had. A more detailed post will go up soon 🙂

Midautumn Festival

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 Last night was Midautumn Festival and the full moon was ever so bright! I went for a lovely walk with my mom after having dinner with her to celebrate. Here’s dinner and moon cakes 🙂

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The one on top is the moon cake I usually eat. The one on the bottom is supposedly Taiwanese Moon cake. I believe I’ve tasted it before and its is actually more fluffy and delicate than the top one but then, I like my traditional lotus paste moon cake. 🙂

That’s it for this My Weekly Adventures!  As usual, here is a Cute Kitty Pic! This is my in-laws cat by the way. She’s one month younger than my kitty. Oh, and she hates me..absolutely loathes me for some odd reason…

wp-1474039500774.jpgUpcoming posts:

  •  Cité Memoire
  • Netflix A-Z
  • Vacation

That’s it for My Weekly Adventures!
Next one will be probably with the Halloween month announcement!!

Festival des Vendanges 2016 (Magog, Quebec)

Summer is slowly coming to an end. This past weekend started cooling down a little with some breezes finally making its way into Montreal. Saturday was still a pretty humid day as we waited for the rain to get here but it is perfect for a small road trip out from Montreal, about an hour and a half approximately to the annual Festival des Vendanges 2016. Vendanges means harvest. This festival features a lot of local Quebec business. We had a lovely deal on Tuango for a discount on the “Prolonged Discovery Package” which had 40 coupons to taste what we wanted. We tasted mostly wines and ice ciders and you’ll see it in this post. On the other hand, we also ended up picking up some of them as well and you’ll see which ones at the end as well. However, it wasn’t just wine tasting. They also have local cheeses, baked goods, a variety of oil, balsamic vinegar, foie gras, jams, spices, tea and much more.

Let’s check it out! 🙂

First of all, let’s look at the crowd and imagine how much heat was generated in this tent alone…it was a little crazy.

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And they had these little basins to rinse out your tasting glasses.

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Outside in other tents had restaurant terraces, seminars and little talks on different stuff.

Festival des Vendanges

Now lets get back to what we tasted. Just saying, I might have missed out a few because I walked away without a picture…

Vignoble de l’Orpailleur

Festival des Vendanges

On the left is an aperitif wine and the right is an ice cider by this winery. This was our first stop and it was so amazing. The wine had this hint of brandy/cognac sort of taste and when they described it to have a vanilla and spice aroma, it actually did. We’ve fallen prey to many bad descriptions on wine bottles but this one by the lady helping us with the tasting was spot on. Loved it! 🙂

Vignoble Chemin de la Riviere

Rosé, 2015

I’m a huge fan of Rosé wines. I’m always looking to find some really good ones. My husband encouraged me to try out this one. This one is pretty dry and the aftertaste was not exactly one I enjoyed. However, if you do like dry wines, this might be a good choice.

Domaine & Vins Gélinas

Festival des Vendanges 2016

Another ice cider next: this one was also really good. It had an original taste. The best ice ciders create a nice balance between the acid and sweet taste. This one does a super good job. I guess that is why its a Signature one. 😉

La Roche des Brises Vineyard

Festival des Vendanges

My husband tried this one. The distinct part of this is that it is a red ice wine. Its pretty original considering most are like apple juice colors because its either made by apples or pears. This one turned out to be very distinct in taste. The red texture made us wonder whether it was made with blackcurrants. There are actually a few of these at this festival.

Vignoble Morou

Festival des Vendanges 2016

Another try here for the next Rosé wine by Vignoble Morou called Le Rose des Vents. So…what to say? Remember the last one, I said it was dry. Well, this one was extra dry but, it had a very pleasant aftertaste. I guess pros and cons, right? I guess I’d drink this one much better since the aftertaste lingers much longer.

Vignoble d’Oka

Festival des Vendanges 2016

We tried the Ice Cider at the far left and the Rose Ice.

This place had really interesting sorts of wine. I kind of regret that I didn’t try the Rouge Berry Fruit Wine because that probably is my sort of thing. We tried the Rose Ice one and that one was on the dry side as well but it wasn’t quite as strong as the other ones. This is supposed to be served with ice and I didn’t have that so I wonder if it makes a difference. However, the ice cider blew our minds because it had this spice sort of smoothness to it.

Vergers Petit et Fils

Festival des Vendanges 2016

This ice cider from Verger Petit & Fils is pretty awesome. I think this one wins on the balance they create. It is more on the sweet side but has this nice acidity to it that makes it very nice.

Domaine Cartier-Potelle

Festival des Vendanges

Another ice cider added to our tasting! This one is pretty good. Not quite as distinct as the previous ones.

Domaine Le Grand Saint Charles (Vignoble & Cidrerie)

Festival des Vendanges 2016

A catchy logo, a nicely drawn out label for the bottle and an ice cider that wowed us. We both tried it and it just resonated in our minds. Its rare to meet a wine that not only has a really nice appearance but also has such a delicious taste. Unfortunately, this is one that we didn’t buy as you will see later because we didn’t have any cash on us and they didn’t take credit card, not to mention the line-up for the tastings was super long and there was just one guy super busy. Maybe we’ll visit the winery or check if we can get it on location if its not too far away.

That marks the end of the tastings! And for the haul…

Festival des Vendanges

We just came back from vacation or else we’d have bought almost all the ice ciders that we tasted but these ones won our hearts in the end, along with the last one that I couldn’t get at that moment. The tasting glasses came with the tickets so that is pretty cool. I actually already two from the year before last when I went to Le Grand Degustation. Actually this event was so fun that my husband is considering going to this year’s. That would be pretty cool.

Overall, Festival des Vendanges was tons of fun! Our Tuango coupon actually includes a deal for the coupon book as well as a discount on the entrance tickets.  I’ll be tell you all about the adventures to the different locations from restaurants to tastings and activities. It’ll be fun! It is valid for two years so tons of stuff to fill up our weekends gradually.

Vacation post tomorrow! Remember to drop by! 🙂

YUL EAT Festival 2016

This past weekend in Montreal was not only Labour Day but also YUL EAT Festival. Luckily, I arrived back in Montreal on Saturday so I met up with my girl friends and crew on Labour Day for a nice outing.

Labour Day weekend was fabulous weather. It was sunny and hot. The end result was a huge sunburn since I was ridiculous silly and forgot to put on sunscreen. However, it is the first time I’ve been to the festival and I was really excited to check it out! We did a once over the whole place to get an idea of what food trucks and restaurants were there and their menu.  In the first round, we also had lots of samples from grilled cheese sandwich to sorbet to yogurt to hummus and sparkling water and there was even red wine to taste for free. Some stalls gave our samples and it was really cool.

The menus there were also pretty fantastic. I ended up sharing the food with one of girl friends. It is the way to go in order to try more food.

The first place we tried was Piri Piri. It is a Portuguese restaurant and we got the Grilled Chicken Sandwich.

While we got that, our friends got this Salmon Tartare from another restaurant. I think it was Le Pois Penche which I actually did a restaurant post before for MTL a Table two yeara ago. You can find it HERE.

After that, the heat was murderous and we skipped ahead to dessert with a 100% natural popsicle from a lady on a bicycle pulling her icebox. Her company is called Pops Art. We got the mango-strawberry flavour and it was delicious and refreshing but there are many other flavors as well.

The flavors on the cars read one with another strawberry combo, I think its banana. And theres one with lime and another with honeydew melon.

This was our little refresher while waiting for Taverne Gaspar’s Ribs-Dog to be ready.

Look at that little deliciousness. It was good for sure. I opted out of the cheese on top because of dairy allergies as usual. Its a cool idea. I love ribs so it worked well for my taste.

I feel like the rest of my friends got some food that I didn’t take pictures of. Heat makes me lazy and tired. We eventually sat down by the waterfront near the clock tower and a cute little event called the Waiter Race started.


Three restaurants participated in this relay race of sorts. Each waiter in the team had to run through certain obstacles like up a short flight of stairs and then hopscoth and dig through through a cup of objects and pull out the penny.


After this event, we found a Le Lemon booth which was pretty much pure unsweetened lemonade.


After that, my friend got a dessert after a short walk. Its a lemon coconut tart.


We ended up taking a walk around Old Montreal afterwards: Bonsecours Market, St. Paul Street and eventually ended up at a Starbucks to hydrate and rest before grabbing a dinner beforw heading home.

Before we end this post, here is a lovely shot of Old Montreal and the Clock Tower by the waterfront.


Delicious food, great company, lovely weather and a fantastic sunburn and a lot of quality time with aloe lotion was all worth it and awesome. Next year, I’m going to try to make it to the Rib Fest.

Don’t fret though! I have a few events and festivals I plan on checking out before the end of the year: food and wine!!

Vancouver & Kelowna: The Drive to Kelowna!

Its the start of the vacation posts! This year’s vacation was Vancouver and Kelowna. It marks a few firsts and some pretty awesome experiences.

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The first day of vacation was an early flight out of Montreal to Vancouver. This is memorable because its the first time I’ve taken a trip on a plane with my husband and the second flight he has ever taken. Thanks to our fantastic captain that flew the Air Canada flight to Vancouver, it was a smooth take off and landing. We landed in the morning at the airport, waited for quite some time for our luggage and then met up with my mom who left for Vancouver earlier than we did to spend some time with friends at the airport.

We arrived!!!

We arrived!!!

The next thing was picking up the car.

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We originally had reserved a full-size car but after we talked to the guy at Avis, he suggested that we upgrade to an SUV to fit us, my mom and my aunt and cousin that we picked up shortly afterwards and accommodate everyone’s luggage and still feel comfortable. We ended up with the Ford Explorer. Its been a while that my husband drove such a huge vehicle and just look at all these buttons and controls. We had to take a moment to sit there and figure it all out.

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After the car pick-up, it was time to meet up for lunch at Fortune Terrace Restaurant for dim sum. The restaurant review post will be up a little later this week! Chinese food in Vancouver is spectacular so its one to look out for!

With our bellies filled up and all the luggage packed in and everyone aboard, its time to drive out to Kelowna! For this part, I’m going to let my trusty Samsung Galaxy S6 camera do the trip justice (and it doesn’t because its just breathtaking) and look at all that amazing scenery!

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With that, we’ve entered Kelowna! Crossing the Okanagan Lake on this bridge was just amazing! We checked into our first ever Airbnb experience and it was smooth and awesome!

That night we headed out to a restaurant called Basil and Mint which I’ll also do a short restaurant review about! The funny story is that without even expecting we ended up meeting up with our other family that also chose that restaurant and had a huge reunion before my cousin’s wedding the next day.

Broken Ladder

In the night we headed out with some of my cousins to this new(ish) bar/brewery in downtown Kelowna. I was a tad tired so only had a local apple cider drink. We called it a night pretty early after some good laughs and caught up a little.

That’s it for Day One! Nothing super eventful but it was full of great scenery! 🙂
Drop by soon to check out some restaurant reviews/recaps for the two restaurants mentioned and the next day(s) of the vacation!

La Face Cachee de la Pomme: Guided Visit and Ice Cider Tasting!

Summer is when all the activities start happening. Its why we’re having more little day trip and stuff. I guess that’s the best opening for going on this little guided visit and Ice Cider Tasting to La Face Cachee de la Pomme in the Magog/Eastern Townships area of the province of Quebec. This was redeeming a Groupon deal that I had bought last year but we never ended up going until now.

La Face Cachee de la Pomme

I love La Face Cachee de la Pomme ice ciders a lot. Its my must-buy at the Salon des Metiers d’Arts  during the Christmas season.  I talk about my haul for the last two years already. Its just great gifts and nice for Christmas and New Year’s parties. Now, I’m going far away from the main point of this!

The guided visit and ice cider tasting! Let’s go!

I have no pictures from the guided tour but it was extremely informative to get how it all works. I wasn’t sure if I was allowed and it was super cold in some of the places. I only thought about it on the way there but then it was a hot day so I was in shorts and tank top. I guess it was my fault. Still, the place is incredibly impressive. The process is really intricate.

La Face Cachee de la Pomme

Cheeses

The tasting took a good bit of time with four types of local cheeses to match with nine products. I’ll have a nice little gallery  under and talk about it later. It’ll be in the order we tasted.

Here’s hoping that these pictures are correct. They should be from memory but regardless, below is the list of them and some thoughts:

  1. Bulle de Neige Rose: One of the few here that I haven’t tasted before. I’m not a huge fan usually of sparkling wine in general with a few exceptions. I do like rose wine so this had a fair shot of being something I’d like. However, it was okay. I found it a little dry for my taste but it wasn’t bothersome at all. I would drink it if it was offered and it can probably be an acquired taste.
  2. Neige Methode Traditionnelle: This one was definitely better than the Rose. Its still something like a bubbly but it was a much smoother taste.
  3. Neige Inspiration: If I remember correctly, the way it was described was a mix of the Winter Harvest and Autumn Harvest Ice Cider. Autumn Harvest seems to not exist anymore but I do remember that it was a product before but then I don’t trust my memory all that much. I do remember thinking that if there was a mix of the harvests, it would be an interesting combination and voila! Here we have it! Inspiration is a decent ice cider. I liked it quite a bit but then it has a little bit of a taste that I can’t grasp which I’m not sure how I enjoy past one glass.
  4. Degel: My husband and I had Degel once when we went to the one super fancy restaurant we went to before and I remember not being so impressed with it but its either my tastes have changed or its been improved significantly because Degel was the surprising find! I liked this one a lot!
  5. Neige Premiere: Now we’re heading into the ice ciders I’ve tasted. Neige Premiere is really good. One of my favorite ice ciders ever! But..that was before I tasted the next one…
  6. Neige Reserve: I get Reserve and Premiere every single year because its just so great. Its absolutely awesome! The taste is the perfect balance between sweet and tart and the acidity from the apples.
  7. Neige Winter Harvest: I remember when I tasted this one at the Salon before Christmas, that it was described in some way like a more exotic experience. This one has a very different taste. Probably more exotic and more fruity. I still like this one quite a bit.
  8. Neige Noir: We’re heading into the hard liqueur bit here. I think the best way to describe Neige Noir is that its like a Cognac. Its why we love to mix it. According to our guide, the last year’s batch was like maple syrup whereas this year’s batch will have maple syrup and adding hints of hazelnuts. That has us excited because we love maple syrup and hazelnuts.  Its more pricey but its really worth a try.
  9. Gin de Neige: Ending this off with the strongest of the products and also one I haven’t tasted before. Honestly, I’m not a Gin person mostly because it smells super strong and its not something I enjoy because it would just knock me out in a sip. Its not far from how I felt after I drank this. It burnt down my throat and then made me a little dizzy for a few moments.

Luckily, ending the tasting with Gin de Neige was too much for me, but it was also offset with some Ice Cider Sorbet.

Ice Cider Sorbet

This is a sweet idea on top of it tasting amazing. I believe this was with the Crackling Ice Cider. I’m going to try and make some of this.

That was the end of the tasting and tour! Time for some shopping and picture taking! The decor is something to admire also. The interior design is beautiful and actually a funny bit was that a former employee dropped by for a tasting or something with friends and they beelined for the washroom because apparently its super pretty so of course, we checked that out also. It is done really nice. Look at it!

La Face Cachee de la Pomme

Outside Decor and Plants

La Face Cachee de la Pomme

La Face Cachee de la Pomme

Haul & Gift Bag(with Groupon)

La Face Cachee de la Pomme

The gift bag is with the Groupon deal. It has a 375ml bottle of Neige Method Traditionnelle, Sample bottle of Gin de Neige, two wine glasses with the Neige logo along with a recipe for Sangria Verde (using Degel) and what I assume is the place that provides the cheese samples. I’m sure we’ll be hunting down some of the cheeses because my husband can’t stop talking about two of the four cheeses.

After that is the haul!

La Face Cachee de la Pomme

La Face Cachee de la Pomme

To wrap this up is our little haul. Its a little cheaper to buy from the main facilities of La Face Cachee de la Pomme than in the SAQ (our wine distribution stores). We ended up getting our faves and because we had a decent purchase, we got a little coupon for our next purchase.

Overall..this was really fun! I’ve always wanted to do wine routes and I figured this would be a nice way to see if my husband would like to in the future and he had a lot of fun also. I think maybe we might plan for a wine route next year or something.

That was the end of the visit and time to go home!

Have you gone on wine routes? Have you tasted ice cider?

Ottawa Marathon Race Weekend!

I kind of slacked off this weekend (and the last two for other reasons with an update soon) and that’s because I was away in Ottawa for the Marathon Race Weekend!

Let’s make one thing clear! I was away in Ottawa this weekend but for the third year in a row, I was there as support for my good friend. He’s kind of like my brother and he even volunteered as my photographer at my wedding last year! He usually does only the half marathon BUT this year, he did the 5 km run as well! I’ll get more into detail a little later on the going on of the weekend. There’s food, race starts and shopping haul! Its a nice little getaway from Montreal even if I did miss my husband and my kitty a ton, as I always do. Its nice to be back home even if today is another work day and there’s a deadline tomorrow! 😉

Friday Evening

Sunset

We left for Ottawa after work on Friday evening.  On the road there was a lot of heavy rain here and there. However, somewhere nearing Ottawa, the road was clear and the sunset was clear.  It looked so beautiful! I couldn’t resist a picture.

Our first stop was to T&T Supermarket to grab some dinner to take to the hotel. Here’s what our dinner was.

Dinner T&T Supermarket

There was two different glutinous rice.  There was some dumplings, some rolls and some chow mein. It was all really good.  The only one was the rolls there that was something we never had before and it was pretty good.

Saturday

Its almost routine at this point since its the third year that my friend has joined into the race weekend.  Morning is always for picking up the race package and walking through the running convention and see what other races there are and what new products and sales on running gear and whatnot.

After that, we head out to grab some breakfast.  Like last year, we went to Zak’s Diner.  We enjoyed it quite a bit.

Zak's Diner

Zak's Diner

I decided to have a little healthier dish so I replaced the home fries with a fruit salad. My friend had the banana pancakes and he said it was really good: fluffy and delicious.

After that, we went off to do some shopping around Rideau Centre. He left a little earlier than I did to gear up for his 5 km race at 4pm.  I stayed about an hour more.  The really great discovery is that this August, there will be a Disney store there. We’re super excited about that! 🙂

As for the shopping, I found some pretty great deals! I’ll have the haul at the end. Let’s skip forward to the 5 km. There was a huge issue with the heat that day so the morning was mostly also waiting for the times to see if all the races were on time. The 5 km was not affected but the half marathon was changed earlier for the next day. However, the arrangement was that they would provide more water stations and mist to cool down the runners for all the races.

Ottawa Race Weekend

Before 5 km race, kids cooling down

Ottawa Race Weekend

Ottawa 5 km Race Weekend

5 km start

Ottawa Race Weekend 2016

The 5 km; Ravens controlling the start; Drone filming

Ottawa

According my friend, he ran the 5 km in a decent time.  Slight more than he expected.  His one complaint, which I’m sure he will address more on his own, was that there was no water station until the 4 km mark when there was supposed to be at 2.5 km. That’s a big deal because it was unexpectedly humid and hot at around 35+ degrees Celsius. Even if its a short run, its still dangerous to be out running in this weather without more hydration available. I wasn’t running it so that’s all I’m going to talk about this, because they did manage to regulate it for the other races.

Sunday

Ottawa Half Marathon 2016

Half Marathon Start

The highlight of Sunday was the half marathon.  The race was moved up 45 minutes to hopefully ease the heat.  The lucky part was that the weather did ease up a little and it was less humid and had moment of cool breeze.  At least, it was so until a little later in the morning for the end of the race for my friend. I was tracking him on Sportstat so I had a good idea where he was. Good news is that with the very well done job on cool down and hoses from residences and businesses along the running path, my friend did his personal best in a half marathon. Congrats to him!

T&T Ottawa

Dimsum at T&T Supermarket

After checkout, we headed to T&T Supermarket to pick up some dimsum for lunch before heading back to Montreal.

Before I end this post, as I promised here is the...SHOPPING HAUL!

EB Games

PS4 Games: Thief, The Evil Within, Until Dawn

Eddie Bauer

Hiking Pants and Casual Shorts at Eddie Bauer

Victoria Secret

Victoria Secret Sports Bra

Dynamite Clothing

V-Neck Tunic Tank at Dynamite Clothing

Sugar Mountain

Gummies and Nerds at Sugar Mountain

While this is quite a bit of stuff, it actually wasn’t too expensive and everything had a good deal. The highlight would be the great find at EB Games (or Gamestop) for Until Dawn which was pretty much half of what it is sold online. And I’ve been wanting to play it since last year and review it on That Moment In. I’m pretty excited to play it after Life is Strange (for the next Game Warp Podcast soon). Although I do need to finish Little Big Planet 3.

Also, I was pretty impressed and surprised at the Victoria Secret’s new Sport Bra design for medium support since it doesn’t have the wire support anymore but still is equally as good and comfortable. This is the one thing I always get at Victoria Secret because its expensive normally (there was a sale this weekend) but its so much more durable and comfortable.

Everything else was a necessity since I’m a little short on summer clothes since I haven’t bought much in the last few years. 🙂

Overall…It was a really fun weekend as usual! It was really hot but also extremely nice to know that summer is on its way. I am still thinking about joining either the 5 or the 10 km next year. I’m absolutely motivated to do more running this year.  So far I’ve only ran once.

That’s it for the Ottawa Race Weekend recap!

Have you been to Ottawa? Have you run in any sort of marathon (5 km, 10 km, Half, Full)?

My Weekly Adventures: The Big 3-0 (Recap & Announcement)!

I’m 30 today! Honestly, that’s all I have to say about that!

Back to our normal recap, its my birthday so I figured, I’d have an announcement sort of thing at the bottom.  Deal is that, this was supposed to be like a big thing but I didn’t manage to get everything decided and figured out.  More details at the bottom with a little message.

Lets start with some recap!

Toronto Comicon & Ripley’s Aquarium

Toronto Comicon

Call it a blogathon celebration or whatever, I ended up meeting up with Drew (Drew’s Movie Reviews) to check out Toronto Comicon and Ripley’s Aquarium.  You can find those posts HERE and HERE! It was a ton of fun.  Now I’m on a comicon high so I already have Ottawa Comicon set and I’m debating on Montreal Comicon, but that is in July so the guests are exactly set yet.

Aside from that, I’m pretty hyped up about finding more cool events to go to.

Baking Frenzy & Baking Through Disney

Pinocchio Cupcakes

I got back to baking this past two weeks and had two recipes go live! One was for the delicious Hong Kong style Egg Tarts (recipe HERE) and then the second was the Baking Through Disney Cupcakes for Pinocchio (recipe HERE). I have to say that I’m geared up to get back on track with this stuff.  The only deal is to organize time so that I am motivated.  With winter leaving us and spring bringing in a little warmer weather and some more sunlight between the spring showers, I’m already working on some ideas for Fantasia.  The review for that should go up soon.  I’m trying to stay on track to do one movie and one recipe every month.  Its a pretty challenging goal but one I plan on managing to do this year.

Dinner and Karaoke with my Best Friend

On Good Friday, I met up with my best friend who has been incredibly busy so I haven’t seen her a lot.  While I was waiting for her, I went to Pharmaprix/Shopper’s Drug Mart and found Kombucha there! I’ve seen it on TV before, I think it was on Dragon’s Den and I’ve been wanting to try it so I grabbed the Rosehip and Hibiscus one.  It was absolutely a delight.

Kombucha

After meeting up with my best friend, we went out to grab a little something to eat.  I took an appetizer as I wasn’t too hungry and she took a club sandwich that was a lot bigger than she expected it to be.

Reuben's

Reuben's

We headed off to some long overdue karaoke for 2 hours afterwards and headed home.  I did do some recordings of it but decided to not because the moment I upload it to Youtube in a video, its going to have some copyright issue so I rather not have to deal with that 😉 We sang some Chinese songs and a few English ones.

Here was two that I’m not so good at but I have a lot of fun singing. This is possibly one of my fave Karen Mok songs and well, Jordan Chan’s song is ridiculous but I used to like rapping although my voice is not anywhere near as tough as it should be so it sounds pretty unconvincing but it has a nice tune/beat.

Potluck and Game Night with Friends

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The past weekend, we had a nice gathering with friends.  We made some ribs and those cupcakes up there.  Everyone made delicious food from salmon to roasted veggies to chicken to salads and chicken wings.   It was a great time talking and laughing.  Then we sat down to learn how to play Pandemic together.

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We played a total of two games.  The first game took us an hour to set up and work through the rules and get an idea of what was going on.  The second game went much smoother and we defeated the pandemic although we were at 6 outbreaks and incredibly close to losing again. Teamwork and strategizing, that helped us out quite a bit. 😉

ANNOUNCEMENT & THANK YOUS!

people

I’m writing this pretty much around midnight jumping into March 31st.  I had debated to just give myself a day off from the blog but turning 30 is a big deal to many people.  I’m not so affected by it.  I still feel pretty young at heart and a lot of my achievements and self-satisfaction comes from doing the blog so I wouldn’t want to spend it any other way than with all of you lovely people who drop by today, yesterday, from the beginning of this blog, even in the future.  Nothing means more for my birthday than saying my thank you to all of you! I take all my opportunities to tell you all how much I appreciate all of you.  I’ve made a ton of blogging buddies here and its just been an amazing experience that I would never trade for anything.  With that said, I’ve been thinking of getting rid of the wordpress.com and owning a domain.  As much as I love Tranquil Dreams, I do want to get out of the “klling” thing because thats hard for anyone to find this place.

The big announcement is that I’m working on a new name and a new banner and moving over to a new domain.  Its a plan in progress.  The hardest part is deciding on a name but I think I might have something that works now.  I’m still getting some feedback from friends.  Once that is decided, I’m heading straight to put together that banner and deciding the next step of where to go from there.  I’m excited for this change and I hope that you all will have fun with it as well.  I’ll have another more formal announcement when things are about to wrap up with possibly a launch date.  I’ll make sure that everything is going to shift as smoothly as possible for everyone.  Decisions, decisions, decisions: thats where I’m at right now.  I’m sorry that its not done yet but I promise its a work in progress.  The hardest part is that Tranquil Dreams is so versatile and finding something that fits it all in and has a nice ring to it.  Work in progress! We’ll get there! I’m getting a lot of help from friends and my husband.

THANK YOU SO MUCH! THINKING OF WHAT TRANQUIL DREAMS HAS ACHIEVED IN THE LAST 5 YEARS MAKES TURNING 30 FUELED WITH ENERGY! 🙂

And to wrap things up…

Cute Kitty Time!

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Upcoming:

  • Netflix A-Z: N-?? (taking this segment a little easier as I catch up with a few movies in preparation for some upcoming movies and work on some backlogged content)
  • Disney Project: Fantasia Review
  • A few book reviews

Have an awesome day!! 🙂