A Travellerspoint blog

Let the Festivals BEGIN

overcast 17 °C

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The beginning of summer and the start of the fabulous festivals.

Last weekend we traversed to Old Montreal to experience the lush side of Festival season, the celebration of history and sweet delicacies that make up much of this area. Beautiful hand made chocolates, fluffy pastries, maple syrup yummies and so much more.

Eleni loved the old fashioned Merry Go round and it was a challenge to remove her, her 1st, 2nd. 3rd, and 4th rides ever!

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I'm getting more adventurous and headed to the end of the metro with Eleni where we spent an hour walking around a 9 hectare park looking for Mums we found online but ended up having a lovely picnic on our own and not even seeing half the park! Apparently there is a farm, maze and ponds with boats but we didn't see any of that, no maps indicating any of that either - maybe next time!

We have obtained ourselves a babysitter, a really nice girl studying at a local college over summer, we're working our way into it slowly, dinner downstairs at the portugese resto. That night also happens to mark the anniversary of Marty proposing to me!!!

Other big news, we think we found our new Church, Westmont seems to be fitting well with us and us with them. I ventured to the women's bible study which was great and they didn't even mind Eleni's...... noise. A really special group of woman it seems and this has helped colour things a lighter shade of grey for me.

Love to all until next time,

Jenx

Posted by JenniM 14:44 Archived in Canada Comments (1)

Our week in review

sunny 31 °C
View Family Car Trip on JenniM's travel map.

We're back,

As of last Tuesday we have been in Montreal for 5 weeks, pretty sureal I keep thinking we can pop home any moment now.

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Our Canadian adventures continues......

Last weekend was a foray to the Jardin botanique and Insectarium. In the botanical gardens and a house of insects! It was enormous, the tulips were in bloom, numerous gardens dedicated to different area, China, Japan, what a peaceful place to be. Looking forward to going back in summer, lanterns and fireworks and all sorts of fun stuff. The insectarium was fa if you're a bug enthusiast. Wild bees have been enticed from outside to build a home iside a persplex box, ants busily worked away, pinned creatures from a round the world and even some live insects some enormous and a small section on Australian bugs. Couldn't say I recognised many though.

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Points of interest;

  • most public pools are free
  • cars give way to pedestrians even with no lights or signs
  • the metro system has been on strike since Tuesday, the news reported that there has only been 2 long strikes in Quebec, most ONLY go for 4 weeks! It is running for peaks hours so people can get to work if you have regular hours but shuts down after that, this includes most buses which are connected to the metro system

Posted by JenniM 08:40 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Mother's Day

rain 15 °C

So another week in Montreal has passed us by and what a week. Full of extreme nothing to complete busyness, the highlight -

* MOTHERS DAY *

Happy Mother's Day to all you Mummies and Mummies to be and Mummies to be one day! We hope you all had a beautiful day however you chose to spend it.

We had a wonderful day, ventured to unchartered territory, checked out a new Church, we lucked out - it was in English. Really friendly with one another but didn't really go out of the way to chat with us not in a mean way just very busy with one another. The worship and sermon were actually great so hopefully we will seettle in soon.

After we went to markets, landed at Lachine canal for icecream - yum, and wandered around and returned home exhausted. All in all a relaxed and special day.

Saturday morning we finally got to do brunch on St Denis - it felt pretty cool sitting on the footpath watching people go by, slightly tarnished by the man who moved away because of "the woman speaking 'english' to her child, yes English" (he said this on his mobile in French, duh we aren't all idiots).

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So folks we shall sign off for another week, we've been rained in today so poor Eleni is a little stir crazy and we're looking forward to a top of 5 on Thursday, that should be fun.

Lots of love to you all.....

Posted by JenniM 17:05 Archived in Canada Comments (2)

End Week One in the Apartment

sunny 24 °C

8th May '07

So ends the first week in our new house. You forget how many bits and pieces a home needs when you have to start from scratch. Really refreshing though I have already reminded Marty we’re not here forever so don’t start stock piling stuff! (He was talking filing cabinets – he likes to save bits of paper amongst other things).

Spring is definitely here, if the budding trees and sprouting tulips weren’t a giveaway the beating drums were the clincher. FYI when the sun returns the local alternates (hippies and hangers on) gather in the park on the hill to beat their drums. It is rather awesome 100s get together to play and dance or watch with their picnics. Eleni had a great time dancing, next time we’ll take our own picnic. There’s also a make shift market stretching along the foot path, we may get inspired and buy our own African drum.

We also finally got to play tourist. We went to Old Montreal which is just beautiful. We wandered, ate, photographed, went to the museum which is built on an archaeological site (I loved that), and have an interactive program allowing you to experience some of the life of the first settlers. Hoping the photos come out well, will post when we can. Internet should be working by Wednesday – apparently it takes a week to press a button. Not holding my breath as nothing has been easy, I keep thinking about the hassles you guys must have had Ro and Sharon and totally feel for you now. The latest incident involves being in the middle of the marche (market) only to find out my new eftpos card wasn’t working – Marty’s is though.

Anyway, we will continue to check out the local sites, and prepare ourselves for our visitors near and far and will know where the best places to go will be. Steph the more I walk the streets the more shops I find that you were talking about, have to wait for Marty though as I fear what Eleni may break while we are on our own, a lot of the groovy shops are quite small. And Sharon I found the most enormous scrap book shop, maybe I shouldn’t tell you where…….

Love to all, off to the park, a great day for kites!

Jenx

Posted by JenniM 18:31 Archived in Canada Comments (1)

The Big Move

sunny 19 °C

Blog: 4 May 2007

We have finally done, we have secured a new home and moved in – what a challenge.

After our big Ikea shop with some great bargains collected we seem to have settled in. We actually have built in wardrobes but no shelves so our suitcases have become substitute drawers, lots of fun though.

It’s nice being in our own space though the last tenants still have a few things to collect, every time I turn a corner there is something else of theirs to add to the pile. The difference in attitudes related to renting here is amazing. We were told that as long as the owner gets the rent the rest kind of sorts itself out. All rentals are private though some are under building management so therefore a little more care is taken. Cleanliness expectations are up to the owner therefore we moved into a complete mess! It is heated and sealed form the elements (no gaps in the floor boards) but I’m still a little mystified about rubbish collection and other basics like that. It’s a bit hit and miss really. Oh and we had to have a personal interview at the bank just to open a bank account!

Food review – thought this might tickle your funny bone. Being in the Portuguese area, we’re talking flags at every corner so if anyone has a spare Aussie flag send it our way, I feel the need to be patriotic. Every other shop is Portuguese, restaurants, corner store, nick knacks, souvenirs, and fast food oh and everything else is char grilled, even the pizza tastes like that. I got excited making a sandwich the other day because I knew it wasn’t grilled or fried in anyway.

This is definitely a coffee region, finding decent tea is a needle in the haystack though I did find a chai latte on Tuesday that was a good day, no comparison to Batavia though. Tea generally consists of your choice from the box, herbal or mostly earl grey in a bag! Sheena it’s terrible. Steph you would love the bacon, extra extra extra crispy! The hot chips (fries) are so over cooked, if Aussies served dark brown fries they’d be returned as burnt! You could mortgage your house for cheese here, a simple block is worth around $5 for 200gm (and it’s orange) though a lot of other things are cheaper half price Pert was exciting.

The pub/café across the road is really family friendly; Eleni even happily ate the food. I’ve tracked down a noodle bar in walking distance which is great too.

I’m looking forward to being a tourist this weekend; I’m actually tired of shopping. Just don’t want to think about something else the apartment needs.

Eleni has grown a little more, she’s not been going to sleep until 10pm but since moving in we’ve managed to get her to 9 – 9.30pm. We will keep working toward 6.30/7pm just so we can have some time to ourselves. I think she misses the social interaction from Kindy and once we sort a few more things out we’ll look into maybe a day a week. There’s a pool not far so we could try swimming lessons as well. The park is great; we actually had a conversation with someone on Tuesday. Can’t believe how much I miss adult conversation. Just that little bit of work last term has given me a real taste of independence.

Hey did we mention we live above a Portuguese restaurant. The previous tenants said they are a bit noisy Fri/Sat night because they are open late, kind of right they are open late every night! The lounge room is the quietest; our bedroom the loudest, thankfully Eleni likes back ground noise when she is sleeping. We will have to venture down there soon, just thought I’d get over the char grill taste first before eating any more.

Love to you all, Jenx

Posted by JenniM 18:20 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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