Friday, October 30, 2015

Autumn social butterflies

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted. Dang Facebook sucking all my social time. Of course if we are friends on there, there won't be much new for you here unless you like my more expository writing on the blog. As you will see, we have been quite social in real life too.

A couple weeks after Camp Camp, we went out to Granby to stay the weekend with our friends. It's only an hour drive but since we like to drink with them, we stay there or they stay here. We brought George with us.

It's funny though, I didn't really think that at my age we would be making REALLY good friends anymore, you know, the kind you can call up anytime for any reason? Well we can! I met Annick when she was my student. We became friends and we have all just gotten closer and closer. Annick is the one who got me into doing the travel agent business so now we work together too. I got my first commission check this week. Imagine making money for doing something FUN. I get such a kick when someone asks me to check on travel prices. And extra, extra fun if I find it cheaper than the public travel search engines. I'd say I find it cheaper 90% of the time. And I just tell people where to buy it if I can't get it cheaper. I'm a good egg that way.

We can talk about ANYTHING with them. And as you can see, we hide very little. We went over to Annick's uncle's house (remember last year at the domaine?) and there was a crew there taping a wedding for a series on tv. We weren't allowed to take pictures of any of that though.

As I said. Ahem. This may have been after a few drinky-drinks. Can't wait til our next visit together!

Our friends from Halifax came out for several days and we enjoyed eating several delicious meals with them. They also like to drink and although I worry about my consumption, John can drink me under the table and then I don't worry so much. I didn't take very many pictures of their visit. My bad. I like to take pictures because then I can remember events better, what with my swiss cheese brain.

A week later we had our Moularian potluck. This is our annual get together and although it was a rainy night, Jacynthe had put a tarp up over the table in the back yard so we could sit outside. Missing this year was Sophie, but we all got together another time when she came into town. The Moularian reference is because we all used to work at the now defunct restaurant La Moulerie, which was a mussels and fries place. Although we took "nice" pictures, we always do  a make a face one too. This one cracked me up. Also, thanks to Anny who renewed Serge and my wedding vows with the most foul mouthed ceremony it was hilarious. I have video of Anny's foul mouth by I am not allowed to post it on the internet.

Here we all are again when Sophie came into town from Turkey. Jacynthe had left for Spain so it was just 6 of us again. This was at a place that had oyster happy hour - a buck an oyster. So Serge and I gave it a go again. (We have been trying to like oysters for years now.) And this time was the charm! We ordered plate after plate. So now we are oyster eaters. For us it was an acquired taste now firmly in the yum category.

It was a celebratory evening. Serge and I were celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary and it was also Marie-André's and Sophie's birthday. So champagne was had along with the oysters. The beer here was after the champagne. Yes, alcohol probably figures too highly in our lives. I had been four days as a non-smoker at this point. (I quit smoking October 5th)

Once I had a week of non-smoking under my belt, I decided to reward myself. My friend Sue had put a recipe up on Facebook called Maple Caramel Bacon Crack. It had four ingredients - pillsbury crescent rolls, maple syrup, brown sugar and bacon. It was SO unbelievably delicious that Serge and I ate the whole thing in one afternoon and evening. And there was a full pound of bacon in it. Now how will I top that when I have a month of non-smoking under my belt?

It may seem like our lives are all sunshine and roses, but it isn't always. In the last few months two large diagonal cracks opened up in our walls in the office and the closet. The cracks went all the way through to the neighbors'. We have one common wall. We pow-wowed with the neighbor and decided to fill in the crack and patch it up. When the guy opened it up we discovered that it had cracked and been repaired before. Since our building is on 50 feet of clay, shifting and settling is common. Hopefully it will stay stable for a while. Just love those thousand dollar bills that come out of nowhere, not.

I didn't get a three day weekend for Thanksgiving because I had to work all day that Saturday. I wanted to go hiking at the place we couldn't get into last year because we arrived too late and there was absolutely no place to park. We almost didn't make it in time this year either. But we made it and had a lovely walk around the lake and through the forest.

The colors were quite spectacular and I finally found the setting on the camera that let me capture them. If I used this setting with our faces in it, our faces were too red, so really just good for colorful nature shots.

The area is known for all the apple orchards and as we were walking back to the car, one of them had a sign mentioning the patio and bar out back. We walked back to have a look and WOW, look at that amazing view over the Richelieu valley. It wasn't quite noon yet but we just had to sit and have a glass of hard cider and admire it. Then we walked to the crepe place we like and had crepes with sparkling hard cider. Pretty much a perfect day. Easy to be thankful when that happens.

A week later, Serge's cousin came to town and we met up at our favorite watering hole La Distillerie. Had those amazing burning margaritas again. It was a short visit but fun that we got to go out.

After Alaska, Serge and I started doing the fit for life diet, suspended it for Camp Camp and then continued. I got to my lowest weight as an adult, 159 and feel great. Since quitting smoking the pounds are slowly creeping back, but what should I expect when I am eating maple caramel bacon crack. Very happy with all the positive changes I'm making. I LOVE being a non-smoker again.

Then last weekend our friends Mark and Joe drove up from Delaware for their first visit to Montreal. Mark and I met by blogging and we have been to their place twice near Rehoboth Beach. I just love to initiate people to the pleasures that Montreal has to offer, like this watering hole called The Lab. Such interesting cocktails they make there and all in the theme of a speak-easy during Prohibition.

And we had to take them to La Banquise for poutine. The twenty minute wait in the rain was totally worth it. Serge got his with smoked meat and corn dog slices in it. He had the regular size. I made the mistake of ordering the large with smoked meat. So delicious but my digestive system got mad at me for a couple days. Worth it still. I will not have another until my brother visits in December.

We took the metro and bus all over town and I showed them all around old Montreal, the Olympic park, Marche Jean Talon where they scored the amazing maple creme cookies and even a drive out of town to Mont Tremblant.

When we got there, we were disappointed to learn that the chairlift was closed. Apparently it is only closed between Thanksgiving and the first skiable snowfall. Probably a three week window. Stupid. However, they had the beaver tail place in the village! I was quite happy to turn our friends on to one. We shared it so although I only permit myself one per year, I didn't feel too guilty. Plus they chose the flavor and it is now my new favorite. Nutella, peanut butter and Reese's Pieces. Heaven.

A good time was had by all. We may even plan a week long getaway to Mexico with them this winter. Serge thought I was a freak when I put up the Christmas tree the day after they left. Instant good mood for me. It is a bit early since tomorrow is Halloween but as many of you know we take a picture for our holiday card. Since I am going to visit my brother for US Thanksgiving weekend in San Francisco, I need to have them all done and addressed by then. Postage is far cheaper if I mail them from there to my US peeps. Plus I get two months of Christmas music! This shot didn't make the cut but I like it anyway.

So now you are all caught up as am I. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy autumn.