Monday, May 15, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

I can say that I am truly blessed to be Adriana's Mommy. Today she actually surprised me for the first time ever! I cried and all I could do was stare at her all day...she's all mine <3

On Thursday she brought home a gift bag and asked me not to look instead (Fine!). She placed the bag on her nightstand and it sat there until Sunday. I had no idea that beside it was another gift wrapped in tissue paper too. She was VERY excited to have me open these gifts that she had clearly made for me.
First was this lovely "All About my Mommy" art she created. Although most of the answers are incorrect (I do not weigh 200lbs lol) I love her answers anyways. My favourite is "I love my Mommy because...She loves me" Yup how true little girl!

The gift bag had this beautiful mug inside with a picture she drew of me (with snails for some reason). On the back it says Love Adriana in her writing. The wrapped tissue paper was the picture of her blowing me kisses attached with the card.

Nothing would be complete without flowers on Mother's Day - these were from Patrick along with a card. We spent the afternoon dining at the Old Mill Toronto with my parents and my older sister. The food was delicious and service was quick. It was a buffet style lunch and the trays were replenished repeatedly (no food left in the bottom). It included breakfast items (bacon, eggs, sausage, waffles, etc) as well as a carving table with roasted ham. Adriana's favourite was the chocolate fountain for dessert - she picked strawberries and marshmallows. Like most buffets it also had a salad bar, bread table, veggies and a seafood table.
Thank you darlings for making my day very special! 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Old Port, Montreal, QC

I love this city...for all the reasons below:

Although it was a rough start to the trip, it turned out to be an amazing time! Personally, I will never fly with Air Transat again - our easy peasy, 30mins flight turned into 2hrs in delays. They served cold tap water (I expected at least a pop or juice), and there was no communication as to why we're still sitting at the gate 45mins after the last announced delay. Once we landed in Montreal it was much better.

We took an Uber from the airport to the apartment we rented - so much easier than a cab and it was cheaper! The driver was fantastic, he was conversational, polite, funny, accommodating, etc. Quick trip but great service. I would expect nothing less considering Uber was created in Montreal!

We arrived so late that we missed our reservations at Modavie - however we still went to grab apps and some drinks. I had been looking forward to this place since I saw it last time we were there. It was so packed that we had to skip it but future planning allowed us to sneak a table reso for late when we arrived on the Friday. It was worth the wait - I had the braised lamb poutine and Patrick had the charcuterie board. Paired with a glass of wine each, of course! The live jazz band was still going and they weren't overly loud like some places in Toronto. It was very enjoyable! Beautiful decor, great location, service was amazing, and the food was delicious. Well worth the visit.

It was an early rise in the AM to get ready, pick up some quick breakfast and a cappuccino, then head to Bota Bota. We planned to do just the water therapies to relax and enjoy the company. If you arrive before 10am, its cheaper then the rest of the day and you can stay up to 3hrs. We checked in, changed and headed up to the 3rd floor hot tub. This was a great view of the city - we left our phones in the change room lockers and really tuned in with each other. Thankfully the weather cooperated and we had no rain, just a cool morning breeze off the river that was was refreshing. We moved down to the outside garden, where they had a heated pool, huge hot tub, cold plunge pool, sauna, steam room, fire pit, lounge chairs and (what i called) nap rooms. It was a good way to shut off and just enjoy - we didn't really have a timeline, except for the show that night. We soaked in the bit of sunshine that was coming out from the clouds, commenting on the high water from all the rain, talked about the new apartment (another post to come!), and our plans. It was beautiful and much needed.

After we left there, we went back to drop off our bags and head for lunch. We just walked until we saw a place we liked and went in. it was almost 2pm when we started eating. It was a small pizzeria where we sat and have a glass of wine (Rose for lunch!) and an appetizer. We took our first horse and carriage ride together to let our lunch settle. Our guide was funny and informative as we whisped through the streets with our Starbucks drinks. Then a walk up through the cobblestone streets, stepping into shops to browse, site seeing - all in the direction back to the apartment for a rest before we get ready for the night. I had closed by eyes for  about 30mins before we had to get up. Dinner before the show and we hadn't decided where to eat yet. Didn't really matter to me...its all good food!

We walked over to Jacques Cartier street and eventually settled down at Trattoia Gio - a beautiful restaurant that had a quiet patio to sit and people watch. It was good service, great wine list and delicious servings. We didn't have a big dinner, because we knew we would have to sit through the show and stay awake - which won't be hard. The show was absolutely beautiful!! I cried twice - but to be fair...I was emotional all weekend! It was different to hear the show in French (very little English) but we could understand most of it. It was a captivating show like always and our seats were fabulous! (CAA memembership is key) We saw a few new things in this show like a tight rope walker, an acrobat whose line was attached to her hair (ouch!) and the grand finale was BMX bike runs that basically were AT the crowd. It was just amazing!

After the show, we walked around the streets (twice) just experiencing the night. The weather was perfect, people flooded the streets, there was a few weddings going on, music everywhere. I love watching the lights off the river, hearing conversations as we pass groups of people, the cobblestone streets, etc. Its the entire atmosphere of Old Port, Montreal that really gets me every time.

The next morning we were up early to head over to the station. We made sure to grab a tea and some food first - even though we were in business class, we would get snacks and lunch, not breakfast. It was super easy to find the station (all kinds of signs pointing the direction). We had priority boarding so it was a short wait in the Business Lounge before we headed down the escalator to our car. We planned this in advance to only do carry-on bag so we didn't have to wait for luggage to be offloaded. Everything was on time the entire way - include open bar service ready to go at exactly 11am! (Thanks Via Rail!!) Service was great, it was quiet enough to take a nap, we had plenty of room to stretch out, I enjoyed the window seat and the lunch options were great. We arrived into Union station (Toronto) at exactly 2:07pm, hopped off the train and across the street for the GO Bus back to Mississauga.

It was a jammed packed weekend but not overwhelming by any means. We definitely enjoyed this trip without the driving (traffic) much more. Next time I'd love to do the train there and back, now that we know how easy it is! Also, next time we're bringing Adriana to finally experience this beautiful city. She would love everything - especially the food!

What are some of your favourite places in Canada? in the world?
Have you traveled by train before?
What was your experience?