My one year anniversary of being in Montreal is around the corner and I thought I’d dedicate a post (and a photo, of course) to this beautiful city that has shown me nothing but warmth, friendship and good times from the day I set foot here last May. The most special thing I found about Montreal is the four seasons, how truly humbling, patient, wise and majestic nature is. And I learned from it a very simple yet inspiring lesson: that there is no Spring without Winter. We really learn the simplest and most beautiful lessons from nature. So, here is my sunset photo to you, Montreal.
(Photo taken from Oratoire Saint Joseph)
“You cannot prevent the birds of sadness from passing over your head, but you can prevent them making a nest in your hair.” – Chinese proverb
I think personal happiness begins once we accept that there is no day without night and there is no spring without winter, and once we know how to enjoy and appreciate both. They are two sides of the same coin but not so many people have the clarity of mind and emotions to realize that and see it as beautiful.
Don’t curse the bleak white winter, just be sure that it is necessary for nature to go through winter to bring you your beloved spring.
Don’t be fooled by the blues skies and yellow sun. Today was a freezing day in Montreal, sunny but biting cold!
Here are a few photos from my Sunday walk around the city.
Have a warm week everyone!
What do you do with the following ingredients: two cars, 7 friends, -5 C, a Sunday, Quebec?
You go to a sugar shack!
Sugar shacks, or sugar houses, (cabanes a sucre in French) are very popular in Eastern Canada and between March and April is the season for what they have to offer. They are cabins that were established to make maple syrup. Sugar shacks now offer a meal in the cabin where most of the food is made with maple syrup and some even have a chimney and live music. In Quebec, it is quite popular during the months of March and April to go to a cabane a sucre to have a typical meal from the region and then have tire d’erable on the snow, which is maple syrup on the snow that solidifies into a caramel-like texture and then scooped by you with a wooden Popsicle stick! Simple, silly but fun!
Needless to say, it turned out to be a cool Sunday. Here are a few photos.
My grandmother used to say that the poor one is the one who doesn’t have friends.
During this festive period of the year, I can’t help but be grateful for being surrounded with the best kind of friends who add meaning, warmth and endless laughter to our days.
Happy Holidays! Whether you celebrate or not, I hope you’re enjoying this time of the year with friends and family.
Nothing Gold Can Stay
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
- Robert Frost
Everyone who knows me knows that I am a huge lover of coffee, not because I am addicted to it but because I really enjoy the taste of it. However, I cannot have it black. I can have it sugarless, but I have to add milk or cream to it. Before coming to Canada, I always added milk to my coffee (or simply had a cappuccino), but in Canada it is very popular and common to add 10% cream (half and half) to your coffee. Now I take my coffee with a little bit of 10% cream, and man the difference it makes!
(Entre Le Cafe et La Plume)
(Le Depanneur Cafe)
So, the first thing that I did when we first got to Montreal was try out all the cafes in the neighborhood, and every place I went to I made sure that I took their business card. Needless to say, I now have a box full of business cards for cafes, bistros and little restaurants in Plateau and Mile End. And anyone who lives in Montreal (or has been to Montreal) knows perfectly well how quaint and artsy these two neighborhoods are. So, here is my list of the top cafes that I’ve been to, in alphabetical order.
If you are ever anywhere on Avenue du Parc in Montreal, you have to stop at Les Sandwichs Volants for one of their grilled sandwiches, I guarantee you that you’ll be fantasizing about returning to Les Sandwichs Volants after trying their cheesy, immensely-rich-in-flavor sandwiches. On top of that, they are not pricey at all! I, for one, am proudly guilty of overindulging on Les Sandwichs Volants’ sandwiches.
They also offer daily specials but I yet have to try those. They usually run out of them if you’re there for a late lunch. The lasagna with spinach and ricotta cheese sounds really good, but unfortunately there was none left last time I was there.