Bonne Année de Montréal

Bonjour, tout le monde!

(Yes, I’m a little into my aquarelles/water colors lately!)

I wish you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year! Jordan and I plan to ring in the New Year by eating arepas at the friend of a friend’s place before heading over to Montreal’s Old Port for the fireworks and fun at Le Grande Bal. Snow is forecasted for the evening/night, of course. We wouldn’t want a celebration without snow, right?

Update: after the original post, I went back to review what I did last year, since I could not remember.  That’s right, the “other Jordan” was with us for a calm evening in Knoxville.  Thank goodness for blogging habits, huh?

Anyone else have New Year’s Eve plans for the evening?



Playing in the Snow

We all love the snow, right?

Planning is difficult in the winter. Crazy difficult. For example, last week, I thought I was going skiing one day, and day tripping to Quebec City the next. But winter had other plans. Montreal received 40-odd centimeters of snow in one day. It was intense.

So my friends and I made the responsible choice of staying in the city.  And then like all responsible adults, we hit up a diner for a quintessentially mediocre diner breakfast and then went ice skating (inside of course). I was actually interviewed by CBC radio about the snow changing our plans….but I wasn’t able to hear the broadcast. I’m quite curious about how that ended up being relayed to the general public.

Hey, would you believe that I wasn’t the only person at the breakfast table snapping photos of lack-luster coffee?

I find it so interesting to hang out with the crew I was with. There were five of us, and our native languages are English, Spanish, or Portuguese. But French is our common, broken, student language. So we speak French. It has got to be hilarious for anyone around us.

Also, being with people who are not well-acquainted with snow on the day of a snow storm: priceless. The day was documented with videos and photos galore. I was the slacker as far as that is concerned, but I did get a few photos of the snow.

Both trips have been rescheduled, but I had a conflict with the ski trip, so am going to be sitting it out. If Mother Nature allows, I will be headed to Quebec City later this week…

And as I write this, the snow is falling again, and the city of Montreal says it needs four more days to finish cleaning up after the last snowfall. I’m not counting my winter chickens before they hatch this time.

Boxing Day

Before I regale you with photos of our holiday food (or you could say our lack of Christmas Eve/Day activities) at the end of this week, I want to take a moment to wish you a Happy Boxing Day. I honestly have no idea if that is something people do. I just know that people go crazy over the sales on Boxing Day.

You [almost] literally have to box with other people to get to the jeans or boots you are eyeing. It was a crazy, Black-Friday-esque atmosphere on St. Catherine today.  I saved 30 dollars on a pair of pants, but had to wait in line for 45 minutes. Opportunity costs, dear economists, opportunity costs.

In other news, tomorrow I will be going downhill skiing with some friends from my French classes.  In high school P.E. class, I couldn’t even handle the tiny hill in the school woods.  I remember our twelve person pile-up. Thus, I took out a special insurance policy for the day. That’s not a joke. I’m avoiding the expert slopes. Wish me luck.

Okay, one photo. 🙂

Enjoy your snow/neige, folks. I’ll try to enjoy mine.

A Christmas Card for You

From us to you…


Joyeux Noël!

We never got cards out this year.  Consider this our card to you. It only seemed appropriate that our [electronic] Christmas card be a photo of food. You have already seen all the photos of us anyway if you’re a blog reader.  Jordan and I make a good team. I am happy to say we conquered our first homemade Bûche de Noël.  Maybe I cannot speak French that well, but I can now check one traditional dessert off the checklist.

I hope you’re eating something delicious, staying warm, and enjoying time with friends and/or family.

Santa Claus around the World

This week, for my writing class, we went to the Centre de Commerce Mondial de Montréal. Here, my classmates and I were “observing,” “seeking inspiration” for a short story, etc. I found my inspiration in a barista. I promise you that the story will not be posted.

But I did get distracted. While searching for inspiration/spying on people in the name of creativity, I couldn’t resist checking out all of the different versions of Santa Claus on display.

21st Century Santa was my favorite.  Black Santa (who deals with the naughty list) was my second favorite.

In other writing class news, I think my writing, albeit atrociously grammatically incorrect, must be somewhat convincing. In one assignment, we had to write a story that included a life boat, a magic wand, started with a sentence about a spider biting us, included a doctor who was also a garbage collector, and the use of the words pounce and enigmatic. Definitely creative writing which would not likely include many true facts, right?

I wrote about my older brother Philip who was studious, withdrawn, genius, and anti-social. He was a doctor, had a nervous breakdown, took a job as a garbage collector, lost that job due to mental illness, and then moved to the Galapagos Islands proclaiming to be the second coming of Charles Darwin to avoid paying his massive student loans. Today, my instructor asked me if the story was true. I told him my desire to avoid paying student loans was definitely projected onto my imaginary brother, but he seemed surprised, maybe even disappointed, that poor Philip/Chuck Darwin wasn’t based on a real person. Man, I will miss that class.

Well, Merry Christmas weekend to you all!  Four days left to find those gifts!

Luminothérapie: Quartier des Spectacles

Winter can wear on even the strongest of people. Therapy helps. Luminotherapy. I love interactive art in public spaces.  Murals, sculptures, light projections, etc.  I’ll take it all.

“Luminothérapie” is a public art exhibition displayed in all manners throughout the Quartier des Spectacles. Jordan and I waited to go on Sunday night, so we could be out while there was a fresh (read: not slushy crap) layer of snow. The city was truly charming during this little stroll/photo walk. Grab your egg nog latte and join us.

Fun side note: Egg nog is “lait de poule” in French, which means hen’s milk if literally translated.





A couple things I would like to point out…

  • Notice the library is participating! There are two photos above with the library that were taken approximately five seconds apart, but the library is blue in one, red in the other.
  • Second, I always struggle with ISO/graininess in night-time photos.  Such a challenge to capture the night properly. Grr. I need some tricks/suggestions.

I love that Montreal seems to really embrace its long winter and even celebrate it. I’m going to try and hold onto that feeling of appreciation as long as possible. Vive l’hiver!


Noël sur l’avenue McGill College (Christmas on McGill College Avenue)

Happy Wednesday (we’ll pretend that’s not an oxymoron for most of us). I’m in the same boat.  I have a test today in French.  Eek. Last time I had a test was…..2008?

In spite of today’s test, which  I may very well be taking as you read this, I’m still in the holiday spirit, so I hope you don’t mind a few more lights photos. Almost all are from McGill College Avenue, but the title is a bit of a misnomer as a couple are from Sherbrooke Avenue as well.

Loving the snow for now. I know, I’ll hate it in early April, so just let me love it now.

Plenty of festive pink, huh? Pink isn’t exactly the typical Christmas light color, but it works, right?

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting one more winter-lights photo post, but not with your typical Christmas lights. See you then. Au revoir!