Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Vacation photos - Seattle

Before heading back to Montreal, we had about 24 hours in Seattle. We arrived in the afternoon after a beautiful drive along the Olympic National Park mountain range. We dropped off our stuff at our AirB&B in west Seattle before heading to Ballard for the evening. Luckily, before heading out west, a colleague of mine showed me this blog and our evening was already planned. It was an evening of oysters, market fresh food, and gelato that I will never forget.

The next morning, we got up early and headed straight to Pike Place Market so as to join all the other tourists...

For breakfast, we left the market marched all the way to the original Top Pot Doughnuts for a treat and a coffee  - can you tell we have a sweet tooth?

We spent the afternoon poking around the shops in west Seattle and relaxing on Alki beach before saying goodbye to the west coast.

A and I really enjoyed our holiday. Something about the sea, sky and mountains puts a lot of mundane day-to-day bothers into perspective, don't you find? xo

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Vacation photos - Victoria

There is a reason why it is called "beautiful British Columbia"...

On our drive from Tofino to Victoria, we stopped off at Cathedral Grove, which hosts a forest of ancient trees.

We then stayed a few days in Victoria with a friend of mine and her boyfriend where we got to explore the city and surrounding area. Some of the highlights were...

Coffee at Hey Happy, where we met up with a friend of a friend who had decided to leave his job as a pharmaceutical rep and apprentice at this coffee shop in order to eventually open his own place here in Montreal. We wish him the best of luck!

Breakfast at Mo:Lé - omelette for me, burrito for him - before a walk by Fisherman's Wharf and Ogden Point...

Breakfast at Pluto's - french toast for me and benny for him - before a day trip to North Saanich where it happened to be the weekend they were hosting a "tasting trail" and local businesses where offering free tours and events...

On our last day, we made our hosts this breakfast before hiking the Sooke Peninsula...

 Thanks Amanda & Graeme (& Carter) for the amazing visit, you are welcome in Montreal anytime! xo

Bye, bye Victoria... Next up, Seattle!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Vacation photos - Tofino

Earlier this year, I received an invitation to a friend's wedding that would take place on North Chesterman Beach in Tofino, British Columbia. The groom was a good friend of mine during my master's here in Montreal and I was a witness to the beginning of his relationship, or Love Story as they call it. Amazing folk and a beach wedding with breathtaking scenery... I decided this was an event not to be missed, and I am so happy I went. 

We had quite the trek getting there as we decided to fly in through Seattle and make a road-trip out of the occasion. Luckily everything went smoothly and we were treated to some fantastic vistas on our ferry from Vancouver to Nanaimo and our drive to Tofino.

We made it to Tofino in time for dinner and found this gem before settling in to our B&B. What was great about our B&B was that is was quiet (only two rooms!) and the owner left your breakfast outside your door in the morning with some freshly baked goods. We also had our own patio to enjoy our coffee and meditate :)

We then went for an invigorating walk on Long Beach (where I developed a fascination with jellyfish) before getting ready for the wedding.

Apparently, in order to have the full Tofino experience, one must take an outdoor shower. It wasn't a particularly hot day, so hats off to Antoine who went for it!

The wedding was magical. We sang the bridesmaids down the isle...

The bride and groom read each other the poem "The Invitation", very powerful.  Undoubtedly though, the most magical moment of all was when the clouds, that had been a blanket over the sky all day, slowly parted during the ceremony to expose the sun, just as the officiant announced, "you may kiss the bride!". 

The reception took place at the Tofino Botanical Gardens, where we were invited to enjoy appetizers as we explored the grounds of the gardens before dinner & dancing.

The next morning we were invited to a brunch at the botanical gardens where we got to catch up with the newlyweds before heading off to Victoria for a few days. 

 Congratulations Lindsay and Freddy, we wish all the best throughout the journey that is your love story. xoxoxo

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Happy 60th Mum! / Ottawa weekend

We went to Ottawa to celebrate my mum's 60th birthday this weekend. We will celebrate her in style with a ladies weekend in Montreal next weekend (more on that to come!) so this was small celebration at Les Fougères, in Chelsea, Quebec. My sister made a beautiful photo collage of the evening :

The food was amazing and the lemon poppyseed cake my sister brought from Three Tarts was divine, nothing less for our amazing mum.

The next day was breakfast c/o marvellous mum :

Her amazing granola with fresh raspberries...

Show me the biscuits!

...and zucchini pineapple muffins (recipe below if you want to be marvellous like mum ;).

Then I got to meet Laura's little guy, Otis...

If you're asking, he's a Shar Pei 
 ...and take him for a walk by the river (before losing my way in the heat!).

Not to mention, admire Laura's boyfriend, Ryan's rendition of the actors from The Trip...

..(plus find out there is a sequel coming out soon!).

Looking forward to what next weekend has in store! xo

Zucchini Pineapple Loaf (from Company's Coming Muffins & more)
 2 Eggs 2 cups Flour
 ½ cup Cooking oil 1 tsp Baking soda
 1 cup Sugar ½ tsp. Baking powder
 1 cup Shredded zucchini (unpeeled) ½ tsp  Salt
 1/2 cup Crushed pineapple, drained 3/4; tsp. Cinnamon
 1 tsp. Vanilla 1/4; tsp. Nutmeg
  ½ cup Chopped nuts

Beat oil, eggs and sugar. Stir in zucchini, pineapple and vanilla.
Measure remaining ingredients into another bowl, Stir. Pour all at once into batter, and stir just until moistened. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour until it tests done. Cool for 10 minutes in pan, then turn out to cool completely.