Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fantastic weekend!

Although every day feels a little bit like the weekend right now, I can still enjoy a festive weekend with everyone else. Since Brendan was working Monday (he gets American holidays off, not Canadian), it wasn't a long weekend, but Saturday and Sunday were spent away from the computer, the job listings, the research and reading that typically fill my sabbatical days. This week, I will not invest much on the job-search front as I am leaving Friday for ten days in London and Paris. I won't be available for interviews during that time, nor will I be answering my phone. Not calling back a potential employer is a sure way of sending a resume at the very bottom of the pile.

So, weekend update. Brendan's mom and her boyfriend Glen were visiting from Toronto and arrived Friday night, fairly late. This wasn't the first meeting with the family, as we had visiting them in Ontario in the Spring.

On Saturday, much to our surprise, we woke up to a sunny morning and decided it would be unfair to spend the day inside. Our first little outside trip after lunch was a walk to Westmount, where we needed to make a pit stop at Bureau en gros. We walked a bit further to check out the Westmount Library Greenhouse. Now, I recently purchased a new camera, a Nikon D3000. This Nikon model is not a high-end camera, but a good basic camera for someone who wants to get serious about the pictures they take. That would be me. So obviously, I brought the camera along and took lots of macro shots of flowers. You can see a few shots here. Note that some of the pictures are from a previous trip (back when wearing a t-shirt outside was still an option, remember the good old days?).

Later in the afternoon, we took the car and drove to Mount Royal to admire the changing of colours currently happening across the city. There were very little clouds in the sky and we were hoping to catch a breathtaking view of the city from the belvedere Kondiaronk, the large terrace viewpoint from which you can see most of the city.

We were not disappointed. I took a few shots and posted them here. The belvedere was invaded by tourists, but also by many montrealers who were clearly enjoying their mountain. I hadn't been on the mountain for such a long time, it was very pleasant to reconnect with this place where I spent many weekends of my childhood crosscountry skiing.

We returned home to prepare dinner: tandori chicken from Akhavan, rice and peas. It was warm enough to fire up the BBQ, something I think we will dearly miss during the winter. I don't think we plan to use the BBQ during the cold season, it would require shoveling a path all the way to the end of the deck, where it sits now. We thought of bringing it close to the house, but it would probably not be as safe.

We then took the metro to the Notre-Dame Basilica, where we caught a show called "And then there was light" that narrated the history of the famous church. The show was very entertaining and well designed, with an ending that reveals the true beauty of the interior using coloured lights and majestic music. I really enjoyed it. At the end of the show, visitors are encouraged to spend 15 minutes walking around the church to admire the workmanship and detail in the decoration of the inside structure.

We all slept like babies after a day spent in the fresh air.

Sunday, well, as expected, was all about the turkey. However, we did manage a quick trip in the morning to visit Brendan's cousin Benoît on the south shore (Iberville). Benoît and his wife prepared a kick-ass breakfast and we spent most of our time there talking about their new baby, an eight-month old Chesapeake Bay Retriever called Virgule. Boy the energy on that dog!!

The turkey dinner was prepared by Brendan, with a bit of my help. It was all together delicious, even if the turkey had to make a return trip to the oven. It was probably not all thawed when we started cooking it and the meat thermometre we were using, equipped with a wire that connects to a digital reader outside of the over, probably left a small crack in the oven door's seal which meant that one side was not as cooked as the other. Live and learn. Now we have lots of leftovers for sandwiches and I made a turkey soup with the carcass last night. Yum!