Friday, August 7, 2009

I woke up in the Chateau Frontenac!

I just realized I had this post saved in my drafts and it never got published... better late than never!
I woke up on my 30th birthday in the Chateau Frontenac and a delicious room service breakfast was delivered just for me!

It was a long drive home and I drifted in and out of sleep as we drifted in and out of rain storms!
I was fortunate enough that night to meet up with a few of my friends on a patio in Bloor West for some drinks, some snacks and some laughs! Thanks everyone who came out!

And also thanks to my family who saved my bday cake for Tuesday night - I love when birthdays last a whole week :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Birthday Celebrations - Take 2

The second part of my bday celebration involved an "almost surprise" trip to Montreal and Quebec City with Brian. I say "almost surprise" because although he was doing an amazing job planning the trip on the sly - he slipped the week prior about our destination and without me even prying! We had an amazing time even with the rain. My biggest complaint is that the trip wasn't long enough! Love you Brian for planning such an amazing trip! And for your best effort to communicate in French throughout the weekend... I think we did pretty well :)

We left Friday afternoon when Brian showed up a little before quitting time at my office. Our bags were packed the night before and we headed towards Montreal, stopping for some 'Wendy-goodness or badness' for dinner and a bathroom break/leg stretch in Kingston.

After checking into our hotel in Montreal, we wandered over to the Jazz Festival just in time to grab a couple of drinks and catch the last band of the day.

The next day we got back on the road and headed to Quebec City, I hadn't been since my Grade 8 trip, which now was a really long time ago! To my delight, Brian had booked our stay at the Chateau Frontenac! I definitely felt like royalty...
On the way to the Chateau we stopped at Ketto Designs, a fabulous artisan shop that I discovered years ago when they were visiting TO for the One of Kind Show. I spurlged with some bday money and bought a really fab handpainted vase along with a few smaller items. We also stopped by Rose Bouton. I wasn't familiar with the shop but as soon as we drove by I yelped STOP!!!! I knew I had to go in... they had some really unique and amazing jewellry and purses and such. I purchased a couple fantastically original necklaces. While chatting with the store owner, I discovered that she actually used to work at Ketto AND funny enough she was also playing the same CD that was playing at Ketto when we were there minutes before. We couldn't help but notice, because it was this really weird but cute song, I am a Vampire... you're listening to it now.

For dinner we ran through the rain to Aux Anciens Canadiens - the oldest house in Quebec City that is now a restaurant serving traditional Quebecois fare. It was yummy, but WAY too much food and the restaurant doesn't allow you to take your leftovers home with you!

The next day Brian had arranged for us to take two guided tours - Old Quebec City in the morning and the neighbouring countryside in the afternoon. The Old Quebec tour was very reminiscent of my Grade 8 trip - showing us several points of interest relating to Canadian history and beautiful views of the St. Lawrence river.
Between tours we had time for a quick bite at Chez Ashton - be warned that their regular-sized poutine could feed a family of four - be sure to order the Bebe or the Mini instead!

The afternoon tour included a visit to Montmorency Falls, a Bronze Artisan, le Chocolaterie de l'Ile d'Orleans, Ste-Anne-de-Beaupré Cathedral and a stop for some maple butter on freshly baked bread - delicious!

After a jam-packed, amazing day, we treated ourselves to the most delicious 8-course dinner at Le Champlain... amazing service, amazing food, amazing view! What more can I say!

Of course the night would not be complete without a champagne toast and an evening stroll... all and all an AMAZING DAY!

More on the the rest of the weekend next entry...