Saturday, December 31, 2011

Riding Log 2012 - Day 2 (Loon Mtn)

After our 1st day at Killington, we didn't get a chance to ride again. We were in NY for the Holidays & there realy wasn't much snow to speak of. You can't ride on what doesn't exist. So it wasn't until NYE that we hit the slopes again. It was a rainy day in Boston, but luckily it held up in the mountains. Andy was in town and agreed to come with. After picking him up and driving to Loon we immediately got our gear on and hit the lift. It was good. I was dissapointed I was riding so slow. Then I got a nasty stomach ache and vertigo. I ended up chilling after 2:30. It was still fun though.

On our way back to the car, I caught an edge on an easy flat. It always happens like that! My knee is nice and swollen and a pretty purplish blue color. Eh, I'm fine. I'm glad we got in a day where I otherwise would have been working.

Till next time... do a snow dance!


Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

You probably wanna see...

pictures of the car... since all I've been doing is talk about it.

Here is the Subie on day 2 parked in my Mom's driveway. It looked pretty there. Too bad I drove it like crap that day. Stalled repeatedly. I actually think I owe my transmission an apology, maybe even a massage.

Here it is at another angle.

Ok Ok let the jokes begin.....

Let me answer 2 questions that have been asked recently....
  1. No, I'm not pregnant
  2. No, I'm not trying to get pregnant
  3. No, my partner is not female (and that's just rude to those who stereotype btw... but I know it was said in jest)

In my eyes.... what it really is... it's a rugged do it all vehicle. It is my snowboard chariot. It is my camping SUV. It is my means to get to my employment. It is a challenge (being standard and all). And it's pretty. It's also my 1st brand spankin' new car. It is also... not mine. It's ours. Paul and my 1st large purchase we've made together as a married couple. It's a pretty big stinkin' deal.

Doesn't it look stinkin' good covered in dirt, snowboards on top, ready to head up or down a mountain!

Another big deal is saying goodbye to my malibu. It was really my 1st car. The 1st car I paid for. The 1st car I was really responsible for. It saw me out of college, through all of my jobs, and through each of my moves, including my 1st move out of NY. It was an old soul (if cars could be old souls... or even have souls). It was my baby. And I miss it. We've been apart for almost 2 weeks now... and I miss driving it. The Subie is great, but it's no Mali.

Here is my last goodbye in the Mali.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Car?

So let me tell you about this new car. It’s definitely different owning a brand spanking new car. Paul and I came to the decision after facing a few bad developments with the Malibu. It still had a lot of life left if you were willing to invest the money, but is it worth it? We thought that over for a week and decided that we’d spend Black Friday at the local Subaru dealer. Well, we were immediately disappointed when they didn’t have what we were looking for in stock (a 4 cylinder Subaru outback with the all weather package). Then the sales rep said they did have one in a standard transmission & an upgraded Harmon Kardon speaker system. So as I saw Paul’s eyes grow with delight we told him to bring it in so we can check it out.
The next day we were signing paper work, upgrading the cloth seats, and ordering peripherals, but sadly, we couldn’t drive our baby home. We borrowed my grandma’s car and went home with a list of RMV to dos and high hopes of what our new baby would look like.
Saturday came back around and we were back at Subaru. I was disappointed immediately by our dealer installed leather, but was quickly assured they’d be fixed to my standards. It was their fault in not having a thorough check before we picked it up after all. Well a little later with the tech in on his day off we felt satisfied enough to head out. But…. But wait, it’s a standard transmission! I only know how to drive an automatic!
Paul did all the driving that day and in my few attempts to get around, there was a whole lot of stalling, bouncing, and grunting (I was doing the grunting, not the car). My little brother told me he’ll never ride in the car with me again. My sister screamed. My Mom just laughed. Paul yelled but that’s his way of teaching me… boys!
Well soon after arriving back to Beantown… and I mean soon… I got the call… I got a job! Oh yeah, by the way, this job is in the burbs… that means I have to drive. CRAP!
So I drove to the gym, to the grocery store and occasionally to no where just to practice. Man did I suck! Driving uphill was a true challenge – especially in traffic. Rolling into the car behind me was a true possibility! I had 1 week to get this right because I was headed into work at my new job.
So here’s how it went….
… I’m typing this now during some down time at work. I got here safely and didn’t kill anyone along the way. Let’s hope I can continue to say that.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Riding Log 2012 - Day 1 (Killington Mtn)

We start the season the same weekend every year. We take a trip to Killington, VT on the 2nd weekend of December. It's not tradition and it isn't thoroughly thought out. It's just that... about that time the itch to ride gets fearce and there are only a few mountains open within a reasonable driving distance. This year... there was almost nothing going on.

Winter is a little lazy to get here and the snow is less than stellar. It's ironic considering that freak Halloween snow storm we got.

We gave it a go anyway. We booked a hotel room on the access road, invited our friend, Jerry to come for a ride, and took a chance. A classmate from grade school was up there for her birthday, but we didn't ride with her much. We ride fast and hard and fast again. I'm the slowest of the group, and we don't like waiting. So we tried to take advantage as much as possible. We did the hardest runs and the emptiest runs available. Then the gondola broke and the lift lines became unbearable. We decided to not bother with Sunday and headed back home. Which worked out for the best. Jerry still had to drive back to NY and I still had to prepare myself (read: learn how to drive a stick shift) before my new job on Monday!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sneaking Around

I'm sneaking around behind my blogs back. While I've been ignoring you I've been undergoing some major changes....

Hubbs and I bought a new car... a Subaru Outback. It's a stick. I'm figuring it out oh so slowly.

I got a job offer. It's a good offer. I'm happy, but nervous.

I need to learn how to drive the new car to get to the new job in 7 days =)

And I've been crocheting and making soap like mad.

I'm sure I'll get you all some pictures very soon =)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Afghan DONE!

Do you remember this (& this) afghan I've been working on sine May?? I finally sat down and finished it. It took a while since I refuse to crochet when it's hot. It ended up totaling 120 squares with 6 rows of edging. I think it came out great. Paul likes it as well. For now it's sits folded a top our sofa for chilly nights or frosty mornings. I think this will be the last granny or motif creation for a while.

I decided to crochet the squares together using only the back loops. I used that cinnamon color yarn pictured in the 1st row of the boarder to join the squares.

Let me know what you think!

Indoor Garden Update

One of my basil plants flowered. It's my own fault. I've been failing to use it lately so it serves me right.

Our peppers are huge and about to change color and our cherry tomatoes are coming in plentifully. It's amazing that it's autumn and out veggies are still going strong!

Friday, October 21, 2011


I'm not a huge soup person but my husband ... he LOVES soup. I think he gets it from his Mom. He and I have been trying to reduce our spending and one of the ways we are trying to do this is buy bringing food to work and eating all leftovers... which also reduces waste - win win.

He unfortunately doesn't like cold cut sandwiches as much as I do. This week he told me if I make lots of soup on a Sunday, he'll bring soup all week. I figure - why not!

So today while I was at the grocery store I purchased the following:
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Butternut Squash
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Cauliflower
  • Lentils
  • Yellow Split Peas
  • Brown Rice
Between the purchases above and what I already have in my fridge, I'm hoping to make him lots of soup.... soup to eat, soup to store, soup to freeze... SOUP!

I'm thinking a chicken noodle, sweet potato, and cauliflower soup can be interesting... but I also may make a Puchero. In general - I'm not a soup person, so please share your favorite, EASY soup recipes!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


This whole occupy wall street has been getting out of hand. In my opinion, the protesters original argument has some basis. I agree with some of it... I stress the some. But now there are people tooting their horn about everything from anti homosexuals to anti Asians. I think they either got on the wrong bus or clearly can't read.

I think that people in general are now sending the wrong message and because of that it needs to stop. Corporate greed is not good. However, we helped create a society which allows it. In my opinion, get the credentials, the education, the brains to work in the corporate sector and make your change... make it 1 step at a time. No great things come over night.

It frustrates me that I left a great job in NYC to move to Boston and now be out of work. I'm actively looking. I check job search sites, I talk to recruiters, I go on interviews and I try and put my best foot forward. Even out of work though, I have not once asked for a hand out. We pay our bills, I saved... I knew I'd be out of work for a bit and I saved. So when I here people bitching and whining while toting their Luis Vuttons sipping on margaritas... I get annoyed. Be a part of productive society!

A couple of weeks ago I walked past the protesters on my way home from an interview. I had to shake my head. Their message... is being lost. So now it's time to think of a new strategy. What that strategy is... I don't know. But crapping and littering our streets is not it.

I'm not huge on current events, I'm not an advocate for social responsibility, but I still have an opinion and that's it... By all means practice your 1st amendment rights. Everyone should! But once you see it's not working, or once you are getting lost in a sea of people so far removed from your movement you can't be heard... it's time to rethink your strategy.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ducks, Lobster and Rockport

The State House

This past weekend, my Mother in Law was in town for a visit. It was her 1st time visiting us in Boston since we've moved here. She loved the apartment and we were grateful for her visit. She arrived Saturday and we quickly gained 5 lbs each. She brought Argentinian pastries from NYC... dangerous I tell you!
Yes that's a bar... in an old police department!

Soon after stuffing our faces, we drove to Copley to take the Duck Boat Tour. It was Paul's and Ana's 1st time. I think they thought it would be more fun than it actually was. Our guide wasn't as good as the one I had when Andy and my Father in Law were in town.... Also I don't think Ana cares much for the history of Boston... and well that's really all there is to see here... history.

After naps we ate some mediocre Cuban food and hit the hay.

Sunday we had breakfast and went to church (more on that later) and then headed ... back to the Duck Tour. I left the photos we bought at a bar we went to for drinks ... and they couldn't find it anywhere! Who takes someone else's pictures? I'm guessing a bus boy threw them in the trash. The people at the Duck Boat were nice enough to reprint our photos free of charge... THANK YOU!

We then drove the 45 minutes north to Rockport. Ana loved the small walking town. We must have went into every single shop. The weather was perfect and the view went on for miles. I love that town and I LOVE THEIR LOBSTER. We each had at least one (Paul had 2)! It was a cheat day after all.

I managed to find the cutest hand knit sweater from Mexico. I love it. I didn't think it would fit at first glace but it was the last one and I couldn't stop looking at it... so I tried it on and it fit! At 30% off I jumped at the chance and bought it! Paul gave me a thumbs up! I can't wait to rock it in the cooler weather... I LOVE colors!

I'm so so on the fringe... but I took a peak before purchasing and I can remove them without harming the sweater!

Remembering the pants I found at a store the last trip to Rockport... I went back into the same small store. They were 50% off! The pants I loved but wouldn't spend $25 were now only $12.50. I tried them on and Paul said they were cute... great summer lounge pants. So I bought those too... followed by the biggest ice cream cone EVER!

So yeah we had a pretty good weekend =)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Job Update

So there is a lot I could tell you all about... the companies I interviewed with, the ways I've prepared, the emotional feelings I have towards the process, where I am in my search.... but I wont. I need to vent... about something I've been hearing a bit too much of lately.

I've been hearing quite a few times that it doesn't matter as much where I work or if I'm really happy about it... or even if it's the right move for me on my career journey. The reason they state is because I'm going to be a mom one day and will no longer need to concern myself with a career ... other than the career of being a mom.

I honestly think this is BS! I also think it's plain dumb! For starters... I've been married for only 8 months. Second... I'm NOT pregnant... nor does my husband have any desire to get me pregnant any time soon. Third... if I do get pregnant, who knows when that will be? Does that mean it doesn't matter that I be challenged or happy in the interim? Fourth, how about if I have trouble conceiving, the interim could be a hell of a long time... should I just sit here doing a job that doesn't fulfill me? And 5th, whose to say once I do get pregnant and deliver a hopefully healthy child, I won't decide to go back to work? Staying at home isn't for everyone, and though right now it is the path I'm hoping to take, that decision may change... or worse, how about if we financially need to working parents in the fold. Wouldn't it then be the best thing for me to work somewhere that both makes me happy and advances my career goals?

It's been frustrating... this journey has been nothing short of emotional. At the same time it's really caused me to self reflect. I've learned a lot about myself these last few weeks... and I've been facing many fears that I'm very slowly only beginning to overcome.

Anyway I just needed to get that out a bit... I wish people would be more encouraging... well maybe that's exactly what they THINK they are being... it just doesn't get received that way. Maybe those comments are a way for them to release me of pressure or responsibility. Little do they realize, it makes me feel small and irrelevant.

Ugh... okay this is enough... time to move on and move up.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bumming It

I am going through an interesting transition in my life right now. Besides the fact that I'm not living in another state and married and all that... I'm also unemployed. I've worked since HS and never took more than 2 weeks off in my adult life. My last day at work in NYC was July 15 and now I find myself still unemployed on September 22.

I decided to take the summer off. I thought I'd use it to get a lay of the land here in Boston. I also thought it was a chance I won't really get again. So why not?

The job market here is far smaller than that of NYC. And I'm in for a challenge. I've gone on two interviews and I'm really not sure how they went. It's clear that 1 was not a good fit at all and the other... I was hopeful but I haven't heard back from them.

And now I'm frustrated. I don't know if I'm frustrated because I dislike being home as much as I feel like I'm failing at finding a job. I don't want to settle and I want to be a little picky right now. I want to find a good fit. I'm already out of my comfort zone, I don't want to be completely thrown to the wolves. But I'm scared that I'm making a mistake financially. Especially since Paul hasn't even shared his finances with me. It's frustrating to me that he doesn't, but it's a conversation he always avoids. It scares me. It also scares me because I am finding that a fit for me may be harder to find than I originally thought.

I know I can find a job... but I don't want a job, I want a good career and I want a good working environment. I want a good commute. And I want to be surrounded by good people.

AHH frustration!

Dutch Oven

There is definitely a downside to not having a bridal shower. Okay there are a few downsides. I would be lying if I didn't admit that I feel like I missed out just a little bit. But you know what, I am in an amazing marriage! So it's okay.

But without a shower, you really don't end up purchasing a ton of those home goods you'd normally purchase. You register and people buy you wonderful items you need or want. And you basically buy the rest. Well we didn't register nor did we have a shower. We already lived together and we didn't have the space to store boxes of china, pots, pans or bedding. We wanted to buy those things when we bought a house. And buying a house wasn't in the cards just yet.

So now... I realize that there are things I want that we just don't have. I wanted a cast iron indoor grill, I wanted a dutch oven, and honestly I wanted a whole new place setting and cookware set. But in the mean time, I really just want my cast iron! I'm obsessed. I love how it cooks, I love how it's a healthy and eco friendly way to use non-stick. I <3!

So yesterday, at target, Paul and I purchased a Lodge grill and griddle.

I haven't used it yet, but I'm excited to. I'm excited to be able to cook chicken breasts, burgers and fish on that grill indoors. Apartment living doesn't really lend well to outdoor cooking. I'm also excited to flip that thing over and heat it up to make some pumpkin pancakes (Paul's favorite!).

But I still want a cast iron ceramic covered dutch oven. I want it BAD! I want it to cook in, to braise in, to heat milk for yogurt in. I want it for so many reasons. It would make GREAT FOOD!

I'm thinking a 4.5 Quart or 6 Quart. We'll see. In our case bigger is not better.... because it's just the two of us.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Apple Galette

As I told all of you, Paul and I have a bushel of apples and a few pairs that need consuming. I was going to make a pie, but I wanted to make my own pie crust... something I've never done before. Instead I made an apple galette which tastes similar, but honestly, the crust was better!

I found the recipe in one of the blogs I follow... You know how we're an art family and figured I'd give it a go.

The crust was simple. I used a hand mixer and it came out fine. The dough didn't exactly come together immediately... I almost made the mistake of adding a splash more of cream... instead I dipped my hands right in there and smushed... and it came together in no time at all. I formed a ball, wrapped in it plastic and plopped in it the fridge.

Meanwhile, I started slicing up the apples. There was no science here. I came pretty close to buying an apple peeler/corer/slicer, but honestly, I'd use it a handful of times a year. So I took out my trusty Y peeler and got to work. A pairing knife to core and a big ole sharp knife to make nice thin slices. I like think slices rather than chunks in most apple deserts!

I threw in the sugar and spices and stirred away. I did alter the recipe slightly... I added a couple of grates of whole nutmeg. I love nutmeg so I figured a bit wouldn't hurt. I also added 1 tsp of brown sugar. I love brown sugar with apples. I figured 1 tsp wouldn't make it too sweet. Once that was done I rolled 1/2 the dough out on my clean floured counter top. This was definitely not something I'm good at. It was the strangest shape ever and the edges were all wonky. No matter. I filled it's center with the apple goodness. Folded the edges in. Threw on an egg wash and sprinkle of sugar and threw it in the oven at 400 degrees for 37 minutes. I checked it at 30 and it was a bit pale so I left it in for another 7 minutes or so. It obviously depends on your oven.

I had some left over apples. I didn't want to over stuff the pastry because I was afraid the dough would rip. So I threw it in a mini dish and eyeballed a crumble topping of flour, butter, oats, cinnamon and brown sugar. That came out great too!

They both came out spectacular. This may replace all of my apple pie recipes in the future. I liked the crust a lot better... and there was more of it. Crust is my favorite part of most pies anyway!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Apple Picking

This past Saturday we got in the car and headed west to Stowe, MA where we found Honey Pot Hill Orchards last year. It's not as awesome as the NY Orchards that I'm used to... where you drive right up by the apples, bring a picnic if you like, heck, it's an all day event. Here you park, pay for your bag, and walk around (or take a $1 hay ride) to the various sections for apple picking. If you purchased your $1 hay ride, you are in luck... because you can pick pears too.

It's $25 for a bushel which isn't too bad I guess. It's more than NY but hey... this ain't the big apple. I love picking with Paul. It's a tradition he had declared years ago... and sure enough, we've made it a tradition. I can't wait till we can share this tradition with our children. For now I'll enjoy my trips with Paul... and when I can, the trips with my Mom and siblings.

Paul went into photographer mode all of a sudden. He never takes the camera from me but today he did and took a bunch of me picking apples. Usually it's me taking photos of him... being annoyed that I'm taking photos of him haha.

It's nice to see pictures of me actually.

In addition to apple picking, they had the customary pumpkin patch, corn maze and a few farm animals. I of course went strait to the pigs... who had the most awesome houses ever!

Apparently Paul is scared of rabbits?

So this autumn, throw on some sneakers and head out to a local orchard. Pick some apples and make some pie. Or if you rather, just chomp right into them and enjoy!

Support your local farmers!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Best Intentions

Paul and I had the best intentions to get into the gym yesterday. We went to a new church (that deserves a post on it's own) then ran into Costco to load up on some things we were in need of (tissues for Paul's allergies!). After we got changed and headed out to Tufts University for Paul's soccer game. Boy was the air getting chilly. I wore sweats and a hooded sweatshirt and was still very cold. Talk about autumnal winds.

Then it was time... we were off to the gym. Only, when we got there, the lights were closed and they were closed. WHAT?! So the gym closes at 5PM on Sundays. Woops. Paul read the sign and apparently they close at 9PM on weeknights. Paul complained that their hours were terrible, but I only laughed. Though I could agree in general (having been a member of 24 hour luxury gyms in the past) lets face it... there is NO CHANCE I'm headed to the gym after 9PM anyway ;)

To this Paul laughed.

So I had an idea... if we can't go to the gym, let's go home and play XBox Kinect! That thing makes you jump, duck, side step, and... SWEAT! And the whole while you have this feeling of competition to drive you. I thought it was a lot of fun! So now.... when all else fails - play video games! (only the interactive kind really counts though).

Friday, September 16, 2011

TMI Alert - NO TP Update

I had mentioned in the past that I made a decision to forgo toilet paper when going #1 in my home. I considered forgoing TP completely with my husband, but we both haven't wrapped our minds... or stomachs around that just yet.

I made some cute little cloth TPs - see aren't they cute?

But you don't really need CUTE for your tush. We had a set of flannel bedsheets that had seen better days. They had been hand me downs from Paul's Mom and he had used them in one apartment. We were going to send them off to Goodwill but then I realized they'd be great for TP.

I cut up squares about 10 X 10 which are a little large, but hey I'm still getting used to this whole thing. I think next time I'll try for 6X6 squares. I cut them with pinking sheers to help with fraying. I was going to do a zigzag stitch around the edge and then a strait stitch just inside the edge. I was even considering 2 plying them, but realized at 10X10 it wasn't necessary. In the end, I decided to do what was quick and easy. I strait stitched around and called it done.

I keep them folded in a little plastic bin on top of the toilet. I'd like to have a basket for them, but that isn't too important right now. I grabbed a small step lid that has a removable bucket insert. It's great because I can take the insert out and wash it each time I need to wash the cloths.

I was going to put a vinegar water agent in the bin to help with any odors, but I haven't found the need. The odor when unloading the cloths is minimal. I do however spray the bin with a vinegar water agent when I empty it (which is actually really easy considering I already have it in a spray bottle in the shower for my hair).

To wash them, I take the bucket out, dump it into the washer and wash it with other laundry or towels. I don't fuss about it too much since it's only urine and not #2. I wash it with some extra baking soda mixed in with the homemade laundry detergent and I fill the softener dispenser with white vinegar.

So far so good. There has been fraying, but not beyond the strait stitch I made. So hopefully they hold up okay and we really make a dent in our paper usage. If I ever get over the poop ick factor, I may consider going full time, but I'm not there yet. Mostly because washing my husbands poop wipes might really kill the romance and ... well we are newly weds, lets not kill the romance just yet haha =)

My mother in law is coming to visit in two weeks. I know her reaction will be ick. She is definitely doing her part for the Earth, but I don't think she'd go this far. I just may need to move my can to the back somewhere. It wouldn't be odd to confuse it with the trash.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Crochet Update

A while back I told you about a blanket I was working on.... that blanket took a little bit of a back seat as summer came along. We don't have an AC installed and for the most part, crocheting is not conducive to staying cool.

I've recently picked it back up and have been making steady (but slow) progress.

These aren't actually that many squares; not even enough for a crib blanket. No matter, I love the colors and it's coming along great. I love how all the colors work well together. I sort of wish I had picked up a 6th color, but I'll make due.

I really do think they look so pretty together. The right mix of depth and light.
I may be up to this... forever...

Indoor Garden

I wrote a few weeks ago at my indoor garden being rooted in buying a topsy turvy I never used. Here is a little bit of an update.

That sole tomato growing in the garden was plucked off (by accident by me) and eaten and it was delicious. Too bad there was only 1.

The basil has been getting these funny spots on it. I have no idea what it is. Maybe it's too much sun? Maybe it's ending it's life cycle? I have no idea. If any of you know, please let me know. Because I haven't the slightest.

The tomato plant wasn't growing much so I was worried it was done. I just let it run it's course. Now I see that though it's merely a foot tall (not even) it has some flowers budding and a little tomato on the way.

The patio tomato plant however is growing super tall. So tall in fact that the stakes I put in are no longer able to support it. I had to electric tape two stakes together and it's still longer than that. I hope that this supports it for now. I am not sure if I should be cutting it at all. I'm afraid to do that. I've pulled off 1 or 2 suckers but that's about it. It has tons of flowers on it, many of which already began drying out and falling off. Two little tomatoes are starting to grow on it. I hope they come in before it gets too cold and the plants are no longer getting the sun and heat they need.

The pepper plant may be doing the best out of all the plants. The flowers are coming in like crazy and they are so pretty and full and white. The peppers soon follow. My pepper plant has become home to one or two cutie lady bugs.

This is definitely the largest pepper so far. But it's really only about 1/2 an inch long.

And the latest addition. Potatoes. I had some potatoes that started to turn bad. Rather than throw them away, I cut off some of the eyes and popped them into a pot with some soil. In a week they had grown about 5 inches tall. It was a surprise to say the least. Now they are easily 1 1/2 feet + tall. They are flopping all over so I had to stake them yesterday. I hope they produce some potatoes for me. I know my containers are small but even if I only get a couple it will be worth it. I have two pots of potatoes and they are both doing well. I think next time I'll try planting them in a bag placed inside a bin or bucket to prevent leaking. I hear they are a lot easier to harvest that way.

Have any of you ever grown anything indoors? Have you done an indoor winter garden? If so, please share your tips and tricks. I'd love to learn anything I can to keep this up.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Montreal - 2

We left around 11:30 on Wednesday and headed north to Montreal. It's a strait shot on I-87 from NYC... so that's what we did. We hit minimal traffic along the way. We had waiting out morning rush hour and much of the NE was still getting back on it's feet. You can see fallen trees along the way, but the roads for the most part had already been cleared.

It was an uneventful drive up north until we reached Montreal. Wow their traffic far surpasses that of NYC, Boston, and dare I say LA! It was horrible. Once at the hotel, the gentlemen who insisted on calling me Madam ____ [insert last name] informed me their parking lot was full. My grandma who was in a wheel chair for walking long distances was on my mind. After I let him know my worry, he made a quick call to the garage who had told him 1 spot did open up. Thank you for small blessings.

We unloaded and headed out to walk around the city looking for dinner. All I can say is this: Montreal is EXPENSIVE! Like WOAH!

The next morning we headed to St. Joseph's Basilica which is beautiful. Then off to China Town. We ended the day with a fun dip in the pool and a dinner of pastries from both China Town and the French Bakery.

The next day we traveled to the Cathedral of Notre Dame (in Montreal) and it too was beautiful. We then went to Old Montreal for lunch and headed back to the hotel for more pool time and some shopping.

We didn't see too much while we were there. Traveling wasn't easy with my grandma and we were slow to say the least. But I'm happy we went and I'm happy we had a good time. It was a successful vacation.

Kyle thought he got MY. Ha! My Mom got him back!The Ultimate Piggy Back Ride... too bad we are missing Lauren.

There was only 1 thing that upset me about Montreal. We went to these churches for 2 reasons. 1 for their religious value and 2 for their beautiful history and story. I understand that they are expensive to upkeep but to enter these churches, there was a mandatory entrance fee. I can understand a recommended donation, but telling someone they cannot enter to pray because they don't have the means to pay you is disgraceful to me. Other than that, you can't deny the beauty of this city or it's churches.