Sunday, November 20, 2011

Anniversaries, Montréal, birthdays, and the like!

Hey again guys and gals,

So as I told you a few days ago, Brad and I recently went to Montréal to celebrate our 21st anniversary, my 50th birthday (a few days early), and generally have a good time in the big city. Montréal is great and Brad had rented this beautiful apartment in the heart of Old Montréal for the occasion. It truly was spectular. Huge old wooden beams in the ceiling, hardwood floors throughout, a fireplace, and a wood-burning stove, and a completely refinished kitchen, which beautifully combined old and new.

We flew up, and our good friends Paul and Ron drove. I was very pleased that they were able to be there and help us celebrate the milestone. (We had travelled to Boston a few years ago to ring in Paul's 50th!) After settling into our apartment and then going out to buy a few groceries for the next morning, we met up with Paul and Ron and then went for drinks prior to our dinner reservation at Le Local. Wow! What a great spot! This was Paul's pick and he picked up the tab (thanks's again my friend!). I highly recommend this place if you are ever in the city. I had the beet salad and the east coast cod, both of which were extremely tasty and then they brought me a special birthday dessert consisting of truffles, maccarons, and several other delicacies... Then it was on to a night of sin and debauchery at one of Montréal's strip clubs - I mean, you can't go to Mtl. and not visit a strip club - can you? ;-) A good time was had by all and I think that I single-handedly subsidized one guy's semester at university!

The next day was kind of rainy and we took to the underground malls and the Eaton's centre. I ended up buying a new fall jacket and some drawers at Jack and Jones. Brad and I had our own plans that evening, so Paul and Ron met up with a friend of theirs (Rita) for dinner.

On Friday, we walked out to Westmount after a fortifying brunch at a trendy spot on Peel Street. The wind was icy, but we kept warm with chuckles and laughter and soon ended up at Appetite for Books on Victoria Avenue. It's an bookstore devoted entirely to cookbooks! I could spend hours in there and in the end, I purchased Laura Calder's new book Dinner Chez Moi. After a drink or two at the Wellhouse Pub in Westmount, we made our way back to Paul and Ron's hotel where we took a taxi to Milos, a classic Greek seafood restaurant on Avenue du Parc in the Milend district of Montreal. We had another super meal there, and as it was my 50th BD celebration, I allowed the waiter to talk me into a $115 bottle of Greek red wine, which was very tasty and smooth. We switched to a little less pricy wine for the rest of the meal. More peelers and debauchery followed, of course - I mean, when in Montréal, right?!

The next day, we agreed to meet Paul and Ron and our good friend Maurice (who lives in Mtl.) at the Jean Talon Market to sample some of the tasty delights and grab a bite for lunch. After that, Brad went to see one of his nephews who was in hospital in the city after breaking his arm in two places and damaging a couple of teeth in a skateboarding accident. I went back to our cozy apartment to rest and take a nap after our nights of fun and frivolity. That evening, Paul and Ron and Maurice and Lynn came to our place for drinks prior to dinner at close-by Quattro. There we met up with Paul's friend Rita and had, by most accounts, another excellent meal. Afterwards, we all (except Lynn) returned to our apartment for post-dinner drinks. I must say, it was great to meet Rita and to spend time with Maurice and Lynn - all three of whom are lucky enough to live in Montréal.

Alas, all good things must come to an end, and we boarded our plane back home the next morning. It was a weekend to remember, for sure, and I know I will do so for a long time to come.

Yesterday evening was the New Brunswick celebration of my 50th. Shaun and Mary and George and Barb and Brad and I went out to our good friends Don and Marlene's for an excellent evening of food and drink. I had often joked about going to Hawai'i to ring in my first half century (Hawai'i 5-0, and all that!), but since that was not in the cards this year, we all wore leis and some wore tropical shirts and grass skirts (thanks George!). The meal was Hawai'ian themed as well starting with pizza and followed by coconut rice, breaded shrimp, and a delectible tilapia and green beans. There was cake, of course, and Mar's apple crisp! YUM! Don even cracked open a bottle of his homemade cherry liquer, which was very yummy and smooth. I am truly blessed to have such good friends and such a great partner! From the gang, my gifts included a nice bottle of red wine, a bottle of Limoncello liqueur, a new food processor!, and David Rocco's new cookbook, Made in Italy! Can't thank you enough, my friends! It was another great evening that I will remember fondly for many years to come!

Today, I made a tofu/chickpea stew to have for lunch and dinners through the week and I'm roasting vegetables and panfrying scallops for dinner tonight. Then a movie and to bed faily early.... Being 50 is starting to catch up with me I think!


Anonymous said...

Hey Buddy, I'm glad that we had the opportunity to be a part of the celebration and debauchery, and what a decadent time it was indeed. My friend, once we win the loto (and we will) such getaways will be a monthly habit. Peace, Paul

Maurice said...

Yes, Montreal is a great place for debauchery. Glad to have been part of your celebrations, too.

Jeff said...

Glad you were, too, Maurice! :)