Petite Bourgogne

Petite Bourgogne

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Montreal Adventures - A Look Back At 2013

With the year winding down, it's a good time to reflect on adventures I wanted to have in Montreal in 2013. Most of the year was consumed with finishing and shipping Batman: Arkham Origins, but I still managed to get out and enjoy myself from time-to-time.

Embrace winter (if it ever comes)
Go skating, tobogganing, maybe even snowshoeing - at least once a week.  Find and enjoy more tea or hot chocolate.

We had a short, fairly mild winter again, so I only managed to go skating three times in January/February, but two of them were during winter festivals: Fête des Neiges and Winterlude. I hope we get the same ice skating path in Parc Jean-Drapeau this year! As for new tea places, we enjoyed tea at Maison du Macaron and at Birk's Cafe. Highly recommend both places!

Embrace summer (when it comes)
Find and enjoy new terrasses.  Eat outside on my own. Finally attend a show at the Just For Laughs festival.  Spend time at the Jazz Festival.  Have a picnic in a park.  Watch the fireworks from Jacques Cartier bridge.  Find and enjoy more shop-made ice cream.

Street entertainers on stilts

D and I finally went to two Just For Laughs shows - one gala and one of the smaller shows at Club Soda. I also happened to be walking around Place des Arts at the time and enjoyed a bit of the street festival. A friend got some tickets to the Fantasia Film festival and invited me to a film from Taiwan made in the style of a 1950's American musical (but sung in Mandarin). In September, I spent four crazy days exploring Montreal with tourists from the USA and Europe during the MEETin Invasion. That was about it for this goal. Fortunately, many of the other goals are summer-related :)

Walk or ride my bike just for the fun of it. 

This was by far my most successful goal of the year. In the Spring, a friend at work got me to join him on his daily walks at lunch. We usually walk 30 to 45 minutes through either the Village or Old Montreal. Those walks have really helped maintain my sanity. In August, a friend and I started doing major cycling, with our longest ride being about 60km, taking us to and around Iles-de-Boucherville. 

More solo street photography (outside of my monthly MEETin photo walks)
Old Montreal Courthouse

I didn't do any solo photo walks outside of a brief wander around Queen's University campus after the ice storm this week. However, my lunchtime walking buddy found the Wiki Loves Monuments photo contest, so we spent September seeking out and photographing the monuments around work. It was a lot of fun and we discovered some places we didn't know were monuments.

Go to Jean Talon or Atwater market every week.

It wasn't every week, but I did go to the market regularly. As a result, I cooked and brought my lunch to work more regularly.

Go to the Botanical Gardens (my favorite) or some other park once a month.

With Mosaïcultures at the Botanical Gardens this year, the outdoor gardens did not have free admission for Access Montreal card holders from July through September. However, I did get to see the Mosaïcultures exhibit twice this year and it was spectacular! The bike rides usually went to a park, so there were still plenty of nature moments.

Visit museums.  
Glass art by Chihuly

I took advantage of a web deal and became a member of the Musée des Beaux-Arts this year. So far, I have seen three of the temporary exhibits, my favourite of which was the glass art by Chihuly. I also thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the new planetarium and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Both are worth visiting.

Explore more restaurants, especially in my own neighbourhood and around work.
Sadly, I didn't do much in this area. Most of the new restaurant experiences came from travelling, rather than around Montreal. However, I did finally get to try Les Filles du Roy during MTL à Table. The food is delicious and the historic setting is worth experiencing.

Wear fashionable clothes.  
My wardrobe continues to evolve. I have been investing in some items from Katrin Leblond, a local designer who has a boutique in my neighbourhood. I love shopping there and always leave feeling fabulous!

Do more travelling.
Beautiful, colorful wrought iron balconies in the French Quarter of NOLA

Almost all of my travel was work related, none of which I would have predicted at the beginning of the year. I went to Frankfurt in May, Los Angeles (with a day trip to San Diego) in June, and New Orleans for the annual PMI Leadership Institute Meeting in October. The only vacation travel was spending a week at the same cottage where we spent our honeymoon and a Thanksgiving weekend roadtrip to Bois-Franc and Arbraska tree-top adventures in Rigaud.

Update this blog once a month.
This will be the 15th post on this blog this year. It wasn't exactly a monthly schedule, but I'm still happy with the amount of content I posted. I also wanted to make this blog more interesting. I didn't do anything special for that, so I don't think I made much progress on that goal. My weekend at Blissdom got me thinking about what I could potentially do with this blog. I'll do some more thinking this week and include any new goals with my 2014 goals.

As for my 2014 goals... I will be publishing them in the first days of January. If you have any suggestions on adventures in Montreal I should try, please let me know in the comments! I would also love to hear about any of your most memorable adventures this past year.

I hope everyone had a great 2013 and hope you enjoy the rest of the holiday season!
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