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Geert goes out for lunch

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Geert at Magnan’s

So, Geert went back to my brother today, but in so doing he was able to come out to lunch with my brother, my mom and I for my brother’s birthday. We went to a Montreal staple, Magnan’s butcher shop, restaurant and pub in an area of Montreal known as Pointe-St-Charles. The place has been around since 1932 and is known as the best place in Montreal to get a roast beef meal. I found out today that this claim is completely justified. Upon tasting my mom’s roast beef, I discovered that Magnan’s beef is so tender that it melts in your mouth.

As for me, I enjoyed a very tasty duck meat shepherd’s pie made with ground duck meat, corn and mashed sweet potatoes. Your typical shepherd’s pie is made with ground beef, corn and mashed potatoes. I definitely prefer the duck version 🙂 For dessert I had a Grand Marnier crème brûlée, which was also very good.

My brother had a roast beef club sandwich, which he also thoroughly enjoyed. I didn’t get around to tasting it though, by the time I would have had the chance, he had eaten it all up 🙂

If ever you are in Montreal and looking for a good place to eat that has reasonable prices, give Magnan’s a try. The ambiance is very nice and if you are a sports fan, they have big screen TVs on every wall of their dining hall which broadcast nothing but sports. Be aware though that this restaurant is for adults (18+ in the province of Quebec) only since it also serves as a tavern and it is also not in Downtown Montreal, although it is not far from it especially if you make the wise decision to travel by public transportation. Magnan’s is under five minutes from Charlevoix Metro station by foot.

Geert and Christmas in Montreal

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Geert enjoying some hot chocolate

Geert and I are back for a little seasonal post while my brother is off on business in London. As Geert did not want to spend a week alone in my brother’s car while my brother was away, he decided to come and hang out with yours truly, his other chauffeur and I decided to take him out for a hot chocolate and then down to McGill College Avenue, the best place to take in outdoor Christmas decorations in Montreal.

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Christmas lights and Christmas tree on McGill College Avenue with Place Ville Marie in the background

As you can see, the weather was not overly Christmassy, at least not for Montreal. I wish it had been snowing or that there had been snow on the ground, but nope, it was rainy and misty. It did make for a nice photo of one of Montreal’s landmark buildings though, Place Ville Marie. The beacon on the roof is always fun to watch (or to me it always has been, I was always impressed by how far away it could be seen), but it is most visible in mist since it reflects off the water droplets and low clouds.

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Christmas decorations above the main entrance of the Laurentian Bank and BNP Paribas building. This distinctive work of art, which is always very popular with tourists, is called ‘The Illuminated Crowd’ and was created by Raymond Mason.

As the weather was not very nice, Geert didn’t want to spend too much time out in the rain getting his photo taken, but here he is taking in the view around him while sharing the bench my favorite work of public art in Montreal occupies. This work of art is called ‘Le banc du secret’ (The Secret Bench) and was created by Léa Vivot.

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Geert taking in the Christmas decorations on McGill College Avenue.

Here is another photo of the same sculpture after Geert hopped back into our shopping bag:

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Le banc du secret by Léa Vivot

There you have it! I’ll see if I can make it down to the Christmas Market in Old Montreal this Saturday and bring Geert along before he heads back to my brother on Sunday. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour of McGill College Avenue!

Happy Holidays from Geert and I and we hope to be back with more soon 🙂

Geert goes for ice cream!

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Geert excited to be at Flanigan’s! 

So, here it finally is: Geert’s visit to Flanigan’s! We have been back from South Carolina since very late Wednesday night (our flight landed at 11:15 P.M. and I didn’t get to my apartment until over an hour later), but things have been a little crazy since then so I hope you’ll forgive me for not getting this up until now!

So, as you can see, Flanigan’s is a very quaint little place and one of only two ice cream parlors in the town of Aiken! Actually, until last year it was the ONLY ice cream parlor in Aiken! It is a wonderful place to visit and I have never gone in there and seen it empty. They have a fairly large selection of flavors (at least 20 regular and a few soft as well). My two favorites are Midnight Chocolate (dark chocolate with dark chocolate fudge) and raspberry truffle (vanilla with raspberry and bits of chocolate truffle). I made two visits to Flanigan’s during my week there and I had both flavors and naturally shared my raspberry truffle with Geert during my second visit 🙂

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Geert waiting to be served 

If you are ever in or around Aiken, you can find Flanigan’s at 912 Dougherty road. They will greet you with a smile and be more than happy to serve you and believe me, you will love seeing all the colored ice cream cone pictures that have been created by their customers, young and old! The walls inside the parlor are covered with them :o)

Flanigan’s was the last stop for Geert, my brother and I before our grandparents drove us to the airport so we could begin our journey home.

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Geert enjoying the drive to airport 

We left from Columbia with a stop at Washington Dulles. I have never seen an airport with such major differences between its terminals! The regional terminal at Dulles was, in my experience, the least welcoming airport terminal I have visited. I do not consider myself widely traveled by any means, but I have nonetheless visited my fair share of airports, easily over a dozen. They’ve gone from standard to quaint, to beautiful, but the regional terminal at Dulles elicited a bemused expression from both my brother and I as we had been expecting more from an airport that was one of two that served the capital city of the United States! I tell ya, they keep Ottawa’s airport in ship shape here in Canada! Anyhow, we were fortunate to be leaving from the international terminal which was much, much nicer and also had way better food. I had a very yummy crab cake sandwich while Geert shared my brother’s beer and enjoyed the view out the restaurant window.

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Geert sampling my brother’s beer at Dulles

Geert had a lovely time in South Carolina and are looking forward to heading back in the future, but there is also much to be said for routine and he is quite happy to once again be back to cruising around Montreal in my brother’s car. He told me so today when we went to sample some ice cream with my brother 🙂 Thanks for travelling with Geert and I again stay tuned for more from us soon. You will more than likely be treated to some chronicles from I, Geert’s Chauffeur until Geert and I’s next adventure 🙂

Geert helps grill some burgers!

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Geert sunning himself in the hammock

So I went to the ice cream parlor with part of my family yesterday (there are 10 and a half of us in the house right now), but Geert stayed behind in the house. We were so preoccupied with getting the baby ready and in the car that I only noticed he wasn’t with us once we were at the parlor! He did, however enjoy lounging in the hammock in the sun with me and later on in the evening, he helped us make some burgers!

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Geert loves all things green 

 

Here’s a look at our digs:

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Front of grandparents’ houseImage

That’s my brother reading his ebook in the pool yesterday afternoon after our swim. Well, off I go to join some of my folks in the pool! Geert and I will be back with more soon, including a post about the ice cream parlor 🙂

Geert Visits Aiken, South Carolina!

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Geert helping my brother with his beer at the airport in Montreal

Geert is at it again! This time we are at my grandparents’ place in Aiken, South Carolina! I will not be chauffeuring him as much this time though as we are down here with my brother. I did take one of the cars out today though with my grandmother to go for a grocery run, but Geert decided to opt of that excursion. We will more than likely be going out for some ice cream locally tomorrow though and I will definitely post about that as there is a really, really good ice cream joint down here!

In the mean time, Geert and I enjoyed the pool in the back yard here this afternoon.

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Geert sunning himself by the pool

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Geert visits Souris…and heads back home

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So, that sunshine that was promised to Geert and I by The Weather Network today? We had to go aaaaaaaallllll the way to Souris for it. Yup, no sunshine until we were almost there. I am so glad we got some though, and Souris was lovely, it was well worth the trip and we got some lovely views of St. Peter’s as well, not to mention the great view of Souris we got from the top of the lighthouse! Visiting the lighthouse was quite the treat, because it wasn’t open to visitors yet, but the young lady who will be working there for the summer was there getting it ready for visitors and saw us outside and let us in!

Earlier in the day, Geert and I made our way back to Borden-Carleton under the clouds so I could visit the PEI Emporium store. On our way back, we went for a trip down St-Peter’s road, a red dirt road that crosses the Island from North to South, before veering East towards Souris. It was a lot of fun to drive along, although not for beginner drivers as it was still quite muddy from the rain yesterday and heavier vehicles than my little Ford had already been down the road and cut into the dirt and my wheels would get pulled into the deeper tire tracks. At times it felt like I was driving through a loose layer of spring snow. I did fine with it though, the trick was to drive slow (I did not go over 20 kmh), which made it all that much easier to enjoy the lush surroundings!

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Geert and I are now sitting in Pearson Airport waiting for our flight to Montreal to board. I was happily able to purchase my supper (lasagna casserole with garlic bread and a chocolate chip cookie) from Tim Horton’s for 6.08$ and it beat the pants off the lousy 10$ sandwich I had at the Starbucks here on Monday!

I can’t believe we are already heading home, Geert and I’s trip went by so quickly. Thanks for sharing our travels with us and hopefully Geert and I will be able to travel together again soon, with my brother’s approval of course. For now, he is going to be headed back to the back seat of my brother’s BMW…but will forever miss our little Ford, as will I.Image

I won’t hide that I shed a tear or two when we took off from Charlottetown earlier. PEI is a magical place and no matter how many times I go there, I know I will always be reluctant to leave it. Everyone there is incredibly friendly and laid back and everything seems simpler there. If you have never been there for a vacation, you should. It is a priceless experience that you will never regret.

Geert visits Charlottetown and the Confederation Bridge

Geert and I woke up to a very rainy day today. Well, it was a very rainy this morning at least. Past 11:30 it was very grey, drizzly, blustery and cold. I actually had to use the derrière heater in our little Ford when we got in the car this morning and again when we left Charlottetown. Anyhow, we attended half of the noon mass at St. Dunstan’s Basilica where I then went shutterbug crazy, then we browsed the shops on a little section of Richmond Street called Victoria Row, had some super tasty, prize-winning seafood chowder for lunch (a HUGE bowl of the stuff, way more than I was expecting!) and then shopped some more.

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After spending half the day in Charlottetown, Geert and I headed for the town of Borden-Carleton and the Confederation Bridge. Martha (the GPS) proved herself useful this time and guided me right to Gateway Village where I finally found a little something for myself in one of the shops. We then made a bit of trek to a point where we were right up beside the Confederation Bridge…and I mean right up against it! See?

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Geert quite enjoyed the view, as did I and I was also very happy to see a little lighthouse in the park, I have always loved lighthouses and am hoping to see a few more tomorrow before leaving!

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Being able to get so close to the Confederation Bridge was the highlight of our day, the employee at the information desk said that I would be close enough to the bridge that I could touch it, but I didn’t think he meant literally touch it…

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I even got a look under the bridge while Geert was hanging out in a gazebo out of the wind because he did not so much feel like getting blown away into the Northumberland Strait. I was even able to get under the bridge, but didn’t stay there for too long as it was a fairly narrow space and there was a nasty crosswind blowing under there and I didn’t feel like getting blown into the Northumberland Strait either. I know somebody who’s jealous…Don’t worry, plenty more pictures where these ones came from and I’m probably going to go back tomorrow because there’s a shop that I really wanted to go to that was closed today. Also, lucky me, it’s going to be sunny tomorrow!!! There was some gorgeous scenery on the way to the bridge and a little town that I really want to visit too, so I figured why not go back? I want to take more pictures of the countryside and a sunny picture of the bridge would be lovely. I can’t believe Geert and I are already heading back to Montreal tomorrow…At least we don’t need to be at the airport until about 5:00 P.M.  though. We’re checked in already and the airport is itty bitty so there’s really no need for us to be there before that, so we are going to enjoy the sunshine and beautiful countryside as long as we can. I’ll have to see if I can get a picture of a fox too, we didn’t come across any today, they were probably hiding out in their dens. So you’re in for last post on this trip tomorrow night or Friday, it will depend on how easily I find my dinner in Toronto tomorrow. There’s gotta be a Timmy’s in the domestic flight terminal somewhere, right? I don’t feel like paying for another Starbucks Sandwich, Monday’s really wasn’t that great!