Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Petite-vacance au Mont-Sainte-Anne

Allo! Je voudrai essayer ecrire (en francais! le gulp! get ready for some mixed tenses, y'all!) au sujet de mon petite-vacance au Mont-Sainte-Anne, Québec cette derniere fin-du-semaine. Je ne pas connaitre français tres bien, mais je vais essayer. Le week-end était fantastique, et j'ai le temps meilleur! Belle soleil, bon amis, bonne nourriture et beaucoup neige! Quand mes amis ski, et comment-tu-dis "slaysh the gnar," Mark et moi raquettons dans les arbres. Il y'a facilement six pied de neige dans le fôrets. C'etait incroyable!

La région autour Mont-Ste-Anne était tres jolie. Petite maisons de pierre avec les rouge toits. Montagnes et fôrets sur le Fleuve Saint-Laurent. Magnifique! Le meteo était froid, mais ne pas trop froid. Juste froid suffit.

Pas des autres personne sur le sentiers de raquette. Principalement, c'etait seulement Mark et moi, plus combien petite ouisseux et deux écureuils.

Guimauve neige.

Regardons sur la Fleuve Saint-Laurent.

Tres heureuse dans la nature.

Beaucoup de neige! Tres beaucoup!

L'écorce d'or.

Sur la route a chez moi a la fin de la longue week-end, nous allé au Vieux Québec pour des croissants et chocolate chaud. J'aime Vieux Québec. Les architecture et le rue. Tres jolie.

Toits et portes rouge. Pâmoison!

Une gout d'Europe, sans depart la pays.

Une week-end parfait!

Friday, February 17, 2012

My cousin's Big Fat Italian Wedding

Though the event was almost a week ago now, I have only just recovered from my food coma. It was a feasting marathon, as you can imagine. Multiple course meal, preceded by hor d'oeuvres and an oyster bar, and proceeded by a midnight table of sweets/savouries: complete with a make-your-own-poutine station! But let me back up bit, the wedding was not all about the food.

It was so great to see this beautiful day finally arrive for my cousin. It feels like ages ago when she first told me she had set a date, and suddenly, it was here! It was fun to be back in Toronto again, and really great to see some family I hadn't seen in months (my aunties flew in for the occasion! one from the east coast, and one from the west). The speeches were touching, and it was so lovely to see a couple so in love and perfect for each other. A happy day to brighten February.

Beautiful and ornate St Paul's.

The stunning bride!

Enjoying a hot chocolate at Balzac's between the ceremony and reception.

Gorgeous vintage dress.

Berkeley Church was the most lovely and interesting venue!

The happy couple dancing the most elegant waltz!

Me with the bride and the aunties!

Oh, aunties. :)
Photo by Michael Moore

Thursday, February 9, 2012

ROOD 001: San Francisco

This post is part of what will undoubtedly be an ongoing series, which I am lovingly calling ROOD (Ridiculously Out Of Date). Posts which I have had in draft mode for, oh, some number of... months, but for whatever reason, have not devoted the time to finishing (sigh). Though blogging is generally meant to be a timely affair and these posts are sadly irrelevant, I still feel compelled to share them with you. I hope you find this trip down memory lane an enjoyable one.

I wrote about the giant trees I visited in Sequoia NP last April, but I have yet to tell you about the rest of the trip. Over 9 whirling days in northern California, we did gawk at mind-blowing trees, but we also marvelled at granite cliff-faces and waterfalls in Yosemite, wined with good friends in Sonoma, and walked and ate our way around San Francisco. What. a. city. It might just be one of my favourite cities. Ever. 

I could live quite happily there. Not that I'm not digging the minus 24 windchill today... but ocean thoughts are luring me... There's just such a great vibe. Eclectic. Colourful. Open. Interesting. Original. Anything but stale. I met a woman in a café who told me she wasn't going in to work that day because there had been a full moon the night before, and the last time she went to work after a full moon, well, I probably didn't want to know about it.

In short, I loved it, and I can't wait to go back.

Happily wandering the alleyways of Chinatown.
If I lived in SF, I would live here. At the City Lights bookstore.
Steep streets and bay windows in North Beach (Nobles Alley + Grant Avenue).
Seriously slanty streets.
The streets between the streets (Allen off Hyde.) This delicious pastel scheme is making me weak in the knees.
The aptly named Havens Street. Not even a street. A tucked-away rambling alley.
I would split my time between here and the bookshop.
North Beach and Telegraph Hill from the top of Lombard Street.
The Sea lions of Pier 39. Heaped.
The Castro.
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park.
Pacifica. There is something infinitely calming about being at that point where ocean meets land.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Spain book

I've been meaning to write this post for a while, but for whatever reason, haven't had a chance (I have a lot of such outdated posts; thinking of making them into a series of hideously irrelevant posts...). In any case, in September I finally finished my photobook of my trip to Spain in the summer of 2010 (yup, I'm a delinquent photobook maker, a sad trait I've come to terms with).

I had a Groupon for Photobook Canada, and even with the discount, it was exorbitantly expensive. I don't even want to tell you how much; I'm a little embarrased about it. (However, you might recall that I am slightly addicted to making photobooks... ahem...) Anyway, for the price I paid, I wanted to be blown away. I mean, jaw-on-the-floor, tear-in-the-eye blown away. Reaction: underwhelming. The quality falls within the Good to Great range, but I was hoping for Excellent to Superb.

The linen-bound book itself was lovely; perfect-bound, complete with headband (nice touch!), but the slipcase was not worth the extra dough, and the photo quality was only ok (I might even describe it as "meh"). There is a dullness to the pages (which feel somehow waxy) that makes the colours slightly muted, and the photos have this softness that makes them all look slightly blurry, whereas the same photos on Blurb's Proline papers are super-sharp. And there is banding on the pages of solid colour, as well as some slight show-through. Note with all of my criticisms that they are slight. But when a book costs this much, it needs to be perfect.

I found their downloadable program a bit cumbersome and not as user-friendly as others I've used. They don't support PDF to book (though not many do), and don't offer an online preview. So, in lieu of that, here are a few snaps:

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Trail #64

What a spectacular, sunny day for snowshoeing! This trail might be my absolute new favourite. Perhaps it was the way the trail wound up and down (and up and down!) over the mini mountains, through delicate poplars and massive maples standing alongside glacial erratics (which look slightly less conspicuous coated in snow). Or maybe it was the dazzling cobalt sky and the transient criss-crossing network of shadows across the undulating snow. Or the lovely section of open field surrounded by a wall of rock and trees. Or the crisp winter air. Maybe all of those things.