Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Return to the Winters of Montreal

So, I've been in Montreal for nearly 5 months now, and I've only written ONCE. Uncool, Audrey, uncool. And it's not really like I've even been all that busy. Anyhow, I finally decided it was time to remedy that.

I figure the easiest way to go about this is to first talk about all of the things I have been up to in Montreal lately. :-) And then, if I have time, energy, desire, etc. . . I'll go back and talk about Japan (though I lost my camera, and so all of the last pictures I took in Japan are gone. Sadness) and Louisiana time. In the meantime, Montreal. Let's start in the beginning!

When I first got here, it was fall, and the leaves were beautiful! (though, admittedly, nothing like the momiji in Kourankei)

I stayed with my friends Marika and Dave for a while while boy and I looked for an apartment.

Me hanging out with Marika-cakes in Park Jeanne Mance!

Apartment hunting took way longer than it should have taken, and I ended up staying with boy's friend, Cyril, for a while until we finally found a lovely little apartment in the area of Montreal known as the Plateau.

It's central to nearly everything, which is good for extraordinarily lazy people like me (it means there's a chance of me actually going out occasionally) but which is also sad because there's just not nearly enough green.

After several dramas (our pipes froze and we were without water for a week; a huge shelf fell out of the wall on top of me, flooding our kitchen with whiskey, water, sugar, and glass; etc...), we finally got settled into the apartment! :-)

Alright, here's what's been up. When I first got to Montreal, it was a really cool, because it just so happened to be a time when several old friends that no longer live here (or have never lived here) were visiting. As such,

I got to hang out with my friend Ashlee from Nova Scotia. I hadn't seen her in over 7 or 8 years, so that was awesome!


I got to hang out with my friend Lauren, from McGill. She lived in France when I was living in France, so we got to hang out a bit there, but still, I hadn't seen her in at least 3 years. Good times!

I've also been having a great time catching up with friends that still live here. It's been especially cool to get to hang out with Pat, Marika, Ariane, and Dave!

Me with Patty-Cakes and Marika

Me with Ariane

Unfortunately, Marika has returned to Vancouver for an indefinite period of time, so that's sad, but I'm looking forward to her return!

I've also been making some new friends and attempting to survive the winter with them. I don't know if you guys know this, but winter in Montreal is LONG. And COLD. And nothing like Louisiana. And nothing like Japan. And somehow I had deluded myself into believing that it wouldn't be this difficult for me.

This is March.

In the beginning of winter, I pseudo-consoled myself by baking like a crazy crazy person.

Seriously, I made Christmas cookies and more Christmas cookies and apple butter and banana/apple sauce and a ton of different soups and. . . the list goes on and on and on

I also decided that I need to become a crafty person, so I took up knitting (I'm awful at it, but I love it - what can I say),

and I went crazy making tote bags for everyone I know. I had a little bit of company with this, and Marika decided that she wanted to be crafty with me. :-)

I also manage to force myself to take time AWAY from the kitchen in order to celebrate Ariane's birthday! I think the last time we celebrated together, she was turning 22. Now she's 27 (I THINK - my memory for these things is awful)

Sophie and Ariane at Ariane's birthday!

Then I went home to Louisiana for Christmas, and when I got back, I immediately sliced my hand open chopping rutabaga and had to get stitches - on the same night that the power went out because of a fire in a building down the street. I put the rutabaga in the powerless oven, forgot to turn the oven back off, and ended up with charred rutabaga in the morning. Fun times! :-)

This put a minor damper on my feelings of craftiness and perhaps made me realize that I should try to enjoy winter while being outside - Montreal has a plethora of outdoor activities to offer in winter, and I decided it was time to participate.
Sooo, my friend Rieko and I went La Fete des Neiges, where we got to go tube sliding, which was SUPER fun (though also super freezing)! I also got to eat my very first (and so far only) tire sur la neige of the winter. Yummy!

Us on the tube that you unfortunately can't see in the photo

Then we went shopping in Chinatown. Rieko wanted to buy some colored contacts, and it was buy 2 get 1 free, so she got me some purple ones.

These are my purple eyes, though you can't really tell. Since then, I have tried to put the contacts in again, to see if they would look miraculously more purple, but I have failed every time.

We also went to La Nuit Blanche with Guillaume and Nazim, though the lines to get in everywhere seemed to be miles and miles long, so we didn't really do much.

Rieko and Audrey, cold at La Nuit Blanche
playing with the giant Nintendo controller with Guillaume
Art at La Nuit Blance - my head is the wrong way!

To escape the snow and the cold, we've been playing Uno and watching cheesy Japanese variety shows! Yay for friends that want to watch J-variety with me! :-)

And then a couple weekends ago Guillaume and I went to Toronto for a basketball game.

Toronto Raptors versus Miami Heat - of course, Miami won, but it was a much closer game than I would have thought. It was actually really fun!

While in Toronto, we also got to eat at lots of delicious vegan restaurants - we even got brunch! Banana nut pancakes with tofu scramble and tempeh all doused in maple syrup- pure delicousness!

Oh, and the other day, it snowed again, even though I had thought that the snow was over. So, I decided that Rieko and I would make a snowman!

We both forgot our gloves, so our little dude was SUPER small, but he was definitely the CUTEST snowman in the park!

And of course, I keep knitting - every Thursday in a cafe.

Ariane knitting!
> Unfortunately, though, the cafe where we always knit is closing down, so tomorrow will be our last Thursday there. Mega sadness!

Things I didn't do this winter but probably should have: ice skate (and I really wanted to), hike up Mont Royal (and I really wanted to), and ski (I'll admit that I'm glad I avoided this)

Aaaaaand, this was super super super super long, but I hope at least the pictures kept you interested! And now you're totally caught up on my life in Montreal! :-) And hopefully I'll post more often so that, next time, it won't be neeearly this long.