Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Time has slipped through our fingers

Where has the time gone? Im sitting here writing this post, asking myself that same question over and over. It feels like no matter how long we spend here, it would never be long enough. Im dreading Thursday more than anyone can ever imagine.
day 8: shopping, pizza and quality time
Today was a relaxed day. Today was also disgustingly hot hahaha Around 36 celsius with the humidity. My wonderful daddy took Jev and I to the mall to do one last round of shopping. Man, was it ever nice spending some time in that air conditioning lol. But, it was even better getting to do something as simple as walking through a mall with my dad, today. We dont get to do these kind of things whenever we want, so its such a luxury when we do. We've had such a great time here and i dont think Jev is wanting our time here to be up, either..

Dinner tonight was something that ive been craving since i had it the last time i was here 2 years ago. Spaghetti Pizza. Thats right. Spaghetti on pizza. Best. Pizza. Ever. Even though i was full after once slice, i forced down one more haha. yummy! We spent the rest of the night together: Jev and France reading the flyers and me continuing my winning streak in crib against my dad (1-3 for me to be exact!)

Tomorrow is a day strictly for the 4 of us. We're going to lounge around in the pool, maybe play some cards, maybe have some lobster for dinner - who knows! All i know is, as long as we spend the day together, it'll be perfect to me.

Monday, July 30, 2012

A little bit of Québécois tradition

Day 7. Man, one week has flown by already.. Today we went to Mario & Nicole's Sugar Shack about 45 mins away from my dads house. We got the chance to drive through the country side of Quebec. There were wheat and corn fields for miles and although the mountains weren't that big, they were big enough to make a beautiful backdrop.

day 7: The Sugar Shack!
We arrived to the sugar shack around 10:45-11:00 and got a total lesson on how they make their syrup. There's so much more that goes into it that we had originally thought. There are over 4,000 trees that they get their sap from and the syrup that they make is soooo clear! (the more clear that the syrup is, the higher grade it receives and the tastier it is! Aunt Jemima ain't got nothin' on their syrup! haha) After learning the how-to's it was time to eat! Nicole made a traditional meal that they would eat when they are at the cabin working away. Eggs, toast, sausage, bacon, ham, homemade baked beans and hashbrowns were on the menu for today and of course i had to pour some of their syrup on my sausages and bacon - yum! I love being able to see some
Québécois tradition!

Since it's obviously not winter and we're lacking snow, Nicole and Mario made a big block of ice for us to make Maple Toffee on. Its a tradition at Carnival *a carnival that they have here every winter* They boil the syrup to a certain temperature then pour it on the snow -or in our case, on the ice-, let it sit for a few seconds to harden and then you stick your spatula in and roll it to grab some. It was delish! Next, we made Maple Butter. My dad and france loooove that stuff. Its definitely for those with a sweet tooth :)

Québécois tradition!

After all that yummy syrup, we went a played a game of washers and spent some time in the sun. Its so neat to be able to do so many different things while we're here. We're so grateful for having such great tour guides ;)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Vieux Quebec

day 6: Old Quebec
Old Quebec. Probably one of my favorite places on Earth. We spent the afternoon and evening there today, walking around the cobblestone streets, listening to french accordion music fill the air and watching the sun slowly make its decent for the night. Old Quebec has to be one of the most romantic places, ever. We spent the morning lounging in the pool, tanning and maybe sneaking in a little nap here and there hehehe. Jev and i are having such an amazing time, but the days are flying by way too fast :(

Today was really nice, we had nothing scheduled and got to do whatever we wanted when we wanted. Its so nice being here and the biggest decision we have to make is wether we want toast or a bagel for breakfast. My Dad and France have been so amazing. Its really soooooo nice being here. Its really hard being so far away from people that you love so so so soooo much, but somehow we make it work year after year. We are going to treasure every moment that we've spent here, together. I truly do cherish these times.

Tomorrow morning we're getting up bright and early: we're going to my Dad and France's friends' Sugar Shack to see how they make REAL Maple Syrup - and no, im not talkin' about no Aunt Jemima syrup. Im talkin' about 100% Canadian Maple Syrup, baby! We'll be there for a traditional meal at lunch and then we're coming back home to lounge in the pool, play some cards, just relax, really. Grandmaman is coming over for dinner tomorrow night - she's just too cute! Im glad we get to spend more time with here before our time here is up.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Birthday BBQ

our little family
Well, today was the big family BBQ. There was around 25-28 of us and enough food to feed an army! Dad and France made some delicious homemade food and France made two cakes: The Crunchie Cake and Carrot Cake. It came time for dessert and to my surprise, there were candles on the Crunchie cake for me! My birthday is in 2 weeks and we wont be here to celebrate with my family here so they all sang happy birthday to me in French and English :) I blew out my candles and again wished for many wonderful things..
day 5: birthday bbq
My Grandmaman made me a beautiful baby blanket, booties and a hat. No, we arent expecting a baby any time soon, but she made them for all the older grandchildren and its something that i will cherish for always. It was so nice having all of my family in one place at the same time. Jev gets along so well with every one of them and they all commented on how funny he was and what a nice guy he is. I knew that they would love him as much as i do :) We got to spend time with everyone, play a few games of 'washers' and then sit around the campfire after dinner and roast marshmallows. My family even got together and taught Jev how to say "Tu est belle, mon amour. Je t'aime" which means "You are beautiful, my love. I love you". How cute is that?! i just cant get over how much i love this place, and how much we love being here. Vacation is flying by and we are making sure to really enjoy the rest of our time here because it will be gone in the blink of an eye.

after he spoke to me in french :)
Tomorrow, we are visiting one of my favorite places in Quebec: Old Quebec! Cobblestone streets, buildings with no spaces between them, French Bistro's everywhere you look and french music filling the streets.. when youre there it feels like youre in Europe. Its so romantic, and im glad i get to show Jev the place i talk about whenever i mention Quebec.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Birthday Wishes

Well, i seem to be starting off my entries with the same sentence: "Another beautiful day here in Quebec" or something along those lines - but it's true. It was another beautiful day in Quebec. Our vacation has been perfect so far and we've still got just under a week to go. I just cant say it enough, i love being here.
day 4: quading, tanning and birthday wishes

We spent the day at the lake. Quading through my step-mom's family's property, tanning on the dock and tossing the ball & frisbee into the water for my uncles dog, Dookie. France made some yummy sandwiches, so we got to have a pic-nic on the dock with our tootsies in the water. The weather today was warm and humid, so going to the lake was a perfect way to spend the day.
me driving the quad and my step-mom as my trusting passenger - brave lady! lol
Dinner tonight was at St Hubert, a very popular restaurant here in Quebec. France works there and so does my aunt. My uncle flew back into town tonight from a work trip so we met him there and had dinner with him, too! Finally Jev got to meet him face-to-face instead of talking over Skype. Jev made everyone laugh as always and Jev, Dad and Uncle all traded stories. The staff, France and my Aunt surprise me with a birthday brownie *my birthday is in 2 weeks* and they sang happy birhday! I wished for so many wonderful things before i blew out that candle.. but of course, i cant tell you what they are or they wont come true!

Tomorrow night is the big BBQ at our house! Our whole family will be here tomorrow night and im so excited to have everyone together in one place.. Vacation is just going by way to fast, but it has been absolutely perfect so far 

oh, and for the record: they have wine in juice boxes here! WINE IN JUICE BOXES!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

food brings family together

before dinner tonight; notre petite famille ♥ our little family

Another gorgeous day in Quebec. I tried to straighten my hair today but the humidity just made it poofy again. We went shopping at another mall today (im not complaining!) and my step-mom bought me a super cute maxi dress and bangles for my birthday :) Merci, France!

Tonight was dinner at Chez Greco, a local Greek restaurant where the portions are enough to feed you for days. Dinner was delicious but the company was even better. The majority of my family was there and Jev got to meet more of them. I think its been easier for him because he's meeting everyone bit by bit. It was so nice to be able to spend time with my cousins. Catch up, laugh, tell stories from when we were younger. i just love that  After dinner we came back home, dad built a fire and we roasted marshmallows then rolled them in popcorn -so delish!- 

Laughter was plenty all day today. The love was even greater. France made a toast to me and to Jev to welcome him to the family. I knew that they would love him just as much as i do  

Tomorrow we're going quading, and i get to show Jev where i spent many summer days as a kid when i came to visit here in Quebec... im so excited!
♥ tasha

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Shop 'til we drop

Day 2 in Quebec and we're loving every minute, every second here. Today we went shopping at La Gallerie de la Capitale - one of my fav malls here. We held off on buying everything we saw, as we are probably going to some of the other malls in the city but Jev still bought me some cute neon-strapped flip-flops with little bows on the side :) Jev had his first REAL poutine today and i got my cheese curd-fix lol

day 2: shopping!
Dinner was delicious as always. Dad made ribs boiled in Pepsi -yes, i said Pepsi- then be BBQ'd them with his homemade BBQ sauce and served them with his homemade fries. oh-em-gee! These were by far the best ribs i've ever had! Of course dinner was followed by my step-mom's fabulous strawberry shortcake. yum, yum, yum!

We spent the rest of the night talking. Talking about the past, talking about the present and talking about the future and the exciting things to come. I just love how much all of our relationships have grown and how comfortable we are with talking about anything with one another. Thats what makes it so hard to be so far away from one another.. But we are making sure to make the most out of our time together. We also spent the other half of the night playing cards, laughing and joking around. Its only our second day but i wish time would just slow down. These days fly by like minutes and im enjoying myself too much for them to pass by so fast. Jev got to meet my Godmother and Grandmaman tonight, and like everyone else that has met him so far, they say he is a 'beau bonhomme'. Loosely translated, they think he's a great guy! Boy, are they ever right :)

Tomorrow night we're going for dinner with a majority of my family and i can't wait to introduce Jev to more of my family!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It was all so worth it!

Well, here we are. Our first official day in Quebec *we got here at 9am this morning*. We would go through everything we went through yesterday again, because the overwhelming feeling of love that we got from our family when we got off the plane is something so special.
day 1: so happy to be here..

I dont get to see my family here very often. Not often at all, actually. And this is the first year in the almost 7 years that Jev and I have been together that he has been able to come with me to Quebec. My family is just so sweet. They have welcomed him with more than open arms, and have told me many times that he is a great man. I couldn't agree more.

We were greeted at the airport this morning by my Dad and Step Mom, Uncle and Aunt and cousin. Hugs and happy tears were plenty, and i could see the others waiting around us just smile at our joy. Like i said, i dont get to come here often, but i always feel a sense of home when im here. Im home. Quebec is my 2nd home. ♥.

We were treated to an amazing home cooked brunch by my dad *he can cook up a storm!* and then spent most of the day talking, laughing and enjoying each others company. Jev, my dad and step mom all get along so great. We all like to laugh and have a good time. It's the perfect fit! 

Our first dinner in Quebec? Fondue! Yum! 


Planes, trains and swanky hotels

Well, we are officially on vacation. I know i haven't written in a few months - i've been very busy. But i thought there'd be no better way to make a blog-comeback than to blog everyday about our vacation! This is allll about yesterdays shenanigans and our long, long, loooooooooong adventure to get here. I was going to post this yesterday but as you'll read below, yesterday didn't necessarily go to plan...

before boarding the flight to Ottawa.. if we only knew what was to come! lol

-sigh- Where do i begin?  We left from Victoria bright and early and were blessed with a smooth flight which gave us hope for the rest of our journey to Quebec.. boy, were we wrong.  We flew out of Vancouver to Ottawa which is around a 4.5 hr flight. We spent 4.5 hrs being tossed around by the turbulent sky, flew 60 km off course to avoid a storm, circled the airport for a while before getting cleared to land because of a backup in air traffic due to the THUNDER AND LIGHTNING STORMS IN OTTAWA. Are you kidding me?! Forks of lightning are striking and we're watching it 30, 000 ft in the air?! By this time, Jevad is so far beyond motion sick his complexion has a slight green hue, i'm freaking out because we are stuck on the runway in a giant metal tube in the middle of one of the worst thunder and lightning storms Ottawa has had in a loooong time and the pilot comes on the intercom to inform us of flight cancellations. 

"Great, just great!" i'm thinking to myself..

After 45 mins of being stuck on the runway in a hot, smoggy plane we finally make a mad dash for the terminal to investigate the flight cancellations. Quickly glancing at the screen i notice only two flights have been cancelled, the rest are just delayed. After a second glance i realize -of course- our flight from Ottawa to Quebec is one of the two cancelled flights. We had to rebook our flight to Quebec which was no problem, except for the fact that we now had to take two more planes instead of one and Jevad was in no shape to be doing much of anything at this point. So, we sat and we waited. And waited and waited and waited. Finally, it was time to board. We board our flight now going to Toronto. We settle in all nicely only to hear those words that have now started to make us cringe..

"Good evening ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain BlahBlahBlah..."

Im sitting there thinking "this really isn't going to be good news, is it?.."

"We have a bit of bad news to inform you of.. Unfortunately there is also a bad thunder and lightning storm in Toronto which has caused ground delays. No flights are going into or leaving from Toronto Pearson International. This is expected to last an hour and we will know within 40 minutes if and when we are allowed to leave."

By this time im becoming quite frustrated. I can feel my blood pressure spike and a little bit of anger rise within me. So we sit, and wait, and wait some more. Finally after an hour of waiting inside the plane they inform us that we are able to fly into Toronto, but we now need to switch planes as the pilots for the plane we were on had gone home for the evening. Its now around 10:30-11:00 pm. We have completely missed our connecting flight to Quebec City that is supposed to be leaving from Toronto *when we are still in Ottawa..* and im almost ready to either scream, cry or drop to the floor and throw one of the most epic temper tantrums any 3 year old would be proud of. I ask the girl at the new gate what our chances would be at getting a flight into Quebec tonight, she didnt say much but her face said it all. That was it. I had hit my boiling point. My eyes welled up with huge tears and i just started to bawl. And not even a quiet cry, i was ugly-crying in the middle of the airport while talking to my dad on the phone and i just didn't give a crap who saw! Thank goodness for my sweet Jevie right by my side 

 Finally we take off and are on our way to Toronto, when yet again the captain comes on and tells us that yet again it's going to be a very rough and turbulent ride. Awesome. Jevad's trying desperately to not puke in my lap and im fuming about missing our connection. 

my poor, sweet Jevie trying to sleep 

We make it to Toronto, barely in one piece, but we made it. We gather our things, shove our way into the assembly line to try and get off the flying death trap, and oh! whats that sound?! Thats the sound of the captain, AGAIN, to let us know that now the bridge won't attach to the plane and the mechanics are on the way. I honestly dont know how i hadn't pulled my own hair out by this point. Thank the flying gods, it only took them about 15 minutes and we were off the plane. We made a beeline for the help desk and she informed us that no, there are no more flights leaving tonight and that we would be put in a hotel and rebooked for a flight in the morning. She told us to go get our luggage and then run up to the third level of the airport *which, might i add, is an extremely huge airport!* and there they would get us all set up for the night. Long story semi-short: Our luggage didn't arrive in Toronto -we found out today it was stuck in Ottawa- and we had been rebooked for the 7am flight the next morning. Now, while i waited in line to speak to someone Jev had gone to look at something and on his way back he slipped and fell on a wet-flippin-floor that no one had put a sign on. I look up to see him sitting on the floor with his backpack thrown on the floor beside him and i had no idea what was going on. At first i thought: "that little brat! he's sitting down over there, taking a breather and im battling the crowd?!" I then quickly was informed, by him, that he had fallen but he was alright. I then laughed hysterically because: a) it was funny and b) because we were delerious. FYI, it was now around 1:30 am and we had been up since 5:00 am the morning before.

They put us up in the beautiful Alt Hotel. We finally got to bed around 2:45-3:00 am after a gourmet meal of iced tea, coca-cola and a bag of Miss Vicki's Chips each. 2 hours of sleep and we were back at the airport on the 7 am flight to Quebec City! Seeing my dad, step mom and the rest of my family waiting for us at the gates made the whole adventure so worth it. We're here now, we're in one piece. Jevad is feeling much better, and we are just filled with so much love and excitement to be here. Here's to an amazing 11 days 


Friday, July 20, 2012

Pinterest... you consume me!

Holy moly, Pinterest is the cause for my recent lack of sleep. i'm obsessed. So, i took it upon myself to pin some of my nail pictures *old and new!* in hopes of inspiring someone. i can spend hours upon hours sifting through all the different pins. i get lost in the different hairstyles, recipes and makeup how-to's *umm hello?! who doesn't love a good smoky eye?!*  follow me on pinterest? :) Natasha's Pinterest