Meeting my Blog Buddies in Montreal!๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆPart Deux!

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Remember this motley crew from part one of this visit? We last heard that Dominique, Darren and I were heading to Mount Tremblant ๐Ÿ”ย for a fun filled day of laughter, food and reluctant hiking. And Linda and Bill, were scheduled to arrive the following day in Montreal.

Dominique saved the trip to Mount Tremblant for when I could go with her and Darren. She thought I would like it, and she was right!! She knows me so well๐Ÿ˜Š

This ski resort is a couple hours Northwest of Montreal in the Laurentian mountains. Like any ski resort it has a vibrant presence year round. Something that I forgot to mention in part un, is that it was hot in Montreal! We were experiencing some really warm temps, and it was gorgeous up here in the mountains.

We arrived and set out for the village. There was stunning architecture everywhere and I took far too many pictures. I will restrain myself and just post a couple.

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The main building at the base of the mountain

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This is one of Darren’s pictures, I didn’t even know he took this one! ๐Ÿ˜‚

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I loved the colors of the village shops and hotels

It would take two gondolas ๐Ÿš ย to make it to the top of the mountain, where the hiking paths were located.

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The first gondola took us to the shops and restaurants

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It truly was a gorgeous day!โ˜€๏ธ

By now, it was lunch time and we (meaning for sure, me๐Ÿ˜‰) were hungry. There were many restaurants to choose from but I saw a Crepe shop, and lobbied hard for that choice! Dom and Darren were kind enough to let me have my way! I could have had any one of the dishes, they all looked good. Dom and I settled on ham and cheese crepes and Darren went for the yogurt. Look at the differences in our lunches ๐Ÿ˜ณ

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Darren’s sensible and healthy lunch!

 

Look at these crepes!!! They are massive! And, mind you, Dom and I each had one plate of these๐Ÿ˜ฒ, and don’t forget the maple syrup we added ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ˜‚.

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Clearly Darren is the healthiest of us all! With a couple pounds of protein and carbs in us, we were ready to head to the top of the mountain. This required gondola ride number two, and was a rather long trek up. We had plenty of time for some photos. ๐Ÿš 

In all combinations possible!

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Damn, I have a lot of freckles!!

 

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Dom loaned me her hat

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This is my favorite picture of them both โค๏ธ

Now, we are ready to hike, or are we?๐Ÿงย The tricky part about the term “hike” is that it is subjective. What one person sees as a hike, might be a walk to another. I was prepared to let Dominique and Darren choose what they wanted to do. We were all full, and Dom had ย her running shoes on, so we went to the map.

I made a few modifications to the map, just for clarification purposes ๐Ÿ˜‰

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The star marks the gondola, which we were informed, would be closed by 5pm.

The arrow shows the “360 trail”. This is a short loop that is known for its views and observation tower. The three of us decided that would be a smart place to start.

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The views were as advertised!! So pretty๐Ÿ’•

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Dom told me that this lake has canoes, paddle boards and kayaks for rent. ย I may have to make my way back out here!!

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Darren’s picture of me being a big dork๐Ÿ˜œ

 

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Darren caught this image of Dom and I attempting to lure a crow out of a tree with some chocolate. We wanted a picture of it for Lisa! This did not work as the crow was too smart and the chocolate melted in the sun!

As we neared the end of the 360 trail, the observation platform became an option.

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Well, for one of us! Two of us decided that there were too many stairs๐Ÿ˜‚

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We made our back toward the gondola, where we faced a decision. There were many more paths to choose, should we go on another hike/walk? After careful study of the area, and some quick calculations on mileage vs time until the gondola shut down, we settled on the Sasquatch trail. We would go down the Sasquatch and back up one of the other paths to make our way to the gondola.

It is important to note that every opportunity was afforded all members to vote down this idea!! It was Dom who said “we have plenty of time, lets do it!”

The peppy girl with her hand up on the map is Dom!

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We started off well. As usual, Darren and Dom would stop and take pictures of inspiring critters or plants. About half way, Darren started casually mentioning that we were going down in elevation quite a bit. Then he would speculate on when we might be going back up. We had a group meeting to determine if we should just turn around at that point.

We decided that we would have time to make it, if we didn’t stop for any more pictures and picked up the pace. Ya, that did not last ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚. You can’t have three bloggers together and not take pictures!

We made it to the bottom of the route, and turned to head back up the other trail (yellow arrow). That’s when it happened! Dom went down, voluntarily! I was a little further ahead scouting for the best/shortest path back up. I turned around and Dom is laying on the ground (๐Ÿ˜ต) and I hear Darren’s sweet, soft voice saying “are you ok?”

We really were not that far away from the finish, but I was getting worried that Darren and I may be carrying her the rest of the distance! I resorted to, what every hiking guide does at some point, lying! “Its just over the next hill!” They saw through my deception immediately! But, once Dom was vertical again, and with some well placed hands on her back, we made it to the gondola, with time to spare ๐Ÿ˜Š

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Another brilliant capture by Darren!ย 

We had another couple hours in the car to make it back to Montreal. And a delicious and hearty meal at a Thai place (I think). We were discussing what to do the next day, we knew Linda and Bill were planning on arriving, but not exactly sure when.

Dom and Darren had some photo work to do with Lisa, and I thought that they might need a break from me the next day๐Ÿ˜‚. We decided to do our own thing in the morning, and meet up for lunch. Dom and Darren were going to work on some photo shoots and me…..

I was starting to feel the need for a work out ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ! There were several climbing gyms in the Montreal area, however, I was on foot and wanted a good one within walking distance. Allez UP turned out to be just the right fit!

It was a 4 mile walk to the gym, actually 4.5 thanks to, you guessed it, more construction! I had to get going early so I could get there, climb, and get back for lunch with my buds๐Ÿ’•

It was another beautiful day โ˜€๏ธย and there were some cool things to see. This bridge, near the gym, had hundreds of spider webs! ๐Ÿ•ธ๐Ÿ•ทย Had to take a pic!

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I finally found an unblocked entrance to the building! And, had a great time climbing the auto belays and bouldering ๐Ÿง—โ€โ™€๏ธ

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I felt good and ready to walk back. Near the end of the trip I realized that I was seriously low on nutrients and caffeine๐Ÿ˜ฌย ย I didn’t want to eat lunch without Dom and Darren, but what to do? Remember that beautiful gift basket they gave me when I arrived at the hotel?
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I tore into this like a pack of hyenas with a fresh kill! Well, not the gourd! This, and the in-room coffee at the hotel, got me through!

After lunch, we still had some time to kill while waiting for Linda and Bill. Dom took us for a short walk to a beautiful cemetery. Ya, a cemetery. Honestly, I could have spent all day there ๐Ÿ˜Šย So serene and full of old architecture that you just don’t see anymore.

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Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name, but I do know that it is hundreds of years old.

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You just don’t see headstones like this anymore

 

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I loved this angle, where you see the old statue with the newer church dome in the background

While we were roaming around, we got the word! Bill and Linda were at the hotel๐Ÿ˜!

The three of us rushed back to find Bill in the hotel lobby. Somehow, Darren recognized him from a picture Linda posted three years ago!!! I am now officially in awe of Darren!

We chatted for a bit, the five of us, and decided to head to a nearby park that Dom knew to have amazing views of the city. Once again, she was right๐Ÿ’•

It was a short walk to the top of the view point. And, once again, I took too many pictures! I will just post this one.

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It was at this point in the trip that Dom revealed a very personal battle that she has been having with her phone. Apparently, she has “selfie” issues ๐Ÿ˜ฒย So, at the top of a very steep drop off, she decided to work on her craft. Darren and I were a little concerned as she seemed to be teetering on the edge of a long drop!

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My picture of Dom’s selfie form, it looks good from here๐Ÿ˜‚

I still haven’t seen any of her selfies and do hope she is making progress on this vital skill ๐Ÿ˜‰.

My last night in Montreal was upon us, and we went to a Thai restaurant (or was it Indian?) for the only meal I would share with Bill and Linda.

Sadly, I only saw them for a couple hours, and the lighting at the restaurant was not awesome for photos.

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Linda getting a shot of Dom and Darren

 

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Not sure what Linda and I were thinking with this one!

 

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I love this one of Linda! This is who she is, fun, warm and so very kind! Bill is pretty awesome too๐Ÿ’•

 

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These three are up to something!!

We ate, we laughed, we talked way too loud, we took tons of pictures, we told stories and we closed the place down!! Honestly! The dude had to kick us out๐Ÿ˜‚

And then I was out of time๐Ÿ˜”! I had a very early flight back to Washington, plus I walked a total of 14 miles that day๐Ÿ˜, I was tired!!

I know this was a long post, and most of you gave up reading by now. But this was an emotional journey for me. I never dreamed that when I started my blog, almost two years ago, that I would make such important connections, with such amazing people! It’s true that not everyone could make this trip, and there are other bloggers out there who are just as important to me. But the fact that I pulled myself out of that dark place, and put myself out there, and let’s be honest, that is scary, and came away with these friends…Well, all I can say is thank youโค๏ธย Thank you Dom, Linda and Darren, for rescuing this once sad, lonely and invisible person. I love you all๐Ÿ™

 

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A Guest Spot on “Loving the fifty something” blog!๐Ÿ˜Š

HI Everyone!

First, let me apologize for being behind on your awesome blog posts! I am back now and hope to catch up, but I have to admit that I have been chronically behind for months now! ๐Ÿ˜ณย And, we have three trips scheduled for August! I really hope to read your awesome words soon!

While I was traveling, Sam, from Loving the fifty something, published a guest post featuring me. She was kind enough to include me in her “amazing over 50’s” series! If you have not met Sam yet, she is a amazing over 50 herself! She surfs and mountain bikes and has a fabulous attitude about aging! Check out her blog and connect with an outstanding person!!

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Thank you Sam ๐Ÿ™!

You can see her write up, (and then follow her blog!) ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป

https://lovingthefiftysomething.com/2018/07/26/amazing-over-50s-guest-post-5/

 

 

Roda’s Critter Connection Challenge

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Now that spring is in full swing, I am actually finding some critters again!

Believe it or not, this is the same hummingbird in all three pictures! Apparently, this species will “flash” his colors when he is irritated, or trying to find a mate. I am guessing he was mad, as opposed to attracted to me๐Ÿ˜ณ

My iPhone8 camera was fast enough to capture him as he went from green to fuscia, and the transition color in-between! The hummingbird accomplishes this cool trick by flipping some key neck feathers at break neck speed (see what I did there, ๐Ÿ˜)

Have a great week everyone!ย ๐Ÿ’•

Thank You!๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’•

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The beautiful Sophie from Foodzesty, has nominated me for the “Best Pal” award this year!!

Don’t know if you have already voted yet, but I would be honored if you would consider me if you do!

Someone also nominated me as most inspirational! Can you believe that! Another fabulous honor, but I don’t know who it was, so thank you mystery person๐Ÿ˜Š

Have a fabulous weekend everyone, love you all๐Ÿ’•!

I am so touched and humbled by this!

growning self blogger award

โ€œThe Growing Self Blogger Award has been created to acknowledge and celebrate amazing individuals, in the blogging community, who are persevering through lifeโ€™s challenges not only to GROW as individuals, ย but toย reach out and help others GROW as well.โ€ ~Roda

I feel truly blessed to have met so many wonderful individuals through this process called blogging! I had no idea this world even existed a year ago. I started blogging to deal with my personal pain and isolation and found a network of strong, funny, talented, artistic and kind human beings! Many of whom were dealing with life’s struggles just like me.

I never would have dreamed that the friends I have made in the blogosphere would help me in my “real world” relationships as well. I have been more open, more willing to try new things and, dare I say it, more trusting. Actually, I am still working on that last one ๐Ÿ™‚

Many bloggers have been generous to me and nominated my blog for awards, and all of those are important to me. I admit, I am way behind! Embarrassingly so! I hope to start catching up soon. But one lovely human, one that I will never be able to put on the back burner, has nominated me for the award that she herself has crafted. Which makes it extra special! If you know Roda, then you understand what I am talking about! Her nomination brought tears to my eyes, so I will begin digging out of the backlog with “The Growing Self Blogger Award”

 

How it works:

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank the individual that nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Describe the award and mention the creator: Rodaย  โ€“ Growingself.blog
  • Nominate up to 5 blogs.ย  Remember, the purpose of this award is to specifically celebrate those individuals that have made a difference in your life or the lives of others.
  • Give at least 1 reason why you nominated each individual.
  • Notify your nominees of the award

Today I would like to nominate:

Sophie from Foodzesty

Monika from Everyday Healthy Recipes

Jay from My Truth is Now

Linda from Mainepaperpusher

Sophie- You are my long lost sister from Greece! No, we don’t look alike, I’m sure, as I have red hair, freckles and burn instantly so no one would ever confuse me for a Greek beauty! But, we connected so quickly and strongly from the instant we started messaging. You are so kind and considerate and inspire me to get into the kitchen and try new recipes. We have our mutual love of Rafa to bind us across time zones and you are the first person I think of when a tennis match pops up on my TV. Thank you my dear friend for all the emails and the beautiful post card from Greece!

Monka- I have learned so much from you! Your healthy recipes help me stay on track and fuel my, sometimes, insane workout schedule. I have found new ingredients and tried new techniques which have helped me grow my culinary repertoire. Thank you for putting up with all my questions! One day I will figure out how to get to your cooking site to share those recipes. You are so sweet to take the time to research my queries and help me navigate the blogosphere!

Jay- You are such a sweet man! You inspire me to read more than my usual “goto genres”. I am a creature of habit and will easily fall back on my usual authors. You have made me a better analyst, helping me look beyond the obvious and uncover the many underlying possibilities. I am honored to be a witness to your literary ascent! Please know that I am truly privileged to be a small part of helping you on your way ๐Ÿ™‚

Linda-I know, I know, you don’t do awards. I also know that you break the rules when you feel strongly about something. Guess what? Your friendship is so important to me that I am breaking your rule! I am not nominating you to be irritating, but because I feel so strongly about the impact you have made on my life that I am going to talk about you whether you like it or not! So there! We have much in common, and I know if we lived on the same coast we would be fast friends. You inspire me to keep putting myself out there, we both know how easy it is it become isolated. Those of us who are a little too comfortable with alone time can become overlooked, as it were. And, we have the same sense of humor! Your Guest in Jest series is one of my favorite weekly posts! I would give just about anything to spend an afternoon with you drinking coffee, eating cookies and laughing our asses off. Thank you, my friend ๐Ÿ™‚

And Roda….The only reason you are not nominated is because you nominated me! I will find you in Colorado, or Seattle, one day. And, hug the stuffing out you ๐Ÿ™‚

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The Christmas Tag

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Sophie from food zesty has stepped out of her kitchen and tagged me for this post! Sophie makes wonderful Greek dishes in her kitchen in the Netherlands. Pop over and check out her mouthwatering recipes!

The rules:

  • Thank the person that nominated youย withย a link to their blog
  • Add the picture in your blog
  • Copy these rules into your post
  • Add a link to this original post (littlediyprojects.wordpress.com/thechristmastag)
  • Answer the 10 questions (you can add extra Christmas-related questions if you want)
  • Tag at least 3 other bloggers with links to their blogs
  • Have fun!

The Questions:

1. Whatโ€™s your favourite thing about Christmas?
2. Whatโ€™s your favourite Christmas memory?
3. Are there special traditions your family has for Christmas?
4. Whatโ€™s your Christmas wish? (Can be personal or general)
5. Whatโ€™s your favourite Christmas dish?
6. Whatโ€™s your favourite Christmas decoration?
7. Whatโ€™s your favourite Christmas song?
8. Where do you usually celebrate Christmas?
9. What does the โ€˜Christmas Spiritโ€™ mean to you?
10. Who out of anybody in the world would you want to spend your Christmas with?

My Answers:

  1. Holiday baking! This time of year is a great opportunity to bake something new that I have not tried before, and make the old favorites too!
  2. The best memories for me are from when my kids were little. Seeing the excitement in their eyes made all the craziness worth it.
  3. For the last 30 years we have come together for Christmas Eve (usually at my in law’s home) and have a specific dinner. This was set in motion decades ago and has never really changed. Family members have been added (births and marriages) and deleted (divorces) but otherwise, pretty traditional.
  4. I wish that all the people in my life have a wonderful holiday.
  5. The one I have not tried yet!
  6. I have an elaborate decoration that I hang on my door frame every year (except for this year!). I spent several years adding and changing it to get it “just right”.
  7. Anything from the Trans Siberian Orchestra holiday CDs
  8. Washington state, but this year we have a second home so we will see which is better this season!
  9. It is important to be kind all year, but especially during the holidays. I think the Christmas spirit is a focused intent to be particularly tuned into those around us and what our neighbors need.
  10. Always family, especially my kids and hubby. This year we are spreading out the holiday, with three different celebrations in two different states. It is fun to do something new this year and have an adventure or two. ๐Ÿ™‚tag

    My Nominees: ย My Truth is Now, The Orang-utan librarian, and Once Upon a Hot Flash

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Merry Christmas from the Tilley’s!

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Cheeky Life Lessons

No one says it better than Miriam! Another wonderful post by a special lady ๐Ÿ™‚

Out an' About

With all of our dramas and flooding issues at home lately, lifeโ€™s been a bit full on. But enoughโ€™s enough!

We all have our hard times so a big step back is sometimes necessary. Time out from the serious stuff where we can take a few deep breaths and focus on something lighter.

What better way to do that than through the cheeky antics of our pets and the animals that share our world.

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