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

 

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It has been almost one month since I went to Montreal to meet up with some of my BBBs (best blog buddies). Why has it taken me so long to blog about the trip? Is it because I had a rotten time? NO!! Is it because we didn’t do anything fun? NO!!! Is it because I took so many pictures of all the places we visited that I could not figure out how to start this post? BINGO๐Ÿ˜Š

I was only there for three days, so how could I have a billion photos? I think this phenomenon has something to do with getting bloggers together. As individuals we tend to take more pics than the average human, but combine us! I can’t begin to imagine how many storage sticks Darren had to buy for his 10 day trip๐Ÿคฃย Not only was this my first time meeting Darren, Dominique, Linda and Bill, it was my first trip to Montreal. Another reason for my snap happy camera finger.

I decided that the best way to approach this retelling of the first annual BBB meeting, would be chronologically, and in two posts. Is my boring science background coming through loud and clear? ๐Ÿ˜‚

I flew in on Tuesday, about 3 hours late (thank you Air Canada). Darren and Dominique waited to have dinner with me! I felt so bad for starving them all day. We had a lovely dinner, not that the food was scrumptious, it wasn’t. But, meeting these two wonderful souls was a blast! I could tell this was going to be a fun trip๐Ÿ˜Š! ย It was getting late, so we called it a night and wound are way through the maze of construction that is downtown Montreal. Seriously, every street was in some state of reconfiguration! ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Dominique chose the perfect hotel for our stay, the Hotel Terrasse Royale (not my photo!). As she put it, it is clean, comfortable, affordable and central to everything. She was right on all counts!

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I would definitely stay here again and recommend it to everyone.

There was one more surprise when I checked in.

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As if being the best host in all of North America was not enough for her, she and Darren put together a gift basket for meโค๏ธย This would be very important in a couple days!

The next morning, I was still on West Coast time, so I was up kinda early. I needed coffee so I ate at the hotel restaurant. Of course, being a food blogger too, I wanted to capture my gorgeous and tasty breakfast!

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This oatmeal with fresh fruit was so good, I had it the second morning as well.๐Ÿ˜‹ย I did my morning yoga and met Darren at the pastry shop across the street, for more coffee! โ˜•๏ธโ˜•๏ธMontreal is so much like Paris! I couldn’t resist taking some photos of the breads and pastries.

I didn’t sample any, but did have a fantastic cappuccino (or two ๐Ÿ˜‰)

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Wednesday was to be our Botanical Garden day๐ŸŒณย so off we went to Le Jardin Botanique de Montreal.

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I did not take this picture, I swiped it from the internet. I like it for a couple reasons. Firstly, the garden was presenting their Chinese Lantern Exhibit, and some of that is depicted here. Secondly, see that tower in the background? I was in love with this structure! I believe Dominique told us that it was part of a venue built for the Montreal Olympic village.

We began our tour inside, with the tropical flowers and plants. You can imagine how many pictures Darren, The Arty Plantsman, took๐Ÿ˜†ย He was a botanist/blogger/photographer on a mission!

As he is far more talented at plant photography, I will only share a couple of shoots and blooms that caught my eye. See Darren’s post for the real good pics!๐ŸŒธ

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I love these giant, prehistoric looking leaves๐ŸŒฟ

 

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I couldn’t resist taking a pic of Dom, taking a pic of the pathway. Can we just appreciate how she is dressed right now! She always looks fabulous๐Ÿคฉ

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This waterfall was located at the end of the pathway. I took a couple long exposure shots from the front….

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and the back.

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The ceiling of the inner building had these beautiful botanical drawings.

IMG_5172I could totally envision Darren’s artwork hanging up here one day ๐Ÿ’•!

Eventually, we made our way outside!

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I loved the reflection in this shallow pool

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the one dark berry caught my eye

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This picture just says “fall” to me and made me think of Lisa! She could do so much with this๐Ÿ’š

There were a few critters out too! I did my best to channel my inner Roda, who along with Lisa, we missed on this trip๐Ÿ˜ž

And speaking of Roda, I can’t see a sunflower, without picturing her! Anyone else remember that post of her carrying 300 pounds of sunflower heads?๐ŸŒป

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There were some structures in the garden as well.

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This little potting shed caught my attention

 

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Dominique took this picture of me, as Darren took a picture of her. I haven’t seen it yet! Dom does pretty well behind the camera too. Not just a a model my friends!ย 

Of course, while I am taking these pictures, Darren is capturing images of flowers the size of a pea and Dom is on her second wardrobe change! I can’t wait to see how those shots turned out๐Ÿ˜Š!

We continued meandering our way through the Chinese lantern display.

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I am determined to get this Silver Chinese Grass in one of my yards, maybe both of them!

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Another view of my favorite structure in Montreal!

 

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A beautiful bench for a cup of coffee โ˜•๏ธ

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One of the rare moments when Darren isn’t smiling! He is deep in thought, looking for his next shot ๐Ÿ’•

We posed in the corn for one last picture! We had a great time, but needed nutrients, well, caffeine! Darren and I opted for, yet another, cup of coffee and Dom would have passed out if she didn’t have that Diet Coke in the car ๐Ÿ˜‚ย it was hot and flat but she downed it like a pro!

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What a doof I am! Look at these two European gems and I am the dopey American with the white shoes on! I have got to read Dom’s blog more often๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚

Off we went to an Indian Restaurant, my first! I have no idea what I ate that night as Darren ordered for me (thank God!). It was delicious!! Seriously, I will have to try that again, whatever it wasย ๐Ÿ˜‹. I slept well that night, after all that walking and laughing๐Ÿ˜‚ย Little did we know that our trip to Mount Tremblant the next day would require even more effort ๐Ÿ”.

I will save that story for the next post, but let me just warn you…..Dominique almost didn’t make it off the mountain. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ!

You may be asking “where was Linda and Bill”? They won’t be in Montreal for another day, but they should have started driving by now๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ’•

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Seven Days Photo Challenge, with a twist ๐Ÿ“ธ๐Ÿ˜‰, Day 7 (one day late ๐Ÿ˜ฌ)

The lovely Dominique at 3C Style has nominated/tagged me in a photo challenge. And, we all know how I can’t say no to a challenge๐Ÿ˜‰

Apparently theย rules are: Seven days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No people. No explanation. Challenge someone new each day.

No Explanations!! Ok, I will let this one speak for itself, but will include the color version and ask for feedback. I am taking a photo class and am looking to improve ๐Ÿ˜Š

If you have been keeping track, I am a day late with this post. Thanks to our current road trip, I did not have internet connectionsย yesterday,๐Ÿ˜ฌ. Better late than never!๐Ÿ’•

Today I would like to nominate anyone who would like to take part in this fun challenge! Thank you, Dominique, for including me!๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

Seven Days Photo Challenge, with a twist ๐Ÿ“ธ๐Ÿ˜‰, Day 6

The lovely Dominique at 3C Style has nominated/tagged me in a photo challenge. And, we all know how I can’t say no to a challenge๐Ÿ˜‰

Apparently theย rules are: Seven days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No people. No explanation. Challenge someone new each day.

No Explanations!! Ok, I will let this one speak for itself, but will include the color version and ask for feedback. I am taking a photo class and am looking to improve ๐Ÿ˜Š

Today I would like to nominate/tag Michael Stephen Wills Photography๐Ÿ˜Šย For obvious reasons! If you have seen his photography, then you know how amazing he is๐Ÿ’•

Seven Days Photo Challenge, with a twist ๐Ÿ“ธ๐Ÿ˜‰, Day 3

The lovely Dominique at 3C Style has nominated/tagged me in a photo challenge. And, we all know how I can’t say no to a challenge๐Ÿ˜‰

Apparently theย rules are: Seven days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No people. No explanation. Challenge someone new each day.

No Explanations!! Ok, I will let this one speak for itself, but will include the color version and ask for feedback. I am taking a photo class and am looking to improve ๐Ÿ˜Š

Today I would like to tag/nominate Amy from Bedlam & Daisies, she just returned from a fabulous trip and I know she has some awesome photos! And, don’t castles always look really cool in black and white?!๐Ÿ˜Š

Seven Days Photo Challenge, with a twist ๐Ÿ“ธ๐Ÿ˜‰

The lovely Dominique at 3C Style has nominated/tagged me in a photo challenge. And, we all know how I can’t say no to a challenge๐Ÿ˜‰

Apparently theย rules are: Seven days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No people. No explanation. Challenge someone new each day.

No Explanations!! Ok, I will let this one speak for itself, but will include the color version and ask for feedback. I am taking a photo class and am looking to improve ๐Ÿ˜Š

 

I will also tag Arty Plantsman even though Dominique already did! I know Darren has some spectacular flower photos ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒธ

Hint for tomorrow: Look out Linda!!

I’m Taking a Photography Class ๐Ÿ“ธ

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I signed up for iPhone academy. My main goal is to get better at taking photos with my phone because it is really hard to haul a camera up the side of a mountain, without killing any of my family members๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ

We have a lot of plans this summer, that involve outdoor activities. Some of those activities could be considered a tad dangerous,๐Ÿ˜‰ but I still want to get some shots of all of us together. With college graduations, new jobs and boyfriends/girlfriends, it is getting tougher to corral the family for these special moments.

Last night it was as if the sky was on fire! I wanted to take a panorama and catch both the moon and the sun.

Here is the original:

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I used Snapseed to warm it up a little, the goal was to make sure it still looked natural. Can you see the moon? Hope so!

Wish me luck as I try to figure out all these apps!!

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’•