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Hi all,

Sorry it’s been so long since I posted! Here’s a recap:

Chris and I were in Montreal for the weekend to attend the baptism of our nephew, Zach, and were proud godparents to boot. 🙂 We drove down on Saturday and arrived in early afternoon. We had an awesome time at dinner with friends and family. Our waiter was hilarious and had us laughing the whole night. He was giving out hugs (to both our female and male attendees) which made for some cozy moments.

After two pitchers of Sangria, we moved to shots. In a family restaurant, this was particularly funny. My brother Mark’s shot was a flaming sambuca, and some of it splashed on his cheek. After drinking it, his face was on fire for a few seconds. Unless he’s starring in the next Ghost Rider movie, this was probably not a look he wanted to keep. He doused the flames and all was well. Classic moment was when the waiter leaned over and said “You’re on fire dude.” 🙂

Mark, after his flaming sambuca shot

It was a great night and we were glad we got to see everybody and catch up. Everyone made it home in one piece.

Sunday was the baptism and everything went smoothly during the ceremony. Barring some crying when Zach got dunked in the basin, he did good. Chris’ sniffles were minimal. 🙂 After church, we all headed downtown for the dinner reception at Vargas. It was a beautiful restaurant and the food was very good.

We drove back to Toronto in the morning and got home at 2-ish. That was our whirlwind weekend. 🙂

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I just read today’s post over at Awesome about inventing new words  with your friends and family that only make sense to you. I’m sure everyone has been there. Sometimes it could be shorthand for a sentence your group says often, or a word that really has another meaning to you and your friends.

Off the top of my head, I’ve thought of a few that have been in use in my circle for a while.

When anyone in the vicinity tells a joke that fails miserably, one of us would say “Crickets”. Meaning the joke failed so bad, not a sound can be heard from your audience except for the crickets. 🙂

We had a whole vocabulary when playing Trivial Pursuit. It started during a drunken episode of game play on New Year’s Eve years ago. When anyone landed on a color, everyone would say or sing the corresponding phrase: Landing on blue would get you a fabulous rendition of “I’m blue, da ba dee da ba dye…”. Landing on green was “gangrene”. Orange was “Orange you glad it’s not purple?”  We still say “Orange you glad” for all kinds of things…

Then there’s “Coo”. Which is short for Cool, usually when texting. As in “Pick you up at 6.”  “Coo.” Why we felt the need to shorten a four-letter one-syllable word is anyone’s guess. I think it started as a typo.

“Fail” is pretty common nowadays. Used when witnessing an act of stupidity, a bad commercial, anything remotely useless. A quick look, eyebrow raise and a “Fail” says it all.

A d-bag is shorthand for a douchebag.

“Pick up your testicles.” This started out with a cluster of mushrooms that were growing on an area of the grass but they had hardened and were smushed on the hillside and they weren’t going anywhere. We would pass by that spot regularly. One day, as we passed it, my brother Mark said “Janet, pick up your testicles.” My father just about had a hemmorage. But all of us kids were dying with the giggles (we all ranged between 9-12 I would say). And the expression stuck. It’s said once in a while just to incite a case of the giggles when we’re all together but it just brings us right back to that summer day.

Good times.

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Now that Christmas is here and the new year is fast approaching, I like to think back over the past year and remember some of the big events or special times that occurred. We had quite a few highlights over the past year which I’ve already mentioned on this blog. Several were items on my “Life List” and they turned out to be very memorable experiences:

  • Wine-related tours and activitiesWine & Chocolate festival in February, Wine & Herb festival in May (day 1 and day 2), Niagara New Vintage festival in June, Wine Festival in September, Tate the Season festival in November, Wine Tasting Challenge (and practicing for it) in November. Terroir Trek dinner at Peller. We also went on our own visits with friends from time to time. We’re still members of the Wine of the Month club too. 🙂
  • Watched the Perseids meteor shower in August and the Lunar eclipse in December: two space-related life list items.
  • After a couple of false starts, I finally listened to my first Audiobook (The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown).
  • Took one of the best cruises we ever went on (Carnival Victory):
    • Day 1 arrival in San Juan
    • Day 2 in St. Thomas at Magen’s Bay
    • Day 3 in Dominica (where we saw the dead guy fished out of the water onto a volcanic sand beach)
    • The Segway Tour on Day 4 in Barbados
    • The gorgeous secluded beach in St. Lucia on Day 5
    • Ziplining in the rainforest in St. Kitts on Day 6
    • Yacht-racing in St. Maarten on Day 7
  • I successfully grew my own vegetables from seeds (red cherry tomatoes, yellow cherry tomatoes)
  • Visits back to Montreal to visit friends and family.
  • Adventures: Getting to know Toronto and its surrounding areas:
  • Lots of visits from friends and family who came to stay with us in TO:
  • A sports-related life list item: Archery!
  • I also did a ton of cooking this past year. I’m still cooking my way through Ina Garten’s Back to Basics cookbook – just a handful of recipes to go. I tried lots of new recipes and even created a few of my own. I also took a knife skills class.
  • We went to see the Nutcracker ballet for the first time since moving to TO.

Here’s to celebrating a great 2010. We lived, we laughed, we conquered!

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We were once again in Montreal this weekend, this time for Chris’ cousin Bill’s wedding. We drove down Friday, stayed at the same hotel (where they said “Welcome back” – omg we’re becoming regulars – funny). Friday was game night at Christina and Adam’s place – we got Arahovas delivered and we brought wine (Inniskillin Pinot Noir 2008) – yummy. Lots of gabbing and catching up, watched the hockey and played  “Would you rather” – fun game! 🙂

Saturday, we ended up doing some shopping (bought wine tumblers which we’ve been wanting to buy for a while now). Then got ready for Bill and Mema’s wedding. It was fun to see everyone again and spend some time with family at the reception. Congrats Bill and Mema – we had a great time and wish you a long and happy future together!

Only in Montreal – it snowed Saturday night…

Wtf snow on Halloween...

Sunday morning was a group brunch with friends, family and bacon (I had a craving – leave me alone :)).

The nieces! Maddie, Chloe and Sienna. And that's a piece of me on the left there...

Olga and Christina - you guys look great! Happy to see you both!

Julie, Chantal and Mark - great pic of you guys!

Nephew and soon-to-be godson Zach - what a cutie

The gang at Tutti Frutti (a breakfast place in our old neighborhood)

We headed back to Toronto after brunch (with a pit-stop at Starbucks for reinforcements). Had fun guessing the next songs on my ipod which we set to shuffle (only 321 songs and we got halfway). I’m an ADD song skipper. Once I guess the song and hear a couple of verses of it, I typically skip to the next one. Chris said I made him dizzy…oh well, we all have our flaws. This is mine. 🙂

Glad to be home, where it’s nice and warm – not cold with snow on the ground! Ack!!

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July/August/September are looking pretty busy:

July 31-Aug 3: Friend visiting from Montreal for the long weekend: wine tasting in NOTL, shopping, pool time!

Aug 6-8: Sister visiting from Montreal: Going to see Salt, pool time, Chapters, etc.

Aug 8-11: Sister and family visiting from Montreal: Tentative: Marineland/Niagara Falls, Toronto Islands, pool time!

Aug 12/13: Meteor shower 8pm ET

Aug 13: A Clue to Murder – murder mystery dinner at Casa Loma

Aug 15: Archery lesson for Chris’ birthday

Aug 21: Terroir Trek: Dine Amongst the Vines at Peller Estates Winery with Chris and another couple

Sept 18: Knife Skills kitchen class

Sept 25: Wine festival in Niagara

Life is good. 🙂

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