Canada to Catskills

I liked this Canada cookie so much I bit off the stem of the maple leaf before I thought to take a photo of it. No Regrets.

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It’s been over a week since I’ve been back from Montreal and Ottawa. It took me a little longer to post than usual. And, in exchange you get a super long travelouge. Exciting, isn’t it?  Before I made it back home to Baltimore from Canada, I had a detour to a fishing camp in the Catskills.

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My friend and pro photographer picked me up during my Philly layover so I could be her photo assistant at a western New York wedding for the 4th of July. I was more than happy to help as it kind of extended my vacation and let me feel like I knew what I was doing with a camera.

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The wedding was also pretty incredible.  I cried during the vows and toasts and I don’t even know these people!!

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The wedding cake was rainbow layers. Something I’ve seen pop up on Pinterest and Instagram and I was DYING to actually try one. It was just as delicious as it looked. When my friend posts photos from the wedding online, I’ll link back so you can see. It was a gorgeous riverside ceremony with a party that went until 1:30 a.m.

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Our very old school motel had a minty green bathroom and Gideon Bibles in the bedside table. I swear I haven’t seen those in 20 years. These were published in ’73. And, I for sure haven’t ever seen a Book of Mormon in a hotel.

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Once back from ten days of not being at home (or work) I just needed a bit to get myself (and laundry washed) together.


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We took the train to Canada from Baltimore at an unbearably early hour. But, as I’m a champion sleeper in moving vehicles, it didn’t bother me. The train is four times as long as flying but 1,000 times more comfortable and scenic.

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Our first stop was Montreal which I FREAKING LOVE.  As per usual, we took a bike tour through the city.20150628-USER2198 photo 20150628-USER2198_zps5rz5nk5m.jpg

We used the same company that Trena and I used five years ago, Fitz & Folwell. And, let me say this, the owner Shay stay fine (apparently I referred to him as ‘smoking’ the first time).

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I was much more food touristy on this program with visits for both Montreal bagel standards. I was all set to ignore the bagels but glad I complied with Instagram suggestions. They actually are different than NY bagels. And super good hot and fresh from the oven. But, I have to give it to St Viatauer for the win.

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I generally don’t believe in waiting in line for food. But, we did for Schwartz’s smoked meat and again, phenomenal. We also took a walking tour of the Jewish Quarter organized by the Montreal Jewish Museum. Totally fascinating.

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And, I as promised, I had the poutine I’d dreamed of. It may be a heart attack on a plate, but it was heavenly. Is poutine like pizza? Even when it’s bad it’s good?

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We wrapped up Montreal with two little sewing meet up. The first, below, was right after my bike tour which explains my cycle dress and thin film of sweat.  Veronik, Alexandra, Heather and Vicki all came out. Some asides that show how weirdly connected you can be.

  1. Veronik is a knitwear designer. I don’t really knit (yet) so her name didn’t immediately ring a bell. Until I went on my Ravelry yesterday and saw that one of my two actual projects was hers!! It’s a hand knit sweater vest from Interweave back in 2007. I had a serious knitting friend back then and bought all the supplies to make it and never did.
  2. Alexandra and I met at PR Weekend Montreal five years ago. Since then, she’s had babies! How is it that people grow people when you’re still trying to remember to get dressed in the morning?
  3. Heather, everyone knows. I have the Ginger jeans pattern all printed, traced and ready to muslin. But, more importantly, she knew way more about US politics that I about Canadian. Thankful, because political chatter kept Jordan entertained longer than I would have expected.
  4. Vicki and Heather both saw Prince the week after he performed in Baltimore. We relived our middle and high school years talking about that show.

After a few hours of wine and chatter, Heather offered to make dinner for all of us. So, pressure cooker + friends and it was an instant dinner party! And instant dinner party in which Jordan listened to four hours of sewing and I had a ball.20150628-USER2233 photo 20150628-USER2233_zpsapkrehrj.jpg

My second meet up was with Jill. She met Jordan and I at a bakery in her neighborhood and we at ALL THE BREAD. No more Costco croissants. I swear they bake bread with a sprinkle of  crack in Montreal.

From Montreal we went on to Ottawa. We took VIA Rail from Montreal (selfie stick represent). Is the train ever not elegant?

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While we were rained out for Canada Day we still managed tours of the gorgeous art deco Canadian Supreme Court (obviously not my idea), walking the grounds of Parliament Hill, exploring Chinatown and taking a Thai cooking class at the Ottawa Chinese Cooking School.

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PLUS!!!! We had a lovely pizza dinner with the Sewing Lawyer Kay and her husband.  We ditched Jordan at a bar and went to her house and checked out her Passap and knitting machine collection (no photos. I have no photos of this. How do I have NO PHOTOS??) I felt so good leaving her because despite both owning multiple knitting machines, we both have regular online searches going for new ones. These things seem to breed like rabbits itellyouwhat.

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And, now, I am back in town. Jordan started his firm job last week. Hello 12 hour work days and billable hours. What a change from two years of clerking! We had company over the weekend (which meant I spent all week cleaning) and more company this week when Jordan gets sworn into the Federal Bar. Exciting times. I do have new tunic top to show you (previewed on Instagram) and an update on Machine Knitting Lesson 2 from Saturday.



  1. Sounds like a wonderful trip all around. Congratulations to Jordan on the new firm job, and being sworn in to the Federal Bar. Very exciting times! (Remember to take picures, Renee! Hey, maybe you should ask your pro photographer friend in to shoot photos of the event?)
    On the matter of Shay, he is definitely fine, although I’m fairly sure I’m old enough to be his mama.
    Last, but not least, I loved spotting all of the handmade clothes in the pictures, recognized from IG & blog posts.

  2. Your trip was fun for me too. I live in Nova Scotia & I’ve visited Montreal & Ottawa quite a bit, but not lately. All those Montreal spots were very sweet to be reminded about! Do you know the reference on that lovely “I am Canadian” cookie? There was hilarious (perhaps mostly to Canadians?) beer ad a few years ago – it still makes me smile:

    Thanks for you blog!

    • Yikes! I didn’t know that (text) link would show up as huge pic on your site. Sorry about that – I really don’t know how to get rid of it (you are welcome to delete) – but he is cute!

    • I finally got to watch this a just about fell out laughing. I then went to look at the other commercials and now my jaw hurts from laughing. Thank you for pointing this out to me!! On Jul 13, 2015 2:23 PM, “Miss Celie's Pants” wrote:


  3. I’m so sorry that I missed you in Montreal. I was on a family holiday that was pretty fully booked. Needless to say, I share your love of Montreal (though not of smoked meat!). Sounds like you had a great Canadian vacation. The weather in Mtl sucked though, huh? I caught the better part of the weather but I hear that it went super nova wet at the beginning of July.

    • Supernova might be the BEST description. It was torrential the first day of our bike tour. Which means we had to reschedule on my planned fabric shopping. I mean, I need more fabric like I need a hole in the head. But, still! That’s why I’m amazed I waited in the rain for Schwartz’s. I’m sure we’ll be back. It’s so close to the US and really just a great place to visit. And there’s a ton we didn’t get to do this time around.

      On Mon, Jul 13, 2015 at 4:23 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  4. Sew happy for your happiness. Such a great trip! Congrats to Jordan on his new job.

  5. Sounds like a fun trip! So I’ve always wondered, how do you pronounce poutine? I’ve got a layover in TO coming up in a month or so, and maybe there will be time to get some, assuming I can figure out how to ask for it. 😉

    Congrats to Jordan, 12 hour days in a law firm don’t sound like fun, but then, he probably wouldn’t think 18 hours in a tractor would be fun either. 😉

  6. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip! Taking the train to Canada is one of those things I’ve always wanted to do so a little jelly over here! *LOL* Tell Jordan congrats on the new job and I’m glad you have a lot of hobbies to keep you busy cause he is going to be beyond busy with the law firm. Can’t wait to see the new tunic!

  7. Best video aboot canadians ever!
    Glad you had a fab trip. Meeting up with other knitters and sewists makes it extra special.

  8. Sigh. I love train travel and have not been to MOntreal since I was about five years old. Quebec City is very cool as well and they have this amazing bike tour thing up there called ‘la route verte’ for people who like loooong bike rides.

  9. Thanks again for the lovely visit! I’m glad I could keep Jordan momentarily occupied by asking him to explain Obamacare. re:poutine… It can be bad. Very bad. Undercooked fries and grated cheese (barf face).

  10. What a lovely trip! I’m so glad you got to meet up with Kay. She and her hubby are a blast! I understand about pictures. I spent Thursday night with Liana, and not one picture, despite having a fantastic time! Actually, it’s BECAUSE I was having such a fantastic time – who had time for pictures? 🙂

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