Wednesday, April 25, 2007

One year down...

Can you believe it? I am (mostly) done the first year of my Masters. I say mostly because I have a four week rotation in Victoria, BC to do, as well as I have to write a project proposal that is due at the end of May. But since Jeff and I are back in Saskatoon after a two day 3000 km drive through Canada and the US, I feel that I am pretty much done first year.

Our drive was (mostly) uneventful. Again, I say mostly because we only ran into one road bump. I am never letting my husband speak to customs agents again. Jeff, whom we all know and love, is a bit of a smart-ass. I love this quality in him (yay sarcasm) but he doesn't even realize he is doing it...his smart-assness is so innate to his nature. We pull up to US customs. The guy is friendly, we're doing good. He asks us about alcohol, cigarettes,, no, no. He asks us about beef. Believe it or not, we have beef. Jeff says "we have sandwich meat". Customs dude replies "Beef?" ...Jeff says in his sarcastic, I think you are dumber than me, voice "It would be beef". Customs dude than goes crazy...he is no longer friendly...yells at Jeff not to be a smart ass and indicates that a simple yes or no would have sufficed. We have to pull over to the side and he radios the other agents that we have beef and that the driver is a smart ass. Great...thanks Jeff. It only takes about five minutes, but I am never letting him drive into the states again.

Aside from that event on day one, it was smooth sailing. We arrived around 11:30pm on Sunday night. I honestly don't understand why people don't love driving through the prairies. Sure it is flat...but c'mon! I can see what is coming, I don't have to do much in the way of turning the wheel, and I can watch the Northern Lights dance at my arrival to SK. I missed driving the prairies :).

Since I arrived home, I joined Facebook. Big mistake. I didn't need a new Internet addiction, but lucky for me, I got one.

"Drive in, drive out, I'm leaving. Drive in, drive out, I'll come back again" - DMB

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sugar Shackin...

It is traditional in Feb-April in Quebec to go to a Cabane à Sucre, aka a sugar shack, or sugar house. It is when the maple trees are harvested of their fantastic sap and maple syrup is made. There are many, many different sugar shacks around the province. The one I went to when I was 15 was more traditional; there was Quebecois music and dancing (yay to wooden spoons!). This one was a bit more modern and they had a dance party for the kids which had a remixed version of the hokie-pokie. Great.
Outside the place we ate brunch
We went to the cabane à sucre with people from the Genetics department in the McGill Hospital system. It was nice to see my supervisors and the doctors in a more casual atmosphere. The first thing that we got as we arrived were these awesome maple syrup doughnuts. It was hard not to keep going back for more.

Rachel enjoying a donut
Still waiting for brunch
We all sit in a huge hall at these big long tables and eat traditional (mostly edible) food. The hall filled for brunch
The food was alright, but you don't really go for the breakfast. You go for the syrup. They spread the maple syrup on snow. As the syrup hardens, you take a Popsicle stick and roll it up so that you have syrup on a stick. Tasty.

Oh, so that's how it's done
Syrup everywhere
We went for a carriage ride around the érablière and saw buckets full of maple sap.
More maple trees
Overall, it was a fun field trip. Something that really only needs to be done once a year. Here is a pic of six of the eight GC girls.
Most of the genetic counselor girls

"Sweet sugar lips, Push from the hips, Woman looks just like love" - DMB

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Ottawa is fun...

Since Jeff and I moved to Montreal, we have gone to visit our friends Tracy and Chris twice. We always have a great time on these trips because Tracy and Chris are adults who know how to treat a guest. They do things such as feed us real food and wine and treat us to a fabulous time. We have tried to emulate them, but we are not nearly as successful.

We went to Ottawa for the first time for my birthday (c' should know that it is Sept 16th). We were still new to Montreal and I wanted to ring in my 26th year with people I knew. We drove there on Friday and they made an awesome supper for us. The following day, I got my first look at Ottawa. We walked around the outside of parliament and downtown. We also did some shopping - yay for spending money. Here we are enjoying downtown Ottawa...
Rachel and Tracy with the statues

The parliament buildings

Rachel shows the bear how to eat

For dinner we went to a restaurant called the Empire Grill. The meal and the drinks were incredible. After dinner, though, we went to a martini bar called (I believe) Helsinki's. They had the best martinis ever, and they were all pervertedly named - it won me over. The following day, we (and by we, I don't mean Jeff) were pretty much to hungover to do anything productive, so we went back home to Montreal.

Six months later, Jeff and I return to Ottawa. You may have read about it on Jeff's blog. This time there was less sunshine but even more hospitality. Chris and Tracy had gotten a hot tub. So fabulous. Friday night saw us eat the most fabulous meal and then we went to the hot tub for three hours drinking pitchers of martinis. This was the greatest way to de-stress from my crazy semester at school.

The following day, we went and toured the inside of parliament. My dad raves about the library there and so I decided we should go see.



This is the library:

I am a unicorn!

Here is me being Terry Fox. Now, I do love Terry Fox. I am not disrespecting him in any way by being his statue. But, as I posed with Terry, a man in a wheel chair rolled by...I felt awkward. I felt I needed to explain that I did indeed love Terry.
That night, we went for supper at Luxe Bistro, which was fantastic. Then, the whole reason for the trip, we went to the musical Hairspray ! I had seen the movie when I was younger and I was very excited to see the musical. It was really funny. It was Jeff's first musical and he didn't hate it! Yay! It is being re-made in movie form again and should be out this summer. After the musical, we went for some dessert and went back to the hot tub.

Our trips to Ottawa are always fantastic. Next year, I am doing a rotation at the Children's Hospital in Ottawa and will get a whole month of Tracy and Chris. Lucky me (not so much lucky them).

"Every dog has it's day, every day has it's way of being forgotten - "Mom it's my birthday" would you say (what could you say)" - DMB

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