This was a Birthday surprise weekend for the books....It started on Friday evening...March 10th. At dinner I was presented with a paper scroll with a C.S. Lewis quote - more on that in a later post 🙂 and instructions on where to find my first gift. So I looked in our little linen wardrobe and found a neatly wrapped box. In it....a voucher for tickets to see The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe Off Broadway the next morning at 11am. (Jenneka is a very clever lady she gave me clues to my first gift and I completely didn't get it! Hahaha)
The next morning we were off.
Before we knew it...we arrived at our destination.
Taking our seats in the cozy theater, we became baffled as to how they were going to re-create C.S. Lewis' epic Narnian tale with minimal props and 2 actors?!?!?!?
But, this is the magic of a fantastic theater production and the amazing ability of 2 actors to completely hold an entire audience spell bound, captivating the imaginations of young and old alike for 50 minutes!
Truly... this was a CANNOT miss performance that the entire family can enjoy!
What made this experience so unique was after the play ended, everyone in the audience had an opportunity to take pics and converse with the actors.... A special Thanks to Rachel Osterhus and Alexander Kirby for the passion they exude for their art!
We braved our way out the door and into the cold... Jared and Jen commenced stalling for time.
After, walking back and forth on the same street, then abruptly cutting down another....
I saw a lovely red jacket whisk into one of the shops....and thought..."that woman looks very familiar!?!" As we crossed the street she didn't just look familiar...it was Marina, Leonid and Luke coming out of the shop on the corner. A lovely reunion filled with immediate aching cheeks because the smiling, laughing and happiness couldn't be contained!
Leon and Luke had the restaurant spot reserved...while on route, we of course stopped to have our group photo taken and to catch our breath from laughing so much!
The spread at Samba Kitchen and Bar was plentiful! The staff was beyond accommodating, warm and welcoming! This moment went by to quickly and soon it was time to part ways. Truly the gift of Friendship and Family was a highlight this Birthday and I'm forever grateful for the time spent with everyone.
The sibling sneaks had gotten me good. Driving home reflecting on the past hours, overwhelmed by the time invested to make things so special, I happily drifted into a lovely sleep. As I awoke in our driveway...we were greeted at the door by our parents... and luggage for everyone! Back to the car we marched...on the road again...this time to Montreal! As the shock set in, my chatter ceased...I contrarily fell asleep ....the back seat of the car must have a sleep switch because I cannot seem to stay awake on drives that are longer than 20 minutes! (Slight exaggeration...or not;-)
We arrived in Montreal just in time to have take out from Nolana, one of our favorite brick oven pizza spots in the city and enjoyed eating in the comforts of our Like-A-Hotel, home away from home.
The next morning we got off to a late start but still managed to have a full and fun day!
Going straight to the market... we stopped for lunch and just couldn't leave Canada without re-supplying our stash of Maple Syrup and Maple cookies.
We got a variety of items to share....pea soup, lentil soup, chili, shepherds pie and the most delicious curried chicken! We topped everything off with Americanos and a few sweets.
After our lovely meal...it was time to skate!
We went to Beaver Lake located in beautiful Mount Royal Park and rented skates from The Beaver Lake Pavilion. Skating in Montreal is a must do winter event, there are people of all skill levels and backgrounds on the ice.
With multiple layers we slid on by. I was wearing 2 pairs of stockings, jeans, 3 shirts and 2 jackets. Jared and Jenneka weren't quite as layered with just 1 thermal layer, normal clothes and appropriate outer wear.
After a while Jared was less and less amused and he was quite ready to sip on something warm in The Pavillion.
Oh the things we make our brother do 🙂
We heard how beautiful evening skating was....and tried convincing Jared to come back out on the ice. To no avail, yet, that didn't stop Jenny and I from braving the cold. Truthfully, once you start skating...you actually get warm...dare I say hot...with the exception of the face.
I switched coats with Mum....and into the crisp night air we went.
The warm glow of the pavilion shone brightly from the rink.
Jared and Mum stayed cozily tucked away in the warmth and chatted away as our sweet Papa made the rounds as both indoor and outdoor photographer.
Jenny and I completed our final laps recollecting about the wild weekend and plotting upcoming adventures. We were pried off the ice and finished the evening at Pub St. Paul. Their kitchens were open until 10pm and the portions were extremely hearty.
We tried our first Poutine, a dish consisting of French Fries, Light Brown Gravy and Cheese Curds. With its origins tracing to Québec this Canadian delight can vary by restaurant and may have a number of added goodies such as meat, fish and/or veggies! A perfectly hefty dish for days spent enjoying the fridged outdoors.
Sending lots of Love, with much Gratitude for an amazing whirlwind weekend and for following along on this adventure. Cheers to many more!
X ~ The Sibs