It's Maple Season (Saison d'érable)!
As some of you might have noticed, we haven't been updating the blog much lately. Despite the warm temps where a lot of you live in the States, it's still cold here. Not as cold as it was, but we really haven't been getting out and doing much since the weather doesn't always permit it. However, we've had some relatively nice days lately (temps in the 30s/40s), and I wore sneakers this week for the first time since November. Hooray for sneakers! It's snowing again today, but we're told the snow is almost over for the season.
Since yesterday was a nice day (no snow, no rain, no ice), we decided to venture out and explore a new neighborhood. It's called Hochelaga, and it's apparently in the middle of gentrifying. Which means lots of new restaurants, shops, and places for people to live. We did a bit of walking and browsing, and we bought some maple-oriented products because, well, it's Canada.
Did I mention maple? Yes, the ubiquitous syrup is being harvested right now (March through May, I believe), which means everything under the sun is available in maple flavor. We bought a maple tartlette from Premiere Moisson (one of our fave bakeries), and I bought a maple flavored beer from a great little beer and wine shop called Le Bièrologue. Seriously, everything is available in maple varieties right now.
We also booked a dinner in May at a place called Cabane D’à Côté. It's a sister restaurant of the infamous Au Pied De Cochon, and it's known as a "sugar shack" or "cabane à sucre." It's only open during maple season, and it's way out in the country about 45 mins. outside Montreal. The idea is to feature an array of dishes that somehow all incorporate maple syrup, and we are definitely looking forward to it. Not just desserts - savory dishes too. If it's anything like APDC, we will definitely be skipping lunch (and probably breakfast) before we arrive.
What else? I'm starting round 2 of my French classes April 1, and we also started a Meetup group for American expats in hopes of meeting some relatable friends. Not that the people we've met aren't nice, but sometimes you need someone to complain to about the lack of Trader Joe's and Target. We have our first meeting in 2 weeks, so hopefully some people will show up. If not, Marny and I will complain to each other about our Trader Joe's-less lives, like we've been doing for the last 7 1/2 months.
We also scheduled a weekend trip to Quebec City in April, which should be fun. We haven't left Montreal since we got here, so it'll be good to see some of the surrounding area. More to come later.