Tag Archives: family

Yours is Mine in Montreal

My husband and I just got back to Houston from a family visit in Montreal, Canada. I love that city. From the bilingual element and temperamental weather, to the decidedly young population living among beautiful old buildings. Montreal has a whole lot to offer.

Winter in Montreal

We generally go twice a year to visit my in-laws, staying on average about one to two weeks at a time. In between the good ol’ family bonding, we usually squeeze in an awesome activity here and there. From learning how to snow board at the nearby resort of Mont Tremblant, train rides to Quebec City, and of course plenty of Cirque du Soleil performances: all barely scratching the surface!

This time around, our visit happened to coincide with one of the coldest winter weeks Montreal has seen in a very long time. With temperatures ranging from -30C to -10C (-22F to 14F) we were perfectly happy to spend most nights bundled up at home introducing my in-laws to the power and wonder of instant streaming on Netflix.

With my father-in-law approaching his mid-70s and my mother-in-law suffering from high cholesterol and diabetes, it wasn’t just the cold that kept us inside this time around. We went to stay with them expecting this trip to be a bit more low-key than usual. This time around, it was a vacation for the soul, of rest, and home cooked meals. And sometimes that’s just perfectly fine.

You see, my husband is really one of the good ones, the kind that doesn’t come around too often. He is the kind of son that grew up realizing his parents were his best friends. The kind who finds joy and content in helping them program different gadgets around the house and taking them to doctor appointments. The kind whose heart literally breaks when he has to leave his parents alone in a frosty city.

So if I can play a small part in making our week together more enjoyable, that’s what I’ll do. Because that’s love.

So to my husband: what’s yours is mine. Your joy is mine, your heartbreak is mine.


Macarons and Nudges: Road-trip from Belgium to France

Being able to visit family who live thousands of miles away, incidentally also due to the oil and gas industry (which happens to run so deeply in our growing family) is undeniably one of the major perks of a rotation based schedule, especially as a trailing expat wife.  When we first arrived in Calgary, my husband was needed on site for a full four weeks. I decided to take advantage and travel to Qatar where my family is currently on assignment. From Doha, we headed to Europe to try to make a memorable vacation out of our time together. Mission accomplished!

Although it’s been more than a few months, I’d like to share some images of my experience before we get too far along in 2013.  My parents, 2 sisters (sadly the 3rd couldn’t join), and I took a week-long road-trip in September 2012 from Belgium to France, stopping along Brussels, Paris, Versailles, Bruges, and Zeebruges along the way and in that order (yes it was a round about kind of detour).  Other than hitting the typical touristy hotspots, here is a short list of must-dos if you ever find yourself in the area:

1. Cycling through Bruges – Bike rentals were at an all time low at just 2 Euros an hour compared to absolutely exorbitant prices in Brussels. (note – the cobble stones make for a beautifully scenic yet bumpy ride. But there’s no better way to get from delicious chocolate shop to chocolate shop over several canals in this quaint little city.)

Bruges, Belgium. September 2012

Bruges, Belgium. September 2012

2. Mussels in Zeebruges – They will be fantastic anywhere in Belgium, but do not miss out on eating this local delicacy by the beach at Zeebruges.

Mussels in Zeebruges, 2012

Mussels in Zeebruges, 2012

3. Windmills – Touring an ancient windmill that still functions as a working flour mill in the Belgian countryside will be a guaranteed unforgettable experience.

Belgian Windmill, 2012

Belgian Windmill, 2012

Cuddling Belgian Horses

Pretty horses cuddling in the shadow of the mill.

4. Parisian Cafes and Boutiques – Step away from the bustling attractions and experience local flare. Shop or eat at unique little places as you walk in the rain.

Parisian Breakfast

Scrumptious raspberry concoction for breakfast in Paris.

There’s something so sublimely joyful when, as an adult, you’re able to relive your childhood memories of fighting over an inch of leg room in the back of a packed car or whose job it is to man the iPod. I’ll never forget my fond memories of elbow nudges while munching over Ladurée macarons on this autumn trip.

I couldn’t help but think of my poor hubby thousands of miles away working on a camp site, forging forward with his career as I toured the sites. One of our phone conversations went a little something like this:

“We went to the Eiffel Tower today but I actually didn’t get a chance to go up…” 

“…I see.. So I guess we’re going back then?” 

“Honey, you read my mind!” 🙂 

Parisian Skyline

Parisian Skyline

Beautiful Brussels, 2012

Beautiful Brussels, 2012

Belgian Chocolates

Belgian Chocolates

Gardens at Versailles, September 2012

Gardens at Versailles, September 2012

Interior of our Boutique Hotel in Paris

Interior of our Boutique Hotel in Paris


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