Breaking New Grounds Ogunquit

Breaking New Grounds

Breaking New Grounds Coffee Shop, 3 Harbor Ln, Ogunquit, ME 03907‎ • (207) 641-0634

The State of Maine has always held space in my heart. Shopping in the Kittery outlets. Wells or York Beach vacations with family. Weekending with friends in Andover or Portland. Day Trips to visit friends or a romantic dinner and stroll through Ogunquit.

Perkins Cove, Ogunquit is an especially sentimental location place for me. In my younger years, Nannie would take me on trolley-car adventures beginning or ending with a walk on the Marginal Way. Hearing the story of the oil painting bought by my parents for Nannie which allowed her to bring a coastal slice of life into her day-to-day simplicity. (That painting is in my parlor.) Early morning boarding of the Ugly Anne deep sea fishing boat with Dad and friends. Dinner at Barnacle Billy’s to celebrate something big! There’s always a corner promising to bring a huge smile up on to my face.

Breaking New Grounds Ogunquit icedThe smile I will explain here is Breaking New Grounds Coffee Shop, found in the far left corner of Perkins Cove. A quaint little shop perched on the rocky coast line. This establishment is absolutely a must visit. First reason is the kind and welcoming staff who are as happy to make a large Iced Blueberry Coffee as they are to grind up two pounds of the same beans for taking home. The coffee, pastries and lunch/light fare items are beautiful and are enjoyed so blissfully by all customers, that I just must share accolades here on our blog. Spencer is famous for “not wanting” a coffee when we anticipate continued walking because he’s not into the carrying of the coffee. When we stop here, he’s usually kindly volunteering complete ownership of my large iced Blueberry coffee from Breaking New Grounds Coffee Shop. He’s also famous for his happy moan and shouts of “It’s so good!!” as we stroll about the area. Second is the location: “picture perfect”, is all I can offer here.

Serving coffee that is provided by an inland parent store, Breaking New Grounds Coffee Shop provides mail order services and Adirondack chairs to give you the same feeling of neighborhood relaxation on the coast, sipping the summer day away.

Delicious!

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Much Ado About Nothing

Logline

Boozin’ partygoers conspire in this modern and minimalist take on the Shakespearian classic about love and deception.

Why we Went

It was a beautiful, hot Saturday and there was adventure in our hearts. What’s playing in commercial theaters? Robots, horror, and about a million kids’ movies, you say?… Eh, maybe for another day. How about the indies? Oh, look! Much Ado – and its directed by Joss Whedon? Now there’s an appealing mix of sensibilities! We’re in.

Why It Worked

From: Joss Whedon <jossisboss@yahoo.com>
Sent: August 24, 2012 3:02am
To: captainmal2002, reeddiamond, frankran, adenisof, clarkgregg … >more
Subject: Hey Guys!
Attachment(s): Much Ado.pdf

Hey there, Its Joss. How is everyone?
You may have heard that we’re almost done with The Avengers. What an experience! It took about 4 months, but principal photography is just about wrapping up!
I’ve got some contractually obligated downtime before we start editing, so I was hoping to pursue another project that I think you guys will love. You know how Kai and I used to host those Shakespeare readings at our place in Santa Monica? How great would it be if we filmed that?!
I know what you’re thinking: Joss, all of his plays are so good! How could we possibly choose just one?
My top choice? Much Ado About Nothing. Hear me out: There’s tons of debauchery, tons of maniacal planning, tons of good dialogue between Benedick and Beatrice. And really thinking about it, half of it plays out like an episode of Real Housewives anyway. People will love that.
The whole thing will be filmed in black and white. My house will be loaded with booze, which conveniently doubles as a plot device (because what clear-headed man devises impromptu weddings and staged murder plots without an excessive dose of liquid courage?). And the kids will be away, so we can use their rooms, too.
It’ll be super fun. Super casual. Men, wear suits and ties. And yes, Nathan [Fillion], I wrote in a scene with the infinity pool. So bring your swim trunks, too.
We’ll have 12 days to shoot everything. It’ll be cake. I may even get a chance to finish the score before then…
The script is attached. All I ask is that you know your lines, and we’re good to go. See y’all in a few weeks!
-Joss
PS: Were you guys aware that I co-wrote Toy Story? Like, THE Toy Story? Not to toot my own horn but ‘wow.’ Its pretty amazing that movie studios continue to say no to me after that one.

Bottom Line

Its a labor of love by an accomplished writer/director that – even in its modest presentation – is playful, sophisticated, and smart.

Newes from America – The Net Result – Martha’s Vineyard

In starting this entry, I started to reminisce our trip to Canada and returning to finish it, this evening, I’m happy to report that a dear friend but-dialed me from Quebec about an hour ago…voila. Here are more out-of-town bites to rave about….

On the 13th and 14th, we were the guests of a generous couple (great friends) on Martha’s Vineyard. We were fortunate to stay at their beautifully secluded resting spot and have a local’s perspective on this return trip to the island. Our first visit was last year for a special weekend away to celebrate my birthday (AJ) and this year, we returned on the same special weekend. One night, two days, torrential rain and a remarkable sunburn coupled with a two-day double-date with our friends, topped off by canoeing and kayaking in the ocean. My life has taken on a lot of new firsts and canoeing with a new friend is now on the list of happy.

As you know I’m here to talk about food, so here we go!

The Newes from America Pub, a Colonial pub at the base of The Kelley House hotel in the heart of the village of Edgartown is both  beautifully historic and a definite repeat in the future of this foodie. Shortly after arriving, an attentive server treated us to a quick tour of the specials, menu suggestions and with little wait, darn good food.

Joining me were two champion eaters, who frequently boast a reputation of never feeling full. Hear Ye! Hear Ye! They were waving the flag of surrender after being taken to task by the pieces of fish, in their Fish and Chips ($14). The chips were barely combated. You read it here, pieces…one platter had two equally big pieces and the second had a huge piece and smaller one for good measure.

Another impressive entrée from the front page was the combination of the Newes Pub “Hot” Wings ($9.75) and Bag O’Rings (8) which happily brought tears to their devour-er’s eyes. The bag of onion rings, an actual brown paper bag sans plate plopped onto the table was the bearer of some of the best onion rings ever served. Remember, we sample everyone’s  food.

My dinner was a grilled sirloin steak special topped with a house made onion gravy that was a deliciously close cousin to my yummy onion soup ($7.50) appetizer. The steak and vegetables were so plentiful that I used only 2 of the 5 perfectly crisp  potato wedges to scoop up the gravy off the plate. I laid my napkin over the rest. These Colonials had us beat down.

I must give honorable mention to the hostess, who buzzed, bussed and bid hello and good-bye to everyone in and out. Let the NEWES be spread… if you are in Edgartown, check the Newes!!

The Net ResultAn Upper Scale Fish Market, Takeout & Sushi Barnetresultfrontaug17

  • Clam Chowder ($4.75)
  • Lobster Salad on a wrap, made to order ($15)
  • Grilled Swordfish ($7.95)
  • Crazy Tuna Roll: Pepper Tuna, Avo inside topped Spicy Tuna ($17.99)

To my Worcester-ites, this is what would have been born of The Sole Proprietor, if the Ahlquist’s had gone fish market instead of fish dining. Nearly every bite met a moan of mouth-watering pleasure or a shout of tasty joy. The chowdah was on par with the finest. The Lobstah wrap trapped so much lobster meat, I lost count. There were easily4 claws, a few knuckles and extra pincer pieces with one simple leaf of crisp of lettuce and two delicately thin slices of tomato dressed with barely any mayo.  Spencer’s swordfish sandwich had two pieces of fish grilled to perfection on a soft roll with the same delicate portion of lettuce and tomato for a hint of taste and color. The sushi roll was beyond expectations, a fair price and nearly two inches in diameter, plus being packed with fish and laced with good healthy spice.

The focal point of the market is the two or three large tanks filled with lively lobsters and the talk about town is that you should call in your order because you’ll be waiting, if you don’t. Wait, patiently, yes – many did, there were a good 50 – 100 people in and out and the parking lot had not one peaceful moment. The picnic tables, by the time we were leaving were crowded with happy customers clamoring like seagulls. The Net Result = I was pleased.

Despicable Me 2

Logline

Reformed villain Gru and his adopted children live a quiet life, until he’s enlisted by a lovely representative of the Anti-Villain League to help save the world.

Why we went

We wanted to sneak in a pre-Vineyard movie. And since AJ’s afraid of giant robots, we opted to save Pacific Rim for another day.

Why it worked (but not really)

Marketing matters. A lot. It takes considerable thought and effort to really come up with a thing that sticks. Having a strong sense of craft alone won’t do it, you need pull. And what better pull than some weird chattering pill-shaped oompa/chipmunk hybrids with mischievous dispositons?

The creative team of the Despicable Me franchise really hit the jackpot. Who’s asking how and why Kevin became the little monster he is today? Our love for him and his brethren is not measured by anything they’ve done, but by how friggin’ silly they look and sound (like barking puppies in people clothes – for people!). Their image just begs for posters and tv spots and youtube banners.

This being the case, its no wonder that Gru (Steve Carell) is absent from much of the second film’s promotional material. Seriously though, why even bother with him? Despicable Me already gave that character a tidy, well-earned ending. He grew in the ways he needed to and so did his orphan littles. Which is why one could justifiably say, from a storyteller’s perspective, that the sequel didn’t need to happen. Then again, ka-ching.

Don’t get me wrong, the movie did a few things right. For starters, it progressed logically from the first, presenting Gru’s struggles as an eligible bachelor and single parent. It parodied adulthood in an occasionally fun way (see: the over-eager next door neighbor and the blind date she schedules for Gru). It had some great sight gags. And yes, the minions – mindless as they are – still add a lot of gleeful relief to a plot that mostly wanders.

But that’s just it. There’s a clear crutch here, and it wasn’t just in the marketing campaign. Early promos for this summer’s The Heat may have emphasized the whole one dimensional “female take on the buddy cop comedy” thing, but we got much more than that.  That movie had heart. It had people working together that you could tell work well together. And the story’s outcome may have been predictable, but audiences laughed every step of the way. Monsters University – a huge summer competitor – also wanted to bank on the success of its predecessor, but found a rich, deeply focused story to assure that the asses in theater seats were happy.

The same cannot be said of Despicable Me 2, but its makers were less interested in that raw element anyway. Universal did their research, figured out what people liked from the first and gave them more of it. No risk involved. In case there was any question, it won’t end here either. The announcement that 2014 will bring a spinoff entitled Minions to the big screen pretty much solidifies this movie’s place as an elaborate commercial.

The Bottom Line

In trying so hard to please everybody, it loses the elements that made the original so special.

This Is the End

Logline

When the ongoing Apocalypse ruins James Franco’s L.A. houseparty, its few remaining guests must do the unthinkable: Rely on each other for survival.

Why we went

We took advantage of the weekend’s gawgisss weather in MA with a visit to Hopkinton State Park. AJ enjoyed the view while I waded in bathwater. Later we decided to round off the day with ice cream at T.C. Scoops in Medway and a movie. What better way to celebrate our endurance of hellfire heat than a movie depicting the Biblical apocalypse, we thought? Enter: This Is the End.

Why it worked

For this particular reviewer, the answer is simply that it’s gay. Very gay.

Film aficionados could “read into” the homosocial subtext of prior Rogen/Apatow produced works, but its in plain view here. Need evidence? How about James Franco identifying his house as an extension of himself, and then inviting his male guests to “come inside him?” Or the argument between Franco and McBride that deviates into an aggressive back and forth of masturbatory gesturing.

If allusions aren’t enough, the male on male rape scene might do the trick (worry not, a brief cut to shadow tells that story). Emma Watson’s 5 minute cameo may be brief, but when she takes an axe to a large decorative penis, every male in the audience squirms (take that heteronormative constructs!)

The personal highlight for us was the extended view of Satan’s ridiculously proportioned CG member, which swung to and fro on that cinema screen like it was no big deal. I’d like to point out that that was somebody’s job. Somebody had to ask Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, “Is this girthy enough? Does it effectively resemble molten co…  rock? Are you satisfied with that swing?” To which Seth said “No,” and sent him right back at it so he could stare at the thing for hours on end. All of this giddily plotted to one day be projected on a hulking 22 foot screen. Kudos to you, sirs.

And since we’re kind of already on the subject: James Franco totally IS gay, right? They’ve been on this way too long for it NOT to be true. Right?

Bottom Line

The subtext would give any cultural/film theorist a field day, but its the laughs and situational absurdity that make This Is the End a great popcorn flick.

The Front Porch

After more than a week of travelling through Canada, we decided that it was too early to go home and spent two days in Ogunquit, Maine. If you haven’t had the chance to walk about this coastal town, you must. We arrived after dark and checked into The Betty Doon Hotel. Located in the center of all of the excitement and offering a simple, clean, affordable and quiet resting place; The Betty Doon is owned by Rick Booth, a mentor of mine (AJ) since age 11.

After catching up with Rick and bringing our bags to the room, we walked over to The Front Porch, The Front Porchjust across the street. We chose a corner table by the window in the downstairs lounge and devoured the menu. The late time offered a slight restriction to “Bar Fare” but there was no limitation for us.

Spencer started with the New England Clam Chowder ($6) and finished with the Fish Tacos (Flour Tortillas, Cilantro Slaw, Spicy Remoulade $14) – well, almost finished! There were three tortillas and each had two pieces of flaky and delicious fish, battered so thinly, that it was more of a decoration. The slaw was delicious and it was sampled by me, more than once. I sampled the chowder, too – so scrumptious!! Both great choices for a late dinner. The portion was easily suited for sharing and if I had ordered an appetizer, we would have been leaving behind much more food.

I enjoyed the Grilled Chicken Sandwich (Avocado Aioli, Crispy Bacon, Tomato $13) that was juicy, flavorful and definitely hit the spot. Instead of fries, I requested a salad, which was just the right size and nicely balanced the meal. 

The Front Porch is a 3-part establishment. Downstairs is split by the grand stairs leading up to the piano bar; the left side is the lounge, where we enjoyed our delightful dinner. Through the lounge, to the right, is the formal dining room, where well-lit tables with very comfortable seating invite you to enjoy 5 star dining.

Our waiter, Nick, catered to our every need. His readiness was apparent and he was eager to help with anything to assure our satisfaction.

In the upstairs Piano Bar, I have enjoyed many a Sing-a-long adventure and will surely return. The Front Porch consistently delivers the perfecta of dining, relaxing and toe-tapping excitement.

Canadian Road Trip

June 21 through June 30 was my (AJ) first complete vacation, in a very long while. I have taken several long weekend trips, where I would add a Friday and a Monday or a few days to a weekend and bring technology to take calls and check emails along the way. Last Summer’s birthday weekend to Martha’s Vineyard was dampened by a conference call, on the ferry home, and began a time in my life where working and playing at the same time will not be happening. This vacation, was a true vacation, including plans made by Spencer and his sister Paige, driving by me, music by Paige, Spencer and Steven Dorsey and fun and thrills enjoyed by ALL! When I say vacation, I mean it. We started our group vacation with a pre-vacation dinner at Ciao Bella in Worcester, team shopping at Walmart and a sleep over at Stanley Kunitz’s house.

As is my usual flair, I’ll help you through the itinerary one bite at a time. Ciao Bella, in Worcester, MA on Grove Street, does not disappoint. The food was delicious, the service was on par and Steven and Paige’s first experience left a great taste in their mouths. Paige had a wrap that she handled with the greatest of ease (LOL!) while its overflowing ingredients lived up to their name. Photo Jun 21, 7 38 17 PMSteven ordered buffalo tenders, which were amply supplied, so much so that they were a snack (almost half the served portion) for Spencer, Paige and himself while we waited to cross the Canadian Border, the next day. Spencer had a salad that, was impressive in size and flavor, with plenty of feta, which he adores. My dinner was a Salmon special with Dijon topping and wild rice; it was a seafood tarantella on the taste buds!! We intended on stopping for iced cream later, but we were pleasantly filled by the delicious meal. This picture shows the “take home” portion of buffalo tenders.

So then, we hit the road for our three part journey north, west and then south… promptly at 8:00am or so, the next morning.

First stop, the AAA office in New Hampshire to load some cash onto our “AAA AMEX cards,” affording us no charge and no fee purchasing as well as roadside assistance throughout Canada. Thank you, AAA and the MAMAs!

Got Money and Time, now we’re off!!

Next on our itinerary was New Brunswick, Canada to experience Sussex, Moncton, and Hopewell Rocks with a small side trip to Parlee Beach/Wharf for some swimming. Sussex served up a quaint village with little stimulation beyond painted buildings/murals [it’s the Mural Capital of Atlantic Canada] and our first introductory class of “Speaking Canadian: 101” we learned “soareee” and “a-boot”. Our instructor was also a waitress at Maple Avenue Restobar  where the menu included everything from ~$20 entrees to a Friday night pizza and pitcher special. We chanced some BOGO apps and took our exit. Paige had a bit of a pinch that night, as we learned that in order to be an adult in New Brunswick, one must be 19. This became a point of laughter for the remainder of our adventure. “You have to be 19 for that…” was a common conversation starter, or better, a segue into a new conversation.

We were kindly and generously accommodated by Amsterdam Inn & Suites  with a beautiful, clean and Photo Jun 22, 5 30 38 PMcomfortable room and a breakfast buffet which included delicious toast, bagels and English muffins, a variety of cereals, fruit, muffins, juices, teas, hard boiled eggs in a crock pot and coffee. Canadian coffee was good throughout the trip.  In final discussions, we rate this our second favorite ‘place to stay.’

Photo Jun 23, 10 53 29 AMThe first full day in New Brunswick took us to Hopewell Rock, part of the Canadian National Parks, to see not only the Bay of Fundy, where the tide rises so high and fast that the ocean floor is 6 or 7 flights  down and when the tide is out, you can walk right out onto the ocean floor. When the tide comes in, the “Chocolate River” is filled with highly agitated brown water. Like night and day, a very impressive experience. It was freaky to stand at the middle of a stairway with waves crashing at my feet on a perfectly clear day. This video will help you with the WOW-factor of Hopewell Rocks and the Bay of Fundy.

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The afternoon was spent walking,  shopping and lunching in downtown Moncton. The Old Triangle was our lunch spot, after two places enforced the dreaded “19 rule.” Paige had the Belfast Burger and Spencer had the JD Steak Wrap. I had the 40 Shades of Green Salad with grilled chicken and Steven had the Lemon Basil Spaghettini, a deliciously spicy dish that he battled triumphantly.

Photo Jun 23, 4 18 40 PMOur remarkable side trip to Parlee Beach Wharf for a swim was a chance to experience a young boy’s attempt to overcome the approximate 10 foot jump off the stone wharf into the water. He quietly deliberated, sought silent encouragement from his mother and teetered back and forth revving himself for the challenge. Surrounding adults were captivated by the scene. All the while, child peers casually plunged in, over and over. Once he did take the giant leap and returned to the top off the wall, he was met with hearty applause.

There were a few slightly older children splashing about, as well.

New Brunswick was an enjoyable way to start out this vacation. We enjoyed hanging out, good sleep and great sights. PrudenceMooseNot an adventure course for city lovers, but for those who enjoy miles of farmland, beautiful riverside vistas and plenty of Moose cautions.

 We developed many sketch improvisations about Prudence, the moose, and her risque lifestyle.

The second leg of our trip was to Quebec City – Old Quebec, for some – where we had much much fun! We started our adventure at Les Trois Garcons where we met Annabel, 2013-06-24 19.19.05the sweetest and most beautiful waitress we experienced during our travels. The food was just as good as the service. We sat inside the open front wall of the restaurant and enjoyed hamburgers, bison, salmon, hand cut fries and delicious harvest salads. Spencer’s Tartare 1084 was the headliner of this eating experience. We not only found ourselves in awe with spectacular plating, but we found our taste buds in a frenzy. We forced ourselves not to go the next night. I certainly know what I would have ordered, well one of three that tickled my taste buds.

Photo Jun 24, 4 31 11 PMThe Hotel Ambassadeur, Beauport – just across the river (The Saint Lawrence River) had a gorgeous interior garden and pool with hot  tub and very comfortable seating and relaxing area, in addition to a comfortable room for us.

The next day was Cora for breakfast and Spag & Tini for dinner. We simply didn’t have room for lunch, in our schedules or stomachs. We did a lot of walking and shopping all around the hills, cobble stoned streets and excitingly gorgeous shoppes. The days in Quebec City were a buffet of color for all senses. Up. Down. Left. Right. Historic. Waterfront. People. Stairs. Fantasy. Reality. These are some photos, or as some would say, a few thousand words framed for your understanding.

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Chez Cora offered Eggs Benedict, french crepes filled with eggs, meat and/or fresh fruit. Either healthy or straight-out dessert, it was all available.

Photo Jun 25, 7 34 57 PMSpag & Tini, known for terrace dining was delicious and beautiful. Situated at the foot of the embankment topped by Le Château Frontenac and surrounded by fairy tale streets and shops, the dining was a full sensory experience. I’m a huge fan of Beet and Chevre salads and the equal portion of beets, chevre and greens made this meal the stand out star!!

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This window display (photo at right) is suspect, but while the business was closed, the shop window entertained well.

The area of Old Quebec continually, as mentioned, WOWed all of us. We definitely will be returning to visit, as Spencer and I have added it to our list of places we could live. My sincere thanks to the people of Quebec City for preserving a beautiful jewel of tourism and life, which maintains and instilled in this traveler that joie de vivre usually only dreamed.

The next leg of our trip was to Montreal, where we enjoyed some team stress management, fast, on our feet decision making and hotel swapping direct from the scariest-psycho-movie-horror-motel HMotel (sic) I’ve seen in my life. The property was dilapidated at best and the clientele was truly undesirable. I did not leave the car and the reports from my companions included dirt, smell and disgust…just the keywords. I truly hope that the management takes some time to refurbish their property because it was frightening and gross. The 89.99 per night was a sincere overcharge. We landed at the Hotel Le Cantlie Suites, downtown Montreal, thanks to Steven’s quick work on www.expedia.ca and I posted this review the other night.

LeCantlie_Feedback_expedia_dot_ca

We enjoyed walking all over the area and took in the sights at the Museum of Fine Arts, Cabaret Mado and Eaton Center, all within a 5-15 minute walk. We were four twirling tourists gawking, snapping photos, pointing, stopping and rushing ahead. Everywhere we looked, there was something for our eyes to soak up.

2013-06-26 17.59.26Before I get into the sights, my job is to share with you the bites. On our first night, after rejoicing and doing many happy dances all over our room, we walked left from our hotel’s grand lobby to the Le Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal. The exterior exhibits were enough for us to jointly and immediately decide to spend the next morning viewing the permanent collection. Upon exiting the reception and information area of the museum, we stopped for some local culture information from a kind lady who was brimming will welcoming smiles.

We had a few questions:
1. How is English introduced to Canadians, in that most flip back and forth between French and English, in the way that we breathe.
2. Which were her favorite restaurants in the area?
3. Did she want to join us?

2013-06-26 17.56.24#3 was politely declined, as she was escorting notable and tardy friends through the Chihuly exhibit. #1 yielded a kind explanation that was beautifully detailed with small tidbits about her parents and life in Montreal. “It’s just that in order to make it, you have to do it.” #2 provided us with a list of restaurants, 2-3 in the mid range and high range and it took our best efforts to find most of them. First, we had dinner at m:brgr. I had the Seared Tuna Salad, which was delicious and fresh, very fresh. My three companions built their own burgers and shared the Fry basket. There was brief debate, but no one opted for the $100 brgr.  We headed to Ste Catherine Street for the show at Cabaret Mado. Photo Jun 26, 9 50 26 PM Photo Jun 26, 10 24 16 PMThis was Paige and Steven’s first drag show. We were sitting on the corner of stage left and when the Mistress of Ceremonies, Miss Butterfly, was informed that we spoke English, she snapped right into our understanding and had us in stitches. The incredible show included American pop songs and a pair of talented, bodacious dancers.

2013-06-27 10.55.42The next day began with breakfast at Universel Peel Street where we were inundated by the smell of freshly pressed oranges, a menu that created an inner struggle and a server who genuinely was happy to have us visit. The space is heavily mirrored and very creatively lit. I felt as though we were sitting outside when looking left and right, but inside an art deco, glimmering palace in other directions. I had a breakfast burrito that was made entirely of fresh ingredients, Spencer enjoyed poached egg and smoked salmon, Paige Benedict sampled more hollandaise and Steven had a Belgian waffle that was gone in just about one minute of slight moans and small shouts of delicious joy!

The day was packed by a morning visit to the Musée des beaux-arts, a nap break, a walk through Ste Laurent’s shopping district, another visit to Ste Catherine Street and a subway ride to Eaton Center. Eaton Center is a huge underground shopping center that literally runs laps around itself. If you are in Montreal, go to there! Very interesting, great shops and much to do and see. Weather turned a little cool and we physically outdid ourselves, so we chose to return to Universel for dinner. Pizza for Spencer and me, with salad, a burger for Paige and Steven had Fettucine Alfredo.

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Notes about Canada:

  • Nearly every restaurant, happily, asked if we wanted one bill or four. Almost always expecting to present separated bills.

  • If you are pleasant and try to help the french speaker, you will get miles along with kindness.

  • Carrying fruit over the border is a big deal.

  • It seems, based on our experience, that most of Canada accepts American Currency. Some charge a small surcharge, like the Starbucks at Chateau Frontenac.

  • There’s an apartment for rent in Quebec City, a short walk from the Fudgerie, for just $880 CAD/month.

  • Canadians do not eat ice cream, only gelato.2013-06-24 20.21.01

    • (I made it 36 years thinking gelato was Italian.)

    • Gelato is never sugar-free or no sugar added.

    • On that note, the one chocolatier who had sugar free options, used whole nuts to distract from the sugarlessness. (AJ is allergic to sugar and nuts.)

We split the trip home by stopping over at the family run Black Bear Inn in Bolton Valley, VT and a lunch cruise on Lake Champlain out of Burlington’s Waterfront district. On our way to the Inn, we treated ourselves to the Factory Tour at Ben and Jerry’sPhoto Jun 28, 3 00 14 PM in Waterbury. Photo Jun 28, 2 59 51 PMOur room at Black Bear was an end room with a balcony overlooking the outdoor pool and hot tub with a backdrop of the picturesque Green Mountains. Our last morning together was kicked off with a full breakfast included in our stay at the Inn – more delicious coffee and toast –  and then off to shop and cruise the historic Burlington/Lake Champlain area. Our afternoon in Burlington ended with a street performance by a acrobatic juggler, who had us bent over laughing while we anticipated the downpour thunderstorm that ushered us, promptly, to the car.

Just 10 minutes down the road, sunshine and blue skies returned to accompany us for our drive home.

Photo Credits: Apple, Inc, Paige Hensel, Steven Dorsey and Ilia I. Phone.
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