Posts Tagged “wedding”


Out of 155 portions of sponge cake, there are apparently none left. It was very well received.

List of traditional and modern anniversary gifts

I was looking for a list of traditional anniversary gifts when I realized that many sources online have a “modern” list, as well as the trad one.

I’m sorry, but I’m frankly appalled with the modern one. It reeks of crass commercialism. It’s capitalism at its best. Flowers aren’t good enough, you need a dishwasher! I also like the fact that a number of new symbolic anniversaries have been added to the list when they didn’t exist beforehand. It’s good to know that I need to save up to buy some “Improved Real Estate” in 42 years.

People suck.

1st Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Paper
Modern Gifts: Clocks

2nd Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Cotton
Modern Gifts: China

3rd Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Leather
Modern Gifts: Crystal

4th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Fruit or Flowers
Modern Gifts: Appliances

5th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Wood
Modern Gifts: Silverware

6th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Candy or Iron
Modern Gifts: Wood

7th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Wool or Copper
Modern Gifts: Desk Sets

8th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Bronze or Pottery
Modern Gifts: Linens or Lace

9th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Pottery and Willow
Modern Gifts: Leather

10th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Tin or Aluminium
Modern Gifts: Diamond Jewellery

11th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Steel
Modern Gifts: Fashion Jewellery

12th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Silk or Linen
Modern Gifts: Pearls

13th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Lace
Modern Gifts: Textiles or Furs

14th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Ivory
Modern Gifts: Gold Jewellery

15th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Crystal
Modern Gifts: Watches

16th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Silver Hollowware

17th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Furniture

18th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Porcelain

19th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Bronze

20th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: China
Modern Gifts: Platinum

21st Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Brass or Nickel

22nd Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Copper

23rd Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Silver Plate

24th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Musical Instruments

25th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Silver
Modern Gifts: Silver

26th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Original Pictures

27th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Sculpture

28th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Orchids

29th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Furniture

30th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Pearl
Modern Gifts: Diamond

31st Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Time Pieces

32nd Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Conveyances

33rd Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Amethyst

34th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Opal

35th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Coral
Modern Gifts: Jade

36th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Bone China

37th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Alabaster

38th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Beryl or Tourmaline

39th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Lace

40th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Ruby
Modern Gifts: Ruby

41st Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Land

42nd Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Improved Real Estate

43rd Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Travel

44th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Groceries

45th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Sapphire
Modern Gifts: Sapphire

46th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Original Poetry

47th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Books

48th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Optical Goods

49th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Luxuries

50th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Gold
Modern Gifts: Gold

52nd Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Ruby

55th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Emerald
Modern Gifts: Emerald

60th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Yellow Diamond
Modern Gifts: Diamond

65th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Star Sapphire, Gray

67th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Star Sapphire, Purple

75th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts: Diamonds, Diamond Like Stones, Gold
Modern Gifts: Diamond, Gold

80th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Diamond, Pearl

85th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Diamond, Sapphire

90th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Diamond, Emerald

95th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Diamond, Ruby

100th Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: 10K Diamond

Current Mood:Aggravated emoticon Aggravated

We got the pictures from the disposable cameras back. They are now online in the wedding picture album.

So I've finally tallied up all the costs for the wedding and for our honeymoon. Grand total comes up to just under £8500 for the ceremony, reception, trip to canada, 3 hotels (10 nights), lots of food and even more fun :)

A good deal in my book!

More on Quebec

I really recommend the hotel we stayed at: le Chateau de Pierre. It was just above the Terrasses Dufferin, with a great view on the old city and the river. We got settled in and then had a good wander around the old town. Our goal was to do as much walking as possible on the first day because they were forecasting rain for the following day. We took in the Petit Champlain (where both great restaurants were located), then went to the farmer's market and then got lost trying to find the old port museum, but feh, we scared tourists with the pie-ton! stick. The colours were in full bloom around town, which was really nice.

The next day saw us back in the old city, doing a bit of window shopping and general exploring. We saw a roman-catholic squiggle that day and a canon ball lodged in a tree. All good stuff :) It was Katy's mom's birthday, so she spent a looooong time on the phone while I entertained myself by bugging her with my camera, hehe. We were too late that day to go see the citadel, but we did sneak in a visit to the Governor General's house, which undoubtedly has the best view in all of Quebec. By that point, I think Katy was getting fed up with me being as avid a shutterbug as I am, so we packed it in and went for dinner. The place we wanted to go for dinner was booked solid (note to potential tourists: reservations are usually a Very Good Thing), so we ended up in this little bar & grill which, while ok, was definitely sub par compared to all the other meals we had in Quebec.

Our last full day saw us to and from the museums. Blergh. Kiddy school trip nightmares! When I went with my high school class, we were never that bad. Those were not kids, those were large feral weasels that trashed everything that wasn't tied down or behind glass. We managed to eat at both places that were packed the day before (yay, reservations) and ate really delicious rabbit at one place and I had caribou/wapiti/beef/pork meat pie. Hmmmm, pie! I've never had tourtiere du Lac St-Jean before, but that thing was wonderful.

The following day was our last in Quebec, so we indulged ourselves with one last sinful brunch at the Cochon Dingue, by far our fav restaurant for this trip, then we were off to the bus station. We missed the bus to Montreal by 5 minutes so we had to wait an hour for the next one. Then more waiting in Montreal, followed by wrist-slitting traffic out of the city to finally make it to Ottawa around 8:30. It took us almost as long to cross the Atlantic as it did to get from Quebec to Ottawa. Nice work, boys.

More on Ottawa

We got to the Hilton before our room was ready, so we went for a stroll around Lemay lake while housekeeping did up our room. When we came back, it still wasn't ready, so we just left for Ottawa on the promise that when we got back, everything would be settled. We investigated the little shops in the Byward Market and I introduced Katy to the concept of the beaver tail. We found a little tea shop that had absolutely no pretences but peace & quiet and good, cheap tea. We found a shop that sold smoked meats and tons of sausages, a cheese shop, went to Piccolo Grande (after years of not going because of fear for my allergies – at this point, I just said fuck it and had me some gelato. If anything, this trip was a good thing for me because I was really laid back with my allergies. I didn't even freak out when I accidentally ate a bit of garlic crouton). That night, we had some of the best sushi I've eaten outside of Bishoku. To be perfectly honest, it was even on par with Bishoku, if not a bit better on some aspects. The place is called Kinki, in the market, and is a really hip place with funky lighting and jazz and Santana playing while you eat.

The next day, after a gorgeous breakfast buffet, was museum day: the Civilization museum and the National Gallery. The former is one of my favourite places in Ottawa. The latter was disappointing and not as I remembered it. After too many attempts to record here, I finally managed to lose my clip-on sunglasses. Next time, I'll just get 5 extra clip-ons and leave them everywhere. Anyway. We had high tea in the afternoon at Zoe's lounge at the Chateau Laurier. Posh? yes. Tasty? you bed. Pretentious, hell yeah! Cucumber sandwiches without the crust and scones with cream and jam. It was really good though, but some people take themselves waaay too seriously :)

We had a nice meal at the hotel restaurant (where we'd first come two years previously on Katy's first trip to Ottawa), had drinks in the Lounge, then retired to bed.

More on the trip back to Cambridge

The flight back was uneventful, really, except to say that it was long. It left Ottawa at 7:30pm on Saturday and was scheduled to land in London at 7:00am on Sunday morning (or put it another way, at 2am Sunday, Canada time). We took the train from Gatwick to Victoria station in London, and then switched to the tube to get to a station where we could get the train to Cambridge. We got home at 11am and went to pick up the pussycat shortly after.

The beast has finally grown into his tail and his pelt has fluffed out, being in an outdoor cattery. He didn't stop purring for the whole day Sunday.

We, on the other hand, were dead on our feet. We weren't in the mood to cook so we went to the pub for dinner. By that time, we were running on a 30+ hour day. The worst thing we could have done was go to sleep, because that would have made it even more difficult to get back on UK time. The people at the pub took pity on us and told us we looked like death warmed over. We went to bed shortly after coming home after a good meal. I made it to work at 3pm the following day. Katy didn't go in at all. Like I said, it's going to be a rough week. I'm feel like I'm pretty much over it now, but it means it'll just hurt that much more when I go to California.

As some of you may already know, there have been technical difficulties getting the wedding pictures up online. In a nutshell, my web provider was providing crap service and has now been replaced. I've now switched over to a host which I hope will give better results.

You can now see the wedding pictures here:

There might be some of you still experiencing problems as the DNS servers switch over to the new configurations. If this happens, the link below will work:

Note that most of the pictures are under the “michel” subfolder.

I've been wanting to blog stuff since the wedding, but generally, the last 3 weeks have been, in a word, chaotic. We're flying back to London as I'm writing this out at 35k feet. I've now lost all sense of time. It's the 21st. We got married on the 2nd. It seems that everything since then has been one big blur. I've been keeping little bits and pieces and notes on random scraps of paper, so I figure that now is a good time to try and sort through all of them.

The weekend before the wedding

Things started to get a bit nuts from the time Michel arrived, with his B&B not being ready for his arrival (in fact, being closed). We got him settled in to our place, but the plan of going to do a final suit fitting and go to the Cambs wine merchants went out the window. Instead, Katy and I went to run some errands. Here beginneth the dress saga.

Just over two month prior to this day, we'd bought Katy's wedding dress from Monsoon. At the time, she couldn't fit in it but the plan was to start a diet/exercise regime to get in shape. Now I'm really proud to say that Katy lost over two stone (24 pounds for people in North America) but we found out the hard way that Monsoon bridal dresses are cut really, really small. (We later found out that we should have gotten the dress a full size larger than the size she normally wears, but we didn't know this little tidbit at the time).As the wedding date drew nearer and Katy was still one critical zipper inch from fitting in the dress so we decided to get one that would fit nicely. We found a really nice one, which we actually ended up liking more than the original one. We were now however stuck with an unwanted wedding dress and since we were past the 30-day return period, we were kinda at the mercy of Monsoon's return policy.

We ended up being really lucky though because the dress was still in the system at the full price (which was probably an oversight on their part because it was last year's collection and no longer on the website). Because of this, we were able to get a store credit for the full price (250 quid), so Katy had a bit of a shopping spree at Monsoon that afternoon :) She got a nice skirt (shocking, I know!), a belt, two bags (one which was a gift for my sister), a pair of dress trousers, some Monsoon jeans (that she'd been lusting for since forever) and a baby top and some lion-headed mittens for Gabriel. A good haul, indeed!

We got back home and, after the cat crap incident which has been previously mentioned, had a nice evening at the Red Lion with Michel and then dropped him off at his B&B.

On Saturday, I went to Heathrow to pick up the 'rents and while they were recuperating at our house, we drove to town to do the suit fitting. That turned out to be another unplanned adventure because neither dress shirt would fit us and they didn't have any more in stock. After about 46 minutes of faffing around waiting for people at the other branch of Moss Bros to call back to see if they had our sizes available, we decided to just go to Debenhams and buy some. In the end, we found some really nice ones for a decent price, so that's not too bad. Besides, since I now have a pair of cuff links, it makes sense that I have the shirt to go with them. However, seeing that we spent an extra hour at Moss Bros and another hour in the Grafton centre, we ran out of time to go to the Wine Merchants again. That ended up being the running gag of the whole week – we never got to go while Michel was in town. We did manage to stop at M&S to get some grub, so we introduced my parents and Michel to not-just-food-but-M&S-food (meat pie and dripping-roasted spuds).

On Sunday morning, we took my parents to see the city centre and to hopefully get to the Wine Merchants – which turned out to be closed on Sundays. It had been sternly suggested by Michel's better half that he go and take pictures, so we just had a nice pootle in town but had to cut it short because Rita, Tim and Katy's parents arrived at our place in the meantime. We made it back to Hinxton just in time to go to lunch at the pub. Everybody seemed to have a nice time getting to know each other. I was surprised to see just how well my dad and Katy's uncle caught on. We all went back to ours for tea and small talk. Katy made a quick batch of gloop and sausages for dinner and people went on their merry way to their hotels while Katy and I went to pick up Anna at the train station. Poor thing, it took her more time to get from Manchester to Cambridge than it took us to cross the Atlantic and get to Canada. What should have been a 4-hour train ride mushroomed to an 8-hour ordeal because of missed connections, delays, cancellations and general train madness.

The wedding day

Things started out ok but went downhill fast. Mel, Stu and I were supposed to go to Chilford hall to drop off the wedding album and the music CDs to make sure that everything would work on the sound system. We also needed to go to a chemist to pick up some supplies for Katy's mom. Chilford was ok, but we got hopelessly lost in Saffron Walden and couldn't find the chemist. We found what we needed in a little hole-in-the-wall shop, but then got caught in morning deliveries and the traffic they spawned. When we finally made it out of town, we got caught behind a tractor going 10 miles an hour on the only road back home. I was going rather nuts by that time. When we finally got home, Katy and I realized that we had put her stocking suspenders in such a safe place that we could no longer find them now. I still think that the cat ate them, but I can't prove it. I hate to admit it, but I was sort of running around like a headless chicken for a while that morning. Finally, it was time for Michel and I to get dressed and for most of us to get to Chilford. We needed to get to the hall for 12:30 and Katy for 12:45, so we hired a minivan to get everybody except Katy, Rita, Anna and Mel to take us there. Another cab would come a bit later for Katy and her party.

That's when the biggest (and honestly, the only) hiccup of the day happened. Stephane was supposed to come up from London that morning with the lighting equipment that he'd hired for the day. He'd called earlier that morning to say that he should arrive around 11:30. However, because of train delays, he made it to Whittlesford after we'd all arrived at Chilford. We hadn't had any news, so I checked my voice mail (my phone was not on me and was also on vibrate, so I hadn't head it). Poor guy was stuck in Whittlesford, didn't know the place where we were getting married (he'd forgotten his invitation that had all those mundane details, like name and address of the hall), couldn't call a cab and even then, only had euro on him and no pounds :)

Things got sorted out in the end. I called him on his mom's France-registered cell phone, gave him directions and the number of a cab company and gave some money to the people at Chilford to pay for the cab. All and all, he was only 30 minutes late and that time was actually useful to settle my nerves a bit because I was becoming a bit of a wreck. He finally arrived and we all got a good chuckle because he was wearing ripped jeans and a skull-and-crossed-bones tshirt, hehe. He got changed and took on his duties and official photographer and we things got back on track.

The ceremony itself was, well, honestly, I don't really remember a lot of it. Mostly flashes. I did not expect to get so emotional, but I think that it was the release of months of preparation stress and just happiness at finally being at the moment. As soon as the opening notes of Pachelbel's canon (Katy's entrance music) started playing, I choked up. Even though we wrote our own vows, I don't remember a word of them. Thank god that the registrar led us through them. I know that I had a bit of trouble getting them out past the lump in my throat and I think I was whispering them at some point. I happily did not faint, nor did I drop the ring (though I had a bit of trouble figuring out which finger it was supposed to go on, even with the subtle prodding from Katy “it's the finger with the engagement ring, you big sap”) Katy says that I snotted all over her when I kissed her. I maintain that it was not that bad, though I know that my cheeks were… humid. I will say in my defence though that I was not the only one that shed a few tears or had trouble saying his/her lines.

We signed the registry and that was that. We were married.

We walked down the aisle and were out in a glorious sunshine. We were really lucky with the weather. It had drizzled a bit in the morning and it was forecast to rain all afternoon, but we had a lovely sunny break to take all the pictures outside and have canapes and champagne. The menfolk had cigars outside. When people sat down and started eating the buffet, it started pissing it down with rain.

We ended up having waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much food, but it was YUMMY! The buffet menu was posted previously and it was all that it promised. We need to send thank you cards to the people at Chilford because they gave us wonderful service, above and beyond what we expected. We spent the whole afternoon and most of the night eating and drinking and being merry. It was a really, really nice day; one that I will cherish forever. It was nice to meet a lot of Katy's friends – many of which I only knew from stories and I can now assign a face to. Michel had to make a speech, but emotions got the better of him in the middle of it. The same thing happened to Katy's dad during the toast.

We started taking pictures of everybody who was there and had a bit of fun with them. I was wearing a top hat that day and Katy a tiara, so all the people who posed had to wear either item, but it wasn't gender-specific :) To maintain tradition, there's also a picture of Stephane and I that will surely come back and bite me in the ass, but hey, some things you just gotta do.

I was really happy that my dad made it overseas. I think he had a good time overall there. I was really worried about his back, but he made it without too many problems. It was good having them there, and I think I made him cry that day :) Being a bit sensitive and emotional runs in the family after all :D

At 7:30, even more food was brought out, including a plate of scones that didn't last all that long. By the end of the evening, too much food had been eaten, just enough drink had been consumed, as well as some really nice cigars for the menfolk. People were just chilling and chatting in groups. That's one thing we were really happy about. People didn't seem to have too much trouble mingling together. My parents and Katy's got along really well, which didn't surprise us, but with more ease that we'd expected, to be honest.

People stared leaving around 9:30 and we were all home at ten-ish.

The days prior to leaving for Canada

You'd think that the following days would have been relaxing. You'd have been wrong. We were in town bright and early the following morning to return the suits and drive Michel, Stephane and Anna to the train station. We introduced my mom to the Early Learning Centre, which I think was a costly thing to do, but she loved it and bought tons of stuff for the kidlet. Things got a bit hairy for a while when we couldn't get in touch with the cattery to confirm Tolstoy's booking, but that got sorted out in the end. We dropped him off on Wednesday morning just before we went to Whittlesford to head off to London.

We got my folks on the Picadilly line to Heathrow and we headed to Victoria station to get to Gatwick to take a shuttle that would take us to our hotel . After being surrounded by a mad rush of people that intensely for a few days, it did us a lot of good to be on our own for a while. We were starting to get people'd out. The night we spend at the hotel in Gatwick was uneventful really. Nothing spectacular about it. The hotel was clean, the food was ok, but the service was crap and snooty. No kudos to it, so I won't even mention it anymore. We took off for Canada the next day.

The Christening

Katy and I are the godparents of Gabriel, my sister's son. We landed on Thursday and spend the next 4 days at my parents'. The christening went well, and it was a nice ceremony as these things go. I think that most of it was lost on Katy who is not catholic and doesn't really understand the rapid-fire french that was spoken during the ceremony. Still, I nudged her to sign on the right line, so all is well. My mom was in manic-mode that weekend, making sure that everything got done. She'd organized a wine & cheese with my extended family so that they could come and meet us, the newlyweds. It went well and though most of them aren't fluent in english, we still managed to get some nice conversations going and showed the wedding pictures a lot. I wasn't expecting them to be so generous, but we got quite a bit of unexpected money for our vacation, which was all well spent in the next two weeks


We left for Montreal on Monday morning and went to get the keys of the crash pad we'd rented for the week. It was good to be on our own. Don't get me wrong, I love my family but after all the stresses of the previous week, we needed us time. We hadn't really had the occasion to just be on our own since prior to Michel's arrival. We needed this time. We had a good time in Montreal, even if it was a bit rushed at times and we didn't get to do all we wanted to do. We didn't get to see the biodome or the planetarium, poo, but those can be targets for next time we're in town.

We did manage to hit all the high notes: having sushi three days running, seeing Michel and Isabelle, Sara and Em, going to the old port, walking on the mountain, finding a really lovely tea shop in the old port, discovering a french pastry shop on St-Denis that makes mille-feuilles to die for, going to Eggspectations, seeing the lanterns at the Botanical Gardens. On Thursday night, while having drinks at Hurleys, Michel told us that Isabelle had to drive to Quebec early the following morning for work and we could have a lift if we got to their place for 7:30 am. That involved us going to bed at 1:30am because of all the packing we needed to do and getting up at 5:30 so as to not be late. Harsh, but we managed to sleep a bit in the car on the way to Quebec


Quebec was wonderful. I did not expect to have that much fun in Quebec. I hadn't been there since a high school trip in 1991, but I still managed to remember some of the spots from that trip, like where we sang Christmas carols in june at the foot of Champlain's statue and the fountain where I chased Khaled with a trash can because he wouldn't give back my hat…

Anyway, I digress. The hotel we were in was really nice with lovely people running it. We ate like kings, we ate like pigs! Two really nice restaurants had been recommended to us by our hotel: le Cochon Dingue and le Lapin Saute. Both were NUMMAY!!! Steak frites, french onion soup, rabbit in mustard sauce, porc loin in maple syrup, hot chocolate galore! We would a little crepe shop that was overcrowded but really, really satisfying if you know what I mean :) That was also the night she scared some locals by saying “lets go to the hotel. you can rub cream on my shoulder and we can have sex with bad tv in the background” as a way to end a bit of a not-argument :)

We ate so well and so much that at one point, Katy started saying things like “yay, salad!” and “I'm looking forward to going back home and not eating”.

We mostly stayed in the old town, because that's where most of the sights are when you're a tourist without a car. Even then though, we had more things to see than we had time, so we did the major bits and took lots of pictures.

We decided to head back to Ottawa directly and not stop over in Montreal, mostly because we didn't have anywhere to crash.


We spent one night at my parents' before going to the Casino Hilton in Hull, our last major treat to ourselves. We'd booked two night in the executive-level rooms with the king-size beds. Finally, we had room to sleep!!!!!!! All of the beds we'd been in so far had been doubles, if not smaller, except for the hotel in Quebec which had a queen. We had room to spare in that bed. It felt wonderful :)

We'd gotten lucky weather-wise so far, because while it had rained non-stop in Ottawa, Montreal was mostly fine (except for some patches of drizzle here and there) and same for Quebec (we got moist one afternoon, that's about it). Ottawa was a bit grey, but we still had nice weather to walk in the Byward market and around Lemay lake.

[At this point, my laptop battery died so I'll finish it later]

Still alive. Quebec was really fun. Ate too much really good food, but compensated by walking up and down really steep hills. We ate so much maple syrup and hot chocolate, it's not even funny! I'm going to blog everything properly when I'm back on broadband, because I just spent the last 30 minutes painfully going through the 240 emails that had managed to clog up my work email account since last thursday. We're chilling at my folks' right now and we're leaving for Ottawa tomorrow.

As a side note, most of you can't access my website because the dumbasses that run the host still haven't pulled their head out of their collective ass and fixed it. As such, I'm pissed off to the point where I'm going to change service provider as soon as I'm back in the UK. More on that as that progresses :(

We started the day at the McCord museum. We'd noticed the night before that it had a Haida exhibit that tickled my fancy, so we had a gander before going to Eggspectation for breakfast. I think I've found inspiration for my next tattoo.

After eggy goodness, we spent the next 4 hours on St-Laurent (but I'll let Katy say why on her own terms). I almost got mugged by two constuction workers, a stockboy, a pharmacist and a cashier because I was carrying a box of Tim Hortons doughnuts. Hmmmmm, dognuts.

Once that little errand was done, we walked down St-Denis to Camelia Sinensis. I have to say, that place is the tea shop equivalent of C.M.O.T. Dibbler. You know it's bad, but you can't help yourself. No more though. Between the noisy ambiance with coffee-house music, snooty staff, overcrowding and generally holier-than-thou attitude, it's a place that I don't need. The tea salon in the old port is so much nicer, with friendlier staff (that bring you unasked for cashew nuts) and better tea. Cheaper too. So there. Fuck off, pretentious asses.

Teapots are rapidly becoming our latest collector trend. We found a cute one in a little curio shop hole-in-the-wall for next to nothing, so we just had to buy it. We just did.

Katy and I met up with Michel, Sara and Em at Bishoku (for our third sushi meal in 3 days…) which was, as per usual, damn good. Katy made the hostess really happy by asking for deep-fried ice cream and we actually tried new sushi. Hmmm, raw fish. We all went to Hurleys for a few drinks and the usual tales.

Michel dropped a bit of a bombshell when we told us that Isabelle was driving to Quebec and would gladly give us a lift. At 7am. That meant that we had to pack everything and get all the crap we'd bought to fit in two already groaning suitcases. That was fun, but we got it to work with no space left. We went to bed at 1:30 am and woke up at 5:30… fun fun fun, but cheap travel :D

The weather was gray and bleh and it kind of set the mood for today. Katy and I went to the tea shop we'd found on St-Sulpice and relaxed over tea (Oolong, for both of us) and we ended up spending a rather obscene amount of money on tea and tea-making paraphernalia. Still, it was *really* good tea (it should be, it retails for $180/kg)

It seems that we were doomed to be cutting it close, time-wise, all day. We made it to Bishoku with 30 minutes to spare before they closed for lunch. The food was yummay, as per usual. After lunch, we picked up some sweeties at Premiere Moisson and headed back to the flat to chill a bit before heading to the botanical gardens and the Lanterns. I didn't know what to expect with my camera (it can be a pain sometimes because there's no fully-manual setting and sometimes it decides what it think is best for you with disastrous results…) The pictures came out really nice and I'm happy about most of them. I'd upload them to my web server but it's being a serious pain in the ass at the moment and I can't reach tech support. Bunch of nimrods. As soon as my contract expires with them, I'll be looking for another web host. I am not impressed with their service since the last merger/acquisition/whatever.

We wanted to go to Reubens for dinner. I was a bit worried because I thought they'd stop serving food at 9pm (and we got there at 8:35, hence the comment above). Anyway, I shouldn't have worried because it's open until midnight. In a nutshell though, I have to say that this was one of the least enjoyable Reubens experience ever. I'd been hankering for a bacon cheeseburger all day. Waiting for it, thinking of it, drooling over it. So when I ordered it and said my usual spiel about garlic and sesame, the waitress got all ruffled and said that it was on a sesame bun and that it was the only sort of bun they had, but then made a big deal about her favouritest sandwich in the whole wide world that had big chunks of steak, portobello mushrooms, fried onions and lots of cheese on rye bread. Since I couldn't have the burger, I figured I'd have that. It sounded nice.

It was one hell of a letdown. The cheese was a processed kraft single, the onion were onion rings that were ultra greasy, the steak chunks was one slice of fatty sandwich steak. She'd made such a big deal of it, I expected something nice. All I got was meh. And then I saw Katy's grilled chicken hamburger, with swiss cheese and crispy bacon. Served on a cornmeal kaiser bun.

Dumbass waitress couldn't tell the difference between sesame and cornmeal, and because of that I got a mediocre sandwich instead of the burger I'd been awaiting all day. Fucking letdown, let me tell you :(

To make it up to myself tomorrow, I will get myself a mille-feuille from Cafe Lyonais (because the one I had today was average) and I will make myself a huuuuge burger when I'm back at the folks' place. Sounds like a plan.