Monday, September 28, 2009

Frenchiemoon: Canada, Part 4 - Ottawa

I want to start off this portion of the Frenchiemoon recaps by saying, Miss Chicken don't worry, we loved your city of Ottawa!

When Mr Frenchie and I got to Ottawa we were really excited.

We had planned the Canadian portion of our honeymoon to end in Ottawa, so we could be there for Mr Frenchie's 29th Birthday. You see, the company Mr Frenchie works for gets Marriott hotel benefits, we get a nice room discount and a 20% discount on food. Meaning we could have a fancy Birthday dinner at the Merlot Rooftop Grill, atop the Ottawa Marriott Hotel for a little cheaper than most.

When we arrived at the Marriott to check in, the valet was really nice. He explained how to park the cheapest in the under ground parking, by only paying to "come and go as we pleased" on the days we knew we would need the car etc. We parked the car, grabbed our luggage and made our way to the front desk. This is where our trip went sour, some how our reservation had been mixed up, according to their computer we were supposed to have checked in the night before. The girls at the front desk was very rude and unsympathetic. She told us we would be charged for the night before. We explained to her there was no way we would have booked our reservation for the day before because today was Mr Frenchie's birthday and we had always planned on arriving on that day. We were told we could come tomorrow and speak to the desk manager, who may, or may not, be here between these hours... um, thanks?

Trying not to let this ruin our day we took our keys and went to drop our luggage off in our room. I entered the room first and quickly realized we had been given 2 full sized beds. Romantic no? Mr Frenchie immediately called down to the front desk and got the same girl.

"Oh, it's your honeymoon AND your birthday? Yeah, well we don't care." Was basically the response we received. We could get a new room for an additional charge (per night) but we figure, it was our honeymoon after all, we could sleep snugly. After a potty break I decided to call and make a reservation for dinner. Since the Merlot Rooftop Grill is only open for dinner, I had to call the front desk and again we got the same girl. I didn't care what time we ate dinner, I just wanted to make a reservation near the window, it's a revolving restaurant after all. Apparently, they cannot guaranty a window seat and she wouldn't let me know if I could come and hang out in the bar long enough to get one.

Her: "We cannot guaranty a window seat. "
Me: "I understand that but do you think if we got there early enough and waited in the bar we'd have a better chance of getting one?"
Her: "We cannot guaranty a window seat."

How I detest poor customer service! By the way, Mr Frenchie comes up as Marriott corporate through the discount. Why anyone would be this rude to someone who works for corporate? I don't know.

We decided to get out of the hotel and roam the streets of Ottawa, I was determined to improve Mr Frenchie's birthday.

Ottawa is a beautiful city...
Our favorite part was the Rideau Canal and Locks, North America's oldest operating 19th-century canal. Most of the locks are still cranked open the old-fashion way, by hand!

Also, Mr Frenchie, finally, got his Canadian mall experience. To answere Mrs Mouse's questions, Mr Frenchie did not want to go to a Canadian mall in hopes of seeing Robin Sparkles, he just wanted to see how it differed from those in the states. One store he found that we're sad isn't in the states is RW&CO. Total bummer too because he looks damn good in their stuff.

On our way back to the hotel from the mall we spotted a Bride and Groom! It was so exciting seeing an newly married couple on our honeymoon.
We yelled, "Congratulations!" to them as they passed. Any chance she's a Weddingbee reader?

Back to the hotel I was able to speak to the hostess of Merlot Rooftop Grill and she assured me that we would have no problem getting a window seat, especially if we didn't mind waiting in the bar. Mr Frenchie and I got into our fancy clothes and headed to the roof.

Our dinner Merlot Rooftop Grill was fantastic!
Oh, how I want that soup again, everyday! It was SO TASTY!

We had ordered Cheesecake (Mr Frenchie's favorite, if you haven't figured that out by now) to take back to the room, so they brought us a mini Happy Birthday dessert.

We went back to our room, had our cheesecake and tried to sleep in one of the full sized beds. It was the worst night's sleep we've had in a long time :( The next morning we both had sore backs and couldn't imagine spending another night in that hotel, let alone paying for it. We decided to leave a day early and go back to Vermont. It was the BEST decision we could have made!

Up Next: The rest of our Honeymoon in Vermont.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Frenchiemoon: Canada, Part 3 - Montreal

Caution: One of these photos may not be suitable for work.

The most exciting part about the two FULL days we spent in Montreal, (besides our free breakfast, and happy hour) was the into a museum I'd seen in our travel book. Pointe-à-Callière, was just 3 blocks down the street from our hotel, it was nice not to need our car to get somewhere.
Yes, they had a Pirate exhibit, and we made it there too, but our favorite exhibit was the Archaeological site below the museum. The exhibit was amazing, Mr Frenchie kept thanking me for thinking of coming to this museum. There is something incredible about learning the history of the very spot you are standing. If you ever find ourself in Montreal I cannot recommend this exhibit highly enough.

The next day when were off exploring again, the museum had set up an old farmer's market.

The most fun was seeing how the had tied it into the exhibit we'd seen the day before.

Even excited in the rain! I'm horrible with history, so I was probably more exited because the whole market made sense to me.

The rest of our time in Montreal we finally found Mr Frenchie's Starbucks.

We realized when he was going to order that is standard coffee with an inch of cold soy wouldn't work with their metric system. He felt really silly saying it in centimeters.

We saw some interesting shops...

Yes, those are what you think they are.

Um... yeah, this Christmas store wasn't as cool as we thought it would be. But, it was good for a laugh.

Sadly, because of our day of rain, we didn't make it to a few places we wanted to see. Mount Royal, the Biodome,

But, as you can see, we did get to see them from afar. (Pixel City was my favorite it was across the river from our hotel).

Did weather keep you for any activities you wanted to do or places you wanted to go on your honeymoon?

Up Next: Ottawa and why we cut our trip in Canada short.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

With a 'Tweet, Tweet" & a Smile: We've Been Blogged!

Warning: Lot of exclamation points ahead!!!

Yesterday, almost a month on the nose (Happy Monthaversary Mr Frenchie!) we got the best news on Twitter - We've been Blogged!

Ohana Photography's images from our wedding are blowing me away! They would like you to believe is the photo above they "brought the light and [we] brough the awesome". No, guys you brought BOTH!

Here are a few of our favorites, like my Favorite of Mr Frenchie...

Watch out Don Draper!

His favorite of me...
Apparently I wrinkle my nose when I smile really big, Thanks Kimi!

Our favorite...
I got my flutter...


and ring shots that put mine to SHAME!

Want to see more? Check out the whole blog here and leave them some love, they deserve it!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Frenchiemoon: Canada, Part 2 - Quebec City/Montreal

Let's see where did I leave off?

The second day in Quebec City was interesting. We started off the day trying to find Starbucks coffee and/or Breakfast. Mr Frenchie wanted nothing more than to find a Starbucks and, interestingly, go to a Canadian Mall. (My husband is a little weird). At this point I still hadn't quite grasped how badly Mr Frenchie wanted to see a Canadia mall so I tried to avoid it. We ended up going to breakfast/lunch at St Hubert, or as we like to call it Shaky Finger Chicken.
Reminds me of someone I know...

You know I love you CC! (Source)

St Hubert was probably the only unpleasant experience we encountered with the French Speaking Canadians... that and we disagreed on what is considered good iced tea. BLECK! is all I really have to say about the iced tea I encountered in Canada. I shake my finger back at that bird and say that was NOT iced tea. There was a little mix up on the sugar content of the iced tea they served, they said it had no sugar and I (and the bottle it came from) strongly disagreed. I will say, however, my sandwich wasn't too bad.

After brunch(?) we drove down Grande-Allée, described as the “Champs Élysées” of Québec City.
The street was super cute and we had grand plans of walking back up the street later for dinner, but I got a blister from my new Coach tennies and we decided to stay closer (and cheaper).

Back inside our fortified city, I changed into my tennies (that would later give me a blister) and we walked around the streets near our hotel.

I could totally live here!

And shop here!

How cute is this place?!?

We walked all the way over to Fairmont Le Château Frontenac for a fancy drink.

On our way in we past the CUTEST wool sharf and sheep shop. I'm kicking myself because I can't find the shop owner's card right now (I'll have to think of another Christmas present for Mama Frenchie), but the name of the shop was Lambert & Co.

I'm totally wearing that outfit as I'm typing this!

The sheep were really soft and made with really curly sheep's wool. She also made smaller sheep with yarn made from the same wool. (Dang it! Where is that card?) After our drink we ate our cheapest Canadian dinner at L'omelette and then went on a mission for Cheesecake.

The next morning we drove to Montreal...

Mr Frenchie printed the directions to our hotel, Auberge Du Vieux Port, from the computer in the hotel lobby. We didn't realize until we were all packing in our rental and on our way, that the directions he printed were in French. Luckily, it was very easy to figure out, so it was more funny, than anything.

On our way to Montreal we stopped to get food at a Tim Hortons. We'd seen there signs along the side of the road and thought, "Well it can't be any worst that PFK (KFC) or McDonalds, right?" (P.S. I haven't eaten at a McDonalds in 8 yrs)

Lemme tell you, I heart Tim Hortons! Where else can I get a sandwich (for me), a doughnut (for Mr F) and a coffee (for Mr F) in a combo? Nowhere I've been in California.

We got to our amazing hotel around mid afternoon, settled into our hotel room and updated my Twitter status... what?

The hotel staff was extremely nice at this hotel! We were given a free Jazz CD when we checked in and they left us Maple Chocolates as a "Congratulations" gift, in our room! This was BY FAR my favorite hotel we stayed at on the entire trip, but I am easily swayed by free breakfast (actual breakfast), free wine & cheese happy hour and nice soaps. I'm a sucker for good smelling soaps.

Once we were settled in (and the Twittersphere knew what I was up to) we went to our free wine and cheese Happy Hour and found dinner down the street. Mr Frenchie was very excited to find a place with a drink and lasagna deal (lasagna is his favorite).

Up Next: More Montreal!

Nesting: Part 2, How 'bout now?

Since Mr Frenchie and I got married, two commons question have been, "Do you feel different?" and (because getting married also met moving in together) "How is it, living together?"

Do I feel different? A little. Our officiant told us that after she pronounced us Husband and Wife and we walked back done the aisle we would feel different. She said, "It's the best feeling, I'm so excited for you."

I'm content and I feel peaceful... that sounds weird, but there you have it. I'd say I feel more relaxed in my relationship with Mr Frenchie. I can't really think of any other way to explain it but I know he's there and he knows I'm there and it will always be that way to matter what life throws at us. That really is the best feeling :)

How is it, living together? Guess what guys? I live with a boy. It's not too shabby. Mr Frenchie's told me he never had any concerns about living with me (I had to be better than his past roommates) and neither did I. We're both pretty clean, some of us (me) more than others (him), but it works. I have a cooking partner in crime. I'm not drinking wine alone after work, we can go out on our terrace (we like to call our balcony a terrace) and drink together. The best part, at the end of the day I don't have to hop in my car and go home, I'm already at home!

However, living with Mr Frenchie was ever my concern. My concern was moving. Confession - I do not to well with change. True story - I moved to Huntington Beach about a year before I met Mr Frenchie. The difference in my commute and not knowing where everything was, turned out to be such a shock to my system that I had a major anxiety attack and moved back. I was really worried I would freak out about living in a new place. However, I'm in a much better place in my life and, as I've explained before, our place is in a great location. I have pretty much the same commute, I know where everything is AND I'm actually closer to my favorite grocery store and other things. The best part is, I have Mr Frenchie. He can tell when something is wrong, he asks me how I'm doing, gives me a hug and tells me everything is going to be alright and he's here. He's here, I don't know why I was ever concerned.

So, there you have it, almost one month into being married and not much to report. Does it feel different? Yes, a little. How is it living with a boy? Great!

Did you feel much different once you were married?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Favies

Mr Frenchie and I are settling into our new apartments and finding a home for all our stuff - old cwrap and shiney new presents. In an effort to spend less money (and because we think its pretty darn fun) we've been cooking at home most nights.

Our first night cooking was pretty interesting, we tried to make tomato soup (to have with paninis) and realized we didn't have a can opener. The next morning, we attempted to make pancakes, and realized we didn't have a spatula. Thankfully, last Friday we were able to open up the remainer of our Wedding presents at Mama and Papa Frenchie's house. Here are a couple of my favorite wedding presents, in case your in need of more things to add to your registry.

1 - Utensil Set - This 10 Piece Utensil Set by OXO has been a lifesaver! Can opener? CHECK! Spatula? Would you like solid or perforated? Because, we have both!

This set comes with a crock (to hold everything), 2 spoons (perforated & solid), fancy nylon headed tongs, 2 spatulas (perforated & solid), can opener, whisk, swivel peeler and a flexible spatula.

2 - Pyrex Set - Mama Frenchie has more Tupperware than you can shake a stick at (well you could actually shake a stick at it, but you would have to back up A LOT to get the whole kitchen in your shaking area) because she attended many a Tupperware party in her day. I don't think they have Tupperware parties anymore, or if they do I haven't been invited to one, and there has been some debate on microwaving food in plastic containers. Our solution was this Pyrex Clear Glass 17-pc. Bake and Store Set from Target.

We've already started storing leftovers in these containers. Plus, it came with a measuring cup! Something we realized we needed when trying to measure ingredients making tomato sauce Sunday night.

3 - Towel Hook - I don't know what man designed the bathroom in our apartment but they put the light switch right below our only towel bar. Thus, making it impossible to find the light switch if you, I don't know, want to hang-up your towels. Before we opened this Cero Spa Over-the-Door Hook Rack from Target, I had to give our guests lesson in where to find the switch before they used the bathroom.

Now, the light switch is super easy to find (it glows) and my towel is closer to the shower, SCORE!

What is your favorite wedding present?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

That's My Jam!

I interupt the Frenchiemoon recaps to bring you a post I was working on before our wedding, our song list.

Although, we had an awesome band for our wedding, we also had a DJ for the main "dancing" portion of the evening. To assure that Celine Dion or Mariah Carey didn't make an appearance at the French Bulldog wedding, Mr Frenchie and I put together a little play list. We spent an afternoon listening to our iTunes and writing down songs wanted to hear and thought our guests would enjoy... and enjoy they did!

Anniversary Dance - "When I'm 64" - The Beatles
Bouquet Toss - "Clumsy" - Fergie
Garter Toss - "Pink Panther Theme" - Henry Mancini
Cake Cutting - "How Sweet It Is" - James Taylor (We wanted to do "Ma Na Ma Na" by The Muppets by we didn't think our older guests would get it)

Dance Tunes
"At Last" - Etta James
"Brick House" - The Commodores
"Brighter Than Sunshine" - Aqualung
"Brown Eyed Girl" - Van Morrison
"Build me up, Buttercup" - The Fountains (BM F & my song)
"Celebration" - Kool and the Gang
"Come On Eileen" - Save Ferris (version)
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" - Queen
"Dancing Queen" - Abba
"Don't Stop the Music" - Rihanna (Club Mix)
"Float On" - Modest Mouse
"Get Off My Cloud" - Rolling Stones
"Gimme More" - Britney Spears
"Got My Own Thing Now" - Squirrel Nut Zippers
"Groove is in the Heart" - Deee-lite
"Hip to be Square" - Huey Lewis
"I Can't Help Myself" - The Four Tops

"I Want You to Want Me" - Cheap Trick
"It Had to be You" - Harry Conick, Jr
"It's My Life" - Bon Jovi
"Jump, Jive n Wail" - Brian Setzer Orchestra
"Just Dance" - Lady Ga Ga
"Life is a Highway" - John Cochrane
"Love Shack" - B-52s
"Moondance" - Michael Buble (version)
"My Girl" - The Temptations
"Old Time Rock n Roll" - Bob Seger
"Pennies from Heaven" - Louis Prima
"PYT" - Michael Jackson
"Rebel Yell" - Billy Idol
"Respect" - Aretha Franklin
"Shake It" - Metro Station
"Son of a Preacher Man" - Dusty Springfield
"Stayin' Alive" - Bee Gees
"Straight Up" - Paula Abdul
"Sussudio" - Phil Collins
"Sweet Caroline" - Neal Diamond
"Thriller" - Michael Jackson
"Walking on Sunshine" - Katrina & The Waves
"We Are Family" - Sister Sledge
"You Spin Me 'Round" - Dead or Alive

What are your favorite dance tunes?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Frenchiemoon: Canada, Part 1 - Quebec City

After lunch at The Essex, Mr Frenchie and I piled our suitcases in our trusty Rogue and headed for the Canadian border.

Once across the border (which was totally easy by the way) we drove about 3 hours to Quebec City. Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in North America and also the only remaining fortified city.
See that adorable entrance to the city? We drove through that 4 times looking for our hotel. Inside the walls, if I remember correctly there was only 1 two-way street. We had printed directions to our hotel from the address that was on Google. Oh, trusty Google, you had never steared me wrong until then. We drove down Rue Saint Anne 3 times without seeing Hotel Acadia.

We noticed some restaurants and hotels on the part of Rue Saint Anne that you can't drive on, so we decided to park the car and walk down that street. We found a parking structure, parked the car, unloaded all 3 of our suitcases and started walking. We walked down the other side of the street and noticed the numbers were going in the wrong direction, FRICK! and then is started to rain (and my hair does NOT do well in the rain), double FRICK!

We ducked into the first hotel on St Anne to asked if they had any idea where our hotel was...
Me: "Parlay voo englay?" (pheonetic spelling)
Concierge: Yes
Me: YES!

I had been practicing my French phrases from the back of our Quebec/Montreal travel book. Since we hadn't spoken to anyone but ourselves since we entered Canada, we had no idea how much French, or English, we would encounter. The concierge had never heard of our hotel and kept asking, "Hotel or Motel? That is very important." Ummm HOTEL, HO-TEL! Mr Frenchie did not book us a Motel for our honeymoon, thankyouverymuch. After asking around and Googling our hotel he discovered that Google has the wrong address list and our hotel was a couple streets up.

A short, but slightly wet, walk later we found Hotel Acadia and checked in. Hotel Acadia was a cute little 41 room, boutiquey hotel.

Although, they couldn't care less that their address is incorrect on Google, we found the rest of our stay to be charming. Even though we had the smallest room, on the 5th floor, with no stairs, I wouldn't complain and would totally recommend this hotel. The valet always offered to carry whatever we needed to our room and the staff was very nice. I'm sure it didn't hurt that we LOVED Quebec City!

Our first night (since it stopped raining) we decided to go back down the undrivable portion of St Anne and eat dinner outside at one of the restaurants we'd seen earlier.
This time I remembered to take pictures of the food...

Mr Frencie and I LOVED the parmesan fondue! We had no idea it was going to be more like parmesan croquettes, with a little salad. We didn't find on the menu in any other city, but we did find a recipe online that we want to try out soon.

Did you eat any foods on your honeymoon you want to recreate at home? Do you have a recipe to share?

Up next: More Quebec City and Montreal!