We took an extra-long Canada Day weekend to join Joe and Jill in Montreal. They're in Canada for a short time, and though I saw Joe a couple of months ago, we hadn't seen the rest of the family since we were in Singapore for Christmas 2008. Julia and Kate were thrilled to spend time with cousins Oliver and Martin, who are growing into smart, active boys with loads of personality! The girls were willing to babysit, so we even had an evening out at a Tapas restaurant in Old Montreal with Joe and Jill. Mom has almost fully recovered from her surgery (we were all teasing her for giving us such a scare earlier in the year), and Dad cooked plenty of good Chinese food, as always.
As an extra bonus, the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal was on and we caught a few of the outdoor shows. Todd ducked into the Montreal Guitar Show for a couple of hours to check out the incredibly expensive handcrafted guitars made by top luthiers. I consider myself lucky that we managed to leave Montreal with only one new guitar, a nice but much less expensive acoustic guitar for Kate which ironically we found in a bookstore. Well, it had been a bookstore but now it sells musical instruments too, and we really did go in looking for books ....
We happily had the chance to spend time with many of our other Montreal cousins. Some joined us for a day at the amusement park and the rest we saw at a BBQ hosted by Beryl and Rob, who graciously gave us accommodation on our last night in Montreal. Now, Rob is a Master of Meat, and this photo above should convince you if you had any doubts. This is his pride and joy (after his three beautiful daughters, of course), his handcrafted smoker complete with wireless thermometer so that he can check the status of his meat in the comfort of his living room.
Apart from the horrible traffic between Montreal and Toronto, it was a terrific weekend, with great weather, great company and great food!