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The New 52: Say ‘Mush’

Posted on Friday, May, 30th, 2014 at 6:40 pm   (No comments)

When winter gives you a polar vortex, it’s time to embrace the Canadian stereotypes. In addition to ice fishing in Montreal, we also had the opportunity to hang out with some Huskies!

Neither of us had ever even been near a dogsled team, but the second we saw it on the Montreal Tourism website, I yelled “puppies” and booked it. The tours at Parc Jean-Drapeau start with a basic three-minute ride through a snowy path, but you can also book a VIP tour where you get to meet the dogs and learn more about how it all works. We went for the full experience, figuring it was kind of a once-in-a-lifetime deal. We learned a lot about Huskies – including that they get painfully lonely when you adopt just one. We also fell in love with a Burmese-Husky mix named Heart, who was pretty much as adorable as you’d imagine. All the dogs are rescues, and they each have their own distinct personality. The trainers were thrilled to share all the stories and the dogs were happy for some cuddles.

As for how the sledding itself works: Each sled is pulled by six dogs, with the lead being the strongest of the bunch, and it was surprisingly fast. If you check out our YouTube video, you’ll hear me giggling the whole time.

And boy, are these dogs strong. Before feeding the dogs for the night, we got the chance to unhook them from their harnesses. A. struggled reining in his lead dog and I giggled, but then karma kicked in and my Husky sent me tumbling on the ice. He was much, much stronger than I expected!

Learn more about the New 52 here, and we’d love to hear your suggestions on what to add to the list!

The New 52: Ice, Ice baby

Posted on Wednesday, May, 28th, 2014 at 8:07 pm   (No comments)

Ice fishingI grew up on the ocean, and camped a few times on lakes. I have, on multiple occasions, held a fishing line and even caught fish: mackerel, perch and the odd, unfortunate sculpin. It’s always been a sunny day activity, with warm weather and a few bug bites. So when A. and I were planning a winter-time trip to Montreal, fishing wasn’t really on my dream itinerary. But then our contact at Tourisme Montreal suggested it, and we just had to give it a try! On our first day in the city we met up with Hugo from Tourisme Montreal and went to the Ice Fishing Village in the Old Port. We had no idea what to expect, but as you can see from the photo, I bundled up just in case.

We got our fishing permits and hut rental settled and then ventured out onto the ice with a bucket of minnows. The huts were heated – so I probably didn’t need that many layers! – and the holes were pre-drilled, so we just had to set our lines with bait and see if any perch or burbot came calling. Luckily A. had no qualms about sticking the minnows on the hooks, so that quickly became his job. We carefully watched for bobbing, and prepared our “It was THIS big” tales. We did see some nibbles, but we didn’t manage to convince any of the shy poissons to join our party. That said, we did spy another group with a successful catch!

Even though we didn’t leave with dinner (we had to console ourselves with a truly amazing meal at Les 400 Coups) it was still a great chance to hang out, enjoy an outdoor winter activity and try a new skill. And next time, I’m sure I’ll catch a big fish.

Learn more about the New 52 here, and we’d love to hear your suggestions on what to add to the list!

Adventures with Autoshare: All about the ride

Posted on Monday, May, 26th, 2014 at 10:53 am   (No comments)

Copyright 2011 | Jennifer Wilson