Friday, February 19, 2010

Fight or flight


Gina and I have a theory about surviving winter: at some point, you either have to get the hell away to someplace warm, where you can charge your solar battery, or you have to go all in and embrace the season — skiing, sledding, hot cocoa, roaring fires, snowmen, whatever. It doesn't matter which method you choose, but doing one or the other is essential to dodging the doldrums of midwinter; waiting it out is not an option.

This year we decided to welcome winter's icy clutches, and went even colder with a short trip up to Montreal for the long weekend. We love that city, and it's the kind of place that loves you back.

We stayed at a super charming B&B (read my TripAdvisor review if you like) and ate like crazy: mussels steamed in savory broth, fries with homemade spicy garlic mayo, baked onion soup, maple syrup glazed salmon, crepes with nutella and banana, crepes with apples, brie, and maple syrup... you name it, we ate it, and it was all fantastique.

The weather was cold but the city was alive. I was thinking back on our trip to Stockholm in January 2005, and how the city was a bit quiet and melancholy — waiting it out. Montreal, on the other hand, felt ready to burst at times, like a party might break out in the street despite the cold.

Throw in hot mulled wine, the Winter Olympics, a working fireplace in our room, and an ambient Valentine's Day snowfall, and we enjoyed the perfect winter weekend. We came home relaxed and recharged, ready for the home stretch of winter.

After all, we're almost there. Pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training.

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