A friend invited me to a local Christmas Market just 40 minutes outside of Moncton, New Brunswick. Having been to all the fancy Christmas Markets in Germany and Austria, her expectations were high for her little hometown market of Bouctouche, NB.
We were both pleasantly surprised! Unlike craft shows where a lot of the vendors sell similar things. This Country Christmas Market had a wide variety of vendors and absolutely beautiful treasures.
I encourage anyone in the Moncton area who is looking for something to do tomorrow, Sunday Dec 2, to make the trip out to Bouctouche; it’s well worth it!
Christmas Markets are popping up in big and small cities this time of year; please make sure to take advantage. It’s a great way to get into the holiday spirit and to support local artists!! It’s a win/win.
Here are a few of the great things we found!
Nick The Dutch Baker had amazing treats!!
My fav items were these homemade wooden cutting boards, see below. I have seen them go for a few hundred dollars each in bigger cities; the large one below was $60!!! Bummed that in my excitement, I didn’t catch the name of this vendor…sorry.
My favorite vendor was Sarriette Boutique. I could have bought every single item they had for sale; and their displays and packaging were on point!! (Side note, Sarriette is French for Summer Savory, which is a spice found in Atlantic Canada).
No Canadian Market would be complete without some maple syrup products; now I may be biased, but I am fairly certain that the East Coast of Canada makes the best!!
Did you know that Maple Syrup is referred to as Liquid gold! And did you know that Canada has an emergency reserve of Maple Syrup?? It’s true!
I was surprised to discover that a lot of my West Coast friends have never heard of Maple Cream or Butter. I am bringing some back to Vegas with me so I can blow their minds! lol
I’ve seen lots of beach glass art, some are cheesy, but Sea Glass Concepts had some super cute art! Check them out online!
From cookies to cranberries, this small Christmas Market had it all!!
I had a great time at the Bouctouche Christmas Market; what a fun day! The only thing missing, as per my friend, was spiced wine! We will make that suggestion for next year.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!! Oh and be nice! Santa doesn’t visit assholes! lol
This post is a love letter to my snowy hometown of Moncton, NB. It was originally posted in November, but re-posting in honor of the big snowstorm that just hit.
Monctonians have long had a love hate relationship with snow and winter in general. We complain about how much snow we get, but then brag about how much snow we have gotten. And if Fredericton gets 25cm of snow, we are quick to pipe up that we got 35! Take that Fredericton!!!
It’s sort of like wanting to break up with your boyfriend, but then wanting him back if someone else shows interest in him. It’s twisted, yes we know, but that’s just how it is. We wear our snow storms like a badges of honor.
Most Monctonians live for those 8 weeks in the summer where the weather is absolutely perfect! But there is something to be said about living in a real live freaking snow globe!
Maybe I just appreciate it more now that I live in the desert? Last December I did my Christmas shopping in flip flops; that just felt wrong!
Some of you may be feeling a bit of hostility towards me right about now; knowing that I am back in sunny Las Vegas and will be missing January, February, March and April…oh and May…lol.
But you have to admit that there is something pretty magical about the first few big snowfalls of the winter…right??
Are we missing something uniquely Monctonian?
Each great city has it’s own distinctive building or tower. Paris has the Eiffel, Toronto has the CN Tower, the big Apple has the Empire State Building; well Moncton has the Bell Alliant Tower. I think we take it for granted because it’s …well it’s just there; we see it every day without giving it much thought. And who are we kidding, our skyline is pretty sparse and our tower isn’t super fancy. But I think we need to embrace it as a symbol of our city. And come on, you have to admit that it looks extra special surrounded by a fresh coat of snow. So look up next time you are in the downtown area and take it in.
See how pretty it looks with all this new snow!! It really is picturesque.
Moncton Comfort Food.
Do you know what else is awesome about Moncton in the winter? Lobster!! Lobster in the winter? Yes!!
Do you think people in Toronto or Paris eat lobster on a random Wednesday in November, for no particular reason? No, no they don’t. But we do (if you don’t, you really should). We don’t need a birthday or a special occasion; we eat it because we can. And it’s only $15 per pound this time of year. Ok some Maritimers reading this, like my dad, are thinking, wow that’s a bit pricey! But trust me, it’s not. It’s basically the price of a pizza.
In addition to lobster, when I come back home to Moncton, I try to make it to Pizza Delight for garlic fingers, Greco’s for a donair and Deluxe for a fish and chip. Yes there are lots of finer dining places, but I seem to crave these Moncton staples the most.
Let it Snow!
Yes winter in Moncton is long…really, really long, but that’s just all the more reason to get out there and enjoy it!!
It’s easy to take for granted that we can go snowshoeing or skating in our local parks and trails…heck, a lot of Monctonians can skate and snowshoe in their own backyards. Lol
So let’s enjoy this pre-Christmas, now post Christmas snow, in our quirky little city where people are polite and friendly; unless you are a snow plow driver pushing snow into a freshly shoveled driveway!
There will be enough time after Christmas, like now, to complain about the cold and snow when you are looking for parking at the Avenir Center; or meeting friends at Gusto’s, St James Gate or the Pump House. When the pretty snow is all dirty and frozen solid. Yes, there will be lots of time to complain then. Full disclosure, I won’t be here. I will be back in sunny Las Vegas listening to the locals complain about how “cold” it is. Please know that on behalf of all Monctonians; I will be silently judging them…pfff, they have no idea what cold is! But I do, we do, because I/we are, and will always be Monctonians.
Please note that no disrespect was intended towards Fredericton, just a bit of NB teasing.
Sorry if you were offended by the word bitch…oh wait, not sorry. Lol
Oh and feel free to give me a hard time when I start posting hiking or kayaking pictures on social media of all the outdoor things I am doing in February; while your tears are freezing on your cheeks because it’s day 7 into the -30 something cold snap that will inevitably falls upon, not only Moncton, but all of New Brunswick. I will deserve your snarky comments, lol.
Until then, you can find me outside snowshoeing with friends or drinking hot chocolate at Clémentine or Café Archibald. Because I really love this little city, it’s people and this early pre-Christmas snow!!
I will be back in Moncton in February, please save some snow for me! Sorry, I am not being very nice, lol.
Here are a few helpful hints that may take a bit of stress out of your Christmas shopping.
I believe everyone is born with a talent or super power. Some are great singers, others are great at math; I am a shopping super hero!! This super power has been passed down from my mom; and I am willing to share some of my secrets with you in this post…you’re welcome! Lol
Hostess Gifts (all under $20)
Some may think that host/hostess gifts are old fashioned, but I think that you should never, ever show up to a party without a gift, like ever!!!
The easy go to hostess gift is a bottle of wine; which is perfectly acceptable. But here are a few other ideas.
1. Festive Serving Trays
This is my personal go to hostess gift. You can get pretty serving dishes anywhere; Target, Homesense, Walmart, Super Store….. litteraly everywhere. And this is an item that your host or hostess can re-use at their next party and for holidays to come.
Super hero hint: Buy in bulk, if you wait until the day of the party to pick up your hostess gift, you will feel stressed. Example: if you like the idea of these serving trays, buy 5. They won’t go bad, lol. And while you’re at it, buy 5 gift bags at the same time. That way, the night of your party, you can grab and go!!
2. Booze! (Not wine)
These ideas are great host & hostess gifts; and you will get extra points for originality!!
How freaking cute are these!!! If you know your host or hostess like beer, this gift will be a hit! This is also a great example of how packaging can elevate your gift.
Now I don’t have kids, but this could be an acceptable craft for them right??? “Tommy and Sally, come help mommy make reindeer for uncle Bill’s ugly sweater party.”
This coke and mix idea is brilliant! I promise if you show up to a party with this gift you will get invited again and again!!
Now if you live in the US, this gift idea is a bit more affordable; it’s a bit pricier in Canada because of the higher cost of alcohol. Fun fact, in Canada, we call these little bottles mickey’s.
Also the value of the gift should be guided by the type of party you are attending. If your hosts are cooking you a 7 course meal, spring for a pricier gift.
3. Christmas Ornament
This is a super easy idea, again when shopping don’t just buy one; use my superhero hint and buy 4 or 5 and have that be your go to hostess gift for the season. No one will judge you for giving the same gift at multiple parties; no one will even know.
Go for a theme, I love me a theme!! These above are nautical, but you could buy a bunch of snow people or Santa’s. Get a few and get nice bags and tissue paper and bam!! All your parties are covered.
What I love about this idea is that, you are adding a little piece of you to their future Christmases. Each time they decorate their three, they will think of you!! Unless they don’t really like you, lol. If that is the case, it will just be a cute snow person (trying really hard to be gender neutral…but it’s hard!! Lol)
Super hero hint: After Christmas, buy a bunch of ornaments on sale for next year. Just don’t forget where you put them, speaking from experience.
Super duper easy!!!
These can be paper or fabric, they can be Christmas themed or for every day use; it’s all good!
If going for fabric, I would stay with a neutral pallet. If going for a paper cocktail napkin, go for fun!!!
5. I was going to give you 5 hostess gifts ideas, but the 4 above are such kick ass gift ideas, that you are only getting 4, lol.
Christmas Gift Ideas
A lot of people stress over buying the perfect gift. This takes all the fun out of giving; so let’s give ourselves a freaking break here.
Super hero hint: This idea will change your life forever; you can buy multiple people the same gift!! As long as it is nice, who cares?? This year I bought the same gift for all of my friends and family. I ordered in bulk, I will customize each slightly, but everyone is getting the same damn thing, done..fini! I wish I could share what my gift is, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but I will share in my post Christmas post.
1. Hats or gloves
Now you may think how boring! But hear me out; let’s say, you have to buy for 5 of your girlfriends, your sister in-law, brother and coworker. And your daughter wants something for her 3 bffs from school. That is a lot of running around; my solution, get everyone a hat!! Buy a few different styles, but everyone gets hats!!!
There are so many cute hats out there. Now if you’re thinking, my brother won’t be excited to get a hat…well isn’t your brother a super Bruin’s fan? Then get him a Montreal Canadian hat, just for kicks!! Ok, fine, get him a Bruins hat. He will love it. (for non hockey fans, the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadians are mortal enemies).
Super hero hint: now I would color coordinate them; maybe a pink theme? My gift bags would match my theme of course..duh! But that’s just me, I am a bit of a freak.
2. Party Pack
You may be thinking, what’s a party pack? Let me show you!
A party pack is a group of things that can be used to entertain. Above, I have a color coordinated serving tray, side plates and napkins. The plates and serving trays were on display together. I found gold and silver napkins a few aisles down. One stop and done!
During my university years, my mother gave my cousin and I a spaghetti themed gift. It included a big pot to boil the spaghetti in, four big bowls and a pack of spaghetti noodles. It was so well thought of yet so simple and original. We got a lot of use out of them!
The idea here is to group a few things together; it’s like making your own gift basket.
2. Super Fan Pack
Do you have a super sports fan on your list? Why not get them a few items from their fav team? You can get them online, so you won’t even need to set foot in a mall if you don’t want too.
What spots fan wouldn’t enjoy a jersey or a hat? Oh, look more hats!! Wrap em up and stick a team Christmas tree ornament on the top of your package instead of a bow. I thought this Vegas Knight getting stuck in the chimney was cute.
A sports hat would also make a great stocking stuffer, FYI.
Yes repeating this idea in my gift section! But taking it up a notch!!
To take this idea to the next level, let’s follow the same gift basket idea from above and pair it with something else.
See what I did here? I added four nice glasses and an ice cube mold. I have the round glob ice molds and I love them. For Halloween, I bought these sculls, they are super cute, but a bit harder to get out of the silicon molds.
4. Monogrammed Anything
I love getting monogrammed things so I am assuming others will as well. With all the online shopping available, getting items monogrammed has never been easier. My Christmas gifts that I bought for friends and fam this year, may be monogrammed???
If you have a traveler on your list, a monogrammed passport holder and luggage tag are great ideas. You could also use my hint to buy multiple people the same gift from above. Get all the friends on your list monogrammed luggage tags; it really is that easy!! A few clicks on your computer and done!!
Bathrobes are another great monogrammed idea. I did these a few years ago. You could also pair them with slippers and a sleeping masks.
Super hero hint: There is nothing wrong with buying a gift to you from you! I do it all the time, lol. I deserve it and you do too!
Here is an example of monogrammed sleeping masks. You could add these to the robes or even to the the passport holder and luggage tag!
Or these would also be a great bulk gift. Order one for multiple people on your list; add some bath salts and voila! You have a mini at home spa/relaxation themed gift.
5. Sticking with only 4 gift ideas here as well, because you should have enough ideas by now. If not, you are hopeless and may need to stick with a gift card? Lol.
Oh wait, I do have one more idea for your wife, mother, husband… Go with the monogrammed bathrobe and put a spa gift card in the pocket!! Ok, now I am done!
Santa’s helper is beat and needs a nap!! Lol. Thank you for reading and for those who share, like and comment; I will make certain that you end up on Santa’s nice list!!!
Have you ever thought, this was the year that you were going to get your shit together and send out the perfect Christmas card? You would find the perfect picture, go online and create something, get it printed and send it out to friends and family…before Christmas?
The thought was there, but weeks later, as you start getting cards in the mail from others, you realize that you have missed the boat again. Aw well, there is always next year right?
Well I happen to be an expert planner and am here to help you if you want to get your cards ready to go this year. Here are a few helpful steps and timelines to keep you stay on track!
(FYI – I am sharing my personal Christmas cards from the past few years, they are at the bottom)
Figure out what you want? Timeline: Now! (ideally before the third week of November).
You need to start by figuring out what you want? Do you want a picture of your kids, family, pets? Or do you want a store bought card? One is not better than the other; you just need to decide and since we are already the second week of November you need to decide now!
Custom – If you want to send a picture with a holiday greeting, you need to select the photo. Take a moment and go through your phone or your Facebook. Find a picture that makes you smile or that reflects a happy moment. And voila! That it, you are done! It’s that simple, you don’t need to plan a photo shoot. That could be a goal for next year? I highly recommend you not try to fit in a family photo shoot the second week of November for your Christmas Card. It will be too stressful and rushed. Give yourself a break and find a nice picture that you already have. My blog is about helping not making you more stressed BTW.
Once you have your picture selected you can use a variety of different online tools and apps to write a message on them. Or if you want a printed version you can place your order online via Cosco, your local drugstore, Vista Print…. So many options that have templates that you can use; they will print and you can have them sent to you or you can pick them up. I would allow at least 2 weeks if you are getting them printed and sent to you.
If you place your order this week, you should have them in hand by the last week of November, which is perfect! If you decide to send via email, you are ahead of the game. Kick back and relax a bit.
Store bought – If you are going the store bought route, you have a bit more time. Go get yourself a fancy warm drink; feel free to add a shot of something in it. I suggest adding a shot of Fireball to your hot chocolate. It’s chocolate and cinnamon, trust me it’s yummy!
Take your time browsing the card section alone or with a friend and select the card that speaks to you. And BTW, I said one shot, no drinking and driving!
2. Who is on your nice list? Timeline: third or forth week of November.
Make a list and check it twice. If you mail out cards, this may take a bit more time the first year, but once you have your list with addresses, next year will be a breeze. Last year I sent out text messages to all my friends and asked for their mailing addresses. Those who didn’t reply, were automatically put on the naughty list.
If you are emailing or even texting your custom cards, you probably already have all their emails and numbers, so again, you are ahead of the game. Have another hot chocolate and fireball! Mmm, I think I need a name for this drink?
3. Get them out! Timeline: first or second week of December.
If you are mailing them, try to get them out by the first week of December; if you miss the cut and send them out the second week, no biggie. I have found that Canada Post is a bit slower than if you are sending within the US. If you are emailing, I would hit send the second week of December.
My Christmas Cards
I only started sending out cards three years ago. Every year I had great intentions, but didn’t properly plan it out. And I felt that I could never find that perfect card. Then I realized; hey I work with designers who apparently can be bribed to help me! I now taking advantage of my them, I rotate so that I am not always asking the same people for help, lol. FYI, I am not a horrible person, I treat them very well! They get special treats for helping me.
In the past two out of three cards I used pictures taken at Halloween. My strategy had been to find a funny picture first and then create funny text to go with them. My Meowy Christmas is a perfect example.
I obviously don’t take myself too seriously. The following year was my first full year living in the desert, so I found a wintery, snowy picture.
I think I felt a bit of pressure to maintain the same level of cheesyness from the prior year and I feel liked I choked! Lol. My “moose” card was ok, but it was too safe, lol
I should also add that in my attempt to be inclusive, I misspelled Hanukkah, nothing but class here! Lol, my apologies.
This brings us to last year’s card. It is my most controversial card to date!! Lol. So for Halloween 2017 I was a deer; actually I was a dead deer…twisted? Yes, but I thought it was funny.
I then had an amazing idea to use that picture for my Christmas card, the dead one, not the cute live one. Ok see below, then we will discuss, lol.
So there you have it, I killed Rudolph in last year’s card. I stand by that card, even though it was a bit dark; ok, a lot dark, lol.
And that brings us to this year’s card. I looked through my iPhone pictures and couldn’t find anything inspiring. So I came up with the wording first and my friend, who is an amateur photographer, and I went to the desert and shot a few different things.
As per my guidelines above, I am on track and will have my cards in the mail by the first week of December.
Let me know if you are curious about this year’s card, leave a comment below. If people want me to share I will right before Christmas.
It’s currently snowing here, I am feeling very festive! Thanks for reading!
Here is my personal bucket list; I will do my best to complete each item on this list! I will do a post holiday wrap up, or should I call it an unwrapping, lol? I will report back on which items I completed and which, if any, I missed.
I encourage you to use my list as inspiration or to create your own. It’s good to set goals, even if they are silly; especially if they are silly!
Before we get started, I realize that the holidays can be hard for some people. I get that, I really do. This year will be a trying time for my family. But instead of curling up into a ball and wishing it away; we have decided to go for it, full on! I have advised my mom that her house is going to look like Christmas threw up in it!! She laughed and is completely on board.
If you don’t love this time of year, try to do one or two holiday things and see how you feel. Sound like a plan? Let’s do this!!
1. Buy a new winter hat!
Starting off with an easy one!! I love shopping and I love hats so this one is easy peasy and already done!! I actually bought two new hats…moving on to the next item.
2. Make a snowman or snow angel.
I realize these are weather permitting. Here’s the thing friends, life is short, life gets busy and adulting is hard. Soooo if you are fortunate enough to find yourself in front of the perfect fluffy, yet sticky snow, jump in!!
I am hoping for snow so I can check this one off my list. If you complete this one, please send me pics!!
3. Go skating or snowshoeing.
Snowshoeing is weather permitting; it’s actually my favorite winter activity. You may think it sounds lame and boring, but there is nothing like snowshoeing in the forest on a sunny day! Fingers crossed that we will get enough snow here before I have to go back to Vegas. Skating can be done inside or outside, so no excuses for this one!
4. Make Christmas Cookies!!!
Invite friends or family over to bake some Christmas cookies. I know from Facebook that a lot of you already have this tradition with your families. My family and I have started our own cookie baking tradition. This year is our Third Annual Cookie Baking Party; this year’s event is already scheduled. I will be sharing details of how we cookie it up!!
5. Kissing under the mistletoe!
I figure if i get some mistletoe the kissing will naturally follow. Going with the: “build it and they will come” theory. Will keep you posted! 💋
6. Glitter it up!!
In my opinion glitter is never a bad idea! ‘Tis the season for parties, go for a bit of glitter!! Sequins if you are feeling bold; glitter gloss at the least!!
I was supposed to go back to the US before coming back to Canada for Christmas. But plans changed. This means that all my glittery stuff is back in Vegas; so I will need to shop for more…challenge accepted!
7. Be Nice
We should always try to be nice, but let’s try to be extra nice this time of year. I usually try to donate blood right before the holidays; give the gift of life if you are able, it’s free! Doing something nice for others in need doesn’t just help them, but it will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
As mentioned in my opening, the holidays can be a lonely time for some. You never know what others are going through, so let’s try not to be assholes, lol. And if someone is rude to you, shake it off, they are obviously struggling with their own issues.
And remember the more the merrier; especially this time of year. My fam adopted two strays a few years ago and now we can’t get rid of them!! They are now part of our Christmas Eve tradition and have become part of our family. I now can’t imagine Christmas without them!! xox
8. Be Naughty!!
Be naughty, but in the very nicest way!! I will let you use your imagination for this one, lol, have fun!!
9. Santa Selfie!
Last year I volunteered for our staff kids party, mostly so I could hang with the big man in red, lol. Here’s a challenge for you; if you are taking your kids for their annual picture with Santa, get in on the action. They will probably think it’s funny and who doesn’t want to be the fun mom, dad, aunt, uncle….
It’s so easy to take ourselves too seriously!! If you don’t have kids, get a few friends together and go sit on Santa’s lap!! I double dare you!! Send me your pic if you do!
I plan on taking my 16 year old nephew for a picture with Santa. Part of my duties as the world’s best aunt is to embarrass him right??
10. Christmas Cards
I am all about technology, but there is something awesome about getting a Christmas card in the mail.
I haven’t always sent cards, but I do now, and I try to make them funny. Some years I succeed, some…not so much. I’ll admit that last year’s card may have been a bit ridiculous and some didn’t get the joke, but I am fine with that, lol.
I encourage you guys to send cards, send pics of your families, your kids… I love them all!! So thank you.
Also, I will be doing a separate Christmas card blog post shortly, where I will share my card designs for the last few years.
11. Christmas Movie Marathon.
Baby it’s cold outside! Why not stay in and watch Christmas movies? The holidays are fun, but can be exhausting! Everyone needs a day or evening to do nothing, but watch Christmas movies.
The Hallmark Channel becomes my favorite channel this time of year. The story lines are basically all the same, but I don’t care, I love, love, love!
My top three Christmas movies of all time are:
Love Actually (I made my friend watch it a few years ago and she thought it was horribly depressing, lol)
What are your favs??
12. Rock Your Winter Jammies!
Growing up my parents used to let us open one gift on Christmas Eve. It didn’t take my brother and I long to figure out the pattern; a new pair of pajamas. This seemed like a cruel joke as a child, but I think it’s an awesome idea now that I am an adult.
13. Deck Your Halls!
Some people don’t decorate for Christmas and I just don’t get it? This is a great family or friend activity; if you don’t want to put up a big tree, get a tiny tree or a few balls in a bowl. I once had a Christmas Tree decorating party; where each person was told to bring an ornament. It’s a fun way to decorate my tree.
I won’t be able to decorate my own place this year in Vegas, so I am going to help decorate my moms. We will crank the Christmas tunes and go wild.
I love decorating and I think I am pretty good at it, but when it comes to Christmas decorating, my aunts and cousins on my dad’s side take it to the next level. I plan on doing a post on them. I haven’t asked them yet, but I am pretty sure I can convince them to let me interview them and take pics of their work. I’ll get helpful hints and share!
14. Winter Hot Tubbing
This is a new tradition that I am starting this year. I am currently working on creating a list of all friends with hot tubs!! Lol. If you haven’t been in a hot tub in the winter while it snows big fluffy flakes, then you are missing out. Who wants to hot tub with me?? lol
When making your own Christmas List, be sure to add original, fun things to do!!
15. Count Your Blessings.
I saved the best for last. It’s easy to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, that we forget to be in the moment and reflect on what is most important. For me it’s friends and family, I feel blessed and I try to be thankful and appreciate what’s in front of me at that very moment.
I will say that with social media, it can be a challenge to focus on what we have and not what we see others have. I will tell you that no one’s life is perfect, we are all just doing the best we can. Just because someone can take pretty pictures, it doesn’t mean that they have everything figured out.
Personally, for a long time, I secretly wished for the type of family that sits around the dinning table for hours discussing important issues; you know like they do in the movies. But that’s not us! I had to get over that fantasy and go with what I have. And what I have is an amazing family that love me no matter what? That encourage and support me even when they don’t really know what the hell I am doing.
So our dinners last 18 minutes start to finish; instead of getting frustrated, I have learned to adjust. We now play games after dinner, we laugh, I make them change into their pajamas, it’s all good!
So as always, I hope you enjoyed this post and come away with an idea or two from my list. Let me know what you like to do every year for the holidays? I am always open to trying new things. And would love to hear about what your holiday traditions or activities are!
Just a quick post to wish you all a Happy Halloween!!!
I hope you have had some spooky fun this month. If you haven’t, it’s not too late!! You still have a few days, so get cracking! Carve some pumpkins, make some scary cookies, dress up for a party, you really only live once…I think?
My October has been very busy, but I got my spook on. I visited a Haunted Museum and survived zombies in Vegas. In Paris, I visited the Catacombs and saw lots of real skulls & bones…it was freaky. And today I went to see a ballet at the Smith Center in downtown Vegas. You’re probably wondering, what makes a ballet an acceptable Halloween themed activity? Well it was a Gothic ballet based on Dracula. Nothing screams Halloween more than skulls, zombies and Dracula!!
I am finishing off the month back in Canada; where I have a girls dinner party planned on the 30th. It’s a Trick or Treat theme, each person has been instructed to bring one gift and we will swap. I thought it would be fun, plus I love gifts, lol, giving and getting.
Then Trick or Treating on the 31st! Ok I may be too old for that? But I am certain I will find something to do.
For those who have read my October posts, I hope you were inspired to enjoy some fall fun.
What’s next? Christmas!!!!! The only holiday that I love more than Halloween is Christmas; I have some fun posts coming up in November and December.
Thanks for reading friends!!!
Let me know if there is something you would like to see me write a post on or if you have any questions? I love hearing what you think.
Disclaimer: This post is about the Paris Catacombs; it contains pictures of real skeletons, readers beware!
Last week while in Paris, we visited the Catacombs museum. With Halloween a week away, I though this would be a perfect creepy post to share.
It is said that there are more dead Parisians under the city than there are living in Paris. The Catacombs run for hundreds of kilometers under the city. A very small section is open to the public; this “museum” is unlike any other.
Helpful hint #1, buy your tickets online before you get there. The lines are long!! There are two lines, one for those buying tickets onsite and one for those who pre-bought online. The line for those who have tickets is much, much shorter.
As soon as you walk in, it was clear that this is going to be a freaky experience. You start by going down a metal spiraling staircase with 180 stairs that quickly bring you 20 meters under the city. This is probably not a great activity for anyone who is claustrophobic!! Or anyone who is super tall, lol.
This video shows the walk towards the galleries where the bones are displayed. Creepy right?
Once you get to the bottom, things get real, real fast!! I am not claustrophobic; or I didn’t think I was, but as we walked towards the entrance I did get a bit freaked out. Helpful hint #2; don’t overthink the fact that you are 20 meters underground, lol.
I told my friend Claudia that I was feeling a bit anxious; she did the right thing by ignoring what I had just said and started talking about unrelated stuff. I think I just needed a moment to climatize; it gets real dark, real fast too!
Full disclosure, you are allowed to take pictures and videos, they just ask that you not touch anything…mmm no worries there! At first I wondered if it was disrespectful to take photos? Millions of people a year visit the catacombs and do take pics; and the museum itself has photos of the remains on posters, flyers…I was mindful to remember that these walls of bones were once people. Some families were taking pictures of their kids in front of the remains…yeah, too creepy for me!!
These are limestone quarries that originated in the 15th century.
This sign is a warning of what lies beyond this point. It says: Stop! This is the empire of death. Mmm nothing creepy about that!! Lol
So here is a super brief overview as per the guide.
One of the largest Parisian cemeteries was closed in 1780, due to safety concerns. Little by little the quarries began to House bones from all the cemeteries of central Paris. Basically because they wanted to expand the city, so cemeteries were closed and the remains moved.
At some point a dude called Hericart de Thury, created a theatrical display with the remains, similar to how a museum would display objects. The overall impression he wanted to create was one of respect, mediation and fear.
The catacombs have been open to the public since the early 19th century.
My impression was a combination of awe for the sheer size and the intricacy of the displays and creeped outness, new word, just made it up (meaning to be super creeped out).
During our time in the catacombs I found myself getting caught up in the stories, we paid extra for the audio tour, it’s a must. It’s beautiful in a morbid and surreal way. It’s easy to forget that each bone belonged to a person.
I am not a super religious person, seeing all these skulls and bones really brought home that we leave our bodies. What’s left are just bones. And that we each have a short time here.
Being surrounded by so many who have passed reminded me to live life as best I can. My final hint for this post is more a hope; let’s try to not be shitty people!! Lol
If you have time, I would recommend visiting the catacombs.
I will close on a lighter note, they had a pretty decent boutique, I bought a cool skeleton umbrella. And FYI, those 180 steps are much easier going down than they are coming back up! And 20 meters is approximately 63 feet.
I would like to know if you would visit the catacombs if given the opportunity? Yes? Or is it too creepy for you?? Share!