Friday, January 31, 2014

Half a century on...

Guess what happened to me yesterday?


Oh yes! I am now half a century old. It is not entirely clear to me how that happened.


Birthday smoothie! Love that wrinkle-erasing computer camera.


My friends, who know me well, posted some interesting things on my Facebook timeline yesterday...


Well, that's good to know!!



Couldn't agree more!


Gordon had a big birthday surprise cooked up for me. After breakfast, we took off for points north.


I had no clue where we were off to!


That's my clueless look!


Gordon was dropping no hints. He told me to bring warm clothes!

By the time we got to Hawkesbury, I knew we were going to head over the bridge to Quebec.


But I still didn't know our final destination. I did eventually discover that we were going to have lunch at ChocoMotive in Montebello.


I had a great cup of chocolat chaud, aka hot chocolate! Chocomotive is a chocolaterie and a bistro. We had a super lunch there, then I loaded up on some handmade chocolates to take with me! It is my right to buy lots of chocolate on my birthday.


This is the main street in Montebello.



Here's Chocomotive, which is housed in the old train station. Beautiful!


Then Gordon wanted me to get a move on, because we had somewhere to be at 1 pm!

But where?

Well, this was my first hint!


We went dogsledding at La Meute Tanwen

It was FANTASTIQUE!!!!


We had the option of driving the sleds or not. We both wanted to! But I started out as a passenger.


Which was just a HUGE amount of fun!


HUGE !


And such a beautiful day! After more than a week of bitter cold and wind, yesterday turned out to be perfect. Sunny, no wind, and a high of about -4C, which was plenty warm for us!

Soon enough, I got to drive the dogs myself. My four were very zippy. I had to keep touching the brakes on the sled to make sure we didn't run into the team ahead of us.


We were having a little break here! Most of the dogs were crossbreeds of Husky, Malamute, Greyhound and I forget what else. I know from all the Iditarod and Yukon Quest books I've read that a team of Huskies looks nice but is damn slow. 



The view of the Laurentians around Ripon was magnifique!

And there's Gordon, already breaking the rule of always keeping two hands on the sled! If not, you are supposed to loop your arm through the handle while you do whatever it is you need to do with your free hand.


I wiped out once yesterday, but I held onto my sled and waited for help to get it upright. Gordon wiped out twice. He was completely thrown off, and his team ended up pretty much right up my behind. :) It was hilarious. He is not good at holding on tight in a crisis.


Here is a much more experience musher. He was leading the way. We stopped here to look at the gorgeous view!

After two hours, it was over, sigh!! 


That little blond fellow in the middle is an adorable pup.



And I was very fond of this odd-eyed cutie.



Lovely, healthy, happy dogs. Éric takes good care of them.



I could have gone for another two hours. But man, my triceps are killing me today!


After our hard day of mushing, we had a lovely birthday supper at Le café du bistrot in Saint-André Avelin. While we were there, a couple and their young child arrived via snowmobile...



... don't you love the little trailer? Everybody was properly attired in snowsuits and helmets! If I were a kid, I'd love zipping around in that thing.

And my friend Ronna sent a pic of me preparing to attack our birthday cake last weekend...



Gordon looking perfectly oblivious to the madness beside him, as always!

My BEST birthday EVER!! Thank you dear Gordon!

And here's a video, so you can feel like you were there. Sorry about my finger. It was tough to keep a grip on the iPhone!

















53 comments:

  1. Happy birthday Knatolee! I salute Gordon for giving you a birthday to remember.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ahab! He done good!

      Delete
  2. Happy Birthday! :) Fantastic birthday outing too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Kristine!

      Delete
  3. Happy birthday! And what fun! Is it true what they say about the sled dog team? (Unless you're the lead dog, the view is pretty much the same...) :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. It really looks like you had the perfect day :) Happy Birthday!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Happy birthday! Time goes by quickly when you're having fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boy, it sure does. Thanks Red.

      Delete
  6. Happy Birthday! What a great way to start the next 50. And, welcome to Old-Farthood! It's FUN.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eh? WHat's that you say? I need to get out my ear trumpet!

      Delete
  7. I don't want to receive threatening letters from Gordon, but you do look pretty darned good. Happy Birthday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh go right ahead! Don't stop! ;))

      Delete
  8. I told you so, Gordon will spoil you rotten. And the Malamute reminds me of Max. Great gift, Gordon. To bad we are living in Germany, otherwise we would love to have our birthday organized by you.:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, I loved Max! A great dog.

      Delete
  9. Happy 50th! That looks so much fun.
    Brilliant cake too, Ronna is very clever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't she just? THanks so much!

      Delete
  10. What an adventurous trip! I'm not sure I would have thought dog sledding to be at the top of my list, but you all sure make it look fun! Happy Birthday, dear friend, XOXO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh we'll bundle you up and you'll have a BLAST!

      Delete
  11. So glad that you had a happy birthday. Shame Gordon didn't arrange for the pup to be part of your gift.
    We went dog sledding for my 40th.....it was a blast!
    Jane x
    PS Love the trailer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I want to do it every year!! Glad you've gotten to try it too!

      Delete
  12. Gordon is a genius. And thank you for the action video. It gave a real sense of what it must have been like - without the cold!
    Happy birthday! And just think, you can do the whole thing all over again in ten years, since you only look to be 40!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooo, thank you Marty!! :)

      Delete
  13. 50 eh? I have been examining that first photo and my guess is about 30. I think you have been lying about your age.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have I mentioned lately what a wonderful man you are?

      Delete
  14. Happy Birthday! 50 should look this good on everyone! What a romantic day. Gordon is a sweetheart. (Being oblivious to the madness must help.) You make a cold Canadian winter look like a trip to paradise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thank you Mitchell, you are so sweet! ANd you know I"m a huge fan of winter, so it sort of is paradise to me. :)

      Delete
  15. Happy Birthday! You really show how winter can be a lot of fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alain! If I stayed indoors all winter, I'd lose my mind! I just wear lots of layers of warm clothing.

      Delete
  16. Happy birthday! 50 is sure just a number to you, when a day dog sledding is your idea of fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am trying to remind myself that it's just number!! :)

      Delete
  17. :Happy Birthday!"
    What a wonderful birthday!
    Gordon is ah keeper.
    Love the video.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Nancy! yes, Gordon's not half bad. ;)))

      Delete
  18. Awesome birthday - too bad you couldn't bring a puppy home!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh that little gold puppy was adorable!!

      Delete
  19. Well, there's – obviously – no need to wish you love and inspiration.
    Thus, I do wish you – and Gordon – 'but' (lots of) health for the second half of your century, dear Knatolee.
    Happy birthday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THank you Sean, Health is so important. Neither of my parents lived into retirement age, so I'm trying hard to look after myself!

      Delete
  20. Oh Dear One...thank you for that. I had no idea I would even want to do it. But after watching the clip I do. You are blessed to have such a day all devoted to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was SO MUCH FUN! And if you don't feel like driving, you can always just sit in the sled, all cozy and warm. Yes, I felt very blessed indeed. :)

      Delete
  21. PS Does Gordon have any more good ideas like this for my 70th which is coming up in the fall. I would pass some hints on to Old Man Watching.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Congratulations on your first half-century! Hope the second is full of many more adventures like your birthday outing! Loved the little video. Sheri

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank Sheri! Winter can be so much fun.

      Delete
  23. Happy Birthday :-)

    Your Birthday adventures sounds and looks so much fun ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much. It really was a great day!

      Delete
  24. Wow, what a birthday! Happy 50th!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He'll have trouble topping that next year!

      Delete
  25. Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hey Natalie, Im so cross with myself for being a bad blogger and missing your birthday.......but it looks like you had the best day and Gordon......what a wonderfully, thoughtful hubby he is.
    Loved the video and interesting reading about the breed of dogs used to pull sleds.
    I gotta say you're looking fab at fifty, (turns slightly green with envy, hehe). When I turned fifty I had to find something good about it, so figured once you hit fifty you now have the right to say 'no' and not feel guilty. No I can't work an extra shift, no, you can't borrow that....., no I'm too busy.......it works, so that's my little tip for dealing with getting older and just keep on doing what you're doing 'cos it's working big time.

    Lots of birthday wishes (albeit a little late) and love from a warm Oz,

    Claire XXX

    ReplyDelete
  27. What a fantastic birthday! And you look much younger than 50. Happy Birthday Natalie!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Indeed, you SOOO do not look anywhere near 50! Happy belated wishes!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Happy Belated Birthday! Your hubby certainly gave you a 50th to remember!! SUPER!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!