Toronto: Ripley’s Aquarium

Following last week’s Toronto Comicon recap, on Sunday, we headed over to Ripley’s Aquarium before heading home.

Ripley’s Aquarium is in centre of downtown Toronto around the CN Tower and Union Station and that tourist area.  Its hard to imagine that an aquarium of that size would actually be there and honestly, I had no idea what to expect. These are the following areas they had: CANADIAN WATERS, RAINBOW REEF, DANGEROUS LAGOON, DISCOVERY CENTRE, PLANET JELLIES, RAY BAY.

There’s no point in separating the pictures or going into more detail than needed.  Some of the pictures didn’t turn out as good as I expected and honestly, aquarium photo shots is way above my photography skills so I promise to work on that.  These are the better shots from both the DSLR and my phone. Under the gallery, I’ll also have a little video of the Rainbow Reef and the beginning of the Dangerous Lagoon before we reached the sharks unfortunately.

Ripley’s Aquarium is pretty amazing and impressive.  We were able to catch the Ray Bay Dive Show which had the feeding and it was really fun to watch.  The shark tunnel/Dangerous Lagoon was definitely the highlight where there was a slow moving walkway that we got to stand on while it pulled you through the glass tunnel surrounded by a lot of fishes and then all sorts of sharks and rays.  It was breathtaking and something to experience because no picture could capture the beauty of it all.  It was also super nice for kids because there was parts where they could crawl into ships that had glass peeking into the shark tunnel and one that had the tunnel with sharks swimming above.  Then the difference here is that we could touch horseshoe crabs in the Discovery Centre area and then touch two different types of ray at the end of the route.

It was a ton of fun and I’m definitely going back again.

Do you like to go to aquariums? Any cool ones that you’ve visited?

Toronto Comicon

Its rare that I head out to Toronto so frequently but I’ve been wanting to go to Toronto Comicon and while my husband and my road trip buddy couldn’t make it, I managed to meet up in Toronto with Drew at Drew’s Movie Reviews (also my Ultimate 80s Blogathon co-host). We’re both not from Toronto so it was double amazing that this was able to happen. Plus, you could even consider this a little celebration for having that absolutely successful collaboration. 😉

After some planning, I booked a train for Friday evening to get there and stayed at Chelsea Hotel who upgraded me to a Club Lounge room which had access to free breakfast. Other than the confusing elevator system, it was a very pleasant stay. We headed to Toronto Comicon on Saturday morning and ended up going to 4 panels and checked out the exhibits and the artist gallery.  It was a ton of fun and lots of amazing stuff to look at.  There was a good bit of fantastic costumes!

Let’s check out our day!

12PM: Celebrity Q&A with Starship Troopers’ Dina Meyer & Casper Van Dien

Toronto Comicon

I haven’t seen Starship Troopers in forever. To say that I actually remember a lot of it would be a huge lie.  But, being at Toronto Comicon took a little bit of planning and I kind of wanted to hear what actors and actresses had to say. Usually, they are fun even if you don’t know much about the movie in reference because it gets more general experience and whatnot.  That is exactly how Starship Troopers turned out.  Dina Meyer and Casper Van Dien were hilarious together as they answered the Q&A and it was a ton of fun listening to their experiences.  It makes me want to go find a copy of Starship Troopers and give it a watch soon 🙂

Game Testing at Reptoid Games

Reptoid Games

Reptoid Games

In between the two panels, we had a little time to go check out the showroom with exhibits and artist alley.  Its there we met the two guys behind Reptoid Games who had a reveal of their alpha multiplayer game.  We gave it a test run.  I’ll cover more on that over at That Moment In once it goes back to normal operations. 😉 I didn’t expect to get the chance to try out a game so it was really cool.

2PM: Live Improv Show: In a Galaxy Far Far Away

Toronto Comicon

Next panel we checked out was the live improv show called In a Galaxy Far Far Away.  Obviously, it had to do with Star Wars, the one thing I knew so little about.  We started the show with the audience giving them names and colors and objects.  We ended up with Trump Tower, Purple and Shoemaker (in reference to something evil, a color, and first job). This was so much fun and OMG, was it ever hilarious. Plus, it didn’t need a whole lot of knowledge on Star Wars, because they actually made jokes out of what Star Wars would do and the normal tropes it had and whatnot. That was even funnier!

Lunch at Hank Daddy’s Barbecue

Hank Daddy's Barbecue

Smoked Sausage on a Bun

IMG_1243

Pulled Pork Burger

After two panels and some bit of lining up, we went for some lunch.  After some debate (mostly on my part), we ended up giving Hank Daddy’s Barbecue a go.  Their specialty is this Pulled Pork Parfait which we didn’t get.  However, I was having a huge hot dog craving and the Smoked Sausage on a Bun (which had a gluten free sausage but probably not the bun) was the best option.  I’m not usually a fan of onions but it was a good mix with the sauce.

Costumes and Cosplay!

5PM: Celebrity Q&A with The Flash’s Robbie Amell

Toronto Comicon

Robbie Amell’s Q&A was a lot of goodness.  The line-up was intense and immense.  He started us up with teaser trailer of this short that was released yesterday along with the Indiegogo project launch with him and Stephen Amell for a full-length feature called Code 8. I linked it up in case you wanted to check it out. He told us the story about his funny/embarrassing moment on Whose Line Is It Anyways? which I did go check out afterwards.  He talked about working on The Duff and with Mae Whitman and of course, a ton of questions was about The Flash and Firestorm and all that lovely stuff.

6PM: Comics Panel: “Q&A” with Deadpool Creator Rob Liefeld

Toronto Comicon

Rob Liefeld was really the odd one for me mostly because I didn’t see Deadpool yet and well, I know nothing about anything when it comes to source material and superhero origins and whatnot.  However, this man talks a lot and he told us about how he came to create Deadpool and get into the business and being a comic book artist and the film and whatnot.  He talked all the time away and there was really no questions but I think he may have answered everyone’s questions with his speech.  It was still super entertaining.

My Comicon Haul!

Toronto Comicon

Teeturtle –> It glows in the dark!

I love Teeturtle.  The last time I got a shirt was at Montreal Comicon and it was a Miyazaki character themed one that I love so much and wear all the time in the summer.  This one is glow in the dark and actually works.  I tried it out at the hotel. The moon lights up in the dark. Its pretty cool.

Toronto Comicon

A lovely booth with beautiful art but this one matches my den the most!

I believe this booth is called Gillian and Brian.  They  had a ton of really cool takes on pop culture art.  After much debate, this one won because it matched the Chinese theme I had going on in the den where this will go once I get a customized frame for it. 🙂

2nd Book in the ongoing 10 book series called Nemecene

2nd Book in the ongoing 10 book series called Nemecene

Last thing was a lovely book. The author Kaz Lefave was at the convention. She convinced me to get this second book in her 10 book series.  She is currently working on the third book and had the first book available on digital copy for free.  That is a pretty sweet deal.  She’s also designing a game that goes with it which looks super amazing. I can’t wait to start reading it and enter into the Nemecene world 😉

Toronto Comicon was a ton of fun! A little tiring and whatnot but it was great!
The fun doesn’t end yet! Drew and I met up again on Sunday to go check out Ripley’s Aquarium.  That post is coming up next Wednesday!

My Weekly Adventures: Toronto & Game Night with Friends!

2016 is sure flying by! February is done already? My goodness, that is rather surprising especially since work feels like it really hasn’t stopped to give me time to breathe.  Its surprising that I’m still catching up with everything (well, barely). March starts the month of family birthdays also. Incredible, right? I’m also going to be 30 at the end of the month and I have that blog reveal thing that I haven’t even gone back to work on in a while.  Man, lots of stuff coming up but at least you know what? Blogathon is going strong for the first two weeks and working on those Oscar movies went really well which was the goal in the last Weekly Adventures.

I’m going to keep this short as this post will be focused on my weekend getaway to Toronto with one of my great friends. We had a ton of fun exploring bakeries and whatnot.  We got lost a little and was frustrated at Google Maps navigating us with a lot of those Toronto forbidden left turns and overall, we had some fun adventures. Its nice to be back doing road trips with one of my best road trip buddies.

Crazy Thing on Friday Night

Friday night we started our trip in the late afternoon around 4pm.  We were on the road at a good pace until we hit around Kingston area where we got stuck in stand-still traffic due to an accident that kept us sitting there, engine off for an hour. During this time, a little event happened that inspired quite a bit of conversation. A man in the car in front of us got out, was on his cell for a call and then pulls out this big bag.  Not long after, a minivan pulls up on the opposite side of the highway 401 (big highway, dark and no street lights, a bit of blowing snow sporadically) and a teen boy jumps out picks up his hockey bag and equipment, climbs over the median and runs across to get in the minivan with oncoming traffic.

The car that stopped on the other side of the highway..

The car that stopped on the other side of the highway..

Question here is: Is there a hockey game so important that you would risk your life and the bigger question, what reasonable judgment for the guardian/adult with him made him think it was a good idea to do this?

We got to Markham after the Ontario Police opened up a route to go backwards onto a ramp and some very horror movie potential sort of thing could’ve happened as we tried to get back on the emergency detour route. It was an exciting night. We almost drafted out a whole horror short. 😉

Panagio’s All-Day Grill (Website)

Panagio's All Day Grill

Fresh Coconut & Tea

Panagio's All Day Grill

Classic Breakfast: 3 eggs with bacon

Panagio's All Day Grill

Waffles with a side of bacon

With our bellies full with an okay breakfast joint and my friend pretty happy about trying out fresh coconut water, we were on our way downtown for some bakery, independent tea and/or coffee shops.  We had a little tentative itinerary.

First (Surprise) Stop: Fantail Bakery-Cafe & Tealish 

Fantail Bakery Cafe

Vegan Avocado Chocolate Cake

I’ve been thinking of replacing butter with avocado since forever.  I almost didn’t get this one until some guy comes in saying that it was the best vegan baked good they’ve ever had. So I got it for takeaway.  While I was waiting for my friend explore a coffee shop, I started eating it and OMG! Its only been the only thing on my mind since then!

This was really a stop we made because we were waiting for the tea shop Tealish to open. We also made a stop at The Art of Cookery where I got a lovely little kitchen accessory which I will showcase later.

Tealish

Spring Longjin Green Tea

Intermission on the way to Second Stop

Karma Cluster

Karma Cluster

OutPost Coffee

Cookies N Creme Donut

Third Stop: Cock-a-Doodle-Doo Gluten Free Bakery

Cock-a doodle-doo gluten free bakery

Gluten-free Apple Tart

Fourth Stop: Almond Butterfly

Almond Butterfly

Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookie

Almond Butterfly

Dairy Free Snickerdoodle Cupcake

Fifth Stop: Vaughan Mills & Shopping

At this point, we’re suffering from some mega sugar rush followed by a crash on my end.  I got a ton of liquids to make it better.  However, there was some awesome finds here!

Bluenotes

Disney Story

Baymax & Thumper: Completing my Disney Plush collection (for now)

Aside from this, I managed to finally get a pair of shoes for Zumba (In Studio Training).  In one of the previous stops, we also stopped at an LCBO to get some wine. They didn’t have the one I wanted but I did pick up some good stuff over the two days so might as well get my purchases over in this section.

Crazy Beard: Ginger Beer White Wine

Crazy Beard & White Wine

Angry Orchard

Angry Orchard

My friend had told me about Angry Orchard before and since I saw it, I had to get myself a pack to see how it is.  Plus, its gluten free and Apple cider.  Two things I love to bits 😉

Sixth Stop: Asian Legend in Markham

Asian Legend is our go-to spot.  Unfortunately, it felt like everything wasn’t quite as good.  The soup-filled dumplings were still pretty good and it was the first time trying the ribs but overall, it didn’t quite live up to the delicious taste it had.  Maybe its the bad economy and the inflation causing things changing.  Who knows…

We went back to our hotel after dinner.  Well, after a quick stop at T&T Supermarket to pick up liquids for the night.

Next morning, we had a brunch before making some quick stops to buy some snacks and supplies before heading back to Montreal.

Sunday Brunch/Chinese  Early Lunch: Ding Tai Fung Restaurant

Ding Tai Fung is always a surefire.  As usual, this place made some delicious food.  I was pleased with such a delightful meal. Their soup-filled steamed pork dumplings are absolutely scrumptious. We went home safe and sound.

Game Night

The weekend after (the past one)..we got together again with one of my best friends and had a game night.  It was a last minute thing so not a lot of people made it to my friend’s event but we had some food, chatted a little. The games of that night:

  • Cards Against Humanity
  • Saboteur
  • Scotland Yard
Board Games

Scotland Yard

It was my first time playing Scotland Yard and man, was it fun! If you don’t know what it is, one player is Mr. X and they have hidden moves and unlimited resources while everyone else are detectives that need to trace them down. Obviously, we were just two detectives but if we had more people, it would be a different story.  As we were strategizing our next moves, I thought it would be hilarious to make a podcast or vlog of it.  That would be incredible. What do you think?

In case you don’t know what Saboteur is, its kind of a card game where you are dwarves mining to gold.  There are three cards faced down, two is rocks and one gold.  You can have cards to see which is the gold.  Depending how many people, there are people to be the Saboteur whose goal is to sabotage your path.  You have cards that build the path to the gold and other special cards that will block and unblock other players.  The more players, the more interesting it gets.

It was a ton of fun! We were all really tired and somehow we ended playing super strategic games. Oh yeah, Mr. X got away…

That’s it for the last two weeks! Very fun two weekends despite work going batshit crazy and absolutely out of control!

Upcoming:

  • Last 2 weeks of Ultimate 80s Blogathon
  • Book reviews
  • Review: The VVitch

Before we go…a little music!

What games do you like to play with friends (board or video)? Do you like road trips (even if its just a weekend getaway)?

Happy Tuesday! 🙂

Toronto Finds (Take 3) and more!

This week just started and its been pretty awesome!

I went really chill with Toronto and managed to survive the weekend, eating/drinking and shopping for about $250, which is absolutely amazing, seeing as I used to easily spend double that amount.  I’ve tamed myself a bit 🙂 My self-control was in full mode.

Still, I think I managed to get some good stuff…

First up, lets check out MOVIES!

Movies!

Movies!

I snuck in my Les Miserable 25th anniversary soundtrack.  They were on sale at Pacific Mall so I grabbed World War Z and Pain and Gain Blu-ray. I already saw World War Z and if you’re interested, you could check out the review HERE! As for other movies, last time in September, I had wanted Unbeatable but they weren’t available yet.  This time, I managed to get it.  Special ID is the new Donnie Yen movie (YAY!) and Floating City was the buffer to make the deal look better and I realized that Netflix just added it.  Feels a bit like a fail but thats okay.  Ending off is one of my long time faves that I’ve been wanting to add to my collection and Costco in Ontario had it for a decent price: Anne of Green Gables 🙂 No one does Anne as well as Megan Follows.

Next up, Costco also had some pretty awesome deal on books so I grabbed these ones!

Books!

Books!

I’m a mega fan of  Amy Tan. The Joy Luck Club is one of my most favorite books and even the movie wasn’t such a bad one, in my opinion, but I haven’t seen it in ages. I will though, then I’ll review it.  As for Jodi Piccoult, I loved My Sister’s Keeper so I thought I’d give this one a chance.  I’ve read some good reviews of it.

Hmm…I actually think thats all I bought, other than a bunch of food that I ended up eating before taking any pictures.  It was mostly Dim Sum from T&T Supermarket and some Egg rolls.  Groceries, you know? I’m sure you don’t need to see that!

If I ended it here, this would be kind of a pathetic post so I figured I’d share some of my surprisingly quick arrivals 🙂

The first is something that I had bought on Groupon for a Photobook and I managed to finish it right before the deadline! It didn’t come with a lot of long hours looking through pictures and making hard choices for the layout.  It was supposed to be a surprise gift for my boyfriend, but he’s way more decisive than I am, so I asked him to help me and that really sped up the process!

Photobook cover

Photobook cover

Random inside pages

Random inside pages

Excuse my messy desk and all those newspaper snippets my mom likes to stick under the glass on my table! I’d say it looks pretty cool! The pages all of different layouts and pictures, its pretty  much the highlights of all our trips: summer vacations, day trips, weekend getaways, for the past 5+ years of our relationship.  I actually dug out a lot of pictures that I completely forgot I had and we had a good laugh while putting it together.  Fun times 🙂 That flew from Malaysia (according to DHL tracking) to here in just a matter of days, arriving on Friday (but I was out of town) so I got it on Monday.

Next up, yesterday’s one delivery turned into TWO! WHAT?!?!?!? Apparently all those random things I get over the months all came one by one. I had bought speakers from Groupon for my cellphone since I enjoy listening to music when I shower or work around the house, plus, its light and portable.

Veho Speakers

Veho Speakers

I listened to it for a bit and it seems pretty decent.  For the price I got it at, I wasn’t expecting anything grand and it turned out alright.  Always a plus!

I also ordered a shirt from These Quiet Sounds, which is also a clothing company owned by one of the Boyce Avenue brothers, Fabian.  I was curious a few weeks ago and went to check out the site and totally fell in love with this tank top! BUTTERFLIES 🙂

These Quiet Sounds Tank Top

These Quiet Sounds package

These Quiet Sounds tank top

Here’s what it looks like!

I LOVE IT! I was a bit nervous because the fabric they used usually makes me look fat but hey, it looks pretty decent to me.  Maybe it was the 400 crunches I did before I tried it on, but I’m going to take the positive side of this: I probably toned my body up.  Just have to make sure I keep doing it, right?

See, the post didn’t turn out to be that pathetic, right? I actually have one more package that should be on its way for a Kickstarter project.  After that, everything will calm down as I prep for Christmas gifts and crafts.  Then it’ll be my turn to send things out! Plus, I have to try to keep all expenses minimal…I’ll do a big reveal in December after the Nanowrimo November craze has passed!

Things are going back to some form of normality! I do have a movie review going up soonish, maybe tomorrow, maybe later today. I have a few movies on Netflix expiring on December 1st so I have to get those watched: Dead Silence, Children of Men & Martha Marcy May Marlene. Whether I get all those watched, I have no idea but I’ve read some positive reviews each of them so I’m going to try my best to see them all.  3 movies in 10 days sounds very doable in my mind at least.

Okay! I’m done rambling on! 

Any of the three, you’d suggest me to see more than the others? How’s your Nanowrimo going? Do you like to support Kickstarter projects? Have you started thinking about Christmas gifts already?

Toronto: Asian Legend & Sugar Marmalade

Toronto is a heaven for food, especially in Chinese or Asian food.  It probably has other stuff also, like I really like the baked goods also.

This time around, the time really pushed everything together so my food adventures really just was on Saturday evening.

If you want to see my other food adventures, you can see it HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE!I didn’t even realize I had that many posts about Toronto food…hmm…

Anyways, lets get the show on the road!

Saturday for dinner, we went to Asian Legend in Chinatown.  I’ve been to that one and the one in Markham a lot of times.  It has awesome food! The must-have is the Steamed dumplings..

asian legend dundas

Steamed soup-filled dumplings

I had my fave green beans as well but didn’t take pictures of it.  My cousin added on two other dishes: Sauteed Eggplants with House Sauce and Fried Rice Cake with Pickled Vegetables.

Asian Legend

Sauteed Eggplants with House Sauce

Asian Legend

Fried Rice Cake with Pickled Vegetables

All of the dishes were pretty delicious. I was obsessed with the eggplants dish. I’m not much of a fan of eggplants but the sauce was so tasty. 🙂  It was perfect for us three.

After that, we took a little 8-10 minute stroll to get dessert and my cousin took us to try a new dessert place called Sugar Marmalade.

I chose the Herbal Jelly.  My mom took the Black Sesame Paste while my cousin took the Almond Paste.  They eventually ended up mixing the two together.

Sugar Marmalade

Herbal Jelly

Sugar Marmalade

Almond Paste and Black Sesame Paste

The herbal jelly was actually pretty bitter, which makes the quality a lot better than I had expected for a dessert place.  I liked it a lot.  The texture was good as well 🙂 It had a pretty nice atmosphere also.  The service was decent.  I’ll probably go visit again if I was in the area.

Today’s a short post but maybe I’ll be back later tonight with another one!

Any food adventures that you had this week?

Toronto: Pubs, Lounges, and Les Miserables!

I’m FINALLY back! I vanished over the weekend, not because I didn’t want to post but because the time I spent at the hotel and by the computer rounded up to about 2 hours in total.  All the other times, I was on the move and my phone was threatening to die on me after using the GPS function for an hour that morning, other times, I was on the road.

Despite that being the case, this Toronto trip came at a really good time.  I have some crazy stuff happening in life so changes are going to come, I’ll talk about it when the time is right.  Nanowrimo writing is getting hurt because of that and the trip, but I’ll try my best to catch up. Its a bit frustrating because for once, I know where the story has to go at least for another 3000 words, but I just need to find the time to sit down and get it all out on paper or the computer…

Who wants to check out my Toronto trip? (I have nothing else to post about for the next few days, so bear with me)…

As mentioned in my post on Friday, my trip was set for the late afternoon.  We ended leaving my place around 3:45pm.  It was a pretty smooth drive except for one area where cars slowed down because the opposite direction was in traffic because of a huge fire next to the bridge/overpass in Kingston.  We made our stop at Markham T&T Supermarket to get some late dinner.  After checking in to Novotel Toronto Centre in Downtown Toronto we rested up a bit.  I had a room with my mom so I just sat around and watched some Food Network while I ate.  How fitting 🙂 It was tempting me to go eat out after dinner again by showcasing a Rosedale Diner that had awesome looking ribs *drools*

Right at that time, my friends messaged me from their room and we went out to check out some nightlife ended up across the street at this place called Amsterdam Bicycle Club which had a live band who was pretty awesome called The Throwback Soundtrack. 🙂 Plus, it had some cute decor and the crowd was pretty nice.

Amsterdam Bicycle Club

Amsterdam Bicycle Club

 

Amsterdam Bicycle Club

Cute decor at Amsterdam Bicycle Club

Our pitcher of Sangria

Our pitcher of Sangria

We sat around, listened to some great 90s cover music and drank a little till about 2am and then headed back to the hotel.

The next day was more separate stuff.  However, the highlight of our trip was also that day at 1:30pm. We met up at Prince of Wales Theatre to see LES MISERABLES on Tour.  YAY!

Les Miserables Prince of Wales Theatre

Les Miserables on tour

Les Miserables inside at intermission

Les Miserables inside at intermission

Les Miserables was totally awesome! It was great.  *Almost* the whole cast was fantastic.  I think they had the best Marius and Cosette that I’ve heard.  Valjean and Javert was amazing.  The Thenardiers were witty and the highlight of the show as always 🙂 The young Cosette, Eponine and Gavroch was outstanding.  My biggest issue was just that Fantine took a while to get into her role and do good at her singing and Eponine wasn’t all that impressive.  Not saying their bad, its just I’ve heard a lot of versions and now there’s a comparison, right? Still, it was a great show! My mom amazingly didn’t understand much but stayed awake through the whole thing and the effects was totally captivating, especially for the One Day More part! Seriously, if you get the chance, GO SEE IT!

After the show, we all walked to Eaton Centre while waiting for our dinner plans to come along.  I was waiting for my cousin while my friends were waiting for her friend.  The streets were filled with Christmas decor already and it was all so pretty!

Christmas Toronto

Window Display in Toronto

christmas torontochristmas toronto

christmas toronto20131116_170020

Thats all just outside display! Once we hit inside Eaton Centre, it was decorated with a huge Christmas Tree and a bunch of cute reindeers all over the place!

Toronto eaton centre

Christmas tree in Toronto Eaton Centre

toronto eaton centreNice, right? Talk about upping my Christmas spirit.  All of a sudden, I thought about, “OMG, Christmas is around the corner and I don’t know what to get for anyone!”….Thats when my cousin arrived 😉

My cousin took us to Asian Legend (my fave) in Chinatown and then to try a new dessert place called Sugar Marmalade. I’ll have a food post going up tomorrow 🙂 We did a LCBO stop and then a visit to her place to see her dog, then back to the hotel where I met up with my friends again for our late night activities! Saturday night we wanted more live music and through some recommendations, we went to the Reservoir Lounge for some live jazz!

the reservoir lounge

No pictures but thats the front door!

That place is pretty classy and man, do they make some awesome amaretto sours, plus the music was awesome! I was the boss (since I’m the driver the next day) as to when we leave but even though I said midnight, we ended up leaving 30 minutes later! It was so fun! I’d definitely go back there!

Sunday’s planned day was pretty tight.  We had to check out at 10am to get to Costco, for my friends’ request.  Then, we had to get to Pacific Mall and T&T Supermarket to pick up some lunch and food for the road.  Shopping was the focus of Sunday and I’ll have a post for my Toronto Finds (Take 3?).  I was gentle on my wallet this time around since Les Miserables already cost me a bit more than expected.

Weekend getaways are always fun, plus I got to see my cousin.  I spent some quality time with my friends to relax before the crazy starts when I get back (and I mean immediately). Still, going home was good.  I get my comfy bed, my loving boyfriend and my silly cat 🙂 Today, I even get to take off the therapeutic tape (don’t know what you call it) on my shoulders that my chiropractor put to help release stress.

There you go! Thats my weekend! Prepare yourselves for more Toronto for tomorrow and the day after! I’ll be playing catchup for Nanowrimo and dealing with some other stuff in my life.  I’ll try to stay as active as possible 🙂

How was your weekend?

Toronto Food Frenzy! :)

I’m sure most of you know that I’m a foodie and well, I love eating Chinese food but eating Chinese food in Montreal is really complicated and difficult, not to mention full of MSG and unhealthy.  So, when I get to the awesome city of Toronto, I go all out and try to eat as much as I can! This time with my best friend, we really went completely random and just chose restaurants that we went by or heard of before.

First stop was upon arrival at Pacific Mall on Friday where we got our lunch at one of the fast food kiosks there.  Even these are quite impressive.  I tend to always go to  the same one.

With our meal we get Chicken Ginseng Soup (or Soy milk or soft drinks).  I had my favorite there, Yang Zhou Fried Rice.

Chicken Ginseng Soup

Chicken Ginseng Soup

Yang Zhou Fried Rice

Yang Zhou Fried Rice

I have this unexplainable love for Yang Zhou Fried Rice.  When in doubt, I always pick it.  My best friend chose the Lohan style Vegetable Chow Mein. Sorry for the blur….

Pacific Mall Markham

Lo Han style Vegetable Chow Mein

At night, after a really awesome horror movie, Rigor Mortis at TIFF (review HERE), we ate dinner back at First Markham Place and we chose Congee Wong. The crazy cold weather in Toronto had made us almost feeling sick so we thought some congee would be good.  Somehow I forgot to take a picture of the congee but we did have two dishes to accompany it.

Chinese Poached Chicken at Congee Wong

Chinese Poached Chicken at Congee Wong

Enoki Mushroom with Pea Tips

Enoki Mushroom with Pea Tips

They were really delicious.  I’m a huge fan of Pea Tips veggies.  These were made so good! The congee was also really good thats why I didn’t even take a picture and it was already gone.

After a good night sleep at the hotel, we went out for brunch/dim sum at Ding Tai Fung Restaurant, a chain restaurant famous in Taiwan (I believe).  Its a bit more pricey than most restaurants but they made awesome cuisine.  I hadn’t eaten there in almost 10 years.

Warm Soy Milk

Warm Soy Milk

Steamed Soup-Filled Dumpling

Steamed Soup-Filled Dumpling

Glutinous Rice Dumplings

Glutinous Rice Dumplings

Pan-Fried Chive Dumplings (I think)

Pan-Fried Chive Dumplings (I think)

Shrimp Fried Rice

Fried Rice with Shrimp and Eggs

You can’t get any more feeling like living in Asia than drinking some authentic soy milk, not the stuff out of cartons in the supermarkets.  Plus, this place makes some of the best Steamed Soup-Filled Dumplings I’ve ever tasted (the other place is Asian Legend that I’ve mentioned before a while back).  Our trial was the glutinous rice dumplings.  They were good but just not too tasty, coming from me, thats actually saying a lot because I’m used to eating everything low sodium, low oil, etc.  The fried rice was really to help us feel more filled to go for our shopping day 🙂

That evening, after our shopping, we decided to finish up the leftovers from the previous meals and also grabbed hot dog (for me) and hamburger (for my best friend) at Five Guys to complement everything. We also dropped by a Chinese herbal tea/dessert place called Pun Cao Tong Herbal to grab some deserts.  No pictures of those though…we had a bit of an accident and after the clean up, we just sat back to finish the movie (review going up later) we were watching and eat.  However, here was our very hotel room picnic style dinner setup:

Leftovers with Five Guys at the hotel room

Leftovers with Five Guys at the hotel room

For dessert, my best friend chose Stewed Egg White with Black Sesame Paste.  I chose my favorite Black Sesame Paste (that was also the culprit of the mess).  We also both had bought some Herbal Jelly to take home.

Typing this up just made me miss Toronto food so much. Although I do have something pretty huge planned in the baking department thats somewhat of a fusion.

This trip really helped me get back all the blogging motivation because right now, I’ve started about 10 drafts for the coming week and two ideas churning in my mind that I’m working on 🙂 Definitely back on track and it feels great!

Happy Wednesday! 🙂