Not an Accident…

Its the long weekend so I figured that I’d do my personal post a bit later since I did give you something similar on Friday 🙂 If you missed that, you could go check it out HERE! Okay, okay, you got me.  I just didn’t sit down and write my personal post, but its because I have so many things I want to talk about and just not sure how to approach it.  Let’s give it shot now, shall we?

This week has really been all about embracing fully the idea of this:

It may come as a shock to you but I’m a really shy person and rarely do I open up to people easily.  This Tuesday, when I was sitting and waiting forever for my mom’s very late Toronto bus to arrive, I met a stranger named Alex and had a pretty decent chat.  Funny enough, we were talking about our jobs and whatnot. The only thing I now know of this person is this video that he told me to check out.

Thats what you do with strangers, right? You don’t start exchanging phone numbers because we didn’t.  Well, I told him about my blog and he said he’d check it out.  Its all about promoting ourselves but hey, Tranquil Dreams has made me very proud, what can I say? So as pointless that meeting a stranger is, we did talk about passions and that made me look at things a little different so definitely not an accident and very purposeful, no matter how short.  I probably need a few more of these types of friends in my life to inspire positive vibes.

So to say, this leads me to do a pretty daring thing on my part.  As its a confirmed deal now, I will be going to Toronto soon and I know a few of you live there.  I had a ton of fun meeting Jonathan in Maine, so I was wondering if any of you would like to meet up.  Just a suggestion and probably would be cool 🙂 Although time-wise will be a bit tricky as after 4 hours of waiting to get in the ticket reservations for TIFF 2013, I finally bought tickets to see both of the movies I wanted to:

Rigor Mortis

Rigor Mortis

The Wind Rises (MIYAZAKI!)

The Wind Rises (MIYAZAKI!)

That means I’ll be in town September 13-15th 🙂 Now you know the details.  If you’d like to meet up, drop me an email or leave me a comment and I can contact you :).  I’m a really nice person, I assure you of that! I think its a cool idea but if you don’t, thats alright 🙂 I respect that too!

Now thats out of the way, lets get back to some stuff I’ve seen that I’d like to share.  Yesterday, I went out with my friend for brunch then went for a walk around Quartier Dix30, a suburban shopping/entertainment district and in the newly developed area, we the drums performance.

Performance at Square Dix30 area

Performance at Square Dix30 area

And its been crazy hot and humid these past few days, so my flowers are all out and about along with lots of bees, wasps and ladybugs 🙂

Field of flowers

Field of flowers


Hello Ladybug 🙂


Bumblebee! Work hard collecting that pollen!


My garden is still blooming and its so happy to see it 🙂

My mom came home from Toronto earlier this week with some moon cakes.  Midautumn festival is just around the corner and she got some Teochew style Moon cakes which was definitely a new taste and was pretty good 🙂

Teochew style Moon cake

Teochew style Moon cake

This is getting a bit long but with events this past week both mentioned and not, I have found some quotes in Pinterest that really wrap up what I think about:

So very true! 🙂

Thats the kind of friend I’d like to be!

Man, do my dreams scare me! I’m on the right track then 🙂

Finally, if only I could do these things and maybe you might want to try it out too.

I have to work #5 and #6 and maybe #4, hmm, and #3!

Still have some work to do to stress less but I totally buy every point, just easier to talk about it than doing it.

Oh right, there is an extension of one more week of movie recommendations to make it a solid 4 weeks.  So remember to check back if you were following that 😉 I’m working on a few already and have a few more movies that I hopefully will get to! And I think its been successful that I’d do it again.  What do you think?

Happy Sunday everyone!!

Not-So-Secret Santa Review Swap: Dark Harbor (1998)


I joined into The Cinematic Katzenjammer`s Not-So-Secret Santa Review Swap and the movie that my secret santa chose for me was Dark Harbor.  This movie seems quite fitting since it is set in Maine and hey, I just came back from there. Right after the review, I have a little bonus in celebration for this event 😉

dark harbor posterDirector: Adam Coleman Howard

Cast: Alan Rickman, Polly Walker, Norman Reedus

David (Alan Rickman) and Alexis Weinberg (Polly Walker) are in an unhappy marriage.  While on Route 1 in Maine hurrying in the rain to catch the last ferry to cross over to their island retreat, Alexis sees a figure on the side of the road and tells David to stop and look.  They end up picking up a young man (Norman Reedus).  They end up missing the last ferry and parting separate ways with this young man.  However, with a twist of events, they end up seeing this young man again and letting them stay with them for a while longer than imagined much against David’s desire.  While David is off with his friend’s, the young man and Alexis get familiar with drinks, costumes and eventually sexual attraction sparks.  Alexis tries to resist while David seems to become more distant towards their relationship.

dark harbor

My synopsis cannot do Dark Harbor justice.  This is a clever thriller. I won’t say that its fast-paced because its deliberately slow and I believe it is done in a certain way to build up the mood.  However, it still kept me engaged and wondering whether something more would happen many times throughout.  Although nothing significant does happen, when the extremely clever ending hits, you will not seeing it coming and thats when those scattered pieces that was ignored throughout the viewing come back and all make sense.

dark harbor 1

On top of that, Dark Harbor has an amazing cast.  Any flick where I see Alan Rickman’s name on the list of casts merits my full attention.  He is just so talented.  I enjoyed him as Hans Gruber in Die Hard, Snape in the Harry Potter series, as the wanting to go astray husband in Love Actually and now, this one goes right on that admirable list of roles that he’s done.

dark harbor norman reedus

I’m not as familiar with Polly Walker and Norman Reedus but after looking at IMDB, I realized that I have seen them in others flicks as well.  Nothing that I totally loved so it slipped my mind but I really don’t know where to start.  Polly Walker played a pretty amazing wife who we know right off that she wants to rekindle the affection in her marriage and try to make it work.  She tries to stay loyal even when the young man keeps reminding her of temptation and seduction.  Honestly, the Young Man wasn’t cute or handsome or charming in any way but I think what Norman Reedus does really well is portray the mystery of the unknown and how that in itself is very attractive.  The character of someone being deep and secretive.  We never know the Young Man’s name through the whole movie.

Its been a while I’ve seen a thriller that may be slow but ends off with such a clever ending.  It was definitely a pleasant surprise and totally worth the watch! Thanks to my Secret Santa 🙂

Now for the BONUS PART! Please excuse my nasal and raspy voice…its already gotten a lot better from a few days ago 🙂 At least I can talk again!

You know, I look at you, and its funny, you don’t remind me of myself exactly.  But you remind me of a certain time of when what I used to think love was then: the fireworks, the explosions, the highlights. But its not. Its time, to go through the seasons together, through change, through the ups and downs, to be able to look at your beloved in the eye and say we did that together as one, we chose each other above all others.  Thats love. Its unexplainable.  Its a secret that can only be known once you’ve done the time.

Love the quote! Don’t you?

Who has seen Dark Harbor? What do you think about Alan Rickman? Whats your favorite role of his?

Day 5 Part 1: Fort Knox Historic Site!

Vacation time passes by so fast! I couldn’t believe that it was the last day of the trip when it came around.  Lets check out the recap of my last day in Maine!

Our first stop was Fort Knox Historic Site.  We had postponed that from our original plans on Day 3 but we wanted to really enjoy it especially since this was the part that my boyfriend was looking forward to.  After I almost turned him into a popsicle the day before because I wanted to see puffins, I felt it was reasonable to give him as many hours as he would like to wander around Fort Knox and fully experience it.

Fort Knox Historic Site

Welcome to Fort Knox!

Friendly advice here is that if you go, bring flashlights please.  Some of these tunnels are mega dark.  You will see soon enough.  First stop, we went to Battery A.

Fort Knox Historic Site

Fort Knox Historic Site

Battery A

We had to walk through the main Fort Entrance before getting to Battery B.

Fort Knox Historic Site

Fort Knox

Fox Knox Historic Site

View on the way to Battery B..Fog creeping in!

Fort Knox Historic Site

Looking from inside

Fort Knox Historic Site

Giant Cannon in Battery

Fort Knox Historic Site

Now that we’re done the Batteries, we went to the Fort Knox itself. All the tunnels and everything!

Fort Knox Historic Site

In the Fort Knox

Fort Knox Historic Site

In the dark tunnels

On the highest level of the Fort Knox, the view was amazing and it was pretty cool!

Fort Knox Historic Site

Top level of the Fort

Fort Knox Historic Site

The view around Fort Knox

Fort Knox Historic Site

View from Fort Knox

Before we left the Fort Knox and Maine, we needed to take our iconic thing to mark our trip! 🙂

Me and my boyfriend!

Me and my boyfriend!

Part 1 ends right here! There’s a part 2 to Day 5 as the drive home was pretty scenic.

Plus, my cold has pretty much decided for me that that I am about to pass on the keyboard. I draft these posts the night before.

Check back tomorrow morning for the final post on my vacation recap! 🙂

Have a great Monday!!

MAINE DAY 4: Puffins, Lighthouses and Seabirds Tours at Bar Harbor!

Day 4 recap finally is here! It pairs up equally with my excitement about telling you about meeting with Jonathan yesterday! 🙂

I’m totally obsessed with cute little puffins with their orange beaks and orange feet! So cute! I’ve never seen one out in the wild so my excitement for this was crazy huge!

One thing we knew right when we arrived was that I was under-dressed and my boyfriend was even worse!

We reached Bar Harbor relatively early so we sat down to snack a little before heading down to the windy harbor!

My boyfriend pretending to be a Puffin...

My boyfriend pretending to be a Puffin…

I'm excited! Puffins!!

I’m excited! Puffins!!

Eventually we did head off to the harbor and the view was SO AWESOME!

Bar Harbor Maine

Bar Harbor

The only issue was that along the whole way was fog.  Our tour lady explained to us that its Maine, there’s always fog coming in and out and the best time to not have fog was in January.  So we had to deal with it and soldier on! This is what it looked like around us when the boat left the harbor…

Fog was crazy thick!

Fog was crazy thick!

The first part of the trip was listening to our tour lady talk about Maine and Bar Harbor and lobster fishing, etc. while the biggest attraction were these little colorful markers every so often…

Those little colorful blobs in the water are lobster traps (or the markers for them? )

Those little colorful blobs in the water are lobster traps (or the markers for them? )

Scenery was amazing, especially with the fog coming in and going out!

Scenery was amazing, especially with the fog coming in and going out!

Christmas Trees decorated with those lobster markers!

Christmas Trees decorated with those lobster markers!

Eventually we did start seeing seabirds here and there.  I really don’t remember the names much so excuse me for my bad memory! Plus I was trying my best to keep warm and take those 400 pictures.  Thank goodness the boat had blankets, although the humidity on the water was off the charts so the blankets were all damp by the end of the trip…but we’re not at that point yet..lets continue!

Seabird lifting off! (don't ask me which breed)

Seabird lifting off! (don’t ask me which breed)

1st Lighthouse!

1st Lighthouse!

Another seabird flying over the water!

Another seabird flying over the water!

Second lighthouse approaching where all the puffins are!

Second lighthouse approaching where all the puffins are!

2nd Lighthouse!

2nd Lighthouse!

If you look really closely, you'll see some bird with its little babies swimming around!

If you look really closely, you’ll see some bird with its little babies swimming around!

Puffin drifting on the water!

Puffin taking off from water!

More puffins in flight!

More puffins in flight!

Puffin Lighthouse Tour

3rd Lighthouse! Bald eagles around there make all the seabirds fly to divert its attention!

Puffin Tour

Harbor Seals! They are so cute!

We did this tour with Acadian Boat Tours on the Islander which is a relatively smaller boat than the nature cruise! Most of the people on there were birdwatchers, which I obviously am not because I can’t even remember the names of the birds! It was a great boat tour though! There were 3 lighthouses.  The second lighthouse had most of the puffins and assorted seabirds.  We stopped there for a good amount of time.  The last one I think was called the Egg Rock Lighthouse (someone from Maine please correct me).  It had seabirds, bald eagles, seals.  So awesome!

Just remember if you read the temperature to be 28 Celsius, expect 8 Celsius, k? Bundle up and bring those windbreakers and scarves if you have to.  Bring mitts or gloves if you want to take pictures.  I didn’t bring all that and I was so cold! Thank goodness I had a zip up cardigan and layers.  I still needed that blanket to keep me warm! Just in case, you think about doing this!  Its worth every penny though!


The recap of the last day of my Maine Trip should be on Monday but since this post was slightly long, I have a part 2 for Day 4 for tomorrow instead! Remember to check back (especially you foodies)! 🙂

MAINE DAY 3: Portland Waterfront and Meeting a Blogging Friend!

After going to bed early on Tuesday night and having a relaxing morning to check out of our hotel in South Portland, we had a few things planned for the day as we made our way over to Bangor to check into our second hotel.

Our first stop was to the Portland Waterfront.  We never made it to the actual waterfront I think but from where we walked, it was pretty nice 🙂 Here’s some of the stuff around that area!

Portland Waterfront

Portland Waterfront area

Portland Waterfront

Portland Waterfront

By the waterside/harbor, I think it was full of boats for the tours

Portland Waterfront

Beautiful flowers 🙂 Stood out in the gloomy skies

We didn’t put a lot of money in the parking meter so before we knew it, we had to run back to the car and not get a ticket.  Along the way, I took the opportunity to stop at Bam Bam Bakery to get myself a tea.  Tea does for me what coffee does for others.  I also asked randomly if they have dairy free baked goods and GUESS WHAT!! THEY DID ! 🙂

I got myself a delicious Earl Grey cupcake with lemon frosting!

Bam Bam Bakery Early Grey Cupcake with Lemon Frosting

Bam Bam Bakery Early Grey Cupcake with Lemon Frosting

I ate it a bit later in the day, after lunch and it was delicious! 🙂

After a few phone calls back and forth, we finally met up with fellow blogger Jonathan Hilton from Life of Jonathan. We chatted in the middle of nowhere for almost 2 hours until it started to rain so we went to have lunch in Bath, Maine. After some hectic find for parking, we ended up going to eat at a restaurant called Beale Street Barbecue.

Here’s what we had:

Beale Street Barbecue

My Dish: 1/4 Chicken with sides of fries and mashed sweet potatoes

Beale Street Barbecue

My boyfriend: Italian Sub with fries

Beale Street Barbecue

Jon’s dish: 1/4 Chicken with sides of Mac n Cheese and fries

This restaurant was pretty good. I really enjoyed my chicken and it was all done pretty good.  My boyfriend also loved his Italian Sub.

Jonathan is an amazing person who is now not only a blogging friend but an actual friend! He’s super nice and so insightful. I learned a lot from the stories he told about his job and life and all that.  He is definitely an inspirational person! 🙂 Before we left, we had to take a picture together!

Tranquil Dreams meets Life at Jonathan ;)

Tranquil Dreams meets Life at Jonathan 😉

I know I’m short.  5’4 to his 6 feet (I think)! Haha! Some of you may have seen his version of this same picture over at his site which I did share on Facebook. I know a few of you are my Facebook friends.  Doesn’t matter! Its the same one and he wrote a post about it where you can find right HERE! While you are there, you should check out some inspirational posts that he has there also 🙂

He did give us a little advice to take the longer Scenic drive to Bangor.  We took his advice and on our drive we went through some pretty cool towns.  I was fumbling with everything so I didn’t really take any decent pictures.  We did manage to stop to rearrange some things in the trunk and search out stuff, bathroom breaks, that sort of thing.

My supposed "trespassing" through a parking lot of a lodge inn...

My supposed “trespassing” through a parking lot of a lodge inn…

If I did trespass, I’m sorry! *blush* but I’m a tourist and I don’t even remember the exact location of where this was…

Our second stop was a tad closer to Bangor and I realized that I had stuffed the hotel booking confirmation/itinerary in the luggage so I had to dig it out.  Well, my boyfriend did a bit of that while I went off to take pictures…haha!

2nd stop on the way to Bangor

2nd stop on the way to Bangor

Of course, my instructions are always vague so I came back to dig it out myself. Off we went after that was settled and we went off to our hotel! Let me just say, parts of it was quite scenic and nice.  This route passes through the food truck for Red’s Eats for lobster rolls.  I read about it in the travel guide but didn’t go because I didn’t want to taunt my stomach too much after the previous day’s episode.  If you are interested, thats just a suggestion I wanted to throw in.

This hotel that we booked in Bangor was out of the world.  It was so new, parts of it still smelled like fresh paint.  We took a normal King size bed room and look at the size of it!

Hampton Inn Bangor

The *almost* complete view of the room

I was pretty much at the far edge flat at the window when I took this picture.  The only things not in the picture is on the far left corner was the desk and then right in front of that sofa was an average size LCD TV.  Look at the amount of space there.  I swear, if I could still do cartwheels I would’ve done it.  Plus, everything was so nice. I didn’t take a picture of the bathroom but it was crazy huge also.  If you decide to stay in Bangor, this is a pretty affordable and awesome choice! 🙂

We rested a bit at the hotel and then went off to explore Target! WOOHOO! I love Target and also went to do some spontaneous shopping at the nearby mall until we felt hungry and went to eat at Olive Garden!  My boyfriend hadn’t tasted the awesomeness of it yet 🙂  I had Salmon and my boyfriend had pasta and garlic bread along with some delicious Minestrone Soup for both of us.  I forgot my phone and my tablet took crazy dark pictures of our food except for the drinks!

Olive Garden Bangor

Olive Garden Drinks! Bloody Mary and Sparkling Wine with Blueberry Pomegrenate (or something like that)

My boyfriend was trying to avoid the camera but hey, thats the life of eating with me.  The meal was quite delicious but I was less fun that I had expected so I couldn’t finish part of my meal.  Maybe if I didn’t eat that whole breadstick and just had a half.  It was so tempting though! 😉

Day 3 was pretty eventful and fun! It didn’t seem like we really did much but we did see a lot of scenery and had some awesome meals and met an amazing friend! Overall, it was a fantastic day! 🙂

DAY 4 was the one of the planned events I was looking forward to the most!  Remember to check back tomorrow to check it out! 🙂

MAINE DAY 1: Scenery, Hiking and Les Miserables!

Yes, we scheduled too much on Day 1.  We had to cut down on some of the stops we wanted to make on the way over.

We're in MAINE! After crossing through 2 other states before it ;)

We’re in MAINE! After crossing through 2 other states before it 😉

We did extend our drive time a little more because we wanted to avoid all the toll charges so we went onto little highways instead of the I-95.

The plan was to go on the Rangeley Lakes scenic drive and the first stop was Height of Land located on Route 17.  Lets just say, we saw one sign then it was pretty vague as to where it was…  We did end up stopping at one place with a bit of an obstructed view.

Obstructed area!

Obstructed area!

Then when we turned back, we saw the open area and we assumed that was the Height of Land.  Whether it is or not, if you live in Maine, you can tell me 😉

Height of Land

Height of Land (my assumption)

We may have cut out a lot of the Rangeley Lakes drive but we kept the hiking trail.  I really doubt the one we went to was where it was meant to be but we found it spontaneously and did the Bald Mountain Hiking Trail which was 1.3 miles long.  Thats a pretty decent length for us but man, this is not a hiking trail, ok?

Bald Mountain Hiking Trail

The start of the rocky path on Bald Mountain Hiking Trail

I was doing A LOT of rock climbing and testing out those deep groves in my hiking shoes that helped me avoid lots of tumbling.

Bald Mountain Hiking Trail

Here are the rocks! Its a lot steeper than it looks…

Plus, I was wearing jean capris…lack of foresight being the main reason.  I guess my brain was on pause at 7am on the Sunday morning.  For all of you who have done hiking, isn’t the feeling of reaching the top and getting that totally breathtaking view all worth it? IT IS! I did a 360 degree view of the scenery that we had in front of us!

Bald Mountain Hiking Trail view

On top of Bald Mountain Trail!

The walk back seemed to be really hard but it turned out to be a lot easier than I had anticipated and before we knew it, we were back on the road.

We couldn’t afford to make any more stops because we had to get to our hotel in Portland to freshen up and shower and prepare to hit the road, grab something to munch on before going to see Les Miserables at Maine State Musical Theatre!

Les Miserables MSMT

Les Miserables Program booklet and Ticket stubs 🙂

I’ve never seen Les Miserables anywhere live but this seemed a worthy choice 🙂 This show was totally awesome! Everyone did a great job and it was an amazing musical to see live! 🙂 BUT, you know as we were waiting for the show to start and during the intermission, I felt like we had butted into a town barbecue or huge gathering. Its a pretty refreshing feeling to see everyone know everyone else in the room! It made us feel even more foreign but something about it was pretty awesome also 🙂

At the end of the day, it was amazing to get back to the hotel and just rest.  We both didn’t sleep much the night before and we needed to charge up for the next day’s activities! So far Maine has been pretty great!! 🙂

Check back tomorrow for Day 2 of my trip! 🙂