Toronto: Casa Loma 

Toronto Comicon weekend was super busy. However, being the troopers we were, we managed to meet up earlier and skip out on one panel and made our tourist attraction visit to Casa Loma happen. Drew and I had originally planned for a Friday afternoon visit but realized it would be too rushed. Seeing as we did see Beauty and the Beast the night before and it was snowing in the morning when we arrived, it was the perfect memory of the Beast’s castle in real life (although it isn’t the same).

Casa Loma

The entrance for Casa Loma is $27, which might seem a little steep but you will soon realize as we did, that it is pretty worth it, plus this castle was used for quite a few movies as well.

Here is how we visited Casa Loma!

The First Floor

Casa Loma

Casa Loma

Library

Casa Loma

The first floor of Casa Loma highlights the elegance of the building. You walk in to an open high ceiling area. Its something of a reception area. Down the hall are socializing areas. The billiard room was closed but on the other side, there was a beautiful library and a conservatory with a beautiful glass dome. There’s some fun facts about the office which has two secret passages: one that goes to the second floor and the second to the basement. The basement pretty much takes us to a vault. However, these are only two of the supposed three secret passages, however the third hasn’t been found.

Casa Loma

Secret Passage upstairs

The Second Floor: Guest Room

Casa Loma

The secret passage way leads up to a corridor next to the Guest Room which has a Chinese theme which is exactly up my alley, of course. This was an incredibly pretty room and very reminiscent of a lot of Chinese antiques. We only did this room which lead to stairs going up to the 3rd floor. We’ll come back to the second floor later.

Casa Loma

The Third Floor

Casa Loma

Walking up to the third floor was the Queen’s Own Rifle Museum which showed a lot of the history behind the war and military facts. It lined the hallway and leads into the Formation Room. Walking to the other end was the Group of Seven Room and other spaces. The military portion was one that Drew liked a lot whereas I’m not quite into this sort of history. However, the third floor does lead up to the two towers which we could look out the windows and also a lookout on one for a nice vantage point. Plus, it was snowing so it made for some nice scenery.

The Towers

Casa Loma

Casa Loma

Casa Loma

A little eerie at first to walk up those stairs and then decide where to go and then keep going up on these super twirly narrow steps but the view is quite beautiful. It is a gloomy day so while Toronto would make a fantastic backdrop, perhaps the nicest part is capturing a different view of the castle along with its details.

The Second Floor (other half)

Casa Loma

Casa Loma

Casa Loma

Going back down to the other part of the second floor was mostly the suits for the Lady and Sir Pellatt who owned this castle. They had some super elegant bathrooms (which I didn’t show here) and some fantastically charming bedrooms. Just to say, its important to note how far our bathrooms, especially showers have gone since then.

The Tunnel

Casa Loma

Lucky for us, Drew was around and we headed down to the Lower Level where we happened to realize there’s still one really long tunnel with a Castles and Dragons medieval theme with paintings and animations projected on the walls which seemed to tell a story. It was pretty cool to see. This tunnel lead to The Stables which also had an antique car exhibit and carriage room along with the garage and potting shed. The stalls actually had two horses which I didn’t capture any clear enough to add here.

Casa Loma

The Movies

Casa Loma Casa Loma

There’s at least a dozen more films that were shot here but I can’t show them all here. These are some of the pretty popular ones. As I waited for Drew at the gift shop, I ended up watching all the clips of which movies and what rooms were used.

Would you look at all that? The pictures I used are only highlights and my favorite rooms. Plus, I only had my phone and not my DSLR so the pictures aren’t quite as refined. They still turned out alright. Casa Loma was a pleasant surprise with everything it had and we didn’t even watch any of the scheduled performances so if we had more time, there is still more to do, like going in the summer and having a chance to visit the gardens.

Have you visited any castles?

Toronto ComiCon 2017 Recap (with guest: Drew’s Movie Reviews)!

Toronto ComiCon 2017 was from March 17 to 19th at Metro Convention Centre. I headed out to meet up with my awesome blogathon co-host, Drew from Drew’s Movie Reviews who met me over there (just like last year). We stayed for a few days and picked up the weekend pass for ComiCon. Call it our little celebration for a successful blogathon, maybe it’ll turn into a tradition of some sort. Who knows, right? Our highlight was the ComiCon so this post will focus on some Q&A panels and cosplay, etc.

Before we start, what type of person would I be if I didn’t bring Drew into recapping Toronto ComiCon with me! When you see K, that’s for myself in normal font and D will be for his italicized part! 🙂

Day 1

K: First part of getting to Toronto ComiCon is to get there. Of course, I always forget that I can just keep Google Maps open so we didn’t get lost. There’s a huge apology somewhere here that I need to tell Drew how I got us lost a few times. I have a horrible sense of direction, something that I’m sure is super apparent, at this point. However, after a little detour, we did make it there! The first mission is coat check and picking up our tickets/weekend bracelet.

Toronto ComiCon

K: Next was a few hours to scour the Artist’s Alley and other Exhibitors as we wait for 7:30pm to start lining up for Q&A panel for Ray Park. We chatted with some artists and it was super inspiring and cool.

D: Visiting Artist’s Alley early was kind of an impromptu decision. It ended up working out really well because it allowed us to get a good idea of what prints and items we wanted to purchase, which helped us be more focused in the Alley on day 2.

Toronto ComiCon

K: Ray Park’s Q&A panel started a little late because of a delay in the photo ops but they came in with the whole troop (as you can see in the shaky video above). Ray Park was a cool panel. He was pretty insightful and kept it light-hearted as he shared little thoughts on G.I. Joe playing Snake Eyes and Star Wars playing Darth Maul among many questions on the floor. The best part was how he talked about he went into martial arts because he wanted to be in movies.

D: Ray Park’s panel was so much fun! He was such a laid back guy. One of the things he talked about that I really enjoyed was his experience as Darth Maul from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.  Star Wars is a huge passion of mine so getting to listen to his experience on playing one of my favorite characters was exciting.  He also talked about his early experience and how he got involved in martial arts and acting. It was a great start to the convention.

K: Actually, this ended quite in time for us to head back to the hotel, drop off stuff and grab something quick to eat and head out to see Beauty and the Beast for the late showing. Toronto movie viewing experience was definitely eventful. I almost saw a fight break out despite having assigned seating. Anyways, my review of Beauty and the Beast will be out on Thursday. 🙂

Day 2

 K: We started Day 2 with Casa Loma which I’ll share about tomorrow. By noon, we were back at the ComiCon for three panels in a row.

Toronto ComiCon

K: The first was the Gotham panel with David Mazouz (playing Bruce Wayne) and Sean Pertwee (playing Alfred Pennyworth).  This panel was pretty packed and we were sitting further back so the picture isn’t great however the talk itself was. I’m personally a fan of Sean Pertwee. He’s done some great roles and I love his take on Alfred. I haven’t quite caught up with Gotham (halfway through Season 1) but seeing how these two get along and respect each other as actors despite the age difference and experience really shows true professional and bond that spills outside of the show.

D: I have a bit of a confession to make, as much of a comic book and Batman fan as I am, I have yet to watch a single episode of Gotham.  Do not fret, it is very high on my to-watch list. This panel was purely Kim’s idea but it was a good one. After seeing these two at the panel, I am even more excited to watch their show now. They spoke with such respect for each other that is hard not to want to watch and see how that translates onto the screen.

K: Maybe I can bring Drew in to do a TV Binge of Season 1 eventually, if he’d like. 😉

Toronto ComiCon

K: Next up, immediately after the Gotham panel, was a first look at an upcoming web series called Deep Six. These are the cast and  crew. Its written about a story set 250 years in the future where both military and civilians are sent to scout out a planet to live on. Its focus is on the realistic take on the space aspects. I chose this one out of a whim and well, it turns out Drew knew the producer/director and some of the cast that wasn’t there on this show and it turned out to be a very cool choice to go check this out.

D: It sure was! As Kim mentioned, I knew of the producer/director, Davin Lengyel, from my absolute favorite web series, Space Janitors. I kind of lit up and started raving to Kim about how awesome of a series it is (sorry Kim).  However, the best part was I got to meet Davin after the panel and talked with him for a few minutes! The conversation made my day, which Kim didn’t hear the end of (again, sorry Kim).

K: To be fair, Drew had to endure some stupid moments during the night before watching Beauty and the Beast when I fangirled over “Something There” and then made an odd stupid giggle at my phone when I looked at the picture of the new little Animators’ Collection plushies when we were lining up, plus my amped up caffeine non-stop talking…if we’re talking apologies, I think I need to join in also.

Toronto ComiCon

K: After a small 30 minute window to grab a late lunch and take a quick walk, we went to line up for the last panel of the day with Agent of SHIELD’s Brett Dalton who plays Grant Ward. I’m going to be honest that I moved pretty much at the beginning of the series launch of this one and at my new place, I don’t even have bunny ears so no TV and that cuts out a lot if it isn’t even on Netflix so I’m about ten episodes into Season 1 and never had the chance to progress but this panel was Drew’s choice. However, its great that there was a ton of spoilers (in a way) which helped to understand the context but also some fairly entertaining questions like one about which Disney prince Brett Dalton wanted to be and which was his favorite Disney Princess, considering he was wearing a Mickey sweater, I’d say he is a big Disney fan also. Entertaining and fun doesn’t even begin to describe how cool this panel was.

D: Yes, this was my choice.  I am such a huge fan of the show that I couldn’t pass it up. Like Ray Park, Brett Dalton was very chill and easy going.  He answered every question with a mix of humility and humor.  Everything from how he began acting and what he liked best about his character on Agents of SHIELD to whether he was Team Cap or Team Iron Man. I even had the chance to ask a him a question! This was definitely a highlight panel for me.

K: The rest of the day at ComiCon after this was pretty much picking up the stuff we had seen and deciding what we wanted before heading out for dinner. You can check out my haul post HERE. Also, we managed to stop to take some pictures of cosplayers which you can see above. I’m obviously the more knowledgeable Toronto person (although I don’t venture to Downtown Toronto too much) but we ended up going to Asian Legend (which I’ve talked a ton about on the blog before already).

Asian Legend Asian Legend Asian Legend

K: My first actual complete meal over the two days. It was really satisfying plus it was a nice chat after we filled our bellies. We managed to get a few hours to relax at the hotel before heading out again for the Toronto ComiCon Cosplay After Dark party at Brassaii Lounge. It was nice to enjoy some nice music, grab a few drinks and converse in a loud voice. 😉

D: I left the dinner decision to Kim and she really came through! It was my first time eating at Asian Legend and everything was absolutely delicious.  I will be sure to look for one around me because it is definitely a place I would eat at again.  Besides my conversation with Davin Lengyel, the afterparty was another highlight of the trip for me.  We drank, we danced a little, and we had some great conversation as bloggers and friends.

Toronto

D: Our meet-up in Toronto last year was fun but I think this year was even better. I mean, as movie bloggers, we actually went and saw a movie together! The trip was well worth the travel and I thank Kim for being my guide through the city. 🙂

K: Toronto ComiCon was a definite success in my books. It was fun and complete as a blogger meet-up thing. Getting the chance to literally geek out and make friend with the same passions absolutely is one of the best parts of being a blogger over the years . This time was much cooler than last year because we managed to even grab a movie and went to a party other than just going to the main event and doing a touristic attraction.

Hope you enjoyed the recap of Toronto ComiCon. This new take was a cool way to put it together.
Before I wrap this up, I’d like to virtually raise a glass to a successful trip and most importantly, friends!
Okay, I’m getting mushy now…so, remember to drop by tomorrow for the look at our visit to Casa Loma.

Toronto Comicon Weekend Haul!

This past weekend was a fantasticLly awesome one as I headed out to Toronto for Comicon (just like last year). Its been a crazy process getting back and having everything cleaned and put away and getting back on routine so today, I am doing a simple one to talk about my haul.

I will take a few days this week (probably two) to share the Toronto experience because just like last year, as something of a reward or whatnot, I met up with Drew to hangout and visit Toronto and Comicon together. And just like true movie bloggers, we got in a movie as well amd even made it to a party (comicon related) as well as a sightseeing location. Lots of fun and a packed schedule but I think it turned out pretty great. Look for those posts while I get those new segments finalized (something I ran out of time last week for).

Lets check out what I picked up both before and at the Toronto Comicon.

Before the Comicon, I had a little bit of time before Drew arrived so I went out for a little shopping. I had a few stores on my list to hit and they were:

HMV
(because they are closing out of Canada so lots of discounts)

HMV

Disney Store
(never been to the one at Eaton Centre)

Disney Store Eaton Centre

David’s Tea
(spontaneously remembered  was running out at home)

David's Tea

Toronto Comicon was a weekend thing and we bought the weekend pass so we went on Friday to scout out the show and then did most of our shopping on Saturday after all the Q&A panels. Here’s what I picked up:

Movies & Video Games

I got a super sweet deal for Uncharted 4 at Iceman Video Games which was also there last year. I’m pretty happy about it. They had some awesome choices and selection.

However, I really want to talk about Raven Banner where we stopped by to look at horror movies. They were fantastic and we had a great talk about horror indie films in general. Not sure they’ll read this post but that chat was a highlight of the ComiCon for myself. It really defines why we do this movie blogging thing and meeting people who are equally passionate about this. It was a fun and enlightening chat.

Novel and Comics

Toronto Comicon

Let’s look at this from left to right.

  • Toronto Comics‘ Yonge at Heart is a Canadian comic author that sets in Toronto. This is a free preview to get a snippet of their comic for their Kickstarter campaign running right now till beginning of April, I believe. I saw them on Twitter before the trip and really liked the art style and the idea of using a Canadian setting. You can check out the Kickstarter here.
  • Remy’s Dilemma by Andrew Snook is a novel with this plot below from their website. A part of selling your work is being passionate about it. And Andrew does a great job at it. To be honest, his enthusiasm as he told his story and the joy he had recounting the story was so genuine that I could feel the awesomeness in the story. I haven’t started reading it yet but this looks like a fun journey with Remy especially when its set in two provinces in Canada that I’ve visited numerously  and live in.

The world is coming to an end. That’s what Remy believes, anyways. While double-checking his lifelong to-do list to ensure he has led a rich life, he realizes he hasn’t come close to completing his goals. Panicked and short on time, Remy embarks on a chaotic road trip to complete the most important item on his bucket list… – Snook Books

  • Moonshot & Titan from AH Comics: Moonshot is an Indigenous Comics Collection (Volume 1) with various stories from different artists. With the purchase of this one (inspired by my peaked curiosity after my playthrough of Never Alone a few weeks ago), they also gave the gift of their graphic novel Titan: An Alternate History, which is great because then they saved me having to decide on which one to get with my purchase.

Artwork

Foiled Art

Foiled Art makes this beautiful little pop culture pieces. They do a lot with gold or silver (or both for limited edition) but I honestly thought that this galaxy one looks superb. It really brings out the art and pops. This is going right over my work station at home because its so fantastically awesome!

Chasing Artwork

Howl’s Moving Castle by Chasing Artwork

I love love love Miyazaki art and Chasing Artwork is a great artist. There are two comics out currently which I passed up on but these pieces are so atmospheric and creative. I actually stood there pondering which to get. He also has one for Nausicaa which just took my breath away. I’m personally a huge fan of Howl’s Moving Castle so this one is great.

Archie Dan Parent

Betty and Veronica by Dan Parent (with autograph)

For those of you who don’t know (which you might not because I don’t review comics), I love Archie comics and really I haven’t looked much at the newer ones although they do look cool but these traditional ones. I know I have a few volumes sitting in a box after we moved. I just can’t remember where so I couldn’t take it with me but Dan Parent was there who does a ton of these illustrations. I particularly loved this print and look he signed it also. Consider me a little star strucked when I saw him because I wanted to say a ton and just couldn’t.

The haul could have been so much more. There was so many great writers and artists that the choice was hard to make. However, I retain the idea of picking up stuff from the ones that I skipped but has an Etsy shop or other form of online retail. I have to say this was a pretty successful weekend!

What do you think about the haul? Anything that catches your eye?

My Weekly Adventures: The Big 3-0 (Recap & Announcement)!

I’m 30 today! Honestly, that’s all I have to say about that!

Back to our normal recap, its my birthday so I figured, I’d have an announcement sort of thing at the bottom.  Deal is that, this was supposed to be like a big thing but I didn’t manage to get everything decided and figured out.  More details at the bottom with a little message.

Lets start with some recap!

Toronto Comicon & Ripley’s Aquarium

Toronto Comicon

Call it a blogathon celebration or whatever, I ended up meeting up with Drew (Drew’s Movie Reviews) to check out Toronto Comicon and Ripley’s Aquarium.  You can find those posts HERE and HERE! It was a ton of fun.  Now I’m on a comicon high so I already have Ottawa Comicon set and I’m debating on Montreal Comicon, but that is in July so the guests are exactly set yet.

Aside from that, I’m pretty hyped up about finding more cool events to go to.

Baking Frenzy & Baking Through Disney

Pinocchio Cupcakes

I got back to baking this past two weeks and had two recipes go live! One was for the delicious Hong Kong style Egg Tarts (recipe HERE) and then the second was the Baking Through Disney Cupcakes for Pinocchio (recipe HERE). I have to say that I’m geared up to get back on track with this stuff.  The only deal is to organize time so that I am motivated.  With winter leaving us and spring bringing in a little warmer weather and some more sunlight between the spring showers, I’m already working on some ideas for Fantasia.  The review for that should go up soon.  I’m trying to stay on track to do one movie and one recipe every month.  Its a pretty challenging goal but one I plan on managing to do this year.

Dinner and Karaoke with my Best Friend

On Good Friday, I met up with my best friend who has been incredibly busy so I haven’t seen her a lot.  While I was waiting for her, I went to Pharmaprix/Shopper’s Drug Mart and found Kombucha there! I’ve seen it on TV before, I think it was on Dragon’s Den and I’ve been wanting to try it so I grabbed the Rosehip and Hibiscus one.  It was absolutely a delight.

Kombucha

After meeting up with my best friend, we went out to grab a little something to eat.  I took an appetizer as I wasn’t too hungry and she took a club sandwich that was a lot bigger than she expected it to be.

Reuben's

Reuben's

We headed off to some long overdue karaoke for 2 hours afterwards and headed home.  I did do some recordings of it but decided to not because the moment I upload it to Youtube in a video, its going to have some copyright issue so I rather not have to deal with that 😉 We sang some Chinese songs and a few English ones.

Here was two that I’m not so good at but I have a lot of fun singing. This is possibly one of my fave Karen Mok songs and well, Jordan Chan’s song is ridiculous but I used to like rapping although my voice is not anywhere near as tough as it should be so it sounds pretty unconvincing but it has a nice tune/beat.

Potluck and Game Night with Friends

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The past weekend, we had a nice gathering with friends.  We made some ribs and those cupcakes up there.  Everyone made delicious food from salmon to roasted veggies to chicken to salads and chicken wings.   It was a great time talking and laughing.  Then we sat down to learn how to play Pandemic together.

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We played a total of two games.  The first game took us an hour to set up and work through the rules and get an idea of what was going on.  The second game went much smoother and we defeated the pandemic although we were at 6 outbreaks and incredibly close to losing again. Teamwork and strategizing, that helped us out quite a bit. 😉

ANNOUNCEMENT & THANK YOUS!

people

I’m writing this pretty much around midnight jumping into March 31st.  I had debated to just give myself a day off from the blog but turning 30 is a big deal to many people.  I’m not so affected by it.  I still feel pretty young at heart and a lot of my achievements and self-satisfaction comes from doing the blog so I wouldn’t want to spend it any other way than with all of you lovely people who drop by today, yesterday, from the beginning of this blog, even in the future.  Nothing means more for my birthday than saying my thank you to all of you! I take all my opportunities to tell you all how much I appreciate all of you.  I’ve made a ton of blogging buddies here and its just been an amazing experience that I would never trade for anything.  With that said, I’ve been thinking of getting rid of the wordpress.com and owning a domain.  As much as I love Tranquil Dreams, I do want to get out of the “klling” thing because thats hard for anyone to find this place.

The big announcement is that I’m working on a new name and a new banner and moving over to a new domain.  Its a plan in progress.  The hardest part is deciding on a name but I think I might have something that works now.  I’m still getting some feedback from friends.  Once that is decided, I’m heading straight to put together that banner and deciding the next step of where to go from there.  I’m excited for this change and I hope that you all will have fun with it as well.  I’ll have another more formal announcement when things are about to wrap up with possibly a launch date.  I’ll make sure that everything is going to shift as smoothly as possible for everyone.  Decisions, decisions, decisions: thats where I’m at right now.  I’m sorry that its not done yet but I promise its a work in progress.  The hardest part is that Tranquil Dreams is so versatile and finding something that fits it all in and has a nice ring to it.  Work in progress! We’ll get there! I’m getting a lot of help from friends and my husband.

THANK YOU SO MUCH! THINKING OF WHAT TRANQUIL DREAMS HAS ACHIEVED IN THE LAST 5 YEARS MAKES TURNING 30 FUELED WITH ENERGY! 🙂

And to wrap things up…

Cute Kitty Time!

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Upcoming:

  • Netflix A-Z: N-?? (taking this segment a little easier as I catch up with a few movies in preparation for some upcoming movies and work on some backlogged content)
  • Disney Project: Fantasia Review
  • A few book reviews

Have an awesome day!! 🙂

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

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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! 🙂