South Burlington Haul

Its been a few months since our last haul. I’m trying to cut my expenses in the past while. Overall, its been alright, plus it was a nice chance to give ourselves time to declutter and whatnot. However, you will see that this one is mostly groceries.

If you didn’t drop by because of My Weekly Adventures teasing it earlier today, I went to South Burlington, Vermont for a quick day trip since my friend had to run an errand there and I had discovered something at Trader Joe’s and it was the closest one that we have. Give it to buying food to make me cross into the border, it always does the trick.

We made a few stops, some for his errand and others just for checking stuff out which ended up being three spots that I had a little haul from.

First Stop: Trader Joe’s

Trader joe's

  • Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter
  • Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookies
  • Trader Joe’s Organic Super Fruit Jam
  • Trader Joe’s 72% Swiss Dark Chocolate
  • Trader Joe’s Cold Pressed Juice – Red
  • L’Arabar *2 (Apple Pie and Cherry Pie flavors)

Since I did go to Trader Joe’s, I tried to pick up  mostly things from their own house brand since the items are guaranteed to not only represent what it offered but also unique to their brand and I couldn’t get it anywhere else. To be honest, a lot of cool products there that were organic and had very healthy ingredients. I’m definitely impressed. As of now, I’ve only tasted the Cookie Butter, the Red juice and the Super Fruit Jam, plus the cookies. Cookie Butter is absolutely delicious as well as the Super Fruit Jam which has officially gotten me back into the jam mood. The Red juice was odd at first with this overpowering beet and celery flavor, not surprising since it has those two ingredients to start but then a few more sips and you get the acidity from the lemon juice and the apple juice. There are some other fruits and veggies in there, ginger and cucumber if I remember correctly also are listed. I can’t say it tastes bad but it tasted healthy because it is. As for the cookies, I’d expect that is what the cookie butter is made from and they are quite delicious. Its supposedly a traditional European cookie which are thin, crisp cinnamon flavored from Belgian. I’m a sucker with cookies with this texture and just enough cinnamon-y and this was pretty great.

Second stop: Barnes & Noble

barnes and noble

Next stop was Barnes & Noble. I’ve only ever heard of Barnes & Noble since we don’t have those in Canada. I love books so bookstores are fascinating to me. Barnes & Noble is pretty special. Not only did I walk into the front door and see a bunch of hiking books on sale, which is right up my alley for more hiking destinations. I walked around and saw a whole area of unique board games and then around there was also an entire cabinet full of Studio Ghibli items and collectibles. I wanted to take them all home but of course, I didn’t. Instead I went to the back and saw some cool puzzles. The ones I liked were in a 4 pack so I ended up getting it since the price was pretty economical also. I haven’t done puzzles in a long time but it is something I want to get back to.


Last stop before heading back home was to check out the Walmart. Its not really like we don’t have Walmart at home but Walmart in the US stocks brands and items that we don’t have. My favorite is to unfrosted Pop Tarts. They had a limited choice in this Walmart but I still appreciate it. There are usually cool Oreo flavors that we haven’t gotten yet. I think Lemon is in Canada but I grabbed it in case and then caught a glimpse of the chocolate creme Oreos for my husband. Toss that keeping fit out the window for a moment, right? And then I saw the Ritz Summer Limited Edition, which had me curious but I found out that it is really just four individually packaged Ritz crackers but its essentially the same thing. Finally, it hit me at Walmart that I’ve heard so many people talking about La Croix and I said I would go down to get some and then I only remembered at Walmart so obviously got it there. They only had two flavors and I decided to try the Cherry-Lime Flavor. Its actually not that bad. I’m not a huge fan of Sparkling Water but I did enjoy it especially since cold water is not my jam but flavored cold water is decent. Hopefully I’ll remember to check out Target or something when I head down to Plattsburgh which is in the planning since its also not that far away.

That’s it for this haul! 🙂
A quick and not that expensive trip, even considering the crazy exchange rate.
Some nice cool discoveries and I do like Trader Joe’s so if I ever come across another one, I’ll definitely check out more items.

ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center

This morning I’m taking you on a nice little tour of the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington, Vermont. Its a nice little museum located at the waterfront.

ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center

ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center

It introduces us to a bit about the area around Lake Champlain. They have rock formations that are there to touch.  Aside from that exhibit they have one called Frog World which shows frogs from different parts of the world. We were lucky to be able to get tthe tour and for one of the frogs we saw them being fed.  Followed after by exhibits and exhibits of the water system on the Lake Champlain and the amphibians and reptiles in those waters. There were also aquariums with different types of fishes in this body of water as well.

I left a link on the top when you click on the museum if you want to check out what exhibits there are there.

The petting pool was not as awesome as the one in Saguenay (check it out HERE) but they had a real horseshoe crab which is rare. I personally loved the frog tour and all the animals were super cool and this one has cool exhibits.  They offer different tours during the day if you could afford the time to stay a full day.  We had to drive back home or else we would’ve seen the frogs they had breed at ECHO.

The Frog World features the frogs up to the Vietnamese Mossy Frogs.  My favorite was the Leaf Frog.  Doesn’t it look so evil? Animated evil masterminds should use that. haha! Whats really cool about the Vietnamese Mossy  Frogs is that if you look closely, there’s actually two of them.  One is piggy back on the other and when we were looking at it.  The main one was trying to shake off its burden.

In turtles, the Eastern Snapping Turtle was super cool.  I wouldn’t want to be stuck in a pond with him but man, he looks so grumpy in an adorable way.

Who would’ve thought I’d get so interested in frogs, right? I love places that also focus on the environment in their own areas.  There’s always something new to learn about it.  Mostly because our dear country has already closed down our own of the Great Lakes and St Lawrence area.  Sad but true…

However, back to happier things, this one was awesome and if you’re in good driving distance, head over and check it out! 🙂

Happy Friday! Is it snowing where you are? Because that white stuff is still dropping today…

Restaurant Review: Henry’s Diner in Burlington, Vermont

I didn’t really research any restaurants before I left for Burlington with the girls.  All I knew was that I was in for a fun and relaxing weekend and left it up to my awesome friends.  Of course, they did their homework and they also knew what they wanted to do.  One of them gave me a heads up that she wanted to go eat at a diner.  I’m alright with that.  I’ve never eaten at a true American diner.  She suggested to this one, which is really close to our hotel, relatively speaking, its like in our backyard.  Of course, the main reason wasn’t how close it was, she told me that apparently former US president Bill Clinton, while he was campaigning in Vermont, ate there every day. How’s that for a fun fact? I never double checked that fact so if its wrong, its not intentional, feel free to correct me.


So after we went back to the hotel after Panera Bread, we found everyone awake and functional, so we decided to head over to grab our brunch.  *ahem* I already told you that this trip was about pigging out.  We also use these meals to figure out the plans for the day.  Henry’s Diner had a wait time of about 5-10 minutes where we had to wait outside and enjoy the nice spring weather (which was lacking in Montreal).  During this time, we stood and looked at the  Easter Weekend Menu.


After we sat down, we had a bit more time to reflect on the menu to see what we wanted while observing the size of the plates. I decided to order Vermont country ham.

Vermont Country Ham

Vermont Country Ham

 Other than not really digging the potatoes, this plate was totally delicious.  I managed to eat everything and was super full from it. If there was just two bone in hams pieces, then it would have bit a lot more manageable 🙂 Still, it was really good!

Crabby morning eggs benedict

Crabby morning eggs benedict

One of the girls took this and this one has crab cakes under the eggs.  The only issue she had was that the poached eggs aren’t supposed to be runny but these were a bit undercooked.  However, there were no other complaints so I assume it was alright. A very original take to a traditional dish, I’d say, no? Or do other breakfast places do this?

20130330_104315Next up, one of the girls got a lighter meal which was waffles with two sausage patties.  No complaints here either and I think, the sausage patties were a new experience for her, which is always fun 🙂

Veggie Omelet

Veggie Omelet

Looks delicious, right? I think my friend who took this enjoyed it.  Although we were all hitting our threshold for over eating.. haha!

We almost wanted to come back for another meal.  Henry’s Diner is extremely delicious. The service was pretty decent and the wait time wasn’t too long.  Its a cute little diner and I found it fun.  The first place that made me want to test out my self-portrait function with my phone while waiting for the food.


Do you have any cool diners near your place? Suggest away! It’ll give me new travel ideas 🙂

This really makes me think about checking out all those cool places that Guy Fieri checks out in his show that we were watching on this trip..haha!

Morning Walk in the Waterfront Park, Burlington, Vermont

Good morning to you all! Happy Wednesday!

Let me take you on a morning stroll in the Waterfront Park in Burlington Vermont.  Sounds like a nice refreshing plan?

Right when we walk in, the first thing we have to cross is the train tracks.

Train tracks extending into the distance

Train tracks extending into the distance

This actually reminded me a little bit of home because Old Montreal has a very similar scenery before we hit its waterfront also 🙂

As we walk in, we cross, we pass next to ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, where I will take you tomorrow but its a cute little glass building.   As we walk in, we can already see the water extending in front of us.


Right in front we have the big boat, and as we turn to the right, we have a little area where we can go down near the water.

Ducks in and getting out of the cold water

Ducks in and getting out of the cold water

Lake extended out into the distance

Lake extended out into the distance

Dogs playing in the water with the branches floating around

Dogs playing in the water with the branches floating around

As we get back onto the high platform, we go down a boardwalk. There`s not a lot of people and its pretty calm and relaxing to walk down here…



Along the path, if you want to enjoy the view and just have a casual chat.  I did that with my friend, while the other girls went to take pictures on the train tracks.  There are this cute chairs.  I used to have a similar swing-y chair in the backyard when I was younger but in metal.


Just lightly swing back and forth as we chat about little things here and there and catch up with friends, this is such a perfect place for it.

After about spending 30-45 minutes here, we went off somewhere else.

We came back the next day of course and thats where some of the more gloomy background pictures were taken.  Nice place for a morning stroll and a great way to start the day 🙂 We felt all refreshed afterwards!

How about you? Do you like to take walks next to waterfronts? Where was your favorite place to walk along? Do you have something near water near where you live?


Restaurant Review: El Cortijo at Burlington, Vermont

After a long night, we were all exhausted and got back to shower and rest at 7:30pm at the hotel room.  Not much of a partying group, eh? Well, after everyone was sitting in bed at 9pm, we turned on the TV and landed on the Food Network. It was at the show called Diners, Drive-ins and Dives (or something like that) hosted by Guy Fieri.  We are now forever glaring at this Guy Fieri, something like a love-hate relationship.  My friend started craving all the food she saw him showing on the show at the different joints he visited.  It was then we started searching up the restaurants to see which ones were open.

We eventually ended up jumping out of beds and changing quickly and heading out to get ourselves some tacos at El Cortijo.  On Fridays, this little restaurant is open till 1am.  Which worked perfectly for us 🙂

Here’s a little bit of the menu!

El Cortijo Menu

El Cortijo Menu

First up we ordered some drinks.  I went with my craving for Sangria and got a red one.  The girls decided to get a margarita.  One chose Pomegranate Margarita while the other one chose an orange flavored one.  I only got my own in pictures though.



I’m telling you this.  If you go to places and you suspect people are diluting your drinks and giving you more fizzy soda or fruit juice than actual red wine, this place is for you.  Mr. Bartender at El Cortijo made this drink in the way that all I really tasted was the red wine.  The girls also had high alcohol content in their margaritas and started getting a tad tipsy by the end, which made for a lot of laughing loudly.  We all learned that we are all happy drunks, if ever we did get to that point.

So did decide to have a light late night snack and took the solo tacos which is just one taco pretty much. The girls eventually took another one because it was going to help the margaritas sit better and get a bit of the tipsy feeling away.

Solo Tacos

Solo Tacos

I ordered the Chicken one and had to remove one of the ingredients but I think its alright. It was a pretty tasty taco although this one proved to be way messy with the sauce leaking as we were eating it.  Gotta work on those taco eating skills 😉

After sitting for an hour or so, we had to leave.  Suffice to say that Burlington downtown and Montreal downtown is very different at midnight.  This is what it looks like in Burlington!

Night in Burlington Downtown

Night in Burlington Downtown

Empty streets! 😮 Montreal is add packed with people to this scene and less space to walk and there you go.  Granted this place, had a lot of pubs and clubs and bars that had a lot of people inside and loud music blaring and a few people standing outside.  I like the different atmosphere 🙂 Plus those lights are just so pretty!

What do you like to have for late night snacks? What do you crave for in the middle of the night?

Burlington Restaurant Review: Magnolia Breakfast and Lunch Bistro

I`M BACK! Yeah, I posted up two posts yesterday because I was feeling guilty about not doing anything constructive (blog wise) on the weekend.  Anyways, I have great things for you this week.  I did PIG OUT like mad.  When I got back home, I didn`t even want to look at food, but I had my birthday dinner.  Yes, I turned 27 yesterday 😉 The border was beautiful because I had expected a 2 hours wait and it was 15 minutes instead.  The drive was fabulous!

Before I get carried away, I`m here to talk to you about the first restaurant we went to after we had arrived and settled in earlier than expected in Burlington, Vermont.  The receptionist at suggested Magnolia Breakfast and Lunch Bistro so we went off to check it out. It was a cute little joint tucked away in a corner.

Magnolia`s Breakfast and Lunch Bistro

Magnolia`s Breakfast and Lunch Bistro

The menu was pretty interesting because it featured food with gluten free and vegan options and it stated it clearly.  I was super happy when I saw a choice called Magnolia French Toast.  I haven’t had french toast in eternities and I missed it so much.  I tried to pick that but they said that the menu had just changed and that choice was no longer there and suggested the alternative Cinnamon Swirl French Toast.

Cinnamon Swirl French Toast (Vegan)

Cinnamon Swirl French Toast (Vegan)

Cinnamon Swirl French Toast sounded a lot better than it tasted though.  I believe they used some form of oat bread that had a funky taste.  I ended up drenching it completely with maple syrup before I could eat the whole thing.  I’m not one to waste food and it wasn’t totally disgusting.  However, I determined that this was the worst meal of my trip and from here on out, it is going to get better! 🙂 Just a preview of what is coming up.

Lets take a look at what the girls ate!

Bo Knows Breakfast: Oatmeal pancakes, home fries, two eggs, sausage, toast

Bo Knows Breakfast: Oatmeal pancakes, home fries, two eggs, sausage, toast

One of my friends (and past co-worker) took this plate called Bo Knows Breakfast and it consists of oatmeal pancake, two eggs, home fries, sausage and toast.  I don’t think I’m missing anything. She didn’t really enjoy it too much either.

This is the Classic with two eggs, home fries, sausage and banana bread

This is the Classic with two eggs, home fries, sausage and banana bread

One of my newer friends who works at my old job now in the position I used to have took this one: The Classic breakfast with two eggs, sausage, home fries and she chose to replace her toast with banana bread. She said that the potatoes had a weird taste to them but aside from that the banana bread was delicious and she enjoyed her meal.  Always nice to have some positive feedback, right?

Not sure..I think this is the California Omelet.  Its vegetarian :)

Not sure..I think this is the California Omelet. Its vegetarian 🙂

Her sister came along on this trip as well.  She took this one.  Looking at the menu online again, I think its the California Omelet but I’m not exactly sure.  I has to be one of the meatless choices.  Other than complaint of it being too big and she only ate half of it, she seemed to have really enjoyed it as well.

The service was a bit long because it took ages to pay and for us to leave.  The food at mixed reviews but if you drop by, I’m saying that you should try out the banana bread and the omelets.  Maybe its just our Canadian tastes are different and to us, breakfast places in Montreal are way more delicious and on top of that with more fruits on the side. Kudos to it using some organic and healthy ingredients though, the effort was noted and appreciated just not really for me.

I wasn’t particularly impressed with it but trust me, things get a lot brighter quickly 😉

**Note: This post included, if there are online links to the restaurant, I will link it to the name at the top so that you can head on over and check it out also **

P.S. I have 5 more food/resto reviews coming up this week 😉 So prepare to feel hungry!