Toronto 2018: Toronto Zoo

On the first day in town, we actually didn’t go to EGLX yet but rather went for a day at the zoo. Normally, whenever we go to zoos, its pretty much a quick max 4 hour experience but Drew had mentioned that he was set for a full day there and other than a short lunch break, Toronto Zoo did have a lot to see and we stayed for about 7 hours. The highlight for Toronto Zoo which ends this weekend is saying goodbye to the Giant Pandas, who happen to be the first pandas born in Canada.

Toronto Zoo is pretty huge. It covers a lot of different continents. Due it still being in the winter schedule, it had a lot of empty spots so some areas like Africa was just a walk through the place and then checking out the pavilion. I think that is what sets it apart is that there are a few pavilions to go through for the more exotic animals and it gives it a lot more space to check out some cool birds and more.

Since this was a huge day and I have like 800 pictures or something, I’m going to trim it down to pictures that turned out well or animals that I found were pretty unique to this location.

And here you go! Not all of them are really that rare but its always a challenge to get pictures of animals because of how far away they are. A lot of really cool ones here in all the different areas plus a lot of them are various levels of endangered which really makes it worth it to see them protected. There was a ton more than what I have here from meerkats to sloths and all kinds of monkeys and a lot of fishes and frogs and snakes and other reptiles and insects. I could go on and on.

Toronto Zoo is really worth it to just see what they have. Not a lot of zoos have such a huge terrain with indoor pavilions and outside areas. It would be nice one year to visit when its the summer to see how its set up when a lot of the warm climate animals are back.

Plus, luck was really on our side for the zoo. A lot of times we would be right on time for feeding times or speaking by the carers of a certain animal. Sometimes, we’d double back and the animal would have woken up from their nap and started moving around. It was a really great time!

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TV Binge: Zoo (Season 1, 2015)

Man, do I have a few TV Binge segments to post up! I have been trying to catch up with TV series quite a bit. I guess its all in the heart of just taking a little break from movie reviews and changing the pace a little.

Zoo has had my attention for a while. I finally decided to give it a go when I realized it had a Season 2. As I was watching it, news came out that it hasn’t been airing well.

Lets check out the first season and see!

ZOO (Season 1, 2015)

zoo poster

Creator: Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Jeff Pinkner

Cast: James Wolk, Kristen Connolly, Nonso Anozie, Billy Burke, Nora Arnezeder, Henri Lubatti, Carl Lumbly

Zoo is kind of peculiar. The premise itself is viable. In fact, it was what draws me to watch this in the first place. It is adapted from James Patterson’s novel with the same name. I am searching up that novel soon and hopefully see how the source material works. As mentioned before, Zoo is based on a thriller by James Patterson about a scientist in South Africa that realizes that his father’s preposterous theory may actually be the reality of violent animal attacks around the world. This brings together this young scientist Jackson, his friend and safari guide, Abraham, veterinary pathologist Mitch, journalist Jamie and special agent Chloe. Together, they follow the abnormal animal attacks to try to figure out what is the problem and find a solution.

Zoo

Zoo has some good moments but it is wrapped up in some weird acting and dialogue and some bad effects. Although, in all its bad quality, it still pulls me in especially with some decent characters and plotlines about the theory behind the world turning around and nature fighting back. That part is done well enough. I won’t give a hard time to the effects too much. For one, it always seems that TV probably has much less budget and it isn’t really about it. If you did make it to the season finale, that last scene was just simply ridiculous. It was a great last episode until that happens and I’m on the fence about what to expect in the next season.

Zoo Season 1

However, TV shows grow based a lot on charactera. If we can like some of them at least. There are a few here. My favorite goes to Abraham, played by Nonso Anozie. He was funny and honorable and at times, his one liners were great but he also has a sad backstory. Coincidence has it that Billy Burke is in this as the veterinary pathologist. And I saw this right before the Fantasia screening of Lights Out (review HERE) so he meant more to me in there. Billy Burke seems to fall into the character of Mitch Morgan. He plays the awkward smart guy who is torn down from being too egotistical before and keeping it on the down low now but trying to survive. His character develops quite a bit over the entire season and its probably why he appealed to me more. The other characters suffered a little, even if Jackson (played by James Wolk) is the main lead here or Chloe (played by Nora Arnezeder) or even Jamie (played by Kristen Connolly). Actually out of all this, Kristen Connolly is the familiar face as she was in Cabin in the Woods.  Honestly, her acting and her role is pretty good. Jackson’s character is a little hard to grasp. His character has a lot to be desired and while he is the main lead, he seems to make a lot of frustrating choices and gets lost in the situation. I’m sure that is deliberate. However, the funniest part that would make me eventually laugh at is that wide-eyed look from Chloe’s character whenever she would get nervous or scared or threatened or angry. Her eyeballs looks like it’ll pop out of her eye sockets. I appreciate a good eye expression but that is taking it a little too literally. However, other than that little part that entertained me slightly, Chloe is a strong character and keeps everyone together. She becomes rather likable.

Zoo

What does grab attention the most in Zoo is the creative use of the animals gone wild. It highlights the situation around the world from their mutated intelligence. There is a secret in there but I’m staying away from it so that there aren’t spoilers. However, the way these animals react at times are chilling to think about. One scene in particular is probably the cats in the neighborhood all sitting in a tree and not getting down. There a lot more of these from bears to wild dogs to bats and much more that now for one have learned to know interspecies communication. Its some crazy stuff. If it wasn’t for the over-exaggeration of certain bits, this series is a definite winner.

There’s something here and I really hope it has the time to build up the series and attention because it seems to be heading in the right direction. I’m looking forward to catching up to Season 2 eventually.

What TV series have you been binge watching lately?

Saguenay, QC: Centre d’observation de Falardeau

The last day of Saguenay was for the Centre d’observation de Falardeau.  Its a observation centre for animals.  They  hold only a few of certain animals but they take very good care of them.  Right when you go in to the reception hut, they have a bunch of baby animals there. You can pet some of them and some are in their cages depending on how interactive they are.  I really wanted to get a chance to pet the tiger cubs but they already outgrew that stage so it was the first weekend where they were back to just viewing.  But thats okay, I still got to pet baby kangaroos and baby raccoons. One day, I’ll get to those baby tigers and have a chance to pet them…one day, it’ll happen! 😉

There’s really nothing to say about this observation centre or we can even call it a zoo to a certain extent.  Its amazing to see actually pretty happy animals (or at least they look that way) and healthy.  They all look excited to see everyone thats there and they live in a fairly decent amount of space for them to roam around.  It should give them a natural habitat sort of feeling. It was a very memorable experience.

Without saying anymore, here is a portion of the pictures that I took there.  A lot were behind cages (like bears and tigers, etc) so I just gave up on showing those pictures because its not clear enough.

Saguenay has a lot of beautiful things to offer and this observation centre goes right along with everything else I’ve done here.  They actually have another zoo that I went to last time in St. Felicien which is more of a zoo and bigger.  Its also worth the visit and I invite you head over to check it out if you missed it back in 2012 right HERE! The most epic moment goes to my distant staredown with a wolverine.

I’m falling really behind with a bunch of this travel stuff.  I still have stuff to post up from Hong Kong.  Hopefully,  I’ll manage to do some catching up and sharing a bit more of my travels this year throughout September 🙂

Have you gone on your vacation yet? Where did you go? Are you a fan of zoos? Which was your most memorable zoo visit?

Granby Zoo and Baby Invasions!

Granby Zoo has been around forever.  My first visit was when I was in Grade 2, 8 years old and thats 20 years ago (almost).  It was open before that.  Over the 20 years, I went a few years back as well with my boyfriend and till now, there have been a lot of changes. They’ve been getting a lot of new animals and setting up nice events.  Last summer’s highlights was their acquisition of red pandas. Now, if you’ve been following me since 2012, you might have read about my Hong Kong trip and my love for pandas, giant and red ones.  They both are mega adorable!

granby zoo entrance

Granby Zoo entrance

Back in February, Tuango had this deal on Granby Zoo and my boyfriend and I bought it.  This winter’s theme was Baby Invasions.  During certain times in the afternoons, the visitors would get to watch the feeding of these babies and learn a little bit.  There were obviously 3 very cute red panda babies, baby yaks, baby Amur Tigers and baby snow leopards.

Before we get to that, there were lots of animals to see. First up was the elephant and giraffe pens.

Granby Zoo Tutume

Elephant pen

And then as we walked around, we saw the Snowy Owl perched on the arm of one of the animators.

Granby Zoo Snowy Owl

Snowy Owl

And we had Africa which was pretty much indoors and heated viewing huts.

Granby Zoo

Baboons

Granby Zoo

Python

Granby Zoo

Hippo

This hippo was really hard to capture due my height so I had to stand on the kiddie steps and had my boyfriend keep me from falling.  I’m pretty happy to get a decent shot of it 🙂

Back outside, we saw little llamas walking around.

Granby Zoo

Black and White Llamas

This is only a fraction of what I saw.  Some of those huts had pretty bad reflection and the pictures weren’t too good. Moving along to our highlight: Asia.  Why? Because thats where all the baby invasion animals were. Honestly, I only managed to catch the red pands really well. The others were all enjoying their naps.

Granby Zoo

Baby Snow Leopards sleeping in their hut

Granby Zoo

Adult Snow Leopard getting taunted by a visitor

 

Granby Zoo

Baby Amur Tigers and parent napping

As for the yaks, I didn’t get a good shot as they were behind high fences.  But, I do have a whole lot of red pandas to offer 🙂

And then during feeding time, we realized that there was supposed to be four but mom was not there. Dad was though and he ate with the kids.

Granby Zoo

Dad Coco and his kids eating

Can you tell which is dad, called Coco?

Yup! He’s the one with the nice fur.  Coco is 10 years old, which is actually approaching the last few years of a normal red panda’s life cycle which is usually 14 years in habitats, but he is in great health.  Plus, you also have to be very proud of him because apparently female red pandas are fertile one day in a year and he caught that day and had these little three panda cubs 😉

I took a million pictures of them.  Its a different feeling to be watching them in an actual outdoors habitat unlike in Hong Kong where its set indoors. I never knew they loved snow so much.  The cubs especially were running around in the snow and everything.  It was SO CUTE!!!

That was the only feeding we managed to catch because it was really cold and with my constant pulling my hands out to take pictures, it got even more chilly.  I am quite happy that I managed to end the day with some awesome maple taffy.

Granby Zoo

Maple Taffy

I’m guessing its a pretty Canadian thing so I don’t know how many people actually have tried it.  I totally love it! I usually try to have it once every year. This time was slightly messy, which was actually a somewhat funny story but things worked out and I did manage to eat it without getting frostbite on my hands 😉

That was my day! We couldn’t get to all the feedings sadly because we had to take care of a few things in the afternoon before the stores closed but it was really fun!

Do you like zoos? Which zoos are near where you live? 

The Awesome, the Great and a Bit of the Other Stuff!

I almost didn’t do one of these because of my friend’s wedding recap.  What can I say? That really took a whole lot of energy.  I just feeling revived now and well, something else is up, but we’ll get to that in a little bit! 

Lets start with some awesome, shall we? 🙂

For one, I started and finished the first season of Orange is the New Black!

Orange is the new black

I didn’t know what to expect from this but man, it was pretty good. I breezed through 13 episodes in the last 2 days or so, on and off between living my life.  Its been bringing on some late nights.  Probably shouldn’t but its just so good.  There are some good laughs and some pretty good twists but I have to say, I saw the season finale, like the last 5 minutes, coming from the beginning of the episode.  There’s a whole lot of foreshadowing in this series.  Still, they have some good characters! I’m looking forward to season 2, at least I believe I read that there will be one 😉

I’m really behind with TV series so I’m slowly catching up! I haven’t quite decided what to watch next yet.  Probably get back to some recommendations first before doing more series watching.  We’re nearing the end of recommendations month and its been pretty shameful.  I haven’t watched as much as I wanted.  Life just got so busy but I’m going to try to make it up in the last week. 

Yesterday (Saturday), I met up with one of my friends to go check out the Expo Manger Santé! Its basically a exposition with stalls from different same and big retailers on healthy foods and just a healthy living and all that. I’ve been meaning to implement that into my life so I felt like it’d be cool to go there.  

Expo Manger Sante

Expo Manger Sante

I came home with a bag full of pamphlets and business cards.  Those are my faves all compiled for you 🙂 

For a lot of you, this might not be a big thing but if you don’t know, I’m lactose intolerant (and a pretty serious one that recurred a few years back with my IBS) along with a whole bunch of sensitive dietary limitations.  At this fair, I bring your attention to first L’Ancetre because they have a product which is lactose free cheese.  And second exhibition is Rawesome which allowed to eat my cheesecake.  I haven’t eat either of those things in almost 6 years! I LOVE THAT STUFF! I’m serious, that was one of the happiest and most awesome moments of my life. 

I’m telling you right here! Your health is the most important thing and never take it for granted because you don’t want to be like me.  To cut out the things you love most in life is pretty hard.  I may be simple that food makes me this happy but it does 😉 

I have plans to visit some of these restaurants also.  My friend kept going on about Aux Vivres and they have this super delicious Dragon sauce.  There’s some pretty nice concepts and some cool healthier options for my baking adventures which I’m going to look into. It was an educational and fun expo. 

Snowstorm

Oh and well, whats great was that yesterday’s supposed 15cm of snow storm was way less. I’m ready for spring any time. Winter, please get the memo 😉

Today has been really great also! My boyfriend and I had gotten these coupons for Tuango for Granby Zoo to see their Special Babies event.  

granby zoo entrance

Granby Zoo entrance

I have never gone to Granby Zoo in winter and today was pretty chilly especially in the outskirts.  We spent a good few hours and and took a bunch of pictures that I’m going to sort through. I’ll have a post up for that tomorrow 🙂

Something else is that we’re going to sign for the official transfer of our new place this coming week so a lot of it is coming down to figuring out the final details.  Earlier today, after the zoo, we headed to check out some liquidation stores to see if we could get an idea of deals on appliances and stuff we could use.

20140323_192046

 

Also, we went to get some paint color combinations and whatnot and spent time putting together what we want to use for the rooms. Those are all of the choices that we have for the house.  We have a good idea what to do but now its just getting the house and seeing if its actually a good match 🙂

Okay, that was my weekend but whats one of my posts without some randomness! 

Some funky flowers grew from our old plant

Some funky flowers grew from our old plant

My cat in her spot!

My cat in her spot!

Anyone know what those flowers are called? My mom has tons of plants but we never know what the actual names are.  Its kind of funny.  We’ve had this one for as long as I can remember too.  

Wait, so far we’ve all been in the awesome and great territory so a bit of the bad creeped in.  The ridiculous stye has returned in a mild format and I’m hoping to employ every possible way to get rid of it before it gets worse.  If you don’t remember, I had to go have a small cut/operation to get rid of it back in September and November.  That was REALLY painful, so I’m going to try my best to avoid going through that.  Hopefully a new year also brings some better luck. So I went out and got myself a bunch of stuff including finding back that antibiotic drops my opthamologist prescribed me if this happened again.

20140323_204427

Wish me luck… I’m going to stay positive! It sucks but life goes on!

I never leave on a negative note so here’s some music! 🙂

Enjoy! Hope you’ve all had an absolutely awesome weekend!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective

This week’s photo challenge is about perspective: post a photo which is not what it seems to be. Make sure you share what the photo actually is of in its caption!  For those who are looking for an extra bit of challenge, show us two photos, each one showing a different angle or interpretation of the same subject. – Weekly Photo Challenge

I love to do zooms or take different angles of the same thing, especially with a lot of architecture.  Okay, I just love to take pictures of whatever.  If something catches my eye wherever, I’ll probably walk around and take multiple shots. Thats just how I am!

When I first saw this challenge theme, the first place that popped in my head was my visit to Parc Safari around my area.  They are extremely famous for their glass tunnel that goes through the living quarters of the lions and the tigers. Tigers are my absolute favorite because I’m one of them, since I’m born in the year of the tiger and all 🙂 But I like cats of all sorts in general!

Parc Safari

Lions from afar near the glass tunnel

Parc Safari

Right under the sleeping lioness in the tunnel

Parc Safari

Pacing Tiger on the glass tunnel from afar

 

Parc Safari

Pacing tiger from the glass tunnel

Another place I love to go take pictures at is the St. Joseph’s Oratory.

St. Joseph's Oratory

St Joseph’s Oratory from the bottom of the hill

St. Joseph's Oratory

The cross on top from the side paths

Only a few comparisons from different angles of the same area! 🙂

Here’s my take on this Weekly Photo Challenge! Check out other perspectives HERE!

Trip to the Zoo

On the fourth day of my trip, we went to the zoo, Zoo Sauvage de St-Felicien.  It was definitely a big zoo with lots of animals.  The zoo layout was formed based on different regions, there was  Arctic, Mixed Forest, Mountain, Mongolia, Asia, Mini Farm, and Nature Trail Park.

So we can see these animals: (first row) Fox, Wolverine, Przewalski Horse; (second row) Polar Bear, Demoiselle Crane, Bald Eagle, Grizzly Bear (last row) Japanese Macaque (feel bad for the one who lost that camera)

What made this zoo special was its caged train ride which lasted about an hour to drive along paths right next to certain animal habitats and showed us the evolution of civilization in the region and the significance of the Borealis Forest.

On the top you can see what its like to look out from the caged train and after that is one of the settings.  The following are some of the animals on the trail, they were really close so I rarely had to use any zoom.  First row has the baby prairie dogs and the adult prairie dog.  They were all over the plains area.  After that in the second row is the reindeer, musk ox and black bear.

Another highlight was the fact that they had feedings for most of the animals there which allowed everyone to see a lot of the animals come out of hiding so we could understand a bit more about each of them as well.  We didn’t see all the feedings but we did go to a good few animals.

The feedings we caught was for Japanese Macaque, followed by the next one with the Amur Tigers.  These are just the males though, the female is with her newborn cubs and could only be seen on live camera inside their resting area, since the baby tiger cubs were just born in early June.  After in the second row, we can see the Lynx patiently waiting for food, then the cougars and finally, we saw the Polar bear feeding.  The polar bear had just jumped off the boulder into the water to get the fish and shaking himself afterwards.

This zoo was so amazing.  I would definitely consider going again especially since the ticket also included two short movies.  One of them is a documentary and the other was a multisensory movie which was quite fun and entertaining.