Tuesday, June 19, 2018

2018-24 | SURPRISE!

H’s 30th birthday is coming up, and it’s an important age, so I wanted to make sure he would remember it. Behind his back, I had planned for about 20 of our friends to meet at Speeder’s to hang out last weekend, before his actual birthday to catch him off guard. As part of the deception, I had also booked him for a nice dinner prior to his surprise birthday party. It was a way to book off his evening and get him out of the house. We went to West Oak in Yaletown:

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They’re known for serving sustainable, West Coast style dishes. I’m still not too sure what “West Coast” food means, other than certain seafoods, but we had some good mussels. There was also a delicious side of brussel sprouts bacon dish, which was made with apricots and a sprinkle of parmesan:

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You’ll ntoice the lobster tail linguine in the background of the photo above. It’s in the background because neither of us preferred it, and we would not spend our hard earned money on that again. The service was quick, and they managed to seat us on the packed patio after just a few minutes of waiting. Overall, a good experience, but I would not go back. The restaurant scene in Vancouver is very competitive, and there are plenty of other places to go for more affordable West Coast, sustainable dishes.

West Oak Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I think H had a good time at his party. He was thoroughly surprised, and did not expect me to plan such a successful event. I almost want to plan another one, just because it was so satisfying to bring everybody together for a purpose. After doing this though, I think I realize the significance of making time and energy to participate in these types of events, and really try to connect with everybody. Parties are difficult to coordinate, because everybody is busy now being adults and making a living, and how many 30th birthdays, 1st birthdays, weddings, graduations, Fridays, Mondays – DAYS in general - are left for us to actually celebrate together?

Monday, June 11, 2018

2018-23 | READY PLAYER ONE, DEADPOOL 2, SUN SUI WAH

I still haven’t tried the straws that I mentioned in the last post, but this week, I have been living life:
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Sun Sui Wah

I honestly forgot to take photos of the food until dessert (above, tapioca pudding with red bean, which looks gross but don’t let appearances deceive you). C&J kept me liquored up all the way through, and I was kept busy with eating and conversation. There were the usual dishes of lobster, chicken, fish, at a Chinese full course meal. C&J added on sweet and sour pork as one of the dishes, which was unusual because it had lychee added into it. In my drunken haze, I remember that the chicken skin was very crispy, and the fried rice and yi mein was not too oily.

Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

There were also the boiled eggs that I had no space to eat:

Sun Sui Wah

Last week wasn’t all laughs - work is still work, living at home is rough sometimes, and I can’t wait to have more space in my life. I guess I should take control, seize the day, and make space. Make every 24 hour count.

This week seems to be starting off well though.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

2018-22 | CARB LOADING

After our brief encounter with pasta at Disney last week, I craved more. This is how H and I ended up at L’Artista, in North Burnaby. We were originally going to visit Anton’s, but they had a line up out the door and we were too hungry to wait. H knew of other less popular Italian restaurants, so we walked over from Anton’s.

I had the carbonara:

L'Artista

H had the seafood risotto. I didn’t like this, because the risotto was slightly undercooked and not very flavourful, but I’m not blaming them. Risotto is hard to cook, I hear, just like fish, so I’ll try to avoid ordering this again in the future.

L'Artista

Fresh baked bread, with whipped butter:
L'Artista

Even after a full meal, we still had tiramisu. This is one of H’s weaknesses, and he deserved it after a whole month of eating healthy:
L'Artista

I don’t think I’ll come back, because the restaurant is a bit out of the way for us, and the food did not tickle my taste buds. There was nothing wrong with the food, and the service was great although a bit slow, but I think I would rather make pasta at home or try other places before circling back to this one.

L'Artista Ristorante Italiano Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I’m glad I had all those carbs before starting this week, because it was Bike to Work Week with Hub. I didn’t bike every day, and I used transit when I got too tired, but it’s a start I guess! I don’t disagree with increasing gas prices, because it will encourage people (like me) to use other modes of transportation.

I’m also glad to hear that there will be a plastic straw ban in Vancouver by June 2019!

Invested in these metal bubbletea/smoothie straws this week:


I just got them this morning, after ordering them yesterday afternoon on Amazon Prime, and I’m still super impressed with how fast it got to me. I’ll try these out this week, to see whether the bubbletea pearls can actually fit through the straw.

Straws can be purchased here: https://amzn.to/2JsZ3iv

Saturday, June 2, 2018

PRODUCTIVITY

It is currently 11AM, and I have just woken up from another nap. This may seem like laziness, but really, I have been quite productive this morning already:

     -made breakfast at 630AM
     -watched a few episodes of Brooklyn 99
     -bought reusable extra wide straws to drink bubbletea with
     -updated the firmware on my Mavic Air

Clearly, I’m trying to justify this 2 hour nap that I just took, but it’s time for lunch and I’m having my 2nd coffee of the day. What I’m really craving is a sandwich from the Earl of Sandwich:

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This was at Disney Springs, which was one of the stops along our Disney trip. We had gotten off the Norwegian Sun that morning, and I was starving after missing breakfast and all the travelling from Port Canaveral, so I got myself their original sandwich, with roast beef, cheddar, and horseradish:

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The horseradish was what attracted me to choosing this sandwich, and I’m super glad I picked this one. Look at all the beef! The bread was crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and the cheese and horseradish added just enough flavour. It was so satisfying. I wish I could have eaten another one later, but just the one sandwich kept me full until the next morning.

Earl of Sandwich Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

OK, back to being productive. 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

2018-21 | NORWEGIAN SUN 2018

Part 2 of P’s bachelorette started out in the Uber, and a very silent driver. He dropped us off at the Disney port, instead of the Norwegian port, and we walked under the glaring sun for about 10 minutes to get to the right spot. Glad we didn’t get run over. Off to the Bahamas we go!

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First thing I noticed was that there were quite a large range of ages in the passengers, lined up to check in and board the Norwegian Sun. There were some families with children, a few bachelor and bachelorette parties, and just a whole bunch of people ready to have a relaxing weekend. First thing we did was eat at the Four Seasons restaurant on the boat. Let’s start with dessert. The rose water blood oranges with blackberry sorbet were my most memorable dish:

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The large serving of nachos was pretty impressively made, with lots of cheese and chicken. A dab of guacamole is on top of the whole mess:

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I didn’t go around taking photos of all the food that we ate everyday, because it did get somewhat repetitive. All the food was good, and I didn’t get sick from (or of) anything in the 3 days that we were on board. We ate 6 to 7 meals a day, and with the package that we purchased, we had unlimited access to all the beverages! I got pretty tired of pina coladas, and switched to negroni’s and vodka soda by the last day.

The weather was not the best, and we missed one of the ports, where we had booked an excursion. Sadly, I ended up napping most of that day. It’s days like that where I wonder what I’m doing with my life… Sleep more than 8 hours?! What is the meaning of life?! I think I gotta learn to take it easy…

I don't think I'd take this cruise again, but would consider other cruises. Thanks to the very friendly Norwegian Sun crew for showing us a good time!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

2018-21 | DISNEYWORLD 2018

Last week, I left on a red eye to visit Disney World in Florida for P’s bachelorette, part 1.

We flew with United, who does not have the best reputation for customer service (referring to man who got dragged off the flight a couple of months back), so I was not surprised when one of the staff on the ground checking us in gave us more attitude than an angsty teenage girl who just got dumped. Our layover in Chicago was only about an hour, and the flight was delayed by just over 15 minutes. Considering that we had to go through customs on the Chicago side, United wanted to put us on a later flight for our 2nd flight from Chicago to Orlando. Of course we said no, because we already had tickets to go to the Magic Kingdom right after landing in the morning, and we made the unanimous decision to run from the first gate to our second boarding gate at Chicago. One of the ground crew checking us in was kind enough to offer swapping our seats to the extra leg room seats, right up front, for no extra charge, but when we got to the actual gate and asked about it, another rude United woman bluntly said that it would cost us $60 to upgrade, and that it didn’t matter if those seats stayed empty, the flight attendants might pull out a POS machine and charge us for the seat change. We tried to explain the whole situation to her, of having the short layover, and that it wasn’t our fault the flight was delayed, which might cause us to not make it on the 2nd plane. She would not budge though on the charges. When H tried to ask for her name, she rudely said, with a snide smile, “You don’t need to know my name.”

Luckily, when we went back to the gate a few minutes later, to verify the gate of the 2nd flight, another ground crew member empathized with us enough to switch our seats at no cost, and we arrived at Orlando in time to make our Magic Express bus seat reservation and enter Magic Kingdom by 11AM.

Our schedule was jam packed with rides, seeing shows, and meeting Disney characters. There was some time for snacking:

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Mickey pretzel with cheese dip: VERY salty, but once started eating, cannot stop stuffing face with soft pretzel dipped in (VERY SALTY) creamy cheese sauce. Would try to purchase cheese dip separately to take home for mac and cheese.

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Dole whip: Refreshing pineapple flavored soft serve, found at all 4 parks (I think). Watch each of the servers at different stands dispense this from their Dole whip machine. Some servers make bigger swirls.

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Turkey leg: Flavorful turkey meat, tastes smokey and very tender, falls off the bone. Carrying this around may cause caveman-like behavior. I wanted a 2nd one, but could not find it at the Hollywood park. Apparently only Magic Kingdom and Epcot serve this massive leg of meat now.

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Pasta at Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar: We tried to get into Tutto Italia at Epcot, but the hostess told me they were all booked up and that reservations were always required. Not sure if true that they’re all booked, maybe it was because I was dressed in ratty shorts and a tank top, and they had a dress code. We went next door to the more relaxed Tutto Gusto, where luckily, we were seated right away. The server was very friendly and congratulated P on her upcoming marriage. We had the lasagna and the spaghetti and meatballs, shared between the 4 of us. This normally would not have been enough food for me, I admit I’m gluttonous, but after tasting the snacks at each of the different countries around the park all day, I had enough of eating. Despite having very little appetite though, the pasta here was amazing, and we cleaned the plates off.

Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We also had a bunch of other foods at Disney, but these were some of the most memorable. The Disney standard applies even to their food!

Click here to read about P’s bachelorette, part 2.

Monday, May 14, 2018

2018-20 | LA CHICKEN

Pronounced “Elle Eh”, like Los Angeles, not “LA”, like “DO RE MI” or the French article... This chicken place is a hole in the wall that replaced a burnt down Dairy Queen a few years ago. I’ve had this chicken before, but mostly takeout at potluck dinner parties. This was my first time here!

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The dingy and dirty looking seating arrangement makes me wonder what it’s like inside… Probably not much cleaner, especially with the grease from frying all that chicken. The chicken itself was extremely crispy, and BE WARNED, it is hot! Don’t take a full bite when it’s fresh out of the fryer. The fries were really crispy too, but they were starting to get soggy after leaving them out for about 20 minutes (normal for fries, I guess). The gravy was delish. Choose the spicy option, for more flavour and not for a burning mouth feel.

L.A. Chicken Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Church’s Chicken is still my favourite.

This was the last weekend before I head out to Orlando, Florida for the 3rd time this year… I thought I wouldn’t want to go again, but I’m actually quite looking forward to it. The last few hours before leaving are tough though, what with trying to wrap things up with some last minute things. Do I really need travel insurance?