Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Nando's, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had supper this evening at Nando's (on Queen Street W, just west of Tecumseth Street).  They just opened a couple weeks ago.

Nando’s first opened in South Africa in 1987 and soon became famous for its Portuguese style flame-grilled chicken with a PERi-PERi (African Birds Eye Chilli) kick.

We sat on the patio.

Barnstormer Brewing Co., Barrie, ON

Gord and I had lunch today at Barnstormer Brewing Co. ... Gord loves craft beer and it's one of the reasons we spent two days in Barrie.

Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Barrie, Barrie, ON

Gord and I are off this week and took a mini vacation to Barrie (about 1.5 hours north of Toronto).  We drove up yesterday and are heading home today.  Gord's into craft beer and there were a couple brewpubs he wanted to check out here.  Plus they have a nice waterfront.

We stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites.

Here's our room ...

Happy birthday to me!

54 years ago today ... at 2:12pm ... I made my arrival into the world at the Grace Maternity Hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Here I am at my first birthday party ... celebrating with cake and a washing machine.  Good times!

Happy 14th anniversary to Gord and I!

Ken (Gord's son), me, Gord and Sister Sarah
July 26, 2002 ~ 5:30pm
City Hall, Toronto, ON

Monday, 25 July 2016

Redline Brewhouse, Barrie, ON

Gord and I had supper this evening at Redline Brewhouse.

It's a nice big space.

They make their own beer onsite.  Gord loves craft beer and that's why we went there.

Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery and Tap Room, Barrie, ON

Gord and I spent some time this afternoon on the patio of Flying Monkeys.  Gord's a fan of craft beer and he likes their beer.

They renovated and as of the beginning of July now serve food.  It's changed a lot since I was last there. It's really fun!

They sell beer onsite along with swag.

Barrie Waterfront, ON

Gord and I have this week off and drove to Barrie (about an hour and a half north of Toronto) this afternoon for a mini vacation ... we're heading home tomorrow.

After we checked into our hotel, we caught the bus downtown and walked around the water front.  It was a warm sunny day and the breeze from the water felt nice.

We started on the west end and walked eastward.  It's a lovely waterfront.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Toronto’s Festival of Beer, Toronto, ON

Toronto's Festival of Beer was happening this weekend at Exhibition Place and Gord and I went today.

We've never been on a Sunday and it was fun ... in the past, we've gone on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The Festival boasts almost 100 brewers featuring more than 333 beautiful brews from all over the globe. From lagers to stouts, fruit beer to ales, we have something for everyone! The Festival features more than just beer; there are several non-malt based beverages available including cider and ready-to-drink beverages! Our food vendors are all well known Toronto food purveyors creating some great grub for you to enjoy! Whether you’re looking for oysters, poutine, or a burger, you’ll be able to find the perfect thing to satisfy your appetite!

We had a meat pie from The Pie Commission and it was delicious!

There was lots of space and things to do for everyone.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Book ~ "This Is Not My Life: A Memoir of Love, Prison, and Other Complications" (2016) Diane Schoemperlen

From Goodreads ~ For almost six turbulent years, award-winning writer Diane Schoemperlen was involved with a prison inmate serving a life sentence for second-degree murder. The relationship surprised no one more than her. 

How do you fall in love with a man with a violent past? How do you date someone who is in prison? 

"This Is Not My Life" is the story of the romance between Diane and Shane - how they met and fell in love, how they navigated passes and parole and the obstacles facing a long-term prisoner attempting to return to society, and how, eventually, things fell apart. While no relationship takes place in a vacuum, this is never more true than when that relationship is with a federal inmate. 

In this candid, often wry, sometimes disturbing memoir, Schoemperlen takes us inside this complex and difficult relationship as she journeys through the prison system with Shane. Not only did this relationship enlarge her capacity for both empathy and compassion but it also forced her to more deeply examine herself.

In 2006, Diane met Shane when she began volunteering at a hot-meal program in Kingston. Shane was on an escorted temporary absence from a minimum-security prison ... he was serving a life sentence for second-degree murder. Within a few months, she and Shane, both in their 50s, became friends.  A year later, they were in love and in a relationship.

Shane was eventually paroled and moves in the Diane.  He was extremely needy and manipulative and totally disrupted her live.  She makes her living as a writer and he was constantly calling her and giving her the space she needed.  He was mean and nasty and didn't treat her very well at all.  Forty-nine days later, he moved out, they broke up and Shane eventually ended up back in prison.

Within a year, though Shane was still in prison, they were back together.  She felt that they didn't have the support they needed for their relationship to succeed and this time they did.  But the relationship failed again and they broke up, this time for good.  For Shane, it seemed to be all about him.  He'd spent 30 years in prison and didn't know how to act in the real world and wasn't willing to change and adapt.  Diane put up with a lot, not wanting to give up on the relationship or Shane.  She saw a lot of good in Shane and they had some good times but it seemed like the bad times outweighed them.

I found this to be an interesting story.  Not only did it give insight on Diane and Shane's relationship but also on the Canadian prison system and what's it's like to date an inmate.  I liked the writing style.  As a head's up, there is swearing and adult activity.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Trius wine club - July 2016

Our July Trius wine club box arrived today.

Gord and I have been members of the Trius Wine Club for over ten years.

Every month, 2 bottles of our best wine will be delivered to your door along with Winemaker Craig McDonald’s tasting notes and Executive Chef Frank Dodd’s recipes.

The cost is $46 a month and it's only available in Ontario.

Here is the newsletter ...

Here's what we received ...

  • Trius Divine White (2015) - $19.95 - the recipe included it's paired with is Brussels Sprouts with Apple and Bacon
  • Trius Red (2014) - $22.95 - the recipe included it's paired with is Beef and Stilton Cornish Pasties

Seacliffe Inn, Leamington, ON

I spent last night at the Seacliffe Inn in Leamington (about 3.5 hours SW of Toronto).

It is across the street from Lake Erie.

Here was my room ...

The bed was comfy