Monday, 31 July 2006

Chillaxin' by the pool in Mont Tremblant, QC

Today we chillaxed! We had a leisurely breakfast and then spent the afternoon by the pools.

Gord BBQed ribs for supper.

Sunday, 30 July 2006

Hangin' in Mont Tremblant, QC

We walked to the “pedestrian village” of Mont Tremblant (about 15 minutes), which is made up of the Tremblant resort hotels, condos, restaurants, ski lifts, marina, etc., built into the mountain.

Pedestrian village

We had Blizzards (a beer with hints of ginger, orange and coriander) at La Diable, a microbrewery (we later went back there for supper).
Having Blizzards at La Diable

Then we took the gondola up the mountain. It is almost 900 metres at the top and there’s a great view.

On our way up the mountain on the gondola
We had a couple drinks on the deck of Grand Manitou,
the restaurant at the top.

They have chairs set up on the side of the mountain
so we spent some time enjoying the view

Then we headed back down to the village again. This weekend there was a Latino festival going on so we enjoyed a couple hours of tunes.

The liquor laws in the pedestrian village are very relaxed … much different from Toronto. Here you can buy a can of beer at the liquor store and walk around with it. Or you can buy a drink from a vendor and take a stroll.

Saturday, 29 July 2006

Mont Tremblant, QC

We left Toronto about 9:30 and got to Mont Tremblant around 5:30.

We dipped north just inside the Quebec border and caught a ferry, thus bypassing the traffic around Montreal. We followed the big ferry signs to get to it … only to discover it’s actually a barge being pulled by a fishing boat. But it did the trick!

The ferry between Hudson and Oka

We are renting a one bedroom condo. And it’s amazing!! Everything we need is provided, even a washer and dryer. And the tub is awesome … big and deep.

We're on the ground floor

We went for a swim once we settled in. There are two hot tubs, a pool, a lap pool and a waterfall.

Having fun at the pools!

We brought groceries with us and Gord BBQed steaks for supper on the deck. We had a bottle of wine that Mark and Monica had given us for our anniversary (thanks, Mark and Mon!). As we were eating, we saw a couple deer on the golf course we are backing onto.

After the long drive, we were happy to be here and relaxed. We’ll go exploring tomorrow!

Thursday, 27 July 2006

Siddhartha Fine Indian Cuisine, Toronto, ON

Tonight I met friends at Siddhartha Fine Indian Cuisine in Little India. We met early last year through boxing classes that Yvette used to teach.

Yvette, me and Beata
Monica, Susan and Trish

I love Indian food and hadn't had any in a while. The buttered chicken was very tasty!
I hadn't seen Trish or Beata in a long while. I've had lunch with Yvette and Susan (she works in the same building as me) within the last two months. And Monica is my favourite neighbour!
We plan on getting together every month ... next month we'll be eating Polish food in honour of Beata's heritage.

Monday, 24 July 2006

Book ~ "College Street" - Olindo Romeo Chiocca (2005)

This semi-autobiographical title looks at the childhood and teenage years of Bruno, a boy growing up in Toronto's Little Italy area. With vivid descriptions of memorable events, this once-fledgling neighborhood comes to life with stories of weddings, funerals, feasts, and processions. Revisiting an endless array of family gatherings, neighborhood girls, dinners, and covert trips to Italy, these reminiscences about the city with the largest population of Italians outside of Italy creates a lively picture of multicultural friendships.

Cute story that takes place not far from here in Little Italy.

Sunday, 23 July 2006

Toronto Blue Jays 13, New York Yankees 5

Gord and I went to the Jays' game today. I had bought the tix from our concierge service at work for only $30 each. We were in the second level.

The view from our seats

It was a great game! They closed the roof just before the game started because there was rain coming :(

During the first inning, four people arrived and had problems with their seats ... they were taken already. We're not really sure why. There were two empty seats next to us so we offered to move (so the four of them could sit together) if the attendant found us two empty seats. For offering to move, the attendant gave us a couple game balls.

We ended up sitting about five rows down ... right in the middle of about 100 Yankee fans who had been bussed in for the game! So we cheered a little extra loud ... that wasn't hard considering the Jays kicked some Yankee butt!

Teena and Gord after the game

On the walk home, we stopped at the Old York for drink (Gord had a beer and I had water) ... we like their patio.

Saturday, 22 July 2006

Czehoski, Toronto, ON

Our final Summerlicious adventure was tonight and we checked out Czehoski. Czehoski is a former Polish deli on Queen Street W that has morphed into a three floor bar/lounge/restaurant with a huge patio. I'd never been in it when it was a deli but it's really nice now ... kind of upper end.

As we were early, we started off with a drink on their rooftop Garden Patio. Gord saw they had mojitoes so had to have one to continue his mojito battle. It was okay, not great, so won't be added to his list of top three (theDrake is winning apparently). I had a bellini. They aren't at all similar to my favs at Milestones and was also just okay. But the patio is quite nice and we'll be back!

We had supper in the dining room downstairs. My appetizer was the salad of 20 different organic greens from cookstown in aged sherry vinegar and arbequinas olive oil (the dressing was a bit bland) and Gord had the white port-mushroom veloute with grilled wild mushrooms. We both had the grain-fed cornish game hen brined, then cooked under heavy things with arborio nero risotto, spring garlic oil, baby arugula. And for dessert, baked cru chocolate mousse. Very good, especially for $25 each. Czehoski has the second more expensive burger in Toronto ... $35! Fries are $5 extra!

We stopped at a couple bars on Queen Street W on our way home ... Squirly's and Done Right Inn (we've never been to either). Both had cool small patios in the back. And we finished the night watching karoake at the Gladstone.

Friday, 21 July 2006

"Menopause - The Musical", Capital Theatre, Toronto, ON

Four women at a Bloomingdale's lingerie sale with nothing in common but a black lace bra and hot flashes, night sweats, memory loss, chocolate binges, not enough sex, too much sex, and more. A joyful parody of 25 re-lyricized classic baby boomer hits, the 90-minute show features such chart-toppers as "I Heard It Thru the Grapevine, You No Longer See 39" and the disco favorite "Stayin' Awake! Stayin' Awake!". Inspired by a hot flash and a bottle of wine, writer/producer Jeanie Linders created the show as a celebration of women who are on the brink of, in the middle of, or have survived The Change.

Tonight I saw "Menopause - The Musical" - we were a group of 14 organized by my friend, Angie (thanks yet again, Angie!). There were five of us Seasons Sisters, my friend, Yvette and her sister and friends, and my friend, Deb and her three sisters. It was really funny and clever, especially to someone who is going or has gone through menopause.
Sangita, me, Chris and Angie met for supperat St. Louis Bar and Grill before the show
Yvette's friend, Kate, and her sister, Michelle, after the show.
The audience was invited onto the stage at the end
of the show to dance to the last song.
Those who went got pins ... which Kate and Michelle have strategically placed.


Deb and her sisters

Thursday, 20 July 2006

Book ~ "The Dog and I" - Roy MacGregor (2006)

From ~ From Roy MacGregor, comes this entertaining collection of essays on man’s best friend. Through his earliest moments of dog ownership, when he bundled his new puppy, Cindy, into his oversized, hand-knitted hockey sweater, to a present-day magical winter’s walk in the woods with Willow, MacGregor captures the joys, the mysteries, and the occasional if inevitable heartbreak of a lifetime with dogs. Whether it’s a hilarious guided tour through the puppy brain or the poignant final days shared with a long-lived friend—and everything in between, including some commentary on the foibles of modern dog madness—The Dog and I is an homage to a life of unsurpassed companionship and unconditional love.

A delightful collection of the author's stories about the dogs he has had over the years. Definitely a book all dog lovers should read.

Casey's Bar and Grill, Toronto, ON

Deb, Liz and I met at Casey's tonight for supper. We get together at least every three months to catch up. We started working together more than ten years ago. The company has since been sold and we've moved on.

Liz, me and Deb
Deb, Liz and I

I had chicken parm with Alfredo linguine ... it was very good. Jonathan, our waiter, talked Deb out of it and she had Buffalo Chicken Strips instead, which she enjoyed. As did Liz with her mushroom burger.

For dessert, Deb had some kind of banana cake or pie. I wasn't paying much attention because I was too busy devouring my peanut butter sundae with chocolate syrup and whipped cream (very yummy!).

Our only complaint was that the music was too LOUD and we had to YELL to talk.

Deb's husband, Ron, recently had bypass surgery ... get well soon, Ron!!!

Monday, 17 July 2006

Book ~ "15 Secrets Every Network Marketer Must Know" - Joe Rubino and John Terhune (2006)

Each year in North America, more than 13 million people participate in network marketing, selling tens of billions of dollars of goods and services. The top moneymakers in the business take home six or seven figures. Wouldn't you love to know how they do it? With 15 Secrets Every Network Marketer Must Know, you will! Written by top expert marketers, Dr. Joe Rubino and John Terhune, this practical, one-of-a-kind guide explains fifteen key network marketing principles—the core secrets to unlimited success. The principles, strategies, and tactics presented in this book will help you maximize your personal effectiveness, attitude, and behavior as you build your dynasty on a solid foundation that will ensure it will last long into the future. Based on proven, time-tested strategies and the long experience of two well-known and extremely well-qualified authors, this book is an indispensable tool for every network marketer, even those just starting out. 15 Secrets Every Network Marketer Must Know will put you on the path to real wealth with step-by-step guidance on:
  • Getting yourself into a successful frame of mind
  • Using failure as an advantage
  • Mastering self-discipline and resisting the urge to quit
  • Developing long-term goals that drive your daily activities
  • Building and finessing a great, moneymaking list
  • Developing great leaders and associates
  • Following up effectively
  • And much more

Interesting and informative book for any sales and/or marketing person (like me!).

Sunday, 16 July 2006

Toronto Blue Jays 4, Seattle Mariners 3

Gord and I went to the Blue Jays' game this afternoon. We had completed a survey after a game we attended in May so we received free tix for today's game. The tix were in the "nosebleed" section (500 level seats) ... but free tix are free tix!

We have to climb how high?
Our seats were in row 30 (7 rows from the top)

The view from our seats

We moved in the second inning to the first row of the 500 level seats, just behind first base. Much better seats!

It was a great game. We left after the tenth inning, though, when the game was tied. It was really hot (34C) and we'd been sitting in the sun for more than three hours. We went to a nearby pub with a/c to watch the end of the game.

It was Dog Days at the Rogers Centre today. Everyone was invited to bring their dog to the game. There were almost 29,000 people in attendance and 409 dogs (the most dogs since the promotion started four years ago).

The doggy section was just on the other side of the Mariners' bullpen
(between the Pontiac and Pizza Pizza signs).

If you brought your dog, you got two seats ... one for you and one for your pooch. KC would have hated it. She's not interested in baseball and doesn't like hanging out with other dogs. She was better off at home with the a/c.

Our tomato plants

When I went to Montreal in May, Gord planted a couple tomato plants for me. He hates tomatoes (I love 'em!) so it was a sweet thing for him to do. Neither one of us knows anything about tomato plants but we have been remembering to water them.

This one looks very healthy and hearty but
has yet to have flowers (which turn into tomatoes)

This one doesn't look as healthy (I trimmed off the sucker leaves) ...

... but has a ton of baby tomatoes

Both are supposed to produce beefsteak tomatoes but I'm starting to wonder whether the one that has tomatoes is actually producing cherry tomatoes. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Book ~ "Unaccompanied Women: Late-Life Adventures in Love, Sex, and Real Estate" - Jane Juska (2006)

From ~ At age 66, Juska, a divorced teacher, placed a personal ad in the New York Review of Books proclaiming her desire "Before I turn 67, I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like." Her best-selling debut, A Round-Heeled Woman (2003), vividly recounted the steamy--and not so steamy--adventures that resulted from her refusal to go gently into senior-citizen celibacy. Her follow-up begins five years (and many dates) later, with Juska still single, an "unaccompanied" woman looking for companionship and, yes, lots of sessions between the sheets. While she becomes a confidante to countless women, Juska readily admits to a less-than-stellar romantic track record. She pines for loves past: Robert, whom she desperately loved but who never loved her back (worse still, he took up with her best friend), and Graham, half her age and now happily married. She regales the reader with tales of her book signings and the testosterone-laden attendees she dubs "Men at the End of the Line." In a secondary story line, she longs for a larger home to replace the Berkeley, California, cottage she's outgrown.

I saw this book at Chapters in the new release section and it sounded interesting. And it was. It was interesting to read the day-to-day accounts of a woman almost 30 years older than I am who is still looking for love.

Saturday, 15 July 2006

New Orleans Desire Cajun Creole, Toronto, ON

For our Summerlicious adventure tonight, Gord and I went to New Orleans Desire Cajun Creole in Yorkville. We were going to check it out during Winterlicious but it was too stormy the night we were going to go.

We're glad we went. I started with the Jazzy Salad (mixed greens with a raspberry dressing and cajun spice ... a nice contrast). Gord started with the shrimp cocktail. We both had jambalaya ... nice and spicy with junks of chicken, ham and sausage. My dessert was pecan pie with vanilla ice cream and Gord had frozen cappucino yogurt. Both was also good. All this for $25 each! A great deal! I was so full afterwards.

Teena, Theresa (our waitress) and Gord
at New Orleans Desire Cajun Creole

Afterwards we had a couple drinks on the patio at Remy's, a couple blocks away. It was a great spot to people watch.

Thursday, 13 July 2006

Pink - Kool Haus, Toronto, ON

Gord and I saw Pink tonight at the Kool Haus. When we got there just before 9:00, the place was packed! I hadn't been to the Kool Haus in years (I saw David Wilcox and Great Big Sea there with my friend, Liz, when it was still called the Warehouse about ten years ago).

The Kool Haus is basically a big ole warehouse. There's no seating and the place holds a couple thousand people (the concert was sold out). We ended up way in the back in the bar area.


Me and Gord ... do you see Pink over my right shoulder?

The concert was okay, not great. I like Pink but gave it a 5 out of 10. She seemed very cold and mechanical. She saved "Get This Party Started" for her last song and left before it was over without a good-bye, thanks, etc.

Surprisingly I didn't see too many people dressed in pink. Me, I dressed for the occasion in a pink shirt and pink skirt. Ha!

Wednesday, 12 July 2006

Mildred Pierce, Toronto, ON

Every summer for three weeks, 130 of Toronto's finest restaurants offer a special 3-course prix fixe menu (lunch and/or supper) ... Summerlicious! It's a great opportunity to check out restaurants you've never been to before ... and in some cases, can't usually afford to go to.

Tonight, Joe, our property manager, treated us (the condo board) to Mildred Pierce, a fancy restaurant at the end of our street. We introduced him to this restaurant a couple months ago and he loved it. Unfortunately at the last minute he couldn't make it but he said for us to go anyway and he'll pick up the tab. So we did!

Me, Anne, Joanne and Grant

I had a fennel apple salad with sunflower seeds to start. I had pictured a leafy green salad with chunks of apple. Who knew that fennel is white, looks like linguine and crunchy?! My steak and shoestring fries were good. And my lemon tart was tasty.

Tuesday, 11 July 2006

Feather and Fan Afghan

I started another afghan on Sunday. I screwed it up so have had to pull out some rows and restart it a couple times. But I seem to be on a roll now.

The pattern is called "Feather and Fan" (it's in multiples of 18 stitches plus 2) and I thought it would be cool for an afghan.

Cast on 308 stitches.
  1. Knit 10 rows
  2. First row of pattern ~ Knit to end
  3. Second row of pattern ~ Purl to end
  4. Third row of pattern ~ K1, *[k2tog] 3 times, (yf, k1] 6 times, [k2tog] 3 times ... repeat from * to last stitch, k1
  5. Fourth row of pattern ~ Knit to end
  6. Repeat the four rows of pattern over and over and over and over.
  7. Knit 10 rows

Sunday, 9 July 2006

Book ~ "Compassionate Knitting: Finding Basic Goodness in the Work of Our Hands" - Tara Jon Manning (2005)

From ~ The 20 original-design projects included in this book range from small accessory items and gifts to wearable garments. Each project is inspired by an element of the world around us, based on a contemplative theme drawn from Shambhala Buddhism and Eastern arts or, in some cases, Western notions of the magical and mindful. The unique projects featured in this creative new book invite readers to develop significant and satisfying connections to their projects, the knitting process and those for whom they knit. Knitters can deepen their relationship with the craft and explore how it inspires compassion and connection with the basic goodness in the world.

Interesting selection of patterns with sidenotes of instruction, the folklore of aran stitches, etc. There are colour pictures of the projects at the back and the patterns don't seem too difficult.

Book ~ "Learn to Knit" - Sue Whiting (2005)

From ~ A newcomer to knitting will welcome a true beginner's first book--especially if it can turn a them into a practiced knitter in the course of its pages. The overview of needles and fibers quickly leads to an introduction to needles, yarns, and stitches, from learning to follow patterns to putting on finishing touches. Of course, you learn quickest when you practice your techniques with rewarding projects, so you get to take on attractive projects immediately. Start with a pot holder, cushion cover, and tea cozy. Move up to a baby slipover, crib blanket, and girl's bolero. Soon you'll be finishing gift-quality wool and cotton cardigans, cotton and raglan sweaters, boot socks, wool gloves--even a handsome unisex V-neck sweater!

I've been knitting for 25 years and this is definitely not a book for beginners! I found it confusing and the explanations aren't done very well.

And though the projects sound cool, they don't put full pix of most of them and the pix are artistic but hazy. There was an afghan I was interested in but they only showed a small small piece of it and it was artistically out of focus :(

Saturday, 8 July 2006

Book ~ "The Greatest Networker in the World" - John Milton Fogg (1997)

From ~ Fogg’s parable is the story of a young man on the verge of quitting the multilevel marketing business. As he prepares to give his final opportunity meeting, he meets the individual everyone refers to as The Greatest Networker in the World. This man takes in his young counterpart and shows him the trade secrets so he too can become a successful network marketer. The young man soon learns that the trade secrets have very little to do with conventional marketing techniques. In fact, he has to unlearn everything he thought he knew about business. The new paradigm is built around one’s habits of thought and discovering that the secrets to network marketing success are within oneself. The values of responsibility, team building, and caring for one’s downline play a much more important role than competitive promotion and advertising. A critical skill for all marketers is the ability to teach people to teach others.

This book started out pretty good and had promise but it's basically a book about visualization ... if you want a house, picture yourself in the house, etc. So it definitely wasn't what I was expecting so I was disappointed.

Cruisin' on Georgian Bay, ON

This afternoon Gord and I attended a Single Horizons' event (there were 30 of us in our group) ... a 3.5 hour cruise on Georgian Bay (it's off Lake Huron ... to the east). There was a nice cold lunch included. It was a great day to be on the water ... sunny and breezy! It was a wonderful cruise ... thanks, LeeAnn!

Our route is in red
We went on the M.S. Georgian Queen

We started off in Penetanguishene
(about 1.5 hours drive north of Toronto)
Gord and Teena

My friend, Yvette, came with us

Yvette and Gord

There are lots of cottages on the Islands (aka 30,000 Islands)

Halfway ... then we headed back to Penetanguishene

We hung out mostly at the front of the boat ...
there's Captain Steve behind Gord giving narration

Teena and LeeAnn (the owner of Single Horizons)
Some of us went for a drink at Yorkies aka
The Commodore aka Brownie's afterwards