Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tommy Thompson Park (aka Leslie Street Spit)

Gord and I have been wanting to explore Tommy Thompson Park (aka Leslie Street Spit).

We had tried in June but discovered when we got there that it's only open on weekends and holidays (we'd gone on a Tuesday).

The Leslie Street Spit is North America's most remarkable public urban wilderness. It is a 5-kilometre long peninsula, built by lakefilling, that juts into Lake Ontario close to downtown Toronto. Started 40 years ago, it was intended to be a breakwater for harbour expansion, which was not needed due to a decrease in lake shipping. Now, the Spit - as it is lovingly called by the people of Toronto - has been transformed by nature into an extraordinary wildlife reserve, where humans can find a car-free refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a quiet time amid unmanicured vegetation.

And off we went! There were lots of walkers and cyclists.

This is looking towards downtown.

They dump old hydro poles here.

We walked the loop, starting with the east trail and came back along the west trail.

Here's the wetland.

This is looking towards downtown across the wetland.

We went off the trail and walked along a path to Pipit Point.

This is looking across to the lighthouse from Pipit Point ... our ultimate destination.

And this is looking towards downtown from Pipit Point.

We headed back on the path ...

... that would lead us to a bigger path to get back on the trail.

And there's the lighthouse up on the hill!

It is an automated lighthouse at Vicki Keith Point, is one of three lighthouses in Toronto and the only active one in the city.

This is looking back at Pipit Point, where we'd just been ...

Nice view of downtown from next to the lighthouse.

And here are me and Gord ... this was about two hours into the walk.

Here's the lighthouse ...

We had brought a picnic lunch (chicken, salads and wine) and had it here sitting on the log ...

This was our view ... looking at the Toronto Islands and downtown.

We got back on the trail and headed back.

Looks like a nice place to sit and chat.

We had to cross a lift bridge on the way back.

This is looking back at downtown on our way back ...

There were tons of birds in the air ... their flight pattern was amazing!

One last look before we got to our car to head home ...

What a great afternoon!

We were there for over four hours and walked about 12.5km.

It's definitely a place I'll go back to.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Stout-Glazed Ribs

Gord BBQed Stout-Glazed Ribs for supper tonight.

He started them marinading last night.


Though they were delicious, I was surprised that the tastes of the ingredients wasn't stronger. That being said, I'd be happy if he made them again :)

Here's the recipe:

2 pounds pork loin back ribs
1 12-ounce bottle stout
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup honey mustard
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon caraway seed
Salt and pepper
Fresh sage leaves (optional)
Grilled sweet onion wedges (optional)

Directions
1. Place ribs in a 1-gallon sealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish. For the marinade, stir together the stout, onion, honey mustard, garlic, and caraway seed. Pour the marinade over ribs. Close the bag. Marinade ribs in the refrigerator for 6 to 24 hours, turning bag occasionally.
2. Drain the ribs, reserving marinade. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Pour marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered about 15 minutes or until the marinade is reduced by about half.
3. Meanwhile, prepare grill for indirect grilling. Test for medium heat above the drip pan. Place ribs, bone side down, on the lightly oiled grill rack over the drip pan. Cover and grill for 45 to 55 minutes or until juices run clear, brushing ribs frequently with marinade during the last 10 minutes of grilling. Discard any remaining marinade. Garnish with fresh sage leaves and serve with grilled sweet onion wedges, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Walking along the Waterfront Trail

Gord, KC and I took a walk along part of the Waterfront Trail this afternoon ... from Sir Casimir Gzowski Park to Sheldon Lookout and back.

The Waterfront Trail stretches from Niagara-on-the-Lake to the Quebec border, along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. The Trail includes:
  • 41 communities
  • 182 parks and natural areas
  • 152 arts and culture heritage attractions
  • 37 major annual waterfront festivals
  • 170 marinas and yacht clubs
Length:
780 km (485 miles) designated (signed)
120 km (75 miles) undesignated (signage yet to be installed and/or gaps in alignment)

Here's looking west as we got started ... we walked to just past the bridge (Humber Bay Bridge).

There are KC and Gord walking along the boardwalk ...

There's Humber Bay Bridge ...

... and we walked across it.

We sat at Sheldon Lookout for a while.

Then we headed back across the bridge.

Heading eastward ...

We were gone for nearly two hours. KC ran around like she was a puppy sniffing and having a great time! Keep in mind that she was 15 in May ... she crashed as soon as she got home.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Book ~ "Little Boy Blues" (2002) Mary Jane Maffini

From Amazon ~ In the third Camilla MacPhee Mystery, Camilla's looking forward to cutting loose at Bluesfest, a huge open-air musical extravaganza, and to seeing the tail end of her annoying office assistant, Alvin, who is finally quitting. Then the news comes from the East Coast. Alvin's developmentally challenged younger brother, Jimmy, has vanished from the midst of a holiday crowd in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Is he dead? Has he been abducted?

Sleuthing irritably about Sydney on Alvin's behalf, the always ruthless Camilla manages to make the usual quota of people froth at the mouth, including Jimmy's frantic family, forlorn friends and puzzled teachers. She doesn't spare the parish priest or even the guy at the chip stand. And naturally the Cape Breton Regional Police won't be sending her any valentines. Before Camilla knows it, all roads lead back to the big city, where a killer with everything to lose waits to create havoc among the tents, guitar-pickers and happy, swaying crowds. If Camilla doesn't sort out this whole mess, how many other people are going to die?

I love mystery novels and it's fun when they are based in Canada and/or written by Canadian authors.

Though this is apparently the third in a series, I didn't have any problem catching up. I enjoyed the writing style and didn't find that it dragged. I read it in a day (today). And I liked it enough to read the books before and after it in the series. I recommend it!

What made this book all that much better was that it was partially based in Sydney, Nova Scotia, where I lived from 1977 to 1983. Plus Camilla lives in Ottawa, which I'm fairly familiar with.

One thing I didn't understand ... Camilla was happy that Alvin, her assistant, has left for another job. Yet when he discovers that his brother is missing, she drives him 1500km from Ottawa to Sydney so he can be with his family. His family is rude to her yet she still sticks around to help. I would have jumped back in the car and said "Frig you!"

Annoyingly there were a fair amount of typos in the book ... hopefully they have been corrected in future reprints.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Keg ... then "Rock of Ages"

For our anniversary, Sister Sarah and her husband, Joey, gave us a gift certificate for The Keg. We used it tonight.

Gord started with Lobster Gratiné (oven-baked lobster meat with garlic, herbs and melted Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses).

He thought it was okay (I'm not a fan of seafood).

My entrée was prime rib with garlic mashed potatoes.

It was good and I ate it all!

Gord had Creole Chicken (grilled chicken topped with shrimp and scallops sautéed in Creole seasonings).

He thought it was good!

We mentioned to our server that we were celebrating our anniversary and he surprised us with a piece of the Billy Miner Pie (mocha ice cream on a chocolate crust with hot fudge, caramel and almonds).

We were both full so just had a couple bites.

And here we are!

We had tickets to see Rock of Ages for this evening.

In 1987 on the Sunset Strip, a small town girl met a big city rocker and in LA’s most famous rock club, they fell in love to the greatest songs of the 80s. It’s Rock of Ages, an arena-rock love story told through the mind-blowing, face-melting hits of Journey, Night Ranger, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Poison, Asia, Whitesnake and many more. Don’t miss this awesomely good time about dreaming big, playing loud and partying on!

I had seen it in May with my pal, Shawna, and had enjoyed it so much that I wanted to see it again. We were in the fifth row, right in the middle. Great seats!

It was fabulous the second time around! If you get a chance, go see it!