Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Book ~ "Say You Still Love Me" (2019) K.A. Tucker

From Goodreads ~ Life is a mixed bag for Piper Calloway.

On the one hand, she’s a twenty-nine-year-old VP at her dad’s multibillion-dollar real estate development firm and living the high single life with her two best friends in a swanky downtown penthouse. On the other hand, she’s considered a pair of sexy legs in a male-dominated world and constantly has to prove her worth. Plus, she’s stuck seeing her narcissistic ex-fiancé - a fellow VP - on the other side of her glass office wall every day.

Things get exponentially more complicated for Piper when she runs into Kyle Miller - the handsome new security guard at Calloway Group Industries, and coincidentally the first love of her life.

The guy she hasn’t seen or heard from since they were summer camp counselors together. The guy from the wrong side of the tracks. The guy who apparently doesn’t even remember her name.

Piper may be a high-powered businesswoman now but she soon realizes that her schoolgirl crush is not only alive but stronger than ever, and crippling her concentration. What’s more, despite Kyle’s distant attitude, she’s convinced their reunion isn’t at all coincidental, and that his feelings for her still run deep. And she’s determined to make him admit to them, no matter the consequences. 

Though her family was very extremely wealthy, when Piper was sixteen, her mother got her a job at a summer camp as a counselor.  Her mother, who didn't grow up rich, had gone to this camp and had fabulous memories and wants her daughter to experience the same thing.  Piper wanted go to Europe like her friends but soon changed her mind when she spied fellow camp counselor, Kyle.  Even though Kyle was poor and most of his family is in prison, they fell in love over the eight weeks.  Their relationship didn't survive the summer and Piper's heart was broken.

Thirteen years later, Piper is working for her father's company, being groomed to take over.  She has recently broken up with her ex-fiancé, David, who works for the company and whom Piper's dad loves.  Piper, though, still thinks about Kyle and what could have been.  Then she discovers that he is working as a security guard in her company's building and wonders if she should confront him to find out what happened all those years ago and perhaps pick up where they left off.

I've read and liked many books by this author ... but this one didn't do it for me.  I knew going in that it was a romance and while I don't mine romance in stories, I like there to be some substance besides that.  But because I like this author, I went ahead and read it.

It's written in first person perspective in Piper's voice.  The story alternates back and forth between the summer at camp and now (the chapters are labeled).  I found the characters a bit stereotypical ... an overbearing controlling rich dad, an older employee who does all he can to sabotage our heroine, the brother who was strong enough to break away from the family and do what he wants, the quirky friends, the poor boy ~ rich girl combo, etc.  As a head's up, there is swearing and adult activity.

I had a hard time believing that Piper was still obsessed about Kyle.  Piper had it all ... friends, money, education, a high-power job and even an ex-fiancé ... but she still pined over a boy she fell in love with 13 years ago for eight weeks when she was 16!  No way!  I wasn't buying it.  The Piper of today sounded just as immature as the Piper from 13 years ago, which was not realistic.

I couldn't decide who the target audience was for this book.  When it was back in the camp days, it seemed more directed to young adults.  I found it icky as an adult reading the details of teenagers Piper and Kyle making out or thinking about making or talking about making out in the summer camp.  In the "now" timeline, it seemed more directed to adults ... though it was basically a repeat of what they did and felt at the camp but in a nice condo rather than in a cabin or on rocks.

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Steam Whistle Biergärten, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had supper at Steam Whistle Biergärten, which recently opened at Steam Whistle Brewery (just south of Ripley's Aquarium).

Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, Toronto, ON

Gord and I went to Ripley's Aquarium of Canada this afternoon.  It's a fun and interesting spot to spend a couple hours.

More than 13,500 underwater creatures from around the globe are on display. Exhibits include Tropical Reefs, Atlantic and Pacific Ocean Habitats, Jellyfish, Seahorses, Stingrays, and Great Lakes exhibits and much more. The aquarium holds 5.7 million litres (1.5 million gallons) of water.

From the majestic Kelp forests of Canada’s Pacific Northwest to the spectacular colour and abundant life of a Tropical Indo-Pacific reef, to the frigid Baffin Sea to the flooding waters of the Amazon, the aquarium covers all waters of the world.

We bought tickets for 2pm.  It was a busy spot when we got there.

There are lots of small and big tanks.  There's so much to see!  Here is some of what we saw ...

Monday, 29 July 2019

Book ~ "Dear Wife" (2019) Kimberly Belle

From Goodreads ~ Beth Murphy is on the run ...

For nearly a year, Beth has been planning for this day. A day some people might call any other Wednesday but Beth prefers to see it as her new beginning - one with a new look, new name and new city. Beth has given her plan significant thought because one small slip and her violent husband will find her.

Sabine Hardison is missing ...

A couple hundred miles away, Jeffrey returns home from a work trip to find his wife, Sabine, is missing. Wherever she is, she's taken almost nothing with her. Her abandoned car is the only evidence the police have and all signs point to foul play.

As the police search for leads, the case becomes more and more convoluted. Sabine's carefully laid plans for her future indicate trouble at home and a husband who would be better off with her gone. The detective on the case will stop at nothing to find out what happened and bring this missing woman home. Where is Sabine? And who is Beth? The only thing that's certain is that someone is lying and the truth won't stay buried for long.

"Beth" is an abused wife.  She's had enough and starts planning on leaving her husband.  She spends a year stashing money away for when she takes off.  She heads to Atlanta and gets some fake ID and is able to get a job cleaning in a church.  Despite the distance, she is always looking over her shoulder, afraid her husband has tracked her down.

Sabine is a successful real estate agent with a bitter angry husband, Jeffrey, and lives in the same town as Beth.  She disappears around the same time as Beth runs away.  Eventually everyone starts looking at Jeffrey, figuring he had something to do with her disappearance.  He looks especially guilty once details of Sabine's secret life start coming out.

Marcus is the police officer in charge of Sabine's disappearance.

This is the second book I've read by this author and I liked it.  It is written in first person perspective in Beth, Jeffrey and Marcus' voices ... the chapters alternate and are marked so you know whose voice it is.  This worked for me because I liked getting to know what was going on in their heads.  As a head's up, there is swearing and violence.

I look forward to checking out other books by this author.

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Pennies, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had supper this evening at Pennies (on Strachan Avenue/Adelaide Street W) ... it's been in our 'hood for about  a year but we haven't checked it out.

It was a nice evening and we sat on the patio.

Sunday Social: Falcon Jane/Lost Cousins, The Bentway, Toronto, ON

Gord and I attended this afternoon's Sunday Social at The Bentway.  Falcon Jane and Lost Cousins were performing.

A Sunday afternoon, featuring free musical performances, cold drinks and friends. 

The Bentway’s Sunday Social series runs every Sunday from July 7 - August 25.

Join The Bentway every single Sunday afternoon this summer and listen to the City’s hottest musical acts on the Exclaim! Stage, while enjoying cold drinks on Toronto’s coolest covered patio.

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Ossfest 2019, Toronto, ON

Ossfest was today and Gord and I went (it's in our 'hood).

Nothing says summer more than street festivals in Toronto! For the fourth consecutive year, OssFest returns for a pedestrian take over of the Ossington Strip between Dundas St W and Queen St W. 

Beginning with a yoga class in the morning, followed by artisans and local businesses showcasing their goods all day. We have over 20 extended patios, music and entertainment programming all day and into the evening.

It is family friendly, dog friendly and is a fantastic way to celebrate the neighbourhood and Toronto! And people talk about it all year, excited for the next.

Ossington Avenue was closed from Dundas Street W to Queen Street W for it.

Ossington Avenue/Queen Street W

This is the fourth year for it and I've been to the last two ... it's a fun festival!  I like it because it's not too crazy busy or crowded.

There was something for everyone.  There were lots of vendors with booths on the street.  The patios were jammed (some were going to stay open until 4am) and long line-ups for food.

Friday, 26 July 2019

Burrito Boyz, Toronto, ON (Adelaide W)

Gord, Ken (Gord's son), Trish, Shawna (she's visiting from Regina) and I saw Once Upon a Time in Hollywood this evening.  Before the movie, Gord, Trish, Shawna and I met for supper at Burrito Boyz.  I think Burrito Boyz make the best burritos in Toronto!

I ordered what I always order ... a chicken burrito (small).  I got rice, a couple kinds of beans, tomatoes, salsa, corn and burrito sauce on it.  As always, it was delicious!  Gord also got a chicken burrito and said his was good too.

Rhino Bar & Grill, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had lunch today at the Rhino (Queen W/Dufferin).

It's such a nice day so we sat on the patio.

We split Mac & Cheese Balls.  They were good.  We'd get them again.

I ordered wings with medium sauce with a side of Ranch and Gord got his wings with Cajun spice.  They were large wings and we'd get them again.

Float Toronto, Toronto, ON

Gord and I went for an hour float this morning at Float Toronto on Queen Street W (at Beaconsfield).  We find floats very relaxing.

Happy birthday to me!

Many 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 17th anniversary to Gord and I!

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

Thursday, 25 July 2019

CPBI Ontario Link & Learn Golf Tournament, Crosswinds Golf & Country Club, Burlington, ON

I'm a volunteer with and on the council of the CPBI (Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute) Ontario Region. Today we held our CPBI Ontario Link & Learn Golf Tournament at Crosswinds Golf & Country Club in Burlington.

We had 52 golfers signed up and all the golfers get a gift bag with goodies donated from various companies.  I put them together on Monday.

We live in a small condo and all the goodies took up a lot of space!

Here are the gift bags once we got them set up at the registration tables at the golf course ...

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Book ~ "Then I Met You" (2019) Matt Dunn

From Goodreads ~ Lisa’s dated a series of disastrous men; Simon’s loved and lost the girl of his dreams. She’s hoping fate might intervene in her love life; he’d prefer that it stopped meddling with his. 

Today they’re meeting, courtesy of the local paper’s ‘Blind Date’ feature – but while Lisa’s looking for that elusive ‘spark’, Simon’s sure lightning doesn’t strike twice. 

Will theirs be a love that’s written in the stars or merely another mismatch written up in the Gazette?

Jess works at a newspaper called The Gazette on a feature that matches people up on blind dates and then follows up with them afterwards to see how it goes.  Lisa is Jess' friend and agrees to go on one of the dates.  She has a history of dating losers who dump her and she's optimistically still looking for "the one".

Simon is still grieving over the loss of his relationship with Alice two years ago and is happy being alone.  Will is his best friend and Jess' boyfriend.  Will tricks Simon into the blind date with Jess and Will has no choice but to go through with it.

Things don't go well with between Lisa and Simon right from the start ... they are too different and want different things.  But for the sake of Jess' column, they do a redo of the date within hours, courtesy of Jess' corporate credit card.

I've read many books by this author and thought it was okay.  I usually find his books humourous but I thought this one was a bit of downer.  I found Lisa was so desperate to find someone and put up with losers.  Despite her new "seize the day" attitude, I didn't find her overly likable.  Simon was still trying to get over his relationship with Alice and wasn't overly enthusiastic to be stuck on a date with Lisa.  He seemed to have a dry sense of humour.

It was written in third person perspective from Lisa and Simon's points of view.  The story happens over 24 hours.  As a head's up, there is some swearing.