Sunday, 29 May 2022

Book ~ "Just Haven't Met You Yet" (2021) Sophie Cousens

From Goodreads ~ Laura's business trip to the Channel Islands isn't exactly off to a great start. After unceremoniously dumping everything in her bag in front of the most attractive man she's ever seen in real life, she arrives at her hotel only to realize she's grabbed the wrong suitcase from the airport. Her only consolation? The irresistibly appealing contents of the case: a copy of her favorite book; piano music; and a rugged, heavy knit fisherman sweater only a Ryan Gosling lookalike could pull off. The owner of this suitcase is Laura's dream man - she's sure of it. Now, all she has to do is find him.

The mix-up seems written in the stars. After all, what are the odds that she'd find The One on the same remote island where her mom and dad had first fallen in love, especially as she sets out to write an article about their epic romance? 

Commissioning surly cab driver Ted to ferry her around seems like her best bet in both tracking down the mystery suitcase owner and retracing her parents' footsteps. And if beneath Ted's gruffness lies a wit that makes their cab rides strangely entertaining, so much the better. But as Laura's long-lost luggage soulmate proves difficult to find - and as she realizes that the love story she's held on a pedestal all her life might not have been that perfect - she'll have to rethink her whole outlook on love to discover what she really wants.

Laura writes "meet cute" stories for a lifestyle magazine and has a temperamental boss.  With her mother's recent passing, she decides to write about how her parents met and fell in love in the Channel Islands and convinces her boss to let her do it.  

Before she even gets on the plane, everything starts going wrong ... she's not allowed to take her suitcase on the plane so has to check it. The contents of her purse, including about 100 tampons, fall out and a cute nice man helps her pick them up. When she gets to the Channel Islands, she grabs her suitcase and heads to her hotel. There she discovers she had grabbed the wrong suitcase but judging by its contents, the owner is the man of her dreams and she sets out to meet him so they can live happily ever after.  Really?!

In the meantime, she still has a story to write so hires a local cabby to take her around so she can recreate the pictures of her parents.  He has issues of his own but they eventually forge a friendship.

I thought this story was okay ... I was expecting light and fluffy and for the most part, that's what I got.  Everything happens over a weekend (!!).  It was written in first person in Laura's voice.  Considering she was 30ish, I wasn't buying that she was that immature to assume that from the contents of a suitcase, this was the man she was going to marry. When Laura did meet the owner of the suitcase, he was just too good to be true (I found him to be too annoyingly nice to be believable).  I did find the backstory of Laura's parents' love story interesting and how that all worked out was a nice surprise. As a head's up, there is swearing.

Country Chicken Chowder Mix, Mitchell’s Soup Company, Aylmer, ON

I made Country Chicken Chowder from a Mitchell’s Soup Company mix (they are in Aylmer, ON) for supper this evening.

To the prepackaged mix, I had to add browned chicken (I used chicken breast), an onion, potatoes, carrots (I’m not a fan of celery so I added extra carrots) and milk or cream in the last half hour (I used almond milk).

I’m not a big fan of soup but like theirs as they are good and hearty! Plus there’s lots left over for my lunches this week.

Saturday, 28 May 2022

Local Public Eatery, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had supper this evening on the patio at the Local Public Eatery (in Liberty Village).

We both ordered That Crispy Chicken Sandwich. I got mine with no coleslaw and tomato and fries and he got his with onion rings.  It was a good sandwich but there was a weird smoky taste (maybe from the BBQ mustard sauce?) I wasn't crazy about.

Something in the Water Brewing Co., Toronto, ON

Something in the Water opened a brewery and cafe in Liberty Village on Tuesday and Gord and checked it out this afternoon.  In addition to brewing beer, they also have spirits, wines, snacks and more.

I'm not a fan of really sour beers but I like their Lee River Blackberry Vanilla Sour Beer.  

It's a cute spot and the staff were friendly ... we'll be back!

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Fat Bastard Burrito Co., Toronto, ON (Queen Street W)

Gord and I picked up burritos for supper today at Fat Bastard Burrito (Queen Street W/Dovercourt Road). 

I got a big jerk chicken burrito (for the first time) and Gord got a big shrimp burrito (for the first time). There were a fun change and we’d get them again.  The jerk sauce had a bit of a bite but was tasty.

Here's my jerk chicken burrito:

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

La Cage - Brasserie Sportive, Montreal, QC

We had a team lunch today (there were 18 of us!) at La Cage Brasserie Sportive on rue Sainte-Catherine in Montreal. 

The ladies washroom

You gotta love a place that puts fresh popcorn on all the tables!  Yum!

I ordered chicken fillets and fries, which was very good.  The batter was light and the honey mustard dipping sauce was fun.

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Book ~ "One Italian Summer" (2022) Rebecca Serle

From Goodreads ~ When Katy’s mother dies, she is left reeling. Carol wasn’t just Katy’s mom but her best friend and first phone call. She had all the answers and now, when Katy needs her the most, she is gone. To make matters worse, their planned mother-daughter trip of a lifetime looms: two weeks in Positano, the magical town Carol spent the summer right before she met Katy’s father. Katy has been waiting years for Carol to take her, and now she is faced with embarking on the adventure alone.

But as soon as she steps foot on the Amalfi Coast, Katy begins to feel her mother’s spirit. Buoyed by the stunning waters, beautiful cliffsides, delightful residents, and, of course, delectable food, Katy feels herself coming back to life.

And then Carol appears - in the flesh, healthy, sun-tanned, and thirty years old. Katy doesn’t understand what is happening, or how - all she can focus on is that she has somehow, impossibly, gotten her mother back. Over the course of one Italian summer, Katy gets to know Carol, not as her mother, but as the young woman before her. She is not exactly who Katy imagined she might be, however, and soon Katy must reconcile the mother who knew everything with the young woman who does not yet have a clue.

Katy and her mother, Carol, are very close.  When Carol was 30, she spent some time in Italy and had a fabulous time and wanted to share this with Katy.  The arrangements are made and when Carol passes away from cancer, Katy begins to question her life.  She decides she hasn't been happy with her husband, Eric, and pushes him away.  She decides to take the trip to Italy alone so she can have some time to herself.

There she meets Carol ... yes, her mother, Carol, during her fabulous time in Italy and gets to know her as she was at that time, not as her mother.  She learns things about her mother that changes the way she feels about her.

I wasn't crazy about this story.  I thought Katy and Carol were weirdly close ... Katy felt that her mother was the love of her life and vice versa.  Really?  Though both had spouses (Carol was married to Katy's father), they were the loves of each other's life?!  When Katy talked and thought about Carol, it sounded like Carol was so perfect.

When Katy meets Carol in Italy, they are both 30 and hang out as friends ... Katy didn't find it odd that her dead mother is alive and well there.  I found this hard to believe as Katy didn't seem to question this.  When she finds out that Carol has a secret, she freaks out and is rude.

I didn't find Katy likeable at all.  Eric seems like a nice fella but she doesn't treat him very well and tells him she doesn't want to be with him anymore.

It's written in first person perspective in Katy's voice.  I wasn't buying the ending.  As a head's up, there is swearing and adult activity.

Monday, 23 May 2022

Belgian Moon, Stackt Market, Toronto, ON

Gord and I walked to Stackt Market  (Bathurst Street/Front Street) for supper and sat on the patio of  Belgian Moon.

My mango wheat beer was tasty ... happy hour from 3pm to 6pm had it $6.50 rather than $8.75.  Right on!

Gord ordered Chillin’ Dan Dan Noodles and Popcorn Chicken and I ordered Chili Garlic Ginger Noodles and Taiwanese Chicken. His popcorn chicken was really good, my chicken was hot and spicy and we preferred my noodles. 

Happy Victoria Day!

Victoria Day is a federal Canadian public holiday celebrated on the last Monday preceding May 25, initially in honour of Queen Victoria's birthday.

The holiday has been observed in Canada since at least 1845, originally falling on Victoria's actual birthday (May 24, 1819).

Saturday, 21 May 2022

The Painted Lady, Toronto, ON

Gord and I stopped in at the The Painted Lady (on Ossington Avenue, at Dundas Street W) this evening.

Dylan Hennessy was playing cover songs and original tunes.

Papi Chulo's Mexicana, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had supper on the patio of Papi Chulo's Mexicana (at Ossington and Argyle).

We ordered a pitcher of sangria to share and it was good.

Gord ordered an Ezquite "Street Corn" Cup and Cerviche Mixto and I ordered nachos with chicken. His dishes arrived first … huh?! Then the sangria arrived … huh!? Then my nachos arrived … and everything was cold The runny orange cheese was cold and the shredded mozzarella cheese was unmelted and still shredded. So I asked that it be put back in the oven. When it came back, it was still cold and unmelted. I was hungry and rather than send it back yet again, I ate it.

Downtown Winery, Toronto, ON

The patios are set up again on Ossington Avenue so Gord and I enjoyed a bottle of Torrontés on the patio at Downtown Winery (Ossington/Queen W) after our pedicures.

Thanks, Amy and Aimee!
Amy, Gord and Aimee

It was nice to catch up with Aimee, Amy, Carrie and Danielle!

Sekai Nail & Beauty Bar, Toronto, ON

Gord and I got pedicures this afternoon at Sekai Nail & Beauty Bar (Queen Street W/Givens Street).

My polish is Purple Purple and Gord’s is Pants on Fire! 

Thanks Jerusalem, Raven and Martha!