Camping: The Food

So we ate pretty good when we were camping… I don’t know if it deserves its own blog post, but I like to have a record of what I ate so it’s getting one. On the way up in the car we were searching for a premium chip truck. We passed so many but we kept vetoing them thinking we would come across one that was even better. I don’t know what exactly we had in mind, but we did this for about two hours until we were all dying of starvation and agreed that we should have just stopped at the first chip truck we saw. Someone needed to make an executive decision there.

Anyway, we eventually stopped at the Native reserve right outside the park which had a fish truck. Stopping there ended up being the best decision because it was insanely delicious.

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The fish was apparently fresh white fish from Georgian Bay and I could definitely taste the fish more than I usually can in fish and chips, but I loved it. That tartar sauce too…dynamite. So it ended up working out.

Our first night camping we had tacos!

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Both hard and soft shells because that’s how you do tacos right. Tacos seem like they would be annoying to make camping, but they’re actually pretty ridiculously easy. The only thing you have to cook is your meat, and the vegetables are easy to chop. You may remember Evan and I had them the last time we were camping when the tarp full of rain water collapsed on Evan’s head as he was eating his taco…and I laughed about it for a week afterwards. I still laugh when I picture it.

Also featured when Evan and I were camping together last year is Ian’s fantastic camp stove.

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The BioLite! (not an ad, I just really like it!) You feed it little pieces of wood, light it, and a fan keeps it running. No propane required. Once it is hot enough you can not only cook on it but you can charge your devices or run things with the USB. It is extremely handy, and it works very well. It also has a sweet grill attachment that we tried out for the first time.

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Perfect for cooking alllll the wieners (we roasted a ton over the fire also. Bolt liked.)

And steaks. It was perfect for grilling up our steaks.

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On our second night for dinner we had steak, rice that we just cooked in a pot, and then corn that we cooked in tinfoil over the fire. It was amazing.

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That corn man. So good.

For breakfast on Sunday we had leftover steak, so we warmed them up on the stove and then cooked the old standby, bacon and eggs.

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I don’t know what it is about camping but everything you eat seems to taste better than usual. Maybe because it’s more work to make it so then it’s super rewarding when you get to eat it. I don’t know, but I like it.

Sunday was our big cliff beach adventuring day, so we brought ham and cheese wraps with us for a picnic, and then for dinner…

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Pasta with peppers, mushrooms, onions, and shredded cheddar cheese. It was SO GOOD. I remember thinking that it was the most perfect meal of all time as I was eating it. Ahhh, I love camping food!

We also roasted a ton of marshmallows over the fire, and of course s’mores happened…

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Errrrmagerrrrrd. And you know what else is really good to roast over the fire as an alternative to mashmallows? Starburst candies. I know, who would have thought. I read about it in that lame Buzzfeed camping hacks article so I brought some to try and they were awesome. The outside gets all crispy and crystalized and the inside is all soft and melty. That was the only useful information in that article. Everything else just seemed like unnecessary work.

And of course we had the chips that the racoons ate. I feel like we really did the camping food right! We were happy and not hungry, so that = success.

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Bruce Peninsula: Indian Head Cove and Grotto

As mentioned yesterday, the main reason Cyprus Lake campground in Bruce Peninsula National Park stands out is because this:

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Indian Head Cove on the beautiful waters of Georgian Bay, is only a 25 minute hike from your campsite. It’s right along the Bruce Trail so if you’re not a camper you can hike in from another route, or you can just get a day pass for the campground and park at the head of trails and hike in. It is beautiful and I really do not know anywhere else like it. It doesn’t look like Ontario, or even Canada. It looks like the Caribbean.

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The water is so turquoise and deep and clear that this area is actually the scuba diving capital of Canada.

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If you’re swimming with a mask on sometimes if you look down you can see scuba divers 25 feet below you along the bottom.

The water is not warm like the Caribbean though…it is frigid. It is ridiculously cold. It is the kind of cold that your body never really gets used to, you just get numb. It is the kind of cold that shocks your system when you jump in and makes your skin feel like it might burn off your body. It is cold like if you were to fill your bathtub with only cold water and then got in. I am not exaggerating, that is how cold it is. Everyone should just skip the ice bucket challenge and jump in this water instead. Like we did.

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We are dying. But you have to suck it up and get in because if you don’t you will seriously regret it. It is the most refreshing water I’ve ever experienced. If you have a hangover all you need to do is jump in this water and it is like everything that happened the night before is erased. And when you get out your skin is cool to the touch for the rest of the day. It’s like swimming in bottled water. I love it. I absolutely love it there.

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This area used to be a hidden gem, but it has definitely gotten a lot more busy in recent years. When I went when I was 13 with my bestie we were the only ones I saw swimming, and we were celebrities around the campground because of it. People kept asking us if we had warmed up yet. Now though, they have made the trail leading to this beautiful place a lot more accessible so therefore more people can get there. And a lot more people seem to be open to swimming there. Not such a hidden gem anymore, but it’s still awesome.

There are huge cliffs and little nooks and crannies everywhere, and if you walk a ways from the beach there is a little water cave that is open from the top.

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I think you can only access the inside from the water though. It would be difficult to climb down into there. But if you walk a bit further you come to the main attraction: the grotto. This is the view from the top of the grotto.

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It’s ridiculous!

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The best way to get to the grotto is to swim there from the beach, but it was just a bit too cold for that. So the other way is to climb down. You can either scale a pretty serious cliff face (the rock is easy to grab onto though, so it’s not too bad), or you can do what I personally think is the easiest way. You do a little spelunking.

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You climb down through that hole. It’s quite narrow. But Evan is over 6 feet and Ian is like 6’4″, and they both made it through. I was actually more worried about Dorothy, ’cause she is just a tiny minx and you really need to stretch your legs out to feel around for where you can put your feet down. As is custom for when Evan and I are doing this sort of thing, Evan goes first (;

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I promise it is NOT as bad as it looks. Once you get your body through the hole it opens up immediately.

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But you are not out of the woods just yet… It requires a bit more climbing down through the rock to the grotto area.

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But again you gotta suck it up and do it because if you don’t you will regret it. This is what awaits you when you finish your descent:

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The grotto (you can read more about it there), an underwater cave.

Inside the grotto is the same cool, clear, deep, turquoise water…

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And there is an underwater tunnel that leads to the outside of the cliffs, which lets sunlight in through the water and creates this mystical feel…

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We had our masks with us so we swam down to the tunnel opening…

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It is further down than it looks. You can swim through it and apparently it takes about 30 seconds to get to the other side, but I have never done it. I think I’d want fins. But also, the water is so freezing that I can’t be sure that I wouldn’t panic. The tunnel is also not straight either and has an upward curve to it, so you’d have to make sure you cleared that. A guy swam through it while we were there and reported back to us and said it was awesome, and I have to admit I was tempted. One day I will do it! But on this day we were fine just looking at it.

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I would say it’s at least 30 feet deep in there, and you can jump off the ledges on the side. Or you can just sit on them and have a beer as we did.

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We brought our cans back with us, don’t worry. No littering. And this would be a beautiful photo if my waterproof camera didn’t have a fail moment…

And the view from our perch:

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And from the mouth of the cave:

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To get out of the grotto it’s pretty much impossible to go back to way you came, unless you have incredible upper body strength and can pull yourself out of that hole (I am weak and probably cannot do that). So the easiest way is to climb up the cliff.

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Again, there are many foot steps and hand holds so it’s not too bad. But I did feel like I was legit rock climbing!

The trail continues along the shore to a lot of other cool rock places, but the grotto is definitely the highlight of the area. Ontarians, this is ours to discover! If you haven’t been there before, go!!! It is amazing.

Cyprus Lake Camping

Hello from the land of sporadic blogging! Oh, what else is new, eh? I am always a sporadic blogger. I honestly do have intentions to write every day (well, just weekdays, let’s not get too excited) but in the summer things are so crazy I just have too much to talk about and I can’t get it out fast enough. And then the winter is the opposite. I tend to hibernate a bit and the adventures are fewer and further between. And adventures, of course, are my favourite things to talk about (food is second, love is probably third).

So, moving on to the adventures. This weekend we went camping! And not just any old camping, we went to my favourite place in Ontario: Bruce Peninsula National Park (click on that link if you want to see how crazy beautiful it is there).

My parents took my Bestie Lisa and I (and my baby brother Eric) when I was 13 and we had such a great time that the entire experience has really stuck with me. I have been a handful of times since. For a while I was trying to go every year. I love camping, consider myself a pretty seasoned camper, and I have been to many parks in Ontario, but Bruce Peninsula is my favourite. The campsites are spacious and (mostly) private, the trails are plentiful and woodsy and beautiful, Cyprus Lake (where the campground is located) is pretty, calm, and has a great beach…but you can say that about many campgrounds. What Bruce Peninsula has that other places don’t is the clear, deep, and turquoise (and FRIGID) waters of Georgian Bay, rock cliffs, rock beaches, and a natural grotto.

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It’s truly a natural phenomenon. But more on the rocks/cliffs/grotto adventure later, let’s talk about the camping stuff first.

Evan and I went on this trip with our friends Dorothy and Ian.

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And Bolt, who was a DREAM camp dog. He was so well behaved while also being so entertaining and hilarious that he kind of blew us all away. He can come camping with us any time!

On Friday we packed up Evan’s truck and hit the road. It is nearly a four hour drive but it went by surprisingly fast and we made it to our campsite by the early afternoon. Here it is in all its glory.

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Not too shabby at all. And it is car camping so our car is on site with us, which is handy and a half. We quickly got to work setting up shop for the next three days. The tent that Evan and I used last year in Algonquin (when we got rained out) is pretty small, so since we had the dog with us we decided to get a new tent for the occasion. I found a really good deal at Walmart on this beauty.

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It is probably the most spacious tent I have ever slept in. I called it the Sultan’s Tent and I felt like I should be in there leisuring on a plush chair while Evan fed me grapes. We had enough room for a queen-sized air mattress, with lots of room on either side…

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And then a whole separate area for Bolt’s crate, our bags, other gear we wanted to store…

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AND we could stand up in there. It was perfect. My one pet peeve camping is when I am changing out of my bathing suit after swimming and I can’t stand in the tent so I am awkwardly lying on an air mattress trying to get pants onto my clammy legs and I get all frustrated and sweaty. It was so nice to be able to stand and change. You don’t realize what a luxury it is until you can’t.

We also had a sweet screened dining tent.

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Not totally necessary, but it’s nice to have around and it sets up instantly.

While we were setting things up, Mr. Bolt settled in and started stalking the squirrels, as he does.

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He lives to stalk squirrels. And I’m pretty sure they live to torment him.

After we set up our tents and relaxed on our site for a bit, we headed down to Cyprus Lake beach. It was about a two minute walk from our campsite. Last week was extremely humid and foggy and the fog was still hanging around on Friday.

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Still so pretty and peaceful though. Bolt wanted right in that water.

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We went back to the lake on both Saturday and Sunday when we (luckily!) had perfect weather and it was much more clear.

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Ian and Evan are way out there

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Isn’t the water so clear?!

I’ve never seen Bolt swim before and he was absolutely hilarious. He just bounds around and tries to eat the water. I wish I got it on video.

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Chomp chomp, yum water, chomp.

Then he comes out, gags/throws up the water he just ate, rolls in the sand like a maniac, and then runs back in and does the same thing.

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What a little weirdo. Evan calls him the furry white coconut.

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My favourite was watching Evan teaching him how to fetch. I have always thought that Bolt might be a bit too intelligent for playing fetch, like it was above him to chase some silly stick or ball. He doesn’t do it when we try in the field near our house. He just stands there and looks at us and then the stick like “what, I’m supposed to retrieve this?” But around the water he was kind of game. Evan would throw a stick into the water, Bolt would chase it, grab it, and bring it back.

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Evan pointing out where the stick is

The first time he brought it back he threw the stick into the bushes, peed on it, and then came back to Evan without it. The second time Evan threw the stick (a different stick), Bolt ran into the water to retrieve it, brought it back onto the beach, threw it down away from Evan, shook water all over it, and then went back and sat down in front of Evan. Stickless. Dorothy, Ian and I were in the water watching and we were all just dying of laughter.

But the third time Evan threw a stick, Bolt retrieved it from the water and brought it directly back to him. I think he was getting the hang of it and was actually starting to like it.

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Aside from all the swimming we did, we went hiking a lot (it’s a good 25 minute hike to the cliff beach on the Georgian Bay side). I particularly love the hiking trails around Cyprus Lake. They are beautiful.

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We hung out a lot around our site as well. Bolt either chilled out beside us on a blanket…

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Or just on the dirt.

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He was so dirty by the time we got home, although the dirt just seems to absorb into his fur and it doesn’t show. He is always snow white even when he is absolutely filthy.

We had some goooood times around the campfire!

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And I have to mention that Dorothy had the best camping chair…

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Hers would be the tiny Spongebob one. I think she should have made Ian use it.

On our very first night we accidentally left some chips in the dining tent so we woke up at 2am to a family of raccoons pigging out on those. It sounded like the Tazmanian Devil interspersed with loud crunching. Fun times.

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Can you spot that pesky little raccoon eating our chips? They remind me of Winnie (who also loves chips). Evan originally thought it was just one raccoon so he went to go into the tent and chase it off, and then realized there were three so he abandoned that mission. Instead he just took pictures of them from our tent while he laughed harder than I have ever heard him laugh before. Like doubled over at our tent door not being able to breathe. Eventually they ate all the chips and took off. We were much more careful with the food after that.

On Saturday morning we were having some issues with our camp stove so we drove into Tobermory for breakfast. It is the cutest little town, and basically just consists of a bunch of tourist-y stores around a little bay.

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It is the scuba diving capital of Canada also (the water is INSANELY clear), so they have a glass bottom boat tour that takes you around to a bunch of ship wrecks, but we opted out of that. It’s expensive and Dorothy and I have both done it before. We preferred to just go back and go swimming and hang around the campground.

So had a really great camping weekend! More to come on Georgian Bay rock climbing and, of course, the food!

Bridal Wars!

As you may know if you are a blog stalker (and I hope you are), my good friend Emily is getting married this winter and has asked me to be a bridesmaid.

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EMILIO!

Every year one of the bridal shops in our little hometown of Port Perry, Forever Friends, hosts an event called Bridal Wars for their customers.

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Pretty much just as it sounds. It is basically like a big relay race and you can win a bunch of prizes, many wedding themed (like our bridesmaid dresses for free, or money off them, or hangers to hang them on) and many not. To be able to participate you have to be getting married between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015 and you and your bridesmaids had to at least try something on in the store for the wedding. Check and check, that’s where we are getting our bridesmaid dresses, so Emily signed us up.

Once you qualified then your team had to actually make the final cut. I don’t know how they decide that, but out of 60 bridal parties only 30 were able to participate in Bridal Wars. We were eagerly awaiting the news and last week we found out that our team was chosen! So that’s what we did on Sunday. Bridal Wars.

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Sara (Emily’s sister), Emily, Me, Joanna

Only four people, including the bride, are able to participate in Bridal Wars and I actually couldn’t go originally, but I ended up subbing in for our friend Leanne.

How do you like our last minute super original costumes? There were prizes for best outfits, and we obviously did not come close to winning those. Some teams were really awesome, we saw corpse bride, bridezillas, bride zombies… Some people just like to go above and beyond and show everyone else up, you know?

Bridal Wars took place at the beautiful Trillium Trails outside of Port Perry. It is actually where we had our formal in Grade 11 (because we went to such a small school the entire school went to formal/prom every year, not just the seniors), so that brought back memories for us!

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We arrived just in time for lunch (burgers!) and then it was time to compete in the relay. There were four different stations for this and the goal was to do it in the shortest amount of time possible.

Station 1: Lace up a wedding gown.

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Station 2: Find two matching garters in a full laundry hamper and then put them on each other.

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Station 3: Make a 4-tiered wedding cake using a styrofoam base and styrofoam balls (and toothpicks and stickers and ribbons…it was hell and it was our downfall).

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Station 4: Hang your laundry. We were given a worksheet with an order of items of clothing on it and we had to pull the laundry out of the basket and hang it in that order on a line with at least two clothes pegs per item. Piece of cake.

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Then we switched teammates and Sara and Joanna had to go through the course and undo everything Emily and I did.

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Jo and Sara made up a lot of time for us but…we choked. That styrofoam wedding cake was impossible and Emily and I just could not get it together at that station. We were getting so frustrated with the stupid styrofoam balls and the stupid ribbon and the tiny little fragile toothpicks and the STICKERS that weren’t STICKING (we had to tape them on the cake) that I almost threw in the towel right there. In my head I was screaming to myself “GET IT TOGETHER!!!!” But we soldiered on and eventually we got it. Our time ended up being 6:50, which was about 2 minutes and 30 seconds longer than the quickest team and one minute shorter than the longest team.  The teams with the top 10 best times advanced to the cake eating round.

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That would be a giant cake (8 ft apparently) with prizes hidden inside. Prizes that you have to find with your face. I will let you guess how disappointed I was to not be able to stick my face in that cake (answer: very). But it was just the brides anyway so it would have been Emily representing us. I know she would have done a good job and I think she was pretty disappointed too. We wanted to win! Ah, next time.

Inside there was a tradeshow called the ‘scavenger hunt’ which used the same method I would use when I put on a tradeshow for my work: You have to visit every booth to get a sticker for your ballot, and then once your ballot is full of stickers you use it to enter for a giveaway. So a ‘scavenger hunt’. I called it Tradeshow Bingo, but I’ll tell you what it’s really called…Trickery. A sneaky way to get you around to all the vendors. But it works! Everyone wants prizes.

One of the vendors had cupcakes (my favourite vendor) and another had a photo booth.

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Joanna’s mom came in to say hi to us and was just in time to make it in our top photo. We love her. And I love photo booths at weddings. Love them. I hope they never go away.

Once the ‘scavenger hunt’ was over there was a bridal fashion show.

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Which was actually a lot more entertaining than I thought it was going to be. I really liked looking at all the dresses.

So definitely a fun day, and it’s alright that we didn’t win because afterwards we went out for pizza at Michael Kelly’s in Brooklin. And pizza, as you know, makes everything better.

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Umm, go there – is all I have to say about that. That pizza was amazing and I am currently salivating looking at it.

It would have been nice to win some sweet hangers to put our dresses on, but hey-ho, still a good day!

Brotherman and Kelly’s Wedding

Guess who got married this past weekend?!

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Michael (aka Evan’s brother, aka Brotherman) and Kelly! Look at those happy, beautiful lovers. And look at Kelly’s dress! She was beyond gorgeous and all the words for beautiful, radiant, etc. I could not stop staring at her.

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So beauty. And I have to say Brotherman was looking pretty dashing himself (as was Evan the best man).

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Kelly and Brotherman’s wedding took place at Wychwood Barns in Toronto, which, if you are searching for a wedding venue, let it be known that Wychwood Barns is unique and very cool. It is a long, narrow building where they used to service the St. Clair street cars. The inside has since been converted into an event space and art studio/gallery, but still has the exposed brick walls. And the outside is now an urban green space with gardens,  a dog park, beach volleyball, splash pad, etc. They have kept the original barn wood on much of the outside of the building, which gives it a rustic barn feel.

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My handsome date

We clean up allllllright, hey? There is just something about a man in a suit, I tell ya. My dress was a last minute buy at Suzy Shier of all places. I wasn’t even sure if I liked it when I first tried it on, but I’m so glad I got it because I ended up loving it and thought it was the perfect choice.

Anyway, some highlights of this, the day of Brotherman’s wedding…

Brotherman and Kelly’s niece was the cutest flower girl, probably of all time.

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She was very excited to be able to throw those petals down the aisle.

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And their nephew  was the ring bearer. He was holding the rings in a wrapped box on wheels (aka a truck) that he pushed down the aisle.

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He took his job as ring bearer very seriously.

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Kind of a big deal.

Usually at weddings I like to watch the groom’s face as his bride walks down the aisle, but I could not keep my eyes off of Kelly.

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She is just so naturally beautiful. I LOVE her dress. It was perfect. I thought that as soon as I saw her in it and I can’t imagine if she wore a different one. That dress screamed Kelly.

Kelly acknowledged that the ring bearer did a stand up job hanging onto the rings…

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The ceremony was short, sweet, and the perfect amount of heartwarming and funny. And then it was time for group photos of the family. We took a ton, but this one might be my favourite.

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Such a happy new family. Oh, I love weddings so much.

It was very convenient that the ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner/reception all took place at the same venue. I like it when everything is in one area and I don’t have to worry about going anywhere. When the cocktail hour started we all just moved over to the food/bar area. I definitely hung out at my usual event stomping grounds, the appetizer table. Brotherman and Kelly brought in outside appetizers in addition to the catering company’s food, so that guests could enjoy traditional Korean dishes. Like kimbob!

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A delicious Korean sushi. Kelly brought this over for us when I moved into the condo and I have loved it since.

And hodo kwaja, those little walnut cakes (filled with red bean or potato) that I wrote about before when we were in Koreatown…

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As well as potato and vegetable dumplings. Something that I love about Kelly and Brotherman is they are both very food oriented. I appreciate this. I never worry about what I am going to be eating when they are around. There was no shortage of food at this wedding. Dinner was also plentiful and amazing.

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Salad, chicken, quinoa salad, roasted vegetables, butternut squash ravioli, rice, various breads… I ate every last bite of that plate. I think the highlight for me was the ravioli, though everything was truly delicious.

The speeches were much like the ceremony, short, sweet, and funny. No one likes a long speech. I thought Evan’s was perfect.

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He told the story of the moment he knew that Kelly would always have Michael’s best interests at heart. He said that for Michael’s bachelor party they wanted to do something different as they are not your typical bachelor party type of guys (they really aren’t). So they decided on a road trip to the US (they ended up going to Cleveland for the weekend) with two of their other friends, Jeff and Ian. This was going to be a surprise for Michael, as they told him that they were just driving to Buffalo for the day on a Friday to look at suits and would be coming back that same day. The plan was to tell him once they were crossing the border that SURPRISE! they weren’t stopping in Buffalo and they would be gone for two days on an American adventure.

Evan was given the task of telling Kelly of their plan, and he worried a bit about what her reaction might be. It was in the height of wedding planning, so would Kelly be okay with Michael gone for the whole weekend? Would Kelly worry about what sort of shenanigans they got up to? How was Kelly going to react to this news that the boys were headed out into unchartered (for them) American territory?

Evan said that when he told her there was silence on her end of the phone for a moment, and then Kelly said “But…what about his underwear? Won’t he need extra underwear?”

Evan thought it was so typically, selfless Kelly to voice concern about Michael’s well-being as her very first thought. Not where they were going or how long they were going for or what they were going to do, but how was Michael going to make do for three days with one pair of underwear? And how was he going to get extra underwear without realizing he was going to be gone for several days? It was a great speech and had everyone laughing.

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Evan and his thoughtful new sistah

Kelly and Michael’s thank you speech was pretty great as well. Carson and Victoria needed to be a part of that…

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Actually I would say that they enjoy being included in everything, including the cake cutting.

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So cute.

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I danced a LOT. Mostly with Victoria and Carson. Carson requested that the DJ (which was me, haha, and I think I might actually do a post on wedding playlists because I have done this twice now for friends) play Roar by Katy Perry at least three times before he had to go home. We played it four times and I think he enjoyed himself more each time. I don’t know if all the guests enjoyed it quite as much… ;)

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Victoria and I were dancing so much that she had to find Uncle Porpy (Evan) to help her put on her dancing shoes.

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I don’t know how either of them have so much energy. I was absolutely exhausted after dancing with them for two songs. Exhausted and sweaty.

I was very excited to slow dance with Evan at the wedding, as we have never slow danced together at an event (what, I like slow dancing). But the kids had other plans for us… As soon as we started dancing they were all over us and made us spin them for the entire song. I forgive them though, they are fun and it was funny. And their cuteness melts my heart.

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My date and I did squeeze in a slow dance once it was after the kids’ bed time and we were able to get time to ourselves (I sound like a parent…)

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It was a great wedding and I had such a fun time with Evan and Michael’s family and friends. Congratulations Michael and Kelly, we love you and are so happy for you!!!

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Cheers to the fun group that shut the place down.

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And cheers to Michael and Kelly and many, many happy years together!

Happy Birthday Eric! And the last of my mom’s visit

This week has been a bit nutso, so just a few things before it has been too long since my mom left and it is weird to talk about.

But first, happiest of 21st birthdays to my baby brother Eric!

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The first time I held him. He was a HUGE baby.

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21. 21 years have gone by since that cheeky cat was born. I can’t believe it. I remember when I was eagerly anticipating his arrival and drawing scary clowns to be posted on the walls of his nursery that said “TO BABY!” all over them (not kidding about that, my mom saved one of the clown posters that I drew and it is terrifying. Poor guy). I have a lot more to say on the subject of having a baby brother…I also found a speech that I wrote about little brothers when I was in Grade 6 and it does not paint Eric in the most flattering light (direct quote: “I like him when he is sleeping and when he is playing in his OWN room with his OWN toys. I do not like it when he comes into my room and gets into all my stuff. And forget about putting up a barricade because Eric will just smash through it.”) I think I will have to write more about that speech later…

Anyway, he did turn into a shining, respectable young man. So happy birthday Eric, I love you!

Last weekend when my mom was still here we did the rounds of visiting her old friends. And we dropped in to see my lovely Nana.

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I still cannot believe she is 100. And she is still so with it, asking my mom all the questions about what she has been up to. Nana is my dad’s mom, but my parents were married for 20 years so was obviously a big part of my mom’s life. Nana was just thrilled to see her. She is still calling me and raving about our visit and how happy she was to see my mom doing so well.

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She’s a sweetheart that Nana. Her annual Elvis impersonator barbecue is coming up and I cannot wait.

Aside from family and friends visiting, we ate a lot. My mom made her famous chicken soup that I love so much.

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My friend Melissa was telling me that the reason she loves soup so much to this day is because of my mom and the soups she used to make for us when we were growing up. I totally agree. I never thought about that before but I’m pretty sure that is why I love soup so much now too. I can always go for some soup.

Evan also made his delicious lentils and red curry chicken for my mom, and it was her first time eating anything like that.

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With spicy pickle and Evan’s cousin’s chutney and popadoms. My mom loved. I loved! I want to eat that every day!

Evan cooked for us a lot actually…

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I’m sorry but sausages are just not photogenic, no matter how you photograph them.

I was happy my mom got to experience Evan’s cooking, because it is dynamite.

Evan and I also took my mom to the flea market last Sunday so she could experience that randomness. And we went to amazing crazy food court with all the foods of the world, and what made the experience for me this time was this pork rice from the Columbian food stall.

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It is cooked inside sewed up pork skin and it was incredibly amazing. We all loved it. My mom and I also shared a quesadilla from the Mexican booth, but not even worth taking a picture of, I was too into that rice.

My mom hung out a lot with this little minx.

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My mom was Winnie’s first owner. I think Winnie remembered her! She slept with her every night and has definitely been missing her since she left. My mom could not believe how much she still acts like a spry young kitty, and she is turning 21 this October! I haven’t been posting a lot of pictures of Winnie since Bolt’s arrival, but rest assured she is and will always be my number one. She is my favourite.

Other than that, a lot of hanging around and chatting in the condo. Evan and my mom really like each other.

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Brotherman came over for dinner a few times and he and my mom really hit it off as well.

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I know she had a really great time. I was so sad to see her go. We are going to miss her around here. But I am very happy knowing that Eric (and Kenya and Dixon!) are taking such good care of her in BC.

Have a great weekend!