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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

IMG_3091

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.

IMG_2972

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.

IMG_2976

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…

IMG_2977

Cloud 9

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

IMG_2978

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.

IMG_2983

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.

IMG_2981

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.

IMG_2988

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

IMG_3003

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

IMG_3057

Ian and Evan are way out there

cyprus-lake

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.

IMG_3056

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

IMG_3084

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.

cyprus-lake

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

IMG_3007

IMG_3034

IMG_3014

IMG_3011

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

IMG_0745

Or just on the dirt.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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!

IMG_0753

IMG_0770

IMG_0768

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

IMG_0756

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.

IMG_3046

IMG_3041

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.

IMG_2893

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.

10537125_909840889029905_7557447869579028032_n

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.

IMG_2919

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!

IMG_2889

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.

IMG_2895

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

IMG_2900

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).

IMG_2902

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.

IMG_2905

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

IMG_2916

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.

IMG_2930

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.

IMG_2924

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.

IMG_2927

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.

IMG_2931

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?!

IMG_2682

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.

IMG_2725

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

IMG_2671

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.

IMG_2711

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.

IMG_2636

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

IMG_2637

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.

IMG_2638

He took his job as ring bearer very seriously.

IMG_2639

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.

IMG_2641

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…

IMG_2659

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.

IMG_2706

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!

IMG_2718

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…

IMG_2719

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.

IMG_2743

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.

IMG_2736

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.

IMG_2727

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…

IMG_2753

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

IMG_2761

So cute.

IMG_2770

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… ;)

IMG_2799

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

IMG_2805

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.

IMG_2833

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…)

IMG_2712

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!!!

IMG_2844

Cheers to the fun group that shut the place down.

IMG_2866

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!

baby-eric

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

IMG_0893

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.

IMG_2501

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.

IMG_2506

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.

IMG_2482

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.

IMG_2578

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…

IMG_2471

IMG_2584

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.

IMG_2573

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.

IMG_2542

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.

IMG_0733

IMG_0737

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

IMG_0739
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!

Ladies Night

My mommers is already gone! She left early yesterday morning so was only here for a total of 10 days that went by way too fast. I miss her already and Evan and I were talking this morning about how weird it feels not having her in the house.

On Friday my friends from high school were all going out in the evening to celebrate a variety of things…an impromptu bachelorette for Emily, our friend Crystal was visiting from Calgary (it was the only night I even got to see her! I am disappointed about that), etc. Just a general night of shenanigans. We had been planning it for a while and I know my mom would love to see all the girls so I brought her along. She even let me do her makeup and straighten her hair for our big night on the town.

IMG_2556

My hair is always straight but my mom was blessed with luscious curly locks. I thought she looked so beautiful. We were saucy zebra twins.

We went to Pravda, a Russian vodka bar (but I drank beer!) downtown, where we went last year for a night out as well. I did think last year that Pravda wasn’t really my scene, and it certainly is not my mom’s scene, and actually I don’t even think it is the rest of the girls’ scene… It’s a little bit too, what is the word….pretentious, maybe? But you know my friends will have fun in a bus depot so we made it a fun time.

IMG_0719

And it was fun to get all dolled up for the occasion. My mom LOVED seeing those crazy girls!!!

IMG_0713

And they loved seeing her. She knows my friends quite well, and has always been very open and easygoing with them. She is a cool mom.

tumblr_n4vf1ezIoW1qz7o2oo1_500

Okay well, maybe not cool to the same extent as Mrs. George, but she is cool.

IMG_0714

Pravda is quite crowded and that is annoying and made it hard to find people, but I have to say that it does have its redeeming qualities. Like girls hanging from ribbons from the ceiling…

IMG_2561

And these drummers who stand on the bar and play along with the Russian national anthem.

IMG_0720

That’s gotta be tough, hot work. But if they got too sweaty after their drum playing one of us girls was ready to lend a helping hand.

IMG_0730

I am trying to figure out…is that glitter on his shirt?

We also quite enjoyed this man who played the violin.

IMG_0725

We found a private table in the back where no one was and he protected it for us if we wanted to leave for a bit and go on an adventure. The only way to get to the table was to pass him, so he did not let anyone besides us through to steal our table. He was our gatekeeper. He was very nice.

So nothing too crazy, and it was a fairly early night, but definitely a good time with the girls.

IMG_0727

Can you tell that I try not to allow my face to get sun? Geez. Maybe it’s just a makeup thing combined with a camera flash, like Angelina Jolie’s makeup mishap.

1400266677_angelina-yahoo-article(source)

Anyway. It was a big night for my mom and I’m so glad she enjoyed herself and our antics.

IMG_0732
Without going into all the detail I have to say that my mom is doing the best I have seen in about 15 years, and that is cause for celebration. It is so great to see her like this. I have been thinking lately that the world would be a much better place if everyone had a bit of my mom in them. She’s a precious gem.

Bacheloretting, Great Aunts, and AYCE Sushi

Other things that have been happening this past week or so…

Brotherman’s wedding is coming up so last Friday we had a petite bachelorette party for his fiancé Kelly.

IMG_2250

Cutest bachelorette ever

It was more of a low key, welcome to the family celebration with Kelly’s sister, Evan and Brotherman’s cousins, and myself (I know I am not actually in the family yet myself, but humour me!) and we all had a really good night.

IMG_2264

We started at Rawlicious, a raw, vegan restaurant in Yorkville. I have been to a similar restaurant near my work, Raw Aura, but I don’t know if Rawlicious is of quite the same calibre… Our servers were great, and the food was definitely fresh, but the flavours did not really do anything to make me overly excited. But maybe it’s just not my thing. I do enjoy warm meat.

Anyway, we all started with spring rolls.

IMG_2252

The rice paper ones, just like Evan and I have made!

For my main I ordered the BLT, which is eggplant bacon, lettuce and tomato on some kind of condensed onion “bread”, with kale chips.

IMG_2254

I swapped the mayo with avocado and just got it on the side. My sandwich was alright, but I found it very difficult to eat.

IMG_2258

It kept falling apart on me.

Afterwards we went to a pub next door and ordered poutine and nachos. I really like Evan’s family, have I said this? Well I do. I really, really like them. It was a fun night.

On Sunday on the way up to see Melissa and Susan, we stopped at my mom’s aunt, Auntie Mary Lou’s home in Barrie (she is my great aunt) for a visit, along with my mom’s two cousins. Mary Lou has always been very close to my mom and I, but unfortunately she has Alzheimer’s and has not recognized anyone for the last several years. My mom’s cousins were saying that she does not speak in sentences anymore and mainly just speaks in gibberish. My mom and I were really preparing ourselves for the worst but…she seemed to know us! When my mom said her name Mary Lou repeated it and asked her what she had been doing with herself, which is a legit question!

IMG_2328

And she kept wanting to touch me while saying to me “You are so beautiful! Look at you, you are just perfect!”, which made me blush, but those are the kinds of things she would always say to me, so somewhere inside of her, I think we sparked something.

IMG_2330

My mom’s cousins said it was the most animated they had seen her in a couple of years. Maybe she didn’t know who we were, but I think we at least gave her some kind of feeling. It was so good to see her and know that even though Alzheimer’s has taken over her brain, deep down she is still the same sweet and lovely Mary Lou that she has always been. Even if she can’t always express herself. I expected to leave there feeling very sad, and I did have tears in my eyes, but I felt quite uplifted (by the way, have you read Still Alice? Read it!).

And this week my good friend Beth and I took my mom out for her first ever all-you-can-eat sushi experience.

IMG_2458

IMG_2456

That is honestly just a fraction of the food we ordered. Ridiculous. My mom was pretty impressed. Though she did not know what to think of these…

IMG_2461

Whatever those are. Honestly I can’t even remember. But I do remember that they were good.

I haven’t seen Beth in QUITE a while, so it was nice to catch up with her. She too is one of those friends who you can go a long time without seeing and then when you do everything is still the same.

IMG_2465

And I need to give her a big shout out here as she has recently lost 60 pounds! Seriously incredible.

Anyway, those are the big things that have been happening this week. Have a great weekend!