Category Archives: Adventure

Emerald Bae (and eating)

After our skiing adventure, Cely and I dropped off our rental equipment, walked back to our hotel, cleaned ourselves up, changed into our best plaid and headed out on the town.

And by out on the town I mean into the casinos. Apparently gambling is illegal in California unless it’s on a First Nations reserve (like in Ontario, though I guess we’re able to have slot machines and racing off of reserves), but the good thing about South Lake Tahoe is it’s half in Nevada! Who knew! (I didn’t.) Obviously there is much gambling in Nevada, so there were several casinos around. Our hotel was in a casino, and Harrah’s Casino and the Hard Rock Cafe Casino were both within walking distance — everything was, it was so handy!

As we were walking to the casino we ran into a lady Cely used to work with, as well as her friend and their husbands so we found a $1 minimum Blackjack table and gambled and drank free drinks with them for a few hours. That was super fun. We met a very vocal Trump supporter at our table — the only one I encountered in California (that I know of) and she was from Texas. Her eyes burned with a fiery smugness and she kept loudly proclaiming that she lived in the real world because she lived on a ranch and had grandchildren. Alright. She definitely wanted to engage the rest of us special snowflake liberals about the current political situation but thankfully Cely was able to derail her.

Eventually we parted ways and Cely and I went off to Base Camp Pizza for dinner. There was a bit of a wait so we ordered beer from the bar, took it outside and watched a band playing old school rock on the patio next door. We ended up having to wait for about an hour but we were talking and listening to the band playing Neil Young while drinking beer so it was honestly one of my favourite hours.

Eventually Base Camp let us in. We started with the fried calamari.

It was crispy and delicious and I loved that it came with marinara sauce. For my pizza I went with the personal-sized (like a responsible eater) Base Camp pizza with pepperoni, Italian sausage, roasted peppers and onions and portabella mushrooms. It was perfect and I loved it all.

We had a really great conversation and really delicious pizza so, it was a good time all around.

After that it was back to the Blackjack tables. I was doing well for a while and then I started losing and then suddenly it was 4am and my money was gone. As Cely said, time sure flies when you’re losing money and drinking. I had a really good time but in hindsight we probably would have been okay leaving about an hour before we actually did — I would have been up about $200, I wouldn’t have knocked my beer over on the table (possibly more than once but in my defence there were no cup holders!), we may have dodged a hangover, and we would have avoided an altercation where we ended up being the Big Bad Man-Hating Feminists (Cely summed this up well)… But, live and learn, as I like to say (a lot).

The next morning we were not feeling our best but we dragged ourselves out of bed, got our stuff together and headed to breakfast at the Red Hut Cafe. It was SUPER CUTE and I was excited about my pancakes and bacon.

I don’t feel I appreciated those pancakes as much as I should have because my stomach was being a jerk. Thankfully, after breakfast Cely introduced me to the miracle that is Alka-Selzter and I felt like a new woman!

I still hadn’t seen Lake Tahoe which I had heard was in Lake Tahoe, so Cely took me on a mission to prove its existence. She couldn’t let me leave without seeing the lake and I really appreciate her determination on that. It was still overcast (it was actually nicer in Ontario than in California when I was away which is basically the story of my life) but the snow had stopped and we were able to drive over to Emerald Bay.

And hoooooly beautiful. I’ve seen Cely’s pictures and I know on a bright and beautiful day it has the potential to look like this:

From Wikipedia

But I loved it in all its dreariness! It is a gorgeous area.

I should mention that we were having trouble finding a parking spot by an actual trail so we had to do a bit of climbing to get to the view…

Getting off that thing was fun and we basically just rolled down the bank like watermelons. I also accidentally stepped off the packed snow and one of my legs was suddenly buried up to my hips.

Not sure if that picture does it justice but it was a real pickle. I didn’t fall off the mountain though, so that’s a success. Wouldn’t be the first mountain I’ve almost tumbled down. I do feel like I really embraced embarrassing myself on this trip and I think Cely appreciated that as I took the heat off of her.

Anyway, yeah, the area is gorgeous. I got a bunch of pictures.

After Emerald Bay we went back over to the main lake area.

And the clouds parted for almost a minute and I saw a sliver of blue sky!

After our Lake Tahoe adventure it was time to drive back to Sacramento. I was excited to see the view this time as when we were driving into Lake Tahoe it was dark and I couldn’t see much. We saw a few waterfalls and I loved the trees!

We were going to listen to the first episode of the My Favorite (American SIC) Murder podcast but then we got to talking and couldn’t stop so that didn’t happen. I’ve listened to a few episodes now though and I’m really enjoying it! Once we were back in Sacramento, Cely took me straight to Firestone Public House for lunch so she could introduce me to her favourite pretzel.

Oh, hello lover!

I understand why it’s her favourite pretzel. It was the best giant pretzel I’ve ever eaten in my life and I still can’t stop thinking about it. It was so soft and pillowy and buttery and salty and had pimento cheese for dipping. Just a dream. I’m going to have to try to find a similar pretzel in Toronto. I don’t feel like that mission is going to be a success.

I also ordered the grilled cheese because, grilled cheese, but then it came and I was like WTF am I supposed to do with this monstrosity?

Is that an American grilled cheese? It was extreme. We both suddenly had no interest in eating anymore, which is a rare thing. We took our lunches home. We spent the rest of the day on the couch napping and watching movies which was GLORIOUS (we also may have ordered Chinese food). I met Cely’s sister Sari which was a California highlight for me! I loved her immediately. I had never even met her but I felt like I already knew her. She came in when we were sprawled out on the couch in our fat pants and I just felt so comfortable around her right away, like “hello Sari, I’m Cely’s internet friend and I live here now.”

We watched the Edge of Seventeen which I loved so much I wanted to watch it again immediately after. Instead we watched Fifty Shades of Grey which I hadn’t seen but both Cely and Sari had so they indulged me and eh. We should have just watched Edge of Seventeen again. Watch it!!!

The next morning the three of us went to brunch at Cafeteria 15L with their friends Tracy and Heather. They were both awesome and I also loved my bottomless mimosas and my fried chicken and waffles.


My stomach did not love the fried chicken and waffles and I paid for that later but THAT’S OK because when on vacation. That is PECAN BUTTER!!! Oh it was heavenly.

And then I got my stuff together and Cely took me to the train station so I could make my way to San Francisco. She actually parked and brought me straight to the train which I am so thankful for because guaranteed I would have gotten on the wrong one. Or at least waited in the wrong area for a train that was never coming (done that before).

It was such a fabulous weekend and I was so sad to leave Cely. And Sari. I felt like I had known both of them forever and I told Cely that I just wanted to stay forever and be their third sister. I made them promise to come visit me and I really bigged Ontario up so I feel like I lured them pretty good. They better!!!

If you don’t already read Cely’s blog you need to, she kills me and is my must-read every day. And not even a hate read, I love her! She is just as hilarious and smart in person.

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Trouble in Lake Tahoe

I’m baaaaaaack!!! And I didn’t blog while I was away so you know what that means…endless vacation recapping! I have a lot to talk about so gird your loins.

I left last Thursday morning and happened to bump into my pal Dawnald at the airport!

She was headed to San Francisco for a conference and I was meeting up with her for the second half of my trip, coincidentally our flights out there were at the same time. It was nice to see her for a quick romantic rendezvous.

I was headed to Sacramento, however, and while she had a direct flight to SF, I had quick stopovers in Chicago and Denver. I actually didn’t mind those too much — it took me 10 hours to get there but the stopping broke up the flight time. The Chicago airport was super fancy, too. They had automatic rotating seat covers on the toilets in the bathroom which I thought was pretty cool but also probably unnecessary. They also had personal deep dish pizzas which I totally missed and only noticed after I had already grabbed a sandwich. Stupid. I made the wrong decision!!!

Anyway, I was on my way to meet my long time internet friend Cely for the first time! We have followed each other’s blogs for years (I actually just had my six year blogging anniversary — CRAZY!), and over that time we have emailed and texted a bunch, and we are Facebook friends (so that means we’re real friends) but we have never actually hung out in person. Just on the internet.

Cely was picking me up from the Sacramento airport and on my flight from Denver to Sacramento I started to get just a litttttle bit nervous about meeting her for the first time. We would be spending several days together, what if we didn’t like each other or had nothing in common? But I needn’t have worried. As soon as I saw her I felt like I was meeting one of my best friends. There was never any awkwardness (this is why exchanging long crazy emails for years before meeting is key!), our conversation flowed naturally right away and we spent most of our three+ days together just laughing. At one point we also had a good 20 minute conversation trading stories of falling down the stairs so, I feel like we are awkward kindred spirits.

Someone commented that the two of us meeting up felt like a TV crossover episode, which made us laugh hard. Just like when Steve Urkel was on Full House!

I get to be Uncle Jesse, sorry Cely.

There was one must-eat place for me in California, In-N-Out Burger. I’ve been hearing about it for years but have never had the chance to try it so we headed there after Cely picked me up.

I have to say I was underwhelmed… My burger was good but I didn’t find it to be the most spectacular fast food burger I’ve ever eaten. It was pretty onion-y. However, I heard I didn’t order correctly and I should have asked for my burger to be ‘animal style’. Cely even warned me about this and I didn’t listen. Oh well, you live and you learn. I’d go again and do it right next time.

After our burgers we drove to South Lake Tahoe for a skiing adventure. Cely had warned me the day before that this part of our trip might get delayed since that area of California had been experiencing some extreme weather lately, namely landslides. Apparently the highway we needed to drive on had been closed due to a mudslide and had only reopened the afternoon before. There was also a snowstorm in the area that was supposed to cause some trouble, but thankfully that wasn’t as bad as expected so we didn’t have to postpone our trip. And now since leaving, part of that highway has collapsed into the river. I feel very lucky that we were able to get in and out okay. I joked that the weather out there hated me but it truly could have been much worse.

It was super awesome to be traveling to Lake Tahoe with someone who knew the area. I was totally lazy in my travel research because of this and just let Cely choose where to stay, where to eat, where to ski, etc. since she knew area so well. She also brought a bunch of ski accessories and snow boots for me to borrow, which was great since I was traveling with just a carry-on.

We checked into our hotel (Harvey’s, which I would definitely recommend — our room was cute and surprisingly inexpensive) and then hit up the Stateline restaurant and brewery for a cheese plate.

And some beers.

I wanted to try them all.

I was really excited that Cely was always on the same eating page as me. It’s so nice to travel with someone who is just as food-oriented as you are!

After the cheese and beer we headed back to our hotel and hit da sheets. It was about 3am my time at that point and I was tired after sitting on the plane all day (traveling will really do that to ya).

The next morning we got up early, grabbed a leisurely breakfast (I had breakfast nachos and they were delightful), rented our equipment (we reserved it online in advance which was a good call, saved 25%!) and then took the gondola up to Heavenly.

I’m glad there was this photo of the mountain because it was snowing so hard I couldn’t actually see the mountain and that was disorienting. I had to rely on Cely to tell me about the views I would normally see up there. The snow made it difficult to even see the hill in front of us so I never got to see the lake! That was sad because I hear it’s a spectacular view. I just tried to imagine it.

So this is actually the first mountain I’ve ever skied on. I’ve cross country skied on a mountain in Revelstoke (wrote about that experience here) but never downhill skied. We don’t have any mountains in Ontario so my skiing experiences up until this point have been on very large hills. The biggest difference I noticed was that it takes so much longer to get down a run! I really liked that. It’s been about 7 years since the last time I skied, but thankfully it’s just like riding a bike and I still got it.

I was so thankful to Cely for letting me borrow a water pouch, goggles and that skeleton buff for my face. I felt so badass.

It was a bit more difficult than I expected though because of the weather. We were having some serious depth perception issues — the ground just looked like flat whiteness but there were big snow drifts that we would ski into that would mess things up. There were some struggles, but neither of us had a yard sale (when you fall on the mountain and all your equipment goes everywhere) or fell at all, so that’s a win.

We stuck to mainly long leisurely blues, which are my favourite so I was happy Cely was on the same page about that. Since she knew all the runs I was content to let her take the lead and just follow her red jacket down the mountain.

Unfortunately we got separated at one point and another girl with a red jacket and black pants somehow got in front of me so I blindly followed her for a while. In my head I remember noticing that her ski outfit just got super sleek all of a sudden, but I was concentrating on not falling so I didn’t register that it wasn’t Cely. At one point there was a portion of hill that levelled out and we had to work a bit harder to get across it so I was yelling some snarky comments at her about that, trying to be funny. She glanced at me over her shoulder but didn’t have a reaction other than that which I thought was weird. Then we stopped at the crest of another hill and I pulled up beside her and realized she was not actually Cely. I turned around and saw Cely coming up behind me dying laughing. Whoops. We laughed for a good half an hour about that. Cely said she was worried I was going to blindly follow this lady down a double black diamond or something. Sure glad that didn’t happen. Fake Cely may have lead me to my death.

We skied for a few hours and then took a break for lunch when the snow started coming down harder and the wind increased.

Eating after physical activity is my favourite. That was some damn good chili.

After lunch we headed back out hoping the weather would be better, but unfortunately no, it had gotten worse. The wind picked up, making the lifts (which are quite long) a pretty crappy time because it felt like little daggers of ice were hitting your face. We did a few more runs and then decided we were done. I loved it though and was so glad we skied!

The next day when it stopped snowing I could finally see that yes, we indeed skied on a mountain!

But I still hadn’t seen the lake. I’ll get to that next week though ’cause somehow this got long. In the meantime, Cely recapped all our adventures really well so you can check that out on her blog.

Have a great weekend!

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Experiences of 2016

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  I hope you had a great Christmas if you celebrate, and a wonderful holiday overall. Ours was a whirlwind of family and friends which pretty much did not stop until New Year’s Day, but it was a really good time. I have some recapping to do but first I want to talk about 2016.

Back in 2014 I started doing a recap post of all the activities I got up to over the year and it really made me appreciate my life. 2016 wasn’t all great – the world got super weird, we lost Evan’s grandmother, our little kitty Winnie and a lot of wonderful and talented people. But no year is all great, and I like having a spot on here of all the good things that happened. So, in keeping with my New Year recapping theme, here are my favourite experiences of 2016!

My 33rd birthday surprise dinner, that I actually had zero knowledge of. It was a very well executed surprise.

It was especially a surprise since I had already planned my own birthday dinner a week later at the Sultan’s Tent, a Moroccan restaurant with belly dancers. Also a good time.

It was the year of concerts. I kicked it off with Death Cab for Cutie and Metric at the ACC with Sherrie.

Then just a few days later Evan and I saw Garth Brooks with Emily and Corey.

Emily gave birth like a week later.

Then Mumford and Sons, again with Sherrie.

Bryan Adams with Evan!

The Lumineers for my bestie’s birthday.

Collective Soul and Goo Goo Dolls with Evan and my dad for my dad’s 65th birthday.

Blue Rodeo with Evan…

Sam Roberts and The Killers with Sherrie and Will.

And finally Our Lady Peace and I Mother Earth with a bunch of our friends.

That is 9 concerts! I don’t think I’ll be topping it this year, but I am seeing Kings of Leon in a few weeks and I have a gift card to Ticketmaster that is burning a hole in my pocket so there will at least be a couple more!

For Valentine’s Day I got Evan tickets for a birds of prey experience, and that did not disappoint.

We adopted little Tilly!

Who is just the best and is such a wonderful addition to our family.

I started going to Choir! Choir! Choir! and had some great times there, including singing Hallelujah with Rufus Wainwright.

I can’t believe that video has more than 5 million views. I’m not in it but I did make it in the holiday one!

And when I got my brother, Kenya, Dixon, Dawn and Emily to come out with me one night and we’re all in the Beatles – Tomorrow Never Knows video.

Evan and I went to my first Leafs Game.

They lost but I wasn’t expecting them to win so that’s a-okay.

We had THE BEST trip to Cuba.

Where Evan proposed to me while we were swimming in the ocean at sunset.

Getting engaged is obviously the highlight of my entire year but it was a really great trip aside from that also.

I ran my first 10k with my friend Melissa and my blogger friends Casey and Michelle.

Hoping to do that again in 2017!

My nana turned 102!

Just incredible.

My bestie and MOH threw me a fantastic bridal shower.

Which ended with a boat ride on the lake we grew up in and a hot tub party.

We had some really fun cottage times, the highlight being when we had our friends over and my brother and friends were visiting from out west and were able to make it. That was a really fun night.

And then we took my brother and friends for adventures around the city.

Evan and I went camping a few times this summer, including our annual friends camping trip near Algonquin Park. I don’t think I ever ended up blogging about that but it was a time!

I did the CN Tower Edge Walk for my friend Casey’s birthday!

Which was just as crazy and exhilarating as it looks.

I had the most amazing Alberta/BC road trip with Sherrie, Lisa and Yamina where we met up with my brother Eric, his girlfriend Kenya, his best friend Dixon and my mom in Kelowna…

Then camped at probably the most beautiful campsite on earth in Revelstoke.

Cheers to that.

Then there was the yurt camping and adventuring in Jasper.

And the trip ended with my bachelorette party in Banff!

Which was, I can’t lie, one of the most fun nights of my life.

And finally we have my and Evan’s trip to Florida, where we got to spend a whole weekend with Paula and Fabian.

And had some other adventuring thrown in too.

It was a year. I think one of the best of my life. And I am so excited for 2017 because aside from more concerts, it’s the year we’re getting married – TWICE!!!

Hope you all had a great year and if you didn’t, I hope next year is 10 times better!

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Florida Gators

Ahoy! Evan and I are back from sunny Florida! I didn’t blog while I was away and we did a whole lot (and ate a WHOLE LOT) so I have a ton of adventure recapping I wanna do.

My dad and stepmom Mona have a condo/townhouse in Bradenton (gulf side) and they may not have it forever so Evan and I figured we should take advantage of not having to pay for a hotel while we can. The last time we did a Florida vacay was in March 2013 so we were due. It’s only about a two and a half hour flight from Toronto (if you fly direct, we had a stopover in Atlanta on the way over and in Detroit on the way back) and flights are also relatively cheap, so it’s an easy vacation. It cost less for both of us to fly, with a rental car, than it does for just me to fly to BC.

Anyway, we arrived around noon in Tampa last Friday, picked up our rental car (and we got a free upgrade with a sunroof so that was a nice bonus) and made our way south to Bradenton. I was so happy to be in the sunshine!!!

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And see the palm trees!

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We had wintry weather here the week before we left so I was excited to escape it (I heard it was beautiful here while we were gone though, of course).

Our first stop was Target.

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We no longer have Target in Canada (it was only here for a year, just a taste!!) and I am sad about it. Even though it wasn’t quite the same as the US Target when it came to prices and selection (this is actually why I think Canadian Target failed – they were always low on stock) they still had stuff I liked that I couldn’t find anywhere else. I really like their purses, for example. We happened to be visiting on Black Friday and I got a great deal on a new Fitbit (the Alta), a new purse (which is the same as a black purse I already own from target but in brown) and some other random things and various trashy snacks including candy corn Oreos.

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I can not believe how many different types of Oreos there were! We have a few now but nothing like that. We also stocked up on our beer for the week, which we hardly drank any of because we were so full from all our eating. Oh well, I’m sure my dad will appreciate arriving at the house this winter to a stocked beer fridge.

Our next stop was the Olive Garden!

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GIVE ME ALL THE SALAD AND BREADSTICKS!! And once again, the Olive Garden used to be in Canada and is now gone. I miss it and was happy we were able to fit it in. We picked up Jimmy John’s for dinner and spent the rest of the afternoon unpacking and hanging around the house.

Saturday morning we were up early to drive to Orlando to meet up with Paula and Fabian. Paula and I met through our blogs and decided that we wanted to be real friends, so we met for the first time in 2013 when Evan and I were in Florida.

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And Paula and Fabian also came out to visit us last spring.

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I love how Paula has switched up her hair a bunch of times over the years, but mine is still the exact. same. She is an adventurous minx.

I was really excited to see them both. I freaking love Paula, Fabian too, but Paula is like my kindred spirit and I’m so glad our blogs brought us together. I’m sad she lives so far away, but it is a good excuse to visit Florida in the winter.

We first stopped at Bradenton Donuts because we heard they had the best donuts of all time and we didn’t want to show up empty handed.

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Definitely a bit of a dive, but it’s the donuts that matter.

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I actually do think they’re the best donuts I’ve ever had. They’re made with potato flour or something. I don’t know but they’re spectacular and I wish I was eating them right now.

If you read Paula’s blog the rest of this might be a repeat for you, but hopefully you still enjoy yourself. Since we showed Paula and Fabian such a great touristy time when they were here, they wanted to return the favour. We dropped our stuff off at their place and then we all headed out to Black Hammock to take an air boat ride on Lake Jessup, one of the most gator-infested lakes in Florida!

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The lake was actually super beautiful and I wanted to swim SO BADLY, but I also didn’t want to die. Our tour guide was saying that problem gators are brought to this lake from other places in Florida so, much danger on the gator front. Fabian told us that some guy didn’t believe the gators in the lake were that big of a threat so he tried to go swimming and got his arm bitten off. I don’t know if that is just an urban legend but needless to say there was no swimming here.

We had some time before our boat left so we checked out the area a bit, had a drink, and took a bunch of pictures (another reason I love getting together with fellow bloggers, they are also all about the pictures!)

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At first I didn’t understand how that gator cutout worked and I put my head between the gator’s jaws, which meant my chest area was sticking out directly above the head spot. Thankfully someone told me to get myself together before they got a picture so that embarrassing image of my nungas isn’t floating around.

But this embarrassing picture of Evan is.

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He kills me.

And from the front.

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Then it was air boat time.

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I have always wanted to ride in one!!! Paula and Fabian were making my dreams come true. I did not realize that air boats are so loud you have to wear ear protection.

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Hair twins.

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We only saw a few gators, I guess because of the time of year, but still, the ride was awesome. I loved it. It is amazing the places you can go on an air boat that you wouldn’t be able to on a boat with a regular outboard motor. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on a boat that had to stop to remove tangled weeds from the prop, but that was not a concern on this ride.

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We were able to just go right in between the trees in the super swampy areas like it was nothing.

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Our tour guide was awesome and very informative and told us a bunch of facts that I can’t remember now. He was also a character so I quite enjoyed him and his magnificent American accent.

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Crossing the lake the boat went so fast that when I opened my mouth to say something to Evan a bunch of drool came flying out. Attractive.

Can you spot the sneaky gator in the grass?

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Here’s a baby gator that was just chilling by the shore.

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Just a little muffin.

After our ride we all got a chance to hold a baby gator.

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Fabian and his beautiful smile.

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Evan was a definite no on the gator holding. We had the chance to hold a crocodile in Cuba too and he took a hard pass on that also. Evan does not appreciate a reptile of any kind.

The Black Hammock restaurant is right there so afterwards we hit that up to eat some gator. I guess hanging around all the gators makes you hungry for gator. It was amazing in there, I felt like I was in Crocodile Dundee.

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It was also two for one margaritas so you know that’s a good time. Evan got the catfish nuggets to start and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be a fan – I had some really terrible catfish once and haven’t tried it since, but I ended up really liking it!

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10/10, would eat catfish again.

If you’re going to eat alligator I feel like this is the place to do it, so Evan and I ordered a two 1/4 pounds – blackened and cajun.

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My first time trying gator and I have to tell you it was delicious. It tasted similar to chicken but was chewier. I really enjoyed it and would also eat it again. Though probably not in Canada ’cause I don’t think it would be our forte…

Fun, fun times with Paula and Fabian!

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And that was just the beginning of our shenanigans!

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Livin’ on the Edge

Back in the summer (and I’m sad it’s over) my pal Casey asked me if I would be interested in doing the CN Tower EdgeWalk with her this year for her birthday. If you are not familiar with the CN tower, it is the giant focal point of the Toronto skyline.

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Pretty sure I mentioned this when Evan and I went up there with Emily and Corey a couple years ago but it is the tallest freestanding structure in the western hemisphere and the fifth tallest in the world (it was the tallest until 2010). It’s about 1,800 feet, so it’s tall. It is large and in charge. You’ve always been able to go up inside the tower. It’s a pretty big tourist attraction and it has a revolving restaurant and a glass floor and a few other things happening. But in 2011 they started the EdgeWalk which is a walk OUTSIDE – around the circumference of the roof. You are tethered the entire time so it’s not quite as scary as a free walk. But it is still scary.

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It’s kind of been on my radar to do for a while, but it’s expensive and I live here so I figured one day, but I’ve never really had an excuse. Evan can’t even walk on the glass floor up there so there’s no way I would ever be able to get him to do it. When Casey asked me it was all the encouragement I needed! So a few Sunday’s ago I met up with Casey, her mom and her friend Erika and we got suited up for our adventure. We were looking goooood.

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They take you out in groups of eight, so we had some new people with us. The two guys on the right in the above picture were visiting from Sweden (here for the World Cup of Hockey) and the couple on the left were from San Diego. We were the only Toronto natives!

I read reviews beforehand and the main point that kept coming up was that they take safety extremely seriously, and I have to agree on that. They are super super safety conscious. We had to be wearing rubber soled shoes, we could not bring anything out with us that could potentially fall, any jewelry we had on needed to be stored in a locker, and they triple checked our suits and harnesses. Once we were suited up in our attractive red jumpsuits they took us up a dedicated Edge Walk elevator, double tethered us to a track that goes around the entire building outside, and we were walking out over 1,600 feet in the air above the city.

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Pretty crazy.

Heights are not really a fear of mine, but that feeling of falling sure is. Evan is absolutely not a heights fan and he thinks it’s so funny when I say that I’m more afraid of falling than afraid of heights, he’ll be like “But that’s the whole point!!!!” But I mean that just standing up high doesn’t get me. The feeling of free falling though, that terrifies me so bad that I worry I’m going to die of anxiety on the Drop Zone at Wonderland. So for me I think I found it easier to do something like this as opposed to jumping out of a plane.

But even though heights have never really bothered me, when we first walked out I felt breathless when I looked down. It was an adrenaline rush for sure and it was a pretty weird and unsettling feeling. The very first activity we did was called toes over Toronto, where you walked to the very edge and kept only your heels on the platform. Eep. I think that was the toughest for me. But after that I started to trust my equipment and feel comfortable with the height.

The next activity was where we walked backwards to the edge and leaned back. We got a video of our entire experience afterwards so I made a short clip of this…

Did the CN Tower #edgewalk today, and it was a time! Thanks for organizing @wafflingblog! 😬😅

A post shared by Lindsey (@happyorhungry) on

The first time was definitely scary, but by the time I did it again I felt like an old pro!

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We were outside for a good half an hour walking around the tower, pointing out our city’s landmarks and and doing activities. Another one was leaning forward over the city as opposed to backwards. Our guide was fantastic and I’m kicking myself for not being able to remember her name – she remembered all of ours after a very short time and that was really impressive.

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I would definitely recommend the EdgeWalk whether you are visiting the city or live here. And if you don’t like being up high, we had a guy in our group who was super afraid of heights and he didn’t do all the activities but he was okay, and I think even he was feeling more comfortable towards the end. It is expensive at about $200, however I feel like it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it was definitely worth the money. We received a couple printed photos and a full DVD of our experience, all included in our package. We also split the photos package between the four of us – It was only $20 extra so $5 each for all the photos taken of us that day, so that seemed worth it to us.

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It was a good time! Super cool experience that I can cross off the ol’ bucket list. Thanks for inviting me, Casey! I don’t know how you’re going to top this on your next birthday…

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BAM(nff)!!! and Lake Louise

On Friday morning we grabbed Tim Hortons (road trip essential) and said byeeeee to cute Jasper!

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Definitely going back someday.

And then we hit the road to Calgary to pick up our friend Kim from the airport – she was in for the weekend for my bachelorette party on Saturday! We were all excited to see a new face. Once again long drive, but once again mountains.

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The entire way.

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So y’know. It’s beautiful and it goes by quick!

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Yamina was still in rough shape. I guess we broke her. She was actually headed to the Vancouver area after our Banff weekend so she didn’t want to overdo it and make her injury worse. She decided to stay at Lisa’s place for the weekend, hang out with Charlie and rest up. I think it was a good call – our weekend ended up being pretty crazy, with a lot of walking which would have further killed her. So we dropped off Yamina, picked up Kim from the airport, and drove back to Banff for more mountain time. But first! Lake Louise. The quintessential Alberta vacation spot. I went a couple years ago with Evan, Eric and Kenya, but Kim and Sherrie had never been and you can’t go to Banff without checking out Lake Louise!

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It is gorgeous, and the water is the bluest of blues.

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Lake Louise is also home to the most expensive hotel in all the land!

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We didn’t have a ton of time for exploring as we wanted to check into our Banff hotel and go out for dinner, but we did a quick jaunt along the trail around the lake. So here’s a bunch of pictures without a lot of commentary because I don’t really know what I can say other than it’s beautiful. It’s beautiful!

 

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One day I would like to continue to Moraine Lake in that area, but unfortunately we didn’t really have the time. We headed back to Banff, checked into our hotel and then went to the Magpie & Stump for Mexican!

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I think I could probably eat Mexican food every day. Highly, highly recommend Magpie & Stump if you’re in Banff. Freakin’ delicious tacos and a really great atmosphere in there.

After tacofest we walked back to our sweet hotel. I can’t even remember the name… Some-type-of-Canadian-animal Lodge, but that’s pretty much any hotel in Banff. Our hotel was great though, really nice, inexpensive, right on the main drag. And do you know how excited I was to see this after camping and the yurt after the last several nights? A real bed with actual blankets and sheets! No sleeping bag in sight!

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It was glorious. We had a pretty decent view from our balcony, too.

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And free breakfast in the morning!

We noticed we had two fluffy white bathrobes in our room so we requested two more and then slipped into those suckers for a robe party.

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We fancy!

We sat on our balcony in our robes and looked at the mountains and drank wine and told Kim all about our trip and laughed really hard. It was a dream night.

The next morning we decided to do the gondola on Sulphur Mountain before the rest of the girls arrived.

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I love a good gondola. I’ve done it a couple times before, once with just Lisa in the winter a few years ago and again the last time I was in Banff with Evan, Eric and Kenya, but I didn’t mind doing it again. Kim and Sherrie had never been up there, and again, it is a must-do Banff activity. One day I’d like to actually hike up the mountain, ’cause the gondola be expensive, but it was not the day for that.

We got to the top and blew Sherrie and Kim’s minds.

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You can see all of Banff and several mountain ranges, for ages and ages.

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Selfie stick for the win.

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So that was a time. So pretty! The lookout is quite an adventure in itself. It’s huge and wraps around Sulphur Mountain, and there are so many stairs that I felt like I was actually hiking a mountain.

After the gondola we did a little bit of the Banff touristy shopping thing, going in and out of the shops on the main strip. I got some souvenirs for my lover.

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We made friends, as we do.

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I think he may have been a mountie impostor…

And then we set up shop on a rooftop patio and grabbed some beers. Not a bad view and it was finally a beautiful day!

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About 16 degrees and sunny. After the 1 degree Banff weather I will take it.

It was a good start to bachelorette day. And then we met up with all the girls and the real shenanigans started, so actual bachelorette activities will be a separate post. Gird your loins.

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