Photo #298: Holiday Gifts

December 22, 2012

This year, I finished buying and wrapping all my Christmas presents before December 24th. My gifts were first under the tree, woo hoo! How nice it is to be done a few days early and not have to stress out about it, I should procrastinate less often πŸ˜‰

How about you? Are you ready for the holidays yet?

Photo #295: Gift of the Day

December 19, 2012

I had a lovely visit and catch up with my ‘front-door’ neighbours today: Dinesh, Kiran and their 3 children Sahil, Khristee and Angelea (great names right?). The youngest, Angelea who’s 5 years old, took it upon herself to gift me with one of her pieces of art, which I thought was super adorable. Thanks again! ^_^

 

Photo #292: Looking Back

December 16, 2012

My siblings and I visited our old house. My parents used to rent this place more than 13 years ago, before they bought the one we live in now. Seems like nothing has changed, even the small adjacent dwelling to the left hasn’t had any upgrades.

Halifax Day 7: Tea and a Christmas Treer

December 10, 2012

Continuing on with our last day!

This is the Market Hall on the way back to our car from Salty’s

We returned home to bum around until our coffee date with Michael H at 4pm. If you don’t remember from a previous post, both Michaels used to work in the same lab and now both are in med school πŸ™‚

We ended up meeting at Just Us!, a certified organic fair trade cafe.

Mike and I opted for jasmine green tea. I really liked the fact that they gave us a timer so we could steep our tea for an optimum period of time.

The cafe had a good atmosphere and service. Very beautiful and spacious Victorian property, there was an upstairs level as well, and catered to many students.

And look! I took a picture this time! Michael^2

The date was over too quick. Until next time! I hope you, your wife and children are doing great πŸ™‚

Totally wish there was a cafe like this back in Brisbane so I could come to study. I would be here multiple times a week if that were the case!

Just Us! Coffeehouse on Urbanspoon

After tea and saying good bye, we again, went back home to chill. A lot of laziness today, haha. In the evening, we were invited over to Dan R and Leigh Anne’s new house for dinner and to help them decorate their first and real Christmas tree.

Leigh Anne, Mike and I put up the lights while Dan picked up some yummy take out Thai food. We shared some laughs, ate good food, had some wine… and then Dan butchered the tree (he perhaps shouldn’t have cut off some of the lowest branches, but he had no evil intentions!). Haha, maybe Dan had to feel Leigh Anne’s wrath after we left but we think the tree turned out nice! These pictures were also taken earlier in the night before the decorations were put up, so it was even prettier by the time we left.

The lovely Dan and Leigh Anne and again with Mike

Can’t wait to hear all about and see all the wedding pictures you guys! πŸ˜‰

Packing was waiting for us when we got home that night, which we couldn’t put off any longer because we needed to leave at 7am the next morning. Got to the airport around 8:30am, our flight wasn’t delayed for too long and before we knew it, we had landed back in Ottawa.

It was such a pleasure meeting everyone. I had an amazing time in Halifax, loved the city. And a huge thank you to Bill & Nina and to Matt & Laura for their generous hospitality.

Everyone, please let us know if you’re ever in Australia… we’d love to see you there!

Until next time… πŸ™‚

And that marks THE END of my week long vacation in Halifax.

Β 

Halifax Day 7: A Date with Michael @ Salty’s

December 10, 2012

So… our last day in Halifax! So sad that time has gone by so quickly!

Michael and I spent the morning running errands in terrible weather but also had the chance to relax before our lunch date.

We had reservations for 1pm at Upstairs at Salty’s. Salty’s is a 2 level restaurant, where downstairs is casual and upstairs is more formal.

Michael had specifically asked for window seats, which was a treat! It’s too bad the weather wasn’t nicer but it’s the company that matters right? πŸ˜‰ You look tired!

We were the only diners (Again! It seems to happen to us quite a bit) so service couldn’t have been any better.

Apparently, Upstairs at Salty’s uses the same lunch menu as their downstairs restaurant, which was fine with us.

We started with a glass of white before making our decisions.

Love good bread at a restaurant. Our food came quite quickly, which is always a treat.

Mike ordered the Maple Ginger Salmon ($17.95)
(roasted fillet of salmon with Nova Scotia maple syrup & ginger glaze, mashed potato, and seasonal vegetable)

Seasonal vegetable was indeed singular! Haha. Mike said his dish was tasty, but personally, I think his dish was lacking. Come on… you couldn’t add in some other veggies? And a little bit of effort on plating would have made such a difference. I also really don’t know what the sprig of parsley is trying to achieve…

I got the Beer Battered Shrimp ($15.95)
(served with fries, lemon mayo, and coleslaw) – I substituted sweet potato fries with curry mayonnaise (+$2)

The shrimp was good but the best part of my dish were those sweet potato fries. I will gladly exchange anything for those fries any day. So nice and crispy on the outside and light on the inside. However, the plating was once again disappointing. This is a nice restaurant… Why are my sauces coming out in plastic containers? You were able to get my coleslaw into a little dish, couldn’t you go all the way with the sauces?

Overall, we had a good time, especially with the restaurant to ourselves. The service was great and I wish the sky cleared so we could enjoy the view even more but perhaps next time.

Next time you say? Well the food was pricey… tasted good but nothing great. However, the good service and location warrants another visit – but we’ll try dinner next time, that menu is much more enticing.

Salty's on Urbanspoon

Halifax Day 6: Yacht Club, Crystal Crescent Beach and Homemade Alfredo Sauce

December 09, 2012

We had a late start today. It was raining, I blame it on the weather. πŸ˜›

We did follow through with brunch plans though!

Laura was at a meeting but Matt took us to eat the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron (yacht club on the Northwest Arm of Halifax Harbour).

Tidbit I didn’t know: RNSYS lays claim to being the oldest yacht club in North America, with its beginnings dating back to the establishment of the Halifax Yacht Club in July 1837

It’s too bad it was raining, the views would’ve been lovely!

I had the best (albeit first) seafood chowder ever! My grilled lobster sandwich was such a loser… trying to contend beside the bowl of chowder. πŸ˜›Β  It warmed me up inside, especially on such a gloomy day. Thank you Matt!

On the way back, we stopped at York Redoubt:

“Established in 1793 on a bluff overlooking the harbour entrance, and expanded in the 19th and 20th centuries, York Redoubt was a key element in the defence of Halifax Harbour.”

Unfortunately, it was SO foggy, you could not see a thing. I’d never been so close to fog before, it was pretty exciting. Don’t judge, I’m serious!

Love!

We headed back to Matt and Laura’s. They were soon leaving for Florida so we hung out until Laura got home from her meeting to say our goodbyes. I hope you guys had a great trip!

It was already afternoon… but the sky was clearing up… so we had to get to the beach!

Michael decided we were going to visit Crystal Crescent Beach:

“Crystal Crescent beach is one of the best known beaches in the Halifax region.Β  What is less known is the coastal trail that originates from the beach called the Pennant Point trail. The trail is an amazing coastal trek.Β  It is a 13 kilometer loop that hugs the coastline for most of it.Β  The trail is a lot of fun for rock climbing and scampering. The landscape is amazing…”

LOVED IT.

We were too cold to go very far along the trail, but this is one place I would definitely want to come back and see during all 4 seasons. What a beautiful place!

Unfortunately, my panorama photos failed horribly, but here are some other shots

Shadow hug!

We headed back into the city after this. Stopped for a snack of delicious onion rings at A&W before going home. Ended up just chilling at home reading and watching TV before heading over to Mike C & Christine’s for dinner!

They have a lovely home! My favourite thing about their house is this little closet/room that Mike C had renovated into a ‘personal room’ for Christine. A place just for her to go and escape from everything and get lost in her music… how sweet!

For dinner, Christine made pasta with an amazing alfredo sauce… she makes me want to try to make my own sometime as well πŸ˜€ There was also salad and bread and lots of sugary deliciousness for dessert, including some chocolate cake we brought, and Mike C’s baked goods.

We had a really nice time at their place (I haven’t played Foosball in so long!) and I’m glad to have had the chance to get to know some of Michael’s great friends πŸ™‚

And that marks the end of Day 6! I know, I failed at taking people pictures… again. However, FULL ALBUM HERE

Halifax Day 5: Markets, Settlers of Catan and Brussels

December 08, 2012

Saturday! Time to hit the markets!

The Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market:

“Founded in 1750, The Halifax Farmers’ Market Cooperative is the oldest continuously running farmers’ market in North America. The first market vendors were Acadian – the original European immigrants to the land. Currently, the market has over 200 vendors selling some of Nova Scotia’s best local products including fresh produce, maple products, crafts, flowers, cheeses, meats, baked goods, coffee and so much more!

The Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market moved to its new location on Halifax’s Waterfront during the summer of 2010 at Pier 20, the busiest tourist entry point in the province. It is the heart of the cultural, social and community centre that is emerging in the Halifax Seaport Development.

We left Matt and Laura’s a little earlier than everyone else, just to take our time looking around. Soon, we had met up with Dan B & Natalie, Bill & Nina (New Germany), Matt & Laura and Mike & Tina (Bridgewater). Mike and I spent most of our time wandering and eating one dish after another, but don’t worry, it wasn’t all about us. We picked up a few gifts as well. πŸ˜›

Unfortunately, Bill & Nina’s daughter Lily was sick and staying at home with her grandma, Uta, so they couldn’t stay long. Everyone else was busy too, so it was really nice to see them one more time before going back to Ottawa, even if just for a few hours.

Matt and Laura headed home first while Michael took me to check out the Brewery Market. Unfortunately, most shops had closed up so we only did a quick walk around.

We spent the rest of the afternoon back and Matt & Laura’s playing Settlers of Catan. If you’ve never played:

“Players assume the roles of settlers, each attempting to build and develop holdings while trading and acquiring resources. Players are rewarded points as their settlements grow; the first to reach a set number of points is the winner. At no point in the game is any player eliminated.”

I had never played before and it initially sounded quite daunting. However, you quickly catch on to the rules of the game and it’s pretty fun. And I won the game, not bad for a noobie!

For dinner we went out to Brussels (another restaurant of the Hamachi restaurant group) where we met up with Dan R and I got to meet more of Mike’s friends for the first time: Christine and her husband Mike, as well as Will. Unfortunately, Laura was busy with work and couldn’t make it out.

Tastefully decorated with really nice ambiance. We ended up only ordering appetizers, but the ones I tasted were good! Everyone was also extremely pleased with the extensive beer selection and reasonable prices – multiple rounds were ordered πŸ˜€

I became slightly annoyed at our server by the end of the night. She was extremely happy and friendly, but got a little too close for comfort. She was constantly at our table taking part (very loudly) in whatever discussion was going on at the moment. Props to her though, she obviously has a lot of interests and is very easy to talk to… but there should be a level of professionalism maintained. When you’ve been standing at one end of the table talking for 20 minutes and someone at the other end can’t even get get your attention to order another drink, you are not doing your job well. Also, a water refill without asking would be nice! πŸ˜›

Good night though! And really nice to finally get to meet Christine and her husband, I had heard so many stories before today! Everyone except Dan R ended back at Matt & Laura’s for a drink before calling it a night.

And that marks the end of Day 5. I’ve realized I did not take any pictures of people today 😦

 

Halifax Day 4: Citadel, Boardwalk and Sushi

December 07, 2012

After breakfast at The Coastal Cafe, we had to take advantage of the temporary beautiful weather and do some outdoor activities.

First stop was the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site:

“The present Citadel was completed in 1856 and is the fourth in a series of British forts on this site. Today, the restored Citadel is a national landmark, commemorating Halifax’s role as a key naval station in the British Empire and bringing history to life in Atlantic Canada’s largest urban centre.”

Unfortunately, no services are offered between Nov 01 – May 06. None of the shops, exhibits or rooms were opened and there was nobody working that day. It didn’t matter, because we had the chance to peacefully walk around and take in all the sights – and didn’t have to pay a fee.

Just walking around along the bottom

Heading up to the top of the fort

One of the many canons

The view from up top, you can also see the famous Town Clock in this shot

The moat

Graffiti on the roof of the signal post

Before heading off, we stopped on the street to take a few photos of the Town Clock:

“The Town Clock, also sometimes called the Old Town Clock or Citadel Clock Tower, is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the historic urban core of Nova Scotia’s Halifax Regional Municipality.”

“Prince Edward, Duke of Kent commissioned a clock tower in 1800 prior to his return to England. The Town Clock opened on October 20, 1803 at a location on the east slope of Citadel Hill on Barrack (now Brunswick) Street and has kept time for the community ever since.

As a Halifax icon, the Town Clock has featured in many artwork, fictional and non-fictional accounts of Halifax. One among many is a depiction of the town clock as a character named Chimey in the children’s television show Theodore Tugboat.”

Sorry, these pictures are definitely not taken at the best angle!

We then went down and walked along the Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk:

“The Halifax boardwalk is open to the public 24 hours a day. The boardwalk also includes shops at Bishop’s Landing and the Historic Properties buildings as well as the “Cable Wharf” a former cable ship terminal now used as a tour boat base for several vessels including Theodore Too.

The boardwalk’s southern terminus is at Pier 21. It stretches northwards along the coast for approximately 3Β km before it terminates in front of Casino Nova Scotia at its northern terminus. Three notable museums are located on the waterfront. The Pier 21 immigration museum is located at the southern terminus. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic at the boardwalk’s centre and includes the museum ship CSS Acadia.”

The CSS Acadia

Low season = empty board walk + closed stores

The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

The popular Wave sculpture. Apparently, it was restored just earlier this year! I was tempted to climb it as well, but didn’t want to break my front teeth… again.

In memory of 2200 known Canadian merchant seamen and 91 Canadian vessels lost by enemy action and those who served in the cause of freedom.

There was a cute old Asian man fishing just ahead with his wife. He was actually able to catch quite a few fish and even lured in curious passersby

Pier 21: Canada’s National Immigration Museum (I forgot to take pictures of the building itself)

“The Pier was the primary point of entry for over one million immigrants and refugees from Europe and elsewhere, as well as the departure point for 496,000 military personal Canadian troops during World War Two. The facility became known informally as the ‘Gateway to Canada.’ It closed in March 1971, due to a significant drop in immigration traffic as transportation modes switched from ocean-going-ships to jet airliners.”

At around this point, we headed back the way we came. Some views along the way back to the car…

With a few hours left before meeting some friends for dinner, we headed across the water to Dartmouth for some shopping at Dartmouth Crossing. Enormous success! Together we spent around $230 and saved around $300 for… many items!

Spying on Michael filling up the tank on the way back into the city

By evening, Matt was back from Moncton and we decided to have sushi dinner at Hamachi Mura. Dan and his fiancee Leigh Anne joined for dinner, giving us the pleasure of meeting her in person for the first time!

It was a good dinner with great company. We ended up checking out Dan and Leigh Anne’s new house afterwards. They were just starting the process of moving in but what a lovely home. Very happy for them! πŸ™‚

Headed back to Matt & Laura’s (where we were staying while in Halifax) with Dan for a drink and a few laughs before calling it a night πŸ™‚

And that marks the end of Day 4 – FULL ALBUM HERE!

Halifax Day 4: Breakfast @ The Coastal Cafe

December 07, 2012

We started the Friday morning with a delicious brunch at one of Michael’s favourite places – The Coastal Cafe

Got there just before the rush and were greeted with excellent service.

We started off with drinks. I got a blueberry pomegranate juice ($1.75) while Mike got a coffee πŸ™‚

Mike had his heart set on his favourite, the McCoastal for $11.25 that included: 2 Fried Eggs, Maple Sausage or Montreal Bacon, Havarti, Roasted Onion Compote in an English Muffin w/ Hash or Salad. It sounded too good to pass up, I got it too!

The condiment stand was behind me – I’ve never seen such a great selection! And love the use of old Perrier bottles as well.

The food came out very quickly. We were also given the option of having a little bit of both the salad and home fries rather than just one or the other.

Breakfast was delicious. Loved the onion compote and Havarti never disappoints me. As we polished off our plates, the restaurant started to fill up and become extremely busy. There were people stopping in for take out as well.

As winner of The Coast – Best of Food Awards! Best Lunch 2008, Best Breakfast 4 years in a row (2009-2012), it comes as no surprise why Michael loves this place so much. I’m a new fan!

The Coastal Cafe on Urbanspoon

Halifax Day 3: Lunch @ Talay Thai

December 06, 2012

It was late afternoon by the time we got into Halifax and we still hadn’t lunch. Needless to say, we were starving! We decided to eat at one of Michael’s favourite restaurants, Talay Thai. Because some restaurants close in the afternoon between lunch and dinner, our only thought while walking towards the restaurant was, “Please don’t be closed, please don’t be closed!”

And it wasn’t!

There were 3 other groups dining when we arrived and were immediately shown to our seats. Beautifully decorated restaurant. The servers were also dressed in traditional Thai clothing, which was really nice to see.

We were immediately offered water and after a chance to ask a few questions regarding the menu items, it didn’t take us long to make up our mind. You can check out their full menu with prices HERE

I believe these are portraits of the younger King Adulyadej (Rama IX) and Queen Sirikit. I apologize if I’m wrong!

Our food came out quite quickly – steaming hot deliciousness! Presentation was beautiful, we couldn’t wait to dig in!

Duck Curry (Red curry paste w/ duck meat, coconut milk, pineapple, grape, lime leaves, basil & tomato) $13.95

This dish was rich, spicy and super yummy. I was also pleasantly surprised that they used only duck breast cuts!

Garlic Squid – Pla Muek Tod Katem (Deep fried squid w/ garlic & pepper)
$13.50

Also delicious, although the squid was slightly chewy. The pieces were large and it was difficult to take bites. I noticed the squid was lightly scored before being battered and fried, perhaps scoring it a little deeper might help? Still tasted great!

Our tummies were very happy by the time we were done. So filling as well, we didn’t even have room to try their desserts.

Talay Thai has earned numerous awards and recognitions, some of which are posted HERE

Beautiful restaurant, very reasonable prices, delicious food, prompt and wonderful service. I will definitely make Talay Thai a must-stop whenever I’m in Halifax!

Talay Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Halifax Day 3: Mahone Bay, Peggy’s Cove, the city and more

December 06, 2012

Today, we leave New Germany for Halifax. But before we did that, I finally got to see a little bit of Bill & Nina’s property. It was too muddy to go far, but my camera still loved it.

Their chickens!

Bill is in the process of building a new addition to the house

Not sure if this shed is functional, but it made for a cool picture

The barn where the boys jam, with the chicken coop on the other side. I especially like the initial “G” of their last name.

They’ve got water running through their property and even had salmon in their pond at one point. If you look closely, you will see an abandoned car, that was there since before they moved in.

Uta (Nina’s mom) lives on the adjacent property so Mike drove us out to quickly take a look

They’ve got horses!

Uta lives on probably the highest peak in the area, what a great view! And that’s Bill & Nina’s car, which they kindly lent us for the duration of our stay πŸ™‚

The drive into Halifax begins! First off… Tim Horton’s for breakfast, we were hungry.

I discovered they have a Maple Cinnamon French Toast Bagel – best thing ever!

And of course, for the road πŸ˜›

Stopping in Mahone Bay!

Hopefully you can see their iconic 3 churches on the waterfront. From left to right: St James’ Anglican Church (newest, 1887), St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (1869) and United Church (1885).

We also stopped at the Swissair Flight 111 Memorial at Whalesback, just north of Peggy’s Cove.

Swissair Flight 111 (SR-111, SWR-111) was a Swissair McDonnell Douglas MD-11 on a scheduled airline flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, United States to Cointrin International Airport in Geneva, Switzerland. This flight was also a codeshare flight with Delta Air Lines.

On Wednesday, 2 September 1998 the aircraft used for the flight, registered HB-IWF, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean southwest of Halifax International Airport at the entrance to St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia. The crash site was 8 kilometres (5.0Β mi) from shore, roughly equidistant from the tiny fishing and tourist communities of Peggys Cove and Bayswater. All 229 people on board died.[2] It was the highest-ever death toll of any single-aeroplane aviation accident both for Swissair and for the McDonnell Douglas MD-11.

Looking out towards the crash site

The inukshuk I saw off in the distance from the memorial site, thought it was really neat.

Peggy’s Cove! Very picturesque but super windy and freezing!

It was SO windy, our eyeballs and eardrums froze!

And we were soon back on the road continuing into Halifax. Some of the pretty views we saw along the way into the city:

The sun came out for just a few minutes!

My first windmill up close! I was pleasantly surprised to not hear any hum at all until I was about 10m away from the shaft.

Another windmill had been dismantled and lying on the ground next to the scrap metal yard. Thought this picture provided an interesting point of view.

After some fun in the yard, we continued on and finally reached Halifax.

Once in the city, we stopped at Talay Thai, one of Michael’s favourite spots, for a late lunch. I will write a separate blog post about this place because it was delicious!

Stopped along a few other places on the way back to Matt & Laura’s:

Saw Theodore Tugboat!

Tufts Cove Generating Station across the water, in Dartmouth

We finally got to Matt and Laura’s in the early evening. Matt was out in Moncton until the next afternoon but it was so nice to see Laura again – and pregnant too! πŸ™‚ We had a bit of time to catch up with her before heading out to meet up with Mike’s old lab mates at Your Father’s Moustache for dinner. The Stache was unbelievably busy because it was Wing Night. And perhaps we should’ve gotten wings, because their nachos were NOT good!

It was really nice to meet everyone: Dan (in 2nd year Dentistry) and his girlfriend Natalie (a teacher), Ryan, Gavin, Michael H and Ayhem (both in 2nd year Med at Dal). Dinner was followed by more drinks downstairs until we called it a night πŸ™‚

And that marks the end of Day 3! There are many more pictures, FULL ALBUM HERE

Halifax Day 2: Lunenburg and Skyfall

December 05, 2012

Woke up to a completely silent house as Bill & Nina were already at work. We started the day with breakfast and Michael gave me a tour of their place. I’d been told many stories last night of the work they had done to the place, which now looks great! Bill still has numerous projects on the go and I guess there’s always more work to be done!

They live on many acres of land (with horses and chickens!) and I really wanted to take a walk around to see their property but unfortunately, it was raining – bleh!

Instead, we headed out to Lunenburg about 40 minutes away.

Boots, check! Umbrella, check (although I soon learned umbrellas are my enemies here)! Cameras, check! Away we go!

We were hoping to see the Bluenose II, replica of the fishing schooner Bluenose (yes, the one on the dime), but alas, it wasn’t docked!

Instead, we had fish & chips at The Dockside Inn & Restaurant.The wall paintings were nice but the furniture was a little outdated. I also dislike carpet in a restaurant because it gets sooo dirty! Food was good though, but we were overcharged which was a little annoying.

Went for a walk after lunch. It would’ve been a lovely view, if not for the rain. πŸ˜› In addition to the weather, it is also low season at the moment, so we did not see another soul!

Fishermen’s Memorial and Tribute in Lunenburg, on South Shore of Nova Scotia.Β  The Memorial forms a compass and lists Names of Sailors (Men and Women) and Ships who were lost at Sea.Β  “Dedicated to the memory of those who have gone down to the sea in ships and who have never returned – and – as a tribute to those who continue to occupy their business in great waters.”

After Lunenburg, we headed into Bridgewater, where we met Bill, Nina, Uta and Lily for dinner at Food Revolution. Unfortunately, the restaurant experience was not as great as we were hoping.

Mike and I were still quite full so only ordered appetizers – those came out quite quickly. I got baked (deepfried) ravioli that were quite bland if not for a creamy dipping sauce they squirted on top. Mike ordered baked brie that came out with plain white toast, a little disappointing. The others had to wait forever for their mains to come out. Bill and Nina got chicken shawarmas and Uta ordered a pizza – I do not know why it took so long for their food. In the meantime, poorly chosen music is blasting through the speakers (eventually had to ask them to change the music and turn it down) and there was a significant cold draft over the table.

After dinner, we stopped by Mike and Tina’s place (they have the prettiest cats and the cutest dog named Molly) to drop Lily off. We hung out for a bit before it was time to head to the movie theatre to watch Skyfall!

The movie was… alright, definitely not as good as Michael and I were expecting. I cannot say this was my favourite Bond movie, but Adele did a great job with the song.

Headed back to Bill and Nina’s for a second night. And that marks the end of Day 2! πŸ™‚ See the FULL ALBUM HERE!

Halifax Day 1: Delays and New Germany

December 04, 2012

My flight for Halifax was at 11:20am. I was happy to be through security and at my boarding gate by 10:45am.

Unfortunately, we boarded late. And then we sat on the plane going nowhere – for an hour. Then they told us to get off the plane where we waited some more. Finally, they put us on a different plane and got us to our destination… nearly 3 hours late. I especially find it annoying when airlines make up excuses to explain the delays (loading luggage, waiting to be cleared for take off, etc). Then the delay becomes too long so they finally tell the truth, which is pretty much, “There’s something seriously wrong with the plane. We thought we could fix it, but we couldn’t and it’s not safe to fly. Sorry!”

But more importantly, I finally made it to Halifax where Michael was waiting to pick me up. So good to see him, even though we had only been apart for 2 weeks. ^_^

He knows me too well, got me Almondillos! Chocolate, my favourite. Instant boost of mood.

We then began the drive back to New Germany to stay with Mike’s friends Bill & Nina (and their amazingly cute daughter Lily). On the way, we stopped at a Sobey’s to pick up some ingredients for dinner since we wanted to pitch in and help out a little.

So dark and lonely on the road.

I think it was around 8pm when we finally arrived at Bill and Nina’s. I felt immediately welcomed and met Nina’s mom, Uta, as well. Nina and Uta made Schnitzel, mashed potatoes, beans, stirfried mushrooms and onions. Mike and I made coconut basil tempura shrimp. Had a lovely dinner getting to know everyone before calling it a night shortly after.

A short post, but that marks the end of Day 1! πŸ™‚

Photo #289: Wanted: NZT

December 13, 2012

If you haven’t watched the movie Limitless (with Bradley Cooper), that’s where NZT comes from. A nootrophic or ‘smart drug’ that makes you entirely awesome in every way. Low doses of that drug to help me with my studies would be amazing πŸ˜‰ I think too much would just make me scary.

Photo #285: Iron in Water

December 09, 2012

One of my favourite places I visited in Halifax – Crystal Crescent Beach. Such lovely views and scenic trails! You can see a little stream (pond?) in this picture with dark brown water, apparently from high iron content. I thought the contrast of blue and brown water so close to each other was neat.

Believe it: I’m officially half a doctor! Yay!

Over a week since my results of second semester were supposed to be officially released and I have finally received mine. The wait has been agonizing!

I’m so happy to say that I passed, with my best semester yet, yay! πŸ™‚ That makes me 1/2 a doctor! Haha

So happy to finally know with a certainty I passed, especially before going on my trip to Halifax πŸ™‚

Oh, I haven’t mentioned that? I know πŸ˜› But I’m going to Halifax (in a few hours) today for a week and will be back next Tuesday. I’ll be meeting Michael there and we shall frolic on the East coast. I have no idea what the plans are yet, but I will make record of what we do so that I can document it on my blog of course!

But for now, time for breakfast and a shower before heading to the airport! πŸ˜‰

Have a great day everyone!

Hey, it’s snowing on my blog!

And I can’t remember how to stop it… you’ll just have to deal with it until I fiddle around and find that magical switch to turn it off.

So… I’ve been back 2 weeks and have been terribly blog-silent, what have I been doing?

You might’ve seen me mention it in earlier posts, but home renovations took up quite a bit of time! Does it count if you’re not tearing down walls? Because I didn’t do that this time.

Our living room: Before

https://i1.wp.com/i1143.photobucket.com/albums/n626/nguyfamily/SANDRA%20BLOGS/IMG_1848.jpg

Our living room: After

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Not too shabby? I am amazed I put this together without:

  • Destroying it
  • Having it fall on top of me
  • It being crooked!

I’ve also helped my brother with his bedroom but it’s still full of his unorganized junk, so no pictures for now!

What else – I FINALLY had Tim Hortons!

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Look at the glorious selection (or at least what’s available at 8pm). A dozen donuts for approx $7 – apple fritters, I have missed you!

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Even better that this Timmies is just on the corner of my street.

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Yum, makes me so happy! Got some apple fritters, blueberry fritters, apple cinnamon with jelly filling, Boston creams, blueberry/strawberry jelly-filled, maple cream, yum!

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We also had (really simple) Subway dinner with my grandparents on the evening of his 79th birthday (Nov 24)

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My sister brought her turtle, Franklin, over to visit my grandparents after dinner πŸ˜›

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The next day, Nov 25, we celebrated his birthday with the entire family!

The foods!

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The birthday man!

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Giving our cards and gifts

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Having lots of fun playing Articulate (came all the way from Australia!) after cake πŸ™‚

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FULL ALBUM HERE!

AYCE sushi with my family on November 28th at Sushi Kan!

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Mmm, green tea ice cream

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RANDOM! My new favourite combination: goat cheese (herb flavour) with blueberry jam – delicious! And bagels! Australia! Why you no have delicious bagels?!

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Met up with Bea on Friday, Nov 30 for lunch at Bobby’s Table. Good company and good food in a homely and friendly little place!

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And then for dinner met up with the girls for sushi at Genji – delicious! So nice to catch up with Ruixi (and hear all about her engagement!), Julia, Atong and Alyssa – you girls make me laugh non stop – love you guys!

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BONUS! My brother’s ugly face πŸ™‚

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Okay, I should go pack now… flying to Halifax tomorrow morning! πŸ™‚

Photo #273: Full on Sushi

November 27, 2012

Went with my family to Sushi Kan today for all you can eat (AYCE) sushi – mmm. I have missed this – to pay $20/person and eat whatever my heart desires! Also my first time seeing fruit sushi, which was interesting. Apparently a nice palate cleanser? This one had mango, banana and canned peach.

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Photo #272: Rewards of the Past

November 26, 2012

Look what I found. When my siblings and I were very young (grade school), my mom gave the three of us each our own sticker book. She had this container full of different stickers and whenever we were good (behaved well, received good scores, did the chores, etc) she would reward us with a sticker that we’d stick in our book. Growing up was so much simpler then! We worked to earn stickers and that alone made us happy and proud. Sure we were also rewarded with TV time, computer time, sweets, etc., but I still can’t imagine growing up and wanting a cell phone, laptop, mp3 player, tablet, etc. Oh, times have changed. There are still many stickers left, so into the donations box they go! Hopefully they will make another kid happy πŸ™‚

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Photo #269: Breaking Our Steps

November 23, 2012

My dad was a huge fan of movies and he left hundreds of DVDs that were burnt over the years which we never had the heart to throw away. I guess that’s why renovations are a good thing, they force you to get rid of stuff you no longer need! The first question was, “Are CDs and DVDs recyclable?” No. Apparently not. Naturally, the next question was, “How can we properly dispose of them?” With a little bit of research, we found out that Best Buy’s Small Electronics Recycling program accepts (free of charge) unlimited discs to dispose of them for you. Yay! Last question, “Do I want anyone checking the content of my discs?” Easy answer: No!

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