Off to Brisbane!

May 02-03, 2016

Finally, 5 weeks of night ward call are over for the both of us! On to 5 weeks of holiday! Including getting married! Can you imagine how excited we were to embark on this adventure?!

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Thank you Yoni for picking us up when we landed in Brisbane, obviously so good to see you again! ๐Ÿ˜€

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We were so excited to enjoy a delicious Japanese lunch at our collective favourite – Wagaya – in Chinatown. Unfortunately, it was closed! Not sure why, but perhaps it was a holiday (May Day)?

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Instead, we had lunch at Thai Wi-Rat, with very cheap options off their lunch menu!

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Both Yoni and I got rice with roasted pork (approx $10). Rather than succulent pork with crispy skin, Thai Wi-Rat appears to further fry/bake their pork after chopping – which made it quite tough and dry ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I have also never liked the bland cooked vegetables that often accompany such meals – I would much prefer a dressed salad or a bit of stirfry, but I suppose it’s standard! My Thai iced tea was good though!

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Mike quite enjoyed his rice with roasted duck ๐Ÿ™‚

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We then checked into our serviced apartment at the Meriton on Herschel Street. Beautiful view and a good value for the space – which is also perfect for entertaining some friends!

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Our amazing view – we missed Brisbane!

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I asked the Meriton to leave a note from me to Michael in our hotel prior to checking in. It wasn’t a problem and a welcomed surprise for him!

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Cheers to our holiday!!

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Night view was just as nice!

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In the evening, we caught up with one of our favourite gals – Fiona! Had some delicious Korean food including crispy chicken wings and bulgogi at another favourite – Maru!

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So good to see this one!

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Yoni dropped by after his evening shift to hang out with us some more – and he drove us to their airport the following morning, you’re the best!

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Gloomy morning before checking out!

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No problems with checking in for our flight and soon we were on our way to North America! First, Brisbane to Los Angeles with Qantas. Then, Los Angeles to Toronto to Ottawa with Air Canada!

I’ve always liked the better quality of food with Qantas airline!

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SOON… HOME SWEET HOME!

Last moments with friends in Halifax

September 12, 2014

Our last night in Halifax, Matt and Laura were kind enough to let us have a BBQย at their house for one last chance to seeย everyone! Thank you Dan, Will, Ian & Sarah, Mike & Tina, and Christine & Stella for dropping by and spending time with us! We will miss you all!

Here are a few photos I took with Laura and Christine and their daughters playing outside while we waited for the boys to return from Go-Karting.

Beep beep!

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Stella was so shy initially!

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Isabelle is such a miniature version of Matt, it is uncanny. So adorable!

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Haha, this is her ‘smelling the flowers’ face, so cute!

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Hopping/skipping/running down the neighbourhood!

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Smiles with Christine and Isabelle!

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Some mommy daughter moments

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Sorry I didn’t take more photos with everyone who came by, but thank you to EVERYONE for your time and hospitality during our stay in Halifax, we missย you all tons!

New Germany with the Gregory Family

August 23 – 24, 2014

Mike and I spent my first weekend in Nova Scotiaย down in New Germany with Bill and Nina’s family! ๐Ÿ™‚ They live on a farm with acres of land, animals and delicious fruits and vegetables.

Our visit in photos!

Nina and their beautiful daughter Lily with her donkey Captain Underpants!

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Visiting the horses

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Their beautiful horses

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Heading over to Uta’s (Nina’s mom) property next door

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Chickens on Uta’s property

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Giving Captain Underpants a brush

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See ya later!

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How adorable is she?

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Lily’s brother Archer – look at that smile!

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Picking blackberries ๐Ÿ™‚

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Archer with grandpa (Bill’s dad)

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Kids and grandpa

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Nina designed and Bill built the kids… a three storey castle!

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Bill with Lily in the castle

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Lily helping grandma (Bill’s mom) shuck corn!

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Hauling the corn over to daddy to cook

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Family fun on the trampoline

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Pensive Bill

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Kisses

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Bill’s chickens – almost ready to eat ๐Ÿ˜‰

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And their turkeys

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Daddy and the kids

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Archer loves his apples, and look at those blue eyes!

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Such a smart girl!

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Evening bonfire

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Locating some more blackberries on a walk around their farm

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Gross!

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This furry catepillar was kind of cute

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On Sunday, Mike and I made dinner! Banh Mi (Vietnamese subs) with homemade BBQ pork, garlic mayo and pickled carrots.

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Matt, Laura and their daughter Isabelle came down to join from Halifax! And Uta came over as well ๐Ÿ™‚

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Thank you for welcoming me into your home Bill and Nina! It was great to spend time with you and the kids! โค

Surprise week in Ottawa

Aside from my brother and sister, no one in my family knew I had an additional week in Ottawa from August 9 to 15, 2014. Boy was I excited for an extra week with family and friends!

Thank you to my siblings for picking me up at the airport Saturday morning! My mom was working so she had no idea I was home… ๐Ÿ™‚

Got home, showered, and then went over to surprise my grandparents. My grandfather was out, but luckily, I had pre-written up 4 pages (he is deaf, so I communicate via writing) with an update on a number of topics including: getting a job and my elective experience in Nanaimo. My grandma was home so I had the chance to catch up with her and leave my letter for my grandpa and visit later.

Elvin picked me up for… you guessed it, lunch at Shawarma Palace, our favourite. What made it even better? The company ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks Elvin, Jenn, Ruixi, Vinh and Tina for joining me for a delicious lunch! Always so nice to see you guys and catch up.

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At the end of our lunch, my siblings texted to say my mom was done work and they were going to pick her up. Of course, I needed to come too in order to surprise her! Elvin drove me to my mom’s work in order to meet my siblings. But eek! When Elvin turned in, my mom was already standing outside waiting for my siblings. We did a half duck and hoped my mom didn’t notice us. Phew, she didn’t! We ended up turning around and meeting my siblings in a nearby parking lot. I crouched down behind the passenger side and waited for her to notice. She didn’t. I started tickling her, she thought I was my brother even though he was sitting on the opposite side of the car. Finally, I just started laughing and gave myself away. I told her why I was home and how I had to pay an additional $400 for the flight change. Worth it.

Dinner that night? Poutine from Spud’s. A family size ‘Sugar Shack’ – fries, cheese curds, beer gravy, bacon, sausage and maple syrup – delicious!

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Here are some random moments over the week! There are a few special occasions not mentioned here because they will have a post of their own! ๐Ÿ˜€

Loved getting to spend more time with this guy!

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My sister brought a ton of Asian treats back from Vancouver, including Green Tea Aero chocolate – yum.

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With Asian items always comes Engrish

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Everyone was craving my mom’s famous ‘Banh Mi’ (Vietnamese subs). She made BBQ pork and we had BBQ pork banh mi! So delicious, I think we all had subs for days!

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Enjoyed grape tomatoes, fresh from the garden.

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Mum made coconut sticky rice which was thoroughly enjoyed with sweet ripe mango.

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Wake up guys!

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Can I have some meat with this taco bowl?

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Made blueberry white chocolate scones for the family

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My siblings like to sneak selfies on my cell phone ๐Ÿ˜›

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But allย like to take selfies too right?

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Lunch at Art Is In with the family and Janet! Sorry about the terrible backdrop but you can read more about Art Is In here!

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Yummy, green tea ginger ale

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And buffet lunch another day at Eclipse! My lovely siblings ๐Ÿ˜‰

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I had a very special opportunity with the family this weekย – shoppingย for a wedding dress with my mom, sister and brother! Although I can’t say I’ve found THE dress, I have now certainly found THEย style of dress. Yay! I was very glad to have shared the experience with my family because I honestly don’t know if I’ll have another chance again, especially being in Australia!

After looking at wedding dresses, we wentย to get donuts at Suzy Q. Same donut with different toppings, not bad but to be honest, I still prefer Tim Hortons donuts. They could certainly do with a facelift!

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A last few get togethers in Canada

January 3, 2014

With my sister returning to BC the following day, we invited all the cousins over for an evening of food, board games, laughs and fun! Would also be the last time I get to see them before I head off on the 7th as well.

So happy all you cousins could make it! ๐Ÿ˜€

Enjoying the movie Ip Man first while having pizza and snacks!

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Board games!

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January 4, 2014

Lunch with Colette and her husband, Pete, long-term friends of my mum! A lovely Korean meal at Mu Goong Hwa, great food and wonderful service! So nice to finally have the opportunity to spend time together and catch up!

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And in the evening, my grandparents joined us in seeing my sister off back to BC!

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January 7, 2014

Our families finally enjoyed a meal together! Michael chose Perkins as he hadnโ€™t had the chance to go this vacation, last breakfast in Canada!

Then back to our house for tea and some quick dessert before heading off to the airport.

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Time went by so quickly, soon we had to go to the airport ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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Last shot with my mum!

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My family watching us head off after passing through security

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Group photo!

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Thank you for seeing us off family! We miss you all so much already!

Seeing the girls again!

December 08, 2013

Reunion with the girls, finally! We were just missing Sophie ๐Ÿ˜ฆ who’s still studying in San Fran… but we’ll catch up with her sooner or later!

We congregated at Julia’s house (thanks Hue for picking Atong and I up!) to make delicious food and of course, to feast!

Julia taught us how to make gnocchi, who knew it was such an easy dish to make from scratch too!

Baking and letting the potatoes dry out.

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Pressing the potatoes… takes effort! ๐Ÿ˜›

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Hue made a play on the well known appetizer Insalata Caprese – yummy with tomato, basil, and boccocini, dipped in a basalmic and olive oil vinagrette.

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Atong… just watching and waiting to eat, haha.

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I made some coconut basil tempura shrimp… never a let down!

Infusing the coconut cream

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Ready to feast!

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It had been a while since I had poutine, Julia made some with sweet potato too, yummy!

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The tempura shrimp!

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Can’t believe I forgot to take a picture of the gnocchi! It was so delicious with a rose sauce and bacon!

I also made some deep fried banana fritters, tasty!

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Group photo ๐Ÿ™‚

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Silly faces

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Such a lovely home

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Watching Masterchef as we eat ๐Ÿ˜›

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And with her lovely Christmas tree!

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And lastly, I just wanted to point out her table runner. How beautiful is that??

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Random recent moments

As I mentioned in the last post, I haven’t done much in the last 3 weeks but there are aย few things to share!

My dear friend Amanda gifted me with lovely chocolate covered sultanas by Melba’s and a bottle of Chenin Blanc (Coriole Vineyards), both presents from South Australia. The chocolates are rich, smooth and delicious and of the course, the wine was very tasty. She even wrote a really touching note… just because she’s an awesome friend and is always thinking of other people. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Having some of the chocolates and salted cashews = winning snack.

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Craving for Korean food led us back to our usual spot – Madtongsan II for dinner on Oct 16!

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Oct 19 – Could not resist the great lunch specials at Wagaya. Went for my new favourite dish, tonkotsu ramen, so delicious! Even comes with dumplings and an amazing bowl of fried rice!

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For dessert, we chose to share the green tea cheese cake with green tea ice cream. Have been wanting to try this for a while but probably not worth getting again.

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Mike’s squishing me! Long but fun and extremely worthwhile days in hospital this rotation. But sooo tired when we finally get home, not much studying gets done.

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Yoni was in town from Nambour and staying with us Oct 19-20. We went to see Gravity which was good, although I was glad we didn’t see the 3D version because I think I would’ve gotten motion sickness. And we never go without food! My favourite wedges from Beastie Burgers and burritos from Guzman y Gomez, yummy picnic!

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I ordered a few BB Cream replacements recently, and look at all the amazing samples I received! All well known Korean brands too… can’t wait to try some of these out, especially the Ice Mask!

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Boiled quail eggs with some salt and pepper – delicious snack!

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How do you cut a pineapple? This is how I learned from my mom, least amount of pineapple wastage!

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Yummy! Honeydew melon with pineapple and lychee – can’t go wrong!

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Tried frozen yoghurt for the first time not too long ago – how delicious! Biscotti and coconut pandan flavour with fruits – yum!

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A new favourite in our house, basil & blueberry gin and tonic – try it! Very tasty ๐Ÿ™‚

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Home made food update? Here are a few things!

Crispy oven baked sweet potato fries

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Creamy mushroom soup – delightful!

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More mango sticky rice with coconut cream, mmm

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Vegetarian pasta salad with Greek yoghurt based dressing

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Pear cupcakes with passionfruit icing for the students in my group

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Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing and carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing as thank you gifts for my med team.

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Happy birthday Fi!

September 28, 2013

A small BBQ gathering to catch up with friends and more importantly, celebrate Fiona’s birthday! She’s only turned “24” this year guys ๐Ÿ˜‰

Blowing out the candles! It took many laughs and a lot of effort ๐Ÿ˜›

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And a few random pictures! Sorry Christine and Mike, somehow I missed you guys!

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Happy birthday again!

Visiting Fi in Toowoomba!

Kristen, Christine and I went to visit Fiona in Toowoomba last Sunday! What a lovely opportunity to catch up with the girls, how I’ve missed them!

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Fi, our very lovely (and free!) tour guide, took us on a ride around town and we eventually drove up to Preston Peak Wines for lunch. Fun and friendly wine tasting but a limited lunch menu. The location was beautiful and peaceful, it’s too bad the sun wasn’t out for very long!

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The day was short and soon we were on our way back to Brisbane. With exams coming up, we left with the promise to be back for a hiking and boardgames day – looking forward to it!

Until then, surgery study time!

The “REALLY COOL” car we saw during the drive home:

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Picked up a little something for Michael, a bottle of fortified wine. Golden Gleam – Fortified pristine White Muscat juice. Lychee and marmalade characteristics; a very fruity wine. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Tina & Vinh’s Pre-Wedding Nostalgic Party

Vinh and Tina’s wedding is tomorrow – so exciting!

As an opportunity to reminisce the good old days, Elvin organised “Tina & Vinh’s Pre-Wedding Nostalgic Party” for this evening in Canada (June 21).

The event info:

In early celebration of Tina and Vinh’s wedding and also for the sake of good times and great friends’ company, join us for a fun time at Marion Common Room!

We it will be a pot-luck-style event with perhaps Pizza Pizza just like old times!

Please bring any food, games, activities and memories to share with the group just like we did in undergrad!

Think: juice boxes, meech, werewolves, card games etc.

It will be great times!

For those who don’t know, Marion is the main science building at the University of Ottawa… where we spent so much of our time in undergrad together – lots of great laughs and fun memories.

I’m so glad to have been able to hang out with everyone (via Facetime, woo hoo!) Brought back lots of memories, I can’t believe so much time has passed since we’ve last been in that room together. Many of us are all in different cities now, back in Ottawa especially for Vinh and Tina’s wedding. I only wish I could be there in person to watch these wonderful 2 get married tomorrow but I will live vicariously through everyone else ๐Ÿ™‚

I took some screen shots during the game of Cards Against Humanity – so much laughter went on.

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Yo, check out Amin’s sunglasses ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Group picture – Miss you guys! Thanks for including me in such a special night! ๐Ÿ™‚

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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. ๐Ÿ˜›

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. ๐Ÿ˜›ย  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.ย  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.ย  It is a 13 kilometer loop that hugs the coastline for most of it.ย  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 ๐Ÿ˜€ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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

She can put a smile on your face: Atong

My dearest chocolate friend, Atong, never fails puts a smile on my face.

If you’re lucky, you know her personally. But even if you don’t, I hope sharing this story will make you laugh too!

She’s currently in New Orleans and obviously having a blast. Sent the girls the following update yesterday:

Ladies, I cried in a restaurant last night. Lol. No joke. Tears came out of my ducts and rolled onto my face. Then I stole a goblet. My food was so good that I actually cried. No joke. I cried in the middle of the restaurant. I then stole the cup (it’s actually a goblet – it’s huge!). Actually, when I say ‘stole’ what I actually did was call the waitress over and ask her how she felt about me taking the goblet. She said she didn’t see anything and then helped me hide it. I love this place.

I went for a jog outside this morning. First of all, it’s hot. Second of all, the boys are so nice. I’ve been called a ‘pretty young thang’ so many times that I’ve lost count. Lol. I’m not coming back to Ottawa. There’s nothing there for me.

I’m just going to find my first husband in the next few days and just lock him down. This is the new me. Get used to it.

Things to note: She cried over food and she plans to find her first husband. Haha

She then added:

I had deep fried shrimp wrapped in crab stuffing. Sooooooo good. Sandra, if you do your rotations here, I will visit ALL THE TIME. The weather is gorgeous. The only downside is that I didn’t bring my booty shorts. Sad face.

I stole the goblet because it’s huge! It’s the equivalent of 3 drinks. It’s magnificent. I’m going to drink every thing out of it. Coffee, cocktails, beer. I might even put soup in it.

I miss this girl! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Introducing a blogger and a friend :)

This is long overdue (and I’m sorry dear!) but I would like to thank my lovely friend and fellow blogger… let’s call her ‘S‘. That way, she can maintain her online anonymity ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thank you for a number of reasons!

1) For being one of my oldest and closest friends. We met back in grade 7-8 and became closer throughout high school. She’s been there through thick and thin and is one of the few high school friends I still keep in touch with. For that I am grateful. We rarely see each other, but when we do, nothing has changed and things pick up where we left them. Friends like her are hard to come by, I’m sure you know the feeling!

2) For having a blog! Being on the other side of the world, it’s often extremely hard to keep in touch with friends – her blog allows me to stay up to date with what’s going on in her life. Can you believe, she’s the only friend I have who blogs? I’ve grown to love blogging as a tool to record my thoughts and memories. But it also kills 2 birds with one stone. I can blog on my own schedule and those who are interested can check up on me whenever they feel like it. That’s why I wish more of my friends blogged – so I can stalk you guys! ๐Ÿ˜€

3) For her awesome shout out to me and Elle! You are such an amazing and strong woman, thank you again my dear! Like her, I feel like I don’t praise other bloggers enough. I’m terrible but I will try to be less of a silent troll reader!

S has 2 blogs, check them out!

Her first is Love Lost in a Hail of Gunfire. Mostly laid back, many of her posts on this blog share mini life updates, her current interests in music and tv, as well as her own art pieces.

More recently, she started a second blog – Perception Overload. This one will serve as a platform for her more serious posts that will definitely be thought provoking!