east coast life

I’m really excited to share my most recent trip with all of you! I spent a week in a car with my boyfriend driving across the eastern part of the country. Was it crazy? Yes. Are we still together? Surprisingly, yes!

We left last Thursday night and drove to Riviere-Du-Loup. It’s not a huge city (although much bigger than some of our stops) but it’s about the half way point between Toronto and Halifax. There’s a really nice Best Western Plus if you ever find yourself in need of a room there and there’s of course a St. Hubert’s in town so you can’t really go wrong.

The next day we were off to Halifax, we stopped in a camping area to visit some family but we were in Halifax. The next day, we ate at the fun Chicken Burger, walked 10,000 steps before lunch and had a good ol’ fashioned kitchen party at my aunt and uncle’s. We had lobster which I’ve decided is only amazing when it is that fresh – and cooked in ocean water. Spoiled, I know. The next day, we did pier 21, stopped in a Garrison Brewery and did the Keith’s tour which is very theatrical and ridiculous but also really fun. I realized now that I didn’t take a ton of pictures in Halifax. I apparently was saving all my picture taking for the Cabot Trail.

So Monday morning, we were off to Baddeck. There happened to be a brewery 10 minutes from our hotel so we had to stop in there. We went to the Bell Museum, which was really neat. I didn’t realize that Alexander Graham Bell was so into flight. The town of Baddeck is only 700 people (but 600 hotel rooms). It wasn’t really nice out so we had dinner at the hotel and watched the raptors game. The next morning was a true highlight of the trip when we did the Cabot Trail. The Cabot Trail takes about 6 hours to do, if you don’t walk any of the trails. We just did the drive and with all of our stops for pictures and lunch and to buy folk art, we did it in 6 hours. This is just a few of the photos I took, but honestly pictures don’t do it justice. We were so lucky with the weather, it was originally supposed to rain but the sun was shining all day. I will say though, if you’re not a fan of heights, it might be a long day for you – the trail goes up and down several mountains and there were so points that really freaked me out but it was totally worth it.

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The drive was amazing – I would recommend it as a must see in Canada. Our next day was super crazy. We got up at 5am to drive through the fog to catch the ferry to Prince Edward Island. We went to Charlottetown for a few hours, a friend of my boyfriend’s showed us around. I actually wish we did a night in Charlottetown instead of the second night in Cape Breton, after we finished the trail, there wasn’t much else for us to do. Charlottetown was absolutely charming. It is definitely a small town and seemed to have a great selection of restaurants, cafes, and bars. And of course, it’s on the water so it’s super cute.

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I apparently only have a photo of us from Charlottetown on my phone – there were more pictures. Now, for the crazier part, we were driving to Quebec City – a nine hour drive from where we were. We took the bridge which was very pricey but very neat. We ended up in Quebec City around 11, which with the time difference made it a 19 hour day. Thankfully the beds were heavenly at the Delta Quebec.

We spent Thursday walking around Quebec City. I hadn’t been since I was a kid so didn’t really remember much. It felt as if we were in a European city, it was very old and very hilly. It was beautiful. We also went to dinner at the “best restaurant in quebec city” according to trip advisor. A bistro called iX, which is run by two guys. They only have 9 tables and only do one seating a night. Although it was a fairly casual restaurant, the food was fantastic and the enthusiasm from the owners was contagious. If you’re in Quebec City, I would recommend checking it out but make reservations weeks in advance, it’s very limited. Get the fois gras poutine. Trust me.

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We drove back on Friday, which meant we put about 5000kms on the car in about a week. It was totally worth it and I’m glad we did a Canadian trip this time. Sometimes I forget how beautiful this place really is!

 

 

contest: canadian sport film festival

A couple of years ago, I heard about the Canadian Sport Film Festival and got to see some amazing movies about sports. The film festival is now in its 8th year, the festival tells stories of sport, not from high performance scorelines but from a different angle, grass-roots and of social justice. A number of the films will also include Q&A with the directors as well as panel discussions following the films. Movies this year include stories of human rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, mental health and youth culture. I’m really excited to be giving away a pair of festival passes, a value of $120!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can find a detailed schedule of the festival here. Can’t wait to find out if you won the contest? Tickets are available online now and are $12 with discounts for seniors and students. 

detox to retox: black oak

Just over a week away from the next Detox to Retox! I can’t believe we’re approaching our 11th event!!! Thank you so much to everyone that came out to our charity event at Left Field. We filled over 2 dozen boxes of goodies for women using shelters.

The next one is at Black Oak brewery in Etobicoke! We’ll go through an hour of yoga followed by a beer tasting at the brewery. And more exciting news! Detox to Retox now has it own site so you can easily see when the next event is, and where to get tickets!

Tickets are going fast, the last three detoxes have sold out so get your tickets before they’re gone.

PS: We’re also hosting Detox to Retox on the Craft Brew Cruise again this year. Enjoy yoga on the deck of the boat followed by a three hour boat/beer cruise. Tickets are also on sale now for that event, and sold out last year – so get them now to avoid disappointment!

contest: haus musik

I’m really excited to be giving away tickets to another Tafelmusik experience! You may remember me talking about these fun, classical events in the past. Their events are designed for the under 30 crowd as a way to learn more about classical music (and you know, be cultured).

Their next event is on Tuesday at 918 Bathurst, this immersive concert will feature a cash bar throughout the show. You can find a sample of the music you can expect in this sample on spotify.

But now! On to the contest! Simple complete this Rafflecopter. Contest closes Sunday night and the winner will be contacted by email by Monday morning. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

dining out: b. good

My boyfriend and I are trying to eat a little better (ok, its mostly him, I mean, I did have Sweet Jesus for dinner last week). We were in the Queen and Bathurst area for an event and trying to find something half-way healthy to eat and we stumbled upon b-good.

B-good has a bit of an eclectic menu, they have burgers, soups, salads and grain bowls. My boyfriend and I each had a grain bowl, which was actually more kale than grains.

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I had the toasted almond and ginger but held the mint. I was a little worried when I saw all those veggies but the sauce was quite tasty and I enjoyed the bowl. You can’t see the huge amount of kale under the veggies but there was lots of it. I was full half way through and would have been quite happy if they had a smaller portion.

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My boyfriend got the local apple and bacon but held the avocado, I think because he knew I would want to try and I can’t eat the avo. The bacon was the thickest bacon I had ever seen, the picture does not do it justice. He added chicken, which I regret not doing, not because it really needed it but because it was super delicious. They had a sign on the wall that told you where all the meats and produce came from that was being served that day. They also had a fancy kind of pop, which had a blueberry soda – I was so excited. It was a little sweet so I mixed it with the raspberry seltzer – honestly, it would have been perfect with vodka 😉

I’d recommend b.good if you’re looking for a healthy dish, they have a number of locations throughout the city and Oakville.

Have you been to b.good? What did you get?

best part of being a grown up

I think the best part of being a grown up is that you can have whatever you’d like for dinner, and one day last week I chose ice cream. I finally made it to Sweet Jesus, it was freezing cold, snowing and there was still a line!

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I had the campfire smores – it was soft serve, burnt marshmallows, chocolate sauce and graham crackers. It was so good. It was worth every single calorie! They have about half a dozen different types of ice cream cones, and they all sound delicious. My friend had cookies-cookies-cookies and cream which is exactly what you think it is. It was really good but I think I’d have my campfire smores again.

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My friend had the marshmallow latte, which honestly, was a full dessert. I don’t think you could go wrong with anything at Sweet Jesus. They are definitely decadent desserts and drinks and a special treat. But be prepared to wait, there’s even a line in the snow!

Have you been to Sweet Jesus? What’s your favourite?

toronto theatre: up the garden path

I had the opportunity to see Obsidian Theatre’s 2nd show of the season, Up The Garden Path, last night at Theatre Passe Muraille.

The story starts in Barbados in the 1960s as a woman makes the decision to travel to disguise herself as a man and travel to the Niagara region to work picking grapes. When she arrives, she discovers that she is the only one who can see a ghost from the war of 1812, trapped in a type of purgatory and decides that if he helps her keep her job on the farm, she’ll help him crossover the the other side.

The play is often funny and sweet and the acting is quite good. I am constantly impressed by the level of talent in the shows I see at small theatres across the city. Up The Garden Path runs at Theatre Passe Muraille until April 10th. Tickets start at $25 with a discount for students, seniors and art workers.

bendy for beer for a great cause

Hope you’re all having a great long weekend so far, I know it just started but that’s the most exciting time – there’s so much weekend left!

Our next Detox to Retox has been scheduled and tickets are going faster than reese’s peanut butter eggs on easter morning. The next event is extra special for a couple of reasons. 1. It is our 10th Detox to Retox! 10, I can’t believe it. How time flies. 2. This one’s for charity. We wanted to do something fun and different for our 10th D2R and we thought giving back would be the best way to celebrate this little milestone!

The next event is on April 17th at Left Field Brewery, a fan favourite. Join us and support the Shoebox Project while having a great time getting bendy for beer. The Shoebox Project is an awesome local charity that gives women living in shelters a little something special. Each shoebox has a value of around $50 and can be filled with things like makeup, candy, nail polish, gift cards, tokens and really anything that will help women feel special.

For our next event, the majority of the funds will go to the Shoebox Project. We also welcome participants to create their own shoebox or bring items that can go into a shoebox that the Detox to Retox team will create!

If you would like more information about what to put in the boxes and some of the shelters they work with, check out their site here. If you’d like tickets – you can find them here.

See you on the 17th!

little black afro’s carbon

I just got in from seeing Little Black Afro’s Carbon, if you missed my previous posts on the show you can find them here and here.

I had never been to a poetry show before, so like many times I venture out to check out the arts in this city, I didn’t know what to expect. In my mind, I kind of pictures what I had seen on tv in the 90s of coffee shops and people snapping their fingers – this was not that.

The show consisted of 16 poems, all written by the performers. They were all about something different although many of them were about growing up, adolescence and love. Some of the poems were sad and moving while others were laugh out loud funny. Through the “narrator”/”emcee”, we the audience decided the order the poems went in. The set was simple, a woodbox box/shelf, a sheet and a set of pulleys that between each poem/scene was rearranged to create a new backdrop for the poem. It was really quite impressive how seamlessly the show moved between each of the poems without knowing what order they were going to be in. I also really enjoyed that even though the poem was just written by one person, it was often performed by many. I personally found that easier to follow as it told more of a story than reading poetry. I must confess, I am an English major who never fell in love with poetry but this show just might have changed my mind.

The show only runs until Saturday at Aki Studio in the Daniels Spectrum. You can get tickets here. Also, 10% of the box office goes to Louder Than a Bomb: Youth Poetry Festival in Hamilton, so get out there and support the arts!

work out: spokehaus

I went and got my sweat on tonight! I was invited to try the new spin classes at Spokehaus this month so I filled up my water bottle, found my favourite workout clothes and headed down to Dan Leckie Way (near City Place) to try out the classes.

The studio isn’t very big, there’s one room with the bikes, a couple of change rooms and a locker area. Upon arrival, you’ll sign in and get your shoes. When you register online you pick your bike so you don’t have to worry about getting there early to get your favourite spot, just make sure you sign up early. I would also say, unless you can’t, try to come in your workout clothes, the change room although very nice and stocked with lots of toiletries, it isn’t very big.

People from the class before me were coming out covered in sweat, basically like they had all been in a hot yoga room, I was starting to get worried. I went into the room, found my bike and with the help of the very friendly staff, I got set up and locked in. On the bike was a fresh towel and a set of small weights. The class is 45 minutes in a dark room, with very loud music. The music is very important to the classes at Spokehaus – it’s like a workout in a club (without people touching you). If you ever watched Kimmy Schmidt, it’s like a legitimate version of the spin class on the show, you know, without the grossness at the end.

Although I’m not a very active person and the class was difficult for me, it wasn’t impossible and the time went by pretty quick, two things I look for in a workout. As the class was ending, two staff members came in with cool towels which felt amazing and smelled like aloe, possibly. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but it was so refreshing.

The class was over and I took of my shoes, grabbed the stuff from my locker and watched the steam come off my body. It was a great workout in a lovely facility, definitely worth checking out if you like a more energetic workout.

You can sign up for Spokehaus here and for a limited time, your first time is free.

Have you tried Spokehaus? What did you think?