Month: July 2015

thirsty thursday: brock st. blonde

Happy Thursday everyone!

I’m excited to share this new brewery I discovered this week. It’s a new one (at least to me) out in Whitby called Brock St. Brewery. They have 3 beers available year round, and one of them is their blonde, which is the one I tried.

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This award winning beer is light and refreshing. It was a great beer to enjoy in the backyard this week. I would definitely recommend checking out this brewery in Whitby, they even do deliveries for private parties in Durham Region and surrounding areas. It’s a great way to try a new beer without having to pick up the beer. I love simplicity.

Have you tried any of Brock St brewery’s beer?

 

nashville love

Better late than never, I can’t believe it was almost a month ago that I went to Nashville. I was having some issues with getting photos up so I apologize for the delay.

I went to Nashville over Canada Day (and 4th of July). I’ve always wanted to go to Nashville, I’m a huge fan of country music and “cheesy” and sparkly things so Nashville was the place for me.

My boyfriend and I decided to make it a little roadtrip – although Google says it’s 12 hours, with all the construction on the interstate, it was really closer to 14 hours. We split the trip up into two days on the way down. We stopped in Ohio on our way there and spent the night, carrying on the next day.

We arrived in Nashville around 3pm, we checked in to our beautiful Loews hotel room – which we somehow got upgraded, for free (funny story about that, I made the BF cancel and rebook like twice because it saved us $400 – and then we ended up getting the same room anyways #winning).

Our first Nashville stop was The Bluebird Cafe, I’ve never watched the show but yes, it’s a real place (a lot of people seemed to think it was just created for the show). It was extremely small and probably not what you would expect – it’s basically in a small plaza across from a Cheesecake Factory (which we later ate at) and no where near downtown. We were there on ASCAP night, which is the song writers night. And when I say small, I mean tiny – it holds about 100 people and you get cozy with your neighbours. You can also get cozy with the performers.

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that guy with the hat in front of me – he is totally one of the performers and we chatted with him.

 

this is the guy that wrote "lips like sangria" and "smile", as well as lots of other fabulous country music. And we got to watch him sing those songs like 3 feet from us!
this is the guy that wrote “lips like sangria” and “smile”, as well as lots of other fabulous country music. And we got to watch him sing those songs like 3 feet from us!

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The next morning, on the advice of a very lovely Blue Jays’ wife (I’ll let you guess who, you never know who you’re going to meet when volunteering!) – we headed a little outside the city to The Loveless Cafe. An area that used to be a restaurant and motel until the interstate was built and people stopped using the road as a way into Nashville. It was adorable and they gave us so many buiscuits – the theme of the trip was definitely TOO MUCH FOOD. Also, so many fried foods – I don’t want to think about the amount of fried chicken I had (totally worth it).

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That afternoon, we took a very hot and humid walk downtown (after that, it was UberX every where, 90% humidity is just not reasonable to walk in). We went to the world famous Tootsies (on the advice of my grandfather and the border guard). This is the bar where all the famous singers used to drink in between sets at the Opry, you can still go through the back alley. The downtown “Broadway” strip reminds me a bit of Fremont Street in Vegas, big giant neon lights straight out of the 40s and 50s. Every bar there has live music, I think all day every day. It was 1pm on a Thursday and you could hear live country music everywhere.

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at tootsies

We also went to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. They have so many outfits, lyrics and various nick nacks from the beginning of country music. It was great – I loved the outfits and seeing the handwritten notes and lyrics.

I also really enjoyed the fact that dolly parton dresses... uhh... stood out.
I also really enjoyed the fact that dolly parton dresses… uhh… stood out.

Thursday night, despite the rain – we headed to a AAA baseball game. It was “TBT” at the ballpark and the beers were only $3 – God Bless America, you would never see that here. We also got free America sunglasses because it was leading up to 4th of July. The coolest thing about the park is the fun scoreboard, which is of course, shaped like a guitar.

 

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Friday morning, we went back downtown and checked out the Johnny Cash Museum. It is fairly new and quite nice. They have so much from his life, from paystubs to outfits to items from his home. It was a neat museum. I also wanted to go to Opryland, which no longer has an amusement park but I wanted to see the big resort and the atrium.

Well.. there is very little photos of that because we ran into something that my cheapness would just not allow. The first 20 minutes of parking were free, after that $23 – with the dollar what it is, that just wasn’t possible. So – we saw it in 15 minutes. The atrium was quite elaborate and I’m sure there was more to see but nothing worth $23 for me. We would have been there max an hour. So we checked out the Opry Mills mall, which was almost identical to Vaughan Mills. But that day’s highlight was definitely the Grand Ole Opry.

The Grand Ole Opry relocated from the downtown Ryman years ago to the Grand Ole Opry House. They don’t announce the musician until a week or so before the show and there’s usually about 12 performers. I was so excited when they posted that Vince Gill was going to be there – I loved him as a kid. It was a strange set up, they have each performer do 2-3 songs and they’re in sets and in between there’s commercials because it’s aired on the radio so you can tune into the Opry anytime it’s on.

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in the opry
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happy girl at the opry

The Saturday, it rained again (it rained the whole time). We took it easy, went shopping, ate a bunch and went for a fancy dinner – where we had the biggest piece of carrot cake I’ve ever seen in my life. We debated going down to the fireworks but 100,000 people is just not my scene and I was convinced we could see it from our room. And I was right, it was a little foggy and we couldn’t see the bottom but it was enough for me.

wpid-img_20150704_221202.jpgIt was a great trip. I think 4 days is the perfect amount of time in Nashville. There wasn’t anything that we really wanted to see that we missed out on. There’s definitely lots there for country music lovers but even my boyfriend who isn’t a big fan had a great time. If you drive, once you get there unless you’re going out to the opry or bluebird, I’d just uberX everywhere – it’s so cheap and parking in the city is very expensive. If you fly, same thing – I wouldn’t bother renting a car, and if you stay even closer to downtown than we did (we were near Vanderbilt University), you definitely won’t need a car – it’s not a huge city. The people are great, the food is great and I think the music is great! Its a great trip for couples and I think it would be a fun place for a bacherlorette or girls weekend, if you don’t want to do Vegas.

Have you been to Nashville? Where should I go to next?

 

monday link love

It’s Monday, but we’re heading up to a long weekend, so it makes it a little more bearable. I know it’s been a few weeks since I’ve done a Monday Link Love, but summer has just been exhausting – as it usually is. Which is unfortunate because lots of bloggers are putting out awesome posts! Here’s a few from the past week.

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Houses always has great posts (and now a great podcast), but I found this week’s post about being Fearless the right kind of motivation for my Monday.

The Lovely Lindsey (totally going to start calling her that) is eating her way through the world, right here in Toronto on Happy or Hungry. This time, it was Italian, which I would find so difficult to do since there’s so many options. But this girl gets me, I order pasta in restaurants too, sometimes its just a lot of effort to make it so good.

And the Hip Urban Girls have a new way to buy cards, that are cheaper than most stores and shipped right to your door – plus the cards look hilarious, which are my favourite kind!

Anything else I should be reading? Let me know in the comments (shameless self-promotion totally allowed).

monday nights: a basketball story

Last Monday, I was invited to see “Monday Nights” at Theatre Centre in the West Queen West area. Despite it’s name, this show does not only play on Monday Nights (I totally checked this out before seeing the show).

In it’s second-run, this interactive play is about 4 basketball players in Toronto. They play every Monday night in the summer at Bathurst and Queens Quay until the lights went off and this play is about their story.

When I first heard about it, I didn’t fully understand what “interactive and choose your own adventure” could mean in a play but they made it happen, one note even said to wear comfy shoes. I was sure that I was not going to be talked into playing any basketball but there’s something about that crowd atmosphere that makes you do things you wouldn’t have thought of (I was terrible by the way, but regret nothing).

The play starts with you entering a room and listening to headphones at different team’s stations, that’s how you decide which team you’re on. Team Blue had Feel So Good by Mase playing, so naturally I picked that team (although the team playing “Ain’t No Mountain High” came in a close second. Once we got our seats, our “team captain” came out. We kept the headphones on to learn the back stories of the team captains, ours and others. Each team was hearing a different version of the story – it was funny when other teams would laugh at times but you would have no idea why. And then it was time to play ball! (that may be more of a baseball thing).

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I volunteered as scorekeeper – assuming that would mean I wouldn’t touch a basketball – I was wrong and again, I was terrible but all in good fun. The show then became more of a basketball game – which is really hard to describe in the context of a play but somehow it worked. We competed against the other teams in a series of basketball challenges – and all of them involved members of the audience. We cheered our teams on, working together against the other teams. It was definitely interactive and definitely different.

Monday Nights is all about being brave enough to step out of your comfort zone, making wishes and following your dreams. There’s still time to see Monday Nights and this Sunday is PWYC. I’d recommend this show for theatre fans as well as basketball fans (the kids at the show seemed to love it).

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Have you been to an interactive play before? What did you think?

 

contest: wines of argentina

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you’re all enjoying this warm day. I know that Tuesday’s can be tough, still so many days from the weekend but I’ve got something that I think will cheer everyone up! A contest! Who doesn’t like winning?

Next Wednesday, July 29th the Consulate General of Argentina and Wines of Argentina invite you to experience Wines of Argentina. This event will feature over 20 wines from Argentina, a delicious “asado-style” BBQ and live music from Bellosound.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t want to wait to see if you win the contest? Wines of Argentina has offered $5 off to Twenty-Something in Toronto readers using promo code 20SOM5. Good luck!

thirsty thursday: off the cuff

Happy Thursday everyone! Hope you’re all having a good week!

This week’s drink is one I tried at the new Stirling Room patio this week in the distillery district. I had never been to the Stirling Room, which is a club/lounge right at the entrance of the distillery district – they’re celebrating their 5th anniversary with the opening of a patio. The new patio is open Wednesday to Sunday and I won’t lie, it’s a great people-watching spot.

But on to the drink! They had a couple of signature cocktails for the night. The one I really enjoyed was Off the Cuff, a rye based drink made with Canadian Club 100%. The drink also contained a liquer, I had never heard of (almost unbelievable, I know). The drink had half a shot of Galliano, a vanilla flavoured liquor and ginger beer. They garnished it with a mint leaf – normally I don’t like mint in my drinks but because it wasn’t too much, it wasn’t overpowering.

I did have a photo of it but I’m experiencing some technical difficulties with the photo but it is a drink I will definitely try to replicate.

Have you been to the new patio yet?

 

thirsty thursday: soju

So… apparently I’m the only person in the world that has never heard of this drink – soju, a korean liquor who’s name translated means burning liquor. Thankfully, the Tipsy Teachers from Schoolhouse Booze were able to educate a group of ladies about soju at their recent “ladies night, night school”.

Soju can be made from a variety of things, including rice, potato, sweet potato or another grain, it seemed like almost any kind of grain. The ladies had theirs infused at a restaurant in the city, and after realizing how easy it was to do, they decided to share the secret with us (spoiler alert: you just pop some fruit in and let it sit two weeks).

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They had a bunch of delicious fruit – I infused mine with orange and grapefruit, I can’t wait to try it in two weeks. We tried it straight and with pineapple. Straight was fine, a little strong but nothing like a vodka or tequila burn. The pineapple was nice, it reminded me of malibu. Soju is lighter than most liquors, at around 20-25% alcohol and is under $20 at the LCBO for a 26er.

Have you tried soju? Do you know any games I should know about?