It’s not just July; it also means that there’s only five more months until Christmas!
I had a weird dream one night. Two of my co-workers were singing Christmas carols while I played the piano, and it was July! This is why I’m reminded about Christmas.
It is quite a reminder that summer can just come and go so quickly. I hope you’re having a great summer, so far. I was invited to one BBQ so far – it’s okay. I am not down nor discouraged. A woman does not live on BBQs alone. I know we are blessed by friends and family, simply because we have the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company. Let’s just say, at least I met some potentially new friends at my first BBQ – which is a great thing!
I look forward to living vicariously through some of your vacations and stories, and hopefully, I will also have tales of my own. (Let’s see how many different Starbucks locations I’ll find this summer.)
On The Go – Part 2 …
In June’s KaTsZoNe, I listed some websites which I thought might be helpful in your travel plans. Here are some more websites which I have come across recently, including travel outside Canada.
Travel and Living Abroad (A Government of Canada website. Includes “Security & Health” below, and other links to Festivals & Events across Can., Travel Planners, Foreign Destinations, etc.): http://www.passages.gc.ca/menu-en.asp
For decades, my dad was a committed walker – meaning, rain, snow or shine, he was out there walking twice a day (anywhere from 2- 4 km). He was diabetic, but, through eating properly and walking (one of the safest exercises), he lived a healthy life until age 86. I also discovered great benefits and lots of fun through walking and hiking. For a gal with a “not so great” immune system, walking has helped to boost my immune system (along with my other friends like Echinacea and Vitamin C). My preference, though, is not be stuck indoors – I like to be walking outdoors (or there better be an interesting mall or market somewhere).
I used to think that walking was merely for exercise or for sheer necessity just to get from A to B. But, throughout the years, I have heard of, and experienced for myself, a love for walking by exploring on my own, and walking/hiking groups. Walking tours may be for singles (to meet other singles), or for those who like too learn about the history of a city (i.e. “Ghost walks”, architecture tours), or to learn about and enjoy nature (i.e. hiking on park trails, learn about park conservation, animals). And, if you are going to do some exercise, you might as well have some fun while you’re at it. The greatest thing about walking as an exercise is, you will see young and old participating! Of course, there are different levels of hikes and walks, so, I would suggest you contact a group before you head out, if you are not sure what level you are at.
EXPLORE & LEARN
History & Culture – “ROMwalks” (May – Sept. 2005)
I was recently reminded through my friend, K, and her friends, about ROMwalks. These are free, guided walks to the general public in different areas of the GTA. There are also special “ROMwalk Plus Walks” (in October) which are specially designed, and includes afternoon tea (oh…speak to me people!). Some of the areas covered in July are Rosedale, Church/King Streets, Parkdale, Cabbagetown, Annex, Historic Toronto and Mt.PleasantCemetery. I have not been on a guided ROMwalk. In the past, I brought along a book about historic Toronto or Mt.PleasantCemetery or book about architecture in Toronto and went on my own. But, I’m sure this could be lots of fun, and you will have your own guide. Check out the website (listed below), and if any of you are interested in a Sunday afternoon or Wednesday evening walk in July or August, do let me know, and perhaps, we could go for a walk together – along with the rest of the group! http://www.rom.on.ca/explore/publicprograms/romwalks.php
Nature – The Kortright Centre for Conservation (Year Round)
Years ago, I went on a small group, guided walking tour of The Kortright Centre for Conservation, located in Woodbridge. We intended to see the fall colours, however, we were just a couple weeks too early that year. The Kortright Centre is open year-round. If you like to hike, it is a great place to go. For information about Kortright Centre, including admission fees, activities, etc. please visit: http://www.trca.on.ca/parks_and_culture/places_to_visit/kortright_centre/
For information about year-round activities in various conservation centres, the website for Toronto and Region Conservation is: http://www.trca.on.ca/
Lady Katherine, Duchess of Sandalfoot, of the Kingdom of Rockport, inviteth all friends (along with thy kin and acquaintances) to the King of High Park’s production of Sir Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,”
a romantic comedy about Lords and Ladies, how they do relateth to one another, misunderstandeth one another, loveth and repelleth one another.
Lady Katherine shalt be in attendance at the CanStage in the Kingdom of High Park with her acquaintances on Friday, the 5th day of August, in the Year 2005,
at the performance.
If thou hast other propositions on the 5th of August, perhaps thou shalt not miss thine opportunity still, as this production runneth from the 30th day of June till the 4th day of September.
Sometimes, one just gets lucky, trying new restaurants/eateries. And, in the past month, that’s exactly how I have felt. So, I’d like to share this blessing with all of you. There are three restaurants that I have tried for the first time – Italian, Thai, and Vietnamese. However, I have only listed two for now, as I have not been able to get the proper name of the Vietnamese restaurant on Spadina Avenue, so, if you are interested in Vietnamese cuisine, stay tune for information in the near future.
Within two months, I visited Paisano’s twice – my first visit was in May, 2005. It happens to be handy because it’s right in my “hood” – right near the northwest corner of Willowdale and Sheppard Ave. E. I enjoy “homey” and hearty, tasty Italian food. On a hot summer’s day, you can be out on the patio or in air cond. On weekends, I would recommend that you make reservations, even if it’s just for two people. Mom enjoyed it, and she’s not much into non-Asian food – so, I was surprised when she finished her plate. What did mom try, you ask? My recommendation - Lemon chicken with mixed vegetables and light olive oil on linguine on the side – delizioso!!!!
Thai Shan Inn Restaurant 2039 Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto; tel: (416) 784-1491 (About 4-5 blocks west of Dufferin St.) http://www.toronto.com/profile/215627 (Consumer Ratings & Reviews)
You will likely find the consensus, and mine is included, that the food is very tasty, and you definitely get lots of food with unbeatable prices. My friend, Alvin, brought me to Thai Shan for what I’d call homemade food! I’ve never had a more delicious mango salad – it was large enough probably to share amongst 3-4 people, in my opinion. A regular size pad thai is also good for sharing between two people. The food is excellent - consumers on toronto.com have rated it 5 out of 5. Go ahead and read the 17 reviews – I do agree with most of them. I haven’t seen anyone kiss the cook yet (like one customer had seen), having only been there once, but hey, if it’s that casual and “homey”, I’ll be back there again! (Thanks Alvin!)
As I have mentioned, stay tune for more information about this restaurant on Spadina Avenue in Chinatown.
Country Style Hungarian Restaurant 450 Bloor Street West, Toronto; tel: (416) 537-1745 (East of Bathurst, about 3-5 minute walk from Bathurst/Bloor) http://www.toronto.com/profile/191318 (Consumer Ratings & Reviews)
At the beginning of June, I revisited Country Style with my friend, Mina. It was Mina’s first visit to Country Style. Although I’ve tried the Hungarian goulash and cabbage rolls in the past, I think their schnitzels are the best (there are 3 types of schnitzels to enjoy). Interestingly, their business card also boasts, “Best Wiener Schnitzel in Town”. This time, to my utter delight, delicious cold cherry soup was ours to enjoy (only when cherries are in season)! Woohoo!!!
This is another place with great food, great portions and with great prices! This is one restaurant you will not mind visiting a few times during the year.
Memories of Japan 900 Don Mills Road, Toronto; tel: (416) 449-3773 (2 blocks North of Eglinton Ave. East, S.W. corner of Don Mills Rd. and Barber Greene Dr.)
Delicious Japanese food at very reasonable price just about sums up my opinion. Mom and I shared an OTSU (in Bento) for only $13.95 (which included miso soup, salad, 3 pcs cucumber rolls, 3 pcs. Tuna rolls, shrimp and vegetable tempura, teriyaki fillet of chicken, grilled salmon, mixed vegetables, steamed rice and ice cream). We indulged some more (okay, it was my idea to try new things) and also had two appetizers: fried bean curd AND sunomono (assorted vinegared seafood & seaweed). Well, if you read my Pre-Summer Edition, you would know that I just LOVE seaweed (dried and vinegared)! If you enjoy Teppanyaki cooking tables, there are several available. Memories of Japan is apparently one of the largest Japanese restaurants in Ontario (over 300 seats). You will want to get a take-out menu to take away with you because you won’t want to forget this restaurant. You won’t need to ask – when your bill comes, they will include it. Guess they want you to have good Memories of Japan….lol.