Wednesday, September 20, 2017

ENJOY IT WHILE YOU CAN

Life ain’t fair, and in a world like today’s, when it feels like the end of the world almost everyday, I’ll just do my best to enjoy what I can and help as many people enjoy their day as best I can. For example, I will go and eat some really great food. 

C and I went to Heritage Asian Eatery a few weeks ago, and I came across these photos on my phone, which reminded me of how awesome that little shop was. One of these was the duck bowl and the other was the pork bowl:

Rice bowl at Heritage

3 bao’s to go for H, stuffed with meat and fresh veggies:
Bao at Heritage

I thought these had the right amount of sauce/meat to rice (or bao) ratio. The eggs were cooked perfectly (by that, I mean the yolks were runny enough but the whites were not too soft). I want to come back to try the brunch one day, but I have too many other places on my list right now.

Heritage Asian Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I am sort of trying to save money, so eating at home more is on my list of goals for the next 2 months. This is proving to be quite difficult. I already knew that this year would not be a good year for saving money from reading Your Chinese Horoscope 2017 by Neil Somerville. I’m pretty much ready for next year to start, I’m getting tired of typing “2017”.

PS: I'm so super tired today. I think I'm letting the unfairness of this whole situation bring me down, because I just don't know how to let this go without some sort of... admonishment. When somebody does something wrong, they should own up to it and not waste all of our limited time here, arguing that it was something else that caused the glitch. Either that, or get bitched out when we find out it really wasn't the fault of anything else. It's frustrating to me that I can't just let this go...

PPS: The Queen of the Night in our basement started blooming last night! It was spectacular. This is what life should be about.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

FOOD ADVENTURE // YELLOW


After day of work and a few hours of shopping at Ikea, we were faced with finding a spot to dine at 9PM on a weekday in the Victoria Drive area. Everything closes early there, like around 9, and we were starving. Mui Garden was the only option for “good” food past 9:30PM:

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I had the curry beef brisket with rice noodle in soup (left), P had the same with vermicelli, and J had the curry beef brisket with rice. Clearly, the curry is a good choice here. Mui Garden has renovated in the past few years, since I was last here in my high school days, and now it looks much cleaner! They still have the same servers that I grew up with, and although there are slight changes in the menu, it still feels like home. Looking at that photo makes me hungry…

Mui Garden Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I’m looking forward to some colourful leaves, and sweaters.

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Here I am worrying about what to wear tomorrow, while there was another earthquake in Mexico today. 7.1 magnitude, and buildings were rumbling down in a cloud of dust. Disasters everywhere, but I’m determined to enjoy what I can without worrying about the world too much. Although rumors of the next Instagram updates are sort of worrisome.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

89/104 DISASTROUS

We’re living in an era of technology and communication. It’s so much easier to access the news and reports of disasters in the world (YouTube has Live videos now and the news reports can get pretty dramatic). It’s not even just natural disasters, like hurricanes and wildfires (although some might argue that those are actually man made because of climate change). Look at the missiles being launched like fireworks. Just another day to day thing to worry about... 

Still gotta eat though. Visited Honolulu Cafe for a quick and cheap bite. Here’s the House Special Spaghetti:

house special spaghetti

Here’s a more Chinese dish, fish in corn cream sauce:

fish corn rice

This place is so cheap, I don’t feel right to complain about the quality, but the quality is really quite horrendous. We found a hair in one of the drinks, and they offered to give us a new one, but the damage was done. In the end, they also gave us a 10% discount on the meal, which sorta helped. I used to visit this place multiple times a month, back 10 years ago, but I really wouldn’t go back any time soon. It’s just not worth it anymore, now that I’m older (and making money to eat a proper meal that doesn’t include another human being’s hair).

Honolulu Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I also want to comment on how hard it is to meet up with friends sometimes, and it's great when everybody actually makes an effort, even if it's just for an hour in the evening. Another thing that stresses me out is how rarely I see certain people sometimes. H and I hopped over to G's place with J, and we had a good catch up earlier this weekend. I'm going to try to bring more people together again soon!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

FOOD ADVENTURE // SLUMP

 
Visited Olive Garden at Langley on the way to run some other errands with the girls:

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We each ordered the BOGO pasta option, where we eat one dish in the restaurant and bring home a 2nd pasta of your choice to heat up at home later for under $20. I had the smoked chicken mozarella dish (add $7.50), and it wasn’t that worth it because the chicken was small and dry. The fettuccini alfredo and spaghetti with meat sauce (marinara? I don’t remember, P ordered it) were quite tasety. The best part of Olive Garden is the unlimited breadsticks, soup, and salad:

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I could come here more often, it’s great quality for the amount and the price, so I’m going to try to forget that the chicken was dry and just order the fettucini next time.

Olive Garden Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Meanwhile… I’ve found another Netflix series to watch – Friends from College. This is my way to save money, because I actually want to stay home and be a hermit.

No, that’s a joke. I really just am too tired after a busy day at work, where I’m doing the job of 2 people. Save me. H tried to take me to a surprise lunch today, but I had to tell him to bring me back to work after we drove out of the parking lot. Poor guy looked so defeated - I ruin all his surprises, including the time we went to watch the Canucks and last weekend when he wanted to surprise me with a visit to the new Cafe La Foret but I'd already made plans to go. Must be tough to have such a smart girlfriend!

Monday, September 11, 2017

88/104 DRAINAGE

This was the weekend where I visited the same cafe twice, so that I could experience nature and try out pretty looking food. We couldn’t coordinate a hike, so instead, we went to Cafe La Foret to surround ourselves with trees:

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The coffee beans are from Timbertrain and Phil & Seb, so can’t go wrong there. H and I went on Saturday, after R’s wedding (more on this later), and got the berry tart and a flat white:

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I sorta liked the tart, it was very crumbly and it looked so pretty I almost didn’t want to eat it. The berries were tart, as they should be on a tart. H wasn’t feeling well, so he had hot water. The place was so busy that there was nowhere else for all the guests to sit, and the line up almost went out the door! Very slow service, but I guess they didn’t expect this type of reception on only their 1st week opening.

I liked the atmosphere enough to want to come back again the next day with M and Cx2 so that we could try the other food. Little did we know, the pastries weren’t ready yet on Sunday, even around 1:30PM. It was also very busy, and their bar was rather unorganized. My coffee got stolen, as some lady budged in line before me to pick up her small latte. I was not impressed. We had our coffees and left…

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So disappoint. There are so many other places to visit, I don’t know when I’ll find time to come back to this little oasis in the middle of the busy Metrotown area, but I probably won’t come again on a weekend.

H is still sick after almost a week. We missed the 2nd portion of R’s wedding, and I had to stay off social media to avoid the FOMO. It was still a busy and productive Saturday though, because I managed to finish the 3rd season of Narcos. I am inspired to learn Spanish and visit Columbia.
I wonder what type of drainage they use for their forest in the middle of their cafe? I think I need some type of drainage for my tiredness, so that the fatigue will flow away.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

FOOD ADVENTURE // TOXIC


The day started off with toxic glowing skies – smoke is back and so are my allergies. I haven’t slept properly in 3 days, but I knew that the best way to fix that lack of sleep was to do something fun. What is more fun than eating with a couple friends?

We went for sushi and then came to the Welcome Parlour:

welcome parlour

There were a few creative ice cream flavours (peanut butter and jelly, baileys pecan, blueberry and raspberry TOGETHER). I had the apple pie (see photo above), which was a tad too sweet. However, there’s something about the bright cheery store front, with the 130 year old cash register at the counter that actually worked. Shiny and clean, great place to hang out with ice cream made fresh everyday. The store owner serves the ice cream, with his son helping in the shop, and he’s a whole other reason to visit again. I’ll come back to try some other flavours when I’m in the area.

Welcome Parlour Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I think my Instagram is broken, the world is drowning or burning, and I am choking on the wildfire smoke. On a brighter note, I’m going to Vancouver Island at the end of the month to find Nymph Falls.

PS, another bright note, Claire Marshall is doing a Vlogtember series!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

87/104 FIRE VS WATER

Sourced a pineapple floaty, found a clean lake - summer is going strong: 

Wedgemount

Went hiking to Wedgemount Lake yesterday, where I first visited in September 2014 (here’s the post from back then). I took a couple of drone shots with Sparkle the Drone (#sparklethedrone), but didn’t get a photo with the same angle of the lake and glacier from 3 years ago, which is really a pity, because I can’t do a direct comparison. There’s enough proof out there of climate change though, we don’t need another photo of the impending doom that is possibly coming.

Wedgemount

Having the drone really brings different perspectives to life. There’s a little lake forming at the top of Wedgemount:

Wedgemount

I haven’t changed too much from 2014, I guess. I still live for these views and this air:

Wedgemount

Although my fitness levels have deteriorated slightly (I was huffing and puffing up the 1100m of elevation as compared to last time when it was a piece of cake climing up), we can hopefully all agree that my photography skills have improved. My excuse for the slow ascent is that I had a fever and my airways were quite congested the day before. Maybe in another 3 years, I’ll come back, and my body will actually work with me. 

Post hike, we went to Hanok in North Vancouver. We got there around 9:30PM, and while they officially close at 10:30PM, they were already pushing us to order, obviously in a rush to close. Their food was not as flavourful as Jang Mo Jib or Haroo, and their service was just average. I might come back, if conveniently in the neighborhood again, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to visit again.

hanok

P+M’s rice cakes were not too memorable.

hanok

The pork bone hot pot with the instant noodle came in a good portion with lots of meat for $30. We had the mildest version in terms of spicey, so maybe for more flavour next time, get one level up for spicey. There should be other meat and savoury flavours other than spiciness though, and this just didn’t really cut it.

hanok

Their seafood pancake was still mushy apparently (I didn’t try it). Maybe they were in a rush to leave, and didn’t keep it on the fryer long enough. They were not very generous with side dishes, refilled once for us after we asked.

Hanok Korean Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lately, I haven’t had much appetite. Chatting with one of the hikers along the trail during a rest stop, he said, “If you stop eating and drinking, it’s not a good sign.” It’s a very general symptoms of some illness or other, but honestly, I think all the flooding (Hong Kong, Houston, India, Pakistan, China…)and burning around the world (wildfires in California and BC just to begin) has brought me down. Things that I can control, I tend to not stress over, but I can’t help worrying about the unknown and the actions of others. I have this image of the folks at Pompeii, being buried under volcanic dust. How much of this will matter once the rest of the world has all turned into dust, as the wildfires spread and we’re washed away by the floods afterwards?

Probably not the healthies mindset, but that’s why I go on these hikes to see the rolling vastness of the PNW mountains and valleys, as a reminder to myself that we’re all just little specks in this world.

Ramblings brought to you by 5 hours of very light sleep after a night of alcohol and heat wave induced turning and tossing in bed.

Sept. 3, 2017