Oot and Aboot in Canada Eh! – Day Three

After a late night of drinking and chatting, it was especially hard to get up this morning.
The fact that we got up to listen to the Showdown at 4am probably didn’t help (Go Crows!!!) The game was over about 7am our time, so hubby and I went back to sleep and didn’t get back up until 9.30. So unusual for me.


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We took a little walk to wake our bodies up and I noticed these post boxes.

Apparently they can be up to three blocks away from your home! Very efficient for the postal company but not so convenient if you have to travel to get your mail.

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We saw a few geese by the lake and I tried to forget all the aggressive Canadian geese stories I’ve heard.

Not sure if the aggression is a seasonal thing but we were fine.

We spent a loooooong a bit of time going through the childhood haunts again this morning and then went shopping to get a few more things for the family get together tonight.

I’ll show you how we made the spanokopita later on in this entry. (I hope I’m going to remember it right!)

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I still get excited to see little squirrels even if they are considered rats here.

They just look so cute don’t they?

We went into a liquor mart and I found the Australian wine section. Not sure if you can see the prices but it’s fairly comparable to what we pay in Australia and I always thought our alcohol was more expensive than anywhere else in the world.

When we got back we started making the Spanokopita. Please don’t ask me for measurements. It’s just this much of this and that much of that. Ok?

So you saute baby spinach and cut up some spring onions. The spring onions get sauteed after the spinach.

In a separate bowl you crack some eggs, then add salt, pepper, garlic and I guess what ever other herb or spice you think would be ok to add. You also crumble in some feta and a bit of milk.

Beat the egg mixture together and once your spinach and onion is done, add the egg/cheese mixture to the egg combination and mix it all together.

Ok, now you get filo pastry and put down 2-3 sheets for your bottom layer. Put a bit of the mixture between two layers of filo and continue until you get to the height you want, or your filo runs out!


You can put a little bit more on the top layer, then a brushing of butter on top of that.

All that’s left is to set it in the oven and imagine how good it’s going to taste when it comes out!
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We had plenty of wine and home made margaritas and had so much fun.

The food was incredible and the company was fantastic.

So sad that we live so far away.

Look at some of the food we had to enjoy!!


And as it got towards the end of the day, I got a beautiful phone call from my family in Australia who are celebrating Mothers Day together. Hard to be away from them at this time of the year but how great is it that we can video chat and communicate in general so easily when we’re so far away.

Another full day here today. The weather has been beautiful!

Good night and Bonne nuit.

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Oot and Aboot in Canada Eh! – Day Two

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Another frosty but pretty morning in Winnipeg. We were meeting more family at the airport and were going to have lunch at Cora’s,

I just love the restaurants here. Big food and everything is new and different
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We don’t have the tipping system in Australia as the wages are quite generous in comparison to tipping countries.

I think you see the difference as the servers here are really invested in you having a good experience.
Our server today was so nice and he had an Australian connection so we chatted for a bit.

And look at the great food we had!!

 


It was pretty delicious.

We went shopping for the weekend and it might sound boring but I just love going to supermarkets in different counties because there are so many new and different things. I’m sure we can get a lot of these things in Australia but you’d probably have to search for it.

 

 


I’m sure we can get huge packets of chips in Australia but look!!

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Ewwww. Just Ewww. I don’t seafood.

So once we got home and unpacked, hubby took me on a tour of his childhood haunts. I couldn’t tell him that yes honey, you’ve shown me these places the last four times we were here but he’s just so excited I nod and act like it’s the first time he’s telling me.

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I didn’t take any pictures as we drove through Kildonan Park but here are a few pics I found online. There’s pretty much a bridge and a witches hut. But I can appreciate that it was the place hubby cruised up and down as a teenager showing off his car and impressing the girls.

 

We also had a Dickie Dee come past! We were sitting in the lounge and I heard some bells and said “what the hell is that?” and I couldn’t believe what I saw! A guy pushing an icecream cart in a residential street on a 13 degree day!

72314_1This evening we drove back out to the country with pizza. Now here’s something you may not know.

If you are ever wondering how much pizza you need, there are pizza calculators online.

You just need to put in how many adults and children there are, how hungry you are and what size pizza you’re ordering and it will tell you how many you need to order!
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We ended up getting pizza’s from Santa Lucia on Portage Ave and it was just delicious!
And we ordered a good amount. The one thing I didn’t know, being Australian, is that I didn’t need to tip here.

When I went to pay, the 15% tip came up automatically so I just accepted it.

Apparently I didn’t need to do that then as I was just picking up pizza.

Tipping is so confusing.

So after a lovely night with family we made the loooong drive back.
It feels like we’ve been here so long already!

We’ve almost caught up on sleep!

Good night and bonne nuit

Oot and Aboot in Canada Eh!

Woo hoo and we’re off again!

Eh-what-are-you-talking-abootBefore leaving for Canada I did a little google search on what to expect when travelling to Canada.
Although I’ve been here a few times before, I just wondered what the opinions were out there.

I was mostly familiar with everything I read, but I did have a chuckle when one page mentioned the “oot and aboot” thing and the article said most Canadians get offended by that. They all deny they do it.

Even though I like to tease my Canadian hubby about it, he doesn’t 27c412b57eb56e05460cfc927fa6638ereally  say “Oot and aboot”. Mostly, it sounds more like “Oat and Aboat”
He wasn’t too impressed with that observation either.

Unfortunately I’d come down with a throat and ear infection days before we had to leave. I blame the sickness on the fact that I almost left my handbag when we went through security! It’s not like I took a few steps and remembered, I was halfway to the gate when I started to think something wasn’t right. I was travelling “light”
Hubby was in his own world when I started hyperventilating and calling out his name.
“I have to go back to security, I left my bag there!!!”
Who does that??

Oh and I didn’t take a pic of us together, but wanted to show you how we colour coordinated our outfits. Not on purpose!!! If we had noticed one of us would have changed for sure. We were both in pink and black.


Flying is a pain in the ass fun isn’t it? The most exciting thing is wondering what nature of food we’re going to be served and how long is it going to take to get to us.
“Have they started yet? I think I can smell something” “What’s cabin crew doing? Have they got the trolley’s out yet?” “Do you think they’ll start from our end or will we be last?”
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On one of our flights, we were towards the end of the plane and almost last to be served. The choice was pasta or falafel salad. It wouldn’t take a genius to figure out that the interest in falafel would be low right?

Very disappointed to be told there was no choice. Falafel for us it was.

But I’m sure you didn’t come here to read about how obsessed over food I am.

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The flight from Brisbane to Vancouver was thirteen hours.

Such a long time.
The plane was pretty full but it was fairly roomy too so no complaints. It was a 787 Dreamliner if that means anything to you.

We were also at the start of the food serving line AND we found where the snacks were stashed and helped ourselves regularly throughout the flight.

Thank you Air Canada!

Now we’ve got a a long wait before our next flight but it gives us a bit of time to get irritated with each other and charge and recharge our devices and perhaps communicate with any Australians who choose not to sleep during the night hours.

Can’t wait to see family!!! Still can’t believe we’re here. This is Canada mate! Eh!

And remember…
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Dubai or Don’t I – Day Four

We didn’t plan our days in advance and that can sometimes be a bad thing,  but we’re cramming so much into each day.

This morning I went to the hotel gym and like yesterday, found quite a few non gym junkie looking types in there. I love that. It makes you feel more comfortable. It really is a fantastic gym.

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Etihad Museum

We didn’t end up leaving our hotel until about 10am which is quite late for us. We had heard a lot about Etihad Museum and it was close enough for us to walk to, so off we went.

It was 25 Dirham to get in there which is roughly $10 Australian. The building itself is so big and magnificent. Big, in that it feels so elegant and spacious inside.

 

I learned a lot about the history of the UAE. I didn’t feel like we spent enough time there for it to be worth 25 Dirham but I’m still glad we went and saw it.

They had a section dedicated to this photographer and when you walked out of it, you heard a camera shutter noise and then your image appeared on a screen first as a negative, then as a normal picture. That was pretty cool!

 

 

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From the gardens at Etihad Museum

Seeing as we were so close to Jumeirah Beach we kept walking after leaving the Museum, and found La Mer.

 


I remember seeing this on You Tube! I was so excited!
We found a place that sold alcohol and went in for a drink while we worked out what we were going to do next. Can’t remember the name of the place but there was this seat/statue out the front. Hubby and I were arguing about if that was a man or woman. What do you think??

 


I feel like I’m giving them advice in that pic on the right.

We went into this souvenir shop that had amazing quality things in it! I got so excited!! I made hubby wait outside so I didn’t have to argue about why I wanted to buy this or that. I already can’t wait to get home and unwrap them all!

We stopped for lunch at the Texas Roadhouse and I have to say, this has been the best value meal so far. I’ve found the serves here to be relatively smaller than I’m used to, but they were very generous at Texas Roadhouse. And look at that bucket of peanuts!!!

 


I was stuffed after we left there. We kept wandering and then saw this…

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Skewers don’t do much for me but hubby was disappointed that he hadn’t seen this first!

59 Dirham is about $23 Australian.

Here’s a few more pics around La Mer.

 


Not sure why but it seemed to take forever to get back to the hotel.

After a rest we headed down to the Dubai Creek area. Our plan was to go to the Gold Souk across the river and travel by Abra.

I was a bit worried about going through the textile souk area as the crowds had stressed me out last time but it didn’t seem to be as bad today. All good!

We hopped on the Abra. An abra is a traditional boat made of wood and they’re used to ferry people across the Dubai Creek.

 


It’s a cheap ride and it was great fun! Once we got to the other side, the crowd stress began. It’s not even crowd stress, it’s that you’re not left alone for a second. Every second someone is asking you to come and see their things.
“You want to see watch? I have Rolex, Gucci, Prada. How about handbag? Pashmina?”
Just an endless barrage of questions over and over and even though you say no, they say “Just for look. Just looking. It’s ok, just looking”
I find it so stressful. Then they try to grab you by the arm and start leading you into their shop. It’s so hard to just ignore them because you feel like you’re being so rude!!
You can’t walk away because they walk with you for twenty or thirty metres. The minute one leaves, another one takes over. It’s exhausting.

The displays are amazing but I didn’t want to look because the minute you do you have no peace. Someone will come out and pressure sell.

 


These places are made for a person much stronger than me.
I have to add that most of the stores we walked past were empty of customers and there were hundreds of stores. Maybe not hundreds, but LOTS.

I did end up with a few more souvenirs then we took the abra back across.

IMG_9720I’ll just mention our dinner because it was pretty good. We decided to eat in one of the hotel’s restaurants.
We went into the sports bar/restaurant first but the smell of smoke (yes they can smoke inside) was just overwhelming so we went into the Italian restaurant. It’s not really an Italian restaurant, well it is, but it’s cooked and run by the same people who run the Indian restaurant. So we were sat in the Indian restaurant, listening to Indian music (Very good but way way way too loud) eating pizza and risotto.

The food was super delicious!!! Mine had a little too much cream but it was just so tasty.

Another memorable day. Only one more day to go and I’m a bit sad about that!

Goodnight for now!

Dubai or Don’t I? – Day Three

IMG_9516A sometimes frustrating thing is that when crossing a road here there can be up to four sections. So you’ll have a separate pedestrian sign for each section. It can be fine for you to walk the first three then STOP! It’s also a little dangerous for us as we’re not used to seeing it. We’re used to looking at what the sign is at the end of the walk which often is not the same as the sign closest to you.

If you haven’t noticed it, the first sign in the pic to the right is don’t walk! but how easy would it be just to step out because the other two are walk!

Hubby was up early this morning to watch a Hockey game. I tried to sleep but it was impossible so at 6am I hit the gym. It’s a really nice gym! Lots of equipment and three treadmills. When I walked in two of them were being used. Awkward! But it was OK and it felt so good to move at a good pace rather than the slow pace we use when being tourists.

We left as they were coming to clean the room. It was a bit strange yesterday when we came back in, the cleaners had even put some of our stuff away. For example, we had some charging cords on the counter and they put them in the drawer beneath that. There were a few little things like that. I’d never experienced that before.

 

 

Today we were smart and bought a day trip pass. This allows us to catch and bus, train or tram on the same ticket all day. It doesn’t include the monorail though which is a shame as that ticket was almost the same as the day pass.
The pics above were from today’s trip. We were going to try to get to Jumeirah Palms again today.

When we got to the ticket booth, we were disappointed to find out that they don’t take credit card. It’s cash only. Not only is it cash only but the nearest ATM was pretty far away.
Hubby went to check for a cab service but the first guy who approached us gave us some ridiculous price. On the way back through (We were going to make the long trek to the atm) a security guard stopped us and said he would give us the 60 dirham we needed for a routine ticket on the monorail. He said there were ATMS on the island that we could use so we could pay him back when we came back.

Sounds too good to be true right? I mean he was risking losing his 60 dirham but if, as I believe is the case, most people are honest, he will likely be making some good tips doing it this way. I know we tipped him well when we came back. It was so nice of him to offer and we were beyond grateful.

So we got on the monorail to the amazing Atlantis hotel on Jumeirah Palms and sat as close to the front as we could. Here are a few snaps I took along the way.

 

 


Once there, we had a coffee then took a look through the shops of the Atlantis hotel.

Here’s a few pics inside.

 

 


IMG_9606Those cakes are from the Starbucks. We didn’t have any but they looked good.

You’ll notice Gordon Ramsey has a restaurant here. The bottom right pic is from inside there. We stopped and had a couple of drinks. The drinks were about $24 each and we only had a wine and bourbon. Very expensive for what we’re used to but it was a good experience.

Oh and look (left) I found Jason Mamoa here too!! Or more correctly, Aquaman!

We took a stroll on the board walk..

 

 


Then headed back on the monorail. Here’s a few pics from the way back.

 

 


IMG_9625We stopped at The Dubai Mall for a walk and a snack. We’re  going to a river cruise buffet tonight so we didn’t want to eat too much.

On the train we saw this sign that separated the women from the men. We walked in without realising, then when hubby saw it, he retreated to the other side of the line.

If you can’t see it, he has little kangaroos on his shoes.

IMG_9627So the river cruise was an experience!!!! We had no idea what to expect. We contacted the company from a brochure that was left in the hotel. I couldn’t find the name of the people operating the tour, or a website, but there was an email address so I contacted them. They confirmed the price (so many tours list one price but charge a higher one when you go to book) and that pick up and drop off was included.

Hubby and I had been waiting in the hotel lobby for a while when a dishevelled looking kid came in and asked if I was the person waiting to be picked up for the tour. I must admit, from the way he was dressed and his manner, I almost wanted to say no.

But I said yes and hubby and I went to his vehicle. I was expecting a minivan type thing used by the tour operators but no, it was his own personal car. He said there was another group of three waiting to be picked up too. That made me feel a little better.

Hubby is 6’7” and  has a frame to go along with that so it was funny when, after picking up the new passengers, the driver tried to squeeze hubby in the middle of the back row, with people either side of him. I just couldn’t stop laughing and finally the driver said actually, you can sit here and moved him elsewhere.

When we got to the boat he asked for the money for the river cruise. Up until this point I hadn’t paid and it felt weird to be giving him the money. We gave him the equivalent of $80AUD and walked towards the boat. He said he’d be there to pick us up at 10.30pm.
Hubby said “he ain’t coming back”

 

 

We got onto the rickety boat (a dhow) and thought what the hell have we gotten ourselves into!!
The boat started to move away from the dock and five minutes later, another boat caught up to us and let a few more people on. Hubby said “here are the guys coming to take our wallets”

But we were so wrong to be afraid. We had a FANTASTIC night!!

Here’s some of the views we enjoyed

 

 

 

 

Once everyone was on board the entertainment started. First with this…

I loved the music and everyone just got into it!! Especially the kids.

 

 

After this, a spinning guy came out. He twirled and twirled and twirled for ages! How did he not get dizzy!!!! And those discs he’s holding multiplied as he went round and round. He was so good!!

It was just so much fun. Later on, while we were waiting for our driver, another woman who I had been on the boat with but hadn’t spoken a word to, motioned for me to come over (she didn’t speak English) because she wanted a photo with me! How sweet is that!! She made me feel so special.

It was a fantastic night that we are going to remember for a long time and if you haven’t worked it out by now, our driver DID come back for us!!

Good night!

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