Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Celebrations

Last weekend I took some time off and went back home to celebrate my birthday with my family and friends. The best part about birthdays? All of the e-mails that you get sent about free stuff. I kick started off my weekend with a snack/lunch at Spin Dessert Cafe and Bistro. Unfortunately there are no high resolution images of my weekend because I wanted to spend the time as organically as possible. That means no touting large chunky cameras and lenses around, and only capturing moments fleetingly with my phone.

Celebrations

Celebrations


P had planned something special for me that day and refused to share any secrets so we rushed back home to get ready. All that I was told by him was to bring a dress and to be ready to potentially stand for a couple of hours. I later found out that he had planned for us to go on a sunset cruise around the Thousand Islands. Unfortunately we missed the cruise due to a rising bridge that had our car stopped for about 5 minutes. Within that time frame, out boat launched, leaving us by the dock. The lovely ticket sales counter was kind enough to completely refund us the value of our ticket and instead we took to the town for dinner.

Celebrations



Celebrations

We shared our dinner at Tango Nuevo and then walked around the downtown core enjoying the setting sun against the buildings and harbor front. Soon after we drove back to Ottawa to enjoy a night out with friends. What started out as ice cream cake at a friend's restaurant turned into an alcohol-fueled karaoke night with the bestest. Surprisingly I didn't wake up with a splitting headache the next morning. Myself and a couple of friends took to Gatineau Park to go hiking and settled on a trail that had a waterfall.

Celebrations

Celebrations
Once we found the falls, we idiotically thought that it would be smart to climb onto the rocks in the middle of it and take pictures while risking our lives. Yes, risking out lives. The rocks were slippery and the mud deep. If it hadn't been for the trees to cling onto, I'm pretty sure that most of us would have fallen to our untimely deaths. How ironic would that have been, to die celebrating your own birthday. We finished our afternoon off with a couple scoops of gelato from Pasticceria Gelateria Italiana. Let me say that the gelato there trumps Piccolo Grande, anyday.

Celebrations



There was time to kill in between gelato and dinner so we took to a condo showing room and then the Ornamental Gardens at the Experimental Farm. When the sun became too blinding we headed over to My Sweet Tea for drinks. The night was finished off at Gezellig where I had dinner with some close friends and celebrating one of their CMA exam passing. I'm already excited to go back home again next weekend and see my family as I've been feeling the emotions of homesickness whenever I'm in Toronto. I have high hopes for the upcoming week and can't wait till Friday rolls around!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Convocation

As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently finished my degree and graduated from the University of Ottawa. A couple weeks ago I attended my convocation, walked across the stage and received the hard copy of my degree. It's been a long and stressful journey but I couldn't be more than happy to have reached the end of it. This closes one chapter of my life as I'm continuing onto the next one.

Congratulations to the class of 2014 and may you excel in all your future endeavors!

Convocation
Convocation
Convocation


Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Bronx Zoo

If I could describe The Bronx Zoo in one sentence: "Complete waste of time". Not a place I would recommend anyone take their family nor their friends. Granted yes, we also went on a free day, but half of the exhibitions were closed, down for renovations or the animals just weren't there. The few pictures I'll have for this post were literally the only animals that we were able to see while at the zoo. It was another day of tiring feet and aching backs, but this stop did not make up for any of the pain that was gained. At least I can now say that I've been to the Bronx.

The Bronx Zoo

The Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo


One word for this picture. Awwww. It's funnier to think that literally 10 seconds before I shot this photo, these two were full on fighting with each other.

The Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo


Once I saw these little cute red pandas, my trip was done. They were literally all that I came to see so I was happy. Okay, time to leave. Nope, the rest of the zoo decided to turn into an IKEA style zoo and we just had to walk through the entire place to find the exit back out to civilization.

The Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Brooklyn Bridge

One of the goal's of our trip was to cross the Brooklyn Bridge. After our trip to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, we crossed back over the bridge by foot. The blisters on my feet were already starting to form, so the Google Maps predicted 45 minute walk to cross the bridge was not a happy outlook for the day. Fortunately for us, both of us are quite fast walkers and made it across the bridge in under 30 minutes. Photo taking was included in this time frame.

Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

Although it was an overcast day, the view of both sides of New York was beautiful from above. The air quality felt cleaner, even though we were walking right above a mass of cars driving by underneath us. It may have just been the illusion of height that added to the overall grandeur of the experience, leaving us feeling refreshed.

Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

About a week before I moved to Toronto, I took a quick 5 day trip to New York with a friend. We stayed at her friend's place in the heart of downtown and explored the city to our hearts' content. Due to the proximity of our location to the centre of downtown, we spent the entire trip mostly on foot and on the subway. No Uber or fancy taxi's for us! The funemployed must employ efficient but affordable means of travel. Safe to say that by the end of the trip I had my fair share of blisters on my feet, but all of the delicious food that we tried was well worth all of the exercise!

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens


Our first exploration was to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden during its free entrance day. Yes we are poor unemployed students (well not anymore for me, I've graduated) that can't even fork over an entrance fee to see flowers. This is top on my list of recommendations if you're ever exploring New York. Take a trip to see this garden and give yourself 3-4 hours of free time to explore. It would be a great place to go on a date or even to take you family for an afternoon picnic. There's a sprawling lawn underneath an alley of trees where I saw many people lie down on the grass for a nap or to peacefully read a book.

There is also an adorable gift shop that sold air-plants (I can put my black thumb to use!) among other gardening paraphernalia.

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens