Friday, October 30, 2009

Oktoberfest to Rocktoberfest - Prost!

Decidedly different, the Shaw's annual Oktoberfest to Rocktoberfest was a great way to spend Halloween. From halloweeners, to beer girls, to the costume-shy, a mix of people (very few Germans!) created an amazing night. Kristin, Sean, Connie, Carol and I rung in Halloween with cheer. While the menu was German, they ironically only had Canadian beer - Where's the Erdinger Weissbier?!

Settling with our Molson Canadian, we enjoyed the crazy way they moved from traditional German polka dancers to a night of rock. While the veggie fare was limited to pretzles, spatzel and black forest cake (unfortunately just Save-on Foods brand) - and Canadian beer- the event made up for it in its flair. I may have to join the bandwagon and make this an annual event!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Perfect Housewarming Party

On October 24th, 2009 I threw my first houseparty, with quite the turnout (facebook replies, you lie!). A simple affair of 30 people, a smorsborg of Halloween cupcakes, tiramisu, crackers, Crispy Minis and various cheeses - and enough alcohol to feed an army - it was perfect. The infamous flu kept a few away from the fun, but it was a great mix of friends from everywhere. Unfortunately, the picture collection is slim, and doesn't even include half of those there...but we were too busy drinking ;)

From Big Shiny Tunes 14 to various radio stations to ecletic MTV, our background noise ranged from music to the Oilers vs. Flames hockey game. My cupboard is now stocked with wines of all kinds, gin, tonic, regular Coke that awaits its Bacardi companion, and collections of beer.

From top left: Steph, Sean, Ryan, James, Kendra

Bottom Row: Tracy, Lindsay, Kendra, Katie, Steph, Janice, Meghan

After weeks of rearranging dates and planning, it finally turned out a success. Expecting only a handful of people, I had a houseful. Maybe Shakespeare said it best

"Expectation is the root of all heartache"

You all know what this means...houseparties, bring it on! There will be more, bigger and better than the last!

P.S. If you need a good realtor, I can hook you up ;) Thanks James for helping me find my first home!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ottawa & Gatineau: Our Capital, Multicultural City!

A whirlwind long weekend in Ottawa proved to be an adventure! Very Edmonton-like in its atmosphere, minus the tough trucks and lack of Autumn foliage, Ottawa's uniqueness brings a hint of French culture to a small Canadian city. Speaking simultaneously in French and English, residents switch from one to the other as if they were the same - a wonder I wish other cities had.

Lorina & I wandered the market-ridden streets like Dalhousie, boutique shops on Murray and York, and the classic city centre mall called Rideau. Friday evening I tried my first Beavertail ; a deep fried resemblant of the elephant-ear desserts at the Scandivanian tents at Heritage Days.

Saturday we embarked on a 12 km hike in Gatineau, Quebec. Although the Ottawa transit system is far superior to Edmonton's, and includes an amazing bus-only lane and $3 ride to the airport, we did find it difficult to find someone who could tell us how to get to Gatineau sans auto. After way too many detours, we arrived for our hike and shivered our way to see bright autumn colours and Pink Lake's scenery.

Monday, I decided to explore the city as Lorina headed back to the office - unfortunately I was a week too much into off-peak season, and museums were closed Mondays! I hear the Canada War Museum is a site to see. The Royal Mint and Change of Guards are worth it too; I saw it 14 years ago but it was memorable. In lieu of the museums and art galleries, I created my own historical walking tour, showcased in the slideshow below.

Just a simple weekend of breakfast at Cora's, which was good but uncharacteristically cold (Lorina tells me her Lucie breakfast was not up to par), buying jewelry at markets, and coffee with Lorina's friends - it was an excellent break from my hectic lifestyle. I even had the opportunity to meet Dennis and Naomi again at Royal Oak pub near Ottawa University, in another mini Singapore reunion - this time not halfway across the world!

After Canmore & Seattle this summer, small weekend trips seem ideal; maybe I'll make it a bi-monthly tradition!

Check out the slideshow ! Facebook users, please click View Original Post at the top of the "note", as facebook does not support embedding video.