Ocean Park : The Beginning

Getting There

Every year my family rents a beach house for a week in Ocean Park, Maine, right beside the popular Old Orchard Beach. It’s about a 12 hour drive from Toronto.  This year I had the luxury of flying to Boston and then taking the train to OOB instead of the gruelling 12 hour car ride with my parents, my sister and her boyfriend. It all should have been very simple. Everything was going well, straight through security and customs, into Boston, got on the subway to the train station and then…my train hit a tree.

The engine disconnected from the rest of the cars and we sat in the dark for 4 hours before the next train came by and we were able to connect to the next station. Absolutely awful service and communication by Amtrak as we all sat there with little to know information about what was going on. Thankfully there was a IRL soap opera going on between the couple across the aisle from me to keep me entertained.

I ended up arriving at the the OOB train station at 1am making my journey from Toronto actually longer then my parents’. However all my prayers on that train ride were answered with a lobster roll and a bowl of lobster bisque waiting for me at the beach house.

There was an entire lobster in the bisque (I just ate most of it before i took the picture).

Brunch at Yellowfin’s

The next morning we went for Sunday brunch at Yellowfin’s the only restaurant in Ocean Park. The entire community is dry so the restaurant is BYOB, naturally we brought our own champagne and ordered a pitcher of OJ for mimosas.

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My mom had the waffles with blueberries and I had the crab cake eggs benny.

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We all left with our bellies full, ready for a day relaxing on the beach.  Despite some difficulties getting there, our vacation was off to a great start.

Summerlicious: Frida

Summerlicious is an amazing two week long event put on by the City of Toronto every summer. Over 220 restaurants across Toronto participate creating 3 course prix fixe lunch and dinner menus. This year my friend Becca and I decided to venture a little further out of the downtown core and go to Frida, an authentic Mexican restaurant in Midtown.IMG_3625.jpg

We sat out back on the cutest little patio, definitely something that we were not expecting. We split a pitcher of sangria and started off with the Ceviche. Both were delicious.

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For our main course I had the Tamal and Becca had the Chiles Rellenos. Both dishes reminded my of something that I would have eaten during my vacations in Yucatan, real authentic Mexican food.

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The real reason we chose to go to Frida… the churros.

Our meals were wonderful…especially the churros and the patio was definitely a plus. I would love to go back to try their tacos, something I may have to do before patio season is over!

Musée Océanographique de Monaco

Most of our days in France got off to a rather slow start. Ill be the first one to say that I’m not exactly what you call a morning person, but Fabien is on a whole new level. We had decided that we were going to spend the day at the Oceanography Museum in Monaco but by the time we actually got out the door is was time for lunch, and a late one tbh. We had lunch along the promenade in Menton to avoid the outrage prices in Monaco.

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By the time we got to the Museum we basically had it our to ourselves.

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The lower level of the museum is the aquarium, with a huge coral reef exhibit in the middle.IMG_2079.JPGIMG_2081.jpgIMG_2082.jpgIMG_2086.jpgIMG_2159.jpg

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Don’t worry, after five minutes I told him it was time to give the other kids a turn. ^^

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This is where I got to act like a child, I could have watched all of Nemo’s little brothers and sisters all day. SOO many of them.

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The upstairs of the museum was full of historical and cultural exhibits.

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You could also go up to the rooftop, where the floor was covered with a native turtle design. From here you could see all of Monaco. There were even real turtles up there too.

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The Museum is located on the Rock of Monaco, right near the Palace and is right on the water. It is absolutely amazing to see from the other side.

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I hope everyone has a good weekend! I’m off to Old Orchard Beach tomorrow for family vacation!

 

cheers

Debby

 

Mini Watermelon Jello Shots


If you are anywhere as close to a Pinterest addict as am I, then I am sure you’ve seen these jello shots made in lime/lemons peels before. Usually when I see a Pinterest recipe I like I do a bit of research then make it my own. This time I got a little bit cocky and figured I did not need any instructions what so ever…oops. As I was making them they went from terrific success to disaster, back to success then failure and in the end they turned out just alright.

I was going to make little watermelons out of lime peels and watermelon jello. However, watermelon jello mix does not exist at my local grocery store, so now they were going to be strawberry jello shots in lime peels, that looked like little watermelons slices. I used the classic jello shot recipe used by university house parties far and wide; jello powder, one cups boiling water, one cup vodka. Let me just say, they do not taste great.

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I cut 5 limes in half and carefully pulled out all the sections. It’s kinda tricky and you have to make sure not to break the peel or the jello will leak out.

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I made my boozy jello concoction. Next is where I made a mistake. I should have left the jello to cool in the fridge, even thicken up a little bit, before pouring it into the limes. I also should have probably made sure that the lime we more stable, as a few took a tumble. Luckily there was still extra jello.

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After letting them sit all day I took them out and cut any extra peel off with scissors.

I tried to cut each half into 4. That was stupid. So I ended up just cutting them in half, so quarters of the whole lime.

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At this point I was really proud. They looked great, I thought it was a real success.

Traffic and an hour long car ride took a few of the shots down, luckily there was enough left in good shape. Really I should have just transported the halves and cut them there, but who likes to wait? Not this girl.

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We took our shots, celebrating one of my best honeys going off to work in Australia for three months. I also made her this little gift basket filled with Canadian goodies… and tampons because no one should have to deal with cardboard applicators.

 

Mondays With Melbourne: She’s Back!

You know that thing they say about dogs looking like their owners? I think Melbourne and I are on a whole new level. We have the same personalities.

We both spend most of the day sleeping or watching Netflix.

When we actually get out of bed we are lounging by the pool.


We both enjoy a good frappucino every now and then.

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And our favourite hobby is snapchat.

Eze Village

Eze is a small medieval village just east of Nice and about half an hour from where we were staying in Italy. At the top of the village is the Exotic Gardens. I did a little bit of online research the night before going to Eze and decided that we weren’t going to hike the trail from the coast to the village. Mainly because we were driving which meant we would have to hike down then back up and secondly because I was not interested in that much physical activity on my vacation.  However, nothing I read mentioned how horrible the parking situation is. There is a small parking lot at the entrance to the village that we ended up driving around and almost giving up several times before finding a spot.

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The village is so cute and charming, it almost doesn’t look real. Once you get to the very top, you are at the Gardens. A lot of attractions and museums have free admission for students or french residents under 25, I tried to show them my Brock ID from 2009, no deal.

The garden is mostly full of succulents and some other exotic plants, but the best part is the view. IMG_1961.jpgIMG_1962.JPGIMG_1964.JPGIMG_1980.jpgIMG_1992.jpgIMG_1997.jpgIMG_1999.JPGIMG_2009.JPGIMG_2010.jpgIMG_2051.JPGIMG_2025.jpg

After taking in the amazing views and seeing all the cacti we could take, we went for lunch right outside the entrance of the garden.  Le Nid D’Aigle translates to “the Eagle’s nest”in English. The location of the restaurant is amazing, right in the centre of the village and the food was delicious.IMG_2040.jpgIMG_2038.JPGIMG_2043.jpgIMG_2047.jpg

If you are ever in The French Riviera a trip to Eze is a must. It’s a great change from posh cities like Nice and Cannes.

Weekend in Miami

When someone calls and asks if you want to go to Miami for the weekend, you go.

My boyfriend was sent to Miami for the weekend for some meetings in the office before he flew to Baltimore to join his ship, so I hopped on a flight Thursday afternoon to join him. Luckily we arrived right around the same time at the airport, myself from Toronto and Fabien from Nice. We stayed at the Candlewood Suites right by the airport, not an ideal location but it was on the company so can’t complain.  The first night there we took it easy and got some sushi by the hotel.

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Fabien was in and out of meetings at the office all day friday while I spent the day lounging by the pool, not a bad deal. That night we went to South Beach for tacos at Bodega. Have I ever mentioned how much I love tacos? This place was amazing, delicious tacos you order right out of a taco truck. I had the calamar frito and pescado tacos with a margarita, so good! This place is also a night club, if you are ever in Sobe you must check it out.

Since no trip to Miami is complete without a boozy brunch, on Saturday we headed to 660 Angler’s, the same place we went to the last time we were in Miami. You just can’t go wrong with a classic brunch menu and bottomless mimosas for $25. This time we ate by the pool and enjoyed the amenities since the hotel wasn’t busy. The service was amazing, whenever our mimosas were empty there was new one waiting for us, and a different flavour each time. Obviously classic orange first, then guava, strawberry, passionfruit, peach and cranberry. Fabien enjoyed a huge stack of blueberry pancakes with a side of bacon and more fish tacos for me… like I said, I’m really into tacos. Not a bad way to spend your day.IMG_3477.jpgIMG_3479.JPGIMG_3484.JPGIMG_3488.jpgIMG_3534.JPGIMG_3509.JPG

That night we went back into South Beach, this time on Española Way.  The street is so cute and charming, perfect for a date night. We ate at Mercato Della Pescheria a super cute Italian restaurant (I know, Italian on Española Way…) but it was so good. We both drank sangria, I had a delicious seafood pasta and Fabien ate the largest rib eye I have ever seen (he is really starting to embrace my pescetarian lifestyle…not).

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Going back and forth from South Beach to the Doral (where our hotel was) could have gotten really pricey. Thank the sweet lord for Uber pool, it only costs us about $4 each way. Absolutely a lifesaver for our trip.

The weekend was amazing and I was super grateful that I got to see Fabien one more time before he ships out of Baltimore for 4 months. I’m home now, recovering from a little gum recovery I had Monday morning and getting ready for my family’s trip to Maine later this month!

Southampton, Ontario

This past long weekend was followed by a super jammed pack week. It’s a rough life for an unemployed girl 💁🏼. Monday afternoon I drove up to Southampton on Lake Huron for a visit with my friend Aly at her beach cottage. Our days were filled with time at the beach, floggle, sunsets and tons of bevvies. 

And I’m off to Miami for a long weekend with Fabien, who is about to go back to work out of Baltimore. 
Hope everyone has recovered from there long weekend hangovers and are having a great week!

Canada Day Long Weekend


For Canadians this past weekend was the Canada Day long weekend and the fourth of July is completely irrelevant. This weekend we celebrated Canada’s 149th birthday, it’s a pretty big deal.

The weekend was jam packed with fun activities and of course on theme Canada day treats. I started my long weekend a little bit earlier because after all I am unemployed and long weekends don’t really mean anything to me, by heading up to Muskoka to babysit. Just kidding. My friend Jenny has a beautiful cottage up on Lake of Bays, so we headed up Thursday morning to beat the traffic.

As soon as we arrived we got out the kayaks and headed out on the lake. Nothing says hardcore kayakers like a photo shoot on the closest island.

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The weather on Canada Day was pretty miserable with rain most of the day, so we decided to spend our day inside.  We made a pavlova and decorated with strawberries in the shape of a Canadian flag. We also made Canadian flag popsicles which were made from blended raspberries and coconut milk.

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The next day was better popsicle weather, so we went for a quick swim in the morning before heading back to Toronto.  Jenny had a flight to catch later that evening to Halifax where she was going to be working in the hospital.  Not joking this time, she could save your life one day.

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Back in Toronto my little cousins came for a visit the next day. They spent the entire day splashing around in the pool, only getting out to eat.  It’s weird I didn’t even see them go for a bathroom break. Floggle tourneys and snapchat were the other activities of the day. Our new friend who was visiting for the weekend really stole the show though, Mr. Beans.

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My grandpa even got out there and at 90 years old kicked some butt.

I hope everyone’s long weekend was amazing!

My goal for July is to swim everyday, no matter where I am… we’ll see how that goes, really shouldn’t be too difficult.