Merci, Montréal!

St. John’s: Done
Montreal: Let’s Go!

DAY ONE

As you can probably tell, I used the Via Rail Train instead of the Greyhound bus. I chose to take the train this time around because I wanted to use a different form of transportation. In all honesty, I’m glad I took the train. The seats were more comfortable, spacious with more legroom and you get to choose your seats. I, of course, picked the window seat. Oh, the ride was half-an-hour shorter than if you took the bus, so WIN! 😀 I couldn’t wait to see Montreal so got to pick the second earliest train to make sure I’d get my three full days in Montreal.

montreal-01Do note that it might a bit pricey if you picked a peak time to go. But if you buy your tickets on a Tuesday, it supposedly cheaper.

Upon my arrival, I noticed the differences of my surrounding between Ottawa and Montreal immediately. Montreal was awe-inspiring. The buildings had more history, character and style. There were rusty abandoned buildings, colonial-style terraces and so on. Since Montreal is a French-speaking city, one can’t help notice the Francophones conversing. The whole vibe I was getting was distinct compared to the rest of the Anglophone speaking places I’ve visited in Canada.

After dumping my luggage and stuff at Caryn and Yunyi’s place, we went to Jardin Nelson (Nelson Garden) to have some lunch.

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Jardin Nelson

Honestly, the interior of this restaurant is beautiful. It seriously felt like I was in Paris with the whole fancy French garden experience. There was also live Jazz music playing which added to the Parisian feel. I swear this is the closest to France I’m going to get. The ambience was great and the Francophone waiters/waitresses greeted us well.

Since Caryn and I can’t speak French, we allowed Yunyi to do most of the talking after we decided what we wanted to eat.

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Clockwise: Parnier de Bruschetta Maison, Cannolli au Four Maison and Patae Chinois Au Canard.

We ordered Parnier de Bruschetta Maison, Patae Chinois Au Canard and Cannolli au Four Maison to share.

I would say the Bruschetta and the Cannolli were decent but the Patae was not to my taste. Honestly, the food was alright and a bit hyped. Sure, the ambience was amazing but the food lacked flavour.

It started raining after lunch as we left and so exploring Old Port was kicked off the itinerary while we tried to find refuge somewhere. We sought shelter at Montreal’s famous Basilica Notre Dame. You have to pay $5 per entry and I was like “Who pays to go to church?” Apparently, tourists because my, oh my… The interior was majestic.

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Apse
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Chapel of Notre-Dame du Sacré-Cœur (Our Lady of the Sacred Heart)

I hope the photo gives you an idea of how magnificent the interior is. It’s Gothic Revival craftsmanship was complex and splendidly presented with lights shining from below giving this church a grandeur feel. It really made me want to say… “Take me to church.”

Although it was truly a magnificent sight, I couldn’t stay inside the church admiring it for too long because it was too crowded inside. Hence, we left and head to C’Chocolat for dessert.

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Matcha Matcha Man

We tried the Matcha Matcha Man, C’Wow and their Chocolate Souffle. Matcha Matcha Man was too sweet for me and if it was less sweet, it’d be more enjoyable. The souffle wasn’t anything special to shout about. The C’Wow however… Impressive.

We stayed there for about two hours to chat, hoping the rain would stop but it didn’t and we just went back home to prepare dinner.

day two

This time around, Caryn and I woke up early to head to Macdonald campus of McGill University. It was a two-hour journey via the subway and the bus. It’s on the western end of the Island of Montreal.

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Posing in front of the St. Louis Lake

Thankfully, it was sunny out today and so we managed to stroll around the area. It was very much spacious compared to the downtown campus and I just used the WiFi to play some Pokemon Go while Caryn settled her stuff.

We head to lunch at Schwartz’s Deli. It’s a famous 80-year-old deli that has served the likes of numerous celebrities including Celine Dion. I must say, it is really famous.

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Schwartz

They’re extremely famous for their Jewish Montreal-style smoked meat and is usually served as a sandwich. Of course, you can order it to-go as well.

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The Famous Smoked Beef Sandwich served with Mustard and Rye Bread

I dare say, this is worth the hype. It’s definitely worth lining up under the hot sun for. Oh my gosh, it was delicious. The blend of the smoked meat with the mustard tastes amazing. I wished I could’ve tapao some and bring back to Ottawa. This was so far one of the best food I’ve had in Canada.

We later walked around the area in hopes of finding a dessert store but that didn’t happen as the one we wanted to go to was closed. 😦

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Murals around the area

Because we didn’t manage to tour around Old Port yesterday, we’d thought today was the day and yes, it was.

We went back to Notre Dame to just view the architecture of it from the outside. I wasn’t going to pay 5$ this time to go inside because I went yesterday but when I come back, I’ll pay the 5$. 😛

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Basilica Notre Dame behind me | Wearing So Basic Scuba Top from Peep Boutique

We continued walking towards Old Port and enjoyed the views along the St. Lawrence River. Unlike most people, we took out our umbrellas as it was too hot to walk without a cap.

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Trying to find out what the building is | Habitat 67 from a distance | Fun, fun activities for the family
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Caryn and I taking a break from the walking and hot sun
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Xiao Long Bao at Sammi & Soupe Dumpling

For dinner, we went to Sammi & Soupe Dumpling along Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest. The Xiao Long Bao’s skin was thicker than usual but it was still good. We also ordered the Fried Pork and Green Onion dumplings. That was too oily and greasy, it made me feel so guilty eating it.

Once we were done with dinner, we head and fulfilled my long-awaited visit to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for the Pompeii exhibition.

If you don’t know, Pompeii was an ancient Roman town-city in Italy that was buried by the ash and pumice of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The exhibition presents artifacts and an simulation of the situation from the event.

montreal-32 Since it was a Wednesday night, admission price was only 10$ unlike the usual admission fee which is 12$-20$. Needless to say, the museum was packed! Packed, packed, paaaaaaaaaaaaaaacked.

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Some Roman art sculptures from different periods of history.

The exhibition was still pretty fascinating—they had sculptures, frescoes and mosaics from the Archaic period and so on.

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Frescoes and mosaics

But the artifacts that I most wanted to see were the Pompeii plaster casts of the volcano eruption victims.

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Pompeii Plaster Casts
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Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

It was pretty eerie looking at it but it definitely gave us a sense of how helpless these people were from the volcano eruption.

day three
Caryn and I at Downtown campus of McGill University | Wearing Black culottes from Peep Boutique
Caryn and I at Downtown campus of McGill University | Wearing Black culottes from Peep Boutique

On my last day, we began with a rough tour of McGill University in downtown. The buildings here are older and preserved well.

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Caryn and I at the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Building
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Looking super studious in this library | Wearing Black Culottes from Peep Boutique

I really liked the library here. It was huge and was nicely arranged with different places specifically for different uses. The library also has a lot of resources including newspaper from different provinces and different countries which is rather impressive.

We later hiked up Mont Royal. The hike was rather easy but because I was in the wrong attire, it was slightly difficult.

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View from Mont Royal
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Caryn, Yunyi and me!
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Casually walking out of the Chalet du Mont Royal
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Inside the Chalet du Mont Royal

For the longest time, I was imagining this chalet hosted numerous of fancy dinner parties in the olden days until I found out that this chalet was recently built. -_- #dreamscrushed

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Meet Baika, the Border Colli and Husky Mixed Dog 😉
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Selfie because I was happy with my make up

After descending Mont Royal, we went to Yokato Yobai Ramen for lunch. I was very excited for this lunch because… RAMEN.

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One of the many entrances
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Ramen menu
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One of the sections of the ramen restaurant
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The bar

The ambience was pretty cozy, artsy and Izakaya-ish. I believe this restaurant is also part-Izakaya which would make sense. I explored around the area and was really fascinated by the large space they have.

The ordering system here is a bit different. They provide you with a paper to fill up your order individually. So one person, gets one paper and you can add however many extra stuff you want with the cost.

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Pork Tonkotsu Ramen

Overall, my ramen broth had a milky texture but it wasn’t a heavy broth. Thankfully, it was not salty although it was normal saltiness which is great. In my opinion, the flavor was a bit mild compared to the other ramen I’ve tried in other places. Chasiew was fatty and tasty too. I also ordered the salad and well, it’s a salad. Yunyi ordered the karaage and it was tasty. Oily but tasty!

After lunch, we needed to walk it off and so we went to Habitat 67. It took us 20 minutes to get there from the closest bus stop and what a walk it was…

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Habitat 67

Habitat 67 is basically a collection of condo cubes. It’s an alright place to visit, really nothing much. I wouldn’t go there to just admire the architecture, it’s just not my cup of tea. It’s just really cool to look at the interior of people’s living area. I was thinking it’d be inconvenient to live there if you don’t have your own car as it’s so far from everywhere and there are no bus stops close by.

Once we were done with that, we head back for me to do some last minute packing and showering before I left this gorgeous city and Caryn. -sobs-

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Sad, I was sad.
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Canal de Lachine

The ride back home was rather melancholic because the sunset happened. Look at it. 😦 So gorgeous that it makes you think deeply about life.

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Gorgeous sunset on the way back to Ottawa

Yeap, basically that was it from my Montreal. Rather short trip BUT I WILL SURELY RETURN. It’s only two hours away. 😀 That is all from me now~ Bai bai!

Spontaneous Trip to St. John’s, Newfoundland!

Hello everybody!

It’s been a while since I last updated you guys but I think it’s been known that I went back home for two months. I honestly would’ve loved to stay a tad bit longer but I had plans of what I’ll be doing once I was back in Canada.

How I felt leaving home
How I felt leaving home

The whole plan didn’t fall through but I made do. See, I was supposed to visit Temagami once I arrived back in Canada, then Montreal and finally pack my stuff to move out. I didn’t manage to visit Temagami because my friend who lives there, suddenly had a full schedule.

On the bright side, I went to St. John’s in Newfoundland instead! You must be thinking, “how in the world are you travelling so much?” Well… One thing I always do before travelling is asking myself… “Do I have a friend there who is willing to take me around?” or “Can I crash at someone’s place while I’m there?”

Because I hate travelling alone so I’ll need someone to accompany me.

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ME: Let’s go! Let’s go! FRIEND: No.

Thankfully, I had Simon who is my secondary school senior and fellow school chorister. Funny thing is… We didn’t really talk much in school but were always on good terms. ❤ Upon discussing my plans with Simon, he was super excited and so I booked my flight ticket the next week.

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A random cliff St. John’s.

I arrived in the evening but because Simon had worked that day, he only came back at around 10pm. We were finally reunited and it was a crazy night reconnecting.

DAY ONE

So on the very first day, we woke up bright and early (4.30AM) to catch the sunrise (5.50AM) at Signal Hill. It was such a groggy morning for us so we took a taxi up to Signal Hill and walked down.

At the top, you can see most of St. John’s and the Atlantic Ocean. The scenery was stunning! Ah… I miss looking at the sunrise. The sky was in all sorts of colours, it was so surreal. Needless to say, I took too many pictures. Thankfully, I picked the best and sorted them down below.

Sunrise at Signal Hill
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Simon and I on top of Signal Hill with St. John’s behind us!
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Panorama of the view

Walking around Signal Hill, we were also Pokemon hunting. I don’t know why but there were so many Vulpix and Evees. 😀

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Simon caught an Evee on his hand.

Walking down, we were enchanted by the beautiful rock formations. Simon told me that most of the rocks that look vertical were once horizontal millions of years ago. #funfact

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Shamelessly climbed up to the rocks and did some cheesy poses. 😛

Walk, walk, walk… We walked all the way to downtown. Yes, we did… It was tiring walking session but thankfully, the view was amazing and the weather was pleasant. Oh yeah, it was pretty cold in the morning but it warmed up as the sun was rising.

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So apparently these colourful houses are called the Jellybean Houses. There’s a reason why they’re all so colourful. Back in the olden days, each ship had a different coloured sail to signify different families or something. So when a ship returns, the sailor’s wives would be able to identify their husband’s ships easily and wave their specific colour of their husband’s sails to guide their husbands ashore.

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On a statue of a Newfoundland dog. I want a big dog like this too! :<
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National War Memorial
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By the Harbourside Park

We ended up being too early for any shops to be opened so Simon and I just sat at the Harbourside Park to have a long chat. We spent two hours, just chatting and taking in the warm sun.

P.S.: This is also a hot Pokestop area

Later on, we just walked around Downtown browsing the shops and looking at some knick-knacks.

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Freak Lunch Box, a colourful vintage candy store

We had lunch at Asa Sushi at Water Street. We ordered three rolls—the Godzilla Roll, Mango Roll, and Spider Roll. Overall, it wasn’t too bad and it was a nice change from the usual sushi buffets Canada usually has. 🙂 Sorry not pictures as we were quite hungry and devoured them all. What was really nice about this restaurant was that it’s run by a Japanese chef so you know that the chef knows what’s he doing with sushi.

Walking towards Bannerman Park, we had an ice cream stop at Moo Moo’s Ice Cream.

Turtle Cheesecake Ice Cream (not made from real turtles, I hope)
Turtle Cheesecake Ice Cream (not made from real turtles, I hope)
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Random statue of a girl near Bannerman Park and Moo Moo’s Ice Cream.

We thought it was funny to put the phone in her hands to look like she’s playing Pokemon Go.

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Colonial Building

We continued our journey walking up towards The Rooms, a museum but first had a stop at this beautiful Basilica of St. John the Baptist.

Unfortunately, my photos don’t do the spectacular interior design any justice. 😦

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Basilica of St. John the Baptist

History lesson time: The City of St. John’s was named when the Genoese explorer, sailing under the British flag, John Cabot (aka Giovani Cabotto) became the first European to sail into the city’s harbour on June 24, 1497 which is coincidentally the feast day of Saint John the Baptist. Tada, that’s why you’ll see lots of churches named after St. John. 😀

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The Rooms

We ended our day by visiting The Rooms, the provincial museum. The museum houses an array of artefacts. Do note, they just unveiled a new permanent exhibition on World War I (WWI). It’s worth checking it out as you get to understand the Newfie pride through it. They also have replicas of wartime attire that you can try on. Needless to say, I did.

Me dressed as a WWI Newfie solidier
Me dressed as a WWI Newfie solidier

Other than that, they’re currently having an art exhibition by Jinny Yu on migration. It’s a three-dimensional painting exploring the emotional responses and attitudes towards mass migration. (creds: The RoomsHonestly, I thought this exhibition was really trippy as you’re immersed in this installation with voices releasing their frustrations.

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Trying to replicate an historical artifact in hopes people would know my value.

Another exhibition worth checking out if you’re more in to the interactive art is the Free PlayThis has got to be my favourite exhibit as they have interesting twists on your typical games such as chess (where you and your rival have the same coloured pieces which means you both have to move at the same time and remember whose pieces are whose) and light-switch piano.

DAY TWO

Started the day bright and early again! Thankfully not as early because we were so drained yesterday…

The day I had hope that’d we see whales because we were going whale and puffin watching! We went with Gatherall’s Puffin & Whale Watch which picked us up at Sheraton Hotel to go to Bay Bulls.

Do note that you can request for them to pick you up with an extra charge but they usually pick people up somewhere in downtown.

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The view from the ride to Bay Bulls

Upon arriving, Simon and I were greeted by such beautiful weather and landscape. I took so many photos, it’s so shameless. I also made Simon take millions of photos of me with the landscape.

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Going to touch the Atlantic Ocean #goals
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Cruisin’ on the boat to catch a sight of some whales and puffins.

On route to the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve to see some puffins and whales, we saw some dolphins! SO COOL. OMG! WILD DOLPHINS LIKE WTF. Ok, calm.. Basically, we caught sight of about 70 Atlantic white-sided dolphins.

Again, my phone camera doesn’t do justice as to how amazing seeing the dolphins were.

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Atlantic white-sided dolphins!
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Puffins flying around the area!
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Common Murres (birds that look like itty-bitty tiny penguins) just nesting on an island

To my dismay, we did not see any whales and a puffin shat on my head. T_T Yes, one of them pooped on my head. Naaaasty. Thankfully, we had tissues with us and managed to wipe the poof my head.

On another bright note, seeing wild dolphins was also a rare experience so I can’t complain about that.

After our cruising adventure, Simon and I walked to Quidi Vidi village.

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Quidi Vidi Lake

It’s a really cute village but the only thing I’ll need to complain about is the lack of public transport. We had to walk from downtown to it. Not such a pleasant walk because it took like 30 minutes. 😦

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Quidi Vidi Harbour

So our initial plans were to have lunch at Mallard Cottage but we arrived just in time for them to close for the afternoon and we ended up going to the Quidi Vidi Brewery instead where we bought two bottles of Iceberg Beer made from 25,000 year old iceberg water harvested from Newfoundland’s icebergs.

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Had some famous Quidi Vidi Iceberg Beer

The beer tasted like soda water with alcohol. It was very easy to drink but I didn’t like it all (I also don’t drink alcohol) Just when I thought Simon was going to help me finish this bottle of beer as he said he would, Simon purposely opened the second bottle to drink which meant that I couldn’t waste it. Ugh.

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Spotted some ducks by Quidi Vidi Brewery

Because of our sad attempt to have lunch failed, we decided to head back to Downtown to have Fish N’ Chips!

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Have some famous Fish & Chips at Duke of Duckworth

I ordered (Chicken) Fingers & Chips while Simon got Fish & Poutine.

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Fish & Poutine and Fingers and Chips

Lunch was so good! Also, I had some of the fish Simon ordered and it was tasted delicious! I DON’T EVEN LIKE FISH. The batter was perfectly crusty and the freaking cod, oh-my-codness… FREAKING FRESH. It didn’t have the super pungent fish taste which was A-MA-ZING. So happy with my money spent there. I’d 100% go there again and order Fish & Chips with chicken fingers. 😀

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Took our time to remember the Chinese immigrants who helped with the developed of this city at Chinese Immigrant Monument

Final agenda of the day, we went to Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN).

I must say, it’s a large and spacious campus.

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Random piano at the cafeteria
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MUN Library

We walked around the campus and caught some Pokemons cause free WiFi. 😉

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Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation
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MUN’s new first-year residence. Looks amazing from the outside but apparently the rooms are really small. 😦

Near this residence, there is a pond. That pond is filled with ducks. Ducks that are so savage. Unfortunately, I did not take photos of these savage ducks. I’m just informing you guys, don’t feed these savage ducks.

day three

Final day doing touristy stuff in St. John’s, we attempted again to have brunch at Mallard Cottage.

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But first, PETSTOP.

Managed to get a seat at the bar because the whole place was BOOKED. Walao.

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View of the area from the bar
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L-R: Chalkboard menu, the bar and the dessert bar
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Knick-knacks

As you can probably see, the ambience projected a feeling of warmth and fuzzines. Like duh, it’s a cottage. I enjoyed the whole interior design and thought it was presented tastefully. As for the food… I don’t think it’s worth the hype.

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Simon ordered the Pork Benny
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I ordered the Plougman (meal) and St. John’s Fog (drink)

The dish I ordered was was not my cup of tea but worth a try if you like separated different flavours onto one cold dish. I liked the St. John’s Fog but I wouldn’t order it again for the price I paid.

Overall, it was a lovely place with homey ambience to have a nice dinner/brunch. I’d love to come again but I’d probably order something cooked.

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Mallard Cottage exterior

Right after that, we went back to downtown.

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Petstop #2

This time around, we went to another church. It was the Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.

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The Gothic Revival interior
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Relics that survived the Great Fire of 1892

After we were done admiring the church, we decided to check out Bowring Park. Most of it is to waste time and do some Pokemon hunting.

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Swans and ducks were attracted to people with food

After taking a break at the park, we went to Rocket Cafe for some tea.

We ordered the Pulled pork Turnover, Lemon Tart and Cream Puff that tasted like eclair

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Rocket Cafe & the food with ordered

We stayed there for quite a bit to rejuvenate our phones and ourselves as well as enjoyed the free WiFi!

When it was dinner time, we decided we’d try to find Moose Meat Burger. The closest option for us that was on our way back to home was The Guv’Nor Inn Restaurant.

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The Guv’Nor Inn Restaurant

Sadly for us again, there was no Moose Burger and so I settled for a Bison burger instead.

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My Bison burger and Simon’s seafood dish that I can’t bother to remember because it wasn’t that great

With that, it concluded all the touristy things that I could do without a car. 😦 I still need to go to L’Anse Aux Meadows and Cape Spear (the easternmost point in North America!) and actually see whales!

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One of the last snaps before I left him the next day. 😦 #SimonMissesMe

 

Sunny Days in Detroit

I don’t know about you but I’ve always received negative reactions when I mention that I have relatives living in Detroit. They reacted as if I’m on going for my death sentence… People always assume that Detroit is always sketchy and rundown so I suppose they get really worried for my safety?

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That’s not to say I didn’t have that perception as well. I kept hearing about all these negative comments about Detroit that I too was worried. When I first got to the States, I imagined Detroit to be as sketchy and rundown as everyone else imagined. But contrary to their popular belief, Detroit is the same like everywhere else, in which it has its good and it’s bad places. Upon arriving Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), I pleasantly surprised by the cleanliness and modern services. DTW was much more interesting than Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport (YOW). DTW had fancy stores and restaurants all over the airport, a lot more than YOW. At this point, I felt bad for Ottawa.

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As my uncle drove me around, I noticed the large number of American flags. They were so patriotic, as much as Canadians are. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that… Was it because they’re so proud of their country’s achievements or a snobby way that made them seem superior to other countries. My first instinct was to think of it as snobby until I took a step back to realise that Canada was similar in fact that they’re proud of their country’s accomplishment and they love their country.

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Anyways… Enough of this deep talk, I should just get on with I did during my trip to Detroit.

Day one

I left super early for the airport and was the first to check my luggage in the airport… That’s a first.

L-R: Arriving to Detroit; First thing that made me laugh so hard
L-R: Arriving to Detroit; First thing that made me laugh so hard

Didn’t do much on my first day I got there. I just met up with my relatives (my two uncles and my aunt) and had dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings.

Thai Curry Traditional Wings and Honey BBQ Boneless Wings from Buffalo Wild Wings
Thai Curry Traditional Wings and Honey BBQ Boneless Wings from Buffalo Wild Wings

The Thai Curry was soooooooo good. It was spicy but so good. I love it. The Honey BBQ was tame but still good.

Day Two

Much more productive than the first. We left for Frankenmuth, also known as Little Bavaria in the morning!

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Frankenmuth

You could immediately tell it has a very touristy vibe. We just walked around, enjoyed the lovely weather and sites.

Afterwards, we went to check out the world’s largest Christmas store, Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland. It’s actually a thing…

Entering the World's Largest Christmas Store
Entering Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the World’s Largest Christmas Store

We were there for nearly an hour and I was unable to see everything there. They had Christmas stuff everywhere! I can imagine people who love decorating during Christmas going crazy here.

Just some miniature towns
Just some miniature towns

When we were done doing touristy things in Frankenmuth, we went shopping at the outlet malls. O.M.G.. Things in their outlets are so much cheaper than their freaking retail stores. Underarmour wasn’t any cheaper but still cheaper than usual. Daaaamn… I got some sports clothing and some stuff for my family.

We went to two outlet malls that day, it was cray. We went to Birch Run and Michigan’s Largest Outlet mall—Auburn Hills.

For dinner, I met up with more of my relatives at Maggiano’s Little Italy.

Menu
Menu

It was a really ambient restaurant with lots of people there. The staff were friendly and helpful. They even brought out the chef to explain what alternatives were possible for my cousins with allergies.

The chef explaining the alternatives for allergens
The chef explaining the alternatives for allergens

The food was a bit meh, in my opinion. I wasn’t the only one who thought so. I had the Famous Rigatoni “D”®.

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Rigatoni “D”®

The Rigatoni “D” was lacking in flavour. I was hoping for a lot more out of this fanciness but all I got was ambient. 😦 Sad, but true. I do hope it’s because I ordered the wrong dish but usually when dishes are named with the word “famous” on it, I obviously expect better.

Still, it was really nice to catch up with my relatives that I hadn’t met in a few years.

Day Three

The next day, it was just my uncle and I. He brought me to the Eastern Market just for some looksy and checking out the murals.

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A portion of the Eastern Market

The market was really interesting. People were selling all sorts of things, including produce, flowers (since it was that season), poultry, cheese, clothes, organic goods, etc.

What was even more awesome were the murals that surrounded the vicinity…

So. Many. Instaworthy. Murals.
So. Many. Instaworthy. Murals.

There all had different meaning and some none at all. They were so pretty though. It made me feel happy to see them being able to make use of plain walls and making them art.

Next stop: Riverfront!

Riverfront was really done up nicely. I think i the public was introduced to Riverfront as the first place in Detroit to see, negative ideas of Detroit would cease to exist. It was that nice!

Detroit Riverfront Clockwise: Canada on the left and USA on the right; General Motors Renaissance Centre; Detroit River and the view of Canada from the Riverfront
Detroit Riverfront
Clockwise: Canada on the left and USA on the right; General Motors (GM) Renaissance Centre; Detroit River and the view of Canada from the Riverfront

GM Renaissance Centre from afar looks like a city on its own. It was enormous! The only flaw I thought about the Riverfront was GM Renaissance Centre’s logo. It looks like a middle finger.

 

Abandoned Michigan Central Station
Abandoned Michigan Central Station

As you can see, I also went to the face of Detroit. Well, technically not face but the famous abandoned building in Detroit that I feel created the negative ideas of Detroit. It was also the number one place in Detroit I wanted to check out. lololol.

My uncle later brought me to Detroit Institute of Art (DIA) in Midtown. This is also another place that would completely wipe off the negative perception of Detroit.

DIA has a large collection of paintings, including artworks from Picasso, Van Gogh, Andy Warhol, the American Revolution, Indigenous people, Africans, etc..

Lots of amazing artworks. Can you tell which one's done by Andy Warhol?
Lots of amazing artworks. Can you tell which one’s done by Andy Warhol?
More artworks! Van Gogh, Picasso and more from Indigenous people and Africans
More artworks! Van Gogh, Picasso and more from Indigenous people and Africans

When we were done touring bits and pieces of Detroit, we had dinner with one of my uncle’s friend at Griffin Claw in Birmingham.

Being at Griffin Claw was really cool. It’s a microbrewery, pub and restaurant? The dining concept was also open. Basically, the seating is like being at a canteen in which you sit with anyone as long as there’s space. Once you find somewhere to s, a waiter/waitress will serve you.

Lone Star from Griffinclaw, Birmingham.
Lone Star from Griffin Claw, Birmingham.

I enjoyed the food there. I had the Lone Star and my uncle got Nightmare on Eton Street that was super spicy. Yup, it was actually spicy.

Dinner was great and to make the day even better, we had dessert at Ray’s Ice Cream!

Awesome ice cream at Ray's Ice cream. I got the Cookie Monster.
Awesome ice cream at Ray’s Ice cream. I got the Cookie Monster.

I was really full but since ice cream always makes me less full, it was no biggie. Or so I thought… The ice cream serving at Ray’s is ridiculous! It’s SO FREAKING HUGE. Not complaining, btw. I was just really surprised and at the same time so happy. I had the Cookie Monster and it was good. I want to go back there to try out the other flavours.. andlsakmdkaskdsa

Day Four

This day was pretty different from my regular touristy activities but nonetheless fun. I went cycling in Grosse Ile! It’s been awhile since I actually cycled around to get to places so this was pretty refreshing for me.

L-R: Detroit River from Grosse Ile; It's me, cycling!
L-R: Detroit River from Grosse Ile; It’s me, cycling!

It was a gorgeous day with the sun out and all. 🙂 This cycling adventure reminded me why I need to cycle again. I would love to be cycling more often but I would say that there aren’t enough cycling amenities available for me to cycle to places. 😦 Then again, I really wanted to, nothing would stop me.

Besides cycling, we checked out Grosse Ile Carnival!

It was just as I imagined or what I’ve seen on television/movies. XD It had games and really cool rides. I was too shy to go on any of the rides and too cheap to play the games so… Yeah. I didn’t do anything while I was there but take photos and stare at people on the rides.

Grosse Ile Festival
Grosse Ile Carnival

There were also people selling stuff and displaying cars for some reason. O.O I don’t know why they were displaying cars but it was nice to see the really old school cars. Hehe.

When the day was over, we tried out this ice cream place. I had the Key Lime Pie flavoured ice cream from Golden Cone. It was so refreshing! I love Key Lime Pie. :3

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream! So good~
Key Lime Pie Ice Cream! So good~
Day five

Last day to do my touristy activities! 😦

While in a motor city, you’ve got to check out a motor factory and so I did!

I just checked out the Ford Rouge Factory Tour because I had no time to do the museum and village tour… 😦 -cough- more reason to come back to Detroit!

My Ford Rouge Factory Tour TIcket
My Ford Rouge Factory Tour Ticket
Entrance of the Ford Rouge Factory Tour
Entrance of the Ford Rouge Factory Tour

It’s a self-guided tour so you just basically check things out at your own pace. At the factory, you get to see the process of assembling the Ford F150 Truck. It was really interesting to see the whole assembly line and stuff. Somehow, it made me think of Karl Marx. @_@ Oh, I wasn’t able to take any photos, videos and recordings of any kind. 😦 Hence, there are no photos from the assembly line.

At the Observatory Deck
At the Observatory Deck

The only place where I could take pictures were at the Observatory Deck and the general area where they display the Ford cars through the ages.

Ford Cars through the ages
Ford Cars through the ages

And that’s it for my trip to Detroit! I really, really, really enjoyed it. I learnt a lot about Detroit and America. It was a great trip. I’m so glad and thankful my uncle was kind enough to bring me around Detroit. I definitely see myself going back. ^^