In and Out of Canada {Take Three}

We had such a productive four days in Toronto!

It’s seems that my family has an annual tradition of being in and out of Canada to visit relatives. Here was take one and take two.

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Whenever I leave the ever-walkable city of Boston, my daily step count plummets by approximately 15,000 steps, while my calorie intake increases significantly, especially when in Toronto, amidst Asian food paradise.

But…

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After a fun and active day on Thursday with my cousins, Friday was a fun and food-filled day with my cousins at the Canadian National Exhibition! First though — moves, grooves and breakfast.

I did a nice 10 minute warmup (I am a zombie if I work our first thing in the morning) before completing this 20 minute workout (30 seconds on, 10 seconds off, 5 rounds):

  • burpee tuck jumps
  • weighted squats
  • donkey kicks
  • superman to scapula retraction
  • burpee to plank kick throughs
  • hamstring ball curls

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Followed by 4 x 30-40 second wall walk holds and Greek yogurt with fruit and granola.

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My cousin Amy and I were chaperoned by my parents to the train station and then took a train and bus on our own to get downtown.

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Quick story: At the train station, I tried to pay for my ticket with a $50 Canadian bill, but the guy at the ticket counter told me, “Go away,” while gesturing to the turnstile. I was confused and slightly distressed and didn’t know what he wanted me to do until Amy whispered, “He wants us to go for free!” OH. (You don’t see this happen in Boston or NYC.)

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I’m eight years older than Amy, but age is obviously just a number when it comes to having a clue about anything.

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Anyway, after a pleasant (and free) ride on Toronto’s public transit, we arrived at the CNE, ready to explore! The CNE is basically an annual MEGA fair in downtown Toronto. Just visit the website if you want to learn about what happens there; it’s huge.

We explored the “farm” first, which is a building filled with farmers and their animals from around Canada.

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alpacas!

I felt the slightest tug to never eat pork or beef ever again, but I’m a cold-hearted person I think eating meat conscientiously is not a bad thing.

Next we visited the arts and crafts building, which housed hundreds of vendors and booths, which means we housed many samples in our bellies.

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Amy and I met up a little later with my other cousins, Kate and Megan! We all hung out together for the rest of the day, which made for a sweet girls’ day 🙂

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The CNE has quite a few shows and performances throughout the day, so we first went to the ice skating and acrobatics show. It was awesome (and a little heart-attack-inducing with some of those acrobatics). There was also a “Fire Guy” show in front of the arena beforehand.

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Then it was time for lunch! The food building is RIDICULOUS, guys. There are so many food stands, healthy and…daring alike.

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this is like 10% of it

I walked around for 10 minutes feeling overwhelmed yet hungry, but I knew that I definitely wanted pierogis (Polish potato and cheese dumplings), so I got a cup of four with sour cream on the side to start.

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My uncle also recommended the waffle ice cream sandwich (a CNE classic apparently), so I had my heart set on one of those. It did not disappoint!!

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it doesn’t look like much, but it was PERFECT — tender, buttery, warm and toasted waffles with good ol’ vanilla ice cream in the middle — UGH

I wish I had more time/money/space in my stomach to spare, because there were so many things I wanted to try. Look at this list of 10 outrageous foods at the CNE, some of which look repulsive and some of which I would so eat.

We scurried out of lunch to watch the parkour show just outside the food building! This was one of my favorite things at the CNE. It’s just so entertaining and awe-inspiring to see people flip and jump over obstacles like it’s absolutely nothing.

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After the parkour show, Amy and I walked around the carnival area while Megan and Kate went on a couple rides.

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Amy and I shared a corn dog at some point because a) Amy had never eaten corn dog before; b) I secretly love corn dogs.

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The four of us met back up at another big exhibition hall for more samples and people trying to sell us things, like these self-massagers (admittedly, I could have used that thing for an hour).

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There were also sand and butter sculptures in the making!

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the butter sculptors were working on recreating that black and white photo in the background — Justin Trudeau holding baby pandas LOL

‘Twas such a successful trip to the CNE with these beautiful ladies!

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met up with our Aunt Sharon at the very end too!

Amy and I headed back outbound to our families for sushi dinner at 8pm. I really wanted vegetables at this point, and a starter salad had to suffice for the day, but I’m okay with a day of only 2-ish servings of fruits/veggies.

Because THIS:

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{Sushi} Roll me outta there.

On Saturday we spent a lot of time with Pop’s parents, which was wonderful. There was also a big family lunch at Congee Queen in there!

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The rest of the day was just spent chillin’ with my grandparents, dropping them off at a wedding, a walk/deep chat with Pop, Mass, and then more foooooood.

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Vietnamese for dinner (aka so many veggies YES)

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my two kids in a candy store 😉

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banana + tapioca in coconut milk *moment of silence*

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red bean pastry

My Asian side (aka my whole side) thrives in Toronto.

We all had big plans for Sunday morning, but none of them really worked out. I had big plans to work out before we hit the road for NY, but that didn’t happen as I went to sleep past 1am.

We also had plans to leave at 7am, but that didn’t happen as we promptly discovered that our car battery was completely dead. Thank God for CAA for coming to the rescue! We only left 1.5 hours later than we planned, which wasn’t bad at all. (I also got to foam roll and stretch before sitting in the car all day #bless.)

Then the rest of the day involved road tripping. Snacks and stretching are a must.

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ketchup chips are a Canadian road trip specialty/necessity in our family

We were back in New York as the sun was setting, so we headed to So Gong Dong for a last hurrah Korean dinner.

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Korean short ribs to share (the best)

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veggie bibimbap

Madre also graciously helped me buy some new training/running shoes at TJMaxx after dinner since mine were about as useful as slippers.

One day in NY now before heading back to Boston for another four months!!

Hope you all have a joyous Monday!

p.s. WHO IN THE US IS WATCHING THE SOLAR ECLIPSE!? My brother gave me special eclipse glasses to view it this afternoon from NY (not total eclipse, but 76% coverage isn’t too bad!)

So tell me: 

Have you ever been to the CNE?

What is your favorite carnival food?

Two things you did this weekend!

Has your car battery ever died? Thank God ours didn’t die in the middle of the road!

 

 

Boston University is Making Things Complicated

Good morning!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a beautiful Easter if you celebrated! We spent our weekend in Boston for some last college visits, so we also got to spend time with Ben for Easter! There was a ton of sunshine, family time, and food…of course.

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Thanks for hosting all the marvelousness, Katie!

Friday

We got to Boston pretty late on Friday night, so we went to a hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant that I found via Yelp. Even though it was a tiny restaurant, the food hit. the. spot. It was called Clay Pot Cafe, and I ordered their specialty Yellow Eel Clay Pot since eel is actually one of my favorite proteins EVER.

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Obligatory to get the crispy burnt rice at the bottom.

After our hot, filling meals, we checked into the hotel and crashed for the night. Apparently, traveling and eating is pretty darn draining.

Saturday

This day called for another early wake-up call for breakfast and the Boston University open house!

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It’s a lot easier to wake up when this is your view though.

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The hotel included an awesome breakfast, so I helped myself to some scrambled eggs with salsa, potatoes with peppers and onions, and PB&J oats. I ♥ breakfastttttt.

The BU open house I attended was actually specifically for Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences since I want to go into physical therapy. This was the only college that offered such a specific open house for one school within the university.

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The PT/AT lab in the Sargent school is very impressive!

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A super entertaining and informative nutrition lecture by Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN. This definitely piqued my interest!

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The campus food at BU rocks (or at least for the open house it rocked). The quinoa dish with organic tempeh on the top left was fancy fresh.

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“Sargent Choice” cookies. Sargent’s choice is some sort of nutrition program run by Sargent college to promote healthier foods throughout the campus.

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Heart of BU.

I have concluded that if I say “never” to something, it is sure to happen. Example #1: I never thought visiting Boston University would make the slightest impact on my final college decision, but lo and behold, it sorta blew me away. I actually told my dad on Friday: “I REALLY don’t think Boston University is going to make a difference in my decision at this point. I think UMD is going to be the one.”

Well, University of Maryland has some major competition now, and I have 9 days to decide where I want to go. I might just flip a coin.

Why BU is making me go insane:

  • Hands down— best BS/DPT program (I would be able to get my doctorate of physical therapy in 6 years instead of 7 years, and the PT program is highly accredited at BU)
  • 6 years instead of 7 would mean a better financial deal over all
  • great food with tons of healthy choices
  • close to the bro, who’s at Northeastern (easier for the parents to visit us as well)
  • Boston is a pretty hoppin’ town
  • Diversity
  • Dance minor (in case I want to do that)

Just like Maryland, I can’t seem to find any outstanding cons, but I’m still very stuck between the two. I think it’s partially because I’m so stunned that BU came into the picture when I thought I was set on UMD. Pray for me, friends.

Moves on Saturday: Walking around Boston, a one mile run on the treadmill, and some lower body exercises in the hotel room. Guess what! I got my first unassisted pistol squats this weekend! The only thing that I still need to do is wear my sneakers since the slight elevation in the heel helps out my super short achilles tendons.

Then it was out to eat. Again. Ben joined us for another delicious Asian dinner at a Thai restaurant called Bangkok City.

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I ordered the steamed catfish with veggies and garlic ginger sauce. Yum!

After dinner, Victoria and Wendy took the T (subway) to Harvard Square while our family went to Easter Vigil Mass at the Northeastern Catholic Center’s church. It was an absolutely beautiful and glorious Mass—a joyful way to start off the Easter celebration indeed!

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Ben was a reader!

Easter Sunday!

Jesus Christ is risen today, Aaaaaaalleluia!

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Hotel breakfast day two: scrambled eggs with salsa + oatmeal with honey, sliced banana, and peanut butter

After breakfast, we drove home to beat the Boston traffic. Four hours later, Victoria and I ate a light lunch at home while watching funny videos from Ellen Degeneres. That woman never fails to crack me up.

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Spinach/kale salad with balsamic + avocado smoked salmon toast

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And a white chocolate egg, courtesy of Wendy and Victoria 🙂

Moves: After digesting for a bit, Victoria and I headed outdoors for a run/walk since we were tight from sitting in the car all morning and the weather was just gorgeous yesterday. We had such a great time chatting and taking in the fresh air on Easter day. It was definitely the highlight of my whole spring break!

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The only problem during our run was the presence of millions of gnats. We suspect that some flew into our mouths because we kept squealing and swatting them away like freaks.

Example #2 of why I should never say never (like Justin Bieber): I never thought I would like running, but I think I could get used to it. I’ve only been running one mile at most, but I feel like I could definitely go further if I wasn’t trying to keep it easy with my workouts. Seeing the hundreds of runners in Boston—especially on the weekend before marathon Monday— also gave me a little itch to get out there.

Dinner was courtesy of Groupon at an Indian restaurant called Chana Masala. The Groupon came with SO MUCH food, so we brought home enough leftovers for another hefty meal or two. It was all incredible though.

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Once we got home and got comfy, I made the famous peanut butter banana soft serve for Victoria and myself. We ate it while watching that 7th grader movie, The Clique, just because we wanted to make fun of it.

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She was a fan 🙂 I made her some overnight oats for this morning too, so we’ll see how she likes those!

It was an absolutely marvelous weekend for sure. Victoria is leaving us today… *tear* And I have school today… *sob* I’m actually a little behind on work, so I’m gonna have to kick my butt in gear. Have a great week, everyone!

So tell me:

What did you do for Easter weekend?

What have you done that you never thought you would do?

Do you like to run?

Do you like Indian food?