Tag Archives: ontario

Birthday sweets.

It was my birthday last week. It wasn’t a particularly exciting day, but Corey made me a delicious Korean dinner (at my request) and he even got me these adorable treats from T&T (the monster of Asian supermarkets). The cute little bear-faced treats are actually small cakes, and the pink and yellow tubes are a long tube of cake, with some cream, and the outside is some sort of doughy goodness that is common in Chinese sweets.

T&T birthday treats.

In return, I made cupcakes for Corey’s birthday five days later. I used the Flower Cupcakes from Smitten Kitchen along with the Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting from Smitten Kitchen’s best birthday cake/icing duo. The cupcakes were very good – perfectly moist with a light, mildly sweet flavour. The chocolate icing was good but I recommend halving the recipe for cupcakes – as I used less than half and now have a ton of chocolate sour cream icing sitting in the fridge. I guess this is not necessarily a bad thing.

birthday cupcakes.

I also made a no-bake cheesecake with cherry topping, but unfortunately I have no photos of that one…

It is HOT in Ontario. Apparently we are breaking some heat records. I turned on the air conditioner as soon as I got home from French class today. There was a massive thunderstorm so I thought maybe it broke the humidity and I could turn off the A/C as I hate wasting energy on it, but the air is still very warm and I greatly regret my energy-saving decision. This cold raspberry beer isn’t even helping.

In other news, I have a part-time job at a local children’s bookstore! I am thrilled to be back in the world of children’s literature. Actually, as a bookseller and aspiring librarian, I am thinking of starting a book review blog for children’s books and YA books. I’m still working out what I’d like to do with a blog like that – my biggest decision right now is whether to keep the children’s reads as a separate blog from the YA reads. I also need to figure out my audience (professionals in the field, or people who just like to read?). Hopefully that can launch soon once I work out the details. I might even just start a book blog for all books I read, just for myself, regardless of genre or targeted age group.

And now, I will melt into the couch with my beer and continue watching Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Fall Colours in Gatineau Park.

It’s autumn, and that means lots of photos of trees in their glorious transitions. I particularly love this one that I took last week. I used the colour filter feature on my camera and highlighted the orange leaves. Then on my computer I increased the contrast and saturation levels to maximum.

I’m still not used to fall colours being so vibrant, as being from British Columbia means that I see more evergreens than anything else. There’s beauty in both views, but I am really enjoying autumn in Ontario (and Quebec). On Thanksgiving Monday, Corey and I went for a walk in the woods at Parc de la Gatineau just over the river. It was incredibly busy and all the parking lots were completely full, so we didn’t get to do a tranquil hike, but we did walk two trails and admire the view from some lookout points.

I have some more photos on my Flickr:

Bruce Peninsula & Flowerpot Island 2010.

Corey and I spent two nights camping on the Bruce Peninsula earlier this week, specifically at the Cyprus Lake campground within Bruce Peninsula National Park. I picked a site at random when I made the reservation online, and it ended up being perfect: a stone’s throw away from Cyprus Lake, quiet, and the site that was closest to an observation deck on the lake. It was gorgeous!

A large portion of the Cyprus Lake trail was right beside the water.

We arrived in the middle of the thunderstorm, which dampened our spirits (heehee), but the rain stopped, the clouds parted, and we had beautiful (although sometimes windy) weather for the rest of our trip.

We did a 5.2km hike around Cyprus Lake on the first day and visited Tobermory, the teensy lakesade town at the tip of the peninsula. On the second day we visited the Grotto, even though we (and several other people) couldn’t find it at first. Finally, a local brought us into the Grotto, and we had to do a tricky, perilous descent into the cave. There was a different route to exit, and we had to squeeze through a hole in the middle of the rock. Before we left the area on the third day, we took a boat ride to Flowerpot Island in the Fathom Five National Marine Park where we hiked all the trails, visited the lighthouse, and had lunch by the shore.

Admiring Georgian Bay on the Bruce Trail.

View from the Loop Trail on Flowerpot Island. Look at that colour!

I truly miss the beauty of British Columbia’s rugged coast, so this trip was really good for the soul. Being a West Coaster, I never realized that the Great Lakes are enormous. Bruce Peninsula is bordered by Lake Huron to the west and Georgian Bay to the east. I had to continually remind myself that I wasn’t looking at the ocean. It was strange to think that all that water was fresh and not salty. Hiking over rocks and dirt, taking photos, and admiring the waves and the turquoise colour of the water… Amazing!

If you’re interested, you can find the rest of my photos on Flickr.