Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Travelogue #2: Toronto

I had a blast in Toronto! I had just a day and a half between going from Portland to Toronto after a red eye flight back to NY (!) but it wasn't so bad, I think the jet lag worked in my favor. Anyway, here are some photos from the trip-

I took the 12 hour bus with my pal Megan, getting through customs this time around went by quicker and felt less nerve wrecking than what I'd experienced in the past. When we got there we were greeted by our Toronto friends, Irme and Taylor. The next day we went to the Toronto Zoo where we got to see a lot of animals up close. It was awesome!

The gay penguins were there! We also got to see the new baby lion cubs, Simba and Nala (jk!) But in all seriousness, they were adorable and definitely up there among the favorite animals we saw there. The polar bears were also addictive to watch, there were 2 giant ones and a cub. Both the big bears started wrestling in the water at the end of the day and I couldn't keep my eyes away!

The day after that, we took a road trip to Niagara Falls while stopping at a couple of wineries along the way. There was one winery that was a unanimous favorite of ours which is Konzelmann Estate. I really enjoyed some of their barrel aged oaky reds and they had a late harvest dessert wine, "Vidal" that I found surprisingly great. (I'm not usually into dessert/ice wine, but this one is just right- not too sweet)

Here we are observing the rainbows at the falls! It was quite a majestic moment. The negative ions in the air made our hairs fly up.

Spent Sunday at TCAF where I got to say hi to a bunch of cartoonists, some I've been continuously encountering from going through the same festival circuit which is always nice. Afterwards, Megan and I decided it would be good for us to eat a wholesome Vietnamese dinner. This is when I had Bun Bo Gio Hue for the first time (beef and pig knuckle noodle soup!) and it was amazing. Later on, after several drinks we went out to search for poutine at midnight and Pizza Pizza was the only thing open, so we thought "What the hey! might as well indulge". The next day, we got real poutine from Smoke's Poutinerie, the double pork (bacon + pulled pork) Yesssssssssss!

On our last day, after sharing a modest box of Smoke's fine poutine for lunch, (of which we couldn't even finish and I kept in my bag only to discover it again back in the States) we had a decadent last meal before hopping onto the bus ride home. We picked up a bunch of live lobsters and steak from this awesome Asian supermarket, T & T. Megan and I stocked up on pickle dill potato chips and ketchup potato chips because we felt our friends back home need to try these things! They also had dessert tofu which comes in a variety of sweet and fruity flavors, of course we had to try the maple caramel flavor. It was so good! All in all a very memorable trip. :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Travelogue #1: Portland!

I had an amazing time in Portland! Here are some photos highlighting the trip:

 I traveled with Aya and Sara and had the best time! We had our first breakfast at Gravy, a favorite of mine since my first Portland trip. The roads were covered in cherry blossoms, it was gorgeous that weekend.

 We got together with Aya's studio mates/friends (Rabid Rabbit crew) and took a trip up the mountains to Timberline lodge, the lodge that appears in "The Shining"! It snows 11 months out of the year and we got to play in the snow and have a snowball fight in April. :)

 We then went to Edgefield where we hung out in front of the Little Red Shed (turns out to be a liquor shed/bar!) After warming back up in front of the fire pit, we got happy hour beer and tots and watched a $3 movie at McMenamins Theater.

To start Stumptown weekend off, we went to another favorite of mine for breakfast- Pine State Biscuits! Saturday started off a little slow at the festival but on Sunday it got a lot busier (to my surprise.) We also spotted the most adorable dog outside a vintage clothing shop right by our hotel! :))))

A trip to Portland isn't without a trip to Voodoo doughnuts! Anyone who knows me knows I'm not really a sweets person but I was curious about the Bacon Maple doughnut (from watching Anthony Bordain devour one on No Reservations) We ended up giving in to Rogue's Bacon Maple Ale to go with the doughnut, it was worth it!

We went to the after party at Pony Club gallery on Sunday night where we were able to catch the Ghost Show before it went down. The next day, I got to hang out with Kinoko! We had delicious vegetarian at Paradox Cafe and she gave me a tour of her school, PNCA. Afterwards I had really yummy warm cocktails at Tea Zone with the incredibly talented Angie Wang. It was the perfect last day before catching my evening flight home before heading to Toronto. Coming up- Travelogue #2: Toronto!