Saturday, December 30, 2023

Coffee with Santa


St. Augustine FL

This had to be the greyest, foggiest Christmas week ever!
We had decided on Chinese on Christmas Eve and I had the bright idea to go to Riz, a completely gluten free Chinese restaurant so John could have spring rolls and dumplings with is meal. It is a 45 minute drive from here, so I had ordered ahead of time.
Driving up Yonge, probably wasn't the smartest idea on Christmas Eve afternoon.

Yonge and Dundas

The never ending Yonge and Eglinton construction continues on the Eglinton Crosstown LRTA midtown connection between east and west Toronto with 25 stations along a dedicated route.
The line was supposed to open in 2020, but it has been repeatedly pushed back due to various legal and construction issues along with COVID-19-related delays. In May, Verster said the Eglinton Crosstown wouldn't open until sometime in 2024.

Riz restaurant.

Lunch Atop A Toronto Billboard
.... A Toronto take on the iconic 1932 New York City photograph 'Lunch Atop A Skyscraper' .... Mounted atop a billboard, above an old bank building at 3442 Yonge Street, created by Italian sculptor Sergio Funari.
See the little guy sitting on the roof?

Sadly, other than the spring rolls and dumplings, the rest of the meal was mediocre, it all tasted the same. We had crispy beef and General Tao's chicken. Definitely not worth the drive.

But note to self - We took Wilson west and then took Keele/Parkside home.

We invented our drink, eggnog with coffee vodka, delicious, we even finished a container of eggnog which has never happened before.

I didn't take any photos on Christmas Day but we enjoyed ourselves.

How we always spend Boxing Day!!!

Wednesday ended up the same! It was so dark and foggy when we got up we decided to forego going out and had a popcorn movie afternoon.

Thursday more rain and fog.
I updated my 2023 reading list.

Friday we ran out to pick up some weekend items.


Saturday lunch hot Italian sausage (Longo's).
Roast pork, roast potatoes and carrots.

Sunday breakfast was bacon and tomato sandwiches.
I prepped Christmas dinner.
Peeled the potatoes, prepared and cooked the carrots and turnips, prepped the gravy and stuffing.
Dinner Chinese food 

Monday turkey and all the trimmings

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday leftovers!!

Friday steak frites


Oppenheimer 2023 The story of American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the development of the atomic bomb.

The Bank of Dave 2023 Based on the true-life experiences of Dave Fishwick; 'Bank of Dave' tells the story of how a working class Burnley man and self-made millionaire fought to set up a community bank. Fun, good.

Maestro 2023 - we gave up on it.

Somewhere in Queens 2022 Leo and Angela Russo live a simple life in Queens, surrounded by their overbearing Italian-American family. When their son 'Sticks' finds success on his high-school basketball team, Leo tears the family apart trying to make it happen.

Late Night 2019 A late night talk show host suspects that she may soon lose her long-running show.

OLDIES PVRed - you can click on the link if you want to know more.

Shakedown 1988 our kind of movie!

Klute 1971

Home Alone and Home Alone 2


I read 114 books this year.

Truth Be Told is my fourth (in a row) Kia Abdullah book, I am loving her! She writes about a range of subjects, from drug abuse and gender inequality to dealing with culture and identity as a British-Asian woman. 

Friday, December 29, 2023

Weekend Roundup

  Welcome to The Weekend Roundup...hosted by Tom The Back Roads Traveller

1. Has a "Z"
2. A Favorite
3.  Looks like a Z- chosen by Tom

Starts with Z


Men's washroom sign at Libretto's PIZZA Toronto ON


Toronto ON

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Throwback Thursday

December 2013 - Las Vegas Nevada

Decorations at Bellagio. Click here for last year's display.

The centerpiece of the display is Las Vegas' largest indoor holiday tree standing at 45-feet tall and weighing 8,000 pounds, hand-picked in Mt. Shasta, Calif. and flown in for the display.

A holiday favorite returns with a family of topiary polar bears adorned with 18,000 snow white carnations. Momma bear will watch over her two cubs as they frolic through the poinsettias and float on an icy pond. In an effort to build awareness about protecting the polar bear’s home, Bellagio will partner with Coca-Cola to promote the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) during this year’s exhibit. Coca-Cola’s goal, in partnership with WWF, is to raise awareness and funds to help create places where polar bears and people can thrive in the Arctic.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Monday, December 25, 2023

Monday Mural

  I'm linking up at Monday Mural

August 2023 - Whitehorse Yukon

The lower floor of the north wall of the RBC Royal Bank building at 4110 - 4th Avenue, facing the parking lot, hosts a mural by Lance Burton, showing a White Pass & Yukon Route steam locomotive behind men building the new railway.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Dineen Coffee Co.

  Linking up with Marg at The Intrepid Reader

December 2023 - Toronto ON

On Saturday John and I made the mixture for tourtieres. I used a boxed pastry mix to make one for dinner.

We had planned on having Armenian pizza (Lahmajoun) that was languishing in the freezer for lunch, but they had well passed their best by date! Oh well, one more item removed from the freezer.
We did use up two packages of Italian sausages that were in the freezer this week!

Monday we went out to Burlington for lunch with friends at The Judge and Jury, a pub that has a totally gluten free menu on Mondays.
I wore my Fluevogs!

Tuesday I did some shopping. Our online grocery order arrived as did our LCBO order so we are all set for the holidays.
I also got another of my Christmas gifts, I like sitting on the bed to watch stuff. UPDATE I have named it Eeyore. 

John also surprised me by finding, online, my maraschino cherry chocolates that were always a treat at Christmas growing up. They are impossible to find these days.

Wednesday I dragged John downtown with me to pick up crab (frozen) for New Year's Eve, as they were on sale.

I started clean up of my photo files and doing back ups of data.

I  made this gluten free pie crust, easiest pastry ever, made in the food processor for the remaining tourtiere filling for Christmas. Much prettier than the one above!

Friday we did a quick trip for some extras for the holiday weekend!


Saturday tourtiere and beans

Sunday roast beef, roasted potatoes and carrots

Monday leftover roast beef/potatoes 

Tuesday leftover tourtiere and beans

Wednesday  lamb chops, Greek lemon potatoes and broccolini

Thursday salt and pepper halibut and turnip (rutabaga) fries, first time, these were good, but I would do them in the air fryer next time.

Friday steak, baked potato, broccolini 


Seven Seconds Tensions run high between African American citizens and Caucasian cops in Jersey City when a teenage African American boy is critically injured by a cop. We had watched this in March 2021, but enjoyed it again.

The movie channels are free during the holidays so John has recorded a bunch of them.

The Rack 1956 - A decorated Korean War hero inexplicably collaborates with the enemy while interred in a POW camp and is court-martialed.

I had never seen Rebel without a Cause 1955 - A rebellious young man with a troubled past comes to a new town, finding friends and enemies. There was much more to this movie than I realized.
Rebel without a Cause has as much to say today as it did in the 1950s. It typifies the ineptitude of fathers to act as responsible adults and their unwillingness to accept their teen-aged children into an adult world.

Map to the Stars 2014  is an internationally co-produced satirical drama film directed by David Cronenberg. The film concerns the plight of a child star and a washed up actress while commenting on the entertainment industry's relationship with Western civilization as a whole.

The Hurricane 1999 the story of Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter, a boxer wrongly imprisoned for murder, and the people who aided in his fight to prove his innocence. Excellent!


I am addicted to Kia Abdullah's books, this is the second one I've read. Those People Next Door highlights the many faces of racism with an intense storyline. This  is a family drama/crime/legal tale that is well written. Having had the "neighbours from hell" I can appreciate this!
She handles court cases with the feeling that you are sitting on the jury as your opinions sway from witness to witness. OMG I did not see that ending coming!!!

Started Take It Back by the same author!

Friday, December 22, 2023

Weekend Roundup

  Welcome to The Weekend Roundup...hosted by Tom The Back Roads Traveller

1. Starts with "Y"
2. A Favorite
3.  - chosen by Tom

Starts with Y


Whitehorse Yukon airport code is YXY

YAK : to talk persistently : CHATTER

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Throwback Thursday - Charlie Brown's Christmas

December 2016 - Kissimmee FL

We left Toronto before any white stuff fell and drove to Florida for a month. We have plans to be away until early April.

This is not a long outing at all but it was fun.

We went to the Gaylord Palms hotel (Marriott) to see the Charlie Brown's Christmas ICE exhibit. We really enjoyed the show, however, the ticket prices were ridiculous. It took us thirty minutes to walk the the exhibit, cost - $30 each.

You are given a blue winter coat which is greatly appreciated. The temperature was 9F or -13C!!!


I understand that it is a lot of work to create these sculptures and it is a lot of ice, however....

How much ice? 2 million pounds!!!

To add insult to injury, our thirty minute outing had a $22 parking charge, so in total a $82 US thirty minutes!

John was smart enough to at least wear his running shoes!

Cold tootsies!

For some odd reason at end of the display there were two nativity scenes made from plain ice. These were gorgeous in a different way.

My glasses were completely steamed up when we came back out into the warmth.

Of course there was a "Christmas" Market as you exited.

Linking up with:

Scenic Weekends
Monday Walks
Monday Morning Blog Club
Whatever the Weather - Wednesday - Friday
Through My Lens Monday
Life Through the Lens
Tuesday Travel
Our World Tuesday
City Trippin'
Wanderful Wednesday
SNAP on Wednesday
Outdoor Wednesday
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Travel Photo Thursday
Budget Travel Talk
Weekend Travel Inspiration.
The Weekly Postcard
Weekend Wanderlust