2018 In Review

Our year in review. The weekly recaps will take you to many more posts, the weekly linkups that I contribute to such as Monday Mural, Foto Tunes, Tuesday Treasures, Wordless, Thursday Doors, Weekend Reflections, Weekend Roundup, Cee's Odd Ball and Which Way challenges, 6 Word Saturday, inSPIREd Sunday, Shadow Shot Sunday, One Word Sunday.


This was Google's take on our travel in 2018.

2018 started in Montreal and Niagara Falls ON before we flew to LA and then Mazatlan for a month in Torres Mazatlan.

We spent a long weekend in Stratford ON for my birthday.

We took a few extra days to spend in Montreal.

Spain was our destination in November. We visited Madrid, Toledo, Seville, Granada, Valencia, and Barcelona.
Click here for all the details.

December 18 we headed to Mazatlan Mexico. The remainder of the year was spent at El Cid Marina.



The Museum Tavern always a favourite, never lets us down. Mussels, steak frites, ahi tuna, crab cakes
The Queen Mother Cafe Queen St. W
LBS  Overpriced and underwhelming
Salt Ossington St. Tapas very good but on the expensive side for the portion sizes
Labora King St. W Tapas really small portions
Barcelona Tavern Tapas the best!
Dhaba Indian King and John
Aroma Indian buffet King and John better than Dhaba
La Carnita Mexican average
AGO Members' Lounge Dundas St. W real favourite of mine!
Corned Beef House ALAS has closed
O and B Front St. always a favourite for lunch
The Walrus Pub great mussels and GF options
Craft Beer Market lots of GF options. Good burger - but ceviche really small portions
Assembly Chef's Hall NOT your average food court. Lobster rolls! Peking duck wings. Tacos Colibri.
Quinn's Sheraton Hotel
Hendrick's Eaton Centre don't waste your money. Overpriced, underwhelming food and crappy service
Cluny's Distillery District French bistro style, large portions
Hibiscus Kensington Market totally GF including beer!
Olympic Pizza we've been going there for years
Queen Margherita GF pizza good
Libretto's BEST GF pizza
Duffy's Diner fun 50s style
Brazen Head Pub Liberty Village - won't be back
La Tortilleria meh
Royal York Library Bar drinks

Z-teca Mexican fast food - decent
Burger's Priest the only place for a burger and it serves a gluten free bun
The Burgernator Kensington Market good burger has GF buns
College Park  DUCK and China King
Sun Life Building new food court great Raw Bar and tacos
Union Station summer food court. Harry's Burgers delicious
Sunset Grill breakfast
Su and Bu great ceviche horrible chicken

Balzac multiple locations good coffee
Jimmy's multiple locations great murals coffee just okay
Drake Commissary
Bang Bang ice cream

Wingporium Islington Ave
The Brogue Inn Port Credit


Baranga's on the Beach
Judge and Jury Pub
The Bistro John always has the mussels
Train Station very good
Foster's service could be improved

Grace Bistro
Scores Swiss Chalet is better
Paris Crepes
Brasserie le Manoir


Royal Villas dinner ourselves
Machado 1 lunch with Bill and Carol
Chalio 1 lunch ourselves
Casa Conobbio 2 dinners Bill and Carol and Paco - ourselves
Torres Mazatlan Palapa
           Prime Rib night we arrived
           Mexican night ourselves
           Italian night with Bill and Carol
          2 lunches pool ourselves
          Lunch last day ourselves
Via Condotti
            2 lunches with Bill and Carol
            1 breakfast ourselves
El Fish Market 1 lunch and 1 dinner ourselves
El Quelite 2 breakfast with Bill and Carol
Lucky B's 2 breakfasts with Bill and Carol

La Martina  breakfast Very good
Chili Pepper lunch
Mary's Burger Shop best burger in town IOHO
Lucky B breakfast
The Fish Market Sabalo location. Always good and huge portions. Great ceviche.
Pancho best salsa so far
Union Kitchen breakfast ok you pay for coffee fillups


I would definitely call this the year of the theatre as we did lots of plays.

Stratford for my birthday - was a highlight and we will be doing it more next summer.
The Music Man
An Ideal Husband
To Kill a Mockingbird - we even went back for another play

Niagara On the Lake
Hound of the Baskervilles

Come From Away
An American in Paris
Ain't Too Proud  - story of The Temptations - would go see it again!

Soulpepper Theatre
The Secret Chord
A Moveable Feast
Bed and Breakfast

Gordon Lightfoot
Elton John


Art Gallery of Toronto

Royal Ontario Museum ROM

Gardiner Ceramics Museum

Bata Shoe Museum

The Textile Museum

MZTV Museum


Lots of new things around home. We've been in our condo for six years now.


This year I finally got around to creating a page called My Recipe Box with links to of all my favourite recipes along with some tips and a link to Gluten Free Toronto.

NEW in 2018 recipes - all gluten free. These are the keepers, there were some less than impressive recipes tried, those didn't make it into The Recipe Box.

Clam Chowder
Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse
Sweet and Sour Pork
Moo shu pork
Crustless blueberry pie
3 ingredient macaroons
Coconut carrot bread
Lemon cheesecake
Cauliflower fried rice
Raspberry Yogurt Cake
Broccoli Fritters
Coconut flour pancakes
Lemon Mousse
Thai Beef Korma
Lemon Curd
Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Poppers
Easy mozzarella chicken
Ginger beef
Red Lobster Cheese Biscuits
Lemon curd



January started bitterly cold and by the end of the month the snow was gone and Father Winter had shed his heavy parka.

We went to Montreal the first week of the new year.

Dec 30 to Jan 5 - Les Feves au Lard


Fabulous exhibit!

Jan 6 to Jan 12 - Comfort Foods 

A brisk walk along Lake Ontario

Jan 13 to Jan 19 - Bundling Up 

The highlight of the week was a trip to Niagara Falls with friends and lunch.

Jan 20 to Jan 26 - Short Order Cooking
Ice Breakers at Harbourfront

Later in the week we went to the Festival of Lights in the Distillery District for dinner with friends.


We left for Mazatlan on January 31, flying to Los Angeles (on points yay us!) and spending the night at LAX Hilton, our usual spot.

From this to this

We were here for a month at Torres Mazatlan, a timeshare. We've stayed here over the years and think it's our favourite. Across from our friends in the RV park, bus outside to grocery store and town. 

Feb 3 to Feb 9 - El Guisado 

A day out in El Quelite is always fun. The food is fabulous and the town is so colourful.

Some doors in El Quelite.

It's Carnaval time so we set out to get photos of all the statues. Click here to read about the theme and descriptions.

Feb 10 to Feb 16 - Frijotes Refritos

A trip to La Noria is always fun no matter how often we do it.

But we had never seen the dancing horses here at their home.

Feb 17 to Feb 23 - Slice of Life

A week spent around town, doing shopping, eating out, mariachis, art but definitely it was a foodie week.

Around Mazatlan.

Feb 24 to Mar 2 - Comida del Dia

It was a busy last week as we did a few day excursions with Bill and Carol.

We went to Las Labradas on a perfect sunny day without any humidity.

And another delicious breakfast in El Quelite.
Click here to see El Quelite courtesy of Bill's drone. And some more.

We flew from Mazatlan to LA on March 1 after lunch with Bill and Carol.
Then home to Toronto on March 2 arriving home at 10:30.

Flight to LA - used points
Limo to airport $45
Hotel LA - 2 nights Hilton LAX $400 1 dinner
LA to Mazatlan - Cheapo Air
King David return MAZ to Torres
Torres Mazatlan - our timeshare 4 weeks

Things we said we bring next year:
More spices, corn starch, GF bread crumbs
Lighter for oven
Carbon monoxide detector
John wants less golf shirts and more t-shirts and a couple of long sleeves for the cooler nights.
I would also bring a couple more t-shirts and would like to find some cotton sundresses. Cotton long sleeve sweaters would be good too.
Two pairs of shoes seems to work, closed toed and a sandal. I had two pairs of sandals and only wore the dressier ones twice.


What an uneventful first three weeks it was. First we got back and got organized.
Week 1 March Looney Bean

Then the highlight of the month was finally getting our new living room furniture.

 A new mask from Mazatlan, a solitary purchase.

New furniture!

Then we both got hit with colds that left us flat and coughing for a couple of weeks, vegging out and bingeing on TV series and reading.

I did start a new blanket to use up some wool.


We had highly envied tickets to see Kusama at the AGO.

Week 2 Let's Do Lunch as we lunched at the AGO and then K and I lunched at the Corned Beef House and saw the play An American in Paris.
John and I then met up with our BIL for wings and beer.

Week 3 we ate at La Carnita on John St. before seeing Come From Away which was nothing short of spectacular.
The building began work on our air conditioning coils that was finally finished in June.

Week 4 K and I visited the newly opened Assembly Hall, an upscale food court in the financial district which became a real favourite.
John and I went for the Indian Buffet at Aroma on KIng St.West.

We bought an ice cream maker! Just in time for a viscous ice storm.

Week 5 was a sad week in Toronto history when a driver deliberately drove his car into pedestrians on Yonge St.

Out west, on route to a game, the Humboldt Broncos' team bus collided with a semi-truck on Highway 35 near Armley in Saskatchewan; the local RCMP reported 16 fatalities as a result of the accident, and the game was cancelled. The victims included 10 players, two coaches, a statistician, a broadcaster, the bus driver, and an athletic therapist. The remaining passengers, 13 players, received injuries, most of them serious.

We visited Allen Gardens to jumpstart spring.


I received a request to use a photo to which I said yes with a link back to me.
Gonzalinho da Costa has left a new comment on your post "About Me (UPDATED DEC 2016)": 
Could I post your photo of Crucified Woman by Almuth Lutkenhaus-Lackey on my poetry blog?My poetry blog: https://poetryofgonzalinhodacosta.blogspot.com/
I am hoping for your kind consideration. Thank you. 

Received a shout-out from Andrew on my post about Windsor Castle.

Week 1 An tu nhien nhe Enjoy Your Meal!
The weather is getting better and we are out wandering around. I discovered a Banksy safely preserved in glass. And lots of new murals in Graffiti Alley.

I attended a class at the ROM on Queen Victoria.

Week 2 Coffee Break

We decided to attend Doors Open in Hamilton. We made several stops in Stoney Creek, the Masonic Lodge, Women's Institute and Church of the Redeemer.

I checked out the cherry blossoms and the Yoko Ono exhibit. Then more cherry blossoms and a walk through Kensington Market and then along Queen St. W.

Photo of the Week!

Week 3 Baked Goods
Bloor St. West and more Bloor St. West.

Another visit to Kensington Market and a Homeless Jesus.

Week 4 Beer Money

We've eaten at the Assembly Hall enough times lately so I created a pictorial.

We really enjoyed the display of Canadian designed movie/TV costumes we saw at City Hall.

We explored a new area that is being re-invented, Sterling Road. We'll be back here again.

Gluten Free Garage Pop Up


In June I participated in Cee's #RoofSquares challenge.

Week 1 Sweet Shop

Doors Open Toronto

Gluten free garage,

Week 2 Cheese Platter
Time for the Rhododendron show and Toronto starts to show its PRIDE colours.
City Hall honours our vets. Ontario elects Doug Ford as premier, enough said.
We see Grease. And we visit the lights of Dundas Square and City Hall.

Week 3 Coffee To Go

We went to Montreal for a dance recital. Back home more exploring and I went to the Textile Museum's Quilt exhibit.

We ended June with the highly anticipated Banksy exhibit and it didn't disappoint.

Week 4 Salad Days

The ROM - Spiders!!

I hung out at the AGO


Week 1 Picnic

A hot hot week and we had a breakfast picnic by the lake, the Union Station outside food court opening, the art show at City Hall and we tried Queen Margherita gluten free pizza in the east end.

Week 2 Novel Meals

We began the week going to the Humber Bay Market. I took a trip to Dupont subway station (research for the Weekend Roundup series) and discovered the Toronto Archives. We ambled up Ossington St. for lunch at Libretto, the best gluten free pizza so far and now our go-to place. We went to Hamilton for lunch with friends on the lake and also visited the Dieppe Memorial.

Week 3 Tea Break

Soulpepper theatre for The Secret Chord, fabulous!
Lost and Found exhibit at Campbell House.

We spent a day in the Waterloo area.

Week 4 

Senseless shooting on the Danforth and we paid our respects.

I spent some time around Bloor and Church.

A birthday weekend in Stratford.


So surprised to see my blog header jump out at me when I visited Monday Morning Blog Club!

Bed and Breakfast

Exploring around Stratford.

The Museum.


Two more prime ministers added in Baden.

And we spent a lot of time downtown.

Another Homeless Jesus.

A Banksy.

Cup o' Joe

Exploring Parkdale.

Rise and Shine

Taste of Danforth.

Gibson House in North York.

A visit to the MaRS building led to a new Abernethy sculpture and some interesting history about Toronto's first hospital.

Smorgasbord of Sights

The week started in Montreal with a few extra days spent around the city.
Des portes a Montreal.

We had a delightday day out in Niagara on the Lake that included theatre and dinner.

Another Brain project completed #NoBlankBrains.


A Taste of the Theatrical

Distillery District for another play, Bed and Breakfast and a day trip to Stratford to see To Kill a Mockingbird. Fanfest was in town.

Drinking Stories

The Air Show, wandering Bloor West Village, a golf tournament, the ROM, TIFF and Yonge St.

Marshmallows and Popcorn

A weekend in Goderich, Bata Shoe Museum, Spiderman, Louis Vuitton,

Very fashionable month!


I took an Extreme Beginners' Art session at the AGO. And John's taking Spanish lessons twice a week.
More Soulpepper theatre - A Moveable Feast.

You Butter Believe It

I went to Word on the Street and visited the Toronto Book Garden at Harbourfront.
Met up with a friend in the Royal York's Library Bar.

And we saw ELTON JOHN live!

I went to see Heritage Toronto's unveiling of The Home Children.


Coffeed Out

We continued on our tapas experience, Labora, on King St.

AGO exhibit Rebecca Belmore Facing the Monumental.

Pizza Toss

Canadian Thanksgiving with family.

A trip to the Textile Museum, the AGO, City Hall.

Wokking lunch at the Queen Mother, and Ain't Too Proud.

Get Cracking
We both totally enjoyed Anthropocene at the AGO.

More tapas, our favourite so far, Barcelona Tavern followed by a visit to the MZTV Museum.

Fall Cabbages


Week Cafe Solo

On Monday we left for Madrid Spain on British Airways via London in premier economy. We Started out with drinks in the Lounge.

Week Spanish Tapas

We started the day with a city tour. Then visited the Prado, lunch where we met kindred spirits, Anne and Bob and then spent the afternoon in Toledo.
Then Seville to Granada with a stop in Cordoba. Visited the Alhambra then overnight in Granada.Granada to Valencia overnight then onto to Barcelona. We did the optional trip to Montserrat.

Week Buen Provecho

This was our last few days in Barcelona and then home to Toronto.
Anne and Bob stayed for an extra day so we hung out then we had another day to ourselves before flying home.

In the Barcelona airport lounge.

British Airways


Week 1 Homemade Lunch

We both came down with colds and didn't do much. I had coffee with a friend and lunch with my BFF to catch up.

Week 2 Hot Doughnuts

A very quiet week as we were still recuperating from our colds. Highlight of the week was lunch out with good friends at O and B.

Week 3 Cerveza Por Favor

Met up with cousins for dinner at the Brogue Inn before we leave.

Heading to Mazatlan on the 18th. We flew Aeromexico to Mexico City and then onto Mazatlan.

Airport lounge at Pearson.

Once settled in El Cid we had our first meal at the Fish Market and then hit the road running the next morning with Bill and Carol to Los Osuna to see the tequila pinas being grinded. Lunch at a new restaurant beside Los Osuna, Martina's.
Breakfast at Union Kitchen, lunch at Pancho's.

Week 4 Feliz Navidad

We ate out several times. Visited Los Osuna again. Also went to Malpica and Copala, which we haven't done in several years. Dropped by Cerrito's on Christmas Eve and Bill took his drone up.

Had dinner at Topolo's with M and P.

Week 5 Feliz Ano Nuevo

We finished the year quietly showing some friends around Mazatlan.

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