2021 - A Year of Lockdowns (Includes links to previous years)

 Links to previous years' recap below



We were so optimistic going into 2021 anticipating the two vaccines that would solve everything. Here we are 12 months later and still in hibernation as the variants were viral! I will get my booster in January 2022.

WORD OF THE YEAR - UMAMI

Inside joke between John and I!





NYT CROSSWORD STATISTICS





New Foods/Shopping

Gooseberries
Habanero and Aji Amarillo
Passion fruit
Swiss chard
Mandarosa red tangerines
Goji berries
Tamarind
Chimichurri
Porterhouse
Tomahawk steaks
Nước chấm
Chili OKAZU
XO sauce
Sanagan's Meat Locker
Eataly
Farm Boy


NEW RECIPES THAT WE LIKED
Fish chowder
Penne with shrimp and spicy tomato sauce - sauce is uncooked
Tangerine lemon cinnamon marmalade
Huevos rancheros
Rosti potatoes
Chicken nuggets with maple chili glaze - Chasing Flavor
Air fryer pork belly bites
Lamb doner kebab
Parmesan crusted haddock
Longo's Cooking class - Spring rolls,General Tao, Japanese cake
Cabbage slaw for hot dogs
Fully loaded baked potatoes
Sheet pan fajitas
Air fryer grill cheese
Firecracker shrimp

NEW PURCHASES

Cuisinart air fryer toaster oven (points)
Popcorn machine replacement
John workout shirts
John turtlenecks
Oil mister
Jigsaw puzzle mat
Ear buds - gift for Jackie
Cocktail shaker 
Bedroom chair cover - navy
Duvet and cover
Calphalon frying pan/wok
Kitchen stool
Battery operated can opener
Striped sheets
Anti fatigue mat
LED under counter lights
Brandy glasses 
Exercise bike
Hall rug
Clock
Replaced our lamps 
Bowflex addons


SATURDAY COCKTAILS

We instituted Saturday cocktails during the winter and carried it on quite a while.
In fact it became the basis for getting our built in bar. We had the plans drawn up in July, finally got an install date in November and due to supply chain issues finally had the final product in December!



John got a surprise gift of scotch from his son at New Year's.







It also lead to buying some cocktail recipe books.


Joel had asked us to find a bottle of wine he couldn't get in Quebec. This is John testing it out.


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For John's 75th birthday I got him a 6 month subscription to a Scotch of the Month club.

In addition to the 6 monthly bottles he received he also placed an order for Irish whiskey and bourbon.



Glen Breton Canadian Whisky for Valentine's Day
Dalwhinnies 15 year for his birthday from Julie and Chris





Bourbon order


Another Joel request that we found, brought it to Montreal for him and one for Chris' birthday. We are addicted to this!


We found the Cocktail Emporium on Queen St. W




ART

We didn't do badly, considering we were locked down for much of the year. We attended several immersive exhibits. I really enjoyed the social distancing in effect, it meant no crowds and designated viewing circles.

Monet

Klimt


Illusionarium - not impressive


I/We attended some exhibits at the AGO.

I saw the All Dolled Up exhibit at the Bata Shoe Museum.
Queens of Fashion 18th century dolls

We fell in love with a new permanent attraction in Toronto, Little Canada.



We went to the McMichael Gallery of Canadian Art and Sculptures.

Took our first trip to the Halton County Radial Train Museum.

TRAVEL

It was what it was. We did some day trips and two overnight trips, all within Ontario.

We did lots of day trips to Hamilton after we discovered Hammerhead's for gluten free fish and chips. Hamilton has a staggering collection of murals, I put a quick video together.


We took an early summer day trip to Niagara Falls, before the Canada - US border reopened and after we were allowed to patio dine.
August we booked an overnight at the Elm Hurst Inn in Ingersoll as part of our tour of the Cheese Trail in Oxford County.

In September we took an overnight trip to Port Stanley with stops in St. Thomas and Sparta.

In October we took our first trip out of the province to visit family in Montreal. That's all we did, visit family. We did not venture out to any restaurants.


JANUARY




And then this happened.

Cheers to a New Year
We cheated on NYE and went to McDonald's for the spicy habanero chicken sandwich. Not bad.


We went looking for unusual houses around Toronto
Non-essential stores are closed


Month long emergency stay at home directive
Lots of shopping online
We replaced our pop corn maker and bought an air fryer (points)
Scored a free ficus plant someone was throwing out.

US inauguration 

January was the month of Bernie memes





John pulled something in his neck, working out so took it easy. No where to go, anyway! John started on THE jigsaw puzzle. It got cold!
We started our search for lanes in earnest. 


We discovered Hammerhead's in Hamilton, by far the BEST gluten free fish and chips EVER!
We began mural hunting in Hamilton (see above)


Jackie Jan 29




FEBRUARY



Beth Fish Reads mentioned me in this post  as she took my recommendation for a new slow cooker.




We did an online Longo's cooking class that was a lot of fun. I supervised and John cooked.

Another outing to Hamilton
Discovered new Metro Lloyd Manor
Began Saturday night cocktails

Lockdown extended
Valentine's day and gifts

Another Hamilton outing
First covid case in building

MARCH



Anais celebrated her sweet sixteen.








John sent his copy of Tony Comper's book to Joel.



Stores allowed to open with a 25% occupancy allowance.

1 year of lockdown!
A trip to Hamilton.

More weird Toronto houses.

John played his first round of golf March 22 was the warmest in history, 22C.
Pigeons plague us for the first time.
A trip to Hamilton.





March 31 restaurants allowed to re-open and then closed again April 1!

APRIL



Sarah had her social distanced sweet sixteen.


Deb at Readerbuzz gave a big shout-out to the murals I post.



Back into lockdown!
John had his first vaccine.


I got my first vaccine as "Ford put the emergency brakes on (again)".
Golf courses closed.

Lockdown extended again 6 weeks to May 20




MAY



A Hammerhead trip for fish and chips.
First ice cream of the season!

I attended a virtual tour at the Bata Shoe Museum.
John received his exercise bike.
We got our new phones!

Went to see the new Cherry St. bridge.
I attended another virtual Bata Shoe Museum presentation.

We had our first socially distanced outdoor visit with friends.
Ontario moved into stage 1 and 2 of reopening. Golf courses reopened May 22.




JUNE


Jenna was valedictorian and also received the Governor General’s Academic Medal awarded to the student who achieves the highest average upon graduation from a secondary school.


Carol and Bill lost their second son at 63.

We both received our second vaccines. 



The first news broke of the horrific residential schools as thousands of children's bodies were discovered. Ryerson's statue was torn down.


Lockdown eases this week.
We went to see the rhododendrons

We finally got to enjoy some patios.  
John's ankle was bothering him so we stayed in.


We even had beers/cider with Karen and Blair in Hamilton after fish and chips.

Jenna had a pandemic prom.


Sadly we lost an old friend Sylvia Piggott.








JULY


Finally Stage 3! I got a hair cut and mani-pedi!!! After 8 months!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Canada Day and a trip to Ontario Place

Museums allowed to open!

Bar cabinet design completed
Lunch at Burger's Priest
Ordered Swiss Chalet



I find a new Homeless Jesus!
I had a patio lunch at Pokito
Adternoon cocktails at Rendezviews - the best new murals in town


We find The Riz gluten free Asian spring rolls and dumplings
The Blue Jays finally play a game at home

AUGUST




Donald Thomas Mitchell Sunday August 8th 2021



Lots of birthday loot!
Lunch at Basil Box - gluten free chain
Imperial Pub 
Kensington Market and lunch at La Cervicheria
Yorkville Fleurs de Ville
Sushi from Krazy Roll


We discover Picard's Peanuts!
St. Thomas, Elm Hurst Inn, Dumbo and the Elevated Park
Andy Warhol
Lunch at Valens

Beyond Monet Immersive
Indian food at Benares
Bell new TV and internet contract
Illusionarium
Gluten free burgers at Amsterdam


Lunch at Valens again
AGO Matthew Wong's Blue


SEPTEMBER


White Squirrel Way and a walk along Ossington with lunch at Papi Chulo's.

Second shuttle bus returns.
We spent a night in Port Stanley with stops in St. Thomas and Sparta.
Golf and shopping in Niagara.
New sculpture at Union Station.

First tomahawk steak!

Halton County Railway Museum.
Election Day we did mail in voting.
First day proof of vaccine is required to eat inside. I went to Koha for the first time.


OCTOBER


$50 lottery win!
Shopping with Karen

Burger Priest
Condo gets a golf (and other sports) simulator!
Squid Game!

New pop up Scottish and Irish shop!

Immersive Klimt and lunch out at Koha, a new favourite in Commerce Court.

NOVEMBER 


Justin was selected Goaltender of the month for his division in November! Gardien du mois pour la division Atlantique Est!
"In five games, Grenon went 3-2-0-0, and he stopped 159 of 166 shots faced for a .941 save percentage. He posted back-to-back shutouts by defeating the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders with a 42-save blanking, and then came back in the IHC Showcase with a 28-save shutout of the Metro Jets Development Program."

Capacity limits lifted for places requiring proof of vaccination. Well, that wasn't very long lived!

Cabinet installation begun.
Karen and I went shopping! John is still golfing.

Our wedding anniversary - tomahawk steak!
We ate at Ki, invited by Linda. John wasn't very impressed with the food.



DECEMBER


Omicron reared its ugly head in December putting a stop to most of our activities. We cancelled our lunch with K and B and Christmas with Laura.
We ordered our groceries online from Longo's.

The day the toilet saga began after we had no water because some moron hit the fire hydrant outside.
The PUZZLE is FINISHED!
We went out for pizza!!!

Vicente Fernández, legendary Mexican singer, dead at 81 





My last real outing of the year, to the Bay to see the Christmas lights and the Eaton Centre to buy a present. I also found the employee-less store.


John's daughter's family Christmas photo.



Highlight was getting the toilet fixed.
Crab legs for new year's eve.










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