Monday, 31 March 2014

Meet "GO Bus"

My cousins who live in Stouffville invited me to spend the day with them and stay over till this morning.

And since the trains to Stouffville run only in the afternoon between 5 & 8pm (and from Stouffville to Union only very early in the morning), and since the Taxis are crazy expensive ($ 100 from Downtown Toronto to Stouffville) so I decided the take the bus, the GO Transit Bus.

The great thing is that the bus to Stouffville leaves from Union Station which is three minutes away from my place. So I checked the schedule of the bus on the GO Transit mobile app and I didn't need to be there except few minutes before the departure time.

I bought my ticket at the station for $9.05 and 2 minutes later the bus left to Stouffville.

A very easy ride, just couple of stops and we were in Stoufville in 55 minutes (of course going on a Sunday morning was easier with no traffic at all).

But even the way back was as smooth, and I barely felt the time passing.

Now my cousins will be seeing me more for sure. Thank you GO Bus 71.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Meet "Kathryn"

If you will notice an improvement in the writing of some of my coming posts, that will be thanks to Kathryn.

Kathryn is my colleague at University of Toronto, we’re both taking the Foundations of Digital Communications Strategy and Social Media.

Through our instructor Eden, Kathryn volunteered to help me editing my posts, and to be fair till today I didn’t send her any as I’m writing them late every night and I don’t want to bother her, knowing that she has a lot to do as well, but I appreciated her gesture extremely and I will be definitely asking for her help from time to time.

Kathryn started her own blog as well: Tracing Travel.

It’s about the movement of travelers around the globe. Where she looks at where people go, when and why, and how they access the information they need. She looks at how travel has changed and what happened to the travel guide with the advent of the digital age..
Kathryn worked for over a decade on print travel guides in London before moving to Toronto where she is freelancing now as an Editor, and talking about her blog:
“…I’ve started this blog to help me hone-in on the areas that really spark my interest, and to get me writing regularly. I’m hoping that I can pass on the occasional compelling nugget and find a reader or two whose interests intersect with my own.
… I’ve travelled a fair amount over the years – mostly in Asia and Europe – and I’ll be drawing on my experiences of course, but since moving back to Toronto, the opportunities to travel have pretty much petered out.
You know it’s not so bad. Camping is the purist form of travel next to the walking pilgrimage, and here in Ontario it’s the best in the world. Plus, anticipating our first cross-continent road trip keeps me planning fantasy routes. If you’re not salivating about your next trip, no matter how remote, then you’re missing out on one of the key aspects of travel itself.”
Once again, I’m glad meeting Kathryn, learning from her tips about travel and about camping in Ontario (which I’m looking forward for Summer time to be able to go on a camping experience here), and I’m very grateful for her, offering to help me editing my posts.
Thank you Kathryn Lane. 

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Meet "The Red Bench"

What a fantastic concept, and a great place..

My friend Ian recommended we go for a tea at The Red Bench, but what I didn’t know is that at The Red Bench you can create your own cookies.

The Red Bench is on 611 Yonge St, very close to Wellesley Subway Station. It's a self-serve frozen yogurt shop, a loose leaf tea cafe, but the best part is The Red Bench's made-to-order cookie station.

So after we picked our flavor for the tea (I had the Coco Mint),  we definitely wanted to "create our own" cookies, so we were asked to start by selecting our choice of dough, either original, chocolate, oatmeal, peanut butter, or gluten-free, then choose two ingredients of mix-ins, which include options like raisins, mini M&M's, almonds, vanilla chips, chocolate chips, peanuts and coconut sprinkles.

I picked the peanut Butter as dough with peanuts and coconut for my cookies.
After three minutes in the oven, they served us 5 mini cookies, that are hot and fresh, and super tasty.

Outside the store there is a red bench.. It seems that it’s a replica of a bench the owner found in Paris, on which he proposed to his wife a few years ago.

Inside, the place is beautiful as well but a bit tiny and was very busy and the smell of the cookies was superb.

I enjoyed my tea, enjoyed a great chat with Ian, but I enjoyed most my cookies experience, and now I’m thinking when I’ll be going again. 

Friday, 28 March 2014

Meet "Moe"

My very dear friend and ex colleague Dana, left Dubai almost a year ago, got married to Moe in Jordan, and then moved to Canada to live with him… But I never had the chance to meet Moe before moving here (heard a lot about him, when they were preparing for the wedding, but I never met him)..

And when I moved to Toronto I was so happy to have Dana and Moe living very close in Berlington, even if we can’t see each other often but at least have good friends around is always great.

So after couple of weeks we decide to go for Dinner, so they picked me up and we went to Guu, at 559 Bloor Street West.

It was nice to meet a person I heard a lot of.. and get to know him more.. Moe was extremely friendly, and I felt like he’s a friend I knew for a while, and after living here for many years he was able to share with me lots of tips, and offered his support if I need anything, which I really appreciated.

We talked about Dana :) and the days of Dubai, and the long hours at the office, and the way forward now where me & Dana will be looking for a job here.

We left and we agreed that we should meet more often..

And last week, we decided to meet again, but this time with Nabil as well, who used to work with us at Leo Burnett Dubai, so we do a nice reunion the 3 of us, and of course with Moe.
We went to Khoa San Road, the Thai restaurant on 326 Adelaide West, the place was packed so had to wait a bit to get a table and then we were seated..

It was a great gathering, each one of us sharing the way he’s adapting so far to the life here, and what we’re learning and how we’re discovering the city more and more, and of course there is always a big part of the conversation talking about the weather, and comparing life with our previous years in Dubai.

And of course not to mention that the food we shared was great and the ambiance was super lively and vibrant.

Once again I felt lucky to have good friends living here and I hope we will keep sharing together great moments.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Meet "P.J.O'Brien"

If you can see my face in the picture how red it is, cause it was right after the yoga session.. I left the class and was starving, so I thought why not trying P. J. O’Brien, which is right under the yoga centre on 39 Colborne Street (Behind the King Edward Hotel).

I heard before about this super famous authentic Irish pub, known for an after-work bite and a beer, authentic live Irish music, business parties and great beer, so I thought it was the right opportunity to give it a try.
I couldn’t wait for the waiter to give me the menu and take my order, and of course after the class I felt I should go for something healthy, so I ordered the Grilled Salmon with vegetables..

The place was quite busy and it was clear that most people there were taking their business break or having business lunch, and the staff were vey friendly and on top of their game.

My dish was fantastic, I enjoyed every bite, the Salmon was well cooked and very juicy.. I will definitely have it again.. And I will return to P.J. O’Brien for another great meal but this time for few beers as well.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Meet "Dimana & Matthew"

Best feel when you meet strangers on the street, you smile at them, they return a bigger smile, then you say hi, you talk few words and each one will go in his way..

This was the case with these two students, Dimana and Matthew, taking a video for a project for college on Dundas Square.. I wished them good luck, took few pictures with them and I left.

it's strange how a smile can make you feel close to people you don't know, even if for few seconds..