Wednesday, July 18, 2018

lemons and lemonade

Since I last posted a lot of things happened.....

I got my back stairs and railing grinder and repainted. I looks so clean!

I invited a company specializing in crawl spaces to fix mine! no more humidity, mold and saggy floors....

and we had the kitchen and main bathroom repainted and agin it looks so clean. In retrospect Dad had neglected interior paint and was a fan of the color dingy!

The kitchen is not finished yet and I can't wait to share with you all. There will be a lot of Pyrex and vintage goodies!

We got a graffiti on the stone in front of the house about a year ago...and I
thought the city was supposed to remove it....

this week someone glued eyes on it WHAT??? we laughed so hard! To think someone saw the graffiti and said oh it needs goggly eyes!

so we are pretty much done for the rents for the time being...Dan is always tired because of the meds and I can't do everything and work full time so things are taking a lot of time to get done....

Last Thursday my employer announced  a 700 job cut in Canada (except Nova Scotia)...Since then it has been pandemonium in the office! every body is speculating and freaking out generally from 7 am to about 11 am.

it makes it very difficult to concentrate and work. I am not worried because I have been through this before twice with the big telecom company and I think it is a waste of energy to be flopping like a fish out of the aquarium. The first stage is voluntary departure with incentives....

I am not even considering this....I am too young and like I told my boss I am here for the long haul and if they fire me they will have to pry the laptop from my dead cold hands....and that I am willing to learn anything.

by the way...my boss is a new boss , she is charming and lives in Nova Scotia. Lucky girl!
having a leader in another province is quite weird....but like everything I will get used to it!

well that was a lot of information all squeezed in that post!


One last thing...one of my neighbors installed a help yourself
herb garden! How sweet is that?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Rome Food

This post will be about extraordinary food, dishes you need to eat in Rome!

since we walked to much a lot of meals came from random restaurants on little side streets.

Side street equals less expensive....and probably the farther you go from Rome Historic Neighborhood the less expensive it will be.

Nevertheless I had the best Italian food I've had in years. What is up with that wonderful food?

I have no idea! But everything is tastier, fresher and the way things are supposed to taste like!

Bottled water? Light as air, eggs? orange yolks, meat? so tasty!

Is it the air? I don't know but everything tasted better.

and the cheese OMG!

 If you go to Rome and you want to eat a real typical but unknown dish...
this is the one for you! Carciofi alla Judea or Artichokes Jewish style.

the artichokes are flattened  and deep fried.
Even if I have been to Rome before I had never tasted that and it was definitely on my bucket list!
This did not disappoint!
The petals are just like chips and the inside is soft and comforting!

 Caprese salad. You haven't had a good Capprese salad until you've visited Italy.
What is up with the cheese and those tomatoes??? Don't forget to add balsamic vinegar...
so good!

I don't know if this is a typical Rome dish, but my Dad made a lot of these.
So of course I had to try it...
Very good, very fresh.

In that restaurant....you could tell that they were accepting of tourists but not fans of tourists.
But the food was so good that I had to go back and I actually ordered everything in Italian!
I could tell that the owner was very proud of this!

from a tourist trap sort of....
 This meal was amazing as well....even if it came 
Fritura Mista or mixed fried thingies...lol
Calamari and shrimps and fried spaghetti.
I wish I could get a whole plate of those shrimps!
They were sooooo good!
Dan my amazing co pilot loved the salmon!

Although those meals were more expensive...you need to factor in
the fact that the food tasted amazing!

More adventures on another day!

Friday, June 8, 2018

R.I.P. Tony

This morning at 6:50 am...While at my desk in my home office, reading my work emails

I got the news that Anthony Bourdain passed. That news shook me to the core.

I had never experienced that live of pain for someone I've never met.

I sat there at my desk unable to work anymore, just staring at my keyboard.

Then I got a text: Bourdain is dead! from my friend M.

I don't remember how exactly I heard of Anthony Bourdain....Maybe it was when we got a channel unlock and we got the travel channel....or was it from a book review?

all I know is that he took my culinary knowledge to the next level! I know most of the strange and exotic ingredients because of him and my curiosity.

I watched all the No Reservations episodes, then I found A Cook's Tour, The Layover, Parts Unknown and I read all his books....some multiple times.

I loved his curiosity...He wanted to visit countries we never heard of or did not want to visit....He ate weird stuff, he visited families in their homes and was always appreciative and gracious about it.

He really appreciated the time and effort that was put in a meal.

I loved that he was a load mouth opinionated man that did not care for mediocrity.

His tweets were legendary.

I am so sad for his family, his little girl, his girlfriend...

no little girl should loose her Dad.....

Bye for now

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Eating in Rome on a budget

Technically we were not on a budget but as we did the math.....somethings became superfluous.

Food can be really expensive in Rome so you have to choose wisely.

I was really excited to check out McDonald's in Rome because of the special menu items and they did not disappoint!

 Omelet with cheese and ham. Very good like I would make
at home.
If you watch Masterchef, Joe Bastianich did a collab with McDonald's Italy
for  a line of limited time burgers.

 Both were very fresh and tasty, not like fastfood.
Unfortunately I could not find the picture of my favorite find at McDonald's....
Croquette di spinacchi con Parmeggiano Reggiano. 
it is a small round patty of spinach and parmesan cheese, crispy fried.

I swear if they sold these at my grocery store in Montreal, I would buy some
all the time! perfect as an appetizer!

 Certain restaurants offer service at the table.....
You can order wine and beer.
we also noticed that the taste of all the items was better. all ingredients
are sourced in Italy and that makes a difference...trust me

The coffees are top rate and more than affordable!
They also serve a fresh squeezed blood orange juice! So delicious!

An espresso is 1 Euro, which is $1.50 CAD or $1.17 USD
Cappuccinos were 1,60 Euros or $1.87 USD or $2.42 CAD.
So a usual McDonald's breakfast in Rome was 12 Euros, or $18.00 CAD or $14.00 USD.

I know it sounds expensive for 2 cappuccinos, 1 scrambled egg with bacon and english muffin, 1 ham and cheese omelet with english muffin and 1 water bottle...but it was the best deal we could find.
One morning we went across the street from our hotel and for 14 Euros we got 2 cappuccinos (5 Euros each) and we split an order of toast with ham and cheese (4 Euros).
Cappuccinos varied between 1,60 Euros (MsDonald's to 7 Euros.....or $8.17 USD or $10.50 CAD)
What?WHAT?WHAT????

One of the cool places I found to eat on a budget is
you can get a pasta dish for 4 Euros everyday, fresh pasta! There was always a HUGE line up
so we did't get to try it.




You can also get panini for around 3,50 Euros , $4.08 USD or $5.29 CAD which is also
a great deal because I've seen $10 dollar sandwhiches in downtown Montreal.

so yes it is possible to eat on a budget in Rome!



Monday, May 28, 2018

Near the hotel



The thing with Rome is that you just never know what historic landmark
you might stumble on....

 if you head south on Via del Babuino or Via del Corso
you will stumble on Piazza del Populo or Place of the People
it is a huge Piazza were you can take multiple pictures.
On the South end there is the Leonardo da Vinci museum.


This is one of my favorite sight! The Spanish Steps bare of people!
A very rare sight!
The Spanish Steps were about 7 minutes from our hotel!
I am so glad my co-worker recommended this place!

On the top of the stairs there is the Trinita Dei Monti (the Trinity of the Monts).
A lovely church, not as popular as other sights...free to visit (a plus)

Be careful when climbing or descending the steps as there is a lot of wear
and you could loose your footing very easily.


The rain just stopped, so it is a matter of minutes before
the tourists descend on the Spanish Steps like a swarm
of locusts!


I probably already mentioned this...but you do not need to book super expensive tours
in Rome. If you have mobility problems I recommend the Hop on Hop off tour and it is
relatively inexpensive for Rome ...about $36 U.S.

until next time......

Have a great night!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Rome! Finally!

This is the trip I has been waiting forever for.

My Dad used to tell me that we had to go together before he was in a wheel chair.....

unfortunately he never made it. I was able to transfer his huge frequent traveler's points to my account and this was the final trip.

I had been to Italy 3 times with my parents and the last time was in 1974 or 1975.

We spent a week in the Historico Centro or the historical center of Rome. Yes it can be full of tourists, but there are plenty of small streets to discover and shop at.



This is the Victor Emmanuel monument.
It was was built in his honor since he was the first king of an
unified Italy.

That is a must see! Do you need to go inside? we did not.

 The thing to remember is that Rome is a museum, so
if you are travelling a budget...you don't need to pay for tours.
you can see amazing art in the streets just like this beautiful doorway.
 Or this fantastic fountain.
where do you see this/ in Rome of course!


And you can enjoy lazy delicious meals in these quaint terrasses in the street.

if everything goes as planned (it might not), I will do a series of posts on Rome.

Great restaurants, my hotel, cheap deals...

Thank you and good night!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Roadtrip!

Well actually not a road trip but we actually took the plane! To Toronto!

I probably blogged about this before but, after my Dad passed...I received a letter from Aeroplan addressed to him telling him his points were about to expire! Yikes.

He had been wanting to transfer them to me for a couple of years, but every time I wanted to look into it he was tired, or didn't want to look into it.

So I called and they transferred the miles to my account but I had until December 31st 2017 to spend them....

in 2017 we went to NYC...great trip!

I sent Veronic to NYC and Atlantic City. Last week Toronto and in May ROME!

So more about the Toronto trip.

I had been to TO in 2004 on a business trip...but did not see much.

                                lots of fried food at 7-11


So this time it was more of a recon trip....I like to visit a place for the first time and walk as much as I can....and we did just that!

Whenever I plan a trip I use TripAdvisor a lot. and this time I listed a lot of restaurants near us.

We ate a 5 restaurants and only one was a dud...but anyone can have an off day!

we also visited a really cool botanical garden! and that really boosted our spirit....since this Winter keeps going ON and ON and ON...




 I slept so well in that huge bed!


 Corned Beef hash at Fran's Deli
so delicious!


 I was really happy to see fast food carts!

And food trucks!

The CN Tower!

We also saw the Canadian Walk of Fame, old Cabbage town and the Eaton Center.
I do have more pictures but as you know I still have issues with downloading pictures....so the Botanical Garden pictures will be hopefully available soon so I can post them!

Until then stay safe and keep on thrifting!