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Walking home today, we learned two pieces of news. The first was as we walked past Amate. It seems it hasn’t lasted, even though the food had rave reviews. As we passed, we noticed someone on a ladder inside painting it new colours. And a sign was in the window: Umi Sushi opening soon.

Then we stopped by Loeb. Nosy neighbour had already read the sign saying that it would be closing on Thursday at 9 p.m. and reopening Friday morning. Nosy neighbour talked to one of the Loeb employees to find out the purpose of the renovations. Yes, indeed, our Loeb will be no more this week. It will soon be a Metro.

More ch-ch-changes …

You may have noticed a few changes to the site. I’m in the middle of moving over the old web site content to the blog. Web sites are so 2000!  I’ve also found a user name that more accurately reflects who I am (gozzygirl) and I’ll leave nosyneighbour for my other half. Keep in  mind that any nosyneighbour posts before today are still mine, but really he is the nosy neighbour. I just share it with our little world.

Since I started blogging just over a year ago, I stopped regularly updating my old web site, which was hosted on geocities with free space provided by Rogers.  Instead of weekly updates there, I would simply change with the seasons and update the photos and links accordingly. Well when I went to try this weekend, they’ve disabled the option to use cyberduck or anything like it to upload files. It meant that I was going to have to upload individual files each time I needed to update. And there was only 5 MB anyways.

I did think about switching over to .mac to make it really easy, but that’s not free … so this was the compromise. Not complete artistic freedom, but good enough.

Walking home today, we noticed that the “For Lease” sign in the western retail space of The Piccadilly now says “Leased.”  After picking up some groceries at the Loeb, Nosy Neighbour convinced Gossip Girl to follow him into Interscapes to see what they knew about their new neighbour.

It seems work crews have been going in there for about three weeks. It’s going to be … Read the rest of this entry »

I meant to write this post when we returned from Austria but got sucked back into the daily grind. I was cleaning up the desktop when I realized I hadn’t ever written the post on how to travel with only carry on. We’ve done it twice now, first to the Southwest, and then skiing in Austria. Okay, well skiing in Austria we had to check the skis and ski bag, but other than that it was carry on only. And a word of caution, this will not work if you have to fly through Heathrow.

We packed two pairs of downhill skis and poles into a travel bag designed for snowboards. We have a matching skiboot bag that is designed to hold one person’s ski boots, with room between the two boots to hold ski clothes. We used this bag to hold both pairs of boots (stuffed with longjohns, ski socks, neck tubes, and facemasks), helmets (stuffed with goggles and other base layers), both pairs of ski pants, and my ski jacket (it’s too short to be useful without the ski pants).

You’re allowed to bring two pieces of carry on for overseas flights, but you should buy a lightweight one because they will weigh it.  Inside mine, I brought 2 turtleneck base layers, two fleece tops, a neoprene top, ski underwear, a hat, jeans, black cords, 4 pairs underwear, sports bra, one regular bra, 2 pairs socks,  one dressy lightweight sweater, merino sweater, slinky party top, bathing suit, andyoga pants and t-shirt (for PJs).

For toiletries, only bring the essential stuff, and in small containers (shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, etc).  Don’t forget an emery board and nail clippers (your hands will get dry).  Bring a facecloth too. They’re nowhere to be found in Europe. And in case of sinus problems, cold capsules are a must, as is kleenex.  If you stay in an apartment, bring a hairdryer. I have a European one because on our second visit the pension didn’t have one so we had to buy local. I also bring a bar of ivory soap and small packages of clothes detergent. Obviously for a two-week holiday you need to wash your clothes.  And lastly, because we’re cheap, we bring a traveling shopping bag and a bunch of small ziploc bags (great for pre-peeled oranges while skiing and sandwiches made from extra round breakfast buns!) Pack all of the above rolled up so that you can easily see everything.

I have to admit, this trip was a tougher one to travel light because you never know what kind of weather you’ll have in the winter. The trip to the Southwest was easier, and I even came back with two items I didn’t use because I thought it would be warmer than it was.  So you can risk an airline losing your luggage or charging you extra, or you can travel light, but smarter, and still have a great time.

Wow, what a day on the slopes … no line ups, sunny, just above zero. What more could you ask for? I had thought about bringing the camera, but decided to just enjoy the day. So you’ll have to close  your eyes and imagine. Read the rest of this entry »

Today after work, we walked home with a detour to pick up some hard hats. I got a hot pink one and Rob got a regular white one.

After that we stopped at the Foolish Chicken for supper. We hadn’t been there in a while and the aromas wafting from the kitchen pulled us past the Istanbouli’s second location just next door.

If I hadn’t had my heart set on those divine ribs and sweet potato fries, we probably would have stopped for a shawarma. We did drop in to visit Rob’s “buddy” on our way by.

The new location is cosier than the original on Wellington, near Island Park. It no longer looks like a former donut shop.  Buddy has bought new tables and chairs (proper ones) that are arranged around the room in front of the windows and along the side wall.

The food preparation area is clean, as usual, and the service is excellent. Buddy (I have no idea what his real name is) is very proud of the work that he’s put into the new location. The old one is closing in April, so if you notice it gone, take the short walk over to Holland — it will be worth it.

He asked us what we thought, and eventually he pulled it out of us: the signage isn’t great. He nodded his head in agreement and said, “You wouldn’t believe how much we paid to have something that didn’t meet our expectations.”  It was meant to be a temporary solution because of the cold winter weather.  A new sign is on order and will be a vast improvement.

Buddy offered “my friend” (aka my husband) a special treat as part of the grand opening. A slice of baklava, which will be dessert for tomorrow night. There was no way I could add any more food after chicken and ribs and a slice of homemade white chocolate lime cheesecake!

Wow, I love this neighbourhood!

I walked home every day this week, and on Friday we stopped for dinner at the Royal Oak.  On our way home we noticed the lights weren’t on at Diwali’s. so we had a look at the door.

It seems that on February 18th, while we were away, the landlord posted the eviction sign due to unpaid rent. We knew they weren’t busy, and a former colleague’s daughter used to work there about a year ago. She mentioned that sometimes pay days became IOU days.

Too bad for them. Let’s hope someone else can make it work there. Lora’s Pizza made great pizza when they were there, but the “no smoking” by-law killed their in-house business.

Also on neighbourhood stuff, I had posted earlier that the new street lights were on. It must have been a test because none of them were on when we walked home on Friday.

And lastly progress is being made at Aroma Meze‘s new Wellington Street location. A new sliding window has been installed and shrink-wrapped furniture has been delivered. According to its web site, watch for grand opening soon. Will there be free tasters? Free Greek beer and wine?

Driving home yesterday evening we noticed a bright idea, well a partial one. The new “gas lamps” installed after the road reconstruction along Wellington between Parkdale and Western are now lit up. Not all of them, but most of them between Parkdale and Holland and then a few as you start to go west. They’re a bit white than I had thought they would be. A bit like those new LED Christmas lights. You know how there is “soft white” and “cool white”. These are definitely “cool white.”

Once they’re all on, I’ll get the good camera out to take a pic.

a

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