Bye bye Toronto!

I’m not a big fan of saying goodbye to people or things, that’s why this ‘goodbye’ is somewhat delayed. After a week filled with goodbye cocktails, goodbye dinners, goodbye barbecues, lunches, coffees and hugs it was time to leave Toronto and our friends, oh nooooo!! Luckily we have great memories of the wonderful time we had in Canada. We’ll come back one day for sure!!
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And now… we’re ready for our newest adventure: HONG KONG! Actually, we’re already in the middle of it. It’s HOT, humid, busy, but we love it!
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GOODBYE Toronto Diaries :)

Last but not least… Boston!

With the end in sight of our North American adventure, we did the last East Coast trip / City Airport destination.. Boston! With lots of historical buildings, architecture, Quincy Market, the harbour with various good seafood restaurants, beautiful parks, shopping streets, the Harvard campus and much more I don’t need to say that we loved Boston.

The first sunbeams of the season did help a little. But here’s what you gotta do when you’re in town :) Boston is famous for their historical walks, easy does it: just follow the red line (or check a city map). You’re allowed to leave the red line if you want to have lunch or dinner at Aquitaine (aquitaineboston.com), a true French experience, delicious! Shopping at Newbury street is very very nice… And don’t forget to walk to Charles Street, less known but worth the walk because of their cute and one of a kind boutiques. Don’t miss the typical Boston must see’s: the beautiful campus of Harvard and the oldest park of America, Boston Common. Did you know John Harvard wasn’t the actual founder of Harvard? Read more about the three lies of Harvard (summer.harvard.edu/blog-news-events/3-lies-harvard).

We thought it was a good idea to start our Sunday morning in the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art, icaboston.org) at the waterfront, followed by a typical Bostonian treat from the sea at Legal Harborside (legalseafoods.com/restaurants/boston-legal-harborside). This seemed to be more than a good idea, YUMMY!!!

Happy to meet you, Boston!

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Road trip!

Time for a… road trip!! This time ladies only, destination: Ottawa, the capital of Canada. After a long and enervating trip we arrived in this lovely but so cold city. And a road trip makes you sleepy ;-)

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A highlight in all senses of the word was the Peace Tower, the clock tower of the Parliament building from where you can see the entire city. But what really set apart a city trip to make it successful is the quality (and quantity) of consuming. Eating, drinking and more eating. Who doesn’t love that? Tripadvisor brought us to Beckta Dining & Wine (beckta.com): delicious!! The next morning we had breakfast at Harry’s Deli: number 1 place to be apparently according to Tripadvisor (it was good, but number 1??).

Ok, Ottawa: check box! Back to our Torontonian skyscraper YAYYY!

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Opposites attract

Almost two years ago, during our so called orientation trip to Toronto our tour guide drove us to the impressive campus of the University of Toronto. It happened to be the exact moment of graduation. The big green field filled with students wearing their gowns and hoods for the graduation ceremony made me feel like I was part of an American movie (as a European I’ve never seen anything like this before). I immediately subscribed (for a postgraduate e-business/e-marketing) and last week I started my last course of the e-business certificate on this beautiful campus (which always reminds me of Harry Potter hehe).

Right after my Thursday night class, Friday put me back in the mother role haha, when Faye and I went for the first time to the YMCA with friends. This is a great place where kids can play with each other. At the YMCA you can find a gym for toddlers, a big swimming pool and a lot more (ymcagta.org/en/kids/index.html). This adventure ended in the first cold including a runny nose, but isn’t that part of the deal?!

As true North Americans Sunday night was all about the Superbowl. Except for Bruno Mars’ halftime performance, I was more occupied with chatting, eating and drinking at our neighbours’ Superbowl party than I was with the game. Well, what’s new?

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When a little rebellion becomes a riot

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Inspired by pop-up events, young Canadian entrepreneurs, e-commerce classes, it all came together. Proudly introducing HOUSEOFRIOTS.com: a webshop where you can find unique, handmade jewelry of our own label HOUSE OF RIOTS.

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Why Lara & Marie? Once sharing a house and a love for beautiful things, it was time to create a label together, starting with jewelry. We’ve just launched the webshop, and we’re already dreaming of our website becoming an online platform for various products and brands WE love. Based in Amsterdam and Toronto, combining best of both worlds… And be aware: rebel minds think alike!

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H A P P Y * N E W Y E A R !!!

First of all:  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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One should celebrate Christmas with family, so off we went to… The Netherlands! Faye’s first Christmas, very special. After a week of eating, family, friends, presents, and more eating we flew back to snow-white Toronto. To leave town again one day later, off to… Quebec city! And if we thought Toronto was snowy and cold: -29, that is cold!! Brrrrrr I’ve never been this cold in my life after a ten minute walk through the old town of Quebec, but with a clear blue sky and lots of snow this French looking city is so pretty and definitely a must see during our Canadian experience! I revived my time in Paris (mais ouiiiiii) and the story continues haha: eating, lots of great food! Yummy. We stayed in a hotel/castle so it couldn’t be better. Well, except this freezing cold weather  aaarggghhh!! And we thought we could handle this like Canadians… Not! January 1st we did our own “nieuwjaarsduik” (best translated as new year’s dive), not in some cold big sea but in a nice warm pool. Worth mentioning because Faye’s first dive ever. Our little Al Bundy in her tiny bathrobe of the hotel liked it so much that January 2nd we went again LOL. Time flies, exactly 5 months ago we had this tiny tiny newborn monkey, and now we have a fruit & veggies eating girl with two teeth who loves to swim in the hotel pool. OMG :-) Cheers!

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Chicago: I like you!

Europe’s good for city trips in a weekend, but North America’s not so bad either: Chicago was a treat! Not expecting too much, a one-hour flight brought us to the ‘Windy City’.  The Bean, the Art Institute of Chicago, eating pancakes, shopping at the Magnificent Mile (leopard Uggs for mini-me, couldn’t resist)… I’m in love with Chicago!

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Twin Anchors (twinanchorsribs.com) – a tip from friends: best ribs in town! One of Chicago’s oldest restaurants, and Frank Sinatra’s favourite.

Le Colonial (lecolonialchicago.com) – recommended by several friends, and now recommended by me as well! French-Vietnamese: yammy!!

Wildberry Pancakes and Café (wildberrycafe.com) – don’t go there. I’m still nauseous of the intensely sweet pancakes. Lovely.  Perfect combination with one of their ‘low fat’ smoothies :-)

Terzo Piano (terzopianochicago.com) – walking around in a museum makes one hungry… Having lunch in the Art Institute is a good idea! Modern restaurant in the Modern Wing of the Institute.