time to catch up

I’m back!

First and foremost, thank you everyone for your birthday wishes. As you may have noticed, I’ve been on a blog hiatus for nearly 3 months. Been working like a mad woman while riding a crazy emotional roller coaster all summer. What I’ve been dealing with has inspired me to write about some things that come from a deeper, and possibly darker, part of me. You can expect to see some of that in the upcoming months. For now I’m just going to do a quick photo blog of the past 3 months and share a few songs that I’ve been bumpin’ recently.

I remember when I was young, we used to have a lot of family get togethers. As I got older and my extended family grew bigger, it seemed like those get togethers became more of a rarity; we would see each other either at a cousin’s wedding or a funeral of a family member.

Going along with that trend, our family came together for the first time this year at my cousin Jennifer’s wedding. It was a really beautiful wedding. That’s some of the family (from my mom’s side) in the above picture. Most of the kids are missing from it, but I’m sure you can already tell how big the family is. I had a lot of fun dancing with the whole family at the end of the night, especially when “Like a G6″ came on and everyone on the dance floor was singing to it :)

Click here for the full album from the wedding.

Later in July, my uncle from Hong Kong came to visit for a few days. While he was in town, I took the family to Big Daddy’s Crab Shack & Oyster Bar. It was my first time there, but I’d heard great feedback about the place and have wanted to try them out for a long time. Now that I’ve been there, I can HIGHLY recommend Big Daddy’s both for its food and service.

We all ordered from the 3-course prix-fixe menu and were quite satisfied with our selections. I had the Seafood Gumbo to start and the Seafood Fettuccine. Both were pretty good. I think it was my parents’ Big Daddy Seafood Salad that stole the show though. It not only looked good but tasted good too. I think I’ll be trying that next time I’m there.

My uncle loves oysters so we had two orders of them. They were also really good, and I absolutely LOVED having the tray of 6 different house-made sauces to choose from.

While my friend Charmaine was back in town from Vancouver, we managed to make time for a nice dinner on the patio of Joey Grill & Lounge. We had wanted to go there last year when she was here visiting, but Joey’s was pretty new at the time and the wait was an hour long. Thus, we ended up at Glow instead. Since we were there this time on a weeknight, we didn’t have to wait at all. It was really nice catching up with Charmaine and my brother, Edison.

As for the food…the set of Sushi Cones were filled with tempura prawn, avocado, spicy mayo and cucumber.

The Beach Salad consists of mixed greens, quinoa, fresh strawberries, avocado, candied pecans, goat cheese & lemon poppyseed dressing with grilled chicken breast. I HIGHLY recommend this salad because it is tasty, healthy and refreshing. It might actually top my favourite salad in Toronto, which is the Grilled Tiger Shrimp Salad at Joe Mama’s.

This was Chinese dessert night with Adrienne and Robin. We had driven around uptown looking for a place for a durian shake (which we eventually did find at First Markham Place), and then came here for dessert. Mmmm…black sesame paste dessert :)

I talked a bit about seeing family at the beginning of this post. Well, I guess we did pretty good this year because we actually had a gathering outside of a wedding/funeral. It was a good turn out for a BBQ at my cousin Louis’ place. There was plenty of food and definitely good times spent with family.

My cousin Lisa brought her dog, Milton, which everyone absolutely adores.

Tropical fruit platters to top it off!

To be honest, I didn’t have very much time to spend catching up with friends this summer due to the amount of time I was scheduled to work. Perhaps the only time I did get to kick back and chill was in mid August, when Anna and I went over to Kat’s after work one day to catch up and celebrate her birthday. Girl’s night began with cheese…

…then steak with veggies…

…and a yummy Dufflet Hazelnut Cakelet to finish the night. If you’re into cakes, definitely give this a try. We picked this one up from Loblaws, but I’m sure you can find them at other supermarkets as well. Dufflet does not disappoint.

So you all know I love Far East Movement. Obviously I knew they were in town opening for Lil Wayne’s concert back in August. I also made sure to catch their performance on Much Music’s New Music Live, which saw them doing awesome reflips. Since I was in the middle of a crazy work week at the time, I knew I wasn’t going to make it to the show to physically see them perform. I was all set on NOT seeing them while they were in town this time when a funny thing happened.

I was at work the afternoon before their show when I happened to look out our store window just as the guys of Far East Movement were getting into their ride outside our hotel! I literally jumped up from my seat and ran to the window when I saw them. What were the chances that they’d be staying in our hotel of all places?! And what were the chances I’d happen to look out the window just in time to see them?! Crazy.

I later heard from a bellman that he was there when the guys and their entourage checked in the night before. He said he wasn’t sure if they were FM, but knew they were artists because a photographer was taking pictures of a guy who was leaning against the wall texting. Normal people don’t have pictures of them taken while they’re texting, right? lol I giggled when Kev Nish later uploaded the above picture onto his Facebook :D

Alright, enough typing for one night. On to the music…