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CHINESE NEW YEAR’S

Chinese New Year’s is a great time.  I get together with a bunch of family friends I haven’t seen in awhile and I get an update on their lives.  I get red pockets (love them!) and I eat lots and lots and lots of food.  Thankfully, these days I get to dress comfy, so no need to worry about having to fit into work clothes.

A snapshot of what I ate during my three days of festivities for Chinese New Year’s:

cnyfest

cnydimsum

cnydimsum1

eggtarts

I ate a lot more than what you see here, but there were too many meals to take shots of.  The egg tarts are my favourite at dim sum cause they are usually freshly baked.  The egg tarts in the above photo were delicious and fresh, yummy!  My other favourite is the steamed cake, but they didn’t have any when I was there.

I ingested a lot of food over these past few days.  More than I care to remember.  So, I took a nice long walk yesterday to work it off.  It was cold out, but not as cold as the time when my cheeks almost froze permanently numb.  Anyways, it was good to go for a walk.  I might go for a walk today, its snowing like crazy and looks lovely outside all blanketed in white snow.  I’ve really enjoyed these walks because I just forget about everything and focus on relaxing and enjoying my time outside.  I started Tai Chi just for the same reasons I’m walking now, it relaxes me and I just focus on the walking and in the case of my Tai Chi, my slow-mo movements.

Chinese New Year’s is not all about the food, but the celebrations are around food, and that’s why I love this holiday!  I can always diet later.

CHINESE LANTERN FESTIVAL

I went to the Chinese Lantern Festival on Friday night.  It was a good way to end off a crazy week back at work.  Thankfully it didn’t rain, like it was suppose to that night.  I needed to unwind and a walk around the festival was a good way to do that.  Every year its held at Ontario Place. 

I always go with my parents and their friend.  Seems to have become a tradition now.  Below is some of what I saw, its amazing what they can do: 

Starting on my walk.......

Starting on my walk.......

 

 

 

 

 

 The two temples on the side were constructed out of plates and cups, amazing.

SHOPPING PAIN

I’m not a shopper and I get really cranky when I haven’t eaten. The two combined – not so good. I can handle not eating for about 6 – 7 hours between meals if I have to, but anything beyond that, cranky pants comes out.

So, the one night that I made my way to downtown Chicago, my co-worker begged to go shopping. She was on this mission to get to Guess and see downtown. I was hungry, but I agreed. We took the El train (my first time!) and my co-worker and I got into an argument when we got off the train. I was ticked by the fact that she was insinuating I had no idea where I was going (not that I even said I was an expert – but I walked pretty much all of downtown last time I was in Chicago and then some, so I was familiar more so than her since she’s never been to the city) because I was trying to get my bearings when we came out of the train station. Usually, I wouldn’t have been so testy, or cared, but my crankiness was starting to set in.

So, I got us to Guess and it went downhill from there. I had to shop for almost 2 hours with her – hungry. She is your typical girly shopper, takes her time, looks at stuff, puts it away, looks at it again, goes around, looks again, repeat cycle. It was driving me bonkers. I have the patience of a 2 year old when it comes to shopping, but I think given the fact that I was getting crankier, I wasn’t doing too bad. No one died.

I think what did me in was when she was trying to find a t-shirt for her boyfriend. It was just a damn t-shirt, but it took her forever to find. That’s not to say I wouldn’t put care in buying something for a boyfriend, but goodness, walking around in circles and several stores to find one t-shirt?

Finally, to my utter joy she purchased a shirt, and we were on our way to eat sushi. Just the thought that I was having food lifted my mood and my co-worker realized how inconsiderate she had been because all of a sudden she was super accommodating to me.

I was given a few suggestions on sushi places and I’m glad I had these suggestions because I ended up going to Oysy on Michigan (later on a sales guy was telling us Sushi Wabi was good too – damn, not enough time to try it all!). I got lost getting to Oysy – I thought it was on N. Michigan versus S. Michigan – and I almost killed the cab driver who insisted 888 S. Michigan didn’t exist, but we got there and the night ended up heavenly – awesome food and my crankiness faded once my stomach was full 😉 .


Yummy sushi!

DIFFICULT PEOPLE

My close friend and I were not impressed by our mutual friend who we vacationed with.  I knew going into this trip that it wouldn’t be easy sailing, but nothing prepared me for what happened during the trip.  I won’t go into big details, because it doesn’t really matter anymore.  But, on our way back to Toronto, we let off some steam about the week we had endured.  I still enjoyed myself, but I could have done without the diva. 

My friend focused mostly on the fact that our mutual friend always tipped badly at restaurants.  What did I notice?  That I was overpaying every time we went to a restaurant for dinner – I didn’t really realize they were under tipping until my friend pointed it out.  My breaking point had to be when we were at the Olive Garden and she made me pay the $1.50 coffee that was put mistakenly on her bill (we got separate bills, should have done that for all meals).  What made me mad about this is that she owed me money and then had the nerve to ask me for $1.50?  Maybe its just me, but I would have just paid for it.  Cheapness is my pet peeve.

Our mutual friend was very self-absorbed, whiny, bossy, impatient and difficult to deal with.  I hate high maintenance people.  But, I got her good.  I know, it’s mean, but when I’m put in a position where someone is being unreasonably difficult, I find ways to make them even more worked up.  I did things I would never do just because I knew it rubbed her the wrong way.  It was very bad of me, but hell, she deserved it.  My friend got a great laugh out of it because she’d get so worked up when I did certain things.

It just boggles my mind that difficult people don’t see how unreasonable and miserable they’re being.  Its so unnecessary to be that way, people will be way more receptive if your kind and respectful, not pushy, bossy and bitchy.  So, my friend was mostly annoyed by her cheapness and I was mostly annoyed by her bossy, self-absorbed ways.  And, that is why I don’t like traveling in a group, especially with friends.  I’d much rather travel with a group of strangers, it’s less personal.  Or even better, traveling on my own, ahhhh…the freedom.  Lesson learned.

VACATION RECAP

I’m at the tail end of my vacation and just relaxing and packing on my last full day.  I went on vacation witha group of friends, it was interesting.  We rented a house that’s on this canal in Florida.  It’s a  nice house – worth$1.2 million according to its sales price.  It’s a five minute walk from the beach.  The beach is surprisingly nice, white sand and not the kind that feels yucky, cause I’m not a fan of sand.  The water stretches for miles and wasn’t very deep which was good.  And, there’s a ton of shells to pick and also a ton of sand dollars lying around that you can grab. 

     

I’ve never rented a house before with a bunch of people.  I’ve done the cottage thing, but that’s a bit different, usually I just stay for the weekend, not a whole week.  Interesting dynamics.  There isn’t a lot to do where we are other than shopping.  There is water sports, kayaking, paddle boating, etc.  I was going to kayak, but it ended up not working out, which kinda pissed me off, but I don’t want to think about it again. 

So, today is the 4th of July and there was a parade going on.  Very much like Mardi Gras, they throw candy and necklaces out to the crowd.  The floats played loud music, it was very entertaining.  Americans sure do love celebrating the 4th.  I don’t think Canadians are as patriotic as Americans.  Nonetheless, it was fun.  I’ve done 4th of July in the west coast and it’s a bit different there, not as rowdy. 

Florida is not my favourite state, even though I’ve pretty much been all over the state.  But having seen a different side of it, I appreciate it more – there actually is beauty other than the swamps (well, Key West and Miami are pretty nice I got to admit).  Would I come back here again?  Probably not, and if I did, definitely not with the same people.  I’m glad I went away, but I’m also glad I’m going home soon.  I want to sleep in my own bed.  😉