Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Birthday Celebrations

This past Saturday saw me become one year older and it called for some celebration!

Today was all about celebrating with the family.

A special lunch was in order and I knew exactly what I wanted-Bruxie! I've posted about Bruxie before on the blog, but I've never had anything but dessert before this visit.

I was told the chicken and waffle sandwich was good so I decided to try it. I thought I was being a little boring asking for no coleslaw or chili honey, but I think I was better off for it. 

I would highly recommend paying just $1 extra for the maple syrup because it makes all the difference it taste! The spicy chicken mixed with the maple syrup was a perfect combination. Plus the maple syrup comes in the cutest bottle!

Of course any visit to Bruxie isn't complete without a Seasonal Creme BrulĂ©e!

Still can't get over this beautiful creation...yum!

After lunch we walked over to Color Me Mine, where you pick a figurine and paint it however you want.

I picked a cute little penguin!


My dad picked the dragon and my Grama C decided on the turtle.

My mum picked this cute little guy!

(Is it a turtle or a mushroom...or both? I don't know but he's cute!)

And my Great Grama matched her lady bug shirt with a lady bug figurine.

Once you pick your little piece then you decide on the paints that you want.

 I'm not very creative so I needed to search for inspiration.

I'm so original with my Google searches! Isn't this little guy cute?

With my inspiration decided on I had a better time picking paint. 

Once that is decided on then you just dive right in!

It's a long process, but it is so worth it in the end!

Look at this group!

While it was fun it did turn out to be stressful work as I wanted everything perfect for my cute little penguin! It was draining work, which required more substances in the form of dinner.

I decided on The Old Spaghetti Factory for my birthday dinner. It's one of my favorite places for Italian food.

They have a small selection of food when compared to other chains, but any choice would be a good choice.

I always start with an Italian Cream Soda. It's one of my favorite drinks, and I considered myself to be a connoisseur in the subject. 

Salad with a delicious pesto dressing starts the meal off right!

I decided on my favorite thing on the menu for dinner-Mizithra Cheese and Browned Butter!

It's so delicious and yummy!!

Dinner isn't complete without dessert and Spaghetti Factory gives you a choice between Vanilla ice cream or their special Spumoni ice cream.

I picked good old fashioned Vanilla! 

All in all it was an amazing 24th birthday! I had an amazing time with my family and created memories that will be with me all my life.

Hope everyone enjoyed some time with their family this holiday weekend.

Until next time! x

Friday, May 23, 2014

Flashback Friday: Normandy, France

So on this episode of Flashback Friday I'm gonna take you back to my trip to Normandy, France.
It was the fall of 2012 and I had just turned in my Master's Thesis. I decided to treat myself and taking a ferry to Normandy was the perfect thing.

As always every trip should begin with a meal on the train!

For this trip it was a delicious UpperCrust sandwich and soda. 

The train trip from Waterloo to Portsmouth took a few hours, but soon enough I was embarking the ferry and finding my cabin.

I took the overnight ferry so when I found my cabin, I made up my bed and tucked myself in for the night

Bye bye England!

And hello France!

I arrived in Caen very early in the morning, and spent most of my first day wondering around the city. It was the city of William the Conqueror, which means it is filled with history. 

The architecture is stunning! 

A perfect mixture of Medieval, Gothic, and other architectural styles. It's truly fascinating for a history nerd like me!

After wondering around Caen for a couple of hours, I made my way to my home base for this trip-Bayeux! 
It was truly beautiful on my walk from the train station to my hotel in Bayeux.

I kept getting glimpses of a little river with beautiful trees and flowers, but it was when I reached the city center that I got the best view!

How quintessential French countryside is this sight?

Truly beautiful and it just set me up for the rest of the trip.

The beautiful Bayeux Cathedral!


As with Caen, the architecture in Bayeux was beautiful. Parts of the city appeared as if it were almost frozen in time.

After walking around some more I went and saw the Bayeux Tapestry. I've been wanting to see it since high school, and was completely amazed by it! It's definitely a must see for a art historian or just a history nut. 

There is no photography allowed at the Bayeux Tapestry Museum or there would've even more pictures in this post!

There were a few things driving me to visit Normandy: Bayeux Tapestry, the food, and the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.

I was able to catch a bus at the train station that took me right to the gates of this famous cemetery and memorial.

It's incredibly beautiful, but what took my breath away was the sight of all those white crosses and grave markers.

It's just row upon row every where you turn with the most breathtaking view of the infamous Normandy beaches.

While walking around I saw a path leading away from the Cemetery so I decided to follow it. 

It led me right to smooth sands and the cold water of the English Channel. 

I couldn't believe how beautiful it was and I can't remember how long I stood there on the beach. 

I was so lost in my thoughts that I couldn't find my way back to the path that led me there so I decided that I could hike back to the top. 

On the way I got a glance of these old gun bunkers.

A truly beautiful sight and I feel very honored that I was able to visit. One of my biggest dreams is to bring my father, who served in the Marines, to Normandy for this very reason.

I loved writing this Flashback Friday post as I had forgotten how much I loved this trip. It was the first international trip I ever took by myself, and while at times I was lonely, I will never forget the feelings of independence and love that came from this trip.