• Malaysia – Land of Food and Friendly

    Over the Chinese New Year break we ventured out to Malaysia. It was a much-needed escape from the never-ending traffic noise and air pollution of Shanghai. I didn’t know much about Malaysia when we booked our flights, except that I tried a Malaysian dish in Australia some years ago and it was terrible. Beef Redang. Wasn’t a fan.

    But we love to travel to a place of good food and we were told Malaysia would not disappoint. It most certainly did not disappoint and I realize that the restaurant in Australia was probably crap.

    We started the trip with a big FAIL by missing our flight!!!! Despite being super organized with all hotels booked in advanced, everything printed, and an expert packing job, we arrived at the airport for our 1:30 flight only to realize, it left at 1:30 am! Worst!!!! What kind of flight leaves at that hour? Air Asia.

    We bit the bullet and booked another flight (price not to be mentioned). After waiting in the airport all day, and getting delayed again, it was 4 am by the time we got to our hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Luckily our hotel was in a bustling part of the city, right near the famous outdoor food market Jalan Alor, and it was still going strong. We ate dinner…er breakfast at an amazing Tandoori place nearing 5 am. But who cares, vacation means no real schedule.

    A few hours later we were off to Melaka, a UNESCO World Heritage site that’s rich in history and heritage. We toured around by foot and admired the pretty buildings. At night we went to the Jonker Walk Night market. A long street selling food, trinkets, and more food.

    Our next stop was Georgetown in Penang, another UNESCO World Heritage site, but much bigger than Melaka. Penang is known as THE food capital of Malaysia, so it was here that we sampled all the dishes you’re supposed to try in Malaysia, including the strangest fruit we ever did eat – durian.

    We’re pretty open to trying new foods and liking them, but durian wasn’t one of them. It’s about the size of a melon but with a prickly outside. When you open it up inside, it looks like play-doh and smells like garbage. I watched DT eat it first and his face was priceless. I wish I filmed it. To give you an idea of the offensive smell, many hotels have signs banning durian be brought on their property. Keep in mind – it’s a fruit! Strange I know.

    Penang was really nice, it’s part historical, part brand-new city, and a short 30 minute bus ride brings you to the National Park and beaches.

    The last leg of the trip was spent on the island of Langkawi, the jewel of Kedah. It was beautiful and quaint and a perfect way to end the trip. There are a number of beautiful beaches, mountains, parks, and it’s so close to Thailand that you can do day trips there. Wild.

    One of the best things about Malaysia is how friendly the Malay people are. We loved them! Their accents are awesome, they smile a lot, they’re laid back, and just overall seem like a happy bunch. The weather was perfect every day and the food was so interesting with Indian and Thai influences.

    I highly recommend checking out Malaysia, and if you’re interested in doing the loop we did, we stayed at excellent places – The Yard Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Wei Far Guest House in Melaka, Glow Boutique Hotel in Georgetown, and La Pari Pari in Langkawi. All awesome, affordable, and highly recommended.

    Dreaming of the beach now. My happy place, always and forever.

  • My Boots My Bag

    My Boots My Bag

     Had a good night over drinks and eats at old Annex favourite Insomnia, but felt like I had nothing to wear when I was getting ready, so I busted out my favourite boots. Nubuck leather Cole Haan boots with Nike Air soles. Don’t let the Nike Air part fool you – they’re not the most comfortable of the bunch…they’re high! In a cool greyish blue colour they make an all black outfit a little more interesting. I like being tall. My coat is by Rudsak and bag was found on someone’s front lawn in the Queen West hood. True story.

     

    My Boots My Bag

     

  • Ugly? Dresses

    Ugly? Dresses

    I always used to see the most amazing dresses in vintage stores and the VV Boutique (what Julie and I call Value Village) but I knew that I would never be able to wear them, sadly I would cruise on.    One year I saw a red, sequined gem, bought it and created a place to wear it: Christine’s 1st Annual Ugly Dress Party.  This past Christmas marked the 2nd anniversary of the now legendary (among my friends) Ugly Dress Party, and in 2009…. the girls brought it.  In ’08 some were hesitant about the level of ugly, but no one held back this past year.  The winner for ’09 was Jessica Wilkes in the white number – God, was her dress ugly!

    Ugly? Dresses

    Ugly? Dresses

    Ugly? Dresses

    Ugly? Dresses

    Ugly? Dresses

    Ugly? Dresses

    Ugly? Dresses

  • Sunday Afternoon Rain

    It is Sunday afternoon.  It is raining.  I temporarily escaped the cold at iam yoga hot yoga studio.  Johnny’s 3PM ashtanga class is something I try to attend as much as I can and today I FINALLY did a head stand.  Patience is a virtue.  Now it is time to curl up by my uber retro fireplace (yes, my rented apartment is blessed with a fireplace) and watch Clueless.  R.I.P. Brittany Murphy.  R.I.P. Pac.

     

  • bar one Toronto

    Favorite Plate of the Week

    Brunch!  We love it and wait all week for it.  I ventured outside of my Yorkville/Church & Wellesley comfort zone and hit up Bar One with a friend.  Found at Queen and Shaw, we sat at a communal table (I love this seating style) for a delicious brunch.  What did I love the most?  The stylish host offered us coffee while we waited the 5 minutes for our place to be set.  How did she know I am a caffeine addict?  Next time I will see you at the Hof…