Sunday, January 22, 2012

Home for the holidays (pt. 1)

As always the trip home for the holidays was fun and busy. This year’s itinerary was particularly packed since a friend from Japan came with me so we needed time to play tourist on top of all the appointments with friends and family.

The first day back was relatively relaxed, though. We all (my parents, brother, friend and I) had dinner at Swiss Chalet with family friends before heading off to church (Mississauga Chinese Baptist Church—MCBC) for the Christmas Eve (Eve) service.
Swiss Chalet: Festive Special!

Christmas Eve was breakfast at Tutti Frutti (a bit of a break from our usual Cora’s) and lunch at Frank at the AGO—both with friends, of course. (Between the meals we did spend some time walking around the Eaton Centre.)
Tutti Frutti: salmon eggs benedict

Frank: scones
Frank: beef brisket burger & sweet potato fries
Eaton Centre
After lunch we wandered around Chinatown and Kensington. Then it was a GO Bus back to Mississauga and some time relaxing at home. Dinner was Chinese takeout.
(friend's pic) Chinatown
(friend's pic) Kensington

(friend's pic) Chinese takeout dinner
We watched Kung Fu Panda 2 after dinner and hung out in the living room until midnight when we all opened our Christmas presents. I got an iPad from my brother and parents (my mother also got one from my bro) so we stayed up fairly late downloading apps and playing games.
(friend's pic) playing with my new iPad
Christmas Day service at MCBC was followed by a family lunch (dim sum with my aunts and uncle) and a trip to Niagara Falls.
(friend's pic) dim sum: duck feet
dim sum: lychee "pudding"
The car ride was mostly spent playing games on the iPad. Unfortunately it was rainy in the afternoon and foggy in the evening so the view wasn’t all that great. A nice steak dinner at Canyon Creek (and crème brûlée for dessert for me!), however, made it a nice evening.
Canyon Creek: filet mignon
(friend's pic) Canyon Creek: crème brûlée
Niagara Falls night view from outside Fallsview Casino Resort
Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort
Our hotel suite at the Hilton Niagara Falls Fallsview was also the most strangely designed set of rooms I’ve yet to encounter. Rather than having two separate bedrooms with a common area in between them (my image of a “normal” suite), the “sitting” area was next to the window next to that was a king bed. The bathroom was in the middle, separating the main area from a smaller bedroom with two double beds. Other than the awkwardness of having the one king bed open to all and sundry in the room (compared to the double beds room which had a door to ensure privacy), there was also the design of the bathroom. Right next to the tub was a “window” that overlooked the king bed/main area. Although the window had shutters, the shutters didn’t lock! Of course we kept the shutters closed, but it was always possible for anyone in the main room to open the shutters and get a full view of the bathroom!
open concept bathroom: why?!?
 But anyway, Boxing Day we were able to check out late so we slept in a bit. After checking out and eating lunch, we took some pictures at the Falls and did some souvenir shopping before heading back to Mississauga.

double rainbow!!

After a short time at home (to pack and relax a bit), we headed off to Montreal. (Every Christmas vacation where I’ve come back from Japan we take a family trip somewhere. Last year it was San Francisco, the year before that Las Vegas, and before that Michigan.)

(to be continued...)