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Posted on Nov 1, 2011 in Dear Diary, Food | 15 comments

Oh Heyyyy, Ottawa!

So I had promised myself that I wouldn’t do a big long recap of my Ottawa trip, since I did exactly that after my last trip back in February. Buuuut, we all know how good I am at sticking to my convictions, hahaha.

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My parents happened to be in town at the same time as me (as part of a big Canadian road trip), so I spent most of Friday hanging out with them and gambling my dad’s money away at the Casino du Lac-Leamy. But the following day, as you may already know from yesterday’s vlog, my friend Ai Rei took me to The Works, my most favoritest burger joint with the most creative topping combinations I’ve seen to this day!


We started out with some small shakes – chocolate almond for me, and avocado (!!) for her. Both were uhhhhmazing. Unfortunately, the waiter didn’t ask how we wanted our burgers cooked, and I forgot to offer the information voluntarily, so they came out well-done. SOB.


Luckily, the patty was covered in approximately 6.3 pounds of cheese, so it still tasted pretty good!


Aaaaand, sweet potato fries on the side. I know, I know. But this was pretty much the only heinously unhealthy meal I had while in Ottawa, so take that as you will.


All of downtown Ottawa is very reasonably walkable, and we needed to get some movement in after that lunch anyway. So we traipsed down to Glitz Cupcakes and Company and split a few mini cupcakes. Then we just wandered around the Byward Market area for a while, taking in the shops and fun Fall sights!


I am saddened by the fact that I never paid attention to all the amazing fresh produce stands and local butchers and fishmongers back when I lived here! Oh hindsight, you rose-colored devil.


Oddly enough, I have yet to find a bubble milk tea place down here that matches the kind that I can get up in Ottawa (though, of course, even that is NOTHING compared to the real stuff from Taipei!) And though our wandering probably seemed pretty aimless, we did have an eventual goal.


My beloved beavertail (fried dough smothered in cinnamon sugar, gwahaha) was waiting for me! But, because I really am trying to be “good”, we split this sucker in half. You can even see the line down the middle, hehe.


If ever there were an appropriate time for this: NOMNOMNOM. So much deliciousness. And more was to come, since that same night was the Halloween-themed wedding shower for my friend Holly and her fiance Scott!



I spent the night catching up with old friends, drinking wine poured from bottles labeled “Spider Venom” and “Toxic Waste” (mmm, so deliciously deadly…), and eating my fill of strange Canadian candy.


Smarties down here are NOT the same as Smarties up there! (Fact: theirs are better.)


There was a pumpkin carving competition too. Our team (Rei, Michael, Lucas, and moi) brought our A-game, and did NOT produce a vomiting pumpkin.

IMG_2517 Carving

Nope, instead we ended up with…

Whasian Pumpkin
A Whasian Pumpkin!

Bahahaha, and can you believe we didn’t WIN?! It was rigged! Rigged, I tell you!

Team Whasian

I also took pity on a poor, uncarved pumpkin (there ended up being more pumpkins than teams) and made a sad (literally!) attempt at carving it on my own.

Sad Pumpkin is Sad
Sad pumpkin is sad.

Other festivities included a toilet paper ZOMBIE-bride game, and the most inventive themed dinner EVER.

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Seriously, however they came up with this dinner concept, I was impressed. It took a lot of effort for the hosts to coordinate, that’s for sure!


Let me try to explain how it worked. We were each given a list of spooky dishes, then told to number them in the order we would want to receive our courses. Then we had to trade lists with the person across from us. THEN we find out that our napkin and cutlery were included in the list!


What this meant, of course, is that not only did most of us end up receiving pumpkin pie as our appetizer, many of us didn’t have anything to eat it with but our hands! I ate my main course with just a knife. Skillz, I tell you. Everything was actually quite manageable and hilarious until it was time for the “dessert course”.


Which, for me, ended up being a fork, a spoon, and my napkin. Womp wommmmmp. Ah well, at least everyone else thought it was funny. So I ate up their attention for dessert instead. Also, popcorn that I stole from the living room.


The trip ended with Lucas, Ai Rei, Michael and me back together and brunching it up at the Mayflower Pub with an incredibly healthy and not-at-all artery-clogging eggs florentine. Then before long, it was time to say goodbye yet again! These trips always seem to go by so fast. I attribute that to having had so much fun with my friends, as well as to The Hunger Games books. Which I started on the plane up to Ottawa, and had finished by the time the plane back had touched down. So, yeah. Another thing meant for teenagers that I am now inappropriately obsessed with. We’ll have to talk about that.

When you visit home (or college, or just a place you’ve lived before), what are your priorities? See old friends? Eat at your favorite restaurants? Check out the changes that have been made in your absence? I tried to do all of these things, but as a result felt like there wasn’t a lot of time to enjoy each thing. Guess that just means I’ll have to go back soon. šŸ™‚


  1. Bullets!

    ā€¢ Is a Beavertail like an elephant ear?
    ā€¢ Story: For part of the time we were planning our wedding, Babyface and I were still long distance. We were on the phone one night sending back and forth wedding picture ideas and I sent him a picture of a candy bar at a reception with the caption, “OMG! Look at the giant bucket of Smarties!” And he said, “Uh, there are no Smarties in this picture.” To which I replied, “Uh? They RIGHT THERE.” It took us a good 20 minutes to figure out that U.S. Smarties = Canadian Rockets and Canadian Smarties = Sorta American M&Ms.
    ā€¢ We get Aero bars in the “International” section of our supermarket down here.
    ā€¢ Coffee Crisp = best Canadian candy bar.

    And question answering:

    We go “home” to my hometown all the time, so it doesn’t really count. But when we go visit Babyface’s family our priorities are: buy Canadian Corn Pops, get Tim Hortons, eat at the Hoito, and of course, see family.

    • LOVE Coffee Crisp. Ty got a ton with his Halloween stash. Guess which candies I stole. šŸ˜‰

  2. Whoa, you don’t have Aero bars in the states? My mind is blown.
    I knew smarties and coffee crisp are canadian but I didn’t know aero was.

    That dinner party looks amazing! Your friends really went all out on that and were so creative.

  3. I’ve been in Canada for almost 6 years and still have never had a Beaver Tail. Though there was a shop for them when we went pumpkin/apple picking, but it was closed.

    We’ve never been back to my husband’s hometown (Cape Town, South Africa), but whenever we go to my hometown (Southern California) we have to eat Mexican food and buy Cheez-Its and my husband likes to try new cereal (I like Corn Pops) and chips, haha. The selections in the states are vast!

  4. That dinner idea is so funny! I wish I got to see you eat your main course with a knife. Next time! =)

  5. Oh, this makes me miss home so much! Even the comments – which point out some other distinctly Canadian foods and candies. You should have gone to cupcake lounge though – they have the best cupcakes in Ottawa. For next time ; )

  6. The best gift my parents gave me was to pay for a hotel room the night of my high school reunion. Twenty years and most of us hadn’t seen each other in twenty years, b/c our class president was not only the class clown, he was in actuality, in jail.

    My parents moved to Poland when I graduated from high school. And when they returned State-side when I was 25, they moved to Virginia. And as we that grew up in and around the Beltway know, Suburban Virginia and Maryland might as well be in different countries.

    I hope to return to other places I’ve lived (Honduras, Germany, Poland) again. But how I wish they were as close as Canada, and that the language and cultural barriers were a little shorter. I am so glad you were able to go back to Ottowa.

    • I know how you feel. I desperately want to go back to visit Taiwan, but it’s a weeeee bit harder to zip over there for a weekend, hahaha. One day, one day…

  7. What a fun and creative dinner idea! Did some friends host it or was it like, a catering company? The food looked so thematic! wow.

    • Nope, it was all Holly, the hostess Sophie, and Sophie’s siblings!

  8. You don’t have Aero!?!? I just cried a tear for you my friend! Or maybe I should be happy for you as it means you can avoid temptation from its bubbliness goodness! šŸ˜›

    I’m from Toronto but I live in BC now. And unfortunately due to work and costs of flying within the country – not so cheap here in the Great White – I don’t get to go home often. But when I do my first priority (after my parents) is visiting my hair stylist and eye brow lady! HA! šŸ˜€

  9. I am personally glad that you did this recap since it gives me the chance to relive the moments through your blog. Sigh!

    That pumpkin carving contest was rigged! We were the only team that came up with our design from scratch. Oh well! Such is the way of things. Our pumpkin was a winner in my heart… I miss him… :'(

    Also, I am sorry about your very sad dessert. I should have chosen better/more at random!!!

    When I go back home, I will admit that family time is a huge priority. I spend most of my time with them, and maybe a dinner or brunch with friends. Although, most of my trips back home are no more than 48 hours, so it gets a little tough.

  10. Ten Ren in MD (rockville and college park) has yummy bubble mile tea!

  11. Whasian pumpkin is AWESOME!!! Should have won!


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