Bow River, Three Ways

Dear Readers,

For those of you who may not know yet, I am a proud Calgary resident. Calgary is a beautiful city with amazing people and fun activities to do! In this post, I want to share with you all the many ways we can explore Calgary’s Bow River as locals or as tourists.

I think this is the perfect time as Calgary locals to fall in love with our city, support local businesses and make the most of summer 2020!

1.) Segway Tour with River Valley Adventure Co. 

Our experience with the Segways was new and intimidating at first, but with the help of our lovely tour guide from River Valley Adventure, we managed to find our balance and ride the Segways with no problem!

I went on the Segway tour with Jason and my friend Arie. For the first 30 minutes of the tour, the guide will show you how to turn, stop and ride the Segway – which made it perfect for first timers like ourselves. The tour begins once everyone is all set and fully equipped with a helmet and basic understanding on how to use the Segway.

The tour starts from East Village around the Simmons Building where the River Valley Adventure’s ship container is located. Then, we crossed the George C. King bridge to St. Patrick’s Island. On St. Patrick’s Island, we stopped to take some pictures around the zoo and the tour continued around towards 12th Street SE bridge. While on 12th Street SE bridge, we were able to see the beautiful Bow River and downtown Calgary. This spot was also another perfect spot for taking pictures!

Eventually, we circled back to East Village from the pathways of Inglewood. These pathways are so special and nice because they wrap around the Bow River, giving you great river views.

Overall, the Segway tour lasted an hour and 30 minutes – including all the time we stopped to take pictures. I also recommend taking your time on St. Patrick’s Island to enjoy all the art installations, developments and seating areas that the city has set up to make the island more lively and community focused. This island will amaze you! Ask your tour guide all about it when you get there!

Book your Segway Tour: LINK TO SEGWAY TOUR

INSTAGRAM PAGE: @yycsegwaytours

2.) River Float with the Paddle Station 

The River Float with Paddle Station is the perfect summer activity to do with your family or friends. I was lucky enough to share this experience with Jason. The float was a romantic day activity that can be enhanced with good food and good music.

While on our raft, we were indulging ourselves with a picnic packed by River Cafe and had our fave songs on repeat through our portable bluetooth speaker. The experience was definitely a unique one! (SIDE NOTE: you can totally bring food on the raft, as long as you clean up after the float. Please DO NOT leave any garbage on the raft)

The Paddle Station offers everything you need to go floating down the Bow River – from vessels, to life jackets, paddles, and they have lots of water equipment to rent (small rafts, medium rafts, big rafts, kayaks, and stand up paddle board). Best part is the convenience – all you have to do is show up, check in, and get going!! The Paddle Station will pick up the raft at a designated end point along the river (don’t miss it like Jason and I did or else you will have to jump out into the water and swim it to shore, then carry the raft back to the end point) and they will inflate your raft at the beginning too!

Overall, our float trip lasted roughly around 2 hours with the river’s current at the time. The float started from The Shouldice Paddle Station, directly below the 16th Avenue bridge (Address:5227 13 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T3B 1J1). The end point was at St. Patrick’s Island at Zoo Road (Address:1300 12 St NE, Calgary, AB T2E 7V6). 

TIP: Ensure you have a ride back from the end point back to your starting point at Shouldice Paddle Station, you can either take 2 cars and park one at each location OR call an Uber/Taxi to drop you off at your vehicle at Shouldice Paddle Station.

Book your River Float: LINK TO RIVER FLOAT

INSTAGRAM PAGE: @paddlestation

Order your picnic food: LINK TO RIVER CAFE MENU

INSTAGRAM PAGE: @rivercafeyyc

3.) Surf the River with Outlier Surf

Did you know – you can surf on the Bow River????

There is a specific section of the Bow River wherein surfing is allowed and it is right next to 10th Street Bridge. On this spot, water level is high and waves form continuously, making it perfect for surfing! This section of the Bow River has created a welcoming close knit community of surfers in Calgary and you can even stop by and say hi when you see them.

If you ever dreamed or wanted to try surfing, you can now take the time to learn it!!!!

Outlier Surf is definitely for the adventure seeking individual with dreams of surfing like a pro. With Outlier Surf, you can take lessons and learn how to unlock your surfing abilities and learn how to do it safely. The instructors are more than just instructors, they’re passionate about surfing and will introduce you to a welcoming surfing group here in Calgary. In addition, Outlier Surf will also provide the gears you will need for your surfing lesson.

In their website, you can also shop for surfboards, wetsuits and accessories you’ll need to start your best surfing life!

Book your Surfing Lesson: LINK TO SURFING LESSON

INSTAGRAM PAGE: @outlier.surf

You see, Calgary is truly a beautiful city worth exploring! SO much adventure and fun awaits you!

Before summer ends, I hope you can experience at least one of these fun activities 🙂

With love,

Mary Dezleigh Teodosio

FINAL HEADER PIC

DEZ & JASON IN VANCOUVER!!!

Dear Readers,

For my 24th birthday, Jason and I went to Vancouver and experienced our first “long drive” trip as a couple – just us two!!! Here is how it all went down in 4 days!!!

Before anything else, here is a PDF copy of our Vancouver itinerary:

VANCOUVER TRIP 

Please note: that we never made it into Phnom Penh and Richmond Night Market – we didn’t have enough time for the long lineups in both places. Phnom Penh did not take reservations and when we got there the expected wait time was about a hour and 45 minutes. Richmond Night Market was just way too crowded and we couldn’t even get our car parked or get close to the location due to heavy traffic, so we gave up on it as well.

For the most part our trip went according to plan and you all already know how well I organize and control vacations… soooooo there ya have it!

DAY 1 (FRIDAY, August 30, 2019)

This day started at 4:30 AM.

As soon as we got up, we were out of the house by 5:00 AM and started on our 10 to 11 hours drive to Vancouver. We arrived at Vancouver around 3:00 PM (Vancouver time).

The drive was pretty easy, as Jason and I took turns driving throughout the trip. The views were amazing and it was nice to just cruise while listening to our favorite songs. The drive itself was smooth, during the start of the morning from 5:00 AM to roughly about 6:30 AM the road was quiet and dark – at points it got scary when there was no visible cars/trucks in front of us other than complete darkness. When the sun came out, the drive got easier too.

HOTEL

While in Vancouver, we stayed at the Sheraton Wall Centre: LINK FOR HOTEL

Jason picked this hotel himself and he did a great job!!! This hotel is so beautiful with all their rooms having floor to ceiling windows. We stayed in a corner room with one king bed, and the view from our room was simply stunning!!!

After checking in at around 3:00 PM, Jason and I stayed in our room the whole afternoon to rest. We also ordered food from our room service menu and had a super late lunch. We ate our lunch in bed and cuddled until we had to go out again for my birthday dinner at Black & Blue.

 

 

BLACK & BLUE

My birthday dinner was a little on the boujee side, but it was worth it!!!!

For my 24th birthday, I had wagyu for the very first time at Black & Blue (CLICK FOR LINK HERE). And yes, wagyu as in, that expensive beef from Japan that are known for their beautiful marbling and high fatty content that literally melts like butter in your mouth… yes, I had that. On the other hand, since my meal was a little expensive, Jason just had their salmon dish and we shared the wagyu. I mean, just look at the receipt below to see how freakinn expensive this steak is. But don’t get me wrong, it was WORTH IT.

After dinner, we just headed back to the hotel and wrapped it up for the night.

 

 

DAY 2 (SATURDAY, August 31, 2019)

 

 

CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE

The next day, we drove out to Capilano Suspension Bridge.

This famous tourist spot is known for its nature views and the thrilling suspension bridge that allows you to cross a river from a very very veerrrryy high spot. In my own personal opinion, I think the nature views were beautiful but I found the price for the tickets a little too outrageous. I’m pretty sure they can still make a profit by selling the tickets $10.00 lower than they had (adult ticket was $53.95 CAD) – but hey… that’s just the pricing analyst in me. Yet, it’s the memories that counts right??? So at the end of the day, it was somehow worthwhile.

 

 

STANLEY PARK

After Capilano Suspension Bridge, we went straight to Stanley Park and strolled along Seawall Path around the Third Beach area. The stroll was leisurely and nice – we took our time admiring the water views and being surrounded by the curious tourists as well as some locals just trying to enjoy their day at the beach.

After our walk, we went straight to our lunch reservation at The Teahouse (CLICK FOR LINK HERE). I had their waffles with lots of fruits, while Jason had steak and eggs. The food was very good and the ambiance of the restaurant was really lovely too!

After lunch, we headed back to our hotel to drop off our car then walked down to Robson street to do some shopping and a little downtown sight seeing too. The neat thing about our hotel’s location is how close we were to a lot of downtown food and shopping spots. From Sheraton Wall Centre, Robson Street is only a short 10 minute walk at the most!

 

 

MIKU

After our quick shopping spree at Robson street where I got myself a cute pair of Air Force 1 (see picture below), we went back to our hotel room where we took a quick break to rest and then got ready for dinner.

We had dinner at MIKU (CLICK FOR LINK HERE) and it was above and beyond. The sushi in this place was just top notch, high quality, fresh, and delicious. I highly recommend trying their salmon oshi sushi!! Ohhh and let’s not forget about the view from our table which was also amazing (see pictures below). As a matter of fact, I truly believe Jason enjoyed this restaurant the most!

 

 

ARITZIA WAREHOUSE SALE 

Bumping into this warehouse sale was by pure coincidence and luck. As you can see from our schedule shared above, the Aritzia Warehouse Sale was definitely not part of the plan!!!

As we were trying to find parking around Miku, I kept noticing a lot of girls carrying big Aritzia bags – at first I thought there was a store around the area, and it sparked my curiosity. During dinner, out of my curiosity I asked our server where this “Aritzia store” is located so that we could check it out after our dinner. Then the server told us that Aritzia was having their Warehouse Sale and it was inside the Vancouver Convention Centre nearby. So, I dragged Jason to the convention centre with only 10 minutes to shop – we seriously got there at 8:50 PM and the warehouse sale closed at 9:00 PM. Given the time constraint, I managed to scoop myself 2 items: shorts and a dress!! #worthit

 

 

DAY 3 (SUNDAY, September 1, 2019)

GRANVILLE ISLAND 

On our last day in Vancouver, we started the day by heading to Granville Island where we ate brunch at The Sandbar (CLICK FOR LINK HERE). I had fresh tuna, while Jason had their fish n’ chips. After brunch, we took a cute stroll around the island, took photos and even bought wine for my grandma, Mom Nora. Granville Island is truly a romantic place to stroll around at, there’s so many good food to taste and cute little shops to discover!

I also liked how Granville Island is super close to the water, so you can hear the birds flying from above and watch the people on their kayaks or boats passing by, and on the other side you’ll see a charming yet different perspective of downtown Vancouver.

 

 

QUEEN ELIZABETH PARK 

After Granville Island, we went straight to Queen Elizabeth Park where we were welcomed by beautiful green plants and blooming roses!!!

The park is perhaps the best free thing to do in Vancouver (NOTE: To go inside Bloedel Conservatory, you will need to pay for admission, but outside of it is all free) The trees, grass, plants, and flowers at Queen Elizabeth Park looked like a scene from a Disney movie, literally like something straight out from a Disney book – it was simply BEAUTIFUL!

 

 

After Queen Elizabeth Park, Jason and I went back to the hotel and took a nice nap.

We slept in a little and ended up waking up around 6:00 PM. As soon as we woke up, we headed out to Richmond Night Market. By the time we got there, we were already caught in traffic. Before all that, Jason had a friend who also tried going to the night market the night before we went, and he said there was roughly 300 people in line… which led to him not committing to the wait in the lineup and eventually left. With our friend’s experience from the previous night at the night market, and the traffic we ran into, we decided to turn around and not go to the night market.

We then drove back to Vancouver and made our way to Phnom Penh which was in Vancouver’s Chinatown. That was also a FLOP. By the time we arrived at the restaurant, it was already 8:00 PM, yet there was still a lineup outside the restaurant’s door. After inquiring about the wait time for a table, we were told it will take roughly 1 hour and 45 minutes. Jason being sooo hungry at this point couldn’t wait that long. So, we left and looked for another pho place around the area. The next pho place (I forgot the name) we went to was also a flop… another one hour wait… and our starving stomachs couldn’t wait for that.

We finally agreed to going back to our hotel, and walking down to Robson Street to find a nice place to get some food. This is how we found SalaThai on Burrard Street. SalaThai (CLICK FOR LINK HERE) was pretty delicious in my opinion, but Jason thinks this place wasn’t spicy enough and that their service was slow.

 

 

After dinner, we walked back to our hotel room and slept the night away.

DAY 4 (MONDAY, September 2, 2019)

We checked out from our hotel at 10:00 am and started our way back to Calgary.

I started the drive from Vancouver and Jason drove all the way back to Calgary from Sicamous.

At Sicamous, before Jason and I made the switch from passenger to driver, we were terribly caught in traffic. There was an accident that held us back roughly a hour and half!!! Due to this traffic jam, we did not get back home to Calgary until 11:00 PM.

Overall, the trip was amazing and our first “long drive” experience as a couple was sooo fun!!!! We didn’t argue, we didn’t get a ticket from speeding, we didn’t get into an accident, and most importantly, we didn’t get lost!!! I think we make a good pair for “long drive” trips!!!

And just like that, another city has been travelled to and explored by Dez and Jason – where to next?

With love,

Mary Dezleigh Teodosio

VANCOUVER

OUR FOOD FAVES IN T.O.

Dear Readers,

This post is seriously sooooo long overdue. BUT NOW WE ARE HERE.

Our past trip to Toronto was seriously a FOOD trip meant to satisfy my cravings, hunger, and desire to EAT… EAT GOOD… EAT YUMMY THINGS – and Toronto did NOT disappoint. The following places I’m about to share with you all, are my favorite food or drink joints in the SIX, or what’s better known as TORONTO!

WARNING: The following photos and stories will get you hungry.

All of the restaurants are ordered at random. (All of them ARE great)

1.) PAI 

Address: 18 Duncan St, Toronto, ON M5H 3G8

This place was so busy when we went, and after eating their food, I truly understood all the hype about this Thai restaurant. THEIR FOOD SPEAKS FOR ITSELF. I had the Khao Soi with braised beef and it was phenomenal. Jason, had the Chiangmai Beef Noodle soup and he was very, very, very happy as well.

2.) SANSOTEI RAMEN

Address: 115 Fort York Blvd, Toronto, Ontario

(multiple locations but this is the one we went to)

What more can I say… but I’m going to have to let the ramen pics speak for itself on this one.

I had their Tonkotsu… and the broth was next level heavenly.

3.) LAMESA RESTAURANT

Address: 669 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1E6

This restaurant took me back to my Filipino roots and they did that with lots of modern twists. As you all may know, I am Filipino and I’m always in search for good Filipino restaurants that will do my “Pinoy” taste buds justice when it comes to my homeland’s food. Surely, Lamesa DID THAT.

We had, sisig, adobo, and kare-kare from Lamesa, and I recommend all three dishes without any doubt in my mind!

4.) JOLLIBEE

Address: 15 William Kitchen Rd, Scarborough, ON M1P 5B7

Another place that got the inner Filipino kid in me bursting out tears of joy, was JOLLIBEE!

Jollibee is an iconic fast food chain in the Philippines – our version of Mcdonald’s, but with fried chicken, spaghetti and halo-halo. Jollibee directly represents the Philippines in many ways… and being able to eat there made me nostalgic and Jolli-happy!

IMG_7319

5.) CAFE CANCAN

Address: 89 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5

This is the go-to place for every brunch lover out there! The cafe itself will satisfy all your IG food pics needs. From chic couches and pillows to beautiful mirrors and to pretty pink wall paintings, the cafe was the definition of PRETTY.

I had their Eggs Benedict and it was soooooo yummy!

IMG_7316

6.) OXTAIL PHO & BÁNH MI

Address: 814 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1V3

Jason is a serious pho fanatic, and we couldn’t had completed a trip out to Toronto without a pho stop.

We tried Oxtail, and the restaurant had some serious OG phos. I had their Oxtail pho and it was delicious… just thinking about it now, surely made me drool a little.

7.) UNCLE TETSU

Address: 65 Front Street West, York Concourse #222, Toronto, ON M5J 1E6

(multiple locations but this is the one we went to)

This cheesecake is so popular… so we had to try it too!

And I am so glad we did, because that cheesecake was so fluffy, so creamy, and just had the perfect level of sweetness. It was perfect in every shape, way and form! My personal favorite was the chocolate cheesecake!

8.) THE ALLEY

Address: 5 St Joseph St, Toronto, ON M4Y 0B6

Are we truly from an Asian decent if we don’t make time for bubble tea???

Of course, our boba addiction led us to The Alley. Another local popular spot who serves hearty milk teas and sweet fruity drinks.

I had the Brown Sugar Deerioca and it was… just… amaziiinnnng.

And with that, I’ll leave you guys hungry and craving for some good food.

When in Toronto check out these spots, and let me know what you think!

 

OUR FOOD FAVES IN T.O. (1)

Sincerely,

Mary Dezleigh Teodosio