I’m home, with more pictures of my side trips!

Whoops. It’s been about two months since I updated ;) Was enjoying my time over at Quebec City (and my little side trip to Montreal, Toronto and New York!) over the past two months. Came back to Singapore on 24 August, and spent about 1 week resting to get over my jetlag! That part wasn’t fun.

Hearing singlish again was like a big “Welcome Home!!!” with banners and confetti, through it did feel a little strange for a while after listening to Quebecois-French for the last two months. I’m already missing the quiet and simple times in Quebec City. It was also the first time Stephen and I stayed together in the same house. Needless to say, we loved having a place of our own very much! :) Gonna miss the having him around for sure.

Smilllleeeeee with @jumbofrets

The side trip was much fun, seeing the different cultures, food, people, buildings… I would loved to have gone to more cities, but couldn’t due to limited time. It was I traveled solo – Stephen came with me to Montreal, then headed back for work while I continued to Toronto and NYC.  Sometimes during the trip I wished for someone to share the experience and beautiful views with, but I loved the freedom! Here are a few highlights from the little trip :

Notre-dame Basilica of MontrealOf all the churches we saw (Montreal and Quebec City has churches scattered everywhere!), Notre-dame Basilica of Montreal was the biggest and majestic of them all. We were lucky to go there when the organ was playing too :)

Walking up Mount Royal with @jumbofretsWalking up Mount Royal. We passed the Mount Royal Cross along the way. I think it took us about 1 hour to hike up and reach the top platform, but the view was worth it –

Mount Royal - view 1 View from the top of Mount Royal

It was in Montreal where I had my first Beaver tail too!

Beaver tail with cinnamon sugar and lemon. It's like a cross between churros and hum jin peng :oBeavertail with cinnamon sugar and lemon <3

Sesame bagel with apple cinnamon cream cheese (St Viateur Bagels, Montreal)We also had bagels and a chai latte at the popular St-Viateur bagels cafe. Delicious!

Stephen was missing Chinese food, so we stopped by  Chinatown and got ourselves some food at Restaurant Ethan. Apparently it’s only about 3 months old then, but they have some delicious Hong Kong style food there!

Roast pork rice in Chinatown Roast Pork rice

Xiao Long Bao!

Xiao Long Bao, steamed pork and cabbage dumplings. I also had some soup noodles, which I forgot to take a photo of. Too busy eating ;P

And then it was off to Toronto by rail. I’m very glad I had my iphone with its inbuilt GPS, else I would have gotten lost 234808 times *grin* I simply loaded the city maps when I had internet access, and from there used the GPS to track where I was.

Casa Loma. Beautiful Castle! Former home to Canadian financier Sir Henry Pellatt Casa Loma, former home to Canadian financier Sir Henry Pellatt. Beautiful rooms and garden. What I found fun and interesting is that this castle had many secret passages (see the two passages beside the fire place)! It also had a hidden tunnel that linked the Castle to the Barracks, stables, and the gardening shack.

Also took a trip down to Niagara falls :)

Niagara falls, America's side The American falls.

Niagara falls, Canada's sideAnd the popular Canadian horseshoe falls. Went on the mist of the maiden boat trip (see that little boat there near the bottom?) that brings you close to the bottom of the falls, a must do if you visit the falls! You’ll get wet (photo thanks to Neeka who I met during the tour!), but it’s worth the experience.

Distillery district - instagram ... Really interesting sculptures. Visited the distillery district which had beautiful Victorian industrial architecture and interesting sculptures :)

St Lawrence market. Food and more fooood...And of course, St. Lawrence Food market! How can I pass something with food :p

Poppyseed Danish. I think I got high eating this.Tried the poppyseed danish. The poppyseeds remind me a little of black sesame… I only wished it wasn’t banned in Singapore. How I would love to bake with it!

Visit and tour of Steam whistle brewery :D forgot to take a pic before it was all gone..Visited Steam Whistle Brewery for a tour on their Pilsner production…

CN Tower glasspanel 0And the CN Tower for views of the city. Unfortunately for me it was a cloudy day so the views weren’t that good :(

Royal Ontario Museum - instagramLastly, visited the Royal Ontario Museum, which has an interesting train station. If you ever to visit the ROM, plan to spend 1 whole day. I went there in the afternoon, and it closed at 5pm so I had to needed to rush through many displays!

After this it was off to the big apple. Lemme strike that off my bucket list now :p (Which reminds me, items need some updating soon…) haha!

Visited a little of Brooklyn to see Manhattan bridge…

The Manhattan bridge

And the Brooklyn bridge!

…and walk through the Brooklyn bridge!

Jacques Torres's wicked hot chocolate :D

Visited Jacques Torres at Brooklyn to have their Wicked Hot Chocolate. Yum.

The charging bull @ the financial district molested by tourist
Walked through the financial district and saw the New York Stock Exchange, the Federal Hall Memorial… and to find the famous charging bull. I couldn’t get a shot of the bull without any tourist around (that poor bull), so er, yea here’s a shot :p

Reconstruction of the One World Trade center

Passed by the construction of the One World Trade Center…

New York Public library

Visited the New York Public Library, that has books on wooden shelves, chandeliers in their stairways, beautiful paintings that adorn the walls…

:)

Sat on a cruise to have a view of the Statue of Liberty and to see the Manhattan skyline

Chelsea Market!

Visited the Chelsea Market, which is air conditioned! I love food markets, I think you can tell by now. They have espressos, gelatos, meats, breads, bakeshops and a seafood place called The Lobster place. As you can see from the link, that shop was crowded. Crowded stalls = good eats. Yep, you can’t go wrong when you see people happily carrying WHOLE LOBSTERS on a plate, finding a space and tucking in. Unfortunately my stomach wasn’t feeling good that day, so I had a lobster roll. Needless to say, if I ever go back there, I’ll definitely visit lobster place again!

The grand central rush hour!

Visited Grand Central Terminal at rush hour.

And then I went on to Rockefeller Center, Top of the Rock Observatory, to see the city (while stopping by Magnolia Bakery on the way)…

Sunset at Rockefeller center

The setting sun across the horizon :)

The night lights :)

And the night lights from above!

I’ve also walked a little of Central Park, visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History… and of course, Time Square!

Time Square 2

Time Square 4

…Would love to go back again, especially to Toronto and New York, because there are places I’ve yet to explore :) My full album of pictures are over here at Flickr, if you are keen on checking it out. I was alternating between the iPhone and Canon S90 for my photos, because the S90 annoyed me sometimes (overexposure of artificial lights which I mentioned before). Should be upgrading my camera pretty soon, got my eyes on the new Canon EOS-M!

After returning home, I’m itching for the next trip. Just got through the first week of reality (also known as work), but am already looking forward to next year for my new travel plans ;)!

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