Teen Across Canada Blog – A 5 course delight @KayaMalay

20160113_212050Over this trip, we’ve become friends with the famous Daddy Blogger, Ricky Shetty.  He does special events for bloggers and tonight we got the privilege of being invited to a #YVRFoodies meeting. We went to Kaya Malay Bistro, a Malaysian and Southeast Asian fare restaurant in Vancouver and got to know owner Scott Kwan.

We started off with a cocktail which was super good, though I’m not sure what was in it.  First up we had Roti Canai as an appetizer, which is hand rolled layered flat bread. I didn’t know what to expect but it was great. The sauce was a curry sauce which usually isn’t my favorite but ended up complimenting the Roti really well.


As a second course we had seafood bouillabaisse in Assam curry sauce. In it there were prawns, sole fillet, mussels and calamari in turmeric coconut sauce with saffron. Although I personally don’t like curry or spicy foods it was well done if you like a bit of zip added to your food.



We had a lobster tail sautéed in Singapore chili sauce, simmered in the house made sauce with garlic, chili, tomato and egg. I had pretty high expectations for this one because of all the amazing lobster in the Maritimes. It definitely met my standards… even exceeded my standards. It was super delicious and definitely my favorite one of the night.


As a final entrée we had the Malaysian style braised lamb shank which was braised with Indonesia spices and cooked with herbs, leek, carrots and spinach. At first I thought it looked a little strange but after tasting it, boy was I wrong. It was so good, right up there next to the lobster.


Lastly, for dessert, we had a deep fried mango helado which was the ultimate fried ice cream. It was so good and served so aesthetically pleasing I almost didn’t want to eat it.


We met Scott, the owner. He is super nice and the entire wait staff was so awesome. Definitely a 5/5 stars.

We met so many super awesome bloggers who shared their experiences with us.  If you’re interested here are a few awesome bloggers:

http://daddyblogger.com/ @tokyoricky Ricky Shetty is a proud dad of two kids with a third one on the way. Read his blog to learn all about his lifestyle through a father’s point of view.

http://www.pinkchailiving.com/ @pinkchai  Raj Thandhi writes all about the Indian culture; food, fashion, décor and design with a modern twist.

http://www.minttoinspire.com/ @mintoinspire Holly Ho is the founder and creative director. With the rest of her team, she writes about lifestyle along with fashion and beauty tips.

http://www.thenutritioustruth.com/ @nutritioustruth Melody Owen grew up on a farm and wants to teach her daughters about food.  You’d be surprised at how many people don’t know how certain foods grow.

http://iqbalance.com/ @energychi Iqbal Ishani who speaks 6 languages and is from Africa created Hot Arusha spicy sauce from his grandmother’s recipes.



Teen Across Canada Blog – Welcoming the New Year

IMG_0170Happy New Year! Hope everyone had an awesome holiday and will have a wonderful 2016.

The first thing we did in the New Year was go to the Polar Plunge which is an annual Vancouver tradition. Hundreds of people go down to the beach, strip down to their bathing suits and jump in the water. What a way to start off the New Year!  We were not crazy enough to swim but it was fun to watch.

That evening we went to do the Fly Over Canada, a 4D experience. It was so much fun! Whoever made that was really smart. 4D, for those who don’t know, is a step above 3D. Your seat moves, if there’s water you get sprayed, the sounds are more in your ears. It’s really an awesome experience. And finishing off our Christmas mood we spotted Santa’s elves that were lost around Canada.

My family and I did some volunteering at a soup kitchen where we would serve the homeless. Then I did some personal volunteering at a senior’s centre that I continue to do weekly. After that we went to see my cousin Danielle at her lab. She’s getting her PhD and studying at Simon Fraser right now. She showed us a bunch of cool – but complicated – things and was explaining what her thesis is about.  She showed us a life size 3D periodic table!


The following day we walked around Gastown which is where Vancouver was created. Then we went over to Chinatown. We walked all through the streets and stopped for some delicious Chinese food then went to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Gardens. We got a great tour and enjoyed the peaceful and relaxing walk. We learned all about Yin-Yang and the different energy it gives out.


It’s been an awesome time in Vancouver so far and it makes me feel at home with all the busyness and people and pollution.

Teen Across Canada Blog – During the Holidays

IMG_0237One of the biggest tourism things to do in Vancouver is the Hop On Hop Off. It’s a special bus that goes all around downtown and through Stanley Park where you can “Hop On” or “Hop Off” at any stop. We got on in Stanley Park and got off at the Vancouver Lookout.

That was so cool! We saw everything from up there. The Lookout is circular with windows all around so you can see everything in downtown. We could even make out Burnaby and Simon Fraser University.


Then, we were ready to hop back on but the bus went right by us! Didn’t even stop. Normally, we would go back inside and wait for the next one…except this was the last one for the night! And if you know Vancouver then you know that we don’t want to walk from Canada Place (a few minutes from the lookout) to Stanley Park. We ended up calling the company and they had the bus circle back around to pick us up. When we got off, there was only one other couple on the bus so the driver dropped us off right in front of our car, how awesome is that!

Then we went to check out the Bright Lights at Stanley Park. It was so awesome. There were two different light shows, both so cool and a train ride. It was so fun and so well done.


We went back to Granville Island for an Improv show which turned out to be hilarious! There were two teams competing against each other and the audience gave lots of ideas which made it all the more funny.  To continue with the magic of Christmas we went to the Burnaby Christmas Festival at the museum. It was so pretty with a ton of lights. We did a scavenger hunt to find all of the things in the twelve days of Christmas. Although we didn’t find the two turtle doves or three French hens it was still so much fun.

On New Year’s Eve we got a special treat to see André Philippe Gagnon with my cousin Danielle. He was so good and pretty funny and extremely entertaining. The theme he chose was the entire history of Rock ‘n Roll in 90 minutes. I went in not knowing what to expect but he definitely pleased me.  20151220_171314The city of Vancouver hasn’t done a New Year’s celebration in ten years.  So of course it was crazy!  We went to Canada Place, where everyone went. There was live music and fireworks and so many people. It was probably the most uncomfortable I’ve ever been, squished up next to strangers. It was definitely more crowded than last year when we had a hotel room in Calgary.

Teen Across Canada Blog – Before the holidays

IMG_0175Granville Island is probably one of the cutest islands. We went there for a festival and ended up staying for six hours. We walked around the entire island and even checked out Emily Carr University. We checked out Rogers Chocolate and tried their famous Victoria creams (so good!). We headed to the Public Market which has rows and rows of fresh fruits and vegetables and a ton of vendors. We tried these vegan brownies which were surprisingly good and some delicious and fresh raspberries.  We went to The Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival and walked through a labyrinth of candles which supposedly calms you and revives you.
IMG_0182Then we watched a parade with really good live music paired with a fire show. We walked to the False Creek Community Centre where there was another show. Guys were singing and dancing to traditional English and Scottish music. When they finished they moved on to a skit which looked like The Ridiculous 6 (that Adam Sandler Netflix movie) in real life. There’s a creepy looking black horse, someone who looks like a knight of the round table, someone who looks like he belongs in the bible, a servant, a guy who’s supposedly Santa but looks like he grew up in a dumpster and a British guy. It was confusing and though I never quite figured out the story, it was entertaining. Then they did more dancing including square dancing and live music.

And let’s not forget Star Wars VII : The Force Awakens on opening day. We were there of course with my cousin, Danielle. If you haven’t seen it yet, go! It’s so good!

We went up to White Rock to meet up with my Dad’s friends, Jennifer and Ryan Walter. We ate at the Boathouse which was really good and talked for hours. They are super nice people.  I did my first volunteering which was for Boundless, a Vancouver church. I wrapped presents and volunteered at an annual Christmas party where I helped with crafts. It was lots of fun and I met a ton of awesome people.

We go to Xoxolat, a chocolate place and do a tasting. We taste cocoa in its purest form then taste it sweeter and sweeter. We taste pure white chocolate which was surprisingly good and chocolate with different flavors. The woman, Hodi, likes to view chocolate as a food instead of just a dessert. She pairs it with everything. We even tried one that was nacho and lime (which wasn’t half bad). We had amazing hot chocolate and ended up buying a bunch of chocolate.

As a Christmas Eve present, we went to see Cirque du Soleil. It was honestly the best show I’ve ever seen. It was funny, breathtaking and kept everyone on their toes. The things people can do never cease to amaze me.IMG_0202

IMG_0197We made a makeshift tree for Christmas morning. We slept in, opened our gifts then watched movies. In the late afternoon we went to my cousin Danielle’s apartment for dinner and had pizza and spring rolls. She made a delicious cheesecake and these totally to-die-for vegan cupcakes. We played Clue, Monopoly, Scattergories and Scribbage.

Teen Across Canada Blog – Vancouver in December

IMG_0088We’ve stopped in Burnaby, British Columbia which is about 20 kilometres from Vancouver. On our first day out, we went to the Vancouver Christmas Parade which was so fun!  There were two awesome music groups; a theatre group and Left Coast Group. We saw all the awesome floats and dancers and even got some Purdy’s Chocolate. The only thing that sucked was the rain. It rains pretty much everyday with one or two days exceptions.

Then we went to Pacific Centre which is a HUGE underground mall that runs through at least five streets. We stopped for some Jugo Juice which is my absolute favourite smoothie place ever!

We went to Grouse Mountain. It was so big! We took the gondola up which shook so much, then walked around Santa’s Village.


There was an ice rink where we could go skating and a huge fire to get warm. We went to see Prancer and Dancer,  Santa’s reindeer and learned that reindeer are female caribou. We went to see a Gingerbread village where there were 20 gingerbread houses that were so well done. And to get warm we went inside the lodge to get a hot chocolate and croissant and watch Ice Age, a Mammoth’s Christmas. After that we went walking around the mountain and did the Light Walk which was a pathway completely lit up. It was so beautiful.


The next day we went out for dinner at Provence, a restaurant owned by JF, a friend of my Dad’s. It was so delicious!  The following day we went to the Vancouver Aquarium which was so cool! We saw belugas and dolphins and seals and so many fish. I had never been to Ripley’s back home so this was such a treat. And since we went during the Christmas season we got to see Scuba Claus.


As a special Christmas treat, we got to see the singing Christmas Tree which is an annual Christmas show that the community puts on. It was super well done and definitely a show worth watching. After the show we met up with Daddy Blogger (www.daddyblogger.com), Ricky Shetty and met his awesome wife, Anne and two kids Rianne and Ryan. What an awesome day!IMG_0116


Teen Across Canada Blog – Heading West across ON, MB, SK and AB

Crossing overWe passed through Ontario with a small stop in Ottawa for a tour of Ottawa University. We also made a small stop to see my grandmother and aunt and then headed north for Sudbury. On our way out of Thunder Bay we had a small mishap in Kenora, Ontario 220 kilometres from Winnipeg, Manitoba – 2 flat tires! We stayed there for ten days. Personally it’s not my favourite townIMG_9443.

When we were good and ready to get back on the road we drove straight to Winnipeg. The next day we drove straight to Regina and the following day to Lethbridge, Alberta. The drive from Lethbridge to Chiliwack took us five days because of the mountains. They were thousands of meters high and incredibly steep. In Creston, BC we ended up staying overnight in Scotty’s RV Park which is one of my favourites now.


Finally, having driven from one end of Canada to the other, we stayed put in Chilliwack, BC for a week. First up we had to go to the tourism bureau of course where we ended up going to the museum next door. We got a tour and saw hundreds of old cars and old technology; anything from computers to the first washing machine to printers.


Then we went to Dickens which is an all British shop and museum. They import everything English; candies, chocolate, drinks, chips, teas, etc. My favourite was Spotted Dick (which is apparently a thing – you’d know if you watched King Ralph the movie). There was a tea shop/bakery where they made all the classic English treats. We had cheese puffs balls and chicken pastey which were so good! If you’re anywhere near the area it’s a *must* see! They also do an annual Christmas scene room which was completely lit up and so nice. The museum portion was all about the Titanic as well as all the British history and adorable knick-knacks.


The following day we went around and did the Circle Farm Tour around Abbotsford and Chiliwack. You get a pamphlet and go on different farm tours. My personal favourite was Onnink’s Blueberry Farm.IMG_9729

We met Yvonne the owner, who told us her story. She was diagnosed with cancer and was told she’d have six weeks to live. She completely changed her diet; ate nothing but fruits and vegetables, lots of vitamins and antioxidants and of course lots of blueberries. We got a huge container of blueberries which were so delicious that they barely lasted. As well as a few chocolates which turned out to be some of my favourites… I can’t wait to go back for more.

Teen Across Canada Blog – After the Maritimes it was on to Quebec

QC arrivalWhen we were entering Quebec from New Brunswick, our first stop was in Rivière-du-Loup late at night, so we stopped at a Wal-Mart. The next morning we drove to my Uncle Al’s house in Beauport, where we ate and freshened up. We went to visit my mom’s friend from high school, Sherry and her husband Charles. We ended up staying a lot longer then expected but had so much fun! We told her all about our trip.  She recently had an accident and shared how she modified her home and lifestyle.

The next morning we had to leave early to make it to the Bishop’s University tour. We stopped in at one of my favourite restaurants first, Bel Gauffres in old Quebec. They make the best waffles ever! We stopped by my cousins’ schools to say hi then went to Lennoxville for the University tour. Bishop’s was the university my mom had gone to so it was so cool to see all the changes that they made.IMG_9372

We went to Val David to see Mado and Yves, our friends that we met in Newfoundland! It was so much fun; we made pizza and filled each other in on all our stories.

After that we went to the KOA in Montreal where we were going to spend Thanksgiving with some friends from back home. We went to Mont Royal and walked up to the top where we could see all of downtown Montreal. It was so nice! Then we went out for lunch and had St. Viateur Bagels, personally my favourites and classic Montréal smoke meat from Schwartz. For a little dessert, we went to Alati Caserta’s, a little Italian bakery that makes the best cannolis and lobster tails ever.

IMG_6927The next day we went apple picking all day. We went to at least five different orchards and got an apple turnover from each one. It was such a nice day to go, too. That night we prepared our Thanksgiving meal and we were so full by the end of the meal that we had to wait for hours before eating the pumpkin pie. We watched the movie Vacation, which was so funny.

Our friends had to leave the next day so we packed up and went to Pierrefonds to see my grandfather. We stayed at his house overnight and left early the next morning to start heading back home.

Teen Across Canada Blog – BCing it for the winter

IMG_9682Throughout Chilliwack there was word of a bald eagle festival so of course, with the bald eagle being Dad’s favorite animal, we went to check it out. We saw hundreds! People had set up telescopes and positioned them so we could see exactly where bunches were resting. It really was cool. After that we went to a craft show which was surprisingly fun. We saw a ton of cool vendors and got a bunch of cool – and yummy – things. And when we came out, there was the prettiest sunset.

reindeerAfter a week or so we packed up and moved to Langley. We stayed at a campground in The Historic Fort Langley which is definitely one of my favorite quaint towns. And fun fact for those of you who have seen the Buddies movies (Air Buddies, Space Buddies, Treasure Buddies, Santa Buddies…) the City Hall in the movies is the one in Langley!  We went to the Fort Langley which was the first museum that I read everything inside! We experienced what trading would have looked like, how the blacksmith’s shop would have been and what Dad would have looked like as a reindeer.

We spent one day driving around – which is only a few minutes from where we were staying. It was huge and busy but also super nice and really close to Trinity Western University and University of Fraser Valley where we toured the campus.  We could see Mt Baker in the distance which is in the U.S.


We walked around the downtown main street of Fort Langley area which was absolutely adorable. There were so many great little shops and restaurants. We went to a cranberry store where there was everything cranberry. We bought dried cranberries, cranberry tea (so good and I hate tea), cranberry tea, cranberry jams… We found an awesome grocery store which had so much awesome stuff and a ginormous antique store with everything and anything in it.