Friday, July 21, 2017


My mom and I took off to Toronto for a couple days for a mini-getaway. Toronto is one of my very favorite cities, and I would love to live there one day (hint, hint, Canadian government)!

We started off by eating vegan sushi above Yonge Street. The weather was perfect, and hearing all of the sounds of the city from four stories up was so exciting. After since going to college in New York City, I have adored big cities.

The next day, we took a bus tour and a boat tour of the city. Despite spending a lot of time in Toronto in the past, I had never actually taken a tour. It was quite informative, and the live tour guides were very entertaining. As seen on the tour:

I also saw the University of Toronto's law school for the first time. Too bad it's so ugly.

After sitting in the hot sun all day (the bus and the boat didn't have covers on top), we worked up quite an appetite. So, we made our way to Fresh, where I had quinoa onion rings, an energy bowl, and a vanilla cupcake (AKA the Blown Diet special). All were delish!

What would a trip be without food pictures?

We also spent some time at the Art Gallery of Ontario, which was hosting a special Georgia O'Keeffee exhibit. I thoroughly enjoyed not just looking at her paintings, but learning more about her life. So unique, she was (P.S. sometimes I turn into Yoda on this blog). She's also the author of one of my favorite quotes:

"To create one's own world takes courage."

The drive back was not fun as we hit tons of traffic. Note to self: don't ever try to leave a city during rush hour. But, it was worth it to explore such a cool city with such a cool lady (i.e., my mom).

Saturday, July 8, 2017

First time performing in New York

Last night was what I live for! I love performing in any venue (and believe me, I've performed at most - bowling alleys, high school dances, libraries, you name it), but there's something about performing in a packed, giant theater that is just so magical.

On Thursday, I had the pleasure of performing at the Del Lago Casino in New York. Its theater is only six months old, and it was gorgeous! I couldn't believe how many people were in the crowd on a week night. And not only was the place packed, but the crowd was a fantastic audience! From the moment I stepped foot on stage, I could feel their energy. It was truly incredible!

In my quest to perform stand-up comedy in all 50 states, I can now check off my 34th: New York. It was my first paid gig there, and it was awesome!

Plus, all of the lighting and sound guys couldn't have been nicer. I got to work with the hilarious Brad Trackman, who also happens to be super nice. After our show, we headed over to the buffet, which featured...wait for it...VEGAN GELATO! I was pleased to be reunited with the food I fell so very in love with in Australia and New Zealand. 

I also got to stay in the cutest little hotel in Senaca Falls, New York. Can't beat having a chandelier in your bedroom:

In the morning, I got to see some of the historic women's rights landmarks. Seeing as I went to grad school for women and gender studies, I had been hearing about Senaca Falls for quite some time. And in the morning, I finally got to explore it. Some pictures:
What a wonderful trip!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

San Diego, Mexico, and too many food pictures

Dan and I just got back from a little adventure out west. We spent the majority of our time in San Diego, but we started off with a quick trip to Disneyland. Dan had never been, and I had been seriously wanting some Dole Whip ever since I had it in Hawaii, so we thought, why not go? 10 ounces of frozen pineapple is totally worth a $400 plane ticket, right?

Excited to be on the plane. Slightly less excited that Spirit charges for literally everything, including water.
We were only in the LA area for the day, but it was definitely long enough to feel like kids again at Disney. We had such a blast (this despite only sleeping three hours the night before due to our late-night flight and waiting in line to pick up our rental car for over an hour)!

We mean business with laser guns.

We found Disneyland to be quite vegan-friendly, too, which was awesome. Not only did we get said Dole Whip, but we also had vegan jambalaya (in a mouse ears bread bowl, of course) and pizza.

Ah, the Dole Whip!

The next day, we headed down to San Diego. We stopped in Laguna Beach, where we walked the beach and ate overpriced chocolate candies and gelato (so worth it).

We also hit up Veggie Grill! P.S. What trip to California would be complete without it? It's one of my 'must stop' places whenever I'm there.

The next day, we checked out Old Town San Diego and La Jolla (which, I had to practice saying correctly).

Some shots from Old Town:
Of course I had to be a legal nerd and get a shot of this.
Selecting the finest in fake fruit.
I requested some NKOTB, but was, sadly, turned down.

La Jolla, while completely packed, was gorgeous! Plus, I couldn't believe how close we could get to all of the seals! Note that my pictures do no justice to how close we actually were.

Feeling so much safer with him on duty.

One of the many seals soaking up the sun on the beach.

On our last day, we headed to Tijuana. Neither Dan nor I had ever been there, and we figured, it was 20 minutes away from where we were staying, so why not?

Crossing the border was really easy. We just took a shuttle bus, exited the shuttle bus so the Mexican border agents could review our passports, and then transferred to a mini-van to drop us off downtown in the tourist area. The tourist area was definitely that! It seemed that every shop was a souvenir shop, and they all sold pretty much the exact same things. Although, I will say some of their sales pitches were better than others. My favorite one was "c'mon in, buy some things you don't need."

I almost did.

We forgot that it was a Monday, so all of the museums were closed. Sadly, we found this out the hard way after walking all around to find them. Doh.

Thankfully, we did find a vegan restaurant to try. It was really good!

If you ever find yourself in Tijuana, check out Tury's. 
A cool theater we walked by.

On the border. Taken before we spotted the "no photography" signs...and the border guards with gigantic machine guns.
Getting back to the U.S. was a lot more challenging. I think we spent more time waiting at the border than we actually did in Tijuana. I've crossed the Canadian border several times, but I've always traveled via car. Apparently, unless you're in your own vehicle at the Mexico border, you must cross on foot. So, we waited in line for several hours before we could talk to a border agent and get let back in.

It was quite an interesting process, and I found it even more interesting that when you enter the U.S., you're immediately dumped into the parking lot of an outlet mall. Nothing like saying, "Welcome to America. Want to buy some irregular jeans?" I was just happy it had a Dollar Tree.

On our way back to our hotel, we stopped by San Diego's Little Italy. I didn't even know it had one! We went to a restaurant called Civico 1845, which was out of this world. Beware of more food pictures, but the vegan calamari, ravioli boscailoa, and fettuccine alla bolognese were definitely photo-worthy. Not pictured: the tiramisu made from my dreams.

We were in quite the food coma by the end of the day, so we sluggishly went back to our hotel and passed out. Hello, carb drunk!

I'm pretty sure I gained seven pounds on this trip. So very worth it though!