Cinque Terre: One Morning in Manarola

Cinque Terre: One Morning in Manarola

After our breakfast in La Spezia, we took the train to the next village in Cinque Terre, Manarola. It was smaller than Riomaggiore, and had a small place to swim. The three of use walked around the village and saw where a landslide had wiped out a section of the hiking trail to Corniglia.

Cinque Terre: One Morning in Manarola
Cinque Terre: One Morning in Manarola

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DIY: Leather Cuff with Secret Pocket

This leather cuff was designed for walkers. We are a family of walkers and some of us are also very competitive. To compare our progress, we wear an old school pedometer and proudly profess our daily count. Even as I write this in my pajamas, I’m wearing my pedomenter to capture every last step. How is this relevant? Well, with all the walking we do, carrying around a purse or backpack becomes tiresome. This leather cuff is the solution. It fits a folded bill, a subway token, and one key in the secret pocket. I’ve even hidden a tampon in there.

If you have wrists that tend to be on the smaller or larger side, adjust size of leather rectangle (the 22cm side) up or down by approximately a centimetre.

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Cinque Terre: Lunch in Riomaggiore

Cinque Terre Lunch in Riomaggiore

Ryan, Sami, and I made our way to Cinque Terre after having lunch in Monte Carlo. We caught a train from Monte Carlo, switched at Ventimiglia, and then continued to one of the Genoa stations. Our late night walk to our B&B was just 10 minutes long and we got there just before the check-in cutoff. The pleasant elderly proprietors showed us around and thankfully Sami speaks Spanish because the couple were probably Argentinian and only spoke Italian and Spanish (the B&B was called Albergo Argentina). We just stayed there for one night before we continued to La Spezia, which would be our jumping off point for visiting Cinque Terre.

Once in La Spezia, we dropped off our stuff in our B&B. Ryan and I stayed in the Blue Room, as it said on our key, and it was easy to see why: we had two blue chairs, a blue desk, a blue wardrobe, a blue easy chair, a blue coverlet, and blue curtains. And thankfully a quiet A/C! After dropping off our stuff, we took the train to the first of the villages in Cinque Terre: Riomaggiore.

Cinque Terre Lunch in Riomaggiore

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Schwarzwälder Kirsch Trifle – Black Forest Trifle

Black Forest TrifleI made this Black Forest Trifle for our family’s Christmas Eve dessert. A few years ago I made another trifle, but our mom said it wasn’t boozy enough. So this time, I used a LOT of rum! This recipe needs a round of day-old chocolate cake, either one from a mix, a one-bowl chocolate cake, or a six-minute chocolate cake. Day-old cake is best, as it is a bit dried out and will then absorb more rum!

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Toronto Eats: Bar Begonia

Bar Begonia

Tomiko passed her CPA exam, so the whole family went to the nearby Bar Begonia to celebrate. Bar Begonia is a Parisian cocktail bar by Anthony Rose, a restaurateur who has several restaurants along Dupont St (as well as other neighbourhoods) in Toronto. The building is a weird, almost ziggurat shape that has been empty for almost 20 years, and we were excited to hear that Anthony Rose would be taking it over and expanding his restaurant empire. We would love to return in the summer to take advantage of the backyard boules court while sipping summer cocktails.

Our group of seven arrived at 4pm, so it was still light out and we could still have the evening to ourselves if we wanted. At this time, they were still serving the brunch menu and the dinner menu didn’t start til 5pm, but we didn’t care. The appetizer menu was full of classic French fare but executed with a twist. We skipped the dinner menu and mostly shared a medley of appetizers.

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