Watch “BTS (방탄소년단) ‘IDOL’ Official MV” on YouTube

So I haven’t watched this video yet as I’m presently camping.

But I did listen to it (twice) just now through my Apple Music subscription and all I can say is that I LOVE IT!!!

I look forward to watching the video but I’m glad I got to listen to IDOL on it’s own without any visual influences.

As for the rest of their new tracks I don’t know where to begin. I will just mention two which stood out to me right away.

I’m Fine – like an epilogue to Save Me.

And Just Dance – J Hope did it again. It was like Hope World all over again but better!

BTS brought out another winner with this comeback and final installment to their Love Yourself trilogy. And they certainly ended it with a bang!

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A Post About My Post Valentines Day

First of all, for those who celebrate Chinese New Year/Lunar New Year… Happy New Year! And to my fellow Mandarin speakers, Gong Xi Fa Cai | 恭喜发财 !

Of course, to my fellow k-pop friends:

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BTS sporting their Korean hanboks!

Now, I mentioned in my last post I wasn’t big on celebrating Valentines. I’m also not big on receiving flowers but I will say yes to dark chocolate because I’ll always say yes to dark chocolate. And I’ll also say yes to strawberries especially if covered with said dark chocolate.

Well, I didn’t receive chocolate covered strawberries. But my husband DID make something for me and it was just as good! Heart-shaped dark chocolate, unsweetened peanut butter cups!

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Yummy in my tummy!

He spent all afternoon making it. Which wasn’t easy as he was so dead tired. He came off of his shift that same morning. Their firetruck was out so many times during his 24 hour shift that by lunch time, he said he had already gone out 12 times. And it just didn’t stop there! He barely got more than 30 minutes sleep at a time overnight (and it the opportunity to sleep didn’t come often).

[SIDE NOTE: Please ensure your fire alarms are clean and working with good batteries – clear as much clutter in your house, too; Simple steps could save your life! Most of his bad calls are due to either causes or a combination.]

So to state I have an amazing husband is an understatement.

And as I took a vacation day on Chinese New Year, him and I met up for lunch at a new farm-to-place restaurant. It wasn’t cheap but it was pretty good. I would go back again to try some different menu options but it’s not easy on the wallet so I would reserve the place for special occasions. What I felt was way over-priced was the wine list. I didn’t see any wine that stood out and most of them were by the bottle. There were a handful by the glass but once again, nothing special. and $10 for just 5 oz? Most place I go to will charge $15-18 by the glass but at least I get 10oz. It was a bit of a let down considering the type of food they served.

My pet peeve for 2018 – pretentious wine lists.

End of Summer – 2017

As we go into the last long weekend of the summer, I am saddened to be saying good-bye to such an amazing 2 months! It’s been awhile since I felt this way. Of course, I’ve enjoyed many past summer months but with work always being so crazy, it really just sort of blends into the next season for me.

This summer, though… there was something very different about this past summer, which I will get into at the end of the post. First, a re-cap of some of the memories we’ve made to end our warmer months of the year!

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March boardwalk view from one of the trails.

We did go on our traditional, week-long camping trip. This time, we selected a new Provincial Park – Charleston Lake. Being a park with a lot of great nature trails, moderate to difficult hiking trails and many scenic canoeing routes (through the diverse amounts of islands in the bay), this was a very ideal park for us to go camping.

I was able to hit the trails three times on my own during the early mornings while the rest of the family slept in. I eventually got into vacation mode during the last half of the week and slept in as well but I usually am always the first to wake up. We also, as a family, hit three trails together. All in all, I tried to stay active since it was one week away from my usual workout routine.

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Found a great hidden spot on a tiny isolated island. We stayed here for a quiet picnic.

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Our last day paddling for an hour before we headed back to the city.

We managed to rent the canoe for two days. Day one was to find an isolated and deserted island for a picnic. Day two was the same afternoon we were heading back to the city. After packing everything up, we decided it was worth to rent and paddle for at least an hour before heading back. Both times did not disappoint!

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The slowest ride on earth. Seriously – I was bored after being stuck/stalled for the 3rd time.

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It’s traditional to go on the Ferris Wheel for a great view!

We arrived back for a 3-day weekend, just to give us some time to rest and relax before heading back to work the following week. We decided, since that Friday was going be the opening day of The Ex, to head there for the latter half of the day. The last time we went was 8 years ago. Chaeli doesn’t even remember any of it.

I always realize after spending some time at The Ex why we do not go every year. It’s expensive and really, pretty much the same thing each time. I imagine the next time Chaeli goes, it will be with her friends, leaving Doug and I at home (which will be fine by me).

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Caprese salad – with fresh basil from the garden.

The rest of our days have been drinking wine, making the use of our fresh basil before it’s too late and listening to more k-pop. Which brings me to my final point…

I have had the best summer bonding with my daughter. Sure, k-pop helped as she introduced me to this fun and entertaining world. But the conversations that developed out of this shared fascination has been so wonderful.

I will cherish these summer memories forever. I hope she will too!

Exploring One’s City

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Toronto Harbourfront

When I was in my 20’s, I was constantly downtown. I lived in the far Eastern and worked in the North-East suburbs of Toronto but I was still downtown as much as 4 times a week.

Even then. I hadn’t even come close to exploring all the wonderful gems the city had to offer.

Now, what with career advancements and being a parent, it takes a lot of effort to go downtown. Normally, we need a reason to go. And it’s not because I don’t enjoy going – I love our city and everything it has to offer! I know there’s so much to do in our own city – we actually could do a stay-cation and not have any luck covering all there is to see and do in a week.

Still, I always tell Doug, “We should go more often!” It’s true – we really should make an effort. Parts of the city has changed and we really had no idea. The waterfront, for example, is simply gorgeous now. It always was but the additional work the city has worked on for the past 10 years is all very new to us.

For example, I had no idea they are playing free concerts at the Toronto Music Garden all summer long. All summer long! For FREE! Come on – how much better can it get?

It just goes to show you – never underestimate how many gems one can find right in their own city.

And a Camping We Go Again

After only going camping 3 weeks ago, we were off again! This time to Darlington Provincial Park.

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Early morning view of the lake.

We’ve camped once here before and though the distance is only 45 minutes average from where we live and considered a park close enough to the suburbs, it’s surprisingly a very nice place to camp for a short, weekend! It does feel like we’re cheating being so close to home but when we’re in the park, it has that camping-like-feeling. And it is beautiful – like an oasis we can escape to for a quick trip.

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Hobbes guards our trailer from pesky squirrels

I feel like we’re counting down each camping trip we have with our little old trailer. It’s been good to us for several years but come around this time next year, we’ll be graduating to our new 20′ custom trailer. Things will work for once – like the fridge, the sink and we’ll have temperature-controlled HVAC! Of course, I’m not sure how much we will need the A/C as we tend to camp at the tail ends of the season more than the hot months, but the heating will help us stay warm in the spring and fall, and should it get hot, Hobbes can be more comfortable. Especially if we need to leave him for a couple of hours if we venture somewhere where dogs are not allowed. HVAC is a standard component for all of their trailers – But I do see it as a bonus!

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Part of our hike was along the beach.

We did the Burk Trail this time (last time we did the Robinson Creek Trail) which took us about an hour to complete.

I made the unfortunate mistake of asking the person on duty in the historical pioneer cabin if the structure we were standing it as an original. Instead of a simple answer (with perhaps a dose of a little history lesson along with it), he went on and on and on giving me what I can only describe as a history LECTURE! The whole time, Doug was outside waiting for Hobbes while Chaeli and I were trapped inside with this very odd man.

Doug said afterwards this man needs training at working in the business of volunteerism in the interpretation/historical sector. I’m sure he was harmless but it was getting VERY uncomfortable because as I tried to get away with him, he would follow me very closely and even position himself right in front of me. When he started to do the same with Chaeli, that’s when I found a way out and left.

Amazingly, he continued to follow us outside.

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Lovely inch worm came for a visit.

The 2-night weekend trip was perfect. The weather was beautiful and oddly enough, it wasn’t as buggy as I thought it to be. We spent glorious amounts of time outdoors. I could feel the stress just melt away no sooner than we arrived and set up.

As always, that first sit-down at the campfire on the first night with a mug of wine is always one of the best moments. As is the early fresh air greeting me when I step outside our trailer after waking up.

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Last view of the lake.

Unlike last time, after being exhausted from the red-eye out of Vegas that morning going into our camping trip (and the business trip was such a busy trip), I was back to my morning schedule – woke up 6:30AM, took Hobbes for a long walk (30-45 minutes), snack on half a protein bar while I read, and waited for the other two to wake up so we can make brunch.

We go again in August for our week long trip and I only wish we had time to schedule a July weekend trip.

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Dogs deserve a chair, too!