Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Miser Pays Twice

Last weekend we had an experience that solidified my resolve to never buy restaurant discounted offers again.

Every time I buy a groupon of some sort - maybe, twice a year or so - there's something wrong with it. And if not with the deal itself, something is wrong with the restaurant or its staff.

A while ago, I got a Buytopia deal for an Italian plaze called Piazzetta (not the same one as in Montreal). We sat on it for some time, and eventually decided to go last weekend. H. called and was told it was fully booked for the night we wanted. Wow, look at that, fully booked! It must be rather good then, huh. So, we made a reservation for the following night.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Catching Up

Hello friends,

I hope life is treating you well on this "spring-like" evening, and you're keeping your extremities warm.

I swear, I've been patient and resisted bitching about this weather for the longest time, but COME ON NOW!!! It's March 26th, and we have -15C with windchill in Toronto (!).


Screw it. I'm retiring early. In Greece.

Every morning brings a colder day than before. Every evening, the dog is confused: "Errr, do I pee on ice again or what is this brown grassy thing?". One blessing: the poop is frozen solid.

I have been also ignoring the weather, as I was too focused on keeping up with work, gym and household duties, and in my spare time I concentrating on following the crisis in Ukraine. We haven't been out for yonks. It's been really quiet, with the exception on my trip to Montreal last weekend.

Neither was I in the mood to blog, as, again, Ukraine was on my mind, and I wanted to keep an eye on the developments there. That said, it does not mean life did not continue otherwise. It did. I read, cooked, researched the upcoming trip to Chicago and watched several movies.

I also put up a bunch of St. Maarten photos on Flickr. If you're curious, one album is mostly scenery.

[Click on full screen for a better viewing experience!]

And another one has many pictures of us (mostly of me in the same white dress - it's soooo comfortable, I couldn't take it off):

Please feel free to browse -St. Maarten is a gorgeous island, and its memories are keeping me warm today.

I wouls like to mention a couple of good reads and a recipe for killer quesadillas I made this week. Coming up in the next post...

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Crimea Digest, 10-15 March, 2014

The past week has brought a mix of good and bad for the crisis in Ukraine. Sadly, as the day of the illegal "referendum" approaches, the bad seems to take the centre stage.

# 1. Russia has grown increasingly brazen in its aggressive behaviour. It's acting as if it already owns Crimea. Ukraine's Ministry of Defense, independent media and countless witness reports have confirmed it is mining certain strategic areas, amassing heavy military machinery, throwing even more ground troops at Ukraine's shores and borders. They have also sank four of their own ships to effectively blockade the Ukrainian navy in Sevastopol.


Friday, March 14, 2014

The AI Experiment

AI = all-inclusive, not artificial intelligence.

As mentioned before, I don't like the idea of all-inclusive resorts. Around-the-clock access to unlimited food and alcohol spells trouble for anyone watching their food consumption and discourages the diversity of culinary experiences, because you end up eating all your meals in one place.

My preferred breakfast table - the further from the crowds, the closest to the view.

That said, we did it this time in St. Maarten because it made financial sense. How did it go?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Jumbo Fun

Happy International Women's Day! ✿✿

To all of you, women readers, I wish strength, energy and optimism in conquering new heights in all aspects of your lives! I wish that your goals and aspirations are never slowed down by bias or inequality. WE CAN DO IT!


Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Dark Day

Hello friends,

March 1, 2014. It is the first calendar day of spring, yet it is a dark day for me and my family.

Today, power-greedy Russia declared war on Ukraine. It appears bloodthirsty, cynical and ruthless Putin is not hesitating to invade an autonomous country, thereby breaking a host of international agreements, including the Budapest memorandum that protects Ukrainian independence and sovereignty within its existing borders.

It is bad enough that the events of the 18-20 February claimed lives of almost 100 young people and burned out the heart of the nation's capital Kyiv. Now, Russia would like to force a civil war down Ukraine's throats under false pretenses.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Going Dutch

Happy Sunday, friends!

For me, the morning is always better when a fresh pack of Lavazza gets opened. Mmmm. Its smell is like a fragrant drug.

We're going on vacation to St. Maarten soon, and this time around I had no time or inclination to plan anything in advance. H. read all the reviews and a bunch of websites during the past month, but I just wasn't in the mood for travel research.