Friday, September 19, 2008

Furry Friends

I've always loved stuffed animals... my bed was completely covered when I was a kid. I long ago lost interest in shot glasses and refrigerator magnets, but I can't seem to resist picking up these little guys along the road.

My buffalo is from Mount Rushmore last year. I found this little dog at a grocery store this evening in Franklin, PA. (Claremont post-dinner activity: drooling over desserts and stuffed animals at the grocery store. Touring is action packed, I assure you.)

He reminds me of Weedle, my bigger dog back home. I miss him!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Duckfat and Acadia

One of our first concerts of the season was up in Maine on Mount Desert Island (oddly enough, pronounced "Dessert" by the locals) at the aptly named Claremont Hotel ;-) We stopped en route in Portland, ME to visit one of our best friends, the fabulous composer, Hillary Zipper. Hillary was the first composer who we commissioned as a group when she wrote Cythera for us in 2002. Here's a photo of Emily and Hillary.

Portland is a charming city and Hillary introduced us to one of it's treasures: Duckfat. With a name like that, how could this cafe not be a huge success? The menu spanned everything from a roasted beet salad to Belgian fries to Poutine (a Quebecois dish of French fries with cheese curds and gravy) to the $5 milkshake which costs $4. I can still taste that yummy milkshake....

Needless to say, the next day I felt like getting some exercise before our concert so Emily and I made our way to Acadia national park and hiked for a while on Cadillac Mountain. Hopefully our touring schedule will take us back to that part of the country soon....

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Family Time

Don't get me wrong -- I love married life. But sometimes, it can be very complicated because there are so many sets of in-laws and family members to see but in so little time! With our travelling and rehearsal schedules, it can be quite difficult to fit time in. However, since our trio schedule this summer was pretty relaxed, I managed to get some time to see my parents in Vancouver. It is one of the most beautiful cities in the world (no, I'm not biased, ha), with some of the best Asian food ever! To top it off, it was Kai Yu's father celebrating his 60th birthday, we decided to fly in his parents and brother to Vancouver as well (they have never been there) so that everyone could celebrate! Ambitious plan, yes. Complicated, yes. I think a good time was had by all.

Here we are, enjoying dim sum at Kirin Seafood Restaurant, where Kai Yu and I hosted our wedding banquet three years ago! Yum! My sister, Samantha, was also in town visiting along with her boyfriend, Michael.

We also went crabbing for dungeness crabs. In previous years, we have had more success but this year, all we seemed to be able to catch were dungeness crabs that were too small to keep. Here's a little baby one!

This is a view of downtown Vancouver from the beautifully lush Stanley Park. Below is a closer image of the Vancouver Harbour Centre. I was also struck by the number of hybrid cars (especially the Toyota Prius) used as taxis in the area. Very environmentally conscious!

One of our favourite things to eat in Vancouver is sockeye salmon. This species of wild salmon is found in the Pacific Ocean, and the meat is quite red and lean, which makes the flavour less buttery than Atlantic farmed salmon. In late summer, we can often buy sockeye salmon, whole, from the fishermen and my dad sometimes uses them to make smoked salmon. Yum! It is a long process but it is so yummy. Here he is, fileting the fish:

Here is a finished batch, straight out of the smoker.

While we were in Vancouver, the Olympics in Beijing were in full force. We enjoyed watching the events, especially the opening ceremony. It got us all very excited about the 2010 Winter Olympics as they are hosted by Vancouver! Olympics, here we come! Here's the gateway to the 2010 Winter Olympics:

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

All Married Off

So, I was the last one in the trio to tie the knot when I married Aaron this past June. It was the most beautiful day I can imagine and I thank both my trio-mates for their untiring efforts to make the wedding a success ;-) I could not have pulled it all together without them!

They also allowed me to slip off for an unforgettable honeymoon this summer. Aaron has been plotting this trip for years now, especially during the Allied tours when I was away from home for weeks at a time. As in all things, his travel planning skills are unmatched and our tour from Paris to Crete was spectacular. If only we could take a honeymoon every year....