Well I had an extra long and an extra awesome weekend. I haven’t squeezed in so many activities in one weekend since the summer and it was nice to take a break from the winter hibernation.
First up, Valentine’s Day! I like to acknowledge the holiday (can you call it a holiday?) without getting too crazy about it. I would say that Evan and I appreciate each other every day, but I love love so I don’t mind a day dedicated to it.
Evan asked me a few months ago what I thought of making each other Valentine’s presents instead of going the typical V-Day gift route (flowers, chocolate, Star Trek robe, etc). I am a sentimental sap, so I agreed. But then I had no idea what to make for him. I didn’t want to bust out the craft supplies and make some lame Valentine’s card…I wanted it to be a bit more creative.
I was talking about this with one of my coworkers and she was like “Why not make him a recipe box since he loves to cook so much?” and that really got me thinking. So I made him a cookbook. Please ignore the cheesiness of the cover!
But it’s not just any ol’ cookbook… It’s a cookbook full of recipes inspired by the meals we have had when dining out together.
Therefore combining cooking with memories, to add a bit of sentimental value (which I know Evan appreciates). Like a cook/scrapbook. My blog and my (probably annoying at times) incessant picture taking really came in handy for this, because I had pictures of nearly all of our restaurant meals. So the pictures are from our actual dates, and the recipes I found online, but were inspired by the meals we had ordered.
I ended up filling the book with about 30 recipes, including the best appetizers we have experienced…
And the most delicious entrees.
Hopefully Evan will take the slight (okay, massive) hint and recreate all of these dishes for me.
He genuinely loved it and said it was the nicest thing anyone’s ever done for him. I think he thought that I was planning on making him some kind of photo collage or calendar, so he was definitely not expecting this and his reaction was just the best.
(Just a note because I know someone is going to ask me, I laid out the book in Adobe InDesign, PDF’d it and then submitted it online to Staples for printing and binding. Staples did an awesome job and were super speedy and helpful. My only complaint is that some of the pictures turned out a bit on the red side, but this also could have had something to do with my file.)
And here is Evan’s lovely present to me.
Shadow boxes mounted on the wall so we can showcase all our romantic memorabilia. Riiiight up my alley. I love it.
He had already included stuff from our Florida and Niagara Falls adventures, and we added to our collection that day when we hiked downtown to the new Ripley’s Aquarium, the second part of Evan’s V-Day gift to me.
It was awesome, but it was BUSY. Very, very busy. I had heard not to go on the weekend because of how crazy it is, but we thought Friday during the day was safe. Wrong. We noticed a bunch of school buses when we arrived. I did not even think about field trips… So that is my only complaint. It was pretty crowded. It just opened in the late fall, so hopefully it won’t be busy forever. I’ve heard it is a lot quieter at night, so I may have to go back…the exhibits were truly amazing.
They even had a special dive show to celebrate Valentine’s.
So that was cute.
My very favourite was the Dangerous Lagoon exhibit, the underwater viewing tunnel with many different species of sharks, sawfish (which are crazy looking), eels, and a bunch of other scary but awesome-looking fish.
It has a moving sidewalk so you don’t have to worry about walking. That was very handy because I could not tear my eyes away from the water and if I had to be responsible for watching where I was walking I probably would have run over a small child.
The sharks were just the coolest. There were so many amazing fish.
I also loved the seahorses.
A couple of those were definitely celebrating love day…
And the sea dragons, which I cannot believe even exist.
That thing looks like a plant!
This eel-type creature that somehow reminded both Evan and I of Winnie…
The sting rays!
This little guy just looked ecstatic.
Watching him made me so happy.
And the eerily beautiful jellyfish. I could have stayed and watched just the jellyfish for hours and hours.
They are the coolest things ever. But I sure would not want to be stung by one.
I highly recommend going to the aquarium if you are in Toronto (just not at peak times). It blew me away and was even better than I expected.
Instead of doing the dinner thing, we had a nice brunch together before the aquarium…
I finally got Evan to Lonestar! And we shared the best fajitas I have ever had, even from there.
With ribs, chicken shrimp AND steak. I was full for two days after this. So insanely good.
So it was a very nice Valentine’s Day. No complaints at all. Hope you had a good weekend!