I am fortunate enough to have a job (yes, a PhD is a full-time job!) that allows me to travel often and one of the biggest perks is being able to meet international bloggers and friends that I would never get the chance to meet otherwise. Last week, I flew to Toronto to see my two faves, Jesse @ Books at Dawn and Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts. I was so excited to meet up with the rest of the JSquad, and here are some highlights from my trip!
Jesse took a few days off work and spent them all with me, for which I am so grateful and touched! We hit up a few bookstores and I came away with a pile of books. I’m quite proud of the restraint that I managed to exercise because I was in hardcover heaven! We only have paperbacks here in Australia, besides a handful of books that are mostly imported, so I was extremely keen to get my hands on ALL the hardcovers. Sadly, I had limited suitcase space so I was only able to pick up a few books.
We went to two different Indigo stores and I picked up the four books listed below. Jesse also very kindly bought me a Read the North tote bag and a copy of Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes, which is his favourite book. In fact, he wanted me to have all four books in the series that have been released so far but my suitcases wouldn’t allow for it haha.
- Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
- The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
- The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
- Still Life With Tornado by A.S. King
Joey also gave me some books to take home. He gave me an ARC of The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson and an ARC of Irena’s Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo. I’ve already read The Unexpected Everything (and own both the UK paperback and the US hardback) but I’m pretty excited to get into Irena’s Children. I love WWII history and even though this is non-fiction, I’m pretty sure I’m going to enjoy it!
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
One thing that I was extremely disappointed about was the fact that the Fantastic Beasts movie came out when I was in Boston for my conference and I wasn’t able to see it straight away. But luckily Jesse and Joey were both keen to see it too and we had an awesome time! Jesse predicted who the villain was within 3 minutes of the movie but we still managed to enjoy the rest of it haha. I absolutely love Canadian movie theatres! They’re so much better than Events Cinemas here in Australia. They had properly buttered popcorn, seats that reclined, and ad/previews that didn’t go for 25 minutes… Also they have D-Box seats, which is some kind of motion simulation thing. Jesse got us seats in the row in front of these awesome D-Box seats so we got to feel the effects too!
I don’t think any of us had any expectations for the movie, and we all thought it was really good. We saw it in 3D and I’m really glad that we did because I don’t think I would have thought it was as good as it was if it had been 2D. I absolutely loved Newt Scamander (yes, I totally went and bought the collector’s edition pop funko) and I’m so excited to see where the story goes in the rest of the movies.
It wouldn’t be a Happy Indulgence adventure if I didn’t eat a lot of amazing food. Jesse took me to lots of wonderful restaurants and we had an awesome time. Jesse’s favourite cuisine is Korean so we had this delicious soup in Koreatown twice during my stay in Toronto. It was the best kind of meal for a cold, Canadian day. We also had yummy ramen with Joey before the Fantastic Beasts movie, and it was extra good because of the cold weather. Jesse and I had amazing breakfasts/brunches together and he taught me all the Canadian ways, including dipping my bacon in maple syrup. SO GOOD. And, of course, there was dessert. These carrot cake and red velvet cupcakes were from Prairie Girl Bakery and the frosting was mindblowingly good. These are just some of the delicious foods that are pictured below but we had many more wonderful food adventures. Joey bought us bubble tea and I had this amazing experience where the cold, Canadian air actually chilled my drink and made it colder than it was when I first got it. Seriously mindblowing stuff! Jesse also took me to the dollar store on my first night in Toronto and we bought a whole bag of Canadian snacks. Guys, I’m addicted to ketchup chips!
It was just so amazing to see Jesse and Joey in their natural habitat HAHA. Jesse spent so much time with me and showed me all the Canadian things. I felt totally at home by the time I had to leave and it was a sad, sad day. We took the subway about 3 billion times and it honestly feels a bit strange getting the train to work in Sydney now. (Except I have to say that Sydney probably has better public transportation). Also, how am I going to live now without Jesse bringing me a Second Cup drink every morning? I barely survived this morning. Most of all, I’m thankful for all the stupid things that he did with me, including going to the Disney store and buying a crap-load of stickers and planner supplies from Michaels. He totally enjoyed it just as much as I did though 😀
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