Browsing Category

Travel

Dine & Unwind: MDVP Holiday 17

Dunk Listt | MDVP

Last weekend, Mel, Dave, Vic, and I did our annual staycation (last year’s), this year focusing on unwinding and dining. This was a hard, treat yo-self type of situation since we’ve all been so busy. With Mel and Dave working and renovating their house at the same time, and Vic and I committing to this and working full time, we have very little time to just hang out with each other or to just chill. We set aside this weekend in the middle of the crazy holiday times to ensure that we could give ourselves a small break.

Thanks to Buick, we were able to start the weekend off in luxury going for a nice drive through High Park in a Buick Enclave. It was a great way to start the weekend because car rides are probably the most underrated way to enjoy each other’s company. It allowed us to catch up, and take in some nice scenery with snow!

 

Dunk Listt | Buick Enclave

 

We then made our way over to the Sheraton Centre. Personally, this place has a lot of value for me as it’s helped me avoid the cold in so many years past. For those of you, who try to avoid the cold as much as possible in Toronto, note that the Sheraton has PATH access! I’ve walked through countless times to avoid the cold, and have always wanted to stay in the Hotel as a guest.

Dressed head to toe in Banana Republic, we had dinner at BnB (Burgers & Bistro). I’m all about burgers, so when I heard the name, I knew I was in for some delicious food. Our drinks orders were taken promptly and included a mocktail for Mel as well. I pulled the audible at the last second (I’m that guy who chokes under pressure when ordering) and got the salmon, which was incredibly tender.

 

 

We settled up for the night and just chilled after dinner since we were exhausted. Kobe was excited to be spending the night with us at the hotel as well, especially since the hotel treated him to his very own dog bed that was about 5 times his size.  As I was getting ready for bed, I realized that I didn’t bring my face wash (that’s about the only skin care my face gets because it gets really oily), I stole some of Vic’s Estee Lauder make up wipes. It worked surprisingly well to clear up my pores and was minimal amounts of work to clear me up, exactly what I wanted after a long day.

The next morning is when we were able to really unwind. Sleeping in, a continental breakfast with a gorgeous view of Nathan Philips Square, and treating ourselves to our own spa service. With this dry winter, I had to steal some of Vic’s Origins Moisture Lotion (do you see this recurring trend of me stealing Vic’s stuff).

 

 

We enjoyed a nice chill day, took Kobe out, and got to watch Vince Carter’s potentially last game in Toronto (say it ain’t so!) during our hors d’oeuvres in the Sheraton Lounge. Last but not least, we were able to wander through Nathan Philip’s Square’s Holiday Fair, which was just across the street from the hotel. The location coincidence was perfect as I had been wanting to check it out. Although I’m not the most festive person, I know Vic really enjoys the holidays so I’ve been making more of an effort to appreciate the season a little bit more.

 

 

The next morning was a harsh check back into reality. Jackets on, boots zipped up, and we were on our way out. What a sad way to end a great weekend, but who knows, maybe next time it’ll end up with us in tanks instead of hoodies!

 

Hello, Portugal

Hello, Portugal

TheLustListt and I have been back from our Portugal-Morocco trip for about a month now and I’m still reminiscing back to everything we did. From the long hikes in Portugal and Sintra, rainy days in Porto, and to the 40 degree weather in Marrakech, we had a hell of a time going through and exploring these places on our own. In this post, I’ll be focusing on our days in Portugal and saving Marrakech for another day.

Lisbon:

I said it while I was there, and I’ll repeat it now, Lisbon is my favourite destination that I’ve visited to date. We went to the major sites such as the Praça do Comércio, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, and of course Pastéis de Belém, damn those egg tarts were good. After 2 days in Lisbon, we went to Sintra for a day where I can proudly say, did hours and hours of hiking to see some of the biggest castles I’ve ever seen, only to do more climbing within the castle grounds.

The food in Lisbon was multi-faceted. We took in traditional food and got to experience more modern cuisine as well. Specifically, PARK Bar took our breath away as we showed up just at sunset. Being located on top of a parking garage, it was a struggle just to get in as we cramped into a tiny elevator with 5 other people. Once we got to the top, the rooftop bar was crowded but the scenery made up for the crowd as we got an amazing skyline view of the city.

Hello, Portugal

 

Hello, Portugal

Porto:

The first thing we consumed when arriving in Porto was a nice glass of Graham’s port (wine) at our Airbnb. The wine was much sweeter than I was expecting, very similar to ice wine for Canadians. Following our port wine, we explored the city and took in some of the major sites. We toured through the Igreja dos Clérigos and the Palácio da Bolsa.

 

We wandered the streets (where we obviously took photos) and stumbled upon Restaurante Bar Galeria de Paris. Oddly enough, this was our first experience in Portugal where there was not a lick of English being used. The whole country has become more tourist friendly, and the general populous spoke pieces of broken English (which made traveling for us much easier). This restaurant was that prototypical hole in the wall gem that you always want to find when you’re exploring to take in the real culture.

Our days in Porto were always finished with nights watching the sunset from the top of a hill. A truly romantic way to end our nights, overlooking Porto’s Duoro River.

Hello, Portugal

Taking on the Calgary Stampede #LikeAPro

The Dunk Listt | Taking on the Calgary Stampede #LikeAPro

V&I were lucky enough to get to experience the Calgary #Stampede2017 with GMC. We arrived in Calgary on July 12th and spent a few days taking in the Stampede #LikeAPro

Day 1: The first thing we did was get custom fits from Smithbilt Hats. These hats are hang-made with such precision, and were altered to make sure they fit each person’s head perfectly. I made the unfortunate mistake of doing my hair beforehand (rookie mistake, I know), so my hat now fits a little loose because my hair was done up (it definitely blew away later on the trip…)

Next, we were off to the Stampede grounds with GMC Chuckwagon VRs. This was awesome because it let my competitive juices flow. Anyone who’s played any sports or games with me knows that I’m in it to win it (as cliché as it is) and this was no different. Holding the reins and whipping these massive pick up trucks around virtually was a blast.

                                     

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             

We moved on to the actual rodeo competitions on a scorcher of a day. The hats really came in handy in the 30+ degrees in pure sun, it really felt like we were part of the rodeo. Having never seen these competitions in person, it was an amazing experience to see the games from bull riding to barrell racing.

We got the privelege of entering Troy Flad’s section of the stable where we got an insider’s introduction to the event and the stars of the chuckwagons, the horses.  The Stampede this year also offered a relay, a new event where the rider switches horses twice after the initial lap. It was equally as exciting as entertaining, and had the crowd fully engaged despite the one-sided competition.

                 

                

 

               

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2: This is where I got to knock some things off the bucket list. As a young lad, my brothers and I always joked about driving trucks when we grew up (we had minivans growing up, not exactly the coolest rides). V and I hopped into a Yukon XL (not just the regular Yukon, this was XL) and made our way to the OH Ranch, which is owned by the Stampede. On the way, we couldn’t help ourselves from marveling at the landscape and had to stop to snap a few shots before we continued on.

We made it to the Ranch and got to drive the trucks in their true habitat, through trails and forests. Driving the trucks into the trails really showed me their durability out of the city; we went through mud, grass, and water without any issues – I barely felt any difference driving the car. To top it off, the trucks even came with wifi, so even though phone service was dead – we had full wifi service!

 

We went from 420hp to 1hp when we saddled up and went for an afternoon horseback ride. Coupled with my guy, Fat Jack (yes, that’s the horses name), we went on and pursued a 1.5 hour travel into the hills and trails. Although he was one of the older lads in the group, he definitely giddied up when he saw everyone else run with ahead of him!

 

Day 3: On day 3, we got to do our own thing and were lucky enough to get to drive the Acadia around the city. This was a huge change after driving the Yukon XL, going from one end of the spectrum to the other. We explored the city (obviously got brunch with Reese  and Darrell because, well what’s a Saturday without brunch), and took a ride to Fish Creek Park.