As much as I love summer, nothing even comes close to the joy I feel every day in September and all the way through to the end of fall. September 1st should really be a holiday in my books, because it signals the beginning of my favourite season. Bring on the wool, tweed, and leather. GIVE ME PUMPKIN SPICE!!
Ok, this post is not an ode to autumn, but rather a look back at August. Last month was emotionally exhausting, but there were still a lot of highlights:
Dinner on the island
My family picked a beautiful weeknight in early August to go for dinner at The Riviera on Ward’s Island. This restaurant was formerly The Rectory, but it’s since had an update and an all new menu. We sat on the patio and enjoyed the beautiful summer sky as it turned from blue to twilight.
We all enjoyed what we ordered for dinner (pizzas, smash burgers, buddha bowl, charcuterie board, and nachos), so I would definitely recommend. Azim and I returned a couple of weeks later on a Saturday and there was a 40-minute wait to get in, so I suggest going on a weeknight and making a reservation!
The sunset from Ward’s Island is so romantic. I’ll never get sick of that skyline! Especially at night 🙂
Stand up paddle boarding
Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait too long to see that same beautiful view again! Azim booked stand up paddle boarding for us for our anniversary 🙂 I had been wanting to try it for years, and I definitely enjoyed it as much as I thought I would!
I’m so glad he chose to book it at the Island, because paddling around the lagoons was so peaceful. The water was still, and there were lots of ducks, swans, and herons to admire. Being on the Island can feel like you’ve completely left the city…until you see the skyline, of course!
Our 10 year/1year anniversary
Azim and I celebrated our 10 years of being together/1 year wedding anniversary with an absolutely perfect dinner at Piano Piano. We used to go to the location on Harbord all the time when we lived downtown, but this time we tried their uptown location. It was just as lovely!
The service was top-notch. The egg yolk ravioli I ordered (the BEST thing on the menu) was taking a little longer to come out, so the kitchen sent out some complimentary calamari. They also gave us prosecco on the house to celebrate our anniversary 🙂 I got good and properly loaded, so Azim had to deal with me singing Cardi B LOUDLY on the car ride home. Good sport. I hope he’s used to it after 10 years 😉
We have so many birthdays in my family in August! Here are just a few photos of the celebrations. Yes, my brother is using a torch to light his birthday candle – if you’re wondering why we even have a torch: it belongs to my cousin, who is a superb baker. She uses it for crème brûlée – DIVINE.
I am not a great baker by any means, but I get by.
This year for her birthday, my cousin requested this epic cake. It was really three recipes in one (baklava, pistachio cake, orange flower/rose syrup). It was absolutely DELICIOUS…but I’ll never make it again 😀 It took six hours from start to finish – for those who find baking therapeutic, I think it would be a perfect recipe to try.
One thing I really did like about this recipe was that the cake uses breadcrumbs in place of flour – this ensured the cake stayed super moist and soaked up all the delicious syrup.
Because of COVID restrictions, it had been a long time since my extended family spent time together. We finally reunited to celebrate some birthdays, and also had a housewarming for my brother and SIL! They live pretty close to the beach, so we took a walk down as the sun was setting.
I wanted to mention something important. As we were walking to the beach, someone opened their door and yelled something vitriolic (along the lines of Wuhan) at us. I was genuinely appalled – I know Toronto is unfortunately not void of racism, but I always hold our city to a higher standard. I’m also mixed, and benefit from being white-presenting, so I rarely experience racism firsthand. My cousins can’t say the same. I was heartbroken to learn that my aunt is actually scared to go out for fear of experiencing racism, especially lately. Toronto, we can do better.
I love these humans. I’m so grateful for family, and for the time we get to spend together <3 I’m hoping we can get together to watch Mulan soon!
Thank you so much for reading 🙂 Your comments and messages always make my day, and they mean the world to me xox