Din Tai Fung Dumpling House

Din Tai Fung

Walking in to Din Tai Fung you are greeted by their mascot, a friendly little dumpling! Then you leave your name and wait for your table. Your whole party must be there to be seated and although it was really busy when we arrived the turnover is quick and we were seated fairly quickly.

While waiting for your table you can watch the kitchen staff make dumplings. It’s quite the operation and the efficiency with which they stuff and fold the dumplings is very impressive. I can’t imagine how many they make a day.

Making Dumplings

I was starving when we arrived and the smell of the food was making me drool. I was ready to order the whole menu by the time we sat down but restraint and good sense (also the advice of my friends) cut the ordering down to a reasonable amount. The menu is extensive Din Tai Fung Menu everything looked good to me.

We ended up with two kinds of dumplings, which I ate before I got a picture. I was starving. The dumplings were really good, I could eat them all day. Also the green beans with garlic, so good. The star though was the braised beef soup, slightly spicy, with bok choy and the most tender flavourful beef. SO GOOD!

When the steamed sweet taro buns arrived I laughed.

Sweet Taro Buns

The 5 Point Cafe

The 5 Point Cafe

While in Seattle we went to The 5 Point Cafe for dinner. My friend Cathleen had been there before and loved it. On the recommendation we went to the place that boasts “Alcoholics serving alcoholics since 1929″. Sounded like my kind of place.

As an added bonus it was a stone’s throw from where I was staying, very easy to find, close to the Space Needle. It was wonderful, the staff was friendly and patient with us as we perused the menu, there are so many choices and the food arrived fresh and hot. I got the Turkey Melt which was delicious. The turkey was roasted in house and so good, not dry at all. The blueberry pancakes were a big hit with our group and the mac and cheese was also a favourite. The menu is large and anybody should be able to find something they want The 5 Point Cafe Menu. Also take the time to read the “Warning”, “Be nice to our staff” and “We can throw you out” blurbs on the menu.

The juke box in the corner is packed full of great songs and customers happily kept plugging quarters in to play songs. It’s a great little place and I’ll definitely go back for the food and the atmosphere.

Also there is a “Cock on duty”:

Cock on duty


Space Needle

I went to Seattle for a weekend to visit a friend who recently moved there. It’s a pretty quick trip from Nanaimo and I hadn’t been to Seattle in a long time. Arriving I had to find my way to the Space Needle which turned out to be incredibly easy. A train that is easy to find from the airport that takes you all the way downtown and then a quick walk over to the monorail that drops you off right at the Space Needle. I had the Simpson’s monorail song going through my head as I boarded the monorail, do you remember that episode? Classic.

The day I arrived was also the day of a big football game so the train was full of football fans all excited and pumped up. Many all dressed up and ready to party. The trip started off on a high note and just got better.

Very easy and it was easy to find my friend Carrie as well, she was the one wandering around with the indigo hair and the nervous white dog. It was a beautiful day and Carrie lives close to the Space Needle which made it super easy for me to wander around on my own when she had to work.

We went for dinner at a wonderful little Mexican place but was hard to talk and catch up as the football game was on and Seattle was winning so we finally gave up, drank our Sangria’s and yelled “Yeah!” at the appropriate times.

There was even a rainbow there to greet me:

Space Needle Seattle

Kid’s Don’t Float


I don’t know why this makes me laugh but it does.

Is the Dolphin giving a safety tip or giving you a hint on how to deal with unruly kids or passing on information he just learned after taking a child’s life jacket from him?

“Hey guys did you know that KID’S DON’T FLOAT????”

That dolphin looks like he’s laughing about it.

Anchor By The Dumpster


I walk by the above anchor quite often.

It says “Recovered Off Yacht Club Float, 1997, Likely US Navy Circa 1940″

The stone seems like an after thought. I wonder was the dumpster already there when it was dropped in that spot? It reminds me of the televisions or couches that you see by dumpsters sometimes, left in the hope that they will be taken away.

Perhaps the Anchor was dropped by the dumpster and it being too heavy for the garbage men to take they just decided to give it a plaque instead?

The thing is really big:


Also if it was the US Navy that left it behind, wouldn’t they have noticed? Wouldn’t they have missed it? An anchor seems to me like a pretty important part of a ship. Maybe somebody had a few too many and forgot to retrieve it or broke the chain it was attached to and the next day the finger pointing started. “It was there when I went off shift, wasn’t me …… Johnson must have lost it…. ”

Strange, I’ll be pondering that for a few days.



Yesterday I was walking along and was a little lost.

It happens to me a lot, I have the worst sense of direction and that coupled with often thinking that I know where I’m going I get a little off track occasionally. I was walking to a friends house and thought I knew the way. If I just kept Departure Bay in sight and kept walking in the right direction surely I would arrive where I needed to be.

I had printed off a map and the route was an easy one but I thought that it would be nicer to walk through the neighbourhoods instead of up the dusty busy road. At one point I ended up along the beach, which worked out and then had to cut back up into a neighbourhood. Suddenly I had no idea which way was which.

It was as I stood pondering which way to go that I came across the little bunny in the above photo. We had a lovely conversation, I took a picture and then the bunny was on his way. He seemed to know where he was going. Do bunnies ever get lost?

I eventually pulled out my phone to get back on track. Not as off course as I thought I was. Thank goodness for google maps as I was wrong in my estimation of which way I should go. For such a small place Nanaimo is surprisingly easy to get lost in. The roads sometimes change names, the roads curve and turn until you’re not quite sure what direction you are now heading. Sometimes though you find a surprise, I’ve found a candy store, a book store, a lovely park and now a bunny by taking the wrong way. Sometimes lost works out.

By the time I got back out to the road I caught the bus the rest of the way as I was running late. Getting lost is always best to do when you have lots of time.

Another Moon Picture


The moon the other night was a bright orange.

The photo doesn’t do it justice. I fear my camera skills and shaky hands make it difficult to take a good picture of the moon. It’s a shame because it was so beautiful.

Having this time to relax and make my own schedule I’ve become familiar with the moon. Each night out on my back porch it greets me and I really enjoy the quiet of the evening. Nanaimo seems to shut down early, around nine it starts getting dark out and by nine thirty it seems so quiet in the neighbourhood and on the streets.

I’ve been staying up too late and really need to get an earlier start to the day. I’ve bee writing and have noticed I actually write more in the day. Always thought I would be more of a night writer but that hasn’t been the case. Perhaps the idea that work is during the day is so ingrained in me that I gravitate towards writing during that time.

Evenings have been a nice time to just be quiet, plan my next trip and also come up with all sorts of hair brained ideas for what to do next. You never know though in amongst those hair brained ideas there could be a gem, one that works.