March 2012

Robert describes the plan for the day, Horst and Linda listenWith 10 days out of 16 at sea, we will have plenty of dance workshops. The first dance workshop was scheduled for 9:30 in the G32 Disco just behind the Queens Room Ballroom. 

Dora and HorstAll 8 of us were there for the workshop, and Robert had also invited Horst, (one of the QM2 dance hosts, who is also a frequent DAS host) to join us. So for the first time in any of these workshops I have ever been at, there was a dance partner for each of the women.  No complicated rotations were needed. It was great.

wall poster comparing QM2 to tallest buildingsI don't know whether the information on the poster is still current but according to that write up, the QM 2 measured along the water is the world's largest ship. That is probably why they can have that great ballroom, the Queen's Room. Walking along the corridor from one end to the other certainly feels like quite a hike. Luckily our cabin is situated aft, so all the REALLY important places like the Britannia Restaurant and the ballroom are right below us. No hiking needed.Any way, excited as I was about the prospect of dancing nightly on it I was too tired to think about it by the time I got on board. As anticipated I was quite jet-lagged after the flight.  Although one leaves Toronto at 10 am EST and arrives in Hong Kong at 1:30 PM of the following day, theoretically having slept though the night, the reality is that the fifteen hour flight ends at 1 AM Eastern time. At least that is what the time is for your body’s internal clock. So I would have normally been asleep for only 2 hours. I had indulged in a glass of wine with my meal and felt drowsy for all of twenty minutes but though I tried to sleep – it was to no avail.

Toronto to Hong Kong - the routeWhen I first heard about the Dancers at Sea (DAS) dance cruise from Hong Kong to Dubai, I thought 16 nights was longer than I wanted to be away for. I had also cruised from Hong Kong, to Thailand and Vietnam, when I did the Asia Cruise two years earlier, and had little desire to revisit the two ports on that part of the itinerary. So I decided to take the option of the 9 nights Singapore to Dubai leg. The dates fitted in nicely with my visit to Toronto to see Rhinoceros, the absurdist play my daughter was directing at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus. So I was going to return to Vancouver for three days and then fly to Singapore to board the QM2.

When I learned at the last minute that the dance group for the Hong Kong to Singapore leg was unexpectedly very small – therefore there would be much more dance opportunities  than usual - and I realized I could fly direct Toronto to Hong Kong instead of taking four additional flights, it took me about three seconds to decide to be spontaneous, blow my budget and my schedule and sign up for the whole 16 night segment.

Journey map from Cunard.comThis travelblogue will follow my journey on a 16 night cruise aboard the Queen Mary 2 from Hong Kong to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

As well as a culinary diary of the QM2 cuisine, and the dance, theatrical and other experiences, I will be hopefully keeping up with the blogging  A to Z Challenge, a thirty day writing challenge in which the task is to write a daily blog dealing each day sequentially with a topic sequentially through the alphabet. In my Challenge Blog I will focus on the themes of cruising, dance, and food, but from an informational approach rather than narrative.

You can follow my attempt to meet this challenge while dancing, dining, writing my travelblogue and dancing some more, at AtJillsReviews. The Travelblogue is to be found at Dancing to Dubai.

The Foie BoneSmith,
553 Church Street,
Toronto, ON
Ph: (416) 926-2501

Smith on Urbanspoon

Pot pieAfter a really busy day with lots of walking around downtown Toronto, four of us met for dinner at Smith on Church Street. It is the sister restaurant to Wish that we had visited earlier.

With our meal, the four of us shared a bottle of the 2010 Geretto Delle Venizie Pinot Grigio.

steak fritesI was intrigued by the Foie Bone item on the appetizer menu. It turned out to be a blend of the bone marrow with foie gras, replaced in the bone cavity and roasted. It was rich and delicious but really just enough to get an idea of the flavours.

chorizo, cheese and caramelized onion omeletteWish
3 Charles Street, Toronto, ON
Ph: (416) 935-0240

Wish on Urbanspoon

the club sandwichOn our second day of rambling through Toronto downtown neighborhoods we headed north towards Yorkville. Again on a recommendation of a friend, we dropped in to Wish on Charles Street, to see if we could get lunch.

Although all the outdoor patio tables were taken we were comfortably seated at an indoor table right at the open door and joined the fresh air. All three of us wanted a light lunch but or definitions of light lunch differed somewhat.

lox, cream cheese and bagel platterCaplansky's Delicatessen,
356 College Street,
Toronto, ON
Ph: (416) 500-3852

Caplansky's Delicatessen on Urbanspoon

On a short visit to Toronto, we had three days to explore three downtown neighborhoods.  Our first choice was to walk down College Street and then walk around Kensington Market and Chinatown. Knowing that for me a rare treat is lox and a bagel, while my friend loves the Montreal-style smoked meat sandwich, Caplansky's Delicatessen was recommended to us.

steak with pont neuf potatoesLucien
36 Wellington Street,
Toronto, ON.
Ph: (416) 504-9990.

albacore tuna crudoIt was a balmy evening in Toronto and we took a leisurely stroll down Yonge Street to Lucien. We were a little early for our reservation but I had just arrived in Toronto after an early morning flight from Vancouver, and was really hungry.

I was happy that we were seated immediately, and ready for my first glass of wine in a couple of weeks. While we were perusing the menu I sipped a glass of Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

Lori Watt and Lisa Dery, Photo by Wendy D.The Odd Couple by Neil Simon
Directed by David C. Jones
A Frolicking Divas Production
Jericho Arts Centre
March 8 to 17, 2012

Vancouver, BC: With Vancouver's theatre community reeling from the news that the Vancouver Playhouse Company is closing its doors, some light entertainment is sorely needed. Vancouver is rich in ambitious, new independent theatre companies and one such group, The Folicking Divas, has brought the female version of Simon's Odd Couple to the Jericho stage.

The Female Odd Couple, a version written by Simon for a female cast  some twenty years after his1965  original Broadway hit, features Olive Madison (Lisa Dery), an unapologetically sloppy, non-cooking independent gal and Florence Ungar (Lori Watt), an obsessive, housekeeping type, whose joy in life is to elimate any speck of dust and produce healthy home-cooked meals. When Olive lets the newly separated Florence move into her Riverside Drive apartment, it is anything but a "marriage made in heaven."

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