Julianna Yu's Blog


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Day Trip: Wheelbarrow Farm

Wheelbarrow Farm

A few weekends ago, my friend Cherry, her boyfriend and I went to Wheelbarrow Farm. She had researched a bunch of farms for us to go visit and take a farm tour.  We decided on this one because it was organic and had both produce and animals.

When we arrived, it sort of felt like we were driving up to someone’s cottage. The first odour that hit our nostrils was manure. Cherry said “OOOH OOH! I smell manure” excitedly.  “It provides nutrients for the soil.” hahaha She makes me laugh all the time. I love her enthousiasm. We found out later this manure was duck manure. There was a HUGE pile of it. I wondered how many ducks were responsible for that pile. We learned it needs to dry out first and will be used next year.

After a long car ride, we stepped into the house to use the restrooms before beginning our tour. In the house, we chatted with one of the farmers who was making pulled pork in the kitchen. She told us that it is for sale at the Leslieville Farmer’s Market on Sunday and at the Roncesvailles Farmer’s Market on Monday. It smelled amazing. So, if you are a pulled pork lover, now you have an incentive to go to either of those Farmer’s Market’s. While you’re there might as well pick up some of their lovely produce, pork and eggs.

Wheelbarrow Farm: Chard. Glorious Chard.

Wheelbarrow Farm: Red Cabbage. Beautiful.

Wheelbarrow Farm: One of the farmers watering the crops because it’s been a very dry season. Isn’t it adorable that he’s got his baby strapped to him too? 🙂

Also, are you loving the veggies as much as me? The red romaine above? Soo fresh and gorgeous! The below green romaines look delicious!

Wheelbarrow: Romaine

Jake, one of the interns, was our tour guide that day. He told us that Wheelbarrow is an organic farm that is currently run by 6 farmers. It is unique because it follows ecological growing practices. They don’t use any herbicides, pesticides or artificial fertilizers. He showed us the hand tools they used and explained how they remove weeds, what methods are used to minimize weeds and how they plant seeds/seedlings.

He showed us how one tool helps them get out small weeds easily and how cover crops (a technique where plants are used to minimize weeds) are used to take up space that might otherwise be taken up by weeds. These plants are usually easier to remove than weeds.

Wheelbarrow Farm: Greenhouse

Wheelbarrow Farm: Tomatoes in the Greenhouse

Wheelbarrow Farm: One Red Tomato!

Wheelbarrow Farm: bell tomatoes

He explained some of the pests that they have to deal with and how they handle them. We watched the zucchini beetles running around the plant and saw how they devastated some of the crops so they can’t sell them. 😦   Luckily, they had another batch of zucchini that was in another area that they could sell.Do you see the little white specks on the plant? Those are the beetles, they were running all over like crazy.

Wheelbarrow Farm: Zucchini

Wheelbarrow: Eggplant flower

Wheelbarrow Farm: Eggplant

How they deal with the potato beetle is gross. They have to squeeze each of the eggs by hand before they can hatch and turn into larvae. Puke! I hate bugs. Farmers are so brave! lol! That’s probably why I don’t think I can handle working on a farm. Organic farmers put A LOT of work into growing our produce on top of dealing with the unpredictable weather. When you aren’t using pesticides, you gotta put in more effort to make sure your crops don’t get eaten up by the pests or else you have nothing to sell to consumers. There’s so much thought that goes into WHEN & WHAT to plant, WHEN to harvest, and WHERE to plant. All the while dealing with mother nature and trying to sell your produce. I really appreciate all the hard work that goes into running organic farms. 🙂

Wheelbarrow Farm: Row Cover. Jake showed us how they use row cover to prevent the flea beetle from attacking vegetables.

A peak under the row cover.

He explained the process of how some produce starts off as seedlings in pots inside of a greenhouse then move from the greenhouse to outside and covered (like you see below) before it is transplanted into the soil.

Wheelbarrow Farm: Covered seedlings

Wheelbarrow: Seedlings

I was surprised to learn that after initially planting asparagus, it takes 3 years before you can harvest it. Yeah… did your jaw just drop? Well mine did when I heard that. Talk about planning ahead and patience.

Wheelbarrow Farm: Cornfields & Bee boxes.

Wheelbarrow: Sun-heated solar shower

The pigs were a lot of fun to feed. As we approached the female pen, they all ran up to greet us. Jake told us to just rip some grass to toss it into their cage. He explained these pigs are processed at 8-10 months. They keep the females and males separate so they don’t mate. If the female becomes pregnant it throws off the processing schedule. After we had lunch we brought our scraps over for the pigs to eat (egg shells and corn cobs). They gobbled it up very quickly.

The turkeys were vicious. They use to be with the laying hens but they pecked at them. 😦 We could see that the hens were missing feathers and had exposed patches of pink.

Wheelbarrow Farm: Laying Hens. You can see patches of feathers missing in the above photo for some of the hens.

Wheelbarrow Farm: Eggs.

Wheelbarrow Farm: Cucumbers and Zucchini

Wheelbarrow Farm: Chard

Wheelbarrow Farm: More Chard. Love their colourful ribs.

Wheelbarrow Farm: Grapes!

We brought lunch and snacks to the farm because we had a feeling that there might not be any restaurants in the area. Luckily, we did because after the 2 hour tour (it was suppose to only be 1 hour but I guess we had a lot to ask and chat about .^^).  We were POOPED. I had gotten up early that morning and made a salad, packed a couple of boiled eggs and some watermelon. Sitting down for a meal in the shade felt very satisfying.

My Salad. Green Leaf lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado and a honey mustard dressing.

Watermelons. Incredibly refreshing on HOT days. Can’t get enough. 🙂

Lunch time! I’m pretty shiny…it’s the sweat + sunscreen. Who needs a sauna? Hit up a farm instead. Walking inside of greenhouses felt just like one. Everytime we exited one, it felt like the outdoor air was very cool. It was a +35 degree weather sort of day. A scorcher. And I’d do it again. 🙂

Wheelbarrow Farm Store

Wheelbarrow Farm Store Offerings

Wheelbarrow Farm: Garlic!

I left that day with chard, garlic, bacon, sausages, carrots and eggs.  It was a really fun filled and educational day.

If you can, pay Wheelbarrow Farm a visit on a Saturday to take advantage of the free tour at 12PM and get a feel for what organic farming is all about. While you are at it, pack some snacks/lunch and make a day of it. Finish off with picking up some goodies at the farm store. Otherwise, you can find their produce, eggs and pork at the following farmer’s markets. Their eggs are delicious! Their bacon was melt in your mouth yummy. And the veggies were equally delicious. I encourage you to seek them out at the farmer’s market to get a pack and taste for yourself. I’ve been picking up their eggs at the Junction Market ever since.

Junction Market

[Currently, Wheelbarrow is at the Junction Market every other week]

Leslieville Market

Sorauren Market

This was a very picture heavy post. Hope you LOVED it as much as I loved this experience. One of my favourite days this summer!

Have you visited an organic farm before? What are your thoughts? Please share! 🙂

Wishing you an awesome Tuesday!

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New York City Trip: The Food

This is the last of a series of posts on my recent trip to New York the weekend of July 20, 2012. Just joining us? start here. Read the first post but not the previous one? read this.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you know that food is pretty big for me. If you haven’t eaten yet, this post might make you hungry because it’s full of pictures. It’s making me hungry and I can’t do anything about it because none of these restaurants and food vendors are in Toronto.

Before leaving for New York we had already decided we were going to share food as much as we could so we could eat more. Thinking ahead. 🙂 We forgot this idea sometimes and other times we knowingly dismissed it because we were far too hungry to share. I wanted to eat lots of things: fish taco’s, pizza, cabbage rolls, blintzes, schnitzel, perogies, dumplings, house made noodles, ramen, onigiri, okonomiyaki and if we had time some baked goods from Babycakes.

Famous Original Ray’s Pizza

That first day, after dropping off our belongings in our hotel room it was around 5:30pm and we were exhausted, still wanted ramen but knew we needed to eat something close and quick. We went outside and spotted a Ray’s Pizza. My sister told me she remembered a Seinfeld episode where Kramer was lost at First and First and makes a collect call to Jerry for help. Jerry asked him where he was and he said he was near a Ray’s Pizza and Jerry asked if it was Famous Ray’s or Original Ray’s. Kramer’s panicked voice on the collect call was HILARIOUS.

Ray’s Pizza

We should’ve shared, but when we entered and the aroma of baked pizza hit my nostrils, I felt like I hadn’t eaten in days and sharing was the last thing I wanted to do. We were both in agreement. One of my favourite foods is pizza, I could eat it everyday and not get sick of it but I don’t because I know I shouldn’t (I’m such an adult! LOL!). Other than the apple I ate in the cab ride to the airport and the whole wheat digestive cookie I had on the plane ride there, my belly was empty.

Ray’s Pizza: Pepperoni, Sausage & Ham

Damn this pie was good. It was thin, the bottom of the pie was crunchy as you ate it and it wasn’t burned. They also had a good amount of sauce and variety. I saw pizza with pasta on it! But I opted for a sausage/pepperoni kinda pie because that’s what I was in the mood for.  The pizza was wonderful, I wanted to buy a whole pizza to go to the room and just eat until I passed out. I told her we should save that grand idea for another night. After all, it was our first night in New York. LOL!

Oh! Taisho (East Village).

After having Ray’s Pizza, we took the subway to the East Village. I had read about Oh! Taisho On Yelp just a couple days before we left so the name kind of stuck in my head. When we landed all we wanted was Ramen and although I couldn’t remember if this place specialized in it (and as it turns out it didn’t, but it was on the menu), but whatever, it was Japanese and I wanted some okonomiyaki (my first) and some takoyaki as well.

Oh! Taisho

As expected, it was a popular place, the line up went outside and I was told it would be a 20 minute wait for 2. We’ll take it. Thank goodness for the pizza. I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like if we hadn’t had that first. We would probably be frustrated.

Luckily in about 5-7 mins we were called to the bar. NICE! I loved that I got a great view of the cooks in action including making yaki onigiri (grilled rice ball).

Pork Ramen

Okonomyaki

Takoyaki

Yaki onigiri with salmon filling

The meal

We really enjoyed this meal. We definitely ordered more than we could handle but we made sure we ate as much of everything as we could. The ramen was my favourite because I really enjoyed the pork broth. Also, since it was the first thing I wanted to eat when we landed, it was very satisfying. I realize I prefer regular onigiri to grilled version and after eating takoyaki and okonomyaki, I got sick of the sauce pretty fast (the same). So, next time, I’ll order one or the other, but not both.

Shake Shack

A friend raved about how tasty the burgers were at Shake Shack, so I was excited to try it out. I really enjoyed the space. There was a lot of seating, a water station (self serve), a drink line up and a food line up. The table tops are made from bowling alleys in Brooklyn. I liked the soft bun and fresh lettuce inside. The meat is ground fresh everyday and from what I read, from some good quality beef (hormone and anti-biotic free angus beef) too.  The fries (one of my favourite junkie foods), were sort of dry, but I have a weak spot for potato-ey things and things that are deep fried. So, I ate it anyways. ^^ The burger was very satisfying and even with the fries it didn’t leave me feeling heavy or lethargic.

Shake Shack

Shake Shack Meal

Shake Shack: Close up of burger

Xi’an Famous Foods

I remember reading about Xi’an Famous Foods before New York and being lured in by their photos of hand-ripped noodles. We were both really excited to try this place because we love noodles. We decided on one spicy pork and one spicy beef noodle soups. It was really tempting to just order a dry noodle but we learned from the past few meals that we couldn’t eat as much as we would like to.

Xi’an Famous Foods: Our Noodles

Spicy Pork Noodle Soup

Handpulled noodles – These were soo long, it was hard for me to see where they ended.

The small place was full (with a line that went all the way out the door) so we got ours to go and ate it in the hotel room. YUM! It was very satisfying and made me want more Chinese food. The noodles tasted soo chewy and fresh. I also couldn’t get over how long the noodles were. Highly recommended.

China Village Restaurant

After visiting the brooklyn bridge and making our way to Chinatown, we were too tired to wander, so we picked this restaurant from the NYC visitor guide we found in our hotel room.

Egg Drop Chicken Soup

Stir Fried Garlic with Gai Lan (chinese broccolli)

Chicken Fried Rice

We ate really late but it was a very satisfying and simple meal. Exactly what I needed. Some soup, some fried rice and my garlic gai lan GREENS! This meal satisfied my Chinese greens craving.  🙂

Bian Dang

I read about this food truck before we got to NYC and although it had mixed reviews on Yelp. I wanted to give it a chance in case the bad reviews were perhaps from people who just weren’t accustomed to the taste of Taiwanese cooking. I was wrong. Man, I was wrong.

Bian Dang

Bian Dang Meals. Fish cake on the left and pork chops on the right.

The portion was huge! Three fried pork chops on top of rice with a pork sauce. My issue was that I couldn’t taste any seasonings on the pork chop it just tasted oily. And it was quite fatty. I ate about three bites and tossed it out. The pork sauce was very bland too. What a waste. My sister was disappointed with hers too. Her fishcake was too starchy and not enough fish. We have both tasted better in Taiwan which probably makes us more critical of this food.

Rickshaw Dumplings

After doing some shopping damage in Times Square, we stumbled upon the Rickshaw Dumplings stand. We had been planning on going to their food truck location (talked about it everyday but never made it in time) but found it in Times Square. I remember reading online they were known for their Thai Basil Chicken dumpling so I ordered that and my sister got the pork and chive.

Rickshaw Dumplings

Rickshaw Dumplings

We shared a few pieces between us at the hotel room so it had cooled down. And maybe because it was cool, it didn’t taste that good to me. The stuffing was so, so and the sauce was okay. It made me miss my own shrimp and pork dumplings. If I get the chance to try it again, I’ll definitely just scarf it down at the stand. The only reason we didn’t was because our hands were full of bags. Although by the sound of these reviews, the dumplings are normally lukewarm. That’s just terrible.

Nuchas

We spotted Nuchas in Timesquare after Rickshaw dumplings and thought we’d pick up to try as a snack.

Nuchas

What is it about something wrapped in dough that makes me go crazy? I think it’s that in one bite, I am getting all kinds of tastes and textures. There’s something about biting into a baked doughy pastry and tasting the filling inside that is pure comfort and flavour country. It’s fun to eat too because no utensils are needed. I got to say, I haven’t had a whole bunch of empanadas before so I don’t have much to compare these with. We had them after they had cooled down a bit in our hotel room and they were packing with flavour! These were incredible!

Nuchas: Empanadas

Ukrainian East Village Restaurant

This one sort of disappointment both my sister and I. It had rave reviews on Yelp so we were excited to indulge in pure comfort (potatoes and meat) type of food.  Going in our four wants were: schnitzel, blintzes, perogies and cabbage rolls. I went in expecting this meal to be a lot like the Polish comfort food I love in Toronto. It wasn’t. Boy, I should’ve done some more research. I wanted perogies that were lightly pan fried and ours might’ve been shallow fried because it was more fried/crisp than I would’ve preferred. There was a misunderstanding on my part where I asked for a plate with mixed fillings – I wanted a mixture of cheese and potato for the plate and we got a plate that was half cheese and half potato. It was still perogies (one of my faves), so I ate as many as I could as fast as I could because I didn’t want them to get cold before my main came out.

Ukrainian East Village: Perogies

Then my main came… and my heart sunk. It was covered in a mushroom cream sauce that was sort of bland. I was expecting a tomato based sauce and I can only have so much cream sauce before I get sick of it. I could only finish a few bites of cabbage roll because I knew I needed to save room for the blintzes.

Ukrainian East Village: Cabbage rolls with mashed potatoes on the side.

They were probably the best part of the meal. These are like pan fried crispy rolls of pancake filled with cheese, blueberries and strawberries. Yum!

Blintzes

Fillings in the blintzes: strawberries, blueberries and cheese.

Stage Deli

I have a confession. I have never had a reuben. GASP! I know right? I know… So I was told that this was something I should eat in NYC. I really wanted to. Why is it that when you are in search of a Deli you can’t find one? And then when you are finally at one, you realize they don’t offer reuben’s in the morning? LOL!?

Stage Deli

Stage Deli was recommended by my sister’s bf. It had a real old deli feel to it – like it had been around for ages, like the waitstaff might’ve been working there for a long time, it hadn’t changed much but not trying to be anything than what it is. Love that. I just read that it’s been around for 70 years! haha They got to be doing something right. It was our last day. *Sniff* or we were hoping this was our last day because otherwise we were going to have to find another hotel that afternoon. As it turned out later that afternoon, we got final confirmation that it was our last day and my passport was ready.

Stage Deli: Photo Wall

We shared a pastrami/egg sandwich. They folded the egg with the meat inside thing here (I saw this at another cafe when I ordered an egg/bacon sandwich). Details. It’s about the details.

Pastrami Egg Sandwich on a Soft Bun

Potato Pancake with apple sauce and sour cream on the side

I wanted something “light” so I picked the potato pancake. hahaha. My appetite was still pretty small. We were both anxious about whether this was going to be our last day. It was also too “fried” for my liking. I guess I compare everything to M’s grandma’s cooking and I was expecting something soft and lightly pan fried. I ate it anyways with sour cream and then with apple sauce.

Thai Street Food by Tuk Tuk Boy

After we got my emergency passport from the consulate, my sister booked our flights home for that night and we went outside to look for a quick bite to eat.  It was around 4pm and I was mad hungry because we spent the past few hours in the consulate and our last meal was breakfast at Stage Deli. Luckily, there were food trucks and vendors right outside the consulate so we didn’t have to go far. We decided on some chicken pad thai.

Thai Street Food Vendor

Chicken Pad Thai

We wanted this just to tie us over until we could find something else so we shared. It was a little drier than the pad thai’s that I’m use to but it was quite tasty and did the trick.

There was soo many more restaurants, street food vendors and food trucks on my list that I hope to hit up the next time I’m in NYC. Next time, I want to make sure I get more ramen, some fish taco’s, some baked sweets and a reuben. I’m also missing Ray’s Pizza, thank goodness I don’t live in New York or else it would take more willpower to not eat regularly. 🙂

What are your favourite NYC eats? 

Did you enjoy this post/series? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Other posts in this series:

New York: The First 6 Hours.

New York City: Activities & Sights


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New York City Trip: Activities & Sights

This post is part of series of posts on my recent trip to New York City the weekend of July 20, 2012. New to the series? Start here.

This was my second visit to New York City with my sister.  The first time we went, it was winter and I was in University and on a tight student budget so we tried to keep our food spending to a minimum. We took the Greyhound and I remember saying if I were to go to NYC again, I was flying. No more falling asleep and waking up with my neck cramping up. We saw a lot of the tourist sites but left out Central Park. That was on the top of my list this time around.

Flying saved us so much time – an hour flight. Amazing! Prior to actually going to NYC, I didn’t do that much research. Well, other than reading about food truck eats and looking up reviews on Yelp. We compiled a long list of possibilities and we marked down a few restaurants on our map. Two activities in our itinerary that were pre-booked were a shopping shuttle service for Woodbury Common Premium Outlet and tickets for the Terracotta Warriors exhibit at the Discovery Times Square. We didn’t want to fill up our itinerary with too much stuff because as much as I like scheduling, I also like a bit of room for flexibility.

Terracotta Warriors Exhibit

We had a great time at the Terracotta Warriors exhibit. We took advantage of the audio tour and wandered through the exhibit listening through our headsets.  It started with a brief video about the discovery of the Terracotta Warriors and the emperor’s pre-occupation with trying to find ways to become immortal. Overall, it was a very fascinating exhibit and I’d recommend it to anyone with an interest in China.

Woodbury Common was tiring but I got a lot of stuff. How do people shop outlets? We had about 7 hours at the outlet. Pre-selected all the stores we wanted to go to, marked them on a map and wore comfortable shoes. When we got on our shuttle bus and we saw a trio of ladies with a rolling carry-on, we were thinking that looked kind of funny. At the end of the day, when my arms felt like they were about to fall off, I thought to myself, next time get a carry on. Especially because we both had a few pairs of shoes between us. So, the weight was piling on and with the sun beating down on us. We had to cut out some of the stores on our list but we got more out of this shopping trip than we expected. So overall, we were happy. I was happy with the Manhattan Transfer Tours, the shuttle that picked us up from our hotel and dropped us off at Woodbury and would highly recommend it.

We walked along the Brooklyn bridge. It made for lovely photos as the sun was setting.

View of Sunset from the Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

Sunset on the Brooklyn Bridge

Prior to going to New York, I told my sister since we were going to be eating a lot we should balance all that out with some exercise. She was up for it as she wanted to do some running in the park too. I wondered if we would be able to stick to the plan.

Central Park

So the plan was set, run & exercise every morning in Central park. Our appetites would be bigger and we’d be burning off those calories as we ate our way through our list of eats. LOL! What a sweet plan right? And like most things in life, you can only plan so much, there are always unexpected setbacks and some things take longer than you think. It felt like a whole day would pass and I’d think really? We only did that much? A lot of it was spent searching for stores and restaurants we had on our map.

Runners and cyclists in Central Park

Central Park

We only fit in one really brief run in the park with pushups at 8am because it took a lot longer than we thought it would to get up the day after that dreadful first day. The morning we went to Central Park if was a flurry of activity – a running race was going on, people with their dogs, cyclists and recreational runners. Since we had a Terracotta Warriors reservation for 10am we had to make we were feeling tight on time cut our run/work out session very short because we didn’t want to be late for our reservation.  Our days left us completely spent anyways. So for the rest of our trip, we didn’t exercise.

More street shots.

Times Square

Pretty building

Radio City

Apple Store

Night

LV

Walking up 5th Ave

Vertical Parking

Me taking a picture

Just joining in on this series? Start with NYC: The First 6 Hours.


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New York City: The First 6 Hours

This is the start of a series of posts on my recent trip to New York the weekend of July 20, 2012.

Sunrise on our way to the airport.

Are you forgetful?

I hate to admit this but I am pretty forgetful when it comes to STUFF. For example, my keys, my wallet and my metropass.

Sure, I’ve got an explanation for everything. One of my reasons is because I switch between 2-3 bags at least twice a day 3 times a week and I forget to move items back and forth.

Which inevitably, COSTS. Costs me time and money. What a waste of both. Best case: I’ve only forgotten about it at home but it isn’t misplaced or lost. Worst case: lost and I have to replace it.

Well, the worst possible way for me to be reminded of how forgetful I am?…

Losing my passport. On vacation. And only realizing it after checking into a hotel in NYC. 

I wanted to die. Right there. I opened all my bags in the hotel lobby and dug throughout. Nothing. This can’t be happening. This is happening. I just ruined our trip.  How could I have been so careless? What happens now? Panic sunk in.

Everything seemed to be going well. We got to take the short line through security because my sister had her American Express card. I had the best nap on the plane.  It made up for the few hours of sleep I had the night before. It was the first time where I wasn’t afraid during take off, the first time I took Gravol for motion sickness ON the plane instead of before and the first time I watched the takeoff from the window seat without feeling queasy.

My mind was racing trying to retrace my steps from boarding the plane (the last time I remember it in my hand as I searched for a seat). Up until getting off the plane and stopping at Au Bon Pain to look at pastries (yes, just to look) and walking to our shuttle pick-up. I got nothing. The last memory was boarding the plane with it in my hand. I’m kicking myself wondering why I didn’t use my passport holder/wallet.

My sister called the shuttle service and left a message but couldn’t get through to Air Canada. I couldn’t get through to the consulate so we ended up speed walking to the consulate (luckily nearby our hotel). We spoke to a consular representative, I tried my best to keep it together until I had to call some references and when my friend picked up I broke down. I managed to get a few important words in.

“I need your help. I’m in New York. I lost my passport.” *bawl* I felt so ashamed having to admit it. The second I heard myself say out loud “I lost my passport”, I fell apart. This was real. And I there wasn’t a quick fix for this. This was happening during what was suppose to be a fun weekend away.

The first 6 hours in New York, I was scared, panicked and extremely worried for what was to come. Luckily, I wasn’t alone and my sister was right there with me. I felt terrible for getting her into this mess. My stomach was cramping during the entire ordeal and it hurt everyday on our trip. Probably from the stress of thinking everyday “When am I going home? Will I be able to laugh about this one day? How long can I afford to stay here?” Feeling stuck somewhere is a pretty scary thought. I never wanted to be home so badly before.

What ended up happening was this. We ran to the nearest 3 minute passport photo shop (in the heavy rain – the weather was dark/cloudy and was very appropriate for how I was feeling) to get passport photos while filling out some paperwork.  We were told an emergency passport would take approximately 3 business days. It could be earlier but could be later. “For real? I can’t handle this kind of uncertainty right now, my stomach is doing somersaults” I thought to myself. This made my sister and I very anxious because we didn’t know when we’d be able to fly back. It was around 5:30 when we were checking into our hotel and starting our trip.

And inevitably, this made for quite a stressful weekend. We made sure to double check our belongings before leaving anywhere. Even though I tried to enjoy myself in NY and I would say I did enjoy myself, I would find myself feeling very anxious about my eventual return to Canada and wondering what I would have to go through at the Airport. Which made for a pretty stressful monday as we had to check in to see the status and decide whether to extend our stay before our hotel check out time. We ended up staying an extra night and had to go through the same drill on Tuesday morning. Luckily, Tuesday afternoon we were called to the Consulate and I got my emergency passport. I could go home and it was a mad dash now as my sister rebooked our flights for that night.

I have to admit though. It has never felt so good to be home. When I passed through Customs, a big weight lifted. And that stomach cramping that bothered me everyday on our trip was gone.

It was a very painful lesson that I haven’t forgotten. The lesson being to safeguard your belongings especially when travelling. Double check, take your time. I needed some time after coming home to collect myself before I could post about it. I even contemplated whether I should or not or just share about the trip and not share this part of the trip. People are going to think I’m so irresponsible. A complete wreck for sure. Aw man, I sure hope not. I hope, that this might make other people feel better when they find themselves in similar scenarios. My main advice would be make sure you always travel with valid government photo ID if in fact you find yourself in my scenario where you have lost your passport, a photocopy of your old one is only helpful in the declaration form (declaring it lost).

By the end of that first day, I felt very thankful. I was very thankful for Sandeep, our guest services representative at The Sheraton, the concierge who helped us look up numbers and let us use their phone and the consular representative who helped me get home.

Have you lost your passport (or other important card/document) before? How was your experience? What life lessons have you learned while on vacation?

Please share in the comments.