Halfway through my almost two month trip to North America. Started off in Washington DC with my entire family of ten in mid-March, then proceeded to the Big Apple for some Broadway musicals and to finally get on the Statue of Liberty Island; Boston where I did the famous 2 kilometre (times two as I walked back to our hotel) Freedom Trail in the frigid rain; then lesser known but beautiful albeit freezing Ogunquit and Portland, Maine (everyone says it’s more beautiful in the summer where you can actually swim in the ocean). Enjoyed seafood galore in this state – in fine dining restaurants, roadside diners and even cooked at our AirBNB accommodations. Got inspired and a bit envious of the wide array or organic and natural products so easily available in mainstream supermarkets and not necessarily in fancy retail stores.
Canada is extra special to me as I have three aunts and an uncle living in Toronto along with several cousins. My last visit was in 1984 – 33 years ago! My Mom and I are making the most of this trip as we do not know when we’ll return. Extra special was meeting up with old friends – childhood neighbour Robby Rementilla, Noni Roxas, a former colleague in Holiday Inn and college friend May Lagura-Harris who welcomed me and my Mom with the extraordinary Filipino hospitality I consistently experience visiting friends abroad. Seeing Cari Abonador-Alexander in the Hyatt New York where she works was also a special treat. And of course relatives in Virginia and Toronto who welcomes my entire family into their homes with a Filipino feast!
After flying into Toronto, we all took it easy the first day but gave in to nieces waiting to visit the dollar store, Costco and Walmart. The following days were a whirlwind and waterfall of visits to Niagara Falls, Montreal and Quebec the days before Good Friday.
A dear friend recommended I try the local dish poutine, a calorific dish of French fries topped with gravy and cheese and depending on the place you got it, additionally decked with other toppings. Even I found it too much for my taste but my nieces said they were in heaven when I bought some from them in Quebec City with another favourite the beaver tail, fried bread slathered with a topping of your choice – I chose wisely and got maple syrup.
Will share stories of the healthy things I saw and tasted in the US and Canada in future posts and enewsletters.
See you in May (aye)!
Angelo Narciso Songco
NB Gina is currently on an exciting European adventure as well visting several cities in at least five countries I believe ending in Paris the City of Lights next week. She will surely have so many stories to share,