I have a photo-bomber! lol As the new year is fast approaching, I might as well finish blogging about my December events. In the beginning of December, the company I work for held their annual Christmas party at Empire Seafood Restaurant. And despite printing the company name wrong (twice) on the menu, which irked the party planner to no end (lol), the food was pretty good. We had a set menu and I was stuffed by the end. Too much food! I liked the appetizer platter and the Peking Duck the best. The fish maw soup was good, too. It was a very typical Chinese dinner.

The company brought our own alcohol to celebrate and I sat at the cool table where all the alcohol was flowing HAHAHA! I wish I'd taken a photo of the shot glasses. We used up the restaurant's supply. They had to go wash them to give us more shots! The restaurant manager was also very strict about cutting us off at 10:50pm since their liquor license runs out at 11pm. No partying to 1am for us this year. lol Well, their complementary parking runs out at 3 hours anyways. All in all, it was a good Christmas dinner with great company.

I liked the crispy artificial crab wrapped in seaweed, the jellyfish and the roasted pork on the appetizer platter.

This "bird's nest" was made of taro I think. It's very crispy and made a mess when I tried to break it apart. I like that there was a lot of scallops in this dish.

Our table wasn't too fond of lobster apparently. There was a lot left over.

Empire Seafood Restaurant 帝苑皇宴海鮮酒家 on Urbanspoon

Merry Christmas! Enjoy the holidays!

Friday, December 21, 2012

19th Annual Winter Solstice
6:00pm - 10:00pm
The dance of the sun and earth has inspired celebrations of the human spirit, expressed through art and music, throughout the ages. Honouring many cultural traditions, the annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival illuminates the longest night of the year with lanterns, fire, singing, drumming, music and dancing!  Come celebrate this free community event with a glowing constellation of lanterns shining in five Vancouver neighbourhoods - The East Side, Yaletown, Granville Island, S.E. False Creek, and Chinatown. These five little festivals are community-based and reflect the unique nature of each neighbourhood.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Last Chance Christmas Craft Fair - $5
11:00am - 6:00pm
Croatian Cultural Center, 3250 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC
A perfect opportunity for vendors to sell the last of their holiday stock before the end of the season.  It's also the best time for avid shoppers to ring in on the best vendor discounts!

Christmas Wassail & Bonfire Night
2:00pm - 9:30pm
Dundarave Beach, West Vancouver
The Festival's legendary Bonfire Night returns to Dundarave Beach with the District of West Vancouver.  This is the night when we connect with the best spirit of our community, renew the bonds of love and friendship and answer the darkest hours of the year with music, joy and fire.  Join in caroling around the embers.  


10:00am - 2:00pm every Saturday (closed December 29) November 3, 2011 - April 27
30th and Ontario Street in the East Parking lot and Plaza of Nat Bailey Stadium
Fresh, local, organic foods & crafts. 60+ vendors, hot food, music! Rain or Shine! 

Baker's Market
11:00am - 3:00pm every Saturday (Oct 6 - Dec 8)
Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre, 7646 Prince Albert Street, Vancouver
Selling sweet and savoury baked goodies to the local community. Some photos from last year.

Vancouver Festival of Trees
November 21, 2012 - January 1, 2013 
Four Seasons Hotel & Pacific Centre Mall  
For the past 25 years, Festival of Trees has transformed the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel and the corridors of Pacific Centre Mall into a vision of beautifully decorated trees with the goal of raising much-needed funds for BC Children's Hospital Foundation.  The Festival continues to bring together a vast array of generous sponsors both business and individual from Vancouver in what has become a much anticipated holiday tradition and the unofficial beginning of Christmas in the Vancouver. Every year, local businesses, organizations and individuals, sponsor and decorate their trees in a wacky, creative, unique, and always beautiful fashion. See photos of this year's event here.

9:00am - 9:00pm Nov 28 - Dec 27th 
Hyatt Regency Vancouver, 655 Burrard Street, hotel lobby
From November 28, 2012 - December 27, 2012, guests of the hotel can enjoy a walk through Gingerbread Lane, which features over 40 gingerbread houses that have been created by various partners. View them all and then select your favorite to win this year's People's Choice award! Make a donation to Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon along with your vote, and be entered to win a free night stay at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver. See photos of this year's event here.
November 24 to December 24 11:00am - 9:00pm
Just outside the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 649 Cambie Street  Vancouver, BC
Opening day! Step back in time ... Experience the Vancouver Christmas Market! The Vancouver Christmas Market is back for its third year from November 24 to December 24, 2012 on the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza! Sample our new delicious food items and find your unique Christmas gift! Enjoy seasonal music and a great entertainment program of authentic folk groups! New this year: For every paid admission you will receive a free re-entry pass for yourself valid for the whole season! Regular admission: $5 Mon – Fri 4pm-9pm & 11am-9pm weekends. But there is special pricing: http://vancouverchristmasmarket.com/tickets.php and also two-for-one Groupon deals. See photos of this year's market here.

12:00pm - 4:30pm November 24 - December 14
12:00pm - 9:00pm December 15 - January 4, 2013 (closed December 24 & 25)  
6501 Deer Lake Avenue  Burnaby, BC
The Village is illuminated this festive season with spectacular displays of lights that are sure to put you and your family into the holiday spirit! Lights in our parking lot are a teaser of what's to see inside. Delight in the shimmering Winter Wonderland near the Love Farmhouse, an Angel-Crossing at the bridge, a Holiday Lane and be wowed by the gigantic multi-coloured Christmas tree sparkling near the carousel.

Afternoon matinees Wed, Sat, Sun - 11:00am to 3:00pm 
Sunday to Thursday- 3:00pm to 10:00pm 
Friday and Saturday - 3:00pm to 11:00pm
During the holiday season, Stanley Park sparkles with two million twinkling lights, decorating the darkness that comes early at this time of year. Make the Bright Nights Train part of your holiday tradition Ride the train, watch animated displays, listen to holiday classics, sip warm cocoa, and feast on fresh popcorn or roasted nuts. Enjoy the sight of young eyes dazzled by the display of lights and the excitement of the holidays. Partial proceeds from the sale of Bright Nights tickets go to the BC Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund. Adult $10, Matinee $5.50. Entrance to the plaza is by donation (you don't need to purchase train tickets to see the lights). Donations will be accepted at the front gate. We suggest a $4 minimum donation. Thank you!

Christmas at Canada Place
The Christmas Trail: Classic Christmas Activities,  Open 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. daily
The Christmas Workshop, Open 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. daily 
Woodward’s Windows, Open 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. daily
Canada Place, 999 Canada Place Way
Come down to Canada Place from December 8 – 30, 2012 to experience the 25th annual Christmas at Canada Place. Along our outdoor promenade and throughout the city, Canada Place is bringing you and your family the best in Christmas cheer this holiday season – all in support of Strathcona Community Centre's Food Security for Children Program.

VanDusen Botanical Garden Festival of Lights - $14.25
4:30pm to 9:00pm every night, December 7, 2012 through January 1, 2013 except Dec 25th
VanDusen Botanical Garden, 5251 Oak Street
Highlights include: Santa's Living Room: Dec. 7 - 24 with Santa appearances 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, 8:30 p.m.
Svend and Jens, our Scandinavian Christmas Elves appear nightly in the Centre Court
Dancing Lights on Livingstone Lake: starting at 4:30 p.m. Two different shows - one show on the half hour and a different one at the top of the hour. Two different shows repeating in sequence throughout the evening. Gingerbread Wood, Golden Chain Walk, Community Choirs on the Entrance Plaza, Make-a-Wish Candle Shrine, Candy Cane Lane, Sparkling Spruce in the Centre Court, Candy Cane Express model train     Make-A-Wish 'Room of Joy' with Winter Wonderland by Vancouver Lego Club

Last Saturday, a secret Canadian gamer society known as the G-List held an exclusive King of the Hill Halo 4 Tournament for its members at EXP Restaurant + Bar!

So what is the G-List? Check it out here www.whatistheglist.com. Active members of the G-List get perks like discounts on games, free swag and other goodies!

EXP is decked out in Christmas decor.

I especially love the Portal Christmas tree!

All this was dished out as prizes to G-List members that attended the event. It was a lot of swag!

The G-List are run by the Misters. I think this was Mister A? He is the Founder & Chief Architect of the G-List. I think I spotted Mister C was around somewhere too.

Actress, Lee Tomaschefski was hosting the event.

And Electric Playground and Reviews on the Run's, founder and co-host Victor Lucas also attended and played a few rounds too!

I got a photo with him before he left. =D

There were small tins of Gourmet Popcorn placed at every table. I think they were Caramel Movie Style and Blue Raspberry Cloud.

I've been to EXP before this event and I knew what I wanted to order again - the  Epic Shrimp & Crab Battle for Righteousness! It's SO GOOD. This time it had some green onion tempera in it too. Awesome.

The first round of the tournament was King of the Hill style where the objective is to stay inside a marked off area for as long as possible to score points. I did not do very well in this. I had the most deaths out of everyone hahah.

The second round of the tournament was Oddball where the objective was to hold the ball as long as possible to score points. I did slightly better in this.

4th place in Oddball. I'm 'Clubby'.

There were some Lightning rounds in between and a final Slayer round with using only Energy swords. Here were the results:

Third place.

Second place.

And First place!!!

So awesome! A GIRL won the tournament! Amie Hulme got to take home a whole bunch of Assassin's Creed III swag and a Halo Grand Prize Pack, including 12 months of Xbox Live membership! Congratulations! I was playing side by side with her and I could not keep up. lol. She was amazing!

This is what a got from the event. I managed to score the UNSC hoodie through a random draw! Members that attended all received a Halo 4 tshirt and a 1 month XBox Live subscription. 

So if you've noticed a lack of blog posts recently, Halo 4 is what I've been sinking my time into. My XBox Live gamertag is jenlewaven if you want to play! =) And come join the G-List! My forum name is jenle!

The Vancouver Christmas Market is an annual fair that opens for a month during the Christmas season near Queen Elizabeth theatre downtown Vancouver. This was the second time I went. I visited last year with my friend M and quite enjoyed it.

There was lots of Groupon-type deals and I took advantage of it. Mine included a free carousel ride. Also this year, with paid admission, you get a re-entry pass valid for the rest of the season!

That's a lot of beer.

There's a lot of food vendors there and of course the food is a bit pricey but this only happens once a year! Time to indulge. We like to try out different things.

Not a German specialty but I tried the Salmon Maple Kabob at Captain Randy's Seafood. I was surprised that it didn't really taste like salmon. It had a smoother consistency but it was delicious.

The Black Forest Meat & Sausages was one of the popular vendors selling German style sausages.

I had originally wanted to get a Bratwurst but ended up with the Barvarian Smokie instead. You get the option of adding sauerkraut and onions in your bun.

Another food vendor I visited was the Soup Meister.

 I tried their Tradition German Potato soup.

It includes a bun and garlic croutons! It was really yummy and great to warm up your tummy in the cold weather.

Besides the food there are a lot of cute Christmas decorations for sale at the market.


 These are so soft! Made from llama fur!

There's also live performances!

And the carousel.

The last day of the Vancouver Christmas Market is December 24th! Make sure you visit before then!