Here is your chance to purchase tickets to Dirty Dancing before anyone else! The presale link will be active starting Friday, Nov 27 at 10am!

DIRTY DANCING – THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE is an unprecedented live experience, exploding with heart-pounding music, passionate romance, and sensational dancing. Seen by millions across the globe, this worldwide smash hit tells the classic story of Baby and Johnny, two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds who come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives. Featuring the hit songs, “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do You Love Me?” and the heart stopping “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.” London’sSunday Express says “This crowd-pleasing stage adaptation hits the jackpot!”

Don’t miss your chance to see this record-breaking live theatre sensation. You will have the time of your life!

Broadway Across Canada presents Dirty Dancing, The Classic Story on Stage
Run Dates: January 12 – January 17, 2016
Theatre: Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Presale timeframe: Nov 27 – 29
The passcode is MOVIE

NOTE: The ticketmaster link will not be active until 10AM on Friday, Nov 27.

The newest Cook Culture store in Lonsdale, North Vancouver has a full kitchen and teaching space for holding cooking classes. I was fortunate enough to win a spot at the Autumn Harvest class on November 23rd, thanks to Cook Culture and Helijet.

Two local chefs were teaching the class - Chef Peter Zambri of Zambris Restaurant in Victoria, and Chef Jonathan Chovancek, co-founder of Vancouver's Bittered Sling Bitters, and was most recently the Executive Chef for Café Medina. The Autumn Harvest class is more of a demostration class than a hands-on (Cookworks offers both types of classes), but some of us had the chance to make some of the food.

Chef Peter Zambri showed us how to prepare fresh pasta dough first because the pasta dough needs to rest after you make it.

It's so easy to make pasta dough! You just need '00' flour, egg, olive oil and water.

We let the dough sit covered under a bowl while we continued on with the rest of the lesson.

Chef Jonathan Chovancek started showing us how to make sea buckthorn cornmeal cake. He says you sometimes need to cook out of order otherwise your dinner guests will never get to eat.

He moved on to the autumn squash and seafood stufato agrodolce, which is a pretty quick and easy soup to make! (Especially if you have a pressure cooker, it only take 1 minute to cook the shellfish! Amazing!)

The best part of the cooking class - eating the dishes. This is an awesome tasting soup!

 Chef Peter made Risotto alla Parmigiano for us, Sooo good.

Making fettuccine with the pasta machine with our dough.

Fresh pasta does take time to make but the end result is worth it. This AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS. I was blown away. The sauce was made with tomato paste, fresh tomatoes, olive oil and anchovies!

Meanwhile, the cake was done and we topped it with brown butter mascarpone, pistachio & honey roasted pears.

The cooking class was educational and fun. The two amazing chefs really know their stuff! I had a great time, though I might have to eat a snack before class next time. Haha. I'd love to take another class!

Cook Culture is holding open houses in all their stores this Saturday to celebrate the re-brand of the Cookworks stores and also the opening of the Lonsdale location. There will be deals, demos, giveaways, and food! Find out more on their website:

Disclosure: I won a ticket to the class on Facebook and was not expected to make a post. All opinions are my own.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Day two of our northern adventure started started off with a small breakfast in house. While looking at some of the booklets the owner left for us, I saw that watching bison was one of the things-to-do in Yellowknife. Technically, it's not IN Yellowknife. Bison are typically found on Highway 3 between Fort Providence and Yellowknife. WOOHOO ROADTRIP!

It started off optimistic. There were signs everywhere warning drivers about bison on Hwy 3. We weren't planning to drive all the way to Fort Providence where there is an actual bison sanctuary nearby.

We drove about 2 hours (or more, I lost track of time). No bison. We finally reached Edzo (93.71 kilometers from Yellowknife). Took a small detour there...but it was just a small community. We had missed the turn where there was food and gas so we continued on and reached North Arm Territorial Park and where we gave our driver a break.

 It was a nice little park next to a lake.

 Everything looks to vast up in north.

Following the horizon...

Our car commercial shot. lol

After a brief break, wandering around and playing in the snow (can't resist), we hopped back in the car and went on our way.

We decided to give it another 30 minutes but luck was not on our side. No bison in sight! The only thing interesting was this carcass on the side of the road. The ravens were all over it. I have no idea what it is. Maybe it was a small bison and that's why they are staying away from the road. Who knows?

Where are the bison?

So we stopped at the next bison sign and had some fun.

The road to Fort Providence is long and endless.
There were rarely any cars on Highway 3. Sometimes we got our hopes up when we see something black on the horizon only to have it crushed when it turned into a car. Yeah, so we took some pictures of the long long endless road.

 Sat down.

Walked the line.

After that we went back to Yellowknife. The sun was setting by the time we came back into town. We were afraid that all the food places might be closed again. That goodness Sushi North was still open!

 Sushi North was open originally to cater to Japanese tourists but it ended up being a local favourite.

I tried the mini Ebi-ten don ($5), gomae ($5) and the Arctic Char roll ($9), which came with one piece of Arctic Char nigiri. Arctic char tastes a lot like salmon but I think I like salmon better.

Having eaten our fill, we headed back home to kill some time while we waited for darkness to attempt the northern lights again.

We baked some cookies! Yummy, warm cookies.

Took a nap until 2am then went out to try to catch the lights out on Ingraham Trail (Hwy 4). Don't know where we stopped but we didn't drive too long. It was pretty overcast, which sucked because it was mostly clear in the day time. We didn't wait too long because the forecast said cloudy and it was so cloudy that there wasn't even any openings. So we gave up...until next time!

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 

Friday, November 20th, 2015

MERCATO Italian Christmas Market
Friday, 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Italian Cultural Centre, 3075 Slocan Street Vancouver, B.C.
This unique market is about bringing together the tastes of Italy with the produce grown in local farms. We invite the community to come shop for a vibrant assortment of fresh fruit and vegetables, handmade products from local artisans and delicious food prepared by Il Centro’s chef.

Eastside Culture Crawl
Friday, November 20 5 pm - 10 pm
Saturday, November 21 11 am - 6 pm 
Sunday, November 22 11 am - 6 pm
A visual arts, design and crafts festival receiving more than 20,000 visitors to 400+ artists in their studios across 78 buildings in the area bounded by Columbia Street, 1st Avenue, Victoria Drive and the waterfront in Vancouver, Canada.

Saturday, November 21st, 2015

Vancouver Tea Festival - $9.95 advance / $12 door
Saturday,10am - 6pm
Croatian Cultural Centre, 3250 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC
Come explore the world of tea, interact with like-minded tea lovers, and taste dazzling examples of one of the world's most beloved beverages. Enjoy presentations and tastings and exciting new and returning exhibitors, and more!

Salvation's Army Christmas Kettle Kick Off
Saturday, 11am - 2pm
Pacific Centre Rotunda (Howe & Georgia) 
Local celebrities will host their own red kettle and will be collecting donations to benefit The Salvation Army and support their work in our local communities.

Eastside Culture Crawl
Friday, November 20 5 pm - 10 pm
Saturday, November 21 11 am - 6 pm 
Sunday, November 22 11 am - 6 pm
A visual arts, design and crafts festival receiving more than 20,000 visitors to 400+ artists in their studios across 78 buildings in the area bounded by Columbia Street, 1st Avenue, Victoria Drive and the waterfront in Vancouver, Canada.

Vancouver Christmas Market - $8
Nov 21st to Dec 24th 2015 Daily 11am to 9pm
650 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC
The 6th annual Vancouver Christmas Market lights up Queen Elizabeth Plaza starting November 21st until December 24th. Over 20 food vendors, wine and spirits, live cultural performances, the famous X-mas Factor singing competition, and fun family activities

Saturday, 12pm - 7pm
Yaletown - Mainland Street, Vancouver
Downtown Vancouver’s only free winter festival will transform Mainland Street into a winter wonderland. Lights and candy canes will adorn lamp poles and costumed characters will parade down the street. Holiday shoppers are invited to start their seasonal gift buying in Yaletown with local merchants as well as a specialty market carrying unique gifts and holiday treats. You’ll also find Mainland Street filled with local artisans, street performers and live music.

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

Taste of the Tropics
Sunday, 10 am - 4pm 
Bloedel Conservatory, 4600 Cambie Vancouver BC
Learn about vanilla, coffee, plantains, papaya and more, and then search the Conservatory to see these plants in the collections. FREE with Conservatory Admission. Tropical rainforests are home to many plants that we use in our daily lives, often in the kitchen. Visit our Education Station to learn about vanilla, coffee, plantains, papaya and more, and then search the beautiful Bloedel Conservatory to see these plants in the collections.

Eastside Culture Crawl
Friday, November 20 5 pm - 10 pm
Saturday, November 21 11 am - 6 pm 
Sunday, November 22 11 am - 6 pm
A visual arts, design and crafts festival receiving more than 20,000 visitors to 400+ artists in their studios across 78 buildings in the area bounded by Columbia Street, 1st Avenue, Victoria Drive and the waterfront in Vancouver, Canada.



Broadway Across Canada announced today that individual tickets for the Vancouver premiere of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage will go on sale Monday, November 30 at 10am. Tickets are available at 1-855-985-5000 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.caGroups of 10 or more can call 1-800-889-8457. The staged musical of this worldwide smash-hit film will play the Queen Elizabeth Theatre from January 12 to January 17.  American Express® Cardmembers have access to some of the best seats in the house for all the Dirty Dancing performances. Advance tickets are available through Front Of The Line® by American Express beginning Monday November 23rd through Wednesday November 25th.
Performances run Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8PMSunday evening at 7:30pm with Saturday and Sundaymatinees at 2pm.
“As I learned how many people watched the movie over and over and over,” said Eleanor Bergstein, screenwriter of the film Dirty Dancing and book writer for the musical, “I began to think that what they really wanted was to share more intensely in the event, to step through the screen and be there while the story was happening. And if that was true, then its natural form was the theatre – audiences watching live bodies dancing here and now in the present – on the log, on the bridge, on the dance floor and in the staff quarters at Kellerman’s. Writing it for the stage, I was also able to add more Baby and Johnny scenes, more about the family, more songs I couldn’t afford last time, and, most exciting of all – more dancing.”

Dirty Dancing is one of our most beloved and timeless properties,” said Lionsgate Television COO Sandra Stern. “Its magic has enchanted audiences on film, television, DVD and digital platforms alike, and it remains a perennial best-seller in our film and television library. We’re delighted to participate in the latest stage incarnation that will introduceDirty Dancing to a whole new generation of fans, and we expect the stage play to prove yet again that nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

The production’s book is written by Eleanor Bergstein and the North American tour will be directed by James Powell with choreography by Michele Lynch based on the original choreography by Kate Champion.

Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage is an unprecedented live experience, exploding with heart-pounding music, passionate romance and sensational dancing. Seen by millions across the globe, this timeless love story features the hit songs “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do You Love Me?” and the heart-stopping “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.” London’s Sunday Express says “This crowd-pleasing stage adaptation hits the jackpot!”

It’s the summer of 1963, and 17-year-old Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman is on vacation in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents. Mesmerized by the racy dance moves and pounding rhythms she discovers in the resort’s staff quarters, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle, the resort’s sexy dance instructor. Passions ignite and Baby’s life changes forever when she is thrown in to the deep end as Johnny’s leading lady, both on-stage and off.

Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage began as an eight-week staged workshop in Manhattan in the fall of 2001. It was first performed at the Theatre Royal in Sydney, Australia in November 2004 before embarking upon a hugely successful tour of Australia and New Zealand. A new production opened at the Theater Neue Flora in Hamburg, Germany in March 2006 where it broke records for achieving the highest advance in European history.
The production began performances on London’s West End in October 2006 with an £11 million advance and went on to become the longest running show in the history of the Aldwych Theatre. It closed in July 2011 in advance of a two-year UK national tour and then returned to London for a strictly limited season at the Piccadilly Theatre.
The show has gone on to perform across the world in markets as diverse as Utrecht, Holland, Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa. Most recently, it has been represented by a new UK tour (which launched March 2014 in Bristol), a German tour (which launched April 2014 in Berlin) and an Italian production (which launched October 2014 in Milan). The show returned to Australia with a new tour that premiered in late 2014 in honor of the stage production’s 10th anniversary.
The North American tour of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage is produced by Amber Jacobsen, NETworks Presentations LLC, Grove Entertainment and Col Joye in association with Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), the premier next generation global content leader, and Magic Hour Productions.

The Vancouver engagement of Dirty Dancing is presented by Broadway Across Canada and is part of the subscription offering on the Broadway Across Canada – 15/16 Vancouver Series.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Seeing the Northern Lights is one of the items on my every growing bucket list. So visiting Yellowknife, one of the best places in the world to see the aurora borealis, is a no-brainer! My friends planned to spend a few days at an Airbnb next to a lake in the Old Town part of Yellowknife! Sounds awesome, right?!

We flew to Yellowknife via Air Canada stopping over in Calgary. We did some research and had a few things planned to do there but mostly we were going to keep things open.

We arrived in Yellowknife in the afternoon. It is worth to note that Yellowknife is 1 hour ahead of Vancouver. The airport is small but they have this cool baggage claim area with a taxidermy polar bear hunting seals.

Our view from our Airbnb
After checking into our Airbnb, we decided to go and get a bite to eat...unfortunately all the restaurants were closed!!! We learned quickly that the work day mostly ends when the sun sets around 4pm this time of year and most places didn't open for business until at least mid November.

Bullocks Bistro was one of the restaurants on our list that didn't open until Nov 20th. Whoops. I guess we should have planned ahead better. Oh well. 

The Wildcat Cafe was Yellowknife's earliest buildings.
The other place on our list was the historical Wildcat Cafe, which is apparently only a summer restaurant. We decided to just walk around some more and explore Old Town. There were a lot of interesting looks houses and buildings in Old Town, the historical section of Yellowknife.

Old Town Glassworks is a good place to get souvenirs or take a class.

Stairs up to Pilot's Monument

Eventually, we stumbled upon Pilot's Monument - one of the natural attractions we wanted to see while we were in town. A short climb up a flight of wooden stairs and we were looking at the beautiful view of old and new sections Yellowknife, as well as Great Slave Lake, and Jolliffe Island.

This structure at the top of Pilot's Monument points North

To the distance we can see some colourful house boats, a large community, which Yellowknife is known for.

The monument is located on "The Rock", which old town was built around. It was about -15°C with a slight wind. The cold wasn't really bothering me except for my feet! Betrayers! I wasn't the only one, my friends' feet were frozen as well, so we decided to head back to our house. We asked our neighbour, where was a good place to eat and he suggested the Explorer Hotel, which was on the edge of the new section of town.

We ducked into the Trapline Lounge to quiet our growling stomachs. All of us hadn't eaten since the morning.

Bison seems to be one of the things to eat in Yellowknife and bison poutine was on the menu. Automatic decision. I really liked the poutine, though I couldn't really tell the difference between ground bison and ground beef. It did seem less fatty.

I also wanted something warm so ordered a seafood chowder and a salad. The chower was a bit salty. It had artic char in it; another thing to try in Yellowknife. One of my friends' tried the Arctic Char fish and chips and he said it tasted a lot like salmon.

Our hunger stated for the moment, we headed back home to wait until nightfall to chase the Northern Lights! We held some pretty irregular sleeping hours while we were in Yellowknife! We weren't hoping for much since it was pretty cloudy and it didn't look like it would be clearing up but better than just staying inside! Plus, the forecast was that it was stormy.

I took this pic some days after but this is an example of a lighthouse that are found around all of Yellowknife. It shows what the northern light activity is. Red means stormy, green means active, and blue means calm. Your best bet of seeing the lights are when it is red or green. When we arrived, it was red. We also checked out this website a lot: They give weekly forecasts as well as record the night sky each night.

At 3:30am, we drove out of the city, down Highway 3 to get away from the city lights, parked somewhere random and looked up. It was very windy and we could see lots of clouds but sometimes there were some clear patches. Then suddenly, we spotted it! Our first sighting of the lights! It wasn't very bright and the clouds were still covering it but it was there! I was having difficulty setting up my camera in the dark and cold so I didn't get any good photos. Unfortunately, the clouds rolled back in and we decided to call it quits. That ends our first night in Yellowknife!

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3