An Unboxing Mystery from TokyoTreat
I love Japan. I love their creativity, their style, their art, their language, their video games, and everything about their modern society. Above all else though, I especially love their food. When I visited Japan in 2014, I tried some of the strangest food I have ever eaten, like miscellaneous deep-fried meat, raw horse, ox tongue and various types of sake, to only mention a few. I even had quite the adventure trying to find milk in Japan, which is almost an unheard-of drink in that country.
Flash-forward to 2020 and the world-wide lockdown and the restriction of travel, crowds and outdoor gatherings, make the memories of walking down the crowded streets of Tokyo seem a world away. I missed travel, food and trying new things so I decided to subscribe to a box from TokyoTreat. TokyoTreat creates themed boxes of various Japanese food and delivers it to your house.
I ordered mine in March, and it left the warehouse on March 30. It shipped on April 13. It was a May-themed box so it should have arrived in May, but this was around the time the mail system got shut down. All mail was delayed and stuck in transit. My package was MIA for months, with no tracking number from TokyoTreat and no update from Canada Post. The support at TokyoTreat were knowledgeable and updated me on the mail condition in Japan, but they weren't very helpful. But to be fair, there wasn't anything they could do. They couldn't send me my money back until the package returned to their warehouse and they couldn't give me an update on my missing package. In their defence I know they were also bombarded by thousands of people asking the same questions.Read More
Unexpected Misadventures to the Limestone Crevices
Northern Saskatchewan is nothing short of an enigma shrouded with mystery and surprise. One of these surprises is the Limestone Crevices, a prehistoric geological formation unlike anything else in Saskatchewan. I had never been there before, so I decided to go see them. However, every time I go to northern Saskatchewan, something bad always happens. Ever since my misadventure in Prince Albert National Park last fall, and my nearly fatal hike in Utah this past winter, I did everything I could to make this trip not only successful and safe, but punctual and non-life-threatening.
And I failed 90 minutes into it.
I have travelled to northern Saskatchewan a few times, and I always take Highway 11. Highway 2 is faster, but I am always meeting somebody in Saskatoon or veering over to the Battlefords. Highway 11 is ingrained into my muscle memory as the only way to go north. So, it is no surprise that I took Highway 11. Read More
It's Okay, I Missed My Grad Too
It has been ten years, but I still remember my teacher's face when I told her I wasn't going to grad. In disbelief, she triple confirmed that I was deliberately missing out on the biggest celebration in a student's career. I then triple confirmed that yes, I wasn't going. Then they called my parents. My parents confirmed it too. A month later there was another phone-call. I would be winning some awards at graduation – would I be there to receive them? No, I would not be at graduation.
In 2010 I made a decision to miss my graduation. This year, countless people are forced to miss theirs. The situation is different, but I'm here to say that it's going to be okay.
When the 2010 yearbook came out, I saw pictures of my high school friends at graduation, celebrating, cheering, and having fun. I would be lying if I said there was a void where I should be in those pictures, but there was not. I doubt many of my friends even remember I wasn't there that night. Some acquaintances even thought I moved away.Read More
An Unboxing Mystery from Mortise & Tenon
Mortise & Tenon, located at 2415 11th Avenue in Regina, is one of my favourite locally-owned businesses. They sell a plethora of knickknacks and trinkets, sourcing from both international and local vendors. When they opened, they wanted to be a signature trinket store like in other major cities, and they have succeeded.
I love shopping there, and even highlighted them on my blog a few years ago in my "What Makes Downtown Regina So Cool" article.
Unfortunately, like many other businesses, Mortise & Tenon was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. They had to close their doors, change their business model and start doing curbside pickups. One of the best things about their store was wandering around and looking at and touching all the quirky items they found, and that was now impossible.Read More
Meet Your 2020 Saskatchewanderer
Leah Mertz became the tenth Saskatchewanderer in 2020, opening up a new decade in the Saskatchewander program. Much like past wanderers, she has a love for content creation, travel and a soft spot for Saskatchewan. Her journey in the program has been unique so far this year, so I sat down with her (virtually) and asked her a bit about the first half of herself and her time as the Saskatchewanderer.
First off, where are you from?
I originally grew up near Chestermere, Alberta, but probably around the time I was in middle school, I knew I wanted to leave. I went to university in Edmonton but it wasn't a good fit so I eventually moved to Vancouver and went to school there. I was there for 6 years and then moved to Montreal for 4 years. Now I'm living in Saskatoon and it's barely been a year, but it's already changed my life in many ways. I feel like I'm from all of these places in a sense; they're all a huge part of who I am. Read More
Reviewing Authentic Ukrainian Christmas Chocolates
Merry Christmas in May! Now that we all live in a pandemic void where time does not matter and space is finite (because we are all indoors), I figured we could review Christmas chocolates in May.
Or, maybe it is because I just finally got around to it. Whichever you want to believe.
Last Christmas my friend, Kateryna, went back to Ukraine to see her family. When she returned, she brought me back some traditional Ukrainian chocolates. Some I had had before in my Experience Mosaic From Your Home article but several others were brand new.Read More
Signs of the Pandemic Times in Regina
This is a hard article for me to write. On one side, it is easy because I am going to let the pictures do most of the talking. On the other side, it is really, really difficult. It is difficult because for every "closed" sign on a door, there is a family without money, a table without food, a student without a job, a business without a profit and a future that is uncertain.
Even though the Premier of Saskatchewan has put out a 5-step plan to reopen the province, nothing is happening for at least another month. A lot of businesses, restaurants, shops and stores will never be reopened. Post-pandemic Regina will be quite different than just a few months ago.
I think it is fair to say that nobody will take for granted a festival, a concert, a sports game or any type of event ever again. Nobody will take for granted steady employment, a paycheque, a job or a future.Read More
Where to Stay and Hike in Arches National Park
Arches National Park in Utah is world-renowned for their stone archways, dynamic terrain and breath-taking sights. However, this park is only one of the many incredible parks in southeast Utah, belonging to the Southeast Utah Group (SEUG) of attractions. The park can be entered for $30 per vehicle or $25 per motorcycle, with access for seven days. However, if you're looking to visit other nearby parts of the state, including other national parks, it would be more economical to get the SEUG Annual Pass for $55.
If you want to visit national parks in other states, or outside of the SEUG, it would be best to get the "America the Beautiful National Park Pass" which is $80 a year, or $20 a year if you're a senior. Seniors can also get the "America the Beautiful National Park" lifetime pass for $80.
There are several options on where to stay near Arches as well, with Moab only about ten minutes outside the park. Although it has a population of around 5,500, the town has everything you need, from restaurants to gas stations to hotels to museums and even a variety of outdoor hiking trails.Read More
My Deadly Hike to the Delicate Arch
Utah is known for a lot of things, but it's their national parks that make it world-renowned. The state is not only home to Arches National Park, but also Canyonlands National Park, Zion National Park, Fishlake National Park, Capitol Reef National Park and Monument Valley, to name a few. It's a rugged, diverse, beautiful and deadly state unlike any other in the country.
Although I spent plenty of time in Salt Lake City, the reason for my trip was to explore Arches National Park midway down the state. For those who have ever been, the park is a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Salt Lake City, and the highway will take you through blown out mountains, fields, small cities and old towns. If you have a full tank of gas leaving Salt Lake City, you should get to Arches without a problem. If you need gas, Provo, Spanish Fork, Price or Green River, among many other communities, all have gas stations. If you need to fill up before going back to Salt Lake, Moab is just a little south from the park and is the perfect place to rest and refuel.
Arches and Canyonlands National Parks cost $30 per vehicle or $25 per motorcycle to enter. These passes are good for seven days. If you want to visit other parks around southern Utah, it would be best to get the Southeast Utah Group (SEUG) Annual Pass for $55. This covers Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and Hovenweep and Natural Bridges National Monuments. If you want to visit national parks in other states, or outside of the SEUG, it would be best to get the America the Beautiful National Park Pass which is $80 a year, or $20 a year if you're a senior. Seniors can also get the America the Beautiful National Park lifetime pass for $80.Read More