See. Think. Write.

Moving mountains

Breaking Bread

My last weekend here in Canada couldn’t have been any better. They were two days filled with fun, joy, and laughter, spent with some of the best people in my life.

Here’s a look at what happened over the weekend…


Attention! Foodie talk ahead (including some pictures), so please make sure that you’re not famished before you continue reading!


On Saturday afternoon, my dad’s partner prepared some salad and rice for lunch, and I also got to try out a north Indian dish called dal. It is a healthy, high-protein, slightly spicy soup consisting mainly of various different lentils, ginger, garlic, and a mix of ground spices. Coriander leaves, which can be used as garnish, also give it that extra flavour.

Foodie fun fact: The word dal derives from the Sanskrit verbal root dal- “to split”.


Whilst relaxing and waiting for the meal to digest, we sat on the couch and watched Mamma Mia together, sipping on some chai green tea. I also had the opportunity to sample a traditional Indian dessert called barfi (pronounced as bar-fee). Although the name doesn’t sound appetising, believe me they taste great. These are a dense milk-based sweet, mainly made from condensed milk and sugar. The flavour of barfi is often enhanced with fruits (such as mango or coconut) or nuts (such as cashew, peanut, or pistachio).

Foodie fun fact: Originally from India, the name is a derivative of the word barf, which means snow. The sweets were probably given this name due to their crumbly texture, which is similar to that of snow.

Barfi (image taken from Google)


In the evening we took to an authentic Italian cuisine restaurant named Grano Ristorante, in downtown Mississauga, to celebrate my dad’s cousin’s birthday. Albeit a rather small place, the slightly dimmed lighting and classic ambience certainly gives it that cosy and intimate feel. For starters we ordered bruschetta to share, and some also had a bowl of minestrone. Then, I had spaghettini alle vongole for my main course, and other members of the family had lasagne, spaghettini carbonara, pasta al forno, penne alla vodka, and cozze alle marinara. For dessert we ordered slices of Kahlua cheesecake and tiramisu.



It was a snowy Sunday morning. An endless shower of white fluff, blanketing the surroundings, as if some divine pillow fight was underway in the skies above.


After a simple yet healthy breakfast, my dad, his partner, and myself helped out with preparing for lunch as we had some guests coming over later on. We made a whole variety of stuff; from your standard appetisers like a cheese platter with crackers and stuffed olives, to horse radish-sour cream dip and guacamole dips.


We also made “Mexican pies”, and a hearty Indian chili as the two main courses.


I may not be a big eater, but I love food, and I’ve always found cooking with other people to be very interesting. You get to learn how others cook, what their recipes are, and the types of ingredients they use (maybe they’ll even let you in on a few secrets, too!). Preparing meals together is a very special bonding exercise. It is a great conversation prompter, and it gives each person their time to shine – whether it’s chopping the ingredients, stirring the pot, or preparing the table.

For dessert, we all had a slice of scrumptious apple pie à la mode, made by Ryan, one of the family members who was with us that afternoon.

All this in the company of a bunch of wonderful people!

Thank you for making this such a memorable end to the week!

– Preston Carbonaro


Words of the Day

It’s been a while since my last Words of the Day post.

So, I thought I’d make this a special comeback.

Today’s words are actually new additions to the Oxford English Dictionary following their latest update, last month.

Here are the ones I’ve chosen to share:

hangry (adjective) – Bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger

ransomware (noun) – A type of malware designed to block access to applications or files on a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

mansplain (verb) – Of a man: to explain (something) needlessly, overbearingly, or condescendingly, especially (typically when addressing a woman) in a manner thought to reveal a patronizing or chauvinistic attitude.

frugivore (noun) – An animal that feeds on fruit


For those interested, click here to view the full list of newly-added words to the OED.

Chasing Waterfalls

As my last weekend in Canada approaches, my aunt and uncle decided to take me to visit one of the country’s most iconic natural landmarks.

Niagara Falls.

Whichever season, whatever the weather, this will always be a gem of a place. The breathtaking view of the Falls, the refreshing misty air. And whenever you stop and just take in the spectacular scenery, only then will you realise the true beauty and sheer power of one of nature’s elements – water. A monstrous, never-ending cascade of H2O, roaring over the edges and hitting the rocks below.


One of the bridges connecting Canada to the United States. Yes, they’re that close to each other!
A close-up of the American side of Niagara Falls, a.k.a. Bridal Veil Falls, featuring a beautiful rainbow!
Now we’re in home territory! The Canadian part of Niagara Falls. Quite the view, isn’t it?
A close-up of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, in all its aquatic majesty!


Before going out to see the mighty Falls, however, I should mention that we had a delicious lunch at Canyon Creek. It is a restaurant located within the Fallsview Casino Resort, the largest and most elegant gaming resort facility in Canada.


The view from our window seat in Canyon Creek


The Skylon Tower


And after the scenic walk, and following our calorie-burning ascent up the steep road back to Fallsview, we stopped for coffee and tea at another one of the place’s dining spots, The Famous, a 24-hour, Art-Deco-themed upscale diner.



Fun fact: I drew inspiration from the song lyrics of Waterfalls, by American girl group TLC, for my blog post title. Rather befitting, I thought.

– Preston Carbonaro

Book Review – “Midnight Sun” by Jo Nesbø

Jon is on the run. He has betrayed Oslo’s biggest crime lord: The Fisherman.

Fleeing to a mountain town so far North that the sun never sets, Jon hopes to find sanctuary.

Hiding out in the wilderness, all that stands between him and his fate are Lea, a bereaved mother, and her young son, Knut.

But the midnight sun is slowly driving Jon to insanity.

And then he discovers that The Fisherman’s men are getting closer…


An abstract approach to the title…

This novel is set in one of the countries where the population experiences the midnight sun, and I also liken the pace of the book itself to this same natural phenomenon.

By this I mean that I felt there was no sense of a timeline, no sense of a morning or night. There’s a sort of continuation and flow to the story itself, leaving the reader to think that everything is happening within just one whole, very long day.

In fact, at one point towards the beginning of the book, the main protagonist also loses track of time after waking up from a long slumber.


On the main characters…

In this fast-paced noir thriller – the follow-up to Blood on Snow – Jo Nesbø manages to create a world filled with a few, but very interesting and intriguing characters in it, yet again.

Midnight Sun examines the life of Jon Hanson, who sold hash for a living in Oslo before becoming an employee of the most notorious crime kingpin in Norway. He stole money from The Fisherman because he was desperate to maintain his family, and this leaves him with no choice but to flee Oslo in the hopes of escaping from his clutches. Just like in Blood on Snow, we see a man who, albeit a gang member, has a good streak and a conscience.

While living in the remote village of Kåsund, he meets Lea, a religious, hard-working woman; a mother who strives to be the best example for her son. She’s reserved, humble, and leads a very traditional lifestyle.

Knut is Lea’s young, energetic son. A boy who’s already quite mature for his age, probably because of his rather rough upbringing. From the first moment that him and Jon meet, one can notice that there’s an instant connection between the two. Knut also sees Jon as a father figure.

The setting and environment…

The author’s excellent description of the village and the snowy landscape further creates a sense of otherworldly isolation, which mirrors what the main protagonist is feeling.

Themes and topics…

The novel’s major theme is redemption, and it plays a part in more than one character’s life.

Sami culture and the Laestadian religion are also woven into the story.

In conclusion…

Jo Nesbø and fellow translator Neil Smith do a great job once again. I thought that the ending of this book was a bit too quick to wrap things up nicely, however, it still doesn’t change the fact that it’s a very well-written (and well-translated) short tale.

My rating:


Did You Know?

The midnight sun is a spectacular natural phenomenon that occurs in the summer months in places north of the Arctic Circle or south of the Antarctic Circle, when the sun remains visible at the local midnight.

Around the summer solstice (approximately 21st June in the Northern Hemisphere and 22nd December in the Southern Hemisphere), the sun is visible for the full 24 hours, given the weather is fair.

Countries and territories whose populations experience the midnight sun include: Canadian Yukon, Nunavut, and Northwest Territories, and the nations of Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark (Greenland), Russia, and the State of Alaska in the United States.

Blues Night at The Rex

Last Sunday, we headed to Downtown Toronto for a relaxing afternoon/evening at a bar on 194 Queen Street West, called The Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar.

Opened in the late 80s, this place attracts some of Canada’s finest musicians on a daily basis, and is unique in that it remains inexpensive and affordable for the budget-conscious. The casual atmosphere, extensive mix of retro-chic decor, and a wide variety of draught beer combine to make The Rex feel like a second home.


Whilst there – munching our poutine and sweet potato fries, sipping Molson and sparkling water – we were treated to some fantastic live music by blues band Dr. Nick & The Rollercoasters.


Dr. Nick & The Rollercoasters


Our evening ended with a nice, hot cup of joe and a slice of carrot cake at Second Cup Coffee Co. located at the intersection of Church Street and Front Street East.


Both my father and myself love this place for its awesome seats right behind one of the shop’s windows. Sitting comfortably on a stool, with my back toward everyone and everything else behind me, I am left to enjoy a great view of all that’s happening just outside the shop.

Like the true introvert that I am.

Doing what I do best.

Observing, and clocking people…


… From a distance.


– Preston Carbonaro

My Football Trials Experiences

It has already been two weeks since I attended my tryout with League1 Ontario champions the Oakville Blue Devils, at the Monarch Park Stadium in East York.

Although I was not signed up by the team, I still look back to that moment with nothing but pride, positivity, and satisfaction.

You go there, spend almost two hours travelling to get to the stadium, spend another couple of hours playing, then not get chosen?! What a complete and utter waste of time!” is probably what most of you are thinking.

However, if you’re thinking this, I’m afraid you’re missing the crucial point to it all.

To be asked to come in and try out in the hopes of joining the current reigning champions is no joke in and of itself. Not only that, but I had the fantastic opportunity to meet new people, and play some football again. And it felt so damn good to get back on the pitch again, shooting a ball, being involved in all the action! Also, to top it all off, I got the chance to play alongside some of OBD’s big names, such as Victor Gallo, Judah Hernandez, Braden Culver, Mat Santos, and Brandon Duarte.

I was determined to find another club to try out with. So, a few days later, I got in touch with another League1 team – Sanjaxx Lions – expressing my interest in joining them, and within a few minutes, I was notified via e-mail that I’ve been invited to attend a training session later in the week. Last Friday evening, after a positive session, I was asked to come in for training again the next day!

So, in short,  here’s what I learned from these awesome experiences:

  1. First and foremost is to NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS
  2. when something fails or doesn’t work out, don’t be afraid to TRY AGAIN
  3. the first time may be difficult. The second time, not as much. The third time, you’ve got the hang of it
  4. as actress Gillian Anderson once said: Just remember, you can do anything you set your mind to, but it takes ACTION, PERSEVERANCE, and FACING YOUR FEARS
  5. now I was never one who excelled in maths, but here’s a formula which I’m positive that no teacher has ever taught you in school, but I guarantee will work 99.9% of the time when used. (Determination + perseverance) x (hard work + effort) – negativity = Success. Hint: use BODMAS rule

Finally, I cannot end this blog post without dedicating a portion of it to you, my dear doubters and discouragers, who may be reading this. This final paragraph is just for you:

Had I been stupid enough to listen to you, I would not be here right now sharing my unforgettable experiences and stories with others. But, yet again, I wish to thank you for making me stronger, for making me stick to my guns. Knowing that I have a whole bunch of you in my life makes the feeling of proving you all wrong so much more satisfying! You may be the Big Bad Wolf, but I’m the pig living in the brick house.

– Preston Carbonaro

An Evening at Casalinga

Located within Clarkson, Casalinga Ristorante brings a touch of Florence to Mississauga with its authentic Italian cuisine.

It was my second time visiting this restaurant, last night, and once again the friendly staff there failed to disappoint, with their great service and delicious food.

The moment you walk into this establishment, you feel as if you’ve stepped into a classic, traditional restaurant in Italy. On one of the walls hang numerous sketches of some of the country’s landmarks, giving the ambiance that true Italian look. And, to make you feel more at home, they will actually welcome you inside with a warm smile, and (if you’re a guy) a “ciao bello!“.


What made this evening more special,though, was the fact that I got to meet my dad’s partner, and a couple of her family members, for the first time. They were truly a delightful bunch.

Moving onto the food itself…

As a starter we ordered an antipasto to share, consisting of marinated olives, mixed veggies, arugula, fior di latte and grana padano cheese. This was also accompanied by a complimentary baguette, and olive oil and balsamic vinegar dipping plate.


For the main course, I ordered the mouth-watering spaghettini ai gamberoni.


And my pal Ryan had mixed grilled seafood, consisting of trout, prawns, salmon, and calamari, with a side of potatoes.


After having stuffed our faces with this heavenly food, we simply couldn’t help but get ourselves some coffee and dessert. We decided on tartufo, and pistachio cheesecakes.

It was an extremely pleasant evening, spent with great people, and we were all extremely satisfied with our meals. Absolutely perfect.

From here, once again, we’d like to thank everyone at Casalinga Ristorante for yet another superb service. We will surely come to visit again, soon, cari amici!


– Preston Carbonaro

Note: All pictures in this blog post, except those of the food dishes, were taken from the restaurant’s website




Don’t Let The Sun Fool You!

“Don’t let the sun fool you.”

That’s one thing I learned, the day before yesterday.

Despite the weather being very sunny in the morning, the temperature was three degrees below zero!

Taking advantage of the sunlight, we headed out for a walk through another one of the parks in the vicinity – Plowman’s Park.



We continued along the winding route until we arrived at the Lake Wabukayne Trail, which encircles the lake.



Since it’s winter, Lake Wabukayne is completely frozen over, and it looks absolutely wonderful!

The vast expanse of snow and ice, that is Lake Wabukayne
Someone even dared to step onto the frozen mass, and clear a section of the snow in order to make a skating spot!
A plump of ducks taking shelter in the lake’s dam


We then made our way back and decided to stop for brunch at Symposium, a small but beautifully decorated restaurant, situated right behind the Meadowvale Town Centre.

Scrambled eggs and farmer’s sausage, with toast and seasoned breakfast potatoes. Yum!


After our meal, we then decided to head to Downtown Mississauga to check out Square One. This monstrous labyrinth of a shopping centre is the second largest in Canada, as well as the largest in Ontario, with more than 360 stores and services!

Outside entrance 7 to Square One
The gorgeous lights display outside entrance 7. I call it the “fountain of light”.


– Preston Carbonaro

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