Birthday Weekend with My Mom

I’m sooo over birthdays. Birthday parties, that is.

Over the past few years, I’ve attempted to put together a gathering (both the casual and the formal variety) with friends for my birthday and it just doesn’t work out. I’m chalking it up to just getting old.

The last birthday party I’ll throw is for my 30th. But that’s an entire other blog post. Today, I’m sharing an overview of my 28th birthday weekend with my mom — an event that was ten thousand times more fun than a party.


Earlier this year, mom said that she wanted to come visit to have some quality mother-daughter time. Since moving to Canada almost 4 years ago, it’s been hard to get time alone with my mommy dearest. Visits are always packed with seeing groups of family members and friends all while trying to squeeze in as much as possible.

So this visit was just for us! And we had a blast. We decided to head to Toronto for a Master Chef quality meal and cocktails at a cool lounge.


I asked around, googled, and decided that I wanted us to try the restaurant at the Drake Hotel, an iconic spot in Toronto.

The entire place has this artsy/hipster vibe but in a classy way. I loved how different it was!

For our appetizer, we were hesitating over this kung pao chicken dish when the lovely gentleman next to us said we absolutely had to get it. And he was right!

The sauce on the chicken was a perfect mix of sweet and savoury. I absolutely loved that they mixed in chunks of eggplant which was contrasted by the crunchy cashews. All in all, it was my favorite dish of the night.


Next up, we had swordfish. Now I’ve never had swordfish before and neither had my mom. But hey, it was a birthday weekend. YOLO!

Our waitress described it as the steak of seafood and I’d say she was pretty spot on. The texture was thick and didn’t flake off like a typical piece of fish. The flavour was very similar to salmon.

I asked for a Master Chef type meal and the restaurant at the Drake Hotel delivered! This dish was very interesting paired with cucumber, berries, and a creme fraiche sauce. I would have never put those flavours together but somehow it worked.


We weren’t sold on the desert menu at the Drake so we decided to make our way back to our hotel. On the way, we found a little spot that had a sizeable bar/lounge area.

As soon as we read the description of this chocolate pudding cake on their dessert menu, we looked at each other with a look of “yesssssss.” I love that we didn’t even have to discuss anything. We both knew that was what we wanted. 😂


The night of our girls trip to Toronto also happened to be the night of Nuit Blanche — an all night art showcase that takes over the streets of Toronto.

So in the interest of being spontaneous, we decided to check it out.

Side note: I used to think I was a free spirit but I’ve recently learned that changed plans do not sit well with me. I’m on a mission to learn to go with the flow more.


So after some more cocktails, we ventured out to the three art showcases that were near us.

Honestly, I was underwhelmed. I was literally expecting the streets to be turned into massive art pieces. But that’s not really what Nuit Blanche was.

Plus, we were a bit on the outskirts and didn’t feel like making the trek to the center of it all.

One of the cool things that we saw was this drum line time of street show. I took a bit of video.

All in all, it was an absolute lovely birthday weekend adventure. Most importantly I loved spending some one-on-one time with my mom. She’s one of my closest friends and I love her dearly.

It was sad saying goodbye even though I’m headed to Atlanta next month.

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Author: Andréa Jones

Hi, I’m Andréa — an inspirational and lifestyle blogger determined to live a life that doesn’t just look good, but one that also *feels* good. As a digital & social media enthusiast determined to create a life that I look forward to every day, SimplyAndrea.com is a digital journal chronicling my advice, adventures, and attempts at living fearlessly.

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