We were overnighting at the Hilton Vancouver in Burnaby, across from the Metrotown, and for the first time in days we could have breakfast at a decent hour. Fritatta was the word, coming in two shapes and two styles, one being focussed on garden vegetables, the other one more earthy with mushrooms and spinach, both topped with cheese. On the side, a bowl of strawberry-cranberry and raspberry yogurt filled with granola, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, dried and fresh blueberries, dried apricot and oats.
We went directly to the airport after the biggest rally of the campaign (the police had to close the street!) and settled for a late lunch at the Shell Aerocenter. There I had sandwiches (ham, turkey, roast beef) and a bowl of something they called potato and bacon soup – but I think that if your spoon can stand straight up, it’s tough to call it a soup.
Riding on the bus from one place to the other, I’ve been resisting snacking during this campaign. There are a lot of snacks available on the bus – chocolate bars, almonds, cereal boxes, cookies, cereal bars, and of course chips. But because I ain’t perfect, I couldn’t resist grabbing a bag of All Dressed Ruffles on our way to the Burnaby rally.
We boarded the plane in Vancouver, preparing for our longest and last flight of the campaign. On the aircraft, a selection of sushi was available and maple candied salmon!
One last dinner on the NDP plane, which was christened Orange Crush One by the Air Canada crew. And tonight, I chose the beef tenderloin over the sole. The meat, in a nice sauce, came with waxed beans and carrots and potatoes. On the side, a green salad with balsamic vinaigrette and a bun. Once we landed, we had accumulated 69 hours 24 minutes of flying time for a total of 40 126.7 kms. Around the world at the equator is 40 075 kms!
So we had to board the plane very ealy in Saskatoon, we didn’t have breakfast at the hotel. But on the plane, I was able to grab a yogurt filled with fresh berries and granola.
During the flight towards Kamloops, we were served a warm breakfast to follow the cold one we got on the ground. We got a Spanish Omelette, filled with potatoes and cheese, and a mini-quiche. Also, a side of bacon – and a breakfast dessert – a hot cross bun.
In Kamloops after a rally, we were at the Ramada in the rooftoop lounge – the staff had prepared a British themed spread, in honor of some wedding over there. The main feature was a Beer and Beef Stew wiith a Puff Pastry Cap, and a Beef pot pie. There was a selection of sandwiches (eggs, ham, tuna, chicken) and pickled and fresh veggies, and mini-beef pastries .
We had a very short flight from Kamloops to Comox, and we had to content ourselves with a ground service only. Tomato and Pastrami on an English Muffin, Smoked Salmon on Panini, Black Forest Ham on Crusted Bread, and a Bison Slider. Not bad.
We were in Courtenay after a big rally and had dinner in a golf resort where I had the chance to go hit some balls before the event. On the menu, a green salad with shaved carrots and beets, a potato salad, roasted potatoes, steamed vegetables, maple-glazed salmon and turkey breast.
Before leaving Vancouver Island for Vancouver, we had the luxury of another ground service. This time, beef and chicken souvlaki were offered, along with tzatziki and pita bread, and some cucumbers filed with a mushroom salsa.
We woke up in Yellowknife, at the Explorer, where breakfast was awaiting. To accompany the Egg Casserole (with cheese and bell peppers), there was sausage and bacon, of course, and herbed and green onion roasted potatoies. A bowl of fruit completed the meal.
After a rally at Dennis Bevington’s office in downtown Yellowknife, a tv reporter was given a package of chocolate truffles by a fan. I was lucky enough to get one!
After our campaigning was completed in Yellowknife, we headed to the Yellowknife Inn for filing. A light snack was served – cheese and crackers for me!
Boarding the plane in Yellowknife for a long flight to Saskatoon, there was a light snack available. Ham and Cheese sandwiches, Antipasto (Marinated Artichokes, Pickles, Varied Olives) Pita Bread and Hummous, Smoked Salmon and Capers.
Flying to Saskatoon from Yellowknife, we had the choice between chicken or fish for dinner. And I went for the fish, a breaded piece of sole, served with rosemary rice and roasted vegetables. On the side, a green salad. To complete the meal, a homemade baked biscuit. And for dessert, a huge chunk of fudge!
After a rally of 1800 in Saskatoon, we headed to the Delta Bessborough for filing. And feeding. I grabbed some food before heading to a meeting. Turkey was the meat of the day. On the side, garlic mashed potatoes, potato salad, steamed vegetables, brocoli salad, and a penne salad.
In Winnipeg for the 2nd time, we were staying at the Fort Garry this time around. No comment. Breakfast was served on the mezzanine level - potatoes and red peppers, stuffed cherry tomatoes, bacon, an Egg Benedict and an Egg Florentine.
Back at the Fort Garry after an energetic rally in Winnipeg, snacks were available in the filing room. I had one of these Oatmeal and Raisins Pucks.
Leaving Winnipeg again, Perogies featured again! Sour cream, mustard, Polish Sausages as well. What was different was the pita and hommus, as well as carrots and celeri sticks.
Flying from Winnipeg to Edmonton, folks had a choice of carbs – the Agnoli in a Cream, Leek and Mushroom sauce (which I had on a previous flight) or the Chicken Parmigiana on Fettucine with Steamed Carrots and Brocoli and a side Garden Salad. For dessert, a spice cake
After a 1000 people showed up at the Fort Edmonton Park to hear Jack Layton, we went back to the Edmonton Coast Plaza for filing purposes. On the menu, Roasted Chicken, Garden Salad, Penne with Marinara and Cream sauce.
We boarded the plane with Yellowknife as a destination – and we were greeted by quality snacks – Deluxe Pizza, Hot Chicken Wings and Garden Salad. Cheers and smiles all around!
In Montreal for a media blitz – so many requests, we can’t do them all! – and breakfast was served at the Delta. The usual Bacon and Sausages, Fresh Fruits, Home Fries. On the originality front, the Scrambled Eggs could be topped with Warm Tomatoes, Mushrooms and Cheese, something I felt obliged to do.
A nice surprise was waiting for us on the plane – classic Montreal-style rotisserie chicken, delivered by Scores. A Chicken Breast, Ribs, Rice, Bun, Coleslaw and BBQ Sauce. He shoots, He scores, as I said before.
Another nice surprise on the flight from Montreal to Toronto – NDP cupcakes!!! Mine was chocolate, others had vanilla. The Air Canada crew told me they got up at 4 am to make them – somehow, I have doubts…
After a series of interviews in Toronto, the NDP Leader held a Virtual Townhall with folks from all over the country joining via Twitter or by phone. We went back to our home base, the Regency Hyatt, after the event. Dinner was available – Roast Beef, Steamed Vegetables, Mesclun Salad, and Cheese, Red Peppers and Eggplant Penne. I ate around the Eggplant. Why would anyone throw Eggplant in Pasta anyway?
We boarded the plane, as the NDP was heading West to kick-off the final stretch of the campaign. On board we could snack on shrimp served with cocktail sauce or lemon and a cold orzo salad. I had that. There was also a cheese platter and corn chips with the usual dips. I didn’t have that.
Flying towards Winnipeg, the longest flight we’ve had in a long time, we were served a light meal – it was late after all. Folks could go for a shrimp stir-fry, but since we just had shrimp for snacks, I went with the Ricotta and Artichoke Ravioli. The dish was served with a Garden Salad. For dessert, a lemon tart.
In St. John, I made my way to the Boardwalk where the NDP Leader stood by the water with about 400 people who had come to see him. I missed the Hot Breakfast served at the Delta, but thankfully was able to grab a Trilogy of Melon as the NDP Leader spoke.
After the event on the boardwalk, a scrum and a series of interviews, I was able to sample some of the food made available to us at the St. John Hilton. Couscous with Dried Cranberries, Potato Salad, and Sandwiches – Baloney, Lobster, Roast Beef.
Folks had heard that, being in New Brunswick and all, they would be treated to local lobster. And we weren’t disapointed. Fresh lobster, actually cooked in the morning, was available during loading – either in the shell or in a lobster roll.
Flying from St.John to Ottawa, on our way to a big rally in Gatineau, we were served a light lunch consisting of a soup and a salad. There was a Minstrone, but I went for the Seafood Chowder. The Salad was a Chicken Breast on Greens with Blueberries and Red Peppers, served with a Poppy Seed dressing.
After a big rally in Gatineau, I was able to spend some time with my family – and some friends who tagged along (actually driving Mrs. Waffle and the Waffle Jr to the rally and back) - at Spin, the new restaurant of the Ottawa Marriott. As we had drinks, some kind of Meli Melo Mix was put on the table.
Dinner was served at the Marriott, but since I spent the filing time hanging out with people that are not journalists, I had to grab a container to go. On the menu, some Maple Chicken, Tilapia with Tomato and Black Olives, Rice, Steamed Vegetables. I ate on the bus on way to Montreal.
Ah, home sweet home. Sleeping in was nice. Breakfast was late, and it was minimal. A strawberry-chocolate yogurt and a piece of toast with peanut butter, leftover from the Waffle Jr.
Our kitchen is not fully operationnal, so I suggested that we go out again. We left late, in order to let the Easter rush pass, and we headed for Tuscano’s on St-Joseph in Hull. I ordered the Ciabetta Bistecca e fromaggio, which came with french fries and a soup as a starter – a Fish Chowder. Mel felt brunchy – she had the Europa Omelette.
I was on the way to the Ottawa airport where I was going to hop back on the NDP tour, when I found out the plane was going to be late – Jack Layton was so popular at the Khalsa Day Parade that it took the tour more time to get out of the event and fly out of Toronto. So I suggested to my wife that we could go at the Royal Oak on Hunt Club to wait for the plane to arrive in Ottawa. The Waffle Jr. thought it was a great idea, and so we waited there. Mel was hungry, and since she was hungry, she ordered food. The Sheperd’s Pie attracted her attention – a Pâté Chinois topped with gravy and served with a Garden Salad on the side. I declined to order something, knowing that a) I would have dinner on the plane and b) she wouldn’t finish her plate. And indeed, she didn’t – the Waffle and the Waffle jr. had to help her out.
Mel did point out that my Pâté Chinois was better. The Waffle jr. agreed.
We were flying from Ottawa to St. John and since there wasn’t any gorund service because of the short stop, we had to wait for the plane to be well on its way before being fed. Chicken Chasseur was an option, but I went with the Herb Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Jus. It was served with Mashed Potatoes, Carrots and Asparagus. On the side, a Seven Grain and Carrots Salad. I also had a Bun. For dessert, a Strawberry Cheesecake.
We started the day in Toronto, where a warm breakfast was available at our home base, the Hyatt Regency. Scrambled Eggs, Sausage, Bacon, Roasted Potatoes. You know the drill.
After a news conference with members of the ethnic media, we boarded the NDP plane with Montreal as our destination. Before we took off, we were served our second breakfast of the day. Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese on Mini Bagels; Ham, Cheese and Egg English Muffins, and Fresh Fruits – I felt like Strawberries today.
That’s right, folks on the NDP Tour are not humans, they are hobbits. It must be the case, since we got our 3rd breakfast of the day on our way to Montreal. Fresh Fruits, Yogurt with Granola and Raisins were on the menu.
New Democrats are really popular in Quebec right now, and it showed when over 1300 people showed up to a rally in Montreal. JACK LAYTON TRIOMPHE À L’OLYMPIA, I read on twitter. After the rally, we headed to the Delta Montreal, where folks expected to have lunch. Alas, lunch was not served – it seemed that the 3rd breakfast was meant to be lunch. So we had to scramble, and order a quick and simple lunch. Fresh Vegetables (including Purple Cauliflower!), Fresh Fruits, Ham and Cheese sandwiches. There you have it.
NDP staffers and journalists boarded the plane in Montreal, with Toronto as a final destination with a pit stop in Ottawa to let some media outlets rotate their reporters and drop some staff for meetings and, in my case, 24 hours off. I would get to see my family, so it is with a light heart that I dug into the pre-flight snack. Cheese Ravioli, Tomato Meatballs, Ceasar Salad, Baguette with your choice of Cognac or Rabbit and White Wine Pâté.
After landing in Ottawa, the Waffle jr. got to visit the plane before we had to go. We decided that eating out was the better idea (the kitchen is not quite done yet) and so we set out to find a casual spot to eat and watch the game. We ended up at the Prescott on Preston, where after some consultations we elected to sample a few things. Mel was told by Ed via Facebook to go for the Meatball Sandwich, so she did, and she added an Italian Poutine (no curds, shredded Brick cheese) on the side. I went fot the Meatball Platter, which consisted of a Meatball in a bowl, with a Mini Pizza of your choice. I picked the Meat Lovers. I smothered the square pizza generously with the extra meat sauce from the bowl, and we both enjoyed our meal. As for the Waffle jr., she had Turkey and Vegetable Casserole, Sweet Potatoes and Kamut Puffs. She also stole some of my pizza crust!
It appears I am on a Fresh Fruit Binge for breakfast, as I once again only had a MacIntosh Apple for breakfast before a series of interviews, starting with a taping of the CBC’s The House.
Another interview, but this time it was a civilized sit-down over lunch with a national affairs columnist. We sat down at the Mix Bistro Bar which is located in the Hyatt, overlooking King Street. I went for the Chicken Tortilla Soup, with Avocado and Pico de Gallo, and a Bartlett Pear and Blue Fin Crab Panini, with Mancheago Cheese and Basil Pesto.
It being Good Friday, we were done early after a photo-op at a Portugese Easter Procession and a few more interviews. Which meant that we had a free evening in Toronto. Jennifer suggested that it would be a perfect opportunity to go to the baseball game, as the Blue Jays were hosting the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. I protested, thinking that a quiet hotel room would be better than a loud stadium, but I finally caved and joined a few reporters and staff at the Rogers Centre. Thankfully, the Quaker Steak and Lube is still offering the best deal in the ballpark (I wrote about it before!) and I got myself a half-stadium bucket of Lousiana Lickers Chicken Wings (they don’t do full buckets anymore). The sauce is a mix of Hot-Cajun-BBQ-Garlic, for a sweet and spicy results. Other flavours offered: Hot, Arizona Ranch, Golden Garlic, Thai ‘R’ Cracker and BBQ.
We were staying at the Hyatt Regency on King, as per usual in Toronto. For some reason, I wasn’t very hungry. Can’t explain it. But I had to eat something, and while briefing the NDP Leader, I raided his fruit basket and grabbed a Granny Smith Apple and a Banana.
The first event of the day was an interview by the NDP Leader on The Roundtable at the upstart Sun News Network. Despite what some might say, everybody was very nice over there, and they even had a selection of bagels and cream cheese for us to enjoy.
After a busy morning, filled with interviews and a news conference about the NDP’s digital platform, we were back at the Hyatt Regency for filing, feeding, and in my case, more briefing before a round of Editorial Boards. A Butternut Squash Soup as a started, followed by a Grilled Chicken Breast, served with a duo of green salads, one featuring sun-dried tomatoes and cranberries, the other yellow cherry tomatoes and corn. Also as a side, some Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Penne.
Sometimes, you eat a little lighter than usual. And it was the case this time around, when I was only able to grab half a ham and cheese sandwich at the Hyatt Regency before boarding the bus on our way to Brampton for a colourful and noisy rally.
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