Whadd’ya At?: Canadian #AtoZChallenge


In the Canadian province of Newfoundland, there is a different culture than the rest of the country. It’s born of British and South East Irish settlers with a dash of Scottish, and because of that – and the fact that Newfoundland is an island – the ‘Newfie’ accent is quite noticeable!

Not only is it noticeable, it can be hard to understand by people not from ‘The Rock’!  I visited Newfoundland once, and have made friends with Newfies over the years and it is a wonderful province plus they are wonderful people!  But we can’t understand them!

Check out this example and see if you can figure out what they’re saying:

Remember the movie ‘Snatch’ and Brad Pitt’s Caravan character?  The Newfie accent is not like Pitt’s.  But I bet many might mistake the two!

So, “Whaddyat” is a Newfoundland greeting.  It means “What are you doing right now!”

And the answer to “Whaddyat”, is always “Dis is it”.  Meaning “This is what I’m doing.”(referring to whatever you’re doing)

It’s only one of many Newfie slang terms, but a great one.  So great that it’s been made into a song!

We never say “hello” or “how’s it going?”, “good day” or any of that
We just look at them and nod our heads and wink say ‘Whadd’ya At?’

Poutine: Canadian #AtoZChallenge

WPhat!?!?  What is this crazy word you speak of?

Poutine is definitely a Canadian food.  I know what you’re thinking.  There’s no such thing as Canadian food.  Even U.S. National Security Advisor Stu Smiley (played by Kevin Pollock) in the movie Canadian Bacon said “First of all, there is no Canadian culture. I’ve never read any Canadian literature. And when have you ever heard anyone say, “Honey, lets stay in and order Canadian food”?”

Poutine is so Canadian, I’ve seen attempts at recreating it here in the U.S. and they have all failed.

Poutine is a French Canadian dish consisting of french fries, cheese curds (squeaky cheese) and gravy. Few dispute the fact that poutine came from Quebec, however many communities in Quebec believe that theirs is the birthplace of the dish.


Source: Papa Mario’s, Halifax NS

Here in the states, I’ve seen poutine made with shredded mozzarella, and every Canadian I know would tell you that is simply blasphemous.  It has to be curds.  And it has to be brown gravy.

Personally, the best poutine can be found in Kingston, Ontario at a place called Bubba’s Poutine and Pizzeria. Kingston is a college town, with St. Lawrence College, Queen’s University and the Royal Military College giving the downtown core constant attendance. Day and night.  Bubba’s is known as a late night drunk snack stop.  People travel past Bubba’s on their way home from the Ontario Street clubs.  And they pick up what – at three o’clock in the morning – seems like the most amazing food in the world!


Here’s a recipe if you want to make it yourself:  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/79300/real-poutine/.

In Newfoundland, there is another dish that is equally as delicious, but has its own twist:  Fries, dressing and gravy.  Instead of cheese curds, they use savoury turkey stuffing!  So delicious!

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Source: Stuffed at the Gill’s Food Blog: http://stuffedatthegills.blogspot.com

C = Cross Canada


I found this awesome opportunity posted on my Facebook feed and wanted to share it with everyone.

Woods Apparel is holding a contest for two people to win the ultimate Canadian dream job: follow the Trans Canada trail  for five months and test their gear. I want this job so bad!  What an incredible opportunity this would be! Unfortunately I have a career that is 4 years away from a permanent pension, and although being spontaneous is often great, being smart and planning for your future is also very important!.

Here’s the link: http://woodsdreamjob.com.  All you have to do is submit a 60 second video of why you should win this job by April 17th if you are a Canadian resident over the age of 18.

Although this sounds amazing, it reminded me of my cross-Canada journey in 2003.  Myself and 19 other riders bicycled across Canada, starting in Victoria, BC and ending in St. John’s, NL. It was an incredible opportunity to see my own country up front and personal, and further enforced my desire to travel and see not only the world, but take an in-depth look at my roots.

White River, ON is known as the birthplace of Winnie the Pooh!

White River, ON is known as the birthplace of Winnie the Pooh!


Heading up Signal Hill in St. John’s, NL. Final stretch!

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Stopped for a photo op on the north shore of Lake Superior

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Cycling through the Canadian Rockies was no easy feat!


Contrary to popular belief, riding through the prairies was more painful than the mountains. Endless field and oh! that headwind!