Saint City News

MY GOODBYE COLUMN.

This is the column I wrote for my final week at the Saint City News, where I spent these last 4 months at as a summer student intern:

Goodbye St. Albert!

Actually, let’s back up. Hi, my name is Linda Hoang and I never formally introduced myself since starting at the Saint City News back in May.

I’m an Edmontonian journalism student going into my second year at Grant MacEwan College this fall, and for the past four months I have been the Saint City News’s summer student intern.

Up until my first day on the job back at the beginning of May, I had never stepped foot in St. Albert.

Sure I knew it was a city close to Edmonton and yes, I knew there was a trail leading to it by the North Edmonton movie theatre I frequent, but for the last 19 years prior to four months ago, I had never known this city.

And what a shame that was!

Every day for these last four months I have experienced so much of your wonderful city and spoken to so many of you wonderful St. Albertans, that a part of me wishes I could continue to experience it all every day once my internship is over (which it has now, as you read this).

Throughout my four-month journey here, I have met and spoken to a countless number of interesting people with unique backgrounds, special stories, and captivating words to share with me, words and stories I am proud to say that I then shared with the rest of St. Albert.

I wrote stories about remarkable non-profit organizations and what they were trying to do to make the city a better place (sounds cheesy, I know, but it’s true and these people with these organizations really were making a difference).

I wrote stories about the city’s new bylaws, school’s new programs and initiatives, and how province-wide rules affected St. Albertans.

I spoke to people who were raising money for good causes they genuinely believed in.

I spoke to incredibly talented young performers, writers, directors, set designers, and chefs.

My time with this paper gave me the opportunity to experience my first ever Rainmaker Rodeo, St. Albert International Children’s Festival, Outdoor Farmer’s Market, and Rock’n August Festival.

My time with this paper gave me the opportunity to learn that road systems that use names instead of numbers really isn’t that hard to understand and become familiar with after all (it also gave me the opportunity to make Google Maps and Directions my number one most visited website).

My time with this paper gave me the opportunity to see how inviting and willing to talk so many of you are (while at the time showing me how so many of you are rarely ever at your desk or by your phone when I call).

I thank you, St. Albertans, for welcoming me into your city with your open arms.

I thank you, St. Albertans, for letting me spend 120 days exploring your beautiful city from Riel Business Park to downtown Perron Street all the way out to the Sturgeon Valley Golf and Country Club.

I thank you, St. Albertans, for allowing me into your thoughts and letting me capture your words into published and ever-lasting stories that I am proud to clip out and display in my portfolio.

I am so honoured and happy to have been able to spend my summer here in this city.

This was an incredible opportunity that I will remember always.

I have big dreams and goals for myself, and in the future, when I am in that dream job I hope to be in, and someone asks me where I got my start, I will say, while bursting with pride and beaming with fond memories, that I started in the wonderful City of St. Albert.

To that end, I will reiterate my original words at the start of this column:

Goodbye St. Albert!

And thank you.

There is of course a number of things I didn’t mention.

The ups and the downs that I’ve written about on this blog.

But honestly, I have learned SO much.

This has been a truly incredible experience for me and I could not express how lucky I feel, how lucky I am, to have been given this opportunity. Even the work experience that follows at the end of 2nd year Journalism is only 6 weeks, not 4 months. I am so grateful that I was able to experience this– journalism, being a reporter, covering meetings, meeting new people, honing interview skills, dealing with deadlines, dealing with people not calling me back, dealing with how to manage my time, everything that I dealt with and that I encountered these last 4 months– I am so grateful that so glad that I did this. There were a lot of bad moments, near the beginning especially, worries I had, that have since been diffused.

I, from the beginning, have always wanted to go into the broadcast journalism route, but this experience in print journalism has been SO enlightening and I think has given me such breadth of knowledge and experience, and yet there is still so much more I hadn’t encountered this summer, and so much I need to work on and improve upon.

Basically, in the overall scheme of things,

I had fun. I learned a lot. It was a great experience. My co-workers were amazing.

And I had a great summer.

Linda Hoang is an Edmonton blogger who writes about food, travel, lifestyle/events and pets. She’s also a social media/digital specialist with a journalism background. Linda is in love with her city and loves exploring and promoting Edmonton and other places she visits with her husband Mike. Linda is also the founder of the Edmonton International Cat Festival (and has 2 cats herself, along with 2 dogs).

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  • 🎁 DEC 11 GIVEAWAY! 🎁
LOVE pizza? 🍕🍕 Then today’s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway 🎅🏻 is for you!! Win $50 to @LovePizza_YEG!! 🍕
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure you’re following me and @lovepizza_yeg!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 12 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. —————————————
LOVEPIZZA 🍕 is a pretty cool local pizza spot in downtown Edmonton. The owners - a husband and wife team who met on a first date having pizza - want to create memorable experiences around people, places, and you guessed it - pizza! LovePizza pizzas are about 6" wide and 17" long. They have signature pizzas (try the Meatatarian or the Old MacDonald!) and my favourite - Build Your Own Pizza! You can even add an egg 🍳 on your za. Yum. LovePizza regularly gives back to the community, and is always coming up with funky pizza specials! Give them a try. ☺️ Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
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  • 🎁 DEC 10 GIVEAWAY! 🎁
When you wake up craving Mexican-inspired meat platters & churros, you obviously make today’s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway 🎅🏻 a $50 giftcard to @Rostizado_YEG! 😍
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure you’re following me and @Rostizado_yeg!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 11 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. —————————————
Rostizado is a modern-Mexican restaurant that uses fresh, quality local ingredients prepared in traditional-Mexican rosticeria fashion: slow-cooked and hearty. Their platters are a must-try: with rotisserie chicken, beef, and Cuban-Style pork shoulder. We also love their crispy potatoes, roasted cauliflower and various queso dips. They have an awesome lunch deal and the churros are to die for. Rostizado has a great vibe, cool decor, excellent service and a meal here is always a good time! Their sister-restaurant @trescarnales is also a popular spot for tacos in the city! Learn more about Rostizado and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
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  • 🎁 DEC 9 GIVEAWAY! 🎁
I’m a big brunch fan so today’s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway 🎅🏻 is Brunch for 2 to @BundokYEG! (valued at $40).
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure you’re following me and @BundokYEG!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 10 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. —————————————
Bündok is a pretty cool place on 104 Street, serving up delicious and beautifully-plated food. Their brunch menu includes both bistro and brunch options. There's french toast, eggs benny, omelettes and sausages, but the bistro dishes are my favourite - like sea bream crudo and chicken liver. Yuuuum!! Although this giveaway is for brunch, you also have to try their regular lunch and dinner menu. Bündok's gnocchi is unbelievable. Bündok should most certainly be on your list for a visit!  Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
** UPDATE ** Congrats to @chercher14 for winning this giveaway!! Thanks for entering everyone!
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  • 🎁 DEC 8 GIVEAWAY! 🎁
Who LOVES seafood? 🐠 Today’s 24 Days of Christmas 🤶 is a Chef's Table Dinner for FOUR people with wine pairings 🍷to @sabor_yeg!! Delicious, sustainable seafood! This dinner/wine pairing is valued at $250. Happy Friday!!! 🎉 —————————————
To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure you’re following me and @sabor_yeg!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 9 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. —————————————
Sabor is very well-known for serving some of the very best seafood in Edmonton! Sabor serves up delicious Iberian (Portuguese/Spanish/Mediterranean) coastal cuisine, using sustainable, Ocean-wise certified seafood. This beautiful restaurant (perfect for wedding receptions and other intimate gatherings) is also home to live music on weekends! Sabor has been voted one of Canada's best restaurants and is one of my favourites. It's got a great lunch deal (appetizer + entree for $18 from a set menu) and has delicious risotto and paella too. Eating 'Family Style' at Sabor is also popular! Chef Lino will prepare a three-course meal that changes daily, based on seasonal ingredients and his daily ingredients. Sabor is a must-try! Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
** UPDATE ** Congrats to Amber P, the winner of today’s giveaway! .
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  • 🎁 DEC 7 GIVEAWAY! 🎁
Who doesn’t love a good croissant? Well the ones from @chocorrant are GREAT! Today’s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway 🎅🏻 is an Artisan Chocorrant Collection (Baker’s Dozen) of croissants featuring all kinds of flavours like matcha, strawberry milk, chocolate and cookies and cream! (Valued at $50).
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure you’re following me and @Chocorrant!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 8 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. —————————————
Chocorrant is one of Edmonton’s newest patisserie & cafes. They make their croissants in-house, fresh daily, and infuse awesome flavours into these buttery,  fluffy pastries. I had only ever really had cheese, chocolate and regular croissants before Chocorrant opened my eyes to all the wonderful flavours you can have in a croissant! They also have savoury croissant sandwiches and sell over treats too! Visit their cute little store on @shop124street. Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
** UPDATE ** Congrats Andrea K from Facebook! She wins $50 worth or croissants!! .
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  • 🎁 DEC 6 GIVEAWAY! 🎁

Have you tried @ErnestsNAIT? This #yegfood gem and one of Canada’s Best Restaurants (voted by @opentable users!) features delicious cuisine & service by @NAIT Culinary Arts & Hospitality students! I’ve always had a great meal at Ernest’s and now you can too - For today’s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway 🎅🏻, I’m giving away a $50 gift card to this affordable fine dining spot. —————————————
To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure you’re following me and @ErnestsNAIT.
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 3 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. —————————————
Ernest's is an Edmonton food gem - an affordable fine dining spot featuring delicious cuisine and excellent service by NAIT Culinary Arts and Hospitality students. This dining room has been a huge part of the Culinary Arts department for over 50 years, and is recognized as one of Edmonton's top dining experiences. The coolest part is that all the food is prepared and served by students! Ernest's offers a lunch and dinner menu, along with a lunch buffet, and is often host to a bunch of wicked culinary dinners featuring celebrity chefs and local chefs. You're always in good hands at Ernest's. They’ve also been named one of Canada's Best 100 Restaurants in past years, AND for 2017! If you've never tried, now's your chance! I used to call it a hidden gem but it shouldn't be hidden because everyone should know about Ernest's! Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
* * THE WINNER IS @reneechan_yeg! * *
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  • 🎁 DEC 5 GIVEAWAY! 🎁
Happy #TacoTuesday!! 🌮🌮 Today’s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway 🎅🏻 is a $50 gift card to @ElCortezYEG!! Eat all the tacos, tequila, and try their new winter menu!
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure you’re following me and @ElCortezYEG!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 6 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. —————————————
El Cortez is a super cool Mexican kitchen + tequila bar just off Whyte Ave @oldstrathcona. The restaurant/bar specializes in traditional Latin food with a modern twist. Their tasty menu features tacos, tapas, gourmet street food, and Latin brunch. They are one of just 9 establishments in the WORLD to be certified by The Tequila Regulatory Council (so their tequila offerings are legit). They also have amazing decor and an overall wicked vibe - like when I say it's super cool I mean this place oozes cool. Check out the funky graffiti-style wall art and the crazy-lit bathrooms. El Cortez is always a good time. They just launched their new winter menu too so be sure to check it out, PLUS - on Tuesdays its half-price tacos!! 🌮 They’re also currently running a holiday gift card promotion! For every minimum $50 gift card purchased, El Cortez is donating $5 to the Humane Animal Rescue Team @hartedmonton! Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
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  • 🎁 DEC 4 GIVEAWAY! 🎁
Mondays can be hard. Ramen can help! 🍜 Today’s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway 🎅🏻 is a $50 gift card to @yegnoodles!! Eat all their delicious noodz. 🍜
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure you’re following me and @YEGNoodles!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 5 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. —————————————
The Prairie Noodle Shop takes Japanese ramen and infuses it with flavours unique to Alberta. The team behind Prairie Noodle Shop tested the market with a series of ramen pop-ups before opening their 124 Street location. This prairie-inspired ramen is one of the best (and certainly one of the most unique) in the city! Try their NEW winter menu which includes beef and curry bowls, the return of their 🧀 bowl, and new small plates & beers! 🍺 Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
* * UPDATE * * The winner is Jerb2 from Twitter! Thanks for entering everyone!! .
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#yeg #yegfood #edmontonfood#exploreedmonton #lindorksgiveaways #yegxmas #yegchristmas #edmonton #edmontonchristmas #holidays #festive #festivities #hohoho #merrychristmas #yegnoodles #ramen #ramenislife #japanesefood #soup #souperb #tasteab #japaneseramen #albertaramen #albertapork #ramennoodles #noodles #noodz #yegsoup #souperb
  • Sunday Funday at @centralsocialhall trying their delicious brunch 🥂😍 & learning about how the company has evolved over the years - stepping up their #yegfood game! Thanks for the great company @becausemimosas @argenplath @antonatienza & for the invite @jessekupina @vancebosch @chattygirlmedia! 🙏🏻
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#yeg #brunchbrunchbrunch #yegbrunch #exploreedmonton #edmonton #edmontonfood #edmontonbrunch #waffles #belgianwaffles #belgianwaffle #waffles #wafflelove #mimosas #welcometothebrunchclub #brunchqueen #centralsocialhall #centralsocialsunday #sundayfunday #sundaysareforbrunch #brunchislife #yegdt #yegdtfood #instagrammablefood #instagrammable
  • 🎁 DEC 3 GIVEAWAY! 🎁
On Sundays, we brunch! 🍳🥓🤤 That’s why today’s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway 🎅🏻 is Brunch for Four to @xix19! (valued at $120!)
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure you’re following me and @xix19!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 4 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. —————————————
XIX Nineteen offers simply great food. Head Chef Andrew Fung is one of my favourite chefs in Edmonton. Must-orders on their brunch menu: their crispy chicken & waffle (pictured), their five spice bao benny, their Moroccan meatball tagine, and their banana bread french toast. On their regular menu - XIX Nineteen’s signature Ahi Tuna Twists is a must!! XIX Nineteen has two locations - one in Terwillegar south Edmonton and one in St. Albert. Give it a try if you haven’t yet! Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
* * UPDATE * * Congrats to @gingergolovely of Instagram, winner of Brunch for Four to @xix19! Thanks to everyone who entered. Watch for more giveaways! .
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#yeg #yegfood #edmontonfood#exploreedmonton #lindorksgiveaways #yegxmas #yegchristmas #edmonton #edmontonchristmas #holidays #festive #festivities #hohoho #merrychristmas #xixnineteen #xix19 #chefandrewfung #terwillegar #stalbert #stalbertfood #brunch #sundaysareforbrunch #sundayfunday #brunchbrunchbrunch #chickenandwaffles #bubblewaffles
  • 🎁 DEC 2 GIVEAWAY! 🎁
Today’s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway 🎅🏻 is an All-You-Can-Eat Brazilian Steakhouse Dinner for Two to @EatPampaYEG! (valued at $100!)
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure you’re following me and @EatPampaYEG!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
—————————————
For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 3 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. —————————————
Pampa's Brazilian churrascaria provides unlimited fire-roasted select cuts of AAA Alberta beef, pork, chicken and lamb, served table-side. I love their rump steak! They also have a huge salad bar and unbelievably delicious Brazilian cheese buns (#paodequeijo!) Pampa has two Edmonton locations (downtown + Ellerslie) and one location in Calgary! Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
* * UPDATE * * Congratulations to Candice M from Facebook, winner of Dinner for 2 to @eatpampayeg!! .
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#yeg #yegfood #edmontonfood#exploreedmonton #lindorksgiveaways #yegxmas #yegchristmas #edmonton #edmontonchristmas #holidays #festive #festivities #hohoho #merrychristmas #pampa #pampabraziliansteakhouse #braziliansteakhouse #churrascaria #rodizio #allyoucaneat #AYCE #buffet #meatbuffet #meatsweets #eatpampaYEG #yegdt #yegdtfood #pampaellerslie
  • 🎁 DEC 1 GIVEAWAY! 🎁
I’m kicking off my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways 🎅🏻 with the @edmontonmade @YEGBOX! Enter to win an Edmonton food -themed box featuring treats from Edmonton-based  @FruitsSherbrooke  @TheVioletChocolateCompany @JACEKChocolate & @MeltConfections! (valued at $60!) —————————————
To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure you’re following me, @yegbox & @edmontonmade! 
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 2 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. 🤞🏻
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This Food #YEGBOX is one of just a few themed #EdmontonMade boxes. They also have a guy box, baby box, home box and sparkle box! Order online or pick-up at @southgatecentre. Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
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* * UPDATE * * Today’s winner is @lmcfadyen from Instagram! Keep checking my feed to enter for more chances to win through to Dec. 24! Thanks everyone who entered! And be sure to go get a @yegbox yourself or as a gift for the holidays. ☺️
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