Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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Here and Gone

So remember that time I told you about howall thehouseguestswere on their way to my place? Not only did that trip whizz by in the blink of an eye, but it’s been a week since they left and I’m only just now blogging about it!

In no particular order, our adventures included1:

  • wenttoBowen Island2, where we had some amazingly delicious food at the Old Orchard Grill3
  • delicious dinner atForage– I’ve been there a couple of times before, but omg, is their food ever fantastic. And their wait staff is amazing!
  • delicious breakfast at Angelina’s
  • went to my hockey game – well, my mom did. My sister was busy at her conference that day.
  • went to Daniel’s hockey game
  • went to Granville Island, where we did some shopping4 and enjoyed some Lee’s Donuts5and some drinks at Liberty Distillery. I also bought myself an herb garden to put on my balcony6 – it contains parsley, sage, chives, marjoram, and peppermint and it only cost $13!
  • my sister and Dan got to meet my kitties! My mom had already met them on her last trip, but was happy to see her grandkitties again!

Pursuing my phone, I realized that I was a delinquent in taking photos, so I have no proof that anyone actually visited me. But I did take this photo of me stopped in front of a “no stopping anytime” sign on Bowen Island, in my ongoing project to chronicle people disobeying signs.

Untitled

So there’s that.

  1. “Making a delicious meal onmy BBQ” didn’t end uphappening and “trying my delicious home-brewed beer” happened for Dr. Dan, but not my sister (my mom and Dan’s student don’t drink beer, so I wasn’t expecting them to). []
  2. which just so happens to be onmy list of 101 things to do []
  3. Best. French fries. EVER! []
  4. I bought a new dress and got FOUR compliments on it the first day that I wore it! []
  5. Dan and his student agreed with me that Lee’s Donuts kick the butt of Cartem’s Donuts! []
  6. which just so happens to be onmy list of 101 things to do. []

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All The Houseguests!

I believe that I may have mentioned 1 that my mom and my sister are coming to visit me this week. My sister is presenting at a conference here in Vancouver and my mom, being a retired lady of leisure, is coming along for the trip.

So far, our plans include:

I’m sure we’ll get up to a variety of other things, being all spontaneous-like.

But not only are my mom and sister going to be here, but I’m also having another pair of houseguests this week! As it happens, my sister told Dr. Dan about the conference she’s going to, as it’s a conference for post-secondary educators, so he also is going to said conference. Then, as it happens, through what I can only assume is some bureaucratic nonsensicality, Dr. Dan and his graduate student don’t have a hotel room on Tuesday, the day they arrive. There is, apparently, no room at the inn. They are like Mary and Joseph but without the donkey or the imminent arrival of a baby4. I had told Dan that he was most welcome to stay here if he needed, as long as he doesn’t mind it being a little cozy, what with all the houseguests and current feline and amphibian and homo sapiens residents. He agreed that this was a most cromulent arrangement and so that’s how I now will have All The Houseguests at my place on Tuesday.

Dan and his student are arriving in Vancouver on Tuesday morning, but I will be at work, so I told him that he can just drop by my office to get the keys to my place. And then I sent him this email with directions, which I’m posting here because I happen to think I’m pretty hilarious.

Dear Dr. Daniel J. Gillis,
Thank you for booking your accommodations at Chez Neige, New Westminster’s most exclusive hotel, for the night of Tues, June 16th for two guests.

Check in:

You can pick up your keys at our inconveniently located check-in desk at Beth’s office, located at [address redacted]. You can get to this location by taking the Canada Line from the YVR airport to the Broadway-City Hall station. https://goo.gl/maps/u32pa

Upon arriving at [address redacted], you can call or text Beth at [phone number redacted] and she will bring you the keys.

Getting To Your Accommodations:

From the key pick-up location, you can take the 99 bus eastbound (which leaves from in front of the Broadway-City Hall station) to the Commercial Drive Skytrain Station and then take the Skytrain eastbound to New Westminster Station (you can take either of the the archaically named Skytrains – the Expo Line or the Millennium Line from Commercial Drive Station – both of them go from Commercial Drive Station to New Westminster station): [link redacted]

Once there, it’s just a short walk to the condo. Although my address is on [street name redacted], the door to my building is not actually on [street name redacted]. The easiest way to get there is probably to just walk [directions redacted].Or you could just take a taxi to all these locations, if you are so inclined.

Hotel Amenities

Chez Neige features world class amenities, including:

  • a roof over your head
  • the finest of air mattresses
  • free booze
  • complementary cat companions for the duration of your stay

My mom and sister arrive late on Tuesday night, but they didn’t get a fun email with directions because they’ve both been to my place before.

Let the festivities begin!

  1. If I’ve seen you in real life in the last little while, I’m sure I’ve mentioned this to you eleventy billion times! []
  2. Well, my sister is anyway. My mom doesn’t like beer. []
  3. Well, my mom is anyway. I have a 6 pm game in Burnaby on Saturday, but my sister’s conference presentation, which is in downtown Vancouver, doesn’t end until 5:30 pm, so she won’t be able to make it to my game. My sister has been to see me play hockey on a previous trip, but my mom has never seen me play in real life (she saw me play online as the Longest Game for CF was live streamed), so I’m super excited that she’s coming to my game. No matter how old you get, it’s always special when your mom comes to watch your hockey game! []
  4. Well, as far as I know, neither of these two men are preggers nor are they bringing a donkey. As far as I know. []

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Doing All The Things!

So apparently I’ve decided to do all the things, which means that I have eleventy billion things to blog about and no time in which to write said blog posting1, which can only mean one thing. It’s time for a bullet list! List all the bullets!

  • Both my teams’ winter hockey seasons have come to an end. My Burnaby team got knocked out of the playoffs yesterday, but we made a decent showing in both of our playoff games and besides, this was a rebuilding year. My Coquitlam team made it all the way to the finals and lost a heartbreaker in OT.
  • Speaking of hockey, remember the beginning of the NHL season when I joined a fantasy hockey league? As it turns out, I abandoned all gimmicks after week one and actually changed my picks each week (it’s the kind of pool where you get to pick new players each week) and would you believe that actually putting effort into it, rather than being goofy, resulted in me winning the pool? Now I am the proud owner of all the bragging rights!
  • Also, speaking of hockey, I’m taking another set of hockey lessons. I signed up for a class called “Shoot to Score” and based on this description: “The Shoot to Score program is designed for adults wanting to exclusively improve their scoring ability. The program will incorporate skating, passing and puck control but a major emphasis will be placed on developing a players wrist shot, snapshot, back hander, slap shot, one-timer and shooting while in motion“, I made the silly mistake of thinking that I’d be learning to shoot the puck. Instead, the class is being taught as “forward” class, with the other half of the rink being “defenceman” class and then at the end of the lesson they put the two groups together and run drills against each other. I’m a bit disappointed, because I really wanted to work on my shot, which is terrible, but I am learning a bunch of stuff that I think will improve my game, so I’m still going2.
  • Speaking of lessons, our salsa dance instructors told me that I’m good enough to move on to level “Intermediate 2”3! We are just at the start of our third set of “Intermediate 1”, so I think that’s pretty good, as they actually have 4 different sets of “Intermediate 1” classes that people can go through. The problem, however, is that our instructors don’t offer “Intermediate 2” on a night that we are available, so we have to hope that in the next set of lessons, they switch up the nights or we may need to find a new dance studio.
  • Speaking of working on stuff, I’m just 17 days away from my next half marathon4! Since my usual running partner, Alicia, isn’t running this race with me, I decided to sign up for a Sunday morning running clinic that was set up to train for the BMO half, so I’d have people to run with, as the long runs start to get a bit boring by the end of the training if you don’t have company. The group is run out of Fit First in Burnaby (the same place I did my running study) and I’ve enjoyed having company to run with5.

    Here’s a photo of my running clinic group – aren’t we a good looking group?

    I have more to say about my training, but I think that I’ve got a whole blog posting on that (spoiler: there’s a spreadsheet involved!), if only I can find the time to write it. I will say that my ambitious goal, which I’m not sure I will be able to achieve, is to run a sub-2 hr half marathon, which has been on my “to do” list since forever and is currently sitting my list of goals for 2015.

  • Speaking of my “to do” list, I’ve completed yet another item off my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days: #64: Go on a Paddle Wheeler cruise down the Fraser River). Daniel and I went on this cruise last Friday and we had a really good time. We tried to take a selfie that I could put in this posting, but could not get anything even halfway decent (at least in part because I didn’t think to take a photo until after we’d gone out on the ship’s deck in the rain and my hair becomes a complete rat’s nest at the slightest sign of a drop of water). Also, by sheer coincidence, a woman from our salsa dancing class was there with a bunch of her friends, and while there was no salsa music, we all had lots of fun hitting the dance to some old school tunes mixed with some current hits.
  • And speaking about my 101 list, I’ve also knocked #7 – “Be written about in the New Westminster Record” off the list, with this article about the Arts Council of New West, where I happen to be on the board of directors. I really like the photo we had taken:

    For the record, I didn’t know everyone else was going to be wearing black, grey or blue when I chose a red shirt!

  • And also speaking of my 101 list, I have just booked a trip to Halifax in May, which will knock #46 – “Go to Nova Scotia” off that list and will leave me just one province short of having been to all the provinces in Canada6. I’m going to a conference in Halifax to present some of my research, which will be fun. I’ll also get to stop by Toronto on my way home to visit the fam for a few days, which will be awesome. And, as it so happens, I’ll be there for my nephew’s birthday party, which will be doubly awesome!
  • Speaking of trips, Daniel and I have registered for the Montreal full and demi-marathon, respectively, in Montreal in September. So I’ll get to see some family then too, as I have family who live there and my mom plans to go there while we are there too.
  • And speaking of seeing my family, my sister is coming to present at a conference in Vancouver in June and my mom is going to join her for the trip. The kitties are very excited to see their grandmother again and to meet their Aunt Nancy!
  • And finally, speaking of people visiting, I get to see Sarah on Sunday, as she is going to be in Seattle, so I’m going to drive down there to hang out! So excited!

So, as you can see, I am clearly doing all the things and I haven’t even talked about, you know, work, teaching, and various other gadding about that I do. I also hear there’s this cool thing called “getting enough sleep” that I’d totally love to check out someday, if I can only find the time!

  1. As a microcosm of my doing all the things, while writing this blog posting, I’m also doing laundry, doing dishes, baking cherry squares for the bake sale that my office is having tomorrow, watching the Winnipeg Jets v. Anaheim Ducks playoff game and being kneaded on by Crick. Oh, now I’m being climbed all over by Crick. Crick is really turning into quite the lap cat, especially when I’m trying to type something. []
  2. Incidentally, if anyone knows of any good classes where I can actually learn to shoot the puck, let me know! []
  3. Daniel’s done Intermediate Level 2 before, so it’s just been me that needed to develop my skills a bit more so we could move on []
  4. The BMO Vancouver []
  5. Though to be totally honest, I really miss running with Alicia! []
  6. Newfoundland, I will conquer you one day! []

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My Last Vacation Was So Fun, I Think I’ll Have Another. And Another.

Last week I was on holidays to spend time with my mom and my aunt, who were visiting for my graduation. We had a lovely time being Vancouver tourists, doing such activities as:

  • shopping on Robson Street
  • various delicious meals with various delicious wines
  • visiting Granville Island
  • walking along the New Westminster Quay about a million times
  • my graduation
  • dinner with project group from school after graduation at Cioppinos
  • grad party on the Yaletown Keg rooftop patio
  • chocolate tasting at Xoxolat

This week I was back at work. And while I love my job, work has significantly fewer lunches where someone says “Let’s share a bottle of wine” than does vacation, so I’m going back on holidays after tomorrow.

Actually, I’d already planned this second vacation even before all the wine-based lunches of last week. I’m going to a conference in Ottawa the following week and since I had to pay for the flight out east, I figured I should take some vacation time to visit my family. So all next week I’ll be in Toronto, visiting family and friends, getting in some very important aunting time – I haven’t seen my niblings since Christmas! – and, undoubtedly, having more wine-based lunches. Then it’s off to Ottawa, where I’m going to the Canadian Evaluation Society conference. I’m staying with Sarah & Dave while I’m there and I would not be surprised if there was some wine drinking involved.

But lest you think I’m drinking too much wine – do not fear! I’m starting my holidays on Friday night at a craft beer event with Cath. Right after my massage appointment.

And as if my two vacations weren’t enough, just 9 days after returning, I’ll be setting out for a long weekend in San Fran to celebrate Kalev’s birthday! In those 9 days, I’ll be running a half marathon and moving, so I think I’ll  be ready for another vacation!

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Vacay

The first of several mini-vacations I’m having over the next ~month started at 5 pm on Friday. So, naturally, a wicked sore throat started at about 4:15 pm on Friday. Because why get sick during work time, when you can be sick on the weekend and vacation1? I’m trying very hard to kick this sore throat’s butt, with copious amounts of lounging, tea, water, kitty cuddles, and Buckley’s mixture. My throat was feeling significantly better today than yesterday, so I went for my scheduled 18 km run today, which I can only assume helped me sweat out the virus/bacteria/prion/evil spirit that has taken up residence in my throat. Because my mom and aunt Eileen arrive to visit me tomorrow and I want this sore throat gone by then! But I digress.

This upcoming week is my first of three mini-vacations. As I just mentioned, my mom and aunt Eileen2 are coming to visit me. And they are coming to visit me to attend my GRADUATION! That’s right, though it seems like forever ago that I finished my MBA, graduation comes but twice a year at UBC, and so I will be graduating on Wednesday! I’m really looking forward to this graduation, as the MBA program is cohort-based, so unlike the graduations for my previous degrees, I will actually know a tonne of the people who are graduating3 and even the valedictorian is from my cohort! Plus, I get to wear the awesome bright pink robes and puffy hat of the PhD again! Long live the puffy hat!

After this week off, I’ll be back at work for a week, and then I’m off for mini-vacation #2. Specifically, I’ll be heading to Toronto to visit my family, then catching a ride with Sarah & Dave to Ottawa, where I’ll be going to a conference. Then I’m back at work for 5 days out of 6 possible work days (I’m taking one day off in there to move into my new condo!) and then I head out on mini-vacation #3 – a 4-day weekend in San Fran for Kalev‘s birthday!

Hooray x3!

  1. Incidentally, I think this may be why I have like 800 hours in my sick bank at work. []
  2. You you make recall from our fabulous European vacation last summer! []
  3. In addition to my part-time cohort, there will also be the full-time cohort, the Executive MBA cohort (and I’ll know a few of these people), plus a few other programs graduating. []

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Bulleted Lists Are The New Black

Just finished a weekend of classes. As per usual, I learned a tonne of stuff, the people are super awesome and I’m freaking exhausted. Freaking exhaustion will thus be my excuse for a lack of coherence and plethora of typos I will likely make in this blog posting. Apologies in advance.

And now – a bulleted list1!

  • My mom, sister, and baby nephew came to visit last week. And I totally didn’t blog any of it because I suck. Or perhaps because we were having way too much fun to spend time blogging. Yes, I think it was latter. They were only here from Friday to Tuesday, which was waaaay too short!  But we did manage to have such adventures as fish & chips for dinner on Friday at Cockney King, checking out the boardwalk at the New West Quay (since I now live near there and all), a trip to Granville Island, and, because my family is so awesome, finished setting up the apartment2
  • We also had our housewarming party last weekend which I also failed to blog. It was super awesome to actually be able to host a party3 and to be able to show off our lovely view – which was the first thing that pretty much everyone commented on when they came into the apartment. And Devon got to show off his mad bar tending skills, which were also highly appreciated. Thanks to everyone who came out and made it such a great party. Also, we somehow seemed to have ended up with more booze than when we started, so you all need to come back again to drink said booze.
  • Another thing I failed at was taking photos while my family was visiting was taking photos. I took a grand total of one – it’s my mom holding my baby nephew Thomas, who in turn is holding a pint of Guinness4:

Grandma, Baby Thomas and pint of Guinness.

  • My nephew Thomas is the best baby in the whole wide world! He’s adorable and hilarious and extremely brilliant5. He also loves to watch kitchen appliances in action – especially the mixer and the coffee grinder. Seriously, he lost his little mind anytime the coffee grinder was turned on – wherever he was in the apartment, as soon as he heard the coffee grinder, he’d crawl as quick as a flash into the kitchen and insist on being picked up by whoever was closest to the grinder. And then when it was done he’s stick his hand out towards it, which is his baby way of saying, “More! Grind more coffee! This is the most entertaining thing in the entire world and I MUST SEE MORE OF IT!” Now I can’t grind coffee without feeling guilty that Thomas isn’t here to watch it.
  • In class this weekend, we spent some time with students visiting from Shanghai, where UBC has an MBA program (known as the “International MBA”), which was pretty cool. We had lunch with them at the Hotel Vancouver and then they joined us for a discussion on a case study of a trade dispute between China and the US over solar panels. It was pretty cool getting to know the students and hear about what they are up to in China. We will see them again in just under 2 weeks to do another case study – this time on Cirque du Soleil!
  • I have sooo many more things to blog about6, but it’s way past my bedtime, so those things will have to wait!
  1. Somehow bulleted lists make my lack of coherence seem less obvious than if I tried to write paragraphs with segues and suchlike. Or so I like to tell myself []
  2. We had only gotten the key to our storage locker just a few days before they arrived, so it was actually a bit of a miracle that we got our place *mostly* set up before they got here, but there was a coffee table to put together, furniture to rearrange, and things to clean! []
  3. As the vast majority of people would never come out to my old place. Not that I’d blame them! []
  4. For the record, in case anyone is thinks I’d actually give a baby a pint of Guinness, let me clarify that that was a stress ball in the shape of a pint of Guinness – also known as a “stress pint.” []
  5. Not that I’m biased or anything. []
  6. Note to self: Those things include, but are not limited to: my new plants, my new t-shirts, the May Challenge, Prosper, a whole bunch of photos that I have collected here, there, and everywhere []

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Countdown to Vacation!

I am a mere five workdays away from my first true vacation in a year and a half! I say “true” vacation because, though I have had time off from work, my last two trips have been to Ontario1 and trips to Ontario are not restful for me. I mean, I have a great time seeing family and old friends, but there is so much pressure to run around and see everyone that I really don’t get to relax at all. So my last relaxing vacation was my trip to the Dominican in January 2010! That is just waaaay too long ago.

So, I have to say that I’m *very* much looking forward to my upcoming eight day sojourn to Portland, Oregon. As I mentioned before, my sister and her posse are flying to Portland and I shall be driving Zaphod Beeblebrox the Car to meet them. Our plans for Portland consist of doing whatever the hell we feel like, whenever the hell we feel like it. Portland is supposed to be a super awesome city, so I’m sure we won’t have much trouble finding fun things to do each day.

Driving across the border on a long weekend, however2, is going to suck donkey balls, but my plan is that I’ll leave super early on Saturday morning, which hopefully means the border lineup will only be half crazy instead of completely batshit, and I can always entertain myself in a long border lineup by doing some studying. Then I can take my time driving down the coast (Sarah‘s suggestion is that I check out Mount St. Helens on the way) and then putter around in Portland until Nancy et al arrives that evening.

But before then – five more workdays3. So I should really get to bed so that I can get up for work!

  1. December 2010 and June 2011 []
  2. Especially a long weekend where the Canadian dollar is so strong []
  3. And about 10 days worth of work that need to be done in those five workdays! []

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More Visitors!

For the second weekend in a row, I was spoiled with visitors!  Sarah, Dave and Teddy came to town on Friday and spent the whole weekend here before leaving on their cruise down the Pacific coast today.

After I got home from work on Friday, Tod and I met up with them at their hotel room.  Teddy, trooper that he is, managed to stay up ’til 7 p.m. Pacific time, even though that’s three hours later than his normal bedtime (due to the time zone difference) which meant (a) we got to meet him right away and not have to wait ’til the next morning, (b) we got to see him a bit before he went to bed and (c) he was pretty quickly onto Pacific time for his trip.  And he was as smiley as smiley can be!  Now, I’d like to say that he was smiley because he just took such a shine to his Aunt Beth, but he is honestly the happiest kid I’ve *ever* met!  His smile is huge, adorable and always there!  Poor little guy was teething and he was still smiling most of the time!

After the Tedster hit the hay, Sarah, Tod and I grabbed some dinner at the Twisted Fork1, while Dave generously stayed back at the hotel with T. To that Dave for his generosity, he was rewarded with poutine from Fritz. Mmm, poutine.

Saturday brought us across the Burrard Inlet to the lovely city of North Vancouver to visit Sarah’s friends Deepa and David and their baby, Soji.

DSCF3103 by you.Sarah, Teddy & Aunt Beth on the SeaBus.  Most smiley baby ever!

Deepa made a wicked delicious lunch for us and we had tonnes of fun meeting Soji and catching up with Deepa & David, who I last saw the last time Sarah was here, when both she and Deepa were preggers.

DSCF3108 by you.

Baby Soji has the biggest eyes of any baby I’ve ever seen!  So freaking adorable!  It was absolute baby adorableness overload (in a good way!)

Saturday evening brought us back to Sarah & Dave’s hotel for T’s bedtime and some takeout sushi.  There are many reasons I’m proud to be a Vancouverite and one such reason is our ridiculously good sushi that comes at ridiculously cheap prices.  Mmm, sushi.

Sunday was filled with brunch at the Flying Swan2, a quick trip to Granville Island in a futile attempt to buy cans of Granville Island Brewing’s Maple Cream Ale since Sarah was unable to find it in cans at the Liquor Store3, and the arrival of Sarah’s parents4.  In the evening, Dave, Teddy & Sarah’s parents headed to Stepho’s for dinner5 while Sarah and I headed to my hockey game.  I’m so glad that Sarah was willing (and able!) to come to watch me play hockey. Most of the people I play with are from Vancouver and so other players’ family come to watch their games and it always makes me a bit wistful because my family are so far away. So to be able to have Nancy, Jeff & Madeline watch me play last week, and Sarah watch me play this week, was a real treat for me!  Unfortunately, we couldn’t pull out a win, but we did play really well6.  After the game, Sarah and I went to the Naam, as Sarah has been to the Naam on all of her previous trips and needed to keep the streak alive. Also, it was 9 p.m. by that point and we hadn’t eaten since lunch.  We both opted for the cashew & avocado burrito.  Mmm, burrito.

And then, almost as soon as they arrived, they were off!  I’m so happy that they came out to spend the weekend with me before their cruise and I’m super stoked to have *finally* met Teddy!  Hope you guys are having a great cruise!!

Photo credits: Dave McLean.  All rights reserved, yo.

  1. which I’d never even heard of before; it was pretty good. Notably, their menu and drinks come adorned with forks that are twisted.  Don’t you like my insightful restaurant review? []
  2. can you tell we like to eat? []
  3. spoiler: they no longer sell it in cans []
  4. who are joining S, D & T on the cruise and the sight of whom made Teddy’s ever present smile even smiley-er, which I didn’t think was possible! []
  5. again with the delicious food for ridiculously cheap []
  6. we outshot them by almost double!  Couldn’t quite seem to put the puck *in* the net though []

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My 4.5 Year Old Niece Climbed A Mountain This Weekend. What Did You Do?

My sister, her bf and my niece1 were in town this weekend, just to visit little ole me! And we had a freakin’ blast!

They arrived on Saturday morning and I was there at the airport to greet them and to give Madeline a ride in my Smart car! Being only a two-seater, Smarts come with a weight sensor in the passenger seat so that if you are giving a ride to a kid in a car seat, the air bag is deactivated. A quick stop at my house to drop off my car and pick up my bag, we headed to the Hotel Vancouver, where we stayed for the weekend. And after checking in to the hotel, we did what anyone who just got up at the crack of dawn to travel across the country would want to do – we climbed a mountain! The Grouse Grind to be exact.

IMGP0119 by you.

Requisite photo of us before we start the Grind. I think I have a photo of me with everyone with whom I’ve ever done the Grind in front of this sign.

IMGP0121 by you.

Madeline doing her best bear claw pose.  We’d told her that there were some grizzlies bears we could go to see at the top of the mountain (hence the bear hat)2.

People on the Grind who saw us with a 4.5 year old reacted with either judgementally judginess (“Are you planning to carry her 3/4 of the way??3) to amazement (“She’s doing great! I brought my 10 year old daughter, and we had to turn around at the 1/4 mark”4)

We finished the climb in 1 hr 59 mins  33 seconds. And that includes many a water break, plus about a 5 minute stop to eat granola bars.  ‘cuz who doesn’t like a little carbo-reloading along the trail?

Once at the top, we wanted to savour the accomplishment, take some photos and just enjoy the moment.  Madeline – she wanted to see the grizzly bears.  No recognition of having climbed a mountain and how impressive that was.  Just grizzly bears.

IMGP0123 by you.

We asked a woman who was selling gondola tickets5 at the top of the Grind how to get to the grizzlies.  She told us that we could go around the building to the right, but it was a bit of a rocky hiking path, or we could take the long way around to the left, which is smoother.  “With the little one,” she said, “you might want to take the smoother path.”  Uh, we are at the top of a mountain that she just climbed!!  I’m pretty sure she can handle a few more steps of hike-y goodness!

IMGP0130 by you.

One of the Grouse Mountain grizzly bears. I’m not sure if this is Grinder or Coola6, but I can say that they look *a lot* bigger in real life.  Their claws are as big as my head!

It was mother flipping cold up on that mountain, what with it being September and all7, but we hung around long enough to see the bears, get a beaver tail and some hot chocolate and watch the end of the horribly overacted lumberjack show.  At this point, we could no longer feel our hands due to the cold, and so we headed for the gondola.  The entire gondola ride, Nancy just kept repeating, “I can’t believe we just climbed that!”

At the bottom of the mountain, there are some timberwolves8 and Madeline was as excited to see them as to see the bears.  The timberwolf we saw was howling, so that was even awesomer than just your regular run-of-the-mill wolf.

After that, we headed back to the hotel for some quick showers so that we could then head out for dinner. Unfortunately, when you combine a 3 hour time difference and a 2 hour mountain hike, Madeline was out like a light by the time we’d all showered.  Like, unwakeably asleep.  So Jeff generously offered to stay back at the hotel with our sleeping beauty while Nancy and I went for sushi with Tod. 9

Sunday consisted of an early morning swim for Madeline and Jeff (while Nancy and I slept!), the Madeline went for breakfast with her dad (who has just moved to Vancouver from Toronto) while Nancy, Jeff, Tod and I went to the Omlettery for our own delicious breakfast. And then we picked up Madeline and I made everyone come to watch me play hockey!  To reward their kindness in coming to watch me play (as none of them could really care less about hockey10, I scored a goal!  It was my typical “screen the goalie, wait for someone with a good shot to make an attempt and then pick up the garbage rebound and shovel it ungracefully into the net.” But a goal is a goal and I gots me a goal!  Yay me!

After that we went to White Spot for a late lunch so that Madeline could have a Pirate Pack and then off to the swimming pool at the hotel again.  By the time we were done that it was time for dinner, so off we went to sushi and Madeline, poor kid, fell asleep pretty much as soon as we got to the restaurant.  Sushi is one of her favourite things to eat and the poor kid missed both our sushi dinners!

Monday I had to work, but I decided to work at home ‘cuz (a) I had some writing to get done for a Tuesday meeting and it helps to be away from the distractions at my office to do that and (b) I could save the time I would have spent commuting and spend that with my fam.  More swimming, coffee at Caffè Artigiano and Indian buffet at All India capped off a most awesome trip!

IMGP0135 by you.

Madeline enjoying some steamed milk at Caffè Artigiano

An older gentleman started talking to us at Caffè Artigiano and before we left he wanted to give Madeline a toonie11, so he asked her, “What’s 1 and 1?”  Without missing a beat, she replied, “Eleven.”

That kid rocks!

  1. or “Team Nancy” as Tod called them []
  2. the bears, for the record, are in an enclosure. We weren’t just taking the child out into the woods to sneak up on any grizzlies! []
  3. to which we responded, “She’ll be carrying us!” []
  4. When we were nearing the top, we told Madeline she was doing an awesome job, to which she replied, totally straight-faced, “Yeah, not like that man’s 10 year old daughter. []
  5. you can buy a ticket for $5 to ride the gondola back down, rather than trying to walk down the Grind which, while some people do it, is pretty much insane []
  6. I thought their names were Bella and Coola. Grizzly name knowing FAIL! []
  7. stupid autumn []
  8. like the bears, they are in an enclosure []
  9. Thanks Jeff!  You are super nice! []
  10. except for Tod. I’ve turned him into a hockey fan! []
  11. for my American readers, a “toonie” is our two dollar coin in Canada. Yes, we have a two dollar coin []

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A Month of Babies

For me, September is going to be a month o’ babies.  First up, I’m babysitting my friends Clayton & Jodelene’s baby next Saturday while they go to a Sarah McLaughlin concert.  Mason is six months old and so so so so cute!  I’m really looking forward to hanging out with Mason for the afternoon.

The next weekend brings Sarah and Dave and their baby, Teddy, to town from Ottawa.  Teddy is seven months old and so so so so cute! And I’m the worst aunt in the world, ‘cuz I haven’t even met Teddy yet, so I’m ridiculously excited to finally meet him!  While they are here, we are also going to meet up with Sarah’s friends Deepa and David and their baby, Sarojini. I’ve only seen a couple of photos of her from when she was born (so so so so cute!) and she’s about five months old now so she’ll be sooo much bigger than those photos.

And then the weekend after that my sister, her bf and my neice are coming to visit.  And, ok, my neice is almost five years old, so she’s not exactly a baby anymore. But she’s always be my little baby!  And I’m super duper excited to see all of them. And to take Madeline for a drive in my Smart Car!  Also, they are going to come and watch me play hockey. Yay!