Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I'm Coming Home.

Last week was a week of tickets. The good kind.

On the radio last week here in Calgary they announced that Maroon 5 would be playing at the Saddledome in March. SAY WHAT!? I immediately broke the news to Andrea and Jenny and told them that I was going and that they should join. Unfortunately, by the time we decided to sit down and buy tickets, the show was sold out. Sad days. But alas, kijiji saved us and we were able to buy tickets from someone who bought them in bulk. HAPPY DAYS! Mmm. Adam Levine, I'll see you in March! favourite ticket from last week....

My plane ticket. It's official! I'm coming home for Christmas. An expensive trip, but well worth it. I can't imagine NOT going home for Christmas. I'm so thankful to have this opportunity, and beyond excited for my trip home. 

Things on my to-do list when I come home: 

- visit my loving and supportive family 

- visit my amazing friends whom I miss immensely! 

- go on a bumble (or two, or three..) 

- Snooty Fox (and other charming gathering places in Freddy)

- Sleepover at Sara's (with junk food, cheesy movies, hugs, tears, laughter, and sharing stories)

- Relish date with Kate 

- visit campus 

- Coffee and Friends with Kathryn 

- Sleepover at Grandmom's 

- Lunches at Grammy's 

- girl talks with Mom 

- laughter, wine, and food with Dad 

- visit Grandad 

There is so much more I'm probably not including in this list, but if I write anymore I'm gonna cry out of happiness. Because when I write this list, I remember how much I'm loved and how much I love. I watched Ellen today (like I do everyday!), and she said something that really stuck with me. I can't remember it word for word, but it was along the lines of this: 

"I believe there is nothing more important in life than love. To be loved, to know how to love, and to give love are the most important things and all that matters. It's a beautiful thing." - Ellen DeGeneres

To sum it up, I can't wait to go home! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Come Back Fall.


6 inches of it (or more). 

Outside my window. 

On October 24th. 


I can't say that winter is my least favourite season, because I find something I like in all of them. Spring smells good, summer brings sunshine and days on the beach, sipping cold beverages on the patio, and bonfires behind the house, fall brings the most beautiful colours and new smells, and winter brings comfort, the crunching of snow, and Christmas. 


Where did fall go? Here in Calgary it seemed like one day the leaves were falling out of the sky and the next there was white snow EVERYWHERE. I'm not exaggerating. Friday while supervising kids outside they were making piles of leaves and jumping in them and trying to catch the leaves out of mid air when they fell from the trees. Today they were building snow forts and snow men and bundled in layers of clothing. How is this possible?

What happened to the crunching of the leaves under my feet, wearing a light coat and sipping Caramel Apple Spices outside and the damp smell of leaves disintegrating on the ground. Now I feel like I have to move on to damp socks and cold feet inside winter boots, scarves around my neck, and peppermint hot chocolate on my walk around the city. 

And kids are starting to sing Christmas carols. Too soon. Too soon. (Blog post to come)

Come back fall. I miss your charm!

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Weekend Getaway.

This Thanksgiving long weekend, my Great Uncle David invited me to spend the holiday in Vancouver. I was thrilled when I got the invite, and even more thrilled when I was able to get the Friday off to spend 4 days in the city. It certainly was a whirlwind trip, but it was absolutely fantastic and the best possible way to spend the Thanksgiving weekend!

After getting completely lost on my way to the Calgary International Airport Friday morning at 5:30am (details to come in a future post about my bad sense of direction), I flew over the Rocky Mountains and landed in Vancouver at 8:30am. A warm hug and quick catch up chats later, Uncle David and I began our weekend together by checking out his humble abode and remarking on the beautiful weather. I was excited to see the sun and its warmth in Vancouver because recently it has been bloody cold in Calgary and we've seen many a snowflake fly. Uncle David has a rooftop deck that I admire. It looks out over the harbour and along the mountains. You really can't get a better view. I can see myself spending many many hours in the summer on top of his house taking in every minute of the scenery and peacefulness. I hope that in my future trips I get to spend more time atop the deck! (hint hint Uncle David!)

After taking a walk around the University of British Columbia campus and checking out the Anthropology Museum, we finished the night off with a fantastic and delectable dinner at Cactus Club Cafe - a restaurant owned and run by celebrity chef Rob Feenie. Now, I've written before about my love for food and everything about it. So when Uncle David suggested we check out this restaurant I was so excited to take in my first meal at a celebrity chef's restaurant. A big deal for this foodie. I had a seared halibut atop noodles and a vegetable medley with a saffron cream sauce. For dessert, we enjoyed a chocolate mousse with a caramel foam and toffee bits and a drink of cappuccino. Yum yum yum!

Saturday was another fantastic day weather-wise. David took me to Grouse Mountain - the peak of Vancouver. I can't describe in words how magnificent the view of the city is from atop the mountain. You also get a great view of the different mountain ranges. The pictures don't do it justice, but at least they'll give you a taste.

After our adventure on the mountain, David ventured home for a much needed nap and I went to Robson St. and did some shopping. Can never get tired of shopping! I'm quite proud of myself - I looked up the bus schedule online and found the proper bus to get me to the shopping district and back to the hotel. Didn't get lost once! A different story can be said for my first bus trip in Calgary (another future blog post about my bad sense of direction?!) I bought a new pair of shoes on my shopping adventure and wore them on our dinner cruise along the harbour and Falls Creek that night. Another great way to get some beautiful views and pictures of the city. The city looks so majestic at night. The lights reflect off the water and create a wonderful ambiance. If only it hadn't been so darn cold!

Sunday was an action packed day! David and his friend Marg meet for breakfast and walk along the sea wall on Sundays. So I joined in on the fun. Now, I must add that the night before the new shoes I wore gave me quite the gash on my right heel. So wearing sneakers and walking approxiamtely 10 km that morning I knew was going to be painful. But it was totally worth it! That was probably the most beautiful walk I've ever taken. It was sunny out and warm, but not too warm that I was drenched in sweat by the end of it. Lots of people take in this unique walk. And not only do they walk, the rollerblade, skateboard and bike too! Which leads me to the next part of my day. I rented a bike later in the afternoon and biked around the rose gardens in Stanley Park and then back along the sea wall. Everyone rents bikes in Vancouver. I can probably direct you to 5 different rental shops within a 7 block radius from the hotel I was staying at. My bike had a cute little basket to hold my purse and leftover noodle take out from a cute noodle pulling restaurant around the corner from my hotel. I got some great pictures of the city on my stroll and bike ride on Sunday (and on the bus tour I took between the two). Did I mention that it was an action packed day?!

That night, David and I went to the lookout tower restaurant and had supper. This restaurant had a rotating floor so that while you ate and chatted, you got to see some beautiful sites of the city from every angle. I mean, I saw EVERY INCH of the city at night from up there and I didn't have to move (the floor did that for me). The food was delicious, the sites were breathtaking, and the company couldn't have been better. It's difficult to pick one thing that I enjoyed most of all the fabulous things I did while in Vancouver, but I must say that this is on my list of things to do again whenever I return.

After a busy busy busy three days in Vancouver, David and I both agreed without conversing with one another that Monday we needed to slow down. After having breakfast, I strolled out to the beach and sipped on a coffee, read a good book, and sat in the sand wiggling my toes through it. Nothing feels better then sand between your toes and the sun beating down on you. The smell of the water and the sound of children splashing around brought a smile to my face and a peace in my heart - like nothing I've felt before in a long time. The feelings are returning slightly as I write this all down...

The rest of the afternoon before my flight departed back to Calgary was spent with David on Granville Island checking out the fantastic market and people watching on the boardwalk. They had some decent buskers performing, but I think the performance from the plethora of children chasing pigeons was top notch. I found myself in tears giggling at their presistence and tactics on several occasions.

What a fun filled weekend. I'm still tired and haven't gotten caught up on sleep. That's okay though, because it was totally worth it!

PS - did I mention that I came home with a tan?! The weather was so perfect that this pale red head came home with a slight tan. Yes, sir!

Friday, October 5, 2012

I Love Love.

Wednesday's at my job are "Meltbead" days with the students. This is probably my favourite day of the week at work, and also the students'. Meltbeads are a neat craft for kids to build, experiment, and be creative. And let me tell you, my students are some of the most creative I've ever encountered! I've seen kids create robots, the earth, peace signs, men and moustaches, and a world of other creations out of these little beads during meltbead day! 

This past Wednesday, I created the meltbead below and this is the conversation that followed with one of my students:

Student: What does that say? 

Me: It says "Love"

Student: I love love!!

Me: What a coincidence, so do I. It feels so good to be loved, doesn't it? 

Student: I've never felt anything more good'er 

Have I said lately, how much I love my job and the kids I'm surrounded by on a daily basis? They really are fantastic and I'm at my happiest when I'm around them! 

Side note: Leaving for Vancouver tomorrow for 4 days. Updates and photos from the trip to come. Bon Voyage!