Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The scars of our parents...

So I have been watching Gene Simmons Family Jewels for a couple years now.  I actually really enjoy watching that family, they seem very grounded considering the fame and notoriety that Gene has surrounding him.  Especially, when you consider, this family to other Rock star families, this family seems very real and not completely swallowed up by the hype that seems to live and breathe within LA. 

Through the first six seasons, Gene has been opposed to marriage, and Shannon hasn't really pressed the issue so much as she has been busy with the kids and the home.  Gene says that he and Shannon have been happily unmarried for 2X years.  He is content with being unmarried and being in a relationship with Shannon that still allows him to live his rock star life in public with girls hanging off his arms.  But this season you see a change.

I don't think this change happens because Gene wakes up one day and is like hey marriage isn't so bad, but because Shannon decides she can't continue on this path.  She has raised the kids, she is ready to just have her and Gene time.  So Shannon leaves the house and stays in a hotel for awhile.  Gene comes to realize all the Shannon does for him and he wants to do whatever he has to to get Shannon back. 

Gene seems to have some commitment issues, he seems to have some Daddy issues as well.  His dad left his family when he was 7, as Gene remembers it.  But that's not the whole story, as he found out in the most recent episode, Gene's mom actually sent his dad to work and then she moved with Gene to America.  It seemed a little confusing when I was watching it last night but it got me to think. 

Many of us make decisions in our life based on what we experienced in our childhood, and often based on the negative experiences we make firm decisions to never be this way or that way. Which seems to be what Gene has done, because he does not want to leave his family like his father did, and if he never gets married he never has to feel trapped in a situation that he can't leave.  His dad 'abandoning' his family left a deep scar for him and I am sure he is working it out in therapy, which I applaud.  And it makes me look at my life and I try to think of decisions I may have made that were based on my experiences. 

Some of them are little things, some of them I am sure are bigger.  But I don't deny things and I face things because I know that is the only way I can get through this life without any regrets.  I have no regrets and that's what I want in my life, no regrets.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Locker Stories

I read a book a couple years ago.  It was a novel that was a collection of short stories about people going on vacation to a specific resort.  It got me thinking that it might be fun to write stories for a YA audience that tells all the stories that teens go through in high school.  So I began working on some stories.  I find that sometimes my writing is quite dark, quite focused on the dramatic things that aren't always positive in high school. Which is weird because it's not like my high school experience was filled with dramatic experiences of horror.

So I am wanting some critiques of my stories so here is a sample of one of the stories..... it's the introduction.


I never thought my dream date with the college boy would end up in a nightmare.  I remember telling my best friend how excited I was to finally be going out with a real guy, a man, not just some high school boy like I was used to dating.  She was so jealous! Her face was green with envy.  I will have to break my promise to her now, I cannot set her up with one of his friends.  That would NEVER happen now!!
            I wish I were back at my locker talking with her then.  I wish I had blown off this date with James to go out with Seth again.  But dating a college guy was so exciting, it felt so grown up but now I just felt sick and violated.
“Now Miss, I know this will be difficult,” the officer said in a soothing voice, “but we need you to tell us everything from the beginning of the night.”
            After the humiliation I had just undergone, reliving the nightmare was not something I wanted to do.  I pulled the scratchy blanket tighter around my shoulders, trembling and freezing.  I stared at my feet, in the tattered nylons they were a bluish colour.  I stared at them willing them to turn the nice peachy flesh colour they normally were, but it was all an excuse not to look the officer in the face.
            “Why don’t you start at the beginning, the beginning of the date?” coaxed Officer Schultz, pen poised to take notes as I spoke.
            “He picked me up at eight,” A small crackling voice said, I realized it was mine and tried to clear my throat, but swallowing hard hurt.
            “It’s ok I can understand you just fine, you are doing well, please continue,” Officer Shultz encouraged.
            “His hair was tousled, he looked so good and so sweet,” I paused remembering my initial thoughts when he had arrived at my door.  I recalled every detail of those first moments as I closed my eyes.  I drew my legs in closer to my body.  Lying on my side I couldn’t shift my gaze or I would look into the officers face and I’d see the disgust I felt for myself mirrored in the Officers eyes.
            I was disgusted with myself for having let this happen to me.  I was a strong girl and I liked him, but ‘No’ wasn’t good enough for him.
            “Where did you go first?” Officer Shultz interrupted my spiraling thoughts.
            “We went to that new Italian restaurant.  I had Shrimp Fettuccine and he had Lasagna,” the officer’s pen made scratching noises as he wrote my words, little details, about the evening.
            Details like how James had told me I had haunted eyes.  How my laugh was like tinkling crystal.  How James had stood when I went to the washroom, how he had pushed my chair in. Sweet characteristics, those chivalrous acts that are dead in so many guys these days, things that will sweep a girl off their feet because a guy is treating them like a lady and not just another conquest.
            “He was a real Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” I stated blandly recalling how his personality had switched and things had gone wrong, so terribly wrong.
            “They often are like that,” responded Officer Shultz, “So after supper where did you go?”

stay tuned for more excerpts this summer of other chapters in this book. Maybe it will be available online sooner and in print soon after that.

What's the point????

So I am not sure what the point is anymore.  It's super frustrating to be perfectly honest.  I mean what's the point of vandalism???  Is there a point or is it just the point that the person is angry and needs to break something of someone else's??  Maybe that's the point, but I bet it didn't make them feel better.

I was opening my blinds this afternoon to let in some late light into my front room.  Usually I open them earlier but I was being a cave dweller today so I didn't. Then while I was on the phone I opened my front window.  As I opened the second blind, I saw a hole in my window.  Yup a big old hole in the window.  I was rendered speechless.  Then I checked the last window and ANOTHER hole in my window.

They  are double paned windows so they only broke the outer pane, but still need to get those windows replaced.  It's going to be a big pain in my butt, especially with the wedding and stuff.  Hopefully, since we have a police report on it, it won't be so bad and our insurance will help cover part of the cost.  It should be covered under vandalism, so that should help with the cost, but my insurance had better not  rise. 

But really why do people vandalise?  I don't  even get graffiti, no matter what it's not pretty, or better  for the view, it's just a mark of someone trying to make a statement where they shouldn't.  Vandalism sucks!!!

Growing Garden

I do not have a green thumb.  Nope not at all.  I try and I put in a valiant effort, but most plants I come into contact with seem to die, rather quickly. It's sad really.  However for the past two years I have had a garden in my new home.  (Before I was always renting and had no place to have a garden.) 

It still amazes me that anything will grow when I plant it since nothing I keep in my house wants to stay alive.  Literally, I have had a dozen different plants in pots and they have all hit my compost bin in the past year.  I don't know what I am doing wrong, or how to change it, but plants inside (which I LOVE) and I do not go hand in hand.  My garden seems to be a different story. 

Last year I had a truly successful year.  We had potatoes and peas and tomatos.  It was a late start to planting, but everything I planted grew up and provided for us abundantly.  Well except for the carrots (totally not my fault, my dog dug them up right after planting them) and the cucumbers, (might be my fault, I didn't transplant them well) so I was extremely happy.

This year I have  planted my garden again, and some more flowering plants in pots.  Which stay alive if they are outside it's like when I bring them in they all commit suicide.  It is coming in so great.  I have to get better at wedding, and being able to identify weeds, but I am sure that will come.  


 

I am so excited when we get back from our wedding we will be eating like kings and queens from the garden it's going to be great!!!

Words to Live By

Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you represents determinism; the way you play it is free will.
Jawaharal Nehru



There are many different views on what our life is about.  Is our life predestined or do we get to forged that path as we make decisions in life?  


I have long believed that my life is mine to make.  But like roads, each decision I make will take me down a path with a choice that has been determined before I even make the choice to go down that way.  Much like roads and streets, that lead you to specific intersections, I believe the choices I make are my free will.  I believe that free will exists, that I get to choose my paths in life.  


I think many times in my life I am able to see that I am going down a specific path, a path I could not avoid, but how I travel down that path is up to me.  I am able to choose my outlook on the paths, I am able to choose how fast I get down this path, I have many options and that's where free will comes into play.


I don't believe we are puppets here, with no choice on what happens to us, that no matter what we do things will just work out the way it's been predetermined by God.  I think God probably enjoys watching us muddle through our life to get where we need to be, it must be humourous at times.

Versatile Blogger Award

I was given my first blogger award last week (The Versatile Blogger Award) by my terrific friend Mireille Chester. I am super excited. :D Be sure to check out Mireille’s blog http://mireillechester.tumblr.com/post/6723792402/versatile-blogger-award#disqus_thread

There are requirements for accepting the award. The most important one is that it must be passed on to others. The other rules are listed below.


The rules
1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award on to 5 newfound blogging buddies.
4. Contact the winners to congratulate them.

So, seven random facts about me…

1. I have dual citizenship, so I often consider myself a citizen of North America.

2. I love Survivor and Big Brother, but I don't watch any other Reality Television, I think the rest is fake. lol

3. I have travelled all over the western provinces and states, but have only been out to PEI in the east.

4. I have worked in a bakery, restaurants, bars, department store and as a teacher. I love them all for different reasons obviously.

5. I have a Great Dane, named Sasha, I got her before the Marmaduke movie came out and made them trendy.

6.  I am a mother to two amazing little boys (one is not so little anymore) and I bought my first house two years ago.

7. I am getting married this August in my favourite place on the planet.  Lake Tahoe.

Now to pass this award onto five other bloggers.  hmmmm, Can I do pass backs??

I am going to pass this award onto my friend Becky, my friend David, Ross, Lisa Ann, and Laleh.

Becky who's blog address is http://becky-florizone.blogspot.com/  is a friend I have known since high school.  Her blogs are so much fun to read as she shares her thoughts and experiences. 

David and I have been friends since we started teaching for Red Deer Catholic School Division.  His blog is generally in regards to teaching and changes he is making in his teaching style that he feels are most beneficial to all teachers.  His address is http://realteachingmeansreallearning.blogspot.com/

Laleh and I have been friends since middle school.  It hasn't always been a smooth road and there are sometimes more bumps then straight roads but her writing has always been superb.  I admire her writing abilities and her opinions that she shares with others.  Her blog address is http://lalehrena.blogspot.com/

Lisa Ann is someone I found on Goodreads, in a group we both belong too.  She is an aspiring writer and works in a field that I think is just so interesting.  Her blogs are easy to read and always enjoyable.  I love all that she shares.  Her blog address is http://lisachickos.blogspot.com/

The final blog I will be awarding this award to is Ross.  It's the one celebrity blog I read on a regular basis.  I am hoping this is ok, it didn't say I couldn't award it to celebrities.  His blog is http://helloross.blogspot.com/  I have followed him since his days on Days of Our Lives and his interviews with Big Brother Contestants, I really wish he still did Big Brother.

Well that's my list.  I hope you can check out everyone's blogs and maybe find a new blog to follow as well!!!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Memories of my Father

Today is Father's Day and I am going to write two posts, one for my father and one for the man in my life that is a father in my household.

My earliest memory of my father goes back to when I was 10 years old.

I was staying at his house for a few days while my mother was visiting with my Aunty in Pleasanton.  It was one of the first times I was staying with my dad overnight without my mother there.  Since the divorce I hadn't really seen much of my dad, but I knew who he was.  Since we lived so far away it was hard to really spend lot's of time with him, but I did enjoy the time I did spend with him.

This particular time, I got sick while I was with him.  Not real sick or anything just a head cold or sinus infection. I remember being really stuffed up and uncomfortable.  I think I even had a fever but Dad was on  top of the situation.  He got me some medicine and made me some chicken noodle soup.  He gave me a cool cloth and turned on cartoons for me to watch in bed.  He had to go to work so I had to go to the neighbours house, but it was ok, she was a nice lady who let me have control of the television and fed me snacks and cookies when I wanted them.

When my dad came home from work that day I was feeling better but I was glad to be going back to Dad's house.  I wanted to curl up in bed and watch a new movie he had rented for us.  Dad also brought me a present.  He had stopped off at the mall and brought me a friend to help make me feel better.  My friend was Dr. Be Well, a teddy bear from a toy store.  He was a brown teddy bear in green doctor's scrubs.  He had a hat and face mask.  I loved Dr. Be Well.  It was the first gift I remember getting from my dad.  I treasured Dr. Be Well, and though I have misplaced his entire outfit, I still have Dr. Be Well in my possession.  He was my first collected teddy bear and I am happy to share him with my children.  I can only hope he brings them as much comfort as he brought me while I was sick all those years ago.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Bridesmaids, the movie, not the girls in my wedding!

My sister, who is my Maid of Honour, and I went to the movie Bridesmaids last night.  It was a busy night in the theatre but we made it there early enough and got good seats.  I have heard great reviews about this movie and sometimes that worries me because it increases my expectations and then I end up being disappointed that it did not live up to my expectations.  This movie, however, did not disappoint, it exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds.

The movie was excellent!! So funny and it had a real story-line.  People do get crazy when it's wedding time so the situations were believable and they just showed them for the absurdity that can happen when women are involved in weddings.  Especially when a bride is trying to get all her friends together that don't normally hang out together.  Especially when girls feel like they are the number one friend and come face to face with someone else that feels the same way.

It was a great comedy movie.  I can see where people make comparison to the Hangover, but those are truly superficial comparisons.  The Hangover was a comedy of men in extreme situations, sometimes absurd situations.  Where Bridesmaids is a comedy of women if very relate-able situations that they make funny.  I think I enjoyed Bridesmaids 100X more than the Hangover.  The Hangover was funny, but Bridesmaids was hilarious.

So glad I went to see it!!  Kind of wished I had worn my Bridesmaids dress to the movie though that would have been fun!!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Be Real, Never Disingenuous

"Never apologize for what u feel that is like saying sorry for being real.... I don't regret my past just made me who I am and I'm not a bitch I just have no tolerance for bullshit" This was a status from a friend's Facebook page.  I am not sure it it's a quote from another source but for now we will honor S. Ford with it, if I am mistaken, then Google has failed me, because I did search.


I try, and sometimes without success, to express myself without putting blame on someone else.  I am a big girl, I can speak up or walk away from any situation I am not enjoying, but if I choose not to walk away, then that's on me not the person that has brought me to this situation.  I get how people can read things and think it's about them, people are very narcissistic and want to believe that everyone thinks of them as much as they do, but if people are mostly thinking about themselves, then how can the be thinking about others?  It's just human nature though, but it does pose a problem.  


I was told by a friend that I should not write things down that could be taken as a "dig" on another person if they read that, that what I wrote could be misinterpreted by them as I was not being nice or a good friend.  I couldn't express it at the time, but I didn't agree with her.  I never wrote things specifically to be rude or ungrateful for all my friends do, but I wrote because that's how I felt.  I never blamed my friends for anything or any situation I was in that I did not enjoy, but if I didn't enjoy them I wasn't going to say I did just so they felt better.  If I didn't enjoy something that was on me I could have tried harder or I could have said something, but I felt that I would say nothing and let it go.  But when it comes to my blog, I write the truth, I am not going to lie to everyone who reads it that it was a fabu time and have them go there and be like "well this sucked what was she talking about".  I try to give a fairly impartial judgement, but hey it's my opinion, it's how I felt and I won't apologize for my words.


I will, and I am a big enough person, to apologize if what i have done has caused hurt feelings or insult to someone else.  I am sorry if what I had to say was taken in a context that I did not mean it to be taken in, I am sorry if it hurt someone's feelings, but I can't fight or defend myself against a silent invisible monster.  If I am not told why someone is upset I can do nothing to rectify it and I am no longer 19 and going to bend over backwards trying to do it.


I was thinking about it in broader terms as well.  If a person does not believe that they  did anything wrong i a particular situation then even if they read something it's not going to be like they feel bad about it.  They will only feel bad about it if their consciences is already feeling like they may have done something that was not the greatest.  If you truly believe that you are without fault you won't feel bad by what other people say or write.  You understand that their perception is different than yours and you can appreciate their side of the story without seeing them blaming yourself.  


Like I said in a previous blog, you are in charge of your feelings and you choose to feel what you wish.  Your reaction or pro action is all on you and no one can or should have that control over you.  Sometimes it sounds very cold and calculating, but sometimes in a world where emotions rule the day we have to take a step back out of the bubble and look at everything from a neutral point of view in order to survive in this emotionally charged world.


I agree with my friends Facebook status, I am not a bitch I just have little tolerance for bullshit.  I won't put up with it and I won't let it keep me down, and I won't apologize for feeling the way I feel.  But I will apologize if I hurt someone, that's just being a decent person.  But I won't make them wonder why I am mad, I will let them know, especially if I think it's something I won't get over.  


In a world where we are surrounded by fakeness, through television, Hollywood, music industry, let's make a pact to be real, because that's the only way we will see the goodness of human nature shine through to make a change for the better.  I challenge you to be real and to not put up with bullshit, can you do it?? I can and am!!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Changing Priorities

http://www.indianchild.com/lesson_in_life.htm  has a quote that reads, "I've learned you don't have to change friends, if you understand that friends change."  It made me think if I understand this??  I think I do, I can only hope that my friends understand it as well.

I sometimes don't think I have changed, I think that as much as I still look like my high school, junior high pictures my attitude and behaviours are the same, but unfortunately that can't even be true.  I was not a mom in high school or junior high, so I couldn't possibly have the same outlook.  I even know that I don't have the same interests.

Life is about growing, changing and embracing that change in yourself, but also about embracing the change that happens in others.  Sometimes this is more difficult to do than it would appear.  I mean if you can understand that you are not the same person as you were 5, 10 or more years ago, then the same must be true for your friends.  Which is the interesting part of relationships, I mean humans are creatures of habit, not always embracing change, but always expecting it.  I expect my friends to change their 'bad' habits or 'inappropriate' behaviours, those behaviours or habits that I believe to be 'bad' or 'inappropriate', they could honestly not even see it that way.  But, I can be honest I don't always see the changes my friends make in their lives, unless it some how impacts my life. Usually, the changes become noticeable because they make me feel uncomfortable.

People say relationships are like dances, so you become comfortable and you learn the steps and you dance away.  Sometimes the dance isn't great but you know it, it's comforting and familiar so you continue doing the dance.  But if someone changes the steps, then all of a sudden you are tripping over your feet, trying to learn the new steps or trying to force them back into the familiar.  Sometimes you succeed and sometimes the new steps come in.  The new steps aren't always a good thing, but if the relationship was not a healthy one then any change can be beneficial.

Sometimes like at dances it's time to end a relationship, but it's not a bad thing, it's just that the music to which you are dancing does not jive with the music to which they are dancing.  And you can't make the steps work, so you part find new partners but you know they are still around and it gives you comfort to know that they are there and that's all you need until your dance steps can match again, if they can ever.

I know in my own life, that I still look for the girl I was back in my early twenties.  I want the good things that I romanticize about from my twenties, but often when I face the reality of what my twenties were about it smacks of drama and my lip curls in disdain.  That's not what I want anymore, but I do want the social life that my twenties offered, the good times with friends, the hanging out and talking over coffee or drinks, the shopping, the movie nights, the television nights.  The connection.  In my twenties many of the outings revolved around nightclubs, hook ups, and boy issues. I don't want these things anymore.  I am maturing (nice way of saying getting older ;P) and lounges and kid issues and steady relationship stuff are things that filter into my thoughts most often.  These are the things I have prioritized in my life, or things I enjoy doing in my life, but I know not all my friends are at the same stage as me, so now it's about finding a common ground with them that is comfortable for both of us.

I used to be a great "wing man", but I will be honest I suck now.  I am not going to encourage a boy to hit on me, or give him any false hope just because my friend has taken an interest or his friend has taken and interest in my friend.  It's just not going to happen.  I am happy in my relationship, and I am ok with going out, dancing and having a great time with my girls and I will dance with boys but as soon as they get fresh I am shutting that shit down.  No scandy for this girl.  I am sure that is a slippery slope I have no desire to trek or toe on.  It's just not in me to be that girl.  It's unfortunate because I know I used to be a great "wing man", probably one of the best.

I have decided that I am going to accept that people have changed, it's inevitable, and if they haven't changed I have to accept that to, and understand that they way I view them is through my changed preceptions, and that if that changes how I feel about them, then that's on me, not them.

I am a true believer that no one can make me feel anyway.  I feel the way I feel because I choose to feel that way.  I let things bother me, and if I don't want to feel a certain way I have to choose to do something about it, if I choose not to, then that's on me not anyone else.  So if I am upset about something, it's because I have chosen to be upset, not because that someone has made me upset, sure something they have done, said or whatever may have started that feeling, but if I stay quiet about and let it eat at me, then that's on me not them.  I just hope that my friends can understand that.  I don't hold any ill will, or bad feelings, but sometimes I just need time to process things and when I am processing I become an introvert.    Ha I am just babbling now.... oh well needed a place to express this, not sure if it's clear but this is the path my mind has taken.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Job Hunting

I hate job hunting, I actually hate all parts about it, but it's a neccessity in this day and age.  I am again finding myself to be on the job hunt for another teaching position for the fall.  Every year this seems to be my lot in life, and though I love teaching this job hunting SUCKS.

Sometimes I sit at my computer and wonder why I can't be a travel writer.  Why not?  It seems like it would be a good job, it would definitely have a lot of perks and I could technically speaking take my family with me on some of my excursions.  But how do people get into that line of work?  I have no idea but if anyone knows then you can send me in that direction.  I would even work for Travel Alberta or Travel Saskatchewan and write reviews for their events. I think sometimes being able to go places and show how they are or are not good for a family is what people want to see or read about when they are about to venture out of their safe bubble zone of their home.

I guess my passion is writing, I love to help kids find their own voice in writing and I also feel very passionately about reading, which is why I went into educaiton as an English teacher.  But that perfect job hasn't found me and maybe it never will, but I am hoping that something will come up, maybe triple A or CAA needs a new travel writer.  Does anyone know how to get involved with this??

I could post on my blog and I will but I wish I was getting paid for this, that would be fantastic then I could make this my full time gig and let my travelling bug take me to  all kinds of new places.

Vancouver Trip 2011: Day 5

So this is the day I am heading home, I will be honest I was ready to go home by noon, but my flight didn't leave until 7:30.  So we had a whole day practically to do stuff, but we didn't really do much.

Grouse was on the schedule but even if we had been able to get out of the house by say 10 I don't think we would have had time to complete Grouse Grind and get me back to Richmond for my flight.  So instead we just went perusing the mall in Richmond and then I got dropped off at the airport.

Here is something I learned at the airport, you can ask to get on an earlier flight and if it's not full, they will put you on it for a reasonable cost.  I asked and I got on a flight that was starting boarding ten minutes after I checked in. So through security I rushed and on the plane I got.  I was in Calgary and home by the time my scheduled plane was actually leaving Vancouver.

It was a good trip, but here is what I found out about me and travelling.
1) I need my own vehicle when I travel, because I enjoy the freedom it offers to be able to come and go as I please in order to do my own exploration.
2) I can't stay in one place for so long without my own vehicle, it drives me crazy.
3) Though I love to go out and have a good time, I am finding that my definition of a good time is vastly different from what it was a few years ago.... For example, my favourite night out was when we went to a lounge in Burnaby, just the two of us, or the night we went to the Cactus Club to watch the game that was  a lot of fun, but the night we went to Republic, yeah I could have done without that.  It was an ok night but it didn't make my top three nights when I was there.
4) If I make a plan or itinerary I like to stick to it, and I don't like to veer off the path and just do whatever, if I don't have an itinerary then I am ok to just go with the flow, so if it's going to be a do whatever weekend I can't make a plan where I write down things I want to do, because if I don't do everything on the list, I get irritated.

So that was my trip to Vancouver, I enjoyed myself and I am very grateful for the hospitality I was offered.  I know that it can be inconvenient when friends come to visit but I really do appreciate all my girlfriend did for me.  Hopefully, next time will be even better!!!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Vancouver Trip 2011: Day 4 Monday

Having spent the early hours of Monday at a club let's just say that Monday didn't get started until noon.  That's when my girlfriend finally woke up, while she was sleeping I was in the living room reading a book.  it was all fine, but I really wanted to go, it's was nice outside, the sun was shining, how could I not want to go outside. But my friend did not disappoint and she got up before noon and we were on our way.

 
Our first stop, and really only stop, was Stanley Park.  I have this love for Stanley Park that is hard to explain to other people. It's something about the park that just gives me a sense of peace. I think when I get to New York, Central Park will offer the same feeling.  I am not much of a nature girl, I don't really care for camping, I like to be warm and I hate to be wet, unless I am swimming, but I do appreciate Nature and what it has to offer.  So a park like Stanley Park in a huge metropolis that makes you feel like you are way out of town just has a special calling to me.  That's the best way to describe it, the peace I feel in Stanley park  is reminiscent of the Peace I feel when I am in Lake Tahoe (my favourite place on the planet).


We spent a good two hours in Stanley Park, I would have been happy spending time there until the sun was setting, but my girlfriend had to work.  So in our two hours at Stanley park we walked around the park.  We walked by the Aquarium, which I plan to take my kids to one day, and to the totem poles.  I really enjoyed the totem poles, and reading about them.  I truly admire the Native Culture and the creations they have made and their impact on our society today. For me history shapes our future and if we deny our future we deny our true history.

The stories behind the totem poles were all interesting because I, well I don't know what I used to think, but I had no idea that Totem Poles had so many uses and meanings within the tribes of the Northwest.  They really used them for everything, and they were one of the only tribes to use them.  I suspect it has to do with them not being as nomadic as the prairie tribes and the trees in British Columbia being the large redwoods that lent themselves to being carved in that manner.  I find it sad that people had actually stolen the real totem poles.  It's terrible the destruction people do to our historical items because they lose their significance when they are not honoured properly. 

Monday night we just chilled at my friend's house the next day I would be going home. We had talked about doing the Grouse Grind, which I was pumped to challenge myself to do.  It would be one huge staircase like the ones at Heritage Ranch that I run ten times when I go, but instead I would only do this one once.  I don't think my friend had faith in me that I could do it, just based on some of the things she said, and it was a little frustrating to me but I had seen a lot of Vancouver and was beginning to miss my family and really just wanting to get home.

Inside the trunk of a tree in Stanley Park!!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Vancouver Trip 2011: Day 3 Sunday







I am not one to sleep in, not even when I am on holidays.  It's a terrible vice that I have, getting up early, but it is what it is, so sleeping in is not something I get to do or am allowed to do very often.  But surprising this day I did sleep in, I did not become a moving human being until 10 am Vancouver time, that's like 11 my time.  It was crazy.

I would like to say that we spent the rest of the day trolling through Vancouver but that's not the case.  I know that there are many things to see, but I am of the belief that you don't just rush through seeing things you take you time and really enjoy them.  My friend really wanted to take me to the Flea Market so that's where we spent the morning.  After a quick meal of scrambled eggs we were on our way to the Flea Market.  I find Flea Markets an interesting place.  There are some definite gems that you can find there but you have to be willing to put in the time to shift through the junk that is ever present there.  And the other people who go to Flea Markets can be as interesting as the things you will see.  I like Flea Markets for finding those big finds for cheap, those bigger ticket items that you want or you want a vintage piece so it's fun to peruse the aisles of the Flea Markets, but I didn't buy anything. Nothing jumped out at me, and the things that did draw me in were to big to take with me on the plane.

Leaving the Flea Market we headed to Queen Elizabeth Park, we were going to check out the botanical garden, but got distracted with the Rose Garden instead.  I am in love with flowers and really wish I had a green thumb that would allow me to grow flowers. It's one of the biggest draws to moving to a coastal community, the opportunity to be able to grow such a vast variety of different flowering plants.  I was literally in heaven.  They also have some great overlooks of the city that give you a wonderful view.  We saw some brides while we were there as well.  It's quite a nice place for pictures. I will definitely go back again next time I am in Vancouver.



That night I spent a few hours visiting another girlfriend.  We had a good visit and it was nice to see her new place.  It was very quaint.  After the short visit I was taken out on the town to see the night life of Vancouver.  I have experienced Vancouver Nightlife before, I spent a New Year's in Vancouver 3 years ago. It was a great time, so I was pretty excited to see what this experience would bring.

My girlfriend picked up one of her other girlfriends and we headed down to Granville.  They actually always close down Granville for the club scene which was a unique experience for me.  It was decided we would go to Republic because it was Reggae night.  Now I did not comment one way or the other, because I always try to give something at least one shot, but I was very disappointed in the Vancouver nightlife.  First, we were going to a club that was going to play Reggae and Hip hop, hip hop I can tolerate, but I really don't like reggae, it's just not my scene.  Secondly, we stood in line for TWO AND A HALF hours before we got in, so from 11 until 1:30 we stood outside in the cold.  That definitely did nothing to improve my mood.  Once we were inside it was better, I was being the designated driver so I drank diet soda's for free.  The music wasn't horrible, but it wasn't anything I was really getting into.  The company in the club was maybe the best part of the whole night, and that's saying something because I found 80% of the people there annoying.  There was one group of guys that had one guy hitting on my friend that seemed decent, ironically they were Alberta boys.  Go figure right.  The only other upside to the Republic was that they stayed open until 4 am.  But, Holy Hell was I exhausted by the end of the night, and I am sure if I had said I was game we may have even hit up an After Hours club too, but I was EXHAUSTED!!

Vancouver does have some amazing sites, but I am still not sold on their nightlife.  I am sure Alberta can show them how it's done!!!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Vancouver Trip 2011: Day 2












Waking up in Vancouver on Saturday was strange as I wasn't really in Vancouver.  I was in Burnaby but let's be honest to anyone not from the Greater Vancouver Area all those little cities are just subdivisions of Vancouver.  I know Vancouverites, (is that what they are called) who read this are swearing at my writing saying that there is a difference, but I lump the Greater Vancouver Area in with GTA it's all the same, just a different GPS location.

My girlfriend had to work for an hour or so that morning so we headed home to Vancouver, the real Vancouver so she could get ready for her facial client.  I decided I was hungry so I left her suite in search of some food on Victoria Avenue.  Now I am all for trying new things and experimenting with new foods, but sometimes I just want a good plate of scrambled eggs and sausages and nice cup of coffee.  Well in the area of Victoria that I was in there was no Starbucks, Tim Horton's or any other familiar landmark in sight so exploring I went.

Along Victoria avenue are many Chinese markets, Chinese Bakeries and then there is a London Drugs and a McDonald's (if you are reading my other blog you will know that I have given up Fast Food for the last 6 months so I was not going to attempt that).  I walked passed a coffee shop, that didn't at first look like a coffee shop so I was hesitant to enter.  I decided it would be better if I continued onto to a place that looked like what it was advertising.  I came across a Chinese Bakery and the smells drifting from the building so I decided I would be brave and see what they had to offer.

There were many varieties of buns and bakery items, it's strange because I can't really explain what they were but there were "Mexican" Rolls, and barbecue buns, sausage rolls, crusty rolls with creams in the middle and then these little banana and mango flavored rolls.  I decided because I didn't want to have something that was super carbs I would get the mango and banana rolls, they didn't look like normal buns, but I am sure they were just as full of carbs as anything else, but when on holidays my rule is to eat at places I can't eat at at home.  Upon trying them I found that they were pretty good, but the sat really heavy in my stomach so I could only eat one.

After my friend's client we got ready and headed down to Chinatown.  We were spending the afternoon there exploring Sen Yat Sun Garden and Chinatown.  Sen Yat Sun Garden is the largest Chinese Garden in Canada, it's really a spectacular sight and it's FREE!!! Love it, you can pay to have a tour and meal but really I can look at plants and appreciate them without having to pay $20 to have someone tell me a lot of facts that I couldn't process while on vacation.  There were so many beautiful flowers and trees. It was really peaceful in there, and you just got the feeling you were in different time and place. I really enjoyed walking through the garden and taking pictures of the things I saw.
The Turtle in the Pond, he was so cute among the fish!!

The streets that make up Chinatown in Vancouver are very similar to the streets in other towns that house a Chinatown that I have explored.  It was so busy that sometimes you almost get the feel that you are on the east side of the Pacific Ocean.  It was busy and my friend stated that there are stores and places in Chinatown that will not serve Caucasian people because they do not speak English. Makes it hard to shop sometimes or even order food.  I found it interesting that there were some stores that only advertised in Chinese Characters and there was no English or French at all, it got me to thinking if that was legal.  I mean don't they have to abide by our language laws?  It's fine to have the Chinese Characters but they are in Canada I think they should at least advertise in the language of the country they have entered.  It continues the divisions between cultures by not adapting.  If I opened a store in a predominantly ethnic area I would hope that I would have the foresight to advertise in that ethnic groups native language as well as the national language of the country.

Before heading home we decided to stop for Gelato at Casa Gelato There were over two hundred flavours at this place. It was FANTASTIC.  They had flavours like garlic and chocolate jalapeno.  So weird. I stuck with normal flavours and had a blueberry cheesecake.  It was a great indulgence!!!

The evening was a veritable girls night out!! I hadn't had a real girls night out in a very long time, but it was a blast.  We went to Paramount in New Westminster, it's a dry strip club, we decided we wanted to do something different.  And that was different for me as I have never really been in a strip club, but we had a good time.  Then we went to a lounge in Burnaby for a drink and some snacks.  It was a cute little place.  While we were enjoying our meal a guy that had been at the bar came and started talking to us.  He was very intoxicated but he was pleasant, not disgusting yet.  He told us how beautiful we were, and was saddened to learn we were involved in relationships.  After a little while he got over it and went to another table of girls and hit on them.

That was my second day in Vancouver.  It was a great day and even though it was drizzling it was warm.  I could have done without the rain, but I guess that's par for the course in Vancouver :P