The Daily EO: May 19th – 22nd

It was my friend Lisa’s 40th birthday on May 21st and she asked me and some other friends to join her at Tigh-na-Mara in Parksville.  Well, that is kinda true – she asked me what I thought – should we go to Montreal, Las Vegas, a West Coast spa or camping in Golden.  I mean, really?  What?  One of things is not like the other ones!  Golden is nice, yes, but camping?  Camping is a pain – you have to haul in a whole bunch of stuff to try and make it feel more like home, get a lousy sleep because your poor hip doesn’t have the cushioning it needs on the hard ground, and stay dirty.  Why would you do anything of these things?

Yes, I am not a camper.  So, I was relieved when the consensus going to a spa resort for a couple of days.   We started off well with a wonderful ferry ride up to Nanaimo from Horseshoe Bay.  A peaceful crossing full of possibilities – so I know I am going somewhere.  The four of us all met up around 5 pm at the resort and immediately the wine started flowing.  The sun was dropping in the sky so a walk on the beach was in order.

I then invented a new photography technique that I call “blind photography”.  I am sure many smart photo users have engaged in this activity unknowingly.  It’s when you try to take pictures with your phone despite standing directly in sunlight.  You have no idea what you’ve snapped – the horizon could be crooked, the focus out of whack – you just do not know.  Here is one of my best:

Blind Photography
Blind Photography

The rest of the night is a little fuzzy.

The next morning, I got up and ran.  Yes, despite the wine and the early morning wake-up from the skylight, I run through the trails of Parksville before breakfast and a spa day.  I think it was to assuage the guilt I felt knowing I’d be missing work during a really busy phase.  Directly after breakfast it was to the spa.  At this spa, there is rules, you must where a robe at all times.  I got a pedicure, Lisa got a facial and we met our friends for Endless Tapas.  Endless Tapas?  What is that?  Well, you pay $50 and they bring you tapas until you cannot eat any longer.  If you liked something particular, you order more – no charge.   This is dangerous when all your tight-fitting clothing is in the locker downstairs and all you have a loose hide-it-away robe expanding with you.

There was no wine that night.

The next day we got more spa treatments and then combed the beaches.  And I mean it, we combed the beaches.  We were looking for glass rocks on 5 different beaches in Parksville.  Frankly, I think Lisa thought the world owed her something for her birthday.  So we searched and searched.  But to no avail.

We made arrangements with the resort for a “fire kit” – which un-kittingly was one item – and marshmallow roasting sticks.  When it got dark, a fire on the beach complete with s’mores was planned.  We finally dragged our spa-ed bodies out the front door to find it was pouring rain.  We wanted s’mores, but we were not that dedicated or skilled to be able to do it in the pouring rain.  Fortunately, I knew an option.   So munching on s’mores and watching So You Think You Can Dance, we wiled the rest of the night away.

May 19 -22, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  Time a way “on the island” with a friend who shared my formative years at university.


The Daily EO: March 20th, 2013

It’s the first day of Spring!  Don’t try to tell me that the first day of Spring is the 21st.  Cheryl Johnson – a girl who was pretty mean to me in grade school – tried to tell me it was the 21st because that is *her* birthday.  Whatever, Cheryl.  My self esteem is too strong to be bullied into Spring Submission.

Today is the first day of Spring because my mom told me that my brother was born on the first day of Spring and that is March 20th.  So, planetary alignment aside, March 20 is upon us and Spring is here.

Except.  Well. . . when did winter start?  I am still waiting for Fall to end and winter to begin.  I need some tobogganing, people!

Happy Birthday, Todd!  Enjoy that Cobra Wallet!

March 20th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  Vancouver needs to get some seasons.  And I gave the coolest gift to my brother.

The Daily EO: January 10th, 2013

Today we were invited to Carson’s third birthday. Third birthdays are better than the 1st or 2nd (where everyone else seems to enjoy it more than you).  When you are 3, you are start to get it.  And you are surrounded by aunts, uncles, grandpas, omas, sisters and friends who bring brightly wrapped packages to be opened after sugary cake.  What happens?

Well, you run the gamut of emotion:

This is the best day ever!
This is the best day ever!
I can't take much more!
I can’t take much more!
Can things get any better than this?
Can things get any better than this?
Too Much!
Too Much!
Joyful with Grandpa

January 11th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  A family birthday that we – “just” friends – were invited to.  What a special night.

The Daily EO: November 22nd, 2012

Although 41 isn’t generally a milestone birthday – I suppose it can be considering putting your little toe into the next decade – I really did little for my husband’s birthday this year.  Instead, I went to grade school with someone who then married someone who ended up with all the heavy lifting.

She made the mistake of asking what Emile’s favorite dinner was.  I told her lasagna or turkey dinner but that he’d be happy just being with them for his birthday.  But – never one to take the easy way out – Alison made turkey dinner with all the sides:  mashed potatoes, baked spinach, cranberry sauce, gravy, stuffing, broccoli, corn, sweet potatoes, green beans, salad and a 3 layer chocolate cake with Nutella and jam filling.   On a Thursday with 3 kids under the age of 8.

I helped by dropping by a bag of Oreos for Alison and kids to decorate the cake with.

November 22nd, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:   Kindness and Generosity to make Emile’s first birthday living in BC fun and special.

The Daily EO: August 1st, 2012

I have an unreasonable fear of missing ferries.  Now for those of you landlocked people, you won’t understand what I mean – but I hate being left on the dock being inconvenienced by having to wait for the next sailing. I imagine all that I am missing out on at my destination while watching the ferry pull away.

On the BC coast, the islands and shore are well serviced with comfortable, timely and attractive ferries. You can drive or walk-on and you can even make a reservation if you must make a sailing.  However, there is a charge for this.  So, if you happen to be a cheap. . . ahem value-conscious, fastidious planner like my husband.. . . oh, I mean like me . . .making a reservation hurts a little.  And somehow having a summer sojourn all planned up, takes all the romance out of it.  It’s supposed to be spontaneous!  And in the old days you just waited on the dock for hours until you could be squeezed on – it was how it was done.

So when I used to have to catch a ferry from Vancouver, I found my speed slowly edging up on the long straight stretch to the ferry terminal.  Nobody wants to finish fourth and I feel like every car I pass means my chances for getting on the next sailing increases.  It’s a dangerous combination – panicking me coupled with high speeds.

There is something about riding a ferry through the Juan de Fuca Straight that makes you feel like you are really going somewhere.  Nevermind that you could easily drive the distance between Tsawwassen and Schwartz Bay in about 20 minutes and the ferry crossing takes almost 2 hours.  Taking the Ferry means you are escaping, getting away from it all, and have a forced 2 hours that you must take some time for yourself.  You can find a comfortable seat inside, sprawl out on the sundeck, or do as many tourists started doing 20 years ago – standing at the front of the boat shouting “I’m the king of the world”.   Watch the gulf island go by and envy those who live on those islands and taken a different path.

Before Mentos found their internet fame partnered with Diet Coke, they toiled in obscurity.  But for whatever reason, BC Ferries always carried the fruit ones in their gift shop.  It became a tradition for me to purchase – or beg a relative to purchase for me (more often the latter).

As we ate marshmallows and wieners at Mariella’s birthday party, I kept glancing at my watch, willing it to tick off the seconds a little slower.  Although I’m more mellow in my aged state, I still hate missing ferries, we HAD to make the 2:40 pm ferry.   When we finally pulled ourselves away at 2:00 pm with a ½ hour drive in front of us, my anxiety strangled my ability to make conversation.  I tried to be cool, casual, but my husband knew better than to engage me at all.  After me screaming in my head at stupid, slow Alberta drivers ahead of us, we pulled into the ferry dock at 2:31 pm and were directed onto the ship 30 seconds later.

I need to lay down.

As I enjoyed my Mentos – well, actually my Starbucks tea, traditions change sometimes – I felt the salt air tossing around my beach hairdo.  We’ve been somewhere, people.  And it was good.

August 1st, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  A caught ferry, the whole birthday party, and a fitting end to our road trip stop in Vancouver.

Like you could have left her to catch the ferry on time!



The Daily EO: June 30th, 2012

It was my friend’s 50th birthday party today.   Not her birthday – that is in August – but her surprise party thrown by her husband.  He did a great job keeping the secret, but it is a little easier when it’s a month early.  Why a month early?  Well, because a bunch of friends were already planning to be up wouldn’t be here in August.  So, 50 is 50.  Celebrate when you want, right?

The party was held in “the shop” – which is a 3 bay garage that by day is used to make paint repairs to cars and boats.  That’s funny right?  Sounds hokey and kinda  like “Really?  The shop?”.  But it wasn’t.  It was fun – it was neat and it it didn’t matter if you spilled your drink.   Now this shop isn’t like your mechanics shop with oil and stuff all over the place – it is more like an upscale garage.  Complete with decorations, a DJ, and a huge pig roasting BBQ, we were pretty set.   It wasn’t white linen napkins – but it shouldn’t have been.  It was exactly how you wanted to kick off a long weekend in Muskoka.

That’s the wonderful thing about Muskoka – come as you are.  In the summer, you can easily tell the shiny, primped tourists from the wrinkled, comfortable locals.  We’re a little smug about it really – laughing at the traffic heading North on Friday evening and again heading South on Sunday night.   I suppose they laugh at us idiots trying to make a living in a town increasing dependent on tourism.

June 30th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Drinking Bacardi Pina Colada Coolers in a paint booth.  Weird, but perfect.