Category Archives: Travel

CITY OF ROSES

I’ve been so lazy lately, haven’t accomplished anything with my condo.  I haven’t put up any photo’s, decorated (in any way), taken any bins down to my locker, nothing.  I just kinda stare at the mess that is my den right now.  I’m not sure why I’m in this state of…….um…….non-activity, but I am.  Actually, maybe I’m just still burnt out from all the purging, packing, purging, packing and more purging I went through to move……I’m not sure.  But, I am sure that I need to get out of this funk.

I came back recently from a trip to Portland, Oregon.  It’s probably one of my favourite cities in the U.S.  And, the tax-free shopping helps too.  I’ve been to Portland many times, but usually either went with someone or visiting someone who would take me around.  This time I was on my own, so I decided to do a walking tour, I wanted to do something different and I read some great reviews about these walking tours.  I went on an Epicurean walking tour, so basically I walked around downtown and the Pearl district and sampled food along the way.  It was a terrific tour and definitely worth the money spent.  I learned a lot more about the city then I already knew so that was good.

I didn’t do as much shopping as I had anticipated that I would, but since I’m not a big shopper to begin with, I wasn’t surprised.  I did get to see the Rose Garden, which was so pretty.  Everything was in bloom and I took a few photo’s (as you see above) and smelled a few roses.  I had not anticipated going up there, but glad to have gone because Portland is the “City of Roses” so how can I visit without even stepping foot into the Rose Garden?

It was good to get away it renewed my itch to travel.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of vacation days leftover for the year (thanks to my move) so I need to spread them out.  I really enjoyed my time in Portland, so much so that I want to go back again!  Anyways, I’ll see how things go….I don’t like to plan too far ahead, I’d rather just be spontaneous.

Advertisements

RANDOM VANCOUVER PICS

I was walking down Nelson street in Vancouver and almost created a human pile-up cause I stopped so suddenly.  I thought my eyes were deceiving me, but no, here’s your proof (taken on my new crackberry storm – I’m weak, so sue me – it was handy while I was out of town):

toilet

Now, I’m not sure if I’d use this toilet, although it was tempting just to see the inside of it (I know, a toilet is a toilet, but outside in an urban downtown area?).  It was quite the sight.  I don’t think it was there before, but then again, I never walked downtown as much as I did this trip.  In any case, it gave me a good chuckle.

Then I went down Granville street and couldn’t resist taking a pic of it as well, because I know the next time I’m in town it won’t be the same.  I wanted to capture it’s essence before they try to clean this area for the 2010 Olympics.

granvillestreet

Its a grungy part of the downtown core, but I love its character.  Anyways, these random pics of Vancouver shows you a bit of its character.  And below shows you how proud the city is of hosting the 2010 Olympics, they have a countdown clock at the VAG!  Note that at the time I was there the Olympics were: 351 days, 3 hours, 15 minutes and 28 seconds away.

2010countdown1

HOME AGAIN

northvancouver

I looked out the window after the pilot told us that we were approaching the airport in Vancouver.  I could see the mountains and I knew I was back in my second home.  As we landed, I wondered, for a split second, did I still remember it?  I was worried I wouldn’t remember how to maneuver the roads in the city.  I had nothing to fear though, once I got my rental car and started driving around, it all came back to me.

I enjoyed myself.  It was a short but sweet trip.  I wish I could have stayed longer, but it just wasn’t meant to be.  Next time.

steveston1

NEXT ADVENTURE

drbeauty1

Memories of the Dominican

My next adventure – I’ve been mulling it over.  Once I settle the job situation, I’ll be working on my adventure situation.  I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately because one of the girls I went to the Dominican Republic with, where I helped build houses, is going on another volunteer trip.

She does industrial design and she’ll be helping design/build this eco-tourism center and missionary center in Rwanda.  I haven’t been in close contact with her since the trip, but we’re on facebook so that’s how I found out.  She’s leaving in a few days, to do a trip in Europe and then she’ll make her way to Rwanda from there.  I met-up with her briefly today because she’s borrowing my battery charger.  We both have Canon cameras, and she left her charger at her parents, who live 5 hours from Toronto.  She started a blog about her trip and I told her I would stalk it daily, because she is going to Rwanda so I’m a bit worried, and she promised to update it as often as possible.  It was great to see her, she’s got such a bubbly personality, she’ll do good in Rwanda.

I really want to do a trip that will tie in with some volunteering this year as well.  I think I’m hooked now.  I was trying to explain to a friend how I could never do a resort vacation again, and she didn’t quite get it.  She thought it was because of the food, which is ridiculous, but after I explained it to her I think she was a bit embarassed once she understood that the reason why I couldn’t do it was because of what I had experienced not because of bad food.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with resort vacations abroad, but I crave adventure, being active and doing something worthwhile.  I’ve seen what comes out of a volunteer effort and having experienced it I can’t forget it, I want to keep doing it.  

A couple of countries pop into my head for this year – Africa and Asia.  Maybe I’ll just close my eyes and point somewhere on a map of Africa or Asia and that will be where I go. 

Trust me, there is a method to my madness.  😉

STUCK….

at the airport…goddamn 😡 .

I tried to be all organized, except for one damn freaking detail, I didn’t check my flight before I left.  I normally don’t, I like to live life on the edge…yeah, right, I love waiting 6 hours in the airport. So, I got to the airport early, thinking my flight was leaving at 4pm, wrong.  They apparently cancelled my flight, rebooked me on another flight, but didn’t bother to send me a note or call me about this change.  I’m telling the exec assistant next time – please don’t book through expedia, they suck monkey balls.  I should know, I booked my Chicago trip through them and it was a bit of a nightmare.

Anyways, I digress.  So, I’m at the airport right now, enjoying some WiFi and drinking some Timmy’s.  I guess I can’t complain too much, I got out of work early and now I’m just kinda lounging.  Although I’ll be getting into Vegas at 10:30, and probably be super tired.  But, I guess thats the price of business travel.  You’re at the mercy of the weather (the check-in person blamed Chicago cause my original flight had a stopover there – but that’s b.s. cause I just heard a final boarding call for a flight to Chicago – the truth is it was probably cancelled because of low numbers) and the airlines. 

On a totally different note, I’ve been feeling anxious lately.  Its been a bit crazy at work, life has been kinda crazy and I’m feeling…..well, how I’m always feeling and if you know me, you’ll know what I’m talking about.  big sigh…………

JUGGLING ACT

My boss and I were reviewing our travel schedule for next year.  “Hell Months” are January and February.  So, basically I have no life from the middle of January to about the middle of February.  Its like a juggling act, trying to stretch the two of us so that we’re able to be at the events we have to be at.

I don’t mind all the traveling, its part of my job, its what I signed up for.  I just need to make sure that I’m healthy.  I don’t want to become sick. I’m not prone to getting sick easily, but with all the flights I’ll be taking I know that my immune system will be weakened.  And, the weather changes won’t help either.

Most of the travel will be within North America, with one trip to Europe.  My boss had been thinking about sending me, but is now thinking against it.  She said she almost lost it because of the frustration of it all.  I told her I’d be fine, wouldn’t become a mess and would make sure the people we hired spoke English.  English is not the first or second choice of language in this country but I’m sure I’ll be fine, if I go.  I’m not digging going to Europe, its not my top destination choice, but my boss has a child, and I know her reluctance to travel so much, so I should go so she can stay home.  We’ll see what happens, it looks like she’s trying to protect me, its kinda funny.

I mentioned to her that Chinese New Year’s is somewhere between all this chaos.  She looked at the schedule again, then determined that I should stay in Toronto then fly out to the other events.  Isn’t that nice? She’s working around the Chinese New Year, even though I told I’d be fine if I had to miss it.  Anyways, right now, everything’s up in the air, but at least I have an idea of what my life will be like.

I’m liking my random travel schedule, it mixes up the daily 9 to 5 grind that I loathe.  I’m not saying this my dream job, far from it, but for now it suits me.  I went to visit my former co-workers last week, as a surprise, and it felt good not to be there anymore.  Everyone is stressed and unhappy.  But, you know what? Every job has its “thing” and its a matter of how you deal with it.  If I’m not happy, I’m not going to stay somewhere that’s making me miserable.  Would you?

PRICE OF TRAVEL

I was looking at some flights yesterday, as I’ve been pondering a trip sometime in the fall – although haven’t decided where I want to go (as per usual, I’m being spontaneous in my choice).  I noticed the significant price hike in the air fares and was shocked.  What….the….hell?

This is a huge bummer for me because I have been accumulating lieu days like you wouldn’t believe and my hope was to go away for a few days in the fall.  Now, I’m not so sure anymore.  It just pains me to fork out so much money for a flight that is only 2 – 4 hours at the most dependent on where I end up.  Maybe I’m just being cheap, although I’ve never been known to be cheap, but it just doesn’t feel right to pay so much for such a short flight.

On the other hand, I’m dying to go away.  Of course, when am I ever not dying to go away?  Ok, that’s not the point, the point is that this is a big hindrance for me for future travels if I’m going to have to pay an extra $100 – 115 because of fuel costs and whatever else the airlines make-up to charge us more.  I have to re-juggle my budget for travel now.  Ugh.

I’m annoyed.  Can you tell?  Therefore all the bitching and complaining.  Anyways, not much I can do about it I suppose.  I have to suck it up if I want to go somewhere, otherwise my other option is to do something locally for this year and save my money for a trip next year.  And, that’s not a bad idea.  I wouldn’t mind exploring the Niagara region, there’s trails I could try and wine tasting I could do…ok, not so much since I don’t drink, but you get the picture, there’s much to do right where I already am.  Hm…I’m getting encouraged by this.

Well, whatever I decide, I’m using my lieu days.  I earned them.  😉