Tag Archives: Vacation

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.

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.

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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.  😉

DIFFICULT PEOPLE

My close friend and I were not impressed by our mutual friend who we vacationed with.  I knew going into this trip that it wouldn’t be easy sailing, but nothing prepared me for what happened during the trip.  I won’t go into big details, because it doesn’t really matter anymore.  But, on our way back to Toronto, we let off some steam about the week we had endured.  I still enjoyed myself, but I could have done without the diva. 

My friend focused mostly on the fact that our mutual friend always tipped badly at restaurants.  What did I notice?  That I was overpaying every time we went to a restaurant for dinner – I didn’t really realize they were under tipping until my friend pointed it out.  My breaking point had to be when we were at the Olive Garden and she made me pay the $1.50 coffee that was put mistakenly on her bill (we got separate bills, should have done that for all meals).  What made me mad about this is that she owed me money and then had the nerve to ask me for $1.50?  Maybe its just me, but I would have just paid for it.  Cheapness is my pet peeve.

Our mutual friend was very self-absorbed, whiny, bossy, impatient and difficult to deal with.  I hate high maintenance people.  But, I got her good.  I know, it’s mean, but when I’m put in a position where someone is being unreasonably difficult, I find ways to make them even more worked up.  I did things I would never do just because I knew it rubbed her the wrong way.  It was very bad of me, but hell, she deserved it.  My friend got a great laugh out of it because she’d get so worked up when I did certain things.

It just boggles my mind that difficult people don’t see how unreasonable and miserable they’re being.  Its so unnecessary to be that way, people will be way more receptive if your kind and respectful, not pushy, bossy and bitchy.  So, my friend was mostly annoyed by her cheapness and I was mostly annoyed by her bossy, self-absorbed ways.  And, that is why I don’t like traveling in a group, especially with friends.  I’d much rather travel with a group of strangers, it’s less personal.  Or even better, traveling on my own, ahhhh…the freedom.  Lesson learned.

ANT EATER

The house that we stayed at in Florida was luxurious, as I mentioned it was worth $1.2 million dollars.  It was absolutely beautiful.  Awesome kitchen and great layout.  The only thing that I didn’t like about it was the furniture was super tacky and old, the beds were not the greatest and it wasn’t as clean as I would have liked it.  But, that’s me being a bit anal (about the clean factor).

So, we had a bit of an ant infestation in the house.  Mostly in the kitchen because its where the food is.  It wasn’t a pleasant thing to see tiny ants crawling on the kitchen counter top every day, but what can you do?  On our second last morning, I poured myself a bowl of cereal and started eating away.  I was pretty tired so I didn’t pay much attention to my cereal.  About three quarters into my cereal eating I finally looked down at my bowl…guess what?  Dead teeny tiny ants floating in my milk.  OHMYGOD – I JUST FUCKING ATE SOME ANTS 😯 . 

Totally grossed out, I quietly told everyone that the cereal was bug infested, dumped my remaining bits of breakfast into the sink and promptly threw out the rest of the cereal we had.  Normally, I would have flipped right out.  I was grossed out, but I wasn’t over the edge turned off, and it definitely did not affect my appetite.  I think since coming back from the Dominican in February, I’ve gotten a lot more chilled out about bugs and creepy crawlies.  They are still not my friends, but they no longer make me wanna scream bloody murder.  I’ve matured since then.  Although ants have never made me want to scream, but eating them by mistake should, but thankfully didn’t.  My friends would have had more ammo on me cause they were cracking jokes all day about it.

Well, at least I got my protein fix, eh? 😉

UNPACKING

I hate packing, but I think I hate unpacking even more.  I brought so much shit back from my vacation its not even funny.  No, seriously, its not funny.

I’d show you a picture, but its too embarrassing how much crap I brought back with me (plus, who wants to see my underwear, right?).  I don’t know how to freaking pack for a vacation.  Maybe there are support groups out there for people like me who over pack?  What do you think?

The day I left for my vacation, I went over to my friends place before we left for Buffalo.  You see, we flew out of Buffalo, yeah, not doing that again – I’ll pay the extra and fly out of Pearson.  Anyways, my suitcase was heavy and I was thinking to myself “self, what the hell do you have in your suitcase and do you really need to bring two backpacks with you?”.  Yeah, I brought two backpacks, one with my laptop and the other as an extra that was holding stuff (I won’t go into details).

So, I came to my senses, somewhat, and did a bit of unloading and left my extra backpack and other things I wasn’t going to use at my friends place before we left for Buffalo.  I was able to fit everything into one suitcase and still had some room.  I was quite proud of that – I down sized. 

While in Florida, I did buy a few things, but not enough to over load my suitcase.  But my weakness, and it always has been, is shoes.  And, they are bulky, even if they were just sandals.  Oh, and did I mention that I had promised myself no spending money on shoes?  Right, and that worked out horribly, but I’m giving it another go, no shoes as of now!  No, really!! 

Anyways, with all the sandals I bought, it definitely took up the extra room I had.  My friend bought a hell of a lot more than I did, cause she’s a shopper, I’m a shoe shopper, she’s a everything shopper.  So, I packed some of her stuff in my suitcase, which then over loaded it.  Now I’m left with sorting it all cause we got home so late that I just brought it all home with me.  I need the suitcase for my business trip which is in less than 2 weeks…so I need an empty suitcase and I have to start thinking about what to pack for this business trip.  Aiya!  😀

VACATION RECAP

I’m at the tail end of my vacation and just relaxing and packing on my last full day.  I went on vacation witha group of friends, it was interesting.  We rented a house that’s on this canal in Florida.  It’s a  nice house – worth$1.2 million according to its sales price.  It’s a five minute walk from the beach.  The beach is surprisingly nice, white sand and not the kind that feels yucky, cause I’m not a fan of sand.  The water stretches for miles and wasn’t very deep which was good.  And, there’s a ton of shells to pick and also a ton of sand dollars lying around that you can grab. 

     

I’ve never rented a house before with a bunch of people.  I’ve done the cottage thing, but that’s a bit different, usually I just stay for the weekend, not a whole week.  Interesting dynamics.  There isn’t a lot to do where we are other than shopping.  There is water sports, kayaking, paddle boating, etc.  I was going to kayak, but it ended up not working out, which kinda pissed me off, but I don’t want to think about it again. 

So, today is the 4th of July and there was a parade going on.  Very much like Mardi Gras, they throw candy and necklaces out to the crowd.  The floats played loud music, it was very entertaining.  Americans sure do love celebrating the 4th.  I don’t think Canadians are as patriotic as Americans.  Nonetheless, it was fun.  I’ve done 4th of July in the west coast and it’s a bit different there, not as rowdy. 

Florida is not my favourite state, even though I’ve pretty much been all over the state.  But having seen a different side of it, I appreciate it more – there actually is beauty other than the swamps (well, Key West and Miami are pretty nice I got to admit).  Would I come back here again?  Probably not, and if I did, definitely not with the same people.  I’m glad I went away, but I’m also glad I’m going home soon.  I want to sleep in my own bed.  😉