Tuesday, January 31, 2006

You know its really raining when you come back from a run and your fingers are all prunny, like you've been in the bath too long.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Wow...I now believe the hype. Went boarding in Whistler on Saturday with NB & JB and I now understand why everyone in Van is talking Whistler this season. I was boarding through powder 1/2' to 3+' the entire time, it was nuts. For the last run of the day they took me to the peak and we came down through a bowl. Now normally I would have balked as I am still such a beginner but the snow was so forgiving. I spent a good part of the run rolling down but in that powder wipe outs are fun. The last run took us over an hour and I was so tired that I kept having to stop and rest. I think NB finally realized how tired I was when we were about a 150 m from the bottom and I had to stop one last time to catch my breath. Sooo glad I bought the edge card and I'm loving the new board.

Friday night I went to Eoin Finn's power yoga class. I really liked it, definitely going to go back. It was a painful reminder of how out of shape I am when I could barely do a 30 s plank.

Running yesterday I saw an eagle, just past Kits Beach. Also checked out the Kits Beach pool. I expect to be spending some serious time there in the summer.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Woo hoo! Going snowboarding at Whistler tomorrow.

Also off to a yoga class with the Blissologist tonight. I'm a little afraid, he makes you hug the people around you. And as most of you know, I'm not big on hugging (unless its the BF...I like to hug him...ok and puppies too).
I did the tour de Vancouver last night. In an attempt to find Sofabed so Good I drove around East Vancouver (I think) for a good 45 minutes only to reach the store minutes after closing. It was then off to Ikea. Of course I forgot the exact address and could only recall some major cross streets near by. I'm sure there has to be a faster way there then my round-about journey. Ikea was rather disappointing so I decided to try and find a Bay location I had looked up. I finally made my way there and to my delight found a great shopping mall, The Oakridge Centre. Of course by that time I only had about 30 minutes to shop. Picked up a shower curtain and bathmat for the new pad.

Spoke with Grant the property manager last night. The pad should be ready before the 1st, he's gonna give me a call on the weekend. The new carpet and linoleum look good. I'm looking forward to leaving the grim behind when I move.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I'm having a hard time focusing here this afternoon. Our little 10-11 KM run before work this morning has really knocked me out. It was pitch black when we set out through Stanley Park this morning, so dark that it was a little unnerving running when you couldn't see where you were stepping. Once we hit the seawall it was smooth sailing as the light from the moon reflected off the water, it was truly stunning.

The new job is going well. The divisional SVP has bought into my idea of having him run around to a bunch of branches on a designated Kick Off day to get employees enthused about the marathon. For those of you who don't know, I got a 4 month gig working on BMO's sponsorship of the BMO Bank of Montreal Vancouver Marathon. So there is a reason for all this running. I have a feeling I might have to participate in all of the crazy running events I keep dreaming up.

Looking forward to getting into the new place. I bought a great leather arm chair on Tuesday night at a great store call Chintz. Tonight I am off sofabed shopping. I've checked out the major department stores downtown but now its off to SofaBed So Good and Ikea. I'm thinking red in a modern kind of shape. I'm also thinking reasonably priced after the leather armchair (which was 50% off mind you).

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Yee ha! I got the apartment. Meeting with the building manager later this week!

Also...being sent to TO for business.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Woo hoo... I have a desk. Unfortunately its in the "stupid room". I was assured that the name has nothing to do with me but is a result of it being a room with no window's and stuck in the middle of no where. It's a desk and if I'm lucky it will have a phone so no complaints from me...yet.

No word on the apartment yet.
Very busy weekend filled with brunches and dinners with old friends and new friends visiting and living in Vancouver. Short on time but will add some updates on our Dine out Vancouver dinners later.

I found a great apartment. I've submitted an application that has to go through the buildings property managers. I expect to hear back Tuesday or Wednesday. It'll be sweet if this works out. In exactly the neighbourhood I want to be in, fresh paint, new carpet and linoleum and its actually quite nice looking. Ohh and it has a wee balcony..perfect for my Muskoka chair.

I'm also happy to report that I even managed to vote this morning before work.

Friday, January 20, 2006

I've pretty well finished uploading all of my photos from trip. I just need to get them onto a site to share. The problem is this loaner laptop is the slowest piece o crap I have ever used. It takes me 30+ minutes just to log on each morning. I've started coming in, logging on then going back down the elevator and down the street 2 blocks to Starbucks while its doing its thing.

I had 4 apts to check out last night. I didn't even stop at the first three. #1 - location was all wrong, far too busy an intersection (right near the Burrard Bridge), #2 - location was further south than I wanted and with that in mind I wasn't about to consider any place that ugly looking. #3, ahhh #3. It sounded good on paper but when I drove up it reminded me of a smaller version of my current place, just strung with Christmas lights...lots of Christmas lights. Then there was #4. It was in a good location, Alma and 5th Avenue. 3 story building that looked very well taken care of. The Apt was on the first floor, directly outside the main entrance. I thought I might be able to deal with that but once I saw that the garbage dumpster and recycling bins were the highlights of my view #4 was out too. I started to worry last night that maybe I'm just being too much of a princess. But I don't think I am. Really, its been 6 days. I think I can find something clean, safe and in my price range yet. If I don't find anything in the next two weeks I'm going to expand my horizons, there are lots of great spots in the city and I do have a car and bike.

Just thought I would iinclude one of the great shots from our day in Mt. Shasta. My little party camera really does take some spectacular shots.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A change really is as good as a rest. I'm sitting at my desk here at 595 Burrard Street and the sun is shining in right now and life really couldn't be better at this moment. Sure...my current accommodations are little less than ideal but in the grand scheme of things it hardly matters. I'm feeling quite invigorated. I spent the morning reading through a ton of information on BMO's sponsorship of the Grouse Grind Mountain Run. It has me inspired to get back into shape and see what kind of time I can post on this thing. The have this program called the Summit Seeker that I might sign up for. It tracks your times and has a website you can use to see how you are doing.

I've been very lucky. The few people I know here in Vancouver have all gone out of their way to try and see me this week. I met MH for lunch today, as it turns out she works practically right across the street. We had great cookies for dessert at Bread Garden. They actually got MH's right from the oven, it was so hot they had to put it on a plate for her. I had the peanut butter and it was fab.u.lous! Tonight, # 3's friend NB has invited me over for dinner, while tomorrow I am meeting AM for dinner. My social calendar is filling up. And to top it all off, 3/4 of the House of Fun will be in Vancouver this weekend as #3 comes tomorrow and #2 (also known as T-Bone) on Friday. We just need #4 now, its not too late to buy a ticket. On Sunday, all of the ex-pat BMO Toronto folks are getting together with a few more BMO people in from TO. Should be a great time.

Shine On!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

We arrived in Van just after 10 PM Friday night. MH who was kind enough to pick up the keys to my apartment is shown here with Sarah and Sparkle and myself.
I have survived my first full day in Vancouver alone. Everyone at the new office is really nice. One of the ladies was kind enough to take me out at lunch and show me all the good lunch spots...mmmm cheap sushi, I can't wait.

Last night I decided to walk over to Chapters and see what books I could pick up about Vancouver. Got myself all wrapped up in rain gear as it was pouring. The walk to and from Chapters wasn't too bad, I managed to stay relatively dry until a car splashed me about 5 steps from my place. I was soaked head to toe, every thing in my shopping bag was soaked. I now know to avoid the sidewalk near my house when its raining :)

Went for a run this morning with the informal BMO run club. We met at the HO at 6:30 and then ran out to Stanley Park. Wow...what a great way to start the day off. Good bye spare tire!

I also took the bus for the first time this morning. Man, do I love public transportation. I caught the bus just down the street and around the corner from my place (Burrard and Broadway) and it took less than 15 minutes dropping me off a block from my office. Sweet!

Monday, January 16, 2006

I have internet access again. I will work on updating the all the missing pieces over the next few days.

But to start, here's a picture of Sarah and Sparkle enjoying their new home...I'm calling it Tanksilano. I've attached some postcards to the back of their tank for the time being to remind them of all the places and people they met over the past few weeks.

Friday, January 13, 2006

We had a great dinner last night at the Hong Kong Supper Club in Ashland Oregon. A cozy restaurant located in downtown Ashland. Our dinners were great, I had the flank steak and ceasar salad, delicious. Great service too, we were the last people left in the restaurant section and our waitress was very attentive and didn't one make us feel like we were hanging around too long. With such great ambience the only disappointment was the washrooms. I've seen more attractive ones on the road...and I've seen a lot along the way.

Just getting ready to hit the road for our final day of driving. Sarah and Sparkle will be sad to say bye to their new friend Milo but hopefullyit won't be too long before they come to visit us in Van.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

After getting some good pictures of Sparkle and Sarah at the hill we packed the car and hit the raod...destination Ashland Oregon. Again I was amazed at how the scenery changed almost as soon as we crossed the border into Oregon. The defining feature was the mountain landscape now painted with evergreens. Again...spectacular. We arrived in Ashland just after 3PM and quickly found T&JH's place. Definitely a step up from Death Valley. JB (TH's sister) had said we would love Ashland and she was right. Its a great town with tons of great restaurants, cool shops and an up and coming wine region. Thanks JH for the great vino Wednesday night. Tonight we plan to check out one of the local restaurants with TH while JH stays in with NH and Milo. A well deserved break for TH.

Tomorrow we make the final push onto Vancouver. JH says he can do it in 9 1/2 so I'm aiming for 8... ok just kidding, we are hoping to make it in under 11 hours. We need the pee breaks!

Just a quick update: it took us 13 hours but we did stop for lunch, hit two outlet malls quickly and hit lots of construction and traffic all the while driving through pouring rain
I'm starting to lose track on what day it is. We arrived in Ashland Oregon yesterday afternoon. but I think I have a few days to catch up on before I get to that.

When we set off from Park City we crossed through Salt Lake City and crossed into Nevada. Its incredible how the landscape changes so much from one state to another and even within states. We spent a good few hours crossing the Salt Flats and driving through desert. We crossed into Northern California in the early evening and decided to make a push for Mt Shasta. After what seemed to be a never ending drive through thick forest in rain and dense fog we finally made it to Mt Shasta around 7:30 PM. We quickly found a motel and pulled in. Mt. Shasta had a lot to live up to after the long drive and it didn't disappoint. We had dinner at a great Mexican restuarant where our margaritas where the size of our heads and the food terrific.
In the morning we had delicious bagels and tea at Seven Suns Cafe and Coffee.

We discovered that there was a ski hill near by and quickly made the decision to spend the morning boarding before heading off to Tanya's just across the border in Oregon. I am I ever glad we did. I can easily say I have never seen any place so beautiful. As we rode the chair lift up for the first time we just gaped in awe at the sight of the mountains peeking through the clouds. It was spectacular.

Great place to board, three chair lifts, nice runs and not too crowded, I almost felt like I was ripping them off at $25 for the day.

I want to thank Keith and the guys at Mt. Shasta Board and Ski Park for taking such great care of Sarah and Sparkle while we rode. As Gary would say...we'll be back!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Not much time to write this morning. We spent the day in Park City, Utah yesterday. Utah is such a beautiful state...definitely on my list of places to come back to. We boarded at Park City and it was incredible. The weather was spectacular, sunny, clear and not too cold. My knees are black and blue after a few spectacular falls but other than being tired and sore I am on a total high. Park City is awesome, but definitely for the rich and famous. The Sundance Movie festical arrives next week so there is lots of buzz going on, apparently snoop dog is coming.

Must run, we want to hit the road early today and are aiming to get past Reno so we can be in Ashland visiting Tanya early tomorrow.

We got some great shots of Sarah and Sparkle. Will try and upload them at Tan's house. Everyone on the road has been so nice to us. I guess 2 girls, 2 goldfish and a license plate from so far away make poeple want to find out what you are up to.

Have a great day!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

What a day of driving. Its 9:27 PM Mountain Time right now but feels well past midnight. Our day started off well enough with a nice drive across rolling plains with lots of farm land and cattle ranches. Desperate for tea midmorning we pulled off at an exit and were most excited to see a drive through Starbucks. Now we are in the middle of the central plains here...Starbucks was the last place we expected to find. Unfortunately it was still being built so there would be no tea for us. Luckily we found an awesome little place across the street. Had fun trying to order "hot" tea but finally we pulled out tea in hand and hit the road again. We were making great time until we left Rawling around 4PM. It started to snow as we hit the mountains and we battled through 1.5 hours of white out conditions and very high winds. As a result we stopped about 150 miles earlier than originally planned as driving was slow and a more than a little stressful.

Sarah and Sparkle are doing great. They had an awesome time in York were we got some great pictures of them in an old western town. Not sure if was meant to be a ghost town or if that was because of the time of year.

Surprisingly we aren't going stir crazy yet. This afternoon we started listening to the Life of Pi (thanks Arshia). The wide selection of music and audio books/lectures is definitely helping pass the time.

Tomorrow we are heading to Park City to do some snowboarding. Our plan is to be on the slopes by 11AM, board for a 3-4 hours then get back on the road for 3-4 hours more. Apparently there are is also some good outlet shopping to be had there too.

Its the morning of Day 3. We are in Omaha NB. Weather is clear and crisp. Our destination today is Salt Lake City. From that point on we should be able to start the snowboarding portion of our trip.

But lets go back to Day 2.
We got off to a bit of a late start as we decided to stay and have breakfast with my sister and her family. After some yummy waffles we loaded up the Santa Fe and hit the road. Less than 30 minutes into our journey we hit a road closure. The 94 was shut down due to poor weather conditions. We had seen at least 10 cars off the road, several of them on their roofs. It took close to an hour to just get off the hwy but as luck would have it, right when I hit the intersection at the off ramp we saw them opening up the road again and I manager to swing around and get right back on. It looks like they salted the road heavily so it was good driving from that point on.

We hit Chicago around 3:30 EST..now 2:30 CT. After about 11 hours in the car we started to experience problems with the volume on the stereo. After much discussion and trying everything to get the volume to increase I finally realized that I was using the tuner knob...not the volume knob. Perhaps it was nearly time to call it a day. We hit Omaha just before 11PM and called it a night.

Sarah and Sparkle appear to be enjoying the road trip so far.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Day 1 was quite the adventure. We didn't hit the hwy until 4 PM...justin time to hit TO rush hour. 2.5 hours and much frustration later we finally got to Hwy 8 to head to Waterloo and drop off Arshia. Just in time to hit Waterloo rush hour. We ended up having to pull off at the first exit and had dinner to wait out the traffic. What a nightmare. Sarah and Sparkle were quite a hit at the Outback restaurant we stopped at. The manager wasn't so impressed and reminded me that pets are not allowed. If any customers complained we would have had to leave. Thankfully Sarah and Sparkle were well behaved.

After getting lost in the country near Cambridge and driving beside over and under the 401 we were finally back on the road at 8:45 PM. We finally pulled into Caron's driveway at 11:45 PM. It would have been 11:30 if we hadn't got stuck at a train crossing. I fully expected the bridge to be up when we hit the Island but luckily we got across with no delays :)

We are running late this morning and dealing with some technical issues. I will update our adventure later.

Friday, January 06, 2006

ETD is 3:00 PM. We've pretty well packed the car and it looks like Arshia may have to take the bus back to Waterloo...its that tight. The goldfish are coming...they've a new temporary home in a big mason jar. Alas...there is no room for their jar so it will be shopping for new diggs for them when we finally make it to Vancouver.

Time to go...will try and send updates along the way.


Thursday, January 05, 2006

I can't believe I leave tomorrow. The past few days have flown by and I still feel like I'm losing the battle when it comes to organizing my sh*t. Mix in a good dose of exhaustion and the inability to function productively before 9AM and those who know me will know its starting to freak me out.

It looks like we are going to try and make the trip with Sarah and Sparkle. Spoke with a guy at a pet store yesterday and he thought it was doable. Going to call/visit Big Als today to get some more advice.

Still a lot to do.

  1. Meet with Kevin from SRS
  2. Book movers
  3. Make doctors appts for when I come back in Feb
  4. Take bike to the Gilmour house
  5. Pack remaining stuff at the Gilmour house
  6. Buy snacks
  7. Laundry...lots of it
  8. Drop off suitcase for Jackie to bring
  9. Clean room
  10. See the boyfriend
  11. See friends

Time to get a move on...lots to do today.

I can't believe I leave tomorrow. The past few days have flown by and I still feel like I'm losing the battle when it comes to organizing my sh*t. Mix in a good dose of exhaustion and the inability to function productively before 9AM and those who know me will know its starting to freak me out.

It looks like we are going to try and make the trip with Sarah and Sparkle. Spoke with a guy at a pet store yesterday and he thought it was doable. Going to call/visit Big Als today to get some more advice.

Still a lot to do.
  1. Meet with Kevin from SRS
  2. Book movers
  3. Make doctors appts for when I come back in Feb
  4. Pack remaining breakable stuff at the Gilmour House
  5. Buy snacks
  6. Laundry...lots of it
  7. Drop off suitcase for Jackie to bring
  8. Clean room

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

Rang in the new year last evening at a Jack & Jill for friends getting married in February. It was great to spend the evening with so many good friends and to celebrate such a wonderful couple . New Years Day dawned crisp and clear and it felt great to hang out for a few hours with two of my oldest and dearest friends. It's funny how we can choose such different paths in life but when needed we are always there for each other. I wish both of them so much for 2006 as they each deserve so much happiness.

Its a new year and I need a new focus for the year. I've been struggling with this one. Last year I challenged myself to make some tough decisions about what I wanted to do with my life and here I am preparing for a move across the country in pursuit of my dreams. For 2006 I think I am going to go back to some more concrete goals.
  1. Each month read at least one piece of literature/article that really challenges me to think
  2. Quarterly take a course in something new that interests me, ideas right now include baking, sewing and small business management
  3. Run the Vancouver half marathon
  4. Stop and smell the flowers or explore the park....as they say its more about the journey than the destination.

Happy New Year one and all.