Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Skiing at Sunshine

Is definitely a misdimeaner as I have quickly realized, it is never sunny at Sunshine resort just west of Banff. But despite the cloudy weather, it was still a great time skiing.

About a week ago I went skiing for the first time in about 5 years! When I was getting ready for the trip and getting all my gear ready, I realized that I had a new pair of ski boots that I don't even remember buying! No complaints though, they are new, and very nice!
The weather the first day was really crappy. It was cold, very windy, cloudy, and very bad visibility. I could hardly see the texture of the snow so I went very slowly as there was SO much snow, and lots of places with huge mounds of snow piled up. I didn't want to hit one of those going too fast, I definitely would have wiped out. I did have a bit of a tumble though on my second run, right in front of the chairlift of course, but have managed to stay up since then.
There was so much snow the first time out that on one run where you needed a bit of speed to get up a bit of a hill, with all the fresh powder building up, we where slowed down, and had to cross country ski up the rest of the hill. Fun stuff!

Yesterday we headed out for a second time (for me) and met 3 other friends at the hill. It was also a cloudy day, however a warm cloudy day! It was -13 at the Banff turn off on Highway 1 and by the time we were at the parking lot it was +2!! It was windy at the top of the mountain, but the lower runs were amazing! My friend Val and I had a great time, but unfortunately my friend Dale took a huge tumble on his second run and severely hurt his ankle, and my other friend Lisa woke up with a nasty cold and only lasted a few runs. However despite the low visibility again, we found a couple runs we liked and took in as many runs in as possible until we had to leave at the end of the day!

Here are a few of the photo's taken on those not very sunny days at Sunshine :)
(to be uploaded later, can't seem to get it to work)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Years 2011!

Bring on the last year before the world comes to an end. Heehee, just kidding, I don't believe in all that.
But I did have a great New Years, and to boot, I even remember it :)
I have a bad reputation of getting very very drunk, and barely making it past midnight :)
But not this year. Laura and Dan hosted a small party, with lots of food and drink. It was a great way to bring in the New Year, apart from Rob not being here to bring in the New Year with me. Instead, I had a fake skull given to me to kiss at New Years, thanks Laura!
It was a pretty quiet evening, lots of foot, the Hockey game, more food and drink, Battle of the Sexes board game which the ladies lost, and more food and wine.
We watched the countdown, had champagne to bring in the New Year and lots of hugs and kisses from my amazing family that I love so much; as well as some people I had just met :)

Monday, January 3, 2011


It's a little late, but Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Since I had my days off Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I have been working. I just finished my 9th shift in 9 days, and as you can imagine, I've been extremely exhausted!
But despite the work, Christmas was awesome! Since graduating nursing (2004) and with all my travels I have only been home for 2 Christmas's, and one I ended up working an OT shift Christmas day, evening shift. So it was extremely important that this year I be home, and as it worked out in my schedule, I already had it off! I headed over to mom's pretty early Christmas eve, day and helped out with odds and ends, but of course Mom had most of it done! We had a simple lasagna, caeser salad and garlic bread for supper and played cards for most of the evening, and of course drank! Nothing too exciting happened Friday, but it is always fun to spend time with the family, including a friend of Laura's who's family is all in BC.
Christmas Day was an even better day. Laura, Dan and Rachel came over around 9-10, and we started with breakfast. Then the present opening began! We were all very lucky and spoiled this Christmas, including the dogs! I got a couple things for my computer, a $100 for Evelyn Charles to go with Mom and Laura, a candle set and a nice wine decanter and wine airater/filter! My sister mainly got anything to do with drinking! A ton of wine accessaries, a decanter and an alcohol dispencer! Honestly, she's not an alcohol! The rest of the day was filled with drinking and playing cards, with mom taking breaks to check on the turkey. Rachel also brought the game Scattegories, which my Dad liked us playing as we were quite for the three minutes while trying to answer the questions! Dan kicked all of us and it was incredible some of the answers he would come up with!
Turkey dinner was amazing as always, and of course we munched all day and was extremely stuffed by the end of the day, but what else are the holidays for?!! We were up late-ish playing cards. We had been drinking all day and I had to work at 7 the next day, so by 1130 we finished up our card game and headed for bed.
I have an amazing family and feel so lucky to have each and every one of them in my life. It was an amazing Christmas and will cherish as many of them as possible, as I know I can't have every one of them off :)
Some of the photos from the holidays:

Sarah waiting patiently
Getting the Turkey ready
Hercules looking all cute in is Elf outfit :)
sarah not impressed with the hat!
Post opening presents
And the family picture before we stuff our faces!

Friday, December 24, 2010

The big game!

All of Sunday included Football!
My parents came to San Diego a year ago to see a football game and ended up meeting some people that tailgate before every game. So this year we tried to see if we could find them. We got up nice and early, had a nice hearty meal as I knew we would be drinking a lot, and headed to the game. We took the train so no one would be forced to stay sober and drive home. As soon as we got to the grounds, we poured ourselves and drinking, and started our walk around the massive parking lot to try and find these people. And sure enough, once we got to the same area, there they were! They were surprised, and happy, to see us, and we joined there crew in some tailgating. They had tons of food, brought there bbq for a some bbq before the game, and a game of bean-bag toss. I won the first round with my partner, but lost the second :(
About 30 minutes prior to the game we headed into the stadium. We had club seats so we had a special excalator to go up - I felt important :) And got to our seats in time for the welcoming of the players and the national anthem. It was a very warm day, not a cloud in the sky and approaching 30degrees - if it hadn't already. Of course our seats were right in the sun, with no shade. About half way into the first quarter mom went in to get more water, and a hat for me as I was the only one that didn't have one. Then about 5 minutes into the second quarter, mom had finished 2 beers and had gone back inside, it was just too much. At the half we found her in the shade, and with signs of heat stroke. She just couldn't cool down and her face was still flushed. She decided that it was time for her tom head back to the room. There was no place to sit down in the shade, and she felt it was for the best. Both Dad and I felt bad that she had to leave, but knew that it is no fun when you are uncomfortable.
The game itself was a shut out. The Kansis City Cheifs had lost their quarterback to an injury, so they had their backup, who had yet to win a game, and they could not produce any offense. The Chargers on the other hand, were awesome!! We got shade in our seats about 3 minutes left in the game, but by that point it had cooled down so it didn't really matter!
It took us about an hour to get back to the hotel. We were ages waiting to get on the train, but they had a big screen TV in viewing distance so we could watch highlights of the other games, so it wasn't too bad.
When Mom got back to the hotel she had a nice cool shower, and we headed down to the hotel pub to get some supper. By the time we got back up to our room, we saw a bunch of ships outside, and there was a boat christmas parade! For about an hour we watched the boats go by all decorated with christmas lights and some were even singing Christmas songs. One boat had a small dingy being pulled behind it that was decorated as a Christmas sleigh with Santa Claus in it!!
It was a great way to end the weekend and I can't wait to go to a game again next year!

Pouring drinks pre-tailgating
Incredible how extreme people go when tailgating
Playing the bean bag toss
Go Chargers!
The chargers coming into the stadium

A pretty nice stadium, just a bit dated
Shut-out!! 31-0 Chargers
Post game hand shakes
The best photo I could get of the boat parade
The next morning the Explorer came into port, a Semester at Sea, where University students spend 4 months at sea studying and traveling to 12 different countries. What an experience!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Saturday in San Diego

Saturday was a fun filled day driving around the beautiful city of San Diego. We started by heading over to the island of Coronado, just a 10 minute drive from downtown SD. You could take a ferry over or take the huge bridge (because it is VERY high) over to the island. There are some very fancy hotels on the island and some amazing views of San Diego as well. The main navy base takes up most of this island, however what isn't Navy, is all very holiday like! Many people have holiday homes on the island, and it comes across as a very relaxing place to be, and only minutes from the city. Of course the weather was very nice which helped as well. We walked through one of the nicest hotels on the island which had a public outdoor skating rink! The ice was already melting fast were the sun was hitting it, and it was before lunch. I couldn't imagine the energy used to keep it cold! And there were a surprising amount of people skating, including some kids that were learning, and there pants were soaked from falling so much.
Next we headed La Jolla, a very nice area along the high coast line. The road follows the coast line and with it being a Saturday it was very busy. We only found parking near the end of the scenic coast line, and because of the cooler, breezier and foggy weather, we didn't drift too far. But we did stop and check out the seals. They took over a very popular beach area that is now forbidden to the public, and many of the locals are very mad about this. But, the seals were cute, and I didn't live there, so I didn't care!
We drove around the city of La Jolla, checking out the exotic car sale stores. Man there are some nice cars there! We drove to Mission Hill and stopped at one of the amusement/shopping malls just off the beach. We did a bit of shopping and then headed back to our hotel. We had a couple drinks and got ready for supper as we met a another couple that was in town for the game as well. We went into the "Gas Lamp Quarters' in downtown SD and had supper at Greystone, a bit of a high end restaurant. I'm never sure about these types of restaurants as I am usually more restricted with my allergies as they add some weird things to dishes, but overall, pretty good, and good company.
We knew Sunday was going to be a big day, so we headed back to the hotel after dinner to have a couple more drinks and hit the sack.

The Bridge!
San Diego from Coronado
Some of the crazy trees
And some of the crazy cars!
The skating rink, and yes, they are in shorts!
The cute seals
At La Jolla
Mustang :)
Mission hill beach, or was it Venice beach??
The beautiful sunset from our hotel room
And the beautiful skies of San Diego

Saturday, December 18, 2010

San Diego

Last weekend Mom, Dad and I took a direct flight to San Diego for a Chargers game.
We left early Friday morning arriving at lunch hour. We hired a car for the weekend and headed straight downtown with my Dad driving and me navigating (with the help of the GPS); Mom was happy to sit in the back!
That afternoon we walked around the seafront mall, I managed to get my Chargers shirt, as well as all my regular touristy items. We then saw a harbour tour bus that was just getting ready to leave, and after some bribing to get a good deal, we headed onto the tourbus/tourboat. It was a bit breezy and overcast that afternoon and of course I left my jacket in the car, but luckily they had nice warm blankets for us to put on our shoulders! It was a two hour tour of the city, lots of information about the Navy, as well as a harbour tour looking at some of the navy ships, there stations, the dolphins and the very stinky sealions! The tour bus was also the harbour boat which was very cool! I had no idea that the Navy was mainly based out of San Diego and all the ships they maintain and manage, the huge navy station, and even the dolphins and seals they train to do deep sea recoveries and locating watermines, among a few things. All very interesting if you ask me, and not really surprising either! We were in the USA remember!!
Our hotel room was on the 10th floor and we overlooked the water. The military museum was to the north, as was the Star of India (the second oldest sail boat that still sails). To the south was the dock for the cruise ships and even further south was the Navy aircraft carrier musuem. We saw two cruise ships while we were there, and on our last day, The Explorer, SAS - Semester at Sea, was docking. This ship takes University students around the world while the study for the semester. They had been gone for over 3 1/2 months and there were tons of family and friends waiting to pick them up. Pretty neat to watch as they docked, both families and students had signs that had made for there significant others. We were also lucky enough to not only see one set, but two different sets of fireworks! One Friday night and another Sunday night. One set was from Navy aircraft carrier, and the other was further in the bay. And we watched it all for free from the comfy seats of our balcony!
Friday evening we decided to stay close to the hotel and went across the street to a restaurant on the waterfront, and of course had seafood! It was an early night for us, as we knew we had a busy weekend in front of us, so we called it a night after a couple drinks back at the hotel room!

Just a small section of the aircraft carrier
San Diego from the harbor

The fuel station for the ships!
Where they train the dolphins
The star of India
Navy aircraft carrier
Cruise ship

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


What would be going England, with out seeing the famous sights of London?
And with a little pressure from me, I convinced Rob to spend his birthday, in London, with me!
We left early Tuesday morning, and with the bad weather and roads, we left even earlier. We got on the train in Wolverhampton and had to change in Birmingham, and just our luck, when we arrived our next train into London had been cancelled. Luckily we only had to wait 20 minutes and we could catch another train. This also gave us the chance to go into Birmingham and check it out, and it was just like another other big city! But at least I can say I was there. We finally got into London at around noon and was able to check in to our hotel right away. We hoped back on to the complex and very impressive subway trains and headed straight towards Buckingham Palace. The palace was so incredible and beautiful, even on a cloudy, snowy and windy day! This is when we found out about the riots going on in central London! The university students were rioting due to the increased tuition costs - nearly 10,000 Pound per year. We did not see much rioting, only about 100 students walking through one of the parks. We DID however see a ton of police! Not sure if I felt safer and in more danger.
The Palace was definitly a highlight of the trip, but it was one of those things that once I saw it, I was happy to move on!
We walked by Parliment house and St. Stephens tower which houses Big Ben, so I never actually got to see Big Ben. The tower is definitely a lot shorter then I expected, but the architure of the whole building by far exceded my expectations.
The weather the whole day was pretty crap. Very windy and very snowy, and of course, quite cold - not ideal touring weather, but we made the best of it. We got tickets to go on the London Eye which we went on just before sunset. The whole trip takes about 30 minutes so we got to see London in the daylight on the way up, and at night time on the way down. It was very cool to see all of London, but I wouldn't want to be on there any longer then the 30 minutes, it was quite boring by the end of it and I was happy to disembark.
After the London eye there wasn't much more time to do anything else, so we headed into Picadilly Circus, a popular area in London that houses lots of shops, restaurants and bars. It was like the Times Square of London. We ended up meeting up with 2 friends in London that I actually met in Australia and traveled with quite a bit including randomly seeing each other in Indonesia!! Gethin is Welsh and Brid is Irish, and we had a great time! Gethin always knows where the cheap drinks are and they took us to some really neat pubs.
Wednesday was another busy day, and again with not the greatest weather. We started off going to St. Paul's cathedral which was absolutly incredible! The history, the murals, the whispering wall and the crypts were all so amazing. We easily spent over 2 hours there, and I could have spent more time there. It was a very peaceful and relaxing place to be. Plus I also learning of all the events that take place at the cathedral that I never knew of - royal weddings, memorials and funerals.
Next we headed over to the London Towers - which I had no idea what they were about. In fact, I just thought it was one tower, but no, there are 19! (I think!) As in Warwick castle, there were many uses for the Towers, but mainly, and most historical, is the prison and torture of the prisoners that occurred there. Anyone and everyone was brought here in the 16th and 17th centuries, including Elizabeth I (as a prisoner) before she became queen. The other famous reason for the Towers is that the Crown Jewels are kept there. We walked through and saw them all, not sure if they are real or not, but either way, there are some impressive crowns in there!! We spent over 4 hours going through the towers and were some of the last people to leave! It is so big and just so much to see, and SO much to take in. By the end of the day I was in information overload! We did have intentions of going to the London dungeons, but did not have enough time as we had a train to catch.
This train was of course late, by over an hour, and we didn't get back to Rob's till close to 10pm. And we had to get up at 4am to take me to the airport. The weather was so bad in the UK and Europe that there were airports closed. I was delayed an hour leaving Birmingham, and an hour delayed boarding in Amsterday with a 3 hour wait on the runway at the gate due to weather, waiting for the ground crew to get everything done and waiting to get de-iced! It was a VERY long flight home, but overall, a great trip!