Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Putting my vacation to bed

Aahhh, it's good to be back in the land of consistent daily morning London Fogs.

I'm such a city girl, I guess. Aside from that tiny detail lacking -- and my family did make attempts to ensure that a supply of good quality coffee was on offer daily -- my vacation was lovely. Well, if you ignore the 5-day migraine that decided to rear its ugly head. That was good times as well. But at least it only curbed my skiing one day of the whole trip.

We started out in Fernie. Miraculously, that first day in Fernie, we were able to ski. It was my first time skiing in Fernie, as every other time I've tried to ski there, it's rained. So this time it at least waited until about lunch time to start precipitating. It got uncomfortable enough that my mom decided to sit out the rest of the afternoon, sodden in the lodge. I went for one more run before admitting that I was wet enough to call it quits for the day. At least it further motivated my mom to look for a new coat that had better waterproofing (see previous entry to read about my coat envy).

The second day dawned bright and promising. Curry bowl opened up just as we got up to the top and we skied in mounds of fresh, heavy, untouched powder. While beautiful, it was difficult for us Ontario skiers who are used to using our edges on the icy slopes. It took us some time to get the hang of it. It was a bit ridiculous though: we're talking about 5 feet of powder or something. Hence, I lost my ski (see previous post for that panic attack).

That night, we discovered that the next day's temperatures promised to rise and the threat of another sodden day on the slopes prompted us to move on early to Canmore. Beautiful hotel room with a hottub, pool with slide, and exercise room. The next day was when I stayed home with a migraine and just walked around the town. It was mom's first day with her new jacket. Day two in Canmore and I woke up with a migraine and was so pissed off, I decided to ski anyway. I took my migraine medication, got some attention from my sister (a physiotherapist), and actually indulged in my London Fog habit. By the time we got to the hill, I was feeling OK!

Sunshine usually means some zip zappin' and vip vappin' (jumps and bumps and tricky bits) and we had some great conditions.

The next day was a day off to drive to Golden where we checked into our favourite welfare motel. The day after was Saturday, our first day at Kicking Horse. And it was busy! BC and Alberta also have family day and there were a few schools with PD days on the Thurs/Fri, so the hill was packed! On top of that, the gondola was acting up. Combined, it meant over 1/2 an hour in line each time. Thankfully it takes over a half hour to get DOWN the hill, too. So it was a fun day, but with too many line ups for our liking. Great conditions, but annoying when you can't enjoy them. Plus, Matt hurt himself, so we decided to not ski on Sunday.

Instead, we went to Banff to rent crampons and winter hike in Johnston's Canyon, which was BEAUTIFUL!

All in all a great day! Just not as much skiing as I would have liked.

It was sad to say goodbye to my sister, but it was nice to have had such a nice family vacation.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Obay discovered!

Just yesterday I was asking someone about the Obay ads that I've been seeing on the subway.

So of course, he had to find out and send me THIS ARTICLE from the Torontoist just as it was found out by the rest of the world.

Clever ad campaign. I love stuff like this.

I tend to get lots of ideas on the subway and have many random conversations. Such as the one yesterday about transforming poo into a biofuel. The argument against it was the smell. I thought that if you could turn the poo into a biofuel, you could certainly find a way to transform the poo gas smell molecule. Then, today, I was hit with an article about CO2 being transformed into fuel. Both metabolic waste materials: CO2 already being used as fuel. Basically, I am a genius, is all this means.

I have thoughts that get answered as I think them.

And, yes, I'll be posting a post-vacay follow-up soon!

Friday, February 15, 2008

YAY! Sunshine!

Success -- I finally got my butt out to Sunshine resort with the rest of the family for some quality skiing. I woke up with a migraine. Ate breakfast, took my medication, had my sister play around with the crappy cramped muscles on my neck and along my jaw. Stopped for a London Fog at Starbucks. And by the time I got to the hill, I was cured!

It was goreous! Cold, sure. It snowed a bit, yep.

But it turned sunny. And we vipped, vapped and did a few zipzaps. It was GREAT!

And now, off to Golden, BC, for some serious awesome skiing at Kicking Horse.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What a place to have a migraine!

Well, if there were one place to hang out while one has a migraine, it's Canmore. In our nice hotel with the swimming pool and hottub. With its cute shops and two Starbucks within walking distance. Surrounded by mountains.

Wish I could really find it within myself to really appreciate this moment. Tough when you've flown across the country to ski in the Rockies and you know that the conditions at one of your fave resorts are awesome.

However, I have yet to leave the room. I'm sure once I have the London Fog and read some of my book, and walk leisurely "downtown" I'll feel better about the whole thing.

And certainly, tomorrow when I feel better -- when my medication decides to start working -- and can try out my newly-waxed skiis, I'll be singing a new tune.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Well, we looked up the weather in Fernie and found out that it was likely to rain. So we cancelled our next night in the stupid Travelodge and got an extra night in Canmore Inn and Suites. We packed up this morning, got a nice cup of coffee in Fernie and drove to Canmore.

Here in Canmore, we're in our awesome hotel room. We went shopping and my mom bought herself her new winter coat at a consignment shop that also sold samples. I'm so jealous -- it's totally way better than mine and she got it for cheap. And it's just so cool. Sigh. I need to figure out how to catch my coat on some horribly sharp thing on the hill so that I will be forced to buy a new one. I just CAN'T have my mom wearing a cooler jacket than me!

Now we're in Canmore where there are TWO Starbucks' within walking distance of our hotel. London Fogs all around tomorrow morning!

And we're off to Sunshine tomorrow, where they've had 20cm of snow in the past 48 hours.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Fernie, Day One

Today was WET on the hill at Fernie. WET. We all got soaked. It seems that we bring the crap weather with us every time. It's the third time I've been here and the third time that it's rained on us.

There was a moment of panic today. Mom had decided to stay in the day lounge after lunch as she was soaked.

Will and I were going a different way from Matt and Jen and the snow was so deep and heavy from all the wet snow that had been falling all morning.

Will skiis on ahead. Ny skiis started catching in the deep snow... sinking... and suddenly, SNAP! my ski comes off. BURIED in the snow. I stop. I dig. I keep digging. There's so much snow. As deep as me, probably. And there are no other skiers around. I'm starting to panic. Ohmygod, what am I going to do? I yell for Will, but he's too far away. I yell for help, there's no one around. I'm digging and yelling and panicking... finally, a skier arrives and I ask him for help and so he helps me... then his two friends arrive and also help me and between the four of us we FINALLY find my ski. Deep sigh of relief. Will arrives, having slowly, painfully pulled himself back UP the hill, realizing that there must be something wrong.

After that I was scared and tired. My thighs were burning. Too much snow, too tired. I was done.

So down we went and stayed with mom in the lounge and waited for Matt and Jen. My second pair of gloves were already soaked through. UGH. Wet sucks.

But now, warm and dry in the hotel room, it all seems not so horrible. And tomorrow's weather report looks promising. Better luck tomorrow, I hope!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

POW, here I come!

We arrived eventually in Calgary -- late, but safe, after a comedy of errors.

We picked up the ginormous van that we'll be driving around the Rockies and I got to drive the mammoth back to my sister's place where we had some late-night pizza. In case you happen to be in Calgary, Al's is AWESOME pizza!

We finally got to bed at 3am, Toronto time. UGH.
And I woke up at 10am Toronto time to take my migraine tablet. If there's anything my body consistently doesn't like, it's disruptions to its routine. Sigh.

My sister, the physio, did some special accupunture on me that brought tears to my eyes but relieved the pressure and that, in combination with my medication that finally worked, seems to have relieved the stupid thing.

And now, after our Starbucks run, we're off to Fernie, Kicking Horse (Golden), Lake Louise and Sunshine. In -28-degrees!? It's going to be a COLD ski trip!

I can't wait to hit the pow!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Countdown to skiing

I guess someone up there knows that I'm about to head to the Rockies for my ski vacation, so they're trying to build the snow-excitement. I was walking around for just about five minutes outside and I could barely stand the ice pellets battering my face.

The worse it got, the harder I laughed. It was unreal.

Now, of course, in the middle of the night when I should be sleeping, but can't, it looks pretty.

I wish I didn't have to wake up in the morning, or I'd stay here with the computer, typing away and staring out the window for hours. Unfortunately, at this point, I'll be a dead person tomorrow with red rimmed eyes. And likely a migraine. So I figure I might as well get a post in.

I almost don't even feel like I'm going on vacation. I keep saying it to remind myself. But I've been working so hard for the past week to get everything in order for me to leave that I feel exhausted and overwhelmed.

Maybe I should take my lead from how I deal with the nasty weather: the worse it gets, the harder I should laugh.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


This year, I've managed to go sample some winterlicious menus: Monsoon and Reds Bistro.

I will say that I liked Reds Bistro better. Loster/sweet potato bisque with a touch of spice. Rainbow trout with a crispy skin and moist flesh. Tangy mango sorbet and lemon tart.

Magic in my mouth! Plus, it was pretty nice that I didn't have to pay for it. I also had a really nice glass of Cave Springs Special Reserve Chardonnay.

(I wish I had more money so that I could eat like this more often. Sigh.) Anyway, on with the story...

After this awesome meal, we went up to the George Weston Recital Hall in North York to see Theodore Bikel do some yiddish tunes. I loved it!

So who's this Theo guy? ONLY Worf's adoptive dad, Sergey Rozhenko!

And he sings and stuff. Aside from the Yiddish, Hebrew, Russion and French stuff, he also did some Fiddler on the Roof and a sing-along Edelweiss.

A really nice night. I need to get to more cultural events around the city. I really wanted to take in some of the Winter City shows, but I'm going to be super busy this week. I have something planned for each night of the week until I take off on vacation on Friday. Rockies, here I come!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

winter storm in Toronto

under my umbrella
Originally uploaded by sarizzledizzle
I've joined the BlogTO Flickr group -- not that I ever post reasonable photos that I would post to this group, but I like to belong to things that mean something to me. It gives me a place to go to find appropriate photos for my blog. (You've probably noticed that I've been posting photos with my blogs lately too?)

Anyway, on my walk to Starbucks this morning (this photo is taken on Queen West and I'm on the Danforth, but it's surprisingly similar) I was thinking about how beautiful the city can look under a blanket of snow. So I cursed myself for not having a camera and not really having the talent to post something pretty anyway even if I did have my camera.

At this point, the temperature is rising so I didn't have to hate the winter at all. Instead, I could appreciate the snow sticking to the the tree branches and the mounds of pure white (soon to be a grey slushy mess) on everyone's laws and even the sidewalk.

The snow has a way of absorbing sound as well, so it was exceptionally quiet. And then there were all those nice people out shoveling their sidewalks. I got to say hello to them and they always gave me a friendly smile, nod and "hello" back. (I'm always telling people that Toronto isn't as unfriendly as many people think. It just depends on YOU and whether you're engaging or not. I find people in Toronto very willing to chat and stop in the middle of their snow-shoveling.)

I, on the other hand, didn't have to shovel my sidewalk or even my path to my door. The nice man down the street came and cleared it for me with his snow blower. How nice! Unfortunately, he also forgot to come to my house afterward to do the home fix-it projects that I had discussed with him earlier this week. Not sure what's happening there, but it seems he has better things to do than drywall my basement. Hm, what could POSSIBLY be better than that?

In any case, as I sit here, waiting for the handyman to maybe come over and do some work (although it's looking grim at this point), I keep hearing the heavy snow falling from roof.

I'm sad to think that all of this snow will soon be gone as the weather warms in the next couple of days. I wish I could have done my home improvement projects more quickly and gotten the house on the market this weekend. That way, I could have a winter wonderland open house. When there are basically no other open houses or houses for sale in the whole neighbourhood. I could serve hot cocoa and cinnamony apple cider as people milled about, admiring the polished floors and tumbled marble backsplash. And then someone would offer me a jillion dollars for my cute warm cozy house so that I wouldn't have to buy an overpriced silly condo and we would all live happily ever after.


Friday, February 01, 2008

lazy mornings

sleeping kitten
Originally uploaded by mira d'oubliette
I love my lazy mornings.

It's not that I sleep in all that long. No. I actually am not good at sleeping, no matter how crappy I feel.

So even when I don't feel well, I wake up. But when I don't have to immediately jump in the shower and dress in collared shirts and constricting pants, and then douse myself in the cold outside... well, the morning suddenly becomes all the much more bearable.

Waking up and checking email before I'm even dressed. Tea. More email. Brush my teeth, wash my face. Jogging pants and a t-shirt. And work. Without the stress of public transportation and ringing phones and meetings.

I was talking to a table full of people on Tuesday at a Wired Woman event about working from home. They love it. And really, what's the need to be IN the office, when much of my work is done via web-based content management systems and web-based email?

And so instead I have my lazy-feeling morning, listening to music as I type.

OK, so I don't my Starbucks beside me (oh, woe is me!) but I will make do and take naps as needed.