Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Santiago, Chile was such an amazing experience. The hotel was so beautiful and the airport... well the airport- what can I say??!?!

And the car taking me to the airport... nevermind the car taking me FROM the airport!!!! Oh and the office... man the office was spectacular... but listen to me rambling...

...ah Chile... good times.

This is the sunset just outside the airport.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I can't even deal

Look how CUTE SHE IS. Seriously though- no baby ever existed who is as cute as her right? RIGHT?!?!?! COME ON!!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bonne experience

I'm quite quick to complain about bad experiences but don't share the good often enough... (is that because they don't happen as often?! sh Sarah... we're being positive here).

This weekend I've had two really good experiences of which to speak of:

1. The Spotted Pig

Though we had to wait nearly 2 hours for a table we found a nice cozy spot to sit and have drinks by the bar. The service started out quite slow, but we'd anticipated that and set our expectations quite low. The food was awesome- especially the brussel sprouts (or as I dubbed them - the "Butter sprouts") and the waiter was really nice. When our shoestring fries took too long to come out- the next round was on him. We'd had enough to drink by then and settled on a compromise of a warm delish ginger cake.

2. Resto

Today I went to brunch at this lovely place on the east side. They actually take reservations (not many places do) so we were able to sail in and sit down. I ordered a belgian hot chocolate- with a breakfast of granola and yogurt. I had VERY high expectations for the food as I have a granola/fruit/yogurt favourite at "Bonjour Brioche" in Toronto. Today's dish did not even come close to measuring up. The granola was one type of flake, with almonds, and the "fruit" was 4 pieces (ok- 5) of banana. And they served it with a giant serving spoon. And didn't bring out my hot chocolate until after I'd asked for it twice. Ok I know this doesn't sound very good... but it's not the server's fault the food wasn't great- and she was quite pleasant. And without us asking another very cute waiter brought us a bowl of "blood Orange" sorbet- compliments of the house.
And that was very nice.
And the sorbet was very good.

So we will go back- and I will try something else on the menu that perhaps does have a hope of exceeding expectations...

I hope these experiences become the norm and not the exception because it's nice to have friendly people serve you... and have positive experiences to report.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Washington, DC

I haven't been around much lately- I've been in Washington and Chile. I went to DC for the weekend leading up to the inauguration. I'd never been and it was really cool. I actually loved it. I hadn't realized that Washington was so far South- and carries with it a certain colonial charm. I loved the architecture and the vibe (especially this weekend). My friend Kristina lives there and she's best friends with my good friend Ashleigh (who I used to sit next to at Leo). So we all met up for the weekend.
This is us in front of the White House.

The first day we went touring around the town. There are no skyscrapers in the city because no building is allowed to be higher than the Capitol building-which was cool. It gave the district a small town feel. We saw the White House- which was cool... and then headed home because it was freezing cold. That night we went out dancing- but made it a relatively early night since we had so much tourist stuff to do the next day.

The White House.

This is Capitol Hill from far away.

The second day Ashleigh and I went to some museums and then to "The Mall" (no it's not a mall- its' a stretch of land between the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol Hill- with the Washington Monument in the middle). It's where the "We are one" concert was held. Though we didn't get close enough to see him live, we did hear Barack speak. It was pretty cool although I did feel as though his speech was filled with also-rans and platitudes that held no meaning "We will triumph" "we will overcome" "This nation is a great nation". It's as though the speech writer just culled bits and pieces of speeches from MLKjr or JFK... but people seemed to suck it right up. And perhaps in these hard economic times it's nice to go back to the words of simpler times???
The people in the Mall at the concert.

The Washington Monument.

The Smithsonian is made up of a series of museums all within a 1mile radius. This is between the American History museum and the Natural History museum.

The main space at the Natural History museum.

The third day we went to the American Air and Space museum and then toured around Capitol Hill and soaked in the atmosphere building up in anticipation of the following day. Though I wasn't able to be there for the actual inauguration I read on CNN that there were 1.8 million people in attendance, breaking the record of 1.2 for Lyndon Johnson's inauguration.

In the Space Museum.

Capitol Hill

All in all it was an incredible weekend! Although I'm not American it was still exciting to be a part of this History and feel the excitement of a new dawn (speaking of platitudes...)

Friday, January 16, 2009

And the skies open up...

Something kinda exciting happened to me today... I received an expense cheque from December, put it against my long standing line of credit AND THE BALANCE IS NOW ZERO!! NOTHING!! NADA. I DONT OWE ANY MONEY!!! A DEBT I'VE HAD FOR TEN YEARS IS NOW GONE!!!!!!!!!

So ...er ... I think that's good news. I'm pretty stoked about it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

And my love grows stronger ...

... for Starbucks. We did have a rift last year- I admit it. But we mended that and I think we're better for it. I stepped back a bit and wasn't so crazy with my 2 times a day visits. I thought: "no starbucks- you're not getting the best of me. Just a piece of me. Once a week."
Until now.

But first, some background: a few years ago Starbucks had this beverage called "Sipping Chocolate." It was so rich it was served in little espresso cups. It had the caloric value of a large cheeseburger and the consistency of tar. I LOVED it. But it failed to find an audience and disappeared after just a few months.
Fast forward to present day (or rather last Saturday) and I was at a Starbucks eyeing the menu- feeling a hankering for something other than the uje : decaf tall non fat meow meow meow. And I spied "The Signature Hot Chocolate"
"What is this?" I asked.

Ok I'm going to fast forward this part- because it's really not all that interesting... except to say that the flavour and richness of the sipping chocolate had FOUND IT'S WAY BACK in the form of a skim milk hot chocolate... and Starbucks has found it's way back into my life.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What are you doing this weekend?

I am going to Washington DC this weekend for the inauguration festivities!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

More Miss O

Here's Miss. O checking out her "eye spy" quilt... courtesy of some of my Mom's very generous and thoughtful friends. (Or did Mom make it??)

And Here's to You...

I finally saw the movie "The Graduate" this weekend. I was particularily interested in this movie as my friends frequently call me "Mrs. Robinson" due to my predilection for younger guys (hey I admit it). I'd heard that the the movie was a great love story...which I assumed was between the Mrs. and the young dashing Dustin Hoffman.

Boy was I wrong.

Mrs. Robinson is HORRIBLE. And I mean seriously, seriously wretched.

She basically bullies Dustin's character into a loveless, soulless, meaningless affair. He's a cowering, shivering wreck of a boy who gets sucked into this thing he doesn't understand and can't control and which eventually almost destroys his life.

She's mean, contemptuous, unhappy and uses this poor boy for her own needs without thought to his own.

Really??! I'm Mrs. Robinson?!?!?! Really??!?!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Christmas 2008

I'm finally "home" (though I don't think of nyc that way) after a 2 week cross Canada journey. I spent Christmas in Calgary and New Year's in Toronto. Of course the visits were too short and I didn't get to spend enough time with my friends and family- but I still got to see most and get sort of caught up. I didn't get to see my bro Stefan (his first Christmas away because he had to work) and friends Leigh and Lori (they were also away) but there will be time in 2009...
I was going to go through my trip day by day... but after writing a few paragraphs I started to fall into a coma... here are some pictures instead.

The first group of pics are from my annual 'girls' potluck. There are 8 of us who have been friends since high school (some from elementary... and some even earlier than that!) who have gathered together for a dinner every Christmas. This was our 16th year- and Sandy created the most amazing gift for us- by creating a book with pictures from the last 15 years. It was so beautiful and really made us reflect on the past (horrible hairstyles) when we were a bunch of single high school girls, to now where we have families and children. Not to be too nostalgic or anything but it made us thankful for what we have. We missed our friend Jen- but she was in Hawaii- not feeling too sorry for herself I'm sure.

This next batch is the family- and Olivia's trip out to a University of Calgary's basketball game. Her Dad (my brother David) is a big ball player so we thought we'd come out and cheer the team on. This first picture is three generations- Grandma, David and Tanya, and O. Claire and Shawnee gave O her first pair of Nike running shoes- which were a big hit.

These last pictures These last few are from Rob's NYE party... this is at the end... for some reason Jen is hiding in this one. There is a good one where you can see her- but I look like I have 3 chins... so I'm not putting that one up!!! : )

There are many people I didn't get pictures of (Mom, Cliff, Paula + family, my other Toronto friends) but I didn't carry the camera around with me everywhere!!!!!