Category Archives: Trips

Relaxing Day at the Beach?

Port Stanley

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm…..

Summer. Beach Weather.

Waves crashing on the shore.  Children laughing as they make sand castles.  The smell of french fries from the nearby restaurant.

I. LOVE. THE. BEACH.

Until a relaxing beach day turns into a worrisome animal-saving excursion, and a lesson about threats to the Great Lakes water system.

Upon arriving at the beach on Saturday, Sandra and I were disgusted to find multiple dead fish, and dead seagulls on the shore of the beach.  Gross. Double Gross.  Since Sandra works in the field of fresh water lakes, and what not, and was ok with still swimming the water, I was too.

That’s when we noticed a seagull hanging out on the beach just where the tide washes into the shore.  People walked by, he didn’t move.  A young girl (who should have known better!!!!!!!) threw a stick at him, he didn’t move. :S Well ok, he was moving, but not flying away, or getting up or anything.

So what did Sandra and I do? Move down the beach?  Find a more peaceful place to tan?  Nope.  Because that’s not the kind of people we are.  We first of all, stood and stared at the bird, and debated picking it up so he wouldn’t drown.  We debated calling the humane society.  We ended up talking to the lifeguards to see what they said.  Long story short, apparently this is very common.  Dead fish and seagulls wash up on the shore daily.  Gross.

According to Sandra, (without making this a science lecture :P) these fish and mussels, are coming in on ships from other waters, and invading our great lakes.  The birds and fish eat them.  Then, they get Botulism.  Then, they grow weak, and die.  Then, they wash up on shore.  Then, the lifeguards have to clean them up.  For reals. I bet they didn’t know that would be in their job description huh?!

Anywho, the lifeguard said someone would deal with it within the hour.

Before that hour however, it seemed as though the seagull was going to be washed into the water, so we had formulated a plan to move the bird a bit away from the water, until Sandra’s husband informed Sandra (via phone call) that seagulls have been known to bite off fingers, and we didn’t really feel like catching Botulism ourselves.

So to jump to the end of this somewhat long story, the seagull was able to move out of the water, a lifeguard came and picked it up properly, and put it in the forest beside the beach (which we did NOT agree with), and most likely ended up dying there.  The fish were thrown in the garbage (ewww), and we tried to enjoy the rest of our afternoon.

Sooooo, who’s up for a swim in Lake Erie?

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Big City, Bright Lights

Toronto.

The capital city of Ontario.

A city that I recently had the chance to live in for about 2 weeks!  No, Matt and I didn’t move there, I was working in the T dot and stayed with a friend (Thanks Sandra!!) 🙂

I’ve kind of always been jealous of people that live in big cities.  They’ve just always seemed so grown up!  Taking the subway, visiting museums and art galleries, moving about amongst a bazillion people… I don’t know.  I’ve always thought it would be so glamorous.

Now let me tell you about my experience living in Toronto.

1.  Commuting is a M—– F—–!

That’s right, you read that right.  How long was my commute you ask?  That’s not important.  Well ok, yes it is.  According to Google map, it should have only took 16 minutes daily.  Would you like to know how long it actually took?

55 minutes.  Yes, that includes a short stop at a Tim Horton’s drive thru, but come on.  That’s ridiculous.  And frustrating.  I really do not know how people do it daily.  If it wasn’t for funny morning talk show hosts, I would not have survived the tail-gating, cell phone driving, too slow, don’t let anyone merge, dumb ass drivers.  (not to stereotype Toronto drivers because I KNOW not everyone is like this, however these are what the ones that I encountered were doing) Sigh.

2.  There are just soooooooooo many people!!!  (I guess that perhaps ties in with number 1 now doesn’t it?!)

3.  You can’t go anywhere between 5 and 7pm.  (I guess that really does tie in again with number 1 and 2 doesn’t it? haha)  If we needed to go groccery shopping, or out for food, we needed to go after 7, otherwise you end up sitting in traffic forever.  Then again, that’s only if you’re driving a car.  If you take public transit somewhere, you’re probably ok….but it would still be super busy (refer back to number 1 and 2).

So overall it really does look like my problem with Toronto is that there’s so many people.  I guess I’m really just used to sharing my space with under 500, 000.  Not the 2,615,060 that live in Toronto. (WOW!  I didn’t really think it was that many!- that’s according to Google FYI as of 2011.)

What I did like about the T dot is that although Sandra lives in a highrise condo, there was a super cute park that EVERYONE in the neighborhood went to, to walk their dogs.  It was full of adorable dogs in all sizes just running around, and being cute.  So clearly people in big cities don’t let small homes effect whether or not they are going to have pets!

So, I hate people, but love dogs.

That about wraps up this post.

I’m hoping that now my summer course is done, I can bust out a couple more posts this summer…since I haven’t done so since January! (Ooops!)

EPFT out.

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My Year in Pictures.

I’m sure there are like hundreds of blogs with a similar title as mine.  Are they as funny and clever as mine though?  Probably more so 😛  But you’re reading mine and not theirs, so I win! Muahahahahaha!

Anywho, here’s my 2011 in pictures.  Enjoy!

New Years Day (after 12am!) January 1, 2011. PS this was an ugly sweater party!

Bourbon Street, NOLA. February, 2011.

Cemetary Tour in NOLA. February 2011.

Drinking from a boot in San Fran! February, 2011.

Muir Woods (?!) Redwood Forest in San Fran. February, 2011.

Full House house with Bai. February, 2011.

Horribly unflattering, but St. Patrick's Day none the less! March 17th, 2011.

April, 2011. The Brain Tumour Spring Sprint. Team Griffiths!

The Royal Wedding at Shoppers! April, 2011.

May, 2011. Kyle's 30th! Whistling Walrus. (with Kirk, Dan, and Drew!)

June, 2011. The Heart and Stroke Big Bike! Yay team I Like Big Bikes! (Yes I realize the bike is empty. I didn't get one with the team this year :()

The girls! (Plus 3 fetuses! (or is it Feti? :P)) Baby Showers galore! June, 2011.

'Lil Henry was born! (1st of the '11 baby boom!) July, 2011.

Collingwood, Ontario. Amy's Bachelorette. July, 2011.

Midyear baseball tournament dance. Team Totally Awesome! July, 2011.

My brother Brendan married Tara! 🙂 August, 2011. (pic courtesy of Jayme Van Geest!)

My friend Amy married her now husband, Bob. August, 2011.

I got to blog for the Western Fair! September, 2011.

My favourite little man Cole was born. September, 2011.

October, 2011. Turkey Cake Pops.

'Lil Abigail was born. October, 2011.

We saw the Rural Alberta Advantage in concert. November, 2011.

We sent out a Christmas card, and sadly said good bye to Foster. December, 2011.

I got my first LTO assignment! December, 2011.

Matt discovered what it feels like to use a Snuggie. December, 2011.

Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! 🙂

ERIN

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September 10, 2001.

NYC.

10 years ago (- 2 days) I was seeing Michael Jackson in concert with 3 friends from University.  It took us a whole day to get there.  We stayed over that night, and saw as much as we could the next day before the concert.  We took in parks,  monuments, famous stores, great food, and spectacular buildings.

Instead of staying in New York after the concert that night we decided to drive the whole night, and head back to Ontario.  (We did start school the next day after all!)

We crossed the border, stopped at a friend’s parents house for breakfast and watched the very same building we had been in less than 24 hours ago erupt in flames.  We thought it was on fire only.  We didn’t see the commotion 5 seconds before.

We listened to the second plane hit the other building while in the car on the way back to our residences.

The sightseeing was great.  The concert, phenomenal, but forever in my mind will be the tragedy that DID happened, and how our road trip could have been so much different had we not drove 10 hours in foggy weather that night.

We were amazed at how tall they were.

Hard to read, but it's the receipt for a snow globe I bought in the lobby gift shop on September 10.

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‘Twas a Year of Firsts….

So, I started this blog just over a year ago, and my goal was to blog about making things, or doing things I’ve never done before.  I think I’ve been somewhat successful non?

Let’s look back and see shall we?

  • I created this blog. (Sweet!)
  • All our wedding stuff was DIY’ed and boy am I glad that is over!  (Though secretly I loved it!) 😛
  • I played on a dodgeball team! (AND am going to play again!!)
  • Tried Sushi for the first time. (Sooooooooooo good!)
  • Traveled to New Orleans and San Francisco.
  • Tried a Chip Buddy.  (If you’ve never had it, look it up.  It’s quite tasty, and yet so simple!)
  • Completed my first AQ for teaching.
  • Created a heck of a lot of Monday Meals! (All were recipes I’ve never tried before!)
  • Held an ugly sweater party! (Which I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do!) (Which got real hot real quick)
  • Walked in a 10 mile “race“.  (Race is in quotations simply because it’s clear myself, Kathy, and Eileen were not racing.)
  • Created my first hair piece for someone! (And I don’t even have pictures…)
  • Ate a bug.  Gross.  Does not taste like nothing.  Tastes like gross.
  • Drank beer out of a glass boot.
  • Got married.  (Definitely something I’ve never done before! :P)
  • Took a Bollywood class (then taught the dance to about a hundred kids!)
  • Took a Belly dance class.
  • Chose the colours for, and painted a whole room by myself.  Nope, never done this before.  Might not be 100% finished yet, but still painted none the less!
  • Went to an NKOTB concert! Woot woot! (not to mention BSB too!)

Ummmmm….I feel like I’ve done more, or made more.  It’s actually quite hard to sum up your accomplishments/actions from a whole year.

Oh yes one more for sure…

If you’ve never been, then what are you waiting for?!?

It’s super big, full of super fun rides, super awesome fair food to eat, super neat booths to see,  it’s just super period.  And I get to blog about it!

Needless to say I’m really excited- when I started this blog it was really just to share the fun and crazy things I get up to, or talk about getting up to.  But the more I do it, the more I realize I quite enjoy writing and really enjoy reading people’s reactions to them.  I love seeing that I have an email to tell me that someone has commented -It kind of makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

Wow that got kinda emosh.

Anywho, I’m super excited about the contest win, and VERY flattered to be chosen!

Here’s to another year of silly projects, new experiences, and hopefully entertained readers! 🙂

PS

For your viewing pleasure, here are some pics from the last year that you might enjoy!

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Birthday Trip- Part 3! “San Francisco Bai”

Me and Golden Gate. We're tight.

So I was flying out of New Orleans, and headed to San Fran, with one connection in Denver.  I was a little nervous, due to my ridiculous experience coming to NOLA.

This is when my 2nd issue with flying happened….  So it took quite a while to get through check in, and I was a little worried that I wouldn’t make the boarding.  Well I cut it close, but all was fine.  Flights were good, lay over- good.  I land in San Fran, and I’m waiting for my bag and it just doesn’t come.  5 bags unclaimed, and none of them were mine.  So I go to customer service and they said my bag didn’t even leave NOLA.  IT DIDN’T EVEN MAKE THE PLANE.  Wtf?  No worries though, it will be in San Fran by 11pm, they’ll drop it off in the am.

11am rolls around (the next day), and still no luggage.  I call and they said I was picking it up.  Right.  So that’s why we left a delivery address, so I can pick it up.  They said it will be out in the next couple hours.  3 hours go by, no bag.  I call again.  It’ll be out between 2 and 5. (it’s now 3).  430 rolls around.  No bag.  I call again.  It’ll be sometime between 2 and 6.  530 rolls around (still no bag) and they call me saying it’ll be between 5 and 11.  11PM!!!!! I waisted a whole day waiting for friggen luggage!  My birthday none the less!  I haven’t showered in …..like 36 hours (what’s the point when you don’t have clean clothes?!), and Bai doesn’t have clothes that fit me!  Well the baggage shows up at 10pm.  Awesome.  That was United Airlines people.  United!  Note to self.  Don’t fly with United.  To make matters worse, Bai was out for about 5 hours in the afternoon, so I had to use my cell phone.  $43.00 worth of calling plus a checked bag charge of 25 American for a bag that was missing for over 24 hours. FU United.

Ok, on to the trip.  Bai really told you most of the highlights, so I don’t really have much to add…. well ok there’s a bit.

  1.   I LOVE California.  I think this is a place I could live.  Not that I’m moving there, but if I had to move to the states for whatever reason, I would like to live there.  It’s so sunshiney, and warm, and clean.  (Well where I was!)
  2. San Francisco has lots of hills.  These hills are huge.  You don’t really understand how big they are until you walk up, and then down them.  Seriously.  We walked up Hyde Street on our way to the crookedest street in the world, and honestly I made Bai stop about 5 times to catch my breath.  I know I’m not in fantastic shape, but this was ridiculous.  On our last day I actually made Bai change the location of our dinner, so we could avoid walking up a hill.  Seriously.
  3. There’s lots to do in and around San Fran.  Bai doesn’t live right in San Fran, but it was about 45 minutes away, which is nothing.  Traffic I’m told can be a bitch, but so is traffic in the Toronto corridor.  You can hike at one of the MANY National Parks in the area, there are many touristy shops, you can visit lots of monuments/places of interest (i.e. the Full House house which Bai did not mention, but I will post pictures of below!), there are lots of diverse places to eat and visit in San Fran, there’s Napa Valley (which will be first on my list next time I visit!), and these are just a few of the things you can/see! 
  4. It really helps visiting a place when you’re with a “local”. 🙂  Yay for not getting lost!
  5. I LOVE California.

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Oh, a couple funny stories that Bai did not mention. 

  • When the server brought us the boot full of beer, he didn’t know Bai and I were splitting it, so he actually looked at me and said, “Don’t die.”  Awesome.
  • Okay, I can’t actually remember the other thing I wanted to say.  Shoot.  Alright, when I think of it, I will post it.  Man, that’s annoying!

Alright, that’s it for now!

Hope you enjoyed part 3 of my trip.  There’s no more left.

If you forget what else Bai and I were up to in the greater San Fran area, check out his blog posts:

Stay classy San Diego.

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Erin’s 30th Birthday Trip- Part 2! NOLA

Heeeeeyyyy!

So wow, this is like the 4th post this week.  Cool huh?  I think I could keep this up.  Assuming you all continue reading!

Alright, so let’s continue from where we left off shall we?

So I’m in NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana!),  and I’m visiting Sandra and Derek (who FYI either moved today already, or are moving tomorrow, so good timing!) who have been there for a year (Derek), and about like 4 months (Sandra).  Before I came Sandra told me it was cold, and I didn’t believe her.  When I got there, I still didn’t believe her!  It was sunny, I only wore a sweater to dinner (and we walked!), and even the second day it was warm and sunny, and only required a sweater.  Then came Monday.  The only day we picked for a walking cemetery tour was so F-ing cold we had to buy gloves.  And I still froze.  Our tour guide was dressed up in a toque and gloves too!  It was also super duper cold at night.  So cold, that I (someone who sleeps with a fan and always half way out of the covers) friggen froze, and definitely needed a second blanket!  Cemetery tour was cool, regardless of the weather.  Very old, very neat.  Interestingly enough these above ground cemeteries pop up all over the city right in the middle of urban/residential areas.  The one we visited was directly beside a ghetto.  Seriously.  If we were in London, this cemetery would have been EOA.  You London people know what I’m talking about.

Alrighty, so cold, in the ghetto, but in a pretty neat cemetery (oh FYI Nicholas Cage has already purchased and built a pyramid style grave thing in this cemetery in case you’re looking to spend eternity laying next to him!), and we come to the end of our tour….at a voodoo priestess temple.  I don’t really know what Sandra and I were expecting…but let me tell you, it was not this.  First of all the lady does not seem like a voodoo priestess.  Not that I’ve ever met one, but she is about 65, wore bright old lady clothes, and always had a smile on her face.  Second, she told me my voice sounded like I was a singer.  What?  Anyways, she also told us nothing about voodoo.  She led us to her temple, and scolded us for not listening, then basically lectured us about the economy.  Weird.  That was our experience in a voodoo temple.

How can my time in NOLA get better than that day?  Well my friends, it just did.  The next day Sandra and I headed to the insectarium.  That’s right, we went to a museum full of dead, and LIVE insects!  It was actually pretty neat.  We also got to eat some insects.  I ate something called a wax worm.  It did not taste like nothing.  It tasted gross.  Sandra had a cricket, and said it was just crunchy.  We also saw a tiny Alligator, which was so friggen cute, but all by itself in this massive tank full of insects and water.  Also weird. 

Since this was my last night in NOLA, we HAD to have King Cake.  I like to call it baby cake because they used to put a little plastic baby in the cake for someone to find as a prize.  Some people say if you get the baby you buy the next cake, some say if you get the baby you will have a baby next.  Either way, they don’t put them in the cake anymore, they put it in the package, and you can put it in the cake, or keep it for yourself.  It’s up to you.  Anywho, this baby cake is so friggen good.  It’s like really thin cinnamon buns that are shaped in a cake, and stuffed with cream cheese icing (not sweet icing though, just super fluffy good icing).  You can get them plain, or filled with fruit and stuff,  but Sandra said the cream cheese was the best.  It was so good!!!!  They only make these baby cakes close to Mardi Gras, so I was just in time! 🙂

Ohhhhhhh, before we leave off here, I forgot to tell you about a couple things!  1. Bourbon Street- the infamous French Quarter Street in NOLA which is full of bars, strip clubs, and touristy stores.  It’s seedy, and gross, and smells like a combination of pee and puke.  Seriously.  I’m sure if I was with a group of people at night and we were bar hopping like 5 years ago, it would be great, but I saw it in day light.  Almost like when they turn the ugly lights on in a bar at 2am. ugh.  We even saw a stripper having a cigarette outside a club in her thong.  Classy!  2.  They have drive through Daiquiris bars.  For real!  I guess driving with open alcohol isn’t such a big deal!  We didn’t go through a drive through one, but we did end up going to a regular bar/store and they had a bazillion flavours that pour out of slushy machines and are served in MASSIVE styrofoam cups.  Ridiculous!  3.  In the French Market I purchased an Alligator claw backscratcher with a real alligator claw on it.  They farm alligators for meat here, and end up selling the other parts (feet, hands, claws, heads, etc.) to tourists like me in the form of key chains, backscratchers, and other weird items.  My horribly bad pets promptly got a hold of it when I got home and ate it.  (seriously, and it was gross)  So it no longer exists.

Ok, lets fast forward back to the last day again!

Sadly, my time in NOLA felt like it was over before I knew it.  Early morning flight meant an uneventful night of baby cake and Pet hoarders on tv. 

Here are some of my more interesting pics of NOLA.  🙂

Bourbon Street

An impromptu Jazz Concert? But of course!

Mmmm! One of my many delicious meals- french toast stuffed with banana cream cheese, and topped with a rum caramel sauce!

Alligator heads for sale!

Cable car!

Super cold cemetery tour with our tour guide. He's in front of a tomb where a voodoo queen is buried!

Cemetery

More cemetery.

Voodoo temple!

More voodoo temple

Me and the beignets from the famous Cafe du Monde! They are small deep fried balls of dough that are covered in powdered sugar! Delicious!

Massive daiquiris. Mardi Gras beads. Alligator backscratcher. Can we say TOURIST?!?

Sandra is eating a bug!

I'm eating a bug!

Baby Cake!

Mmmmmmm baby cake!

 

Alright.  So that’s it for NOLA.  It was fun.  And cold.  Also delicious. 

Next up- Part 3: San Francisco Bai! 🙂

Peace out.

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