Monday, January 30, 2006

bringing in the dog year

A photography classmate was kind enough to invite another classmate and myself to spend Chinese New Year's at his family's place. Had two lovely dinners - one on his mom's side out a restaurant. We ended up going to Pacific Mall to watch some entertainment (lion dance, magician, singers) before the countdown to the new year. Yesterday was dinner at his dad's where much time was devoted to the stars of the evening: playing with his lovely two golden retrievers. Beautiful dogs and they know it too - being dog year no less! All in all, a very good and relaxing weekend. A happy new year to all of you!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

the apprentice part II: you're fired

Not to worry, it wasn't me. Bye bye ex-boss...are we ever on a roll here. The big news is that my ex-boss got fired. Which set my head spinning and I haven't slept well wondering what will happen to the position? First the guy in my old position quit after a few months, and now the ex-boss has been laid off. I suppose it was only a matter of time... but there's no one running the show now. Will a move back west be an option for me? Would they want me? I only just got here! Do I want to even go??

Monday, January 23, 2006

bye bye roommate

I believe there's a reason for everything. In this case, my roommate just gave notice last night and says he will be leaving in a month's time. So I'm semi-glad that the trip fell through because now I can dump my refunded airline ticket into rent instead! Argh. On the upside, it will be so nice to have all 440 sq. feet to myself...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

bye bye bermuda

I was packing and getting ready to go on this trip when I double checked the itinerary and my eyes popped out. The date I was set to return was one day later than I had requested. So I phoned the airline and found out that they had cancelled my flight. Since there is only one flight per day, they moved my return to the next day rather than shortening my trip by one day. This was the only flight cancelled for the whole week; they told me I could cancel the trip if I wanted with no penalty. So I thought it over and debated and decided to call it off. The weather forecast wasn't looking good so it didn't make sense to go and suffer rainy skies on a semi-tropical island! But I'm a bit bummed over this.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

winter adventures

My friend is still out here visiting his family so I took advantage of this time to go to the icewine festival that was being held at Niagara-on-the-Lake. It was the first day of the festival so we didn't have to contend with the crowds at all and were there already at the first winery when it opened! The weather was fairly mild and we had a blast drinking ourselves silly. We managed to hit 7 wineries and sampled their various ice wines, often paired with decadent chocolate. We also enjoyed lunch at Hillebrand Estates and dinner at the sister company, Peller Estates. And no, we both passed on wine for dinner! After all those tastings, we could barely tell one from the was all fantastic except for one winery where they paired the ice wine with a Starbucks coffee to make a special drink. Whose bright idea was that? It was a complete waste! We also walked around the little town where I (of course) took some photos.

huskies eager to run! The other exciting thing I did was I went up with the same friend to Alpgonquin Park to go dog sledding!! We were extremely lucky as we were the only people that booked a tour for the day so we practically had a private tour! The guide owned 41 huskies and they were all eager to be chosen to go. We took turns both riding and driving the sled. I prefer the driving for sure - that way, you don't get cold sitting still for so long and of course you run the risk of getting your butt massaged every time you hit a bump in the trail. We had 6 dogs and our guide had 6. Our dogs were so enthusiastic in the beginning but by the end of the afternoon, they were needing much nudging to keep moving. The conditions were perfect - a light dusting of snow for the dogs' paws and a layer of ice below for our sled to glide through. Sunlight was filtering through the trees and small flakes were sparkling as they fluttered down. We covered in a half day trip what the guide says he normally takes a whole day to do. Believe me, a half day is all you need! It was around -28 with windchill so that's enough! We did pause at the halfway point (16 km) to have a hot chocolate before switching places and turning around. I have to say our dogs were a bit stupid(?) as they for some reason preferred to run on the left side of the trails(!!) and then liked to cut corners when rounding bends. (So maybe they were smart?) We passed by some snowmobilers and I had to apologize profusely for forcing them on to the left side of the road. (Do you really think I had control of my dogs??) Anyway, it was a very enjoyable experience and I was almost as exhausted as the dogs were by the end of it!