The house is still in progress but the upstairs is pretty much in position and beaten into submission. I have some pictures that need to be hung up and a miror. I also need some art in the bedroom, which I might just go with a collage of pictures from my recent trip to Newfoundland (keep reading I will get to more details regarding that)which will require both prints and frames, but those are all really minor details, and so the upstairs is about 90% done.
The downstairs has turned into a permanent tool crib…. Or at least I can’t come up with a time in the near future were it will no longer be a tool crib. I think this should bother me more except I have developed a very finicky Zen towards it that could crumble at any moment if anyone reminds me how annoying it is not to have full use of your own space. So far I am only reminded of that when I need to do laundry and I try to do it on a get in get out kind of basis were folding happens upstairs. So my contact with my basement is minimal and the Zen remains.
Events in my life over the summer that I haven’t let the blog be privy to thus far in no particular order except my random thought process:
It was my mom’s birthday a couple of weekends ago. I had written another blog summing up my life and wishing her a happy birthday, but I just didn’t get around to posting it. My mom turned an undisclosed number of years and hopefully has many more ahead of her. We had a wonderful weekend that consisted of a pedicure and shopping trip on Saturday (I have wicked awesome orange toenails right now that please me to no end). I also spent an absurd amount of money on clothing at GT boutique but got lots of bang for my buck and really should not be complaining about it. We had a swell time and I would repeat that day all over again including the lavish amount of money spent on clothing.
Which also meant that when I came home that evening I purged my closet. Out with the old, in with the new. Say goodbye to that girl, the new one who is striving to find her place in a more mature world has come in with a new wardrobe full of clothes. Funny how we define ourselves by clothing. It felt really good though to get rid of a lot of high school stuff and let go of the past a bit.
I finished my sailing lessons. I now have my White Sail III. Which means I am able to sail a boat of a certain amount length all by myself. Need to really look into the details on that one. However, I definitely think I will be doing a refresher course every summer until I am able to buy my own boat to sail. I am thinking along the lines of a pirate ship, mind you I might want to start smaller first and slowly work my way up. Yahar me mates. Going to go and find me some adventure and buried gold.
And as previously mentioned I went to Newfoundland this summer. I wish I had planned it out a bit better than I was able to, but with the move, everything was just so hectic that we free-styled it once we got there. Well, we did have one big thing on the Agenda. We had to get to Burgeo before Saturday afternoon for a wedding. Other than that the Island was ours to explore. We flew into St. Johns on Wednesday afternoon, July 30 and left the following Wednesday, August 6.
We experience St. Johns. We stayed at the Battery and had a wonderful view of the harbour… well our room didn’t the first stay, but the hotel did. The hotel was absolutely charming, painted in reds and yellows and the staff was lovely. They had Newfoundland sayings and verses all over the walls and every room was named for a sea fairing coastal town on the rock. The hotel was on Signal Hill, well just a wee walks up the hill to get to Cabot Tower were Marconi received his first radio signal. It was extremely misty and damp almost the whole time we were in Newfoundland, and the only time it cleared up really was for the 3 days of the wedding Friday to Sunday and by Sunday the weather was starting to look glum again.
St. Johns was very very charming. I loved all of the leaning townhouses in their various colours. But the streets looked mighty precarious for the winter, which made me wonder how many cars go into the harbour every winter. We did George St. twice, our first night there, and our last night there. We have a t-shirt that says “I got George faced on Shit street.”, which pretty much sums it up for ya. We did the George St. festival and Darren played on open Mike night at o’REllies
We also went out to Cape Spear (Tuesday evening I think) which is the most Easterly point in all of North America and were rewarded by quite the whale show off of the coast. We watched for a good long time and then proceeded afterward to continue our trek to see the lighthouses. We didn’t get to go into the old one because we came fairly late in the evening when things were shutting down but I got some pretty good pictures that are up for there need to be printed and displayed in my house somewhere.
We also did a wale watching tour and bird tour (Wednesday morning before we went and caught our plane home. Crazy day). We only saw birds, but the people we did the tour with were ever so nice and signed the back of our tickets and promised that whenever we wanted to come back (next summer included) that we could go on a free tour and hopefully see some whales. It was a really blustery day and the waves were pretty active so I can understand why the Wales didn’t want to give us a show, but now I have an insane amount of picture of birds (that previously I had no interest in) and a very poopy island they rest on.
As for the wedding; well we drove all the way across the other side of the island in our “car” that we had rented. The vehicle rentals service here was a bit messed up and we almost had to take a bus across the island. There were things that weren’t told to us until after they tried to process stuff, and had we been informed properly in the first place it would have went a lot smoother, but it wasn’t and so this was our Chariot.
The last vehicle available in all of ST. Johns, honoured for the price of a car because of the mix up and taken from the manager. But we made it and I swear we will laugh at this in the future. I really don’t want to get into too many details on how we ended up with this, but it was pretty much equally their fault as it was ours, and so the end result didn’t turn out that bad all things considering and we got something to drive.
We drove to Gander and had super and I was almost inclined to stay there and not go to the wedding just so I could see Great Big Sea on their Native soil. Luckily for Stephy Gander wasn’t as charming as I had hoped and we proceeded onto Dear Lake (Thursday evening) were we got the last room in town at a Bed and Breakfast which was absolutely charming. We left Deer Lake promptly the next morning… well as prompt as its going to get on holidays which is to say we left before 10:30 I believe.
Then we travelled for another 4 hours to Burgeo. Burgeo is off of the main highways by about 2 hours and there are no gas stations along that stretch so the sign says to make sure you have everything you need for the next leg of the journey. There is a sign. I didn’t get a picture of it. I was also surmising.
We arrived in Burgeo on Friday afternoon and got put to work decorating the hall. Everyone was very very nice and we got welcomed into the festivities like members of the family. I also learnt how to set a table properly. The wedding was very small town, but was full of wonderful people and small town charm. Stephy looked gorgeous, and Corey looked pleased (he has funny eyebrows but he does clean up well).
Burgeo has 13 sandbanks, five of which you can get to through the park (provincial I think). We (Darren and I) spent Friday evening during rehearsal, hiking to each one and taking pictures of the old graveyard. I asked Darren before we entered to check it out if what we were doing was morbid. He said no, but after taking a picture of every head stone changed his mind to yes, we were a bit morbid. Oh well.
A good portion of the wedding pictures were taken out at the sand banks. And so we got to spend a portion of Saturday out there as well. We chilled at her parents place between the ceremony and the super with the rest of the wedding party, and Steph ate a burger and we have the incriminating evidence captured in a photograph. I really can’t say that I am very sorry about this Stephy. I’m sure you would do the same for me.
Sunday was spent doing a present opening and hanging out with Stephy and Corey. We stayed at their place when we were in Burgeo; they were very very nice and accommodating considering that we were there for their wedding. Stephy kept apologizing for not spending enough time with us, and I was like “hun, we are here for YOUR wedding. Seriously.” She is so cute and charming.
We drove all the way back to St. Johns in one day on Monday. The reason we didn’t go the hole trip in one day before was because of the whole vehicle mix up – to which we have learnt a great many lessons I will impart on your at the end of this post . We didn’t end of leaving St. Johns the previous Thursday till almost 2 in the afternoon. This time we got on the road by 11:00 ish. We found our way to St. Johns by around 10:00 at night. They didn’t have any rooms left at the Battery (we did have one reserved for the next night thought) and so ended up staying at the Holiday Inn (double check please) for a room of equal value to our next nights accommodations. We were tired and had super and then went to bed.
We also made a stop in Corner Brook on our way back were I acquired a bottle of Bakeapple ice wine. Which is not Baked apple spelt wrong, but a berry. Indeed. We had scene sign on our way to Burgeo on the main highway leaving St. Johns that was advertising Bakeapples, like we advertize fresh blueberries. And Darren and I honestly thought that they had misspelled Baked apple until it was explained to us in Burgeo by a Pilot from the East coast ( I really should remember peoples names better). We also acquired a bottle of Cabot Tower Rum (because the Screech in Newfoundland is the same stuff we can get here in Ontario), for a friend, but I have now decided to keep it for myself.
Tuesday was spent trying to get a whale watching tour and finding out that the ocean was not cooperating with us and booking one for the following morning before we flew out. We walked around downtown St. Johns and did some shopping and experience the charm once more of the city. Their was a giant cruise ship in the harbour, that we have pictures of. How did they get that thing in and out of there?? Don’t answer, that is a redundant question. That afternoon we went out to Cape Spear which I wrote about earlier. And then there was the George ST. festival and Darren played open mike, which I wrote about earlier.
The following morning was the boat tour, and flight out of there. I ate an abundance of sea food while in Newfoundland, but didn’t have any lobster which was a bit disappointing. I was exhausted and slept for as much as I could on the trip home considering I had to go to work the next day, which I am still catching up on things due to a weeks worth of holidays.
And now for the things I have learn about renting a car that I didn’t previously know, that maybe you might want to know if you ever get caught in a similar situation.
1) Don’t rent from the airport. They charge you more because they are busier. Take a cab and rent somewhere in town, it is cheaper.
2) Reserve your vehicle at the same time you book your flight. Or while you are planning your trip. Don’t leave it to the last minute. Remember there is such a thing called tourist season. They get more people than they have cars available.
3) Make sure you have room on your credit card for the price of the vehicle plus 25% more. They will not tell you this till after they swipe your card.
4) If you are ensuring a second driver, they also need the same amount of room on their credit card. No exceptions.
5) If your credit card is declined for whatever reason (for example not enough room, that didn’t tell you about till after the fact) they will also not re-swipe your card for another 24 hours. Apparently their system won’t let them. However, I am sure if you harassed the employee enough or were charming enough you might be able to convince her to contact to someone above her to do something in your favour. Maybe…
6) Your vehicle reservation gets cancelled at midnight unless you ask them to hold it for you because of the whole 24 hour policy (a bit stupid eh). And make sure they do it and get the persons name you were talking too. Some rental places will only hold for a couple of extra hours after your reservation time unless you contact them. So stay on the ball in case your flight is delayed. Or for any other reason.
I also recently went for a bike ride (motorcycle thank you very much) with my Dad to Elliot Lake for a Baby shower. It was good as far as baby showers go and I one the memory game, which I think is my favourite game. They put items on a tray and you have a certain amount to time to view them, then you have to write down everything you saw on a piece of paper. I was missing 3 items out of 54 and only had 2 wrong ones on my page suggested to me by my mom. Shows how much she pays attention. Tee hee. There was a delicious amount of food, and good company, so really it was a lovely afternoon.
I also called my mom “Mommy” at the baby shower and the other ladies (because besides the daughter of the lovely lady we were holding the baby shower for I was the youngest), were like “you call her Mummy.” And I was like “yes, do you have a problem with that?” They seamed to think it was odd and that at my age I should have outgrown that. Well the fact is you never outgrow your need for you parents, so why disguise it?
And so now here we are. Life is slowing down to where I am not running around like a chicken with my head cut off and my place gets cleaned on a regular basis…sort of.
Now maybe I can re-focus on that writing career I have been coveting.
P.S. I totally forgot to mention that everyone told us to watch out for the Moose on Newfoundland. There are lots on the island. You know because they have no place to go, and they breed. Yah…. Freakin urban legend. We didn’t see any Moose. I think we may have scene caribou though.