First Camping trip of 2017

There’s been a lag in my blogging.

You see, there was Mother’s Day at my parents’ place…


Orchids for my mom – her favorite color is purple

And then there was the business trip to Vegas the morning after where I saw just snapshots of Vegas during short lunch breaks, between meeting to meeting or the most I saw of the actual Vegas strip, my ride in the cab back to the airport…


View from my room


The Mirage Atrium


Las Vegas airport – butterflies


Las Vegas strip – on the way to airport

It was a crazy week and I’m questioning how I survived. But somehow I managed to survive. A part of me questioned if I was really going mad when I decided to take a red-eye out of Vegas Thursday night so I had time to pack and go camping for our Victoria Day long weekend starting Friday evening.

At the time, I regretted it but as soon as I arrived at Balsam Lake Provincial Park and we set up for our campfire, all was good.

I looked up at the stars as the sky was crystal clear that night and said to my husband, “This is what I needed. I came from Vegas, a busy week where there was constant bright lights and big noises all the time… to this! Quiet. And the only bright lights are from the campfire and the millions stars above us.” What a difference, to come from one crazy world into another one so opposite it’s difficult to believe they both exist on the same planet.


Hobbes the Dog guarding our site from dangerous wildlife – like birds and squirrels


My belated Mother’s Day gift

Knowing the week before wasn’t ideally a great mother’s day for me, my husband and daughter saved my present for after our first brunch in our trailer. I saw this book a couple of months ago and had to get it – Glamping with MaryJane. I immediately put it on my wish list and now, my wish has been granted.

I love the style and sass of this book but more importantly, as we will be a proud owner of a 20 foot trailer next summer, it gives all the essentials in taking care and maintaining one’s trailer. As well as how to make it a home away from home with stylish decoration and craft tips.


Our traditional steak dinner over the campfire.

And hubbie got creative – using our tripod from our outdoor cast iron dutch oven, he fashioned some chains to a round bbq grill so the steaks could cook further away from the flames. It worked. That’s all I can say – it worked very well!

We did do a 1hr hike on the Saturday but since it rained all day Sunday, we went to a friend’s cottage 20 minutes away (after sleeping in, having a late brunch and doing some chill-out time in the trailer – it’s a small trailer but it’s still nice to chill out in it). I finally got to meet his two kids (both in their 20’s) along with the daughter’s boyfriend and another friend. So odd to be sitting there among the “young folks” but I enjoyed it very much. The boys were so kind they even gave me a hug good-bye! I assume I passed their ‘coolness-test?’

Monday, we left right at check-out time, trying to enjoy our stay as long as we can as the rain let up and gave us a comfortable temperature. Heading back to the city, we had several¬† hours left before the end of the day to clean-up and relax a little. Aside from the rain, it was a successful first camping weekend – and we’re off again for a 2-night camping trip in a couple of weeks!


Hobbes the Dog was so pooped the last night of camping – he feel asleep on his back (he rarely does this)


Mother’s Day 2014

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And our food arrives! #mothersday

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As it’s been for the previous two mother’s day weekend, Doug worked on the Saturday, and as I had enough to do around the house as it was, I decided, as a way to avoid cooking, to continue our mother-daughter pre-Mother’s Day brunch.

This time, we went to Milestones rather than Cora’s. I found Milestones gave me the option of substituting all roasted potatoes with more light, mixed greens (as well as making egg white omelettes). Cora’s, as much as they boast about being healthy, fails to provide a nutrition information guide.

Sunday morning, Doug and Chaeli made some delicious coconut-flour pancakes with bacon. Coconut four, as I have discovered, is very low on the glycemic index compared to either regular flour and whole-wheat flour. It has a natural sweetness to it without any added sugar (perhaps just a couple of grams of natural sugar per 1/3 cup). The pancakes do not come out as fluffy and definitely not as sweet but still very flavourful. I will alternate between coconut flour pancake and my Blue Menu Whole Grain pancakes.

After finishing up our coffee, we started to prepare food for dinner that night over at my parents’ place. Doug marinated the sirloin roast with garlic and avocado oil and seasoned the tri-colour baby potatoes with garlic and freshly chopped rosemary. I packed whatever was needed for the salad, along with making a chunky salsa-guacamole for an appetizer/snack.

We stopped by a close-by natural trail five minutes away from my parents for a 30 minute hike – just to get some fresh air and for Hobbes to burn off some energy.

He did more than burn off his energy, though. On our way back to the car, he ran to a creek, dove onto his stomach and dragged his tummy across the sandy bottom. Before letting him back in to the van, Doug and I had to rinse him with some water bottles Doug luckily had packed. And then we had to towel him off.

After arriving back home, Chaeli gave me my Mother’s Day gift. I thought it was one of the more creative and useful mother’s day gift she ever made me. They worked on it for over a week in class – and I’ve kept it by the phone for taking notes (see above).

I also got a coupon for a spa of my choice. Doug said later, he wasn’t sure where I wanted to go but that I can let him know and he’ll go get a gift card. He says he’ll put enough on for two mani-pedi’s so I can have a pre-paid girl’s day out with B! (hey B, did you hear that? next mani-pedi is on Doug! Woohoo!)


mother’s day weekend

as mentioned, chaeli and i had our own pre-mother’s day celebration. and yes, she finished all five comic books by dinner time that day. we’ll probably go back in june. and to be honest, because i wasn’t prepared, i didn’t really get a chance to look at a lot of the graphic novels. i want to get back into reading sandman and hellblazer.

it was a very nice, albeit cold, weekend. friday night, we went to oakville to hang with ada and hoa. they took us to a burger restaurant known for their 100+ choices, which was just in walking distance.

a good thing – we needed that walk back just to help digest those crazy burgers! the chain is called the works. and while it’s a carnivore’s heaven, there’s the option of subbing the beef burger for chicken. and a huge selection of vegetarian options (especially the ones featuring a portobello mushroom as the core).

sunday morning, i was prepared for the feasts (yes – plural) ahead of me so i woke up to start my workouts (yes, once again, plural) at 7am. i started with the p90x strength circuit training, chest, delts and triceps, and after a 15 minute rest to re-hydrate and take hobbes out on his potty break, i finished off with a really strong ashtanga vinyasa / power yoga session. i was half way through when doug came home from his shift.

with flowers and fresh berries from the store on the way home, him and chaeli made me a cinnamon bread french toast and breakfast sausage brunch. with blueberries and my favourite, blackberries! oh… and very good coffee!

later that day, we went up to my parents’ place and basically, ate some more. i also treated myself to THREE gin & tonics.

apparently, there’s more, though. while sunday at my parents place was nice for all, i really needed a day for just the three of us and was a bit bummed not to get it. especially as i had a very early morning Monday – had traveled for work to the states – coming home later than usual to boot.

they’re taking me out this weekend. i’m not being told where… just whether i want my brunch on saturday or sunday. so… i suppose there will be a post-mother’s day celebration to follow.

pre-mother’s day celebration

like last year’s mother’s day weekend, doug had to work today. so i decided to do some type of mother-daughter thing again with chaeli.

it’s been a very long time since we returned to one of my childhood haunts, silver snail, and in fact, the last time i was there was at their old, orginal location with chaeli. she was quite young at the time. the visit was also very short – not knowing how to read (or the importance of the comic book world and superheros), she wasn’t that interested in what the store had to offer.

but she’s twice the age as that last time. and she now totally gets the whole superhero universe. so, after sleeping in, stretching out with some gentle, vinyasa yoga, we drove to the library to drop up some books and pick up ones that were on hold, then drove to the subway station to take the tube downtown.

first, we stopped at mr. greenjeans for lunch where i fulfilled my craving for a light, seared, tuna sandwich (sushi grade so kept nicely rare inside). then out to the streets we went where it didn’t take long to find the new location of my beloved comic book store.

mr greenjeans

waiting for fries!

unlike the last time, chaeli was totally mesmerized. she went right to the newly released section and started to flip through a comic book right away. i took a photo of her (below) to email to right there and then.

silver snails comic book store

a geek in training

she ended buying five teen titan comics and well, i have to admit that i miss the old pricing from back when i was her age. at an average of $3.50 per comic book, i was looking at close to $20 for those five after tax!

we also looked around at all the toys hanging on the walls. we stopped at a miniature gremlim.

“what’s that?” she asked.

“oh… it’s a gremlin,” i answered with nostalgia, “it’s from this movie from when i was your age… they stay cute like this but turn into that if you don’t take care of it properly.” i said this last part while pointing to the evil gremiln at the bottom row.

“what do you meant?” what do you do to turn it into that?”

“umm… don’t feed it? or something like that…. no water… or light… i think it’s that you can’t feed it…”

“don’t feed it after midnight,” one of the young, male store employees interjected.

“that’s right… you can’t feed it after midnight! thank you!” and to myself, i’m thinking, how does this guy now? he wasn’t even born when the movie came out!

but it didn’t stop there. store employee girl #1 said, “you can’t get them wet or they will multiply…” and store employee girl #2 added, “and they don’t like like – it hurts them.”

then the two girls went into a discussion about how the light kills them but the first girl said that it only hurts them. yet, apparently as explained by girl #2, in the sequel, it kills them.

at this point, i’m thinking, there was a 2nd movie?

and these people are all half my age.

at the same time, their friendliness, willing to help and total geek-like nature made me just love them all! while my knowledge about all things 80’s-geek is a bit rusty, i had this feeling that i was right at home.

[note to my friend, B: if you ever go to silver snails don’t ever admit you have no idea what a flux capacitor is! you’ll make the entire place fall into a deep silence. they might have to ask you to leave the store.]

it was a very cool little adventure with my little miss. she’s reading her very first comic book now. and is already asking when we’ll be going back for more.