Monday, March 30, 2015


Some first days back to work are....less than....satisfactory

But every now and then the universe sends an a-typical first day just to keep me guessing.

Today was that day!

What are fantastic day!

A very early morning meeting in a bank (read the story here ) was super productive and great to connect with my leadership team.... we are going place....just watch us.

And then so many emails and voice mails dealt with efficiently and fast.  Things off the pre-vacation TO DO list dispatched to the DONE column in short order. Preparation for this weeks meetings well under way.

Two personal matters were quickly sorted.... and let me pause here to say I called my new Dr for an appointment and got one TODAY...... AND he saw me on time, was efficient and compassionate and I was out in 6 minutes.....after he checked my alarmingly high blood pressure (darn it). I will always miss my dear Dr Joy but I do not miss waiting 60-90 minutes 10 days after I called to make an appointment..... and driving to Vancouver for the pleasure.  And the adjoining pharmacy has the dearest pharmacist who seem to want to be friends..... its charming.  Thank you universal health care...I heart you today!

The other personal matter had to do with sausages.....more on that another time..... I can't wait!

A sunny walk in the park, good cawfee ( I need to stop with the NYC accent....soon),  weekend plans shaping up, a great workout with much "glowing", a lovely dinner and a very deep and heartfelt conversation about church with my beloved family.

All that's left to do is write Lindsay's Grad write up - no pressure..... just say amazing things about your daughter in 40 words..... right.

The tunes are rocking, the teens are cleaning the kitchen with average bickering and my bed is less than 2 hours away.

Thank you Day 1 - you rocked!

Enjoy the tune in the link below  - its a fave in our house...... and I may be going to see this guy in concert this weekend....... YIPPPPEEEEE

WATCH THIS - you won't be sorry


Sunday, March 29, 2015

And we're off......

Just as we limp into Spring Break each year in desperate need of a break...... We quickly find ourselves in the starting blocks for the "Sprint to the Summer"..... Ready or not at 6am tomorrow the starting gun will sound and the we will be off for the 15 week stretch to the end.

The end of the school year.

The end of my teaching for 2015.

The end of Lindsay's school career.

It is a pretty packed 15 weeks but at least it starts with two 4 days weeks thanks to the Easter Weekend.

I have done very little since returning from NYC -  a few work emails and meetings, some grocery shopping, two workouts and some couch potatoing......and kicking a 3 day migraine....UGH.

I feel so blessed for all this Spring Break afforded me... a wonderful trip, time with Lindsay and my Mom, time for Allan and David to hang out, some down time, time to visit with friends......

We are so very lucky to be able to do the things we do and to have one another.

So over burgers and ice cream we saluted Spring Break 2015...... it was a good one.

I have lots of work and some adventures ahead....I've got my runners on.... Ready, Set....GO

Summer 2015....we're coming to get ya!


Thursday, March 26, 2015

To the very end

It may appear that I dropped off the face of NYC.

And I have.


But we squeezed every last drop out of it.

Monday dawned bright but veeery cold and we had a veeery long day planned.

A day of all things artistic.

We headed the Upper East Side.  We got off at Lexington Ave and walked over Park Avenue and Madison Avenue to 5th Avenue to the section known as Museum Mile where we could have spent the entire time of our just that one mile.

But this morning we came for the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  It's a bit of a travesty to give the Met one morning.....and impossible to do it all so we had to be selective.  For me it was no contest....I came to see Van Gogh and so I did.  As always when I see great art I am moved.  I am no expert but some of those paintings stir my soul in a way nothing else does.

It was a gift of a few hours and I loved every moment.

Lindsay went off with a friend who is studying in NYC and my Mom and I had a very lovely lunch in a museum cafe overlooking Central Park..... so very civilized.

We met Lindsay back in Midtown and wandered through the Garment District and into the Empire State Building (we decided not to go up a building..... it just didn't feel to us that it would add much to our NYC experience....and left us something to do next time we visit ;).

We kept darting in to coffee shops to warm up and keep us fueled up.

We made a return to the NYC Library and their excellent gift store.  the grand marble halls are quite something.  We poked our heads into some of the hushed reading rooms that have to booked months in advance.

Waiting for our show at 8pm and trying to keep warm and busy we revisited Times Square and then headed into our Bistro for dinner.  We ordered slowly and chewed slowly and joined the theatre line just as the doors opened!

We had box seats which sound fancy and look fancy but give a slightly oblique view of the stage which did nothing to diminish our total delight at the show.  The music and staging were superb and we loved it all.

Getting home at 11pm can be slow on trains and the taxi's are crazy so with Lindsay's help we downloaded the Uber app and the introductory $30 coupon and we Uber'd home.....we Uber'd to the airport as well and I am a huge fan..... I can't wait until we have it in VanCity.

Anyway .... it was another amazing, arty NYC day that we will long remember.

Our last day was Tuesday and with a 10pm flight we had a full day.  We found a great service that took and stored our bags for $10/bag so we did that and then found a hip little breakfast place called Dudley's and run by Kiwi's who do know how to make a proper Flat White!

Lindsay had to attend to a little retail project she had planned and so we hopped Uptown again to Madison Avenue and strolled in the refined fashion air to the Kate Spade Flagship store where a purse was acquired.  It was a beautiful store and the people very friendly to even tourists dressed for a long day and a long flight.....that is to say very untrendy.

Mission Obtain Purse completed we finally had time to grab a pretzel from the ubiquitous food carts and then stroll through Central Park.  It's hard to imagine there could really be ANOTHER highlight moment but this was indeed ANOTHER pinch me moment..... add a saxophone player under a stone bridge and really - it was like being in a movie.

Despite carefully keeping track of everything all week, with two more subway rides to go I lost my metro pass..... Ai ya...... oh well day pass acquired and off to Grand Central again because you cannot go to Grand Central enough your life.  We transited after a brief coffee (aka as cawfee) and walked towards the river and the United Nations.

We go through Security with our Group Leader Lindsay Byres and wandered around the UN for a while.  A building that is quite unremarkable to look at had a very weighty feel to it.....You could feel that it was an important place, a place of was almost somber but also quite inspiring.  David aspires to work here one day and I hope that happens for him.  And so he gets the pass to take me to the Main Council Chambers..

There was still one meal to be had in NYC before heading out and we knew exactly what the plan was. We still had to Shake Shack and my Mom still had to have her NY Hawt Dawg.  The Grand Central location had no line up and we thoroughly enjoyed our first Shake Shack burger and ...... chocolate shake!  A perfect last meal!

And so having Uber'd through Queens in rush hour we found ourselves back at the underwhelming JFK Terminal 7 for another disappointingly underwhelming Cathay flight - certainly not worth the slightly higher fare.

And home .... our 3 boys showing their love by being at YVR at 1:30am to get us.

I don't exactly know how to sum up the trip..... or if that even needs to be done.

But this I know.... I left a little piece of my heart in NYC and I cannot wait to go again.

Thanks for sharing the journey.

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Life is too short to eat bad food... Yes? 

That applies especially to food eaten in the 6 days you have in NYC.

We have eaten well so far but today.. Today we checked a few things off the "To Eat" list.

Bagel and Lox at the iconic Katzs Deli was first up....

Quite the over priced experience we are still glad we did! $12.50 for a bagel.... Also glad we split it!  The cawfee was good though.. Lindsay can speak New York now!

Then we got some brain food with an excellent tour at the Tenement Museum. A well done and moving account of an Irish Family trying to survive in a complicated and harsh time in the development of this city. 

After that we met up with our Multi Ethnic food tour of the Lower East Side. We wandered through the neighbourhoods  trying various foods... We promised each other we would try everything and we did although fried plantains, spicy tofu and sour pickles won't be repeated at our house anytime soon!   Bialys, halva, cannoli's, some italian cheeses and meats... They were delicious.  It was a great couple of hours although it was mighty chilly today! 

To warm up we had a very old world afternoon cappuccino at Ferrara in Little Italy....and more cannoli of course!

We wandered home  through the eclectic East Village and Tompkins Square Park.

After a brief rest at the apartment we headed back into the village to a tiny restaurant called "Bob White" for an utterly sublime southern fried chicken supper that cost less than our earlier bagel! 

A mere 18km today... An early night, sirens and honking permitting, before the Met and the Majestic Theater bookend our day tomorrow! 

Excited we are. 


Saturday, March 21, 2015


Epic is an overused word I am sure most of us would agree.

But epic was made for a specific occasion.

And that occasion was today.


So epic we have broken ourselves ... We have repetitive strain injuries.... In our legs. 

23km walked.

My feet want a divorce.

But no other day might ever be this epic again.

In order: 

A bus ride to Chelea Market at 8:30am. A very cool space but for the city that never sleeps.... Remarkably asleep for a Saturday morning.

Then I did the one job I had to do while in NYC... Be guarantor for a "lost" Canadian and his passport application... A diner breakfast with the charming Zachary Owens!

Then to Wall Street...

Trinity Church

Staten Island Ferry with views of the Statue of Liberty and the lower Manhatten  skyline ( on a hazy post snow day) 

I used my good camera more today so please excuse these iPhone shots.

Then a very serendipitous wrong train ride that took us to exactly the perfect spot we needed to be (it's a long story).

We walked from Brooklyn to Manhatten on the Brooklyn Bridge..... Be still my heart!

At the end of the bridge we happened upon a square ( none of which are actually square in NYC, of course) where a street performance was just starting and in which Lindsay ended up staring... Very talented and muscular men repeatedly told her she would die... Extorted money from Gaga and I and Lindsay herself to assure her safety... All in very good fun! 


Then Grand Central Station.... Words fail to describe the utter wonder of the place.... The size, the grandeur... Mind blowing!

Then a delightful stop at the NY Public Library with a special photo for Miss P.. And some retail for the book lovers in my life...And Lindsay got me a perfect gift too! 

Then back to Times square to see about theatre tickets where we narrowly avoided a pretty good hustle.... But we're smarter than the average bear and beat it out of the scammers "office" and despite now being on the brink of a hangry meltdown Mom decided to make a last ditch try at the box office ... Best deal ever for Phantom of the Opera... 3 box seats for Monday night!! Thrilled!!

Stumbled across the street to a little bistro called Cafe Angus and had a simply marvelous meal...

A little retail and a last pit stop at the Bryant Park Public Washrooms .... Best  kept secret in NYC.... I kid you not!

Subway to 2nd Ave and what seemed like a long walk home...with a couple drops of rain. 

EPIC and unforgettable! 


Friday, March 20, 2015

Snow Day

Just like the bratty kid it is, NYC couldn't just be happy I loved it but tried to test my love by throwing a winter storm at us on this, the alleged first day of Spring!

Well nice try NYC.

I'll admit the walking into the blowing snow on Broadway and 5th Avenue got slightly tiresome and the slushy sidewalks   were a tad tricky but once those snowflakes stuck their sparkly blanket only made you more magical.

Plus we're Canadians dude...with good boots.

In the 15km we walked today plus another bus tour and couple subway rides we covered SoHo, NoHo, Little Italy where we ate a fantastic "pie" at Lombardis ... The oldest pizzeria in the USA, Wall St, Flat Iron, Freedom tower, Garment and theatre district, 5th Ave especially Sacks where THE prom dress was acquired!!! Back to Little Italy for a charming dinner and a cab ride home with a rookie snow driver! 

WHAT a day! 

Very tired and looking forward to crashing into bed (thankful for the white noise machine in my room!).

Ok NYC... Tomorrow lets play nice ok?