Carrie's Adventures

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Whistler... at the Westin!

When I first met Beth, it was through our mutual friend Darci. Darci and I had been out camping, and generally roughing it. So the first winter we stayed up in Whistler for New Years, I was surprised that Beth did not join in. What I did discover about Beth was that when she goes to Whistler, she only stays at the Westin. This past weekend she and I went up there for the night ~ my third occassion staying with her there ~ and I am beginning to see the merits of her ways.

The trip originated as a venture to head up and purchase some slightly cheaper snow equipment. The secondary mission of finding 'Busterino's' (or was it Boberino's, Bellerina's...) pizza however became our main focus after we reached the village. Busterino's did turn out to be a bit of a bust ~ seems the owner owed a bit of back rent and the place had been ceased. Who would have thought that business could go bad in Whistler ~ especially pizza!

I have been up to Whistler in the Winter (love the hills), as well as during the Summer and Spring. This was the first time I had seen the village when the leaves had turned colour. It was absolutely amazing ~ not to mention the Natchos at the Longhorn! Some habits die hard.

The best however had to be the Hot Tub with the 'Starbucks'...

The weekend ended with a trip to Beth's parents for some Turkey ~ you know Thanksgiving is not complete without Turkey and some stuffing. I tell you, I am very blessed. I have great friends. There have been more than a few family holidays where I have 'crashed' another family and I have always been welcomed with open arms. You guys are fantastic!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Have you heard about this guy?!?

There is this guy who is travelling around North America on an Air Canada flight pass ~ his goal, to earn 1 million Aeroplan miles.

Do I think he is crazy? Yes
Do I think he will be able to keep this up for 60 days? I think so
How do I know him? He is Beth's boyfriend
Has he made the papers? Yes and my 15 minutes of fame will come when I dodge the TV cameras when I pick him up at the airport...

Check it out:

And here is the article ~ from all of it's sources!!

The cruise

So people thought I was crazy getting on a ship 10 days after I left the Constellation ~ and I guess on the surface the choice of destinations for my vacation does seem rather strange. The Mercury had docked in Vancouver and Marc, Mello, my suitcase and myself were off to the port.

I boarded the ship and at first was surprised to see how small it was compared to my ship. Now this all taken into perspective, the ship is still big. In fact it can hold up to 2000 passengers and 900 crew ~ that is more than my whole population of my home town!!

I stayed on Deck 10 ~ where the Senior Officer cabins are. It is also more prone to movement. So there was one day I ended up being cabin bound due to sea sickness. Not sure if it was just higher deck or if there were other contributing factors, but there definitely was more movement on this ship than the Constellation.

The itinerary wasn’t that great ~ I had just missed the last Alaska run so I didn’t get a chance to see the beauty of the glaciers and the north. Instead we remained in the lower half of BC ~ cruising from Seattle, Vancouver, Nanaimo, Victoria, and as far north as Prince Rupert. Ironically each of the ports would take no more than 3 or 4 hours at most to get to, but the ship would sail and then circle for 12 hrs and finally arrive. It cracked me up to know that I left Vancouver at 6pm and didn’t arrive in Nanaimo until 7am when BC Ferries can get me there in 2 hrs!!

Well, the point of the trip was more to see Akis than anything else and it was great to see him again. We had a good time when he was able to get time off work and he didn’t even try to rope me into working for him while I was there… He will be coming to Vancouver when he finishes his contract on the 13th for a few weeks to experience the Canadian fall. He is concerned he may need to buy a jacket and some luggage to bring all of this things back to Greece. I told him he can’t be looking at luggage until we get to Vancouver. The Miata just won’t handle a suitcase…

Details of the Cruise:
I embarked in Vancouver to avoid the need to get to Seattle. We headed up the Inside Passage up to Prince Rupert. The scenery is quite stunning with all of the trees and not much else. Prince Rupert is a tiny town, with a main street of about 4 blocks ~ reminds me a lot of home ~ except Prince Rupert has 2 sex shops on the main street! The town is pretty much set to cater to the tourism that passes through with the souvenir shops and the coffee houses.

The next stop was Seattle. My friends Beth and Marc were in town to catch another ship on a repositioning cruise back up to Vancouver. After finding them in, we headed to the market in search of Akis and a washroom...

We managed to sneak Akis away from the ship, despite it being Embarkation and head out to a restaurant on the pier for a drink...

Once we finished our drinks Akis headed back to work and Beth and I went out to get the nails done. Not really paying attention to when I needed to be back on the ship, I went with the 15 minutes before sailing. Cool 4:45pm. Well it turns out that All Aboard is a bit earlier due to the boat drill and when I showed up on the pier at 4:10pm, 25 minutes after, the gates were locked. Crap ~ how do get on the ship? I managed to sweet talk the guard into letting me in ~ Chief of Security gave me the look asking where I had been and that his staff had all be on the look out for me. Go figure ~ only been on board for 4 days, and people already know who I am!!

Astoria, OR
Spent my birthday in Oregon and had an amazing day. I awoke to receive my gift from Akis which was a beautiful pair of earrings and a necklace. Apparently he was going to give them to me separately but got so excited when I opened the first one, I got the second one right away! We then headed out for the day to town ~ we wandered through the market, had a great lunch and then a walk along the water.

Nanaimo and Victoria:
While in these ports things were getting a bit chaotic on the IT front. With Auditors on board, Akis was not able to spend as much time with me as he was imaging drives, granting internet access, all that fun stuff. So I headed out on my own ~ it was a bit of a different perspective coming from the ship, but after seeing the town once, there is only so much you are able to do on foot.

I had an amazing time ~ it was strange being on the ship in my civilian clothes and being able to go anywhere at any time. But the best part was being able to spend time with Akis and joking around... Here are some pics from the top deck.

Bliss ~ yep, it's a bakery

So a year ago two friends of mine had a vision ~ it was to follow their Bliss and open a bakery. As they wrote up their business plan, the ideas started to flow. They both quit their jobs and poured their soul into finding equipment, taking baking classes in San Francisco and planning out their vision.

With visions of opening in May, things were post-poned a bit and the Grand opening was held in June ~ while it was disappointing for them initially, looking at the end product, their place is fantastic.

I drove up on Sunday ~ taking the low road and therefore 5 hours to get there ~ and arrived after 3pm. I walked in to find that despite the time of day, there were still people lined up for coffee and others sitting around enjoying the company of friends and family.
Situated on the waterfront, the place has a warm cozy feel ~ a great place to curl up with a book and watch the day pass.

I was treated to ‘Barry Treats’ which are fantastic and I remember why I loved going to their place for dinner! His roasted root vegetable salad is to die for, and the pastries could sustain life. I don't know how he has done it, but he has managed to lose about 30 pounds and looks fantastic.

They are living above the bakery in a fantastic 2 bedroom apartment which has the most incredible deck. It is larger than anything they have lived in while in Vancouver and everything is brand new! I am so pleased for them as things have been going very well for them and they have been approached with other opportunities to expand the business. There were times when it was very trying for them, but in the end, their vision and their dream is coming together! Goes to show that with a dream and hard work, you can accomplish some amazing things...