Carrie's Adventures

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's been a year

For many things. A year since we got married, a year since we came to Canada, a year since we have found our home ~ with all of these milestones, you look back and realize just how much we have been able to accomplish in a mere 365 days.

As a gift, our friend Marc gave us a weekend away in the interior. We are nearing the end of the season upon which we can drive into the interior ~ the Miata doesn't do snow so well ~ so I was glad we were able to fit it in. I haven't really taken Akis out further than the Lower Mainland so this was a great opportunity to show him another part of BC and I was quite looking forard to it.

We got off to a late start on Friday night ~ stopping in Chilliwack to fuel both the car and ourselves, we were off. As we drove out of the city, the surroundings grew continually darker. For Akis, he is often amazed to look out and see nothing ~ or as he would say 'tipota, I tell you, tipota'. As we turned off Highway 1 and headed into the mountains, there were very few people that crossed our path. We drove into the darkness and it was a bit unfortunate that the moon wasn't out to be able to see a bit more, however we were just excited to be getting away.

We arrived into Osoyoos around 2am ~ much later than we had thought, but it was good to be there and know that we had a full day ahead of us.

We got up Saturday morning and headed out for Breakfast. While I wanted a nice brunch, Akis wanted the Boston Cream donut from Tim's. We ended up visiting both establishments ~ where he puts all that sugar I just don't know.

After a leisurely wander back through town, we decided to get in the car and head up to Bliss ~ the bakery owned by my friends Barry and Darci. I knew that Darci would be out of town at a food show in Seattle, however Barry was to be around. We pulled up to the bakery around 3pm, looked a the huge line, joined it and when we got to the counter, proceeded to get coffees and ask if Barry was there. I wasn't surprised to hear that he had gone home for the day but was a bit stunned when the girls at the counter REFUSED to give me his number. What? So I did my best to talk them into sharing the number but they were having none of it. I attempted to call Darci ~ but the call wasn't going through and I wondered if her phone was set to roam in the US. Miffed that we came all the way up there and hadn't seen Barry is about a year, I was beside myself ~ which Akis found a bit funny. I proceeded to text Darci, only to not have the text go through and discovered it really wasn't Darci's phone that was causing the communication problems but my lack of signal. I wandered outside, managed to send the text and connect with Darci. She found it hysterical that the girls were being the gatekeepers, and I was given the magic words that would allow them to relinquish Barry's number. I tell you ~ it was a true mission.

We had a lovely visit with Barry ~ they have done so much work on the house and the deck has a spectacular view over the lake. Cozied up with some wine and good company we spent the afternoon and early evening hanging out.

Our trip home was a bit adventurous as we once again encountered some wildlife. Another bear wandered out to see what was going on. I'm not sure what it is, but it seems that every time Akis opens his mouth to ask if we are going to see Bears, Deers and the like, regardless of how remote the possiblity is, we do in fact see wildlife. I think I have seen more wildlife with him in the car in the past 2 years than I have in my many years of driving.

Sunday we packed up, took a small tour to the Burrowing Owl vineyard and headed back towards home. I love driving through the mountains with the top down. There is something very freeing about it. The trip home did take a bit more time as we stopped here and there ~ some lunch, some veggies stands. We were also able to enjoy the view. You can tell autumn is here ~ the air temperature as we crossed over the passes tells you snow isn't far away. Perhaps next year we can do this while summer is still in the air.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Registry Gong Show

Have you ever had one of those tasks that no matter how hard you try to get it done, things just don't go your way... this is me and the Gift Registry. When Akis and I started planning our summer party, Dad asked that we register for our party so in case anyone asked, he didn't have to continually repeat the list. So in interest of making things easier for him, we did.

We opted to have a couple of registries and we did get some gifts off the registry. My friend Brandye, who now lives with her family in California was the first to jump on that bandwagon. She had mentioned it in passing back in the summer, however I never received a phone call so I figured, hey they are waiting until the 'big day'.

I also received gifts from the Noes and McMeekins ~ had a lovely gift card with the gift receipt and promptly returned to Vancouver. The days got busy, the list of 'to do' items was MIA, and finally I got a note from Brandye ~ had I gotten my gift from her? Feeling badly that it had been about a month since we had returned to Vancouver, I tasked myself with heading to Metrotown and picking up the gifts.

I arrive at the Bay, present myself and ask if there is anything there for me. The woman at the counter then promptly told me 'it can take up to 4 months you know for things to arrive. Did you get a phone call?' To which I told her I had no phone call, however I had the gift card and was a bit surprised that it would take 4 months to get some glasses... Anyway, she looked up my name, reviewed the page, and then said 'ah yes, we tried to call you but the phone didn't work. We emailed you to come and pick these up.' Turns out they wrote down one digit in the phone number incorrectly, and the email I gave them is my spam account, so it would seem I didn't read that very carefully. Guess it was a good thing I didn't wait for that phone call...

The woman brings the bundled package to the counter, asks me to sign here, here and here, date here and here and there you go. As I am signing, I do notice Brandye's name ~ great, her gift is in here, and there's Sue's name ~ fantastic. Everything gets put in a bag and carted back to the home.

It is only the next morning when I have unpacked the boxes on the kitchen table that I scratch my head and wonder, is this right? I have 3 boxes of glasses, however I think these are all from Sue and Nina. As I go through the gift receipt trying to decipher the codes, I am still confused. I go back to the gift notice the girls had put in their card and yes, it would seem that the glasses are the ones from Sue and Nina. Where is the gift from Brandye? How did this get so complicated, so confusing and hey wait a minute, I've already signed the registry saying I've picked up her gift!

So on the phone, it is too early on a Sunday morning. I leave a lengthy message explaining what I think has gone on and ask them to call me back. I sit to enjoy my morning tea and Akis asks if I can do something with the stuff on the table. Sure ~ as I begin to unpack the glasses and put them away, I open the first box and low and behold, one of the glasses is missing. As I uttered things out loud and probably the most polite of them being 'you've got to be kidding me' ~ I pick up the phone to call the Bay yet again to add another chapter to my story.

The woman who answers the phone is very nice, listens to my woes and then puts me on hold while she goes to look for paperwork. After a few minutes she returns to the phone only to tell me she can't find the paperwork ~ ummm, I just signed some yesterday... She apologizes for the confusion and tells me that she will call me back. A few hours later I hear from her, and they are able to replace the missing glass that I picked up the previous day, however she would need to look into Brandye's gift and track it down.

All in all, I did return to the store a few days later to gather the replacement glass along with the missing gifts, but I gotta tell you ~ it was the most bizarre experience, and the moral of the story, follow up on your registry purchases!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Time for a change

As though our life has not been filled with enough changes... This time it is about trying to be a bit healthier. It used to be that I attributed my increasing pant size to the fact that I was captive to a menu on the ship. Now that I have been off the ship for over a year, I really can't rely on that for my excuse.

So turning over a new leaf, I have re-joined my gym. This time however I am spending time doing circuits and to be honest, it is a lot harder than I expected it to be. I have also decided that we are going to jump on the Organic bandwagon ~ well as long as our wallets will allow. I have been doing a lot of reading regarding the hormones and additives that are used with farming now days and realize that I don't really need additional growth hormones... unless of course I was hoping to reach 7 feet.

So as I endeavour to follow a more healthly lifestyle, I'm trying to figure out how the wine, beer and snacks will fit in. But I promise, I'll figure it out!!

We'll check in after a few weeks as they say it takes 21 days to form a new habit... I think I'm going to miss those mashed potatoes.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Our big 'Canadian' Day

It seems that family only gathers when there is a crisis or a celebration. In this hectic time, it seems that it is all we can do to just 'get it done'. Because Akis and I opted to get married in Greece, we decided that it would only be appropriate to have a party for our Canadian folks.

I must say, while I did have a few spastic moments the morning of, the family really stepped up and pitched in. Dad and Jane did a spectacular job getting things around the house ready. Krista entertained my indecisive and multiple trips to pick up last minute things. Craig and Akis ~ superstars who got the cold beer! (Afterall what is a party without the beer???)

I opted to get someone to Cater and the food was fantastic. Tyler and his wife Carrie are local and make one of the best beef roasts I think I have EVER eaten. Christa has become a bit of a local star with her cakes and ours was no exception. I also opted to hire someone to take photos for us ~ I have seen a few of Brad's shots and am very excited about being able to post, however I have yet to receive them. So once they are here, I will be sure to post.

We had quite the mix of people ~ family, friends, previous co-workers and neighbours. I'm grateful that the weather held out and even more grateful to everyone for making the trip to spend the day with us. It was fantastic to see everyone!