Posts

March

So I guess I am falling into a once-a-month routine with writing here. I think I’ll just embrace it. 🙂  So here are the updates for March!

Earlier this month, we got back from a week-long trip down to Florida (my first time visiting that particular state)!  Trevor’s parents were renting a house down there for the month, and invited us to come stay for a bit. It was a nice trip.

Wesley is not nearly as easy to manage on a plane as he was the last time we flew.  He was only 4 months old then, and he was awesome, mostly slept.  He did okay, but now he’s a big strong writhing ball of kiddo, and it’s harder to keep him happy in our laps for any length of time.  Next time we fly, even if he’s not 2 yet, we’re getting him his own seat for sure.

Southwest Florida is nice, but if the weather isn’t super hot (it was warm, but not beach-going-hot most of the time we were there) there’s not a lot to do. We did some shopping and did visit the beach, but mostly we stayed at the house. This was actually a good thing, though, because it was nice to be able to just sit and read as much as we did.  Going outside without coats on was a huge plus as well (and spring would do well to arrive here anytime now!)

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Work has gotten nice and busy the past few weeks!  Lots of exciting projects on the go.   That, combined with singing holy week services for choir means I’m looking at a pretty busy upcoming week, but it should be good.  I’m looking forward to the long weekend from work though. Also in the work category, a presentation that a co-worker and I proposed for a conference got accepted, so we’ll be doing a presentation in May! Should be good.

I got in touch with Family and Children’s Services about volunteering, and went for an interview there recently.  It’s a really amazing organization, and I’m kind of fascinated with their programs. I have to do some paperwork and training before I can be a proper volunteer, but I’m pretty excited.  I also got to see a presentation about another awesome local organization called Strong Start, and I’m really blown away by their programs as well, and hopefully will be able to help them out in some way. So many cool things happening here, if only I had unlimited time to volunteer!

Speaking of volunteering, I’ve been asked to be the costumer for a show that’s going up next year, so I’m pretty stoked about that. Hooray for costuming, my biggest theatre love! I might have to get a tuneup on my sewing machine- it’s been running pretty clunkily for a bit. It’s a really sweet workhorse of a machine- one of the older Singer school machines that have decent speed and are more heavy duty than what is produced now.

TedX is next week as well (falling during my busy week of busyness)! I’m really stoked about going, especially since I went last year and I know a little better what to expect. I hope that the talks are super inspiring!

End of October updates

We went to Fort Erie and Buffalo on Friday, so that Wesley could get his “interview” for his NEXUS card. Both Trevor and I have NEXUS cards, and they’re just plain awesome for crossing the border and getting through customs quickly. Traveling with Wesley though, he needed a card too.

As funny as it would have been, they didn’t ask him any questions. 🙂 They did ask us if we had any questions about the program, but since we’ve had cards for a while, we’re pretty well versed at this point. They asked me a few questions, including “Do you own a boat?” which was my favourite.

After we got the paperwork and so on sorted out, we had lunch and then crossed over to Buffalo for a little cross-border shopping. We managed to get most of our Christmas shopping for Trevor’s family done, which was nice and will hopefully make my December a little more relaxed.

Wesley continues to be a huge flirt. A number of different times he has totally derailed something someone has been doing (shopping, eating, etc) just by smiling at them and raising his eyebrows and laughing and generally flirting with them. At the grocery store, at restaurants, it happens all the time. The kid is cute, but distracting!

Hurricane Sandy is turning into a big storm, and we might get some remnants of it here. I’ve been glued to the weather because I find it all fascinating, and I’m also hoping everyone I know who lives on the coast is doing okay.

October updates

I can’t believe it’s already October! The leaves are all changed on the trees, the weather has cooled off and is beautiful, and we’re firmly in the season of pumpkin-flavoured-everything. The summer was nice, hot and fun but not too eventful for once. Here’s some updates about what has been going on over the past little while.

Photographer: Angela Clayfield

Theatre

The Horribly Horrifying Fun House of Death has closed, and it went super well! I was totally hands-off once the show opened, so I don’t know all the details, but everything I heard was that the show went awesome. It was so nice to be able to work on a show without basically giving up my whole life for 2 months, especially since I have a little dude and other obligations to take care of. I didn’t want to just stop doing theatre altogether, especially when it meant working with people who are super awesome.

And don’t they all look so nice in their costumes, and the set was awesome as well! Thanks to Ange for the lovely photo- I wanted to make sure I had a shot of everyone in costume. 🙂

Choir

I went to the Grand Philharmonic Choir’s Sing-in on September 29th, and it was pretty fun. They’re doing the Mozart Requiem this fall, which I haven’t done in quite a while, actually- so it was really fun to sing some bits from it again. It was fun to see all my GPC friends again as well! Their concert is October 20, and will no doubt be awesome.

Church choir has started up again, and that has been nice. We had our first Evensong service last week, and are already hurtling madly toward Advent.

Traveling

No, we’re not planning a big trip or anything, though we are going to the states in a couple weeks, because Wesley needs to have his NEXUS interview! Trevor and I both have NEXUS cards, because we cross the border enough that it was a good idea, but if we want to bring Wesley along, he needs to have one too. Next time we take a trip to or through the US (we often fly from there as it’s much cheaper), our border crossing will be faster!

So we’re planning to take him for his interview then, and do a little cross-border shopping as well (a good time to get Christmas shopping done!) I’m looking forward to it!

Running

I signed up for yet another 5k race- this one is called the Santa Pur-suit, and requires that runners wear SANTA SUITS. This is AWESOME, and I am totally excited about it. It’s December 1st, so a little while away yet, but I can hardly wait. The race is close to my neighborhood, and requires dorkiness, so it’s like it was created just for me. 😀

Trip to Philadelphia and DC

So we took a bit of an interesting vacation this time, in terms of days off and placement. We took off days from a Wednesday to a Wednesday, which made for a slightly shorter vacation as we didn’t have two weekends on each end, but having two short work weeks was in a lot of ways so much nicer! So I highly recommend if you don’t absolutely have to take your time all in one calendar week, do try it.

Anyway, we drove down to Philadelphia- it being one of the few decently-sized cities on this side of the continent that we hadn’t visted yet. We decided to drive, since with me being 20 weeks pregnant I didn’t really want to deal with flying and airplane lavatories and such, and the car is much more comfortable than a seat in coach. The drive down took us about 9.5 hours or so- the weather was sunny, so it was a really nice drive overall.
Aloft hotel
We got to our hotel, which was in a New Jersey suburb of Philly. It is one of the newer Starwood offshoots, called Aloft.

The hotel was pretty nice, overall. It definitely had a bit more of a “trendy” air to it, seemingly trying to target a young professional type demographic. When we arrived and checked in, we discovered it was karaoke night, haha. The lounge was right behind the lobby and front desk, and it was a lot more of a party air than I expected, but still pretty cool. We did not participate in karaoke, haha. We did go out and get ourselves some Mexican food, because we love it and Mexican restaurants are sadly lacking in my town.

On Thursday, we did a bunch of shopping. I had held off on buying much in the way of maternity clothes because I was determined not to spend a ton more than I would on regular clothes, just for something to get me through the next few months. However, there are a lot more reasonably-priced options in the US (Target and Macy’s being the main places we hit) so I was able to get some things that I hadn’t found in the thrift stores up here yet.

On Friday, we drove a couple of hours down to DC for the day, to do some wandering around. We can hardly resist that town. Trevor lived there for a while, and we’ve been there together 5 times now. This time, I wanted to go on the Capitol tour, something I hadn’t gotten to do yet. We had a fast lunch with a friend of ours who lives there, and then quickly walked over to the Capitol Visitor Center to get ready for our tour.

Me and Ronald Reagan
The tour was pretty good! First, they usher you all in to watch a short film, which is pretty much one of those patriotic-spirit-rousing quick tours of US history engineered to make pregnant women all weepy. The score was really good too. I wish I could find a clip of it somewhere on the internet, but I suppose it’s not out there anywhere.

The walking part of the tour was fast, though. We had a good tourguide, who was enormously tall. We went down into the crypt (not that anyone is buried there, but) and saw the rotunda, and the old Supreme Court hall, and the old House of Representatives hall, and lots of statues. We went to the Senate hall as well. I got my picture taken with a statue of Ronald Reagan on the tour (it was near where we were walking, and RR has a special place in my heart because he’s the only President I’ve ever seen in person).

Trevor in front of the Supreme Court
After the Capitol, we went over to the Library of Congress and saw some of the cool exhibits there (we hadn’t been there before despite 5 visits). My feet were starting to hurt from some new shoes, so then we went outside and walked past the Supreme Court building, and started to head back to the car.

Me and the Philly Phanatic
On Saturday, we headed into downtown Philly to do some of the historic/touristy stuff there. We went to the visitor center to get our bearings (and I got my picture taken with the Philly Phanatic statue there). We went to the Constitution Center after that, and saw a sort of mixed film/theatre presentation called Freedom Rising- similar to the Capitol film, but a bit more variety in that there was a live narrator and it was done in the round with projections on surrounding screens and a 5 sided screen that flew in in the center. It was pretty cool.

Me and the Liberty Bell
After that we wandered around a bit more. We saw the Betsy Ross house, and the Liberty Bell, and I found out how to get a National Park Passport (which is a really cool thing by the way). We missed out on getting tickets for Independence Hall, but we went back another day.

Hippo at the zoo
On Sunday, we hit up Independence Hall and the zoo. The Independence Hall tour was pretty good, and it’s definitely a cool building. The zoo was not a huge zoo (though nothing seems big after San Diego), but still quite decent. We took advantage of the Big Bus Tours ride that came with our CityPass to get out there (that was actually far more useful than initially expected). It was busy at the zoo, since it was a weekend day with fair weather, but we still got to see a lot of things.

Preggonaut conquers the Rocky Steps
After the zoo, we stopped at the Museum of Art and I finally got my photo at the top of the Rocky Steps. I did not run up them.

Philly from the river
On Monday, we went to the Adventure Aquarium in Camden. It was a pretty good aquarium (though I would say that the aquarium at the Henry Doorly Zoo, though smaller, is definitely up there). It was also busy, that day being a holiday, but overall, it was really nice. We wound up having lunch there because of how timing worked out. After that, we took the ferry across the river into Philadelphia, and did a bit more walking around. We went to see Ben Franklin’s grave, mostly. By this time we were getting maybe a little sick of walking.

Tuesday was super rainy (leftovers from a tropical depression) and it was pretty depressing. However, we spent Tuesday at the Franklin Institute, which is probably the best science museum I’ve ever been to. We don’t have any photos from it, because we were having so much fun playing with all the exhibits. We walked through the giant heart, I learned when to use a defibrillator, we played at wheelchair racing, all kinds of things. It was awesome, and probably the best thing on the CityPass. After that we were intending to go to Penn and Princeton (I have a hoodie I bought at Harvard, and I wanted to improve my Ivy League collection) but it was so rainy we gave up.

On Wednesday, we drove home, mostly through the aforementioned tropical depression. Tons of rain, flood warnings, all that. It took us a few extra hours to get home, but we made it alright!

If you want, you can look at more photos from the trip.

Travel

Philadelphia
So Trevor and I booked some time off, and had been trying to figure out where to go for a vacation that wouldn’t be too difficult to get to or get back from (so driveable or within a short flight distance) and that we wanted to go to. Turns out we’ve been to a lot of the areas that meet those qualifications. We were thinking about heading back to NYC or Montreal (which we’ve been to before, but are big enough to have plenty of things left we haven’t done). We were just on the brink of deciding on NYC, when we started looking at Philadelphia (which we’ve been through, but never properly visited). So we’re going to Philadelphia!

There’s lots of neat things there, like a big aquarium, and if we do decide we want to take a day trip to NYC or DC, either one is just a train ride away. We’re staying in a suburban hotel that’s not too far from a subway station, and we’re staying there the whole trip, which is unusual for us- we usually spend 3 or 4 days in a city and then go somewhere else, when we’re on a vacation.

So watch out, Preggonaut is attacking Philadelphia at the end of the month. 🙂