Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hello Angel

For those of you who also read my sister Colette's blog, she has just written a funny story entitled "Hello Sweetheart" .  This story has prompted me to also tell a story that has recently happned to me.  While I am throwing myself under the bus, it is just too funny to keep to myself.

The entire time we had been living at Savage Street we had troubles with our phone.  Every once in a while, we would pick up the phone and the lines would be crossed, so we'd hear an up close and personal account of what was going on between "Jack and Diane".  It was pretty sweet playing that game of spy, until I realized that we couldn't actually use our phone at all during their  loooong drawn out conversations.

If you are wondering, yes-we were paying the bill ourselves and not hacking into someone else's line.

The other thing that would happen fairly constantly would be wrong number calls.  Because they were happening pretty frequently, I guess I just switched into auto-pilot when this old lady called.  The convo went a little something like this:

Me: "hello?"
old lady: "oh hello angel"
Me: "uh no sorry, there's no angel here"

She meant, angel...not Angel.  I am an idiot.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wedded Bliss

I know that I just posted another write-up today, but I would be amiss if I didn't write a little something today as well.  It is mine and Chris' 2 year anniversary today!!  Sadly we can't be together because he is still in France for another few days...but he's headed back here in a few days.  

It's only been 2 years, but each year gets better and better.  I feel lucky to be married to my best friend, someone I laugh my butt off with, and genuinely makes me be a better person.  I am not normally the one to sap it up on this thing, but since I can't tell him in person I thought this could be second best.  I started to post some of my favorite pics...but then it was taking FOREVER, and this thing kept screwing it up, so here is the start...

Chris FINALLY got to Spain
Banff, Canada

After being engaged for about 15 minutes

I think you get the point...

Traveling Never Gets Old!

I wanted to start this post out writing about my RECENT trip to North America.  However, with every passing is becoming more of a distant memory.  How does time just fly by?  I am trying to not be such a procrastinator, as I hate that quality in myself.  I also dislike that I am impatient, so I guess for now I'll have to settle with the idea that "Rome wasn't built in a day" and carry on.  Although, I am going to try and be better about getting my ideas down in this blog.  

As a lot of you probably already know, my little sister Colette just got married this past summer.  Chris and I were excited to get to be there for the big day, as well as get to go on a holiday.  We touched down in LA LA LAND and had a few fun filled days with my sister Heidi, brother-in-law Dave, and Colette.  For those of you who may NOT know, Heidi is expecting a little baby girl in December, so I feel the need to count the little baby fetus in there too. ;)

LA is a trip.  Everything your heart desires, shopping, beach, theme parks, sports, etc...hell, even the air smells like food.  It's like my own personal heaven.  Needless to say, we overindulged ourselves many times on that front.  I will let the pizza slice the size of my head do the talking.

From LA we flew to DC, since Colette's fiance, Ian is from Virginia.  We rented a car and drove to his hometown of Ruckersville, VA.  We met his darling little family (little by numbers standards since Ian is 6'9 and his dad almost 6'5!) and met up with a few cousins from our side that came to town for the festivities.  The next day we went on a hike in the Shenandoah Valley with my family.  

We all enjoyed ourselves down the leisurely trail, while Andrew(nephew)and I brought up the rear collecting pretty close to EVERY acorn we saw.  This wouldn't be the last of the acorns, as these nuts would mysteriously appear in the most random places for the next few days.  We'd be eating in a restaurant, and pick up his jacket to leave and WHAM!! 10 acorns would be rolling their way across the California Pizza Kitchen.  It was adorable. 

Also on the hike, we ran across Pappy.  Pappy was short for Papillon (butterfly in French).  This wasn't just an ordinary butterfly.  It was a butterfly with issues.  Al lovingly picked it up, and could practically stroke its wings like he would a lap dog.  It didn't fly away.  So he jokingly put it on his wouldn't fly away.  He even went to throw him in the air to force flight upon him...he wouldn't fly away.  By the end of the hour hike, he and Pappy had developed some kind of satisfying friendship.  I wish I had a better ending to this story, like Pappy and Allen have enjoyed a fruitful frienship that few can call their own.  However, we sadly put him on a branch and left him at the park.

note: pappy even made it in the group shot

I am getting away with myself here.  We headed back to the Johnson family home to help out with the decorating.  We had some lanterns, and then hang them in the tent.  It was a funny process by which EVERYONE had their two cents to put forth, but it was also a lot of fun.  
After that we had a big supper at the Johnson house.  It was really fun to get to visit with our family and cousins, and meet and get to know Ian's family a bit better.

The next day was the WEDDING DAY!!!  Once we were all ready, the photographer orchestrated the first meeting for Colette and Ian.  She led him into the little forest in front of the house, and had him turn around.  She then led Colette up to him and had him turn around.  We were all watching from the big front window, and I'll be darned if there was a dry eye in the house.  I remember when I got married, that that moment was one that I'll never forget.  When you first lay eyes on them, looking all's a magical moment.

We took some pictures with the wedding crew, and then it was time for the big ceremony.  It was one of the most beautiful and touching ceremonies.  There was a string quartet and the weather was just perfect.  The bridesmaids all walked down the hill, and I was the last one.  Behind me came the ring bearer, my little nephew Andrew.  He is only 3, and did a fantastic job-even if he was launching the pillow in the air the whole way down the aisle.  Because he was behind me, everyone was laughing at his charades.  I was a little nervous that I had accidentally tucked my dress into my pantyhose or something!

The reception was wonderful.  Lovely food, and PLENTY of dancing. Most of you have probably had the pleasure of seeing my mom bust a groove-so it is safe to say that there was not ever a dry spell on that dance floor!!  
yes, i love my parents! look at them gettin' down with their bad selves!  so awesome!

wow, me, cokes and ian cuttin the rug.  who said you don't learn anything at college? hahah
Colette and Ian looked lovely, and very happy.  Now all the Meek girls are married...Al, looks like the pressure is on you wild cat. ;)

The next day was DC.  It is an adorable little city, and I really enjoyed all the sites.  The smithsonian is absolutely unreal, and I would suggest that you give that attraction AMPLE time if you are headed that way.  I was sad to have to rush through it so quickly.  We also were able to see the original constitutional documents.  Insane to think how old some of those are.  I remember that the Magna Carta was dated back to something like 1297!!!

The rest of the trip consisted of a WAY TO QUICK trip back to Edmonton, and then another speedy trip to San Diego for time with my Idaho girls, and my other best friend Megs.  I was sad to have to go back to work...but it was SUCH a great trip.  I got to see everyone I absolutely love.  It was a monumental time for my sister and new bro-in-law and we were happy to get to be a part of it. 

N'Importe Quoi

  • there's nothing like a home cooked meal around your family's supper table
  • i am afraid of heights...not irritatingly phobic or anything, but there is NO way I could ever skydive
  • don't be fooled by new flip flops-no matter how comfy you think they are, you will always get blisters :(
  • little kids say the cutest things (especially my little nephew)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"Come Fly WIth Me, Let's Fly, Let's Fly Away"

I have just come back from a 3 week holiday to the States and Canada, and while I made the long, arduous trek back to my native land...I had many an hour to think about my next blog topic.  I suppose that's what you get when planning a vacation that spans 4 countries, 2 continents and some 32 892.26 odd kilometers.  Seriously, I did the math.  It should then come as no surprise then, that I decided it's about high time I dedicate a post to flying.  Pun intended.

Whenever I need to practice my patience, I book a trip.  The theme seems to be hurry up...and wait.  In one of those "waiting periods", which I will add lasted 5.5 hours in a LESS than favorable airport terminal (not mentioning names, AUCKLAND) I started jotting down the good, the bad and the ugly.  What started out on a small 4 x 6 inch note page quickly blossomed into 8-10 pages of memory filled goodness/hideousness.  They are in random order, but here are some observations I have banked through the many years I've been blessed to get to hop on the ol bird:

  • check-in: Never in all my time have I EVER paid for overweight bags.  You might be thinking that I must always just travel underweight.  Not so my friend, not so.  You are talking to someone has has packed my LIFE in a bag more than once.  The key is to only get about 3-4 kilos over, and if you do get the power trip, you can always pack a pair of shoes in the carry on.  Now that's classy. ;)
  • security: Because of our time, I'm not going to bitch about lines, security checks, or metal detectors...there's just not any way around it BUT PLEASE let's get some consistency: "belt on", "shoes off", "jacket off", "sweater on", "show me the cd tray in your lap top", "no don't worry about taking your liquids out".  It's not the security, it's the inconsistency!!
  • I love airport bookstores, and futuristic, 100% automatic EVERYTHING in the bathrooms.
  • Airports are fast becoming mini-resorts with shopping, casinos, swimming pools, moving theatres, bars, etc.  You can even catch a few zzz's between flights in sleep pods.  Sleeping in the airport is not what it once was.  A lot of the bigger, international airtports also have showering facilities in them.  Now that has coined the very essence of what I really want RIGHT when I touch down.  Nothing like a crisp, clean shower after traveling a full day, night or both.  Check out the evolution:

  • It always cracks me up when I see "that" girl totally givin' er on the testers in the duty free shop.  No time to do your make-up before the trip?  Wanna try the latest range of these 15 new scents?  No problem!  I say go for the gold, but stay away from the mascara.  That is just a one-way ticket to a date with a staph infection!
  • boarding: Southwest Airlines boards their flights all rows, window seats first, then middle, then aisle.  Brilliant!  Now that's innovation I wish would catch on worldwide.
  • Overhead compartments are not free for the taking, if you put your carry on up there, you better be sitting in the row underneath.  That is so annoying!
  • If they are trying to scare the bejesus out of you by showing you the safety video, it works!  Why the heck are they showing us the brace position?  We might need life jackets and oxygen masks?  If you didn't have anxiety before, you're sure to be wetting your pants by that point.  My favorite is that the life jacket has a little clip that goes around your waist.  I'm glad there will still be time to be meticulous while the plane is taking a nosedive to the earth in a fiery mess.  Another good one is "you can get an infant life jacket from the crew".  Also good to know that customer service is sure to remain at a premium.  
  • I love when airlines can spice things up a bit like this recent air new zealand flight I was on.  Hilarious!!

  • Take the time to get to know your neighbor.  I have met some of the most interesting people that way.
  • Consequently, know when to stop talking and hope your neighbor gets the clue if you are not in the mood for a chat.
  • I think airline food gets a bum wrap.  It's definitely not what it once was, see exhibition A)

In fact, I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth just uploading that.  Anyway, these days considerable care is being put into the kind of grub we're being fed on flights.  What they need to evaluate is that the portion sizes are fit for a midget.  At best.  Chris are like seagulls nabbing extra bread rolls and granola bars where we can. hahah.  There is however one exception to this rule.  I can't remember where I was headed, but they were serving hot fish.  Yep, you heard it correctly-hot, smelly, pre-heated, re-heated ocean dweller.  I was asleep, only to be awoken by what I thought my neighbor passenger raking off his hiking boots 8 hours into the flight.  Nope.  F-I-S-H it was.  Try recycling that air around for the remaining 5 hours.  I don't care if we were flying to Japan, some things just shouldn't make their way onto your tray table!
  • I think that I've come to realize that air hostesses really only say the same 10 sentences: "Can I get you something to drink?" "Please put your tray table up" etc, etc.  That's gotta get old.  I try and ask them what they have available to drink, just for laughs.  Then you get overseas and you really only have about 3 choices.  Apple juice, orange juice, water.  
  • It always makes me nervous when the plane lands and everyone they know something we don't?  Which brings me to a nice segway into my next topic:
  • Discount airlines are not for the faint of heart.  If you disagree, please see the photo below.  4 words: life, flashed, before, eyes.  

  • It's funny when you have unexpected turbulence and you hear someone yelp like a tiny puppy.  Then try and play it cool after.
  • Nobody wants to hear about this one, but at some point in a long haul flight you are bound to get a surrounding passenger that just won't stop lettin 'em rip.  Because we're all jammed together so closely, there is no surefire way to catch the culprit.  So gross!
  • First class seats: "It used to be a better meal, now it's a better life".  That quote was a line from Jerry McGuire by a character in a small domestic plane.  Wait until you get to the big birds!  You go parading through their turf like some kind of sneaky intruder, while they are already seated, getting their socks changed for them, with a glass of champagne in hand.  Better life is right!
  • If during the flight you wanna lay your seat back, a simple, concerning glance back behind you is appreciated.  This is a way of giving your opponent a little "heads up" or rather "limbs up" before it comes careening back onto your kneecaps simultaneously.  This brings me to my next point:
  • Exit rows should not be available to anyone under at least 6 feet tall.  Bro-in-law Ian I'm looking at you.
  • Arm rests aren't in place as a retreat for your funny bone, nor does that entitle you to take up both of them if you are a middle passenger.  I remember my first encounter with someone breeching the jurisdiction of his purchased recliner.  I was 9 years old, and was flying overseas on my 1st long-haul flight.  Take off was followed by the quick stowing of the middle arm rest and his big man came flowing into my seat like some cruel game of cat and mouse.  Lukily for him I was both afraid to speak up, or to rest my arm on his belly so he got to benefit from 1.5 seats for all 10 hours.  Nowadays, I have learned my lesson and there is almost a literal "joust" for position.  Elbows ready!
  • When the plane lands, it is not a green light for you to get up frantically and take your overhead bag down on everyone else's head.  Trust me, I've seen it and it's not pretty-especially post 12 hours of flying through the night.  Believe it or not, a 747 does not vacate within 2 minutes of touching the tarmac.
  • Unbeknownst to the people of France, there actually is such a thing as disembarking etiquette.  The plane lands, and each person takes their turn getting off.  The person in the aisle behind you waits until the row in front is clear, and then proceeds.  This is not the case in France.  Once you have been overtaken, you might as well sit back down and crack open that months edition of "High Times" magazine until the ENTIRE plane is empty.  You see, the simple action of being overtaken equates to everyone being entitled to flow off the plane in a steady constant fury of passenger diarrhea.  Any attempt to throw a leg in the aisle could mean certain disaster.
  • Never underestimate the dead weight or awkward bulk of your bags when trying to take them off the carousel at baggage claim.  This was actually what prompted me to start writing this post, as I just sat back and watched the sheer number of people being spastically dragged around the carousel like a wild animal on a leash.  It starts out with the carousel being overcrowded with eager travelers standing RIGHT up at the front.  My favorites are the ones that bring their cart right up with them, thus further adding to the congestion.  Then, the older guy beside me spots his bag.  He leisurely grabs it as if he is just going to casually slip it up over the ledge.  Maybe this wouldn't be such a feat if the person next to you wasn't 2.3 centimeters away!  Then it's a domino effect while simultaneously wiping out the entire front row, and finally the bag is free.  He tries desperately to maintain his dignity as the entire flight just watched him get OWNED, knowing full well that the bag would have made its way around the circuit in 4 more minutes.  Classic!!
Well there you have it, a brief run down of the do's and don'ts of flying.  Feel free to add your own in the comments, I know there is more! hahahaha
Enhanced by Zemanta