Thursday, March 29, 2012

Travels to Calgary


I am in Calgary this week and I really enjoyed it. I did NOT enjoy the flights to get here though. It literally takes all day to get there.  First of all, being from Dallas and all I typically only fly on American Airlines. They’re based out of Dallas and I can rack up the air miles with them. AA wanted way way too much money for the flights to Calgary and back. My company wouldn’t approve it so I am traveling Delta this week.  I have zero status with them and I am one of the last to board the plane and stuck in the back too.  I know I sound like a travel snob but come on, I live in these airplanes and airports, I’ve earned my right to be a little snobbish in my head at least.  I had a layover in Salt Lake City ,Utah and I will say that the view was nice while staring out the windows during my long layover (my flight was delayed another hour once I got there).  I’m leaving to home today and my layover is in Minneapolis which has a nice airport too. I hate connection flights though, I still get nervous that I wont have time to make plane. I’m not landing until 10:30 pm tonight. It will be late by the time I get luggage, and car to get home. Geesh.
Touchscreen elevator ,y'all! At the Calgary airport. So cool.

Have you ever heard of Banff? Well, it’s one of Canada’s oldest national parks. It’s a very nice ski resort town this is in the heart of the Rockies. GORGEOUS! Well,  Banff is just short of 2 hours to get there one way from Calgary. I went to Banff 2 years ago with 3 other ladies to have dinner and back so I thought what the heck- I can do this again!  I decided to drive up there after work this past Tuesday night.  I am so glad I did because it really beats sitting in the hotel room all night. I pulled over and took what pictures I could with my blackberry camera.
There was elk everywhere on way to Banff


Canada Rockies

Banff Springs Hotel ( i didnt stay there)

Downtown Banff

Pond facing the mountain

My mom lives in Montana and is supposedly only 6 hours away from Calgary. I really wanted to fit in a visit before or after my stay here but it just didn’t work out.  Being this close to Mom made me miss her especially more though. Maybe next time I come to Calgary my plans will work out in her favor.  The next  time I come though I definitely want to stay one night in the Banff Springs Hotel. I am mesmerized by the architecture of this hotel. I still did not make the time to go inside and actually look at it. I wished I would have walked through it like a customer but it was starting to get dark so I wanted to head back.
Alberta is also apparently known as a great beef (steak) location. Everyone kept saying “ oh you got to have a steak here”. I would say “but I’m from Texas and we know our steaks”!  Anyway, I went to a place last night to have a steak and it was good. It didn’t knock my socks off though but it was nice for them to want me to be in the Calgary spirit.
I just wanted to make a quick post so talk to ya soon.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

So great to be at home

Last week was a nice week for the most part in Vancouver. The weather was crappy except one night (last Tuesday). The funny thing is that it actually snowed that day too but it didnt stick so i went out to explore. I asked a coworker to join me and we took the train downtown to the waterfront. It was cold and cloudy but it wasnt raining or snowing. I really enjoyed walking around and seeing what i could. My main goal was to see where the Olympic torch stood. I just really like being around the water too. There was a gorgeous science center on the water, and the stadiums where the sporting events and concerts take place. Lots to do but of course it was late after work so just pictures of the outside will have to do.  The following night i went to dinner with the same coworker (her name is Rani) and went to the coolest little beach town near the US border called White Rock. It had a nice pier, and tons of places to eat,e tc. The downside that evening was that it was raining buckets constantly almost the whole time. I got a few pics between breaks in the rain but its really dark and MAN was it freezing! The winds near the ocean were fierce. I would really love to go back another time and i want to drive an hour or so to Whistler. I 've always heard that it's a beautiful place to visit at any time of year but the rain was just too much for me last week. The traffic there too was crazy. I went to a Harley shop one night after work to get a tshirt for my boyfriend and myself. It was supposed to only take around 45 minutes but was almost 2 hours. I was confused for a minute and thought i was in LA for a second with the traffic.

At science bldg near stadium- Vancouver

The 2010 Olympic Torch

I thought it looked like Legos but its called Digital Orca. My friend Rani with me

White Rock, BC. The Canada flag behind me on the beach
That was my first visit to Vancouver so i had no idea what to expect. I will say that my hotel was not far from the airport but i was in a strange area for sure. All the signs were in a different language on all the places around me (like in Chinese or something Asian). The signs werent all that was Asian. All the staff and most patrons were also Asian. I dont have any clue of the differences between Korean, Japanese, Chinese, etc. The food at the breakfast buffet was very strange. They had oriental noodles , a hot pot of some kind of soup with things to add to the bowl, and mystery foods i would never expect to see for breakfast.  It was very different but it didnt bother me in any way. Just a new part of our world to experience. AND I found a Starbucks very close so i was happy girl!

Yum, noodles for breakfast. Chopsticks anyone?

This and that to add to my breakfast soup. I have no idea what are in these bowls.
I normally travel on Friday's but this week wasnt filled with many participants which allowed me to go home last Thursday evening. This worked out perfectly because i needed to drive to Oklahoma at some point Friday. I had tickets along with my brother Jeremy and his wife Sarah to go to a rock concert by Chevelle. It was soooo awesome! There was a few tense moments that made me uneasy when the mosh pits and the crazy pushing each other in waves got out of hand. Almost every song had a moment that a fight would break out and i had enough. Sarah and I both were not enjoying that and we left the front of stage to go much much farther to the back. It was still just fine and we could see the stage with no problems. The place was a dive country bar with no seats whatsoever but when you think about it,a perfect place for a good hard core rock concert. There's nothing you can break or mess up really. It was so flippin hot in there though. Goodness! i had sweat coming from every single pore and it was not pretty. If i go back there again, to hell with looking somewhat cute for a concert! I will wear a t-shirt, shorts, and sneakers for sure. I would say flip-flops but some jackass may step on my toes in their excitement and i dont want to chance it.

Sarah, Jeremy, myself about to leave for concert

Chevelle!!!
That was pretty much my week and weekend and i couldnt be happier NOT to pack this week and be traveling. I love catching up with my family and some friends this week.
Be cool!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I do give a Hoot!

I'm on my lunch break so thought i would take time to make a quick post. One thing i realized is that i like to mention my dining experiences when i travel but i dont always mention the places i try out in my own home town. Last week when i was in Dallas for my team meetings, we went to a really cool resturant called Whiskey Cake and it was Delish!! The menu is short and to the point but had very different approach on their entrees. One of the appetizers was Deviled eggs. You dont see that often. I had one of the best crab cakes that i've ever tasted in Dallas. The burgers are actually beef brisket smushed in a patty and OMG was it good. Another place i went to was a Japanese place called Jinbeh. It's a pretty small place hidden in a shopping strip near our office but it does great business. This is where they have the chef at the hibachi grill being entertaining and chopping the stuff up. I do enjoy their act and they're pretty talented with those knives!
I love their ginger dressing on the salads and i had leftovers from the chicken and shrimp dish i chose. Yummy! So there's a few shout outs to places in my hood.
I am currently in Vancouver, Canada this week. I arrived yesterday after a very long 4+ hour flight. I was not having a good day yesterday. I got totally turned around looking for the rental car place and walked in complete circle until i found it (all while schlepping my suitcase and laptop bag with me). Then i had printouts from google maps on how to get to my office. I had borrowed a GPS from a coworker that has Canada on it (cuz mine does not) but it would not turn on until much later. I followed exact instructions on map but then the directions did not match at all what i was supposed to do next. I drove soooo far out of the way. I ended up in a residential neighborhood where i pulled over, and then thats when GPS decided it was warmed up to help me. My night was uneventful once i left the office. I went straight to hotel and ordered room service (yucky chicken sandwich on wheat). It's cold and rainy and i just didnt feel like exploring.
I got to thinking how blessed i am while hanging out in my hotel room.
*although cold and rainy- i got to travel to Vancouver and i've never been here before
*the Vancouver airport is one of the most prettiest airports i've ever seen (signs are confusing hence me walking in circles for rental cars)
* i love love love meeting new people and training them as part of my job
*my company pays for my Starbucks in the morning and that makes me so happy
* i earn miles for the airline that i'm booked on
*i am skilled at packing a suitcase
*i have my super ipad that i got for Christmas and i can Facetime with my friends ( awesome)
*i'm wearing my boots in the cold weather locations and we all know how much i love my boots
There are many other reasons why i'm blessed but i have a short lunch period today.
I may go exploring tonight even if its cold and rainy, so stay tuned.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Rambles

I mentioned in my last post that my team meeting was this week and we had a night of WhirlyBall and LaserTag I had never participated in either of these events before and i just have to say I FRICKIN ROCKED at the LaserTag!!! No kidding. There were 14 of us playing and i won first place out of all of them. Now i will say that my percentage was low with the ammo but who cares?! I shot at everything all the time and it must have worked. I was so crazy surprised but i truly am not competitive at all with any types of games. It was so much fun though and i would go again. I didnt get any pictures because its in the dark. You wear a vest that has these lights on it all over which are targets. The guns recognize the targets when you're aiming at the vest and you shoot. Love it!  I decided that it would be best NOT to play in the WhirlyBall games due to all my back injuries i've had this past year. What is WhirlyBall? Its where you ride these bumper car thingies while at same time have this catcher contraption and you throw a ball at a basketball goal to get points. I had 2 people on the team mention as they took turns in the games that it was a good idea that i sat out. There is a lot of bumping and thrashing in the seats at times and it could have hurt. I really enjoyed watching my teammates be competitive while others just drove in circles and bumping into others. What a fun night and i honestly didnt want to go at first. I was tired and kid of grumpy but i'm so glad i went!
This weekend is kinda of different in that i have no set plans at all. Its nice to relax and do things as they come up. I'm thinking of getting a pedicure tonight and trying to squeeze in a visit to my Dad's tomorrow afternoon. Church for sure on Sunday too. Oh , and i may go to movies with my boyfriend and his kids. Who knows what i may get into?! I need to pack for Vancouver Canada at some point.
Thats it for now. See ya!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Back to Business

I’m much much better now than my last post.  When I landed from Canada 2 weeks ago I went straight to the Dr and got some an antibiotic and more medicine. I was correct that I had a UTI and now I’m prone to having more. I’m not so happy about that. I was in Jacksonville,Fla last week and time flew by. I love going there because I have a lot of great friends to hang out with and its my largest work location so I am crazy busy the second I get there. I had dinner every night with different friends and my hotel was literally ON THE BEACH. I was on 3rd floor with patio that opened up to ocean view. I was in Heaven for sure. I even slept every night with the patio door cracked so I can hear the waves crash. I took picture every morning of the sunrise but it was cloudy and rainy most every day I was there. I have this tradition with myself that if I’m near the beach I HAVE to walk on the beach and my toes have to touch the sand. Even if its just for a second.  The only time I had chance to do that was my last day there. I got up extra early on Friday and walked down to the beach. It was so worth it.
My toes in the sand
Carrie and me
The Linda's and my friend Mary



On my flight back i sat next to a sweet girl named Ashley who was blind and had the coolest dog named Yale. He curls himself in the smallest ball under the plane seats and is incredible. Ashley is actually going to the Olympics in London this year for Special Olympics.
Working dog Yale
Over the weekend I went out to the country to see my grandmother (Nanny). I always enjoy spending time with her for the day. Bonus for me she had an amazing home-cooked meal for me. I had chicken friend steak (my fave), mashed potatoes, cream corn, pinto beans, rolls and gravy. DELISH!! Seriously, there is no hope of ever dieting when you’re around my Nanny.  I was getting ready to leave and head to Dallas when my uncle called. My Uncle James lives a few blocks from my grandmother and has a great place of land with a pond. He has some miniature donkeys and apparently one had a baby that my uncle was not aware of. He found the baby donkey down by the pond under a fence. He was about 2 days old and was very malnourished and dehydrated. I drove over there to see him and OMG the most precious thing ever! My uncles wife Tara went to the vet and bought some protein packets ,food, etc and had to feed him every 3 hours but he’s good now. The mom donkey does not want anything to do him. I need to call and find out what they ended up naming him.
Precious baby donkey

So this week I’m not traveling and I’m in meetings all week with my team. Its been nice because a few of my teammates live out of state and I maybe see them once a year. We’ve had dinner every night and it’s nice because I didn’t go grocery shopping. Yay for me! Tonight is a mandatory night that we all HAVE to go out and we’re going to a place called WhirlyBird. It’s some kind of thing where we have to drive these bumper car kinda things and throw a ball of some sort. Maybe I’ll have pictures from tonight.
I’m heading back to Canada next week so I’m excited to see what’s in store for me.