Thursday, 31 August 2006

Happy anniversary, Sarah and Joey!

Happy fourth anniversary to my sister, Sarah, and her husband, Joey! They live in Halifax, NS, with their two cats (Maggie and Charlie) and gerbil (Lacey).

Wednesday, 30 August 2006

Book ~ "Great Cat Stories: Inspirational Tales about Exceptional Cats" - Roxanne Willems Snopek (2004)

From ~ "There are many intelligent species in the universe. They are all owned by cats." Anonymous. This book will be especially fascinating for all readers interested in cats animals. The bond between cat and human is a powerful thing. Those who have shared their lives with a cat have experienced first-hand the enchanting spell cast by our feline friends. From strays that slink their way into the homes and hearts of unsuspecting individuals, to pampered purebreds that rule the household, cats have a tendency to make themselves indispensable to their human companions. This is a collection of stories about special cats and the people who love them.

Great stories about Canadian cats! I really enjoyed this book. It's a quick read.

Saturday, 26 August 2006

"London Assurance", Stratford Festival, Stratford, ON

Elopements, duels, disguise, deception -- it all adds up to an utterly delicious romp.
Aging roué Sir Harcourt Courtly seeks to marry 18-year old heiress Grace Harkaway, little realizing he has a rival in his own son, Charles. Riotous comedy ensues as Charles and his accomplice, Dazzle, enlist Grace’s cousin, the high-spirited Lady Gay Spanker, to help them in an elaborate game of deception.

As usual, we had a lovely train ride to Stratford. We had lunch at Sid's which is right across the street from the Avon Theatre.

Gord enjoyed this play ... I didn't. I thought it was really boring and couldn't wait for it to end. People in the audience were laughing hysterically ... I don't know why.

After the play we walked around downtown Stratford for a bit before settling in at Bentley's for a couple drinks and nachos.

Then we walked to the Boar's Head for supper.
We ended the night with a drink at the Dominion Tavern, which is just across from the train station. It will be our last trip to Stratford this year and we look forward to seeing a couple plays there again next summer.

Friday, 25 August 2006

Toronto Blue Jays 6, Kansas City Royals 3

Tonight some of the Season Sisters went to the Toronto Blue Jays game. Instead of sitting in the stands, we watched the game from the Hard Rock Cafe, which overlooks the field.

Though we didn't watch much of the game, we had a fun time yakkin' about hobbies, chores, jobs, etc.

Thanks, Angie, for organizing us!

Angie, Darlene, Jen and Teena

Andrea, Pat, Amanda, Vitra and Sue

Tuesday, 22 August 2006

"Spamalot", Canon Theatre, Toronto, ON

Winner of the 2005 Tony Award for Best Musical, Monty Python's Spamalot is the outrageous new musical comedy lovingly ripped-off from the film classic, Monty Python and The Holy Grail.

Spamalot tells the tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they embark on their quest for the Holy Grail. Flying cows, killer rabbits, taunting Frenchman and show-stopping musical numbers are just a few of the reasons audiences everywhere are eating up Spamalot.

Gord and I saw this tonight with Craig and Stephanie. It was very funny! In fact, I enjoyed it more than the movie. Though they strayed from the movie (so what!?), they kept the more memorable parts like the Black Knight, the Knights who say Ni, the killer rabbit, the flaunting Frenchmen, etc.

Go see it!

Sunday, 20 August 2006

The Ex, Toronto, ON

Gord and I went to the Canadian National Exhibition (aka the Ex) today ... it not that far from us so we walked down and back. The Ex runs from August 18 to Labour Day and unofficially marks the end of summer here in Toronto. There's something for everyone ... games of chance, rides, casino, food, shopping, livestock, etc. It's situated on 195 acres. There was soo much to see ... though we walked around most of the area, we probably only checked out half of all there was to see.

It wasn't a great day ... it was a cloudy and a bit chilly. It was too windy for the Human Cannonball and the Flying Canucks.  Here are some of the midway and rides ...

Our Armed Forces has a large display. We signed the poster to show our appreciation of their efforts. 
Gord sat in in a fighter plane.

There were butter sculptures in the Automotive Building.

There was lots of livestock in the Automotive building (cows, chickens, turkey, sheep, lamb, pigs, etc.). Here are some two week old piglets.

We checked out the casino that is set up during the Ex. We both played Roulette. I was only willing to play with $20 today ... and I lost it. Gord wasn't any luckier.

Then we had a late lunch in the Food Building. Anything you have a craving for is there ... there must be about 100 vendors with everything including burger/fries, Chinese food, Italian food, Thai food, wings, Indian food, Carribean food, etc. We had chicken and fries. The amount of choice was mindblowing!

A fella was balancing rocks in the Direct Energy Centre. Very cool!

We watched a couple sets of a reallly good blues band.

Remember Graham Kerr, the Galloping Gourmet? He did a 45 minute cooking demonstration that was interesting. It was amazing how devoted his fans are.

And like on his show, he brought up members of the audience afterwards to taste what he had made ... steak fried in ketchup and red wine (??!!), microwaved baked potatoes which he then browned, steamed veggies and mango/peach in a cream sauce for dessert.

Thursday, 17 August 2006

Book ~ "The Codfathers: Lessons from the Atlantic Business Elite" - Gordon Pitts (2005)

From ~ Around the globe, Canadian business leaders are known for their effective management style: patient, polite, often undemonstrative, they are great networkers and deeply committed to operations. What are the roots of this management style and how did it become the gold standard for Canadian business leaders? Business writer Gordon Pitts argues that the source lies "Down East", in the business traditions of the Atlantic provinces. The defining traits of fierce company loyalty, excellent operations and casual-yet-aggressive negotiating style grew out of the entrepreneurial and family businesses for which the region is famous. The exodus of many talented members of the Maritime business class into Central and Western Canada, New England and New York has taken this brand of management into the global power centres of international commerce. Based on in-depth interviews with Maritime business leaders, The Codfathers provides a window on the notoriously secretive world of the Irvings, the McCains, the Sobeys, and other business tycoons. It examines the power networks built around former New Brunswick premier, Frank McKenna, who had brought the Maritime Mafia into the corridors of power in Washington, D.C.

Interesting book, especially for me since I grew up in Nova Scotia and the names Sobeys, Irvings and McCains were commonplace. There's even a chapter about the university I went to, St. F.X.

Friday, 11 August 2006

Book ~ "Red Wine & Popcorn" - Laurie Soper (2004)

From ~ Learn how to thrive in your marketplace and have the time of your life! Whether you’re managing a department or a small business, whether you’re a seasoned entrepeneur or a rookie, you’ll discover how to:
  • nurse your most daring visions - and watch them come true.
  • grow your business organically - by doing what comes easy.
  • attract model clients - and keep them coming back.
  • take full advantage of free advertising - in places you usually ignore.
  • give your money away - and watch it come back to you.

Fun and inspirational book.

Look who's home!

KC has been staying with Ken (Gord's son) for the last three weeks.

We went down to Hamilton this evening to pick her up.

Tuesday, 8 August 2006

Afghan Update

With all the driving we did on our holiday and relaxing, I got a lot done on my afghan. I have about a fourth of it done.

Here it is so far ...

Book ~ "There's No Toilet Paper . . . on the Road Less Traveled: The Best of Travel Humor and Misadventure" - Doug Lansky (2005)

From ~ Good travel writing is inspirational. It can inspire you to set off for unpronounceable capitals of wee, distant kingdoms, or, in the case of There's No Toilet Paper, inspire you to burn your passport and settle more securely into your comfy chair, feet up and eyes riveted to the next more-humorous-in-the-retelling-than-it-was-in-the-experiencing story. It also makes pleasant airplane fodder on your way to your own misadventure. Doug Lansky has collected a fine trove of comic (when it's not happening to you) travel moments, as told by the best in travel humor. Dave Barry writes eloquently about failing to learn any Japanese save for how to order beer (pronounced "bee-roo") and big beer (pronounced "big bee-roo"). Mary Roach points out that utilizing an Antarctic ice-sheet outhouse at the very moment that a seal chooses to use its opening as a blowhole is an inauspicious way to start the day. And Bill Bryson stumbles disconsolately about Paris, wondering "Why does everyone hate me so much?" There are 28 stories in all, by 20 writers who traverse the world and provide a great deal of amusement for those of us who aren't locked in a Dutch public bathroom without a handle or a light.

Some of the stories are funny ... some not so much.

Monday, 7 August 2006

Happy Simcoe Day!

Today is a holiday named for Col. John Graves Simcoe ...

  • Hero of the American Revolution
  • Commanding officer of the Queen's York Rangers
  • Founder of Toronto
  • First Lt. Governor of Upper Canada
  • Builder of Yonge Street
  • Abolished slavery in what's now Ontario 30 years before the rest of the British Empire did it and 60 years before Abe Lincoln did it

Saturday, 5 August 2006

Our last day in Ottawa

We had another busy day in Ottawa today.

We walked down the Rideau Canal (about 4 km) to Dow Lake.

We had lunch at Malone's at Dow Lake.
Here's the view from the restaurant.

Gord and I at Malone's for lunch.
Gord loves hats!
This was a statue on the way back up the Canal.

Then we went to see a AAA ball game ... the Ottawa Lynx (Baltimore's farm team) beat Scranton. We had great seats!

Gord at the ball game.

After the game, we hit a couple pubs in the area where our hotel is.

Friday, 4 August 2006

Ottawa, ON

We had a busy day today!
We ran into the changing of the guard
just south of the Parliament Buildings.

We took a 90 minute cruise on the Ottawa River on the Paula D.
Me and Gord
The boat went really close to Rideau Falls
Really really close!

Steve's house
(aka Prime Minister Stephen Harper's residence)

Me and Gord at the Rideau Locks

After the cruise, we had a late lunch at Fat Tuesdays ... very yummy! Then we went on a tour (inside and out) of the Parliament Buildings.

Me at the "Women are Persons" monuments
on Parliament Hill
Gord with the "Noon-Day Gun"
on Parliament Hill

We did a pub crawl this evening with a local company called the Naughty Ottawa Pub Crawl around ByWard Market. Though the guide told some interesting stories about the area, it wasn't a great tour (we did some great pub walks in London two years ago). We ended the evening having very tasty wings at Pier 21.

Thursday, 3 August 2006

Hello, Ottawa!

We left Mont Tremblant this morning and headed for Ottawa where we'll spend a couple days.

We are staying in a suite hotel just outside the downtown core. It's nice ... a one bedroom suite with a full kitchen.

We had lunch at a pub around the corner from the hotel, the Fox & Feather. Then picked up some groceries for breakfasts.

We headed out again ... here's Gord by the Parliament Buildings.

Then we went to the ByWard Market, a really cool area with tons of restaurants, vendors, markets, etc.
Here's Gord at the Black Thorn Cafe.
There's me (sitting to the right) at the Heart and Crown.
The fish 'n chips meal is

We had a drink at the Aulde Dubliner

Wednesday, 2 August 2006

Our last day in Mont Tremblant

While Gord played golf today, I relaxed on the deck and read. When he went by our place (we back onto the tenth hole), I ran out and took some pictures. It was pouring for his first ten holes so he was soaked. It wasn’t too bad for his last ten holes. He shot one of his best games ever.

Gord teeing off

Gord passing by in his golf cart
Second of three shots (he got par)
We walked into the pedestrian village and had supper at Le Shack. Since it's our last night in Mont Tremblant, we went up on the gondola one last time. We were one of the last of the night. It was wet and cold so we had one last quick look and then came back down again.

Then we had one last Blizzard at La Diablo because grabbing a cab (it was pouring by that time).

Tuesday, 1 August 2006

Let's hike down Mont Tremblant, QC!

Today we took a drive around the actual village of Mont Tremblant and had breakfast at a local restaurant called Lorraine’s Family Restaurant.

We decided to go for a hike this afternoon. So we took the gondola up the mountain with the intention of hiking down. It was muggy at the base but cooler and fresher at the top. What a difference a day makes, though. When we were at the top of the mountain on Sunday, we had a great view. Today we were in the clouds! We couldn’t see anything.

We had 10 trails to choose from (from 1 km to 10 km) and we chose “Les Caps”. It was 5 km, winding down the mountain through the woods and considered “strenuous” … the estimated time was 1.5 to 2 hours to complete.

With all the rain we’d had last night, it was challenging as it was very slippery and muddy (I slipped and fell twice). But it was a lot of fun.

Towards the end, we came across a small waterfall and stopped for a snack. It was so nice to stand with my feet in the cold water!

We were beat and hot by the time we got to the base again a little over two hours later (we took our time because it was so slippery) and stopped at the Bullseye for a couple cold drinks and nachos. Then we headed back to our condo to spend some time at the pool cooling down some more.

A thunder and lightening storm came up and knocked the power out in the area for about three hours. By the time it came back on around 10:00, we had settled in for the night.