26 July 2006

Happy (belated) Birthday!

Whose birthday, you ask? Well, it was my birthday this past Saturday and I had a fantastic day. It started with the indulgent breakfast at IHOP (International House of Pancakes for the uninitiated) with my friends Shannon and Sarah, where the convulsive laughing made it difficult to eat at times, and continued onto the waterslides, where I'd decided I most wanted to spend my day given the very hot weather we've been having. The waterpark was awesome, except for the nagging fear we all had that we'd get athlete's foot from walking around barefoot. To quote Sarah, "I want to pressure wash everything in this place". Quand meme, it was fun.

In the evening, my mom and I saw Measure for Measure at Bard on the Beach, a marvelous Shakespeare festival situated on the beach in Vanier Park, Vancouver. Perhaps the most captivating part of the entire Bard production (besides the excellent quality of acting) is the setting. The Mainstage tent is completely open behind the stage, so that the sunset over the Pacific ocean and Coast mountains forms the backdrop of the performance. I am one lucky girl to be able to call Vancouver home.

Having a summer birthday, I am privileged to have celebrated my birthday in various settings and even continents over the years. In fact, I don't think I've ever done the same thing two years in a row. While as a young child I lamented the timing of my birthday, one thing I *truly* realized this birthday is that it's not about how many people you spend the day with, how intoxicated you get, or where you are. What really matters most is who you share the day with. I think that's why this birthday was one of my happiest in memory. My only regrets are that I couldn't share with all the people I would have liked, but you were there in spirit.

P.S. When did I get this corny?

17 July 2006


I've put some photos from the final few days in Toronto up here if you are interested. They're from a bunch of different days so if you notice a lack of cohesive narrative in the series of pictures, that's because there isn't one. The jumbledness kind of reflects my state of mind during those final days. In other news, I am back 'home' in Vancouver. I put the word home in quotations because although I grew up here and my mother lives here, it doesn't quite feel like home after having lived on my own in a different province and even a different country for 5 years. I guess the saying 'You can never go home' becomes true once you've lived it. Nevertheless, I am having a great time being here. There are many wonderful things I forgot about here, including the mild climate. I do not envy those of you in Toronto and Western Europe who are subjected to temperatures in the mid 30s. Thank you proximity to the ocean!

Besides the weather, there are other things going on here, such as this month's theme: weddings. To begin, I went wedding dress shopping with Cassandra, my lifelong friend this past weekend. It was a successful day, as she found her dress! She looked beautiful; her tiny little waist lends itself very well to dresses. That aside, I really can't get over how opulent some of these wedding stores are... Personally, I find it to be overkill. To be fair, I have no personal investment in the spectacle of weddings as I am not getting married, but even so, I think anyone with any social conscience realizes they're rather ridiculous. Some of the dresses I saw cost over $5000, and I know that's pocket change compared to some of the higher end garments. Christ.

The weekend prior, I had the honour of attending a wedding for my friend Melanie. We both lived in Dunedin, NZ in 2003-2004, and she ended up meeting a fellow Canadian during our summer holidays up in the North Island. Long story short, she and Chris got married at a golf course at the foot of Burnaby Mountain. It may sound surprising to some to meet and fall inlove with someone of the same nationality while overseas, but it's actually fairly common given the mobility of young'uns these days. Then again, it's just as likely to meet someone of a different nationality while travelling and fall in love (i.e. my case), but I digress. Anyway, the wedding was great. Keeping with the New Zealand theme, they played the Lord of the Rings Soundtrack in the background before the wedding. The wedding favours were Douglas Fir saplings, which suited the couple who are outdoor enthusiasts perfectly. Here are a couple not-so-great photos from the wedding due to my poor camera skillZ:

And rounding out the wedding speak, my close friends Shannon and Greig , who have been dating for almost 10 years and are my age, are finally getting married. In their defense, we've been banking on them getting married for about 9 years, so they've done remarkably well in waiting so many years. While nothing is for certain, it looks like it may be a Destintion Wedding, with the destination being Jamaica! Bring it on, Ochos Rio, I want to meet Bob Marley's mom.

04 July 2006


As of 9 pm EST last Thursday, I am finished university. There are no words to express my enthusiasm....

I want to send a huge thank-you to all the people who have supported me over the past 5 years and given me endless support, particularly my mother and my sister who have helped me to keep things in perspective, even when things seemed overwhelmingly difficult. Thank you to all the wonderful friends I've made over the years in Toronto, you will never, ever be forgotten. Thank you to the friends I've made on my exchange in New Zealand, my journey to the other side of the planet would not have been as joyous without you. And thank you to my friends here in Vancouver, who despite having seen me sporadically at best over the past few years, have welcomed be right back into their lives. And finally, an extra special gracias to Edward whose unfaltering love and support over the years has helped me to excel...

I also want to say merci bien to all those who came to visit me over the years in Toronto: Laura and Hamish (from New Zealand) Frank (from Norway), my mom, Leonard (from Va ncouver), Edward (from the homogenous nation of Europe), Muck (from England), Kat (from New Zealand) and Sara (from Vancouver), Becca and Marek (from Poland), and Penny and Gareth (from Belgium). My experiences in Toronto would not have been nearly as fun and memorable without your presence.

Once more, thank you!