The ocean is where I belong

In July, I decided I wanted to take a trip somewhere. Anywhere, really. I went to a travel agency, picked one lucky agent, told her what my budget was and said “Send me somewhere.”

Then, I proceeded to stalk her for days, asking if she had any good deals for me, anywhere exciting to send me. I was hoping for an African safari or a tour of Iceland. My adventurous side was screaming “Egypt!” while my budget was whining “A bus to beach.”

I wanted to leave as soon as possible, but I discovered that the whole “I waited until the last minute to book my trip and I got a great deal!” thing was actually a myth. I decided I needed to be more flexible and added August to my available travel dates. After all, I am off all summer.

I was planning on going by myself, because that’s number 3 on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days.

After a few days, I realized I had to adjust my expectations when it came to the destination. What I really wanted was a change of scenery and a plane ride. If you fly somewhere, it’s a real trip. (Not always, but this summer, yes.)

My travel agent suggested Cuba. I said “When do I leave?” I was telling my mom about my awesome deal, and asked her if she wanted to come. I did not expect her to say yes, but she did! This is amazing because number 22 on my list is “Take a trip with my mom”. It’s going to be just the two of us!

Here is where we’ll be for the next week.

I’m going to be completely disconected from technology. No phone, no computer, no Internet. I’m really looking forward to that part. I’m bringing a book (ok, 4 books) and I’m going to relax, drink, read and swim in the ocean. I’m going to do whatever I want to.

See you in a week!

When lawn-bowling becomes an extreme sport

I come from a large family. My mom has 3 sisters and 8 brothers, so I grew up with a lot of cousins. I think the family motto is “Any reason for a party is a good reason.” We used to have family olympics when I was really young, then we had a golf tournament. I played for a few years, but then I decided I didn’t like golf so much and I volunteered to baby-sit all the kids while everyone else played golf. It worked out well, because the kids and I hung out by the pool all day, then went to the party when everyone else got back all tired and sweaty. Now, we have a lawn-bowling tournament every August.

This is brilliant for many reasons.

1. You can play while holding a drink.

2. You don’t have to be any good.

3. You can talk while playing.

This year about 75 people were there. That’s most of the family. Some people were missing.

These are a few of the lawn-bowling courts. Or fields. Or whatever. I think there were 10.

It was HOT. So hot that the weather channel had an extreme heat warning and was telling people to stay indoors and avoid any outdoor activity. I have never been so hot in my entire life, except maybe the summer I went to Spain.

There was a big tree that gave off a lot of shade where everyone collapsed after a game to cool down a little. Someone also thoughtfully brought freezer pops and water guns so we were all wet and full of sugar. The kids kept pretty cool in the turtle pool.

Here are some of my favourite moments of the day.

This face. I don’t know what she’s doing or thinking, but it’s hilarious!

My partner and I. We didn’t win, but that’s ok, we didn’t really want to. The winners had to keep playing and we just wanted to crash under the tree. I’m all wet because I thought I could outrun all the kids after I sprayed them with water. They got me back.

Dirty feet from the water fights and the dry, dusty dirt that seems to be everywhere!

Trying to get a picture of six toddlers. It was never going to happen.

It was an awesome day. I really do love my family. There are a lot of kids and babies, and that’s my favourite part. I love seeing everyone and catching up on their lives. Many of my relatives told me they read my blog, which was great! My uncle Ray really wanted me to start a yoga session so he could be featured in a special post. Hi Uncle Ray! Even thought it was hotter than the surface of the sun, it was the perfect day.

Also, on a side note, I’m thrilled to report that this is my 100th post! I’m so happy it was a post about my family.

Cottage Country

It’s been very hot and dry here all summer. So dry, in fact, that campfires are not allowed and so hot that I’ve been melting a little bit every day. I’m not complaining. I like the heat, but it does make it kind of uncomfortable to stay indoors when you live on the third floor. It’s perfect cottage weather. Sadly, I do not have a cottage. Lucky for me, some of my closest friends do! And they’re the kind of friends I can call up and say “Hey, I’m hot. I’m coming over. Save me a chair by the water.” I don’t have to wait to be invited.

If you haven’t guessed already, I spent my weekend at the cottage. There were a bunch of people there and it has never felt more like summer than it did at that moment. Or, those many moments.

The lake is accross the street, so we have to walk, like, 3 whole minutes to get to the water! It’s not a beach, and it’s a little weedy, but you just swim over the weeds and hang out in the middle of the lake with a pool noodle. In my case, it was a ginormous pink blow-up ring. A-ma-zing.

There was lots of wildlife, including, but not limited to : a beaver, some ducks, a frog, a purple dragonfly and a turtle. The beaver was swimming at the same time we were. It was strange. At one point, he was coming right towards me, but then he changed his course and headed off into some tall grass. I could hear him munching.

The ducks were obviously used to being fed, because they came really close and had this “Dude, where’s my bread?” look on their faces. We didn’t have any bread, so they dived under the water for some weed roots, or whatever it is they eat.

Also, they came really close to my feet and I was a little worried they would think my toes were berries or something, what with my toenails being painted pink and all.

What great about this cottage is that my friends used to live there, before they bought a house. Yeah, it’s kind of backwards. They’re like that. So, not only does it have everything a great cottage has, in my opinion (water, a deck, trees and beer) it also has electricity and a fully renovated bathroom. I like nature, but there are some things best done inside.

We even watched a movie after dinner on Saturday. On tape. We had to fast-forward through the previews. It was Miss Congeniality and it’s one of the movies my friend Claudine and I know by heart. We tried not to say all the lines at the same time as the characters did, but it took a lot of self-control!

On Sunday it was supposed to rain, and it did, for about 10 minutes. We didn’t even go inside. We just sat by the water and waited it out. Hopefully it rains soon, because all the leaves are starting to droop.

Sunday afternoon, we played a board game called Stone Age. I had never played before, but it was lots of fun. We played for so long that eventually, we had to bring everything inside, as the mosquitoes decided we were a good snack.

All in all, perfect cottage weekend!

Freedom!

As of today, I am free until August 27th! No work, no meetings, no lunches to pack, freedom!

The last week has been hectic, what with trying to get everything done and put away for the summer. Add to that cleaning my classroom, a friend’s bridal shower and many dinners and drinks, and you have one exhausted me! It’s ok, because now I have all summer to sleep in and do as much yoga as I want to.

Yesterday, to celebrate our freedom as a team, my fellow teachers and I went to play mini-golf. If you’ve never done this (and really, who hasn’t?) or you haven’t since you were a kid, go! It’s fun and it doesn’t matter how bad you are at it. Well, unless you’re uber-competitive.

My team was awesome. I have no clue what team won, but  that was besides the point anyways. I also got stung by a bee, which was not so great. To be honest, it wasn’t the bee’s fault. It was tiny and I put my finger on it. She didn’t even really sting me, it just pinched a little. Really, I’m just complaining to  get some sympathy here.

These are my awesome team members and me! There was another girl in our team, but I don’t have a picture of her. I was so sure I got everyone. I think the bee incident threw me a little. Also, it was really hot. Like, hot-yoga hot.

 

 

I was looking for shade everywhere we went. I like this picture because right next to me was a sign that said “no climbing”. I don’t think sitting-to-avoid-passing-out-from-the-heat equals climbing, but I don’t think I was supposed to be there anyways. I took my chances and it was great.

After our round of golf, we hit up a restaurant for some much needed food and drinks. It’s amazing how fast a strawberry daquiri will go down when you’re hot and tired. It was a really fun time and even though I was beyond icky and exhausted when I got home, I now have all summer to recover. Enjoy your summer!

Just add water

It’s been really hot the past few days. I live on the third floor, so there’s no escaping the heat. I’m not complaining, partly because I know this is just a taste of what’s to come!

Yesterday, I was supposed to spend the day with a friend, but she drank too much wine at a wedding the night before, tsk, tsk! It was such a beautiful day that I couldn’t just stay in. It might have been a good idea, since the end of the school year is close and that means lots of papers to grade and report cards to fill in. Yuck. I decided to go running along the canal instead.

It’s very pretty but it can also be quite smelly. The water’s not stagnant, but it doesn’t move much either. I saw a guy doing stand up paddling. I really want to try that. Maybe not on the canal thought. I’m pretty sure I would fall in the water several times and canal water is yucky.

I hope he didn’t think I was a stalker.

Going running along the canal was also number 23 on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. I put it on the list because it’s one of those things I always said I would do, but never actually did.

Today was another hot day. Since it was Monday, I had to work, but Julie and I decided to go have lunch at the marina. It was much cooler there and we had a nice breeze. Lots of ducks, too.

I forgot my camera (I know, strange!) so Julie took some pictures with her phone. She took one of me eating my lunch. My skirt is kind of blowing up, but I’m still decent.

After work, I wanted to test something out. If it’s 40 degrees outside and 40 degrees inside the yoga studio, is is still hot yoga? Or is it just yoga? I wondered if I was crazy going to hot yoga on a day like today, but I was going to be hot no matter what I did, I figured it might as well be something fun.

Turns out, hot yoga is hot yoga, no matter what the temperature is outside. It was a great class. It wasn’t as hot as usual (31 degrees) and the fans were on, but I still got plenty sweaty. It was a fearless flow class, where the ultimate goal is an inversion. We worked on handstands. That stuff is hard! My hands and arms were so sore! I can still only lift one leg at a time, but I kind of hop around and pretend I’m a cirque du soleil performer. It helps with the motivation.

When I got home, it was still pretty hot, so I decided to have dinner at the beach. I grabbed a few things and put on my swimsuit. Now, I don’t know about you, but for me, the first time I put on a bathing suit in the summer is a slightly traumatic experience. I didn’t think I would go swimming, but I wanted to be prepared in case I got the urge to fling myself into the lake.

I ate, I read a little and dipped my toes in the water. It was windy and perfect.

It’s supposed to rain tomorrow, so I guess I’ll be getting more water!