Random thoughts of an upbeat mind

Posts tagged ‘travel’

Been busy

I didn’t lie … I really am trying to be back.

The past few weeks have been filled with work. We are doing the forecast and budget for the remainder of the year and the next. I will be the first to say I had no clue what I was doing or what was expected of me.  It has been a learning experience to say the least.

Couple that with more get togethers and outings and you get one tired girl.

One of my many cousins is getting married next month. We had her bachelorette over the past weekend. It started Friday night at a hotel party. The entire party was late, so my BFF & I had a bite to eat. I capped it off with this lovely plate of Angel Food cake.


Saturday morning, we met for brunch, where the majority of the lot were late again. It was a lovely brunch and by chance I ran into an old coworker I haven’t seen in at least 15 years.

After that we were headed to an obstacle course which I am sure would have hurt me seriously but the bride’s sister had a bit of an emergency and I agreed to take her home. I actually don’t think they thought I would do the obstacle course so I was volunteered.

Maybe it was a good thing I didn’t go as I came home and fell asleep on the couch for 2.5 glorious hours.

The earliest I have been home this week was tonight at 7:30. Not work related at all. My Dad gifted me a vehicle so he were getting it ready for me so we could do the transfer before he leaves on Saturday to visit my Grandfather for 3 weeks. The urgency was heightened as we needed to get it fully transfered before his birthday next week when his plates expire.

While I am not in love with my new car, it was a free and in better condition than my current car so it’s a big win and I thanked him for this gift. It is all completed now and ready for me to make my annual trip to Maryland in 2 weeks.

I am so looking forward to the change of scenery. I need a break from the every day grind. Plus I now have a bigger car … 🙂 There may be some shopping in my future.



In a rut

Oh gosh, I did not intent to be away from this space for so long.

I was (maybe still am) in a funk. Work is really not very fun. In a fit of madness, I am attempting to find a good life/work balance. Unfortunately it is putting me further behind at work. 😦 I am not an anxious person, but I hate having things hanging over my head. Couple that with a list of 5 things to do at the start of the day and most of those same five things are untouched EVERY day, I have run out of F@#%s to give. Gonna get a t-shirt made with that on it!!

I broke down and went in to work today after leaving mostly on time for the past few weeks. The work never ends and the morale is worse now than before. My manager locked herself in her office crying last week as she was going on vacation and was feeling incredibly guilty. It was very disturbing.

So instead of blogging I have been job searching. Which is not as productive as I would like it to be. No nibbles yet but that is not deterring me.

On a quick catch-up note, I went to DC for a self-made long weekend to celebrate my cousin’s 40th birthday and had a blast. It was really nice to get away (we will not talk about the 330 emails that were in my inbox waiting for me when I returned).

My cousin rubs elbows with the wealthy and wealthier. It was a very interesting trip. We went to the “rich people” spa. I say this because when the charge showed up on my credit card it was more that four times what I hesitantly pay in town for a massage … FOUR TIMES!?! It would have hurt even if we were still on par with the USD. But I don’t do this ever so I just shut my eyes and was grateful that I have the money to pay the bill.

Speaking of the massage … it was the BEST one I have ever had. I was ready to offer the RMT a house in Toronto if she moved here with me and just gave me daily massages. Given the price of homes in the T.O. and the price of the massage, I will really have to do math to see where the break even point would be. Recently a townhouse, in a great neighbourhood but still a townhouse, sold for $1 million over asking. Where the $%#@ do I live???

Ok, I’ve veered off topic. Other than my trip away, I believe it is my daily workouts, which have not gotten any easier, that have been keeping me sane.

Tomorrow I start my Spring cleanse. 12 days of so much not fun eating. I gave up meat and wheat for Lent and it was a challenge some days. I am debating if I could give up gluten and dairy for the month of May. I think it would definitely help with the weight loss.

Speaking of weight loss … I have lost exactly 1 lb since Jan 2 when I started this daily workout routine.

I have no words so I’m going to stop here. I have “cussed” enough in one post.

Have a wonderful day.

Summer Plans

Well I feel like I need to re-introduce myself I’ve been gone so long. lol

I wish I could say that life has been filled with adventure and I’ve been living it up and it’s kept me from this space but the truth of it is that right now life is steady.

Get up, go to work, come home, back to sleep, rinse, repeat.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with myself and the kids this summer. My usual plan to go to Maryland is most likely not going to happen. It’s time to make new plans.

I am thinking of some long weekends away.

Montreal is at the top of my list. I think it would be a nice quick trip. I assigned the logistics of it all to Diva and I need to check in with her to see what’s she’s come up with.

A day trip to Niagara Falls as I want to do the Whirlpool Jet Boat Tour along the Niagara Gorge. It’s a small fortune but it came highly recommended.

A weekend in Ottawa visiting my cousin.

A visit to the CN Tower. This has been on my list for a long while.

Also on my list this summer is to try Stand up Paddle Boarding. It looks like it might be fun. I saw a Groupon for a company recently and I regret not picking it up. I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes open for another deal. Diva has agreed to join me.

I think that’s it off the top of my head.  I am open to suggestions.

Looking forward to the weekend

I am trying to get back to normal. For some reason this last road trip wore me out more than usual. I left early on Friday morning and until I got to MD. There was an accident that slowed traffic to a crawl. But all in all a good drive down. We managed to find a prom dress for Princess at Target of all places AND on clearance. It was just her size. Less than $40 US, yes please!

Prom dress

In the course of 3 days I had my favourite flavour of ice cream three times. 🙂 It was almost 4 but somehow having ice cream at 7 am on Sunday didn’t seem like a great idea.

The service for my cousin was great. It ran long but that was not surprising since there were a lot of people on the program to speak about how wonderful she was.

My Mom met us down there and I drove her back. It was a long drive back as we stopped like we usually do but she went one way and the kids went another. It was like corralling cats at times. LOL

I was hoping to get back home by 7pm but too many long stops and leaving 1+ hour later than I planned made for a long day. But by 10 I was happily on the couch.

I am really looking forward to the upcoming 3 day weekend. I so want to sleep in and spend the day lazing around.

On a side note, traveling over the weekend interrupts my regular workout schedule but I did manage to get a quick walk in on Friday with my Aunt while we waited for dinner to cool. I am back on the wagon with 2 workouts done this week, right on course.

Quick trip recap

Well if there was every a time I was to question my sanity, it would be based on this trip.

I woke up at 3:45 am Friday morning and by the time we got ourselves together and in the car it was minutes to 5 am. Not our best start but since the goal was to arrive in one piece we didn’t have a time line.

Routes to MD

The highlighted route on the far right is the one I take. But with the weather and the mountains, I was hesitant to take this hilly route. So I took my Aunt’s route which is the one to the far left. It adds about 30 minutes to the drive but it is all highway driving.

On the Canadian side just before getting to the Peace bridge border crossing, I encountered blinding heavy snow. 😦 It lightened up just after the border but then returned a short while later. To think I took the longer route to avoid bad weather. lol

The rest of the drive was long and uneventful. My only complaint was that since my GPS really only has fastest route or shortest distance options, it kept redirecting me off the highway so I had no clue how long the trip would really take. Also since I was unfamiliar with the route it was harder to gauge when to stop for food and gas.

We arrived in MD just after 2. Since my Aunt was still at work, we headed to the mall. Princess found a pair of boots she liked and I bought a face mask. Then we moved on to Walmart where I am proud to say we did not spend a lot. There is really very little we “need”. We also spent some time in Target and TJ Maxx.

My Aunt opted to cook dinner so we just picked up dessert and finally arrived at her home just after 7 pm. It was a long day and I was glad to finally stop moving.

We slept in a little on Saturday. Okay, it was a little for me and a lot for my kids. So much so we were almost late to the ceremony. It was a great service. I met some new family members and reconnected with others. I’m really glad I made the effort to go.

My plan was to leave around 3 pm and head back to Canada. BUT towards the end, there was picture taking and it took long to say goodbye to everyone.

To add to our lateness, Princess left her winter jacket at my Aunt’s house so we had to stop there on our way home. My Aunt was not home. Lucky for us her garage can be opened with a code and she doesn’t lock the door to house from her garage. So we were able to get the jacket and change our clothes.

Long road trip short we took our usual way home since I figured it was quicker and easier for me. We did stop for a meal and a walk through another TJ Maxx so we didn’t get home until after 3 am Sunday morning. O_o About 48 hours after I started my journey.

I fell into bed and was fast asleep but for some reason I was up at 7 am. I gave up the hope of going back to sleep at 9:30 and got out of bed and went to the living room to read “Between the World and Me“.

Yesterday afternoon we attended my brother’s concert, grabbed some food on the way home and then relaxed on the couch. I was beat and ready for bed by 8 but decided to stay up a little later so I could try to get back to my regular bedtime.

I still feel tired but it’s manageable.

I will be going back to MD for my cousin’s ceremony in 6 weeks. I wonder if the new job will give me the time off so I don’t have to do this quick turnaround again.


The big reveal

So you know how I vague and cryptic on Monday? Well I can now tell you what that’s all about.


I have been on the hunt for a new job for the past 6+ months. I have applied to what feels like a tonne of jobs, had my fair share of interviews but nothing really felt right.

Until 2 weeks ago when I went for an interview with a company that is just up the street from my home. The interview went really well and it felt so much like a great fit that I actually sent a “real” thank you email. Usually I send a generic thank you, I know shame on me.

Anyhoo, I didn’t hear any thing other than a thank you for my email, so last Thursday I sent a follow up email. The response I got said that they have one more interview to do and if I don’t hear from him by end of day Tuesday to contact them again. The same day I got a phone call from a woman who worked for a company I worked for 10 years ago. We had a long conversation that seemed promising.

On Friday morning the woman called to arrange an in person interview THEN in the afternoon the HR person from the job I wanted called requesting my references and permission to run a background check. 🙂

To give myself options, I went to the interview on Monday morning. By Monday afternoon, I was presented with a job offer but I was still waiting for my preferred company. I had to stall as they wanted me to start on Tuesday. O_o

Yesterday I got a job offer from the company I want!!  Start date is Feb 22.

So this means I am off to MD on Friday. If I hadn’t gotten the job I wanted I would have taken the job offered on Monday which wanted me to start this week.

I am very excited for this new opportunity and can’t wait to get started on this new chapter.

Vacation recap

As promised I took a picture of the view from my cousin’s sun room. I has mistakenly called the body of water a lake but it’s actually Chesapeake Bay.

The view

Every morning this is what I looked at as I enjoyed a cup of coffee. I was in heaven and it strengthened my resolve to eventually get a piece of property with a view like this.

Ok so when we last left off, I had arrived on Friday afternoon. We stayed in Friday and just hung around the house.

Saturday morning, after breakfast we went shopping at Marshalls and HomeGoods. It took forever to get through these two stores and we were hungry when we left.

My kids and I are big fans of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives and try to hit up some of the places featured on the show. Princess and Diva saw an episode where the show was in Baltimore and actually remembered the name of the restaurant. However given where we were it was not exactly near by. So my cousin suggested another restaurant, also featured on “Triple D”. We went to a greasy spoon called “Chick & Ruth’s Delly“.

Chick & Ruth

It truly is a hole in the wall. The food was good, but I found it a bit salty. The kids had burgers of varying sizes. My cousin had the lump crab cakes and I had a Reuben sandwich.

After lunch we strolled down Main Street for a little while.

Main street

After wandering through a few tourist traps, we returned to my cousin’s house as neither she or her daughter wanted to go to Target with us. We tend to turn it into an ordeal so I don’t blame them.

I found a shirt and a dress in the clearance section and was horrified when I went to try them on. The mirrors in the change room showed me that Project Get Healthy needs to be revived asap!

We all slept in on Sunday and slowly made our way to DSW and Nordstrom Rack in search of shoes for the girls. Princess found the pair of all white Converse shoes she was looking for. Diva was out of luck. Afterward we went to a free concert given by the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra. Our “seats” were crappy as we were more interested in being in the shade that actually seeing the performers.

The symphony

This is a small sampling of the amount of people who attended as the concert was ending.

The crowd

It was a great evening. We bought some Peruvian chicken with sides and had a picnic in the park while listening to some wonderful music.

After the concert we headed home to relax some more.

My plan for Monday was to leave around noon. We left just after 1 pm. There is a little small town about 3 hours away that we always stop at to do some additional shopping, because we can’t shop enough!! LOL Plus Diva still hadn’t found her all black Converse shoes. I was very surprised that every store in this small town was open on Labour Day. Such a change from Toronto where I think only malls designated as tourist attractions are open on statutory holidays.

We were successful with finding the shoes Diva wanted. 🙂 This stop was about 2 hours long. We safely arrived home just after midnight. Traffic was fantastic. Moving forward my new plan for these trips will be to leave extra early on my trip down and extra late on my trip back.