Loving the Canada life.



This face says it all. (Don't you love when you act like a 101 year old with your cell phone and end up taking a picture of yourself instead of what's in front of you?).

I am tired, tired, tired. 

The plan begins when I decide to take an uber from my house around 17h00 to the airport on Sunday night. Last Sunday night. 

The day starts as planned, get my nails done (they were long overdue), and then do a few errands, come home and finish packing my suitcase, and at 16h00, start my workout. I am a little compulsive with my pre-airport routine even though it causes me mega stress.

I have to work out RIGHT before leaving and take a shower at the very last minute possible. This always means I’m on the way to my airport sweaty or freezing (depending on how hard my workout was and how hot my shower was), usually brushing my hair, and organizing my purse/carry-on or taking care of some last minute booking. Before I started taking a car to the airport, I drove myself and that was even worse!

So, arrive, check-in, get some water and sit and have ONE drink. ONE DRINK. (Oh, and cold medicine....oops).

Time to board, we arrive at the gate for the airline to tell us that they have reassigned our seats. So I’m no longer sitting next to my coworker, who, let’s be honest, helps me out a lot when it comes to making sure I have all my sh&t with me all of the time. I leave my stuff everywhere. I have since I was a child. I'm not saying that's an excuse, but I am just like that. k? I’m a forgetful person and right now I’m pretty much in PEAK stress with some stuff going on around me. Coworker comes in handy quite often in this area.

So now I’m sitting next to some random guy, who doesn’t smell great. I have all of my stuff all over the place, so I put my passport in the front pocket of the seat in front of me.
And then proceed to fall into the deepest sleep of my life. I haven’t been sleeping soundly at night for oh….two or three months, so I’m tired (working on this in many ways, don’t worry).

We land, I’m groggy. I get my things and get off the airplane, walk 15 steps, stop, remember that I don’t have my passport, and then go back and try to get on the plane. Nope. Against the rules. Not allowed back on this little plane (it’s one of those ones that you climb the stair onto the tarmack. The airline checked and said that they couldn’t find it….but I KNOW IT WAS THERE, but…they wouldn’t let me on, so silly me thought that hey, the cleaning crew will find it and they’ll call me later.

Later – they didn’t find it.
Later – they didn’t call me.
Later – I called the airline, the airport, and twelve other numbers or so to try and get my passport.

It wasn’t found.

I called the consulate to find out what to do – there wasn’t a consulate in the city that I had landed in, but there was one in the city I was flying to late Wednesday night. But no matter which open I took that they offered me, I wasn’t guaranteed a passport or a way out of the US.

However, if you enter into Canada as a Canadian citizen, you don’t need a passport (let’s hope that this statement is really true…I have my doubts).

So, I decided that I would drive to Toronto and then stay there for the weekend, using all of my fidelity points to book a hotel room, since I need to study my ass off anyways.

My brain was fried….and it was only Monday afternoon.

Monday evening, we went to Walmart (cause they are way better in the USA) and I had to buy a few toiletries because I forgot a crapload of stuff. Like A HAIRBRUSH. I had to finger brush my hair Monday morning, so I’m sure I looked smokin’.

We came out of the store; I got into the car, and drove onto the curb, thinking there was nothing there. Thankfully, there was no one around me, so I could just back up and not cause some kind of scene.

Monday night I went to work out, then I called my mom, cried a lot, and then we had supper. 

Crying, tired, and it's only a Monday

Thank god for workouts….I think they are the only thing that is saving me this week….other than the very good nature of my co-worker, who laughs with me instead of at me. Or maybe a bit of both. But they key word is “laugh” instead of “getting so freaking annoyed at me”.


So, we spend the next few days just outside of Philidelphia. I’m trying to act cool and normal….even though I’m exhausted, I’m worried that I don’t have a passport, and I’m….stressed.

We took an hour or so to explore downtown Philly, we seriously never do anything fun while we travel, so it was nice to explore a bit!
Obligatory Philly Cheesesteak. Not my thing but hey, bucket list. 

and...while travelling...if there's a homeless person sitting nearby....why not ask if they'd like a cheesesteak too? You never know what their story is. 

We leave Wednesday night to Detroit and arrive very late. We drive to the Westin and try to check in. It looks like an awesome hotel.

Guess what? We don’t have a reservation there. How is that possible?

I check my records. Oh. That’s right. We booked the BEST WESTERN. Not the Westin.

And the difference between the two, in case you live under a rock and aren’t familiar, is A LOT.

Said co-worker laughs. A lot. And then we drive to our sh&tty hotel.

It’s nearly 23h00, we are tired, I am exhausted, and check-in takes something like 20 minutes…and when I finally arrive to gross, run down, wall-to-wall carpeted hotel room, the key card won’t work. So downstairs I go again.

Finally, I’m in my room, and my co-worker is in the room next to me. And we can literally hear each other walking/breathing/talking…. There is zero privacy. Like we can clearly hear what the other is saying on the phone. Seriously.

I was giddy with laughter because it just seemed like too much.  I felt like I was ten years old and having a sleepover.  

The next morning, my coworker called to tell me he had zero hot water. I am exhausted. I need to get to work, so I go and hide under my covers and I open the adjoining room doors, and then I make sure I’m looking away so that he can sneak into my bathroom to have a shower.

Yes I’m serious.

He had called and tried to get it fixed….or shower in the gym, but nothing seemed to work. Thankfully, we were able to laugh at the situation….but man. What a freaking joke.

This morning? Same routine. I hide under the covers (he says he’s fully covered anyway, but I’m pretty uncomfortable sharing my room with a guy and so I’m giving him extra privacy), he comes in and showers, then leaves, then I get ready.
On the plus side, it’s super easy to let the other know when we’re ready to go because we can talk in a normal volume voice and hear each other perfectly.

What. A freaking. Trip.

So now, if all goes well, I will drop him off at Detroit airport. Drive to Windsor. Cross the border. Fly to Toronto (I decided it was far too much for me to drive to Toronto since I am seriously tired), and then crash hard. Possibly crying tears of joy once I arrive in Canada and once I am at my hotel suite for the weekend.

The ride across the boarder was slightly less dramatic. I had every single boarding pass, hotel receipt so show my way into and around the USA. And they just let me go. Phew. 


I arrived in Windsor, which may be the smallest airport in Canada. I was so looking forward to having a glass (or three) of sparking wine, but I was stuck with this. 
veggies, cheese and fruit, and red wine in a plastic glass. Whatever. it was food and drink. 
I had about three hours to wait in the airport before take off. Didn't realize that I had been rubbing my eyes a lot....


And I fell asleep in a very tiny airplane. Haven't been in one that since since I flew in Mada.

I arrived safe and sound in Toronto. The hotel was beautiful and my suite had a washer and dryer. I wish I was there now. Sleeping.

Saturday (after a very long and active day - my BF also got stranded in Toronto for 24 hours! Thank you Air Canada!), I walked around downtown. It was bumpin!!!

Eaton Center was open until 21h30 so I walked around until my feet were too sore. 


Doesn't it look like these reindeer are getting a little freaky???


So now, I'm back at the office. Day 2 of 5. I'm exhausted. Emotional. Sick of travelling. And kind of wish I had the dog cause honestly, she provides me with lots of laughs but doesn't talk as much as my co-worker. I'm getting a little tired of.....well, talking.


Once I'm back in Montreal....I'll get the new passport. I'll put on some makeup this time so I don't look like a serial killer.

And...hopefully will post later this week regarding some TO adventures.

Life is never boring. 

4 years ago today.



Not even sure I was back to Canadian resident status... came back after a very impromtu vacation to Morocco and the Canary Islands. I had planned on staying in Tennerife....but after a huge meltdown my friends convinced me to head back to Canada.

I lived with my cousin and his wife. In their basement. I took care of their dog, who gave me some soulful therapy. Miss that crazy dog. 

I was so nervous to be with all of my family during Thanksgiving as it was my first family event post-breakup #1 (remember...my ex and I got back together the following January....). I didn't want to talk about anything about the breakup. I was scared if anyone said something that I would just fall apart. 

Everything went perfect. I was with my family again. 

I just can't figure out how that was only four years ago....and not ten...or fifteen.. 

I miss my grandpa every.single.day. 





It's a Small World

Wow, two posts in as many days!

It's Thanksgiving weekend and I have zero plans and I'm not too terribly concerned... For me, Thanksgiving exists in Edmonton and nowhere else.

BUT, my Edmonton Thanksgiving table isn't doing so well. One JUST had a foot operation and has a horrible cough, another is undergoing cancer treatments, another had gallbladder surgery, and they all have been helping each other during this stressful time.

My mom & co is in Vancouver....

So what's a girl to do?

Collude with my ma and send over a pre-made Thanksgiving dinner to Gram's house, of course! We split the cost of a thanksgiving dinner including: roast chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, stuffing, gravy, rolls, and my cousin is baking a pie!

While I don't usually have the funds to play Oprah, it wasn't terribly expensive, I had just finished rolling all of my coins, and I only paid for half thanks to my mom....so it wasn't a burden of any kind, and I'm just happy that I can do something from far away.

So thankful for the family that I have. We may not always be close. We may not always get along. But we are always there for one another.

Very thankful for that.

<3

Happy Thanksgiving!

Life

Last week a friend sent me a few questions about some tourist spots in Madagscar because a friend of his is going there. I did a Google search...and then went through my blog and found the best posts. In general, Madagascar isn't such a great tourist destination because of lack of infrastructure/stability/development...but it was so nice to go through my blog....and read what I wrote way back when.

It made me want to write about what goes on now. Except I already share too many photos of the dog on Facebook and Instagram :P. 

There is something going on in my life....that I struggle with daily. Someone I love very much is struggling with cancer. They are going through treatment right now and will have surgery at some point...and I am praying so hard that this terrifying experience will be over then. Someone I love...through osmosis I guess (the spouse of someone close to me) is just beginning their cancer treatment.

Here's the thing about treatment. I thought it was SO simple and straight forward and a list of steps:

  1. Cancer diagnosis
  2. Begin chemo or radiation
  3. Have a surgery if required
  4. Take pills for 5 years
  5. Get regular check ups to make sure it stays in remission.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Cancer diagnosis requires at least 5 tests, different consultations with different specialists, a plethora of appointments to discuss/prepare your cancer treatment, "chemo school" and "radiation school" where you learn about the worst case scenarios/what to watch for/how to be prepared... Then the treatment begins. The treatment may have to be postponed if the patient is too sick. The patient may end up in the hospital because of side effects or infections... And I'm just describing the very little that I've learned in the last two months. 

I don't live in the same city or province as the two warriors....but that doesn't mean that it doesn't impact my daily life. Some days, I speak about cancer/cancer treatment like I'm talking about the weather. Other days (like last night), I end up crying on the phone while sticking my head in the lettuce section at the grocery store because I am just so overwhelmed and terrified. I don't think the human brain was built for this. Or perhaps the brain is, but not the heart. 

Last weekend, I did a 5km "race" to raise funds for cancer. Of course I was late....because such is my life post-Madagascar (not sure if I can use that as an excuse anymore!). I was also happy to do the 5km solo. Person #1 had just gone to the hospital because they were experiencing severe side effects and was on my mind. I wanted the time to reflect....and to be totally honest, I wanted to feel like I was actually DOING something to help, since I often feel desperately helpless. 

The Tshirt was actually made in MG....therefore it required another shirt underneath since it was tooo tiny for me.
It was very cold and yes, my lips are a little purple. 

While this post is a little all over the place....I'm realizing that....to best conquer cancer....the patient/warrior needs support in so many ways. They need people to rally around them. They need a positive environment. They need others to understand if they lash out.

While cancer effects so many, doesn't discriminate, and is devastating. It's not just the patient that's impacted. Every single person that cares about that warrior goes through a journey of their own. Their cancer journey has absolutely nothing to do with me. But I'm still allowed to have my own reaction. 

I don't know how to end this post....other than if you are reading this, and you know someone who has cancer, reach out, send a message/text or call them....and offer your support in anyway you know how. 

Until next time....

Rain in Africa

Sunday's Goat Post left me with this surreal feeling....like, am I really living in this big city...essentially alone... in a...job that isn't terribly exciting (but stable....and I'm all about creating stability - even if it seems terribly unattractive at the moment).. and all I can come up with - is that it's time to return to the expatriate life in a relatively stable/safe country in Africa. I get an email every other month or so....but always reply with a, "No thank you".

It isn't the time for me to go yet. I have some family stuff that I want to see through. I'm dating someone that I don't want to break up with, nor do I want to marry and move him to Africa with me...

But I want an escape.

Since returning 4 years ago (but more like 3 years ago "officially" - that one year I was in Europe/Alberta/back to Madagascar/then Quebec), I have experienced more chaos than I could ever have expected. It has all been documented at some point in the blog.

I'm wondering if I don't know how to create a stable environment. If I only know chaos...so I go around creating it for myself.

I know I can't run away to Africa. But the idea right now....seems to incredibly appealing.


Got yer goat...

I am plagued....or blessed with the occasional urge to just be a complete idiot and do something fun, original, and unplanned. Although this specific event required a little bit of planning since I bought the tickets a few days in advance. But the idea kind of just flashed in my mind....I googled, and sure enough, Montreal had Goat Yoga - and they had it this weekend.

Yes - Goat Yoga.

Here's an article to read if you'd like to catch up on the fad

Seriously. It's not a joke...

City-slickers pay $30 (or more!!!) to have a yoga class, in a glorified barn, with baby goats (and in my case, two momma goats).

The goats are encouraged to run all over the humans....who are not so much doing yoga as they are taking photos for their Instagram accounts.

There's even a staff member on duty - on high alert for goat droppings.

I arrived at the event, WHICH INCLUDED PARKING. This simply does not happen in Montreal. Especially downtown. I was beginning to think this was a joke after all.

It was +12*C, POURING rain, and everything was extraordinarily damp. Ok, soaking wet. But, come on, I'm tough.

So we were led into the barn-tent, where we were greeted by maybe 10 goats, and the lovely barn smell that comes with their adorable little selves.

I'm trying to get a Goat Selfie - I'm predicting #goatselfie to be one of the top ten hashtags of 2017, by the way.
 I was trying to do some version of table top or downward dog, when these creatures...um....mounted me.

Throughout my practice, I would be regularly vistited by the goats. Their hooves kind of felt like a harder massage. Although....this morning....I think I'm paying for it - but what did I expect? I had goats jumping on my body.

We often had to take breaks based on the goats' schedule. Upward dog just not happening here...



 Downward dog was interesting with a kid in the middle of my mat.




Careful for my fingers!!
 Trying to force a cuddle in....but really - they have their own agenda!


There were several times that I thought....remember when I lived in Alberta and like, saw goats on a fairly regular basis driving past farmer's fields??? And now...I'm driving to this grassy area in the metropolis of Montreal downtown...and paying to be in a barn....and paying to have goats all over me?

Whatever. It was a fun event, everyone was extremely friendly (we all took photos of each other and uploaded them to Facebook), and it was just a goofy time. Most importantly, all proceeds went to a great charity that places guide dogs for no cost.

I needed this gong-show random activity. I kind of lost myself the last few years....but I used to regularly do spontaneous things...for fun....and I want to do more and more of that!

Just Try Me.

I've been kind of a mess....or can we just say that I stay in a mess state - but with varying degrees?


Someone I love very much is starting chemotherapy and radiation treatment today. I tried avoiding thinking about this for as long as I could.... the thought of what is essentially poison going into their veins....terrified me. But reality could wait no longer, so I called them and wished them well. Is it normal that the sick person seems more positive and empowered than those around them? I was amazed by their attitude and courage.....when I feel like falling apart and crying or having a massive panic attack.

Anyway, they told me this little saying and it encouraged me and made me feel ridiculously proud to know someone so brave.

But if you all could say a prayer for this person....and anyone going through a hard time. They need all the strength they can get.