Sleeping sweetly

My little nephew is 6 weeks old today. The time has gone by so quickly…

On Monday after work I went over to Keesje’s and hung out there. Now that Jordan is away, I’m going to try to visit them more often after work. These are some of my favourite, more recent photos:


Sleeping sweetly

Listening to the rain

After a bath


My youngest sister turned 19 years old on this Sunday that just passed. A small group of us met at a local restaurant pool lounge for dinner to celebrate. Unfortunately, while the food was great, the waitress was terrible. We ended up with one drink for each of us, which we finished before our food came. The waitress didn’t even get us more water or ask if we wanted refills with our meal. By ten o’ clock my sister was pretty fed up with the service (and we were the only ones seated in the restaurant area…) and we all decided to call it a night.

A visit to Ottawa

As I said in my previous post, I worked the Saturday of Easter weekend. When I got home we packed an overnight bag and headed to Ottawa to visit Jordan’s sister and her husband. They recently moved to Ontario from New Brunswick and at the time were staying in a hotel while waiting for the moving truck to show up. They invited us to stay the night in their suite and the next day we wandered around the city, playing tourists. We walked around Parliament Hill, some markets where I tried my first Beaver Tail (yum!), hung out on the roof-top garden at the closed mall, and purchased some books at the Chapters across the street.


Sunset over a lake

Coloured skies

Easter gifts

Parliament Hill

Statue of Queen Elizabeth II

Apples & cinnamon Beaver Tail


I bought the new Sophie Kinsella book, Mini-Shopaholic, and another book I’ve been wanting to read for some time now: My Maasai Life (Robin Wiszowaty). I also checked out the Kobo e-readers on display and fell in love. 🙂 I am now a proud owner of one of these devices, and I absolutely love it!

Another Easter

Happy Easter! Today is Good Friday and I have the day off work. I will have Sunday off as well. This morning I chopped vegetables and seared some stewing beef and threw them into the slow cooker for tonight’s dinner with my sister and father. Bread is baking in the bread maker. And I made a batch of “spicy dads” cookies. Mmm, the house smells delicious!


Cadbury mini-eggs


I’m looking forward to visiting with my family tonight. I haven’t seen my dad since February, or maybe January? I can’t remember, and that is very sad. He says he is looking forward to hearing my stories about Jamaica and Las Vegas. Same with my sister, who is almost thirty weeks pregnant, which is unbelievable! My youngest sister comes home from college this weekend so hopefully Jordan and I will be able to go over to my mom’s for a visit on Sunday.


Spicy dads


I still haven’t finished writing the post about our trip to Jamaica, but it will eventually get finished. And then I’ll post some photos from our adventures in Las Vegas, Nevada from the beginning of the month! We have been incredibly lucky to be able to go on all these trips and I love sharing our stories and photos. 🙂

Europe – Part VI

***Continued from previous post.

{October 20 – 9:11 pm – Amsterdam, The Netherlands}
Still not feeling well, big surprize. Couldn’t get up for the alarm and ended up sleeping til 10 am. Before heading out for lunch we went down to the lobby and I asked if there was any store nearby that I could buy cold medication from. The lady said to try “D.A.” since I would need a prescription to visit a pharmacy. So we went there and got some Kleenex packs and some cold medication. The store didn’t have anything like Advil or Tylenol and the lady there gave me some medication with Dutch all over the label and she explained to take a couple pills every hour.

Found lunch at “Small Talk”. I had a cheese omelet with toast and black tea while Jordan had fried eggs with toast and a cappuccino. Can’t remember how much it cost. While we were waiting for the food it started to rain and a bunch of people surged into the restaurant. After eating we hopped on a tram to Centraal Station (to get out of the rain) and bought two train tickets to Sittard, for tomorrow. Tickets cost 44€ total and would get us to Sittard before 4:30 pm, just in time to be picked up by Tyler & Tammy. Then we boarded the #9 tram, got off at Plantage Middenlaan, and walked to Hortus Botanicus. Entrance fee of 7.50€ per person. It was a little disappointing because I expected to see more flowers, but there was a butterfly conservatory and a cactus greenhouse, etc.



After spending some time there, we walked from the Plantage district to the Heineken Experience building. Even if you don’t like Heineken, or beer for that matter, it was still cool to go through the tour for 15€ per person (on VISA again). Kind of neat to see the process of how it’s all made. Myself, definitely not a Heineken fan, but we’re in The Netherlands! We had a sample partway through and then at the end of the tour we could use the buttons on our wristbands to trade for two more drinks. I kind of hurried us out of there since I was feeling pretty awful and was getting a pounding headache. Too cold out to do anything else, and getting late, so we returned to the hotel and sent Tammy a message to let her know what time we’d be arriving tomorrow. There’s still so much that I wish we could have seen, and I regret not getting to Leiden, but with our limited time and illness it is just not possible.



For our final dinner in Holland we ended up at “Mezzaluna” for pizza and pasta. Unfortunately I couldn’t taste my food, nor smell it, but it looked tasty. Add in green tea and a hot chocolate and the meal came to 23€. Now back to our room to rest and take some more drugs, which aren’t working very well. Why is there no Advil Cold & Sinus here?!

{October 21 – 11:50 pm – Tüddern, Germany}
Woke up to the alarm at 8 am to start packing. Now I have one small suitcase, my purse, the Salzburg bag, and the Amsterdam bag, plus Jordan’s suitcase, all crammed with stuff. Yikes! At 10:45 am we went over to the bakery for a sandwich, cookie, and apple turnover (7.10€). I ate half the sandwich, Jordan had the cookie, and we packed away the food. Checked out a little before noon. Hopped on the #2 tram to Centraal Station and boarded the 12:38 pm Eindhoven train rather than the 1:38 pm due to a very tight transfer schedule between trains. We figured that, if we did happen to miss our connecting train, we wouldn’t be late for Tyler & Tammy. At Eindhoven we got on the bus to Weert, and then took the final train from Weert to Sittard (still in The Netherlands), arriving at 3:18 pm. Waited inside in the warmth til 4:45 pm for our ride. Long day, but it felt great to be back at our friends’ home. Later that evening we ordered food to be delivered: pizza, fries, and schnitzel. Didn’t eat much as I still was not feeling well. We watched “The Hangover” and then I took some Nyquil (yes, REAL drugs!) and fell asleep.

{October 22 – 11:12 pm – Tüddern, Germany}
This morning I was still sick so I decided to not accompany Tyler and Jordan to the Düsseldorf Airport. I had a granola bar and apple turnover for breakfast, and some water. My nose is sore. Jordan and I have our suitcases packed, finally. Tyler picked him up before lunch and left for the airport. Even though Jordan and I are parting today, with him heading back to work in the Middle East, I’m glad to be going home tomorrow. I had a nap from 1:30 to 3:30 pm and ate leftover pizza for dinner. Tammy and I watched the new “Robin Hood” movie and then I went to bed. Coughed all night.



{October 23 – 10:30 am – Tüddern, Germany}
We leave in an hour for the airport. I made myself some tea with sugar and peanut butter on toast for breakfast. Trying to stay away from milk, as that makes my cough worse. I have no idea how I am going to handle the two plane rides home in my state. My ears are plugged and I can hardly breathe. I should be in Toronto by 8:15 pm tonight, then a looooong drive home!

{October 23 – 3 pm EST – Somewhere Over Atlantic Ocean}
Tyler & Tammy drove me to Düsseldorf Airport. Before checking in I thanked them profusely for allowing us to stay with them. Got my boarding passes. The first flight to Amsterdam was only 30 minutes on a little plane. Once in Amsterdam, I found my gate after passport control. I’m on my way home! What an amazing trip!

***End of journal.

Made it home in one piece. The last flight home was great, no turbulence, however my plugged ears caused a lot of pain on the descent to Toronto Pearson Airport. Such excruciating pain, I don’t know how I stood it. During the flight I kept myself pumped with cold medication, otherwise I got coughing and couldn’t stop. Home sweet home.

Raise your glass *

Okay I know I still haven’t finished my posts about our trip to Europe from October, but I have been busy! I do plan on finishing the posts. 🙂 I also have a ton of photos from Jamaica that I would like to post as well. Jamaica was great! However, I never expected to go to the Caribbean and feel cold. Most of the days I wore long-sleeves because the breeze made me shiver and I was constantly covered in goose bumps. There was a bit of rain off and on throughout the beginning of the week we were there, but the last two days were absolutely beautiful and hot! So stay tuned for some upcoming travel posts…


Gift basket from Nancy & George


This weekend my good friend Nancy and her boyfriend George drove up for a visit. I hadn’t seem them since our wedding in August 2009. They arrived Saturday around lunch-time and we ended up spending the afternoon at the mall shopping. Poor George was so bored but Nancy and I really like to shop together! Then we went out for a quick bite to eat at Quizno’s. After eating we picked up my sister and came back to the house to hang out and snack on veggies with dip and crackers and cheese. While the boys played “Halo: Reach”, we baked a batch of Skor cookies. And then we sat down to eat the country chicken stew I had thrown into the slow cooker that morning.


Skor cookies

Moose steak

Candle holder from Bath & Body Works


On Sunday, we exchanged something at the mall and then headed downtown. We were lucky to have such nice weather this weekend. The sun was out and although the air was crisp, it definitely felt like spring was on its way. Found some used movies at “Chumleigh’s”. Drank green tea and a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. And then back home. I started to prepare shepherd’s pie for dinner while Jordan pan-fried a moose steak for him and George to sample. Both boys said the meat turned out good but I wouldn’t try it. Our guests had to leave early so they missed dinner, but it was great to have them here even for only 2 days. 🙂


Goodies from the gift basket

Alcoholic goodies

Except for the body scrub, another gift from Nancy!


Now, on Friday I had a bit of an incident. Initially I was not supposed to work that day but the schedule was changed while I was in Jamaica and I came home to discover that instead of a four-day weekend, I now had only three days. I had planned to clean, grocery shop, and bake that day. Instead I had to rush-clean Thursday night after work, didn’t bake anything, and then Friday morning I drove out to No Frills for groceries. I had to get home, dump the groceries, and then go to work. However, on my way back from the grocery store I was coming around a corner from one busy road to another with two lanes of turning traffic when all of a sudden the “check gauges” light dings on the truck dash, the vehicle shuts itself down, and the power-steering fails! I couldn’t keep the wheel turning because power-steering died (God knows I tried), I didn’t know what was going on, and I almost crashed into the vehicle turning beside me. That person must have saw me veering because he sped up and instead I ended up in a snow bank. Luckily I didn’t hit anyone or hurt the truck or myself! I sat there while traffic surged around me, in a panic and not knowing what to do! It took me two tries to call Jordan’s cell phone because I couldn’t remember the number (shock) and when I did get a hold of him, he said he’d be there in 20 minutes to tow me. I was afraid of getting hit by turning traffic since my truck wasn’t off the road enough. I texted my friend Stacey just so I could talk to someone while I waited, to calm myself down, and she said that she was right around the corner with her husband. So they came to my rescue! Her husband, Chris, works on cars so he got the truck going again and pulled it into a parking lot. I was so thankful! He looked under the hood and figured it was the Electronic Throttle Control that had failed, which also caused the power-steering to fail temporarily. There also happened to be an issue with the EGR valve. My poor truck! Once Jordan and a friend from his work arrived, we took the truck into the shop and spent almost $400 fixing the damn thing. 🙁 After all that, I wasn’t even late for work!