Last Sunday, the Regina Women’s Newcomer group (which I joined a few months ago) organized a trip to the monthly Victorian Tea’s hosted at Government House here in Regina. It is a wonderful event hosted by the Government House Historical Society, The hosts and servers are dressed up in period costumes and the event is held in one of the ballrooms with an amazing chandelier.
The tea and treats were fantastic, I especially loved the preserves that came with the homemade scones. Delish!
After the tea service, we got to wander around museum sections of Government House. Even coming across the fun photo opportunity seen below. Next to this “carriage” was a Victorian Tickle trunk filled with old gowns, hats etc. Suffice to say that the security guard had to come ask us to leave (it closed at 4) as we were having too much fun.
I am sad that it is only hosted once a month and so Mom will not be able to experience it when she visits next week . Supposedly, their Christmas tea is amazing and you have to get the draw list months in advance. Will have to try to remember that one.
I will also have to remember to re-visit in the summer when the huge Edwardian Gardens are in bloom. They too are supposed to be wonderful to wander through.
Slowly but surely finding some wonderful gems in Regina.
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Now that our flights are booked for Tara and Myrna’s Fabulous Cruise Adventure. I have turned my attention to figuring out what attractions are must-sees in Rome and at the various ports we will be stopping at over the course of our 11-day cruise. Originally, I was looking at taking tours at most ports but after some research have discovered that most ports are pretty easy DIY’s. I was especially concerned about Istanbul but that one looks to be the easiest of them all.
So far the tour/no tour is breaking down like this:
- Athens, Greece
- Ephesus, Turkey
- Naples, Italy
- Istanbul, Turkey
- Santorini, Greece
- Mykonos, Greece
In Istanbul, most of the key places I want to see are within walking distance to each other (e,g, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar) and all an easy tram ride away from the port. Both Greek Islands are compact, I think may be best experienced through random wandering. Frankly, here I could be happy finding ourselves a nice square and drinking a bottle of wine or a few glasses of Ouzito while watching the sunset. I am toying with the idea of scuba diving in Mykonos but we will have to see how I feel closer to the date. Scuba diving in Grand Cayman years ago is still one of my all time favorite travel experiences so I am both excited and leery to go in Mykonos. Plus, in Grand Cayman I went with friends while here I would have to make new ones
You are also probably thinking that we don’t really need a tour in Naples, but since I have previously been to Pompeii and ruins are not super high on Mom’s must-see list I have uncovered a tour that does olive oil, wine and limoncello tastings at a variety of places while touring the countryside. This is our last stop and so this tour may be a nice way to end the cruise. It is a bit pricey but I am trying to see what kind of group pricing is available as I have already begun chatting with others on our cruise at Cruise Critic.
With 146 days and counting, I am trying to at least budget out the most wanted tours so I can plan accordingly. Mom will be visiting next week and we will hopefully nail down a bit more detail for these tours as well as our plans for our days in Rome.
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*I wrote this last night and debated whether to share it here, but in the end decided that given so many of my other posts are related to my running thoughts and adventures that this to deserved to be here. *
Hearing of the events today at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon was deeply upsetting. I am grateful that I live in a part of the world that is relatively untouched from the terrorism and violence found elsewhere but when it does strike, for me it is that much more shocking . Some would argue that Regina is still very far away from Boston but Boston holds a special place in my heart. I celebrated my 30th birthday in its city limits and had watching the Boston Marathon live on my bucket list; although the kilometers are many the emotions and ties are not.
When I need to make sense of things, like many others out there, I run. However, tonight there was simply no distance long enough. But during that run, I sought to understand exactly why these events had so shaken me over 4000km away.
- For me, the Boston marathon is a place of legends. The Holy Grail of running. Growing up in an age of girl power, it shocked me to find out that women were not allowed to run the Boston marathon prior to 1972. Hearing about the courage and gumption of Kathrine Switzer who ran the 1967 race who cannily registered as K. V. Switzer and seeing the subsequent picture of other runners protecting her as the then race director tried to drag her off the course has served as endless inspiration to me. During some tough parts of my races, I have mentally pulled out the picture below and used it to focus on the moment rather than exhaustion or pain. This is a major part of what Boston means to me.
- Then there are the many war stories I have listened to about Boston over the years. Like children around a camp fire, runners love to tell their many tales while clocking their endless kilometers. I remember stories of lifelong friendship made on the course, the incredible support of the huge Boston crowds, adversity overcome and triumph found. Stories of lost dreams, like last year when the heat caused so many to drop out or defer to this year. To many of us, even more than the Olympics, it is Boston that holds our dreams. I long ago reconciled that I may never run Boston but that does not stop me from being in awe of all those who manage to qualify each year, Squeakers et al. I treasure those moments at my run clubs; those joyful moments of unity in the celebration of one person’s success.
- The running community is one of the most inclusive I have ever encountered. I am always amazed and inspired when runners of all levels run together and support each other. I have had a multiple Boston runner run with the back of the pack in my run groups; supporting and encouraging them with stories of his own challenges and achievements. His stories help clearly form a picture of what running the Boston Marathon must be like. In some ways, they have become the fairy tales of my adult life. Runners share not only their stories but also of themselves. It was this reason, I was not surprised to hear reports of runners heading to blood banks in Boston after finishing their race….why I was not surprised to hear that runners were out helping New York after the cancelled New York Marathon last fall. Runners help. It is one of the reasons I keep running, though injury and disappointment. The people you meet while running are amazing, whether for a moment during a race or those you train with daily, you will not find better.
- However, for me the most upsetting part is the actual placement of the destruction. Having crossed 30+ finish lines, I can safely say that some of my happiest moments were when those beautiful Finish banners came into view. No matter who amazing or brutal the race, each of my finish line moments was absolutely perfect. The final crescendo to months of endless training. In that one moment of selfish violence, that so many lost that feeling, that one perfect moment is completely devastating. Every one of those runner’s earned that moment, from the winners to the last across the line, they deserved that moment. How long will be me before many of us will be able to cross a finish line without thinking of today’s events?
Forgive the rambling above, but I needed to work it all out in my head. So much was flying around that it all needed to be sorted out and written down. Right now on Twitter and Facebook there are so many words about runners overcoming and I fear that we will need them in the days ahead. What will the events today mean for the other major running events all over the world? Our world has changed again and not for the better. However, tonight I will stick with Patton Oswalt thoughts below:
“So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”
Posted in Everyday life, Races | Leave a Comment »
After a 3 month hiatus, I not only had my first run outside but also my first race since Disney’s Wine and Dine in November. Now, Winter is not generally filled with races to begin with but I generally would have run at least 1 before now (St. Patrick’s Day Race in Ottawa). The thanks goes to one of my co-workers for talking me into joining her and her husband for a local race last Saturday. The Nutrition Run was a 6 loop around Wascana Park in support of Nutrition Month. When I signed up a few weeks ago, I was sincerely hoping some of the snow would have started to melt, however, we simply seem to have added to the current mountains. So far this Winter, we are at over 6 1/2 feet of snow and it beyond insane.
Luckily though, the temperature has started to warm up and to my absolute happiness and delight race day was fantastic. Due to my last experience running outside, I may have taken a page out of my friend Colin’s book and overdressed as I was roasting within the first 10 minutes. Suffice to say, my jacket, gloves and hat came off in record time. As I have mentioned before, plowing is next to non-existent here so the route was like running on a beach. Although, if I wanted to run on a beach I would have gone to a MUCH warmer location….perhaps with a lovely palm tree or to. My parents head to Cuba in a few days and I think I am having some travel envy.
The first 3k of the race was brutal. G & B told me before we all started that they had run this same race last year in 32 minutes. Based on that time, I figured they would be leaving me in the dust as I generally only run 5k in that time. However, they have been having a similar winter to me and I was able to stay a few feet behind them for the first 3k and then for whatever reason in front for the last 3k. Normally, it takes me about 5k to really feel comfortable and ready to go but this time, it was at the 3 k point (although it certainly felt like 5). I am very happy that I felt relaxed and still full of energy at the finish.
Look Ma, no coat
Gotta love a good post-race meal
Now that this is under my belt, I will sign up for the Music for the Sole 10k in April which dovetails nicely into half training starting in May for the Queen City Half in early September. There are not nearly the amount of races to choose from in SK as there is in ON so I may have to keep ear out. Will definitely miss doing the Midsummer 15k in Toronto as I really enjoyed it last year. Strangely enough, I will most likely not miss the 5 Mile Kilt run in Perth this June.
Although, I am still mostly still on my treadmill; the end is hopefully near. I am really, really hoping to get outside on a more regular basis starting in mid April. That is if I don’t need a boat given the sheer amount of snow that will need to melt After 5 months of cold and white, I am absolutely ready for Spring!
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WooHoo!!! Cruise is booked. Mom and I head to Rome at the end of September for a 11-cruise with stops in Italy (Rome/Naples), Greece (Athens, Santorini, Mykonos) and Turkey (Istandbul/Ephesus) .
Booking the cruises, however, seems to in fact be the easy part. Now we have to decide on:
- How long to stay in Rome
- To go early or stay late?
- Where to stay in Rome? I am leaning towards the vicinity of the Trevi Fountain but the Vatican could work as well.
- What port excursions to book.
- Whether to book through the cruise line or another agency.
- What drink package to go with?
- Open seating or reserved seating for dinner?
- Early or late seating for dinner?
Most of these are really preference-based but having no experience is making it very hard. Either way, I truly believe that a trip is what you make of it so no matter what it will be an awesome trip. Plus, I have picked a few guidebooks to help inform some of these decisions:
The best (and hardest) advice I have seen so far is the pack half the clothes and bring double the money . I can be a bit intense with my planning so the key will be for me not to over schedule us to the point of exhaustion. So much to see and so little time.
Any advice or must-sees welcome…..
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Because I am generally happiest when planning my next adventure, I have started to look into fun and exciting things to do in Chicago this June. I will be attending the American Library Association (ALA) conference from June 17-July 1 but am adding on a few days in the front and will be joined by some great friends.
I was lucky enough to attend ALA 4-5 years ago (also in Chicago) and LOVED it. I got to attend some amazing sessions as well as meet both Charlaine Harris and Judy Blume (heaven!). I am very excited to see who will be attending this year. It takes some serious planning to balance the sessions with the sensory overload that is the exhibit hall. This conference draws in about 30,000+ librarians from around the world so it can get intense and packed very quickly. Lesson #1 was never get between a librarian and free swag. Lesson #2 was bring your own food to the conference center. Now that I have those 2 lessons down, this conference should be much smoother.
As for the pre-conference activities, I hope to take a culinary tour with Tastebud Tours. They offer 3 hour walking tours that take you to 5-6 locations to taste all the best Chicago has to offer. Rumour has i,t you even visit the bakery where the brownie was invented. Add that to Deep-Dish pizza and the Chicago style hot dog and it sounds like a wonderful way to spend and afternoon n’est pas? I have also been told to try the Chicago popcorn which is supposedly a mix of cheese and caramel. Only because this comes from a reliable source will I add it to the list as my first thought is yuk. But I have been told is amazing and in a good way.
I would also like to take a tour from the Chicago Architecture Foundation. They offer walking, biking, boat and Segway tours. It will be a tough choice to pick a type but I have heard they are all good. However, I am leaning towards either Segway or boat as the means of travel. For those of you unfamiliar with Segway, I mean this:
Chicago by Segway
A trip to the Sears Tower may also be in order. I am a huge wimp when it comes to heights but I have 4 months to psych myself up to this:
Sears Tower lookout
I love have things to look forward to and I am definitely looking forward to visiting one of my favorite cities again, especially with good friends. You just can’t go wrong!
Posted in Travel, Work | Tagged ALA2013, Chicago | 1 Comment »
Moving to a new city is always (in my experience) slightly traumatizing. You need to learn the most basic things all over again – best take-out, closest drug store, fastest route to work etc. Moving in the winter adds some extra excitement. I have now been in Regina 3 ½ months and am starting get a better feel for the city as well as rarely getting lost.
During my time so far there have been things that I love and others that cause rage induced rants. I would like to share some of each with you now.
- Snow Plowing of roads seems to be next to non-existent. One of the pictures below is of a street in the downtown core 1 week after our last snow fall.
- Snow Plowing of side-walks also next to non-existent. With the warmer weather we have been experiencing (-5ish) I would normally be outside running. However, due to the state of the sidewalks I am very leery to run outside. I have already taken 3 falls this winter and my left knee is still recovering from the last one.
- Car Insurance must be purchased through Saskatchewan Government Insurance which makes it much more expensive for less coverage. Nothing I like more than paying more for less.
- Saskatchewan is really hard to spell.
However, you will note that some of these are seasonal so hopefully will be resolved with the advent of spring. Plus, there are also many things I really like.
- Walking to work in the morning; even in the winter Regina is a beautiful city.
- Wascana park is less than 1 km away and it a lovely spot to run, walk and bike in all seasons. Interestingly enough, the paths here are better maintained than the city sidewalks.
- You can get just about anywhere in about 15 minutes.
- The supportiveness of the business community. Not only to the library but also to each other. Businesses in the downtown core seem to genuinely like and support each other. Restaurants re-tweet and comment on each other’s specials and news, fashion boutiques recommend each other etc . A definite understanding that the success of one equals success for the others.
- My co-workers. I had amazing co-workers at Ottawa Public and am delighted that the trend continued at Regina Public. Although the job itself can be challenging (where in Library School did it cover flooding?) my co-workers have been wonderfully supportive and eager to share their knowledge.
I have no doubt that more things will come up on both sides as I continue to explore and adjust.
This week-end, I visited the Saskatchewan Science Center to check out their new traveling exhibit: da Vinci Inventions. Leonardo da Vinci is probably best known for his Art but he was also one of the greatest inventors, scientists, and thinkers of all time. This exhibit was really interesting as it had some life-size re-creations of da Vinci’s drawings. Very cool stuff. There was even one for his version of a tank. I had no idea he had invented so many weapons, even if many of them never left the page. Beyond the exhibit, I also explored the overall museum and must say that I especially liked the section on light. Some of the science exhibits were desperately in need of repair, like well-loved toys but overall a fun way to spend the afternoon. It had the perfect ending with an Imax showing of Skyfall. I am admittedly a little behind on this one but it was a wonderful movie and I am very happy to have seen it in the theater before picking up the blu-ray.
Overall, I am enjoying my time in Regina and am REALLY looking forward to spring so I can start to explore more. I had a to brief visit to Saskatoon in December that I am eager to repeat as well as venture to Moose Jaw to check out their Temple Gardens Mineral Spa. Both maybe on the agenda for my mother’s visit in May, absolutely something to look forward to.
Injury from my last fall. Still sore after 2 weeks.
Gotta love the sidewalks.
This road was last plowed when?
Light and Heat at Science Center
da Vinci mirrior box to study all angles.
Playing with light at the Science Center
Posted in Everyday life | Tagged Regina | 1 Comment »