Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Latest Obsession

About a year ago, I happened to turn on x96 at a time when they were playing every song from Ingrid Michaelson's album Girls and Boys.  Her music is sweet and her lyrics can be quite profound and tender.  It seems that lately, any time I hear a song I like, it is Ingrid.  Here are some of my favorites (and by favorites I mean I listen to them on repeat at least three times a day each...) along with my favorite lines: 

Be Ok: I'm a gallery of broken hearts; I'm beyond repair, let me be; And give me back my broken parts

The Way I Am: Cuz I love the way you say good morning; And you take me the way I am

Far Away: He will take care of me, he will smell like the sea, And close to my heart he'll always stay

You and I: Well you might be a bit confused; And you might be a little bit bruised; But baby how we spoon like no one else; So I will help you read those books; If you will soothe my worried looks; And we will put the lonesome on the shelf

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

One of these things is not like the other


On a day like today, the train should not be allowed to be five minutes late.  In fact, it should be required to arrive early and have steaming cups of hot cocoa awaiting you as you board. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Learned While Making Dinner

This evening, I am making this pizza with this dough for dinner.  Things I learned in the process:

  • The dough recipe attached to the first link is no bueno.  It doesn't work at all.
  • I LOVE kneading bread dough.  It's simple, it's easy, it's fun.  And it's something humans have done since the dawn of time.  I always like doing things that are basic not only to the history of the human race but to my family specifically.  I grew up making bread with me mum and I love every part of it.  
  • If you are making dough on a winter evening and need a warm place to let it rise...use the dishwasher! I ran my dishwasher right before I started cooking.  After the dough was ready, I couldn't find anywhere to put it.  I happened to brush up against my dishwasher and realized how warm and cozy it was.  So in went the covered dough.  Perfect.  It's rising as I blog. 
  • Though I don't consider myself a chef, I am getting better at it.  All my life, I have been the one who has to follow a recipe step by step.  I measure everything exactly as written.  No flair, no improv, no risk taking.  But as I cook more, I have started deviating from the recipes (I know! right?).  Nothing big, mind you, but definitely more than I used to.  This evening's example?  The recipe calls for one clove of crushed garlic to be sprinkled on top of the pizza.  While I love garlic, I am not a fan of biting into a chunk of it.  I decided to infuse the required olive oil with the garlic so I get the flavor but not the chunks.  To those professional (Helm) chefs reading this, I know this the reinvention of the wheel, but I was proud of myself for thinking of it. 
  • No one seems to agree on how to make a margherita pizza.  Every recipe includes the same ingredients and they all start with putting olive oil on the dough and end with basil on top.  The middle part, however, is up for debate.  Do you put the mozzarella down first, or the tomatoes?  Is the parmesan sandwiched between the crust and mozzarella, or sprinkled on top of the tomatoes?  It's a mystery. 
  • I want to try a thin crust recipe next time.  It tastes good but it is thicker than I like.  I enjoy a good Italian thin crust.  Enjoying the toppings is where it's at for me, not getting full on crust.  But it's good for the first time around.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Change of Pace

It took a loooooong time to find it, but I picked a layout I REALLY like.  Hopefully you do too :)

That Sounds Unnatural!

Onken Biopot Wholegrain Peach Yogurt.  These words confuse most people, but they make my mouth water.  This is in the list of top five things I am excited about moving to England for.  If this sounds ridiculous to you, you MUST come visit me so you can try it and fall in love.  (A smooth, natural, delicious love.)  You will start with the Peach Wholegrain, then sample the Rhubarb & Vanilla and then (if you haven't gone into a happiness coma yet) the Mango, Papaya and Passionfruit blend.  Sooooo worth the plane ticket!!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

I Need a Thing

When I was nine, I wrote to all the embassies in New York and asked them if they would send me a flag of their country. It was amazing. Not only did I get a bucket full of flags (from toothpick sized - thanks Australia - to huge wall sized ones - Go Canada!), but also books, pictures, brochures, videos, and more with information about every country you could image. At an age where I looked forward to my birthday just because I actually got something in the mail, I was rolling in packages. Every day our mailbox was overflowing with overstuffed envelopes for me to eagerly rip open. The whole thing was my dad's idea really. He had a friend who did the same thing when they were in school so he thought it would be a fun project. That it was.

Since graduation, I have been busy but I haven't had much purpose. I caught up on some great TV shows (the wire, the office, coupling, and more) and spent some much-needed catch up time with friends. Nevertheless, I don't feel like I am working toward anything and its a little boring  (yes, I know I have a lot of planning to do but it doesn't really take up that much time).  Last week, I read the One Cent Stand blog and laughed my ass off. The guy's resolution was to buy 100 stamps and send 100 letters. That's it, but boy are they hilarious. Reading the responses he received made me remember how fun it was to do that kind of thing. So, what I am getting at is, I need a thing. Something to work on, something to be excited about, something fun. I would say, "Throw out some suggestions!" but only two people read this as far as I know (though they are awesome and may have some awesome ideas :). If you have any suggestions please tell me. I'll keep thinking and let you know what I come up with.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

At the Guest House, we got in the habit of recording the funny/memorable things people share. The tradition has remained strong among my friends (Erin providing some of the most priceless examples).  My current job doesn't lend itself as well to crazy funny situations, but throughout the day I talk to a lot of funny people.  Its nice to speak with older folks because they are in no rush.  They want to chit chat and give you advice about life, love and everything else.  They are the best part of my job.  Sadly, there are many amazingly funny things I can't share with you (everything from funny names and IDs to ridiculous jokes and bad puns)  :(  damn those privacy policies.  Some things I can share, however, so I think I will. 

Today's Quotes (after all the build up for funny things, these are not really.  They are more in the advice column...):

"You have a good day and don't you let anyone change it."

"Every day is a good day, some are just a little better than others."

Conversation of the day: 
If you were stuck on a desert island, would you rather be stuck with Brad Pitt or George Clooney?  This quickly morphed into, if you were there for a long time and would eventually have to eat one of them, who would you choose?  Which then led to a discussion of how the eating would take place and eventually the line of the day "I wouldn't roast 'em on a spit cause then the arms would flail around when you turn them."

The Big News

Though I found out nearly two weeks ago, I have yet to mention the big news.  This is partly due to the fact that I have been quite busy, but mostly due to the fact that the more places I announce it, the more real it is.  Of course, it's great that it's real.  Amazing, in fact.  Something that I have been excited about for a long time.  But now it's real.  Not just a fantasy that I slip into during the long silent moments between calls at work.  Now it means lots of "To Do / To Research / To Ask / To Not Freak Out About" lists.  Throughout the day, I think of more and more things that I need to think about and start working on.  This type of project is something that I usually throw myself into all the way but for some reason I just get overwhelmed and put it off.  Don't get me wrong.  It's going to happen whether I'm ready or not and I am more than ecstatic about that.  Maybe it's because I have so much time before it actually happens that I don't feel the pressure to start.  In my Organizational Behavior class, we learned that people don't usually start working on a project until about the half-way point.  They have a burst of energy and get a lot done, then they stop and don't do anything again until right before the deadline.  So maybe I'm waiting for that internal pressure to tell me that I need to get my ass in gear.  Or maybe I just have so many emtions involved that I don't know where I'm at once I start.  Either way, it needs to happen.  I have to figure out a way to break it up a little and chip away at it.  I'll keep you updated on my progress...later.    


The problem with blogging is that once I start, I think in blog.  I want to talk about everything.  To share the funny things that happen during the day, to gush about the exciting things coming up, and to escape from the fears and stresses I have. I frequently think of things I want to post and write notes for when I have time later.  But when later comes I think, "no one else will find that as funny/interesting/thought provoking as I did, so maybe not."  (Even on my own blog I am afraid of bothering people with too many posts.  Not that anyone other than a few close friends really reads this).  My friends in the photography business say that you should only show people your best photos so they think you are a brilliant photographer.  There are thousands of pics they never share.  I sometimes feel that's how blogs should be; the most interesting stories in your life.  How does one know which tales are the best though without sharing them all and letting other people be the judge.  Besides, they may be silly posts but they make me smile and hopefully they do the same for you from time to time.  So I will post away with reckless abandon : )

Monday, November 23, 2009

People That Intrigue Me

I am an unabashed people-watcher. It's fascinating. While I enjoy sitting on a bench and watching people go by, it always makes me happy when I have a regular that I can follow (but not a creepy stalker way). Public transit is full of interesting folks and when you ride the same train every day, you get to know them (ok, not so much "know" them as watch their daily routine, but it makes you feel like you know them a little). I tend to make up backgrounds for these people in my mind. I'll never know their real story but it's a fun game anyway.

Who I see: The guy who always has a hat that matches his outfit. The same hat. I am convinced he has at least four of the exact same hats in different colors. He rides the train every morning to Sam Weller's for coffee.
What I thinkHe is a retired writing professor who loves the smell of old bookstores. He wakes up at 5am on the dot, no alarm necessary. Every morning he gets ready in precisely the same order before walking to the train station where he arrives at 6:21. He is bothered when UTA changes the TRAX schedule because he has to adjust his routine by three minutes.

Who I see: The little old man who walks the same path to work every day, at the same quick pace, with his head tilted down exactly the same way (he also wears a hat but unlike the first guy, it is actually the same hat).
What I think: He has done this every day for at least 50 years.  Working at the church office building defines him.  He has a wife, five kids and a plethora of grand and great-grandchildren.  He is an accountant who was raised by Depression era parents so he was taught to watch every penny.  As such, he is a saver and probably could have retired ages ago, but he just can't imagine not working.       

Who I see: M.A. (Formerly known as "Creepy Trax Guy")
What I think: ok, ok, all pedophile jokes aside, I feel bad for him.  He has been a constant in my world for nearly four years now and I have never ever once seen him with another human being.  (And, ironically enough, I have never heard his voice.)  For a long time he rode the train with two of his co-workers, yet they never sat together and talked, never walked to work together, nothing.  If he didn't freak me out so much, I might try to be his friend. 

Who I see: The middle aged hispanic man who has his bike with him on the train every afternoon at 4:02.
What I think: He is happy.  Life is simple for him and, while it may not be easy (riding a bike in the freezing cold sucks ass), he finds lots of little things to be happy about.  His family is important to him.  He has a granddaughter who is about five.  She has pigtails, loves pink, and likes to sit on his lap while he tells her stories until she falls asleep.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

And Now, O My Journal!

He advised me to keep a journal of my life, fair and undisguised.  He said it would be a very good exercise, and would yield me infinite satisfaction when the ideas were faded from my remembrance.  I told him that I had done so ever since I left Scotland.  He said he was very happy that I pursued so good a plan.  And now, O my journal! art thou not highly dignified? Shalt though not flourish tenfold?  No former solicitations or censures could tempt me to lay thee aside; and now is there any argument which can outweigh the sanction of Mr. Samuel Johnson?  He said indeed that I should keep it private, and that I might surely have a friend who would burn it in case of my death.  For my own part, I have at present such an affection for this my journal that it shocks me to think of burning it.  I rather encourage the idea of having it carefully laid up among the archives of Auchinleck.  However, I cannot judge fairly of it now.  Some years hence I may.  I told Mr. Johnson that I put down all sorts of little incidents in it.  "Sir," said he, "there is nothing too little for so little a creature as man.  It is by studying little things that we attain the great knowledge of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible." [16 July 1763]

Boswell's London Journal

Monday, November 9, 2009

Her Name is Noelle, But Usually Not

While I have complained before about the names people call me, I do genuinely like my name.  It is definitely uncommon and, I think, quite lovely.  Ok, so that's how I feel ten months out of the year.  The season is currently turning to the one I like least when it comes to that subject...Christmas.  Friends, coworkers, clients will all break out into song at unexpected times during the next eight weeks.  Most of them on purpose to annoy me, but some of them out of sincere excitement for the season.  (side note ~ if you want to sing my name, please go this route instead)  I get a lot of, "oh, you must be born at Christmas!" along with "this is your time of year, I guess!" and "Merry Noel, Noelle!"  A strange phenomenon, to say the least.  That being said, even out of season my name has some kind of magical power over people.  When they do, in fact, know my name, they still insist on giving me another name entirely.  I find it quite endearing.  So many people have given me nicknames that they and they alone call me.  Its quite an interesting social experiment, really.  I decided I should share:

Aunt Nollie
Sister Christmas
The First
Miss 25
Elle (my new favorite :)

More exist currently, or will in the near future I'm sure, but that's the list for now.



Sunday, November 8, 2009

English Patience, Sore Bottoms, and Brutal Honesty

English Patience

Tomorrow will be Day 8 in my ten-day wait for the results of my graduate school application.  Overall, I am doing well with the waiting.  Every once in a while (usually every day on my way home to check my email), I have a minor panic attack about the impending response to my request.  I want very much to be accepted.  My dream for a long time has been to move to England.  I don't know if I want to be there for the rest of my life or just a while.  All I know is that my heart has been set on it for years.  That being said, I'm terrified.

Moving away from home is a big deal.  My family, my friends, my comfort zones are all in SLC.  I love to travel and have no concerns when I am required to do so alone, but a year is quite a different tale.  Moving to London, I would be among fellow students who have left home to go to school as well, and hope that we would have that connection, if nothing else.  England does have some built-in comfort zones for me though.  Some of my favorite people live there and the prospect of being so close to them is really exciting for me.  All told, I am eager to hear the answer and, hopefully, start planning for my year abroad (and try not to be sad about the things I will miss out on by being gone).

(One of the many people I love in England.  Who would not want to spend time with this cutie pie?)

Sore Bottoms

Somehow I have been keeping myself extremely busy since finishing school.  I thought I would have all kinds of spare time.  Time to blog, time to sleep, time to wander around the park and pontificate.  Those things have happened but in far smaller doses than I originally anticipated.  I read a lot for a while, but was slowed to only a couple of books last month.  A large chunk of that time was devoted to my application for school, I suppose, but still.

One of the biggest things I regret not having time for is exercise.  I really do enjoy being active and, as my job precludes me from moving more than about two feet a day, I need to move about after work to not go insane.  I started the P90X program last week but was unable to do it every day like I hoped to (good reasons though, a cute boy one night and a book club the other, both of which I am willing to make the sacrifice for any time :).  As a result, I was feeling particularly lazy this week.  So I biked to Lagoon yesterday.  For any of you unfamiliar with the reference, I'll just tell you that it is far.  Really far.  Twenty-five miles far.  My intent was to bike there and back.  I want to train for a century ride next May so I figured if I could do fifty right up front, then 100 would be easy peasy.  My legs were tired but I made it there and was ready to stretch and get psyched up for the ride home.  My heart skipped a beat, however, when at the end of my ride I saw my salvation.  The bright, shiny, Frontrunner train waiting to take me home.  That's when I realized I should probably not push it too hard for the first ride.  Clearly my body was ready to be done.  I did momentarily debate about whether I should pony up and finish my ride, but the internal dilemma was short and to the point.  Every part of me was tired.  I know I could have made it about ten miles more but that would have left me stranded at the Davis County border with no chance of a ride home for miles.  So I took the train.  Flash forward to this morning... my muscles are barely sore (certainly not as much as they are from one hour of the P90X stuff).  What really isn't feeling so awesome is the muscles right at the "bottom" of my tailbone.  :(  who knew that it could hurt so much?  Having done long rides before, I know its always uncomfortable for a bit after you stop riding and start walking (or even better, sitting), but wow, this time is definitely different.  Those few extra miles really do push the limit.

Brutal Honesty

The world of blogs, facebook, and the like allow us all to share our thoughts the second we think them.  We humans seem to have a pre-programmed desire to have our voices heard through the noise of the world.  Its almost therapeutic.  Hate that customer that just yelled at you?  Talk about it on facebook and your feelings will instantly be validated by your friends and peers.  She's a bitch and you're a hero, nothing else to it.  Think of something witty to say when you are all alone?  Post it on facebook and sit back as the comments roll in.  Our obvious desire to be connected to those we care about is catered to by thousands of websites and handheld devices.  But what about the times you want to complain about those you are connected to?  It may seem that we can say whatever we want, but social complexities still exist.  Your roommate avoided the dishes again?  Say something online.  Or maybe not.  You know he will read it, as will the mutual friends you have.  Then you are the jerk who aired your dirty laundry online and even worse, did it about something menial and insignificant.  It's as if someone told us, "If you have comments or judgements about strangers then by all means, post away.  But if you have grievances about those closest to you keep your mouth shut."  A strange kind of self-censorship takes place online as a result.  Similar to writing a journal, putting our thoughts somewhere other than our heads lets us analyze them from a different perspective (even better when we can hear others' responses to what we have to say).  But can we ever be brutally honest online?  I have to say no.  It is far too easy to hurt others while writing for our own catharsis.  Unless you are writing anonymously, be careful what you say online.  

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Go Postal !!!

Due to my new-found freedom, I have been filling my time with things other than blogging. However, now that my travels are done for the year :( I have time to get back to it. I will post the Bama pictures shortly. Until then, here's the latest news:

I have been working quite a bit on my application for graduate school. Things are starting to come together which makes me simultaneously giddy and nauseated. I received my new passport last week, as well as my official transcript (which means my diploma is probably not far behind :). I have two professors on board to write letters of recommendation. Yesterday, I sent them all the info they asked for so they can write a glowing review of me and my amazingness. So all that remains is to write my final application letter along with another essay about why it would be awesome for the school to help me with some of my tuition. As soon as that's all together, the application is off. The school says I should be notified of their decision within 10 days. So, for those of you who see me regularly, be prepared for a few days of anxiety-ridden text messages. I will keep you "post"ed. (That was for Alex. For the rest of you, I apologize).

As I alluded to at the beginning, I recently went to visit E in Bama. It was a lot of fun. We ate some yummy food, saw some crazy football fans, and watched us some Buffy. Good times were had by all.

This is not news so much as a side comment, but my friends rock. Sara participated in a triathalon this weekend so she kicks ass in the literal sense. Brandon, Alex and I went to support her. Sitting on the sidelines, watching athletes on a beautiful Saturday morning was hard work, but we managed. We ended up sitting by two guys that seemed to know quite a bit about the event so we learned a lot as well. Whether any of it was true we will never know, but we feel more well informed and that is what it's all about really, right?

That evening, we went to the Bayou to eat a bunch of greasy food and have a few drinks- no pear cider though : ( . I choose to document the following story purely to embrass Brandon. He had to leave before the rest of us due to prior party plans. He asked for the check and, when the server gave it to him, he got pissed off because she had not included a pen. So he asked the girls at the table for one but found no success. Catching the servers eye proved difficult as well so he just stewed in his annoyance for a bit. When she finally came by, he asked her for a pen and she was happy to oblige. It wasn't until Kelly caught Brandon surruptitiously sliding his credit card into the bill folio that the whole story came to light. He had not given her his card yet and therefore had nothing to sign with his much-needed pen. To those of you absent from the proceedings, this may not make you giggle quite as much as it did me. His eagerness to hide his embarassment upon discovering his error was as great as my desire to make sure everyone heard the tale. That, my friends is true schadenfreude.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Name of the Game

When you have a name like mine, you get used to people misunderstanding it. "You know. Like Christmas" tends to be the most successful way to get the message across. Most of the time, people ask for clarification and, after hearing it, still look at me with a thoughtful gaze. This look, of course, betrays any attempt they make at appering to understand the words coming out of my mouth. So then they just call me Nicole. Yeah. My name IS NOT NICOLE! Phew. That felt good. That being said. Here are some other names that I have been called:


What do people call you?

Update:  Brundle.  Yeah, another name.  WTF?

New for this week: Millow, Llewelyn, Holly and Melanie

And for this week: Melar and Norell

11/23: Kim

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Things that made me happy this weekend:

Once a year or so, I try to go to San Diego to visit my sis. Here are some pics from this year's trip.

Cami at the wonderful Persian restaurant we ate at

This puppy is quite easily the most adorable creature of all time. She is perfect. Perfect size, perfect personality, perfect hunting skills....kind of. Well she tries at least. The above picture is her pouncing on a lizard in the bushes. And below, she is attacking a stuffed hedgehog type thing from the comfort of her bed. Spoiled pup.

Friday morning, I rented a bike and wandered around by the ocean. It took a bit of time to get used to riding a cruiser but I got there eventually. It's been a long time since I had to use my feet to brake. I kept grabbing the handlebars and panicking when there was nothing there to help me stop. Luckily the first place I rode to wasn't very crowded.

After riding around the bay, I wandered down to Mission Beach, up through Pacific Beach and near La Jolla. The ride was lovely. Due to a slightly overcast sky, the area was not overly crowded so I could take in the views while I was riding. The houses along the seafront are beautiful. The owners take great pride in their ocean-front views and have decked out (ha!) their patios appropriately.

After lunch, I returned my bike and made my way to the water. I love wandering along the beach. There aren't many things more soothing than the roar of the ocean. The weather was perfect for me (overcast and a few drops of rain) but these sun-bathing Californians did not agree. A few sprinkles of rain came down and the whole beach emptied in about ten minutes. Bliss. I had the whole beach practically to myself. And because they had left so quickly, I was able to take advantage of the vacated dry spots. So I sat and finished my book, Going Solo, by Roald Dahl.

I hate seaweed. Fiercely. But I thought this was pretty. The beach is loaded with piles of the horrible stuff. But I've never seen it glitter before. Looking up close, there are hundreds of teensy shells parked on this leaf (frond? pod? not sure what its called really). It really did shimmer in the sun.

This link is in no way related to the following pictures, except that it mentions brain surgery. I kept thinking about it the whole time we were at the prehistoric brain surgery exhibition. That's right. Prehistoric. That means rocks. Brain surgery and rocks. It is as bad as you are imagining.

Please note that the area labeled "1" shows a hole being scraped out with the mostly blunt edge of a rock. Through a skull. Awesome.

And now for better uses for the brain...the art market in Balboa Park. The art varied significantly between booths. Everything from clay, to jewelry, to woodwork, to dresses made of board game pieces. We liked this guy a lot though. His materials are free (color cards from the paint section at Home Depot cut into tiny tiny pieces) and he makes beautiful mosaics. He said he had been working on this piece for about a month so far.

Being the fan of dessert that I am, I had to share this with you. I present: The Poached Pear in Caramel Sauce with Pistachios. aMAZing!!! We ate this at the Persian restaurant referred to at the top of this post. Pears are delectable anyway, but put an incredibly light, fragrant caramel sauce on top and you just might die. Now if only i could find a recipe....

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Rocky Mountain Midwest

When did Utah slide to the eastern side of the Rocky's in Americans' collective geographic memory? Twice in the last couple of weeks, Utah has been referred to as a midwest locale. Am I missing something?

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Graduate

Warning: Try as I might, I was unable to produce a continuous loop of "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme" for your background music enjoying pleasure. So you will have to just imagine...

Last Saturday was a rite of passage for me (though if I am supposed to feel like a new person, it hasn't happened yet). My family and I, along with some of my wonderful friends, celebrated my graduation from the University of Utah. That's right, folks. I am now officially a graduate. No attractive older gentlemen tried to seduce me that evening, unfortunately. But we had a grand ole time nonetheless.

Before I show you all the bawdy and incriminating photos, there are stories to be told. More like A story, I suppose but if I say A Story then it sounds like it should be something really good. Something worth hearing. It really isn't but I had some pics to show you so I will tell you about them.
On Thursday evening, as we were making our second round to the airport for family arrivals, we had an unplanned adventure. I noticed a torrent pouring out from my parents shrubberies (must be said with a shrill British accent). My mom and I tried, to no avail, to shut it off using every method we could think of. After exhausting our options, we decided it must be a water main issue. So the city came out and fixed it up. That sounds like it happened quickly, and it really wasn't too long once we got the right people. The biggest delay was due to us trying to figure out whom to call. I'll save you the step in the future. The Department of Public Utilities. In the meantime, a house full of 14 people had no running water.

And now on to the matter at hand. The Party...

My mom and I highlighting her culinary masterpiece

Chris and Charity

The kids

Rueben Loaf. Actually from earlier in the week but it was sooo yummy!!!

Catch Phrase: A guaranteed laugh fest

Holly, Cody, Alex, Me, Chris, Charity

I have no idea

My cute parents

How dare you give me a flower?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Canadian Getaway

After finishing my final final last Thursday, I was more than ready for a getaway. My criterion were specific but not too demanding, in my opinion. The rules were:
A city
Somewhere not in Utah
Where I don't know anyone
Preferably haven't been before
I presented this list to several people and was less than satisfied with their suggestions. When I finally had the chance to ask E (one of my favorite-est people of all time) what she thought, her answer was almost instantaneous. Vancouver! And this is why I love her. She knew exactly what I was going for and a more perfect location could not have been suggested. A city...on the water...right by mountains...where I don't know anyone...and have never been before. Needless to say, the weekend was amazing. Here are the highlights (not in chronological order) :

The Cambie Gastown hostel. The prices were cheap, the accommodations clean, and the shower strong. All you could ask for in a shelter.

Vancouver's Public Library was designed by the same architect as the Salt Lake City Library. Here is some history if you are interested. For those of you familiar with the library in Salt Lake, the next picture should look familiar.

I spent about three hours at the library finishing up my last paper. I cried and then almost high-fived a stranger (in the end I refrained so as not to look like a looney) after I finally submitted it. I was pretty excited.

As per Kat's suggestion, I headed to Stanley Park to visit the Aquarium. First, I rented a bike and trekked around the outer edge, which is all seafront. The views are unbelievable from pretty much every point along the path.

After my bike ride, I wandered back into the aquarium. I arrived just as the dolphin show was starting which is always entertaining. :)

This sculpture is in the fountain just outside the front doors.

And this is a picture I took for E. He was just so sad looking. I wanted to take him home and protect him. These marketers are good.

At one point I was really pooped from all the walking and I happened to see a little green spot out the corner of my eye. I wandered up a little staircase and found this:

So I sat down and read for a while. It was lovely.

On Sunday I went to Granville Island and wandered around the markets. There was a lot of really interesting things to see and soooo much delicious food to drool over. I was a big fan of the bread stand. I was able to resist the temptation but just barely. Everything looked delectable.

After the markets, I wandered around along the seawall. I came across these dragon boats hiding under the Burrard St. Bridge. Every year, Vancouver holds a HUGE dragon boat race. Read more about it here. It looks like a lot of fun. Perhaps I will be back in town next June :)

After crossing the bridge, I headed into the West End area. The Davie Community Garden caught my eye. The gardens are incredibly well kept. Wandering around them was very peaceful (especially as the rain had just stopped and the sun came out).

Here are some funny things I saw over the course of the weekend:

My last night in town, I ate at the Steamworks restaurant. The spicy pizza I had was amazing and perfectly complemented my Blueberry Mojitos. A lovely end to a lovely trip.

If you want to see the rest of the pics....check them out!