Moving House

The day we were supposed to leave Zephyrhills, we were surrounded by a moat.The rain had pored solid for several hours through the night. It sounded like golf balls on the aluminum skin of our trailer. And when we woke up, a giant puddle emerged where the drop zone once stood. It just wasn’t our time to depart … all things for a reason. Kismet. fate, whatever you want to call it. And on this day, we learned that our dear friend Minna had to leave her comfy warm trailer, enduring the rest of her stay in a tent. Tomorrow. I was shocked by the suddenness and the reasoning why hardly no notice was given? Breathe, move beyond what the possibility for change and look at what I can do.

The answer lay in the weather. We postponed our trip to Sarasota by a day, unable to really move our trailer through the sandy muck, for fear of getting stuck. Another reason for extending our stay by a day? It was imperative to be here for Minna … to help our friend in need to move her belongings or do anything that we were capable of in making her life simpler and less stressful. We needed to set up her new home, and in the interim, do a rain dance so as to keep the rain away for the duration of her 3 week stay).

The day we left our Zhills winter home, the sun shone brightly, the puddles had evaporated, making it easier for Minna to maneuver her wheelchair without getting stuck in the quagmire. She had an abundance of belongings and I truly couldn’t imagine her moving all of this on her own. Minna has achieved such feats on her own, many a time before, but I am thankful we could be here for her. The burden of stuff is powerful, especially when life may slow you down when you least expect it. I was certainly going to miss Minna. She was a huge part of my adventure and journey whilst camping at Zhills.

Our next destination, Sarasota, is south of the Tampa Bay Area and north of Fort Myers by about 2 hours either way. Its current official limits include Sarasota Bay and several barrier islands between the bay and the Gulf of Mexico. These islands separating Sarasota Bay from the gulf near the city, known as keys, include Lido Key and Siesta Key, which are famous worldwide for the quality of their sandy beaches. We were lucky enough to receive a personal invitation from our old Frontier skydiving friend, Patrick and his wife Ann, to come and visit, exploring the Intercoastal Waterway on their sailboat ‘Peace’ and the local areas and beaches. Such an offer sounded divine … how could we say no? What initially was planned for a few days of beachside fun would turn in to a week of memories that we’ll never forget. And with a place to park our Airstream trailer in their front yard, our Florida adventures achieved perfection.

slaDE skillfully maneuvered our 34 foot home neatly in the pocket of their sandy front yard. After a quick welcoming hug plus an introduction to their dogs Zanzi and Rose, Patrick and Ann whisked us off to their favourite Tiki Bar for oceanside sunset drinks at O’Leary’s restaurant. Like a breath of fresh air, we were hooked on Southern Floridian living. Life is indeed good!

Cheezy and Raw

A rainy day … great for adventures in shopping and dining with our friend Minna! Our friends, the Calandras, headed home today, so we thought we’d honour Tommy with a sendoff photo at Wal-Mart. The ‘Cheese’, as it’s lovingly displayed by my silly husband :). The true adventure began however at my favourite salad bar restaurant ‘Ruby Tuesdays’. Since discovering the diversity and plenitude of their salad bar extravaganza, I am all too happy to return here for a meal that fulfills my needs of salad bar perfection (or close to it). Unfortunately, the meal wasn’t as savoury for my husband … the only similarity between mine and his? Both were ‘raw’. Sadly, slaDE~ ordered a well-done chicken burger. What he received was a crude chunk of pinkness, that before looking, slaDE~ had chomped in to with hungry voraciousness. The look on his face paled in pink comparison, and the waiter was summoned rapidly. Addresses were swapped and photos taken. A phone call from headquarters was promised to ‘check-in’ on hubby’s well-being. And a free dinner was offered in exchange for slaDE~s unsavoury experience. Of course, steak and lobster were on the menu along with soup, desert and frothy drinks. Unfortunately, they never covered my nor Minna’s tab. What do you think. Should we have pushed for them to wallow in their mistake and cover our expenses as well?

I was extremely happy to see that slaDE~ didn’t get ill that evening or the next day. A phone call was NOT received however. Such is the customer care of Ruby Tuesdays. What a shame!

Mini-Golf with Friends

mini-golfIt’s interesting to see how different people interact when placed in a competitive sport of sorts. When I was a kid, I never really had great skill in the athletics department, so when I excelled at skydiving and yoga in my later years, I literally felt my spirit soar. As a teenager, I dabbled in such sports as badminton, track and field, competed in and eventually coached gymnastics, but I was clumsy, self-conscious and awkwardly trying to fit in.

Lovely familyToday, my bestest girlfriend and two sets of twins joined their Aunt Joan and uS in a playful round of mini-golf. As soon as we started, I could see the competitive edge to the boys. But after some discussion, our team agreed that the scoring didn’t matter and instead decided to just fun and enjoy the glorious warm summe’s day.

I’m still as clumsy as ever, not very lithe, nor succinct in my shots, but boy, did I ever have a blast! When it comes right down to it, it’s the quality of time spent together with my dear friends and family. Life is so inherently short, why not enjoy it with each and every breath and putt putt?

Catching uP

Red LobsterWhat a fabulous weekend!

Catching up with girlfriends and friends of old, settling a hockey wager victory (go Team Canada, gO!) at Red Lobster with fast-fingered Lisa (crab cracker extraordinaire), and returning to Canada with no muss or fuss, bellies and hearts full, made for the ultimate culmination of a two week US journey where dreams were fortified and strengthened. We are so blessed with the life that we lead, travelling the world on a whim and a prayer, navigating through the pages of a book not yet written, building a future constantly evolving and shifting. It’s spectacular to witness the story unfold, sailing the path of a road never travelled, praying that the life lessons we learn along the way help to build us up as both individuals and as partners open to sharing our gifts, joys, love and laughter with those around uS. So far the journey has been pretty cool, and with each new friend and relationship built along the way, we are growing and expanding in ways that I could never have imagined. It’s a pretty cool calling, this yogic skydiving lifestyle. Fortunate indeed we are.

The Maly Wedding

Maly WeddingI love Friday evening weddings. They remind me of when slaDE and I got married, Friday August 22, 2008. With Lisa and Mike having their ceremony at the very beginning of the weekend,  the entire two days are opened up to possibility and adventure.

We were very blessed to have glorious weather for the whole day surrounding the Maly wedding. The icing on the cake? slaDE~ and I are extremely happy that we managed to make it in our travels to celebrate the union of two of our dearest friends.

Maly 1st dance

The wedding was spectacular, the bride breathtakingly beautiful and the company of friends and family, outstanding. It’s hard to believe we haven’t seen some of closest friends for 4+ years, back in the day when we spent every weekend driving down from Kitchener Ontario Canada to jump out of planes at Frontier Skydivers, just east of Buffalo New York. Amazing how time flies! So good to catch up and have our skydiving family back together, even if just for an evening.slaDE, Tad, sKY & Sandy

Girlfriends Weekend

GirlfriendsOne thing that I’ve missed, living on the road, is my true-blue girlfriends. Surely, I love my husband, and living 24-7 with him in our 34.5 foot Airstream, as we travel North America, is an exciting adventure. But there comes a time that I need the camaraderie and loving comfort of my gal-pals. Whilst hubby went to spend some time with family, I opted to attend my dear friend Lisa’s wedding shower with my other bestest girl Sandy.

Visiting Sandy is always an amazing adventure in itself … as a single Mother, she raises two sets of twins whilst attending school full-time. To me, Sandy epitomizes her lifestyle, with the potential for grandiose chaos, into a seamless juggling act that boggles my mind and puts my own life habits to shame!

Nico yogaFLIGHT

I’m certain that the help of her amazingly talented partner (can you say: guitar-builder, wooden ring maker, techno-geek, seamstress, engineer, handyman extraordinaire, etc.) oils the wheels of organization and mobility, but huge kudos to a woman who has to ability to multi-task in astonishing proportions (perhaps that’s why she excels so well in the sciences and maths whilst being a creative eco-conscious force beyond measure). Phew! I’m tired just after writing all of this :).

And so the weekend began, with a glorious bike ride through the University of Buffalo — that is until my knee started giving me grief. Put me on a treadmill all day anyday, but once I start to cycle through the motions of knee-bending beyond a certain angle (especially with a bicycle seat that is too short), my years of packing parachutes on concrete floors without knee-pads comes to the forefront. Thankfully, I was able to stop and rest (body pain = time to listen to my body NOW).  Tad happily fetched us to transport us home, just in time for the wedding shower. See photos below of a weekend so filled with activity, I am certain that photos speak louder than words.

Sandy & bosNoah and me

a shower and a tear

Busy busy busy day! My work is moving from our current residence to Southport, a good long hike away from where we are currently. And also an hours more commute than what I have. No more leaving out the door last minute, or quick jaunts home enjoying a lazy lunch, for that matter. Sigh ….
But on the plus side, I get to bike an hour each way. Which means built in exercise. Yay! Love being able to move the body. Check back in a few weeks and ask me then how I’m enjoying the transition.

bridal showerAfter a nice savoury lunch at home (a whole hour spent on the phone scrambling to restructure my wallet contents — ID most importantly — after losing it on Friday afternoon), I returned to work somewhat down and incredibly tired. Been burning the midnight oil on both sides, and the loss in sleep is finally catching up. Trying to fit too much in within a limited time span, it seems. I normally enjoy 8 hours a night. However, I’m finding that 5 hours just doesn’t cut it! After dragging my butt back, I was asked to join Vickie in the main meeting room to discuss something important. To my total surprise, the whole dang floor was awaiting my presence. I’ll be danged! A bridal shower! I truly never thought about it and was totally caught off guard. How lovely my friends and coworkers are. And indeed, I was literally the blushing bride. Beautiful flowers, tasty summer fruit and a succulent cake was enjoyed by all. But wait! They even gave me their collection of money …. knowing that we’re not in need of any STUFF, we were blesses with a nice gifting of cash, which will go towards buying the organic king sheet set that I want. Yippee!

The generosity of people astound each and every days, often in many different ways. I am so blessed. And I am so excited, thrilled, happy. Running on adrenalin basically.

10 more sleeps to the big day 🙂

Sex and Marriage

to risk or not?Marriage … ah the eternal debate over an institution filled with both flaws and promise. Should I or shouldn’t I? Can I risk to be vulnerable, interdependent, gambling against all the odds with no guarantees that life won’t throw a tire-iron my way? And if things go awry in a big way, what should I do then? Remain or leave?
Huge questions …. all pursued in the new ‘Sex and the City’ movie that I savoured and devoured last night, sadly solo (all my best girls are out-of-country — and my best boy didn’t deem SATC as a big screen kind of pic). This was one feature that I longed to share, to pursue the questions that arose from the big statements boldly and brazenly lavished upon me. I LOVED EVERY MOMENT. It was such a fabulous story. And it left me with a few revelations on relationships and marriage that I by far didn’t expect from 2.5 hours of high fashion, humour and scandal. Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte wrestle with love, sex, children, weight gain, friendship, humiliation, and forgiveness …. all in a hilariously realistic fashion (haute couture, of course ☺). Where else could one find a movie where marriage is both crushed and lauded, from every possible nuance and angle.

SPOILER ALERT
If you haven’t seen the movie yet and like surprises, stop reading now!

Carrie -- ties the knot!Carrie and Big ultimately get married but only after one is left standing at the altar on their first attempt. The most profound question from the movie, for me, which evolves from the lessons learned (in true Carrie style), is: ‘Why Marriage?’ Did she believe that without marriage, their efforts and relationship were not good enough? Do you have to be married to be real, be true and be accepted as seriously involved and committed?

This debate is something that I have struggled with in the past and sometimes find myself examining / disputing. In my heart I know that marriage is not the end-all be-all. Divorce is a reality truly close to home for so many loved ones. For myself, on the one hand, when one grows up in a hugely Catholic, sizable family where marriage is the persistently inevitable little girl’s dream, it’s hard to break out of those defining stereotypes, living fully and completely, with no holds barred, unravelling all expectations. Yet from day to day, slaDE and I live our love, married in heart, without that niggling piece of paper, pushing the evolutionary buttons which others define as ‘playing house’. With no guarantees of longevity of life and love, I can only live each day fully, acknowledging my husband as a dedicated loving fully present male who, for better or for worse, has stood by me for 6.5+ years. And I remain a beloved besotted wife. Actions speak louder than words on a piece of paper. AMEN.

Now, with the film complete, it’s up to the rest of us to release the vanquished breath, carrie on with our own lives (punnY!), come up with our own answers. And continue asking new questions, pushing buttons along the way.

Sex and The City

I’ve been waiting, it feels like, FOREVER for this movie to finally come out. Where are my best girlfriends when I need and want them most?? Why in New York, in fact (and California — I miss you)!

A signature cocktail in honor of Sarah Jessica Parker’s Sex & the City’s character, Carrie Bradshaw.

cosmO!The Bradshaw
2 oz. Don Julio Blanco Tequila
1/2 oz. X Rated Passion Fruit Liquor
3/4 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
3/4 oz. Cane Sugar Simple Syrup

Shaken, served straight up in a martini glass rimmed in hot pink sugar, garnished with a lime wedge.