Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I am in beautiful Barcelona

Arrived safely, hot and tired and definitely happy. More posts and pics soon, for now it is time for a nap.... zzzz....

About the pics above...
  • one of the street performers on Las Ramblas
  • spot where I had lunch today - at that empty table on the right
  • my view at lunch today - the cathedral, which is undergoing renovations
  • me as I had morning coffee, outside my original hotel (now changed, more on that later)
  • funny hotel pic, glad I am not staying there ;-)

All 4 now, someone else waiting to use this computer....

Sunday, June 28, 2009

It's liftoff day!

This will be my view in a few hours.... can't believe the day is finally here, I really am off to Europe for a year! I am already checked in online and aside of a few hours of contract work to complete this morning, I have only a few things to do before I go.... such as repacking that single bag that will accompany me. Had a great time with my sissy last night, just hanging out... mostly will miss family and friends, otherwise this is all good.... Next post will be from Barcelona ;-)

Friday, June 26, 2009

2 days to go and sporting a new do

.... quick post, me on the bus after my haircut... so short, it doesn't matter if the wind blows, it looks the same... could get away without even packing a hairbrush...

have my nose down today, working on my list.... then a massage at 6... almost there!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

3 days to go!

3 days to go, oh my. NOW I am feeling it, that is SOON!

Nice surprise dinner with a friend last night, authentic Mexican food in Yaletown. Memorable moment: she asks the waitress what desserts they have, and what follows is a 5 minute exchange in rapid Spanish, at the end of which my friend says, "Do you want to try that?" LOL, not a clue what they said...

Today is a day for contract work, and for checking a bunch of stuff off my list. Will feel better with today's to do's under my belt.

Seems I have internet access this morning, so a quick post and I'm off....!

Yesterday's entry
4 days to go, and the umbrellas are out in Vancouver. Suitable for today, I feel like I am awaking from a bit of a fog, mostly from how it wore me out getting out of my apartment (finally done! ... tho still stuff in my friend's car), but also partly from a couple magarita's and wine with friends on a patio last night.

At this point, 4 days to go has me more overwhelmed than excited, as I still have so much to do, but I'll turn that corner soon.

Internet access is sketchy, at best, where I am staying. I am considering it to be good training for getting online while I am travelling. I can always go out to get access at an internet cafe or business centre, but the ability to quickly check email, update my blog and tweet is now a bit of a 'luxury' to me. I'll appreciate it when I have it. For now, writing blog posts offline for posting when I get a few minutes of up time...

A bit of amusement: searching for wireless networks, bided my time by making note of some 'interesting' network names:
  • sofuckingcomplicated
  • creamed1
  • Midget X
  • Victory
  • kd baby
  • void!
  • schnozzle
  • Funknik
  • 1BatBone... and I guess Abs_4, Abs WiFi and Abs QA belong to the gym across the street...

Time for me to go study my 'to do' list to see what I can knock off today, and create a plan for the rest of the week. I am motivated to do what I can by Friday, so that I have Saturday mostly free... I fly Sunday afternoon,

Monday, June 22, 2009

6 days to go

6 days to go and I am getting there... but was a tiring day yesterday and
I'm not quite done yet. All the craigslist angels came and picked up their stuff (well, except for one no show, but a later angel also took that stuff
too... And the cleaning angels did their magic, and even pollyfilla-ed all
my nail holes. Today really just need to get the rest of the remaining stuff
out of there (more stuff to storage, stuff to bring to my friend's place to do a final sort, charity stuff to drop off, recycling to take down)... Looking forward to being done, done, done!

I am SOOOOOO glad I planned ahead and booked myself a massage for tonight, my poor body....

Not really absorbing the 6 days left yet, sure it will hit me when I get today behind me.... but it's all good.

Sunday's entry....

7 days to go, and the pre-trip mode has begun. Spent last night at a friend's place - she is away on vacation this week, so she lent me her apartment (handy, 2 blocks from my place) and her car for the week. Nice friend ;-)

Looking out at the world from my friend's place this morning:
  • It seems that fancy Joe Fortes puts ugly blue tarps over all their patio tables at night, guess it's the anti-bird-shit method

  • The Shangriala has 4 or 5 arcs of water by their pool that look rather lovely; it's also as close as I will ever get to that place...

  • The offices across the street who leave all their lights on overnight on the weekend - including lighting up an uglish empty lunchroom complete with Coke machine - look like true idiots now that eco is in
Was tiiiiired, ok exhausted, last night when I got here, but I am feeling good about what I have left to do. Yesterday got rid of most of the rest of my stuff in my apartment - including the bed, yeah! - just a few smaller objects later. Need to finish cleaning up my old desktop computer today so it is ready for the woman who is picking it up for charity. And a friend is also coming by to take all my CDs to a charity that will sell them in their store... meanwhile I am still importing as much as I can into iTunes; think I was up to 135 albums last night. Cleaners are coming at 3 to do the move out clean (bless my angels). One or two Craiglist ads should do the rest.
I have more stuff left that I originally wanted, but it's all ok. Ended up renting a storage locker here at my friend's building ($25/mo, dirt cheap), and will bring the stuff over today. For the most part, my plan has worked: all the stuff I want to keep in 6 big purple storage bins I already had. 1 of them is still empty, but I suppose that will change today. Plus 3 small boxes of books that I was orginally going to store at another friend's place, but will just throw them in the locker as well. Ended up with one odd shaped box to store my art (now I have joined the ranks of people who store their creations! at least I'll have some stuff from this phase of my life, along with the Europe-created stuff, for a little show when I get back.

That would have been it, if I hadn't had those moments in my old storage locker. Ah, 4 boxes of tax records... those years of working full tilt at consulting and mountains of receipts. Keep. 2 boxes of photos; gotta keep those; kinda wish I had time to tear them out of the photo albums and get them down to half a shoebox, but nah, not worth the energy expension at this time. Keep. A box containing stuff I'd written and published, including about 8 copies of my book. Keep. Then there's the box of stuff from when I cleaned out my sister's hospice room, I tucked it away and hadn't dealt with it since... last week I thought I might go through it, but it feels too emotional for such little time left. I shall tuck it away for another time. Keep.

So... still stuff.... oh well, it's still not much. as soon as I have breakfast here, I am heading over to my old place to haul the stuff over. I have a feeling it will be a multi-Red Bull day... ;-)

Friday, June 19, 2009

More toes than days to go!

Well, here I am, down to only 9 days to go....

Random reflections:
  • These aren't my feet, but mine are this happy!
  • Champagne last night with a friend - and a "last supper" in my fav restaurant - Lombardo's downstairs in my building - a fun and special evening
  • I have an iTunes import factory hard at work here...
  • By the end of the day this apartment will be practically bare
  • Feel lucky that I happen to be at home today when the last show of CBC Politics is shown - I will miss "the broooaaaadcast" from Don Newman...
  • This is also my last day for owning a TV!
  • LOL - oops, my tv will be gone by 2:00.... guess I'll have to watch that show online!
  • My kitchen consists of 1 fork, 1 spoon, 2 knives, a corkscrew, 2 mugs and a tupperware container (the lid doubles as a plate)
  • My cosmetic collection now consists of 1 Chapstik
  • Hoping the cold I managed to catch the other day is almost gone
  • Drove my last Car Coop car yesterday - looking forward to cashing in my shares and putting them towards my travel fund (I will join again when I am back in Vancouver, it's been awesome and I love not owning a car!)
  • Enuf drivel, I got stuff to do! ;-)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Why are my feet green? Why is my blog green?

Around the world, people are displaying green to show support for free and fair elections in Iran. Twitter is a sea of green avatars. Even the BBC has gone green, so I figured I would too.

PS - a couple of days later I realized that text I had manually coloured yellow in some of my posts wasn't showing up with the green template selected (ah, so that's why I should let the template do all the work!)... so I have gone back to my previous template... and, heck, it was green anyways ;-)

A dozen days to go

A dozen days to go and I am as happy as these cute little eggs!!! I am slightly daunted by all I have left to do, and seem to be fighting the start of a cold, but all is well. I'm having fun and my apartment will be empty pretty darn soon. Meeting more interesting people as I give my stuff away.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Reflections on 15 days to go...

First of all, damn, I missed the World Naked Bike Ride in Vancouver today... fortunately, someone took some mighty fine pics from the San Francisco ride (more here).... hmmmm... some mighty fine scenery there ;-)... Oh, I wasn't actually going to ride, just in case that clarification is needed.

So.... 15 days to go until I leave for Europe for a year:
  • Holy shit!!
  • Hee!!
  • Oh my, I have a lot to do...
  • I love my empty closests, I never want that much stuff again
  • Progress is being made on pretty well everything on my list
  • Now if only I was smart enough to not do an incorrect change of address, sheesh, have to file a correction
  • Now if only a particular credit card arrives, I'll be all set (they sent it, never arrived, had to cancel it and reissue -- and there's nothing one can do to speed up a bank)... lol
  • Oh yea, I have more contract days to work than I have days left in this fair city.... good thing I am a whacky worker.... my client said to me recently when I email her at 4am that she's not sure if I am up early, or still up - she's right, it could be either ;-)
  • Had a couple of days last week where I was feeling a bit overwhelmed, but knew it would pass... and it has
  • Made a decision today to store a small amount of stuff in a storage locker (they rent them for only $25 in my friend's building 2 blocks away, so only $300 for the year)... I am still getting things down to a hair of what I used to have, but this is easier than schlepping stuff out to a friend's garage
  • This is one of a few "letting go" moments I expect I'll have, where I had ideas on what I'd do, but right now I need to simplify

It is 6pm in Vancouver and it is 23c.... and it is 3am in Barcelona and it is also 23c.... ah, heaven...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Only 19 days until I leave to the land of Gaudi!

I can't believe it is only 19 days until I take off, then one plane sleep until I set foot in the land of Gaudi! The pictures above are on the SoulTravelers3 blog, a family of 3 living on the road (take a look at the site, there are adorable pics of their little girl amongst the Gaudi architecture in Barcelona). Or take a Gaudi virtual tour here: Casa Batllo: Get Your Gaudi Fix With This Barcelona Beauty

Practically unfathomable that I have only 19 days left in Vancouver, and less than 2 weeks until I leave my apartment (spending my last week in a friend's apartment while she is on vacation)... my how time flies!!! Tempted to write a long, thoughtful blog entry, but, alas, I have contract work to do, and I'd better get to it!

Post-script: just struck me how many phallic symbols there are in Gaudi's architecture ;-)

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Happy feets!

My feet feel - and look - awesome after my pedicure and parrafin wax today! Pic taken with one of my recent doodles.

Reflections on 23 days to go:
  • I loooove being able set my own pace again: today I goofed around for the morning, then out for a doctor's appointment, then an iced Americano and doodling in the sun on the front stairs of the Vancouver Art Gallery, cheered on some street dance performers on Robson Street, then pampered my feet.... ah, it's 4pm, and I can do my contract work now that I've had my fill of the nice day out
  • New idea: get a pedicure in each city I am in while travelling... for the most part, I'll be staying a month in each city, so it will be a nice treat - and I can have pretty toes all the way through my trip.... and a fun blog post to make each time I get them done (I'm thinking bright toes perched happily with the Eiffel Tower in the background...).. if I'm broke I can always go to a school that needs willing feets...
  • 23 days to go feels great, and even better knowing that I plan to clear out of my apartment a week ahead of that (a friend is lending me her apartment for the last week, while she's on vacation... nice gesture, greatly appreciated - and she has a pool!)
  • Same friend is going to visit me in Berlin in October for 10 days - so cool! Will be great to catch up, and have some good eats and drinks out with her ;-)
  • Happy that my niece has accepted my invitation to join me in Paris... she's a 'starving student' (jewellry) and she adores Paris (wants to live there one day)... she has a break from school and has saved up for her airfare - glad to give her a free place to stay - and she's a total blast ;-)
  • Already know I'll see friends for coffee in both Paris and Rome
  • I feel sooooo much lighter with so much of my stuff purged
  • It's kinda nice to be getting a bit of a tan before I go... think I might need to be seeking out shade once I land in Barcelona!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Would love to spend a night in the Everland pod

Above is THE coolest hotel room I think I've ever seen! Read more about it on the Everland website (checkout the Panorama), Art Project by Day, Paris Hotel by Night , and from someone who experienced it first hand. Sadly it will have left Paris by the time I get there (not that I could have afforded to stay in it!), Parisians are saying goodbye... Next stop, Mars?

Another 10 Craziest Hotels - this is where I found out about the Everland hotel

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

I'm petitioning Expedia to extend new "no fee" policy to Canada

OK, I was patient for a week, but Expedia has still to extend their "no fee" policy to expedia.ca and decided to be the squeeky wheel. Hence I created: Canadians call for Expedia to waive fees on expedia.ca

If you believe that Expedia's Canadian customers deserve the same policies as expedia.com please sign the petition.

Please tell your friends!!!
Update June 5/09: to their crecit, got this reply on Twitter today:
Expedia @citytravelbug We hear you! In fact, Expedia.ca doesn't charge change/cancel fees for air/hotels. Will pass along your other feedback - thx!