Thursday, April 24, 2008

What Does a Fat Girl Have to do to Buy Some Clothes Around Here?

Well, I'm back and feeling refreshed after my little holiday. It's good to be home and sleeping in my own bed, but there's a part of me that wishes that bed resided in California. I really loved it there! Everything was just so green and least the leaves are finally starting to come out here, so that's something.

Days 3 and 4 of my trip were eventful, if not exactly to plan. The late nights and hectic days finally caught up to me on Monday and I spent the morning relaxing and emailing Kiki at work (our usual pastime.) I met up with my Honey and his friend who works at Google for lunch and the requisite tour. Google is a pretty sprawling complex that has gradually taken over neighbouring buildings as their previous owners succumbed to "market pressure."

Apparently, there are several cafeterias but the one we ate at served a dizzying variety of absolutely fabulous gourmet tapas. The presentation was worthy of a magazine and the quality and flavour was among the best I ate on my trip. Rather unexpected for a cafeteria at a place of work. Among my favourites: pan-seared scallops, yellow tail sashimi and a fantastic steak grilled rare and sliced to less than half an inch thick. I managed to find room for a chocolate mousse to die for and some sweet fresh pineapple.

After lunch I set off for Cupertino where the aforementioned Google told me I would find the Vallco Fashion Park with a Lane Bryant in it. Well, I located the mall however Ms. Bryant proved more elusive. Either she had vacated the premises or Google was mistaken in her whereabouts. Regardless, my shopping that day consisted of two pairs of shoes at Payless and no clothing from Lane Bryant.

Daunted but not defeated, I went home and gave ol' Google another whirl. This time it came up with a location that was conveniently located on the train route I was planning on taking to San Francisco the very next day. So I decided I would stop by the Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo in the morning on my way to do my tourist routine and everything would be just fine.

We went out for real Mexican food that night--none of that Taco Bell crap--and I had 2 delicious enchilladas verdes (chicken enchilladas with green salsa and guacamole on top) and the absolute best tasting refried beans I have ever eaten. They also had complimentary homemade tortillas with three different types of salsa that I tried unsuccessfully not to fill up on.

I got up bright and early the next day to catch the 9:30 train to San Francisco. The trains are very comfortable and after a very short while I was grateful I took my Honey's advice and left the car at home. I got off at the Hillsdale stop and it didn't take me long to locate the mall which is lovely--it's large and has many wonderful stores. Sadly, Lane Bryant is not among them. Google is a lying sack of shit.

I was determined that I wasn't going to let this second setback ruin my day of sightseeing in San Francisco, and it didn't. I got back on the train and took it all the way to the last stop at 4th and Townsend. I walked up 4th to Mission where I had me some lunch and then I got on a cable car and went the rest of the way to Fisherman's Wharf. I tried to take some pictures but it's unclear if they'll work out, what with the shaking of the cable car and all.

It was an interesting journey, passing through Chinatown, Nob Hill and Russian Hill before stopping at Hyde and Beach. I walked the length of The Cannery until I reached Pier 39 which is famous for its sea lions. From there I went to the aquarium which features an underwater tunnel where you can see all sorts of fish that call the Bay home--sharks, rays, starfish and eels to name a few.

By this time I was pretty much exhausted, so I limped back to Taylor where I caught another cable car back to the station at Powell and Market and then hobbled back down 4th to the Caltrain Station to catch my train home. I got in around 6ish and then we went out for sushi, which I felt was oddly appropriate. And it was great sushi, too! Actually, I didn't have a bad meal the entire trip. Everything was delicious and the variety of restaurants is staggering. I walked 2 blocks down Castro before I even saw a storefront that didn't belong to a restaurant.

I got up at the ridiculous hour of 5:30am on Wednesday to drive to the airport. I guess my timing was perfect because I got to the gate as boarding started. My connection in Washington went off without a hitch and I landed in Buffalo right on time. Last but not least, I finally found a Lane Bryant in the Walden Galleria in Buffalo where I ended my search for a dress for Rick and Shara's wedding. Unfortunately, they didn't have my size so I had better lose 10lbs before June 7th so I can fit into the one I bought...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Greetings From Sunny California!

I love it here! It's been kinda chilly, but aside from that it's absolutely beautiful. It is gonna be really hard to leave all the lush, leafy trees and thick, green grass and colourful flowers to come home to the ugliness that is Southern Ontario in April.

My flight from Buffalo was delayed and so was my flight leaving Chicago, so by the time I landed in San Francisco, retrieved my rental car and drove to my Honey's it was 2:30am--5:30am MY time! For those following along at home, that's 25 hours on practically no sleep. Long day...

On Saturday, we went for lunch (breakfast?) at a ramen place and wandered around downtown Mountain View for a while. It's a very pretty town (palm trees!) with lots of neat shops and restaurants. Saturday night, we went into San Francisco with a friend of my Honey's and tried to navigate our way to Mission Street with his crappy GPS. For those of you who have never been to San Francisco, Mission Street is a pretty seedy part of town. I spent most of my time trying to dodge puddles of vomit and urine--pretty classy!

In spite of this, we did find an awesome little restaurant called "Fish and Farm" that appears to serve organic food and beverages exclusively. We had a variety of appetizers, my two favourites being a marinated squid and a chicken liver pate served with a fabulous bread. For my entree I had some of the best fish and chips I've ever tasted--the fish had a magical butteriness to it and the fries were infused with sea salt. Mmmmmmmm!

After stuffing ourselves, we carried on to a club called Mezzanine where we listened to two different DJs, Tommie Sunshine and Junkie XL. Tommie Sunshine's stuff was more mellow but it was a good warm-up to Junkie XL who was the headliner and his stuff was way more energetic. My Honey's friend had the foresight to bring earplugs for all of us and it's a good thing, 'cause I don't think I would have any hearing left if not for those little bits of foam. Miraculously, I made it all the way to the end of the show which turned out to be about 2am. I know--it's amazing! Two ridiculously late nights in a row--whoda thunk?

Yesterday we drove to Carmel which has to be the prettiest little town I have ever visited in my life. We had lunch at a terrific Italian place, the name of which eludes me at the moment, where we had some fabulous breadsticks, a mushroom pizza to die for and risotto balls with gooey melted cheese inside. Then, to burn off some calories, we walked down a street called Scenic Road--what a huge understatement! This road has spectacular views of the ocean on one side and spectacular homes on the other side. We walked part of the way back on the beach and of course I had to dip my feet in the freezing cold Pacific.

After locating the car, we drove down the Pacific Coast Highway to Big Sur. While Big Sur itself was a big disappointment, the drive there sure wasn't--OMG! Most breathtaking drive ever! I have got TONNES of pictures to show y'all when I get back. It was so worth the drive.

Today is my shopping day--I've located the nearest Lane Bryant--and I'm also off to Winchester House which my Honey recommended I see. It's close to the shopping mecca I'm hitting named Vallco Fashion Park so I figured, what the heck? Tomorrow I'm heading back into San Francisco for sightseeing and other touristy-type things and then it's back home again and another long day of air travel. Woo hoo.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

One More Sleep!

I leave tomorrow for 5 days in San Francisco! My Honey doesn't have internet at home yet, so y'all are just gonna have to wait until I get back for an update.

I just want to point out the irony that the Weather Network is calling for it to be 10 degrees warmer here on Saturday than it is expected to be there. Where does a girl have to go to get some warm weather?! Apparently not San Francisco...

Anyway, I'll be back after the 23rd...

Monday, April 14, 2008

"Pardon me--do you have any Grey Poupon?"

I made the mistake of introducing my cat to the wonders of expensive, high-quality canned food and now he's become a kibble snob, all thanks to my friend Kiki who is a much more responsible cat owner than I. She feeds her cat fancy, healthy, no-animal-by-product, grain-free canned food that puts the store brand dry crap I was feeding my cat to shame. So I thought that maybe I should also be a responsible cat owner and follow her shining example.

Two things I forgot: a) she makes more money than I do, and b) her cat is less than half the size of mine. According to the label on this fabulously wonderful and healthy food (ie expensive) I should be feeding my cat half the can twice a day. The can is huge! And $2.69! I love my cat, but it's not a "$2.69 daily" kinda love. So far, I've managed to stretch one can over two days. If he gets hungry between his 67 cent meals he can eat some of his sawdust-and-generic-animal-by-product dry food.

Next thing you know I'm gonna be filling his water dish with Evian!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I'm "it"...oh goodie...

Apparently I’ve been tagged.

Thanks, Mindy (see link below).

The Rules:

1. Post the name and URL of the person who tagged you
2. Post the rules
3. Write seven things about yourself
4. Put the links in to your 7 favourite blogs
5. Name 7 people you are going to tag
6. Post a comment on their blog to say they’ve been tagged

I have decided to model my 7 things on Mindy’s responses because as I was reading hers I was inspired (also, I’m lazy and unoriginal).

1. I have 1 degree. An honours B.COMM. It took me 13 years to get it.

2. When I was little I too had an imaginary friend. I think her name was Tracy. Or maybe it was Elizabeth. I think she was from Ottawa. Obviously we’ve lost touch…

3. I grew up in a little place called Huntsville nestled in Cottage Country (Muskoka). We have stoplights and bus service, but no one cares.

4. I never played any organized sports. I did do a stint as a little-league umpire for a summer and another summer was spent as a basketball coach. Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.

5. My Honey and I met back in 1992 but it wasn’t until I began stalking him in 1999 that he succumbed to my charms.

6. I also have a tattoo. A turtle on my right shoulder/back. It was free and it looks it.

7. I used to play the flute in high school. I won something called the D.C. Stone award for having the highest mark in the 12th grade. And yes, I did go to band camp.

I only really read 4 blogs and their links are at the bottom of the page. The only person I’m gonna tag is Katie, ‘cause Mindy tagged me and I don’t know the other two bloggers personally.

I broke the rules—sue me.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"Think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts..."

Okay people, I need some cheering up. I've been exposing myself to too much of "man's inhumanity to man" lately and it's bringing me down.

Saturday night I went to a talk by a policewoman who spent time in Darfur as a United Nations investigator and she was full of horrific stories that kept most of us on the verge of tears for an hour and a half. Then, last night I watched a documentary on TVO about disabled children in Bulgaria that have been abandoned by their parents and are living in rundown institutions where they are effectively warehoused and forgotten. These kids are slowly dying of starvation and malnutrition, never shown love or even kindness, left to rot in beds when they become too weak to walk--I tell ya, it depressed the hell out of me!

It's such a beautiful day today, I'm gonna walk to work and focus on the singing birdies and the little buds poking out on the trees and remind myself how lucky I am that I'm not an African in Darfur or a disabled child in Bulgaria.

And most importantly, Happy Birthday Randy!