What I did on my Summer Vacation

Summer of 2012 is probably the first in 20 years that I have been able to manage in the heat and enjoy my Summer.  It also feels like the one that has whizzed by the fastest.  Even though I have been enjoying it, I am (as always) looking forward to it being Fall – one of my two favourite seasons of the year (the other being Spring).

May 2012:

Beginning the first week of May, my partner started teaching a 12-week course at SFU in Burnaby.  This meant weekly commutes between White Rock to the in-laws and back home to Kelowna until wrapping up the first week of August.  Some of those trips were overnight and others were a week or longer when our kitties were left to fend for themselves (with visits from friends, our neighbour and an abandoned dog).  Over the Victoria Day long weekend in May, I traveled home to Parksville with my son while my partner worked in White Rock on her dissertation.  Most of May for me was prepping for surgery and getting chores done around the house I would not be able to do once I had my surgery.

June 2012:

On June 1st, I had my surgery and thankfully, it was a great healing experience for me.  I have a lot of gratitude for those who helped my body and I prepare both for the surgery and the recovery in the weeks that followed.  I still cannot believe I had surgery three months ago.  We spent the first week of June in a hotel room while I recovered from surgery closer to my surgeon in Vancouver before returning home for our sons last few weeks of pre-school.

Two weeks into my surgery recovery, I took on the position of Volunteer Coordinator for Okanagan Pride where I was trying to coordinate over 50 volunteers for eight events during Pride week.  Something I really do not recommend any one take on while recovering from surgery.  As much as I was looking forward to what was the biggest and most successful Okanagan Prides ever, I was burnt out long before it started and was looking forward to it being over.

July 2012:

In July, my partner and son were out of town and I was a Bachelor for Two Weeks.  Most of the time I spent in Kelowna by myself but I did take a Road Trip for five nights to my home town of Parksville.  The same nights that my partner was in Paris presenting at a conference, my son was gone to the Rockies with his grandparents (and most of those nights, I was in Parksville).

In early July, I got a lot of work accomplished (noted in Bachelor for Two Weeks) and started working on goals for primarily the Summer of 2012 but also preparing to head into the Fall of 2012.  It took me a few weeks, but I eventually turned what was initially just a quick checklist in Back to Reality, into well thought out SMART goals and a list of tasks that I am tracking on my Dreamboard Goals page.  At the end of July, I wrote and passed two of my Crystal Healing Exams and officially became a Crystal Healing Practitioner.

August 2012:

The first week of August was spent between White Rock and New Westminster.  I have to say that most of the weekend felt like a family vacation which was great!  I published the following blog posts about our adventures while we were on the coast:

Our son attended his first (Grossology) Lego Camp with Bricks for Kidz in Kelowna.  The following week he spent away from us with his grandparents in White Rock where he attended another camp.  As if I was not busy enough coordinating volunteers and volunteering myself for Okanagan Pride week, that same week, we started our canning for the year.  We started canning season with Cherry and Apricot canning and then on to making 46 jars of Canned Peach Salsa.  While recuperating the week after Pride, I landed a job that has me heading Back to Work in September.  I also caught up on work, relaxed and enjoyed the week off while our son was away before picking him up at Britton Creek.  I even spent four hours one morning on the patio of Blenz catching up on reading my Popular Photography magazines.

During the Labour Day weekend, we went to the IPE in Armstrong and also started canning just plain old Canned Peaches.  Because of how much canning we had already done this season, I bought two 12 packs of quart sized canning jars and will need to buy more.  Pears are just coming into season and I am not sure yet if we will can any tomatoes or spaghetti sauces this year.

Summer of Firsts:

Summer 2012 has also been a Summer for a lot of firsts for me thanks to the surgery I waited over six years for:

  • Felt the sun on my back
  • Felt the rain on my chest
  • Went topless in public
  • Enjoyed the Summer heat
  • Bought men’s swim trunks
  • First successful career change
  • Played with my son in the water park
  • True confidence and motivation
  • Living and enjoying life
  • Present in the Here and Now
  • Feel complete and the man I was meant to be

It was not until at least two months post-op that I realized just how much not having had my surgery affected my ability to live a healthy and fulfilling life.  Since surgery on June 1st, I have not just had the desire or dream of doing certain things in life (such as blogging and photography), I am actually doing them as you can see from the progress noted on my Dreamboard Goals page.

Now that Fall is settling in and our Summer is winding down, I really look forward to going back to a somewhat scheduled weekly routine:  my partner and son at school and most of all, my being back at work!  I am looking forward to getting back to Geocaching and finally succeeding in my Weight Loss Journey.

This post marks my first 1,000+ word blog post!  Now to celebrate with my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season!

Pumpkin Spice Latte and Pumpkin Scone

What did you do on your Summer vacation?  Did you go to any fairs?  Take in any parades?

Powell Street Festival

On Sunday, we drove to East Vancouver to check out the Powell Street Festival.  We have heard great things of this festival from friends and family and we decided to go here rather then the Vancouver Pride Parade.

Having never gone to The Powell Street Festival, I didn’t know much about it:

The Powell Street Festival is an annual celebration of Japanese Canadian arts, culture and heritage that features something for everyone: dance, music, film and video, visual arts, martial arts demos, amateur sumo tournament, craft vendors, traditional displays, and of course, tons of scrumptious Japanese food.

I was happy to have been able to find parking so close to the event and figured, most people must be in downtown Vancouver taking in Pride for there to have been parking.  I was pleasantly surprised to see just how big and just how many people were there!

We met up with family and friends and also ran into a few other people we know.  The Amateur Sumo Wrestling competition is an event my BIL has been participating in for a few years now.

Sumo Wrestling at the Powell Street Festival

Photo credit to my partner.

We spent a few hours hanging out in Oppenheimer Park.  The sun was blazing as it was another gorgeous day in Vancouver.  I enjoyed just sitting on the grass in the shade, relaxing and taking in the festival and playing a few hands of Uno.  I even laid down for quite some time staring up into the trees above and watching the various types of birds flying overhead.

Before everyone headed out after lunch, we were trying to decide where we were going to have our BBQ picnic that evening.  I was so happy to have suggested heading back into New Westminster to Moody Park which has a water park.  It was so incredibly refreshing to play in the water park!  Two of the ladies joined my son and I, fully clothed, in the water park feeling the refreshing drops of water that were spraying off the top of the water spouts.

I enjoyed the water park in my shorts and tank top both before and after dinner!

Taqueria Playa Tropical – Authentic Mexican Food in New Westminster

Tonight we were treated to Authentic Mexican Food at Taqueria Playa Tropical in New Westminster.  We arrived at our table to bowls of Tortilla Chips and two sauces, one green and one red, both spicy but we could not decide which of the two were hotter.  The green was jalapeno based and the red chipotle.

Tortilla Chips

Was nice to have something to munch on while trying to decide what to order off of the menu.  Given the spice of the two squishy sauces, my Margarita couldn’t get to me fast enough!

My BIL ordered two orders of nachos to munch on and they were probably the best nacho’s I have ever eaten!  They had mozzarella, sour cream, jalapenos, beans, guacamole, cilantro, diced onion, lettuce and tomatoes.


Having only eaten a Toffee Nut Bar from Bliss Bakery and a Very Berry Salad from Wendy’s, I was starving long before we even got there.  On the drive down to the coast, I was thinking of what I might eat that would have the least amount of impact on my system the next day.

I have been wanting to try fish taco’s for quite some time and was intrigued to see that I could choose a few different taco’s – as opposed to having to have all the same of one taco.  I picked out four different ones and ate the first two without taking a photo (whoops!  I’m still working on this photo blogging and I was hungry).

This is the Barbacoa:  slow cooked pork, guacamole, onion, cilantro and a lime wedge.


And this is the Carne Asada:  Grilled steak, guacamole, onion, cilantro and a lime wedge.

Carne Asada

I also tried the Camaron (shrimp) and Pescado (fish) tacos, both of which I found a bit cheesy.  The Carne Asada was by far my favourite!

Overall it was a pretty good meal with great service.  Before tax and tip, my four taco’s would have cost $9.50 which is comparable to the other meals on the menu.  I also had two margarita’s but because I never saw the bill and they aren’t listed on the menu I brought home, I am not sure how much they would have been.

In other news….

  • my pedometer at 11:30 at night sits at:  21,020 steps!
  • this blog post will make my goal of 10 blog posts this month!