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?

Bamboo Chopsticks Westbank (again)

I finally made it to Bamboo Chopsticks with my partner last week which means I finally sampled other food on their menu!  I had contemplated taking my dSLR with me on our trip out, did not have my cell phone on me but was able to snap a few photos of our food with my partners cell phone camera.  I posted back in July about a trip to Bamboo Chopsticks which is my favourite restaurant in Westbank.

Coconut Prawns:

Bamboo Chopsticks Coconut Prawns

Salad Roll (without pork):

Porkless Salad Roll at Bamboo Chopsticks

Chicken Skewers:

Chicken Skewers at Bamboo Chopsticks

I did not take a photo of my Spring Rolls or Chicken Breast Soup because I did not want to make this post too photo heavy which increases the amount of time it takes to load the page (and there are photos in my previous Bamboo Chopsticks blog post).  The Spring Rolls are my favourite and were yummy as always.

There are very few restaurants I have ever gone to that the owner will make you feel very welcome, take the time to get to know you and always have a conversation with you (never mind remember you, your partners and your child’s name).  This is part of what makes Bamboo Chopsticks one of my favourite restaurants.  I tend to value service over quality and will pay more money for better service then less money and get crap customer service.