Sunday, July 15, 2007

Thunder & lightning

Maggy's afraid of it! One of the known drawbacks of moving back to southern Ontario was the summer storms. We've had thunder just about every day for the past few weeks. She can hear it long before we can, and sometimes when we can't, and she begins to pace, pant, drool and whimper. If it wasn't scary for her, it would be funny as she really does get into her drama-queen routine!

Good news is she won't be terrorized this summer by Vancouver's fireworks extravaganza

Saturday, July 14, 2007

facebook phenomenon

A friend sent an invite to a while ago. After some delay, I finally checked it out and signed up last Sunday. A few days passed and then as friends were added, it has taken off into a budding addiction!

My family's concerned as they see me regularly dash to the computer to see who has written, who has joined, who has sent an invite to join their friends. They're already talking intervention and it hasn't been a week!

The amazing thing is you really can find long-lost friends that you often think about, but can't find a trace of. For example, Sheila, my university roommate for 3 years and MC at my long-ago wedding. We've reconnected this week after many years living in different cities and now that we're both in the TO area, we'll be able to get together soon and catch up. Very cool.

As well, having just moved here from Vancouver, it's great to be able to keep an eye on the activities of everyone back there in one spot - and not simply by trying to remember to email or call, or by surfing everyone's blogs.

I simply love facebook so far! Personally and professionally as it's an interesting study in communication, social networking and the continuing power of the web. According to Marketing magazine, facebook has 24 million users worldwide, with almost 5% growth per week in Canada - "in under a year facebook has become Canada's hottest online social network."

Now the challenge will be prioritizing between blogging and facebooking... thankfully I no longer have a crackberry...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Twice the joy!

My dear friend, Debrah, just celebrated the birth of her twin girls Ava and Marlowe on July 3.

They're her first children and an amazing gift as she and her fiance begin their new family together.

It was exciting and heart-warming to hear the news and to imagine their new life full of love, joy, fun and adventure.


Things have been quite unsettled over the past few weeks.

Astrologically: Mercury has been in retrograde from June 15 - July 9 causing emotional and communication disconnects, contractual and financial delays, and transportation and mechanical breakdowns.

Environmentally: We've seen unseasonably cool temps, extreme heat and humidity, thunderstorms, hail, tornadoes.

Personally: I've experienced delays in planning anything at all! Interviews moving to different days, trips cancelled or postponed, loved ones with ongoing health issues, and miscommunication and/or misunderstandings all around.

I'm optimistically trusting that all of this is about to change - for the better. At least that's what my horoscope says...

Friday, July 6, 2007

Great Escape

Great Wolf Lodge turned out to be a perfect family-friendly time away. From the moment of arrival, the entire experience is designed to amuse and engage kids. A talking moose, bear and racoon plus a pack of howling wolves greet everyone and they also entertain during an interactive story time at 8 pm every evening. And as cheesey as it may have seemed, it was all really well done.

I loved story time as there were about 40 young kids surrounded by just as many adults gathered together to watch, listen and participate.

The water park is about the size of 4 football fields and about 6 storeys high and full of water slides, wave pools, huge buckets to dump on innocents below, hot tubs and mercifully lots
of coffee and corona.

While the environment is overwhelming at first, the various 'rides' down huge water slides were really pretty fun. Picture yourself in a raft hurtling down a water-filled pipe that descends and ascends 6 storeys, roller coaster-like, so that your screams are punctuated with gulps of water. One slide called the Vortex begins as you fly really fast through a pitch black pipe before being thrown into a huge ring that you encircle several times before plummetting again into the waiting water below. (I didn't like that one.)

Everyone - kids ranging in age from 2 to 12, as well as their parents and aunt had a blast!

The accommodation and amenities were well thought out as part of the overall experience. A wristband provides access to rooms and other activities throughout the resort and with it you can charge additional costs to your account. Restaurants, the Trading Post store, Aveda spa were all right there so visitors can truly spend all their time (and money) without leaving the premises.

The guys went golfing for a day, while my sisters and I went to Niagara-on-the-Lake the following afternoon for a wonderful lunch and some shopping and exploring. I hadn't been there in about 20 years and I definitely want to go back for wine touring another time. (We think we were dining across from James Woods as well - very exciting.)

On the way home, I took the scenic drive along the Niagara Parkway, before hitting the highway. Along the way (I drove by myself to ensure I'd have some 'me' time following so much togetherness), I admired the scenery, stopped for freshly picked cherries and raspberries, and happily sang along to the radio. Turned out to be a wonderful escape afterall.

Photos: Story Time; Ben, Bret, Michael, Mitchell, Claire, Liam and Aleah at Story Time; Matthew and Dawn at the Water Park; John and Ben give thumbs up

Monday, July 2, 2007

Heading to Niagara

Tomorrow I'm heading to Great Wolf Lodge with the gang. My sisters, brothers-in-law and their two kids each, my brother, sister-in-law and their two kids and my sister's sister-in-law and her two kids. 8 adults and 8 kids in a giant water park/resort for three days and two nights.

Hmm... there are rumours that some of us may venture off periodically to the spa, the golf course or for a wine tour. (Sounds like a Tourism BC summer escape - except the water park part!) Will report back. :)