Vancouver and LAX

Having breakfast at Granville Island

The adventure has begun! I left Vancouver this morning after a great visit with my sisters friend Pam (you’re the best Pam!). I haven’t been to Vancouver since I was 15, so I was seeing the city with a fresh perspective. Vancouver is great! From what I saw, the downtown is a little glitzy with lights and fashion, but it’s clean and not as chaotic as Toronto. There seemed to be a lot of organic food shops and yoga studios, so it seems like the people here are pretty health conscious. The scenery was also amazing. There are mountains and the ocean — hello! What’s not to like?! You may answer with “rain,” but it wasn’t raining when I was there.

I am currently in LAX.  First of all, it is a balmy 17 degrees, and when I got here I just sat happily outside on a bench and enjoyed the beautiful breeze. I was in Ottawa only a week ago where it was a solid -25; so needless to say, I love my life.

This is my first time in California, and even though I won’t get to do any sightseeing, I feel like I got a little taste of the culture from the view from the plane. The first thing I really noticed was the ocean and the beach. After that it felt like

Vancouver

we were flying over the most intense game of monopoly ever. LA is HUGE! Houses are lined up side by side, street after street, for as far as I could see. There were also tons of different sports stadiums — football, soccer, baseball, and tennis courts. Once we got closer to the ground you could see little patches of green grass acting as people’s lawns, and there are a lot of pools.

I was fascinated because from the sky, the view is a direct reflection of America — power in numbers, wealth, and entertainment.  I took a class in third year called “The Culture of Containment: Post Cold War America,” and my teacher was obsessed with how consumerism acted (or acts) as a container for America. It was interesting because from the view from the sky, everything does look perfectly contained in LA. Each subdivision seemed to have a block of maybe 16 houses, and each house had a perfect square lot with a perfect square lawn. My prof used to talk about how Americans would demonstrate their wealth and power through their lawns and houses, so from an outside view, they would look wealthy (AKA, conspicuous consumption.) The other thing I found really interesting was the amount of stadiums. American’s are definitely into their sports and entertainment.

LA

I know that this view isn’t a direct reflection of LA or California in general — once you get up close I’m sure you’d see poverty as well as wealth. I just find it fascinating that from the sky all it looks like is wealth, power, and masses of people. The airport is also huge. I had to take a five-minute shuttle ride through runways and whatnot from one terminal to the next during my layover. Pretty cool stuff.

Now I’m waiting for the big time flight. It should take about 12 hours from here to Brisbane. Wish me luck!

First Impression: Aqua Zumba

A week ago I left Ottawa and started my big adventure! Saying goodbye to my family is always tough, but I’m so grateful I got to spend about a month with them before I left. They’re all so important to me and I really value the time we spend together.

Robyn and I workin' it in our '80s gear
Robyn and I workin’ it in our ’80s gear

From Ottawa I went to the Okanagan Valley. After living there this past year, visiting my sister Robyn and her husband Chris felt like coming to my home away  from home. The mountains are so beautiful when they’re covered in snow. Our week was filled with good chats, great food, some movies, and a little bit of work.

The weekend was a different story. I was gearing up for a Zumba packed couple of days. On the Friday there was a Zumbathon in Vernon, which was an hour and a half class that cost $20, and the proceeds went to charity. There was a whole bunch of local instructors as well as my sister Robyn and her friend Tamara, who are both Zumba Education Specialists. I got to help lead the warm up with Robyn and Tamara, which was a really fun and cool experience. After I got over the blinding spotlight that was shining in my face, I eased into “Im’ma Be” and things got a little groovy (or gangsta. Little bit of both.)

On Saturday Robyn had a full B1 training that I helped out with, and on Sunday Tamara had an Aqua Zumba training. I got to participate in the Aqua master class, which was sweet. In one of my first blog posts ever I talked about my first encounter with Zumba and my awkward hips. Now I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable with the program, so I was like “oh yeah, Aqua Zumba should be great. I love Zumba.” It was definitely a ton of fun, but so different than regular Zumba. It’s a good thing my legs were underwater because otherwise everyone would’ve seen how much I struggled with getting my feet going in the right direction. Nevertheless, it was a great workout and so much fun. The music was fantastic and the whole class was high energy. Tip: if all else fails, flail your arms and splash around.

Sunday night is when things went awry. We were all exhausted from the weekend and just stopped making sense.  After a little debate, we decided to get coffee for our ride home from Kelowna, cause let’s face it — life is just to short. However, the first time we went through the drive through we literally just drove through. We missed the speaker and there was a car behind us so we couldn’t back out, so after a quick hello wave to the counter person we looped around and finally got our coffee.

Once we got back to Armstrong I had to run into the store to pick up some sour cream. Let’s just say I was a little self conscious of my appearance. To put it lightly, I looked like a tired girl with crazy hair who had walked straight out the 80s. To make matters worse, when I came out of the store I beelined for the first truck

I saw and swung open the back door right away. Surprisingly enough, after seeing the startled driver I thought to myself “that isn’t Robyn” — it was a surprised young girl. I don’t know what’s worse: this poor girl going through the shock of some

random person opening her car door, or having to look at my appearance. Meanwhile, Robyn and Tamara were parked a good 5 or 6 car parking spots away. I blame the high intensity aqua workout.

Summer Party-2

Back to the Okanagan!

A week ago I left Ottawa and started my big adventure! Saying goodbye to my family is always tough, but I’m so grateful I got to spend about a month with them before I left. They’re all so important to me and I really value the time we spend together.

Robyn and I workin' it in our '80s gear
Robyn and I workin' it in our '80s gear

From Ottawa I went to the Okanagan Valley. After living there this past year, visiting my sister Robyn and her husband Chris felt like coming to my home away  from home. The mountains are so beautiful when they’re covered in snow. Our week was filled with good chats, great food, some movies, and a little bit of work.

The weekend was a different story. I was gearing up for a Zumba packed couple of days. On the Friday there was a Zumbathon in Vernon, which was an hour and a half class that cost $20, and the proceeds went to charity. There was a whole bunch of local instructors as well as my sister Robyn and her friend Tamara, who are both Zumba Education Specialists. I got to help lead the warm up with Robyn and Tamara, which was a really fun and cool experience. After I got over the blinding spotlight that was shining in my face, I eased into “Im’ma Be” and things got a little groovy (or gangsta. Little bit of both.)

On Saturday Robyn had a full B1 training that I helped out with, and on Sunday Tamara had an Aqua Zumba training. I got to participate in the Aqua master class, which was sweet. In one of my first blog posts ever I talked about my first encounter with Zumba and my awkward hips. Now I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable with the program, so I was like “oh yeah, Aqua Zumba should be great. I love Zumba.” It was definitely a ton of fun, but so different than regular Zumba. It’s a good thing my legs were underwater because otherwise everyone would’ve seen how much I struggled with getting my feet going in the right direction. Nevertheless, it was a great workout and so much fun. Tip: if all else fails, flail your arms and splash around.

Sunday night is when things went awry. We were all exhausted from the weekend and just stopped making sense.  After a little debate, we decided to get coffee for our ride home from Kelowna, cause let’s face it — life is just to short. However, the first time we went through the drive through we literally just drove through. We missed the speaker and there was a car behind us so we couldn’t back out, so after a quick hello wave to the counter person we looped around and finally got our coffee.

Little Barkley!
Little Barkley!

Once we got back to Armstrong I had to run into the store to pick up some sour cream. Let’s just say I was a little self conscious of my appearance. To put it lightly, it looked like a tired girl with crazy hair who had walked straight out the 80s. To make matters worse, when I came out of the store I beelined for the first truck

I saw and swung open the back door right away. Surprisingly enough, after seeing the startled driver I thought to myself “that isn’t Robyn” — it was a startled young girl. I don’t know what’s worse: this poor girl going through the shock of some

random person opening her car door, or having to look at my appearance. Meanwhile, Robyn and Tamara were parked a good 5 or 6 car parking spots away. I blame the high intensity aqua workout.

Overall, it was a very good week.