Ack Ack Kayak!

So… I was at the Grade Seven camp a little over a week ago when I tried Kayaking for the first time. I enjoyed it tremendously. My wife hates me because of this.

She hates me because for years now she’s been trying to get me to go kayaking with her. When I finally did go on a whim without her, I wanted to go again. I really should listen to her the first time around…

As I mentioned yesterday- I put on a new Roof Rack on my Nissan Rogue. It was to prepare for the possibility of getting a kayak. My wife finished work at six last night and wanted to go price some kayaks out. I’d been looking online at places and prices earlier in the week, but it was my wife who wanted to go and search for herself. Unfortunately we only went to one place- Canadian Tire. Not my usual place to go shopping- however we do find some great deals on occasion- like our bbq grill about four years ago.

Anyways, window shopping for a kayak turned into buying a kayak. Make that buying two kayaks at a wickedly good price (they had them marked incorrectly but honored the price). These kayaks also came with oars and straps to take them away on the roof of my car. (As reference I found similar ones at Costco by the same manufacturer for $160 more each.)

I’m happy with the purchase to make our lives healthier. We just need to find the time to hit the water together.

And maybe my wife will forgive my ignorance all these years. Or she’ll drown me. Either way- we own a couple of kayaks now!

Silverdale Creek Wetlands

On Friday night my wife and I often take our children to a thing called “Dry Land Training” at our speed skating coach’s home. This involves a 30 minute drive followed by a two hour training session. Sometimes my wife and I stay to chat with other parents. Other times we go grocery shopping up the road. Last night we went for a walk at one of the local parks.

This is a typical park setting. With signage and info about the land. It was a beautiful stroll through extremely well kept trails. But there was one thing that made this park stand out amongst other trails in BC.

Birds. Lots of birds. And birdhouses!

On top of several pillars in the marsh were numerous birdhouses. Every single one of them occupied with a feathered friend. The houses that were close to the pathways had birds that weren’t scared of people wandering by. This made me happy. They watched and sang as my wife and I meandered along the pathways.

We chatted and strolled holding hands and just enjoying nature. We greeted only a couple of other folks along the way. It was like we had our own little private forest filled with song. It was a nice way to relax on a Friday evening with my wife.

I have a feeling we will visit the Silverdale Creek Wetlands again in the future. I hope that this will get others to visit there as well.

Angry Heroes

My wife’s favorite Powerpuff Girl is Buttercup. It always has been and always will be.

I think my wife relates to the do-good nature with a bit of attitude that Buttercup expresses. Just a hint of frustration in her tone as she saves the world before bedtime.

One of my wife’s other favorite children’s characters is Oscar the Grouch. My wife has never been a huge fan of The Muppets so it surprised me that she found joy in one of the most iconic characters. I’m not surprised at which character though.

I love my wife very much. She has a personality that can be tough to get to know in the beginning. But many of her coworkers and true friends love her wit and no-nonsense charm. She definitely portrays some of the characteristics of her angry heroes.

Hopefully she won’t be mad at me for sharing this. I guess I’ll find out once she reads it.

Mother’s Day 2019

I took my wife out of town on Friday because we needed a break. But also because I wanted to try and take her mind off of today. Today is Mother’s Day as many of you know. My wife is a spectacular mother to three amazing children. All of whom aren’t home today.

Photo sent to us from a parent chaperone.

This weekend our two youngest are out of town for a music trip. Which really isn’t a big deal, except for the fact that our youngest youngest is two years younger than the rest of the group.

Our son has pushed himself to learn trumpet and violin since September 2017 when he began grade six. This past September he joined Junior Concert Band which is for grade eight and nine students. Our son and his friend are the only two grade seven kids in Concert Band. This weekend is kind of a big deal for them because the majority of the kids in the band are from Grade Nine.

So those two are away- due home in the late afternoon/ early evening. Our oldest is working her regular job until 5:30pm so she isn’t around all day either. That meant no breakfast made for my wife like she’s had In The Past. Our children will all be home by dinner in order to celebrate Mother’s Day- but I have to work the night shift.

Mother’s Day is a nice way to show that there is more thanks to be given to these special ladies. Especially as you get older. My wife decided to go and visit her mom for a brunch. I think that’s a nice way to show that she still cares about her. I’ll be giving my mother a call as soon as I hit the “Publish” button.

Above all, make sure you wish those moms out there a…

Happy Mother’s Day!

Fancy Feasts

My wife and I have enjoyed a lovely overnight excursion into the city of Vancouver. We were celebrating the Anniversary of of first meeting 19 years ago. Besides just enjoying a spa escape and a wonderful hotel experience at The Wedgewood Hotel and Spa, we indulged in some extravagant meals.

First we enjoyed a lovely tea at the spa prior to our treatment. Then we enjoyed a glass of wine back in our hotel room. The afternoon was starting off delightfully.

Before dinner we walked around Vancouver and found a wine sampling at Sutton Place Wine Merchant. My wife and I tasted a few varieties from West Kelowna from a winery called Kalala. We picked up a bottle of white wine for our night back in the hotel room.

We headed back to our hotel afterwards because we had a dinner reservation for 6:30pm at the Bacchus French Restaurant. They seated us in a quiet booth and we were given complimentary sparkling wine for our anniversary. We don’t normally indulge in fine dining, in fact this was really our first time ever. The waiter placing the napkins on our laps kind of fine dining. As much as we felt a bit out of place, the staff was friendly and courteous throughout the experience.

Our meal began with Amuse Bouche followed by a half dozen Creuse Oysters. The main course for myself was Yarrow Meadows Duck Breast with Duck Sausage Terrine served with Pomme Dauphine, Asparagus, Wild Mushrooms, Leek Fondue.

My wife enjoyed Beef Tenderloin “cooked to her perfection” served with sweet bread and broccoli purée. She asked for blue rare and that is exactly what she received.

Dessert was a couple of soft biscottis and a fruit gelatin. The dinner was delightful in every way possible. we decided to walk around Vancouver some more before retiring to our room.

We stumbled upon a gala event at the Nordstrom’s department store where my wife and I enjoyed some more complimentary drinks and she got her hair done. It was a fun last minute experience that cost us nothing but time.

We returned to the hotel afterwards to find a couple of gourmet cookies awaiting us. We were also treated to complimentary chocolate covered strawberries. We shared a bottle of wine and relaxed, feeling like the upper crust.

We didn’t think we could attend the Bacchus Restaurant again for breakfast. So we had it delivered to our room. The sun was shining as we enjoyed a meal overlooking Robson Square. A great way to end some distinguished culinary experiences.

We may do this type of night away again in the future when we need it. For now, the memory and relaxation was worth the time and money to get away from our regular lives. Vancouver City is a beautiful place to visit- now back to our country living where we can just take it slow.

Wedgewood Vancouver

A couple of days ago I told my wife we needed a night out. Originally she declined the idea. But advice from my friend saying “You should of told her- too f#%king bad. WE need a night away and will enjoy it“. That sealed the deal and I booked a hotel room. But not just any hotel room.

I booked for my wife and I to stay in the heart of Vancouver at a Five Star Hotel called Wedgewood Hotel and Spa. Very fancy compared to our usual stays in places like the Holiday Inn Express. It’s also a bit more extravagant than our stays in Seattle at The Roosevelt. Once in a while you just have to “Treat yo’ self“.

The navigation in my car had us stopping just outside the hotel. As soon as I stopped, the doorman came out and greeted us within seconds. He grabbed our bags and had us at the front desk introducing us to the concierge by name. He then took my car keys and off he went to park the car.

I booked one of their more spacious rooms with a large tub and king sized bed. Our balcony overlooks Robson Street and Robson Square. Of course because this is a hotel and spa I naturally booked us in for a spa treatment. The hotel had a letter welcoming us as well as a letter confirming our spa appointment. We were encouraged to utilize the robes and slippers provided to attend our appointment. When in Rome…

We arrived early in order to enjoy the complimentary Eucalyptus & Lemongrass Steam Room. When we arrived, they served us tea and we relaxed before our couples massage. My wife and I both requested a deep tissue rub down. Our service lasted an hour. To say we left the spa relaxed is an understatement.

We retreated back to our hotel room and sat on our patio in our hotel robes. A glass of wine before dinner and a realization that we can’t afford to do this all the time has made it special and enjoyable. The staff here are extremely friendly and courteous. My wife and I don’t really want to leave the hotel, so chances are we will remain here and enjoy the restaurant service in the lobby.

This is a well deserved night away.

International Women’s Day 2019

In case you were unaware- today is International Women’s Day. I am going to do a quick rundown of the women in my life that have impacted me the most.

First off is my mother. I don’t generally write about her in my blogs. That’s mostly out of respect for her privacy. She generally doesn’t want her personal life exposed into the WWW. But the few things I will say about her is this: She did her best to raise me. Starting right from my childbirth- I was a baby that cried nonstop. Turned out I needed a lung operation by age 2. (Maybe one day I’ll write about that). My mother was there through all of it. Throughout her life she worked hard in the nursing field and was always the caregiver and caretaker of our family. She put up with a lot from my sister and I as we grew up. But my mother also did her best to protect us from my father and his verbal abuses. She took the brunt of it. Kudos to you mom for remaining so strong all these years.

Next is my wife. Yes, I speak of her with fondness many times, so I will keep it short today. She is my equal, my partner, and my best friend. I sincerely have no idea where I’d be in my life if it wasn’t for her. She has been an absolute goddess throughout my life aver the past two decades. I love her with every part of my being and will always make sure she is cared for and looked after.

My wife brought into this world two more great women. Our daughters are intelligent, strong, and creative women. They lead with a sense of purpose in life oftentimes bringing forth admiration from their peers. Having these two females in my life shows me a world that I never would have experienced otherwise. The two of them hold a special heartstring inside of me and I love them deeply.

Then there is my sister. Through our ups and downs as adults, she is still there when I need to talk to her. We were great friends growing up. I learned a lot about playing with dolls and dress up which helped when having girls of my own and my various cosplay. My sister has become a wonderful mother of two as well and is as strong a female as I can imagine. Having been through so much on her own.

Besides my family, there are a few celebrities that I have always admired. Elvira (aka Cassandra Peterson) is one of the funniest and sexiest women I have ever seen. I was lucky enough to meet her a few years back and I was star struck to say the least. The other is Felicia Day– who is intelligent and charismatic. She was one of the kindest people I have ever met. She also inspired my daughters to enjoy gaming in a way that I never could.

There are plenty of amazing women out there. My list is but a short one of a handful of women who have made my life a better place.

Who do you find that makes International Women’s Day important for you? How do you show your appreciation? Or how have you been shown appreciation? Let me know in the comments.

A Day Off Together

My wife took a day off work today to spend time with me. She’s going out of town this weekend. (Our son has a Speed Skating competition in Northern BC.) I figured we’d have some nice quality time together.

First, she woke up and helped the kids get ready for school. I then drove them to school. When I returned home, I made us a lovely breakfast of bacon wrapped asparagus with poached eggs. So far our day was off to a great start.

Outside, the sun was shining brightly. Best avoid it and play video games. My wife and I played on the Nintendo Switch in our dark theater room for about three and a half hours.

It was a ton of fun lounging on the couch in our pajamas until one in the afternoon. Ya, I drive my kids to school in my pjs. Not like I have to get out of the car. In fact, sometimes I go shopping in my pjs. I’ve even gone to work like that in the past. Comfort wins out over fashion sense.

My wife gets very animated when playing video games. After an intense round, match or level- she usually flails her arms. She tries to grab at me, pinch or punch my arms in frustration if she loses. Today I earned quite a few bruises.

It’s all in good fun mind you. I’m often laughing at her failures in the games. So I do kind of deserve her little attacks.

I’m going to miss her this weekend. But at least it will give me time to heal. And practice at our games.

Why Didn’t I just Talk It Out?

I was being a big baby for a couple of days towards my wife. I was all bitter and angry towards her and it turns out it was mostly just in my head.

I should’ve just talked to her when I had the chance. Instead, I came home after work and kind of blew up at her. Once it was out, I realized I was being kinda dumb.

In hindsight, I should’ve just expressed myself when I was starting to be bothered. I’m lucky that my wife is understanding and we are a really good team. We almost always talk things out. This last time was my bad. I take full responsibility.

Things are back to normal and great again. Silly Josef…

Fun Romancing

Yesterday was Valentines Day. Some people expressed their love for one another on social media. Others shared bitterness and sarcasm. Many people shared pictures of lovely dinners and flowers. Whatever your day was like, I hope it was great. Mine was super romantic.

First my wife and I dropped the kids off at school. Then we went for breakfast at a random bistro that we had never been to before. One of the best breakfasts I have ever had. Also the most expensive breakfast I have ever had. This was our romantic meal of the day.

Then my wife and I went home to play some video games in bed. Followed by a mid morning nap. Which led to me sleeping until 4pm because I worked the night shift the day prior. I woke up because I had missed four phone calls from my wife. She left the same message each time in her silliest voice possible. “Call me. Call me. Why won’t you call me? Caaaaaaaaallllllll me.”

When she came home, we played some Smash Bros and Mario Kart on the Nintendo Switch. My wife is really good at gaming and beat me repeatedly at these games. After a couple of hours of video games, I made dinner for the family.

After dinner we watched one of my wife’s favorite films- “Stardust“. It’s also one of my favorites. A fairytale involving love. Something about Neil Gaiman’s works translate from novel to film beautifully.

Yesterday was a day pretty much designed to make my wife happy. From a lovely breakfast date to lots of video games to enjoying a romantic film. I think we should do more days like this.