WHOA lansi

francophile, oenophile, logophile, turophile

Tag: Summer

On Seasons

CopenhagenIt’s that time of year when my Facebook feed is filled with posts about pumpkin spice lattes, sweaters, & cool autumn days. We’re officially a week away from the Fall Equinox, a date I generally associate with the end of summer (or Winter: Part 1). I’m a summer girl, through & through. Maybe it comes with the territory, being born smack dab in the middle of this glorious season, or maybe it stems from the fact that I’ve spent most of my life in a city that doesn’t often experience a true fall.

Don’t get me wrong, I love cozying up with N for a nice evening by the fire. I even love the quintessential fall outfit: sweater, scarf, jeans, tall boots. The last couple years, we’ve even gotten some “real fall” weather in Calgary, & even I have to admit, it’s pretty nice.

Goodbye Summer Hikes

What I don’t love is when the frenzied fall excitement starts while we’re still in the throes of a perfectly good summer. I know the heat can get to people, but dang, are we really ready to start scraping frost off our windshields or, heaven forbid, wearing pants to work? Do you really love pumpkin that much, or are you just really into that Starbucks abomination (I think pumpkin is a delightful gourd under most other circumstances)?

The only thing worse than hearing about Pumpkin Spice Lattes in August is seeing a Christmas countdown before Halloween. I’m not even going to apologize for my opinion on this one. Christmas is literally over 3 months away. Stop. Please. Can we get a couple months off before we have to start thinking about the most commercialized holiday again? We have a hard & fast rule in our house: no Christmas talk until after Remembrance Day.

I get it if you love fall. That’s totally cool. I think it’s pretty not bad myself (although, it’s no summer), but before we get all wrapped up (literally, it’s gonna get real cold up in Canada) in fall, let’s take a minute to say goodbye to my favourite season. Thanks for being especially great to me, Summer 2017. I’m hesitant to let you go. & here’s everything I will miss most about you:

  • Sitting outside in daylight until the wee hours
  • Biking to & from work every day
  • Bare legs & summer dresses
  • Sandals (oh how I love sandals)
  • Jumping into the lake
  • Getting out the door in under 5 minutes
  • Letting my hair air dry on my way to work
  • Waking up to sunshine
  • Giving Odin a treat without mittens on
  • Getting off work while the sun’s still up
  • BBQs & get togethers & all the socializing
  • Delicious produce from the garden
  • Tan lines

All kidding aside, this summer was one for the books. We crammed a lot into a few short months, & although I’m sad to see her go, I’m also excited for what the rest of 2017 has in store for us.

Cheers to Summer

Cheers to summer, & happy Fall Equinox, friends. I hope the snow holds off until I’m back in Calgary. ūüėČ

That lake life

Lake 3

I’ve been in and around water my whole life. Growing up, my parents had a 26-foot cabin cruiser that we spent most vacations on, cruising from island to island. My love &¬†respect for the water began there. Competitive swimming naturally followed. I spent years swimming back and forth, back and forth, &¬†I don‚Äôt regret a single lap. I went on to swim varsity in university, which lead to coaching &¬†teaching swimming lessons when I retired. I just couldn’t stay away from the water!

& I’m the first to¬†admit that most water-related activities come much easier to me than those on land – I aced my scuba diving tests, for example, even though everyone made fun of me for falling asleep in the classroom portion. Stick me on a wakeboard &¬†I’ll impress you far more than I ever could with its snowier counterpart. Frankly, I’m awkward on land, &¬†anyone who knows me well will undoubtedly agree.¬†At any given moment, I can point out at least one bruise from this¬†awkwardness. (Maybe this comes as a surprise after all those super graceful gymnastics photos of me. The real gymnasts are very entertained by my attempts.)

Dock with N

DSC01399

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve spent less & less time in the water. I’m certainly not as excited at the prospect of spending multiple hours working out in a pool anymore. & while I do love a good swim workout from time to time, I prefer to get my water fix at the lake or in the ocean.

My parents spent a few years¬†looking for property on a lake before they settled on Columbia Lake, in the East Kootenay. They built a beautiful house &, almost a decade later, it has become one of my favourite places to get away¬†to. Its proximity to Calgary is a huge draw. A three hour drive away, it’s an easy weekend trip. It’s quiet, relaxing, & absolutely gorgeous. There are restrictions on mooring, so it’s a lot quieter than its very popular sister, Lake Windermere (Something I’m always grateful for as a wakeboarder. Give me calm water & space!).

I usually only pop out for a long weekend, here & there, but last summer we stopped out there for a few extra days, hoping to log some hours on the boat as the season drew to a close.

Dock Alanna-2

Unfortunately, the fires put a bit of a damper on those plans. Visibility was fine by the time we got out there, but the smoke kept the temperatures low. It seemed the sun just couldn’t break through. Nonetheless, I thought these photos were beautiful in their own way. You can’t see either of the mountain ranges very clearly, & it’s not the crystal clear water & blue skies that come to mind when I think of summertime out there, but it’s still beautiful.

Lake 1

Lake 2

Lake

The always gorgeous view of Columbia Lake

I wound up sick while we were on this trip, so I didn’t take a lot of photos. As I was sorting through the ones for my anniversary post, I came across these & thought they were pretty in a different kind of way & figured I might as well share. I’m getting excited for summer & more time out at the lake. One of favourite things to do is grab coffee out on the lakehouse’s front deck. Sometimes those simple little things become my favourites.

Spent the weekend taking lots of patio naps.

Spent the weekend taking lots of patio naps.

Do you have a special place like this? What’s your favourite thing to do in the warmer months?

Road Tripping: Seattle

I can’t believe it’s been over two months since we were in Seattle. It was a really quick trip, but we managed to see a lot of the city. We got in late in the afternoon and parked by the pier. We had about an hour until my friend and his wife could meet up with us so we wandered around.¬†

Pike Place Market was just down the street so we headed there right away. I’m not sure what is up with this gum wall, but it’s huge. N thought it was pretty gross and I kind of do too. Interesting to photograph, but I don’t think I could bring myself to touch it and add my own piece to the wall.

We wandered the market a bit and then went in search of parking to meet up with my friend and his wife. I hadn’t see Lucas since he came to Calgary for Stampede Week in 2006. We originally met in France while studying in Rennes in 2005. He played tour guide and showed up some of the main sites downtown. We eventually decided on Ivar’s for some seafood on the pier. It was great catching up and hearing about everything they’d been up to since I’d last seen him (there’s a lot. They’re pretty worldly and impressive people!) They were generously putting us up at their home just outside Seattle so after dinner we headed back to their house to rest up for the next day.

Our first stops after breakfast the next day were the Ballard Locks and Fish Ladder. They were built to link the freshwater of Lake Washington to the saltwater of Puget Sound. There is also a fish ladder built to allow easier passage for salmon to return to Lake Washington and navigate the locks. There are glass panels below the waterline so you can watch the fish swim up the ladders if you’re lucky. We waited and waited, hoping to see a salmon swim up the ladder, but it was wasn’t until we were just walking out that one finally made an appearance. It swam so fast that we didn’t get to see much. It’d be really cool to be there when a lot of salmon are making their way to Lake Washington.

We had visited Pike Place Market briefly the day before but wanted a little more time to see it and try some seafood so we headed back there. The rain held off and gave us the opportunity to wander the market. We tried some fresh crab and marvelled at the amazing seafood. The rest of the market was great too, but that scale of seafood isn’t something we see at home so we were spent most of our time in awe of the seafood.

 
We tried to visit the first Starbucks, but the line outside was insane so we took dumb pictures outside instead. It was possibly the most touristy moment of our trip. I worked at Starbucks long enough to grow an intense appreciation for good coffee and small roasters, of which there are plenty in both Seattle and Portland. I appreciate what Starbucks has done for this industry. It really wouldn’t exist if someone hadn’t come up with the idea to open this little italian style cafe and try to sell the idea of lattes, americanos, and¬†cappuccinos¬†to North Americans. Thank you, Starbucks.¬†

Lucas had mentioned we should check out the library. It’s a pretty cool building and definitely well worth a wander if you’re looking for something to do downtown and are interested in architecture. We didn’t stay long, but we wandered all the way up to the top. This is the top floor of the library.

Afterwards, we decided we’d seen enough of downtown Seattle and headed up to Capitol Hill. This is such a cool area of Seattle. We were ready for a break, some beer, and a snack so we wandered the area looking for a good spot. We stumbled on¬†Oddfellows¬†and decided it looked like a good choice. We shared some charcuterie and a couple drinks. I absolutely loved the space and was sad to have to head back to the car. I would have loved to have had more time to explore Capitol Hill. I guess that means we’ll have to make another trip out to Seattle.

We headed to¬†the Walrus and the Carpenter¬†for dinner that night. The restaurant is in Ballard, which is another really cool neighbourhood. They don’t take reservations and it is a pretty popular spot so we showed up and had a two hour wait ahead of us. Luckily this gave us a chance to wander around the area and grab a drink on a patio. Again, another neighbourhood I’d love to have more time to explore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter is a little Oyster Bar in a beautiful old restored building. They also have a lot of small plates and a beautiful wine and beer selection. We ordered a bunch of delightful things along with both fresh oysters and fried ones. It was a delicious meal and the perfect end to our food tour of the Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately, it seemed too cramped a space to pull out my SLR so I only have grainy iPhone photos of the meal. Trust me, these don’t do it justice.

We woke up “early”the next morning, grabbed coffee in the beautiful town of Edmonds (Lucas picked a beautiful spot to call home!), and hit the Interstate. We stopped for some quick outlet shopping before crossing the border back into Canada; it was time for Kelowna and a very exciting half marathon!

Road Tripping: Cannon Beach

Instead of taking the I-5 all the way to Portland from Vancouver, we took a detour to the coast at Olympia. I’d driven interstate highways before and knew they were quick, efficient, and mostly incredibly boring. My dad’s own trip down the Pacific Coast Highway in his Triumph TR-6 had sparked my interest in doing the same. We wouldn’t be able to head all the way down, but when planning our trip, I couldn’t resist sneaking in this little detour.

We’d originally planned to head all the way down to Tillamook and then start heading towards Portland. I’d planned a stop at Cannon Beach after seeing countless gorgeous photos of it. We arrived around dinner time and wandered around the beachy little tourist town in search of some french seafood to go. All the restaurants were packed (and total tourist traps). All we wanted was something french we could take away to the beach.

We finally found a little place, grabbed our fish and chips, and hit the beach. As you can see from the photos, it was a beautiful evening. The light was incredible and the beach is breathtaking. We decided to head straight to Portland from there instead of continuing further down the PCH to Tillamook. I think we both decided we’d be back though. Next time, we’ll go all the way to California.

July Loving

July is probably my favourite month of the year. For one, summer is finally here and Canada Day usually kicks off my series of long weekends on boats. I’ve spent the majority of my July Long Weekends in and around water and this year was no exception.

Favourite summer activity at the lake.

¬†July also features the Calgary Stampede and my birthday. I love celebrating my birthday with friends. I’m one of those people who plans a party every year and invites everyone she knows. I love sharing that day with all the people I love.

The Calgary Stampede is definitely up there on my list though too. They kicked things off with the Parade this morning and, as usual, I’m so excited that it’s finally here. For ten days, this city is incredible. I truly love Calgary, but I find it really shows off during Stampede week. A lot of it is a big party, but it’s more than that too. There’s an energy in the city and I always look forward to this time of year.

Parade from my boss’ office window

This weekend we’re heading out camping with some friends in Drumheller. I’m excited, but I also can’t wait to get back to Calgary and start enjoying Stampede in the city. Tuesday is my work Stampede Party and then I’m hoping to head down to the grounds a couple of times over the weekend.

This year seems a bit more special than most since the Stampede grounds were completely underwater after the flooding 2 weeks ago. The Stampede announced they would hold the event Come Hell or High Water a few days after the flooded and started cleaning up almost immediately. Two weeks isn’t much time and I’m still in awe that they managed to pull it off. They originally had planned to even get the Saddledome up and running, but unfortunately the damage was too extensive and they had to cancel the concerts they’d planned on holding there.

Watching the parade with this lovely lady!

All this to say that I love July! I hope everyone else has a great weekend and, if you’re in Calgary and love the Stampede like I do, I hope you get out an enjoy it!

Yahooooo!

Summer To-Do List

Columbia Lake
Considering yesterday Calgary and its surrounding communities and cities declared a state of emergency due to flooding from heavy rainfall, it’s hard to believe summer has arrived today. Inspired by a couple other bloggers and the first day of one of my favourite seasons (who am I kidding, I love them all!), I put together a little summer to-do list of some of the things I’d like to do.¬†
1. Enjoy cocktails with friends. I want to host a cocktail party but I¬†envision¬†this being outside and that’s not an option for us due to our lack of outdoor space. Elsie of A Beautiful Mess has been posting a ton of amazing sounding cocktail recipes that I am dying to try!¬†
2. Take advantage of the mountains. Go hiking and backpacking. The rockies are too close not to take advantage of!
3. Experience more Calgary events. Street Festivals, Food Truck Events, Fun Runs…Take advantage of some of the fun local things happening around Calgary. Play tourist at home a little bit.¬†
4. Take a road trip. I can’t wait for our trip to Vancouver, Portland, Seattle, and Kelowna. I love a good road trip and I love visiting new cities.¬†
5. Attend an outdoor concert. I bought tickets for Folk Fest. I’ve heard great things about it so it’s about time I did a full day at Prince’s Island.¬†
6. Nail a handstand. I’ve been practicing and I’m determined to nail a decent handstand. The summer I was nine, I had a similar goal, but with cartwheels. What I’m saying is that I’m an nine-year-old at heart.
7. Get away with the girls. Boys will be boys, so let’s leave them at home and have our own fun. I’m thinking some lake time is in order. Maybe we can kill two birds with one stone and make up some cocktails too!
8. Rock a flip flop tan and some freckles. Nothing says summer to me better than sunkissed skin and tan lines from my havaianas. Come on Calgary, bring on the sunshine!
9. Bike to work as much as possible! We live in the perfect neighbourhood to take advantage of biking to work. It’s such a great way to start the day.¬†
10. Spend time outside daily. Summer always flies by. I’ll save my hermitting for winter, when darkness sets in before I leave work and the ground is frozen for months.¬†

Enjoy the first day of summer! What do you plan to do this season?
Nashville North
Wedding Shower
Wakeboarding

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