Tagged: vacay

Ottawa – Part 2.

I had the weirdest day, internet.

I woke up early to take advantage of being in a hotel smack dab in the middle of the Byward Market. God, it’s awesome here. I cannot stress that enough.


I got a croissant and some delicious fresh grapes and strawberries for breakfast.

Yet I digress.

The convention was big and scary and awesome and sensory-overloading. I wandered around before anyone got there and was pretty overwhelmed.


And that’s before this:

Stripping Fireman??

Stripping Fireman??

And this:



And this happened.

Beautiful sky??????

Beautiful sky??????

To describe it simply, the Women’s Convention was a lot of vendors and independent consultants and beauty people and tarot card readers and vibrator sellers and firemen and fashion models squished into one room with a bunch of eager consumers.

It was very exciting for about five hours.

Eight hours was a little long, although it gave me ample time to sample all of the creative food options (twice).

But my awesome manager K secretly ordered me poutine at dinner, so all is well and good. Fabulous, even, considering I’m full of potatoes, gravy, and beer.

Tata for now.



Unusual Canadian Stereotypes.

I wrote this post on Monday and completely forgot about it! Wheee!
My Canada trip is drawing to a close, internet, and soon I’ll be venturing back into the U S of A to prepare myself for a long day at work tomorrow. Before I go, however, I figured I wrap up my trip with an investigation about things I’ve notice noticed about Canadians over the course of this trip that you may not be aware of.
That’s right. It’s time for Unusual Canadian Stereotypes.


1.  Canadians are extremely fond of talking about the weather.
I actually noticed this a little while ago, and I thought it was a particular quirk of my dear Papear. However, with a little further investigation, I realized that every Canadian I’ve interacted with seems to be extremely in tune with what’s currently happening outside, exactly how hot or cold it was yesterday, and what the forecast is for the next few days (and how accurate that person thinks it’s going to be). Luckily for me, that means I never have to worry about checking the radar myself.
2.  Canadians are huge fans of local produce.
 Every time I go to Canada in the summer, my gran takes us all to two different farmer’s markets to pick up fresh food for the rest of the weekend. Both of those markets sell t-shirts coercing you to support local farms. The cooking school I went to was mostly locally sourced, including the plums, the cauliflower, and the garlic.
Then there’s this guy, who apparently loves carrots:
3. Canadians treat their dogs like royalty.
Yesterday we took a wander through the improbably beautiful town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Not only were there about a zillion pooches both on and off leash, there were about a zillion dog dishes on the sidewalk. I know, I know, having a dog dish on the sidewalk isn’t exactly uncommon, but have you ever seen one like this?
4. Canadians are fond of absurd statues and lawn ornamentation.
Yes, we’ve talked about this. But I don’t think you fully realize whats happing here yet.
Okay, the last one was taken at the Ten Thousand Buddha Temple near the falls. But still. I rest my case.

Oh Canada.

I just hit 200 followers on my Facebook page! Join the party!


Ah Canada. I love you so.

If you missed it yesterday, I’m in Canada visiting my grandparents. I was in Canada earlier this summer and was inspired to write such classic posts as My Grandmother is a Pirate and The True Story of When I was a Hot Box Doll.

God, it’s just so weird hereI love it.

To clarify, I’m right across the border from Buffalo. This is a picture I took from the restaurant where I had lunch. It’s the skyline of Buffalo.

I antiqued all the pictures in this post to make them classier. Is it working?

I antiqued all the pictures in this post to make them classier. Is it working?

(I should also point out that the restaurant is a classic Canadian grill style restaurant called the Palmwood and advertising Mexican beer. Oh Canada.)


It’s Friday the 13th here (and probably where you are), and my grandfather casually mentioned that we may see hordes of motorcyclists on their Friday the 13th pilgrimage to Port Dover, which is apparently a great Canadian tradition.

We did.

It was whatever.

Things started to pick up, however, when Mamma Mia and Gran and I took the grand dogs on a walk to town and saw this.





Sensing a hilarious image based blog in the making I – okay, fine.

We were walking back and my Mum and my Gran were having a hilariously in-depth discussion of the various front lawn statuary we saw as we past by and I was cheerfully obvious of a blog opportunity until I saw THIS GUY about a block away from Gran’s house:








That’s when I realized:








This magnificence is right next door to my grandparent’s house. I’ve titled it Bird Paradise. 

Now, I don’t know if it’s because of where I am in Canada, or because of whatnot and this-and-that, but I should note that all of these pictures were taken within a one-block radius. This was without trying that this happened. 

And my grandparents apparently aren’t immune, either.


Off to Canada.

Hey internet. I’m writing this one from the road, so apologies in advanve for the spelling mistakes I’m sure I’m about to make.

Mi madre and I are headed to Canada to visit mes grandparents. We’re going to a cooking school of some sort in the illustrious and beautimous wine country of Niagara. Because yes, internet, there is more to do in Niagara than watch gallons of water fall majestically over some rocks.

Also Gran said something about going to see an Elvis tritube show at the Fallsview Casino in Niagra Falls or something and I don’t know whether or not that’s happening but god I hope so.

Anyways, it’s the dark of night and we’re driving in a vaguely northernly direction through New York in the middle of farm country, and needless to say, it’s not particularly inspiring as far as writing material goes.

Doop de doo.

I really need to publish this before I cross the border, and I still technically haven’t written about anything.

Lots of construction happening on this highway. That’s cool, I guess.

Earlier the sky was doing this:


So. That’s a thing.

Yeahhhh I’m just gonna call it a day.

My dogs, the Petraphobes.

I might officially have the two stupidest dogs on the planet.

Let me explain.

I’m still in Canada visiting my grandparents, whose house is right on the lake. Not lake close. Not lake side. Lake on.

My two golden retriever puppies, Patty Mayonnaise and Dr. Pepper, are H2o enthusiasts. They swim like otters who have spend the entire morning unattended in a candy shop. Patty, in particular, is aqua obsessive. She will figuratively swim until she dies. Pepper enjoys BEING in water, but less so the physical aspect.

Let’s omit the part where it took them 15 minutes to even figure out that the house was near a body of water. Namely, the 15 minutes it took for me to put a swimsuit on and take them down to the beach. Come on, dogs.

No, the part that had me in stitches was the part where my dear dogs could not see the massive schools of spawning carp that were literally underneath their noses.

Side note – did you see what I did up there with the correct usage of figuratively and literally? That’s how it’s done, internet.

Yet I digress.

Each spring, the lakefront right outside my grandparent’s house is home to multiple healthy populations of fish… uh… doin’ it. As only fish can do. Meaning by laying eggs and – you know what, you get the idea.

I distinctly remember one day when I was a kid, about 7 years old. I was swimming in the shallows and I caught, with my bare hands, a pike who was clearly sedated by his (her?) post-coital bliss. I grabbed hold of the struggling serpentine shape and high-tailed to the house, where mi familia was enjoying some late afternoon apéritifs.

I proudly walked into the middle of this pleasant gathering, and said (true story), “Look! I caught dinner!”

It took some time for then to convince me to put the fish back in the lake. Apparently people don’t eat pike (reasons why I’m single #4 – I’m wicked good at catching spawning pike).

Long story summarized – lots of fish up in this lake. Massive fish. I saw at least five 10-pounders.

What catches my dog’s attention, pray tell? What makes them raise their hackles and growl and clash their teeth?

hnwcassandra pups

This rock.

This inanimate, non-threatening rock. Keep in mind there are huge fish swimming INTO my dog’s legs (fish are dumb).

But no, apparently the rock was a bigger security issue than the fish.

Because of reasons?


Canada, part 1.

Well internet, I’m back on the road. To Canada, to be precise.

Mi madre is driving and our trusty canine compadres Dumb and Dumber are konked out in the back seat.

Marm, fortunately, did not make the trek with us. He’s staying at home so he can continue peeing on things out of spite.

It’s 10:37 at night as I’m writing this currently, which is irrelevant to you as this blog won’t be posted until sometime on Saturday, but I’m trying to set the scene. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind week. I’ve been working my butt off with catering and yoga and visitor’s centre stuff and whatnot and I’ve barely been able to think, let alone write or sleep or catch up on Battlestar Galatica (okay, that last bit’s not true).

Long story short, I’m very ready to escape from reality for a few days with mi Madre, my steadfast grandfather Papear, and my most loyal blog reader, Granny. Not to mention that the food in Canada always seems somewhat enthusiastically better than American food. I’m not sure how much of that feeling is pure nostalgia and how much is Canadian cooking, but I’m currently devouring a Tim Hortons donut and I’m very happy about it.

My grandparents live in a little nowhere town just a hopskip across the border from Buffalo, right on Lake Erie. Both sets of my grandparents used to live on the same road, incidentally, but my American set have long since relocated to the gentler climes of South Carolina. I have many fond memories of running betweenthe two houses as a young rapscallion (the great and understated advantage to having grandparents living right next to each other – if one pair says no the other will almost invariably say yes).


It’s now Saturday – time warp, woahhh – and I’ve made it in one piece. Yesterday the Fam Damily and I spend a very pleasant morning biking the TransCanadian bike trail – very Canadianly named the Friendship trail.

Fun fact – whenever you pass someone on the Friendship trail, they will greet you in a pleasant and very polite Canadian manner. If they do not, they are probably American.



We biked down to the market in Port Colborne and haggled over exorbitantly priced pepperettes and buckwheat honey and some lovely fresh roasted cashews.

I am only telling you this so I have an excuse to put in this awesome picture of the lift bridge in. Port Colborne is home to a working lift bridge, which there are very few left of. I almost researched it, but I got bored and dinner’s almost ready.

So this is a thing.

So this is a thing.

Bye for now.


Flights, part 3.

It is criminally early in the morning and I’m sitting in the Charlotte airport. There’s a kid running around with his brother- one of them’s like 5, the other is maybe 2 and a half. The younger one is just starting to get the hang of legs. He’s stumbling around like a college student on spring break and he keeps going back and forth from “I’m fine” to “I’M NOT FINE EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE” to “oh wait actually I’m pretty okay”. Kids.

I just spent the night in Charlotte with mes parents and we are finally off to Puerto Rico. Although, incidentally, by the time you read this, it’ll be 5 or 6 pm on Wednesday night and I’ll be halfway through my trip and probably getting ready for dinner or something. I know it’s a complicated situation, but that’s how the internet works, and guess who has two thumbs and isn’t about to spend her time on the beach writing blogs for y’all? This gal (sidenote- does this expression still work if you can’t see me pointing obnoxiously at myself? No? Deal with it.).

Our stay in Charlotte was largely uneventful save a stop at Yoga One, which I posted about yesterday (haha I totally haven’t yet! I haven’t even written that post yet! I’m totally screwing with your mind! THIS BLOG IS A IS WIBBLY WOBBLEY BALL OF TIMEY WIMEY STUFF!!). It was cold and raining and I got pretty sick last night with the plague. We did go bowling, which only re-enforced my suspicions that I am a terrible bowler (reasons why I’m single #19 – I’m a terrible bowler).  Final scores? Padre – 91. Madre – 58. Me – 55. I even drank a White Russian so I could try to channel The Dude. No such luck.

We’re now on the plane stuck on the runway waiting for a half hour for the plane to take off because something something air flow planes Atlanta yadda ya. We are sitting in business class surrounded by Frowny Scowls McBusinessmen who spent the entire pre-flight grimacing at their smart phones, turned them off for takeoff, and sat there with their index fingers hovering over the on buttons during the taxi out. Cheer up, Mr. Pinstripe suit guy. That bag of mini pretzels can’t be that bad.

Tata for now.