Saturday, May 29, 2010

Just another day in Saskatchewan

Last weekend when I was at home, I noticed that the countryside was abuzz with farmers out seeding and fertilizing like crazy, preparing for the big spring planting - if they weren't already finished.

What is captured here in my photos is something that happens quite frequently if you grow up on the farm - sometimes farmers get their tractors stuck in the field. My dad had to help our neighbour get his tractor out last weekend which caused a bit of a stir but it was successful (not like another neighbour a few years ago who got 4 different vehicles stuck in the field trying to pull out the original stuck tractor).

I couldn't resist adding this link to the Corb Lund band's "Truck Got Stuck". It's been a favourite for me for a few years!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

May long 2010 - The girls are back in town!

So when I started blogging under this name a year ago I started off by posting about getting together with my former South Korea co-teachers for a little reunion. We decided it was so much fun and such a success that we would make it an annual event.

This year we got together in Saskatoon at my sister's wee house. The weather hasn't been very cooperative but that doesn't mean we haven't been having fun. Here are a couple of pictures from last night, first at Meagan's house and then out two-steppin' at the Long Branch!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Happy Bloggiversary!

What a wonderful weekend to be celebrating my one year bloggiversary here at "Adventures of a Saskatchewan Girl". I'm actually in Saskatchewan this May long weekend (Victoria Day long weekend for my overseas friends). It feels good to be back home in the province where I draw so much inspiration and where I've grown up.

And this weekend picks up on where my blog started off last year ~ by gathering together at my sister's house in Saskatoon with my friends Melanie and Kelly ~ girls that we used to live and work with in South Korea.

I want to say thank you to all of those who have come along with me on my adventures and have chimed in with all of your comments. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Snowflakes to sunburns and back again...

Finally on Monday morning the Carnival Paradise docked back in Long Beach. We had a relatively easy time debarking the boat and were well on our way to checking into our next hotel in L.A. before lunchtime.

First stop - Santa Monica pier. This place has it all - giant wharf, carnival rides, rustic buildings and signage, gorgeous beach and colourful characters all mixed in. I honestly felt a sense of deja vu while we were there; I'm sure Santa Monica pier has been used in countless films before and it was weird to be there.

We wandered along the beach stopping where Muscle Beach used to be located and then over to Venice Beach where the new Muscle Beach is. Make no mistake, old or new, Muscle Beach had its fair share of leathery older men in Speedos pumping iron in the sunshine. It was so cliche and for that I loved it!

After strolling on the beach we booked ourselves in on a VIP tour that would take us around L.A. well into the evening ~ it was the easiest, cheapest, safest and smartest bang for our buck considering the time frame we had to work with.

So what did we see? Well we started with downtown L.A. which included such landmarks as the Staples Centre (where Michael Jackson's funeral was held), the Disney Concert Hall and various office towers used to film Superman 2, the Die Hard movies and True Lies.

Next we took a tour up Mulholland Drive to a lookout point. We had the city of L.A. at our feet including the Hollywood concert bowl. And just over our shoulders was the most iconic sign you can ever hope to see in L.A.....the Hollywood sign! Nothing ever quite prepares you for the first time you get to see it.

Universal Studios was the next stop on our tour and although the theme park was closed, we had ample time to wander around the rest of the grounds and take in a Pinks chili cheese dog (just opened on April 19th by Betty White).

No L.A./Hollywood tour is complete without hitting Sunset Boulevard. We strolled the Walk of Fame, we put our hands in the cement in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre (my hands fit Betty Grable's), we saw the haunts of Marilyn Monroe, where John Belushi died and George Clooney's restaurant. But we weren't done yet. Next we drove through posh Beverly Hills and got a brief tour of homes where Carey Grant, Shirley Temple and Marilyn Monroe used to live (apparently stars don't live in Beverly Hills anymore). We finally wrapped things up on classic Rodeo Drive. Everything was closed but we still gazed in the windows of the shops longing for Louis Vuitton, Hermes, DKNY and Chanel.

Finally on Tuesday we had to face the fact that we were returning home. We had left Calgary in chaos with the snowstorm and got lulled into a false sense of complacency in L.A., stocking up on Vitamin D and getting sunburned. Imagine our surprise (or for me lack thereof) to discover yet another snowstorm had just finished blowing through when we arrived back home. Oh well, we had our sunny vacation and even though reality might be a bit colder than we had hoped, it's always nice to come home after adventuring!

Sea Day

After all the hijinx from the day before in Ensenada the mood was a lot more relaxed on Sunday as we had a "at sea" day. We stopped off the coast of California for Sunday and just enjoyed the quiet day. For the first time since we had left L.A. we pulled up lounge chairs and worshipped the sun.

It was also a perfect time to really explore the boat and see what all a person could do. We checked out the pools, the shuffleboard, ping pong, basketball court, golf cage and finally the mini-golf on the top deck.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Ensenada, Mexico

When we woke up Saturday morning we had sailed all the way from Long Beach, California right up to the docks in Ensenada, Mexico. We had booked a day tour that included visiting a naturally occurring blowhole and then a winery tour and tasting. We were pretty excited to get going and the day was gorgeous.

The blowhole didn't disappoint, shooting water hundreds of feet into their as the tides rushed in against the rocks. It was fun to watch people squeal as they got soaked by the spray! We browsed the nearby flea market afterwards and then tucked in to some homemade fare - TACOS.

We drove the coastline back into Ensenada and stopped at the St. Tomas winery. The second oldest winery in Mexico St. Tomas began prodution mostly to feel the wine needs for Catholic mass. The winery was started by the church but today produces and markets their wine publicly. We sampled some of their finest reds, whites and ports and then it was back on the bus back to the boat.

Saturday night was the "Captain's Dinner" so Bonnie, Amy and I got glammed up for the event. They had cheesy photo backdrops all over the ship and we hit up every backdrop, posing for photo after photo. After dinner we went to Rex Disco and danced the night away to 70s and 80s mixes.


Friday morning dawned warm and slightly less breezy in Long Beach so Amy, Bonnie and I took the opportunity to walk along the beach enjoying the sunshine and sand between our toes.

On the advice of our hotel staff we headed over the the Long Beach pier and checked in at the Carnival Cruise office early. We didn't just wait around to board though, we had plenty of things to occupy ourselves with ~ especially this big gal!

The Queen Mary is permanently docked in Long Beach and has been turned into a hotel with restaurants as well as tourist destination. We spent a couple of hours climbing through her, taking in the sheer size of her and her long history.

We shoved off from Long Beach pier at 5:30 and sailed quietly into the evening. Dinner at the swank Destiny Dining Room involved live entertainment each night and even encouraged patrons to get up and join the fun!

Here's a few photos to give you an idea of how cosy our little cabin was for the three of us.