Saturday, 29 October 2016

Weekly Update and First Episode of Canada's Worst Driver 12

I'm back after a bit of a lull in blogging. The week before I came down with a terrible cold. The kind where you just continually blow your nose over and over until it is raw.Yuck! and I was so tired, too. So not a lot got done - I just rested.

Then late last week we received the sad news that my sister in law had very suddenly passed away due to an accident at home. I am still shocked as I just saw her at Thanksgiving. She was a strong and spirited woman who loved animals and helping those with disabilities. We are all missing her terribly and I think it will take a while for what happened to really sink in. If I can take anything from it, its to enjoy the moment, as each day is a gift. You just never know how long you have, and to appreciate all the wonderful people in your life.

On a happier note, this week, the first episode of Canada's Worst Driver aired. I was so nervous because I thought I would look really weepy, and stupid, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I remember. Its funny how in one's mind thing appear so much bigger than from the outside. I remember being really teary during the drive around my hometown and cried a lot after the assessment challenge, but they didn't show much of it, thankfully. Below are some photos from the first episode and a video of me talking in more detail about the first episode. I also received a package from the show, which you can see me unbox.

Filming across from Niagara Falls  

Cat (my lucky stuffy) and I waiting to during a dinner break

Chantal and I hanging out between challenges

Waiting for the day to start 

                                                  My take on the first episode is above.

                                                   Unboxing a package from Worst Driver.

Thanks to everyone for their condolences during this difficult time, and to everyone who has been so encouraging and suppportive during my driving journey. It means a lot that so many people have reached out, I appreciate it so much.

Next week is episode 2, and I'll do another update video and blog update.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

My Trip to Victoria, British Columbia

Thanks for your patience dear readers, as I've been away from blogging for a few weeks. Part of that was because I went to visit my bestie Rheina, on Vancouver Island at the end of September. She moved away just over a year ago and I've been missing her sorely. Facebook and talking on the phone are great but it doesn't compare to a face to face visit.

 I thought I'd share with you some of the places I visited while I was there. My friend is fairly private, so no pictures with her in them, but needless to say I had a lovely time hanging out with her and her family and appreciate them showing around the lovely part of the world they now call home.

View along the highway to Sooke BC

 One of the places we visited was a Victorian mansion called Craigdarroch Castle. It was built in 1890 by a Scottish coal baron for his family, and is now a museum. If you are in Victoria , and like Victorian history, I would highly recommend it. It has four floors and 30 some rooms, almost all of which have been beautifully restored. It really gives you a feel for life of the upper class at the turn of the last century. As a side note, it is supposed to be haunted too.

Craigdarroch Castle

Stained Glass in the Drawing Room

Drawing Room
 After walking around the amazing mansion, we decided to go to a local cafe that is very popular. It serves some excellent eggs Benedict (or so I have heard as I don't like eggs), and I had a delicious veggie burger. The Blue Fox cafe is a quirky, fun cafe in downtown Victoria that I would recommend if you want something local, delicious, and you like an artsy atmosphere.

 Another great place we visited that is kind of a must, when in Victoria, is the Butchart Gardens. It is pretty pricey, but definitely worth doing at least once. I met my lovely friend Ray, from art school, at the gardens. It was great to see him again and stroll around. If you like formal gardens, or are into Victorian things, you will enjoy the gardens. It started as the private garden for the Butchart family at the turn of the century, expanded from there and is still a family owned and run business. There are several different themed gardens including a Japanese garden, a rose garden, an Italian garden etc. The most beautiful garden for me was the sunken garden made from a quarry. It reminded me of Quarry Park in Shrewsbury UK.

The Sunken Garden

Ray in the Rose Garden

 One day we went to the beach, so I could see the Pacific Ocean. I've seen the Atlantic and Caribbean ocean, but never the Pacific. We went to beautiful place called French Beach. Even though the water was cold I still manged to put a foot in the water and ended up getting my shoes wet by accident, but it didn't matter, it is all part of the fun.

French Beach

 It was a lovely trip, as it was so nice to hang out with my bestie and get away to see another part of the world. I know this will be an annual trip, and am looking forward already to returning next year.