I survived a month of vacation



The weekend is rapidly approaching and I am falling behind in writing yet again. This time I am blaming it on returning to work.

Having a month off was perhaps a bit too much time away from the desk. I didn’t make any safety errors, but certainly was feeling a little rusty upon my return. It is wonderful how quickly our memory is able to retrieve skills and put them back into use. After a few small errors, I totally am back into the swing of things feeling refreshed.

The night shifts have been a bit more challenging to come back to. My sleep pattern has strayed very far away from staying up until 5am; and wasn’t helped at all by spending the weekend on time zone ahead in Winnipeg.

I had an amazing visit with friends, and thoroughly enjoyed celebrating my gay mama’s 50th birthday with his friends. On Sunday before I left, I also found myself able to enjoy a dinner party hosted by Désiré. Moving away was hard, but being able to take part in some of these events makes the experience that much more special for me.

I am also working on a new video project that you can look forward to being posted on YouTube as well very soon. I just need to take an hour to record the necessary audio component which is missing and then it will be ready to share with you.

I hope you all are amazing as always and I look forward to sharing the pictures from my vacation within the next few days with you. Until then stay fabulous.

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Happy Anniversary to Me!



Yesterday, WordPress informed me that my blog celebrated its first birthday!  I am a little disappointed that I didn’t remember that it was coming or planning a party, but alas one year of blogging has come and gone.

The last year has been filled with many changes and most of those I didn’t see coming.  I am lucky to be sharing a life and home with Mike in Calgary, I am glad to have accomplished my goal of returning to work for one of the two major airlines in Canada, I am happy to be driving bus again and seeing things that I wouldn’t have if not for this hobby made into a job, but most importantly I am blessed with amazing friends that I am able to share my story with.

I will admit that I had hopped that I would have been more dedicated to writing, but life got in the way and it is impossible to change the past.  Writing is one of my favourite creative outlets as it allows me the opportunity to organize my thoughts, share my experiences, and hopefully benefit you as the readers in one way or another.

Over the next year my blogging goals include to share more travel stories with you as Mike and I, along with friends, travel around the world and hopefully make some amazing memories together.  I would also like to be more dedicated to writing as I love sharing my thoughts, ideas, and experiences with you.  Lastly, I would like to make time to create video memories along with the written ones to share with you.

A day at Nikiska


This weekend I had the opportunity to drive a bus charter up to Nakiska for the day. It was for a group of international students that were in Calgary, Alberta, Canada studying oil and gas to work for various companies around the world.

Nakiska is located on Highway 40, about 15 min south of Highway 1.  The short drive 45 minute drive from Calgary makes this the perfect opportunity for a day of skiing.

Nakiska was one of the Olympic sites for the 1988 Winter Games.  It was named after the cree word “to meet.”  Featuring over 1,000 acres for you to explore, there are over 70 trails ranging in difficulty from beginner to black diamond runs.  There are four chair lifts and two magic carpets to take you up this 735 meter (2,412 ft.) slope.

There is a mid-mountain lodge available serving burgers, hot beverages, and most importantly beer.  At the base of the hill there is also lodge with plenty of seating for you and your family to enjoy a Starbucks coffee or something from the Slopeside Deli.

If you are after a proper sit down meal, the Finish-Line Lodge has you covered.  The menu has put a unique twist on some popular favourites.  I had the opportunity to try the chicken quesadilla, which was made with apples in the blend and served with a house-made cranberry salsa.  The staff was really friendly and made sure that everything was served to perfection.  Thankfully, my server also notified me of their “no-refill” policy on soda.  If only she had told me this before I spent $3 on my glass of Coke and drank half before my food came.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to enjoy the hill as I was working, but I look forward to making a trip out here skiing soon.   Have you been to Nakiska?  What is your favourite part of this hill?

My Thinking Spot

As most of you know I have a weird fascination with transportation, which is slightly embarrassing to admit.  Mostly, this includes airplanes and buses which I feel is a bit of a strange combination.

There have been a few days this month that I have been feeling pretty lonely as Mike and I were working completely opposite schedules.  As much as I love working night shift, it resulted in us passing each other on the highway at 5am as I return home from work and Mike heads to the airport.

Sometimes it is nice to get out of the house and just have some me time.  One thing that I love doing, rather than cleaning which really needs to be done, is driving around the city exploring bus routes or watching the train.  I recently discovered several youtube channels of people recording bus routes and thing that it is a really neat way to document the changes our cities go through for people to see in the future.

I was out for a drive last week and decided to test out my new Nokia Lumia 1020.  I have shared a quick video clip of 14th Ave at 14th St NW of the Calgary LRT route 201 passing headed to Crowfoot Station.

What do you do when you need to escape reality and refocus yourself?

Cough twice for me…

I have been having a brutal head ache for the past week that I couldn’t place my finger on the cause.  It is weird mostly because it feels like it hurts on the outside, but sends shooting pains deep into my skull. I have finally caved and made my way to a walk-in clinic to see a doctor.

While sitting here in the waiting room, I have come to the realization that I don’t have a regular doctor in Calgary. I mean I go to the same clinic every time I am sick, which thankfully isn’t very often, but I don’t have a “family doctor” anymore.

I suppose that technically I could call my doctor back in Manitoba and make appointments and go back to see him. However, I went in for a basic checkup and he didn’t suggest any blood tests or anything to check to make sure my body was functioning “normally.”  Plus it is a bit of a commute to fly home, especially when I am feeling under the weather.

Perhaps this whole family doctor is something that I will have to pursue a little further for Mike and I.  This sounds like it is going to be a bit of a research project.

Have you moved and had to find a new doctor for your family? Did you have the opportunity to choose between several doctors, or did you take the first one you could find? What type of questions did you ask before making your decision? Let me know in the comments below.

I missed the one month mark again!

Well I should start by saying HAPPY NEW YEAR! I am so incredibly late. Life seems to be really good at distracting me from writing. I wish I had a valid excuse for it, but I don’t.

So much has happened since the last time I was online and actually wrote a valid post that I don’t even know where to begin. For the sake of getting this posted before next year, I am going to crack a bottle of wine and give you the Cole’s notes version.

Beginning of December brought a week of vacation which Mike and I used to go back to Winnipeg to visit family and friends. It was a rushed visit in which there were many hugs given to many important people in our lives. As always, there were friends that were missed, but we did get to share amazing food and gifts with both his and my families.

The holiday season is the busiest time of year in the travel industry, and as a result both Mike and I were working. We did have the pleasure of sharing dinner and way too many gifts even after we said we weren’t exchanging anything.

January brought more work as everyone tried to get home after the holidays. Luckily I was on days off for the majority of the Toronto ice storm so I can say I survived. Mike picked up a tonne of overtime this month and worked as many hours as he essentially legally could.

I feel like I have been working non-stop as well. I was dispatching almost every day it feels like in order to get myself 26 days of freedom from work. However, the bus driving has kept me busy and I feel like I am working full time for them even though I am supposed to be on holidays. I shouldn’t complain though as it will hopefully mean paying off Christmas and the last few pieces of furniture that we need for the house.

I did get the opportunity to go up to Edmonton for the last two days which feels like a bit of a wasted trip. Although I did get to see Mike, I was sick and felt like death. However, when I did venture out, I was involved in a minor car accident. I am okay and there is very little damage to my car, but I have to figure out how to deal with that tomorrow.

I have attached the video of the dashboard camera in my car. I am fully aware the date on the film is WAY off, but I sure am glad that I have it since she backed into me and I can prove it.

Hope you all are well!

XOXO

-Matt

Tis the Season…

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I did it! I finally did it! The Christmas tree is setup. It only took 4 days to finish, but it is up and I think it looks pretty realistic.

Mike and I invested our first pre-lit Christmas tree together this year. Selecting our tree online was almost like going to the tree farm to pick out which tree would decorate our home for years to come. It has been laying in the box in the living room for the past month teasing me that I wasn’t yet allowed to set it up.

However, Mike finally opened the box on Thursday and let me start the long task of assembling the 7 1/2′ lifelike tree. I hate spreading the branches out to make it look realistic, which is why the process took 4 days to complete. I couldn’t imagine still having to put 750 lights onto it. If you have yet to experienced the joy of untangling your lights this year, I would suggest throwing them away and investing in a pre-lit tree. Costco has them from $200-300 online.

The thing I love most out our tree is that the bulbs are both white and multicoloured. There are preprogrammed functions for solid white, solid multicoloured, flashing white, or fading white to multicoloured. I like the fading option the best.

I can’t wait to show you the fully decorated tree. That is something I couldn’t do without Mike. Especially since it is going to be his first Christmas in Canada in years!

Mike returns from Vegas this evening, and I am off to work here shortly. I love the overnight shift, but it sure would have been nice to see him. However, he did hint at the fact that he might be delivering Wendy’s on his way home.

Have you setup your tree already? If you haven’t, when are you planning on doing it? What is your favourite part of setting up the tree?