Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dusting off a draft: Questions from Irish Girl

I seem to be going through a bit of a dry spell at the moment. Nothing much happening in my life that seems blogworthy, no interesting articles that I've read to give me inspiration for a post.

Then I remembered a partly written post, languishing in my drafts folder. About a year ago, several of us were "interviewing" each other in our blogs, & I asked whether anyone had any more questions for me. Irish Girl (whose blog is now private) promptly sent me five -- questions that really made me think. Every now & then, I'd go look at them, in my drafts folder, & add a little more to my answers. And I think I have enough now that I can post, lol. Here they are!

1) Describe your perfect vacation. When do you plan to take such trip?

Any vacation is pretty perfect in my books. : ) I do have a few destinations in mind, & I'm thinking our 25th anniversary later this year &/or my 50th birthday the year after that might be nice times to take them:
  • Every few years, I need a "mountain fix." Dh & I spent our honeymoon visiting Calgary, Banff & Jasper. Being broke newlyweds, barely a year out of school, we did it relatively on the cheap. (I'd been there before with my parents, in 1968 when I was 7, and again in 1975, when I was 14.) We passed through Banff again about nine years ago (while taking a break from IF -- which later became permanent!), en route to the west coast with my parents. I'd like to go back again, just me & dh again, & stay in the Banff Springs Hotel &/or Chateau Lake Louise. Lake Louise is one of my favourite spots on earth, but I've never actually stayed there -- just visited while staying in Banff. I'd love to stay in the Chateau in a room with a lake view. I could sit & look at that lake for hours.
  • Cannon Beach, Oregon: another of my favourite spots. We've been there three times, in 1993, 2001 & 2005. I feel overdue for another visit. We've always met up with relatives there but I would love to go with just dh. Or if there's a family meetup, go a few days ahead by ourselves before everyone else gets there. ; )
  • We've never had a sunspot vacation & I think we're LONG overdue. I keep looking at the brochures for Sandals in the Caribbean. It's horrendously expensive, but I think it might be worth a 25th anniversary/50th birthday splurge, don't you??
  • We also want to get out to the east coast -- Nova Scotia, PEI & Newfoundland! (I hear New Brunswick is an often overlooked gem as well.) And Boston/Cape Cod! -- so much history there!! I spent three days in Halifax in November 1997 on business, & enjoyed myself hugely. I figure it would probably be even more delightful in June or July with dh.
  • I've always wanted to go to San Francisco. I want to take my picture under the Haight-Ashbury corner sign!
Guess we'd better start planning if we want to go anywhere this year... starting with getting our PASSPORTS!!

2) Name one person who really made an impact in your life (besides family members). How so?

This was probably the question I was most stuck on. It was hard to come up with one person who made a huge impact on my life outside of my family. Lots of people have contributed to who I am today. The two names that kept popping into my head (& yes, I have to name them both) would be my high school English teachers. I had Mr. P for Grade 10 English, Mrs. Y for Grade 11 & they team-taught us for Grade 12 -- they really were a team. English/Language Arts was always my best subject, right from Grade 1, but they exposed us to some great literature. They made sure that we learned some grammar every year. And, probably most important, each year in the fall, they went over the basic formula for writing a proper essay with us. When I got to university, I had absolutely no problem with writing the many papers that were required in all my courses. My floormates often used to come to me for help with writing theirs, & frankly, I was shocked at how little most of them seemed to know about how an essay should be organized.

Mr. P is now the principal of the high school I attended (or at least he still was the last time I checked). It's also the high school both he & Mrs. Y. attended (they were classmates, way back when). Several years back, there was a big all-school reunion. I wasn't able to make it, but I wanted a copy of the school history book the organizers had put together. I looked up the school's website & e-mailed Mr. P about it. And while I was at it, I told him what I just told all of you -- and that I had gotten degrees in English and journalism, and pursued a career in communications. And I thanked him & Mrs. Y for giving me such a great foundation to build on. He sent me back a very nice response & said he would pass along my compliments to Mrs. Y -- and also to THEIR high school English teacher, who had given THEM such a great education (& was still around!!).

It was one of those e-mails/letters we always think about sending to people who meant something in our lives, but too seldom actually write. I'm glad I did it.

3) What was your favorite birthday and what did you do that made it so special/memorable?

My 21st birthday pops into mind. I already wrote a little about it in my recent post about my birthday, but here goes again. I was at university, & went out for dinner with my girlfriend. We went to an ice-cream parlour (in the middle of January!) & had sundaes, & then walked downtown (a good way) through gently falling snow. We went to see "Reds" with Warren Beatty, which we both absolutely loved. It was playing in one of those grand old 1920s movie palaces which, sadly has long been shuttered and may yet be torn down. (We asked if we could sit in the balcony, but unfortunately, it was closed.) (I also saw Apocalypse Now, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom there.) After the movie, we went to the theatre manager and asked if he had any extra posters, & each got one. (I found mine last summer while going through the piles of stuff stored in my parents' basement.) Went back to my dorm, & my sister (who lived in a different dorm on campus) was there with a birthday cake that my mom had got her to buy for me, which I shared with my floormates (after they gave me the royal bumps!). And I was just in the process of falling in love with dh. Nothing huge, but a very nice evening out. Life was good. : )

My 40th birthday was also memorable. Two days afterward, I had to go to a baby shower -- the first one I had attended since my daughter's stillbirth -- but I took the actual day off work (a Friday, I believe) and went to a luxurious local spa, which I had never done before. I had a four-hour package that included a massage, facial, manicure, pedicure, lunch & makeup application. And afterward I went shopping!

4) If you had to eat the same meal for dinner every day for one year, what would you choose?

That would be hard. I am a creature of habit, but I do like a LITTLE variety now & then. Probably steak or a chicken breast with a baked potato & fresh steamed vegetables.

5) Never mind cost/availability/practicality, if you could give someone in your life "the perfect gift" what would you do and for whom?

I wish I COULD have given my grandmother a trip to Sweden while she was still alive. She always talked about going there, but never went.

I would probably buy my parents a vacation condo in the sunspot location of their choice, so they could get away from the frigid Canadian Prairie winter every year on the cheap.


  1. I have always wanted to go to Banff and stay at that hotel too. It looks absolutely gorgeous in the pictures. I love mountains! What is the best time of year to visit Banff? In the winter or summer? Oh and yes my husband and I have looked at those Sandals vacations too and were floored when we saw the prices. I had no idea they were so expensive. $400 a night - yeah not in the budget right now. I've considered trying Apple Vacations - they are much more economical and the hotels look nice. However I think you and your hubby should splurge for your silver anniversary/birthday and go on a Sandals resort vacay!

  2. Hey, I remember these questions! :-) And while you may feel that you're going through a dry spell, I don't think so, friend. Now ME on the other hand -- if not for the new pup there would be nothing from me.

    I love the idea of giving experiences as gifts. If only the travel was more affordable :) Both for us and for our loved ones!! You have some amazing places on your list. I think milestone anniversaries warrant a splurge and I hope you GO!

  3. If you are looking for a sunny locale, how about Southern California? We have it all, sun, beach, mountains, and if you are willing to drive for a full day, you can go to San Francisco (one of my all time favorite cities!) at the same time!

    I love your memorable birthdays. I never seem to go for the "grand" things either, just the memory of a somewhat regular but lovely time.

  4. We love to spend time in the mountains as well. Right now we are going through a freakishly cold snap and I would love NOTHING more than to be roasting on a beach somewhere!

  5. You guys don't have your passport?! OMG, please get them and then go on vacation - that's an order! I hope you can go to a Sandals resort (never been myself)- but have you considered Bali or Thailand? The Canadian dollar will get your tons of luxury for a longer stay!

    Also, have you seen that commercial on Newfoundland and Labrador - it looks so beautiful!