Aspiring artist, dietician and world traveler, but am overall very confused.

Category: Travelling

Vacation Recap Plus New Madness

Hi everyone! Okay, so I’ve been gone for a while, and for the most part, there are good reasons for that. From the top: North Carolina was wonderful! I meant to try to do posts the whole time I was away, but once we got to the beach house, I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to keep up with that. We were staying on Bald Head Island, which is mostly rainforest surrounded by glorious beach. There are very few cars; everyone on the island uses golf carts and bicycles to get around. The week was spent biking, exploring the local flora and fauna, mossing (i.e. relaxing and lounging to the point where you’ve practically become moss on your chosen surface…mine was the couch, cuddled up with a book), and hitting the beach. The weather was pretty crazy on the island. Everyday, there was a period where it poured rain, but I managed to get at least a little bit of time outside everyday. We also did some kayaking through some pretty cool swampy areas, which was really fun apart from accidentally dropping my prescription sunglasses in the ocean, and discovering that all the grass in the swamp was covered in tiny white bugs which, when disturbed, would not leave me alone. So without further ado, here are some pictures I snapped early in the week, before I grew too lazy and vacationy to bother lifting a camera!

This is the bedroom Erik and I were staying in, which looked pretty different after I got all my stuff unpacked:

The main living room and gathering place for movie nights, HGTV binges, and How It’s Made marathons:

One of our views of the rainforest! We saw at least three black widow spiders and their webs amongst those air conditioner fans:

And in another direction was the ocean. Erik took me for my first ocean swim on our first night at the beach house, and I was so nervous about the waves, he pretty much had to carry me in. 😛

I also tried to get some pictures of all the cool critters and wildlife we saw while were down there. Living in suburbia like I do, it isn’t often that I get to see wild animals that aren’t squirrels and racoons, so here are some of those guys:

My favourite critter of the week was this alligator! Everyday, we would drive out to the observation deck to see him, and it was so cool to see an alligator up close in its natural habitat.

Even though I had an amazing time while I was on vacation, after those two weeks of no regularly scheduled workouts, and eating my weight in brie and baguettes on a daily basis, it has been a little difficult to return to real life. My yoga membership had run out while I was on vacation, so upon my return to Canada, after sitting on my ass for a few extra days, I decided I had to do something to help me feel like myself again. I joined the gym my sister Abbey goes to about 2 weeks ago, and I’ve really been enjoying the classes they offer. One class I really didn’t think I would like but actually totally enjoyed was zumba. I’m super uncoordinated (the step class I went to this morning was definitely beyond my level of coordination, but I tried my best and I think I’ve improved since last week’s step class) and at one point while I was trying to figured out a particularly complex move, I got too close to Abbey and she punched me in the face! All is well though, and we will probably be returning for more embarrassing fun next week!

Another thing that has been keeping me busy is that I started school on Monday! My program has been really interesting so far. I’ve been feeling a little bit overwhelmed by chemistry, but I’ll try to get in some studying later today and tomorrow and will hopefully be ready for our second quiz on Monday! Nutrition and Health Fundamentals has also been really cool. We dove right into the dangers of fragrances, and then digestion, so I now know what a healthy poop should look like, if you ever want to know (opposite ends of the spectrum, eh?). :p

I will do my best to try to update more regularly now that I’m back, if school allows. And if there is ever a topic that I bring up that you are more interested in learning about, I’ll try to explain it to the best of my ability! I’m so excited to share all the cool things that I learn with you! So yes…that’s all from me today! More soon!


North Carolina Day 1

My first morning in North Carolina is off to a fantastic start. I woke up a little sore from all of yesterday’s activities, but since we’ll be leaving for the beach house pretty early tomorrow morning, today was my only real day to head out and explore the local trails, and I was raring to go for a trail run. I wasn’t out for too long; my physiotherapist says that it isn’t harmful for me to go running, but that it won’t be comfortable for a while until we can strengthen my hamstrings some more. I took it easy on myself for the most part, alternating between running and walking. There were a bunch of tough hills on the run, which was actually a lot of fun because the areas I would normally run in at home are flat and boring suburban asphalt roads. My knee didn’t start hurting until quite a bit of the way in, so hopefully that means I’m improving somewhat. I had also been warned to be wary of some local dangerous critters, namely deer ticks (lyme disease is a pretty scary thing), rattlesnakes, copperheads, brown recluse spiders, and black widows, which meant that I literally cringed in fear and bolted whenever something brushed my arm or I ran through a cobweb. When I got back to the house, I had a shower (my third since we arrived yesterday afternoon…what’s wrong with me? :P), and had some breakfast which was also awesome. Check out this sweet set up:

I had breakfast out on the porch in my PJs, which I had promptly changed back into after my shower, to the sound of cicadas and cicadas and fountainy noises. And I saw a couple humming birds, which was really cool. Definitely not a regular sighting back home. Neither was the lizard Erik and I spotted on the windowsill yesterday. I wish I had pictures to show you. Breakfast was a super juicy and ripe pear, a toasted sprouted grain english muffin with pecan butter (to die for) and jam, with a cup of tulsi tea:
Anyway, without further ado, here is yesterday’s journal entry:

We left for Pearson Airport at 6:30 in the morning to catch our 8:30 flight. On the way, I munched on a cherry-flavoured almond yogurt sprinkled with museli. The flight went super smoothly. This is our cute little plane:

Erik’s stepmom, Lauri, was waiting for us at the Charlotte airport when we got there. It was about a 1.5 hour drive to where we were staying, and along the way we got to admire NC’s incredibly lush scenery. There are trees and flowers everywhere, and it is a lot warmer here than it was when we left Toronto this morning. Despite the oatmeal raisin cookies we ate during the flight, we were starving and stopped for Chinese food which at first, I was a bit nervous about because of the stupid amounts of grease and batter and salt that I usually assosicate with Chinese food. However, my order of moo shu vegetables which I stuffed into doughy and delicious crepes with plum sauce were delicious and flavourful. Just what I needed then. I’ve been feeling a little puffy lately though, and as a result of PMS plus lack of groceries at my house plus some laziness, I haven’t been as careful about my eating and I was determined to do a workout when we got back to the house. I decided to do the Insanity Asylum Vertical Plyo workout, which, having done mostly yoga for the last two months, was really hard. But I managed to get through to the end, and I know that I’m definitely going to have start reintroducing more cardio into my exercise regime. I have a few ideas for what I’d like to do, and I’ve got to decide on that soon, but more on that another time.

After my workout, I had a quick shower only to discover that we’d been invited to a neighbour’s farm to do some horseback riding. This was when the adventure really began:

We all took turns riding Widowmaker. I had never ridden a horse before and it was a blast except for the parts where Tom (the farm’s owner, and the gentleman next to me in the picture below) kept warning me that she may or may not throw me, and reminding me to be the boss:

Here are some of the other cuties that live on the farm:

After we went riding, Tom asked if we wanted to ride the zip line that he’d put up on his property. Apparently, it had only broken twice (…I was very leery about this) in the 40 years since he had put it up. I was super nervous, but in keeping up with the adventurous spirit of the day, I decided to give it a shot:

Afterwards, we went hiking along this trail (pretty much the same trail I ran this morning minus several giant hills, plus one horse which we all took turns riding) to a super old cemetery that had been mostly taken over by the forest. The engravings on the headstones were mostly eroded which made them difficult to read, but it was so cool to see this hidden and slightly creepy piece of history. One really cool thing about being out of town is learning about the local history, because the area I live in is fairly new and doesn’t have much of a history yet. On the way home, we stopped by Tom’s garden and he gave us a ton of fresh tomatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, peppers and eggplant. Maybe because I was starving, or maybe because it really wasn’t so bad, Bryan convinced me to take a bite of a cayenne pepper and I ended up eating the whole thing (not the seeds, of course).

Dinner when we got home was heavenly: cayenne tomato soup and steamed rice with stir fried leftover veggies from lunch. Erik’s dad is a master at somehow making leftovers multiply and somehow taste even better than they were fresh. Anyway, I think that’s all for now. I’ve probably been antisocial for long enough, plus I could use another cup of tea, and its getting a tiny bit warm out here on the porch.  Plus, I’ve written a short novel here. So yeah, thanks for reading! Or at least for stopping by. More soon, my dears!

Some Overdue Photos

Today was our first day in North Carolina and  has been as full and wonderful as it could possibly have been. I’m going to try to keep a running journal of our activities on my lap top, but for now, since I don’t have today’s photos uploaded on my computer yet, here are some from last week’s trip to Barrie.

The highlight of our trip, apart from copious fruit-eating, was going for a 3 hour boat ride in this 20-something-year-old motor boat. This is Erik’s Aunt Barb easing the aforementioned boat into the water:

This is Bryan (Erik’s younger brother) and their Uncle Paul having a blaaaaast:

At one point, Bryan drove the boat into this really eerie area where a giant patch of the trees were dead, there was seaweed crowded in the water, and as we approached, a huge flock of black birds flew out of the forest:

Me, on the boat. I work my bathing suit the whole time we were there, but the lake was too cold for me to swim at all. 😦

And, of course, a foot picture. Here are mine and Erik’s feet. He hates feet.

Anyway, we’re off to go watch a movie for the rest of the night (assuming I can actually stay awake that much longer), but stay tuned for an update featuring our adventures in North Carolina, and hopefully some awesome and healthy eats!