Hi. I went skiing! And didn't break a bone, or my neck, or run into a tree ala that one Kennedy and also Sonny Bono. Which is sad and I'm so not making fun of people who run into trees and die. Because it's not funny. It's a stupid way to die, but it's very, very sad.
Anyway. Vancouver B.C. is the greatestest city! Not better than Portland, but great in its own way. There are sooo many food places, oh my gosh. And the people you see and hear talking in all kinds of languages and accents is so cool. We had great food at places like Rodney's and Joe Forte's. I shopped at Chapters Books, which I was disappointed in because I might as well have been in Barnes & Noble. What I really wanted was a local, independent bookstore, but traveling with a five-year-old necessitates making plans and making them damn fast, already. Oh, and you can't exactly trudge all over the city looking for your precious independent bookstore, because like I said, the five-year-old little legs and such.
She did great in the fancy restaurants, and the hotel, and really everywhere. Love that girl!
One day we went to Granville Island, which is like this big marketplace with all kinds of shops, a farmer's market, and a brewery. Hooray for the beer sampler, which is 4 smallish-but-not-super-small glasses of beer for $7.50 Canadian dollars! Which is like, practically free in American money. That's how I calculated the exchange rate for practically everything, e.g. "This pretty sweater is $79 Canadian. What does that make it in American dollars? Hhmmmm.... It's on the 30% off table, and that price is in Canadian dollars, divided by .01% minus 2, carry the one equals... the sweater is ridiculously affordable and practically free! I'm on vacation, it's okay! And plus I should really do my part to help the Canadian economy! And so I will purchase this sweater because my G-d, how could I not?" Repeat. Seriously.
I will not tell you the story of how I bought a sweatshirt in XL instead of Medium and now cannot go exchange it because it's like, a 6 hour drive. I am just going to have to live with my mistake. Damn, because it is a nice sweatshirt and would look all cute if it actually fit me properly. Shit! I am used to life as a big idiot, though, so it's fine. Plus, I have a cute t-shirt in the right size. [If you think I am too much in love with my size Medium self, let me just tell you, I am. I spent a lot of time being overweight, and so being a Medium is a good thing to me. I'm proud of my weight loss, and happy with myself, and realize it's not important in the grand scheme of things it's just a nice thing. The end.]
We also went to Stanley Park and the Vancouver Aquarium. They have a tropical display with cool, yet creepily large, Amazon fish. These fish possess jawbones in order to crush nuts and things to eat. Note to self: never, ever go swimming in the Amazon river. Check!
Also, there was a northwest waters display including cute fuzzy sea otters, and beluga whales. Beluga whales are so beautiful, and smart. We learned all kinds of like, science and stuff. It was cool.
We all went skiing on Monday at a very nearby ski area. It took less than an hour to drive up there. OC and I both had two-hour ski lessons. OC was so cute on her little kid skis! I wish I had remembered my camera at the mountain, but alas, I did not. The kids area was a tiny slope roped off from everything, with a conveyor belt to take the little darlings back up the 15 feet it was to the top again. OC took her time, but eventually was getting the hang of it. They taught the snowplow as making pizza because of the triangle shape you make with your skis, and then to go you make french fries which is when you point your skis straight. There is all this yelling, "Make pizza! Pizza! Pizza! Good! Okay, now french fries! French fries! Good! Pizza! Pizza! Now make pizza! Pizza! Ohh...Good!"
My ski instructor was a 24-year old Rafaella from Germany or Switzerland, who said "Eh" in a German or Swiss accent. She was adorable and a good instructor, but mind you, I wanted to smack her when she said, "I've been skiing for 20 years, since I was four." I didn't really want to smack her because she was quite sweet and adorable with her accented eh's and because she said at the end of my lesson that I was a good skiier. The lesson was a drop-in, because we are not ski snobs, but there was only me and one other person taking the lesson so it was close to a private lesson so I felt all important. Heh. The other woman taking the lesson was about my age, and she had these skinny, skinny, long skis which Rafaella said were not good for beginners because they were harder to learn on. Still, I learned faster than the other lady and felt all cool about it.
By the end of the two hours, I was skiing by myself down the hill and totally kicking ass. You know, slooooowly. I was scared to go very fast, plus there were all those other people. A guy ran into me, and didn't say anything, just looked at me like 'why are you in my ski space, ye new skiier?'. Fucker.
A lot of snowboarders liked to stop and sit on their butts in the middle of the run. Is this normal? How hard is it to move your ass out of the middle of the run? There was not a lot of snow, so there were only two runs open, meaning it was more crowded than it otherwise might've been. Still, I didn't break anything and so I feel victorious. I take back my "I'm sorry" I said to that fucker who ran into me. Because I'm totally not sorry, now that you didn't say anything back.
I forgot to bring my camera with me today, so pictures will be posted next week.
I am looking forward to skiing again several times this year. Now that I know I like it, I'm all jonesing to go again, all my anxiety about Oh-my-gosh-how-does-this-ski-thing-work?-I-don't-know-what-I'm-doing-and-will-look-stupid-and-also-be-unprepared-which-is-a-bad-thing-and-I-can't-possibly-go-anywhere-without-knowing-exactly-what-to-expect-beforehand-or-I-will-meeeeeeeeelt.
Welcome to Generalized Anxiety Disorder!
It turns out it was all fine, and I'm happy to have the experience behind me so I know what to expect the next time. Because I am a freak like that.