Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We are Here!!

So... we are in Bali, finally, with all our baggage (which was a feat) and happily waiting for a reasonable hour to admit defeat to the jet lag and go to sleep... it is good to be here, and judging from what this trip has had in store for us so far, this is going to be amazing!

Lets start at the beginning, flying to Vancouver. Our flight was scheduled on Dec 23rd and the day before that (my birthday just to remind you all!) many flights were canceled due to the weather. By sheer luck we got out on our scheduled flight and enjoyed Christmas with Derek's family. There was LOTS of food, presents and Christmas Spirit - and snow, SO much snow. They got more snow in the time we were there than they had ever gotten in recorded history in Vancouver... there was SO MUCH snow. Through it all, we managed to go for a lovely walk or two, shovelled snow, and Stephanie and I went to Mass - we walked part way home in the glorious snow as it fell and watched scared Vancouverites slip and slide their way to Christmas Eve supper... it was delightful. We arrived back to the house only to see the rest of the family sitting by the fire and Derek with his head lamp on. Quite the sight! It was a great Christmas! (Thanks Mills family for putting us up for the time we were there!)

The adventure was to continue with us flying out of Vancouver on the 26th of December - and despite us getting to the airport in great time and getting all checked in, we were unable to leave due to the weather and mechanical difficulties. We didn't find out our plane was canceled until about 1am and so in order for us to get some what reasonable seats the next day, we conceded and slept on the floor in the airport. Not THE most romantic way of spending the first night of our holiday, but we managed to make light of it. By 3am we were in line at the Air Canada desk (along with MANY, MANY others whose flights had been cancelled) and managed to get a flight to San Fran via Seattle... we took it and got on a plane, only to be delayed 40 minutes. Unsure what this meant for us who were connecting for San Fran (there were 19 of us) we stuck with the plane. An hour later we were in Seattle, and rushed to a plane they had waiting for us... when we asked if our luggage would make it we were faced with "I don't know" - not the most reassuring answer, but by this time we just wanted to get to our hotel and have a shower! So, we got to San Fran a day and a bit later (yeah) and minus all of our bags - we figured out that if we waited an hour our bags should arrive, so we did and all the bags arrived except Derek's bag (BOO!!) - we did the whole "line up and tell them your story" deal and made a claim on the bag hoping that they would be able to deliver the bag before we went to Bali the next day.

We then went to our hotel which was FANTASTIC! We stayed across from the room that Santana the famous musician decorated. we went for supper at this quaint little Irish pub just behind the hotel, took a quick tour around the hotel (and union square where they were skating on a rink in the middle of the square). It was early to bed and early to rise... we had an appt with Alcatraz the next morning. SO, the next day we woke up and walked to Pier 33 - along the way we walked through China Town and saw Coit tower. We boarded the ferry and walked around Alcatraz which was really very interesting. Neither Derek nor I had any notion that in 1969 the American Indians had a demonstration on Alcatraz for 18 months... it was said that this demonstration provoked change in legislation on how the American Indians were treated after 1971... very cool! Once back from "the Rock" and it's eerie and facinating history, we had brunch at a fantastic resturant called Butterfly - then it was off to Fisherman's warf and all that entails! We saw the USS Pampintino (a WWII submarine) and took a tour of that, it is remarkable that so many men live in these tin cans for days on end together - I would go mad, they are in such close quarters! After that it was off to Ghiradelli's to have an ice cream and then back to the hotel to see if the luggage had made it - no luck. We hurried to find some clothes for Derek and then off to the airport for our imminent flight to Indonesia!

Once at the airport, we decided to change the information on where to ship the luggage should it be found. I took a quick look around the piles of lost luggage and low and behold, Derek's bag!!! It was so nice to see it! Once we settled the score with the stupid baggage people, it was off to find China Airlines and check in. We got our luggage in time to board it on to another plane, something so weird about that!!! We ate some grub and relaxed until our flight at 12:15am on the 29th of December.

14.5 hours later, we arrived in Taipei only to sit and wait for another plane so that we could spend 5 more hours flying to get to Bali... but in Bali we are. One word I can't stop thinking since we got here - HOT!!! It was 32 degrees with humidity when we arrived to sunny skies! It is so lush and beautiful here tho, I am so excited to see what tomorrow brings! We have checked into this fine establishment of a hotel that costs about $10 US a night - needless to say, my mother would NOT stay here if she had to! Tomorrow we are off to find a great place to snorkel and hang in a hammock - there is this little place that boasts great beaches and fewer crowds - lets hope they are right!

It has been an adventure for sure thus far, but we honestly wouldn't trade it for anything! :o) Miss you and love you all... until the next post in the next location with internet... stay safe!

Love, Heather and Derek

Sunday, December 28, 2008

lets hope this works!!

Hey all! I am posting this from Derek's blackberry... Isn't technology wonderful! Let's hope this works!

Just a QUICK update... We are sitting in the San Fransisco airport, waiting for our flight to Taipei then Denpasar, Bali! Yahoo, the day is finally here. A Lot has happened on this trip, but all that shall wait for a real computer - it is just too long and interesting??!! :)

Just wanted to make sure everyone knows we are well, happy and on our way to the relaxing world of reading books in Hammocks and climbing mysterious mountains! :)

Love you all and will let you know we are good when we get there... 14.5 hours of flying lay ahead! :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Merry Christmas... the waiting continues!

And the adventurer awaits, in the blizzarding wintery waste land that is her home, dreaming of the hammocks, lapping ocean and jungle sounds that are to come. I am also dreaming of the noise, pollution and the heavy bag that will be on my back... but those are still part of the joy of travelling, and I wouldn't trade them for anything.

I hope you can see the "Ticker" that I have added to this post that lets you know when we will be in Bali... it should indicate how many days we have until we go. Not sure if it will work, if it does, yahoo! :)

We are all set for the Christmas season, presents are bought and wrapped, tickets are booked for Vancouver, San Fransisco and Bali. We are set... now we just have to pack! We started the game of "what are we taking? Who is carrying it? How can we pack as little as we can and still be warm?" game. We have to pack for 3 climates... Vancouver where I heard it snowed, San Fran which has an average temperature of +13 celcuius this time of year and Bali, where it is around +30 with humidity and rainy. Yes, I think we hit all the climates we could in one 3 week time span... lets not forget the -30C we are leaving at home (thank goodness!)

I have REALLY tried to not get excited about this trip as I had so much work to do, but seeing as I found out my contract expired suddenly as of Jan 1, I have started to get really excited for the trip... :) What happened is the project I am working on got reorgainized and the PMO (Project Management Office) who I worked for got disbanned and the focus of the project took a more technical turn. This leaves me with out a job as of Jan 1... but that is the life of a consultant, and the chance we take. It will all work out, I have some prospects for the new year and there is so much work out there for someone like me... if all else fails, there is a job in Kuala Lumpur that looked interesting! :)

Other than the trip and the lack of a job, things are good. Tom and Leigh Anne and their girlies are going to be moving down to Calgary - yeah for us! So we are looking forward to spending some quality time with them. Derek is in the middle of planning his Arizona trip, which will be a month he hopes... time will tell! life is good in Cow-town. It is going by so quickly that it will be nice to have some time just us newlyweds! :)

I hope to post quite a bit from the road, so we shall see what happens. We will be in Vancouver Dec 23 thru Dec 26, San Fran Dec 26 thru Dec 29, Bali Dec 29 thru Jan 10, and San Fran Jan 10 thru 11th. I hope you will join us on our travels. There may be pictures and there WILL be stories! Stay tuned.

With that, I bid you all audieu and may you have a blessed holiday season with those you love. I also hope that you have a wonderful New Year and may 2009 bring you joy, love and tons of adventure. Love you all!

On a side note, my Cousin Jason will be heading to Afghanistan for his 2nd tour Dec 18. My thoughts and prayers go out to you Jay for your safe return home and to your family as they are here waiting for the day you come back. I am incredibly proud of you and am honoured to know such a brave and dedicated man. I love you and will see you when you get home. Be safe!

Monday, December 01, 2008

December... what happened to November?

Sorry folks, I am not sure how I lost a month, but alas... it has happened.

What is new you ask? Well, not much... working, working some more and then dreaming about far away places and working even more to get there! :o)

The lastest dream that has come true... we are going to SAN FRANCISCO! :o) After we spend Christmas in Vancouver we are flying to San Fran for 3 days to check out Alcatraz, the wind tunnel, and the famous chocolate shop and streets, not to mention the other hundred things on the list! I am so very excited! Mom and Dad only just returned from there and said that it is a place not to be missed! They gave us all their information and maps so we are UBER prepared for our trip! So looking forward to it! Thanks Mom and Dad:o)

After our short stay in San Fran we are heading to Bali for the BIG honeymoon!!!! :o) We will be there a total of 12 days (one being really short as we are heading to Taipei for a 16 hour layover...) We are going to learn to surf and do some hiking and relaxing and touring this beautiful and exotic country. I am looking into a bit of a volunteer stint for a day or two, but not sure if it will pan out... :o) It is going to be glorious!

Until then (21 more sleep and I am a year older, 22 more sleeps and we are in Vancouver, 25 more sleeps until San Fran, and 28 more sleeps and we are in BALI!) it will be busy with Christmas parties and shopping - spending time with friends and of course working. I have only one more trip to Edmonton for work this year which pleases me to no end! :o) Our trip is going to be so fun, adventurous and relaxing... very much looking forward to it!! :o)

It will be a different Christmas, seeing as this is only the 2nd time I have been away from my immediate family for Christmas in 28 years... but it is going to be wonderful and although I will miss my family (and the smile on my nieces' faces (and everyone else's) on Christmas morning, I will be with Derek and his family, making new memories and traditions. What is life if not a constant state of change? :o)

So, Happy shopping and a delightful Christmas season to all of you... I wish you good cheer, great parties, fantastic visits and warm wishes for the holiday season... :o)

MEME - One word only!

The most difficult part of this meme is, that you can only answer the questions with
a single word.

Here we go:

1. Where is your cell phone? Here

2. Where is your significant other? Work

3. Your hair color? red-ish

4. Your mother? Nurse

5. Your father? Warden

6. Your favorite thing? Travelling

7. Your dream last night? Dream?

8. Your dream/goal? Happiness

9. The room you’re in? Office

11. Your fear? Snakes

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Travelling

13. Where were you last night? Party

14. What you’re not? Boring

15. One of your wish-list items? Author

16. Where you grew up? NWT

17. The last thing you did? e-mail

18. What are you wearing? Black

19. Your TV? BIG

20. Your pet? Husband :o)

21. Your computer? Lappy

22. Your mood? Un-motivated

23. Missing someone? Always

24. Your car? Timmy

25. Something you’re not wearing? Nylons

26. Favorite store? on-line

27. Your summer? CRAZY!!!!

28. Love someone? Absolutely

29. Your favorite color? pink

30. When is the last time you laughed? yesterday

31. Last time you cried? yesterday

The other part of the challenge is to nominate five people to take up the challenge on their own blogs.

Remember no return tags, and if you've been stung from another quarter, you may decline the invitation.

Seeing as I don't know anyone who blogs (that hasn't done this yet, Anna :o)) feel free to steal it and post it on yours.