Thursday, November 11, 2010

Surprises and Fun in Jersey

When I woke up Tuesday morning , my stomach had finally stopped swaying (thank GOD) and I got to start my day with a breakfast with my “Jersey Girls” Rebecca, Amanda & Gill. When I lived here, we had a practice of getting together at least once a month for a girls night out for dinner. Needless to say, I’ve missed my girls!!

Breakfast was smashing & set me up for a good day ahead. After breakfast I headed out to the shops for some searching… I tentatively had in mind to replace my coat, get a new pair of black trousers for work and perhaps a new pair of shoes - if the right pair was to be found.

Oh, the shopping!

Ok, so I’m a full day over budget now - I’m on vacation!!!

After lunch I met up with Sandie - the woman who manages the affairs for my former landlords. We had in mind to surprise the boys with my visit and that couldn’t have gone any better that it did! They were beautifully surprised & I had a marvellous afternoon visiting with them.

Back into town just before supper I found I was pretty knackered & so had something to eat in the hotel restaurant and took an early night’s sleep.

Wednesday I met up with my friend Leonie for a coffee in the mid-morning & caught up with some of my former colleagues. Lunch on my own consisted of a biscuit and hot chocolate in my room as I was saving room for dinner out with my girls.

Oh, and some more shopping.

Good thing, I think, that the only person I answer to for my spending is myself!!

Dinner was absolutely marvellous! Ad-Lib is a restaurant over near the hospital & is owned & operated by a married couple. I had terrine of chicken to start, pumpkin lasagna and, of course, sticky toffee pudding for dessert. Jersey is having, right now, something they call Tennerfest. Many of the local restaurants put together two and three course meals and charge a reduced rate for it. It’s a BRILLIANT way to test out a new restaurant without breaking the bank!

We did consume a pretty fair amount of wine & ended up calling it a night around midnight.

Rebecca took the day off today and we skived off to a spa called L’Horizon out in St Brelade’s Bay for a day of girlie treats. Swim in the pool, soak in the hot bubbles tub, sweat in the sauna and I was done before the steam room. Rebecca went on to steam a bit while I flaked out on a lounge chair and marvelled at how much better I felt with of the hangover toxins out of my system.

Back into St. Helier, lunch and then, yes, more shopping (yay)

I think all my shopping (for me) in Jersey is now done. Not only did I get a GORGEOUS new wool coat (red - and I mean RED), I also purchased trousers and a skirt for work, some knickers (because girls can never have too many pairs of knickers) and not one but TWO new pairs of ankle boots. YES, 80’s style ankle boots are back in!!! They are AWESOME.

I’m still pretty tuckered out. I have no plans for tonight other than a soak in the bathtub and maybe some TV before an early night for sleep. I’ll need to figure out something dinner-like in here somewhere, but lunch was quite large and maybe I’ll just see if I can get a bowl of soup or something.

With love from across the waters!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Day in Saint-Malo & a Ferry Ride to Forget!

A good night’s sleep and I woke at 7 AM, somewhat ready for my day. Showered and dressed I headed for my light breakfast in the hotel. Strong, black coffee and a scrummy breakfast of muesli, yogurt, croissants, cheese (MMMMM, cheese) yogurt and more coffee well fortified me and I was ready for my day. Back to my room, finished packing up my cases & caught up on my emails, scheduling for the week ahead, budget planning (who, I ask, wants to vacation with a budget? Sheesh!) completed, I checked the ferry website and had a minor heart-beat skipping moment.

Ferry cancelled?

No, all’s well - just the Jersey / Weymouth run - Saint-Malo was still scheduled to depart on time at 1600 - with the minor notice that one of the four engines on board not working and so the 1 hour 15 minute trip would take an additional 30 minutes. I guess ferry breakdowns happen all the world over, not just in BC.

No matter - I would still arrive tonight.

Check out at 12. My plan for the 3 hours I had open? To take my camera out and take some pictures of the area around me, to stop and have a light lunch and perhaps a cafe latte and then be back at the hotel to collect my things in plenty of time to get to the ferry terminal for my 3:00 PM check in time… and so with blue skies outside, off I went.

About half way to the shops and cafes the skies started letting me know rain was on the way… once there I thought it prudent to buy an umbrella. Should have really just brought one from home, but didn’t remember… just before I finally found a shop selling them, the skies opened up and POURED. I don’t just mean a little - think flash flooding kind of rain. Holy smokes!

Armed with my new umbrella, I ventured back out into it and found myself a cafĂ© to have lunch… ham and cheese crepe followed by a lemon and sugar crepe for dessert. 2 cups of coffee later the skies finally opened up a little and I ventured back toward the hotel to collect my suitcases & make my way to the ferry.

Here are some pictures from Saint-Malo:

The ferry ride was rough. IMPORTANT mental note - MUST get some gravol. I didn’t lose my crepe lunch but I was pretty close. And now, close to 2 hours later, I’m still feeling a little ooky in my belly. Will absolutely be getting an anti-nausea something-or-another for the trip back - JUST IN CASE…

I’m all checked into the hotel here in Jersey now - unpacked and hey, it’s almost 7:30 and I’m still feeling mostly awake!

Tomorrow I get to have breakfast with some of my girlfriends here on Jersey - then later on I am meeting up with another friend and surprising my former landlords (they don’t know I’m here)

Sweet dreams!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

So Now That I am Here…

In St Malo, that is, I’ve had a hot bath (a DIVINE hot bath) and dinnerit is now after 5PM local time and I’m in my hotel room watching the sun set. Too little light to take many pictures tonight, but I managed to take a couple from my room

Tonight I am thinking that before I get to bed, I should re-organize my suitcases in order to allow me to carry my camera and netbook easily with me and have everything else in the suitcasesThe attempt may be futile as space could be an issue - but since organization can be fun and I have to stay awake for at least another couple of hours in order to help me get acclimatized sooner rather than later, it seems like a good idea.

I wonder if, when I finish the chore, I am still thinking it seemed like a good idea at the time…?

Sleep well, dream sweet dreams!

French Countryside in the Daylight

Well… it’s grey and overcast here in Paris today and I’m now on the train and headed for Rennes and then St Malo. Luck was with me on my flights and we landed close to an hour ahead of schedule - which got me onto an earlier train. I’m still going to overnight in St Malo as opposed to try and catch the ferry across tonight… I’m very tired and need a hot bath and a good night’s sleep. As per my usual, I slept nearly not at all on the flight so am also likely to drop off into a nap at some point along the way. I believe this leg of the trip is supposed to take about 4 hours and will have me settled in my hotel around 3:30 - 4:00. The only thing to occupy my mind now is the hope that no-one sees fit to steal my suitcases while I nap!

City Lights at Night

Every time I fly into a large city, at night, I am reminded just how large the world really is… and subsequently how small I am and now much like every other person in the world I am. To be totally honest, I still feel awed at the number and beauty of all of those lights.

When I moved from Victoria to Toronto in September of 1998 I had a pre-reporting trip, and landed during the day. No big deal. My actual MOVING flight landed me in the city after dark and as I looked out my window I wondered what it was that I had managed to get myself into. Toronto is HUGE! The lights seemed to go on forever - and at the time it was probably the scariest sight I had ever seen in my life.

Scarier than spiders!

At 6:30 PM local time tonight, I landed in Montreal and as we descended in over the city I looked out my window and scanned the lights of the neighbourhoods that seem to stretch for kilometre after kilometre. I wondered when it was that my fear of such a large place had gone. I suppose exposure helps. From a “big” cities perspective, I’ve now landed in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, Minneapolis, New York, London, Berlin, and Frankfurt.

I still have an “OOh!” feeling the every time I see it. I wonder if other people feel like this when they look out their airplane windows?

Safe night & sweet dreams!