End of Summer - Sep 13, 2020
End Of Summer

And just like that Summer was over...

Like most people I'm sure, we're not looking forward to the next eight months. Winter sucks at the best of times, but being cooped up at home in the midst of a pandemic makes it even worse. While the timing of getting our back yard done absolutely sucked in terms of the financial hole it put us in right as the economic rug was pulled out from under me, we've been very thankful to be able to relax in the back yard and hang in the pergola this season. It's also been so handy for socially distanced visits from friends and family. So in that respect the timing was perfect. We'll see what the weather brings, but we're hoping to still be able to enjoy outside for a few more weeks.

Chris & I have discussed how we're going to cope. Likely for her she's going to become a home cook extraordinaire and whip up amazing recipe after amazing recipe. I have my vast library of movies to draw from and I'll also be spending countless hours playing games on the computer - something that I've gotten away from doing for the past few years for some reason. In the end we'll be safe, snug, and cozy and have each other to keep us sane.

Other than our quick trip to Waterton, the only other really fun thing we did this season was to go to a hotel concert. Basically in an effort to drum up business for music artists, support personnel, hotels etc. a local company came up with the idea to hold concerts at various hotels throughout Canada that were of the right setup to still allow people to enjoy but be safe while doing so. So as an example, the partner hotel here in Calgary, the Ramada, has an outdoor pool deck area, which the one side of the hotel overlooks. So people would buy tickets like you would for a normal concert but you'd be assigned one of the rooms overlooking the pool area which is where they setup the stage. You then get to watch the show from the comfort of your outdoor balcony. As for Covid precautions they had staggered check in times, everyone had to wear masks in common areas, and you were only allowed a maximum of four people to a room. The band we saw was a Queen tribute band and honestly I wasn't expecting much. But they were really good. In the end both Chris & I had an absolute blast. It was a fun distraction that we both really needed from reality - that reality being emphasized when the promoter just prior to the show stated that it was the only concert in Canada.

Work wise I had to run up to Edmonton for a couple days to install some new equipment. I wasn't sure what to expect from the hotel I normally stay at when I got there. The lounge was closed, the restaurant was closed, they didn't have room service, and there were no amenities in the room. I did have a TV, although as part of the 'new normal' there was nothing to watch anyway. So basically it was a slight upgrade from camping. Of course you'd think with such a bare bones setup the prices would be reduced accordingly right? No. That'd just be wishful thinking.

I did get to see my mom and have a socially distanced visit which was nice. We went and had a nice lunch on an outdoor patio and got caught up. Sadly that was the first time I'd seen her this year.

Mom & I
Hanging With Mom

I had some mandated time off as well. Of course I couldn't really do anything or go anywhere, but mentally it was a nice break. I had planned to do a bunch of things to keep busy and I got some but not all on my list done. Mostly it was just spent trying to focus on my health. I'm not sure where I even left off detailing my ongoing struggle...

With Covid consuming my every thought I had essentially neglected doing anything about my heart issues. I was still of the mind if I just got enough exercise everything would be fine. But they had me go for another echo test and the results weren't good. My ejection fraction (how well my heart works) was really low - to the point where I was technically in heart failure. So again my cardiologist wanted me to get a pacemaker. And again I did not want to go down that road. So I did a bunch of research and came up with a drug available in Canada that in theory wouldn't give me the side effects the previous medication did - which was why I eventually stopped taking it. So I started taking Nadolol at a really low dosage - I would break up the pills into quarters which equaled 10mg. I wanted to start out slowly not only to gauge any possible side effects but also to see if I was likely to start gaining weight like I did with my previous meds.

As detailed previously, I have the Kardia Mobile app/reader which allows me to take fairly accurate measurements of my pulse rate. So I was ecstatic when it appeared that at even such a low dosage that the new drug was working. For the past couple years my heart rate was in the high 90's/low 100's and after being on the drug for a week I was getting readings in the low 80's. Then I got a bit complacent and neglected to take any readings for awhile. When I started again I was dismayed that I was back in the low 90's. So I upped the dosage to 20mg and I'm going to give that a week or so while continuing to monitor. Either way, it's definitely helping and so far I haven't noticed any side effects. So we'll see.

In any given year we usually have 2 or 3 trips already booked or planned. Maybe that's the reason we started looking at cruises again recently. Maybe it was just to torture ourselves. As the guy Chris used to work with at the Cruiseship Centre said, even if you end up having to cancel later on, it makes sense to book something now to take advantage of the incentives. Of course you also run the risk of these companies not being around in a year or two. We still have future cruise credits with NCL so we want to use them up before they expire. I think as of now, only one company has started up operations again - MSC Cruises - doing cruises in the Adriatic Sea. However we heard that you're only allowed to go ashore on ship excursions and anyone who goes off on their own will be (and have been) kicked off the ship. While I understand it's in an effort to minimize the risk of a passenger bringing the virus back on board - if that's still the case a year or so from now that'd be a deal breaker for us. If we can't do our own thing then we won't be cruising period.

Of course this is all based on the assumption that the next couple years will be better financially for me which isn't a given. I should have enough money (barely) to get us through to next year and then we'll see what happens. I have to actually remind myself that not everyone has been impacted like we have. For some people other than the travel restrictions it's been business as usual - for others Covid has actually benefited them. I won't even begin to pretend I don't harbour any resentment at that fact.

The coming months are likely to be a challenge. Try and be positive. Be there for your spouse or significant other. But above all stay safe.

Big Vacation - Aug 8, 2020
Road Trip

Looks like I've been a bad blogger and haven't updated things in awhile.

I guess time flies when you're having a pandemic.

Chris & I are still ok, just living the dream that is 2020.

Speaking of living...I found it somewhat annoying recently looking at all the social media posts from friends and family living it up on their various vacations with not a care in the world - and not a mask anywhere in site. Carrying on as if everything is normal. I haven't seen my Mom yet this year, hadn't even been outside of the city yet this year, not sure if I'll have enough money to make it through the next few months etc. So no, everything is most definitely not bloody well normal!

With that in mind, we both were getting tired of the routine. Tired of hanging in the back yard, tired of watching movies or shows, tired of puzzling. Just tired of everything. I could tell Chris needed a break and needed to do something different. So we decided to do a quick one or two day trip somewhere in the province. I wanted it to be somewhere within a few hours drive but not where it was likely to be really crowded. That ruled Banff out. For some reason I've been wanting to go south to Waterton for a few years now - mostly because I've never been there (if I was there as a kid I don't remember). So that's what we picked. Grabbed our stuff, hopped in the SUV and off we went!

Chris drove on the way there which was nice as it let me relax and take in the scenery. It's actually a quite pretty part of the province and I got a kick out of watching all the wind turbines in action near Pincher Creek. We used the Waze app to navigate and it took us on some back roads to get there, but at least there was hardly any traffic.

We paid $16? $18? each at the gates and headed into the town to find our hotel. Waterton is surprisingly small and as such, there's really only about 3 hotels in the townsite itself. The famous Prince of Wales hotel is located just outside up on an embankment overlooking everything. Originally we were going to stay at the Bayshore Inn, but after reading a bunch of reviews Chris decided we'd stay at Waterton Lakes Lodge Resort instead. The first place has the benefit of being right on the lake, but as we quickly found out everything is located in a 5 or 6 block radius anyway. So the place we were at was only a couple streets over. We checked in, dropped our stuff off and hit the restaurant/pub there to grab a bite. The server was masked and the tables spaced out, but we were disappointed as the outdoor patio that looked so nice on the website wasn't really ready for use.

Our room was ok. Clean, but dated. It reminded me of the lodges you have at Banff Tunnel Mountain. Sort of a townhouse type setup with two units below and two above. Our room had a kitchenette as we thought we might use it if we stayed two days, but as we only ended up spending the night it sort of went to waste. Once we got in we went around like crazy people sanitizing everything we were likely to touch.

From there we wandered around the town a bit, eventually going to where we were going to stay originally and had a drink and an appetizer on their outdoor patio. That was pretty nice as it overlooked the lake. Again, all the staff and servers were masked up and the tables well spaced apart. Afterwards we wandered along the beach and it was quite pretty. We overheard a waitress at the table next to us saying that over the long weekend the place was a gong show with scenes similar to what everyone saw on the news at Sylvan Lake - she said you couldn't find a spot anywhere on the beach. So we're glad we went the week after the long weekend. We never felt crowded while we were there.

We hit a couple other pubs after that and then called it a night.

The next morning we got up and went to one of the cafe's Chris had read about and had coffee and breakfast while watching people along the main street. Then we packed everything up, checked out, and headed to the Prince of Wales hotel to check it out. Despite it being the prestige hotel there it didn't have overly great reviews. It's definitely neat, but smaller than I expected. Basically you pay extra for the name and the location and like everything else there was looking a bit rundown. But we're glad we got to see it. And then we were on the road again.

We did a quick stop in Nanton and visited their famous ice cream shop. I'm now a firm believer that all ice cream should be served in a chocolate dipped waffle cone...we also popped into their 'bar' for a beer but mostly to use the washroom as I didn't think I'd make it the rest of the way. The regulars there were what you'd expect at a small town watering hole (I felt out of place without a baseball hat) and we were quite relieved to hear the local barfly exclaim after getting off her phone that her Covid test came back negative. On that note we left and headed for home. And that was our big (and only) vacation for 2020. Crazy to think that originally at that time we were going to be on a cruiseship off of Iceland.

Here's some pictures of our epic 2020 vacation:

Wind Turbines near Pincher CreekWelcome to Waterton National Park!Wandering along the beachChecking out Cameron FallsFor some reason this sign made me laugh
Chris being Chris...The iconic Prince of Wales HotelInside the main lobby areaView of Waterton townsiteA quick ice cream stop in Nanton

For me it's back to work again tomorrow. I'll be heading up to Edmonton as there's some stuff I need to get done there and I really don't want to push it off any longer. At least I'll be able to see my Mom - although I made it clear that we'll still have to be socially distanced. At some point in the next few weeks I'll also have to make a trip to Grande Prairie, Fort St. John, and Fort McMurray. As such I'm going back and forth in my head whether to fly there or drive. I normally dislike driving such long distances, but the thought of getting on those small ass regional planes where you're literally touching the passenger next to you in those cramped seats obviously makes me nervous.

Although this last drive wasn't to bad but I also had Chris with me. Hmmm. Maybe I can convince her to come with me and see the wonderful sites of Northern Alberta and BC. You think???

Crazy Bird People - Jun 18, 2020

Guess I can't say week whatever of lockdown anymore as things have 'opened up' once again.

For Chris & I, all that has really meant is that we've gone out to the pub a few times. The first time we went to State & Main which was one of our regular spots before all this began. We were obviously a bit nervous, but also tired of living in fear. When we walked through the doors all the staff was wearing masks and basically every 2nd table was 'closed' to ensure social distancing. The menus were all disposable and our waitress was not allowed to put our food or drinks in front of us, instead putting them on the end of the table and we had to pull them towards us ourselves. In addition, she wasn't allowed to remove our plates and glasses as they had a dedicated person wearing gloves who did that. In the entire place we were only the second table that had people eating in. Everything else was takeout. But overall it was nice. As I told our waitress, for a moment it was almost as if everything was normal again.

We also went to the Tipsy Pig which was another of our usual hangouts. But they didn't fare as well in the reassurance department. The manager and the guy serving the food weren't wearing masks. After we mentioned it to our waitress they put them on but most of the time had them around their chins. Buddy couldn't seem to grasp the concept that it was possible to talk to someone with a mask on. But they had just opened again and everyone was getting used to things so we gave them a pass. However we went there a couple weeks later and things hadn't improved. The same guy was again serving food without a mask, and this time talking over the food he was serving and Chris & I got whigged out and told our waitress - who this time was the manager - that we were leaving. I think this is the first time both of us has ever got up and left a restaurant. So it looks like it's State & Main for us going forward. Which sucks, as we want all these places to succeed.

Other than those tentative steps at normalcy it's been the same routine for us. I'm still working from home, Chris does the running around for groceries when needed, we're enjoying our back yard when the weather's nice, and social distancing with the neighbors on the weekends.

The biggest enjoyment for us now is that we have a Robin's nest under our deck with four chicks in it. So we routinely check on them and watch as they get fed. The best view of the nest is from the patio door in the basement and we use a pair of binoculars to watch their activities. When we're in the back yard we'll keep track of the parents as they forage for food and take turns flying to the nest and feeding them. In addition to the Robin's, we also have another nest of Sparrows? in the exhaust vent of our fireplace. While we can't see that nest as well, we still make note of them flying in and out of it. So the joke now is that in addition to being crazy cat people, we're now crazy bird people as well.

The other thing that's new is all the artwork we bought a couple years ago on our 'free' cruise was finally paid off and started showing up the past few days. Obviously with the benefit of hindsight, we never would have spent all that money. But it is what it is and they're here now so we're going to enjoy the hell out of them - once we figure out where to put it all. Currently they're all lined up against a wall in the basement so we're going to crack some bubbly and pretend we're all sophisticated and shit while we admire our pieces.

Other than that life goes on. I had a filling fall out a couple weeks ago and I'm scheduled to see the Dentist next week. I'm nervous enough about that I'm on the fence about cancelling. But if I don't do it now, then when? Covid numbers are likely to spike come fall, so statistically better to get it over with sooner than later. And I know they'll do temperature checks and will be wearing PPE etc. But if they're asymptomatic and I'm sitting there with my mouth wide open inches from the Dentist's for upwards of an hour - if they're infected, then I'm infected. Period. So it's literally rolling the dice with my health.

Such is the 'new normal'.

Stuck In Neutral - May 21, 2020
Corona World

Week 10 of lockdown.

Phrases I'm officially tired of now - 'the new normal', 'we're in this together', and 'in these challenging times'. I also find the newly spun commercials to be extra irritating. I get they had to adapt their messaging, but whereas initially during the height of fear they brought reassurance - I think I almost cried the first time I saw the A&W guy talking to the camera from his home - now they just serve to remind us that we only exist to continue greasing the giant corporate money wheel. If you thought the .01% before were obscenely rich, this pandemic has been a gold mine for them. Consolidating globally even more wealth into even fewer hands. Soon only the rich will be able to go to a sporting event, eat at the few restaurants that will be left, attend a concert etc. etc. Everyone else will continue their meager existence struggling to make ends meet as taxes and service fees go up and up.

In case you couldn't tell I'm rather bitter and jaded at life right now.

I just have no motivation or drive or desire for anything anymore. Previously I had planned everything out as to what I needed to retire in roughly 9 years and then the virus came along and nuked those best laid plans out of existence. Had a work meeting recently and found out my income has dropped this year by now 75%. Not sure if I'll even have enough money to make it through the end of the year. Going on vacation is now a thing of the past as a result - even if you could coax me onto a plane which as of now there's no way in hell.

So I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels. I'm working just to pay the mortgage and that's it. No money left to save or invest. And with no vacations, nothing to look forward to anymore either. Just the same dreary routine everyday.

Originally I thought working from home would be great. With the extra time not spent commuting I'd finally be able to get around to all those projects I wanted to finish. Hasn't happened. Again, just no motivation. And while I'm still going on my daily walks - about the only thing keeping me sane right now - I've still gained 10 pounds which I attribute to eating more by virtue of being bored.

We were supposed to go to the zoo later today as part of a VIP only reopening. Several weeks ago I had made a donation to help keep them afloat and as a thank you donors were exclusively invited prior to it being reopened for the general public. You got assigned a time slot so there'd only be so many people visiting at a time. But we woke up this morning to a downpour. The rain alone wouldn't have stopped us, but the gusting wind made holding onto an umbrella difficult. So we sadly had to cancel. This would have been only my third trip out since everything began back in March.

The first trip was to the bottle depot over a month ago and only because the bin was to heavy for Chris to take by herself. And then this past weekend we went to one of the Home & Garden places. Despite the risks I was determined that we'd at least have flowers for our planter out front. It wasn't that bad an experience. Everyone lined up outside as they only let so many people in at a time. I'd say just over half of the people (including ourselves) were wearing masks. And they had sections marked out in the line so you wouldn't get to close to each other.

Flower Planter
Flowers Are Planted!

Our neighbor Lynette also grabbed some flowers as she has an identical planter next to ours. Unlike us however, she always buys them in a large pot and then just plunks the whole thing in and covers the edges with dirt. Whereas we end up buying the individual ones you need to push out of the plastic containers they're in and plant them one by one. Obviously hers is the easy way. But hopefully in a few weeks they'll bloom and we'll have something pretty which will cheer us up on those days like today when I'm down in the dumps.

Be kind to one another and stay safe.

Pandemic Birthday - May 3, 2020
Happy Birthday

Another year older. Definitely not any wiser.

Obviously with everything going on my birthday this year was going to be less than ideal. I wasn't super down in the dumps about it - at least it wasn't my 50th - but ya, I was a bit mopey about it. They were even advertising T-shirts on Facebook pointing out your birthday was during the Pandemic. And no, I didn't buy one. But it is what it is and I couldn't do anything about it so was resigned to it mostly just being another day.

Chris did say she was going to make me her yummy waffles for breakfast, so honestly I was just happy with that. Then as the afternoon came we hung out in our pergola in the back yard and enjoyed the mostly nice weather. I figured we'd probably watch a movie later and then go to bed. And that would have been my big day.

But after dinner she said, let's go out front and she had one of her funky hats on and made me wear a pimpin purple hat (hats are her thing). So I knew something was up. Outside she had balloons and when she moved her lawn chair to near the end of the driveway it kind of clicked and I said 'is this a drive by?!?!?'. But even then I figured it'd just be the neighbors or something.

So I was absolutely gobsmacked when what, at least a dozen, of my friends and family drove by banging pots, honking horns, blowing bubbles even, with their vehicles all decorated with balloons and signs saying Happy Birthday. Everyone else in the neighborhood either came out onto the street or were looking out their windows wondering what the heck was going on.

Cute Couple
What A Cute Couple!

I had the biggest grin ever and I'll be honest got a bit choked up. I can't remember the last time I was so touched by something like that. I'm so absolutely lucky to have Chris. She's always thinking of others and wanting to make them happy. It's just who she is. And of course a massive thank you to everyone who came out. In the end it was one of the best birthdays ever! The only thing that sucked is other than a few quick chats I couldn't really hang with anyone - but such is the times we live in.

I'd normally go on to give an update and/or thoughts on the Pandemic and how we're coping etc. But I'm in a real happy place right now and don't want to end on that note. I'll save it for another day. For the first time since all this started I've been able to truly relax - both physically and mentally the past few days.

Be smart, stay safe, but also start to live life again.

In The Thick Of It - Apr 10, 2020
Covid Notice

Ok, week 4? 5? To be honest I've kinda lost track. But Chris & I are still here, and so far, still healthy.

I think like most people we've gone through all the stages you're supposed to go through when dealing with trauma. First couple weeks were fear, then came a general numbness, and now you're just dealing with it the best you can and occasionally hopeful as you look to the day when this is behind us.

As yesterday was super nice we hung with the neighbors like in the old days, this time however with each of us in our own corner of the yard. And everyone using their own bathrooms or running back to their own houses to grab another cold one. Such is the new reality we find ourselves in. Chris really needs these occasional interactions. She's such a social person that this has been really hard on her. I'm a hermit at the best of times, so in terms of socializing, it hasn't been to bad for me. Honestly I'm more upset at the idea of what's going on than the actual experience itself. My biggest thing right now is not being able to see my Mom. I've always been good about calling her at least once a week, but since all this has happened I usually give her a shout every few days just to touch base and make sure she's coping ok. At least Chris and I have each other, but she's all alone. Apparently her neighbors haven't even bothered to check on her all this time, which pisses me off.

Work wise things have been an adjustment. The first few weeks were a mad panic as our company suddenly had to figure out how to get everyone working from home essentially overnight. Although I no longer had to do the daily commute to the office in the end I was connected more than ever - plus having to run in every Sunday to do work that needed to be hands on. Some of us are busier then ever, but I suspect for some this has been basically one big holiday - it is what it is. At least I still have a job.

Financially, like most everyone else my savings took a huge hit, but this past week the markets did pretty well, so some of that has been clawed back. I did also, despite our present cash crunch, take the opportunity to bump up some of my holdings for some of the more beaten down stocks that I thought were a bargain. Later this week I'm also going to arrange to reduce our mortgage payments. Just over a year ago we significantly bumped up our bi-weekly payments over what was required. But until things return to some semblance of normalcy I'd rather have the extra cash sitting in the bank in case it's needed. I've also filed our taxes and we both get (modest) refunds. So I'm counting the days until that gets deposited into our accounts. Overall we've taken probably a 50% pay cut this year. But we'll get through it.

Apparently the Russians and Saudis and the West are in talks to reduce oil production to raise prices and bring stability for the next couple years - by which point consumption will have hopefully returned to pre-pandemic levels and this nightmare will hopefully be a distant memory.

As I mentioned a few posts ago, in news that in today's light seems laughably unimportant now, we had purchased a new dining room table. Well it finally got dropped off just over a week ago. Before they would have come in and assembled everything, but now they simply drop it off on your driveway. However the delivery guy was nice and agreed to bring it inside our garage while Chris and I waited on the door landing. The plan was after having it decontaminate for a week to bring it in today and assemble it. But I'm feeling rather lazy now, and it's also heavy as hell. So we'll see. It's hard to get motivated for much these days.

One final note...I can't help but notice the smug satisfaction of people on my Blu-ray group after having to endure taunts for years along the lines of 'physical media is for old people' or 'physical media is dead' - well now that streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube have lowered their quality to reduce strain on the internet who's laughing now!!! I recently went through my library of roughly 750 movies and I have enough Blu-rays that I haven't watched yet to last me awhile. That said, I was really looking forward to the Dr. Who release starring Sylvester McCoy (old School Doctor Who) which I should have had delivered by now. But I got an email from Amazon a couple days ago basically saying because they're only prioritizing deliveries of 'essential' products my shipment has been delayed for an unknown period of time. Sigh.

As before and always. Stay safe!

End Of Times? - Mar 15, 2020

Wow. Where to start?

Crazy what a month makes. Infection count has increased by a factor of 5 since my last post. The good news is number of new infections in China continues to drop. The bad news is each country in the rest of the world is on their way to possibly similar numbers. While I was petrified back in January I was still hopeful it'd end up contained 'over there'. Well 'over there' is now 'over here'. That reality really hit home when I was watching hockey Thursday night and they announced that the NBA was suspending their season. Watching the commentators it was like someone had died and you could have heard a pin drop. I knew then that things weren't going to be the same again for well, no one knows.

I alternate on an almost daily basis between hope and despair - 'We'll keep a lid on this and hopefully by summer things will be back to normal' to 'everyone in our family will be affected and we'll be losing friends and relatives'. Of course in the midst of a global crisis Russia and the Saudi's decide to get into a pissing contest tanking oil to lower than it's been since I've been a working adult. I mean, why not right? So now in addition to the worry about my health I also have to be concerned about even having a job. Thankfully my employer like many other companies has embraced people working from home, and I was given the ok to do the same. If nothing else that should reduce some of the constant stress I'm dealing with as I won't have to worry that the next guy coming into my office is contagious.

Obviously I'm also worried about my Mom. But bless her heart, her attitude is one which I find most elderly people have - that of being resigned to one's fate. Whatever happens will happen and she's not going to worry about it.

Also stressed out from the market collapse. Like most people I've lost a quarter of my retirement savings. What really pisses me off is that a few weeks ago while the markets were still hitting record highs I told my advisor that I thought I should switch to cash. He gave me the standard responses of no need to panic etc. And instead of going with my gut I deferred to his 'expertise'. Of course now the POS hasn't contacted me since.

As for us, we managed to beat the shopping insanity by about a week when I convinced Chris we should 'stock up'. And while we didn't go crazy and bring home 3 carts full of toilet paper, we did make sure we at least had several days worth of non-perishable stuff. The Government has been trying to drive home the fact that our supply chain is still intact and people don't need to panic. Hopefully after a few days people will get the message.

We're also changing our behaviour. While we did go to the neighbors on Friday for our usual weekly get together we all kept our distance from each other and turned down an invite for yesterday. Normally we'd be at Good Earth this morning for coffee, but decided to stay home. While I feel bad as we know and really like the owners there and worry that'll they'll survive things financially we also want to minimize our exposure. We also sadly cancelled our 'almost-100' birthday party for Kit Kat.

So there you have it. Hunker in, phone/text loved ones and check in on them, avoid unecessary contact with others, wash/sanitize your hands religiously, but also try and relax - you want to keep your immune system healthy!

Stay safe everyone!

Dry Feb - Feb 7, 2020
Canadian Cancer Society

A friend of ours - Dennis - posted on Facebook that he was doing Dry February.

What was that I asked myself??? The concept is obvious, you agree to abstain from alcohol for the entire month and in the process help raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society. I talked it over with Chris and we both thought it was a great idea so we signed up as well and created our own team to which Janice also joined. My previous attempts on my own didn't go so well, but now I'm committed. Between not wanting to let my team or people that have already donated down as well as doing it in my Dad's memory I know that I'll be able to stick it out. So far it's been a week and been not to bad.

Although last night was a bit hard as my usual routine at the end of the work week is to go out to the pub for a few pints. Instead I stayed home and had some alcohol free beer, which honestly, tasted like crap. On top of that, Chris & I also decided to not eat out this month (other than our usual morning coffee on the weekend). So by the end of the month we'll both be super healthy right? Right?!?!?

Of course as I'm typing this, it's early in the morning and I have an optical migraine which is really, really annoying. What's an optical migraine? Remember when you were a kid and had that kaleidoscope tube thingy you'd hold up to your eye while rotating it? That's pretty much what I see right now. Not only does it make seeing difficult, but the shimmering makes you feel nauseous and disoriented as well. I had my first one a few years ago and would get one maybe once or twice a year. I've now had two in the past week. And I can't seem to sleep through the night anymore either. Always waking up at 4am almost like clockwork. Not a huge deal on the weekend or like today when I have the day off, but extremely annoying when you have to work.

But could be worse right? At least I don't have this new virus - looking at the handy countdown to oblivion website I see that it's currently at 32,000 infected and growing exponentially.

A number of people have the attitude of 'it's no worse than the flu'. Well the flu doesn't have a 2% mortality or a 25% critical care rate and from what we're seeing isn't as infectious. I don't buy the official line that this all started at a seafood market in Wuhan either. The first recorded case had never even been to that market. And while the media doesn't want to cause panic, I get annoyed when they say that you only get ill from 'close contact' with someone whose infected. With the first case in Germany they got infected after having a meeting with a Chinese national - presumably sitting across a table from them. With the first case in Japan it was a tour bus driver who was wearing a mask. So how close is close? 2m? 3m?

And beyond the arguments of how bad the actual virus is, the disruption to travel is insane. You couldn't pay me to go on a cruise right now. All it takes is one person coughing and suddenly the entire ship is quarantined for 2 weeks. Someone feels ill on your flight and suddenly you're rerouted to a different destination etc. etc. Depending on where this all goes, we might even cancel our Vegas trip. Hopefully like with SARS this peters out come summer and is a one-off. However some are suggesting this will become a seasonal thing - yet another virus added to the growing list of shit we have to deal with on a regular basis.

Oh well, you still have to live your life.

We got a special invite to a 'store closing' event at our favourite furniture store where we've bought a bunch of overpriced items in the past. So we went and checked it out and ended up buying a new dining room table and chairs. The one we have is pretty beat up and the new one besides being all nice and shiny is also larger. It's also glass, which we said we'd never buy, but we weren't able to agree on the other choices and both really liked it so that's the one we picked. Overall we got everything for roughly 50% off.

The world might be coming to an end, but at least we'll have a sweet new table!

Welcome To A New Year - Jan 12, 2020
New Years

Well we made it to 2020.

In past years we'd go over to the neighbors to ring in the new year, but this time we went to the local pub which had a band playing and hung out there for a few hours with the one set of neighbors as well as Alpha & Nancy and Kim & Jamie. We wanted to come back to our house before midnight and continue celebrating, but in the end just Kim & Jamie came back with us. So we cracked the champagne and watched the ball drop on TV. Not the most memorable evening, but still sufficiently fun.

I'm not really one to make resolutions, but it's natural to start planning out what you want to accomplish in the next 12 months. I did for a moment think about having a 'dry January' - that lasted about 2 days. A combination of crappy weather and being stressed out about world events put a decisive end to my best intentions.

This week is supposed to be brutally cold, and I get that it's winter, but I'm hoping things improve soon as I'm dying to get out walking again. I'm still at the weight I was at when we got back from our cruise and my cardiologist is bugging me to see him and have more tests done. I don't want to do that until I'm back on track and closer to my target goal. One health related change I recently did after a bunch of research is to start taking CoQ10 supplements. A number of studies have found that people in heart failure taking it still had shitty outcomes, but it was 50% less shitty. All I know is there's really no downside to taking it. CoQ10 is some type of enzyme and for whatever reason people in heart failure are deficient in this enzyme and for people in Afib it's been shown to improve heart rhythm.

In addition to trying to work on my health we have decided to cancel our Europe trip this year. I'm starting to run out of years before I'm at the age where I want to retire and need to get serious about money matters. With our 50th coming next year, we decided we'll do our big cruise that year instead. We've also talked about doing a weekend trip to wine country in BC and we'll put out the invite to friends and family to join us. As for this year I now get an extra week of holidays so I don't feel the need to stockpile my flex days and plan on essentially taking every 2nd Friday off throughout the year. With the yard finally done Chris & I are looking forward to spending as much time out there relaxing as we can. Other than a work trip to Vegas I think we're staying put. We want 2020 to be an easy going, stress free year.

 This weekend was pretty easy going. Went to the pub one night, hung out and watched our shows the other. Last night we had the neighbors over to watch the Flames/Oilers game. Naturally the Oilers lost (I even wore my jersey!) and had to endure the merciless taunts from everyone else. Sigh.

That's about it for now. Back to the grind tomorrow.

Stay warm!

Time Flies - Dec 29, 2019

Can't believe the year is almost over.

Along with watching the endless TV movie marathons and top countdowns of the year, it's also the time to reflect back upon the past 12 months. For me, 2019 was pretty decent. No major health issues, I lost a bunch of weight, JC is still with us, went on two fabulous cruises, and my bestie Jamie beat cancer. For Chris it was a tougher go of it having lost a close family friend - however out of that sadness she also rekindled some friendships.

Tis the season for Christmas parties and we had fun at more than a few of them.

Chris' friend Shari had her annual party and this year it was an 80's theme which was right up our alley. Chris went with the prerequisite big hair and bright neon colours while I channeled my punk rocker days. As a bonus this year, Jamie was also there which took the focus off of me from the inebriated single ladies for a change. Earlier that night we made an appearance at the Blanices' party. Chris thought it would be funny to go in the 80's costumes. I also brought along my joke drink which was a bottle of Jack Daniels containing carbonated water with just a splash of booze. In hindsight that was a mistake as when I walked into Blaine's newly renovated kitchen to announce our presence the bottle exploded from the pressure and spewed everywhere. Needless to say I was mortified and made quite the entrance.

And what seemed like a funny idea initially turned out to not be so great in practice as all these people whom I didn't know were all staring at us through the night wondering who the hell these freaks were.

Our one set of neighbors also hosted a get together which we attended. However they started drinking at 4pm, so weren't in the best condition when we showed up later that evening. We had fun, however I wasn't feeling pretty tired so went home early.

As Christmas drew near we grabbed my Mom from the airport who flew down to spend a few days with us. It was a pretty easy going visit. Kim & Hailey came over on Christmas day and we did our presents - I got some gift cards, books, and socks - and then later had a super yummy dinner consisting of Turkey, Ham, stuffing, and all the fixins! The best thing about that was all the leftovers we got to enjoy afterwards. On Christmas eve we went and checked out the Noel Christmas Light park which was on the stampede grounds. We had bought tickets awhile ago thinking it'd be a fun thing to check out - especially as it was indoors and you never know what they weather would be like. It was ok. They had some neat displays, but I was a bit underwhelmed by it all.

Noel Christmas Light Park
Goofing Around At Noel Christmas Lights Park

From there we went to Chuck & Tracy's for a get together. Before we popped in we went and grabbed a bite to eat in Chestermere, where they live. We had expected most restaurants would have reduced hours, but turns out almost everything was closed. Thankfully Boston Pizza was still open. Not that it would have really mattered as there were lots of delicious snacks at Tracy's. It was good spending time with them as we hadn't hung out with them in awhile. It was also good spending time with my Mom. Overall a great fun filled few days together.

I don't go back to work until Thursday so I've just been spending my time off puttering around the house, binge watching shows, napping, and going for walks during the day. Sadly Chris has caught a cold (tis the season) but we're hoping she's over it for New Years. Assuming she's well enough, the plan is to go to the local pub where they'll have a band playing, hang out there for awhile and then come home and likely ring in the new year at one of the neighbor's houses.

Here's hoping 2020 is a great year. Happy holidays and wishing all our friends and family the best.


Tool! Tool! Tool! - Nov 15, 2019

Wow. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of fun and frivolity.

With barely any time to recuperate from our vacation it was time to host our annual Halloween party. Due to not having a lot of time to prepare after we got back I ended up re-using a costume I created for a friend of our's 50th party and went as Walter Sobchak, John Goodman's character from the film The Big Lebowski. However I was shocked to discover that some people at our party had never even seen the film. Needless to say I didn't win best costume this year. Chris dressed up in a Mexican Day of the Dead type costume and looked adorable as always.

Some people couldn't make it this year which sucked, but on the flip side we had some new people which was great. As always it was a lot of fun and I can't wait for next year. I already know what I'm going to dress up as!

A few days later it was Halloween proper and Chris and I hung out in the garage handing out candy. It was a record number of kids this year, with the total being around 140. The weather was kinda crappy, so we didn't go to crazy with the decorations, but we still had some of our characters out which the kids either loved or were apprehensive about and we had the projector in the bonus room going showing loops of Halloween themed images. I got a kick out of watching the kids and their parents stopping in the street and pointing at the window and getting their phones out to video it.

The weekend after that we went to a house warming party for our neighbor's son, Cam. He had finally left home and got a place way down in the south. He's a good kid and has always come to our events so there was no way we weren't going to go. It was fun but ended up being a shit show which wasn't really a surprise.

Which brings us to last weekend where we first went for dinner and drinks with Chuck & Tracy and friends at a funky place downtown that was themed on a WWII bunker - although it wasn't as 'bunkerish' as I was anticipating. Still the food was really good, although the place was super loud and made talking difficult.

Then the next day was Nancy's 50th bash at one of their local pubs. Sadly we ended up leaving before Karaoke started which was probably a good thing for everyone there as they were spared my amazing vocals.

And the day after that I was off to Toronto to go see Tool in concert.

Tool Concert
Bless This Immunity

For those not in the know, Tool is one of my favourite bands. For numerous reasons there was an almost 15 year gap until they finally released a new album. So them going on tour to support it was kinda a big deal. However there was only one Canadian stop which was in Toronto and I just had to go, cost be damned! I ended up getting two tickets, the first one from a scalping site as I was paranoid it'd sell out before I could get a legit ticket when they officially went on sale. I had seen numerous posts online from people not being able to get tickets in other cities and the last band I really wanted to see - The Pixies - had sold out in the time it took for my web browser to refresh - I was still scarred from that experience.

The second ticket was from Ticketmaster which I got as soon as they became available. I did that as I was nervous the first one might not be legit. It didn't help that in both cases they were both e-tickets and you didn't actually get them until a few days before the concert. I was hoping I'd be able to convince a couple friends of mine (cough Jay, cough Jamie) to go with me but they sucked and said no. I kid (mostly) as it was definitely an expensive concert in the end - flights, hotel, cab rides, meals, merchandise etc.

I'd been to Toronto once before a long time ago and other than going up the CN Tower, don't remember much about it. The hotel I got was in a great location on the water and Rogers Place, the tower, Scotiabank Centre (where the concert was), Rogers Aquarium and so on were all just a few blocks away. The day of the concert I wandered around and stumbled across City Hall where there was a big Remembrance Day celebration. I tried to find Much Music but was saddened to see it's basically gone. Technically it's still there, but not like I remember from back in the day where they had the logo prominently displayed and people would stand outside looking in to the studio. Now other than a small IHeartRadio logo on the side of the building you'd have no idea it's even there anymore.

Being that it was a holiday the Ontario Art Museum was closed, but thankfully the Aquarium was still open so I checked it out. I think their claim to fame is the world's biggest or longest all glass viewing enclosure. It was pretty cool as they have one of those moving walkways and you can just stand there gawking at all the fish, turtles, and sharks all around you as you slowly go by.

Eventually it as almost time for the concert and I went back to my room and got primed by having some wobblies and listening to Tool videos before heading out. The opening act was Killing Joke which is a pretty cool alternative 80's band. They were just finishing as I got to my seat. As I had two tickets I was going to pick the spot I liked best - however the one was really close to the stage and although I initially thought that would be ideal I was worried about being so close to the speakers - yes, I'm old. Chris had given me some earplugs and although I had practiced putting them in I just couldn't get the hang of it. So I ended up at the other spot which was still a pretty good location.

Finally the lights dimmed and the music started!  The rest of the night was a bit of a blur but I remember it being musically perfect and by the end I was in my own little world just rocking out amongst 20,000 other people and just not giving a shit what anyone thought. I'm super glad that I went!

But after all the craziness of the past few weeks I'm looking forward to some down time and just taking it easy for awhile.

Canada/New England Cruise - Oct 24, 2019

Well we're back from our latest cruise.

It was a lot of fun and it was great going to all those places on the East coast that I'd never been to before. My world map got quite a few new pins out of this trip. Figured I'd get this updated while I can as I need to start decorating soon for our annual Halloween Party.

Can't believe it's almost November. This year is sure flying by.

Anyways, here is my usual blog of our journey:

Wow. Less than a week left in our cruise and I’m just now sitting down to write about it. Guess that’s what happens when you only have two sea days in a two week cruise.

Currently sitting on our deck looking out at the Saint John harbour, with the sign on the hill in the background. It’s gorgeous right now and I wished I had brought shorts. Other than a couple of cool and rainy days and one bumpy night as the remnants of a hurricane went through, the weather has been great this trip.

We began our journey in Quebec City (QC). The flight from Calgary was uneventful, although Chris was a bit of a trickster. When I asked if we had pods she said she didn’t think so. So when I walked on the plane and saw them I had a big smile on my face.

We spent the first night in a nice hotel in the old part of town near the docks. The building had that modern loft vibe with exposed ductwork, high ceilings and brick walls. After getting settled we went out and explored our surroundings - stopping in a couple of pubs along the way. The area is beautiful and feels like a slice of Europe with its cobblestone and windy streets. But we found it weird that the streets were empty - it was like we had the place to ourselves. We found out later that everything closes at 11pm for some odd reason.

The next day we had breakfast, asked for a late check out, and did some more exploring. The one thing we kept seeing that we both got a kick out of was how every store had pumpkins and Fall related displays both in and outside. It wasn’t really about Halloween, although there were some of those decorations, it was more a celebration of the season. We took the Funicular up to the top of the hill and popped into the Fairmont hotel to check it out. The place was a tourist gong show so we didn’t stay long. It was your typical, nice, fancy, Fairmont establishment, but it has nothing on the Banff Springs location.

We hit a local coffee shop and sat down outside. It was a cool day and I just had on a T-shirt and my puffy vest while Chris was wearing her light jacket. And older couple came along similarly dressed and in accented English asked if we were from Norway. I was like huh??? That was were they were from and they were making a joke as to how all the other tourists seemed to be wearing full winter coats. From there we ended up on the main ‘strip’ and traversed it’s length before heading back down. We hit the hotel, checked out, and boarded our ship. Unfortunately we were in the crappy industrial area instead of the main dock. We wandered around the ship until our cabin was ready which thankfully wasn’t long. Then we got ready and headed back into the city to go for dinner and meet up with Alpha & Nancy.

They happened to be doing a similar cruise but on a Royal Caribbean ship. Like us they also overnighted in QC, but started a day later than us. So we overlapped the one night and we’re determined to make the most of it. Unlike the previous night the area was now packed with tourists. I wasn’t sure we’d be able to get a table somewhere. While Chris tried to coordinate meeting A&N, I went to this place we had been to the night before and had liked. It was cozy as all the pubs there were, but they served yummy food - we had tried a charcuterie board and fondue - it had a good looking waitress who was adorable with her cute French accent, and even better it had a Happy Hour. Luckily I was able to grab a spot and eventually we were all together living it up in Old Quebec.

At some point someone decided we should do a pub crawl, and several hours later and several pubs later we took an Uber back to our respective ships and parted ways. We had a lot of fun that night, although I’m sure by the end of the night we were those annoying Westerners. That said, we found all the people friendly. They’d greet you in French, you’d reply in English and they’d switch to match. I never once felt any attitude. If you threw in a smattering of French they’d acknowledge and appreciate it. All in all it was a great place to visit and I’d easily go back again some day.

The next stop was Sagenauy, Quebec, which I’m not sure I’d even heard of before. It was a smallish town that had a pulp mill back in the day. We woke up to the sound of French music and looked out to see a bunch of locals in lumberjack attire and holding oars doing little jigs. They were adorable. I wanted to go for a walk so I got off while Chris relaxed and checked out the place. But as I entered the tourist pavilion I spotted a helicopter tour sign. With our bad luck concerning helicopter rides I was determined this one would happen, so signed us up.

The walk along the sea wall was good, but Chris texted me she was bored so I came back and changed, told her about the tour, and we went and got some yummy maple syrup pops the lumberjacks were handing out and waited for our trip in the air. Having done one when we were in Vegas I was anticipating that brief, odd feeling of weightlessness as you take off but for some reason it didn’t happen this time. Once in the air we got to check out the countryside and see all the gorgeous Fall colours of the trees. We also went through the fjords there before heading back. The only thing I didn’t like was our pilot wasn’t saying anything. It was only after myself and some others began asking questions that he began engaging with us, and then things were fine. I’m glad we did it and our streak of bad luck regarding helicopter tours was broken.

Once we landed we went and had lunch at a local pub. It must have been a good pick as other than us and one other table it was all crew there. Sadly as always freakin happens I of course became sick. Wasn’t sure what it was at first as my throat felt like there were razor blades inside and it hurt to swallow. From there I went on to coughing up crap and just generally feeling shitty. Thankfully it only lasted a couple days before I began to feel better. In any case we hit a local pharmacy and drugged up. We’ve also been buying lotto tickets in each port (cause we’re sure to win) and got a kick out of how monstrously large the tickets in this region are. Then it was back on board for more shenanigans and on to Newfoundland.

One of the reasons we picked this trip was that it stopped there. Unless you’re doing a Transatlantic most ships don’t go to it. In our case it wasn’t the capital of St. John’s, but instead Cornerbrook which was on the other side of the Island. I was on my last day of being sick so was a bit of a grumpy bump but still determined to make the most of it. My goal was to get a picture of Curious George with a bottle of screech, so we hit a pub and had yummy fish and chips - and they were cool with my picture plan. We then heard the local Legion was having a Screetched ceremony where they make you an honorary Newfie. So we headed there but there was one already in progress. So we wandered to the back of the place and had some drinks. I got a kick out of listening to the locals banter in their thick accents and one of them explained to us how the local lottery game of ‘catch the Ace’ was played. Eventually they had another ceremony and I manned up as I knew Chris really wanted to do it. Feeling like crap and not wanting to be near other people I watched from the side. But we both kissed the cod and got our official certificates.

Jumping ahead now to almost the end of the cruise. We were supposed to go to Rhode Island but the Captain came on to announce that because of bad weather we’d be stopping in Boston instead. I’m sure Rhode Island is nice, but for us we thought it was a definite upgrade. Even better Alpha & Nancy happened to be there that day on their ship. After docking we hopped into a cab and headed downtown. We didn’t really have a plan other than Alpha had mentioned they wanted to go to the Cheers bar. They were still stuck waiting to clear customs so we just wandered around. As it happened we stumbled across it on our own and as soon as they opened we bellied up and waited for the Murrays to show up.

Eventually they came by and we all whipped out the cellphones and were snap happy tourists. After a few pints we hit a couple of other establishments before sharing a cab back to the ship. Alpha was worried we wouldn’t get back in time and debated which streets to take with the driver - we ended getting dropped off before them as our ship was first and found out later that they just made it with 5 mins to spare.

Which takes us to today.

Last night was really rough and before crawling into bed I noticed on the navigation map that we were headed back the way we came which I thought was weird.

This morning we woke up to crazy seas alongside another cruise ship and discovered that they had closed Boston harbour and that we had spent the night circling in a somewhat sheltered area. A few hours ago the Captain got on again to inform us we wouldn’t be able to leave until evening which meant our overnight in NYC wasn’t going to happen but that we should get there in time to catch our flights home.

We’re still waiting to get underway. Even worse, because we’re too close to shore they can’t open the casino or the shops. Oh well, at least the ship hasn’t run out of alcohol yet. Obviously disappointed, but it is what it is. A&N are currently getting pounded at sea and knocked about, so I think our Captain made the right decision. Tonight should be an interesting one but soon we’ll be docked and on our way home.

Jumping back in time again...

We woke up to the charming island of PEI. This was our first tender or the trip so I was glad we had a suite as our chicky had us skip the long lines and scooch us to the front to board the tender. We didn’t care about Anne of Green Gables and had nothing else planned so we just wandered about popping our heads into various stores and pubs. It was an easy going and relaxing day.

Our next port was Sydney, Nova Scotia and once again we didn’t have anything planned. A&N had been there the day before and had told us there wasn’t much to do. The weather was rainy, but we at least wanted to go ashore from lunch. By that point it was pouring rain so we were content to eat in the tourist pavilion and snap pix of the world’s biggest fiddle outside. I had been craving lobster the entire trip so was overjoyed when I could get an entire lobster for lunch. I was in my happy place as I ripped it apart and devoured it.

Next up was Halifax and after two stops where we had to tender, it was nice being able to dock again. We had an excursion on a Tall Ship booked for later in the day so we just toodled around the waterfront until we got to the end where Halifax casino was located. Nearby was the Navy base so I was in my element snapping pix of the warships and patrol boats. There was even a ultra modern ship there that I knew wasn’t Canadian and later found out was Dutch as they had recently just finished a big NATO exercise. We actually won money at the casino so hustled out of there before that one extra spin ruined it and headed to a restaurant one of the casino managers had recommended. The owner guy had competed on Top Chef Canada, and it was a pretty hip place that had yummy burgers. We made a note to look him up and see how well he did on the show.

It was almost time for our tour so I ran back to the ship to put on something warmer as it was pretty cool on the water. We met our group and walked a few blocks to the Tall Ship. Although I’m glad we did it, I would say they cheated a bit and would classify it as a Tall-ish ship. To me a proper Tall ship is wooden and had 3 masts with sails at multiple heights. This was a converted coal ship which was metal and although it had 3 masts they were only one level. But it had a neat history having sunk in the Baltic in the 20’s? and later on having been raised. Our guide actually had lived in Calgary before so we chatted back and forth about various things. The best part though was they had a musician on board who entertained us with various Maritime jigs - oh and they had a bar, although Chris & I seemed to be the only ones drinking lol. After a trip around the harbour we got off and headed back to our ship. Hitting yet one more place for nourishment along the way.

And now everything is up to date...

As for the ship, this was our first time on the Norwegian Dawn. If it’s not officially a Jewel class ship, it’s very similar to the Jade which we’ve been on several times before. Basically a mid-sized ship. But we knew that. For us, this trip was all about the itinerary. However they did a bunch of upgrades during the last refit. Probably the nicest addition is the wine bar - which is the only ship other than the mega ships in the fleet to have one. And unlike the wine bars on Celebrity, we actually enjoyed and spent time here. They had a super modern menu which was basically a tablet you could scroll through all the available wines, get info about the wine, see if it’s available by the glass or bottle etc. We also did a blind taste tasting event where we both actually learning a lot about wine drinking - I’m even drinking (some) Red wines now! We also spent a lot of time chatting up the resident wine expert who was really nice.

Of course we bought some more art. We’ve been wanting a certain piece by one of the artists for a long time, but it was never the exact one we wanted. But we saw it here so we had to have it. It’s technically a numbered print, so it wasn’t super expensive - but for us it has special meaning. Consisting of two adorable, happy cats, you could either interpret the two cats being Chris & myself, or you could also interpret it being a representation of our cats JC & Mindy.

The casino has kind of sucked. Neither of us has done very well, but Chris (as I write this) is still leading in the slot machine tournament. The one annoying thing is they’ll have $5 Poker tables, but the minimum for Blackjack is always $10.

The food has been good (on the NCL scale) and I’ve had a few super yummy dinners - my favourite being a lamb curry dish we had in the dining room. The only real disappointment was the Bamboo restaurant where we spent lots of time on a previous cruise with the Blanices downing dumpling after dumpling. But for whatever reason, here it outright sucked. Chris couldn’t even finish her meal. We also had a couple of misfires at Cagneys, the steak place, however they were always quick to remake and make sure we were happy.

As for entertainment, we haven’t really done any of the shows other than to go see the comic. Usually those shows are always kind of meh, but we both found this comic to be really funny. We were both laughing throughout the show. For music the piano guy was so so, but the guitar guy was really good. Sadly because of the colder weather we didn’t see much of the ‘rock band’, but one day they were poolside rocking out the Queen and everyone including the bartenders were belting out Bohemian Rhapsody. It was a lot of fun.

And while the average age of the guests on here is probably 70 - there’s literally a total of four kids onboard - I can’t really make fun of them this time. Because we’ve found ourselves doing old people stuff this trip! Looking forward to trivia, hanging in the Champagne bar, tapping our toes to the music etc. In bed by 10pm. My God, next we’ll be doing the Macarena at the morning dance class in the atrium.

And that’s pretty much it. It’s been a good trip. We finally got to see the Maritimes, saw some amazing scenery, and went on some terrific excursions.

Here's some pictures of our shenanigans:

Wandering the streets of Old QuebecFall decorations everywhereLook who we found in Quebec City!Yummy maple syrup treatsThat's my action shot
Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?Pretty Quebec countrysideI'm an honorary Newfie!George found a friend in NewfoundlandMy what a big fiddle you have...
Chris ponders ConfederationLooking cute in HalifaxCould we be any cooler?Funky art on Halifax waterfrontSmile, say tourist!
Lighthouse in Portland, MaineChris gets her lobstering onI thought the architecture was cool. Chris liked the hotdog stand.Did someone say wine tasting?Of course we bought more art.
Our favourite place to hang on the ship.Cool, newly revamped, atrium.We finally got a magnet for when we go cruising!Sunrise over Boston harbourLook who we found in Boston!

Now time to start looking forward to our next cruise!