Travel

When we decided to try and extend our trip to Belgium, part of that included having time for a side trip so I could see a bit more of Europe. I agonized over where to go - flights are fairly cheap, and everything is so close together (and Bruno was fair game and let me have my pick)! In the end, I really wanted to go back to Berlin...

Berlin

I started weeding through my trip photos from September a few days ago because there are some really wonderful ones I wanted to share. I ended up splitting the side trip to Berlin into a separate post because there were just far too many!

Oostende

I didn't get around to writing a more detailed post about Bruno's and my road trip through Oregon and California, though I've peppered some of the photos through posts since then. Better late than never, I wanted to at least gather my favourite photos, both digital and film (now that I've got them developed). I've kept the two kinds separate, since the film ones have a bit of a different look that I find interesting. You can see the full unedited set here.

It was a wonderful two weeks, the redwoods and the coast were so much more breathtaking than I'd ever imagined. The coast was so rugged, and the trees were so enormous. I particularly enjoyed camping our way south, and spending some more time in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Portland.

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I realized this summer that I have my "favourite places" in lots of other cities up and down the coast, but I hardly have any here in Vancouver. I've been looking for them, but I haven't found them.

I'm extremely envious of Portland. And also Seattle, Victoria, San Francisco... Filled with jealousy. And filled with love. But mostly jealousy. I try not to resent Vancouver for not having all the things that I want and can get so easily in Portland or other cities. Yes, I know I'm demanding. But I have seen what's possible... and it's glorious.

Bluebird in Seattle

Bruno and I went to Seattle for a few days, a few weeks ago so that I could get a blood test panel for this specialist in the US I'm going to see, and we decided to turn it into a mini-vacation before he started at his new job! It was a really wonderful few days, and despite being such a short trip, it was so relaxing - it was really the best and most relaxed I'd felt since I started my "sabbatical".

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Hand dryer faces at one of the rest stops on the way down to Seattle

Summer has been flying by - time for an update! Life with Bruno has been fantastic. Only minor adjustments to living together, we'll just say I'm nowhere near sick of him! In fact, if you know of any cool companies or organizations who'd like an extremely skilled Drupal themer, please point them here: http://brunodbo.be/work. Bruno is looking for a prospective employer to offer him a job, so he can apply to stay on as a skilled worker. We won't be common law until next April, so it's the only way he can stay!

It hasn't been the hottest June and July Vancouver's seen, but we've made the most of it with a week off to take a train trip to Seattle and Portland. Lots of delicious food - I ate a lot of vegan ice cream and treats, and Bruno was in vegetarian heaven. And visiting with our PNW friends is always a lovely bonus! 

BC Cherries <3

The weeks (months) leading up to the Christmas holidays continued to be really busy. We'd been really cramming at work, and I was also doing a lot of Drupal work (we had a big Documentation meeting/sprint weekend the weekend before holidays that people flew in for, and it's also been a big push getting the Drupal 7 docs done for its release which is coming up this week). I was definitely running on fumes. Thankfully we'd made the wise decision early on to shut down entirely at work for two weeks over the holidays, so we could all take a proper, well-deserved break. I went back to Saskatoon for a full week and a half, to have Christmas with my parents, and basically just do what Frankie says (ie. relax).

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Decorating the tree with my mom

So first, a little catch up from before my last posts... back in June, I went to Saskatoon for a weekend to go to the wedding of one of my next door neighbours from where I grew up. The Sulatyski family lived next door to me my entire Saskatoon-life (plus a couple years after I moved to Vancouver), and are like my second family... sometimes I feel like I grew up more Ukrainian than any other culture!

Me and the boys

Last week I took a week off work for a little vacation. I spent the first weekend largely hanging out in East Van and catching up with Angie and Marci who just moved to the coast, and walking around on the Drive a bit during Italian Days. 

I hadn't made any terribly concrete plans about what I was going to do for the rest of the week, but had been feeling very deprived of road trips lately. I'm not a huge fan of driving distances by myself, so I settled on hopping on the train down to Seattle for a few days. It'd been about 12 years since I'd last taken the train (on the east coast), so I didn't completely know what to expect.

Amtrak Cascades

The Backstory

(Note: Some of this first half will be redundant if you're a regular reader.) Somewhere in the midst of being cooped up at home sick for weeks on end this spring, something in me clicked. I stopped caring about not being able to do it all. I don't know if it's so much giving in, or self preservation, or just not needing to beat myself up for things I can't change. Maybe it was survival instinct, or maybe it was being forced to accept the reality of my energy and wellness levels. I'm sure a question my counselor asked me a while back got this all circulating in the back of my mind: "What would happen if you didn't do everything that you want, what then?" My answer at the time: "I feel like if I had to give up doing all these things, that I would cease to exist."

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