Friday, June 30, 2006


ok all - my sister finally had her baby on the here are the requisite photos for all of you to ooo and aaah over. :) her name is olivia claire cook and she is long and skinny. and perfect of course.

niagara falls and toronto again!

this is a typical vermont country road somewhere between londonderry and peru. we went for a drive on wednesday (after getting my social security number in rutland....which wasn't nearly as funny as getting fingerprinted but had it's moments.........remember that gary larson farside cartoon with the woman posting up a sign for a lost dog, but the dog is actually stuck to her big butt?? well there was a woman who had lost her kids social security cards and was applying for new ones.....i'm fairly certain if she looked in some of those crevices she might find the cards...vernon and i had a good laugh at that thought...anyhoo........).

here we are getting close to niagara falls state park in new york. we decided to stop on the american side because it was more convenient. i'm so glad we did as there was basically no one there - we saw about 100 people in this huge park. and you still get really close to the falls, it's still really beautiful - you don't see the entire horseshoe but i didn't care. it was cool. lots of people in ugly rain slickers though......looking totally touristy and lame. so what i didn't realise is that there are actually two falls - "american falls" and "horseshoe falls". horseshoe is the one that you always see photos of and that the boats go up to. american is beautiful but just straight. i found horseshoe hard to look at because of all the mist - it's basically obscured.

this is the view of "american falls" from the top looking at where it drops off. i held the camera over my head and took a shot over the 6 foot guard rail. the rapids were actually really cool too. and to be honest - all those crazies who went over the falls in barrels were totally freaking insane. there are HUGE rocks and stuff.

here is the view down the river with american falls to the side.

here is the view from the u.s. side of the horseshoe. you can tell that you don't get the full breadth. but since we could see HORDES of people on the canadian side and we were totally without a crowd around us it was nice.

me. driving. through new york state. i only drove about 2 hours yesterday. vernon drove for about 7. whoops. i think i slacked off! i guess that means that on sunday i'm doing the majority. ugh.

vern above american falls.

me above american falls

the maid in the mist leaving the horseshoe.

last time we were in toronto i forgot to take a shot of the cn tower. this time i almost missed it as we drove by but here it is in all it's tall glory. i am SUCH a tourist....

this is the old city hall in toronto. it is a beautiful building with some interesting features. none of which i know the proper names for so you'll just have to go and look at it yourself. the NEW city hall is hideous. it is two giant semi circle office towers that face each other and have windows only on the inside - so the outer walls are just 40 stories of cement. nice. really really nice. i'm not sure what their rational there was.

the clock tower on the old city hall has neat chimeras sticking out.
this is st michael's cathedral near the eaton centre. i just thought it looked cool (and i was walking back to the cello shop, starbucks in one hand, camera in the other looking totally loserish taking shots of random toronto architecture).

ok - that's all for today. more later....


Thursday, June 29, 2006

going to t.o.

we're leaving right now for toronto but here's a funny story i wrote in my journal.........

we went into rutland today and got fingerprinted. the guy at the cop shop could NOT get over the fact that i’m Canadian. from ca-NAY-da. i was his first set of Canadian fingerprints……apparently that was weird for him. ya….ok……he also thought it was weird that i spoke English and yet didn’t look foreign. and that we had the internet in Canada. he was also quite surprised when i told him the Canadian border was less than 4 hours away. and that in about 4 and a half he could be in montreal – a LARGE CANADIAN URBAN CENTRE. then again – if he knew i spelled centre like that his head would have probably popped off. he asked me if accountants were different in Canada and if it was cold. ok – this guy is from Vermont. not Louisiana (no offense to louisianan’s…but at least you guys are FAR away from our border). when mimi went in after me i was convinced he would be confused by the half Chinese American girl who lives in paris and yet has a US passport. apparently though he was still reeling over the Canadian thing and kept telling her how it had been really confusing for him and difficult because of my being Canadian. um….right. then when divia went in he asked what her ethnicity was (i guess he could guess white for me and asian for mimi?) so she said she was half white and half Indian. he asked her what he should put so she said white. he asked her several times and she kept saying white was fine. then……it just gets scarier and more funny……he asked her if she was EXACTLY half. she said “ya…i have two parents” to which he replied “oh ya, two parents……”. holy crap. i’m not sure i feel safe here if that is what is manning the police situation. although for anyone who has ever seen that movie super troopers we all have an idea of what really goes on in the Vermont state trooper/city police offices. maybe he was stoned.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

j crew - YA!

hello here i am in front of the j. crew outlet in manchester vt.......what you can't see is that in my right hand i am holding a GINORMOUS bag full of clothes. which cost me about $2. tee hee!! as you can see the humidity has turned my hair into a mass of frizz. and that day it was actually looking quite straight.
this is a really beautiful area of the country. when i get a chance to actually get out and take some photos you can all see where i am. the hills are so rolling and calm....and the mix of deciduous and coniferous creates a great mix of greens. i'd like to be here in the fall to see all the colours come out. i guess there is a reason why all the rich people in new york have summer homes in vermont (after they get tired of the hamptons of course).
so far the camp is going really well. i really like all the people that i'm working with and the job is dead easy. typing and filing and taking money and answering the phone. ya, i think i can handle that! the kids are really great too. they all arrived yesterday, all 95 of them ranging in ages from 14 to 18. there will be the ones that act like jack asses i'm sure, but for now they are good. :)
last night the faculty put on a mini introductory concert and all the groups played (woodwind quintet, string octet, horn trio, etc). there are some really talented people here - vernon was of course the best. haha. there are a lot of conversations where i don't know the joke though...... although apparently they are funny..... in fact just about 2 minutes ago vernon said something and the people sitting with us were laughing and i sat there looking very very blank. *sigh* at least they know i'm not a musician and it's not that i'm stupid.
the weather is wet but nice. it rained this morning and now is sunny and hot and HUMID. (hence the frizz hair). i can't wait to find out where the swimming hole is.
paula - you will be happy to know that we have a cat in our cabin. one of the guys staying with us brought his cat jo-jo (one of several cats and several dogs who share the campus for the summer). vernon has attempted to bond with him....although i'm not sure jo-jo cares.
anyhoo - i'll talk to you soon,

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


vermont is awesome! imagine the most stereotypical picturesque little town and house and that is totally what it is like. i met the postmaster today. we're on a first name basis now. seriously.
i'll upload some photos when i get a chance. there is a free hot spot in the town here so i'll try to keep in touch with people at least once a week. :) i experienced my first real vermont thunderstorm last night - and it was so warm out. it was really cool. lots of lightening when we arrived and the rain was just dumping. it's probably going to rain again tonight judging by the giant black cloud above us. i won't care - i'll be happily inside enjoying all the new company. anyhoo - i have to run to meeting (just like work - what the??).

can't wait to see how the summer unfolds...oh and to work on my tan.


Sunday, June 18, 2006

toronto is great...i love it! great vibe, great food, great people.
we hooked up with my friend keli down on queen street at a cafe called java. great sangria is perfect on a hot muggy day. :)
vernon enjoying the deck at his parents condo building....
me enjoying the deck and a nice cold stella!
vernon looking way too hip in the aviators i bullied him into buying at a truck stop just east of chicago...
i supervise the master bbq'er rennie as he throws on the calamari. :)

Saturday, June 17, 2006


elga actually suggested that i start a blog. and since i do EVERYTHING that elga tells me to do, here it is.
we are finally in toronto.... and i have to say it is HOT. 32 degrees right now and i'm loving it. so far the people are not any different than vancouverites (despite what we west coasters would like to think) and the city is actually really nice.
we left vancouver on monday.....and put 4300+ kilometres on my car in 5 days. we hit kamloops, swift current, winnipeg, madison and now toronto. everything else is a blur from the car window. 12 hours+ driving every day (except monday, our one short day so we could spend some time with mom and dad in the loops). the rockies blew past in a few short hours and then the prairies rolled out before us. contrary to popular belief, southern saskatchewan is not is extremely rolling. and when you compare that to southern manitoba and north dakota it is actually downright hilly. the country has been beautiful though. we had the chance to stop at nana engel's grave (more emotional that i thought it would be) and i have been steadily meeting vernon's family from 3 year olds to grandparents. we are having a ton of fun and for now i will let photos tell the main story. i have taken over 211 photos since kamloops - most of which are from the car window because we honestly did not stop!
i miss you all and i'll hopefully hear from you soon,


vernon......driving. he did a lot of this......

the rockies.........

we hit saskatchewan on the first day....blew right past alberta....and really.......we didn't miss much.

there are so many bugs on the prairies.....and yet none in the states.......odd....and creepy....

the creepy obelisk at the us border in north dakota....

the monkey and the elephant are having fun.

the bowels of america.....

sweet canadian soil is within our reach once again at detroit....