Monday, July 11, 2005

Birthday And Etc... Life Update!

Friday was quite a nice day. Had cake at work with co-workers and went for a wonderful dinner at Raincity Grill with David. We started with a glass of sparkling wine (surprisingly, they didn't have champagne) because heck! I'm 25 and I'm leaving on a big life-changing vacation, and this deserves a toast. For an appetizer I had the crispy salmon with pea shoots (and other things that I can't remember) and David had the grilled shrimps in gazpacho with pea shoots and crème fraîche. Then we switched to the recommended wines and I had the tenderloin with kale and pea shoots (and something else, again...) and David had the duck with blue cheese tart and green beans. For desert, I had the raspberry tart with red wine sauce and crispy granola while David had the Blueberry baklava with mascarpone. Yummy! It was one of the best meals I've had in a long time, and for sure one of the best I've had in Vancouver.

Saturday we went shopping for hiking boots for David, which he'll be needing to do the West Coast Trail. We did most of the outdoors shops on West Broadway and he finally decided on a pair of boots at the very last minute - that is, 2 minutes before the store closed! But at least we got boots.

I also took the opportunity to buy a good pair of sandals that will hold my feet and not fall off. They should also be really good with my backpack on. They're Chaco's and they're great! The only downside was that I couldn't get the sole that I wanted, but hey! They're much nicer and way more comfortable than those damn Teva.

Before buying boots though we went shopping for a camera for my trip, and to buy a wide-angle lens for our current digital camera. I checked out the CanonS2 and a new Sony (!!!) DHCH1 that was really good. At $700, they better be! Both are 5 mp with 12x optical zoom and an amazing macro: Canon is ever 0mm! That means that the lens can *touch* the item and it will still come out sharp. But they are expensive... I really want the Canon, but can I really afford it? Not really. Especially not since my mom has offered to give/lend (not specified) me her own camera, a Pentax Optio 750z that's quite good and compact for its power (7 mp, 5x digital zoom, 2cm macro). The thing is, I really like the Canon. It's easier to use, it's more powerful. It's ideal. But it's bigger, and its not free. Dilemma!!! I have to ponder this over the next few days...

On Sunday we went to Whistler for a nice hike, and nice it was. There was a lot of clouds but they were all well over the mountains, so our view was never affected. The trail was actually closed due to "poor trail conditions"(but that didn't stop us!), but aside from snow, the trail was quite good. We tested our new panoramic lens and I think we have some pretty good shots, if I can say so myself. [These pictures will be uploaded soon, hopefully!] We ended the day on a patio beside the gondola, eating nachos and drinking beer with friends. It was a perfect day!

Today was back to work, and somehow, it really felt like a Friday. I wish! Tonight I have to go for a physical (yuk) and an AIDS test for entry into China (fun! I'm not sure if I really do need it but I've heard that I do, so why take the chance? They don't let people in who are HIV positive - talk about discrimination!). Tomorrow I meet with photographers for work and after I have an appoitment at the travel clinic for a final go-over and to get my malaria medication. Wednesday I am training my replacement and we might go for a hike, weather-permitting, with David's work. Thursday I have a dentist appointment for fillings and Friday, well, that's the only day where I have nothing planned. Then Saturday we're having a party to celebrate my BD and my going away - we've invited about 30 people, hopefully most of them will show up! - and so I have to organize that. What a week!!!

So that's about that..Wish me luck!

Hopefully I'll also get around to do lots of updating to this blog, so keep checking!

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