DO Date a Girl Who Travels

I love this response to “Don’t Date a Girl who Travels”.  One could go either way.

 

DO Date a Girl Who Travels.

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Inspirational Bike Routes Here and There

bikes kelowna

I have put much thought into The Ride to Conquer Cancer next June and training routes.  The RTCC route from Vancouver to Seattle is about 120km each way, which I’m estimating will take me about 6 hours.  The last time I did a ride of this length was the Kettle Valley Railway in 2010 and 2009.  I did minimal training for the KVR ride, and definitely felt pretty achy during and after.   This time around, I plan to work on a slow build of distance rides.  If I can set a long ride once a month, with shorter rides in between, I think I’ll be in better condition come June.  I have 8 months to prepare, and have already done a couple 20km rides, so the next step will be a 30 – 40km route.  I’m thinking of joining the celebration ride on October 26th as a way to get accustomed to riding along-side do many other cyclists. I then may need to take it indoors for winter, and step into some spinning classes if the roads get too slippery.

Although most of my training will take place at home, I’ve made a list of my favourite routes in five of the cities I’ve cycled in or around for inspiration.  I am planning to revisit all but one of these cities before next June – so I am now making a pact with myself to make these routes a priority as a way to motivate myself as the big ride approaches.

1. McCulloch Road/Spears Road Route: Kelowna, BC

The fall is probably the best time to explore this route as you can see and smell the apples during harvesting season.  Not to mention the colours of fall are beautiful in the valley at this time of year.  This can be a long or medium ride depending on where you begin and end.  For me I’ll start near downtown, make my way to K.L.O road for a nice long warm up on the flat valley bottom, then make the climb up to the top of McCulloch road, where I get a spectacular view of the Harvest Golf Course and the valley before making my descent.

       2. Don Valley/ Lakeshore Route: Toronto, ON

When I lived in Toronto, this was my favourite option for a long ride.  This route is great because the only stops are when the Don Valley pathway intersects the Lakeshore bike path.   I tend to favour the east route, as it takes you to The Beaches, which has a long history of recreation that seems to hang in the air as you cycle through.  It’s also a route you can manage without too much meandering or tourist-in-your-own-town-ing which tends to happen to me on other bike routes in the city.

beaches toronto

  • 3. Seawall/ Stanley Park: Vancouver, BC

This is a route that requires either a hybrid or mountain bike.  Best to try this route during the week, as it’s also a top meandering destination for tourists and locals. Be sure to start out on the Coal Harbour side, or you’ll be going against traffic – it’s a one-way route!  The ride around Stanley Park is one of a kind, and you can then make your way along English Bay and around False Creek. Spectacular.

seawall english bay

4. Point Pleasant Park: Halifax

This is the one route I will not get a chance to visit this year, but I thought I’d mention it as it had an impact.  Also a great route to visit in autumn, although you’ll have to dodge all the leaf-watchers. The park has all sorts of paths throughout and is hilly, so good for pushing those leg muscles.  If you’re lucky, you might even see or hear a whale on its way to or from the Bedford Basin.

point pleasant park

5. Parque Aztlan eco-reserve / Playa Linda: Ixtapa Mexico

This is route takes you through a little bit of jungle and ends with spectacular pay-off of a gorgeous palm-tree lined beach. I have made the mistake in the past of starting out to late in the day, and end up speed cycling back at dusk as large unidentified insects smash into my face and my imagination runs wild with crocodile attacks.  It’s best to hit this fantastic route up first thing in the morning, which means limiting your tequila intake the night before.

playa linda

If I’ve sparked your interest in cycling, why not check out the Ride to Conquer Cancer.  It’s always great to have a goal to motivate yourself to get out and be active.

For More information on the RTCC Vancouver, Click Here.

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Check them out on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/BCRide

A Shout out to my Acting Coach

Shooting a Book Trailer for "Through the Door" last spring.
Shooting a Book Trailer for “Through the Door” last spring.

From the time I left home at 18 years old, I’ve pursued an acting career.  I did the university thing, I did the performing arts school thing, I even did the Second City thing.  As time goes by, I’ve realized that one’s training is really never over.  In most other careers, as my voice teacher pointed out, it is part of your job – part of your paid job – to put in research and development.  For a performer, this would include both ongoing training, as well as seeing shows, going to concerts, watching films.  Unfortunately, this generally comes out of our own under-paid pockets, so we are not always able or willing to put in as much time as might be necessary to stay on top of our game.

This past year I have made a consistant effort to stay on top of taking classes.   As an actor trained primarily in theatre, I’ve found it invaluable to put myself in front of a camera as much as I possibly can.   Auditioning helps, but it’s nice to have a place where you can actually be an actor in front of a camera, not just a “late twenties/ early thirties woman/young mom/ girl-next-door-type/ attractive but real/not-a-model” delivering two lines or ad-libbing with your fake children over a box of fake crackers/cereal/potato chips.

I am lucky to have found a teacher I love at a studio I can afford where I can continue to play week after week.  The class invites all levels, and as an actor with extensive training, I appreciate my instructors ability to see each student as individual, and to give appropriate and specific feed back.  There are many classes you can take in this city, and many are great, but as the years progress I find I don’t want to be force-fed technical dogma and I don’t really want to spend all my time being told what my “hit” is or what it’s not, or that I need to define myself in some specific way that involves not being myself.  I am also not interested in a group therapy session.   Marketing and  self awareness is important in this business, but when it comes down to it, I feel that an acting class should be primarily about acting. That’s why I decided to be an actor in the first place – to act (what a concept).  The great thing is, while enjoying every minute of my weekly class – I truly feel myself improving. I can’t control how much I work in this industry, but at least I can know that the work I am doing is good work.

If you want more info on this studio – check out http://www.bryantandtuckstudios.com/

I take classes with Peter.

Burnaby Heights Bike Ride

View from Burnaby Heights neighborhood park
View from Burnaby Heights neighborhood park

Every Monday I take the Adanac Bikeway from Vancouver  out to Burnaby Heights.  I’ve recently signed up for the Ride to Conquer Cancer 2014 and so this weekly ride is something of a baby step towards my training.    Last week I decided to make a mini-adventure of it and explore the neighborhood a little.

The ride out on Adanac is great.  It’s hilly, but there’s enough up and down that momentum helps you half way up most of the steep climbs.  My first stop was Burnaby Heights Park.  It wasn’t really what I’d expected, but it was still a lovely spot.   I was thinking it would be a nature-y, hilly park with trails, trees and benches.  Something a little more poetic.  The park in reality is very much a ‘neighborhood’ park complete with playground and sports field.  It does, however, have an amazing North/East view.  Sports fields with mountain views aren’t too hard to come across in the lower mainland, but this one has a ‘top-of-the-world’ feeling about it.

After the park I wandered around Burnaby Heights on Hastings and grabbed an early lunch before heading back.  There are some great murals on the sides of commercial spaces all along  the strip, and the neighborhood has retained little pieces of its history.  My favourite thing was the ‘girl on a swing’ below the “Heights” sign outside the Meat Market (photo below).

The view of the city on the return ride is great – dipping in and out of view as you climb and descend- although early morning or early evening is definitely the best time if the view is your number 1 priority.  If you want to get a glimpse of the PNE on the ride back – complete with screams from the roller coaster – take Pandora Street down to Cassiar and then cross Hastings to get to Adanac.  (Watch that you don’t take the wrong side of the street and end up on the freeway.  This happened to me once and was rather terrifying!)


Mural on the old Regent Theatre
Mural on the old Regent Theatre
West facing view on East Hastings St.
West facing view on East Hastings St.

Bheights view

Next time I want to ride all the way out to SFU – it’s a good ‘next-step’.  I think I need to properly learn how to change a bike tire first though (which I’ll need for my big ride next summer), or just go with enough change to take the bus home in case of an emergency!

For more information on the Ride to Conquer Cancer, or to sign up for the Vancouver Ride  – Click Here.

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Destination: The Swiss Alps

Gorgeous photos!! reminds me of my short but memorable trip in July.

International Bellhop Travel Magazine

Swiss Alps Switzerland Visual Tour

Though The European Alps range runs through several European countries, the most beautiful and hidden gems of the mountain range are the Swiss Alps specifically. Also known as the Central Alps, the Swiss alps have some of the most amazing rock formations, glaciers, and rushing waters in the the entire range. Snow-capped at the highest peaks, the midlands are bright green and lush with trees and grass, as the snow-melt and runoff from the glaciers sustains many miles of growth.

Watch This Stunning Video Tour of the Swiss Alps:

View Our Gallery of Favorites from the Swiss Alps:

Check out More Travel Photo Galleries:

Travel Photo Galleries -- ibellhop.com

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Luzerne in a Flash

One of two day-trips I had time for during my Basel Tattoo experience, was a day trip to the lovely Luzerne, Switzerland and surroundings.  The entire dance team and entourage took a very early bus from Basel and returned a few hours before our evening performance.  Needless to say, I was completely wiped out the following day – but managed to pull it together for the show.

A few ferry stops away from the city of Lucerne
A few ferry stops away from the city of Lucerne

Normally I’m not a fan of bus-tours, or any kind of group tour or group travel for that matter, but with team-spirit in mind, I quite enjoyed our excursion, and even happened upon a friendship with one of the other dancers that was, until that day, just an aquaintance.  Lucky me!  Two of the best things to have when traveling is 1. A friendship, and 2. A flirtation.  Since I am happily in a relationship, the friendship will prevail, and prerequisite for a flirtation has to be “harmless”.

Our first stop was a lovely, family run cheese making business up high among the rolling

Dairy Cow - I forget her name...
Dairy Cow – I forget her name…

 

 

hills.  We were greeted by the owner who told us a little of their history, and let us sample their delicious cheese.  One of the things they prided themselves on was that each of their dairy cows had names!

Next stop was lunch at a nearby hotel – very important – with the most spectacular view I have seen.   I wished we had a week to hang around and hike and lay on checkered picnic blankets and eat cheese.

After lunch we headed to Luzerne via train then boat (all spectacular and gorgeous).  We stayed in town for a couple of hours, where my new friend and I ate ice cream, sat by the water, and then walked around the town until we had to hop back on the bus.

Lucerne City
Lucerne City

 

bodum store in Luzerne.  I didn't know this existed!
bodum store in Luzerne. I didn’t know this existed!

Fountain in Lucerne

Fountain in Lucerne