More hurdles…oh well!

Late Spring 2014

 

The weather here in Canada is finally starting to get warmer and I’ve been enjoying the sun.  I love waking up in the morning, having a nice warm cup of coffee or tea as I sit and listen to the nature around me.  What’s so great about my neighbourhood is how quiet it is in the A.M.  I’m far enough away from the noise of the morning traffic… although the birds in all their Spring glory sometimes drive me a little crazy.

I’ve had to arrange and rearrange my plans due to the fact that my lovely father has decided to surprise me with his arrival from the Philippines.  It has, yet again, delayed my plans.  I’m frustrated, but I know that a couple days of a delay won’t be so bad.

I was supposed to be on a plane to Chicago tomorrow morning, but since my dad will be here at 3 am, I had to cancel my flight and my hotel… such a bummer.

I will be rebooking my trip next week and will be on my way!  I’m definitely getting anxious to travel, it’s been too long and I’ve got places to go and people to see! 😉

I hope you all had a great weekend and to my American friends I wish you all a very happy Memorial Day! 😀

SS

Plans…plans…oh wait here’s an interruption…

I’m preparing for my trip to Chicago and Texas, when I get a text message that has delayed one part of my journey.  I’ve calmed down enough to know that these things happen and I’m not delaying my trip without good reason.

My dad will be returning from overseas where he has partially retired, since I haven’t seen him in almost a year, I would like to spend some time with him.  However, I will be definitely going back to Chicago and see the sites that I had wanted to see when I first visited.  I’m looking forward to seeing Harpo Studios taking the ferry or boat around the city…it will be nice to go back.  I’m still working out a few things and scheduling issues for my Texas trip, but I will be there just another delay of a couple weeks..I’m coming Texas!!  I PROMISE!!..I just need to see my Daddy first 😉

On the other hand, I’ve been having a great time with our radio show, we have a set schedule and we always have a blast.  It’s so great to know that I’ve met someone that I can work with and enjoy chatting with.  The best part of having an amazing cohost is the amount of laughter we share together.  We discussed social medias on our show tonight.  I can’t say enough how grateful and lucky I am to enjoy these great new experiences.  Life is great…and I’m a happy gal! 😀

Take care everyone and to my fellow Canadians, I hope you all have a fulfilled May 2-4 weekend!  Cheers!

SS

 

Makeup that will take me from Windy City and Austin heat

With the travel and all the projects we have planned for my upcoming trip to Chicago and Austin, I started to think.. Wait, what about my makeup?  Will it melt off my face in the heat and wind?  There’s nothing like looking fresh for the day, then I glance at the mirror, at the end of the day, and discover I look like a melted wax statue!  I don’t wear a lot of make up throughout the day as I work from home, however, I needed to find something that could protect my face and last.

I went to my local Shoppers Drug Mart and told the cosmetic salesperson what my dilemma was.  She suggested these:

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I’ve been using Smashbox Photo Finish Primer and Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream for the past week to test and see if these products together would solve my makeup problem.

The primer is very light and it creates a really nice smooth finish, the BB Cream is very thick yet it glides on easily.  I used my finger tips to apply both products in small amounts (little goes a long way).  I wanted to see how the product would hold up should I need to quickly apply it between flights.

Result:  I LOVE IT!

When it’s on my face it feels light and non-cakey and it does last all day.

Now, as far as the price it is on the higher end side of makeup, for both products it totalled about $100 taxes in.  That may seem pretty expensive for some, but I wanted the quality.  I’ve spent years and money wasted on drugstore brands that were always a hit and miss, so I look at this as a small investment on a great product.  Like I said before, I don’t wear a lot of makeup on a daily basis, so for me, this is a perfect fit.

Chicago and Austin… Here I come!  🙂

SS

Chicago Day 8: Travel Day…from Hell?

Since my vacation was cut short due to urgent matters back home.  I had to rush around and get things done.  I rebooked rides and bought a plane ticket home…well…the day started off great checkout at this fine establishment was a breeze, then I got to the airport.

I went to scan and check my suitcase and my ticket came up with an error.  So I proceeded to the agent and when she keyed in my confirmation she said, “You’re a month too early.”  Of course I freaked out and said what do you mean?  She proceeded to tell me that there was an internal error and I had to call the airline directly.  That’s when things started to snowball. 

Once I got on the phone with the airline help desk the agent said that my options were to get a refund on the ticket and start over or pay an extra $900 to be on the flight it was originally booked on.  So I opted to take the refund and sat down to figure out my next move.  Let me say this, being in a questionable position with holds on all my credit cards until I called each one to tell them I was still in the U.S., was not an ideal situation.  Plus, the wifi was only complimentary in 20 minute intervals.  I had to call the hotel to refund my remaining 2 days stay and I STILL didn’t have a ticket.  

I went back to another agent and she was the most amazing person.  She told me she would put me on a standby flight and all I had to do was pay a difference of $70US, she then told me how everything could have been avoided if the other agent had more compassion.  Of course, I cried because of the stress of being potentially homeless for the evening as the next flight was at 6am.  I mustered up calm to balance mayhem in my brain of how to get myself out of this “pickle”.  With my agent getting ready to leave after a 6 hour shift…yes I was there for 6 hours waiting for credit card releases, she finally had me booked on the plane home.

At this point I was more than exhausted, I had a nutrigrain bar that I hardly felt nourished me, but when I get stressed the last thing on my mind was food.  The agent felt so bad for me she even offered to buy me a ticket if I had a check to pay her back.  How amazing was that, she was an angel!!  After I passed TSA, with a complimentary frisk by a huge scary looking woman that thought my right boob wasn’t real, I was more than relieved to put my headphones on listen to music to calm myself and tweet about my crazy adventure.

I was called to the plane and gathered my last wind of strength to walk my ass onto the plane.  I made it to the end of the plane gave my ticket to the flight attendant because all the numbers and letters just melted into one.  I just needed to sit.  Well, surprise!  I was bumped up to First Class and I instantly thought of that amazing airline agent that so methodically got me this ticket.  I almost collapsed in my seat.

I was given a hot towel, which I used to wipe my dried out eyes and clean my hands.  I was given water before the take off; a choice of beverage; choice of snack; touch screen choice of movies, tv shows, or music; I had leg room and the perfect window seat where I took pictures and said my mental good bye to Chicago.  I put my headphones on and finally relaxed.

Getting back into the Canada was like breaking into a fortress with a toothpick, but I was happy that my last length of travel was almost over.  A 1½ hr shuttle bus back home with my limo driver waiting was the cherry on top.  I came home to heaps of snow, but it felt nice.

I dropped my bags on the floor plugged in my laptop and phone and hit my pillow hard, yet I had a smile on my face from a sense of accomplishment.

Overall, this was a great experience and I learned a lot about traveling to and from the U.S.  I will definitely be more prepared the next time I visit our wonderful neighbours down South.

 

Until we meet again, Chicago!  Much love!

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Chicago Day 6 & 7: Gotz to Go…Soon.

The last two days kind of melted so here we go.

I did accomplish more than what I had planned.  Despite not going to the attractions, I still feel that I managed to get MORE than what I expected.  I now know what I want out of my life and also WHERE I want to go.  I absolutely LOVE the people of Chicago, their blunt yet polite attitude is admirable, the amenities in downtown are literally a walk away.  I must say I have thoroughly fallen completely in love with this city.  I will be sad to leave but I know I will be back.

I booked my one way ticket back home and packed up most of my belongings.  I’m still debating whether I want to check my bag as I don’t feel like lugging it onto the plane.  I love options…a girl always has to have options.  I can’t imagine ever making traveling plans without the internet..with a card number and an “Enter” button I’ve managed to make, change, book all my flights and hotel stays.  This is a proud age in time that I embrace with great big open arms.

I will be on my way by noon tomorrow, I hope to take as many pics as I can before I leave this beautiful city.  Gonna try and catch up on some much needed sleep!

Will report back on travel home day! 🙂

Chicago Day 5: Bummer…

My day started out great, had some site seeing planned, but unfortunately received some news that I have to cut my trip short. I did manage to hit the streets, this time in another direction and I travelled over the bridge noticing the forms of ice on the river. My trek led me to the shopping district which in itself was impressive. I didn’t feel much like shopping and it was a nice walk to clear my head. Although, I am disappointed about my shortened stay, I can’t help but notice how much it has changed me. I feel like I accomplished a lot here. I’ve met new people and made new friends, experienced a new sense of freedom and an opportunity to change my life for the good.

I don’t feel disappointed about my shortened stay, I feel more like I…I WILL be back to my dear Chicago.

Chicago Day 4: Low Key Monday

I stayed up late last night and paid for it as my internal alarm refused to let me sleep in, yet again.  I started my day with a cup of coffee and I watched as the Chicago streets come to life with the buses, cars and people swarming to get to their destinations.  So far, I feel that the people of Chicago are extremely similar to my personality and that of most of the people I know.  I spoke with my best friend on the phone and told her how much we had in common with the Windy City natives, there’s a hint of impatience, a slice of urgency and a dab of in your face, haha, however they are also the most down to earth, friendly and hospitable people I’ve met.

Although I didn’t venture out, I enjoyed a quiet day of rest and writing.  The city has inspired me with it’s history and general ambiance.  It feels like home and a part of me has been reignited, everything I had hoped this trip would do for me has happened.

As I wind down for the evening and settle into the my King sized “nest” I feel calm and content.  It was a great day and so far the best destination decision I’ve made.  I believe I will be back during the warmer weather as I feel I have fallen completely in love with this city.

Until tomorrow…sweet dreams!

Chicago Day 3: Sunshine!

I awoke to the most beautiful day. The sun was bouncing off all the buildings that surround my view and the sky was bright blue. I was completely inspired to do some site seeing, so I had my cup of coffee and started putting on my layers of clothing.

The Cloud Gate (commonly called the “bean”) was completely breathtaking. What made my visit even more special is that I have seen pictures of this work of art in the summer and when I went there it had a cap of snow on it. It was stunning! There were lots of people taking pictures and selfies with the Cloud Gate, myself included, but what really impressed me was going under the Gate and standing right in the middle of its architecture. I stood looking straight up at the centre and let out a deep exhale. This beautiful work of art almost felt organic like it was alive and breathing, like it was looking right back at us all. To know that this came from the vision of a gifted artist made me think of my own life and how dreams and visions always reach their fruition in its due time.

Unfortunately, I didn’t wear the proper headwear so I had to take as many pictures as I could before I returned to my hotel room. I saw a Starbuck’s but for some reason I just didn’t feel like it…now that was just weird typing that!

I stopped at a bigger Walgreens across from Millennium Park and picked up some cereal bars, gatorade and a bowl of fruit. I guess this trip is also turning into a complete cleansing…and I can already feel myself changing and moving organically with it. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Beautiful!
Beautiful!

Chicago Day 2: When I least expected it…

I managed to sleep in today, I even told the hotel elves to come back later cuz I forgot to put the sign on the door. I opened my huge hotel drapes and saw all the snow flying around decorating and frosting the buildings with shimmer. It was really pretty to see, but it pumped my breaks on my To Do list. I had intended on finding a shopping mall because my minimalist packing limited my outfit choices, so instead, I jumped right back into bed.

I was going to eat some of the oatmeal I bought at the Walgreens, but I didn’t have a spoon and kept procrastinating to simply call the concierge. I opted to drink the complimentary coffee, watch YouTube videos and do a bit of writing.

I finally dragged myself out of bed around 4pm, then decided to check out the hotel restaurant, Chuck’s. It was very classy but with a hint of sports bar. They sat me at a table for 4 which I found hilarious, then sat a group of 4 guys in a booth behind me. I could feel them staring, but I remained focused on the job at hand…to finally have my first hot meal in Chicago. I was surprised to find out that it is Chicago restaurant week where all the Chicago restaurants promote together and charge full meals at $22, $33 and $44, this trip just got even more intriguing.

I ordered an Asianic salad which had apples, watercress, candied walnuts and blue cheese…my thoughts…it was very fancy looking but I had to cut pieces of lettuce. My entree was Organic Chicken with risotto; it came with a leg and a breast a little less than average size, but the seasoning was beautifully done and the chicken melted in my mouth like butter. The risotto was very nicely done, it could have used another 5 minutes for a more even texture, but again the flavour stood out the most. Next, was my dessert…I had to laugh out loud because it was like a carnival on my plate… cotton candy, macaroons, cupcake, caramel corn..literally carnival food. I ended up taking it back to my room.

I guess I was recharged with the great food so I decided to adventure through the hotel floors to see the memorabilia. I think I may have broken an elevator going up and down to random floors..oopsy…so I took the stairs for the last couple floors. My last discovery was finding the Prince display. Now, I have been in love with his music and talent since I was a kid so I had to go back to my room as I felt my knees get weak with nostalgia. I saw his shirt and his guitar and I melted. I actually debated taking a pillow and blanket and sleep beside the display!

My new lock screen
My new lock screen
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