29 December 2008

Christmas 2008

This Christmas, I hardly did any shopping at all. I kind of went on strike, to protest how Christmas has turned so materialistic and commercial. Christmas is Jesus’ birthday but people seem to forget that now. Ed and I didn’t exchange gifts and I bought just tiny tokens to give our family and friends who invited us to their homes or came to our house during the yuletide season. For the first time ever, the amount we donated to charity was more than the amount we spent on the little token gifts we bought. It’s a trend we hope to continue into future Christmases.

The main topic of discussion everyday was how much snow had fallen over our lovely city. I let the cats out onto our patio on Boxing Day. Bob declined and just watched Neo romp in the snow from the safety of our living room. Neo was batting at the snowflakes falling down with his paws and was digging at the snow to get to the flakes that landed. He was hilarious.

We hosted Christmas dinner for Ed’s family and my family. It’s the first time we had them over at the same time. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and the food turned out well. Whew. We also enjoyed the company of close friends throughout the week. Spending time with family and friends has become the essence of the season for me. And I’m really glad we were able to see many of them the past couple of weeks.

We also had a house guest; cousin Jenny is here from Toronto. When we were snowed in on Boxing Day, Jenny had the great idea that we should do some baking. Since I haven’t baked in years, I had none of the essential baking ingredients in my cupboard. So we trekked to the nearby supermarket, loaded up on flour, baking powder, baking soda, etc and baked some goodies. My cream cheese brownies were delicious! I’m so proud of myself.

We also went for a walk in the snow around our neighbourhood. Winter wonderland! It was fantastic and so pretty. Too bad I forgot to bring my camera and totally forgot that my phone has a camera. Darn.

All in all, it was a pretty quiet and simple Christmas. And I enjoyed it a lot.

11 December 2008

No Olympics tickets for me

Everyone at work who put in requests for 2010 tickets got something. I got nothing. Not one ticket. Sucks to be me.

The message sent to me: “Due to high demand, the sessions you requested were subject to a lottery and unfortunately were not allocated to you. You will have the opportunity to purchase remaining tickets during the Priority Access Period (December 12 through 22, while supplies last). This option is available exclusively to account holders who submitted a request. The Priority Access Period will not be open to the general public.”

Sucks to be me.

9 December 2008

Home, at last

Flew back to Vancouver at around 2pm last Friday, got home, took a nap, then got ready for the Navarik Christmas party. It’s a little crazy of me to still attend the party - seeing that I have a cold and feel pretty crappy, and that I slept for only an hour or so during the flight. But the party is at the Metropolitan Hotel this year and I just didn’t want to miss it. The food was delicious! And it was great to see my workmates again. Ed and I didn’t stay late. In fact, we ate dinner and participated in the gift exchange, then went home. I’m glad I was able to partake in the festivities, even for a short while.

The best part about being home is being able to snuggle with our beloved cats, Bob and Neo. I really missed them! The moment we sit or lay down on the sofa, the cats are on us. They are the cutest cats ever!

Unfortunately, I spent the weekend in bed recovering from this cold and cough. I didn’t get a chance to upload any of the pictures from our trip just yet. But now that I’m feeling better, I will get to that in the next few days. I’m excited to show them off!

2 December 2008

Istanbul and London

Ed and I finished off our Turkey visit in Istanbul. We visited Dolbamahce Palace, where the last six Ottoman sultans lived, and Aya Sofya, a 1600 year old building that was originally a church, then a mosque, and now a museum. Both were impressive and it was a good way to end our visit.

We are now in London, still being tourists. We did the hop on-hop off bus tour, as well as a river tour from the Tower of London to Westminster. We walked through Green Park, visited the National Gallery and the Tate Modern, toured the Lord's cricket stadium, and watched the musical Avenue Q. All that in two days. Tomorrow will be a rest day!

I'm looking forwrd to going home. It feels like we've been away a long time.