Viva Las Vegas!?!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

One of the places in the world I have never been is Las Vegas. I never REALLY cared very much if I went or not, but it's a place known as the city you have to experience at least once in your life. Well, we've done it. We booked our trip to Las Vegas, and now I'm getting excited! First of all, we haven't travelled out of the country in two years due to real estate expenses, but now we are looking forward to getting away. We actually had to check to make sure our passports were still up-to-date!

I've been a bit manic about this trip. My husband now wishes he booked it without telling me as a surprise. I've been googling "things to do in Las Vegas" and trying to make a list.

So far:

  • David Copperfield 
  • The Strip (obviously, duh!) 
  • Hoover Dam/Grand Canyon (by helicopter at sunrise, hopefully) 
  • Gamble (just a little bit. I hate parting with my money, especially when the odds are I won't have anything to claim for it!) 
  • Food: my boss told me about a great Brazilian Steakhouse, and my colleague told me to check out Battista's Hole in the Wall 
  • The Atomic Testing Museum 
  • Maybe a Cabaret show? I watched Burlesque the other day and got it in my head to go to a TASTEFUL Cabaret/Burlesque show. Frontal nudity is okay - any sort of raunch is not.             
If anyone's been to Vegas and has recommendations, please by all means, comment and let me know what I should NOT miss while I'm there. We're there for a week!

Bringing out that child in you

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Those who know me, know how I feel about Jackson Kayak as a company.  Jackson as a family though, I have the ultimate respect for. They are a close-knit family who works and plays together, and supports one another in all of their endeavours.

Here is a video of the youngest/newest to the Jackson clan, 3-year-old KC Jackson and one of his first paddling experiences. The laughter and smile on his face is contagious! It reminds me of how people would look at me funny when riding big, fun wave trains yelling "Weeee!" As I went through them. I honestly think we need someone like KC Jackson to remind us how to truly have fun and let loose. Adults should say "Weeee!" more often, express their feelings, their excitement, and not be afraid to show others how much fun they're having. So next time you see me running steep rapids or surfing Right-Side Horseshoe and I have a huge grin on my face laughing at the top of my lungs, join me, and release your inner/long-forgotten child!

Think back over the last six months. When was the last time you truly felt joyful like a child? What were you doing? How did you react?

Missions, Resolutions and Realities

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My career has gotten in the way of my life. My desire to be successful has resulted in very little "me" time. I admit, it seems it is working. I keep telling myself that I only have to hold out a few more years until I'm in my comfort zone, but it has meant that in the last year, I have had one vacation that lasted longer than a week, and it's the one I'm on right now.

When I lived in Beachburg, I was blessed to share my home with some really great people: Jeremy, a paddler never intimidated by the "pro" circuit; John, a whitewater icon, bringing his business back to Canada and looking for the perfect place to call home; and Billy and Carly, an amazing couple looking to get back on their feet and establish a base for their growing family.  They weren't the only ones - other amazing travellers from around the world have come and gone and left an impression in my life.

Since then I have travelled the world - southwest Asia, Africa, Iceland, Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Europe....   and despite whatever I'm doing, or where I am, the fond memories of my time in Beachburg keep coming back.

My husband wants to see what this whitewater kayaking "hype" is all about.  I have taught others to paddle, and over the years helped many develop or reignite their passion for paddling, but there is no way on God's green earth that I am going to teach him.  One thing I have learned over the years, and a common theme in the whitewater community is: never teach your significant other to paddle!

So I come back to Beachburg.  Only one person I know would be able to get my husband excited about paddling, and ensure that he has all the skills to do so.  In fact, I would argue that he would probably become a better paddler than me (although that's not really saying much).  It's Billy Harris.  Billy just opened up to his friends and followers in his blog with a confession about fear and internal sabotage.  I encourage you to read it, it is honest, open and I am positive that we have all "been there" at one point or another in our lives.  Even the best of us experience some setbacks in their goals and dreams - and if they can be honest with themselves and attack those setbacks, then so can every one of us.  Whether it be with work, paddling, diet, fitness, lifestyle, relationships, the key is to recognize what has happened, open your mind to the change needed and recreate the life you have always wanted.

I am hoping that I will be able to see Billy and Carly again this spring, and hoping that he is back on the water full-force for two reasons.  1) I don't believe Billy should ever be off the water (I recall in 2005 watching Billy in one of Ben Aylesworth's grand whitewater productions and immediately being drawn to that passion and excitement about paddling and wanting to be just like that); and 2) so he can continue to share his passion for paddling with my husband and others around the world who would be half the paddler having never met him.