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Thursday, 3 September 2015

A Curious Case of Cats

So we are currently cat sitting for our friends. The cat is not in our place but rather in their place because a) I am allergic and b) if the Kid met the cat I believe that their own version of the Illuminati would be founded... a New World Order of cat and man and we would all perish under their rule.

The cat we are cat sitting is actually quite adorable. He is a British short hair, grey and while he looks like he could rule a country with an iron paw... he loves SNUGGLES! Now, I am not much of a cat person. This stems mostly from the fact that I am very very allergic. The other part is that I like to be adored so ergo, dogs are my thing. Perhaps I recognize too much of myself in cats: Love me love me!! Leave me alone! Wait? Where are you going?! Love me! Now go away. Most of my family is allergic too so luckily there was no awkward moment when my parents had to chose between keeping me or a cat.

My first allergic terrible reaction came when I was about 11. A friend of mine's father somehow ended up with 4 kittens. As an 11 year old this was like spending a day in Chanel, trying on clothes as an adult... clothes that fit. I was smitten wit' da kittens. I spend the whole sleepover snuggling each and every one. By the time my parents picked me up the next morning, I was puffy, my eyes were almost glued shut and I was wheezy. Totally worth it. From then on I made sure to take Claritin if I was going to be Jane Goodalling felines that day. It wasn't until I was about 14 that I had my next bad attack. Back when I lived in Vienna, in a house, on a hill, with a garden, and a view of vineyards (I would have been bitter 1.5 years ago when we lived in our old place, but our new place is fabulous so the bitterness has abated), the international school had a babysitting list. You could write down your name, your age and you number and then parents of younger school kids would come by and choose from the list.

One afternoon the phone rang and I answered. A voice of a man with a French accent was on the other end. At 14 I was sucker for French accents and at 34, I still am. This certain gentleman was looking for a babysitter for his two daughters since his wife was out of town and he had a business dinner to attend and was I available? I said sure! And he asked for my address so that he could pick me up. And yes, now that I am re-living this memory, I obviously had never taken any type of Stranger Danger course. A couple of nights later, at around 6, I bade my parents a good evening, bounded down the steps and was met by an attractive late 30's French man driving a Porsche. MY GOD WHERE WERE THE ADULTS?!?! AND WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME?! STRANGER DANGER! STRANGER DANGER! I got into his car and off we roared back to his place. He was friendly and told me about his two daughters. I nodded and then he asked "Are you allergic to cats?" to which I responded with "Yes, actually!" He frowned and said "Um, well, we have 4 Persian cats. They are my wife's." and I tried not to go into shock. One cat, bad reaction, 2 cats, worse, 4 PERSIAN CATS?! Kersplat, dead.

When we arrived, he told his daughters to put the cats in the laundry room and he rooted around in the kitchen for anti-histamines. They were fresh out but I put on a brave face and said "I'll be fine!" He left shortly after and I got to work babysitting. My style was old school which involved popcorn and a movie and then an impromptu dance routine to whatever song my charges loved at that time. And yes, you can totally do Jazz hands to the Thomas the Tank Engine song.

After about an hour, I was feeling pretty wheezy. After 2 hours, my face got puffy. After 3, my eyelids started to shut. I had put the children to bed between hour 1 and 2 because I don't think they would have been cool with their babysitter turning into Quasimodo. By hour 4, I was on the sofa, almost about to pass out. And that is when hot dad returned home. I am guessing by his reaction, a full body twitch, that I was in bad shape. He drove me home (HE LEFT HIS KIDS IN THE HOME ALONE?! Funny how things are different when you become a parent. You could judge before but now you can judge with conviction and panache.) and funny enough, I never heard from him again. I wonder how he is doing? He was dreamy.

So this past week we have been cat sitting. Luckily the Husband is gaga for the cat so I don't have to go all the time lest I build a dependency on Claritin. It was his turn last night and when he got home, he touched my face and then my eyes blew up. Was good to know that I am still pretty allergic and good to know that I haven't built up a tolerance against anti-histamines...yet. It is early in the morning and it is time for me to head over and feed the cat. I'm dosed up and ready for some belly rubs and purring. He is pretty adorable. And yet... I think he is planning something big. I think I saw blueprints in the living room. Dun dun duuuuuuuun.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Another Amazing Vienna Night

I cannot describe how happy I am that it is no longer 35 Celsius out. I even wore jeans (stretchy) and a light sweater. Oh, all covering clothing, how I missed you so! Today was a long day at work and I was pretty tired after a pretty awesome evening yesterday: it was filled with business visions, spritzers, a birthday girl, lanterns, sushi and sekt... and lots and lots of laughter. It was, once again, one of those amazing Vienna nights.

I left work in the afternoon and made my way to Museum Cafe. It is located near Karlsplatz and while sometimes considered a tourist trap, it successfully comes across as a typical Viennese cafe. I showed up early, as usual, and ordered a spritzer and an espresso. It came like this and as I posted on Facebook; #Viennainapicture.

Silver tray, small glass of water, delicate cup and a large wine glass. Nah servus! And if you look just to the left, you can see a woman sitting there. She was reading The Girl on the Train and I wanted to click through my Kindle, open the link to my copy and increase font size dramatically, hold it up, catch her attention and mimic "Look! Me too! Great book!" but that is the one drawback to the Kindle. She looked enraptured reading it and she kept looking up and blinking, like she couldn't believe what she was reading. That gave me the warms and happiness. And by the way, thanks to a friend's recommendation, I downloaded another Gillian Flynn book; Sharp Objects. HOLY CRAP WAS IT AMAZING! I could not put it down and the whole book was terrifying and amazing and I forgot how much I loved good writing... and maybe that should be a new life goal: write good.

So my friend showed up and we settled in for a very important business think tank brainstorming we are so brilliant why are we not charging people tickets to our show meeting. We covered a lot of ground and I love that we are totally on the same page and that she hasn't yet said "Back off, Warchild"

After 2 hours we were satiated with our brilliance and it was also time for me to hail a cab and head to a birthday party in the 19th. The destination was Dots which is a pricey sushi chain in Vienna. I had never been to the one in the 19th but had been to the one in the 6th and to be honest, I found it overrated. And I have heard a lot of negative things about Dots but I didn't care because I was going to a party. The funny thing is that the Dots in the 19th is on the same street I lived on as a teenager back in the 90s. Boy, did some angsty memories come hurtling back as I stepped out of the cab. I walked into the fancy schmancy place and took in the eclectic decor. I walked into the courtyard and let me just say, I have been to a lot of beautiful restaurants, but this place knocked them off the list. Dots' courtyard is BEAUTIFUL! It is like Charleston meets New England fancy farm meets Pier One lanterns sale meets Martha Stewart weddings. BEAUTIFUL! I joined the group, ordered some sparkling wine and kept announcing "WHEN I GET MARRIED AGAIN..." in a gratingly obnoxious voice. I was high off power after the meeting earlier.
This picture does not even come close to showing how gorgeous this place is.
We ordered food and I chatted to friends and then I heard quite possibly the most amazing new term that was coined by a friend based on another's friend's recent situation. And I am making it my life goal to make it as common as the term "Schadenfreude" and "YOLO". I have visions of myself sitting in a cafe a year from now, hearing a group of women squealing this term. And I will nod sagely, take a sip of my wine, stand up and say "That's copyrighted!" And yes, I did not come up with this term so technically I have no copyright rights over this term because I did not come up with it but it is so brilliant that I am kicking myself for not thinking of it. Damm you stupid past Tova! Damn you! So here it is, wait for it.... FLEDERMAUSING. Now I know you are all sitting there going to Google translate and coming up with "Bat-ing" and you would not be wrong. No, Fledermaus is the German word for bat (as in the animal). And this is the back story explaining exactly what Fledermausing now means. Trademark, witness, notary, stamp stamp.

So let's say my friend G. met a guy and he was all like "I lurve opera. Opera, opera, fancy pants me lurves the opera." and G. wanted to maybe impress this opera-loving guy and so she wrote him and said "So, like, I have two tickets to the Fledermaus next week if you wanted to come..." and then he didn't write back for a long time, like until the show had stopped playing at the Volksoper. The majority of you are like, still don't get it, have you been eating paste again, Tova? Now, the thing is is that Die Fledermaus is a famous Austrian operetta. A lot of people who love opera absolutely despise Die Fledermaus. It's like a corndog to Kobe beef. Now, personally, I like Die Fledermaus because it has a whole lotta of Viennese-isms and there is a ball and there is drunkedness and terrible innuendos so it is just like my life, but when it comes to the cultured crowd, it's no bueno.

So what G. did was offer a corndog to a Kobe beef lover. Still not sure what the Fledermausing term means? Well according to C. who coined it, it pretty much is that moment when someone thinks you are pretty cool and then you say or do something that completely destroys the image they have of you. We have all had those moments. In my case, I have these moments daily. Office Twin recently threatened to tape me right after I interrupted his work by announcing "I think I will make 'getting Botox in 2016' a life goal." or like the time I kept pronouncing "awry" like "Maury". Fledermausing is pretty much that moment that cannot be unseen or unheard. So hats off to C. for this awesome new term and thank you G. for allowing me to share your Fledermausing moment with several hundred strangers and many many friends tonight. I owe you several spritzers.

The rest of the night was idyllic and then I grabbed a taxi home with a couple of friends. As we waited at the light, our driver pointed and said "Katze" and I momentarily thought we were going to have some issues with the Polizei due to his drinking or hallucinations. But sure enough, in the car idling beside us, was a cat in the backseat, paws on the window, looking at us. This was quite possibly one of the most amusing things we all had seen in a very very long time...and this just after discussing the awesomeness of the term Fledermausing. Cats in cars are awesome! So now, go forth, spread the term! And if you have any awesome Fledermausing moments, feel free to share them on the Operation Tubetop Facebook page. Humiliation loves company! FLEDERMAUSING! Spread it like YOLO!

Monday, 31 August 2015

August Wrap Up

THE LAST DAY OF AUGUST! OMG! SEPTEMBER IS TOMORROW!! Good bye self tanner, hello pashminas, good bye strapless dresses that make me look like a stuffed sausage, hello sleeves, good bye sweating all.the.time, hello heavier foundation in porcelain, good bye foot stigmata caused by cheap flip flops, hello wedged boots, good bye constant shaving of knees (I have like 3 hairs that grow on my legs. You can hate me and my freak body hair), hello tights and leggings, good bye highlights, hello darker more flattering hair colour, good bye coral nail polish, hello black nail polish, good bye stinky ubahn, hello walks in the forest. OH MY GOD! HELLO SEPTEMBER!

So yeah, I love the fall. September 1st is like my New Year's Day. I get a kick of energy and I go into full throttle. Suddenly, when the heat starts to ebb, my creative mojo starts to flow. I feel like a fountain of internal Red Bull has been tapped and the sky is the limit! You think I was productive this summer? You ain't seen nothing yet. Well, hopefully better grammar. I hope you see that from me. So how was August? Pretty awesome. We we were still in Rome when August happened. Aaaand I went to Barcelona! I had some great nights out: a bbq, 25hours hotel terrace, Rathausplatz, Da Capo, watched a film, stayed at a hotel for a night. I tried spinning for the first time and got hooked. I went to the Art History Museum, got a couple of runs in and did Bikram. I read a couple of amazing books. I had a couple of meetings about the House of Canada which makes me super excited (stay tuned for some AWESOME products). I also lost 5 kilos thanks to my new nutritionist. I got bangs, too. One thorn in my side is that I did not work more on my book which means it is truly go time this next month.

September promises to be a whole lot of crazy in every sense of the word. More therapy for the Kid, more getting rid of clutter, a couple of side projects as well as parties, the Night Run and gearing up for a launch in October. I consider myself lucky to be able to do as much as I do. I did not feel lucky last night, however. The Kid did something which I will not write about because the Internet is forever but let us just say this is stored up for when I meet his future wife or groom because DUDE, the hell?!? To add to the sheer desperation, the Kid was wired up on hidden chocolate this morning which led to a lot of blaming the other adult in this household. We had a meeting with our second therapist at 8 this morning and we were in fine form and if by fine form I mean that we were like the two killers from Scream at the end (RIP WES CRAVEN!)

We showed up at 8 and the Kid ran into the therapist's apartment without pause. She took his backpack from us and said "See you in half an hour". And we were like "Eh, que?" Because we have never had a session ever without the Kid. Ever. From daycare integration, therapy centers, hospital stays... we have always been by his side. We were too shocked to respond or ask if she had had all her shots and left. We sat on a bench outside and remarked how strange this was. After 25 minutes we were back at her door and the Kid seemed relieved to see us. We will be working on a therapy plan soon and then it is balls to the walls. Yes, I wrote that. So now it is time to get the Kid ready for bed and then get me ready for bed. I have been fighting a summer cold but the good news is that I am currently hooked on another Gillian Flynn novel "Sharp Objects" so that means I can put myself to bed soon too. Eu mah gawd. INSANE book! I wish you all a wonderful last night of August, one more day of heat, and then onto the Fall! Yaay! Pumpkin Spice Lattes for everybody!

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Weekend Wrap Up

Sup sup?! Hello Saturday. Hard to believe that just a week ago I was knee deep in tapas in Barcelona. I thought I would do a weekend wrap up because why not. Here are the highlights from the past week!

Sunday: A lovely and awesome day spent at the beach in a village just outside of Barcelona. Idyllic! Followed by more wine and a pizza dinner back in town. Miss it so much!

Monday: My flight back to Vienna was supposed to leave at 10. It was delayed by 30 minutes and you would have thought it had been delayed by 6 hours based on the constant apologies from the Austrian Airlines staff and pilot. We arrived 15 minutes later than expected and once again, Austrian Airlines for the win. From landing to bag picked up took less than 15 minutes. Don't ever change, Austria. You complete me. In the afternoon we had a meeting with a therapist to see if we could add on to his current therapy sessions. We will see how that pans out in the next week or so. Things in Vienna have got to change in regards to Autism support. RIDICULOUS! I'm on it. Challenge accepted. Sorry, cough, off my soapbox. In the evening a dear friend came by for dinner. I hadn't seen her in 2 months so we had A LOT to catch up on! So glad she is back!

Tuesday: The majority of the day was spent lazing around. We took a family walk down to the shoe repair shop and the vegan store. I did some laundry, played with the Kid and cut out pictures from magazines for the perfect bangs. Yes, bangs. In the evening I met a friend for Spinning and as always it was awesome!

Wednesday: The morning was spent putting the Kid in time out repeatedly. Will the guilt ever go away? Computer says no. At noon I had a hair appointment and when I walked in I said "Chocolate brown and bangs." I have bangs now and I am not sure how I feel about them. One minute I am like "OH MY GOD I AM Zooey Deschanel!" and the next minute I am this guy:

After my haircut, I met the Husband at the Kunsthistorische Museum because I feel like I am dumbening every month. We spent a couple of hours walking around and I amused myself with a running dialogue. And here are some of the things that made me LOL at my own wit. (Humility? Don't always have that.)
The party don't start til I walk in. #fabulous #Iwokeupthisway

No sorry, we don't do cloth diapers.

Dammit! Who left this here?!? I almost stepped up on it! Gah!

Is that Quentin Tarantino?!

I don't know what is happening here but that dog looks pissed.

This tapestry looks to be from the 1600's. So glad I paid attention in my art history classes in college.

After a drink in the cafe, I went to Swing Kitchen to get some vegan fast food and then met a friend for a quick drink at Burger Ville. We had a little time to kill before the Women of Vienna event at Corbaci. It was beautiful out and I met some lovely people. My bangs also met some lovely people. And then I walked home.

Thursday: In the morning the Husband and I went to MA 35 with fear in our hearts. It turned out amazingly well (which I wrote about on Thursday night). And then I went to work. During the day the Husband and I also decided to book a hotel for the Friday since the Mother in Law offered to take the Kid for the night. I quickly booked a room at the 25Hours Hotel because they have an awesome rooftop terrace... and gin and tonics. In the evening I met a friend at Rathausplatz where we indulged in Rose French wine, vegan food and laughed and talked. It was awesome. I don't think I will be back to the Rathausplatz film festival this year so it was a lovely way to say good bye. Until next year!!

Friday: The Kid and the Husband were still asleep when I left for work which is one part adorable and one part jealousy inducing. After work I made my way to the 25Hours hotel. Our room was cute and the air conditioning was amazing. We stopped at the terrace for a drink and then headed downstairs to 1500 Foodmakers for dinner. We were an hour too early for food service so we sat and talked and enjoyed the shade. At 6 on the dot I ordered a Mozzarella pizza (don't tell my nutritionist) and then we went back upstairs to the terrace for a nightcap. By 8 we were ready to watch some TV. Luckily the Mentalist was on. Yeah, I know, we are wild.

Saturday: I woke up at 9! WHAT?! INSANE! Even the Husband was like "You ok?" I have not slept in until 9 for years! WHAT?! THIS IS INSANE!! I am always up by 6 at the latest. Right now I can feel many parents reading this and cursing my name with raised fists. Yes, I slept 11 hours. 11 HOURS! I should probably get a blood test. So 25Hours gets my vote for best bed EVER. At 10 I left the hotel and the Husband decided to sleep in a little longer. I had a spinning class to go to! It was a great class and now after 5 sessions, I can say I am hooked. LOVE IT! Never gonna give you up.

The Kid is back home and has passed out. I am guessing he had an amazing time at the In laws like he always does. I was hoping that the Husband and I could finally finish watching Gone Girl but I have a feeling that the Kid will be up until 10 tonight after this epic nap. The rest of the weekend is unplanned and that is a good thing. Maybe some of the laid back living in Barcelona wore off on me? Oh look, silver paint! I smell a project!

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Miracle on MA 35

As I wrote yesterday, this morning was the time to head to the magistrat to lengthen my visa. Bureaucracy in Austria is fascinating... if fascinating is a word for torture-inducing controlled chaos. I have had quite a few experiences at the different "abteilung" in Vienna and they are always amusing... again, if amusing is a word for frustrating and de-moralizing.

Now, I know that there isn't a country in the world where their citizens are like "Yaaay! Have to get my passport renewed! This is the best day EVER!" No, nobody enjoys bureaucracy but I do have to say that the Austrians definitely have taken bureaucracy and have made it an art. When I moved back just over 11 years ago, we had to do the whole "I've married a foreigner, let her stay" schtick. Back then all that one had to do was go to the local police station. The one we visited was in the 10th district, fondly known as da hood. We walked in and noted that we needed to take a number from the machine and then we would be called. Only problem? The machine was out of paper. Thus ensued chaos. A number would be called out, the door would buzz and approximately 15 people would try and get in. Man, was I green back then. After a few visits to the bakery and seeing no semblance of a line, I would have had sharpened elbows and would have beat my way through. After an hour we finally made it through the shouting groups of Bosnians, Serbs, Turks and Austrians and came face to face with my "immigration officer". Proud, bearing copious copies of EVERYTHING, we waited to be lauded for the effort. Instead, a portly man, reeking of white wine spritzers, inhaled deeply on his cigarette and then violently stamped everything in front of him. He grunted and said "One year" and that was it.

We repeated a similar process (except for the rare occasion when somebody would have a bigger metaphorical bug up their ass and would ask for copies of that essay you wrote about unicorns when you were 7. It was an awesome PAPER. Shut it) until 5 years ago I was finally given a 5 year visa. That was cause for celebration. But shortly thereafter, I had to apply for "Mutterschutz". The incredible thing about Austria?; amazing benefits when you get preggers. Problem for me was that I had lost my job just before I got pregnant so everything was a bit of a grey zone. I was told that I would not qualify for Mutterschutz but we went and asked anyway because we had received a letter saying that my old company would be responsible for this... which struck me as odd. We went to yet another department of the city and when we were called up to the desk, we explained the situation and I mentioned that my old company was in fact not responsible. The guy said "But you got pregnant while you were there." to which I said "No, one month after" to which he responded with "When was your last period? If your last period happened there then they are responsible." (Next time, Moon Cup for proof)  Now I have no problem discussing this with a doctor or nurse but this is NOT something I am willing to discuss in a crowded waiting room with some random man behind glass toying with an ashtray. NOT.AT.ALL. So yeah, that was fun and no, I did not get Mutterschutz. Thank you for asking.

So of course, after at least a dozen visits to these types of establishments, I was a little worried this morning. We showed up at 8:20 and stood in line. Within a minute we were given a number and instructed to wait in the waiting room across the hall. I touched my Kindle reassuringly in my purse and made peace with myself that this would be a long morning. As we both bent down to take our seats, our number was called. We were sure it was a mistake but as soon as we walked in, the woman asked for all of our documents. She asked no questions whatsoever, asked for me to scan my fingerprints and then informed us that the visa would be available in 2 weeks for pick up. 15 minutes from start to finish. My mind was blown.

When I posted on Facebook about how in shock I was over the brevity and ease of the application, a couple of people said that they had had similar experiences recently. Huhhh. Vienna? Are you changing? Are you a Judy Blume villain, making personal and emotional gains? I sure hope so because today's service was AWESOME! 5 more years! 5 more years!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Welaxed Wednesday

Last day of leisure before going back to work. Yesterday was a great and lazy day with the Kid. He is off daycare and our nanny was off so we decided to be over achieving parents and do very little.

We took a walk to the shoe repair place on Margareten. I walked in and a grizzled man took my two shoes and then asked for my name. I said "Tova" and he wrote it down and then paused. I am used to this. Usually what follows is "Where are you from?" to which I respond "Canada." and then sometimes there will be the follow-up question "Is TOVA a Canadian name?" I sometimes say yes, I sometimes say it is Swedish and only if I am truly comfortable in the situation will I say it is Hebrew. Safety first, my friends... sadly. But this time the man behind the counter said "That's a Hebrew name." and I paused and then said "Yes. Yes, it is." and then he asked "Do you know what it means?" and I nodded and said "Yes, but I am not." (Tova means "good") and then he laughed. He asked when I could pick up the shoes and I said Friday evening. And he shook his head and said "Not possible." and I said "Saturday?" and he looked at me in disappointment and said "Shabbat." CRAP! I AM THE WORST JEW EVER!

So that was that and after that embarrassing-I-bring-shame-upon-my-family moment, we headed down to the vegan store. I bought a couple of supplies and then we all walked back home. In the evening I met my friend to go spinning. It was her first time and I was worried she would hate me by the end of the class but she ROCKED it. I am still hooked on the spinning. Going again on Saturday. I walked home, had a vegan pizza (sob sob sob) and then slept the sleep of smug people. This morning I was going to go for a run but my robe was too fluffy, my tea perfectly warm, and there is that Ashley Madison scandal so my ass stayed on the sofa. So many reality stars caught up in the hacking. So many.

Today I have a hair appointment. I'm going darker for the Fall. And maybe get some bangs. Stay tuned for all the regrets I will be having. Afterwards I am going to the Art History Museum (KHM) because I realized I need to get some culture... especially after spending 2 hours reading the comments on gossip sites. After I will most likely meet a friend for a drink and then onward to Corbacci for an event. Tomorrow morning I have to go and extend my residency visa. That is literally my least favourite thing to do ever. LIKE EVER! So I will feel better after that is done. Come on 10 year visa! Fingers crossed. After work tomorrow I am meeting a friend at Rathausplatz for our last summer hurrah. I cannot believe this summer is almost over... I didn't even get to go to camp and switch places with my twin sister so that we could completely gaslight our terrible terrible parents who separated us because they couldn't co-parent. Asses. Anyway, have an awesome day!!

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Back in Vienna

What an awesome mini trip!! I am back! Well, I was back yesterday but I was busy eating mac and cheese, snuggling with the Kid, meeting with a new therapist for the Kid and catching up with my friend who is back in town (yay!). Barcelona was an amazing place to visit and I hope to go again next year...if they will have me.

On Sunday we hit the town of Garaff which is about a 25 minute train ride outside of the city. It is a completely idyllic sand beach. It was busy but not over crowded. We arrived around noon and rented a couple of loungers and an umbrella. We stared out at the sea and I took in the waves and thought "nope". I did go up until my knees on my first attempt but the sea was angry that day, my friends, and I was convinced my ridiculously too small bikini top would have been a victim and nobody needs to witness that.

Around one, we walked up to the beach restaurant and met up with a friend of my friend. We ordered a bottle of wine, some food, and I kept thinking "Is this real life?!" It was just absolutely perfect. Friend's friend had just flown in from Mallorca and she said how great it had been because there were 4 stormy days in a row. I laughed thinking she was being sarcastic and then I realized that if you live in a climate like Barcelona, some grey days are a welcome change. Does not compute for this Canadian. After a leisurely lunch we headed back to our loungers and took in the waves and the families. Two observations:

1) There were a LOT of boobies. I mean every type of booby you could imagine. And while I am not a prude, I did note how somewhat bizarre it was to see everyone talking to people without tops. Men talking to their mother in laws. Wife's friends coming by to chat. A real Conference of the States Boobies and not once a southern glance from the menfolk. And while I think that is awesome, I think I would be a little miffed that not one person would glance at the "girls" if I made an effort to take them out for a walk.

2) We spent a couple of hours watching a family build a sand fort. A dad and his two kids were digging and digging. After about 20 minutes the little girl did the international "screw this" move by doing cartwheels. The son kept going but you could see he wasn't as invested as time passed. The dad, however, was in it to win it. Sweating and swearing and just short of hiring a foreman, the dad built a structure worthy of an architectural award. He even added foliage. He was so proud that he had his wife grab the camera and take pictures of him in his structurally sound fort. Then she called her friends over and they took pictures of themselves standing in the fort... so, more boobies.

I dipped into the water a few times and then around 6 we headed into the little village. We stopped for a drink and then made our way to the train station to take us back to Barcelona. Once home we changed and went for a quick pizza dinner. It was truly one of the most relaxing days I have had in a very very very long time and it was great to re-charge the old batteries... because madness is about to start. The Fall is going to be epic and wild and busy. I have a lot of writing to do, I have a lot of articles to work on, there is going to be The House of Canada party in October, as well as our annual Halloween party plus it looks like we will have a stand at the Feschmarkt in November. We are also upping the Kid's therapy so we will be burning the midnight oil on all fronts.

I am also back on my better eating plan. My nutritionist has asked me to do 3 things for a couple of weeks and then we will look more into my eating. In combination with the 3 things, I am also for the most part eating vegan... which unfortunately does not mean "eating a vegan". Barcelona and yesterday was not vegan. No, I am full of cheese. But tonight I will be going to spin class, tomorrow I will go for a run and on the weekend I will be doing spinning and bikram. Time to get my fitness on because the wildness is about to begin! Woot! Come on September: the beginning of my favourite time of the year!