Friday, June 27, 2008

Typical

The three weekends that I was away, I let my real estate know that she'd be free to take visitors through my condo at any time, day or night, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and even a few Mondays and Tuesdays. Were there any visits? No.

Now that I'm home again and still have to do a proper shop, clean, etc. - NOW my agent has a visit lined up for tomorrow.

My one free evening this week, that I apparently squandered reading and sending pictures to print, was last night because tonight I'm doing dishes, cleaning, dusting, watering plants, tidying away bits and pieces and preparing my gear for tomorrow's competition. Still no groceries done (but at least I have some food thanks to my very good parents who took pity on me and stocked me up on a few essentials).

I know I shouldn't complain because it is a visit and the real estate market is deader than dead right now. I know, I know. But really - couldn't this have happened while I was away? Not on a night when I'd much rather be flat out on my couch watching coma-inducing television.

Typical.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summersplash

Saturday's Summersplash will see me and the rest of the Montreal Waves racing at the Olympic Basin.

Our first race is at 9:00am (500m). OK, so I understand if that's a little early for some of you to be out on a Saturday morning but our next races are at 10:50am (250m) and 1:20pm (100m) - so you could make it, if you tried. The final 500m race will be decided after our first three races.

Hope to see some of you there. We don't have our team shirts yet, but we'll be in black tops so look for us and cheer!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Safely & Finally Home

First things first: pictures of the weekend with Nick, Sue, Darcy & Wesley are here.

Second: Had a great weekend with Nick & Sue. Darcy and Wesley have both grown and changed loads since I last saw them in January. Darcy gets more clever by the minute. She hears everything, remembers everything and questions everything. Good for her but exhausting for the rest of us! She's adorable, wonderful and I especially enjoyed being able to take her to see Robert Munsch live as her birthday present. Wesley is longer quite the little baby he was last winter. He's 10 months old now and full of smiles, laughs, blowing raspberries and grunting his little heart out. He was getting the hang of the peek-a-boo game while we were there so that was pretty fun too. Of course, it was good to see Nick & Sue too and I always feel kind of bad that we pay so much attention to the kids. But then maybe they shouldn't have such cute kids and we wouldn't have that problem ;)


Third: I'm home for more than 3 days! I've managed to post the pictures and get a load of laundry done. Haven't been able to do groceries because today is the holiest of holy days in Quebec (aka St-Jean Baptiste) and the store was closed when we drove into town. Busy and short week ahead before my next competition on Saturday. More later this week.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

No time for laundry

Had a blast with Lynn & Fam on Saturday and Sunday. Lynn and I went out for a girls night dinner and ate some amazing Thai food - we nearly fought over the scraps!

Got home last night. Quickly threw some stuff together for work and jumped into bed feeling completely shattered. No time to do the laundry.

Tonight I have practice so no time to do the laundry.

Tomorrow night is my dragon boat team's Comedy for a Cause night so no time to do the laundry.

Back on the road by 1pm Friday.

Just when am I supposed to do the laundry?!?!

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That was the original post for yesterday. Then I woke up feeling worse, did about 3 days work in 1 and decided I would far less stressed if I just went home. It's a good thing. I managed to do one whole load of laundry. The second load is still damp in the dryer (I broke down and used the dryer in June!). The last load is still sitting on the floor. Oh well.

Still not sure when I'll pack. Maybe I'll just go with an empty suitcase and buy what I need.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Off Again

Heading back out on the road. Not a road trip this time. Flying to Toronto tomorrow, staying at Casa Theo for a night of laughs with Lynn & Family. Monday and Tuesday I'm at a course in Toronto. Back home Tuesday evening.

Have a great weekend and Happy Father's Day Dad! (no fun race stats to give you next week, sorry)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What is it with flip flops?

Are my feet made wrong? How come the longest I can wear flip flops is the distance from my locker at the gym to the showers and back? This past weekend I ripped, and I do mean RIPPED the inside of my toes to shreds wearing flips flops to our race on Saturday. So much so that I had to wear running shoes the following day and just wear the flip flops to the boat and back. And even though I had some serious bandaids covering the shredded areas - I'm almost positive they got even more ripped up. I know this because last night I had to go in with my teeny-tiny scissors and start clipping away the dead skin that was flapping around.

The thing is, I see people wearing flip flops all the time. They seem to wear them 24/7 as soon as it's warm enough (actually they wear them even before I think it's warm enough but that's another subject entirely). How do they wear them and not have their little tootsies ripped, shredded, bleeding and in agonizing pain? Are they wearing expensive flip flops? Do flip flops come in crap, not so crap and actually ok categories? I've had a number of pairs over the years, some more expensive than others, yet each pair has left me blistered beyond belief.

I suppose I could agonize over this fact even more or maybe I should just take it as a sign that I'm meant to wear expensive shoes ... or maybe I'm meant not to wear any shoes at all and just hang out at the beach foot naked.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Weekend Recap

Now that I've been home for a day and had a good night's sleep, I'm rather less wired and jumpy and might actually be able to make some kind of sense in recapping the weekend in Boston.

By the time we picked up the rental van and the other passengers it was just before 5pm when we hit the road. Naturally we hit some traffic but on the whole it was a good trip and we made decent time getting to Boston. The only hiccup happened once we got off the highway (too early) and proceded to lose ourselves on the seemingly unnamed streets of Boston. Eventually though, and after asking for directions twice (both times wrong!), we found the hostel and got settled.

Saturday morning was a lazy start. We had time for breakfast and took the subway over to the race site. We did our two time trial races and somehow managed to finish in first place by a large margin (about 3 seconds ahead of team two and 5 seconds ahead of team three). Once those two races were done we were finished for the day and could enjoy the city, warm weather and getting to know the rest of the team. We went out for a great sushi lunch and then broke off into smaller groups. I went for a long walk with a few of the others and we made our way over to Boston Common park and then over to Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market where we ended up having dinner.

Sunday was a much earlier start. We had to check out of the hostel and load up the vans. We drove over to the Festival site so that we'd be ready to hit the road once we were finished.

Race 1 - 9:00am: we finished first - a whole 7 seconds before the next team.
Race 2 - 11:45am: we finished first - again a whole 7 seconds before the next team.
Race 3 - 12:36pm: Photo finish. We only get 2nd place - 2:17:480. Winners finished at 2:17:380. We get silver for Out Of Town teams.
Race 4 - 2:48pm: Semi finals - We win but no times available as starter lost power or something.
Race 5 - 4:36pm: Finals - we finish FIRST with 2:17:490 (second place was at 2:18:920).

Shortly after 5pm they had the awards ceremony and we were presented with the Boston-Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival Cup. We each received a Chinese kite and our first place medals. As part of the prize, they are also paying our entry fee to the New York Dragon Boat Festival in August.

It was after 7pm by the time we started the trip home and it was made longer when we forgot to take the I-89 home, which meant taking the I-93 a little too far east, and ending up in Magog when we came through the border. By the time we dropped off the other team members on the South Shore, it was 2am when I unlocked my front door.

A long and exhausting weekend but fun and exciting too. The competition in New York will be at a higher level so even though we did well this weekend, we will have our work cut out for us.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Check!

Item 58 on my 100 Things To Do Before I Go:

58. Win a Dragon Boat race.

Guess I can cross that off my list now because WE WON SIX OUT OF SEVEN RACES AND CAME AWAY WITH A FIRST PLACE FINISH!!!

Is that the coolest thing ever?!

More details on the weekend when I relax a little.

Friday, June 06, 2008

A Noticeable Difference

As I was walking around the track at the gym this morning doing my cool down, one of the trainers started chatting with me. He said that I was looking serious and I explained that I was thinking about my weekend plans with the Dragon Boat race in Boston. We chatted a little about Dragon Boating and then he told me something rather surprising. He said (before I mentioned anything about all the winter training) he could see that my body has changed, that I was stronger. I don't think I've gained or lost any weight and I certainly haven't seen any changes but hey - if the trainer says so, I'll go with that!

Hope that bodes well for the race. Look forward to kicking some Boston butt. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Decision Time

Or not. I'm going to be away for the next three weekends so am putting everything on hold. If at the end of the month the condos are still available I will decide one way or the other.

Until then it's time for a few road trips! This weekend Boston, next weekend Toronto and following that Windsor.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Option #2

Suivant, next.

Pros:
Asking price is $10K over budget
Corner unit
French doors between between dining room
Elevator (I would need it as unit is 3 floors from street level, which happens to be the basement)
Washing machine
Balcony
Windows in each room
Ceiling fans in each room
Fantastic cupboard space
Nice tiles on kitchen and bathroom floors
Locker in basement
25% downpayment
Lower condo fees
Well maintained building
Hardwood floors
Close to bus but can't hear it
New windows
Don't have to paint (but may want to, all in white now)
Crown molding throughout

Cons:
No view (in fact view is the rocks and dirt of Mont-Royal)
No dishwasher
No dryer
Small old stove
No vent in kitchen
Bathtub is old-style clawfoot and although I could soak to my heart's content, I hate that the shower curtain flies all over the place when you take a shower

Possible projects:
Get portable dishwasher
Replace bathtub
Open up kitchen to living room
Add a second balcony

My main concern about this place is the fact that there is no view. Although it would be super quiet and you all know how I love the quiet, it may be a disadvantage if/when I decide to sell. Any work that I may want to do has basically been done. It's a beautiful condo in a very well maintained building, I could move in tomorrow. I was practically drooling when I visited.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Option #1

In an effort to make up my mind, I thought I might get some help from you. Here's a list of pros and cons for my first condo option:

Pros:
Asking price is right on budget
Corner unit
View!
French doors between foyer, also between dining room
Stained glass above foyer doors, between kitchen and dining room
Elevator (but I wouldn't need it as unit is street level)
Washer/Dryer hook up
Built-in shelving in living room
Balcony
Window seat in living room
Full-size stove
Windows in each room
No apartment below
Close to bus
Locker in basement
Decent cupboard space
Nice tiles on kitchen and bathroom floors

Cons:
35% downpayment
High condo fees
Possibility that fees increase
Building not terribly well maintained
No dishwasher
No vent in kitchen
Crappy bathtub
Floating floor
Must paint living room and kitchen
Probably can hear the bus

Possible projects:
Get portable dishwasher
Replace floors
Redo closets to maximize storage
Replace bathtub

My main concern about this place is the fact that the condo fees are so high and for some reason I think they will increase. If they do, I may find myself struggling to keep up. Other than that, it's a funky, quirky little place and I think it would be ideal for me. I loved it on the first visit. It seems to be the type of place I could really put my own stamp on and really make it my own.

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7 hours later:
Just remembered that the bathroom ceiling has some weird textured wallpaper on it. Wonder what it's hiding.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Like father like daughter

After visiting another serious potential on the condo front yesterday, and revisiting another one, I had to put some numbers down on paper to compare and calculate what I can afford.

This isn't something I can do by myself though. I need my Dad to help me with the formulas, etc. While I was waiting for him to finish up his own condo selling business (May was apparently condo month in the Titcombe Family - my parents sold their place, Eric moved into his new place and I've visited over a dozen places), I started a little spreadsheet and input a few numbers. And then, about an hour or so later, I discovered that I am very much my father's daughter. The way I formatted my spreadsheet was EXACTLY the same was as he did his own - even though he did it on paper. We had a good laugh as I kept saying "I did it that way too!" Mom just rolled her eyes a little (a lot).

Cool though, eh?