Monday, September 26, 2011

The only thing more exciting then a new baby is two babies :)

The babies are here! My best friend growing up and her wonderful husband Jordan announced the birth of their son William Charles Hughes on Sunday. I love the name William and it is a perfect fit for this gorgeous little man. Shannon has been one of my closest friends for the majority of my life. We have truly grown up together and I know she is going to be an amazing mother. Shannon is one of the strongest women I know so when I got the message she was going in to deliver I wasn't worried about her at all. I knew she would come through in style and the after photos definitely showed it. The whole family looked great! It's moments like this that I really feel the ocean between us. I would love to be there to give my friend a hug and to meet her new baby. My girlfriends have been wonderful about keeping me in the loop, thank you Erin and Meredith. I don't know what I would have done without my instant messenger, facebook and skype. They really have been my life lines especially in moments like these.
This morning I received another wonderful announcement. My beautiful friend Leah, one of my University girlfriends and her husband Steve had their baby yesterday. A gorgeous little girl, Briar Marie Gariepy, please send pictures! Leah has always been my happy-go-lucky, optimistic, caring, sensitive and fun loving friend. I can just imagine the fun that Leah and Briar are going to have together. I'm so proud of you and can't wait to meet Briar. Congratulations Ford Face! Love Harris Head! Thank you Cate for thinking of me and sending the message :)
I know it's strange but when I think of my friends I think of Shannon and I being sixteen and our adventures through life in the teenage years. I can still remember meeting Leah in our first year of University like it was yesterday. So much has changed but the friendships remain the same. Love you guys and love your new additions xoxoxo
One more very important message; remember ladies, in these formative early years you need to stay strong, these babies are Sens fans!

A good attitude goes a long way!

Every country and it's inhabitants have distinct characteristics, culture, personality and flare! Before making the trip to the Netherlands a friend loaned me a copy of the book "The Undutchables: an observation of the Netherlands, its culture and its inhabitants". Being of Dutch descent I felt I had an inside perspective of what to expect but the title got me excited for our adventure so I dove right in (Thank you Maureen and Stu!). While reading along I thought to myself how stereotypical it was and that just like people think Canadians; live in igloos, drink maple syrup and every other word they say is eh! I thought these stereotypes would be dispelled on my arrival. This book, in a very exact yet funny way discloses all the secrets about the Dutch and they are ALL true. In my short two months living in the Netherlands I have observed; people riding their bikes anywhere and everywhere, no one closing their curtains or blinds, being offered coffee and vlaai anywhere and everywhere as well as the direct manner in which they communicate . If you are interested in getting a really reliable inside look at the culture of the Netherlands I highly recommend it. So I'm sure at this point you're wondering about the title of today's blog. Well it falls in line with the description of the communication style and personality of Dutch people. I have been teaching a number of fitness classes here and as part of that experience I have had the opportunity to have instructor evaluations. I have come to realize that these evaluations are not structured in the Canadian style that I am familiar with - you know the feedback sandwich??? positive + constructive feedback + positive, this is how I like to give feedback to the people I work with. The Dutch are much more direct, specific and no nonsense in how they give constructive criticism. You really do need a thick skin to take it and to use it to improve. Although it is tough to hear sometimes, feedback like this is what makes you better. If you are mature enough to take it and use it this can make a good instructor a great instructor. I always ask for feedback from participants in my classes and it's lovely to get great feedback but you've got to be able to take the good with the bad. The poor reviews are the one's that give you the opportunity to grow. Nick always says "If you can't handle it, don't ask for it" and you know what, he's right. After this experience I plan to adopt a more direct style of management in certain instances. I think there is a lot to be said for guiding people to construct their own conclusions but this direct approach is very clear and concise and very effective in certain instances.
Since we've been here I've tried to be really open to every learning opportunity put in front of me. To treat every interaction as an opportunity to learn something about that person and myself. It is a real goal of mine to try not to take anything too personally, those who know me well know this is very difficult for me. I think that people around me have observed this effort because on numerous occasions people have made the comment that I have a great attitude about feedback and learning. I really do appreciate getting the feedback and suggestions on ways to improve. I want to be a great instructor and to empower and motivate as many people as I can. I recognize that there is always another way to do things. It doesn't mean one way is right and one is wrong. Sometimes different is good thing :) I have been told that most Dutch people don't take the feedback as well as I have. In fact I have been told that other instructors can get confrontational or defensive when told they need to change or adapt. I've been told by my supervisors that the Dutch are very proud people and apologizing or recognizing that there is a better way to do things then the current way that they are doing them is a sign of weakness. I've been told by other international visitors that the response they get when inquiring about why things are done in a specific way here as opposed to another way they are told "This is how it is in the Netherlands" with no additional reasoning. I hate to say that this is how all people are but I have run in to this on more then one occasion myself.
Today I taught a class at a new gym. The gym is called MAC social club. It's a little more commercial then I would like but there is a great opportunity to learn there. I implemented some of the suggestions from the other gyms I'm teaching at and really enjoyed how it improved my class. Even with the language barrier I was able to communicate with actions and a big smile. A number of participants came to see me after class to let me know how much they enjoyed it. A good attitude really does go a long way!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I have a new boyfriend, his name is Fred.

Tonight Nick and I went to look at a racing bike. It was pretty easy to find one for Nick as he is of average height but a bit more of a challenge for me. I am petite in Canada and in the Netherlands I am a little person. Dutch children come out of the womb larger then me! As a result, finding a used bike seemed like an impossible undertaking. So, with a limited budget and a miniature wife Nick has made it his mission to find me a bike :)
This past weekend I went for a 1hr 45min run in preparation for the half marathon and Nick came along on his new road bike to keep me company. On the run we had the opportunity to see some of the beautiful and extensive network of bike paths. From Maastricht we can bike to Belgium, to Germany and all the way across the Netherlands. After the run Nick came home and continued on the search for a bike for me. He stumbled across a website advertising all kinds of used bikes in a variety of sizes 44 and 46-cm and only 10-min from our house Nick did further investigation and found out that the man who owns the business, Fred Rompelberg, is a local legend. He holds the Guiness World Record for cycling at a speed of 268 km/hr. Nick made an appointment for us to go see the bikes tonight after work. When I rang the doorbell Tiny came to the door with a big smile, this is Fred's wife - a very tall, slim, and strong looking women, then Fred came to the door. He reminded me of Robert Redford for some reason. He is a 65-year old man with a zest for life like I've never seen and his wife was the sweetest lady. She repeatedly asked us if we wanted coffee and vlaai (amazing dutch desert). They adjusted the bike and made it a perfect fit for "my small but mighty frame" as Fred said. He proceeded to tell me to become one with the bike. I loved it! Nick and I had a wonderful time. Fred's wife took pictures of us with the bike and with Fred. They gave us; energy bars, signed water bottles, signed photos, magazines, and bags. Needless to say we bought a road bike and I have a new boyfriend, his name is Fred :) Did I mention I named my new bike Fred?? Kind of cute isn't he?

A very therapeutic day :)

The therapeutic power of touch is an amazing thing. Weather it be a hug from your mom, a shoulder squeeze from a friend or an adjustment from a Chiropractor (Thanks Kristin). Touch can be a really powerful therapeutic tool. In school we learn the physiology, anatomy and mechanics of why touch works but why does touch from a hand with no formal education have a positive effect? I think it's all about the intent of the touch and the acceptance of that intent by the person being treated. If as a therapist you approach the patient with the intent to be present in the moment for them, to relieve some of their stress and
to act as a "master fulcrum" (for my osteo friends) then the treatment is more likely to be successful. The other side of a therapeutic touch is the person receiving it. If your patient is open, accepting and trusting of that therapeutic touch then this is therapy in its purest form.
Today I had the opportunity to give an Osteopathic treatment to a young sprinter. She is a 400-meter runner and three weeks ago she injured her hip. She could not recall a specific incident but she explained that she had feelings of discomfort when flexing her left hip that were made worse with powerful push off when sprinting. I assessed her and realized that her iliac (hip) bone was stuck posterior on her left side. I had the opportunity to do a muscle energy technique, some soft tissue work on her low back and an adjustment of her iliac bone. When I reassessed, it had worked. I love it when it works! Her hips were moving evenly and she said she was pain free :) Days like these make me smile. They really solidify my love of what I do and push me to keep working hard to learn more.
I have been to a number of educational workshops and courses and have interacted with a wide variety of therapists throughout my career. I have realized that there isn't ONE magic therapy that is better then all the rest. There is tremendous value to many different forms of therapy. I think what differentiates a good therapist from a great therapist is their approach to what they do. A great friend once said to me "It isn't about the method, it's the message". Thanks Petti-balls!
The best practitioners that I know recognize themselves as both a student and a teacher, they are humble and recognize that they don't fix people they assist people to heal themselves. When they work with patients their intent is focused and their hands are specific to the needs of that person. Their message is "I'm here for you".

Monday, September 19, 2011

Who needs kids??? We've got kitties! Can you say crazy cat lady???

This year I turned the big three-oh. Dirty thirty! A big milestone in any women's life or so I've been told. I have to be honest, I really wasn't looking forward to this milestone birthday. I remember when I thought 30 was so old. Funny, I don't feel old??? I feel exactly the same as when I turned 20. Wait a second. No, I don't! I am happier, more confident, in better shape, I know what I want and more importantly I know what I don't want. I have an awesome best friend who happens to also be my husband and I'm on a great adventure. I think it's a shame how much pressure we put on ourselves to fit into some preconceived notion of success. The timelines we attach to our successes. Why all the pressure???
I think back to when I was a little girl, probably about 7-years old, upstairs in our play room. There were so many things that I thought I would have by thirty. I can still remember planning my life while playing barbies with my sister Charlotte. I wanted to live in a mansion on the water and drive a pink mustang convertible. Charlotte was less concerned with these things and more concerned with having her barbie ride on the backs of our cats. At the time I thought she was crazy but I think she had it right. Times were simple then. I can still remember saying "When I grow up I will be a secretary, I will get married at twenty-three to Ridge Forrester". What can I say, I loved to hang out with my older sister Leigh who liked to watch the Bold and the Beautiful. I also said I would have two children and I would have them before I was 30. Well 30 has come and no babies except for my furry ones; Pumpkin, Gizmo and Maggie. I really mean it when I say they are like children. Our cats are different from "normal" cats. They require a lot more attention then the average cat. They each have their own distinct personality. Gizmo is intelligent and athletic. Pumpkin is incredibly good looking and a snuggle bug and Maggie is crazy! Yesterday, Maggie and Gizmo were playing in our loft and Maggie fell down the stairs. I was so upset I could not even look at her. I had to have Nick check her out. I'm a wimp when it comes to my baby cats. In the end she was shaken up but fine and back to her normal Madd Maggie self a few minutes later. I know it sounds funny but I see what kind of parents we will be and I think we could be good at it :) It seems as though every time I check out facebook another friend is updating everyone on their pregnancy or children. I am so happy for my friends and love to hear all their stories about the adventures of being expecting or new mom's. I'm excited for the day that we expand our family but I'm not going to attach any timelines. Just like all the other wonderful things in my life I trust that a family will happen when and if it is supposed to. Until then I am very happy to write about our furry family and Nick of course :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I don't eat meat but I sure do love bones :)

Mary you remember that song??? Today I made a tremendous discovery....bones! The last two years I have been studying Osteopathy at the Canadian College of Osteopathy in Toronto. I am very passionate about the profession and love my Osteopath, Dave Murray, but to be honest I've been dragging my feet. I've been busy just getting by, sacrificing my studying for all of my other commitments. Well things are about to change. Part of my plan for this year was to pick myself up by my boot straps and get to work studying. I really believe in Osteopathy and I owe it to the profession and myself to give it my all. At the end of the year I will be writing a 6-hour exam and completing my oral practical exam, encompassing all of the material covered in the program to date. I have been studying in the medical library at the University, Monday to Friday, averaging about 2 to 4 hours a day and plan to continue with that for the duration of my time here. I think this is what it's going to take in order to adequately prepare. The library is beautiful here and I love to come in to the University, meet Nick for lunch and spend the afternoon in "my sweet spot". Today, things got even better. I found an anatomy study area with models and bones and books! Oh yeah! Every day it seems as though things fall a little further in to place for me. I really believe that this year is going to make me better. A better teacher, a better fitness instructor, a better student, a better version of me! At first I thought I would be looking for what makes me happy but I have realized that you don't find happiness, you create it. You create happiness by doing the things that you love and doing them well and sharing them with others. By doing too much you water down your happiness. You dilute the beauty in your life. I've realized that dedicating myself to my goals and recognizing that I can't do everything at the same time is ok. The people who love me, love me no matter what I do or accomplish. Today was an enlightening day! Wish me luck with my bones :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A View From the Top. Hills got nothing on me!

This morning the alarm clock went off and I rolled over and thought "oh no, it's hill day". I know this is the wrong attitude but I have to be honest. My blog would lose all of its integrity if I told you I wake up every morning ready to take on the world. I should not call it the alarm clock but the opportunity clock and when I heard it this morning I should have thought "Yes! I have the opportunity to get stronger and show those hills who is boss". Too over the top??? We'll that's where I need to go to beat those hills :)
Today was scheduled to be a hill repeats workout. Hills are tough on fresh legs and kill when you're getting deeper into your training and running them with tired legs. I don't know what the bigger challenge is; managing the burn in your legs and the fire in your lungs or the mental games you play with yourself to get through, just one more. Today I ran six, 800-metre hill repeats and given how tired I was when I woke up this morning I am pretty darn pleased with my effort.
Given that I'm not working full time I thought I would be able to do some really great training but I have found myself faced with a new challenge. The challenge is that of teaching 8 to 10 fitness classes per week and training for the Amsterdam 1/2 Marathon at the same time.
I like to keep a training journal so that I can track my progress and review it for motivation for race day. When I woke up tired this morning I realized something was up. I usually jump quite happily out of bed in the morning. I apologize to those who have experienced a morning with me who aren't morning people but I love to get an early start on my day. I decided to take a look at my training program and factor in the cross training I've been doing. I realized I've been doing over 8-hours of cross training a week including teaching spin and aerobics classes, plus biking and walking everywhere. I realized, I'm over doing it! I was tired this morning because my body is trying to tell me to take it easy. I was a little embarrassed about my over site as I tell friends and clients that more volume is not always better and that QUALITY wins out over QUANTITY every time. I've decided to give up my shorter run days and aim for better quality training days.
Nick and I have decided to make a real weekend of the 1/2 Marathon and check out Amsterdam. We are planning to visit the Anne Frank Museum, take a historic walking tour - Dam Square, Magna Plaza, Torensluis Bridge, Theater Museum, Westerkerk, 9 Straats, Canal Houses, Spui, Bloemenmarkt, Golden Bend, Nieuw Spiegelstraat, Museumplein and the Red Light as well. We will see what we can get to and plan a second visit if we need to. On another note, somewhat related, I just finished reading "The boy in the striped pajamas". It was a really great book and took a really interesting perspective, a young boys, on the holocaust. I highly recommend it if you're looking for something to read.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Go blow your horn somewhere else

Today I was scheduled to teach a spin class at UM sport. When I woke up this morning I was still sore and a bit tired from the two classes I had taught the night before and was not looking forward to another one with so little recovery. Luckily, I had one of those classes that once you start, everything just falls in to place and it feels great. I had a wonderful time with my class and they gave me the motivation I needed to work hard. I also received some great feedback and the participants said they would be back for more next Saturday. So it looks like we have a date :)

After riding home, a quick snack and a shower, Nick and I spent a beautiful day exploring our city. It was a sunny 28-degrees today so Nick and I went for a walk to an antique market that is open down by the train station, only a 15-min walk. We checked out the wooden shoes and hunted for some delft pottery, stopped at the grocery store and ventured home for some lunch. There were numerous brass bands playing
throughout the streets of Maastricht. What fun! After lunch we decided to check out the church next door, it has been converted into a museum. The bands were still out playing, still fun but the loud music was starting to get to me a bit....sooo loud. The museum holds all the historic records for Maastricht and is set up like a library that you can sit down and view them. It also houses some beautiful pieces of art and stone carvings. After our visit to the church we decided to go for a hike up St Pieters hill. An action packed day! We checked out the fort that sits on the hill where they have "midget golf". The sign says "midget golf" I think they mean miniature, it could actually be for midgets, and the look out over the valley is breath taking from up there. After the 2-hour hike instead of going out to dinner we made an awesome meal together at home and sat out on our balcony.
The horns were still wailing away and at this point the musicians have had numerous pints throughout the day and the inebriated squeek and squack of the horns is really getting to me. As we sit down to eat FINALLY they stop. Ahhhhh sweet silence. What a relaxing way to spend a Saturday. Just me, the Nickster and Maggie, Pumpkin & Gizmo of course :)

Friday, September 9, 2011


Well I just got back from Belgium where I was working with the Junior National Cycling team. I was the chaperone to the girls team and massage therapist to the whole team (8-athletes) to facilitate recovery prior to the world championships. Belgium is only 20-minutes from here but very different. I noticed some of the differences as soon as we crossed into Belgium. Maastricht was built in Roman times and the architecture is all limestone. The churches and buildings here are very ornate and beautiful. In Belgium the buildings are predominately red brick and much more modest and rustic. I immediately noticed a difference in the roads as well. They are much narrower and not nearly as well kept as the roads in the Netherlands. We left after 8pm and it was raining and overcast but the highway was so well lit it was as if it were day time. I guess Belgium is known for having the most well lit road ways in the world. In the Netherlands they are such masters of design that puddles don't even form on the roads...or so I've been told :) The drivers in Belgium travel excessively fast and don't seem to respect pedestrians or cyclists in the same way as Holland. Something else I noticed was that there were brothels lining the main road as we made our way to the Canadian Cycling Association home base. It seems as though Belgium is "over sexed" to use a Mary McNeely term, everywhere I turned was sex; the brothels, the art (the hotel had nude/ almost porn art everywhere), the mailboxes! There were all these mailboxes displaying the nude form and some with crude was something we would never see at home...but really funny! We were based in a place called Tielt Wagenden. A very small, out of the way, quiet village. Perfect for training and laying low prior to competition for these young athletes. The dedication, passion and determination of this under funded team was inspiring to me. Having worked with National Teams that are highly funded it was plain to see the huge disparity. Never the less, these athletes are just as driven to excel in their sport. Spending hours on their bikes and putting their schooling on hold or doing it through correspondence to pursue dreams of glory on their bikes. The training day involves getting up by 8:30am, eating a healthy breakfast, a three hour team ride, home for lunch and stretching/ ice, a nap, an afternoon snack, another ride in the evening, a generous dinner, bed by 10pm and do it all again. Grueling to say the least! This experience was a great one; the athletes, the manager, the coaches were all awesome! So dedicated and motivated by passion for their sport. Being with Canadians had me missing home but what a great adventure this was. The manager of the team is a modern day Christopher Columbus, he has been everywhere and has great stories and tid-bits to share about every place. Things that only locals would know. He really is an inspiration for living the life you want and not what society says you should. I had to get back in order to teach a class today so I said goodbye and gave hugs before I caught my train back. In order to get back to Maastricht I had to take the train from Leuven which is the home of Stella Artois beer, one of my favourites, hence my title for the blog today :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Never be more then 12 steps from chocolate

No, I'm not joining a 12-step program for choc-aholics! Today I am going to Belgium to assist the Canadian Junior National Cycling Team for their training camp this week and this quote is one of Belgiums claims to fame. I am excited to see another country, it is only 20-minutes from here but hey, it is another country. I will be serving as a chaperone and massage therapist for the team. I'm excited to ride around in the car with all the equipment while the athletes train and race across the countryside. Before I leave for Belgium I will be teaching two classes at UM sport. I was told to expect about 70-participants for my classes. This is going to be amazing...I can feel the energy already :) At Canadian Universities the weight room is packed this time of year. Classes are more popular in Sept and Jan but never as busy as the fitness centre. At the University of Maastricht it's all about the fitness classes. The weight room at UM Sport is the size of a high school weight room with few free weights and at 6:30pm last night there were only 5-people in it. I've observed that there are very few male participants in classes here and that they tend to participate in the conditioning classes that are more like metabolic circuits as opposed to the aerobics, zumba, or workout mix classes. In the spin classes I have observed an even split between men and women which is different then Canada but I think it is because cycling has no gender bias here. The weight room in Canada is predominantly male dominated with few females lifting free weights, doing squats and my personal favourite, chin-ups. It begs the question "Why is there a gender difference when it comes to participation in fitness?". I know that it isn't a physiological difference. We can all achieve strength and endurance improvements with training. The muscle mass we gain is different because of hormonal differences but this is no explanation for lack of participation. For women, I think it's the fear of getting big, bulky muscles, not knowing what they are doing and feeling like they are being "checked out" by male participants. Well, I've been training for years and I have seen great strength and endurance benefits and guess what NO BULK! I think more then being checked out people stare because we are a minority in a weight room. When it comes to fitness class participation I've heard from instructors and men that it's the inability of men to keep to the beat of the music. I know myself that dance style classes are a real challenge for me. I feel like I don't get a great workout because I'm trying to figure out the moves. There are a number of classes that don't have this as a requirement; Body Pump, Strength Challenge, Circuit etc. So, what is it??? After being here and seeing that the gender divide exists across the pond the same as in North America I have come to the conclusion that it's the stigma of the old school fitness classes and the lack of accessible female role models. Currently, female role models are professional athletes, body builders, and fitness instructors but where is the girl next door? The average, relatable women? Ladies, we need to get in there and inspire each other to be in the weight room because if you're not lifting weights you are missing out. The benefits are endless; psychological and physical :) For fitness classes I think it's the perception that only men who like to wear spandex and shortie, short, shorts like Richard Simmons take fitness classes. A strong male role model in front of a fitness class makes all the difference. So guys, for the health of your fellow man, get out there and start teaching.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sometimes the best way to find your way is to get lost

Een, twee, drie, vier, vijf, zes, zeven, acht! On Friday morning I taught my Bodyshape class at Zenden and I counted the reps in Dutch :) The participants really seemed to enjoy my effort and I had fun with it. Later that day we went to a BBQ hosted by a few of Nick's lab mates who won young investigators awards. As part of their win they received some money and decided to use it to host a lab group BBQ. They knew I was coming so they had vegetarian options for me which was really thoughtful. It is very strange to sit in a room full of Dutch speaking people, smiling and trying to interpret what's going on based on body language and the fascial expressions of the people in conversation. The group does try to include us but often I feel like I'm in another world. On Saturday morning I headed out for a 30-min tempo run. I ran up St Pieters hill and into the trails like I usually do but instead of taking the main trail I decided to take one of the off shooting trails. I thought the trail would loop back to meet up with the main trail but an hour later I found myself deep in the woods. I found caves, a lake, a quarry... I was basically scaling the side of a cliff at one point. I found myself a little scared but excited to see what was around the next bend. I wasn't overly worried because there are lots of people on the trails but it was a warm day and I hadn't brought any water and my training plan was for my long run to be 12km on Sunday. I did eventually find my way home 1-hour and 40-min and about 18km later, tired and dehydrated. Needless to say I counted that as my long run this week and did a short one with Nick this morning.
This weekend there was a music and art festival in the city centre. The music wasn't really our style but the atmosphere was fun. They had people dressed as dinosaurs on stilts. Not cute Barnie style dinosaurs but scary Jurassic Park like dinosaurs. I think I actually squealed at one point when one got to close for my liking.
I really enjoy listening to the street performers who regularly play in the city square. There is a young man who plays the guitar and sings that Nick thinks is really good and there are violinists and Saturday there were dueling accordions. Very cool! The art festival featured local artists; painters, sculptors and jewelery makers. There were some really beautiful pieces and it inspired me to get some canvas and paints while I'm here. We had perfect weekend weather - a very sunny, warm weekend - 28 degrees which is the hottest weather we have had here.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Heerlijk Preuvenemint

Nick and I took our usual evening walk to stretch our legs and explore the city on Thursday night. We made our way to the city centre and to check out "the party street" to see what people were up to. The "party street" is a string of pubs on one street that serves drinks after 1pm. In Maastricht the club scene is non-existent, which is fine by me. I think it's funny that we call it the party street.
Beautiful white lights were strung across the square and illuminated the historic city centre. Vrijthof Square, was alive with people laughing, live music and local cuisine and drink. More so then usual. The annual food festival Preuvenemint was this past weekend and it was going to be our first of many festivals held in Maastricht. Nick and I took a quick tour through because we had plans to attend on Saturday night with a group of people from the University. On the large stage, a permanent main stage in the shape of a gazebo in the centre of the square, there was a spanish musical group and food stations were set up all across the square. People mingled, danced and indulged in amazing local food. The food stations were more like mini-restaurants and clubs with seating and lighting. Nick and I sat on a patio across the street and enjoyed a coffee and people watched. Everyone was dressed to the nine's. I've realized my lulu's just aren't going to cut it for our evening walks :)
On Saturday, Nick's lab mate Henrika and her husband invited us to a party at their house with plans to go out to the festival following. We had a great time meeting new people, Henrika's dog Marly was awesome and they had wonderful food and drinks. When asked what the Canadian cocktail was I said Molson Canadian. No one knew what that was except Nick and his Canadian lab mate Naomi. I also asked if they had tried ice wine and they were very interested in that. When we stepped out the door to head to the square we realized it was pouring rain. Nick and I decided to head home because of the weather. We walked through the festival again on Sunday and have plans to attend a music festival this weekend. Yeah festivals!