Wednesday, June 30, 2010

So American...

I'm often asked by Americans how Canadians are different. And for the longest time I had a hard time pointing out the differences between our cultures but after living here in the US, I feel like I have a better answer. What I've noticed is that Canadians seem to be more liberal (politically). Canadians seem a little more globally minded. Americans are much more assertive in getting what they want (they aren't afraid to complain when things aren't right and loads of Canucks wouldn't think of it because it might be considered rude). Americans are much more outwardly proud of where they are from (yes, they are obnoxious about it sometimes, but overall it is a beautiful thing).

But one way to sum it up is what we found today:

The Diner!! I asked my parents if these were a big deal in the cities of their childhood in Canada, and they said no. And to me, a 50s style diner is just SO AMERICAN. It's this happy place with typically American foods and treats and it was the place of social gathering in it's hay-day. I don't know, its just an image that comes to mind every time I think of what is American...

Trekking homewards

One of the benefits of living internationally is all the travel you get to do. Living in the US has been international for me and I didn't make as good of use of my travel as I should have the first year, but this past school year I've done well. I went to Mexico in the summer, New Orleans in the fall, Texas in the winter, England in the Spring as well as DC, all over VA, and NYC. And this summer as I am heading home, I was even able to sneak in a little sight seeing. Below are some pics of that sight seeing. We (my parents are driving back with me to help get my stuff from VA to BC) stopped in South Dakota at Crazy Horse and Mt. Rushmore. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer VACAY!

So now the students are gone, the classroom is cleaned up and put away. All there is left to do is get the final sign our from the administrative staff at the school and summer vacation starts!! Although, it won't feel like much of a vacation at the start because I will still be packing boxes and putting things away. But with all that stress aside, the weather and the relief of no more teaching tells me that it truly is summer vacation!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Closing Out The Classroom

So today I completed all the end of the year stuff I need to do. I emptied my classroom of all my stuff, cleaned it all up and am pretty much ready to walk away. It's sad to put all the decorations, books and things away. Taking the room back to it's skeleton is insane. Even if you are at a school that you don't like (and I wasn't), it's just sad to put all the work, the joy, the struggle and the thrills into boxes, like they were truly confined to just a document or book. So anyway, that's what I did today.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Worst Part of Moving

Okay, people ask me often if I am excited about what is next for me in the moving... and I guess I am, but I never really show it or experience it until I get on that plane to the next destination. I guess I am too consumed with the stress of it all beforehand. I am busy sorting through things (which will go with me, which will go to Good Will, which will go to storage, which will go to the trash). I am busy getting those things to where they need to go. I am busy compiling all the paperwork I will need to arrive smoothly in the new location. I am busy trying to say good bye to the place and the people I've grown to care about in the time I've spent there. Basically, I am way to stressed to be excited before I leave. So that's the worst part about moving... well, that and the chaos of packing things up and sorting them...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Annapolis, MD

Another fine city that I was blessed to see was Annapolis, MD. This seaside town is a little gem of the east coast. You can take boat tours, visit cute little pubs and shops and stroll the boardwalk. Never mind that the Naval Academy is there. It's just one of the sweetest finds in Maryland.

A view of the harbour area.

Right near where we parked before wandering about.

A random statue... I liked it. Kinda wished I'd taken a silly photo with it.

My travel mate, Mandy. It was good to make new memories there.


One of the places that I have wanted to go and see for a VERY long time is New York City. I've dreamed of being there since I was about 15 years old. And through many trials and tribulations, plans made and broken (my fault, someone else's, no ones' fault) et cetera and so on, I never got there... until NOW!! Over Memorial Day weekend here in the US, I waffled back and forth about going and finally I sucked it up and went. I went all by myself (yes, I drove... and let me tell you, pack lots of cash for the numerous toll charges or lots of food because you'll be on the road for a long time going around in order to avoid them). I stayed in a cheap motel that offered a free continental breakfast (they had a waffle iron... woohoo) and free parking (a rarity in this city) and that was close (6 or 10 blocks, who can tell the difference?!) to the subway system. Yes, I walked down the sketchy neighbourhood road to the trains and had numerous kind New Yorkers help me along the way. I got on an express train from Ozone Park NY that took me right to Times Square. It was awesome. I popped out of the subway and smelled hot dogs and pretzels. Mmm... YUM! Then I hopped a hop on, hop off bus and enjoyed the next 2 1/2 hours of funny stories from the tour guide and sites that made me happy and at home. Below are a few pictures of some of the sites I saw with a brief explanation. One thing I do know about NYC is that I'll be back, baby!!!

The horse carriages outside Central Park (next time I am SO going running there).

For those of you that watch the Real Housewives of New York... JILL ZARIN.... or at least her store. hahahaha

These are tiles near to Ground Zero. Kids from all over the nation painted them after 9/11. A little touch of love and hope in a sad, sad time.

I think it's called the Flat Iron Building (I could be wrong) but that triangular building is super cool and a landmark!

TIMES SQUARE! And it was every bit the zoo you imagine and hope that it will be... loved it!

A New York deli sandwich... MMMMMMMM the BOMB-diggidty! Loved it.