Tag Archives: vacation

Jan-you-need-to-help-me-not-spend-money-ary

11 Jan

After receiving my Visa bill for this month (even though it looked like they took every Visa bill I’ve ever had, combined it, then doubled it and gave it to me), I have decided that I’m going to try REALLY HARD to not spend any money in January, and maybe February too.

Now, this is obviously going to be impossible, so I have to list some things that I most definitely will be buying that officially do not count (so don’t hassle me about them):

  1. Food. I need food to live, and I’ve been looking everywhere for that bread dipper that I bought two bottles of last night, okay?!
  2. Normal stuff I can’t get away from, ie: TTC pass, rent, phone bill, and so on and so on
  3. Trips. Now, this might seem totally counteractive, but I just got married and I’m really tired and I 100% deserve a honeymoon. Plus, I planned on doing this in 2012, so it’s really just about committing.

Things I will not be allowed to spend money on:

  1. Alcohol. We have about 39,000 bottles of white wine leftover from the wedding, as well as some vodka and tequila. And I work for a beer company, so really, there’s no excuse for me to buy alcohol
  2. Clothes. There’s no getting around this one – this is where I spend my money, and yo, it is just not a good idea for me to go in any store right now (including online ones) because I have a bunch of stuff that I never even wear
  3. Books. See above – too many books that I haven’t read yet sit at home. Therefore I shall not buy!

Now, this is in no way going to be easy, but considering I really do want to go on a vacation, and I just had a wedding that cost about a bajillion dollars, no spending shall be allowed!

(Gifts, however, are totally okay. Just FYI.)

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Day 4: Cuba Continued

5 Mar

Since it’s such a super crap rainy day out, we thought we’d warm you up with the continued adventures of Him & Her in Cuba.

After our adventures in Varadero the day before, we decided to take it relatively easy. After all, we were on vacation. We woke up relatively early and after breakfast (more crepes!), headed to Quite Pool for some reading/drinking action.

This brings me to Vacation Gripe #1: saving seats.

Honestly people – are we in grade 1? Why do people resort (haha – I hope you get that pun) to tactics they haven’t used since grade school just because they’re on vacation? Is it just because they figure since they’re not at home, no one they know will find out what assholes they are?

People save seats like love notes from your first boyfriend down there. It’s insane! We would walk to breakfast around 8 or 9 in the morning, and people already have towels, books, sunscreens, whatever, all marking chairs down by the pool. This is the kind of thing that drives me nuts. As we know from the “cutting in line” business our first day, I like rules – they’re meant to be followed folks.

On our last couple of days, things got seriously out of hand. There were NO seats by Quiet Pool, yet there were five chairs all “reserved” for a span of at least three hours – and that was only since we got there. I kept my eye on these chairs so I could let the people know that they were ruining Quiet Pool for other people, but they snuck in and got their stuff and LEFT while I was getting a margarita! I was super pissed. The next day the same thing happened (same five chairs), so instead of waiting for them to return, I moved their shiz and we sat in their chairs. They came by AGAIN while I was gone, commenting to themselves about their stuff being moved, which He overheard. It seriously boils my blood.

Anyways – back to the relaxing and fun part of vacation, because I’m getting riled up just thinking about those bastards.

While getting a drink from the swim-up bar, one of the funniest moments of vacation happened. An old woman came up to the side of the pool with her camera, creaked out “Ola Boris!” and took a picture of the bartender, Boris. Man, it was so funny. We imitated it a lot. And yes, that was one of the funniest moments.

In the afternoon (after a delish lunch), we moved things to Activity Pool and I went on the slide. They said it was just for kids, but that’s just one of the many benefits of being only 5 feet tall.

We even went to Cave Bar!

Tonight was BBQ Dinner night. We went and there was even more prosciutto! This time I thought ahead and took a whole buttload of it. The band that night was absolutely awesome. We bought their CD!

There was dancing in the square later that night. The band was awesome, and then out of nowhere this old couple got up and started doing the salsa! The guy had black BLACK dyed hair. And he was about 86.

Stay autotuned for more.

Cuba Day #3 – Very Varadero

3 Mar

This morning we woke up and had plans:  Trip to the city of Varadero.

As you can see from the map, Varadero is a very long and narrow peninsula.  There are so many resorts in the city already, but they keep building more of them to house all the Canadians who travel down.  Our resort was one of the newer ones, which is why it was basically at the end of the spit.

There are a few ways to get into Varadero from all of the resorts: taxi, unmarked coach bus that the driver says is only 2 pesos to get into downtown, or 5 pesos for a whole day ticket for the hop on hop off double decker bus.  We chose the last option, seemed like a good deal.  However, I guess we were leaving right at the same time as everyone else was at every resort in Varadero.  This bus was packed.  Think Yonge line at 8:15am on a Wednesday, packed.  Except it was with Canadian pensioners looking for a nice tour into Varadero to see the sights.  Also, the tour bus wasn’t as much of a tour bus as it was just a double decker bus that picks people up from the resorts and then drops them off downtown.

Speaking of getting dropped off downtown, before that happened She remembered something: that She had forgotten to lock the safe before leaving.  This got her extremely nervous and she felt like she needed to get back to the room as soon as possible.  I didn’t really feel like paying the 15 pesos to go from the city to the resort, so I told Her that we’d wait on the bus and just take it back to the resort.  About an hour later (this was a lot more time than I thought it would take) She said that She would just pay for the taxi and that She just needed to get back to the room to make sure that our money, passports, other camera, and everything hadn’t been stolen by our suspicious housekeeper (come on, only people who make swan towels have something to hide).

So we took a cab back.  A cab that was a 50’s era Plymouth (He thinks).

Pretty awesome.  We gave the cabbie some candy for his ninos (kids).

Sure enough, we get back to the room and everything is just as it should be. The housekeeper has come and gone and even closed the safe for us. Nothing to worry about.  But I think that She was glad to pay the 15 pesos for some peace of mind.

So, luckily we took the hop on hop off option, so all we had to do was get back to the bus stop at the end of the resort’s driveway and get on the next one.  It wasn’t as crowded after lunch, which made the trip nicer than the first time.

Got back into Varadero and we:

  • Went shopping at the different outdoor shops that they have (bought 3 key chains for friends, a nice domino set, cool faces to put on our wall, a wooden car).
  • Saw the beach and a cool looking beach bar that’s a bit off the beaten path.
  • Really saw a bit at what Cuba is really like (staying on the resort would not have been worth it).
  • Saw chickens walking around.
  • Saw Al Capone’s house in Varadero (we later learned that he never actually stayed there).
  • Took some pictures (see the gallery).
  • Took the double decker bus back to our resort.

When we got back we had a bit of a decision to make.  On of our bonus a la carte meals (for booking with Nolitours) was a Cuban meal at 8:30.  She wasn’t sure that she would find anything that she liked at this supper, so She wanted to go to the buffet beforehand to have pre supper.  So we went and She had some nice roast beef. I had initially meant to have only a tiny bit, but, of course, I found way too much there that I really wanted.  So I wasn’t actually all that hungry for Cuban supper. We went anyways.

I tell you, the line was CRAZY long for what looked to be some decent steak or something.  But I was perfectly content with just getting some salad and soup from the places without much of a line.  She was 100% OMFG content with getting a plateful of the prosciutto that was served at this Cuban supper.  Didn’t know that it was a Cuban deli meat…

Then, while walking back from the restaurant, She remembered that the night’s show was the aquatic ballet at the activity pool.  We were both a little skeptical, but the show was actually really good.  It was over an hour of girls getting lifted up high into the air and then tossed into the waist high water.  All very graceful like.  Real horrowshow (as in good) show.

And that was our day.  Stay tuned for more.

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Vacation: Cuba – It’s Da Best

27 Feb

Alright – here it is. The first of long overdue posts about our trip to Cuba.


We loved it. Absolutely loved it. I was super nervous before we went – about the plane ride, getting in/out of the country, being robbed, all that fun stuff. Luckily (and not surprisingly), we were totally fine. The worst thing that happened was getting a tiny sunburn.

Since we were there for a week and a lot of fun things happened, I’ll just do the first two days here.

The Flight

We made it to the airport and over to terminal three without any issues. There was a couple behind us going to Cuba as well, and they made us even more excited, as they had been there before and kept telling us we were going to love it. We had dinner at the airport Fionn McCool’s, which I was excited about, because I used to work at their sister pub D’Arcy McGee’s, and they have amazing Yorkshire Puddings. But what the dude – this one didn’t have them! I got fish, and it was just okay.

There was a guy in the lounge who kept finding things people dropped on the ground! He dropped his sunglasses and this guy let him know, and then we saw him let someone else know he found something! He was like a detective.

The flight itself was great – we got champagne and wine with dinner, and we had no idea! It was really nice. The meal was also great -some kind of beef dish that was actually very good. When we first were loaded on,He and I sat down, and His seat wouldn’t stay all the way up – it was in perma-recline mode. Unfortunately this meant that the stewardess re-routed us from the front of the plane to the seats farthest away from the door. Yay. The move was Wall Street 2 – Money Never Sleeps. I gave up half-way through. My headphones were being all wonky, and I have real trouble with earphones because my ears are super tiny and they never stay in. It’s really frustrating. I just drank my champagne instead.

There was a woman on the plane near us with a bright orange track jacket and a tramp stamp. She got up to go to the bathroom at least 15 times on our three hour flight. I think must have been drinking more than just the free champagne.

Then everyone clapped as we landed, and all was right with the world.

The Drive

When we landed, we had to go through customs, which is more of a process in Cuba than in Canada. What was killer was that people had no concept of lines! People were butting all over the place! If you know me at all, I’m a real stickler for rules, especially lines. One old guy stood up for everyone and called out this punk in a basketball jersey who butted in front of about 60 people, and the guys response was, “it’s like being in traffic man, when you’re at a stop sign – you just gotta let people in man, that’s the way it works.” WHAT. That is not the way it works. The way it works is that people LINE UP AT THE BACK OF THE LINE.

Anyway, once my blood had stopped boiling, we boarded our bus to our resort for the half-hour ride. And lo and behold, who was on our bus…?

The Bro’s.

We had seen the Bro’s on our flight – a group of five guys who were intent to have a good time, even if it meant being super load and paying $6 for a tiny cup of beer on the flight. And super loud they were.

Our guide on our bus, Richard, was great at handling them though. They were crazy loud, and right in front, asking the dumbest questions. It was pretty funny. So was Richard.

“Yeah, on our left you will see some pregnant palm trees. We still don’t know who the father is.”

Comedy GOLD Richard!

We arrived at our hotel finally. It was about 10 or 11 at night, but we thought it was after midnight because the plane told us there was a time change. There wasn’t. Good thing we did though, He was super ill with a cold and from the plane ride and just wanted to sleep.

Day 2

We woke up with Him still being all sicky. I decided to go hang out at Quiet Pool for awhile, reading and getting margaritas.

There was a Bro Sighting at lunch. They were getting a lot of potatoes and a lot of cerveza.

After lunch, He was feeling a bit better, so we decided to grab some drinks and head over to Activity Pool. We didn’t feel awake enough yet for Cave Bar, but I went to Above-Cave-Bar-Bar to grab us some margs. While there, a kid was trying to get a pina colada, but he was underage and got caught! Underagers had different coloured wrist bands, and although he tried to hide this by putting a tee-shirt over his wrist, he got pwned. Luckily for him, some old guy changed one of his non-rum pina’s to one with rum, and obviously gave it to him. Silly kid.

After dinner we went on a romantic night walk along the beach, where He proposed to me and we made love in the sand. KIDDING. We did this instead:

Stay tuned for our Cuban cab ride, “Ola Boris” and much much more!

Beautiful Cuba

24 Feb

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Ola Canada!

22 Feb

We’re home! I know you all probably thought that you would luck out and be privileged with Guest Bloggers each and everyday, but we got kicked out of Cuba for being too bad-ass and so we’ve returned.

Kidding.

We got kicked out for drinking tooooo muuuuch ruuuuuum.

There is actually a website for Crossed Flag Pins.

We’ve got some great stories and some gorgy pictures, which we’re going to upload here real soon, we promise. But in the mean time, we just want to go watch Jersey Shore and go to sleep, okay?

So Long!

16 Feb

We’re off friends! But don’t worry. We’ve got some sweet-ass surprises for you set in store, so keep checking us out, and we promise to bring back seashells and coconut bras for everyone!

Someplace Hot Starting With “C”: CUBA!

30 Jan

Oh, dear readers of this blog, you may now sleep easy at night, resume your regular eating habits and stop gnawing those fingernails… we have found a vacation.

That’s right – we’re off to Cuba! We’ve been waiting not-very-patiently for some time now, checking travel sites on the regular, and Friday – we found it.

Of course, nothing is as easy as it looks. Friday, He called me at work and said he had found the perfect deal – the resort we wanted, the price we wanted (under $800), the only hitch was it was a week sooner than we anticipated. Well, we decided to give it a shot! I called the travel agent and off we went.

Then she called me back.

Yeah, as soon as she entered in our info, the price jumped by about $400. Awesome! But were we interested in leaving the day before, for only $60 more than we originally planned? Yes. Yes we were.

Plus – it will be Valentine’s Day. SUPER ROMANTIC.

Although some things aren’t as we originally planned (as of this moment, it’s just the two of us, rather than a few friends, which is less than ideal), we’re pretty pumped. We’ve been checking out websites and travel reviews, and also Google-imaging a lot of pictures. As this is our first vacation down south – any and all travel tips are more than welcome!

Last night we had a raucous evening of beer and Scattergories. Man, those two things are fantastic. My BFF was up with her BF and a few other friends dropped by as well. It was my BFF’s birthday a few weeks ago, so we decided to celebrate with a night in.

Shit got crazy – I haven’t laughed that hard in a little while. The BFF’s BF at one point got the letter mixed up, so the entire round we were all answering with our “A” words, but his were all “C”. Hilarious, I know! People had some good answers, and some terrible answers. I only like terrible answers when they’re funny, and I’m a very harsh critic. Unfortunately, it was all directed to one dude.  But honestly, if you can’t take the heat, then put down some answers that actually make sense. Mad Men is not an office item.

When the stragglers were heading home, He the the BFF’s BF headed to a local pub instead. Inaccurately titled “Wise Guys,” this encouraged the BFF’s BF to wear straw hats straight from hipster street to this mangy pub. I’m surprised the boys came home with all their teeth.

Excellent night all in all though. Culminating in this morning trying to decide on breakfast items that begin with the letter “P”?

 

Get Me Away From Here

25 Jan

He and I are trying to find an all-inclusive vacation. Somewhere warm where we can roll our toes in the sand, wear as few clothes as possible, and drink a lot of tequila.

We’ve been checking out Sunwing, Redtag, Signature, itravel200, and every other vacation website that has a really catchy jingle we can think of.

Our List Of Requirements

  • all-inclusive – we don’t want to pay a dime
  • beachfront-ish
  • unlimited draaanks
  • some kind of a disco/nightclub
  • decent enough food
  • under $1,000 including taxes
  • towels on our beds in the shapes of swans

Is this really too much to ask for?

We’ve been looking online so far and a work buddy of mine who will hopefully come has been dealing with a travel agent through Flight Centre – we’re not impressed so far.

Any suggestions on great vacation options are welcome!

50 Day Challenge + Grown-Up Parties

9 Jan

50 Day Challenge

In honour of one of my dear friend’s 30 Day Yoga Challenge, we have decided to start our own fitness challenge leading up to our vacation.

The 30 Day Challenge was a bit of a bust for me personally. Our group got together at work and a chart was created – every day you did physical activity for more than 30 minutes, you got a sticker on the chart.

I got one sticker.

For babysitting.

Lifting kids up and down all night is hard work, okay?!

Anyway, it didn’t quite work out for me. But, one day into the challenge for Him and I to complete, I’m already tied with my old score! I’d say that’s progress.

We realized with our vacation coming up and our goal to have the most bitchin’ bods on the beach, we’d better stop mowing chips and start with the sit-ups. Day 2 is today, and we’ve done nothing – but we’re on it.

In addition to our work-out yesterday, we also braved about 68 inches of snow and walked to Forest Hill to buy me a new Penguin Classics series book at Type Books. Man, Type is the best (the one on Spadina, not Queen. Queen Type staff are disinterested in their customers and extremely unhelpful – at least every time I’ve been in. Spadina Type, in contrast, are amazing – I called yesterday to see if they had any more Penguin’s in, and not only did the girl add a few to her order, she called me to confirm which ones she could get and had even added one to the order I didn’t know existed).

Grown Up Parties


After drinks at a friend’s place last night, we headed over to King West for a party. Not just an ordinary party though – the kind of party where sure, you know the people hosting and a lot of the guests, but you’re not best friends with them, you’ve never gone shopping together, and you’re a little nervous.

And it was awesome.

Hosted by two friends of mine (He knew people at the shin ding, but definitely less so than me), it was at an amazing apartment that was very industrial looking and filled with funny and beautiful pieces all found at rummage sales. Note to us: hit up more rummage sales. It was a blast – filled with many friends of mine that I knew from university, but who were a few years older than myself, and definitely intimidating in that “they know what they want, they’re so funny and self-assured” way. I felt a little out of place when we were on our way – would we be the odd ones out? Would it seem awkward that we were there?

As paranoid as I can get, I really could have dropped these worries. We arrived to people shouting our name and who seemed genuinely pleased to see us. We had great convo’s all night with people we both knew and didn’t know, and we peaced out before over staying our welcome.

I’m still finding it a bit hard to put into words, but we think it was so awesome for us because it was a grown up party. We could ask people about their jobs knowing that they weren’t jobs, they were more careers, and that the person most likely had one. We could ask about what neighborhood they lived in. More than one person asked about our dear rat Phyllis (RIP), and offered kind words after hearing of her passing. The host offered us shots. No one was super drunk, no one was falling down, and you didn’t have to wait in a line to pee.

And the music – the music was loud enough for break-out dance routines, but quiet enough for convo’s. Fab.

Now, we’re still definitely fans of the outrageous parties, not that we attend many, but they certainly have their place. But it was nice to hang out with people who we felt were at a similar life stage. It was refreshing and different.

This certainly isn’t to diss any of our friends who are still in school, live with their parents or roomates, or are single and ready to mingle – not at all. We’re just riding high on the joy that comes with hanging with a new crowd and talking about different things – always a bit refreshing, no matter how you slice it.

It’s definitely encouraged us not to hang out with our regular (and great) friends less, but to cast our social net a little wider and make sure we hang with all kinds of people, ‘cus if we don’t, we’re the ones missing out.

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