Pitatayo is me! That's how I pronounced my first and last name when I was really little and learning to talk. This blog is about me, my life, my experiences and other things I want to write about.

This blog has moved. Please visit me at Patricia's Place!

Sunday, October 31

Saturday in North Van



It was supposed to rain all day yesterday, but God decided to let the sun shine instead! Rob and I were out most of the day seeing the beauty of North Vancouver. Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted all the photos we took yesterday with our digital camera before downloading them. I was very upset about it and I won't make that mistake again, trust me. So I can't show you our photos. But I did find photos online to share!

We started out going to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, then to the Capilano Salmon Hatchery, Cleveland Dam and ended the day with Starbucks coffee at Lonsdale Quay before heading home for dinner.

Above is a picture of the Suspenstion Bridge and it wasn't as scary as I thought. The bridge is 450 feet long and 230 feet about the canyon floor. And it sways and bounces as you walk across! The views of the canyon were amazing. The trees on the other side were huge! Rob took a picture of me hugging a huge tree (as strangers laughed at me), to show how big it was.There were walkways in the treetops so we could walk around even higher up. It reminded me of the Ewok village in Return of the Jedi (which I've always wanted to visit)!

The salmon hatchery was cool. We saw salmon trying to jump over the falls against the current. They've gotta get tired. Rob took a great picture of one in mid-air! You'll just have to trust me on that. Salmon are much bigger than I thought, and they are actually quite ugly. Ugh. But they taste good so I can't complain.

Next we went to Cleveland Dam. Here's a picture of what we saw. Not so much snow on the mountains in the back though, just a little on top:

We ended our afternoon with a coffee at Vancouver's favourite cafe, Starbucks, at Lonsdale Quay. The Quay reminded me of a small version of Baltimore's Inner Harbor. We would have had a great view of downtown Vancouver if there hadn't been a tanker/ship/big boat/whatever they are called in the bay right in front of Canada Place. That's one picture I didn't lose because we didn't take it. Go to this site, it has a few pictures of what we saw yesterday.

Friday, October 29

Total Eclipse (of the heart)

Okay, so it wasn't a total eclipse of the heart, but it was a total lunar ecplipse last night. However, I do love that popular 80's song by Bonnie Tyler. The 80's was just a fun time! I remember in the early 90's my friend Rachel, in Australia, and I would sing Total Ecplipse of the Heart all the time. That and The Rose by Bette Midler. Funny how that's the first thing I remember when I think of that song. We were sappy high schoolers.

So did you see the lunar ecplipse? Rob and I went outside and watched for about 20 minutes as the moon was completely shadowed. It was cool. I'm glad we saw it. I like to see things like that.

Gas

I spent $35 filling up the car with gas today. It's better than last week, when I spent $41 filling it up. Gas is expensive. This week it's about $3 a gallon. The good thing is that if I go to the Save On Foods gas station, I'll get a coupon for a food purchase. So I got a coupon for $1.60 off my next purchase today. It helps a little.

Monday, October 25

Cold

It's officially cold here now. This morning when we woke up for church it was about 35 degrees. The high was 50 degrees I think. It's been in the low 50's for the last week and usually raining or cloudy or drizzling, which makes it feel even colder. I see it's still in the mid 80's in Orlando. Aaahhh...I long for days of warmth. No worries, I'm getting used to it. What's nice is that I can come back to our place and turn on the gas fire place which warms the place up nicely! And the even better part of cold weather is that I can once again enjoy my down comforter which, of course, I made sure to bring with us. I could lay in bed all day with my comfy down comforter.

Wednesday, October 20

My Trip Back To the US

I went to the States today to run errands, refill meds, go to the post office. Can I just tell you that getting into the US isn't easy? Not driving anyway. I think the US customs official thought we were playing 20 questions. It all started when he asked me where I live. That's a complicated question that raised all kinds of red flags. I live in Orlando, but am working in BC for a few months and I'm driving a car that belongs to a guy in Seattle.

Customs guy: You're from Orlando? Who's car are you driving?
Me: A friend is lending it to us while we're here.
(He gave me a weird look)
Me: I have a letter from the owner.
Customs guy: Can I see it and the registration. Turn off your car and pop the trunk.
(Someone else searched the trunk. He looked through the paperwork and letter from the car owner)
Customs guy: This letter says the car is lent to Rob Williams.
Me: He's my husband.
Customs guy: Do you have proof he's your husband?
Me: Uh...no. I can call him.

I left out all the other questions. Fortunately I had another letter from CCC Canada that proved Rob really is my husband. Don't worry, we're getting the letter from the car owner changed to add my name. It was a little stressful, but I'm not upset because I know he was just doing his job - terrorism and all. Apparently there is also a problem with BC Bud (marijuana) coming into the US from Canada here. When Rob went back the States a couple of weeks ago they asked him to get out of the car so they could do a complete search.

A Canadian asked us the other day what it was like living in the US with all the strict rules and searches. Huh? It's just like living in Canada, I thought. I didn't understand why he would ask that until I crossed the border. The officials at the entrance to the US are tough, ask a lot of questions, and have all the intimidating gear on. They don't even say good morning or have a good day. Getting into Canada, however, is a whole different story. The Canadian border officials are friendly and don't ask as many questions.

I won't go back to the States unless I have to while we're here. It's too much of a hassle. But I don't want the border officials to be less thorough just because it's not comfortable for me.

Saturday, October 16

The Price of a Dollar

Well, I heard the Canadian dollar is at an 11 year high. One U.S. dollar is .79 Canadian cents (last month it was at .73 cents). YAY - but not for me.

The media keeps saying it's a good time for "cross-border" shopping. I think I'll stay right here and shop, thank you very much. Still comes out slightly cheaper for me.

Duck and Chicken

Everything tastes like chicken, except for duck apparently. Which is odd because you'd think that of all animals duck would be the one to taste most like chicken.

I had the pan seared duck for dinner last night. It was good, and didn't taste like chicken. Tasted more like roast beef. I don't get it but then again, who cares, it was good.

Friday, October 15

Happy Birthday to ME!


Me
Originally uploaded by Patricia102696.
Today's my birthday. I'm 31 and I'm fine with everyone knowing my age. Being 30 was great, so I'm sure 31 will be just as good, if not better! Rob's taking me out to dinner in Fort Langley tonight.

Thanks to all for the emails, ecards and birthday blog comments!

Big Purple Starfish


purple starfish
Originally uploaded by Patricia102696.
This is photo we took of the big purple starfish in White Rock. There were about 5 of them close together. I cropped this one so you can see it better.

Wednesday, October 13

Must...Honk...Horn...

I'm a car horn-aholic. I admit it. I like to honk the horn.

Maybe it's the Puerto Rican in me or that I've lived in Florida for 5 years. Puerto Ricans are horn happy and in Orlando people use the horn for self defense. Or maybe it's that I grew up in the Washington DC area that's known for their aggresive drivers. Doesn't matter, they all like to honk the horn.

I haven't heard a car horn since being here. They even drive nice up here. Maybe this time will cure me of my car horn addiction.

Tuesday, October 12

My Health

I haven't written for a few days because I haven't been feeling well. So I thought I'd do a health update.

I've been really tired and drained since we got here about 3 weeks ago. So last week Rob and I decided I needed to rest and take care of myself. Since last Tuesday, I've been sleeping at least 12 hours a night and not doing much during the day because I don't have the energy. I try to go to the gym at least 2 times a week but I really should be going more. I also stretch for about 20 min in the morning and before going to bed, because my muscles ache a lot.

It's hard for me to not do anything. I like to go places and see and experience new things. And I tend to run myself into the ground without realizing it. So really, last week Rob decided I had to stop and rest. I agreed.

The stress of the hurricanes combined with moving up here has really worn me down. The transition has been really hard on me physically. Most people can't tell that I'm feeling bad because I hide it well. Who wants to be around someone who's always complaining? But I'm always tired. I don't like being tired. I've also noticed that if I'm busy all day then my body aches worse in the evening - kinda like a numb burning ache sensation, which is why I stretch. I'll take a hot bath with epsom salt when it gets bad. I also get mentally fatigued on those days. It's not fun.

I went to the gym yesterday and noticed I had more strength and endurance than the previous weeks. So that's a good sign! I think I'm finally starting to get enough rest. YAY!

Please pray with me that God would heal my body.

Psalm 25:4-5
Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

Friday, October 8

Star Trek...Finally!

Ahhh...finally get to watch one of my favorite shows - Star Trek: Enterprise. I found the chanel, and the time, and it's about to begin.

I wasn't able to watch it last year, but now, it's on Friday nights. If you don't know me well, it might come as a surprise that I love Star Trek. I love sci-fi.

Gotta go, it's on!

Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend

It's a long weekend because of Thanksgiving on Monday. Yep, Canadian Thanksgiving is always the second Monday of October. It feels a little strange to be having Thanksgiving so early but it makes sense since harvest time is earlier here. Of course Rob and I will celebrate both Canadian and US Thanksgivings. (We've had several people comment to us that Americans always celebrate both. Sure, why not!)

Canadians don't make a big deal out of Thanksgiving like we Americans do. That's what they've told us, and Rob and I have noticed it as well. They are not celebrating a specific event, instead it is "a day of general Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed" as proclaimed by Parliament. The stores don't sell a lot of Thanksgiving decorations and it generally isn't advertised much. But we do get the day off.

Wednesday, October 6

Dinner

We had Vietnamese for dinner tonight. Not sure what we ate. Some of it was good.

Don't think we'll go back.

Tuesday, October 5

Of Different Cultures

I heard two women speaking Spanish yesterday! Very exciting! One of them had just come back from Chile.

The cultural mix here is very different from Orlando where women speaking spanish is common. Actually, they speak Spanglish most of the time. It's a form of Spanish, unofficially, I guess. It goes something like this:

...yo fui a los movies con Norma the other night y ella my dijo que...

I haven't quite figured out the rules for changing languages, but in the U.S. it comes naturally to those who speak both languages. Then there is also Cyberspanglish.

Back to the reason I was so excited to hear Spanish. The cultural make up of the Vancouver area is very different from Florida. There is a huge Chinese population from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. There is also a huge population from India.

On the other hand I've only seen about ten black people and two Hispanics. Those women speaking Spanish were the first Latinos I've noticed. I've been told there is a Latin American population in downtown Vancouver, mostly from Columbia and El Salvador but we haven't spent much time downtown yet.

I figured there weren't many Hispanics in the area after I went to the grocery store. Instead of 2 aisles full of Latino foods (not just Mexican) all I found was a little taco section. So sad. It's a good thing I brought a few Latino seasonings with me: Adobo, a Puerto Rican seasoning and chimichurri, an Argentinian sauce. Never leave home without them!

Monday, October 4

White Rock

We went to White Rock yesterday after church. One of my co-workers, Claire, lives there and she kept telling me how great a place it is. So we went to check it out. It's about 30 minutes from Surrey.

It's a nice beach town with a long boardwalk, pier, and shops and places to eat along the boardwalk. It was a great sunny day to go. I didn't see the beach though. Apparently it was high tide because the water came right up to the rocks. And it was COLD! But then again, I'm a wimp and won't even go in the water in Florida until August. We saw several huge purple starfish on the rocks near the pier. I'd never seen starfish in the water before. We also saw the big white rock the town named after.

For lunch we had a super healthy serving of fish and chips at Moby Dick's! Claire said it was the best and it was! But I don't think I can handle another deep fried meal for awhile, even though the best foods are always deep fried. It was a nice relaxing afternoon in another beautiful place in British Columbia.

Saturday, October 2

Happy Birthday Anita!


Anita
Originally uploaded by Patricia102696.
Today is my sister Anita's birthday. She's 29 today. I know it's Oct 2 on the east coast already, but it's still Oct 1 here. I called her earlier today. Happy birthday Anita.

Friday, October 1

Trip to the Grocery Store

After staring at the shopping cart for what felt like 5 minutes I finally decided I needed to ask for help. So I found a bag boy to help me. The look on his face was something like this: “huh? what? you need help with, okay”. It turns out that the coin goes into the handle sideways, then the key gets pushed in, and after all that I can finally unlock it from the other cart! I know grocery stores do this in the U.S, but I'm not used to it.

I love this grocery store, Save On Foods. It's Canadian owned. I can buy everything I need in BULK! Well, maybe not everything, but just about.

Today I purchased in bulk:
  • chocolate chip cookie mix (just add water, not bad but I won't buy it again, they also had other cookie mixes)
  • candy corn (for Rob)
  • basil
  • bay leaves
  • croutons
Other bulk items I didn't purchase:
  • all kinds of seasonings
  • 10 different types of rice
  • 10 different types of soup mixes
  • all kinds of candy and nuts
  • pasta
I can't wait to buy more stuff in bulk!