Saturday, July 25, 2009

Canada likes it on top.

Hello sugarpants! Gosh - I've missed you girlies bunches!

Sorry this post is late in coming. It seems that whenever I go on vacation to "get away from it all" the "it all" is just waiting to pounce on me when I get back. Like this.

Buuuut I've managed to escape the monotony of work, chores, etc long enough to do a bit of blogging today. Got SO much to update y'all on..

So. First things first - Roadtrippin'.

It was a pretty fanfreakintabulous experience, let me tell you.

Well, actually...telling the WHOLE shebang would take more time and brainpower than I'd like, so we'll just touch upon the highlights, 'kay?


(Disclaimer: I took well over 200 pictures. I've done my best to whittle them down for y'all, but still...there is an avalanche of photography coming your way. You have been warned.)

But first, a brief summary:

So..Mum and I started off in NorCal where we live, made our merry way up through Oregon and Washington, kicked back a few days in Victoria, Canada and then moseyed back down Highway 101 towards Cali.

All in 9 days.


Alrighty. And now here goes my best effort to chronicle our escapades through photography..


Goodgraciousme. If you've never been to The Avenue of the Giants in Northern Cali, you are seriously missing out. These trees are freakin' ginormicous.

They're so big, in fact, that I created that special adjective JUST FOR THEM.

Sigh. And redwoods smell so deliciously pine-y, too.
I want to go back..

And another fun/relatively unknown way to get a good look at California's hidden beauty - the Skunk Train.

(Named not because it runs on skunk juice, but because it runs on diesel, which I guess some people think smells icky. I personally love the smell of diesel. Don't judge.)

Cuter than Thomas. That's for sure.

View from the front.


God, this state is beautiful. I seriously mean it. It felt like we were driving through a post card. PLUS they fill up your gas for you. Sweeeeet.


On the way up, we stopped by Crater Lake, which

Photos don't do it justice.
At all.

We also saw this fabulous sunset. Postcard-tastic.

Then, on our way back to Cali, we stumbled upon what was undoubtedly the highlight of the trip. It went something like this.

"...a walk-through safari? AGHMOMSTOPTHECAR!"


We miiight have worn down a half inch of tread with that little maneuver.
But honestly...the tire damage was so. worth. it.

Allow me to explain.

Yes, those are lion cubs.

Yes, I got to hold one.

Oh lordy. I thought I was going to have a cutegasm.
But there were little kiddies around so I managed to control myself.

Moving on.

Baby opossum!
I know. Some people think they're gross.
But I think they're just misunderstood.

Daddy lion.

Tiger being...tiger-y.

White tiger.


Exceptionally large guinea pigs Capybaras.


Baby leopard!
He was a feisty little guy. Didn't get a chance to hold him. =/

We also spent some time in Seaside on our way back. Seriously adorable little town.

Me looking cold.

And, of course, when we realized it was along our route, we HAD to stop here:

Fresh cheese and ice cream?
Uhm. Yes please.


When we made it to Washington, things reeeeally began to cool down.


But it was nice and toasty inside this building here.

I always thought the Space Needle looked like a UFO on stilts. that just me?

Later, we visited my dad's godmother at her home in Dupont, where I FINALLY got a chance to take a walk and stretch my legs.

And you know what that means...

Flower photog!
C'mon. You know you dig it too. ;P


We decided to ferry our car from Anacortes, Washinton into Sidney, BC. Fascinating experience.

(Hint: It's fun to pull out your GPS and watch it freak out when it realizes your car's immediate location is in a large body of water. Do it sometime.)

On the boat, they had all sorts of neat merchandise. Including this. Heehee.

Mum disapproved. Wah.

Once in Canada, we wound up utterly befuddled. 95 kilometers per hour? 14 degrees celcius? And let's not get into currency conversions. Holy mackerel.

Needless to say, we basically collapsed on our hotel room beds and watched Canadian TV for the rest of the night. (Which is, for the record, awesome. Lovin' the Tim Hortons commercials.)

But the next day we woke up bright and early and ready for adventure! The metric system could not daunt our determination!

Uh. Yeah. So we started with a tour of the Craigdarroch Castle, which was absolutely stunning. And I got to play a sooper old Steinway piano. =]


We fueled up on candy bars at the gift store, because chocolate and peanuts are pretty much the best form of nutrition on Earth.

Mouthgasm in a package.

Then we moved along to the Buchart Gardens.

I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves..

I assure you, there's about 120934603460936 more. But I'm practicing a little self control here. Just for you guys. =]

So after traipsing around the gardens for 2 hours, we were famished. Thankfully, we had reservations at the Fairmont Empress for high tea.

For those of you that don't know - high tea is basically an excuse to dress up and act prissy while you devour little sandwiches and pastries and lightly sip expensive teas.

And I loved it.

The ladies.

The food.

Mmkay. And that's the end of my photo spiel.

So, it may seem like I had little time to listen to ED's petty annoyances on this trip, but the truth is...I did worry quite a bit. There was a lot of heavy food and a lot of sitting in the car. I was SURE I had gained at least a few pounds.

So imagine my shock when I hopped on the scale at home and it told me the same thing it did last time.

I maintained.

But you know what? That's okay.

I went back to my nutritionist this week, and we re-evaluated my frame size. She had previously put down "medium", which would mean I'd need to be at least 117 pounds to be at a healthy weight. But we re-did the test and I'm actually "small", so I could be anywhere from 105-117 and be fine.

And since I'm right smack in the middle of that range, I don't need to gain anymore.


The only drawback of this is that I need to be extra-careful with my bones and calcium intake, now. She says it's very likely I still have bone-thinning (osteopenia) from the abuse I put my body through, and that coupled with the fact that I already have a smaller frame puts me at high risk for fractures.


But hey - I'm all for more dairy. Yummm. Bring on the calcium!

Hmm. What other news am I forgetting..?


Got my nose pierced!

Yeah, a bit of a spur-of-the-moment decision. I actually wanted to get a tattoo done this summer (I've designed it already - will show in a later post), but Mum and I talked about it and we decided I need to take more time to think about it before I get it done. I was a little bummed out, though, so we started talking less permanent/reversible options...and voila!

It stung a bit, but I'm overall happy about how it turned out. =]

Wow. Sorry, I know this was a long post. I certainly don't blame you if you skimmed it. Next one will be less all-over-the-place. I promise.

So it's bedtime for me, now. But lastly - is anyone willing to do a mail exchange? I've given up finding more PB&Co flavors here, and don't really want to order a bajillion jars online. So if anyone is willing to buy a jar or two (I'm especially interested in White Chocolate Wonderful - yum!) and do an exchange for some Larabars, let me know!

Luff you girls! I'll catch up on commenting in the morning. <3

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Raising the Bar

Tadaaaa! The bar post is here, as promised! And not a moment too soon, since I'm leaving in a few days for (what my brother calls) America's hat.

Or, y'know...Canada.

Hur hur.

Kidding, y'all. I love Canadians! And I can't wait to FINALLY get out of the U.S. for once. It'll be a great change and I'll be sure to document the whole roadtrip experience for ya when I return. ;]

Okay. Enough silliness. Let's get down to business.





Sorry. Couldn't resist.
That song is irresistible. =P

Mhmk. Let's do this.
*cracks knuckles*

Without further ado, I present review numero uno: Gnu Foods Chocolate Brownie Bar.

Uhm, chocolate?
So far so good.

Huh. Looks strangely like poo in a wrapper...
But looks aren't everything!

The spiel: Since I've been on something of a fiber kick recently, I figured I'd give these bars a shot. At only 140 cals each, they're a decent size and clock in at a whopping 12g of fiber. That's nearly half your daily recommended amount.

: Yesyesyes! I loved the chocolatey-ness of this bar. It's like a brownie Zbar, but more intense. And since I'm an intense girl, I give it 4/5 cupcakes. =P
Can't wait to get my hands on the other flavors!

Next up...Cliff Mojo Peanut Butter Pretzel Bar.

Tip: add some berry lovin' and you've got yerself a pretty fab snack.

The spiel: Peanut butter filled pretzels were pretty much my favorite childhood snacky, so when I saw this bar at Safeway, I snagged it with glee. It's got the same-ish nutrition as a normal Cliff bar - 200 cals, good amount of protein, etc.

Tasty?: Oh. Lordy. *swoon*
It's everything I expected...and more. Perfect sweet+salty heaven. 5/5 cupcakes, hands down.

Just wish it wasn't so dern expensive! *grumble grumble*

Okydokes. On to #3!
Coconut Cream Pie Larabar.

The spiel: Since this Larabar flavor has practically generated its own religion in here in blogland, I was stoked to find one in my free Larabar sampler I got awhile back. Great nutrition, as per usual for Larabars - 200 cals, good amount of fiber, and only 5 ingredients.

Tasty?: Sigh. I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but this bar disappointed. I really thought I'd fall in love it after hearing so many positive reviews, but it had this strange, almost chemical-y aftertaste to it that ruined the initial lovely coconut flavor. 1/5 cupcakes.

...sorry, Larabar! I never did think I'd meet a bar from you I didn't like. =/

Ah well. Moving on to this bad boy: Odwalla Mocha-walla Bar.


The spiel: Coffee in bar form? I was skeptical, but decided that, since Odwalla can practically do no wrong, it'd be okay to try. Nutrition-wise, it's 210 cals and mostly carbs, but I'm a carboholic anyhow so...what gives?

Tasty?: Undoubtedly love at first bite. I don't drink much coffee, but I could totally dig this bar. Odwalla, you have shown me the light - that coffee+chocolate = mouthgasm.
5/5 cupcakes. I'm a convert. =]

Annnd bringing up the rear we have: Fiber One Bars.

Oats and choccie bar keepin' my Chobbywob (Kiki!) and apricot company.

Stripped-down chocolatey goodness.

Oats and caramel bar + grapeygrapes.
Self explanatory, really.

I like to call this a "nom shot".
(Def: photo taken whilst nomming. =D)

Best for last, of course.
Microed O&C bar+'nilla ice cream+apricots.

Nom shot!

The spiel: Okay, I know the idea of fiber makes a lot of people cringe, but really - it will make your intestines a happy camper. Having heard good things about these suckers, I grabbed a few boxes at Safeway. Decent nutrition - 140 cals and 35% your daily fiber in each bar. Not bad.

Tasty?: Yum. Like the infamous Quaker Chewy bars, but bigger and a whole lot better for you! I couldn't even tell they were fiber-packed. May be too sweet for some, but my infamous high tolerance for sugar could handle it.
4.5/5 cupcakes - will defo be a future staple snack.

Whelp, that's all I got for now. Off to work in a few, and then packing after.

I'll miss you chicas! Hope y'all have a fantabulous next couple weeks and a sooper happy 4th of July!