Monday, August 18, 2008

Maple Monday

You know what they say - "When in Canada eat maple stuff." So I did. Amy choose to take a more discerning path as we explored charming Charlottetown. By the way, in Canada exploring means shopping. At least it does in our Canada-American dictionary.

So, first stop - Tim Horton's, which wasn't hard to find since there is one on every corner. My choice - the Maple Glazed. It was the best doughnut I have ever had. Seriously. Amy was quite fond of her cinnamon bun. We're hopeful Tim will invite us by again tomorrow.

The rest of the day was spent debating over which Anne of Green Gables souvenirs will couldn't leave the Island without, as well as visiting the popular Cows Ice Cream shop (Moople Walnut & Wowie Cowie). It was udderly delicious.

We also had a chance to enjoy the harbour walk around Charlottetown, including spotting a beautiful working lighthouse near our hotel. You can see the lighthouse right next to our hotel below.

Just kidding. That wasn't really our hotel. Even though we've enjoyed our stay - the view of our actual hotel room left a little to be desired.

Finally, after dinner (scallops with a maple-citrus sauce, naturally) we ended the evening with a visit to the Anne of Green Gables Musical. We met some kindred spirits and the performance was wonderful. I'll admit it, a few tears might have been shed in our section. Those of you familiar with our Anne know what events in the first book might have brought a tear to our eyes.

We hope you have enjoyed our blog posts as much as we have enjoyed our trip! See you soon! Here's one of our favorite shots from the trip - and look for more pictures on my Flickr site after we return. Amy and I are available for guided tours of the Island at any time.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Anne Sites and Singing Sands

Day One of "Amy and Ryann's Anne Tour 2008" saw the fearless duo traversing the bucolic countryside in search of all things Anne. Here is a brief recap of the day's events:

Green Gables Heritage Site / Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Cavendish National Historic Site
Here we walked through a restored version of the home that inspired Green Gables. At the nearby historic site, we walked through the author's old homestead and spoke with one of her relatives. Favorite Highlight: Spooky golfers hiding in the Haunted Wood.

Anne of Green Gables Museum
This was the site of L. M. Montgomery's wedding and a house that she always enjoyed visiting. The Lake of Shining Waters is also located here. We even saw the Enchanted Bookcase that the author herself imagined seeing a friend in the reflection - just like Anne!

Favorite Highlight: Seeing Matthew Cuthbert in a striped shirt from JCPenny.

Singing Sands
We stopped at this beautiful, casual beach near the northern tip of the island to experiencing the wonder of a beach that sings! Don't believe us? Turn up your volume and watch this video (listen for the "zipper" sound).

Saturday, August 16, 2008

We Have Arrived


We have arrived in Anne's land - successfully navigating through a our flight to Halifax (where we assisted our teenage flight attendent with the safety demonstration), a damp trip through Nova Scotia, and the long Confederation Bridge to get to beautiful Prince Edward Island. Now that we are fed we can plan all of our exciting Anne of Green Gables activities for tomorrow.

But, first, we need to figure out the thermostat. It's cold in here! Can anyone help?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Doughnut Personality

You Are a Glazed Donut

Okay, you know that you're plain - and you're cool with that.

You prefer not to let anything distract from your sweetness.

Your appeal is understated yet universal. Everyone dig you.

And in a pinch, you'll probably get eaten.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Morning News

In this busy world - it's hard to stay in the know about city, state, and world events. I, being both techie and old-school, still depend on television news and newspapers to keep me informed. Lately, I've become a CBS 2 Chicago watcher both morning and night. I like both the local and national anchors and this morning I was thinking that job shadowing Dave Price would be very interesting since it seems like he is a different place everyday. Another great show to check out - CBS Sunday Morning. I love the quirky, thought provoking reports.

Here's the quiz I took today to see which of the local anchors I would be most like:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Top Ten Books

What would be on my Top Ten Books list? A hefty question, that. For me, a favorite book is the result of the work itself combined with the time and place it came into my life. Not necessarily literary merit, but a measure of how the work resonated with me. A glance over the bookshelves (and even d├ęcor) in my house and on my Good Reads page illustrate the books I love the most (in no specific order):

1. Anne of Green Gables series by L. M. Montgomery.
Who doesn't love fiesty, unlucky Anne and her beau-to-be Gilbert? Amy and I are traveling to Anne's land next month. First on my to-do list: take a carriage ride with Matthew Cuthbert (creepy, yes but I wouldn’t miss it).

2. Suzanne Brockmann's Navy Seal series (Troubleshooters, Inc. and Tall, Dark, and Dangerous) Romance and adventure mixed with some historical fiction make up these steamy military novels. Hubba hubba.

3. Nora Roberts books. Yes, Nora Roberts. Don't judge me – just admire my honesty. Specifically, I love these series: The Gallagher's of Ardmore (Irish Trilogy), Born In... (Irish Trilogy), and The Chesapeake Bay Saga. Love set on the shores of Ireland or New England - sigh.

4. The Lord of the Rings series. One of my best ever memories - Amy and I getting tickets to the Lord of the Rings movie marathon when the third book was released! Frodo lives!

5. Walk Two Moons/Bloomability by Sharon Creech. Huzzah, huzzah. Lyrical language and touching stories are the draw for me in both of these wonderful novels. The audiobooks are terrific, as well.

6. Truman by David McCullough. Ok, so I haven't actually finished it yet - probably because the a few hundred pages literally fell out of the book. For an inside look at a president as well as the historical perspective of the day - there is no one than McCullough.

7. The Ender series by Orson Scott Card. I read Ender's Game on Christmas Day while driving from Denver (away from the hospital) to Omaha. The complex and compelling science fiction saga of young, genius Ender being taken to the military school in the sky was just the thing to distract me during the 9 hour trip. I also really enjoyed Ender’s Shadow. Go Bean!

8. The Chronicles of Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander. The perfect fantasy series complete with a courageous and naive assistant pig keeper/hero, a clever princess, a wandering bard who just happens to be a king, and a smelly creature always looking for more crunchings and munchings.

9. Tamora Pierce's Tortall Universe Books (Song of the Lioness, The Immortals, Protector of the Small, Daughter of the Lioness) I've read and listened to these series more times than I can count. I have several favorite scenes - Alanna standing up the bullies, Kel's friends following her when she goes AWOL to save the people she vowed to protect, and more!

10. Harry Potter / His Dark Materials. Of course.

Honorable Mentions: The Thief series by Turner, The Cassen Family books by McKay, the Chicago Stars series by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and I suspect the Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins will soon rate up there as well.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Palatine Area Community Marching Band

Stacy and I broke up the monotony of our lives as a computer guru and librarian by joining the newly formed Palatine Area Community Marching Band.

Started by two local teachers, it was billed as park district class and ended up being fun, challenging and inspirational. We practiced twice a week throughout June and marched in the Palatine 4th of July parade (on July 5th thankfully since we were already committed to a parade on the 4th). Stacy even volunteered to play the bass drum since too many trombones and not enough drummers were in attendance.

We had a lot of fun - more than I anticipated I would. I realized that I miss playing in a group just as much as I miss performing. We received lots of positive feedback along the parade route as we marched and also as Stacy and I walked back to our car after visiting the food tent. Most of all, I was touched when I realized how many people had been watching for us - friends that knew we would be marching and made an effort to keep an eye out and even take pictures for us. As transplants to this area - that meant a lot.

Watch for us (or join us) next year!

Missed the parade? Check out the Pictures (some ours and some courtesy of Amy and Kevin) and Video (via YouTube and taken by knapp216) and more video (both songs)!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Best Show You Are Not Watching

In this summer of reality show spin-offs, prime time game shows, and the return of mundane re-runs you should treat yourself to the best show that no one (I know) is watching. My Boys, on TBS, is a comedy starring P.J., a female sportswriter, and her group of mostly male friends. Complete with quirky and endearing characters, witty dialogue and the Windy City setting - this show is definitely TIVO worthy.

A quick visit to the website revealed some cool blogs, too. Finally - I needed a new obsession this summer and housecleaning was just not doing it for me.
(Other shows with re-runs worth watching: How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory. Seriously funny.