Koh Lanta – Rescue Dogs and Psychedelic Shakes

So it’s been a while.  Last I signed off, We had just checked in to our room in Koh Lanta. I was excited for this island, as we had a big week coming up with the Full Moon party, and where we were was well known for being a very laid back area. Great for relaxing, and slowing the pace down.

After we checked in to our room, I settled down to type up my last blog, whilst Josh went in search of food and drink. I’m pretty open to all types of food and when asked what I wanted I just said, “get me 300 baht worth of whatever.” I carried on typing, and moments later I got a message: “You’re sure three hundred?” Yep. I was hungry, and I could eat two entrees no problem. Portions are not like home, and if you’re really famished, you can find yourself hungry again pretty quick.

Josh returned home with more food than we had eaten in days. He found this AMAZING little place on the side of the road, with a wonderful woman who was super friendly cooking, and serving. We wound up eating there 5 separate times. We feasted until we could no longer move, and slept like babies.

The next morning, we did one of my my chosen activities. We headed to the road, waved down a tuktuk and made out way to the Lanta Animal Welfare Society. This amazing non-profit is “one of a kind” on this island. I really wanted to check it out, as a co-worker of mine does similar work. They sterilize wild cats and dogs, and if they cannot release, they rehome them to people on the island, or to people over seas. it was amazing to walk around and see the work that the volunteers do. We learned that in the last 11 years, they have reduced the wild dog population of the island buy over 90%. We lucked out, in a way that we got to meet 8 tiny little puppies that had just appeared weeks before, and got to play with some of the other dogs, waiting for flights home.

After and afternoon in the sun, we relaxed in the AC at home, and waited for night to fall so that we could enjoy the beach air without ruining my precious pale skin. Koh Lanta is quite well known for being the only place in Thailand that… well.. is a little more relaxed with the law. Many beach bars openly sell spliffs, weed, and mushroom shakes, while paying off police to look the other way as tourists and locals alike indulge in some of the finer things in life. We sat next to a large bachelor party and enjoyed watching them order large amounts of shakes, anticipating a wild and entertaining evening. These things did not come cheap and between the 10 of them must have spent close to 250 to 300 dollars Canadian rounds of psychedelic Slurpees. After sitting on the beach watching the tide come in with the rising moon, I learned how easy it is  for locals to rip tourists off. With a party of unsatisfied, sober men sitting beside us, we retired for the night, relaxed, enjoying the good vibes, and better conversation with a buddy I haven’t gotten to speak with nearly enough with this past year. With one more day on the island, and nothing planned other than to sleep in, the morning was looking good.

While Josh slept in, I was up early, refreshed and ready to get out to see Lanta, Our bus the next day left at 7:30 AM so I wanted to make the most of it. I hit our local eatery for breakfast and coffee and watched as the town started to wake up.  I hadn’t heard from my roommate, so I let him sleep, while I walked next door and got a massage. 90 minutes later, and still text-free I opted for a walk on the beach, picking up shells, followed with lunch, at the usual spot. The woman asked about Josh and let out a big belly laugh when I explained that he was being Sleeping Beauty. I had her whip up a very spicy Papaya Salad (his fav) to bring home, and when to wake him up.

After doing so, we opted to find a tuktuk driver to take us across island to Old Town, which I can only describe to people back home as being the Steveston of the Island, with little shops with pseudo-homemade items and niche little restaurants, it was kinda cute, but something you only need to do for a little bit.

Being that we haggled to lady driver down to a mere 16 CAD dollars, to drive us the 70KM round trip on a side car, we sorta just allowed her to do her own thing on the way, which ended up being the most fun and interesting part of the stay. She stopped in at her home to hang up her laundry and feed her kids, before taking us round island. On the way back, she offered to take us to a “local market,” which was really just a veiled excuse so she could buy groceries. After exploring the market, looking aIMG_8579t the fresh curries, fish, and produce, we made our way home, stopping once to pick flowers off a tree with her, which she explained, “goes in my curry!”

We got home early and packed and got ready for an early morning, so that we could maximize the amount of time that we could sleep. Given our experience with transportation around here, we couldn’t really bank on getting any rest on our big commute to the other side of Thailand to meet up with friends for the Full Moon Party.

Bright and early, we loaded in to an 8 person van and made our way back to a familiar bus stop, a couple hours drive from town… It seems that this little hub is the point for getting anywhere south of Bangkok, as we waited for two hours for a large sleeper bus to carry us to the ferry terminal, some 4-5 hours away.

Lucky for us, I suppose, that there was more than one bus to take. Our initial bus (bus number 2) was scheduled to leave at 12:30. Having only stocked up on espresso drinks, Pringles and water, I trekked out to find us hot food to hold us over. When I returned to the depot at 12:05, Josh gave  me the bad news that the bus hd come early and couldn’t wait for us…. odd. Luckily he was able to switch with a couple taking the third bus to the same location. We ended up seeing them on the same ferry as us, so why the bus couldn’t wait until the original departure time is beyond me.

We loaded on to  a jet boat and made our final leg of the journey to Koh Phangan, getting ti watch an amazing sunset as well chatted on the roof of the boat.

 

Coming up next post: Parties, Paint, Buckets and more. You won’t want to miss it (Spoiler alert: I got mugged.)

 

IMG_8603

Advertisements

Vehicular manslaughter and losing contact.

Koh Phi Phi is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been in my life. Given that I haven’t been many places, and that’s not the biggest up-sell; I assure you it will remain high on my list for a very, very long time. We left off last post on my birthday. We had just moved in to our bungalow/Hut like room. Bonus points: PRIVATE bathroom. That’s right. For the first time since we started the trip, we had our own bathroom to wreck, without having anyone else stink it up.

After a 3 hour nap/blog session, Josh and I had worked up quite an appetite, and quite a thirst for some birthday drinks. We changed in to clean clothes and made our way in to the town to hunt down a solid place to eat. I wanted somewhere beach front, since the beach was white, and we were surrounded by huge rock formations. The whole place reminded me of a tropical White Rock strip. We sat down at a place, and got settled in. Menus were brought and we started to browse. Josh has warned me already that since it was a popular resort Island, that prices would be a little more expensive than anywhere else. As I browsed through; nothing jumped out as appealing. I hummed and hawed and josh looked the restaurant up on tripadvisor to see if there was any reviews recommending a dish. Instead, we saw review after review of negativity. At Josh’s instruction we simply stood up and walked right out. With Josh the only one  with cellular data, he took the initiative of finding something worthy of a birthday feast. We found ourselves in a whole in the wall that I can only describe as a cafeteria. The wall was used to write names/doodles and other various forms of graffiti. What stuck out most was the giant “THIS WALL IS BETTER THAN TRIPADVISOR.” The place hands down had amazing food. We went back the next day even, just because we knew how great it was. After the meal, we needed to find drinks. We needed to make my birthday more than just a day of commuting. We located a bar, appropriately called “Carlito’s” offering happy hour drinks until 9 and promise of a fire show at 10:00.

Carlito’s proved worthy of a birthday celebration. We took our front row seats on the beach and ordered none else than my favorite: Gin and Tonic. No Leo or Chang beer tonight. The first drink went down all to fast and we were both quickly rubbernecking for our server, who seemed to think that two men couldn’t possibly finish a single hi-ball in less than 15 minutes in 35 degree weather. We weren’t annoyed. Carlito’s had obviously prepared for people like us, and included a set of Connect Four on the the table. Offering up a best 2 out of 3, I accepted Josh’s challenge. Josh is a great team mate, but as an opponent, he intimidates me. He’s fiercely competitive, and he’s good at pretty much anything he does. A born natural. That being said I took him to school on Connect 4. at around 7-3 the waitress came back and we attempted to order six drinks at once. The language barrier of explaining that “No we do not want 2 glasses with three drinks in them, and no we do not want 6 shots in one drink and no we do not want 3 doubles,” we ended up settling for getting 1 can of tonic, 6 shots of gin in shooters, and two glasses of ice. I wish I had more time to talk about this interaction but just thinking about it infuriates me to no end.

Long story short the happy hour ended and the fire show kicked off, If you’re reading this, you’ve likely already seen videos on snapchat or other social media outlets. We had, in short time, finished our shooters and chase, and needed something to tide us over for the show. Naturally, I ordered us two Traditional Thai beverages: A bucket filled with alcohol, fruit juice, and red bull, aptly called a “Clitoris.” Josh liked his drink. Josh liked it so much that he went on stage. I filmed Josh nearly catch on fire for the sake of an awesome picture. I love this kid.

Soon after, the night came to and end, and we needed to go home. Somewhere along the way, Josh and his cell became separated. Bad news, since My phone only connects to wifi, and while abundant, is not entirely convenient. After scouring the beach and bar, we returned with one less cell  on our person, and retired to the bed to prepare for a day of regret and heat.

I woke up a year older, and felt great. No hang over for me! Josh wasn’t feeling 100% so I suggested he take his time getting up and I head to the hospital and get my wounds checked out and cleaned up, as per instruction of the last hospital. I walked in and told them I felt fine, but that I was concerned about the skin turning this strange whitish colour on my toe. As a self-diagnosed hypochondriac, I was prepared for the worse. After a quick inspection from the nurse checking people in, she gave me a funny look, got a damp cloth and wipe it of. “It just sand, it OK!” I just stared at the floor in shame. The good news is that all my scrapes seem to be healing extremely fast. I asked if I could go in the water and she said it should be fine, so long as I clean them when I get out. I walked down to the pharmacy and picked up a nice big bottle of antiseptic and carried on with the afternoon.

The great part about Koh Phi Phi is that it’s a very chill town. No one really cares what anyone else is doing, and there’s enough places to eat, drink, relax, boat… or do what ever with out really getting in anyone’s way. After a bite at the diner place, I picked up some post cards and we meandered through the village. Neither of us felt like doing much else, as my wallet was lightened 48 hours prior from the motorbike, and now josh faced purchasing a new phone. We picked up some snacks and chilled on the beach and watched the sun go down, chatting and sifting the sand for shells. We retired early as I really wanted to go to the Lookout on the island, a 4 kilometer walk away from where we were staying. We jumped in to bed before ten and took the time to chat with friends back home who were just getting their morning started.IMG_8496

My alarm went of bright and early at 7:30 and I excitedly jumped up and through on clothes to hike in. Josh was not feeling it. I asked if he wanted to sleep in and I bring back breakfast: an offer he couldn’t refuse. I headed out solo on my journey, and made my way to the Koh Phi Phi look out solo.

This was probably the best morning of the trip so far, for so many reasons. I remembered to bring headphones with me this time and I threw my iPod on shuffle. Ever have one of those days where you never once have to skip a song, and it just puts you in the best of moods?  That was my walk up. I made it to the top in a little under an hour: not bad for it already being 32 degrees with no wind or clouds. While i looked like I had just stepped out of the shower, I didn’t care, and I soaked in the amazing view. Worth every step.

DSC_3388

I hustled back down since I knew we were on a schedule and as josh explained: Shuttles will wait for you, boats will not, so time to kick it. I made it back in to town and decided to treat us to breakfast. There’s a place right off the pier called Mango Garden that is the highest rated place to eat on the island. I picked up 2 breakfasts and ran back to the room to get ready to go. After showering and packing, and a quick bite I wasn’t feeling so hot. Actually that’s not true. I was feeling really really hot. And I was grumpy/anxious. I was worried that I might have gotten heat stroke, and this was terrible timing for that. We took all our stuff down to the pier on loaded on to a school bus like boat with bench seating and waited for the boat to take us to our next destination: The island of Koh Lanta. I was looking forward to this place as it’s a little bit more laid back, and relaxed, with less tourists.

The boat right was smooth sailing, uneventful and short; only one hour long. I spent it scrolling through photos and thinking about people I missed back home. While I am having the time of my life, there really is no place like home and I really cannot wait to be back. But just not quite yet: I have more adventures to do! We offloaded and were collected by the resort/hostels pick up service. This is where, according to me, I almost died a third time. Josh insisted that “This is just how Thais drive, we’re totally fine, just don’t look at the road.” My knuckles were so white that you could practically see the shadow od my skeleton glowing through, as the driver straddled the middle line, passing tuktuks, people stacked 4 deep on mopeds, and trucks loaded with children in the truck beds, at 100 KM/h. Shockingly we made it there with no reported casualties.

The place we reserved was interesting. Wait let’s back that up. The place that the booking guy at the hostel we stayed at in Bangkok booked us in to was interesting. We has specifically requested two beds, and air conditioning in each of our stops. So far, so good. This place had none of that. I offered to pay the difference as, me being rather large AND in charge, was sweltering. The woman pulled out a calculator and turned it around displaying 500. Not bad. 500 baht each, and since it’s my request, I don’t mind covering Josh’s portion too, due to my princess syndrome. We agreed and were excited to finally get some cool air on our skin. She then proclaimed “OK 3,000 Baht total for two!” OK that’s a little different. She wanted 1,000 total per night, just so we could have AC in our room. That’s over 150 dollars CAD and considering how cheap we’re travelling: that’s just not in our cards. We re-negged and took the original “fan room” that she offered us. We walked in and our jaws dropped. The room itself was fine, per se. It had two huge beds with nice sheets, a massive bathroom, and a vanity and a TV. What it didn’t have was wall plugs. Anywhere. Not one. It also didn’t have WiFi, which was advertised, and requested when we booked. Get this: there wasn’t even an outlet for the TV. It was just this massive CRT screen sitting in front of use like an Urn… or some other sort of hideous piece of useless art. Josh and I were having none of that. We couldn’t and wouldn’t stay here. We went back and asked for a refund, and that we needed to go somewhere with the amenities we paid for. She refused and said we needed to go through the booking company. Josh stormed off and I waddled after him, with my massive bag and sweaty head. We walked a total of maybe… 50 meters to the first hostel we could find. We asked what was available, and we were showing a garden room that was twice as big as my last apartment. It had wifi, CABLE TV, a fridge, massive beds, and a huge bathroom. I was scared to find out how much…. 2,400 Baht for three nights. 600 cheaper and it came with everything we wanted and more. Conveniently right next door as we still needed to connect to our next shuttle in three days at 7:00 AM. Josh went on a food run and we pigged out while relaxing in the cool air. Needless to say, some times things just work out fine.

Can’t wait to check out the island, and maybe get in the water for the first time this trip!

 

Oh and one more day to the list since I got a hike in ;

Missing you all at home.

59/100

IMG_8465

I almost died twice in 24 hours – Sorry Mom.

So Krabi didn’t really go as planned. The last place I left off, we had made our way to Ao Nang beach to take in the sunset, explore, and find some seafood to eat. All of this went pretty according to plan. Ao Nang is basically like Playa Del Carmen. Tons of bars, over priced beach resorts, and expensive food. We made the most of it and walked along the beach and back, and decided that we had better get seated ASAP to enjoy the sunset.

After a 15 minute search, we settled on a little place overlooking the ocean that has something of a Hamptons feel to it. Dinner was excellent: A tom yum seafood soup and a seafood glass noodle salad. I ordered both meals off the “spicy Thai” section of the menu, but both lacked any sort of heat whatsoever. I even asked them to make it “Thai people spicy.” No such luck. I gotta figure out a better plan to get some heat here.

After finishing our meals and settling up, the two of us meandered through the local stores all setting up for the Thai New Year, Songkran, the next day. As we walked, we discussed the game plan for the next two nights. I had only picked out one thing on the trip that I wanted to do: climb to the top of the Tiger Cave Temple, about 25 min North of Ao Nang. I suggested, based of price, that we rent motorbikes, considering they were only 8 dollars a day each. We picked them up and drove them around for a couple hours, until it was late. We scooted back to the hotel, as I had warned Josh: it was a steep vertical climb, and It’d be wise to get it done in the morning.

Morning came and we were up and out of the house the earliest all week. We hopped on our bikes and made our way back to our local (hey, 2 days in row counts, ok?) haunt and ordered from rice and curry for the trip. It was the best meal I’d had the entire trip. I told Josh then we needed to go back on our last day, before the bus came.

We settled up our tab and hopped on our respective bikes and headed out. I had never driven or been on anything with two wheels before other than one time when I was 12 and my Aunt Gina’s Husband took me on a motorcycle ride from Airdrie to Calgary, and back. Surprisingly, these things were simple to drive. Driving through these massive rock formations, with trees, and vines drooping down from the sky was breathtaking. I looked over to Josh at a red light and said “This is the most amazing day of my life and it’s only 10:00.” I never wanted this day to end.

15 minutes later it did. As I was navigating around a corner my front tire must have hit something on the road and the bike slammed down on the side and we started to slide. I don’t know how I managed, I assume by instinct: I crossed my ankles and arms over my chest and tucked my head in. I allowed my body to go limp, which threw me in to a roll, as opposed to sliding down the road. The bike, my back pack and my sandals rolled in to a small ravine, and I, in a daze sat up on the side of the road.

As luck would have it, I crashed right beside a family getting ready for Songkran, and hey rushed over. They, along with Josh led me to their home and sat me down to wash me up and make sure I was OK. One of them called EMS, who was on scene in 5 minutes. They asked if I wanted to go to the hospital. I hummed and hawed… I was okay. Was I? Is it just adrenaline?  Wait I have travel insurance. Fuck it, “Lets go.”

The hospital was nothing like I expected. It was immaculate. Spotless, brand new, and very technically advanced. I refused the wheelchair and walked in to ER where I had not one, but two doctors standing and waiting for me, along with a team of nurses. There was no wait. They started working on before I filled out any paperwork. Josh showed up and I gave him my blue cross info while i had my bandages applied. Less than 30 minutes later I was being ushered out, cleaned up and better off than before. I was led to the cashier, and I looked over to ask if I needed to pay now or let Blue Cross pay for it. Josh informed me that Blue Cross would prefer me to pay and then have it reimbursed, as it cuts through a lot of red tape. Well shit. I cant afford to pay medical bills. This is how people go bankrupt. They get out a calculator and they start adding up the cost of the visit: ER, Gauze, Bandages, Supplies, Antibiotics, T3’s, and a couple other meds. 98 dollars CAD. I eagerly paid cash and then… “Hey my arm is kinda sore… wanna score me a ‘just in case’ X-ray?” I paid the extra 20 dollars and was in an out in 10 minutes with the piece of mind knowing that my wrist wasn’t cracked.

The only way back to my bike was to ride on the back of Josh’s. Not fun. It’s a 115 CC bike and our combined weight is 455 lbs. Needless to say the bike struggled.We arrived to find my bike in working condition, minus a mirror, and some superficial damage. Could be worse.

Wait… It was worse. The family had left, and they had locked the bike inside their gate. What to do… We had no idea. Josh scooted off to get water and food while I sweltered under the shade of the lone shrub on the side of the road. No one came for hours. By this time i was about to have  mental break down. I asked Josh if he would take me to the Temple. This was the only opportunity to do this, and I didn’t want to come home regretting not even trying.

After a few wrong turns, we finally made it to the base out the mountain. Josh took one look and proclaimed “Have fun buddy, I’ll be here for you.” And I started to make my ascent. I picked up a huge 1.5 liter bottle of water. The vertical is nearly 300 meters straight up, with 1237 steps, some as high as 2.5 feet. I made it to 250 steps before I needed to stop. I had a huge swig of water and looked around. There was monkeys EVERYWHERE. I was delirious, yet excited, because I was doing something on my bucket list. I quickly reached in to my bag to get my camera out. Since one of my hands was throbbing in pain, I had to place my water bottle down to take off the lens cap.  And just like that, even though DOZENS of friends had warned me: A fucking monkey stole my water. I’ve included pictures of the monkey I wanted to shoot, as well as the one that stole my water. Sigh.

Being the idiot that I was, I kept going. I was not going to give up. I made it another 200 steps, before I asked a man coming down if there was water at the top. He confirmed, looked at my bandaged covering my arms, legs and feet, and asked if I was OK. I told him about the accident, and then the monkey theft. Wide eyed, he handed me his water bottle and told me he no longer needed it and that I would. I thanked him profusely and carried on my journey upwards.

Along the way I amassed what I can only describe as a following of disciples. A half dozen people would stop with me at each landing, hydrate and make sure I was OK. Pushing forward, an hour total later, I reached the top. It was the  most exhilarating 15 minutes of my life. I drank well over 3 liters of water and laid down in front of a giant golden Buddha who just looked down at me, as if saying “See, I told you you could do it.” I has someone take my picture for me, and I made my way back to josh. By the time I made it down, I was in tears. This was my Everest today. I now understand why my dad wants to hike Kilimanjaro so bad. And I know, this summer, he’s going to.

DSC_3310

Me at the peak, bandages and all

We recovered my bike, and made our way back to the beach. After assessing the damage, we paid off the rental company and started home. I was SO hungry and for one thing only, when I am sad: Nuggets. Yes. I am 12,500 KM from home, and I opted to get McDonalds. We went home and I passed out.

 

We awoke this morning and packed up.  A big travel day for us. After a final amazing meal at our local spot, we hopped our shuttle to the other side of the province, and hopped on a Jet Boat to Koh Phi Phi, an Island 47 Km out in the sea. The trip was beautiful and I enjoyed the rest. We’ve now gotten comfortable in our hut and I think it’s time to step out and take in the sights, and find somewhere to eat for my birthday. I said I wasn’t gonna updated my 100 active days, but considering I climbed a fucking mountain 2 hours after a motorbike accident: I’m giving my self two.

58/100

 

Much love

Hopping Time Zones, Bangkok, and Bus Nightmares.

Well here’s where this blog is going to take a little bit of a different turn! This is my one big adventure. While nothing that I am doing for the next twenty days I going to count towards fitness, I’m going to fill it as full as possible with as many life experiences as possible.

My trip started out, not at the airport, but at work. Since I was trying to maximize the amount of time that I got on the trip, versus the amount of time I had to take off work, I opted for a red eye flight leaving at 2:00 AM Friday. Since my Dad works nights, and my Mom days, the three of us woke up early and drove in to Vancouver together for breakfast and to drop me off, so I could Skytrain to YVR in order to avoid having to get dropped off after work, or be stuck with a car downtown. After breakfast at 33 Acres Brewery (they serve coffee too, boss, I swear). I headed in to work for my last shift in a few weeks. Fearing the worst and hoping for the best, I got lucky with a very relaxed day. Not too busy, and nothing over the top stressful. They day flew by, which was good because I was itching to see my best friend after all these months.

At 8:00 on the dot my computer was off, my desk cleaned off and my backpack on. I was off. A friend met up with me to have a last meal before my flight since I had a few hours to kill before I had to check in at 11:00. I wanted something I knew I couldn’t get in Asia. So naturally I chose sushi. We walked up to Sushi Bang: my old lunch spot on Cambie and Broadway and I got my regular Spicy Sushi Special. It was delicious as always, though half way through I got this feeling eating sushi prior to a flight wasn’t the best of ideas. Oh well. Too late, and they’ve never steered me wrong. We followed up dinner with Lattes and a slow walk back to the Skytrain. This was surreal to me as it was my first time taking the Skytrain with no intention of taking it back int he foreseeable future. Eve sent me off with an amazing trip/birthday gift: A letter for every day broken down in to options like: “For when you need a pep talk,” “For the plane,” “For when you’re happy,” and “For when you miss George.” It’s proving difficult already not to break in to them all now.

After good-byes I walked through Security. They say you need to be three hours early for an international flight. On a Friday Morning Red-eye… Not the case. After exploring the entire wing of the airport, and finding nothing but duty free open, I was quickly at a loss. The only person working at the Duty Free became my friend quickly, as she was offering flights of free patron samples. After 2 flights and 30 minutes I opted to treat myself: 2 hours in the Premium Lounge. I was still hungry, and I needed a beer to calm my nerves.

After finding out it was $44 dollars I made the executive decision to drink as many beers as I could. 6 beers, 1 latte, and more than enough cubes of cheese and pepperoni: I was ready for my flight and set out to get on the plane.

I walked in and found I had lucked out. I shared a row of seats with just one person, he in the window seat and I in the aisle, negating any worry of fighting over elbow space. While he was your stereotypical rig worker with too much money (LV man purse, Yeezys, BBC hoody, Gucci carry-on), he turned out to be a super cool dude. Really friendly, knew lots about Thailand and gave me some great company, save for his dripping nose for the whole flight; guess someone can’t keep their nose clean up north.

After a 14 hour flight we landed in Taipei, local time 6 Am. Due to head winds, we only had a 45 minute layover, which was great, I was antsy to get going. I found my next gate, and grabbed a coffee and some toast. The next flight was a newer 777 and had wifi, which made the final leg much more enjoyable.

After beginning my trip 2:00AM PST on Friday, I landed in Bangkok at 10:45 AM Saturday. It was rough, but I was so excited to see Josh. After getting through immigration I was easily able to find him as I’m pretty sure the average Thai height is like 5 feet tall. We took the Skytrain (yes they call theirs that too) to the Oasis Hostel in Ne Khao San Road, a popular backpacking area. My first Hostel experience was 10/10. Nicest people, a great room and an all around great vibe. After being introduced to Chang, and Leo, the local beers, we started out to explore the city. They day was a total adventure of looking at shops, drinking, and eating. We walked along a canal that circled the area, and i saw my first wildlife: A monitor Lizard swimming, looking for fish. I couldn’t get a good enough picture, sadly. We went back to regroup at the hostel, change and figure out a game plan for the evening.

Josh’s travel mate for the last month, Ryan, met up with us at the hostel and after quick introductions we headed for dinner and beers to get the night started. We found a restaurant that served great food. I enjoyed Beer and Papaya salad, while Josh stepped up his game and ate BBQ’d Scorpion. It was about 9:00 by this time and we decided to head back to the Hostel to see if anyone wanted to join in on the nights festivities. It was Saturday night after all. We stopped at the 7-11 (which are EVERYWHERE)  and picked up essentials: a 26 of the cheapest whiskey they had and M-150’s (basically red bull in syrup form). We got to the hostel and met a group of guys from Victoria playing cards. After beating them all at their own game, I slammed an energy drink and states “I’m taking a 20 minute power nap while this kicks in. See y’all at 10:00.” Well that didn’t happen. I woke up at 2:30 AM needing to pee and I see josh passed out in the bunk beside me. I guess the early morning caught up to both of us. Oh well, I still had fun and we had a big day the next day.

 

Waking up, Josh and I said goodbye to Ryan, who was meeting up with some girlfriends for drinks and massages (what a life it is here) while we geared up and headed out to experience The Grand Palace. A quick, yet horrifying tuk-tuk trip to the palace introduced us to this MASSIVE Structure. Surrounded in a giant white wall, and swarming with guards, it was quite the sight, and we didn’t even walk through the gates yet. The Palace itself was incredibly ornate, and absolutely gorgeous. It was amazing to see such an incredible piece of culture. As men, we could not have our shoulders showing, nor could we wear shorts, so we were hasty. It was 39 degrees and there was no breeze. I was dying. We got back to the hostel and showered, changed and started to hydrate. After a quick meal, we made our way out with Jo, the hostel manager for drinks. Of all places, we discovered a bar that played live music. Not Thai tho. Thai Blues.It was insane. One of the best nights I’ve ever had. We drank and drank and sang and danced. Midnight rolled around and I needed a change of scenery, so Josh and I separated from the group and found a great little Austrian run bar near the Hostel called “Wunderbar Cafe.” We had a great time catching up over way too many mai thais, and closed the place down. A short walk home and my head quickly found my pillow.

The next morning we both agreed we needed to take it eeeeeaeasy. Jo was at the front and we made our way out for breakfast, ending back at Wunderbar for Iced Coffee and Breakfast. Having my first western food in days, we both went all out, with a full English breakfast, coffee, and passion fruit juice. Just what we all needed. Other hostel mates came and went, but breakfast for the three of us slowly turned in to brunch, and the empty glasses from copious iced coffees had quickly filled the table. We all had a great time talking about work, family and friends back home; Vancouver for us, and Switzerland for Jo. Noon came and went and it was apparent that Josh and I wanted to do nothing but relax today. We had an over night bus coming at 6 so we figured we relax so we can sleep well on the trip to Krabi: a 12 hour trip from Bangkok.

Jo referred us to a great place to get a massage literally around the corner. After stepping in I knew right away that I liked it here. Everyone was so friendly and happy to accommodate. We walked in to the back from and on to these large, low side by side mattresses draped in ornate bolts of fabric, and pillows. I proceeded to have the best 16 dollar hour long massage of my life. The woman massaging  me took the liberty of saying that her husbands tummy is rock hard, while mine is soft and jiggly. We all had a good laugh over that (I guess :P). I told her that it used to be 40 pounds bigger which she told me she was very proud of me.

We made our way back to the hostel get all our things together, and to just relax in the communal area and to play cards. after a few beers we made our way to the bus depot. When we got there: The bus was NOT what we expected. Josh has had some excellent sleeper busses int he past. This was not one of them. The seating upstairs (double Decker) was PACKED, and the seats didn’t recline very far, and there was literally no leg room for me. I couldn’t stand it and took my things to sleep at the “living room seating area” downstairs with a couple other people in the same mindset. Win win for me and Josh, since the girls behind us didn’t seem to grasp the concept of reclining a seat to sleep in the middle of the night. The trip was fucking terrible, to be blunt. We both finally feel asleep, and at midnight the bus jolted to a stop in the middle of the highway, and the bus driver whipped the door open and yelled “FORTY FIVE MIN! FORTY FIVE MIN! ONLY STOP THIS TRIP TO EAT YOU GO NOW.” we groggily walked off and in to this SHACK set up like a third world cafeteria. The buffet of dishes they were serving all looked incredibly questionable and I couldn’t make out what type of meat they were using… and with 6 more hours on this bus, with only one bathroom, I wasn’t risking anything other that white rice with hot sauce and bottled water.

After 45 minutes we were herded back on the bus and off we went. The AC quickly broke after that, and the bus became a wonderful mix of BO, feet and sweat. Did I forget to mention the windows didn’t open?

I wake up at 6 to a bumpy road. Hmm we must be in Krabi! We’re off the highway! I grab my gear and as the bus pulls to a stop, we get out and see a sign stating that we were in Surat Thani. That’s on the East Coast. We want to be on the West Coast. What. The FUCK. We go to the ticket book and ask what is going on. The man says “transfer. Bus come in 2 hour,” and hands us a ticket. Wow. NOT HAPPY. We sit outside with 30 other groggy travelers who haven’y got a clue where we are, or where we are going. Luckily it didn’t take that long for the next bus to come up. And extra lucky this bus only had maybe ten people in it. Josh and I quickly opted to stay in the lower communal part with tables to ourselves while everyone else trekked up to get seats. 2 hours later and many games of crib later, we found ourselves in Krabi. Luckily, the hostel we checked in to appears to be the exact opposite of the bus. It’s clean, colourful and cool. The AC is on and we’re sitting here enjoying Lychee Juice, Pistaschios and Laundry service. It’s now 3:00 PM and it’s time to wake Josh from his nap.I hear the beach is only a 5 minute walk away and I hear another Maithai calling my name. Until tomorrow!

 

DSC_3227.jpg

One of the many selfie selfie expirences

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hey remember me? Whoops

So I did it. I put this off for an entire month. And now I’m paying the price and I’m going to be spending the next little while filling you in what happened for all of  March. To be perfectly honest this one’s going to be extremely condensed, considering It’s just going to play catch up so I can get to the fun stuff. Hint:I’m in Asia right now

So! We left of with me getting back from Brothers Creek! March Weather SUCKED SHIT. That being said, Kristi, Marvin, and A few others managed to get out and have some fun. For the ones of you included in the updates, I’m sorry if I screw up some of the details, but I’m going off memory and we all know how that goes.

March 7th i got to meet up with one of my best buds, Andrew, to hunt down Kennedy Falls. Situated far in the back of the mountain bike trails hid a gorgeous cascading fall. As previously mentioned: rain was in the forecast. With a half dozen interested at the beginning of the week, we quickly we were reduced to just the two of us. I liked it. I haven’t sent enough time with Andrew since moving to Vancouver, and I appreciated the amount of time I got one on one with him. The hike winded through meticulously manicured mountain bike trails for the first kilometer, before branching off in to the hiking trail that led to a massive tree simply known as “the big cedar.” Scrambling over and under massive downed trees, washed away trails and sloshing through deeper than expected creeks. After a short stop and a few photos of the tree (it really is huge) we carried on towards the falls. They were really something else. I suppose that with us finally getting closer to spring at this time, and with the weather, there was a considerable amount of volume. If we were already wet from the mist and the rain, we were now. After a short lunch and a few photos for Instagram (haha come on you know it’s true), we headed back to the car for the traditional post hike beer. After a successful beer after brothers creek, I took us back to Green Leaf Brewing in North van to enjoy some Mexican and a couple pints.

The weeks following, I committed to the gym 4 days a week to round out my attempt at a perfect month: 20 days of at least 1 hour of exercise. 4 days at the gym got me half way there.

With the weekend looking decent, we attempted to get a decent group out for another walk. I use the term walk this time, as it was pretty much 2/10 on the scale of difficulty. That being said, Kaitlan and her new boyfriend Francois came out for the first time this year, along with Alex, Jenn, Andy, Sarah and Kirsti made it out. It was lots of fun and the walk, while easy, ended in some beautiful shots. It was great to include new people, and I think it will lead to more fun in the future, with some people starting to break out of their comfort zone, like I’m trying to do!

Due to the holiday, Kristi and I were not privy to our normal outing this week, trading it for work. it was fine though. We got to spend the day together, and I’ve really gotten to enjoying our time together. Miles is one lucky guy to find someone like her. Easily one of the most caring and sincere people I know.

While we didn’t get any Monday hikes in with Marvin, I did get to try something new: Hot Yoga. Did I love it? No not at all. But EVERYONE says that I will grow to like it. Early morning, I drove with a friend to the studio to meet Kristi. No dogs allowed so Marvin had to stay home. I thought I was doing terrible, comparing myself to the girls who were clearly pros. After the fact Kristi told me I did fantastic for my first time. Apparently I am more flexible than I think.

The coming weeks were hectic. A lot went down. It was incredibly stressful and I was majorly tested emotionally. I don’t deal with stress and anxiety very well. For the sake that this is a public blog, I’ll keep it private, but I’m glad I was able to get though everything. It didn’t help that I was NOT at all ready to see Josh in Bangkok, and I wasn’t even close to being packed. I finally had a Monday off again and I decided that I could finally use it to get set up for that. I understand why it is so popular, after doing it. The views of Howe Sound and Squamish are pretty impossible to beat. I can’t wait to go back and enjoy a sunrise or a sunset there. Juts breathtaking. As per usual: post hike beers at one of y favorite breweries: Howe Sound breweries where we basically negated the entire hike, eating our weight in Nachos and beer.

With a fully committed four weeks I successfully completed 20 active days. That pretty much wraps up all of march and a little bit of April. After the Chief I knew I needed to buckle down and actually get ready to go. Next stop Thailand.

 

Oh. PS: 40 fucking pounds down 🙂

56/100 over half way!

Norvan Falls & Brothers Creek

Normally I would break these in to two separate posts and back date one to look like I’m actually keeping up to date with my blogging, but I figure by leaving it as one and calling me out on my own lazy shit, maybe I will get more dedicated to this.

Hey. How’s it going? yeah the one person that reads this! Haha. Where did I leave off? Last month! Shit – lots to write. Good thing it’s slow at work…

We left off on a tipsy Saturday night with full intention to follow up with a detailed blog of the week…. Anyways. Sunday was great. Nothing too major happened: stayed in and had a little rest day because I had big plans for Kristi and Marvin the next morning.

I woke up and got dressed and picked up my Monday partners and headed to the north shore. I had been to Lynn Canyon oodles of times, but never to the head1iwgrhvwaters that are located passed the suspension bridge. We got there early, which was good, since I was not really prepared to do the length of hike that we did. Norvan Falls rang in at a whopping 19 Km. My farthest hike by far. This was great because I learned two things: I don’t get bored in nature, and I have the stamina to keep going. The hike itself was relatively easy: most of what I have been doing the last couple of months has been flat due the snowfall and it being… well.. Winter. The distance was totally worth it. Norvan falls is big, and beautiful. I climbed up to the mouth of it, and checked out ways to get to the top. I fully intend on coming back when it is warmer out with a rope, to see if I can get up there, and to swim in the mouth of it 🙂 We finished off the hike with a stop in at Deep Cove Brewing to avoid the traffic and to have a beer. Well deserved if you ask me 🙂

With Mondays hike under my belt i powered through the rest of the week, and got to the gym all 4 days that I worked at the City. Pat on the shoulders there for me!

That brings us up to the weekend. A number of amazing things happened: I weighed in on Friday and I lost 11 pounds in Feb. that means, since I started this blog, I have lost 30 pounds. I feel great, and people are noticing, we is kinda cool. I don’t notice, but I suppose I am my hardest critic. The weekend I pretty much wrote off as a cheat weekend. I relaxed, ate what I wanted, drank a beer on the beach, had french fries… oh no… haha.

Monday rolled around again and Kristi and I tried something different: She posted on Couchsurfing.org inviting some travelers to come with us. We had an amazing turnout, and went up toqhsc7nh one of my favorite hikes in North Van: Brothers Creek. It was fun getting to know people that have been, or are from all over the world. The hike itself was just as fun as I remember: the first third being a gentle uphill trek with a 2/3 slope down for an easy couple hours. We took a little break at Hidden Lake, which was just above the snowline, so there was a really cool contrast . Post hike we congregated at Greenleaf Brewing in Lonsdale with a few of the hikers. I’ve always loved it here, since I have followed the owner from Howe Sound and watched him build the shop from the ground up. A couple of us weren’t done there and moved over to Parallel 49 for radlers and paddles. Chatting with one of the travelers we found we shared common interest in Andy Warhol, so we now have Monday plans to go to the art gallery! I’ll have to hit the gym, and apologize to Marvin and Kristi, but I am sure, given the situation, they will forgive me just this once.

I woke up Tuesday with a sharp pain in my toe. Like really sharp. It concerned me. The last time I felt this, I fractured my foot. Luckily, I was off to the doc to get shots for Thailand, so I figure I could ask him there. He told me to ice and elevate and check back in a couple days (it feels 90% today!). Sadly, as a result of foot pain, and arm pain (tetanus shots hurt holy shit).

Anyways. Nothing to update during the week. I’ve been keeping to myself a bit. Working on sorting out some of the more murky parts in my life. Things seem on the up and up, and I hope I’m in prime condition for this weekends adventure: A rainy rainy hike on Sunday 🙂

36/100

 

In Which We Hiked Through A Creek

What a fun week. Lots happened. Remember how I said I was pushing out of my comfort zone? Well I’m doing that some more. The rest of the week was pretty low key. Business as usual. Wednesday and Thursday I put my time in at work and at the gym. Nothing too too exciting… Friday was a little interesting. I post on this forum online. On and off for like a number of years. I’ve never met any of these people, and they hang out a bunch. Friday night I got invited out to go for beers with a bunch of them. I had nothing going on so I figured… Enh. Why the fuck not right? I skipped out of work and hit the gym hoping to get a full session in. I didn’t due to some wires being crossed when it came to pick up times (30 min short for it to count in my books).

I offered to pick a couple people up since we planned on getting a bite before the bar. All in all a great night. I met some pretty awesome people, and reconnected with a couple friends from a really long time ago. I had planned on going home by 10 since I had a hike the next morning, but stayed until midnight. Getting home at 1:30 was rough, but totally worth it.

The next morning I headed out with Explore BC for a hike up the Woodland Walk Trail. We had a turnout of nine with was awesome, with a few noobies. We were pretty much all not prepared at all, haha. So much for being a “year round trail” since 40% of it was spent navigating creeks, runoffs and puddles. It rained, it snowed, it hailed, and the sun came out for the last ten minutes. Do I regret it? No. But I hope it doesn’t deter any one from coming out again.

Post hike I got to spend some time with Miles, an old buddy of mine, and my friend TJ and her new guy. It was a great time: we hit up our three local breweries and sampled pretty much everything on tap. It was great since this was the first time in a really long time that me and Miles actually got to hang out, nearly 1 on 1. The pug was tuckered out and slept pretty much the whole way home.

Since I didn’t count Friday, I’m gonna have to step it up a notch.

30/100

Halfway Through My Damn Early Days

Well two weeks have gone by and I’ve been waking up stupid early to do things such ass… meditate… read… exercise… and update my blog. How’s that going? Well.. better than expected, really, but for totally different reasons. I clearly haven’t updated this blog. Mostly since last weekend I was inundated with work, and I never really got to go outside. I worked out almost every day (Fuck yah) but writing a blog about me hitting an elliptical trainer is kinda boring.

So what happened? Lots. I moved back home after a month of subletting. I learned a lot from that. I learned that I tend to take advantage of people. I like to think that I am a pretty easy guy to get along with. I say please and thank you, I’m friendly, I like to help, and I’d do anything for a true friend. I totally dropped the ball on the last part a couple weeks ago. With out getting in to too many details: I left my friends apartment a mess. I foolishly thought that things being up to my standards were simply good enough. Not the case, and simply not acceptable. I broke a friends trust and it hurt a lot. It took a tole on me emotionally and I consider myself lucky that I have a friend good enough to forgive me (after some light begging).

I’ve been focusing on getting my meal planning in order, and using the early wake up call to slooooowly ease myself in to the day, basically up by 5-6 and getting in a wholesome breakfast, where I’m sitting down and actually digesting, rather than running out the door with something in a napkin.

I also learned a lot about myself last week with dealing with my own and my friends mental health. I was out with someone Thursday night, and witnessed a full on anxiety attack. It was very surreal experiencing this as a third party. I’ve dealt with this on my own, on a much smaller scale, and with by best friend, again, on a much smaller scale. I spent 5 hours sitting with someone, rubbing their shoulders and head, helping them calm down. I ended up not getting home until almost 1:30 in the morning, but it was humbling, and worth it. Someone going through something so difficult, asking you not to leave, in a roundabout way, made me feel really good. It felt like I was worth something, and it made me feel good that someone cared about and trusted me.

This weekend I did get a chance to do something fun! Not a hike either! Well sorta kinda had a hike. Fun on Friday led to a very lethargic attempt at being active on Saturday. I had tickets to Adventure Club on Friday, and I planned ahead and booked Saturday off. Good thing too since I partied a little too hard on Friday and didn’t get home until 4:00AM… Saturday me and the Explore BC crew met up at Brandywine Falls. A quick, snowy jaunt down a pathway on the side of the Sea-To-Sky led to a beautiful shot of a waterfall. after a jog back to the car (it was pissing rain) we continued on to Whistler for an evening of good friends, food, and snow tubing. While it was not as long as I was hoping for: I had a total blast. Some people showed up that had never come out before, so it was good to know that the group was working, and more people were trying to get out.IMG_7355

The rest of the weekend was pretty low key. I was supposed to go out for Valentines but my heart simply wasn’t in it. No pun intended. I cancelled my plans and stayed home. While I was pretty down in the dumps over it, being my first Valentines alone, Monday made up for it tenfold. I got out of my comfort zone for the first time in a really long time, and met up for a coffee date with someone I met last summer. My intentions were supposed to hang out, and then use the time downtown to hit the gym for a 5 day gym streak for the next four work days. Instead: it turned in to a shameful 1000 calorie deficit in My Fitness Pal (thank you Fat Tug IPA for that), and a 10 hour hang out. It was totally worth it. Making friends in Vancouver is next to impossible. She came from Calgary 5 years ago and told me that it took years to find a good core group of people. I went home with her to meet her roommates and had a blast. We’re all going to Pemberton so plans have already been put in motion to camp together.

Anyways. As I sit here I have added… 9 more days of at least an hour of exercise. You know what? That’s fucking awesome, and I feel like I’m really starting to kick ass at this.

 

Until next time.

 

27/100

 

 

Mental Health & 21 Damn Early Days

I told myself that when I started this new blog, that I was going to keep it focused on the positives in my life, and use it to help myself become healthier. Over the weekend I had a long talk with a close friend about how being healthier isn’t just about being physically capable to lift more, run fast, walk further, but also to be better mentally.  The last… I would say three years of my life have been very difficult for me. I rarely talk about it, mostly because it seems in this day and age, every Millennial is struggling in their own way with mental health. It feels that if I speak out, or reach out, I’m simply another statistic, and would be grouped in with the general crowd of like minded individuals struggling with who they are, where they belong, and what they are going to do?

12662533_10153893102559028_7131383435102124992_n2015 was an interesting year for me. The Christmas leading up to it, I confided with my best friends that I felt that I was going no where with my life. There was a lack of adventure, travel, excitement, fear… basically I was in a rut. While I still made, and have great memories, everything felt ridged and planned out. Josh and I committed that from that day forward, starting on New Years to… Do whatever the fuck we wanted. My mantra? Do what makes you happy. And I did. And I had the most amazing year of my life. Sure, there was bad days, but I went to sleep, and the next day made up for it usually. I focused more on making new friends, and trying things that I normally wouldn’t. Basically: I told my comfort zone to just fuck right off.

Why am I talking about this now? I’m not 100% sure. I had a long weekend alone. The first weekend where I went to work, in a location where I had no one to really talk to, and a lot of time to really let my brain just think to itself. It was scary. Josh had come home for December, and it had finally clicked that I wasn’t going to see him again for a couple more months, and it got me down. I kept wondering: Had I actually improved over the year? Was I more independent? Was I really doing everything on my own, or was I relying on other people? I’m still trying to figure that one out. Needless to say, reflecting on this all put me in a pretty bad place. I’m worried that I’m starting to push friends away again, or can’t stop thinking that they are trying to push me away, due to my neediness. I found myself looking at my phone, trying to think about reaching out to people, seeing what they’re doing, or if there was something that I was doing wrong. I decided that was a poor plan and clammed up for a few days. I’m still not 100%, or even 75% over this feeling, but I hope it passes. I know the people I care about care about me back, and that really, at the end of the day, as long as I know that, I’ll be ok.

Sunday was the last day of the month, and I had big plans for Monday. I started a new challenge: 21 Damn Early Days. Through my friends at Chasing Sunrise (You’ll read more about them, I promise), I’ve started a goal to wake up every morning, Monday through Friday at 4:30AM. That’s it. Nothing else. I don’t NEED to do anything, other than wake up, and check in. Seems trivial right? Well Monday, I cleaned the entire apartment, finished ALL the laundry, meal prepped the whole week, and managed to organize my trip itinerary. After that I looked at the clock: 11:00AM. Great. Time for a hike.

My turn to drive this week. I took to the road and collected Kristi, and Marvin. We made our way out to Belcerra for a nice hike through the forest, and emerging out in to a hidden beach overlooking Jug Island. Blogs online say it’s beautiful, and I took that with a grain of salt. It’s just an island, and on top of that, one that you cannot even get to. But once you’re there: Wow. Such a cool outcrop. We sat and played catch with the pug, and after 30 min, made our way back to the car. We ended up doing a couple more Kilometres than expected, so we figured we earned ourselves a beer or two, so kudos to Twin Sails, and Yellow Dog brewing in Port Moody for satisfying our thirst.

12321240_10153892286474028_8437939953932068123_n

Jug Island

Writing this all down, this morning, at 7:00AM after being up for 2 and a half hours is near therapeutic. Has anything really changed? No. I’m still struggling with my thoughts. I still feel lost. I don’t know what’s happening with certain parts of my life. I feel like I’m losing people again. Is that Ok? Not really. But you kinda really just need to go with the flow. I’m not the only person out there struggling. The direction I’m going might not be the same as someone else’s, and as much as I might want that, eventually there’s going to be a fork in the road. No one knows the final destination, but I suppose the most exciting part is making your own path there.

On my way to the gym now! So I’m marking that in advance, since I plan on crushing today.

 

18/100

The last half of January.

One month in and I’ve already seem to hit a wall. At least here. I have near 24 hour access to a device that allows me to type and create content, and equally simple access to internet to actually publish. Writing for me is hard. Not so much the actual process of putting my thoughts to paper, but actually taking what I’m writing, and rearranging it in a way that makes sense to the end user. I find I type a lot like I speak: It makes so much sense as I’m pressing the keys, but then I look up, slow down, and realize half of what I just typed out makes no sense.

So what am I getting at? Thanks to my laziness I have to summarize 2 weeks in to one post. Fine by me! Last I left you, I was 11 days in to the race to 100 days of active lifestyle. The week after my update was pretty much a write off. I felt guilty more than I should have. Actually I retract that. I deserve every moment of guilt, since I chose for the next week to essentially have fun away from the gym. At the least, I was able to stick to a general meal plan.

The 21st rolled around, mid week, a Thursday, but a day off for me. I left the Through sheer luck, I managed to secure two tickets to see one of my recent favourite bands: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats preform a live set at the Peak Lounge (Peak 102.7FM). I picked my buddy up an hour and a half before the show, as I was on a mission to find their album on vinyl. I had seen it earlier in the week, but neglected to pick it up. I had no luck, which I assume, was due to their sold out show later that night. Frazzeled and slightly let down, we headed to the lounge. While there, out of the blue (inside pun, since they both have blue hair) I got a tap on my shoulder. I moved out of the way, since I assumed me being so tall was blocking someones line of sight. I turned around to see my friends Sarah and Joey, who I met, back on March 14, of last year. After we enjoyed the show, we decided to capitalize on the fact that we were all reunited and went to get pho. It was sort of surreal, sitting at a table, with people I’ve really only been around at night, either at a rave, or sitting around a coffee table making kandi, discussing costume ideas and set times. The day was quickly turning dark, and I had to get ready for my evening. Remember when I said I had a Thursday off? I made the wise decision to head out for a night of shots, beers and Drake. Sharon’s brother informed me that he was doing this show a few weeks ago. Being slightly under the influence at the time, I not only committed to going, I purchased 3 extra tickets for Nikki, Taylor, and Kyanna, three festival friends from this summer, who I knew LOVED Drake. Along with Sharon, we made our way to the Biltmore, and proceeded to negate basically any calorie counting that I had done for the entire week. It was a blast, until the end when the lights came on, and I decided to ask the question, “How are you girls getting home?” Whoops. Didn’t think of that. We picked up donairs, and headed back to my place to set up the pull out couch, and fell asleep to late night disney movies.

Friday came and went. With the major excitement being that I managed to snag two early bird tickets to Pemberton Festival. I’m beyond stoked to be going back this year. I was having a rough week accepting the fact that EDC was all but not happening, due to the dollar. While I can afford it, is it really worth paying 150% the cost of everything? I’d much rather spend that money on memories with a solid group of friends. The crowd is looking solid: Myself, Jessica, Dustin (Jessicas man) Josh, Eve, Alain, Jason and Sharon, and a good hand full more are looking at coming.

IMG_6339Monday rolled in and I woke up realizing that I needed this week to to be a week of no fucking around. Final weigh in day was Friday, and I had to win that. The pot which I thought was only 100 bucks had grown to almost 300, and that was a solid night out. Being my only day off, I have been really trying to dedicate the day to doing something outside of the gym. I stepped out of the house and in to Kristi’s car and we headed north, to the mountains. After a short trip, we parked and made our way in to the woods. This was my first hike with a four legged friend, and it added some excitement to the trip. Marvin, the pug, has never been hiking, let alone really off his townhouse complex, so it was fun watching him to explore. While the hike was really fun, the ending of it (or half way mark, I guess, since it was a “there and back” hike) really was a bit of a let down. Whyte Lake, which we wereIMG_6454 walking to, had totally flooded, and the dock access was non existent. A quick snack, and a walk back to the car totalled us a 6KM walk through the mist.

The week progressed, and I finished strong, getting to Anytime fitness 4 days in a row, to close of the week with a solid 5 in a row days of activity. Weighing in that night was scary: Had my putting off the gym, late night car rides with mochas, and shots of fireball taken me out of the running? No. I dropped from 295 to 275.5 for a 20 pound weight loss in 4 weeks. Insane, but at my BMI not impossible. Riding the high of an almost for sure win, I went to celebrate with Stacy: Vapour Lounge and Ramen? Yes please! I found out the next morning, that I actually didn’t win… Laura had last 14 pounds, but being that she was about 100 Lbs lighter than me, she lost more body weight percentage. I still won entry in to this months challenge for free, and at the end of the day I’m proud of us all. A total combined weight loss of 98 pounds, with me accounting for almost a quarter of that. It feels good to start hitting goals.

IMG_6504 (1)

Jinya: Pork Chashu

16/100

-19.5 😉