Challenge Accepted: June’s Mini-Adventure at Township 7 Vineyard & Winery

I’m running out of days in June and next week is busy with it being the last week of school so I thought I better do at least a little something solo today.  I was heading to my brother’s out in Langley and decided I would check out a local winery. For years I’ve seen winery signs on Highway 1 but have never been to any. Today was the day! I spotted a sign just before the Cloverdale exit and ventured on to 176th. I just kept following the wine route signs, not really knowing where I was headed, until one had an arrow! I was headed to 1st R.O.W. Estate Winery Ltd. Or so I thought. After turning into an industrial area I pulled over to google it. It was closed. Upon looking at reviews it seems it isn’t really a winery either; just a storefront. I wasn’t too disappointed that it wasn’t open. I looked at nearby wineries on Google Maps and decided to head to Township 7.

The winery has a small tasting room and a cute patio/picnic area.

I decided not to do a full tasting ($5) however the woman helping me offered smaller tastings of whatever I wanted to try. I tried their Pinot Gris, Rose and 7 Blanc. I’m not a huge wine drinker (I know, it’s kind of weird that I would go to a winery) but I thought all three were quite good. When I do drink wine I usually have Pinot Gris so I decided to buy the Rose today…something a little different for me!

It was a short adventure, but solo nonetheless. I’d never been to a winery by myself before and the woman helping me seemed surprised that I was there on my own. I’m counting it…just in case I don’t have time to do something else this month!

You can check out the Township 7 website at https://www.township7.com. They are also located in Naramata.

BC Curriculum Content Planning Toolkit

I’ll be checking this out for next year!

fruggleshoppers

Hey fellow teacher friends (and/or non-teachers with a weird interest in the BC curriculum), I have no idea if you will get any use out of this, but I thought I’d share it in case you do. It cut my report card writing time IN HALF and seriously helped with my planning.

I’ve taken the new curriculum (K-3 only) content section and (painstakingly) typed it out (including all of the points that expand) and put it into a toolkit that essentially you can copy and paste your desired points RIGHT into your report cards.

Check it out, I even added a term 1/2/3 checklist so you can plan your year. (More info on what I’ve done is in the first page of the document.)

This doesn’t include Curricular Competencies or Big Ideas.  The pdf version has comments that can be copy+pasted right into MyEducation BC.  Feel free to download and share…

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Procrastination Tips: Report Card Edition

The school year is coming to an end and with that comes the writing of report cards.  You would think that knowing they are the last ones of the school year would be motivation in itself, but it just doesn’t work that way.  And so, here it is, in no particular order, a list of procrastination tips!

  1. Coffee Date with a friend you haven’t seen in awhile – 2.5 hours later you’ll be SO SURE you’ll crack down and work when you get home
  2. Grocery Shop – Surely stopping for three items on the way home is necessary
  3. Make Lunch – It’s 1:45 pm by now.  You’ve got to eat!
  4. Text with your significant other until they go to sleep (9 hour time difference) – It just wouldn’t be right for him to go to sleep without having a lengthy conversation about eggs (weird, I know)
  5. Search for recipes on Pinterest – What can you do with the protein powder that in your pantry that is about to expire?
  6. Make peanut butter protein balls for the first time ever – That protein powder can’t go to waste
  7. Check Social Media approximately ever five minutes – You just never know when someone will post something important
  8. Watch an episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix – Heaven forbid you get too far behind

FINALLY…you’re ready to focus.  Here it goes.  Open laptop.  Open report card file.  Work on Opening Comments for approximately 15 minutes and then realize it’s 6:00 pm. Dinner time at last!

8. Make dinner – A girls gotta eat
9. Go to blog site – Have you had any views today?  What could you write about?
10. Watch Orange is the New Black –  Your SO told you Season 5 is out now but you’re only on season 2!  You need to catch up!
11. Call back the friend that called you earlier – Wait.  Shouldn’t she be writing report cards too?
12. Check cell for messages – Woohoo!  Brook is procrastinating!  She’s writing something that would make a good blog post.  Brainwave!  Write a post about procrastinating!
13. Text your best friend – She will probably respond right away if she’s a teacher because she’s probably procrastinating too.  Yup, Kyla just washed her hair in avoidance.
14. Write that blog post – And here it is…Procrastination Tips: Report Card Edition

Okay, that pretty much sums up my Saturday.  Maybe now I’ll be able to focus on report cards.  But wait…I should have pictures in this post…

 

I Can Laugh Now: Reminiscing About Roadblocks in Amsterdam

It’s coming up one year (10 months really) since I travelled solo to Amsterdam and I find myself reminiscing about the roadblocks, albeit small ones, that I hit during my trip.   I can’t believe I still remember these things.  They must have left quite an impact on me.  At the time I felt embarrassed, confused and the like, but I can laugh now…

Truthfully, one of the things I was most anxious about was getting to my hotel from the airport.  I knew I had to take a train before getting on the Metro and I knew what station to get off at, but that was about it.  Coen assured me Schiphol was well-marked with signs for transportation, but still, I was envisioning myself lugging around all my belongings looking totally lost.  After picking up my luggage I looked for those signs…they were everywhere!  I was SAFE!  Right!?! Perhaps…until I encountered the machine I was supposed to use to use to buy my train ticket.  As I approached the machine I looked at it blankly.  I didn’t know what any of it meant!  I looked at the map of all the train lines. Yeah, that wasn’t very helpful.  I was totally clueless.  “I know,” I thought, “If I press some buttons for the line I THINK I’m supposed to take I’ll be able to figure it out!”  A few presses in I realized that wasn’t going to work.  So, with no ticket in hand, I looked around to see if anyone was watching me and slipped away, hopefully unnoticed, in search of help!  Fortunately after a few minutes I found actual people that I could purchase my ticket from!  Needless to say I bought my return train ticket from a person as well.

So I’m a few hours into my first full day in Amsterdam and I’m looking for somewhere to get coffee when I spot McDonalds!  Yes, I was 7700km from home and went to McDonalds. Well, almost.  I walked into the doorway.  Does that count?  So, what stopped me?  The SELF-SERVE KIOSKS!  I’d never used one.  What if I couldn’t figure it out?  Would there be an English option?  Or would I have to attempt to read Dutch?  At that point my Dutch food and drink vocabulary was pretty much limited to water (water), appel (apple), boterham (sandwich), sap (juice), brood (bread) and melk (milk.)  I high tailed it out of there are pulled out my phone to text Coen asking whether I had to use a kiosk or if I could still order at the counter!  I ended up going to a different café that day, but did visit a different McDonalds another day…and went straight to the counter!

That same day I had taken the tram to Dam Square and managed just fine.  I got off and made note of the stop (not the same one) where I would catch the tram back.  I could do it!  After wandering around for hours I headed back to the tram stop.  I was pretty sure I was in the right place but the driver was standing at the door so I thought I would ask him just in case.  “Excuse me, is the correct tram to take me to Jan van Galenstraat?” I asked.  He looked at me with what I thought was a slightly odd expression.  “Crap!” I thought.  “Maybe he doesn’t speak English.” I tried again and pointed to Jan van Galenstraat on my little map.  He started laughing at me!  “Ahh, Jan van Galenstraat!  Yes, this is right,” he said.  His pronunciation of Jan van Galenstraat was quite different than mine.  Let’s just say some of their letter sounds are quite different from English!  He ended up being super helpful.  In the end I don’t think his laugh was meant to embarrass me.  I think he appreciated that I at least tried to say it.

Google Maps!  Yes!  Thank Goodness!  Or so I thought…One morning I was off to Anne Frank House.  Online tickets sell out way in advance and I wasn’t prepared to wait in line for ours for general admission so I was lucky to find tickets released earlier that morning.  I had a general idea of where it was; I had seen it on the walking tour I went on and I knew which tram stop to get off at.  While on Wi-Fi I found the walking directions from the Westermarkt tram stop to Anne Frank House.  It looked easy peasy so off I went.  I followed the directions and walked down the street enjoying the scenery; gorgeous old buildings and canals.  After what felt like forever I realized the time I had to arrive was approaching.  I thought Anne Frank House was much closer to the tram stop.  To be honest, I wasn’t even 100% sure what street I was on.  Keep in mind that most street signs are pretty small and on the side of buildings.  Anyway, I pulled out my phone (I had a travel plan for emergencies) and found the directions to Anne Frank House from where I was.  Turned out I had walked in the complete opposite direction!  I think the original directions were from the tram stop on the other side of the road.  I turned around and prepared to speed walk to my destination.  In about 10 minutes I was back where I started.  In TWO MINUTES I was at Anne Frank House.  OOPS! I learned my lesson about double checking directions!

At the time I was embarrassed to share these little stories, but I can laugh now…

Sunshine! Lonsdale Quay & the Coal Harbour Seawall

3pm Sunday afternoon. 28 degrees. What to do? Grab a girlfriend and head into Vancouver!

We took the Skytrain from Moody Centre Station to Waterfront Station then hopped on the Seabus over to Lonsdale Quay.

One of the reasons I like visiting Lonsdale Quay is because it is way less busy than Granville Island. It’s smaller-scale but has a variety of great vendors. You can pick up all kinds of goodies; fresh fish and meat, baked goods, soups. There is something for everyone! The top floor of the market has different shops. Check out http://lonsdalequay.com for a list of vendors.

Lonsdale Quay also boasts a gorgeous view of Vancouver especially on a clear day.

There are also often beautiful boats docked next to the market. The large yacht usually docked wasn’t there but there were some smaller boats.

I grabbed a London Fog from Bean Around the World Coffees (my all-time favourite London Fog) and Allison got a drink from Starbucks and we hopped on the Seabus back to Waterfront Station.

We decided we would walk by the water. There is a gorgeous view of the North Shore from Canada Place. Nothing beats seeing the snowcapped mountains and shimmering water on a sunny day.

We walked down to Jack Poole Plaza where the Olympic Cauldron is. From there we walked along the Coal Harbour Seawall to Broughton Street before heading back towards Waterfront Station. There is so much to see along the Seawall; sea planes, wildlife, boats.

Vancouver truly is a gorgeous city. We do get our fair share of rain, okay more than our fair share, but it is the rain that keeps everything so beautiful, lush and green!

 YVR: Yaletown & Main Street

It’s May Long Weekend and we’ve finally got some gorgeous weather! My friend, Brook, and I took advantage of the sunshine and headed to the streets of Vancouver yesterday.

We started off in Yaletown before heading down to the water. Beautiful!

Hunger started to kick in and we were looking for a patio to relax on. We recalled walking by a Tacofino earlier and headed there. I had heard great things about Tacofino but had never been. I was NOT disappointed. A fish taco, a soft and crunchy carnita taco and a paloma satisfied my food and beverage needs!  Their website is https://www.tacofino.com/location/yaletown-burrito-bar.

We wondered through Yaletown awhile longer and stopped in at the Yaletown Distilling Co. for a vodka tasting. I tasted their mandarin vodka and it was only $2.  Check out http://ytdistilling.com/.

We decided to pop in to Goorin Bros. Hat Shop (http://www.goorin.com/) and within seconds one of the girls working asked if we wanted some beer while we were there! What!?! Really!?! Yes please! It turned out they had a little Happy Hour thing going on with beer and entertainment. They have it every Saturday and this week Coldwater Road was featured. You can find their music on Spotify or check out their website: https://www.coldwaterroad.com/.

This store had a ton of cool hats most of which I would say were reasonably priced. And if you’re looking for a feather for your hat, look no further than the feather bar…

At this point we decided to head to Main Street so we hopped back on the Skytrain and got off at Main Street-Science World. We walked up Main and went into a few gift-type stores. We wanted another drink before we headed home and ended up choosing Colony Bar (http://colonymainst.com/.) It had a cool little bar to sit at outside – great for people watching! I wish I had taken a picture.

Afterwards, we hopped on the #3 Bus down Main to the Skytrain station…my first time on a bus in Vancouver since we hosted the Olympics in 2010, HA! Despite a bit of a sunburn and my first blisters of the season it was an awesome adventure!

Challenge Accepted: May’s Mini-Adventure on “The Drive”

I’ve lived in the suburbs of Vancouver my entire life and I’ve been to Commercial Drive or “The Drive” as many locals call it, all of three times. 10 years ago with a girlfriend, early last year on a date (Sula Indian Restaurant is delicious. See http://sulaindianrestaurant.com) and last summer with girlfriends (You really can’t beat La Mezcaleria. See http://www.lamezcaleria.ca.) Never by myself, here was my chance to complete my solo adventure for May.

I took the Skytrain from Coquitlam Central Station to Commercial- Broadway Station (if I’d driven I might have had to parallel park haha.)  Once off the train I headed started walking on Commerical towards 1st Ave. I admit it was kinda sketchy at first, but the more I walked the nicer it got.

My first stop was at JJ Bean for a quick coffee. It was good but I had been to another location before. Next time I would keep walking, as I came across a couple different coffee shops a few blocks later.

I continued on my way stopping to browse in some of the used book stores and other shops and I picked up some cute notebooks from Lala’s on the Drive.  I came across Rosemary Rocksalt which makes Montreal-style bagels. I picked up 1/2 dozen bagels and kept trekking along.

Visit https://rosemaryrocksalt.com for info!

Dinner time arrived so I started looking for somewhere to eat. There was no shortage of choices but I felt like sushi. I ended up going to Sushi Ville. For $10.50 I got a huge California Bento Box. I couldn’t finish it all; that RARELY happens! Sushi Ville is worth a visit.

After sushi I headed back to Skytrain. Throughout the day I was reminded that The Drive is quite an eclectic street, visited by all kinds of people and lined with a ton of different ethnic eateries and shops. I only went as far as Charles Street but I know there is more to offer beyond there. It’s definitely worth checking out. The Commercial Drive Neighbourhood website at http://www.commercial-drive.com has information about community events!