six digits

Jul 30, 2012

Dear Loyal Followers and Random Readers, 

This is a rather pointless, nerdy, and self-indulgent post... but I can't help it. 
Today this little blog of mine hit 100,000 page views. That's more than the population of my hometown.
I'm certain that many of these visits are repeat offenders, but even so... I never imagined my little corner of the internet growing to the popularity that it did. To be honest, I never thought that I'd even care if it did. But now I have all of my oh-so-lovely followers who've stuck with me even when I'm a slacker writing posts or when I have nothing interesting to say.  I love you, all of you. 
This blog has really told of a lot of my significant life events... from the time that I was single and crazy, right through to landing my dream career, travelling the world, marrying my best friend, and everything in between.  I've had strangers in random places recognize me and mention that they follow my blog. That might sound creepy to some of you, but to me... 
I'm in all of my geeky glory.  
Thanks for stopping by oh so many times!  
I promise to share all of my stories for years to come.  

Yours truly,


quick escape.

Week one of initial flight attendant training was finally over. 6 consecutive long, long days were over and 4 exams successfully passed. I was feeling the early stages of burnout, and a couple of days off couldn't have come fast enough. 
While the rest of my classmates settled in for what would be a couple intense days of studying, I did quite the opposite. After class, I came home, packed a bag, and Ryan and I headed west for Jasper. There is nothing like fresh mountain air to take away all of life's stress. It might have been the irresponsible thing to do given my course load and upcoming exams, but I felt confident that I could do with a day of nothing related to aviation... after all, I've got a bit of previous experience that has provided me with a wealth of knowledge. I consider initial training a bit of a refresher course, with a few differences from airline to airline.  
It was a gorgeous night, minus a few rainy areas that we drove through.

 Unlike last time we'd driven to Jasper, this time the mountains were in full view, rather than hidden behind thick dark clouds. It was late when we arrived, so we set up camp and called it a night in the comfort of our tent.  
Throughout the evening, our brand new air mattress lost air, and I woke up feeling gravel beneath me as I tried to get comfy, not having the energy to re-inflate the mattress. It wasn't the greatest sleep I've ever had, but it sure beat the front seat of the car the weekend prior.  
The next morning as everyone else packed up and headed home, we built a fire and relaxed as we cooked breakfast. Our new camping breakfast is an omelette in a bag. In an effort to make life and packing far easier, we add all of our favourite omelette ingredients into a Ziploc bag, seal it, and then place it in boiling water. It works surprisingly well, although the texture is a bit different than a typical omelette.  We ate our eggs, roasted some sausages, and then finished off breakfast with smores... because we were camping, thus it was fully acceptable and necessary. 
Once we were well fed, it was time to pack up and head out to enjoy the day. I needed a good hike to make up for my lack of physical activity since beginning training. We headed up a steep narrow winding road on Mount Edith Cavell where we'd decided to hike.  We'd been here a month ago, but at that time it was still covered in snow and we were trekking through the pouring rain. Today was a perfect warm summer day, and we set off to be active. Though it was a much easier hike than Castle Mountain last weekend, I was still feeling the effects of high altitude combined with a week of laziness.  I was out of breath within minutes, but as Ryan rushed up the trail I forced myself to keep up. I thought I might just die right then and there... my goodness, how did I get so out of shape?! We made it to the lookout, and I snapped photos as Ryan played in the snow in his flip-flops. Unless it's an extra steep climb, we always hike in flip-flops, earning many glances from others in their full hiking attire.    

The way down was far more enjoyable. We took it slow, watching everyone else huff and puff as they hiked up.  Feeling hungry, we set out to find a day-use area where we could build a fire and cook ourselves a late lunch. We found one alongside Pyramid Lake, where we roasted hot dogs and enjoyed the last bit of mountain goodness before hitting the road back home.  

Just outside of Jasper, we drove past a semi truck pulled to the side of the road. It looked as though smoke was coming out of the cabin, and I assumed that it was overheating. I watched in the rear view mirror as we drove away, and it wasn't long before it was apparent that the truck was in fact billowing smoke. We turned around and pulled to the side of the highway just as flames became visible.  Passerby's struggled to call 911, but nobody had a signal in the remote area. The driver made it out, but unfortunately his truck wasn't so lucky. We stood and watched as it became a massive fireball, sending thick black smoke far into the sky.  We heard a few big bangs as explosions went off.  Eventually firefighters showed up, but by that point there was little left of the huge truck. Traffic was forced to stop in both directions, but fortunately for us we were parked ahead of the truck and there was nothing but open road for us to head home on. It was a crazy sight to witness, and since there was absolutely nothing that Ryan or I could do to help, we instead took photos and video.

 That sure isn't something that you see every day! Once we'd seen it all unfold, we got back in the car and made our way back to the city. It had been a short trip, but far from uneventful! 
Tomorrow it's back to school, and I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to have a short little escape from reality and studying! 

brand new start.

Jul 24, 2012

My life just got busy.  Crazy, chaotic, stressful... everything that I love the most.  
After a rough start to the year and far too much time spent on the ground... I'm going back. Back to the skies, back to the early mornings, and back to the life that I love so dearly. 
Yes, you read right. I'm (finally) returning to the role of flight attendant.  I've kept it a secret for a few weeks, just because I didn't want to get overwhelmed with questions at every social gathering.  I love my career, but I don't love being the centre of attention and always talking about myself... believe it or not.
This time I'm working for a brand new company. I'm really looking forward to my new career and the opportunities that this airline brings.  Though my destinations will be domestic ones, they are certainly places few people on the planet will ever have the opportunity to visit.  
With a new airline comes new training and thus for the next few weeks I may be forced to abandon the blog a bit. Yes, this is my 3rd time going through the process, but it doesn't get any easier with repetition. Though I know the basics of aviation, each company has completely different ways of doing things and sometimes it's more difficult forgetting what you've already been taught than learning something for the very first time. 
I began the journey just yesterday, and already stress levels are high. Especially on days like today, when after a long day of class I headed to my car to prepare for a long night of studying, only to find that my tire was completely flat.  At that moment, my mood felt just as deflated.  My husband came to my rescue, and I'm so lucky to have him here to support me during a time that makes me utterly crazy.  
As some of my fellow classmates are just discovering, us flight attendants have to know so, so much more than how to serve coffee in the sky.  
On that note, it's back to my oh-so-beloved manual to read up on airplanes.  
Wish me luck!

mishaps and memories in the mountains

Jul 23, 2012

The weekend had arrived, and with it came the excitement of my first camping trip of the year!  In a typical summer, Ryan and I spend nearly every weekend in the mountains, but the chaos of life had meant that we were unable to do so until mid-July this year.  Needless to say, I was much looking forward to the long awaited getaway. 
After loading up the car on Friday afternoon, we hit the road. It was a long drive to the beautiful Kananaskis region where we'd hoped to spend our weekend.  We drove to one of our favourite campgrounds, and much to our dismay, it was completely full... along with every other campground in the vicinity. We should have known, or at least booked... but contrary to the rest of the world, Ryan and I enjoy spur of the moment trips. We hadn't decided upon our destination until we were already in the car. Now we were homeless, and hungry.  We decided to stay at the campsite to watch the theatre show that plays nightly, after which we'd head for Banff in hopes of finding a site.  The rain began at the beginning of the show, as if on cue.  Halfway through, the trees were swaying furiously, thunder was echoing through the mountains, and the show was cancelled. We were certainly not having the evening that we'd anticipated. Back in the car, we turned on the radio to discover that the highway to Banff was still completely inaccessible due to a mudslide that had occurred earlier in the day. Really?! They couldn't clean it up so that we could have a decent night's sleep? How dare they not consider the fact that I was ragingly hungry and that no campsite meant no campfire to cook my dinner?!  I tried my best to make light of the situation for the sake of my husband who is forced to endure grumpy Krysta far more often than he deserves. I failed.  I was completely bummed out.  What would we do?!  Fortunately, I'm married to an awesome guy who rolls with the punches and found us a wonderful day use area complete with fire pits. It was 9 pm as we (he) built a fire and we roasted our hot dogs. 

Finally.... food! Glorious food!! Though gorgeous, it was rather eerie being in an open yet secluded area at a prime time for spotting bears. I found myself glancing over my shoulder the entire time, eager to finish eating and retreat to the safety of the vehicle. I think that even Ryan was a bit nervous.  We packed it in and headed to the overflow camping area... thank goodness for its existence! We had access to outhouses and a spot to park and pitch a tent. Let me tell you, pitching a tent at 11 pm didn't sound like the greatest idea in the world, so we opted instead to sleep in the car. I can't sleep in cars, and I've never been able to. Given my options, I settled in for what would be a long night.  
It was about 6:30 am when Ryan awoke from his slumber. I'd been awake numerous times throughout the night, trying to readjust to a more comfortable position in our jam-packed car.  He put his glasses on, sat his seat upright, and we were on the road.  We crossed our fingers as we turned on the radio, and much to our relief, we were now good to go to Banff. I'd never been happier when we arrived at a campsite to discover that they had a site for us.  A place to sleep and eat and be the happiest campers in the world!  
It was still early in the morning, so we took advantage of our fire pit and made ourselves breakfast... bacon, eggs, sausage and coffee! Once the mess was cleaned up, we headed out for a day of adventures. Despite extreme fatigue from the sleepless night before, we felt up to the challenge of a hike that was rated as fairly easy.  5 minutes into the steep ascent, we were reminded of how truly out of shape we were. We huffed and puffed and whined the entire way up, as we always do.... we really do enjoy hiking, believe it or not.

 Eventually we made it to the top of the Castle Mountain lookout, and the view was really worth the struggle. 

We felt a short-lived sense of accomplishment before we remembered that we still had to get down. It was a long hike down as we fought swarms of mosquitos and sore muscles, but we made it, and we were proud... tired... but proud!  

We rewarded ourselves by returning to our campsite to cook up a feast.  There is nothing quite like campfire food, even if I was sticking to primarily paleo and healthy choices.

 I made an exception for smores. I'd waited all spring and summer for my favourite ever camping treat. Ryan and I indulged.  It was worth the wait. As the sun began setting and the air cooled off, I sat by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate and my feet cozy in Ugg boots. Pure mountain bliss.   After a nearly perfect day, we went to start the car as we'd left the cooler plugged in and didn't want to kill the battery. Apparently, we'd waited too long. The car tried, but to no avail.  This put a bit of a damper on our evening, as we'd left the windows open and needed a boost to roll them up. After a lengthy wait, the campground staff finally came around and brought our poor car back to life.  Hoping to charge up the battery, we decided to go for a quick drive through Banff.  People were wandering the town, dressed up and ready for a big night out. I was in my pyjamas, and far beyond ready to go to sleep.  We returned to our site, and I crawled into the tent. I was looking forward to a good night's sleep following the horribly uncomfortable evening prior.  

We woke up feeling refreshed in the morning. We made breakfast and packed up the site before hitting the road.  Feeling ambitious, we decided to face the challenge that was Tunnel Mountain. It was a far easier hike than the day before, but still rather exhausting... especially with such sore calves... and bums.  Castle Mountain had really defeated our poor bodies. We got to the top rather quickly, took photos and admired the gorgeous views of Banff and the valleys.  What a wonderful world we live in, and such incredible places so close to home. I'll never, ever get tired of the spectacular landscapes. For the first time in our hiking lives, we left the cameras at the bottom. It was a tough decision to pass up the amazing views, but leaving the cameras and lenses meant carrying much less weight. Our own body weight had been hard enough. We headed back down the mountain and continued walking into the town of Banff, where we stopped at Cow's Ice Cream.  I probably hadn't quite earned the treat, but I convinced myself that I did. It was delicious, right until the last chocolately bite.  I savoured it, knowing that the next day I'd be back to my healthy eating self.  It was time to bid farewell to the mountains and make the trek home. On the way, we stopped to pick up a few camping essentials in hopes of returning soon. 
Despite the initial hiccups and mishaps, the weekend had been a great one overall! If only reality didn't get in the way, we would have stayed much longer!  

it's the most wonderful time of the year!

Jul 20, 2012

Summer loving, had me a blast...
No, really. I love everything about this season.  Iced coffee (can you tell that this is an early morning post?), warm nights, and being free from the claustrophobia of 500 layers of clothing.  I can't stand being bundled up.  Throwing on a dress and heading out the door? Perfection.   I love that this summer, I'm in Canada.  Summer's in Dubai are unbearably hot, and with Ramadan having just begun I'm even more thankful to be home.  I understand how important the holiday is to those that celebrate, but for the rest of us, going a month without eating or even drinking water in public is not a whole lot of fun.  I recall standing outside in the 500 degree heat (okay, I exaggerate... but not by much) waiting for the sun to set. Sunset meant breaking the fast, and although I could eat all day long in the comfort of my home, I was typically out and about... because let's face it, I couldn't (and still can't) cook my own meals.  My time in Dubai has made me appreciate going for ice cream in the middle of summer and eating wherever I choose to do so. It's also given me a great deal of respect for the Muslim people in Canada who are fasting despite everyone around them eating.  I applaud the willpower that must involve. 
Carrying on with my list of summer loves... Camping. Perhaps the number one spot on my list of favourite things. I love going to the mountains and having no phone service, thus being forced to interact with my husband the entire time. I love the smell of fresh air, the crisp coolness, cooking over a campfire, and feasting on smores. I love the thrill that comes with the fact we share the area with big scary bears.  I especially love that I am going camping... today! And on that note, it's time to actually get off my bum, stop procrastinating via this blog, and get packing! 
Happy weekend my wonderful followers!  

a little bit of summer and nothing much at all.

Jul 13, 2012

Excuse my lack of blogging. I've been busy enjoying my summer... In particular, this "heat wave" that our lovely province is currently experiencing.  With temperatures similar to a spring afternoon in Dubai, I'll admit, it's been pretty toasty for this corner of the world. I trained for such conditions by spending 2 summers in one of the hottest places in the world... and you know what? This is gorgeous.  My fellow Canadians are full of complaints, but we only get 2 months a year to bask in the glorious heat. I plan to take full advantage of it.  Admittedly, we as Albertans aren't well equipped to deal with temperatures above 25 degrees... few houses have the luxury of air conditioning. This makes for sleepless nights in homes much warmer than my apartment in Dubai, which was constantly programmed to be a cozy 24 degrees Celsius.  Before we know it, it will be the middle of winter and too cold to feel our toes. Let's enjoy this... it never lasts.
In other news, today marks 3 months since the day that I married my best friend in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.  Since then, a few more friends have announced their engagements and I'm excited that the wedding fever is all but over.  I might no longer be a bride to be, but now I'm a bridesmaid! I always thought that I'd be the last one married and 10 times a bridesmaid, but shockingly I was the first of my close friends to walk down the aisle and this will be my first time as a bridesmaid.  Life has its way of surprising you. I'm so excited to do all sorts of girly wedding things, seeing as how Ryan and I didn't have a bridal party. These days every time we go to some social gathering the common question is "How is married life?" I'm really not sure what the expected response is. Of course it's great. I married my best friend and we couldn't be much happier. Even if it wasn't great, do you think I'd really answer the question in any other way? We love our life, and at 3 whole months, Hollywood marriages have nothing on us.  
This post is a bit of a rambling one, with nothing particular to blog about.  Okay, fine, I can't lie to you all... something exciting is in the works, but I'm going to save that for a later post.  (And no, before you ask... it has absolutely nothing to do with a baby.)
 Stay tuned my lovely readers! 
Now get offline and go outside... seriously... it's summer! 

another june over.

Jul 2, 2012

I love summer. I love it more than any other season.  Life is chaotically busy, and I am completely okay with that.  Boredom is not something that I handle well, so being completely overwhelmed with plans and events is right up my alley.  
After my wonderful Texan friend Sam headed back down south, I drove home to see my husband after a record breaking (since our marriage, at least) 3 days apart.  It's amazing that we once lived apart for 18 months, at one point going 5 months between visits. I'm not sure how we managed, but clearly it all worked out.  These days, 3 days apart is a lot.   I was happy to be home and reunited.
Despite having driven 5 hours that day already, I immediately packed up again and once Ryan was off of work we hit the road.  We drove through the pouring rain, bound for the mountains that were invisible behind the clouds. We stopped in Hinton for the evening. It wasn't a glamorous destination, but it was relatively close to Jasper, the hotels were cheaper, and Boston Pizza was across the street.  We spent our evening drinking from fishbowls. Oh how I love Fridays!
The next day we drove onwards to Jasper. Despite spending nearly every weekend in the mountains, it was my very first time in Jasper. I was thrilled to experience some place new, just hours from home!  The forecast wasn't looking great, but we managed to luck out and get a gorgeous day. We wandered Maligne Lake, spotting a fox, deer, elk, and even a bear!  If only Sam was still here!  It was like a classic summer weekend with Ryan. We drove, stopping numerous times to take photos of gorgeous places. I love few things more than the Rocky Mountains. 

The rain hit us in the afternoon, just in time to soak us as we hiked along a trail high up in the moutons, alongside a glacier.  That evening we dined and treated ourselves to the most amazing chocolate cake, in honour of my birthday that would approach a few hours later. Sunday arrived, and with it left my youth.  I'm not sure how it's happened, but I'm now 26 years old.  We spent the majority of my birthday driving through the pouring rain. We'd intended to go for a nice hike, but the downpour combined with the fact that the trail was still snow covered forced us to reconsider, opting instead for an evening in the hometown.  I called a couple of my best friends and we went to Boston Pizza for caesars and snacks. I also love Boston Pizza, just in case you've failed to recognize this fact.  It was a fairly low-key birthday, but I had no complaints... aside from the fact that I didn't get the puppy that I'd asked my husband for. No surprise there.  After dinner we headed to Ryan's parent's house for some cake and ice cream, before returning home to Edmonton.

The next week zoomed by, and before we knew it, it was already time to go back to Red Deer for the weekend!  I headed down on Thursday, spending the evening eating ice cream with a couple of my best friends. I felt honoured to join my friend Rosie in her search for a wedding gown, and even more honoured when she asked me to be one of her bridesmaids! She is going to be so gorgeous and I am so excited that I get to be a part of the biggest day of her life!  
Friday was another big day... my baby brother was graduating from high school.  We sat through the ceremony, watching him turn into a real grownup. It's hard to believe that it's been 8 years since I walked across that stage myself! I took more photos than all of the parents combined, but how could I resist when my computer-nerd younger sibling was suddenly dressed up like a handsome young man?

   As him and his date strolled across the stage, I found myself crying like the sappy big sister that I am.  It's amazing how time flies. I baked him some pretty awesome cupcakes for the occasion.  

The rest of the weekend was a good mix of family, friends, and of course, food. On Sunday we celebrated our wonderful country's birthday... Canada Day! Like the good Canadians that we are, we ordered caesars and poutine for lunch. My goodness, this country has some brilliant creations.  

We spent the evening at Ryan's family farm, eating campfire food and taking photos as Mother Nature showed off with gorgeous rainbows, cloud formations, and a perfect sunset.  We finished the evening off atop a hill outside of the city, watching the fireworks.  Another wonderful weekend is over, and July has officially arrived! Helloooooo summer!