The Beer Olympics

I’m picking up the story right now for yesterday evening. KP has posted our daytime activity post here, so be sure to check that out if you aren’t up to date. We decided that something as awesome and epic as The Beer Olympics (that’s right, the capital letters are absolutely necessary) deserves its very own post.

My story begins on the stairs next to the bar that was hosting The Beer Olympics. After finding our way there, we realized we were much too early for registration, so KP and I decided to sit on the sidewalk made of stairs on the next street over. Anyone who knows KP’s travelling style knows that sitting on any kind of stairs is one of her favourite pastimes – I couldn’t deny her the opportunity! We climbed up the stairs high enough to get a view and settled in to wait anxiously with the hope that our unknown roommates would arrive. You can read more about our invitation to them here, if you have not been keeping up.

We had almost an hour to kill sitting on the stairs, and during that time we made friends with a skateboarder named Nate. He was taking a nap on the stairs on the other side of the street when we sat down. After awhile, he used the icebreaker of asking for a cigarette (which neither of us could provide) and ended up coming over to chat with us. He told us a bit about himself – he is in his early 20’s and lives in San Francisco. He was pretty intoxicated, and he used a lot of typical surfer lingo, which makes sense since he apparently grew up on the beach. He was fascinated by the fact that we were from Canada and shared a bunch of tips for great local spots to hit up while in San Francisco. We shared the story of our roommate invitation with Nate and he thought it was pretty much the greatest thing he had ever heard, so I guess we weren’t too over the top, at least to his tastes. We bid Nate goodbye when it was time to go inside and register for The Beer Olympics, but chatting with him was an enjoyable way to pass some time.

While in line in front of the bar, KP and I met a couple fellows. One of them, Greg, ended up on our team for The Beer Olympics. I never did catch the name of the other guy, but he was from Toronto, so I guess that’s as good a game to give him as anything. After registration, we moved in to the competition room and hung out with these boys for awhile.

Greg was from Houston, and after talking to him for a fair amount of time and doing some prodding for information, he told KP and I that he works for NASA! We refused to believe him and asked for proof. He pulled out a few impressive looking photos and I asked how we could possibly know that these weren’t just photos from some awesome science center that makes people look cool. After talking to him much more over the course of the night, I think that I actually do believe him – I mean, a line like that is just too unbelievable to actually lie about, and he seemed so sincere with all of his answers. So basically, we may or may not have made a friend who works for NASA – Cool, right?

Conversation about NASA lead to discussion about one of Canada’s national heroes, Commander Hadfield and his Twitter feed. KP and Greg got into a huge discussion about him, with Greg refusing to believe how much Canadians love him, so he turned to Toronto, who was lost in another conversation, and just said two words – “Commander Hadfield?” – to which Toronto immediately replied “That guy is like a rock star in Canada!”. So there, point proven. This line of conversation eventually lead to probably my favourite moment of the night, when Toronto got all of our attention and asked, so seriously:

“I only have one question – how does he tweet from space?”

It was as though a lightbulb came on in all of our heads right at that moment as we all tried to figure out how that was even possible. Greg cleared it up for us by explaining a bit about the availability of internet on space ships, which is apparently quite limited but it is there nonetheless.

Not long after this conversation, we all started gathering at our team meeting points. As I mentioned previously, Greg ended up on our team for the event, and KP and I met two adorable little blonde British girls that were placed on our team as well. Becca and Natalie were on their first stop of 3 months of travelling North America and Australia – I am beyond jealous. Here is a team photo!

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Before starting the event, KP and I made the acquaintance of a couple more young men – Joe and Tanner. They both lived in San Francisco and for some reason thought KP and I being from Canada was just the most entertaining thing they had ever heard. Their immediate association with someone being from Canada and participating in the Olympics (as in, the Beer Olympics) was apparently curling, so we got into a long and confusing discussion trying to explain the rules of the game and the roles of the different team members. Before we knew it, it was time to get started with the first round of competition, so Joe and Tanner headed off to join their team, but promised to come back to talk to us later.

And now we’re up to the moment you’ve all been waiting for: DUH DUH DUH…. THE BEER OLYMPICS!! I have to say, whether you are from San Francisco, or just visiting, I highly recommend this event that happens every Friday night. It was just such a blast.

We played four different games – Flip Cup, Beer Bingo, Beer Paper Scissors, and Beer Pong. The rules of each game were relatively simple, but I’ve outlined them below for you.

Flip Cup
Each player starts with a cup, filled about an inch full of beer. Each team is lined up on opposite sides of the table, facing each other. The teams decide which end to start at, and the lead member for each team chugs their beer, then sets the cup on the table and proceeds to flip it from right side up to upside down with a flick. Once they do that, the next person in line can drink their beer and follow the same process. The first team to go through their whole line up wins. We went to best out of 5 games.

Beer Bingo
Each team fills 16 cups with about an inch of beer each and arranges them in a 4×4 square. Teams take turns attempting to shoot a ping pong ball into a cup, rotating their shooter each time. If you hit a cup, your opponent needs to drink that cup and flip it upside down. The first team to get 4 cups in a row flipped over – vertical, horizontal, or diagonal – wins. This game was best of 1.

Beer Paper Scissors
This was probably the dumbest game we played. The table was set up like in beer bingo and one member of each team played Rock Paper Scissors against each other. The winner stayed to face the next opponent, and the loser had to drink a beer and rotate with a teammate. The team that drank all their beer first lost. This was also best of 1 game.

Beer Pong
This was a very dumbed-down version of 6 cup beer pong. 6 cups were filled partway with beer and set up in a triangle on each side of the table. Teams took turns attempting to shoot a ping pong ball into one of the cups, rotating their shooter on each turn. There was no defence, no bouncing, no rollbacks, and a reform every time the cup was hit (for those of you who are beer pong aficionados). The first team to hit all of their opponent’s cups was the winner. This game was also best of 1.

At the end of the 4 rounds, the teams that were undefeated entered into playoffs for the championship. This, sadly, was not us. We held our own with a respectable 2-2 record, winning at Beer Pong and Beer Bingo, and suffering tough losses at Flip Cup and Beer Paper Scissors. For a team with 4 times more females than any of the others, two of which had never played Beer Pong before, I think we did alright. And it was actually a ton of fun, so that is really what mattered.

After the official competition was over, Joe and Tanner came back to chat, and KP, Greg, and I ended up playing some additional games of beer pong – Canadian Rules – with Joe. At some point during this game, KP got into a discussion that resulted in her besting all the Americans with her knowledge of state capitals. That’s my nerdy roommate! Everyone at the table was definitely impressed.

The bar closed down at around 12:30 AM – so early! Joe and Tanner wanted to head to this salsa and cigar bar nearby, so the rest of us just went with the flow, though none of us knew how to salsa and smoking cigars is not something KP and I enjoy doing. During the walk, KP got a proposition from a bunch of strippers to join their ranks and become one of them – not sure how I totally missed seeing this happen. Luckily, she turned down their offer to teach her all they knew.

We had a great time having a few drinks at this random place at which Joe just seemed to know everyone. The most eventful thing to happen there was that KP and I found out that hi-balls don’t exist here. Apparently in the USA, a hi-ball is a certain type of glass. Joe had the bartender pull one out, and it certainly is not the glass any of our hi-balls would be served in. Who knew!

Now, as many of you may have noticed, I have not made any mention of the roommates we were hoping to welcome and bond with. They sadly did not show up. HOW COULD THEY NOT, I ASK YOU? KP and I were both a little heartbroken over this, but I’m glad we had a good night regardless. At the salsa bar, we told all our new friends the story about our botched roommate welcome, and they were pretty impressed with our whole blog post. I have to say, despite the fact that it didn’t work this time, I will do it again the next time I’m hosteling somewhere.

Around 1:30 AM, this bar closed down too, so we started our walk home. People went their separate ways along the way, but Tanner walked us right to the door of our hostel – I think he was a little concerned about two clueless Canadian girls alone in the city at night! We would have been fine as the route was quiet, but it was definitely nice to have the company.

Along the way, KP and I got into an argument with Tanner about a ferry that he was claiming to have ridden in Canada while he lived in Montana. We were sure there was no reason he would have ridden a ferry around Nelson, BC, but it turns out we were totally wrong. There is such a thing. We sure looked like some oblivious Canadians!

When we finally got inside and went to our room, the roommates we had wanted to meet so badly were in bed already. So not impressed. Regardless, we had a good night without them and The Beer Olympics were definitely a great choice. We made a couple friends and had a lot of fun (and spent very very little money). The evening was an all around win. We had a great time with the group we ended up hanging out with, but didn’t even exchange contact information with the majority of them. I find it so interesting that we all really enjoyed each other’s company but that we will likely never cross paths again. That’s travelling, I suppose!

Love KG

Is reverse stalking a thing??

Yesterday we moved to a hostel actually in San Francisco. KP will be blogging the day at some point – I hope! – and I will link to it here, but I just wanted to tell you all a quick story.

When we arrived at our hostel, our roommates hadn’t checked in yet. We were very excited to meet them, but to our dismay, it seemed that they weren’t going to arrive before we needed to leave to hit up Chinatown and head to the Beer Olympics. That’s right, I said it. Beer Olympics. I would tell you more, but unfortunately that is not part of this story – I promise you’ll get more of an overview at some point, though.

Anyhow, as we were getting ready to go, KP decided she was going to leave a note for our roommates, welcoming them and introducing ourselves, and inviting them out to join us at the Beer Olympics (because who can pass up that invitation, right?). As she sat down to write, she expressed that she wished she had a photo of us to leave behind so that they would know who to look for at the bar. I then came up with a genius idea – a blog post.

So, here is the note we left for our roommates:

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And here is a link to the URL listed.

I’ll leave how it ends a mystery for now, but I have a couple questions for you. Would you go if you got this lovely message or did we come on a little too strong? And is reverse stalking a thing? These are the serious issues I want to deal with here at Yukon Girl in the World.

Bye for now!

Love KG

Wharfing Around

Guys, a cool thing happened to me. Yesterday morning, I got a comment on my blog post from one of the people putting on the Macbeth play at Fort Point that I wrote about the other day. She invited me out to their dress rehearsal for last night! Sadly, I did email her, but didn’t get a response so decided not to just show up out of the blue – but man would that have been fun. I’m a little let down that I’m still not going to get to see the show while I’m here, but either way, this was my first almost-perk from the blogging world, which is a milestone in itself.

Anyhow, on to my day yesterday. I started out planning as though I might attend Macbeth, so I didn’t get started too early in an effort to save my energy for later in the day. Around noon, I walked to the San Carlos Caltrain station and hopped on a train into the city. Rich had recommended Burlingame as a cute little town to visit, and it just so happened that it was right along my route, so I stopped there for a couple hours. I wandered around the main street and through a few stores, then stopped for a snack and an italian soda at a bakery. I brought my purchases back to a park near the train station to enjoy them.

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It was about time to catch my train and continue the journey into San Francisco, so I got on the next train out of Burlingame. I had decided to switch over to the BART again to hit the part of the city that I wanted to go to, and ended up accidentally riding the train one stop too far… to West Oakland. Oops! I swear my train skipped the Embarcadero station for some reason, and I still haven’t figured out how I was supposed to know that it would. Not too much harm was done as I just hopped off and got on the next train going in the opposite direction.

I eventually made my way to the water and did pretty well the same walk that KP and I had done the night before, though it was rather different during the day! I found some fish and chips for lunch at Alcatraz Landing Cafe, and worked on previous last blog post while I was there. I then made my way along the waterfront to Fisherman’s Wharf.

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Along the way, I ran into many street performers and musicians, including this guy:

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I stopped to watch about three songs from a musician performing on Pier 39, and I ended up buying his CD. His name is Matthew Stewart, and you should all definitely check him out. I only left after 3 songs because the fact that I was just standing there while other people were cycling in and out made me feel rather conspicuous. His style is right up my alley as far as his music is concerned, and he sounded amazingly good in person.

I continued my walk along the waterfront, and just enjoyed the sunshine and the atmosphere. I ended up at Hyde Street Pier, and wandered through Ghiradelli Square. I thought that the shops and restaurants in Ghirardelli Square were laid out in such a cute and fashionable way in the large building. What a neat venue for a mall!

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This was the view of the water after I left Ghirardelli Square. It was an absolutely lovely evening.

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By this time, it was getting a bit late, so I decided to make my way back to the train station to start the ride home. I grabbed a coffee from The Black Point Cafe for the walk, and started the hike.

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I got home fairly late, but it was a nice day of relaxing and enjoying the sunshine. Today was a whole different story, but that one is still to come. Keep on reading!

Love KG

Trains, a Crab, and the Buena Vista

Yesterday was a busy day – and a long one – which is why this post is happening today instead.

I began the day bright and early so that KP could drop me off at the San Carlos Caltrain station on the way to her course. I arrived at the station without any information about the schedule or stops and a minimal idea of the rates to ride. I can’t say that I wasn’t worried – I’m not exactly a seasoned transit user. I never rode the city bus in Whitehorse growing up, and Edmonton can only boast a light rail transit system with one line… No transfers required. That being said, I figured out how to buy a ticket and managed to find my way onto a train relatively easily. I had been given the recommendation of changing to the BART train at the Millbrae station so that I could get to where I wanted to go in the city, and I even managed to do that without any major issues.

I eventually arrived at Powell station near Union Square in San Francisco. It was still relatively early in the morning and there was hardly a soul to be found in the station, but for the many homeless stretched out along the walls for a good night’s sleep. It was an odd thing for me to see so many people without anywhere to go all in one place, though clearly it was warm and dry there.

After emerging from underground, I realized it was too early for stores to be open yet – and shopping was my plan for the day – so I promptly found a Starbucks store to hang out in and surf the internet/people watch, which are two of my favourite things to do.

Once it was a more reasonable hour of the day, I went off to do some shopping. I wandered through the streets around Union Square, and through the stores around Westfield Mall for most of the morning and early afternoon. I stopped at a noodle house called The King of Thai for lunch, which was totally delicious and totally affordable. Later in the afternoon I stumbled upon the San Francisco Visitor Centre nestled under the ground near Market Street, and stopped for a coffee at the cute place just outside.

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Once I had had my fill of shopping and wandering, I decided to catch the train back to San Carlos. KP had the evening off, and though we were planning to head into the city, I thought it would be more fun if we could travel together. Plus, I needed to have some down time, to drop my shopping bags, and to change into some of my new clothes!

Sadly, this train trip did not prove to be as smooth as my first. I got off a stop too early, which resulted in hanging out for the longest 12 minutes of my life alone in the station with a man that did not appear to be entirely stable. In my haste to escape, I accidentally got onto a train that was detouring to a different stop and ending there. I rode that train up one stop and back, then finally got on a train that wasn’t stopping in San Carlos, which meant I needed to get off a few stops early and switch trains. I did make it back to my home station eventually, and at one point I even had a girl ask me for help, so I must not have looked too conspicuously clueless.

Anyhow, KP picked me up at the station since she was home from her course by this time and we headed back to the hotel for a quick stop. Luckily I had lots of downtime while riding trains in circles, so I wasn’t feeling as tired as I did earlier in the day. We decided to head into the city and try to make our way towards Fisherman’s Wharf for some dinner and a walk along the water. Between my newfound knowledge of the train system, and our mutual fear of driving the absolute madness that is San Francisco, KP and I decided that the train would be the easiest way to make the trip in. I really am going to be an expert on the Caltrain system!

Our trek into San Francisco was fairly uneventful besides a tight timeline for making the train off the start. Before long, we were disembarking, hopping onto the light rail for a couple stops, and emerging just a few blocks from the Ferry Building.

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We went inside and wandered through the building, but most things were closed. I think we will have to make another visit here during the day sometime. Outside, there was a farmer’s market happening. We considered checking it out, but it looked as though the bulk of the booths were serving liquor, and there weren’t too many with food. We were both starving, so decided that probably would not make for the best choice. Instead, we started our walk along the water, past the TCHO chocolate factory, which we hope to visit on the weekend, and the America’s Cup grounds, among much more.

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Eventually we arrived at Pier 39 and decided we wanted seafood for dinner. After looking at a few different places, we ended up at The Crab House. It had a nice atmosphere – classy without feeling too fancy to eat crab at (and create the mess that always comes along with it).

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We had a crab. Literally that was all that came with our meal – one crab, which we split. We were full focused on getting every scrap of crab meat out of that shell for the next 45 minutes or so. The meal was delicious. It had been far too long since I last had crab, but I find it difficult to convince myself to eat much seafood while I am in landlocked Alberta, so this was a nice treat.

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After dinner we went for a walk out on one of the piers and we could hear the noisy sound of sea lions calling to one another. Their shapes could be made out vaguely on the water, and one seemed to be mingling with all the boats docked there. They were so loud they drowned out the rest of the evening bustle along the waterfront. We continued walking down through Fisherman’s Wharf, taking in the sights and sounds as we went.

Rich had recommended the Buena Vista Cafe as the best place to get an Irish coffee, and I was fancying one of those for dessert, so that was our next destination. During dinner, we realized that the Buena Vista is, in fact, the place that introduced Irish coffee to North America, which made it even more worth visiting. I have to say, they really have that recipe figured out. Sadly, KP had a hot chocolate since coffee can give her migraines – and it was late at night besides – but I let her have a sip of mine to get a taste. Here I am enjoying it!

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After this, we decided to head back to San Carlos and hopped in a cab to take us to the Caltrain station. The walk back would have been nice but it also would have meant a MUCH later arrival back at the hotel and we were both exhausted. By the time we returned, we were both ready to fall into bed. I’m glad I got to sleep in this morning, but I am also really glad KP and I made good use of her night off.

Love KG

It’s Always Foggy in San Francisco

Today I am writing from San Francisco! Well, San Carlos, actually. I am a lucky girl. My roommate, whose name is also Kristin (and who I shall refer to as “KP” from now on), has apparently become important enough at work that they want to send her away to courses at places as cool as (just outside) San Francisco. I tagged along, and I’m adventuring without her all week, but we are moving to stay in a hostel actually in San Francisco when she is done her course Friday and will do some exploring together then. You can check her blog out here – I’m sure she will be doing a couple posts throughout the week as well.

We got in to our hotel in San Carlos early yesterday evening, and had just enough time to get settled and go for a walk to the grocery store and to find dinner before we both crashed. It was most definitely a travel day. I was eager to get the lay of the land, but there doesn’t seem to be much right around the hotel. Usually I am such a hardcore planner when it comes to travel, but KP and I had both been so busy recently that neither of us had time to plan much of anything – and I have much more time to fill than she does, since her course is her priority for the next few days.

As soon as I decided that I was coming to San Francisco, I dropped a line to a business contact of my mom’s who lives in the area. I met Rich a couple months ago when he and my mom were both in Edmonton for business, and he had said to let him know if I was ever down in his neck of the woods. Once he heard I was coming, he immediately offered to spend a day showing me around. That day ended up being today! Here’s the only picture I have of Rich and I, just so you know who I’m talking about (we’re at the America’s Cup grounds here, but we will get to that later).

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Rich picked me up bright and early this morning. The best part of the day was that I had no idea what we were going to do; I was just along for the ride. It was awesome to have a local guide who could recommend some less touristy things to see and do during the rest of my time here.

We began our day with a drive around the west side of San Francisco. Rich was hoping I’d get a bunch of amazing views on this part of the trip, but, as luck would have it, it was quite foggy early in the morning, so I couldn’t see much. We did stop at a beach early on, and though I could barely see the water off in the distance, the fresh ocean air was undeniable. It had been far too long since I was last near the ocean.

Next we spent some time driving through Golden Gate Park. I didn’t take any pictures, but just soaked up the beautiful trees and plants, and enjoyed the views. I can’t believe how big that park is to be just in the middle of a major city!

We stopped for breakfast at Cliff House, which is a beautiful and somewhat famous place. It is a large building on the edge of the ocean – the views are amazing – and the walls are lined with head shots of celebrities dating back many decades, most of which are autographed and addressed to Cliff House.

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Next to it is a site where a real indoor salt water bath house used to stand, which was fed directly by the ocean.

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The food was delicious and the coffee strong and flavourful, just the way I like it. I had the Joe’s Special, which is a San Francisco dish dating back to the 1920’s. It is eggs with ground beef, spinach, mushrooms, onions, parmesan cheese, and who knows what else! Interesting combination, but yummy all the same.

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Our next stop was at the famed Golden Gate Bridge. I don’t think I need to write too much here as I won’t be saying anything new or exciting, but here are some photos to enjoy. It was still a little foggy at this point, but I think that makes the bridge look almost a little mysterious.

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I love this view of the city and the bay from the bridge.

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Below Golden Gate Bridge, there is a civil war era brick fort called Fort Point. I have to say, visiting this site was one of the highlights of my day. Rich explained to me that Fort Point was built to guard the bay, and it used to be stocked with so many cannons and so much fire power that it made San Francisco virtually impenetrable. Rich also explained that back when he was young, this was one of his favourite places to come to play tag with his buddies. Apparently the surfaces and rooms have been better restored since then, but the structure is still the same.

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The best thing about Fort Point is that next week, there is a group running performances of Macbeth inside the fort. Apparently, while watching, you have to follow the actors throughout the building. I’m a little upset that this is not happening while KP and I are still around, but in case any of you happen to be interested in the details, you can find them here. How much fun would it be to spend an evening running around an old building like this watching a Shakespearean play unfold? I can’t think of many better things to do.

After Fort Point, we drove for awhile, and before I even knew what was happening, we were driving down the winding section of Lombard Street! It literally came out of nowhere. I don’t know who decided to build this road, but it was fun to drive down.

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Our next stop of the day was at Coit Tower. This tower was built with money left behind by Lillian Coit upon her death – you can read her story and more about Coit Tower here. Basically, going up this tower led to an amazing panoramic view of San Francisco.

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Our last stop of the day before Rich brought me back to my hotel and rushed off to catch a plane to Spokane was at the America’s Cup grounds. I’ve never been much into sailing, but I’m definitely not one to pass up a chance to experience a part of any live sporting event. Unfortunately there weren’t any races going on today, but it was a nice day to spend on the grounds regardless. There were some pretty fancy yachts docked at the pier, and we got to see all the exhibitions that were set up for the event.

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Rich dropped me back at my hotel by about 4:15 PM and I was pretty darn exhausted. The day was so busy that I was happy to spend the evening doing nothing more strenuous than walking to Starbucks. I did walk a little further than that and discovered a residential park bordering on the water, so I spent some time there, but other than that it has been a mellow evening.

It was discovered for me that there is a train station close to the hotel that goes right into San Francisco, so it looks like I will be adventuring into the city solo tomorrow – we’ll see how that goes. Wish me luck!

Love KG

“Girl of My Dreams”

I was lucky enough to have a visit last night with my Hawaiian family. For any of you who have not seen my earlier blog posts, I have an aunt, uncle, and two young cousins who live in paradise. I spent some time living with them for a few months two years ago, which you can read about in earlier posts on this blog, but I have not had the chance to see them much since. Here is an adorable picture of my cousins and I last night:

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Aren’t they the cutest??

Yesterday, the Hawaiians (along with my grandparents) made a stop in Edmonton on a whirlwind trip through western Canada. By the end of this trip they will have spent time in a long list of places including Edmonton, Red Deer, Jasper, Lake Louise, Kelowna, Kamloops, and Vancouver. I think it’s great for the kids to have the opportunity to see so many places in Canada at such a young age.

Anyhow, yesterday we all went for a dinner with some family in St. Albert, and we got to talking about my great grandparents. That is the real reason I decided to write a blog post today. I feel that stories about family are a part of each individual’s history, and I try to make the most of any opportunities I have to learn about those who came before me. My grampa told a touching story last night about his parents, and I wanted to try to put it in writing. I may not get all the details right, but the main ideas of the story are what really matter, and that’s what I want to share here today.

I never met my great grandfather from this side of my family – he died when my dad was about 10 years old. I have heard a few stories over the years about Grandpa Jack, but I feel like I missed out with never having met him. I do have memories of his wife, my great grandmother, who we called “Ama”. This is a name my dad gave her when he was young and couldn’t quite manage to say “Grandma”. From there, it just stuck. Ama passed away when I was 12 or so – I remember it as my first real touch with death.

The story last night came out of an unexpected discussion about musicality. Many members in my family seem to have some natural musical talent – I wish I was one of the ones that got a little more of that! – and my grampa commented that Grandpa Jack was quite a singer. In fact, he had a singing quartet with his three brothers before they went away to serve overseas in the war, which is where the story begins.

Ama and my Grandpa Jack were married right before Jack was sent away to war. They didn’t have the chance to really have any sort of life together before he was gone and she had no guarantee that he would return. They had only letters to get them through, but for one rare exception. As I already mentioned, my Grandpa Jack was apparently quite the singer, and he once serenaded Ama from across the ocean over the military radio. He sang “Girl of My Dreams”, and this was the only time Ama heard his voice over the 6 years he was away.

Girl of my dreams, I love you
Honest I do, you are so sweet
If I could just hold your charms
Again in my arms
Then, life would be complete!

Since you’ve been gone, dear
Life don’t seem the same
Please come back again!

And after all’s said an’ done
There’s only one
Girl of my dreams, it’s you!

Since you’ve been gone, dear
Life don’t seem the same
Please come back again!

And after all’s said an’ done
There’s only one
Girl of my dreams, it’s you!

I can’t even begin to imagine how emotional and powerful hearing something like that would have been for Ama – it’s difficult to think about a world like that in today’s social-media-powered society. Luckily, this story has a happy ending since Grandpa Jack and all his brothers did actually return from the war – which I think seems incredibly fortunate – and Ama and Jack went on to build a family together.

When I think of my own history, I want to always remember as many pieces of my family’s past as possible. Everything that Ama and Grandpa Jack went through is just one story of hundreds of thousands of stories about the war, but this story is a part of my story, so it is important to me and I believe it is worth being heard.

To end off, here’s a picture of my aunt, Stacy, and I at Grandpa Jack and Ama’s grave last year.

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Love KG

Find your passion and Crush It!

This morning I finished reading this book:

Crush It

It was an interesting read, making me think about how to create an online presence and ways to capitalize off of it moving forward. Gary Vaynerchuk is just full of ideas for promoting a brand through social media and online marketing, but at the very core of his strategy is the fact that whatever you do, you should be passionate about it.

This leads me to wanting to talk about my passion. I’ve thought for awhile about starting a blog specifically to discuss events and share my event planning experiences and expertise, but I have yet to find the time to pull something like that together, so for now, a snippet here and there on my personal blog will have to do. I’ve made moves this year toward gaining experience in events and learning more about the event industry in general, so I’ll try to share some of that newfound knowledge here.

I knew for years that I enjoyed being involved in planning and volunteering for a variety of different events, but I never really gave a thought to the fact that I could have a career doing something that is just that much fun! I made this realization relatively recently – after an only slightly related university degree, of course – and now I’m constantly looking for ways to learn and develop in this area. I recently started a job as an Event Coordinator with the Alberta Diabetes Foundation, and there are days that I can’t believe I get paid to work in events. There are also other days that are chock full of frustrating emails and phone calls, and last minute crises – and yet, the feeling of seeing an event come together makes it all worth it. Working in events isn’t for everyone, but I’m glad I’ve finally figured out that it is for me.

I have to say, this is all too true.
Event planning in a nutshell.

Basically, the point of this post is that it’s important to figure out what your passion is. In Vaynerchuk’s book, he is adamant about the belief that any passion can be made into a career, and he uses examples from accounting to gardening to business development. Β With today’s online world, I think he’s right – you just have to be excited and knowledgeable and willing to put in the work. There is someone out there that wants to hear your expertise. You just need to find them.

Love KG