June 29, 2010

The Parkallen restaurant has been around for years and years. I had never eaten there until Don and I started dating. It's a regular spot for their family. They used to order pizza every Friday night.

Evidently it has undergone various facelifts and changes over the years, but very recently it had a complete overhaul. I was expecting a little sprucing up, but was completely shocked at the transformation!

We rode. Parkallen is super close to our place.

I wore an old mauve skirt. It's old, but it's still good.

My creamy fender.

Don did the towing.

The baby was almost asleep so I locked up and went in first while Don took a few extra laps to make sure Dexter was knocked out completely.

The place looks so much cleaner on the outside than it used to.

The patio is all shiny and new.


By far the most jaw-dropping thing is the wine "cellar" you get to see when you walk in the front door.

All the wine bottles look amazing.

It was just like being in a boutique hotel.

Really warm and contemporary. The tables are bamboo!

The menu. All your favourites are still there, and the prices haven't changed.

I love how they kept and highlighted the fir beams.

The wine.

Anything you want? They have.

So pretty.

I had the viognier.

Iveson senior. Yes, he has a most prolific beard.

There was a fresh tomato and bacon pizza.

I had the chicken shish taouk platter. The garlic paste that comes with this stuff is yum yummy.

Don took this picture of me while I was trying to get my pedals in place. Awkward posture.

Chain guard.

I'm so happy to see local restaurants thriving and changing to attract new clientele. I know Don's family has been going there forever, but now I'll have to start making this one of my regular places too. The current chef and owner, Joe, used to work there for his dad as a pizza delivery boy. I'm so proud that he decided to keep the family business and brought it into the 21st century for new families like mine. Owning a business is hard work. That's why its important to eat local when you can. Keep those dollars in your community!

Spring Concert.

June 28, 2010

Last Sunday was my official last day of work. Well, official last day of appearing in front of students and parents. There is always behind the scenes scheduling and book keeping.

I now hold my concerts at a little church a few neighbourhoods over. There is basically a bike path the entire way and it only takes 10ish minutes to bike. Don was helping me set things up and was going to be on Dexter duty while the students were performing, so he rode the mountain bike with Dexter in the chariot trailer. I was just going to ride Pashley or Amsterdam with a pannier, but then I remembered that one family always brings me several bottles of wine in a wooden case (their family owns a wine store here in Edmonton).

Yes, students bring me wine as year end presents. I am the luckiest teacher around. They bring me other assorted gifts too. Like flowers, planted herbs, jewelry, and heaps of gift certificates for books, movies, and fashions.

My clients know me very well.

It is endlessly flattering, the amount of thought that goes into the treats I get from the kids and their families. And not just at Christmas and the end of the year! I get weekly baking, assorted treats, drawings, and frequent prezzies for Dexter in the from of paul frank t-shirts and story books. The teaching is rewarding in and of itself, but the thoughtfulness and love I feel from my students and parents is paramount. I feel so appreciated in this line of work. It's rewarding on a weekly basis and also in the long-term sense. When I say I love my students I really mean it. They are wonderful and make me smile hour after hour. That's why I have never traded this line of work for a conventional 9-5 job. The goodwill and enjoyment (and summers off) is too much to give up.

So, the case of wine. It wasn't going to fit in my pannier. I suppose I could have strapped it to the rear rack, but opted to just ride the Madsen instead.

I wore a trapeze dress that I've had for years. It's so versatile. People used to ask me if I was pregnant when I wore this. Ironically, the top portion doesn't fit at all when pregnant.

Paired it with my new metallic heels.

When Crystal and I were shopping and I first saw these several weeks ago she saw me holding them and said they looked like the shoes of a streetwalker. I quickly admitted that I actually liked them (metallics are an amazing neutral). She then qualified that they would look sort of cheap in size 9 (her size), and not so much in size 5. So I went back and got them a few weeks later after I had time to think it over.

Here is the trusty bucket. Much easier to ride when there isn't a full grown man in the back.

Most of the families that come to lessons at the bungalow arrive by car, unless they live in the neighbourhood. Those students generally walk (which I wholeheartedly condone), and little Owen up the street rides his bike. There is this one family that lives quite close to an LRT station on the north end and they actually take the train and walk. YES! I love this family. They have a viable option to driving, and they capitalize on it.

Love love love.

When they arrived for their concert the dad was looking at the crazy long chain on the Madsen. We rolled it out and got his two little girls to climb in so they could take it for a test spin.


I am head over heels for this next photo. The girls look so full of joy. It epitomizes how I feel about riding bikes.

Fun. Smiles. Full of life. Yes!

Later on I loaded a bunch of gifts into the Madsen for the ride home.

By the time we were ready to go home (there were two separate concerts because of the number of students I have), my feet hurt. That's why I had emergency flip flops in my bag and wore those while stacking chairs.

I'm also using the Frietag as a diaper bag now. One bag. Many functions.

Just another shot of me buckling up my helmet. Yes, I wear a helmet. Despite my often being photographed sans.

I'm working on a post all summer long, pulling together the research I've gathered for my Masters thesis, to say my piece about helmets once and for all. Look forward to it. Once I publish it here, I will never engage in any discussion about helmets ever again, unless it is a reasonable exchange that is informed and measured.

But, for the record, I think I look pretty sweet in my helmet. When I was at a photo shoot the other day the photographer told me I looked like a riot cop with my shades and helmet. So don't mess with me.

Jazz in the Park.

June 27, 2010

Saturday was my first official Saturday not teaching this year. Freedom!

Specifically, I had the sweet freedom to visit the city market while all the vendors still had stock.

I have a very ambitious plan to hold court at the city market each Saturday morning around 10-11 am. I find it a great place to get groceries, run into friends (both planned meetings and random run-ins), people watch, and take photographs.

I don't usually bike to the market when I have the baby. When I'm heading north of the river it's generally much more convenient for me to take the train. I don't have to tow anything or navigate narrow streets with the Madsen. Dexter can't really walk yet so if I put him in a bike seat I would have to carry him everywhere once we got to our destination. Walking and train is still the best. Very leisurely. Super low impact.

Dexter is being SUPER cute these days.

He is a curious little boy so any time we go some place with lots of stuff happening he's all over it. When we arrived at the market we quickly met up with a selection of his aunties. He was being very emphatic while auntie Fella handled him.

It is so convenient to have friends who love baby D and are good with kids. Frees me up so Sable and I can hit the waffle truck.

We saw all these people get whipped cream and sauces drizzled on theirs.

But we opted for plain. Well, you can get them in in vanilla or maple. But we decided not to get the toppings and just try the waffles au natural.

Hands down. The most delicious waffle I have ever consumed.

Elize had ridden the Raleigh up to the market from Riverdale. Now, Riverdale is an idyllic neighbourhood in the valley. It's just gorgeous down there. But in order to get anywhere there is no way out but up. Hills. Everywhere.

Elize is going to be very strong by the end of this summer.

Dexter being charming to his auntie.

This is sort of a Dexter love fest. The light was good and he was just being so very expressive. I couldn't help myself.

I think this picture is very presidential. It's like he's looking off into the distance, imagining a greater future for us all.

And then there is goofy D.


After the market scene we walked over to Louise McKinney Park to get a spot on the lawn and enjoy some jazz in the park, one of the many offerings available during Edmonton's International Jazz Festival.

I highly recommend people take in a show here or there. Live music is the best and there are so many venues and varieties of jazz to experience.

We spread out a picnic blanket and the sandals came off. These are Lisa's.

And here is Lisa. I always wanted curly hair when I was young... now I have learned to just work with what the universe has bestowed upon me.

Grass is great for Dexter. Crawling!

Later on my friend Adam came to interview me for the Unknown Studio. The topic was being a working mom who operates from home and what role social media plays in how I communicate and connect with others.

Dexter kept stealing Adam's shades, so we helped out with trying to keep them on baby's face.

After a while my precocious little dude was trying to reciprocate the interview. This time Adam was supposed to answer questions about diaper preferences or something like that.

It was an ideal start to summer vacation. Be warned. You will likely be bombarded with weekly posts about the market. What can I say? I love the market!

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