Wednesday Lunch Date.

September 28, 2011

Best friend Crystal and I have a long-standing tradition that has gone back for years, of treating each other to birthday dinners. Though I don't do birthday meals with every friend (so busy, conflicting schedules), I do like it when things work out and I can at least treat a friend to a birthday lunch or something casual like that.

Intense wind and running late dissuaded me from riding all the way to lunch. So I pedalled up to the train and hopped on it, and enjoyed the company and the easy ride. Didn't have to deal with any traffic or parking. Just my style!

The leaves are looking mighty fine these days too. Though the trees are shedding them at an alarming rate...

Enjoy lunch!

Mid Week Steak Frites.

September 26, 2011

A girl is hungry after work. When the weather is fine, a hungry girl rides across the river in search of steak frites.

At the Marc, the frites come with truffle butter.

Despite arriving without a reservation, there are always cozy spots at the bar.

When the first wave of dinner patrons clear out, girl and her friends can snag a table.

Tuck in!

And on the way home, steak frites live happily inside a girl's belly.

The end.

P.S. Girl saw at least 3 cyclists on the way home without lights. Girl wants these cyclists to know that no visibility is very dangerous and vexing to others.

Campus Picnic.

September 22, 2011

On a sunny fall day, I brought a picnic lunch to share with a friend who only had an hour between classes. It was a good opportunity to have lunch outside the colourful new building that I really like!

I procured goods from the Upper Crust Café. The two plates of sandwiches survived the journey under my rack's clamp very well.

It only took a few minutes of coasting to arrive at the building where I celebrated the wearing of sandals.

And a lunch of fresh sammies in the sunshine with my bike parked next to our perch was just the thing to get my day off to a good start.

When there is no time to go out for lunch, somtimes a good cycling friend will bring the lunch right to your building. Everybody wins!

Good to Go.

September 20, 2011

This morning after breakfast, I was working on the computer and turned around to see that Dexter had gone through the motions of preparing himself for a bike ride.

I noticed this because he kept chanting "Bike ride? Bike ride?" to me.

What a charming little push cyclist.

He's totally developing the leg-swing-over-saddle technique.

He paddles up and down the hall while he patiently waits to be taken to the playground.

The other night we were having a fine time paddling the bike around the block, until we went through a little patch of mud. The toddler in Dexter came out, and he refused to go any further while there was mud on his wheel.

I thought I would help by grabbing some big leaves off a tree and showing Dexter that we could simply clean the wheel off by wiping the mud with leaves. That instigated a new found desire to pick all the leaves off the tree (unreasonable demands of a 2 year old) and utter refusal to continue riding the bike any further, until tree-stripping demands were satisfied.

So after 10 minutes of attempted reasoning, I had to pick up both Dexter and the bike and haul them the remainder of the way home.

I am not a very big woman. And my arms are short.

He was all sadness and grumpiness when we got back to the house, so I tried distracting him with dancing on the utility trailer that was attached to the car. That was going splendid until it was time to go inside, which proved to be another mom-hauling ordeal (you have to hold them football style so they can punch on one end and kick on the other without breaking your stride).

Finally we were able to settle down with a very elaborately constructed train maze.

And there ends my chapter in teaching a toddler how to use a paddle bike. The wandering narrative style of this post very accurately reflects the quickly changing moods and desires of a two year old!

Community League Day!

September 17, 2011

A few weeks ago I wrote about our annual block party. Tonight we went to our annual community league party! Belgravia does a rink party with BBQ, kids events, and a live band.

When I arrived, I saw that many of the kids had brought alternatives to motor vehicle transportation.

On our way we ran into our city councillor, Ben Henderson.

First order of business was renewing our community league membership (which gives you access to the BBQ).

A membership also gives you discounts for rec centres and helps fund soccer and skating programs, amongst other things.

Then it was time to hit up the BBQ, manned by grill-master Parker & Co.

Families were all chowing down inside our skating rink.

The live band, Mr. Suede, is made up of neighbourhood doctors and phD (so I have been informed).

There was fun for kids.

Fun for neighbourhood moms.

And balloons to take home.

Since it was community league day across Edmonton, each community league had their own set of events. In my old neighbourhood of Malmo there is an annual spaghetti dinner, and I heard in Duggan there was the most excellent "taste of Duggan" where various ethnic groups put on a pot luck of sorts. Apparently it smelled amazing. Last year I think Blue Quill just had a bunch of ladies scrap booking.

No matter how a community chooses to celebrate, the best part of all is getting out there and meeting your neighbours and having fun!

Metro Cinema!

Last night we rode over to the Garneau theatre to help Metro Cinema celebrate their new home!

There were lots of friends and happy people.

You could chill in one of the seats and check out the party stuffs on screen.

Pose for the girl with a camera.

Or chill out with a beer.

Listen to greets and special words of thanks.

Applaud all the hard working people who made it all possible.

Then refresh with some snacks.

Sneak upstairs.

Hello, projector!

Such a happy evening, the dudes can't stop smiling.

I met a bunch of excellent filmy people, and am surprised to discover another niche of movie-viewing creatives in my city. Awesome!

Train Ride?

September 16, 2011

I got a text cancelling my breakfast just as I was rolling down the street with Dexter in the Madsen this morning. Boo!

Just when I was trying to decide what to do with the two of us, Dexter started shouting "TRAIN RIDE!" as we were nearing the LRT station. So I rolled over to a pole, locked it up, and little D and I hopped on a Northbound train.

I decided we should go to city hall to visit friends!

What started as cancelled plans spontaneously turned into a fun-filled LRT excursion with a bike ride on either end. What a perfect and unexpected Friday morning!

Enjoy the rest of your Friday! It seems as though everyone in Edmonton is looking forward to What the Truck tonight, but I'll have to be giving that a miss since I've got a triple dinner date to attend before partying at metro cinema.

Speaking of which, if you're free tomorrow morning (which I am not), I would highly recommend going to the breakfast cereal buffet and watching Saturday morning cartoons at Metro!

Happy weekend. Talk Soon. Go ride some bikes and trains:)

Back to School.

September 13, 2011

Goodbye to the days of posting almost daily! Now that I'm back in session the days have been filled with music and students. Although I'm not on the bike every day, the bungalow is a hub of fun times and mini reunions. Several of the kids are now teenagers and taller than me...

The weather is definitely fall-like as well. Gloves are now required (mine are red leather ones my mommy got for me in Italy) and layers too. Even with the sun out, there is a bit of a chill.

Amidst all this back to school to-do, I found time for a little brunch date!

Eggs benny always fuel me properly for a day of training the finer motor skills and coordination of others.

Other than that, it's errands all the time. Supplies. Bank. Groceries. Brunch.

All by bike!

Northern Lights.

September 10, 2011

On an uncommonly hot Friday in September, Don and I rode on the bike lanes to run my various errands on Whyte ave.

I know there has been some grumbling on both sides (motorists and cyclists) about the newly painted bike lanes, but I am generally very pleased with the whole situation. Motorists don't like how they have less space to do their thing, but what it really accomplishes is to provide a visual marker for where the cyclist should be riding. There is still plenty of room for cars. You might not feel as comfortable speeding past a cyclist anymore, but I think that's a good thing in general. Both for the safety of those involved, and for the residents with houses facing these streets. Nobody likes people driving freeway-style through a residential neighbourhood.

Some cyclists wish the lanes were buffered and separated like the ones in Vancouver that have all the planters, etc. I agree that it would be fabulous! Though, with limited time and resources, I think the combination of lanes and sharrows are okay. The cyclist still has to merge out at points and ride in with the traffic but at least it's all marked. Honestly, it's the same thing I would be doing even without the lanes. At least motorists are now looking a little more carefully.

I find riding on the lanes a very fine time!

We locked up and got a bubble tea.

On our wanderings I saw this sweet sweet Electra Ticino. Hello!

Bought some birthday gifts, picked up books for my students, and then it was time to take my t-shirt and shorts to sushi dinner at Wasabi.

Our ride was completely on bike path and residential roads. Heavenly.

We could tell that our double-date team had already arrived since their bikes were locked up.

Tea and Sapporo.

This mom & pops joint features some seriously adorable pops behind the sushi counter.

After so much food, we rode to Leisha's backyard for a little fire action.

In the middle of conversation I looked up and said, "Hey, Northern Lights!"


They were still out when Don and I rode home later that evening. What a spectacle and treat!

I would have zero qualms about more hot days and nights filled with northern lights, but the sensible side of me says to prepare for winter!

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