Sunday, 9 December 2012

Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Zion!!!

I had such a great trip to California, Nevada and Utah.  I am so happy to have new friends, new memories and some of my bucket list items crossed off.
I landed at LAX after 14 hours of flying and running to connections.  Even the Air Canada worker at the Phoenix gate was surprised I made that connection.  When I got to LAX I was greeted by a smiling Margaret and no luggage.  Luckily I packed the most important items in my carry on... my bikini and my bridesmaids dress.
On my first day in L.A. we went to Hollywood and took a tour of the city. I got to see the Hollywood sign, the walk of fame and lots of Beverly Hills and Rodeo drive.  The tour guide informed me that he loves Nova Scotia especially Lunenburg.  So funny to hear someone in L.A. say the word Lunenburg.

I enjoyed the days in California with my friends. We ate at an Italian restaurant on Hollywood Blv with a view of the Hollywood sign, we ate true Mexican burritos and of course I had "In and Out Burger".  I enjoyed the views at Laguna Beach and the canyons around Redlands.  We rented a red Mustang and I cruised to Palm Springs on the California Highway by myself ... outlet shopping is always a must and the Palm Springs Premium Outlets were worth the drive. 

It wouldn't be a Joni Thomas trip without googling every sports team and finding out who is playing.  I was lucky enough to go to a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim game.  It was unbelievable.  Thank you so much to Margaret for getting the tickets and going with me.  I saw a Pujols and a Trout homerun.   I also got to see the Boston Redsox lose in person.  What a great game and a beautiful stadium.  A walk-off Angels win to boot.

Next we drove through the desert to Las Vegas.  We were greeted by the Gregorys and 113 Degree weather.  The MGM Grand was amazing, the wine was cheap and the strip was bright. The jet-lag of the 4 hour time zone difference caught up with me in Vegas when we were drinking Margaritas at 1am (5am Halifax time).  So I'm glad I got to sleep-in the next morning in our giant suite overlooking Vegas.

Next we drove to Zion National Park.  If anyone needs more items on their bucket list, I would add Zion.  Driving the canyon and tunnels were incredible.  My favorite part of my stay in Zion were the Wallets.  Sue, Norm, Faye and Lee took me in as a family member right away. Driving through the canyon, shopping for cool rocks, hiking and taking the park shuttles together was so fun.  I am glad they were there.  Sue, Trish, Faye and I had so much fun together and I was glad to meet them.  I will never forget our time in Zion.  Margaret's wedding was so much fun.  What great families and fun people.  I can't wait to see everyone again!

Playing Catch Up... and Happy Holidays!

I guess keeping a list of 30 things was harder that I thought. I do like having a bucket list. And I am so  glad for the things I did accomplish. I regret it but I have been neglecting my list.  It's holiday season and time to be thankful for what we have.  A new year is upon us and in 2013 I plan on living life to the fullest.  I turn 31 in February and until then I am going to finish as many of my 30 things that I can.  If I don't finish my list, I am going to make it my goal to make a new list of 31 things, add what I didn't finish and start fresh.  It's so great to have a positive outlook on life again.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Strawberries, S'mores, Hiking Trails and a Yankee Hat. Hiking and Camping 2012.

Have you ever had a weekend that when it ends, you want to press rewind and do it all over again? That’s the kind of weekend I just had.  I crossed off 2 of the items on my list.  Hike Cape Chignecto (#23) and go camping in a tent (#13).  

#13 Go Camping in a Tent.
I have to shout out to Brian on this one. He cooked, cleaned, made the fire, put up the tent, washed the dishes, drove and added a lot of knowledge to camping and the area.  I learned so much about the Bay of Fundy, the hiking trails, beaches, lighthouses, wharfs, restaurants, markets, towns etc… and a lot about the rocks, fossils, beaches and the geology of Nova Scotia.  This trip was so interesting. 

The trip started off by getting food at the Masstown Market including the world’s best strawberries.  Parrsboro also has a Masstown Market satellite store, good to know if you are ever camping nearby.

I also have to mention the awesome service we received at the Five Islands Provincial Park. Diane checked us in, we were booked for site #33 but she suggested a different site and let us drive around the campground to see the sites.  We ended up back at the check-in booth switching over to the site she recommended.  It warms my heart that a tourist might receive the same kind greeting and service.  In my head she won the pineapple award for my weekend because we had the best site.

My camping skills need some fine tuning, mostly when I have slight panic attacks when I’m too hot, too dirty and smell like a mixture of bug spray and sunscreen.  PS. The two together turn your skin yellow. 

I would definitely camp again.  If you ever find yourself on the Fundy Shore, stop at Masstown for strawberries, the Wild Caraway for supper and Granny’s Ice Cream stand for your ice cream fix on a hot day.

#23 Hike Cape Chignecto
This is an under-marketed area in Nova Scotia. The views and trails are at par or better than any other parts of the province.  We hiked in from the Eatonville day-use parking lot, and saw more than just the famous Three Sisters.  The views of Eatonville Harbour, the rock formations and stacks, the water and the Three Sisters were breathtaking.  Eating lunch with that view is unbeatable.  During our hike we didn’t pass another person, and it was early July, peak season, beautiful sunny day…. and not one other person was down at the Three Sisters.  I hope everyone gets a chance to enjoy this park.   I’ve always wanted to hike Cape Chignecto, but I never expected to love it so much. 
On our drive down to the park, there was a beautiful beach with amazing rocks, water, views and sand.   Taking your flipflops off, leaving them near the water and walking the length of the beach isn’t smart in the Bay of Fundy.  With the highest tides in the world, I almost lost them.  What dramatic tidal differences in all areas.  I can’t wait to go back and explore even more.

If anyone wants to explore this area, just let me know and I’ll gladly help you with your trip.  My favorite view was at the Five Islands Lighthouse. You can climb to the top and see all 5 islands. Plus people who know me well, know my love for lighthouses.   

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Hot Yoga and Cold Rain

I finally cashed in my Bikram Yoga Groupon.  A month long, unlimited class membership.I also booked a McNabs Island Ferry crossing and 4 hour hike! But due to a rainfall warning for the weekend, it got cancelled.   I guess being in an aluminum boat on the ocean during a lightning storm isn't safe.  Next chance I get, I'm going!!

Hot Yoga: I've done Moksha Yoga in the past, similar to regular yoga with some steam heat to make it a bit harder. But Bikram Yoga was intense Hot Yoga.  The heat was like a sauna at 40% humidity and 45 degrees.  They start out with a few breathing exercises which I found relaxing and stress releasing.  After the breathing exercises she informs us that next is the Cardio portion of the class.  After the second pose I felt light headed and too hot.  I thought to myself "Never again am I coming to this class".  But after sitting and catching my breath, I continued and pushed through the Cardio portion.  After the Cardio portion was floor work and more breathing exercises.  Now looking back on the class, I really enjoyed it and I can't wait to go back.  I can see why people like the class and its going to be a very interesting month.   I am writing this post 2 days after class, and I have to say I was only sore in my wrists and arms.  One thing with working out and trying new things that is true: if you don't push yourself out of your comfort zone, you won't see results and you'll miss that feeling of accomplishment. 

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Joined a team: Baseball !

Halifax Hellraisers slo-pitch Softball 2012.  We are undefeated after 2 games. I love my team. I will add pictures when I have some. Ball games, practises and BBQs are planned for the summer. It's going to be a great summer, with lots of friends, beer, sun, bbqing and good times.  Thanks again for the team for getting me to play for the 2012 season! Go HellRaisers!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Updates: Relay for Life, Flights, Groupons and a Baby:
I want to start by saying I’m an Auntie! My best friend gave birth to her first born, a daughter named Sofi Lynn.  She was stubborn, but after over 35 hours of labour and very patient Parents, Grandparents and friends, she arrived on May 15th at 7:15pm.  We all love her already.   I can’t wait to see life through her eyes and spoil her rotten. Also want to mention Chelsea had a baby boy on May 8th named Carson, and Carole is due any day now!! There must have been something in the water in August.
Sofi & Auntie Joni

BOOKED! I booked my flight to California for August.  Almost 2 weeks of sun, fun, California wine, a wedding, a baseball game (of course) and lots of Joni/Margaret time.  We are hitting L.A., Laguna, Las Vegas, Utah and all places in-between.  We are also hoping to have time to see the Grand Canyon and some awesome hiking trails in Zion National Park.  Oh did I mention the TMZ tour? That will be fun for sure.  I am one step closer to seeing the Pacific Ocean.  I’m sure there will be time for shopping, beaches, good food and stalking celebrities. 

I still haven’t cashed in my Yoga Groupon.  I want to maximize my month.  Basically I’m being lazy.  My goal now is for June. Wish me luck.

Relay for Life: A group of my girlfriends and I are doing the Dartmouth Relay for Life on June 15th.  I lost my Grandmother in September and I decided to relay in her memory.  Cancer also claimed the life of my best friend Chelsea’s beautiful Mother Kim in January, and more recently my boss Bob.  These people have all made significant impacts on my life, meant a great deal to myself and the people around me, and I am Relaying in their honour.  I hope everyone pledges for my relay and together we can do what we can to fight cancer. 
With May winding down, I look back at my blog and am disappointed in the lack of cross out lines.  I am making significant progress; I booked my flight to California, bought a Groupon for a yoga studio and joined Relay for Life.

Please click the link above and sponsor me if you can.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

One Month Update:

One Month Update:

I’ve officially been 30 for a month and so far-so good (well no crazy new wrinkles at least.)  I have been thinking a lot about the list.  I have had a great month and have a good start on my project.  My first accomplishment is this here Blog itself.  I am realizing that all that html and computer geek language Mr. Langille taught me back in grade 11 CRS will come in handy in my lifetime, who knew?  I still have a lot to learn, and hoping to get lots of helpful hints from my fellow bloggers Candace and Margaret.  I’ll throw links to their blogs on my blog as soon as I find out how to do that.  I also made twitter and email addresses  for my blog, I will also post those soon.

Done and Done: #1, #3, #27… It doesn’t seem like a lot, but I have a lot more accomplished towards the other list items.  For example, Margaret and I are proud owners of Red Sox vs. Angels tickets. This is possibly my most exciting achievement yet and I had nothing to do with it (Besides saying to get First Baseline tickets to be closer to Pujols, a baseball addiction comes in handy when deciding which tickets to buy.)   Other examples, I bought a Groupon for a month pass to Bikram Yoga Halifax, I registered for the Bluenose 10k and finally, I’ve read 5 books of my goal of 30. To anyone wondering if they want to buy an ereader or not, my advice is DO IT! I throw that thing in my purse and away I go. It’s a lot lighter than a new hardcover book, and I can download a new book anywhere there’s wifi.  God’s gift to book lovers!

As you can see, I have only crossed off 3 goals, but have a jump start at the rest. I have also planted the seed in my friends to go camping, surfing, hiking and other fun adventures.  I’m also having so much fun with this I hope others do the same.  Even if blogging isn’t for you, make a list and stick to it.  

My hardest # to cross off??…. One would think seeing the Grand Canyon would be my hardest goal … but so far it’s becoming a morning person.  I am a night owl. Always was…You can ask my friend Ryan who used to wake me up at noon on a Saturday to ride bikes at age 12… I’ve never changed.  I have been running and exercising a lot, and attempting to go to bed earlier. But so far, I’m no closer to this goal.  This will be my toughest challenge for sure.  I’ll write more on this soon.  I can’t tell you how many google searches I’ve done on becoming a morning person. Seem so easy, well Dr Oz, It Aint!!!

Friday, 2 March 2012

My baseball rant...

I feel like I need to start a blog on my opinions on Baseball and all things sports.  I am excited that in one month the weather will be warming up and baseball will be starting again. Time to call eastlink, add every sports package available and zone out to Buck Martinez's play-by-play.  Nothing beats a good play, a sharp home run, a few arguments and friendly rivalries.  As a Yankee fan, I'm used to the arguments and rivalries.  Who knows what will happen this season.  A September quite that exciting, the Red Sox choaking (I hope that happens again actually) and a World Series that proves it comes down to the very last pitch will be hard to beat. 

Why am I including a baseball rant in my blog??? Well in August I will be completing #11 "Go to a Major League Baseball Game"... And I couldn't be more excited! I will be in California visiting a good friend Margaret ( and what does she live close to.... The Los Angeles Angels of Aneheim!!! Proving I have semi-ok Karma, they are home the week I'm visiting, proving its not outstanding, amazing Karma they are taking on the Boston Red Sox.  Looks like we will be cheering on Pujols, former Blue Jay Vernon Wells and the rest of the Angels! Go Angels!

So with all that being said, I am a little closer to completing #11 and seeing a Major League baseball game.  I have seen a Blue Jays game a few years ago (drank a lot of beer with Ryan and snuck down to seats behind the dugout as the story goes)... but with baseball being my favorite sport and obsession, I thought it was a good add to my "30 while I'm 30 project".  Go Yankees 2012! (And Go BlueJays as a proud Canadian and Toronto sports fan)

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Book Clubbin'

Food, Drinks, Books and Laughs… Why didn’t we start a book club sooner?  When Heidi approached me to join her and her mother’s book club, she was unaware of my 30 things while I’m 30 list.  So it was perfect timing. What a great group of women.  Everyone was so unique, with distinct ideas, colorful views, interesting outlooks and yummy snacks.  I can’t wait until the next meeting. Our group has decided to read The Hunger Games next, which I’ve read.   So I’m going to try to work my #6 and continue to read lots of new books.   I love a good suggestion.  Please let me know any good titles that are worth reading. Hopefully during our next book club I'll remember to take a group photo.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  When I read the summary of The Book Thief, it informed me that it was narrated by personified Death, takes place in Nazi Germany and is about a young girl, her foster parents and a fist-fighting Jewish man.   I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy this book and how hard of a read it would be.  But I was pleasantly surprised. It was a page turner.  I couldn’t put it down, along with the Kleenex.  It was a moving, touching and heart-wrenching story with touches of humour along the way.   It’s deeply moving and difficult to stop reading.  The hardest part for me to read was when Papa was sent to war to work for the Nazi Party.  I own a photo of my Gramp on a platform in his uniform leaving for war, so the feeling and words written by Zusak reminded me of how many families would have lived through this moment, even German families.  The importance of teaching our young ones about the Wars and Remembrance Day is so important. Lest we forget.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

My 30th Birthday

The 30th happened... I wasn't on the floor in the fetal position crying, I am very proud of myself.  I looked around and realized I have the best friends in the world.  We had a lovely dinner at the Fireside, lots of drinks at Durty Nellys.... and Meagan made me a baseball cake. I also checked off a list item... the belly button is officially re-pierced. A dude named Jody pierced it at Kara's Urban Day Spa.  Very fitting that his name was Jody.  My best friend Jodi has informed me we are re-creating my 30th birthday in June when she can drink again, maybe i'll get my tattoo then :)
Love all my friends, co-workers and family members for making my 30th birthday amazing! xoxo

Friday, 10 February 2012

Here goes nothin'

Well here it is. My first attempt at becoming a blogger.  AND its officially my 30th birthday. 
I rang in the "New Decade" last night and now it's time to tackle my list.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

My Inspiration

When thinking of 30 things to do while I'm 30, I surfed around the internet to come up with ideas.  This was a blog that I came across and loved! Celine has much larger scale ideas, but its the same concept.  She is an inspiration.  I also love the way she made her blog and this year I am going to learn how to blog like her.  Starting with the list on the side with the strikeout font and links... It's all new and exciting to me.

Another new adventure for me, writing down my thoughts... and grammar.  

Monday, 6 February 2012

Blog Virgin
No excuses!!!
My good friend Margaret also started a blog. Since I'm still 29, (and will be for 4 more days), I am going to check out blogs and learn how to improve my own. 
So bear with me, help me out if you can, and one of these days blogging will come easier to me.