5.25.2008

Travelphilia

I have a condition where I simply can't stay in one place too long. My feet get itchy, my eyes roam, and my mind wanders to other places. Seriously, I am always planning the next big trip (road trip to Mexico, Tam!) or thinking of where I want to go next (Belize). I have a top ten list of places to visit. I love travel. Doesn't matter where it is, as long as I am moving and seeing new things.
So for my birthday I asked for travel! This weekend we packed up the car and headed up island for a relaxing wekend away in Ucluelet, compliments of my family (thanks guys!). A beautiful drive (minus the crappy roads the last 30km or so) and I was reminded of just how beautiful BC truly is, especially this island we call home.

We had a nice little B&B on the ocean with a hot tub on the deck (it pretty much doesn't get better than that!)I got to spend the weekend whiling away the hours with my sweetie (again, does it get better than that!) as we watched movies, walked along the beach and explored the ocean (I won "Who can find the biggest crab"!).All in all, a sweet way to spend a weekend and a temporary relief for my itch. I am reminded again of how much we all sometimes just need to get away. Even if you do the same things you might do at home, just getting away from the feeling of responsibility and feeling the road underneath does some serious good. Fun times.

5.12.2008

Plank It!

I fancy myself to be fairly handy in the kitchen. Nolana on the other hand, well... as she said yesterday, "I am glad you can cook so we can eat". My particular strengths are a willingness to try anything, especially if it is a touch different, and the ability to make up things that taste good.

So for Mother's Day I was requisitioned to cook for Nolana's mom which gave me the chance to try something new that I had been dying to try: planking!

I made up the menu: planked brie with a roasted red pepper, peach picante topping, planked shrimp gratin with asiago cheese, roasted potatoes with parsely and parmesan and grilled balsamic portabello mushrooms with bell peppers.
Planking involves cooking with a cedar plank on the ol' BBQ which is much more manly than just plain cooking! First I soaked the planks for a couple hours and prepped the rest which included marinating the veggies.
First to ready was the brie. Layered roasted red peppers on the bottom, then the brie wheel and then the sauce which I concocted (and turned out swell I must say).Next came the shrimp. Again, I layered sliced lemons on the plank, then put the shrimp mixture on top.
They both got transported out the BBQ where they smoked away with that sweet cedar smell filtering its way into the food.The brie slowly melted inside the skin until it burst and the shrimp slow cooked away. While this was happening my lovely wife set the table... (and I would be remiss to not mention her aid in the kitchen preparing as well, love ya honey!)And when everything had soaked up the delighful cedarness we sat down to eat with an excellent bottle of wine and had a great Mother's Day meal.And thus, my first planking experience was a huge success and I will most certainly try some more recipes on the plank... who's coming for dinner?!

5.03.2008

Facebook Pictures

If you're a Facebook friend, I've posted some more Ethiopia pictures there. Go check 'em out!

5.01.2008

In the Whirlwind

It's true. All those rumors and celebrity like sightings are indeed confirming what most of you now know, Eric and Nolana are back in Canada! We were scheduled to be back in Victoria in July but as your calendar will point out it is only May.

So why are we back? As some of you already know, Nolana and I are going to be parents!

So, you can see, it has been quite the month. We arrived home on the 8th of April, with only our parents knowing we were returning. We slipped into Victoria Aiport, avoided the paparazzi and bunkered down for a few days to recover from our 30 hour trip. Since then Nolana has had way too much fun suprising all of our friends and family with the news we are back!
I think my favorite moment was suprising Jani who had recently broken a rib so the excitement caused a bit too much movement for her rib so she was convulsing in a state between ecstasy and immense pain, crying, laughing, gasping... Though it was pretty sweet to suprise Lori coming back from New Zealand too.

The neat thing for Nolana is that two of her close friends are also pregnant, one of them due 2 months before her and the other due about 4 days later. Oh yeah, we're due around Nov. 1 and no we're not going to find out the sex and no we have not decided on names (just heading the questions off before they come, I'm a pro now!).


Not everyone was happy to see us back as we were greeted with uncharacteristically cold weather and an April record for snow in Victoria.



But we're settling in. We've bought a car.


Four door special. And we have a place to move into, top part of a house with 3 bedroom, great area, and the best thing about it is that it's a steal (thanks Mom and Dad! lol). So yesterday I painted the baby room and we're making plans to get somewhat moved in the next couple of weeks while the parents are moving out.

Nolana's started back at the hospital and already has a full time job which is great, she'll work enough hours to get her maternity leave in a few months. Myself... due to some complications I am back in school for this year, taking some courses to qualify me for my teaching certificate. Starting May 12 I am a student again. Not sure how I feel about it but at the same time I feel up for the challenge.

As for future plans... we are all up in the air. We loved Ethiopia and would love to go back there or possibly somewhere else on the fair continent of Africa, so we're looking around for opportunities and hoping God will lead. We are back in Victoria for at least a year and then we'll have to see. So if we haven't seen you around yet, we have some time to catch up with everyone!

Hopefully I'll be updating this more regularly but no promises. Hope you are all as well as we are, which is pretty peachy keen!