We are thrilled to have Dayne & Kate with us in Ottawa! Unfortunately, I've been down with the flu since the first day of Spring when I declared that this was the first year I did not get the flu.
Although, I feel terrible for not being the happy hostess I had planned on being, I have been well taken care of and looked after with Kate bringing me tea & flowers and Dayne taking me to many doctors. I am resting as much as I can as our trip to Asia draws near.
A huge thank you to everyone who came out to support Travis & I for the second annual Curling for Carol Bonspiel. We had so much fun and I was even able to curl in my wheelchair! A special thank you to Robin who organized this event while on maternity leave (incredible!) and Julie who works tirelessly to volunteer in every way to support me. A great time was had by all, check out the photos on the gallery page.
I am currently in recovery from laser eye surgery. In the past I was constantly taking my glasses on and off as I could see fine when on the phone, computer or reading, but needed glasses for distance. I was afraid of when my arms may not work anymore (I'm actually having a hard time typing this today as my arms are weak) and not being able to take my glasses on and off at will, so I had my right eye corrected, called "monovision". I am seeing double vision now but they say that my brain will eventually train itself to see both distance and up close. I can't wait to be able to see the world clearly!
We are nearly jumping out of our seats with excitement as Dayne & Kate arrive in Ottawa tomorrow night! We can't believe they are moving half way around the world for us.
Food, wine, company, sunshine: what more could we ask for?
Arrived safe and sound in San Francisco, though traveling was a little tougher than expected. After three flights, my legs were done for, so my 5:30pm nap turned into not getting out of bed until the next day. Even though I wanted to, Travis was right: resting was the wiser strategy as I was in even better shape to explore San Fran the next day. Travis & I decided to do the Hop On Hop Off Bus tour (or as my good friend Melvin calls it the HoHo), which is a wonderful way to explore the city and we were lucky enough to have a beautiful sunshiny day. I loved the wall murals and experiencing driving over the Golden Gate Bridge was amazing.
And the postcards kept coming to life. Fisherman's Wharf was fantastic. Talk about being in the right place right time: just as we were looking out onto the water, out comes "Oracle". Oracle is an America's Cup boat and was simply thrilling to see in person (you may remember that Travis worked for the 12 Metre tour company in St Maarten and we watched the America's Cup on TV with Oracle racing against New Zealand). We also enjoyed an authentic lunch in Chinatown with the most delicious hot & sour soup we have ever had. No exaggeration: the soup was that good.
That evening Heather & Andy joined the party and we went for Soul Food cocktails and dinner. The next day we explored Alcatraz, which was an extraordinarily well choreographed tour and -- candidly -- beyond description - I'll tell you more when we're together next!
The customer service we have experienced in San Fran has been phenomenal, more friendly than even the Canadians (shocking, but true!)! It was so surreal to be in Alcatraz, unbelievable that it is real, totally accessible for me and the hospital wing was so creepy, it should be featured on "American Horror Story". After oysters and more great west coast treats, that night we dined at Alice Waters "Chez Panisse" and drove to Sonoma. We are staying at a cute airbnb cottage and had an incredible wine tour in Napa Valley.
So beyond the good wine and good company, we've had great meals as well. One highlight was eating at one of Travis's inspirations: Thomas Keller's restaurant "Ad Hoc". Suffice to say: even the salad was phenomenal. We'll tell you about the other views and cheese another time.
Long story short: we are loving California.
Tomorrow we are off to visit the giant redwoods at Muir Woods. Here are a few pictures to enjoy and when I get home, I will add the rest on the galley page.
Cheers from me - and us - to you!
Carol Jean Skinner (née Sharman)