smith rock 2014

I just came back from an awesome rock climbing trip to Smith Rock in Oregon. My friend Martin mentioned the idea of going last November and I am really glad that it ended up working out perfectly!

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The campsite even had a bouldering wall!

SMITHROCK-6 DSCF0044Warning: There are many pictures in this post because I couldn’t pick the best ones. There are also many pictures of silly people in tights. These pictures are a mix of all of our pictures.

Three days after Lauren got here and the day after I finished my last Spring exam, we were off! On the trip there was Lauren, my long-time friend Martin, two new friends Bengt & Andrew, and we ended up meeting up with Natalie from NZ! How this all ended up working out, with Greyhound buses and smushing everything into Bengt’s mom’s car.. I am not sure.

We were originally going to camp the first night on the Oregon coast, but the weather was incredibly rainy and windy, that we ended up forgoing that plan to drive all the way down to Smith Rock… without looking at the gas tank. FYI: All the 10 gas stations between Salem and Sisters, OR close at 7:00pm. So we ended up spending the first night in a “town” called Detroit in a teeny weeny motel room and cooked lentils on the floor on our camp stove. Haha! It was such a silly start to our trip. The motel only cost $75 including tax for us to all jam into one room…

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Marty, Andrew, Lauren & Bengt

Smith Rock (once we got there) was incredibly beautiful and had lots and lots of (hard) climbing. The most memorable climbs I worked were Double Trouble (a 5.10b tricky arete), Cool Ranch Flavor (a 5.11a lead we did in a team), and Captain Xenolith (a 5.10a slab that I really enjoyed). We didn’t go on Monkey Face (a classic 4 pitch route), but guess that means we have to go back!

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Lauren and me

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Bengt on JT’s Route – Phoenix Buttress

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Morning Glory

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The boys on Bunny Face – Diehedrals

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Cool Ranch Flavor – Morning Glory

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Lauren and a chilly Rose

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Marty!

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Monkey Face

SMITHROCK-4Before I go back again, I need to work on my finger strength (so many finger pockets), work out my toes (so many tiny rock knobs to stand on) and pace myself better!! I think I climbed a bit too much on the second day and was a blobular mess for the rest of the trip.

It was great spending a few days with Natalie on her short trip through California and Oregon!! It was good to see her!! The group also got along so well.. new friends! Very exciting. It was also nice to spend time doing fun outdoorsy stuff with Lauren again! (He totally told me to write that)

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Natalie

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Me, Natalie and Lauren

We decided that colourful tights were mandatory for this trip, which a lot of other climbers there enjoyed quite a bit. One guy took an instagram picture of us: #brightandtight

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Andrew, Bengt & Me

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Oh dear…

SMITHROCK-0We ended up eating really well throughout the trip (lots of lentils, rice, curries, spaghetti, gnocchi, vegetables, beans, etc) and keeping the trip pretty cost efficient, though we did make mandatory junk food stops at Jack In the Box, Five Guys (so many french fries and so many toppings!!), and Salt & Straw (the ice cream place that Kat and Scott recommended). Mmm.. consuming all the calories we burned on this trip. We also stopped by REI where I bought a new insulating layer because mine is ripped and way too small. Primaloft!

SMITHROCK-8It was a lovely way to finish off the semester. Will post more about everything else in another post!

…..hawaii

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Hawaii was awesome. And ages ago. If you haven’t read about it already, you can read Kat’s blog posts: whole trip, food and the best parts (wet n wild & the vans triple crown surfing competition).

Natasha and I arrived 3 days before Katrina and Scott got there. We stayed mostly around Waikiki and went to the aquarium, a short walk to Manoa Falls, to Hanauma Bay, $2 tacos (round 1), the beach, missed lots of busses and generally caught up. It was really nice!

hawaii-3 hawaii-4Cacti!

hawaii-7Pointy mountains!

hawaii-6Bamboo!

hawaii-5Hanauma Bay is an EXTREMELY popular marine reserve with tourists everywhere. The entire reef looks dead, but the fish were still huge compared to the fish in Fiji. We didn’t see a turtle that day (though lots of other people did), but we saw one on the last day from land!

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exciting travel plans

If you are an avid Twitter-follower, you may have noticed this, but it is official now that Kat, Scott, Natasha and I will all be in Hawaii at the same time. This is going to be epic!!!!

I also officially have a flight back to Canada (took me a while to realize that). I’ll be on the same flight back with Kat & Scott to Vancouver arriving December 4th. Unsure of December plans yet, and whether I spent all of/part of December in Ontario or reading week (in February).

I am excited for all things in this post. PERMA-GRIN!!!

Hope no one was keeping this a secret because I got too excited and posted anyway. 🙂

hawaii on the way home

I have bought part of my ticket home! I found a cheapo flight to Honolulu, and have booked it for late November. I don’t have my flight from Honolulu to Canada yet, I will buy it when I have more plans sorted out or there is a sale. That will be in the middle of the first week of December. I am EXTRA excited to go to Hawaii and everything people keep telling me at work/on the Internet/in person has made me even more excited! There are some awesome looking sea cliffs to climb, some bouldering, diving, lots o’ prawns, shaved ice, turtles, volcanoes, hiking, …!!!!! I’m going to have to keep in mind that it will be a lot more touristy and developed than Fiji. And that I will be underage! (haha!!) I haven’t been to the US in ages. I think the last time was when we all went on the road trip to Darien Lake/Cedar Point/Buffalo/Listowel. Katelin told me the other day that it is quite likely she will be in Hawaii/Vancouver at the same time… that would be BEYOND awesome. A few others have said they are looking into it as well.. I hope so… hint hint! Hawaii is not that far away!!!

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Credit: David Chatsuthiphan
Look here for more awesome photos: http://www.unrealhawaii.com/2010/11/rock-climbing-at-makapuu/

Lauren has told me that I need to stop talking about Hawaii. /Hawaii out

We have been making a lot of delicious food lately and Lauren has become a pita/naan master! Everyone stares at my lunch at work. I made a pasta bake yesterday, and an asian stir fry the day before that we wrapped up in leftover naan (reminds me of peking duck). On the weekend, we made a giant meal with our friends and flatmates of butter chicken, pumpkin curry (using an entire pumpkin!!!), korean chicken, naan and salad. It was delicious. Yesterday I made two batches of Budget Bytes’ Soft Oat & Nut bars. They were delicious too! I left out the almonds and used white flour instead of whole wheat flour (didn’t have either) and it worked out fine. What I love about Budget Bytes recipes is that you can have a disaster in the middle of cooking and it will still turn out. I put the sugar in at the wrong time and I also didn’t let the butter soften up enough. When I poured in the cold milk it looked like curdled cream of chicken soup. Yuck. So I just popped it in the microwave to melt it all and it still turned out fine! Another time, I made her Cajun Pasta Salad and the top fell off the paprika and pretty much the entire container fell in. Even though the pasta salad now looked like a fire truck, I just stirred it in and now I always put a lot more paprika than usual. She tweeted me the other day (insert some hyperventilation here) and said her cookbook is, hopefully, coming out February 4th. (how convenient that it is so close to my birthday…) I am excited!

I feel like I don’t introduce people far enough, so I’ll introduce everyone that was at the dinner. Felipe and Mccauley, two of our flatmates. Felipe is studying engineering at University of Canterbury and is from Brazil. Mcauley is in his last year of high school. (Damien is his dad, who is our ‘landlord’, but he wasn’t at the dinner) Mccauley’s friend was over as well. There used to be one more flatmate, but then one night last week he got taken away by the police because he skipped his hearing (huh?) and our landlord decided that that wasn’t very nice when we have 3 people on visas in the house. Very strange. Then there was our friends that we invited (who I might have mentioned before), Natalie and Hugh (both studying Classics at the uni, and I climb with Natalie a lot), Kota (finished his PHD thesis at the uni just recently and is leaving soon to go back to Japan, sad face), and Brendan!! (who I travelled with this past summer around Nelson/Paynes Ford) It was good seeing Brendan again 5 months later!

This season has been a bit warm for skiing… (picture of Fox Peak)

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So I decided to look into other options.

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THIS LOOKS AWESOME. My eyes are as big as saucers.

I hope to do some exciting things in the near future, but I think I have to wait until my eyes shrink down from about 8 times the size of my wallet. I have an offer to sail from Ohau (tip of NZ) to Tonga in September for 2 weeks. I am also still drooling over skiing on the Tasman Glacier. I would also like to climb and ski in Wanaka & Queenstown soon. And snorkel with whales. And go to Wellington/Bay of Islands/paragliding/ski touring. And get better at snowboarding so I can go to the splitboard festival in the middle of September. And and and… I’ll stop talking now. I’m spoiled. And I’m nervous about finding another placement.

I’ve been planning what my courses might look like for the rest of my degree (with the help of many others). Here is a list (please ignore this if you don’t care):

Microeconomics II, Business Communication, International Business, Business Ethics, Statistics II, Business Law, Organization Theory, Project Management, Canadian Public Administration, Public Policy Process, Finance, Cross-Cultural Management, Leadership, International Human Resources, Negotiations and Conflict Management, Organizational Development and Change, Group Dynamics and Teamwork, Global Marketing Management, Strategy, and Management of International Firms.

I hope doing Honours will pay off.

I don’t know if I bragged about my marks this semester yet. If I did, I guess you’ll have to hear it again. I got an A+ in Psychology of Individual & Community Health (PSYC 3XX), an A+ in Ethics & Professionalism in the Public Sector (POL 3XX), an A in Marketing (direct transfer) and a.. (pass) in Marine Biology (BISC 3XX). This means I am finished my 2 mandatory science credits as well. This brings my exchange GPA up to 83%. I am pleased with this.