Tuesday, March 31, 2009

the road is mine

I'm feeling beyond ecstatic right now.

I passed my MST (Motorcycle Skills Test) this morning! I was so nervous and visions of past skills test were haunting me (I failed twice in Hong Kong, although it was slightly different and I didn't quite understand the whole concept about shifting gears).

After an intensive 4 day course with Ziggy's Driving Academy, 3 hours of theory on Wednesday and Thursday each and then 8 hours of riding on Saturday and again on Sunday, i was practically living and breathing in my new jacket and helmet.

I would highly recommend anyone who wanted to learn how to ride a motorbike to learn how to drive a shift stick first. It is so much easier, so fewer stalls... which then translates to much less stress and headache.

Anyways, now i'm qualified to ride solo on the road!!

The only restriction i have is I can't ride at night and i can't carry a passenger. When i pass my final road test (i've got a year to do it), then i'll have my full Motorcycle license, or a Class 6 License as they call it here in BC.

Matt has instituted an 'in-house' rule that he still comes along with me whenever i ride... "You know, just because I want to be with you."

I don't mind, really.

It really is more fun to ride with other people, and it just shows he cares. I just tease him about how he'll be even more paranoid if and when our kids want to take up a powerful two-wheeled motor vehicle. I will definitely be enforcing the 'in-house' rule alongside Matt then.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

introducing the new hockey legend!

To go along with the hockey fever that has infected us, I got Matt a personalized hockey jersey for his 35th birthday today.


Here he is minutes upon waking up and opening his present, all dressed and ready to play!

Happy Birthday lovely!

May this be a year filled with many goals and few bruises.

Monday, March 16, 2009

a break in march

My March Break back in Ottawa and Toronto consisted of snowshoeing with Mom and Dad, skating with Dad and Allison, going to the gym with Dad several times, catching up with Mikeypoo and Hoinoi over Timmy's apple fritters and Indian curries, learning how to knit from Popo and getting told off how short-term my memory is (the truth hurts, especially from your own grandma!) and shopping at Pacific Mall with Mama - just like being back in Hong Kong with very typical Hong Kong fashion (hideous) - and sizes (miniscule)!

At night i spent my time in front of the camera phone chatting with Matt on Skype.

With the amount of time we spend on the phone, you would think we were hormonal teenagers in love.

At least being 28, i don't get nagged by my parents anymore to get off the phone - with my husband!! :)

Monday, March 09, 2009

I'm motoring, Baby

Today I passed the first level of becoming a qualified motorcyle rider: the written test!

It's a 40 question multiple choice test on a computer. I was so nervous and the guy in front of me failed (you have to get 80% for a pass) and was quite angry which made me even more nervous.

Anyways, imagine the relief when the screen displayed "PASSED"!

I went to pick up Matt so we could run some errands afterwards and he had surprised me by arranging a visit to a guy's house who was selling a Honda Rebel 250.

I saw it, Matt test-rode it, and we made him an offer. It's got over 300,000 kms on it for a 2000 model, but it's just right to begin with. Apparently this guy's daughter learned on this bike too and also took lessons with Ziggy's Driving Academy (i'm starting mine in a couple of weeks, hopefully the snow on the ground will have melted by then...)

I feel really comfortable on it, both my feet are able to touch the ground and it is not very heavy. Hopefully i can graduate to a bigger, more powerful, bike when i get used to riding.....

A few trips to the bank, to the insurance company, back to the seller's house again, and a couple hours later, we were owners of FOUR vehicles - two SUV's and two motorbikes. Yikes!

We've been trying to sell the old Nissan Pathfinder for weeks now and just this afternoon, while arranging insurance for the new motorbike, a guy called asking to buy it outright. He came by tonight and after an inspection and test ride, he bought it. So now we're back to owning just one truck and two motorbikes.

With this learner's license, I'm only limited to riding during daylight hours, no passengers allowed and i can't go more than 60 km/hr. Once i pass my skills test, some of those restrictions will be lifted. And by then it should be nice spring-summer weather!!

We are still entertaining the idea of riding across Canada to Ontario in the summer. But i shouldn't get ahead of myself. Before i hit the Trans-Canada highway, i gotta start in the mall parking lot first and practice steering and shifting gears. Baby steps, eh?

Oh yea, and speaking of 'Baby', that's the name of my new bike. It's engraved on the side panel: "The Baby" in nice cursive writing. It's so cheesey, I love it.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

hooked on hockey

Tonight was our first Intro to Adult Hockey class, well for us at least. We missed the first session last weekend because we were in Ucluelet.

Even though we arrived a half hour early, we were the last ones on the ice after struggling to figure out how to get all of our gear on.

There's your underlayer, a jack (for guys) or jill (for girls), padded shorts with suspenders, chest and shoulder protector, elbow pads, knee and shin pads, long thick socks, hockey jersey, skates, helmet, neck protector, gloves and of course, the stick.

I literally just guessed at what went on first since the one other girl in the class was already on the ice and i was all alone in the female washroom. There's an order because say, if you put on your socks first before your shin/knee pads, you won't be able to tape them down to your leg. Or if you put your skates on first, forget about getting your shorts, knee pads or socks on.

But once we got out there, it was fantastic. We did some skating drills, some passing, shooting and defense work.

Then the last 15 minutes we played a mini game - hard work!!! And very very sweaty! No wonder hockey locker rooms smell so ripe!

A great workout, my heart was racing but only because i was so pumped.

Matt did really well, and even managed to score a goal during the first exercise!!! :D

We are going to make a point of going to the leisure skating sessions at the rinks during the week so we can practice our skating and stopping.

For me the hardest part to get used to was the hockey skates, i'm so used to figure skates that i kept forgetting there wasn't a toe pick for me to stop with. Instead, i would pick my 'toe' to help me stop and thus, instantly fall forwards. But having all that extra heavy gear has one benefit: it doesn't hurt at all when you fall. I can't believe i waited all my life to try this game i grew up watching!

We had a LOT of fun and are already thinking about signing up for a second intro class after this finishes.

Clocks sprung forward today so it's bedtime!!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

western shores

We're back from our very relaxed weekend in Ucluelet!

Friday and Saturday were relatively peaceful with no rain and no major swells in the sea.

We did the lighthouse walk and visited Long Beach and Radar Hill Lookout point.

Our resort had cable TV so naturally we watched our yearly quota's worth, and then some.

We both agree it's a good thing we don't have cable at home.

The unit also had an outdoor hot tub overlooking the marina! I know what I want when i grow up!!

One night we ate at the Eagle's Nest pub, it has a reputation of having the best fish and chips on the west coast - it certainly did not disappoint!

The pub/ restaurant had about 8 tv screens in the whole place, showing curling, hockey and the poker game which you can play along with if you buy a card.

There was truly a small-town Canadian feel to the place!

The next night we ordered the seafood supreme pizza from a local pizzeria that delivers.

It had shrimp, fish, crab, scallops, artichoke, sun dried tomatoes - divine!

Yesterday we went to Tofino as well, driving through the Pacific Rim National Park, about 35 minutes north of Ucluelet.

It has more of a touristy feel to it, more cafes and restaurants and a huge number of fishing charter companies, as well as bear/whale watching and hot spring adventures.

Oh, and not to mention lots of surfing shops for rentals and lessons.

Since last night, it started pouring and this morning we went back to the lighthouse and Long Beach to see the amazing waves.

It feels, smells and looks so different depending on the weather.

On our way back home to Nanaimo, we tested out our 'new' car by taking her on a few logging roads towards Kennedy Lake.

We had to turn around twice because the road was impassable.

We also stopped at Cathedral Grove, home of the biggest/tallest Douglas Fir trees on the island.

Poor Matt had irritating muscle pains in his shoulder and neck (possibly from the awkward tv-watching position that was practiced all weekend long) and couldn't look up.

It's nice to be home again. The snow has melted from last week, it's just wet and rainy now.

Thanks Mom and Dad for the special RCI vacation points.

It was the perfect engagement anniverary trip!