Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 122

August 26th

Today was the last regular parade, so all bands were on and we were huge. 9 across!! we also got to do the "in the bottle, out of the bottle" drill. This basically means that we get narrow and long when we need to fit through tight portions of the parade. The sound was huge and I really liked having 9 tubas behind me! The wheels were pretty cool too. This afternoon we rehearsed the Final Parade on the parade square until 4pm. Apparently we don't go onto the hill for the last one. We go to the tomb of the unknown soldier and do a ceremony there while picking up the centuries to end the summer. For this parade we will be 10 across! After the long afternoon of waiting and rehearsing, I packed up my barracks box with everything I could possible squeeze into there and took it to the bus depot with Brian after supper. Mine weighted 96 lbs and the limit was 100. Close call, but now I don't have to take that plus all my own luggage to the airport. There is no way I would make it out with all that anyways. When I got back, I practiced before doing my boots for the last time! man, I really hope I can pack up all my stuff. I've been down sizing and getting rid of things I don't need. Hopefully it will work out!

Day 121

August 25th

Today was the day of the dreaded BFT. But first, everyone who was on the BFT was also on parade in the morning. I drank so much water and juice all day long, I don't think I've ever had that much hydration in one day before. The BFT is a 13km rucksack march in combats while carrying 50lbs on your person. It is supposed to be done with a rifle included in the weight but we did it without the rifle. That just meant more weight on your back, but you could move your arms more easily. I coated my feet with foot powder and even coated the first layer of socks with powder before putting on the thick wool socks. Then I made sure I had about 2.5 liters of water with me and I was set. I discovered that if I rested the waist strap of the rucksack on the lower pouches of my tack vest, then the strap would not rub against my hips and the weight would be more spread out. This worked out well for the most part, but on the way back I was using my free hands to help lift the weight off my shoulders. Our route took us up and down the canal path and on the way up it felt like we were almost running. I was actually close to quitting and then we got to break for about 8 mins at the half way point. The break really helped and since we were really ahead of schedule, we took it slower on the way back. We still wound up doing the 13km in 1hr 53mins. The time limit is 2.5hrs. After you do the ruck march, you have to do a 25 meter drag of a person about your weight. That was really easy lol. Then we had some time to shower, start laundry and relax briefly before getting ready for the final party. I decided to wear my white dress again and it's a good thing I did. The final party was pretty formal. For $40 the food was pretty sad. Basically the thing that made it seem good was that the gravy smelled good. I won't get started on that because I could just tear it apart lol. The slide show was really entertaining and a great idea to do. The awards and speeches were pretty funny! My pants got an honorable mention for "best kit" in the Harry Awards! Only because they were so tight on the thighs and butt ;) After the meal and all the formalities were over, there was a Funk band followed by iPod tunes. Of course they had to play "We've got the Funk" and other Funk tunes, so I was dancing all night! I got back to the shacks after 1:30 sometime and attempted to chat with Dustin, but pretty much failed lol. I drank some more water (probably working on the 4-5th liter of the day) and went to bed.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 120

August 24th

Today was Dustin's last day, and really it was only half a day too :( He joined me and the rest of the band for an early breakfast and then I had to get ready for parade. After parade we spent one last hour together before he had to go to the airport. After being together almost 24/7 for 10 days, we were still giggling and laughing with each other up to the end of his visit. I think this is a good sign! After he left I showered, went to lunch and started on my practicing for my audition. I didn't sound too bad, but I'll be happy when parades are over. Hopefully I have enough time to get into good shape! Then I came back to my room and took a nap because I had a rough night sleep. After supper it was pretty rowdy in the shacks and ppl were doing all kinds of things to wrap up the summer. I helped out a bit with a slide show for the final party tomorrow and practiced some more. After chatting with ppl online and in the shacks, I think it's time for bed again. Less than a week till I'm home!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 119

August 23rd

We slept in again this morning which was really nice. I went to breakfast at the last possible time and when I got back, I started setting up my teaching studio and registered for some courses. We stayed in for the morning and Dustin finished his book while I practiced a bit. I also packed up my stuff to get ready to move back to the shacks :( After lunch we took off for downtown. We walked down Bank street and looked in some of the shops and book stores. I found some music that I will probably wind up buying before going home. We made it to the mall and did some clothes shopping. Dustin helped me and we found a really nice sweater and LeChateau. I also found a nice shirt at a store that we don't have in Winnipeg so I bought it. We eventually made our way in to the market and checked out all the places to eat. There are a lot of choices there but we decided to go with Stella's. It was very nice and we paid about the same as what you would at any pub but the food at Stella's was much better. On the way back we got a Starbucks drink to share and picked up some bagels for dad. He is getting so spoiled with all the bagels that I'm sending home for him! Altogether it was a very nice day out and we were both glad to be doing something other than going to a museum. Yay for the good weather!! When we got back, I moved most of my stuff back to the shacks and did my boots. Pretty soon I won't have to polish boots anymore!!!!!

Day 118

August 22nd

We slept in hard core this morning to make up for the short night and long day that we had. After lounging around and taking it really easy, we made it to the Museum of Nature by about 3pm. That was a pretty good one to see. There was a lot of variety and even a live insect farm. I guess it wasn't all that bad that we missed the insectarium in Montreal. The only bummer was that on the way, the back wheel on Dustin's bike popped. This was the same bike that we patched up before except this time we were no where near Carleton. So we left with enough time to walk back and get ready before going out for our fancy dinner at 18. We got all dressed up and made our way down there by bus. The restaurant was quite romantic and the waiter was very informative and helpful. We decided to do the 5 course blind tasting with the wine pairing instead of choosing our own meals. First they gave us a little spoonful of flavor. It had apple, cheese, squash and some kind of herb on it. Then we got 2 slices of baguette (I had the whole grain) with whipped butter. We had champagne with this. For our appetizer we had shrimp done 3 different ways. Two of them were with butter and different flavors I think. the one in the middle was the best, it was chopped and made into a hot mixture with who knows what and stuffed into a zucchini blossom! That was tasty :) It came with a white wine. The next dish was a salad with 3 different tomatoes. They were garnished with minced and marinated olives and very smooth goat cheese. mmmmmmmmm That was one of my favorite dishes. It also came with white wine. The next one was BBQ fuagra and Octopus with suuuuper sweet octopus jus all around it. Another winner! This one also had white wine and at this point I was feeling all the wine lol. Then on to the main course which was the ostrich that I was planning on ordering had we chosen our own meals! It was very good. They cooked it so that there was that raw part in the middle and there were bits of pepper corns coating it. There was also a mix of potatoes, corn and a tasty sauce all around it. This one came with red wine! By this point Dustin and I thought we would guess at what the dessert might be but we were both wrong. Dustin guessed some kind of Angel Food cake with berries, I guessed cheese cake with berries but it was a very rich piece of chocolate brownie and Mango gelato ice cream sitting on shredded unsweetened coconut with dried but very tasty cherries on the side. wow! This came with a small glass of ice wine which Dustin said is really expensive. That meal was a real treat and I'm glad we splurged and went out for it!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day 117

August 21st

We woke up at 3:45 to get showered and walk to the Bus station. Our bus left at 6am and they suggested being there an hour before but that was very unnecessary. We probably could have showed up just 20mins before. We both managed to sleep a bit on the 2 hour ride there which was nice. When we got there, we took the subway to Olympic Park only to find out that the Biodome and Insectarium were closed due to a strike :< That was a bummer but we quickly made a plan B while waiting for the Botanical Gardens to open. The Gardens were beautiful and had sections like Japanese, First Nations, Rose, Chinese, Alpine, Water, Greenhouse, Vegetable and Toxic Gardens. I didn't realize how big the place was until we decided to skip the vegetable and toxic gardens because we were tired of walking. We spent about 4 hours walking through the gardens and some of them like the Japanese and Chinese ones had little Pavilions in their garden. The Japanese one was all about lacker (how to gather, how to use) and displayed the pieces of art that were made with lacker. The Japanese Gardens had a pond with carp in it and I touched them. They seemed to like attention from ppl and thought that we were going to feed them. After eating lunch we moved on to the Chinese Gardens which were pretty cool too. There was a tea house in the middle but part of it was closed for the day. There was also a house where we got to practice our calligraphy. It was quite relaxing and a lot of fun. I also enjoyed the greenhouse. There was a lot of variety and a lot of cool plants to see. It's amazing how many plants are in the world! Our next stop in Montreal was the Bio-sphere which is all about being environmentally friendly. It was a great place for kids and we had fun there too! I learned that I need to step it up and be more environmentally friendly from one of the self quizzes that I did. Then our next stop was the planetarium near Old Montreal. We had supper and then caught a show which brought back childhood memories for me. It was really nice to see all the stars without light pollution. After the show we walked around Old Montreal and then went back to the Bus Depot. The ride home was less enjoyable because we kept stopping to pick up more passengers. Both Dustin and I were glad when we finally arrived back at Carleton!

Day 116

August 20th

This morning Dustin woke up at the same time as me to come to breakfast so he would not miss parade lol. When we woke up, there was no power in our building. I walked over to the muster area and it seems like no one had power this morning. When we went for breakfast there was no power in the kitchen either and we had boxed/cold breakfasts. Boo. Oh well, better than nothing. The morning went on as usual and we got power at 7:30. When we got to the drill hall Dustin was there waiting with hid camera. It was too cute. Ryan Wherle and Nelson were also there this morning which was nice because Ryan could answer any of Dustin's questions. The parade started and Dustin was beaming the whole time lol. He walked up with us and took so many pictures and videos that he filled his camera! After parade I found out that I had the next day off! So we booked our bus tickets to Montreal and decided to go see the Biodome, Botanical Gardens and Insectarium. After lunch we took off for the War Museum and spent 5 hours there! Wow, were my feet and brain ever tired! Good thing we decided to take the bus this time. When we got back, we got ourselves organized for Montreal and went to bed early.