Lake City Inn and Suites -5*’s

30 07 2012

My life as a mom with kids in sports has brought me to many different cities and many different hotels. We have our favourites, where we stay all the time and there have been some where we have only made an appearance once. Our fav’s of course are the ones where they have a continental breakfast so we can send our ravenous kids down to fill up on cereal, fruit and the muffin of the day before we head out to an early morning game. It is hard to find a perfect place where the kids can play outside without having to dodge cars in a parking lot and where parents after a few cocktails do not have to worry about disturbing other hotel guests if they were to by chance raise their voices a little after the kids have gone to bed

The more we travel the more we have stayed away from restaurants and fast food joints. Our kids do not want subway for lunch as much as they used to and ask for home cooked meals instead of going out to a fav restaurant to eat dinner.  The novelty of eating out wears off after many many years of tournament road trips. So when it came to booking a hotel for a 5 night stay  because we were headed to provincials in Vancouver I ( team manager) decided to find a place where we could have all of our needs met.

I remember hearing several times about a little motel off the beaten path in Burnaby by the parents of an opposing team. They have stayed there every year while attending a tournament that each of our associations had enjoyed attending (until we went undefeated and ended up in 5th place but that is a whole other story) for years. They said it had everything, a grassy area for the kids to play on, kitchenettes so they could prepare all of their meals at the hotel, an outdoor pool with a great deck to socialize on, a commercial kitchen that they allowed teams to use if they wanted to make team meals and even barbecues that they allowed their guests to use.

I asked one of the dads from the other association for the name of the hotel and he told me. The Lake City Inn and Suites. He said that if was definitely not a place to bring a date but it was clean and perfect for a travelling team.   I immediately googled the hotel. Wow, it looked great. The room on the website was older I will admit, but the beds looked comfortable and it was definitely clean!! It looked like there was a lot of grass, the pool area looked spectacular. I read reviews and the only negative review was from a guest who had said that they noise from a visiting hockey team had kept them up late. Well since we would be the ones making the noise I decided that the hotel was perfect. I immediately called the hotel and booked a block of rooms for our team.  We just had to hope that our team performed well enough to get us to provincials.

Our team won the “Island Championship” to take them off to provincials so off we headed over to Burnaby the night before the tournament began. While on the ferry I received texts from a good friend of mine whose son is on the same team as my son and had already checked in to the hotel.

Friend:  Lower all expectations about hotel. Poop on bathroom floor, dead bugs in room but isolated so boys can play. Bum going through garbage….ask for room close to me.

(I was thinking that maybe this time it wasn’t because we are friends and we like to be close to each other but because she was scared to be alone.)

Me: No, really? I was told that it was older but really clean w a great space for the kids to play.

Friend: Carpet in my room at least 20 years old. No grass near my room, maybe opposite side? I don’t know. My room is pretty gross to be honest. Fridge is mini. Maybe the other rooms are better? Cigarette butts outside both doors. Not very well kept. No joke- poop on the bathroom floor.

Me: Oh god!! I brought so much food

Friend:  Me too, I so regret it. I don’t even want to cook in the room.

Me:  All of the reviews are good except one talking about how a hockey team kept other guests up late with their late night socializing.

Friend: Maybe it’s just my room

Me: No offence but I hope so

Friend: Me too! Its all good anyway, it makes for good stories.

Me:  Exactly

Friend:  We will make great memories but I’m bunking with you if your room is better.

When we pulled up to the motel my heart sank!! It was obvious that a good camera angle was responsible for the appearance of grass at the hotel. The boys in my vehicle asked if this we really where we were staying or of it was a joke.  I immediately prayed that the rooms were awesome and that everyone would think this little diamond in the rough was perfect for our team.  It also ran through my mind that the dad from the association was leading us astray as payback for us always beating their association!!!

I stepped in to the lobby with one of my good friends who was also checking in and ran into a dad from our team who immediately told us that one of the families was thinking about moving hotels.  I felt terrible. I was the one who had booked the hotel so I was the one responsible for people possibly being miserable for a good part of a week.

Checking in was a painful process. The guy behind the desk was useless. It took him forever to check us in. My friend texted me while we were both standing at the counter “I’m pretty sure I could do this faster”. “Maybe I should go behind the desk and do this for him.

Me: This is ridiculous . I need a job. I could do it until Saturday

Friend: LMAO

Me: Do you think we can get this place by the hour?

It was kind of scary I will admit and I was taken back when they made me pre pay for the entire visit up front. It made me very very scared of what my room would look like. Once we were checked in and went to our rooms, I started calling around to all of the hotels that we knew trying to find someone who could give us 18 rooms.  I knew it was a long shot. I called many different hotels and no one could accommodate us. I honestly wanted to cry.

We all resigned ourselves to the fact that we had to make the best of it! I am not the type of girl who insists on a 5 star hotel room every time I travel but this was the worst hotel I had ever seen.

My girlfriend and I took a peek in one of the coaches room and were shocked as his was nice. He had a new bed and his room was renovate. We immediately recognized it as the room shown on the website. A little bit of false advertising I would say if that was the only room that looked half decent.

My girlfriend and I RAN back to the front desk and asked if we could change to a renovated room if there were more that had been spruced up. I am not exaggerating when I say that we stood there for 20 minutes while he continually pressed keys on his keyboard stopping only to glance at a piece of paper a couple of times and then he would type again. I am completely convinced that he was playing a video game and just pretending to be looking into other possibilities to appease us. (We actually tried to sneak a peek of his computer screen through a back window to see what was on the screen).  We wanted a renovated room and he finally admitted that he did not know which rooms were renovated but offered to let us see a room that was available.  We went and took a look and took a look out the back window to see the view and on the roof were pieces of full size poop. Not sure if it was human or animal but we were not sticking around to figure it out.

We ended up staying 4 nights. The beds were horrible, some suites were infested with ants, there was no consistency with water pressure or temperature, the pull out couches had huge stains on the cushions so guests used sheets to put over top. The free continental breakfast that the website boasted turned out to be $3 per person so we opted out not only because of the cost but because of the un sanitary conditions. There were pry marks on the doors, the windows did not lock and each room had its own special aroma. I preferred the odor of sweaty lacrosse gear over the stench that oozed out of some of the rooms.

The one saving grace was that the pool and surrounding area was clean and well taken care of. It was nicer than our rooms so that is where most of the parents gathered. The parents and kids were all great and said that it was definitely an experience that they would never forget but they were all good sports about it. Next year I will most definitely be going with hotels we know!!!

If ever in Burnaby do NOT stay at the Lake City Inn and Suites. Be ware of reviews!! I am now convinced that the hotel clerk was probably the one posting the good reviews!!





The Romance Shop

24 07 2012

I will admit it, this single mom is living her non- existent sex life vicariously through the new Shades of Grey series.  I completely understand now why kids are complaining about their moms not having dinner on the table at the usual time or that their lunches once full of fresh fruit and vegetables have been reduced to a granola bar and a juice box.  Hiding behind the toaster in my kitchen is one of the three books in this ever so popular series. I will not lie. My kids have had to ask me questions one, two and three times before they catch my attention because I am intensely reading about Christian and Ana and am completely captivated by what is going to happen next.  I will honestly never be able to look at a neck tie the same way and handcuffs will no longer take my mind to the thought of someone being arrested.

There are apparatuses described in this series that I never knew existed and honestly as I had always thought of myself as a prude never cared to know about. This series has changed all that. I am intrigued by what lies behind the doors of “The Romance Shop”.  I used to think that people would judge you if they knew you had shopped in a “sex” shop but I no longer feel that way. I was nervous approaching the store. I was a little worried that my sons lacrosse coaches wife or one of my sons friends moms might just happen to be downtown and see me  but then I remembered that it was the lacrosse coaches wife that first loaned me the book and that I had passed it on to other moms on the team.

 Once through the doors, Linda the owner of “The Romance Shop” and her staff made me feel so comfortable. You do not feel embarrassed or ashamed to there.  I felt at ease meandering though the store and will admit that at first I was overwhelmed by all of the choices one has to enhance their sex life.  Asking the first question was the hardest (I will only share with my bff’s what that was but I know understand how a certain apparatus will increase a climax in the opposite sex- email me if you want to know what it was!!!) and once that was over I asked questions in rapid succession. I am sure once I left the store that there was many a joke cracked about the rookie that ventured in that morning.

I was absolutely ecstatic to discover the Christian and Ana packages that very closely resemble the box of goodies that Ana presents to Christian as a gift in book #??( You will have to pick up your copy to find out. )  What a great gift for a husband to give to his wife!! I can guarantee that any woman who has ventured on to reading book number two “ Fifty Shades Darker” will not only appreciate that her husband is paying attention to what she is reading but secretly has been hoping that her husband would express a little more “Christian” in the bedroom.

If you decide to venture beyond the contents of the “box”, Linda and the staff at the Romance shop are the bedroom experts who will happily assist you.

 

The Romance Shop is located at 2018 Douglas St  in downtown Victoria,  and 89 Cliffe Ave in Courtenay

 

 





The Scale

18 07 2012

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I honest to god have a love hate relationship with my scale. Right now there is a whole lot of hate going on. I don’t weigh myself every day anymore. I used to be completely obsessed with it but now I try to only step on the scale a couple times a week. I judge if it is a weigh in day by how I think my abs look. For instance this morning I took a look and thought that they looked pretty good. Not sure why I felt that way( lol) because I have not done an ab workout in a week or so but perhaps I thought that the ab fairy had paid me a visit in the middle of the night and granted my wish for decent abs.

I went through the regular routine, go to the bathroom, take off all my clothes including my hair elastic because they have to weigh at least an ounce. I stepped on the scale with my eyes closed, took a deep breath and opened my eye lids when approx 3 seconds had gone by. I was amazed and excited. The scale was reporting a number that I was ecstatic about. It meant that I had lost the 7 of the 8 pounds I wanted to lose. Immediately I was thinking about all of the extra choices I had in my wardrobe and how proud I was for not eating that chocolate and turning down Dairy Queen when my daughter asked me if I wanted her to bring me anything back. Then, the worst thing that could ever happen, happened. I looked down at the screen to confirm my great weight loss feat when all of a sudden ERROR flashed on the screen. #@###$$%%, way to burst my bubble

I swear ( and I did in my head a ton at the moment ) neither of my children had better ask me do anything for them in the next hour and my kitchen had better be the way I left it when I went to bed or I will probably lose it. If the weight loss had been a reality my kids could have probably asked me to almost anything and I would have agreed. “What you want to see Niagara Falls? “ Pack your bags we are leaving in an hour”!

I repeated the routine again this time with my blood pressure elevated (does that add weight?) to find that my weight was exactly the same as it was last time had stepped on the scale. There is nothing better to ruin the start of the day than to see that you had not lost any of the weight you so want to magically to melt away. How seriously had I not lost an ounce?? I really have been trying. I have been resisting my candy stash only having one or two of my fav treats instead of the entire box full like I normally would. I do exercises while I brush my teeth and fix my hair. I honestly think about doing a full work out at least 2-3 times a day.

What happened to the days where my clothes didn’t fit properly because I was too small and had to have everything taken in? Oh yes, marriage, pregnancies and turning 40!!. Why does losing weight have to include bending and twisting my body in ways that just aren’t natural? Why in order to burn calories do you have to sweat? I hate feeling all hot and sticky and spend most of my workout thinking about how gross I feel rather than the calories I am burning.

I am always looking for ways to burn extra calories throughout the day so I did a goggle search to see what new ways I could find. I found out that making out with someone for 20 minutes can burn 100 calories, talking on the phone for 55 minutes can burn 50 calories and a brisk walk with your dog for an hour burns 200 calories. Basically this single woman with no dog and friends who want to text rather than talk is screwed.

I have been putting this off as long as I can. I am actually going to get up out of bed and throw in an exercise dvd and work out. If any of my friends want to call me to actually talk on the phone I am busy for the next 16 minutes!!!





Lemonade Stand

16 07 2012

Mom,” we want to do a lemonade stand” is what my son hollered at me yesterday. We want to sell lemonade and ice tea up at the corner. “Sure” I said. My ex husband and I are both business people so it seemed natural to me for our son to what to have a business of his own.  My son and his friends made a list of supplies, Ice tea mix, lemonade mix, water, ice, cups jugs, table, money to make change and a cooler.

When I pulled out the first jug (a Montreal Canadiens one that is one of my pride possessions) one of the boys remarked that he wasn’t sure that we should use that jug as he didn’t know too many HABS fans. I gave him a glare (I’m a diehard HABS fan) and pulled out a Canucks one as well and he said we could use the HABS jug as long as they could use the Canucks one as well.

My son was elected to make the sign as he was voted the most artistic out of the 3 boys who were excited about their new venture. While producing the sign my son yelled to me “hey mom, how much do you think we could charge if we offered it with vodka?”  I laughed out loud (lol) at  this and explained that although it was an ingenious idea that there were liquor laws and that I could quite possibly go to jail for allowing my 13 year old son and his friends to sell alcoholic drinks on the corner in our quiet suburban neighbourhood.

The poster advertising their choice of drinks $1 each and $.50 for a refill was attached to the power pole at the corner of the street. I was excited for them. It was a hot day and I thought that they would get a good lesson on business. They took the drinks and all the supplies and headed to their corner.

It was a very hot day and they are all very smart young men.  The road connected to our cul de sac heads down to a very popular city lake and the road was busy with people walking down to the trail that borders the lake. The boys were walking up to people on their walk and handing them free cups of water and telling them to come have a glass of lemonade on their way back. It actually worked. They had many people purchase a glass on their way home.

They met two 19 year old young men visiting our city from Utah who were here with the Mormon Church (for 2 years) to spread their belief.  My son said that he was amazed at how hard of a job they had going from door to door trying to introduce people to their faith. He said the boys experienced doors being slammed in their faces, if people came to the door at all. It was a good lesson to the boys. My son and his friends said that it taught them that you if you believe in something strong enough that you will never give up and you are prepared to deal with all of the obstacles in the way.  They entertained the two young men even letting them ride their long boards and tried to give them a free glass of lemonade but the boys insisted that they pay something so they agreed to 2 glasses for $1. My son brought home not only a pamphlet but the entire Mormon book and he wants to keep it as a memory of his experience.

The boys were visited by motorists passing by, neighbours we knew and neighbours we didnt’( but my son knows now).  At the end of the evening I went to check on them. They had made 25.00 and they were sitting on the ground surrounded by 6 young ladies having a fabulous time.  It was a very successful first day in business.   Aw to be a kid again!!!





Magic Mike

14 07 2012

Magic Mike.





Magic Mike

14 07 2012

Last night a group of friends and I went out to dinner before heading to the movie of the summer “Magic Mike”. Dinner was a great time as it always is when you get together with good group of ladies however I noticed that our ordering habits have changed. Gone are the days of ordering an appetizer and a meal. Everyone forgo’d the appetizer and most shared meals using “we want to have popcorn at the theatre tonight. When we were young if you didn’t order an appetizer or dessert it meant that it wasn’t in the budget but last night meant that we are watching our calories because we have hit our 40’s and still want our butts to fit in the seats the next time we visit the theatre. We did have one younger gal with us who was pregnant and so when she ordered the cheesecake we all rallied around her justifying it by saying that it was for the baby and that the cheese in the cheesecake and the fresh strawberries on the side covered two major food groups

I normally would never have considered attending a movie like Magic Mike because I would have thought about whether my husband would be comfortable with me going to a movie based on male strippers but being single I do not have to take that into consideration. I said yes immediately when I was asked to go for dinner and to the movie. Never ever in a million years would I have thought that I would receive the reaction that I did from my son.  When he asked what movie I was going to I was completely honest and he said but you are a mom? Moms don’t go to movies about male strippers. Then he asked me to please not tell any of his friends because that would be embarrassing, News Flash kiddo “your friend’s moms were sitting beside me in the theatre.

 I enjoyed watching the people around me in the theatre. The|”Oh Yes” that was exclaimed the second Channing Tatum hit the screen made almost everyone laugh out loud (or lol for your younger folk) , there were people covering their faces and peeking from behind their fingers( I’ll admit I was one of them in a few of the scenes). There was the lone male ( who wins boyfriend of the year award for not walking out) who sat with his arms crossed the entire time pissed off that he had been tricked into coming to a movie that I’m sure the thought was a documentary about Michael Jordan. That’s what you get for going away to the oilfields to work to rake in the dough-you miss all the movie hype.

Women are much more vocal in a theatre when they are not accompanied my men. I laughed at each “ “oh my god” ( OMG) and “ did you see that” that was exclaimed loudly by many of the women around me. Some women had even smuggled in alcohol. I am not sure if it was to enhance their experience or to help with the shock of seeing a man that still had their abs and tight butts.

I do however, think that the movie theatres completely missed the boat on the Magic Mike Movie. If I was running the theatres I would have transformed the lobby of the theater into a night club while, the crowd, of unsuspecting women were inside being mesmerized by the mostly naked hard bodies flaunting their bodies on the screen. I would have treated it like ladies nights back in the day when the clubs would have male strippers come in for a couple hours and then allow men in for a reduced cover charge where they would be prayed on by women who were all hot and bothered after the show (I am speaking purely on what I was told by my friends who would dare participate in such an event).  I think the theatres would make a killing if they let men in 20 minutes before the movie was out and made the lobby into a temporary night club. They could have a back door exit for those women who wanted to get home to their husbands before their amorous mood wore off.

Magic Mike is definitely an Academy Awards contender if they add categories for “ Best Abs” and “ the Best Butt” award. Until then it a very good distraction and a fun activity to do with your best girl friends.





Internet Dating

8 07 2012

Internet Dating.