Friday, August 20, 2010

The other night I was hanging out with my little sister and I had planned a night of fun, inexpensive activities for us to do. Being a big sister and having to plan weekly activities has really made me take a detailed look at all the great things that Sarnia, Lambton has to offer. I am finding that during the summer there are lots festivals, shows and out door eateries available, you sometimes just need to look a little closer to find them.

So I have recently been visiting the County of Lambton Website, The Sarnia Tourism Website and even the local radio station website, to see what I can find for me and my little sister to enjoy for little to no cost. Last week I had planned for us to have dinner at Purdy’s Fisheries, a walk through the Gallery Lambton and then a stroll down to the Library on Christina Street to pick up some carefree summer reads.

I had never been to Purdy’s and I find it exciting to try new restaurants. The fish was awesome! We ordered perch and pickerel and shared so we could try both kinds of fish. The weather was wonderful that night and we were lucky enough to get a seat right next to the water. There was lots of traffic on the river; I never sees to be amazed by the gargantuan size of the ships that travel the St. Clair river.

Next we were headed to Gallery Lambton. On our way there, we noticed the antique car show going on in Centennial Park so we decided to take a walk through the park. Arriving at the art gallery we found our selves alone to enjoy the art. A Gallery Lambton employee joined us shortly after we went in. He asked if we would like him to tell us about some of the art.

The man explained that the current show was a display of art work owned by Gallery Lambton and that what we were seeing was only a small portion of art owned by the Gallery. He toured us around the art gallery explaining how some of the art work had come to be part of this collection.

There was art from the Group of Seven, new art from local artists and pieces that had found themselves in the possession of Gallery Lambton without any records.
I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the history of the artwork and the stories of its purchasers. When the man left me and Belinda to walk around on our own, we took turns guessing what some of the abstract art was.

Shamefully I will admit this was only my second visit to Gallery Lambton. Learning the history of the art work gave me a greater appreciation for how important the Gallery Lambton is to the heritage of Sarnia, Lambton. I am going to make an honest effort to visit more frequently.

Lastly we found ourselves at the library. I love the library! I love the smell of the books and I like the quiet noise. My little sister and I set off into our desired library sections and began the hunt for our next great read. I found Tori Spelling’s new book “Uncharted TerrriTori” and my little sister found a few vampire mysteries. We spent some time just hanging out reading the beginning of our books until they announced that the Library would be closing.

As we walked down Christina Street on the way back to my car I reminisced about the events of our night. I couldn’t help but think that I don’t really savor all that Sarnia Lambton has to offer. I am going to start now though. I think part of the reason is because, this is where I live and I drive by the same things every day. I don’t always SEE what’s around me but from now on I am going to start looking a little harder.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Well...I'm slacking (again).

The (unfortunate) but inevitable end of the summer has brought me to a date I have been looking forward to for months. On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, I will be embarking on a three-week odyssey hiking trip across the majority of the Western United States.

The reason for the trip is simple - it's vacation time and I want to do something different. That, and a good friend of mine has a chunk of time off, so we figured a road trip was the best thing to fill in the gaps.

So, on the 17th, I set out from Sarnia and will head to Notre Dame, Indiana. From there, on the morning of the 18th, we head west - and what happens after that, no one knows. Our path involves hitting as many great hikes as possible at as many amazing places as possible - and the order (as shown in the image below) goes like this:

A) Aspen, Colorado
B) Grand Canyon, Arizona
C) Las Vegas, Nevada (ok, there's not too much hiking happening there)
D) Yosemite National Park, California
E) Lake Tahoe, Californa
F) Park City, Utah

It is certainly not an unambitious trip, but what fun is a road trip if you don't take a few chances?

More or less, the point of the trip is to spend three weeks wreaking havoc on the trails and mountains of the Western US, have a boat-load of laughs and try to remember a time when people enjoyed things without having to be plugged in 24/7.

As I get ready to head out on this trip I can already feel my apprehension growing. I have no doubt that the Team will hold down the fort, but I am actually uptight about "unplugging"! I know, I know -I should relish the opportunity to turn the cell off and not worry about things for a few weeks. I think that is the first realization that has come from a trip I haven't even left for yet - that I (and I'm sure many people in the world) am so COMPLETELY dependent being 'connected'.

I don't know if it's funny - or just plain sad! - that I am mildly worried about this. Whether it is the office phone, cell phone, email, messenger, Facebook, Twitter, the blog (that I am ironically using to tell you all of this) or any other mode of connectivity, it honestly makes me wonder what we did before the internet was as big a part of our lives as it's become. I mean, we are only talking about mainstream internet usage for the past, what, 10-12 years?! Yet, you would think that we were just shaping the wheel and doing nothing more than grunting as of 1995.

Thankfully, we did a lot more before the Information Age, and I am beginning to see that it is not only a wanted break - but a needed one. Being outside as much as possible, not worrying about the number of bars on my phone is something that I'm looking forward to - and maybe we should all remember to do every now and then.