Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Quiet day thanks to snow

It snowed for most of the day on Tuesday. I went out briefly before lunch to fetch some food and buy a few items when the snow took a brief break. As I drove back to the hotel, it started to snow again.

It was nice spending some quiet time in my room. I watched a lot of TV, took a nap, ate and drank, and had me time.

I love being on vacation. It's getting cold here, so staying indoors isn't a bad thing.

Monday, December 27, 2021

It's snowing post-Christmas

We didn't get snow on Christmas. Instead, the snow came late on Boxing Day. It's snowing overnight.

I'm not sure whether I'll be going out in the morning later on today. I kind of like that housekeeping doesn't come once a day during this pandemic. It means that I can stay in my room later, watch TV, eat breakfast at a leisurely pace, write, and relax.

My first week of vacation has flown by. I love waking up without an alarm clock going off. I still get up relatively early at around 8 am. I feel that it's the excitement of exploring the Twin Cities that makes me so enthusiastic to wake up early and get on with my day.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Mrs Prindable's apples

For years, I have heard great things about Mrs Prindable's apples. They are special caramel apples with extra toppings that adhere to the caramel.

I decided to buy a box of ten apples. Five were s'mores and the other were triple chocolate. I had them shipped to my hotel because you can't ship produce over the border.

When I checked in to the hotel last Monday, I had a nice man at the front desk get me set up. We both recognized each other from my previous stay. He knew that there was a package for me and would look for it.

The next day, I asked the morning front desk folks about my package. I got it. I was so happy that I ripped open the box when I got back to my room and had an apple. The s'mores was so good. You need a knife to cut through it.

That evening, after returning from being out and about, the man at the front desk and I said hi. He asked about the package and I said that I got it.

A day later, I came back from being out. I had a caramel apple with me and wanted to give it to this man. I found him in the kitchen area, preparing paper bags for guests like me who fetch breakfast and use them.

I thanked him for being him. I remembered returning from a hockey game the last time I was in town. It was snowing. I got to the hotel and he was shovelling snow. I said that most would take that action for granted, but I appreciated it.

He was moved. He said to me that he often can tell whether guests at the hotel are "fake." He said that with me, it was nonexistent and that I have a good heart. It was so kind of him.

On a great note, he loved the caramel apple. It is large and he's still working on it. I'm glad that I brought some joy to someone who deserves it.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! Wishing you and yours a happy, safe, and memorable holiday season!

All is well stateside. I have a bunch of stories, but I have unplugged since I got here. I'll try and get back into the swing of things soon.

It's the first time in years since I haven't cooked on Christmas. I decided to order some catering and am looking forward to someone else cooking for me!

Sunday, December 19, 2021

All packed

I am all packed. I fly out tomorrow.

Before I fly out, I need to take an antigen test. Rules have changed where it has to be taken within 24 hours. On my last trip, it was 72 hours. I'm getting this test done tomorrow morning before I head over to the airport.

My setup is different on this trip. I'm carrying a backpack with my laptop and charger instead of my rolling bag. I also and bringing a larger piece of luggage that I've had for nearly two decades. I will be saying goodbye to it (one zipper works out of the whole thing) and getting a new piece of luggage while in the States. I may also buy a smaller rolling bag that fits in the overhead compartment. I love my rolling bag, but it no longer fits up there. The airline has made this compartment a lot smaller now.

Here's hoping that everything goes smoothly!

Friday, December 17, 2021

Booster shot thoughts

My manager and a guy on our team who doesn't do a lot are well over fifty years of age. They are able to book booster shots.

The problem is that they are difficult to book. My manager has an appointment at my local drugstore. He doesn't live near me. His appointment is December 27. The other guy has his on New Year's Eve.

Considering that the province has opened up the appointment floodgates to folks eighteen years of age and older as of next Monday, I doubt that I'll get an appointment until mid- to late-January, if I'm lucky. I don't think that the system is ready for a large number of folks wanting to get booster shots.

Today is my last workday before I go on vacation. I am cautiously optimistic about travelling. My hope is that this advisory causes many to not travel. For folks like me who are taking a risk, but will play it safe while in the States, I hope that it's not too busy.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Travelling when the recommendation is to avoid travel

The recommendation by the Canadian government is to avoid travel outside of Canada. According to a doctor on the news last night, he recommends that folks with travel plans go ahead with them, but exercise caution.

I feel that it's what I want to do. I have been careful during this entire pandemic. Despite rules stateside in my hotel that I could roam around without my mask on if I'm fully vaccinated, I had my mask on in public areas.

Entering a restaurant? Mask on. Huge hockey arena? I wore a mask. The largest mall in the States? I definitely wore a mask.

Booster shots are finally being rolled out to folks 18 years of age and older on Monday. I will need to wait till I return and hope that my being cautious, like I have for month, will serve me well. I doubt that I can get my booster shot before I fly off.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Omicron variant and my upcoming trip

The Omicron variant is threatening the holidays and more. I'm not sure whether it'll affect my travel plans just yet. The good news is that I can change my plane ticket details without a penalty, if required.

Booster shots in Canada are now available for folks fifty years of age and older. I still need to wait for mine. In the meantime, I continue to be cautious, which has always been the case since this pandemic started.

My guess is that capacity limits will be imposed in public places. The Omicron variant seems to be spreading faster in communities than through travel in Canada.

My worst fear is that the border closes between Canada and the United States, and I am in the latter country. Here's hoping that it doesn't happen and I can complete my upcoming trip.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Nose bleed while stateside

While in the States, I did have something odd happen to me. I didn't write a whole lot while away because I wanted to immerse myself in everything. I did want to write about this weirdness, but I didn't want to alarm everyone.

Just before I went to bed, which was a Friday just before 2 am, I had sneezed three times. I am normally not a sneezy person, so that was a sign. I then felt the need to blow my nose. I did. That's when I ended up with a nose bleed.

I don't normally get nose bleeds. The last time I did before this incident was in grade 2. I was standing in line behind two boys in my class. They were fighting. An elbow landed on my nose and it bled. My teacher helped me stop my nose bleed.

So, here I am, trying to pinch where my nostrils are starting, find a can of vodka soda to put on the bridge of my nose and forehead to stop the bleeding, and lean more forward than tilting my head back. After maybe forty minutes, my right nostril stopped bleeding.

Weird. My take is that it was so dry in my room that my nostrils weren't as moisturized as they typically are at home. The sneezing and nose-blowing ended up rupturing a blood vessel. Thus, I had a nose bleed.

I rested for a bit. I then decided to take Friday off as a sick day and sleep in. At this stage, it was just after 3 am when I recovered from my efforts to stop my nose bleed.

I'm glad that it wasn't an epic nose bleed that couldn't be stopped. Thank goodness I kept calm. I didn't drink the vodka soda after that, but I did the following evening.

Later on that day, I got saline spray from the drugstore to moisturize my nostrils. I have been nose bleed-free ever since.

Things are never dull. Sometimes, I prefer dullness!

Monday, December 13, 2021

Good people on a plane

When I flew down to Minneapolis, an older woman sat next to me. She had a tough time finding one part of her seatbelt. I managed to scoop it up between our seats. We ended up chatting here and there throughout our flight.

The sun was shining through the window directly in her face. I asked if she wanted me to draw the small blind down. She liked the sunshine and was okay.

"Do you have family in Minneapolis?" she asked me.
"I used to live in Rochester, just south of it. I'm returning after nearly two years," I replied.
"I'm seeing my son and his family," she shared.
"That's so nice. My mom used to visit me when I lived in Minnesota," I replied.

Towards the end of our flight, I wished her happy times reuniting with her son and grandchildren. It has been ages since anyone has gingerly held my arm as a token of affection. She did just that, which was sweet. She thanked me and was thrilled to finally see them.

Travel seems scary during a pandemic, but there are still stories to tell and good people out there.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Travelling to Minnesota and COVID-19 tests

My trip back to Minnesota was great. I worked remotely and started each workday at 7 am. It was great ending my workday at 3:30 pm. It allowed me to be a tourist.

I may need to write a how-to for Canadians travelling to the States. I needed to get an antigen COVID-19 test to fly into the States. It had to be administered within 72 hours of my departing the country. I got a check-in counter guy at the airport who said that it was 24 hours. He was wrong after consulting with a colleague.

With the recent changes by the US administration, this check-in counter guy is now correct. It's now 24 hours. It means that for my next trip, I'm taking my antigen test hours before I board my flight. It all works out fine. I have booked my appointment.

To get into Canada, I need to do a PCR or molecular COVID-19 test 72 hours before boarding my flight in the US heading back home. I actually did a NAAT test at a local CVS pharmacy. I got to self-administer the test at the drive-thru and drop my swab in a tube in a special box. I got my results in just over a day. It was also free. Had I done a PCR test at the airport, it would have cost me $200 USD.

I am glad that everything worked out. I fly again in over a week, so I'm more comfortable now with the experience that I have gained.

Friday, December 10, 2021

I'm back! I have new panties

Hello! It has been a while.

I returned home on Monday. I have spent a lot of time unpacking, doing laundry, and other post-trip tasks. I did enjoy unplugging to enjoy being in the Twin Cities, but have missed writing here.

Yesterday, I got new panties from my subscription. These panties look comfortable, which I appreciate. 

Here's the back:

On my trip, I wore panties that were uncomfortable. I had bought a six-pack of them, thinking that they would be comfortable. I have worn this brand often, but the comfort level of these panties were horrible. I'm now stuck with them and I don't want to wear them.

I hope that all is well with you. I'll be back posting more often.