Sunday, 17 February 2013

I'm Back! (On my board, AND on my blog)

*****Today was a really great day. Today was probably one of the best days of my life. Today, I went snowboarding.

Manning was my Everest. And I conquered it. 

Bring on the 2012/13 boarding season!

Mar xx

Friday, December 14, 2012*****

I recently found the above blog entry that I wrote, but never published (because we have to go to a communal building to access the internet, I usually write my blog entries at home, and then just post them whenever I can get to the internet). Hard to believe it was two months ago today that I wrote that! But what a bummer I didn’t post it back then. Well, better late than never.

For those of you who don’t know, I got really badly injured (and slightly traumatized, in a strictly snowboarding sense) on my very FIRST day on the hill last January (my first season at Manning Park, and my second time ever on a snowboard), and spent most of my time here letting my knees heal, and unable to be on a snowboard. I was able to get up the hill a few times before the end of the 2011/12 season, take a few lessons, and really try it out, and I loved it! Which was a big part of the reason why I came back to Manning this year. However, I was SO incredibly nervous about getting back on the hill, back on the snowboard, and back on the lift! I’m talking NERVOUS; every time I would think about it, from the weeks leading up to my arrival at Manning until that December morning I went back up to the hill, I would get nauseous. But, since learning to snowboard was something I really wanted to do, I was determined to overcome my fear, and get back up there.

I prayed for peace and courage (it may sound dumb to be making such a big deal out of it, but falling/jumping off a chairlift that's 8-10 feet off the ground is a really terrifying experience!), and lo and behold, the morning of December 14, as I stood at the bottom of the chairlift, looking up the face of Orange Chair, waiting for my friend so we could take our first run, I suddenly realized that I was no longer nervous. I still had a few butterflies in my stomach, but I think that was mostly excitement.

See? That's not a nervous face!

And then, the elation I felt as I got to the bottom of the hill on my first run was....indescribable. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so....triumphant in my life. (Except maybe the time I bungee jumped.) So, I wrote this jubilant little message as soon as I got home, wanting to capture the feeling of the moment, in the moment. And that’s the story of my return to snowboarding.

Here's a few shots of my first ride down. So incredibly beautiful, the pictures definitely don't do it justice.

Unfortunately the snow here has been less than stellar for the last 6-8 weeks. With unseasonably warm weather, only a handful of powder days to speak of, and virtually no fresh powder in weeks and weeks, the condition on the mountain are pretty dire. Especially for a beginner. So my big dreams of becoming a master shredder have been put on hold. Haha. I’ve only been up twice this year, which is about as many times as I’d gone by this time last year. Except then I was injured. Pathetic! But I have faith that the end of February and all of March will bring us mucho powder! And I will make up for lost time. In the meantime, I am going to attempt to keep going up the hill anyway, even if it’s just a couple of times a week, for a few runs each time. I’ve got to keep my practice up so I don’t completely lose what little skill I do have. I also want to try all of the other outdoor activities I didn’t get to last year. My friend Morgan is taking me for my first nordic ski lesson tomorrow, and I am VERY excited to try it out. And I see snowshoeing and ice skating in my near future. 

Aside from that, MUCH has happened since I last wrote before Christmas. The season’s already more than half over, for goodness sake! It’s been a busy and hectic couple months, for better and for worse, and so blogging got pushed to the side. But I’m back! And I intend to get you all up to speed in the next entry, coming soon to an internet near you.

I hope this entry finds you all happy, healthy, and faring well in 2013.


Mar xx

February 14, 2013

Monday, 24 December 2012

It's Christmas at Site #6!

Hello friends! Work is crazy busy lately, so I'll try to make this quick. Hard to believe that Christmas is just 2 days away! But that's always the way it goes when I work "away". It never really feels like the holidays, and then all of a sudden it just sneaks up on you. Here's what's been happening since I arrived at Manning 3 weeks ago........

Jackie (one of my lovely roomies) and I, put up the Christmas tree about a week ago. It was always one of my favorite things to do when I was growing up! And even though it's not quite the same when you're an adult, and doing it on your own without your family, we still drank Egg Nog, and it was FUN and got us into the Christmas spirit.

Continuing the Site #6 tradition from last year, we threw a holiday/season kick-off party on Friday; Mayan themed, of course! A ton of people showed up; we danced, we drank, we talked, and we just generally had a really great time. Plus, I had the added bonus of one of my very dear besties, Sonja, being up for a visit. What an amazing night!

Over the past week, I have received a few gifts and cards from my darling parents, friends, and Aunt and Uncle; the cards I have opened, but the gifts I have managed to restrain myself from so I can have something to open on Christmas morning. I am so fortunate to have so many people in my life who care so much about me. For this, I am so grateful!

Although it doesn't really "feel" like Christmas, I've learned that sometimes, YOU have to make sure the "feeling" happens. So, I've put up the tree, along with decorating our kitchen windows with some really sweet decals I found at the dollar store.

I suppose living in a winter wonderland doesn't hurt the effort to make it feel like the holiday season. I am so grateful to wake up to this view everyday! I'm really trying to make time to do some Christmas baking today and tomorrow; I love baking, my roommates love to eat it, and it sure helps me feel festive! One of the staff houses is hosting a Christmas potluck, but unfortunately I am scheduled to work during the evening on Christmas Day, so I will be unable to attend. In the restaurant we are serving a traditional Christmas buffet, with Turkey and all the trimmings; it won't be as good as my Mom's, but I'll be happy if I can taste a little bit of turkey and stuffing and cranberries for Christmas.

It may not feel a lot like Christmas right now, but it sure did before I left the city! My fabulous sister, Amanda, was sweet, generous, and thoughtful enough, to throw a 2 person family Christmas on the first weekend of December. She put so much effort into it, and it showed; it was PERFECT! We ate a TON of delicious (completely non-traditional) food, drank a bunch of different delicious festive things (including Egg Nog), and watched some of our favorite Christmas movies. And we laughed!! We pretty much spent the entire time laughing and reminiscing. The next morning we opened presents, and then she cooked a big breakfast, just like when we were kids! Some of my fondest childhood memories are of Christmases spent surrounded by family, doing the things that were custom to us. Amanda really made it feel the way Christmas did back then. For this, I am SO thankful to her! Here are some photos I took of our very merry early Christmas:

This will likely be my last post until after Christmas. So Merry Christmas everybody! I hope this post finds you all in a happy, healthy, warm, safe place, with loved ones, thankful for all you have.

Thanks for reading. I am thankful for you! I love you!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

xx Mar

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Say A Prayer

We live in an information age, where the internet and social media enable news and events, triumphs and tragedies alike, to be broadcast in real time and therefore discussed, dissected, conjectured upon, and argued about. As a result, it seems like by the time such worldwide happenings get “shared”, “liked”, commented on, “Tweeted”, “upvoted”, and “downvoted”, all that’s left is a watered down, thinned out, out of context, and completely off topic version of the original matter at hand.

So, at the risk of making it sound cheap, or trite, or like just another blip on the pop culture tragedy radar, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the unspeakable tragedy that occurred yesterday in Connecticut. Although I am just one more faceless person in this gigantic internet universe, and my mentioning it won’t change anything about what happened (the why, the how, the what now), there is power and strength in numbers. Somehow it just seems better to share the burden of sadness this event brings to us all. I have said many prayers for these victims, and their parents, family, survivors, and witnesses, and will continue to do so. And if you’re the praying sort, I hope that you will, too. Thank you.


Mar xx

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thursday, 13 December 2012

In the Beginning......

     Hello friends and loved ones! And welcome. I imagine most of the people who will follow this blog will know me, and my story (to varying degrees). But, since my line of work is constantly connecting me with new friends and acquaintances, I’m going to use this first entry to give a quick background on who I am, and why I’m writing this blog. And the rest of you can use it as a refresher course. No pop quizzes though, I promise.
    My name is Marissa, but most people call me Mar. I am a Canadian female in my mid-twenties, born in the prairies and raised on the west coast. My first stint in the travel and tourism industry conveniently coincided with the time that I moved out of my parent’s house. I was barely 19 years old, and it would be an understatement to say that I struggled at what was to be my first of many resort jobs. I lasted a mere 7 months in Lake Louise, AB, and then ran crying back to the real world, where I happily put down roots for 3 whole years! (The thought of doing ANYTHING for three years straight at this point in my life is mind-boggling. Funny how much we human beings can change in such a short amount of time.)

    Then, as it does, life and the universe conspired to change my trajectory. Due to a variety of circumstances, I dug up said roots and left Victoria, BC in September of 2009. Since then, I have not lived anywhere longer than 8 months, with the average stay being more like 4 months. I have lived in no less than 8 different “places”, and worked for no less than 11 different companies in the past 7 years, all within the borders of this beautiful country I hail from. (To clarify: this is a good thing, a GREAT thing. For me. I know the thought of moving around so much, and starting a new job every 5 or 6 months would make a few of my family members shudder in terror and discomfort. But rest assured, it makes me endlessly happy.)

    Thus far, I have managed to combine my passion for new places, people, and challenges with that necessary evil of “making a living”. I have worked, thrived, and advanced within various arenas of the food service/hospitality/travel/tourism industries since starting my first real job at the age of 16. And I don’t intend to stop anytime soon.

    I’ve just returned to Manning Park Resort for another winter season (my second time here, and my first time EVER returning to a job). I will finish up here in April, and in May I will return to Utik Lake, Manitoba, for a second summer at the oh-so-wonderful North Haven Resort. And then? Then things get REALLY exciting. Then I leave this continent for another. And another. And another. And....well, you get the point. I’ll be traveling on work visas for the first few years, so I suppose I’ll still be “making a living” overseas, but in a much different interpretation of the phrase. I foresee earning money overseas for the sole purpose of being able to enjoy life, and to get the most out of my foreign experience (don’t worry Da, I’ll be contributing to my RRSP fund and savings accounts, too). More like, working so I can really LIVE, you know?

    This blog is my way of staying connected with the many important people in my life, of keeping friends and loved ones up to date on where I am, what I’m doing, and what my life looks like while I’m away from “home”.

    You see, I’m away from home far more often than not. But it’s funny, because home is SUCH a subjective term. For me, “Home” is Vancouver, because that is where my sister, and the majority of my very close friends, live. “Home” is Winnipeg, because that is where my Da and Mom live. And ultimately, “home” is wherever I am.
    This is the life I have chosen for myself, and the path that the universe has chosen for me. This is Fernweh.


Mar xx

Monday, December 10, 2012