Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Change Is Hard

Lapellah has been my go-to restaurant ever since I moved to Vancouver. It has the advantage of being within walking distance of where I live although there are much closer restaurants. Their menu features fresh and local ingredients. The food has always been consistent, creative, and fairly priced. If I could have my every meal there, I would. To that end, I make it there once or twice a week and often bring friends.

Recently, however, Lapellah lost its head chef and the new one has made some changes. I can understand that. The new guy wants to change things up, make his own individual mark on what it is that makes Lapellah, Lapellah. And, of course, not everyone is going to like it. Mercifully, Sunday Supper remains the same.

Sunday Supper is a two-course prix fixe menu created weekly by Lapellah's sous chef, Shaun. He is assisted in the kitchen by Hannah, Erik, Chris, and Brent. (I hope I got all your names right and didn't leave anyone out!) It's always inventive and always delicious. Don't let the changes to their regular menu keep you from coming to supper on Sunday but don't be late. It sells out early. It's a value at $20 per person or $30 per couple. Plus, on Sunday, bottles of wine are half off (for bottles selling for $70 or less, I believe). The best place to sit is at the kitchen counter or in the bar, imo.

No doubt, Lapellah will lose customers over changes to the regular menu. But, maybe they'll gain a new following.

Well, good luck with that. I love Lapellah, just not crazy about the changes.

Nevertheless, I'll be there Sunday.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Today is...

National Do A Grouch A Favor Day

I called my dad.

(Love you, Dad.)

Roses are Red .... How does that go again?

My favorite place to get greeting cards is Emily McDowell Studio. I dare you to look and not find something you love there. When I visit her site, I invariably think of the people in my life and buy cards that are perfect for them, or perfect for a situation.

The last time I placed, an order, I made sure to get a really great birthday card for Hubby who was going to turn 60 this year. We were traveling the week of his birthday, so I made sure to pack the card and bring it with me. By the time his birthday rolled around, though, I had completely forgotten about it and ended up giving it to him the next day, unsigned.

I told him that if I had remembered to give it to him, I would have written in it that I love him and wished him a happy birthday. That's okay, he said, I can give it to him again next year.

Valentine's Day was the following week and I completely forgot, again, to give him a card I had purchased and put away for the occasion. I guess I now have two cards I can give him next year.

This certainly isn't the first (or second) time I've forgotten to give someone a special card I picked out just for them. I bought a birthday card with a bunch of pink flamingos - an inside joke - for a friend's birthday, put it in my closet with my collection of other cards, and then forgot to send it. For years, I would come across it when sifting through the cards looking for one that would make a good thank you note or note of congratulations and I'd think, Oh, yeah. I forgot about that card. I should send that to her next year. But, I never did.

Eventually, we sold the house and I was going through all the stuff that accumulates in a house over ten years and was giving away or selling anything and everything just so I wouldn't have to move it. I found the flamingo card and thought, I'll be damned if I'm going to pack this card! So, I sent it to her and wished her a happy birthday, whenever that was.

If you know me, you've either received an Emily McDowell card from me or you will. You might check this out, too. I haven't read it yet but I'm thinking I will. (I'm definitely a fan.)

Happy birthday! Happy Valentine's Day, too, while I'm at it. (You know, just in case I forget to send your card.)

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Orientation, part 2

Boaters know this feeling: it's a slight feeling of disorientation on land after spending a lot of time on a boat. Especially in the shower, for some reason, it feels as if the room is rocking back and forth ever so slightly.

I sort of remember a similar sensation after ice skating, oh so many years ago. Walking in street shoes after gliding on ice was like a mermaid becoming mortal. My feet felt weird, sluggish, sticking heavily to the ground.

I've been traveling a lot lately and getting disoriented in hotels has become a common occurrence. Last night, I woke up and I wasn't sure of where I was at first and I was in my own bed!

Don't worry. It'll wear off.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019


The last hotel I stayed in, I could not see the TV from the bathroom which is a clear violation of hotel layout regulations. A couple of steps away from the sink, I could. Not that I necessarily need to see the TV from any given bathroom in any given location, rules are rules and hotel architecture cannot be exempt. It would be a slippery slope indeed if suddenly hotels considered bathrooms as a relatively private space rather than an extension of the room itself. What would be next? Soft toilet tissue? Quiet closing doors? Thick, plush carpets and tasteful art? Breakfast after 9am? Espresso machines?????

Hotels are meant to provide a consistent experience so frequent travelers know what to expect: subtle discomfort sufficient enough to ensure check out. Any departure from the hotel layout regulations could lead to happy travelers contemplating long term stays which could disrupt the entire multi-billion dollar travel industry.

Also of note, unaided moms traveling with children appear universally tired. All should be awarded a perfectly chilled martini at day's end (if not immediately).

Lastly, there was a small sign above the sink in the bathroom at the Phoenix airport that read, "Automatic turn on. Do not push." That kinda cracked me up but I'll leave it to you to imagine why.

Thursday, February 7, 2019


I was staying in a hotel recently where I went through my usual routine of mapping my route from bed to bath so I could navigate my way in the dark without stubbing a toe. While I was successful in that endeavor, I never quite got the hang of navigating my way to the room itself.

The carpet in the hallways had a busy pattern of the sort you might find in a Las Vegas casino, although in slightly muted colors, with the exception of a small area in front of the elevator. Without this differentiation in the pattern, I was lost every time I left the room. Once I found the elevator, I was fine. All I had to remember to find my way back was to turn right out of the elevator (or was it left?) and my room number (which was 2-something.)

I'll be home soon and my orientation will get reset. My focus will be tax returns for a while and I'm not going anywhere. Mark my words, though: I'll be on the road again April 16th and trying to figure out where the hell I am.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Dedicated to Galina

She's still nagging me to write a book. I thought she forgot about it but, nope. She asked me just the other day, How's the book coming?"

She's not my muse. She's more of a cheerleader, someone that refuses to stop pushing me. Not that it will change anything but if I ever write one, I told her, I'd dedicate it to her. 

This will have to be good enough, Galina. For now. 

Or, this:

Don't stop pushing, Galina. Maybe, someday, it'll actually happen. And if it does, your name will be on the dedication page. 

Oh, by the way, if you're looking for a hair stylist, you should look her up (whether you're writing a book or not). She's at Parkwest Studio, #VanWA.