Monday, December 31, 2007

Papering the Walls

I've been browsing Graham & Brown online for wall coverings and came across Linda Barker's Serenity in Celadon that I think would lend a contemporary feel to the scheme I've devised for my living/dining area thusfar - perhaps papered on the east wall...

And these romantic, purple patterns....maybe for the bedroom?

Divine - Purple


Or maybe this dramatic black tone-on-tone for the bedroom instead?

Muse - Black

And finally, some fun and graphic Flower Power for the den?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Must See Juno

I went to see Juno this afternoon and if you haven't seen it already, go see it. I promise you won't be disappointed because the writing's awesome, it's laugh-out-loud funny (really - the audience laughed out loud throughout the film) and Ellen Page totally lives up to all the hype as the smart-mouthed Juno. The soundtrack is perfect too. I am so getting this when it comes out on DVD.

Condo Update!

I stopped by my condo after a yummy lunch of Gypsy Goulash at The Prague Fine Food Emporium - memories of Prague in the springtime came rushing back with the first bite.

If you hadn't already guessed, I love food and I love shopping and I will soon be living in one of the best neighbourhoods for it in Toronto. :)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Living/Dining I

I don't know what you think about when you're sitting in your dentist's chair getting your teeth cleaned, but I apparently think about colour schemes and floorplans - this one time anyway, since I've had design on the brain of late (that, and baking of course!)

I've been thinking a lot about my chair and how it'll look in my living room...and given its glam Old-Hollywood vibe, I've pretty much ixnayed the sectional in favour of a sofa...and I figure given the dimensions of the living/dining area I probably have room for a full-size sofa:

So I browsed and came across a number of candidates with lovely sloped arms like this one, this one, this one and this one. But my favourite was Jonathan Adler's tuxedo-framed Lampert Sofa for its elegant clean lines and fun colour - the only drawback is that the seat is button-tufted as well, which I'm not so crazy about. With this in mind, I stopped in at DeBoer's and found the Tommy Sofa:

This is a sofa with style and substance. It's tailored and plush and firm at the same time and I want it. It retails for about $2700 and is now 10% off. The lead time is about 10-12 weeks so I'll have to re-visit it in the spring if I want it in time for my August move.

The bolsters and throw pillows come with, and the latter can be done in the customer's choice of fabrics. This being the case, I was thinking initially chocolate brown, but after mulling it over during my cleaning, I was thinking cream with accents in green. Cream because it's neutral and if I'm going to spend that much on a sofa, it's going to have to be flexible decor-wise since it'll be coming with me when I eventually move to something bigger and better, and green because it's at once fresh and soothing and I had gone to the dentist from Home Outfitters where I had just bought these fabulously luxurious Wamsutta spa body towels in pistachio and ivory for my bathroom. Can you just imagine pistachio and ivory accents in a bathroom with these colours for the floor/wall/cabinets:

Actually, the lighting for those samples is pretty bad, but trust me, it'll look fresh and soothing at the same time.

But back to the living room and Tommy. I was thinking something along the lines of one of these blue/green hues for the walls:

Potential candidates for the accent pillows include "Pelagrossa Sky" to the left and "Awning Green Tea" to the right. Tommy would be upholstered in the "Bristol Dove" at centre.

For the coffee table, I'm thinking something clear because among the many other lovely rug designs including Swirl in Grass, Flowers on Water in Green/Cream and Origami in Olive/Calm Blue, I've got a thing for Emma Gardner's Stars and Kimono Branch below, and wouldn't it be a shame to hide something so beautiful?
As for the dining area, up until about 2 weeks ago, I was leaning towards EQ3's Milo dining table and chairs. I love the clean lines and the high-gloss laquered finish of the table top. I like the price too - I figure I can buy something that's more "disaposable" since I imagine the dining room in my "grown-up" home to be furnished differently. I wonder now if Milo in the Rock finish I preferred will be too stark a contrast to the style and colour scheme I've envisioned for the living room? Perhaps the Mustang finish will be more suitable colour-wise....but what of the style?

The alternative would be something similar to Ikea's Torsby dining table which has a frosted glass top (I don't want to see anyone's laps and feet when I'm eating!) and metal legs. Incidentally, EQ3 has a Boxing Week sale on now and I'm a bit tempted...
Much to ponder....Meanwhile, on my way back from the dentist, I stopped at Pier 1 to browse for some more home stuff and serendipitously found a vase (35% off!) that had all the colours I had imagined in my mind. It was clearly meant for me and who am I to deny such a sign?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Martha strikes again!

I've noticed with all the baking I've been doing of late (today it's Martha's Carrot Cake Cookies from the Holiday Cookies Special Issue circa 2001) that my mom's vintage Sunbeam Mixmaster Mixer may well be on its last legs - the faint hint of smoke in the air when I have it at the 3rd speed setting might be the dead giveaway.

So I hopped on the internet and begain browsing, with visions of the KitchenAid Stand Mixer in my mind - a mixer I've wanted ever since I began baking in earnest in high school. Once upon a time, when I had a lot of time on my hands, I'd spend hours baking - mostly chocolate chip cookies, which my friends loved me for. My then-best friend S and I promised that when the time came, we would each get the other the KitchenAid Stand Mixer as a wedding gift.

Fast forward 15 years: S and I don't talk anymore and it doesn't look like I'm anywhere near getting my stand mixer as a wedding gift. Kitchen Stuff Plus has it on sale now for $259 but I decided to check to see if I could use my air miles and get it for free. Alas, I didn't have enough miles...but the KitchenAid 12 Cup Ultra Wide Mouth Food Processor was on special, and I had the miles...yet, I had my doubts. Having never used a food processor, I wasn't sure that it would suit my off I went for some more research - AskMefi is an excellent resource and I came across a great thread about what a food processor's good for and was sold.

So in a few weeks, Martha will have a new toy to play with - I just hope that she'll have the time.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Too much information

Rather than spending the day out with the masses bargain hunting on this Boxing Day, I opted to spend the day in cleaning and organizing - chores that are long overdue considering that I had clean, folded laundry on the loveseat in my bedroom for 3 weeks, a bathroom that is icky, dustbunnies threatening to take over and a dresser top that I hadn't seen in what seems like forever because it's been covered by bills and assorted other ephemera.

In the process of balancing my accounts on Quicken (I'm a geek, yes I am) I realized that I had double-paid my last Visa statement so I called to have the payment reversed. Mary Beth, the friendly agent who helped me, asked me how my Christmas was, and then proceeded to tell me that her boyfriend of 2 weeks met her family for the first time - on his insistence - and wanted her to ask her family what they thought of him. I wasn't prepared for that much information - never mind the fact that the sound on her headset was really loud and it felt like she was yelling at me on the receiving end. I was a little uncomfortable because I felt like I had to engage in the conversation she had started or seem rude.

All I wanted was to have my payment reversed and to wait in silence while she worked her magic - is that too much to ask? It seemed rather unprofessional too - to talk to a client on the phone about your personal life. So it makes me wonder whether she was chatty like that with everyone. Or did she see from my account information that I was in her peer group so felt like she could share with me like a girlfriend? It's not like we had an established relationship like, say a hair stylist and a client. In this instance, I'm totally game to carry on a personal conversation, but a one-off with an agent over the phone? A little weird.

All this to say that I'm a dope for over-paying my Visa and if you're a customer service agent, I don't want or need to know about your personal life please and thank you.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Birds in the Bedroom

How pretty and unabashedly girly is the Nightingale Bed and Bird-cut Armoire from below?

I'm not sure this is quite the direction I want to go in for my bedroom - too girly, that is. I mean, would a guy be comfortable in such a pretty bed? ;)

Just as well, I suppose, since they don't ship to Canada.

Bedroom I

Ever since I redeemed for my chair, I've been browsing furniture and design sites and playing with EQ3's Room Builder software daydreaming about how I'm going to furnish my condo come August.

I stumbled upon this purple and silver patterned wall paper at Habitat and would love to use this on the wall I plan for my bed. I'd paint the remaining 2 walls (the south wall is floor to ceiling windows) a moody deep purple.

I'll dress the bed with its upholstered headboard in crisp white linens and decorate it with throw pillows in various shades of silver grey and purple, and there'd be a cashmere throw folded casually at the end of the bed - I think in a light grey.

For some sparkle and light, I'd place a pair of lamps similar to this one by Zia Priven on my night table and Ikea's Hemnes 6-drawer dresser in white in the corner opposite my bed although I'd switch out the knobs with crystal ones that provide a bit more sparkle - I'd actually prefer the 8-drawer dresser (more storage) but I don't think I have enough clearance at the end of my bed.

I would love to have a glam chaise by the wall of windows to lounge in with a book on a quiet weekend afternoon but I don't think there's enough room for one.

In my mind's eye, this bedroom is luxurious, moody and glamorous. It remains to be seen how many other versions of this room I'll come up with between now and August.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Just call me Martha

I've gotten all domestic for the holidays: I spent the morning at a couple different groceries picking up the various items that were on the shopping list I'd pulled together late last night for the menus I've got planned for the next few days - green curry chicken tonight, rosemary beef roast and mushroom risotto tomorrow, and roasted sole with walnut crust, watercress salad with pomegranate and possibly pear depending on my mood, and a dense chocolate loaf cake from Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess either Wednesday or Thursday.

I also felt like some late-in-the-holiday baking so flipped through my cookbooks and settled on these yummy Old Fashioned Chewy Molasses Cookies from Martha Stewart's special Holiday Cookies issue from Xmas 2005. I think I'll try her Carrot Cake Cookies from the Holiday Cookies issue dating from Xmas 2001 tomorrow...and sometime later this week the Lime Meltaways I came across in the Star last week.

Funny thing about Stewart's cookie recipes. I've tried about a handful from her special issues over the years and they always yield less than the stated number of cookies - and I tend to make my cookies smaller than suggested too. Because of this, I doubled the recipe for these molasses cookies which is supposed to yield about 2 dozen. I made the cookies bigger than I would prefer and ended up with about 6 dozen cookies - no way will my brother and I be able to finish all these my friends will be sharing in the holiday fat over the next few days. :)

I was all set to start the green curry when I unexpectedly got a call from Uncle N, who's lonely with my mother in Vancouver. He told me he was going to pick up some roast pork and roast duck before stopping by for dinner so the curry's on hold until later in the week.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Shortly after 1pm today

"Where did you go?" says my brother as I step into the house and hand him the bag of Big Mac combos and the tray with the 2 Cokes, no ice.

"To Bodyflow.*"

"And you're eating McDonalds?"

"I know."

* Bodyflow: workout combining yoga, tai chi and Pilates.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A gambler amongst us?

My sister sent me more pics of EMC today and the way this kid sleeps kills me.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

My first purchase

I made my first furniture "purchase" today by redeeming for this glamourous Old Hollywood-esque leather chair in cream with my air miles. I'm not quite sure where this will live come August, but I'm glad it's mine. :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

4 sleeps to the holidays

The snow piled high at the end of our driveway

I worked 50+ hours last week, staying as late as 10:30pm Thursday and woke up at the crack of dawn (well, 5:30) this morning to make it into work for an 8 o' clock meeting with my SVP only to have him show up 30 minutes late because the GO trains were behind schedule thanks to the 26cm of snow that fell yesterday. I then spent most of the day working on model sensitivities in prepartion for a pre-read going out to our executive committee tomorrow only to find out at 4pm that the effort was wasted because assumptions had changed. Mildly frustrated? Maybe a bit. Counting down the days until the holidays begin? Hell yeah.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Introducing EMC

I didn't get home until about 9:30 tonight and after spending all day periodically checking my email for pictures of EMC, I found these waiting for me in my inbox:

Look at how much hair she had at birth!

And here she is smiling :)

Impatiently waiting for more pictures.....

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I've been remiss...

With my long hours of late during the week and sometimes on the weekends, it's been difficult to find the time to keep up with my blog.

The very talented Lone Beader was kind enough to honour me with the Nice Matters Award last week and I am now passing it on to Jane at Ill See, Ill Said, who has a keen eye for cool design and style, and Adrienne at Bookmark My Heart, whose eclectic taste in books inspires me to broaden my reading horizons - if only I had the time to read!

I'm an aunt!!

My baby sis gave birth to her own baby 4 days early at 10:54pm PST December 6. EMC entered the world weighing in at 7 lb. 11 oz and 21 inches long.

I got a voicemail from my sister Wednesday morning that her water had broken around 4am. After being examined by the doctor at the hospital, she was told to return home until her contractions were more regular - and if they weren't by the next day, she was to come in to the hospital to be induced, which is what ended up happening.

My mother arrived in Vancouver in time to be in the birthing suite to witness the arrival of her first grandchild, who she claims is obviously intelligent because of her brilliant black eyes. She has a full head of black hair and came out all pink and beautiful - I can not verify this as the pictures are forthcoming but I'm sure she can't be anything but a lovely baby. :)

A trip out west in the Spring, once T, M and E have settled into being a little family is very likely in my future...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Condo Update

It's been about a month since I stopped by the site and I was really curious to see what had changed as I booked the elevator for the afternoon of August 13th to move in a couple weeks ago.

Here's the progress as of late Friday afternoon - some windows have been installed on the third and fourth floor, and part of the building's west wall is up.

Monday, November 26, 2007


...a Macbook and have been thinking pseudo-seriously about getting one for the last week now - visiting, reading reviews online and talking to my friend N in Denver on the phone for the last 1.5 hours about, among other things, the possibility of him buying one for me in the U.S. (it'd save me $300+!!) and bringing it back when he returns home for the holidays.

I've always been a PC user and am wary about switching but this Toshiba Satellite A70 is getting on in years and the Macbook is ever so enticing with its sleek design. I know. I'm superficial. But S wants her next laptop to be a Macbook too - she used them for a couple years in Japan when she was teaching and prefers them because they're user-friendly and are less prone to crashing. I spent some time reading raves by ex-PC users who are now converted to the wonders of the Macbook...I'm skeptical of such glowing reviews and will seek out more balanced ones before making a decision.

It's ever so lovely though.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Yesterday was D-day for the project that I'd been working on since the summer. We presented to our EC and I wasn't quite sure at first how it went since the debate was lively and very engaged (and I don't do well with perceived conflict) - at least on the part of my SVP who was very passionate in his objections about the proposed sales strategy. After 75 minutes of debate - which was centred around implementation as opposed to go or no-go - we left the meeting room with a greenlight to go forward with beginning the build for the new product. Success!!

To celebrate the late nights and weekends working, we went out for drinks and dinner - me, the Director I'd been working with so closely for the last few months, my sr. manager, as well as a couple other sr. managers who helped provide guidance around the strategy and production requirements.

Our first stop was at Elephant and Castle for a couple pints and then we headed over to Crush Wine Bar, where I had reserved a table for 6:30. Can I just say how great it is to eat on expense? We each ordered the soup of the day which was a great wild mushroom soup with truffle oil, along with a few other appetizers to share, including the Crush Charcuterie Platter, the Goat Cheese plate and Scallops. Since we ordered what was the first of 2 bottles of the 2002 Rioja Reserva YGAY, Marqués de Murrieta, I ordered the veal, which was soooo yum! And because we were dining on the company's dime, I was all set to order a glass of the 20YO Tawny Port for dessert but ended up trying a glass of the 2003 Banyuls Blanc instead after hearing our server describe it as cocktail-like with hints of pineapple and lavender, among other things.

I didn't expect the evening to end so late, but we didn't leave the restaurant until about 11 last night because there was much discussion at the table about the dysfunction in the organization. It was very interesting as the most junior person at the table to hear the dish on what they thought was wrong and how it might be fixed, with the understanding of course, that what happens outside of work, stays outside of work.

Now that I have this project behind me, I'm feeling much more content about my job. While it's a complete drag to be so busy I have a manager who, now that I've gotten a chance to know him better through this project, is pretty good about providing guidance when I need it. He's also great at providing timely feedback...and rewarding as it is to hear that the work I've done is great, I feel embarassed too...and I don't know why that is. This positive experience certainly gives me more confidence to tackle the much larger project ahead of me - and if I just don't think about the fact that this project is 10x the revenue potential of the one that just wrapped, maybe I'll be OK. :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Girl's POV

wL and I went for a run yesterday at the gym and it was when I dropped him off at home that he mentioned that he had decided it was time for him to buy a new suit. So I told him that I wanted to be there when he went shopping for this new suit - I like playing personal stylist, and have gone shopping with him before. Apparently he'd promised to go with a co-worker, but invited me along as well. Who wants to be the tag-along girl friend giving style advice?

Anyway, it turned out that she couldn't go with him after all so I went with him for the pre-buy at Harry Rosen and found him a great Hugo Boss suit, which he didn't buy tonight because he had promised his co-workers(!) that he'd buy it with them. Yes, that's right, after spending an hour with the lovely sales guy trying on a few suits before deciding on the right one, he asked to put it on hold to buy the next day so his 2 female co-workers, who he'd promised could be there for the sale, could take part in the decision making.

I admire wL's sense of honour? principles? but I don't think I would have done the same...but then again, I'm a girl and can make my own shopping decisions.


The subway stations here have been plastered with movie posters advertising Disney's Enchanted for the last few weeks now and until I read the review in the paper today, I thought the wicked witch in the poster was a man in drag, so how surprised was I to learn that underneath the heavy make-up and fake lashes is the fantastic Susan Sarandon!?

Friday, November 16, 2007

How do I want to live?

I'm catching up on my weekly shows and browsing furniture at the same time and here's what I've found via South Hill Home - through the link to Bolier & Company, this gorgeous armoire with macasser ebony veneer:

I like the clean, elegant lines of this tufted sofa, which is ideal given my leanings to this style of late:

But I've also always loved the feminine shape and style of this Paris sofa:

And was reminded of that when I got an email a few days ago about Gus Design Group's e-warehouse sale that included a promotion for the Audrey Sofa here, although it's a little too comfy-casual for me:

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I have a DATE!

I just got home from working late at the office...and likely have at least a couple hours more work ahead of me before calling it a night to go back for more tomorrow. My hope is that I will be able to finish the financials for this business case tomorrow with little if any more work to do over the weekend. My contribution to this project will be mostly over Monday when the pre-read goes out to our Executive Committee in preparation for our presentation to them Thursday morning. So one project more to go, and the next one will be a doozy. sigh.

I had great news waiting for me at home though in the form of a letter:

Dear Ms. C,

We are please to inform you that this letter is confirmation that August 13, 2007 is your firm "Occupancy Date" for unit 123 at 456 A. St. We will be contacting you to set up a Pre-Delivery Inspection, which will take place approximately 10 days before your "Occupancy Date" to allow time for any minor repairs if required.

In order to co-ordinate the availability of the elevators on your date of occupancy you must contact me too book your move in time....

I suspect it should actually read 2008 rather than 2007, and I was a bit distracted by the typos but whatever! I have a date!!! A firm date!! And it's August 13! :)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Girls' long weekend!

Work has been busy busy busy and am exhausted. When I booked this trip last month, it seemed like a good time to get away for a long weekend but I hadn't anticipated being put on the additional project. Now I'm bringing my laptop with me to do some work in the hopes that I will come back not overly-swamped and prepared for the meetings that are booked for Monday. sigh.

But enough of the complaining. I'm leaving on a jet plane tomorrow night! Bound for LA! Where it's warmer! And sunnier! And my dollar goes a lot further! I will indulge in retail therapy which is well-deserved and I have the promise of many a great meal including dinner Thursday night at Crustacean! The yummy taste of their Cracked Whole Roasted Dungeness Crab and An's Famous Garlic Noodles haunts me to this day...

So now I must pack. :)

Sunday, November 04, 2007


I received an offer in the mail awhile back for an annual subscription to Time Canada. The discount off the news stand price was pretty deep, so I thought, why not? I got my first issue last week and I'm really disappointed because the only thing Canadian about it is the ads - not even a nominal article on Canadian news, which reminded me of a paper I wrote for a university international economics class on the the US-Canada trade war over "split-run" magazines.

I feel a bit cheated...and I wish now I'd subscribed to Maclean's instead for a true Canadian news magazine. That's all.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Design Inspiration

I'm still vegging with The West Wing in the background while surfing the net for interior design inspiration.

I'm also sleepy and just paid for subscriptions of Domino and Elle Decor online.

Finally, the weekend.

It's been a hellishly long week. I worked late every night this week and still brought work home save for Tuesday night, when the consultants on one of my projects took us out for a fat cat dinner at George. The project working team was established in the spring and I joined not even two weeks ago in the latest phase, so I lucked out on this dinner - the food was great and the wine just kept on coming.

Anyway, after the crazy-busy week of meeting after meeting, I had the added stress of a presentation to give to my group in our monthly status meeting yesterday morning. Public speaking and presentations have never been my strong suit and I was nervous and anxious before and during but it turned out better than I expected. I had 30 minutes on the agenda and followed my scripted notes fairly closely. I shared with my group the learnings from the course I took in the summer on building business cases and the material generated more discussion than I had anticipated, so 30 minutes became 60. I wasn't quite sure how the presentation went but the feedback I got from my big boss in particular was good, so I'm glad I did it.

More meetings followed after that and finally the work day was over. It'd been a long while since my last condo update and since S&W moved midtown, I don't linger downtown after work or have a reason to head down on the weekends to check up on it - never mind that I've been swamped of late.

So, when S suggested midweek that we have dinner Friday night to catch up, I asked that we meet downtown so I could stop by the site to see what's what. I hung out at Chapters to unwind with some fashion and gossip mags until S called to say that she was on her way down to meet me at BLVD. Here's the latest on the site, on approach from the east:

...and from the west:

Still no walls yet, but it's coming along.

S, W & I had a drink in the second floor lounge at Czehoski and then headed over to its sister restaurant, Coca, across the street for dinner. It was so nice to be able to relax with friends and not have to think about work for awhile, even though I brought it home with me for the weekend. sigh.

I woke up this morning and practiced for my mandarin oral test today and then went to class, for some reason, completely exhausted. In fact, I'm pretty sure I looked like hell, and volunteered to test first so I could get outta there and head home to nap at first opportunity...which I ended up not doing after all. Instead I spent the afternoon sorting through all the crap on the loveseat and dresser in my room and now I'm vegetating in front of the TV watching the third season of The West Wing on DVD because all the shows I'd taped during the week were messed up because of the delayed change to Standard Time. Grr. So no Gossip Girl, no NCIS, no Private Practice, and most importantly, no Ugly Betty. I be sad. :(

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Neck deep

I've been swamped at work of late with two big projects on the go. The first has been ongoing since the summer and has been frustrating in that the project lead is out-of-province and we conduct much of our meetings by phone. Add to this the fact that there are umpteen stakeholders that must be consulted at various points and I wonder if the damn project will ever wrap up. My main responsibility is to do the number crunching and as decisions around what the inputs will be are made, unmade and then made again as feedback rolls in, I've been trying not to freak out as our date to present the business case is finally set and I wonder if we'll get done in time.

My role in the second project is just beginning to ramp up as I joined the team last week. It's a steep learning curve as they are working on the third phase of the business case and more times than not I've felt super-dumb this week.

Oh, and the meetings! I'm neck deep in meetings. I was told earlier this week that one's profile can be measured by the number of meetings one's invited to, and if that's the case, I'd rather be a nobody because while meetings can be useful, it's hard to find time in the day to do any real work when you're in a meeting or preparing to go to a meeting during business hours. This is why I've been bringing work home the last few nights.

I actually brought work home tonight, but I forgot an email that had all my notes on it...I don't know how I could have forgotten it since I brought everything that was on my desk home with me. I was in a rush to leave after meeting with the consultant until 6:30 tonight. I triple-checked my file folder and my notebook and it's not there. So I'm beginning to wonder if I might have recycled it by accident...which would TOTALLY suck eggs!! Grrr!

So...instead of working, I've decided to give in and just chill for the rest of the night. I've only one meeting tomorrow, and the consultant I've been working closely with won't be in the office so I should be able to breathe a bit easier. Keeping my fingers crossed that I placed the email in my desk drawer by mistake...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lima: City of Kings

My bad for posting about my Peru trip so late. I was waiting for wL to compile all the photos from our various cameras, but it's taking him longer than I would have expected to catalogue the photos - he likes to be thorough - and since he's off on a 2 week trip to the Middle East, I suspect I'll have to wait even longer before that CD is forthcoming.

So, without further ado...

We arrived in Lima after midnight on the 16th of August and found out from our cab driver that an earthquake had struck about an hour after we had left Toronto. The quake registered a 7.9 on the Richter scale and caused significant damage. We didn't know at the time what to think - as we drove through the city towards our hotel in Miraflores, we didn't notice anything unusual. There seemed to be electricity as evidenced by the bright lights of the many casinos en route, and the roads appeared to be in good repair.

We found out the next day after our friends came to pick us up in a van for a private city tour that the epicentre was about 150km southwest of Lima although aftershocks were felt in the city centre. They had arrived several days earlier and were in the market at the time negotiating the price for a painting when they felt the ground undulate. Thankfully, CC, who had grown up in Lima, was with them, so they knew what to do. How lucky were we to have missed a quake by 1/2 a day? I don't know what I would have done.

Our first day was spent driving around in a van, with CC acting as our tour guide. The original plan included a stop at the Museo de la Nacion,an anthropological and archaeological museum dedicated to the study of the art and history of the aboriginal people of Peru, but it was closed to check for possible structural damage, so our tour stopped at the Plaza de Armas, which has been declared a world Heritage site by UNESCO. Around the Plaza de Armas stand the Palacio de Gobierno, the Cathedral and the Archbishop's Palace, the Municipalidad, and the Club Union.

The Municipalidad
The Archbishop's Palace

The Archbishop's Palace - detail
The Cathedral

The Palacio de Gobierno

Lover's Park at Miraflores and the arts and crafts market not too far from Chinatown with its many colourful storefronts selling alpaca goods...

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