It feels like we came back two months ago, not two weeks ago

Sean and I came back from the Dominican on January 31st. It feels like we’ve been back for a lot longer than that. Here are some pictures from our trip. The full set can be found at

I managed to write our names in the sand and take a picture of it before the wave came in and washed it all away. That proves we were there, right?

Names in the sand

We did a lot of walking at the beach. It looks nearly empty here, but there were always lots of people there.


This was a self-portrait that turned out pretty good. I bought this bathing suit especially for the trip and I really liked it. It was comfortable and I didn’t look horrible in it.


Sean bought some cigars when he was down there and is now trying to learn more about them. Apparently, it’s a lot like wine appreciation. However, they really stink up the house so he has to smoke them outside.

Sean relaxing with a cigar

We did a lot of swimming in the ocean. We spent an afternoon playing in the waves and came back to the resort with enough sand in our suits to make our own private sandboxes. It was totally worth it.

Sean catches a wave

Given my extreme fear of water-dwelling creatures, I wasn’t sure if I would do more than get my feet wet in the ocean. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the water was warm and the bottom was sandy. I only saw one fish and it was dead and about 6 inches long so I wasn’t too panicked by it. Playing in the waves and cooling off overrode my fear of whatever dwells in the deep. Fortunately I didn’t see anything else that would have scared me out of the water, and no one brushed my leg and tried to tell me it was a fish or an octopus to make me run screaming to the beach.

melissa and Amanda in the ocean

This is everyone we came with. It was a good idea to go with other couples because there was always someone who wanted to do what you wanted to do if your spouse wasn’t interested. So no one ended up doing things alone unless they were stretched out on a beach chair reading a book.

Group shot

If I didn’t know this picture was taken from an airplane, I would think I was looking at a snowy landscape. The clouds looked so solid from this perspective.

Sky from the plane

Making preparations…

Sean and I are going to the Dominican Republic on January 24th for a week-long vacation. This is our first Caribbean trip and we are going with friends. We have spent most of January preparing for this trip – lots of shopping and list-making. I just starting putting clothes in the suitcase today, but am certainly not done packing yet. We’ve probably bought more summer clothes in the last week and a half than we did last summer, which is no mean feat here in wintry Toronto! We’ve managed to find:

  • bathing suit and cover up for me
  • 2 bathing suits for Sean – same style, different colours – in case “the first one isn’t dry the next morning” said Sean the fashion plate
  • “swooshy” capri pants with beading on the cuffs for me that can be dressed up or down
  • a button-up shirt that is way too big for Sean (“they didn’t have my size so I bought the next size up”), but he doesn’t want to return it. I told him to wear a smaller shirt underneath and leave it unbuttoned so people can see he is not that ginormous
  • flip-flops for me (in pink of course – probably wouldn’t have bought them otherwise as I am a Birkenstock girl at heart)
  • dark green pants that button up into capris for me – that way I can leave Toronto in pants and turn them into capris when we get off the plane – makes for one less item to pack!

Sean still needs sandals as he doesn’t usually wear them here at home. He usually wears really thick socks with his shoes all year round, which would just be a stupid thing to do on a beach. He also needs khakis as his usual work dress pants would probably be overkill in the “must wear long pants” places. We also need to get a few more toiletry-type things, but the buying is just about done. I also picked up three novels of varying trashiness for me to read – it’s been really hard not to pick them up and start them right away.

We’re starting to get really excited. Just another week and a half to survive at work and we are outta here!

J.K. Rowling comes to Toronto!

Today, Sean and I got to watch J.K. Rowling do a reading and Q&A session on the Toronto stop of her tour.

The reading was done at the Winter Garden Theatre downtown (which is the upper half of the Elgin theatre, one of the last stacked theatres in the world). This is one of the oldest and prettiest theatres in Toronto, and it was a great choice.

The reading was the second half of Chapter 19 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. She got some microphone feedback right at the point where the words “complete arse” came up in the dialogue (you’d think it was planned, but I don’t know).

There were about 1000 people there, almost all students and their teachers. I’d never heard a room stay so quiet outside of coughing (cold season is starting here). There were people from every province and territory in Canada, which was really neat. I hope all the visitors enjoyed their time in Toronto.

The Q&A was not nearly as revelatory as the one in NYC last week – no one else came out of the closet today. The 12 questions answered were pre-selected from submitted questions by various students, so they were pretty tame. I wish they had picked book-specific questions that hadn’t already been asked. These kids are the internet generation – can’t they Google stuff? I’m probably just bitter because my question didn’t get chosen for answering.

At the end, Raincoast (the Canadian publisher of HP) brought out two huge books (they needed to be brought in on a dolly) filled with handwritten notes from readers from various events across the country. I don’t think she was expecting them as she said she didn’t want to cry so she’d read them later.

The signing went really quickly – they really had the assembly line down pat. It was amazing to watch her sign books and have a quick word with everyone who went through the line. She was extremely gracious throughout the whole event.My husband thanked her for getting kids and adults reading again, to which she replied “that is the best kind of compliment to get.” I said “thank you on behalf of the adult fans who couldn’t be here today” and she smiled and said “thank you”. (Husband got the win on this one.) The guy in front of us gave her a post-it with something written on it and he got a very emphatic thank you. Of course, I’m dying to know what it said.

I didn’t dare take any pictures (my camera and my cell phone both make noise when they take pictures), but since we were in a dimmed theatre, I can’t imagine they would have turned out anyway.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by Melissa Price-Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.
%d bloggers like this: