boys make good pets
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Elli has left me! My favourite english wench to harass is now on her way to Seattle then San Fran then back home to the UK. It makes me sad because we did have a pretty good friendship whilst she was here but I guess thats what comes from living in a seasonal town!. Anyway I have her details so whenever I am in Liverpool I can look her up! I am going to miss making fun of her posh accent and her crazy laugh.

We went out to celebrate? her departure. Funny story is that day emails had been sent out with pictures of a dodgy character from the Fox Hotel (one of the hotels owned by my company) he ordered a pizza pretended to be a guest gave a fake credit card number and used the hotel facilities. Anyway turned out he had just started working Night Audit at another one of our hotels (which happened to be Ellis) but after the first shift didn't show up. Then proceeded to call 6pm the next day to say he had been mugged. So while we were walking to town out of luck we ran into him walking the other way. Elli & Valeska just started to crack up and ran around the corner and I shouted out at the top of my voice "saw your picture mate!!"

The club was 'ladies night' so Brendan wasn't allowed in until 11pm. Thats ok because we stood outside talking to the bouncer who happened to be from Darwin of all places. You may remember him from....Ducks Nuts? Tall Greek looking guy with curly wog hair. I forget his name.. It was $2.75 Sour Puss all night which tasted like raspberry sour gummi worms. mmmm. I picked up a few men wearing togas as well!

Re: the title. Every single time I say arrow over the phone at work people ask me to spell it. I wonder if the aussie accent makes it sound really strange to Canadians? We have a hotel called The Arrow as well so I say it alot.

Speaking of work a lady asked for me specially tonight I had helped her out with a room the week before. Anyway she was so rapt in the room she wanted to book again for Saturday night and wanted to speak with me personally because of how awesome I was. The result? I now have a place to crash in Ontario and she wrote an email to my supervisor about how awesome and helpful I was. So she pretty much made my night. Who says you can't meet great people over the phone! (me actually...)

Brendan's dragon boat team came 3rd in the B division which is pretty good for a bunch of amateurs
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my legs hurt

So the internet stealing frenzy is over which means I've been offline for the last three days and if you know me then you know that I was probably a little bit crazy.

I have some access right now at work but I am unable to reach the nessacities (such as facebook) except by hacking the web filter and last time I did that the department got in trouble so I'm a bit hesitant.

Basically this means I have to pay for internet. When this is going to happen I dont know so expect minimal contact with me.

I climbed Mt Rundle on Wednesday, overall it was a 9 hour round trip. The highest peak is 9,000 ft or so we didnt quite make it because weather pushed us back. The last two hours were spent climbing up a steep slate. There was a HUGE drop 1 metre either side and it began to rain. Oh not to mention that it was slippery. We couldnt see in front or behind us because of fog so in the end we had to give up on the trek. Still we got further then most people dream of. Going down was scary because the rocks were slippery and the angle was steep. Thank god I had awesome hiking boots.

Anyway so my legs hate me now because the muscles were not ready for hiking AT ALL. Yesterday there was a free concert in Banff but the weather was miserable. Still I hobbled out to see K-OS and Theory of a Deadman both Canadian bands and not to bad. Maybe not something I'd pay for but was worth checking out for free.

Brendan has his first Dragon Boat race tomorrow I expect all of you to be wishing him good luck!

Anyway till next time.
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Banfflife this week

Our work summer BBQ was on the other day, quite a small turnout considering how many people work for the company. But that meant more food and alcohol for me. For somebody who shouldn't be drinking I'm drinking alot lately. Every time I go to pass something happens and I feel like a drink. Wouldn't it be funny it Banff turned me into an alcoholic.

So I drank a bit and played frisbee with Brendan, Sandra, Joe and the computer geeks Dave, Vince, Mike. I think Sandra found it hilarious that I managed to find geeks on the other side of the world to talk to. After frisbee we were going to hike a mountain to see a meteor shower but iphone told us the best time was 4am the morning passed, so we passed on that and went out.

I went home about midnight but Brendan carried on till about 4am. He had the sense to give me all his money and ATM card so at least he was on the water for the rest of the night! The main issue here was that Joe had driven the car home after the BBQ and then locked the key inside because I told him that we had another set. The other set happened to be in my bag which was lying in the back car of the Jeep.

So Wednesday we are all set for a hike only to realise that we couldn't get in the car. Brendan couldn't pick the lock but he managed to get the side window open and reached down and grabbed my bag off the seat and pulled out the keys! All this in broad daylight people were staring at us and nobody called the cops!

Wednesday we climbed another mountain. It was a bit boring to me but one less mountain on my list of things to do! I can't wait for Mt Rundle!!

Brendan also joined the Dragon Boat team with our work and has been practising on Minnewanka lake for the last couple of weeks. The race is on Saturday & Sunday the 22nd/23rd so I'm going to head up and watch him on the Sunday and cheer for the team. Its vs all the other hotels and stuff in the area but I hear some of the teams hire professionals just to win.

I took on another job, right now im doing 10 hours a day 40 hours a week which gives me three days off so I took a giftshop job for one of my days off. I start next Tuesday. I'm here for a good time not a work time but the shop gives me 50% off all purchases and I need some customer interaction since the phones gets to you after a while.

Tonight my flatmate is making chicken fajitas w00t
facts of life
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a pox on you!

My workplace has an epidemic, called Chicken Pox.

I was first to find out when one of my roomates a Costa Rican girl who was a housekeeper at the original source of the virus was taken down with the pox. Of course our line of work is the hotel business so its not long before the entire workplace is affected.

I had chicken pox when I was around 12/13 all my sisters and I got it at the same time. I got two weeks off school. My sisters were covered in pox and I think in total I had 4 chicken pox. So they say if you got off lightly the first time there is a chance youll get it again. But there are no tell-tale dots on my body so I'm hoping that it just means I'm immune.

I have a 3 day work week this week. Tuesday is the work party with free bbq!!

Did I mention I saw a bear?

... Does anyone actually read this????
fucking bugs
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Today I lost my virginity

Well my bear sighting virginity that is!. Driving to the Garage sales this early Saturday morning I was gazing out the window and I saw a little black bear just ambling along the side of the road. I was shocked because I've been keeping my eyes out for bears for two months now and this is the first one I have actually seen. Poor Brendan was driving so he missed out so we turned around quicksmart to see if we could find it, but it was gone.

On Thursday we did a road trip down to Calgary, mainly to see The Dark Knight. We went to the mall in the town centre first only to be repulsed by the eight dollars an hour parking charge. So we turned around and went to the Chinook Mall which is supposed to be Calgarys biggest shopping mall. I finally saw the Dark Knight in all its IMAX glory.. it was a great movie. Heath Ledger was so good in it. I thought there was a bit to much story and not enough action though!

I also got some shopping down and managed to replace the shorts that I wrecked sliding down Mt Norquay on my butt. Been a slow week here. Going to a BBQ tonight for Max's going away he heads back home to england.
I'm a Nerd
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my week in banff

SO the whole thing with my grandfather has been occupying my mind for the week, I've been having shit sleeps, no crying just goddamn thinking all the time!

But how is sunny Banff? Well not so sunny really... I forgot to mention that last Saturday morning Brendan and I went lawnsaling in Canmore/Banff since the prices here are UNREAL. That means expensive. Anyway I got a couple of nice jackets for $3 which helps fill out my meagre winter wardrobe (I'm definately going to be feeling the pain in three months) I also got a bunch of books for $1. I got a reading lamp for $1 then the guy gave me two spare lightbulbs for free! Score!!! But the win of the day was my snowboard and bindings for $20!! Ok so the snowboard is scratched and old and a little chip on one side although Brendan said that he could fix that at work. But for someone who doesn't know how to snowboard and doesn't anything good or flash it will do the trick. Cheaper then renting anyway!

I also have to mention on Thursday the 10th I took Fay out to see Johnston Canyon and we did some walk in Canmore which was beautiful. you can view the photos here Funniest park was the huge roadblock - which we joined. To take photos of a damn elk!! Fay and I thought it was a moose...

Anyway fay left on friday the 11th :(

So LAST night the 17th of July a bunch of us went up to the top of Sulpher mountain and had a picnic drank some beers. I had a bottle of wine but forgot to bring the corkscrew so I just had nothing. So the crew that went was Alli (English, front desk at Hidden ridge) Valeska? (Front desk hidden ridge Australian) and valeskas boyfriend Max who works maintenance with Brendan he is English and this guy Joe who is Canadian and is excutive housekeeper at the ridge so I was the only employee that wasn't from the ridge. Anyway they were all pretty awesome and Joe and I had this connection only nerds can have. Thats right I found me a fellow nerd FINALLY!! So we talked video games and stuff but he is a bit more far gone then me in the nerd department lol.

Oh and my Karma was right on the last few days I dont know if my grandad was having some divine intervention but I was killing with the same day walkins making some great comission. Only problem is I look at my paycheck after 80 hours of work and $160 in commisionf or two weeks and its just under $800! Of course rent and utilities I dont have to pay for but still thats nearly half what I was earning back home. Fingers crossed I can save some good cash whilst I'm here. Hopefully we will save one full paycheck.

Anyway thats bout it I have three days off now so I'm gonna go do something.
Link - Had a long day
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howdy cowgirl

Here is a quick post just to tide you/ me over. I just finished cleaning my room up and I found my house key which is great because I had been leaving the door unlocked. Anyway so my favourite work friend is leaving back to Liverpool today she failed a uni course and has to head back to do some extra credit. I am very sad about this :(

But last SAturday Sandra, Brendan and I went to the CALGARY STAMPEDE apparently the biggest event in calgarys year. It was good there was lot of good looking cowboys around and I got myself a cool hat photos of the stampede can be found here

I was a little disappointed though I was expecting a full cowboy like event and all i got was something that resembled the Darwin show. Funny because during the Darwin show I usually end up ditching town and abusing the public holiday for camping! We spent the whole day looking at all the free stuff. We watched some shows I saw some mini horse chuckwagon racing also some cattle penning. I got my cowboy fix kinda. I also saw a real life mounty sans horse :(

It was a long day we left town at 8am and didn't get home till 10:30pm. It was interesting though because at the start we were all so excited and loving everything but as it got nearer to 7pm we were crashing quickly. We saw this comedian juggler "Chris Issak" and holy crap he was annoying and bad!!

Highlights would have to be Terry Stokes the hypnotist. I had tears in my eyes. Also the breakdancing crew from the bronx were awesome.

I had a full day yesterday but I have to go to work soon, I may update later

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settlement in a foriegn country

About due for my week update on what is going on in Amanda's life. So I am right now in Banff and working for Banff Lodging Company I do reservations for the eight hotels they own here. I arrived in Banff on Monday, starting work on the tuesday. They didn't have staff accomodation for me until Friday so they put Brendan and I up at the Inns of Banff in this room for free until it was ready. As nice as living in a hotel room was I really needed to stop eating takeout, be able to unpack all my shit and just settle the fuck down. So you can guess how relieved I was when I finally got my staff accomodation.

Anyway on the Monday Brendan and I walked up to the Hidden Ridge hotel (also of banff lodging company) and Brendan was offered a job on the spot with maintenance. The guy didn't even look at his resume. Brendan started on Wednesday because of SIN card issues. For those of you who dont know what SIN is its Social Insurance Number. aka Tax file Number (Australia) and Social Security (USA) dont ask me what the UK equiv is I have no idea. Anyway you cant work without one I had gotten mine a few weeks before so I was fine.

That evening my work was going on a team building exercise so they took us out horseriding. The one thing I am terrified of is horses and this day was no exception. I have to admit by the end I was starting to bond with my horse Tiago. After horseriding we went out to the pub and work paid for me to get drunk. Only problem was I had to work the next day. Lucky for me I only had the flu not a hangover.

Work is interesting, Saturday was my first day alone on the phones and I actually did ok with everything. In fact I made just over $50.00 in comission which is pretty good. I lucked out though I was working the busiest night of the year in banff and all these fools tried to book last minute and all we had that was left was expensive hotel rooms. Basically comission works that if I book a same-day I get 5%. Hours are great to I work four days on 10 hours a day and yesterday was my first 10 hour shift and it really just flies by doing the extra hours. It doesnt get dark here till 11pm right now anyway so I can still go out and do stuff. Wait till winter however, I may never see the sun again!!

Another perk of my work is all the discounts and stuff we get. Like we can use the canoes/kayaks down at Bow river for free. And we get 40% discount off food in a bunch of resturants and 30% off drinks. Brendan and I ate at one of them on Thursday and saved ourselves over $20.00 and got an awesome feed. There are corporate ski passes we can sign out and I heard that we get one free lesson with the hotels private ski instructor .. YAY. Plus we get discounts on ski rentals and all that sort of thing. I'm sure there is more but thats all I've heard at the moment. My work is great and laidback everyone is nice. Seeing mum and Sandra then leaving them made me homesick though, ok perhaps by the end we were on each others nerves but being so far away from my friends and family I feel it occasionally.

Does anyone know any good online stores in Canada? I was looking for one that might sell like non-perishable foods and ship them. Variety here is slim and expensive. Its hard to cook meals I want to cook!! Also something that sells general household items like soap and stuff.

Oh another lucky thing of my staff accom? In range of someones unsecured network :D
milkshake brings all the boys to the yar
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Vancouver Island

My week in Vancouver Island has been interesting so far. I think being in close proximity with my sister and mother is starting to wear on our patience. The tent is a six-man tent which in real terms means four people can fit uncomfortably in it as long as they don’t move. We aren’t all miniscule Japanese you know… To add to that showers cost money so we have pretty much been forgoing that and just becoming one with nature. Do like the aboriginals. What has kept me sane is the fact that everywhere here seems to offer free wireless internet. Most people know give me a computer and WWW and I’ll be happy for days! Isn’t it strange that internet is free but showers cost money? What in the world are we coming to…

The trip over to the island was a nightmare we got to the Ferry at around 4pm. 4pm on a FRIDAY. We were told that we were placed on the 9pm ferry. So for five hours we waited in a car park, people were playing hockey or walking their dogs. Once we got on the ferry (an hour late) it took us 1.5 to get to the island so we arrived around 11:30pm no idea where we were and no idea where to sleep. I was frustrated from a night of no sleep so I was no help and just dozed in the back seat. They found a campsite (which was to be our home for the next four nights) and decided to set up tent in the middle of the night and work out the details the next day.

Day 1 was chilled, we spent the day walking around Nanimo and reading books. The local library was having a massive book sale and we scored about 15 books for $1.50. One such find was the Dark Elf Trilogy by R.A Salvatore. I delved into it and am now onto the third book, will be done in time for mum to take them home!

On Sunday we drove for two hours to Long Beach and did a short walk. It was nice but the drive was to long I think overall we spent about three hours just getting there.

Monday was spent seeing Chemainus famous for its murals painted along business walls etc. At one point I fell over and grazed my knee and everyone laughed. We then went on to Duncan which is another town famous for its totem poles everywhere. After that we went to Lake Cowichan where we had lunch and walked the largest floating boardwalk on the island. Then home once more and mum made chicken madras.

Tuesday we packed up our tent and headed out for Campbell River where we settled into a new campsite. We took a famous walk of thiers the Ripple Rock which turned out to be nice, but wet as it started raining the whole way. All my clothes got soaked…the walk was nice 8.5km round trip and the view of the bay was decant. We almost missed the view since the walk abruptly ended at a cliffface and we were lost as to where we were supposed to go – the answer was up …

On the way back we came across all these giant radioactive slugs hundreds of them jetblack. They were about the size of a small sausage and 10x as gross. I was scared to touch them in case they were actually leeches and latched on to my fingers. What if they were really brain suckers from out of space sent to Campbell river to take over the small town and infect all the incoming tourists to infiltrate the world!

Wednesday Day 2 in Campbell river we drove out to Strathcona Park, B.Cs oldest park. I picked Upper Myra Falls walk which was pretty about 3km one way. The falls were nice nothing exciting. We did see the lower falls which I enjoyed more and climbed all over the rocks to get the most awesome photos despite the signs saying how dangerous they were. After Myra we did a 1.5km Loop trail “Karst Creek” which was supposed to only be one way since the bridge was out but the creek under the bridge was dry anyway and Brendan and I decided to climb down the river. At one point I stood on this log and it nearly rolled out from under me. That would have been painful..

After that walk we stopped at Lupin Falls which was a 0.6km loop walk to a pretty waterfall. I always thought that Darwin had nice waterfalls but I swear every turnoff in Canada there is a new waterfall!!!

Thursday we drove straight to Victoria capitol of BC. We booked ourselves in a hostel and then Mum, Brendan and I went to see Prince Caspian: Chronicles of Narnia. It was an AWESOME movie. Omg Ben Barnes was very sexy. I’ve always had a thing for Prince Caspian, only thing that was weird was his accent I didn’t feel like it fit. I can’t wait for Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Friday we caught the ferry back to Vancouver and spent the afternoon shopping at Metropolis and then onto the Richmond night markets which was a bit overhyped in my opinion. A lot of cute asian stuff and Nintendo Heaven! Really overpriced though so I didn’t actually buy anything but I saw all these plush I wanted so bad..

Saturday mum left back home and Sandra, Brendan and I drove to Sparwood. Then we are onto Banff where I start work on Tuesday, the company has accommodation for me on Tuesday and have put me up in a hotel for Sunday & Monday night. They also want me to come along to a staff horseriding session on Monday which I am a little freaked about since Horses are my one major fear…

Here are some photos of my Vancouver Island trip
I Just might Die with a Smile on My Face
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Roadtripping Canada

I got a job!! I am now a Canadian Employee working with Banff lodging company as a reservations sales agent for Banff Lodging company. Pay is minimal at $12.00 an hour but it comes with perks like Staff accomodation, corporate ski passes, discounts with tour companies etc. Also they let you have a weekend away every now and then in one of their hotels for free. They work 10 hour days 4 days a week so that gives me 3 days off to see the sites which I would personally prefer.

Brendan is still unemployed but the girl who hired me said that she would look into getting Brendan a position. They seem really keen for me.

Right now I am sitting in the small railroad town of Revelstoke in British Columbia. We are on our way to Vancouver to spend a week on the island. I have basically been on the road for the last week sleeping in a tent, freezing my ass off. Today was the first day we had real sunshine!. We stopped off at Drumheller home of the largest dinosaur and went through Rosedale where the world record for most bridges in the shortest amount of distance is. Then we passed through the dead town of vulcan and dressed up as Klingons.

We stayed a wet cold night in Waterton Park climbing a mountain the next day only to reach the beautiful top full of snow and ice. Still the view was amazing. On the way down it began to hail/snow and I was only wearing three layers and no waterproof jacket!!!

Who knows where I will be tomorrow but I cant wait to settle down and start working I have been on holiday for three months now and Im ready like hell to get back to work.