Friday, 3 August 2012

New Home Sweet Home Away from Home

August 2012

Wild times R me.  New job, travel, multiple  videoconference meetings, getting lost, condo hunting, did I mention getting lost and found, learning curves... that's me.  Back in Ottawa for the long weekend to catch my breath and reflect on life in Charlottetown.  

Charlottetown is lovely right now... it's enjoying a long stretch of non-stop perfect weather, cooler than Ottawa!, hours of glorious sunshine, sea breezes, and red beaches (viewed only from a plane window as I haven't had time to explore yet).  I'm sure it's not quite so lovely in January but neither is Ottawa.  One day at a time.... 

The Daniel J. MacDonald Building (at right) is where I'm spending many hours these days getting briefed up. The building is named after a WWII veteran and former Trudeau government Minister of Veteran's Affairs.  My office is on ground level (on the right in the photo just behind the Canadian flag pole) with spectacular views of the landscaping around the building.  It's an older style office but bright, big and with a large boardroom table where I can spread my stuff and try to remember the names of folks I'm meeting.  

I'm coping with the flying back and forth between Charlottetown and Ottawa.  I will NEVER like flying.  I tackle it as something to get behind me.  The minute the plane goes up, even before the seatbelt sign *dings*, I distract myself with earphones and my music on my ipad or ipod and engross myself in briefing notes.  A glass of water helps and the hour and a half flight just zips by, no drugs but, confession, they're not far away.  The small bottle of mini-dose tranqs nestled deep in my purse provides mental comfort just in case... an anxiety attack is just sooo embarrassing.
On a positive note, I have found the sea.  This was not hard given that Charlottetown is situated on an island.  The boardwalk is stunning, great for walking/ jogging or whatever.  I looked at a brand-new condo on the boardwalk by the wharf but decided I couldn't be seduced by the summertime shimmer of perfectly blue water in July.  Gazing out every day at cold white snow, no trees, frozen ocean in January... hmm.  Maybe not.  

So, instead, I concentrated my search on the street around the office.  I totally lucked into an area called Brighton Park, about an 8-minute walk from the office (in summer anyway by cutting across two parks and walking down a lovely shaded street).  The house is incredible -- worth $2-$3 M around here I'm sure. There are 3 condos and I'm renting the one upstairs with a majestic upstairs porch that sweeps around the side of the house.  
The picture (left) shows the front of the house and the downstairs porch.  The building is designated as an historic building, and overlooks the Lieutenant's Governor's estate and with a view down to the waterfront. 

The picture (right) shows the kitchen of my upstairs unit. It's actually floors two and three, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and completely renovated, refurbished and furnished in exquisite detail.  I plan to ship half my spices (some of you will laugh) and a few other treasures I can't live without and then settle in to try the fall harvest of local food.  

I've also found the Farmer's Market ... hmm Saturdays and Wednesdays a.m.  Can I possibly 'book' a meeting (shhh) for an hour Wednesday mornings and scurry off to do some market shopping?  Time will tell.  

I've struck out so far on gyms -- the downtown few are small, basement-y, smelly affairs that don't do it for me.  Pilates and yoga seem big.  I'm back to swimming at the Hotel next to my office building. Absolutely no one there except me and my Speedo underwater iPod.  Technology R Me.  

Next on the hit list .... explore the beaches before the summer is over.  Red beaches.  imagine.  Biking or Walking tours anyone? Join me anytime!   

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