Winter Bridge Run

22 02 2011

Run: 2 km

Grand Total: 1261 km

Bonus Activity: Kripalu and Ashtanga (AKA Pretzel) Yoga

Very quick post – but very happy post – to report that I went for a “pure” winter jog.

It was long overdue, it was very humbling, and it was ridiculously “ultra light”. However, I did it! It was a total of 2 kilometers, which included the cold weather ear and lung pain. Truly it isn’t too chilly today (-10’C), but this woman has not been training. The ol’ body was in a little bit of shock. I haven’t even ran a game of ultimate frisbee in 4 weeks!

Corina and I at the 2010 YMCA Run. Can you feel it?


The Alaskan Experience

20 02 2011

Walk: 10 km

Grand Total: 1259 kilometers

Bonus Activity: Yoga (before leaving for Alaska)

I attended an Alaskan Trade show this past week and what a brilliant experience! It was all work, but there is still much to see by just being there.

We arrived in Anchorage on Sunday evening, where I found myself delirious and lost. My sales manager and I were settling in for a late dinner, where we randomly met four VERY legitimate Alaskans. By the end of the meal, they had given us all their personal information and insisted on having us over for dinner the next time we visit. By the end of the trade show, we would see them again and they brought gifts of salmon. Delish! The funny part was, the Alaskan that was more revered was the dude who hadn’t combed his hair in a month and removed his boots to eat in the middle of restaurant!

We flew to Fairbanks on Monday, which was very cold yet pretty. We hung out with the customers and flew back the same day. On the flight back, we sat beside a Pilot who pointed out the sights – including Mount McKinley, the highest mountain range in North America.

Seriously gorgeous.

Not too shabby for an iPhone snap from the plane! It was a clear and sunny day – also proof that it’s not night time in Alaska all winter.

This event was also my first trade show – and it was a great first event. I did some schmoozing with presidents, CEOs, and owners of the major Alaskan air businesses. They are all super down to earth people and at the end of the day – just people. 🙂 I was pleased to be able to apply some of Jeremy’s and my interests to such a group. We did a vino tasting on the top floor of our hotel, in a la-dee-da restaurant called the Crows Nest. I was able to comment (at least) on my favorite reds and agree with people that it was the best chardonnay I had ever tasted! (I was too swept up in the moment to grab the name! I know it was an $80 bottle, which would explain a lot.)

We had a banquet one night, where I was literally dragged out onto the dance floor. Corina would have been super proud, as I stumbled through a two-step – apologizing profusely to my partner. Dancing was mandatory and the peeps super let loose. I saw a woman (sister to the owner of one of major customers) leap on to a table to strike a pose. If one of the super stars of Alaskan aviation was table dancing, I could do a little gig around the dance floor. LOL. There was also a mechanical bull situation later in the evening, where I saw many suits go for a ride. Thankfully this was not mandatory (like the dancing) and I declined. Head injury waiting to happen…

Snap time!

Foodie shot. This was room service halibut and chips with a side of Alaskan Amber beer.

This was the view from my hotel. They accidently gave me an executive corner suite, so I had windows on two sides of my room. Try banging out some work emails in between customer site visits and trade’showing with THAT view! Mesmerizing. I was smiling a lot.

Plus, we saw a moose! Apparently, Anchorage is crawling with them – but, I didn’t see one up close until our last day. It was Bullwinkle himself, hanging by the side of the road. It was hilarious – as my sales manager and I took paparazzi shots of our new friend, a local Alaskan just walked by nonchalantly. Like dude – it’s a moose!

It was a great week and many lessons learned – including the test of my endurance! Jeremy picked up us on Friday from the airport, where we cozied up for the night. I believe I was asleep by 10:30, stumbled into my actual bed at 11:30, THEN didn’t get out of bed until 1:30 Saturday afternoon! Jeremy had gone to work for a bit and if he hadn’t called me, I may have stayed there longer. It has been a hectic number of weeks, I suppose. Unfortunately, my body is now very confused and I did not sleep last night. Am I on Dutch time? Alaskan time? Or Central? I laid in bed until 5 this morning, then decided to get up and hang out. It was a great opportunity to punch out some blog entries.

I am looking forward to getting back into some routine. I am going to a yoga class this morning and I have some major laundry and “Pamela apartment stuff” to attend too. I’m very happy we have tomorrow off – I have big plans to get my cardio on!


The Netherlands are Lovely

20 02 2011

Walked: 20 km

Grand Total: 1249 km

Oh the Netherlands. How dreamy.

Although it was purely a business trip, I did get to experience some of the Dutch life in the evenings and in Amsterdam on Saturday. (It was cheaper for the company to fly me home on Sunday. What is a girl to do?) I didn’t get too many pictures, but here are some iPhone snaps!

No matter where we went, when you ordered a cup of tea, you would get something like this: A little cookie and something else equally or more sweet. I asked my Dutch co-workers if this is common. They looked confused – how else would you drink your tea? Love it!

We’re not in Canada anymore! A snap of the Dam Square, featuring Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. I really like the cobblestone and thankfully I wore the perfect shoes: Ecco.

We did the touristy thing and took a cannel tour in Amsterdam. We sat with some early 20’s Copenhagen people. They spoke English, but they laughed hysterically at things we didn’t understand. Lost in Translation?

Although I personally do not smoke cigars, we attended a highly recommended Cigar Shop to the benefit of my co-worker. I super enjoyed the experience! Rory bought some Dutch Cigars, where he tried them out in the Smoking Room. We enjoyed some strong European coffees, while sitting in this serene library-like setting. It was bliss!

We experienced the “Heineken Experience”, which was fun AND educational – for real! Yes there were tasters throughout, but we also learned some Beer 101, reviewed the history, saw some horses (random?) and got made into a bottle of beer in a multi-media presentation.

Guus, our dutch coworker, hooked up us with a reservation at the famous Fifteen Restaurant. It was originated by Jamie Oliver, one of my personal heros. It was a groovy, yet casual style. The food was SO delicious and I can’t even begin to pronounce the ingredients. Definitely a highlight for this foodie!

All and all, it was a very productive trip. I learned a lot, I had some good team building opportunities with co-workers local and remove, while getting to take in many of the sights!

Happy Birthday, Heather!

7 02 2011

It the midst of my business travel, little sister Heather celebrated birthday! Happy B-Day, sista!

Heather a big, inspiring plans for this year. I hope I can participate in some of them, otherwise… jealous city!

Love ya!

Wooden Shoes to Fur Boots

29 01 2011

Run: 2 km

Grand Total: 1,229 km

Bonus Activity: Ashtanga

This past week we had our international sales meetings.  All of our sector sales managers from around the world came to Manitoba to discuss high level sales strategies for a couple of days, and then break-out into their specific product groups. I am proud to say that our weather system put on a helluva show for these gentlemen – it did not disappoint!

If you look at this picture compared to the previous, you will note there is an additional 4 FEET of snow piled up on our window sill! Even the locals didn’t know what hit them!

I have not been to this type of session before and my nerdy side was super enjoying it. I met a lot of people face-to-face, whom I had been working with over the past couple of months. It really helps the relationship, when you put a face behind the blackberry. 🙂

Despite my best intentions to exercise every morning, it just wasn’t in the cards. The meetings took place downtown, everyday at 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM. We would then roll into the evening plan, whether it was Sales Awards Dinner, straight-up dinner, or a pool hall. There was a lot of networking opportunities, so I channeled Corina’s social-butterfly skills to make the rounds and introduce myself. Since they are all in “sales” in some shape or form, they were all incredibly easy to talk to – great practice!

Very long days. I didn’t have my car with me on the Sales Awards dinner night, and my wine glass “magically” didn’t get empty. I learned my lesson and drove my car to the rest of the events. It was much better balance. I loved interacting with all the different cultures – the Americans, the Europeans, the Asians, the Canadians – and the single Latin and English/Aussie represents. They are different, but somehow the same with that “special” salesperson gene.

Thursday hit and some big decision were made. There is a big story leading up to it, but it was decided that myself and two of my co-workers would go to our Netherlands facility. The catch is we would leave THIS week-end. I know, right?! The plan is to leave Sunday, arrive in Amsterdam Monday morning, take a train to Tilburg and check into the office. Sleep that night, get calibrated, and have four more solid days of training. It’ll be a major test of my endurance! We will go to Amsterdam Saturday morning, check out the city, and head back to Canada on Sunday. (Cheaper to leave Sunday, rather then Saturday.) Very whirlwind and I’m madly trying to get my packing in order!

A picture of the hotel we’ll be staying at in the Netherlands. It is very central to the action. Lovely!

I will be back for a week and then fly up to Alaska for work again – trade-showing and customer visits. It’s all very, very cool.

A picture of the hotel we’ll be staying at in Alaska. It’s central too and looks like some excellent scenery!

On an important final note, I’m thinking of my peeps continuously: Little Nixon, Little Lepp – how are you doing?! XOX

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

22 01 2011

Run: 2 km

Grand Total: 1,227 km

Bonus Activity: Ashtanga and Kripalu

First, shouts out to Nixon Dennis – The adorable baby #3 addition to the Klassen Family! I cannot WAIT to meet him! 🙂

Second, it’s winter. I know. I have such a firm grasp of the obvious. When the temperature drops to -30’C with a -45’C wind chill, Pamela usually slips into hibernation mode. As you can see, the kilometer count is reflective of this. However, the indoor “warm” yoga continues. This bonus activity is leaps and bounds ahead of what I would normally be doing at this time of year. As a result, I’m celebrating!

I took this iPhone picture out our apartment window. Eep it’s cold, dark, and dreary. I think it was 4:00 PM, too?

However, in the light of day – it’s not too shabby! We must acknowledge the fact that the sun shines, the days are getting longer, and the snow is pretty. This is out street that leads up to the park and gives us access to the river.

In other fun news, I’m going to Alaska! Work is sending me there in the middle of February to attend a trade show. Although the schedule is pretty intense, I am very excited to check out Anchorage and Fairbanks. I looked at my hotel online and it appears that I’ll have a view of the mountains or the water. I also checked on the daylight hours – sun rises around 8:30 AM and sets around 5:00 PM. I can handle that!

Stay warm!

MissFit Birthday Celebration

12 01 2011

MissFit herself celebrated her 26th birthday. Congrats, Lisa!

We had a delicious meal at Bellissimo, the finest Italian cuisine in town. We had appetizers, entrees, vino, and even the creme brulee made an appearance.

Fantastic Food + Lovely company + Awesome laughter made for a wonderful evening. Not to mention, Lisa was stunning. All the best MissFit! I send big thanks for being apart of the 8 thousand kilometer journey.

In keeping with the Outdoors Theme, here’s Lisa and I doing a skating waltz on the Lake. (Don’t ask)