Pressing On…

16 09 2010

Hi y’all!

Well, we’ve entered Week 3 of our P90X quest to fitness. Holy intensity, batman!

They say (whoever “they” is) that it generally takes 4 weeks to see any physical change – but Brad and I are noticing differences already. Which is a good thing, because it serves as further motivation.

I still can’t do unassisted pull-ups, and I’m not sure if I ever will be able to – but I’m going to keep on trucking.

The past few days I’ve been under the weather (the beginning of semester has that effect, I think) so I haven’t been doing the workouts. But today, regardless of how I feel, I’m going to try and get back on the wagon. I’m getting paranoid about losing all the progress I’ve made so far…

In other news… Brad has booked us a trip to Cuba for Christmas! Talk about motivation! Haha.

Now, I love Christmas because of the family time. Christmas in our family has always been about the people, not the presents, and that’s why it has always been such a special time. But this Christmas, our family is going to be all over tarnation, and so as far as I’m concerned, we might as well skip Christmas. Or, at least, go to Cuba for Christmas. Haha. We’ll be back Boxing Day, so it’s really not all that bad. And it will also serve (hopefully) as the honeymoon we didn’t have.

Needless to say, we’re both really looking forward to it – especially since it’s going to be right after final exams – it will be a much needed break, I suspect.

Anyway – time to go to class, so that’s all for now. Hope all is well with you guys!


Erika and Brad


P90X – Here We Come!

31 08 2010

We’re baaaack!

Its been a long summer, and we haven’t had much stop time – but we’d definitely do it all over again.

We spent a few days in Trinity/Eastport with Nicola, Stephen, Mom and Dad and had a lot of fun. I also managed to get a killer sunburn (which is now peeling like nothing I’ve ever seen) which turned me lobster colour, but which will not make me brown after the fact. Unfortunately. White – Red – White. Like the inverse of the Canadian flag. Does that make me particularly patriotic?

We spent our wedding anniversary at Winterholme. Check it out – it’s beautiful: We were in the Emerald Suite, compliments of Momma and Mista Coombs. I have great in-laws! Haha.

We’ve got a week before it’s back to school. It’s a little scary – especially after a three year hiatus – but I’m hoping to get through it alright. Brad is in school this semester, too, so hopefully that will be further motivation for me to study.

In other news: remember how we gained copious amounts of weight in Battle Harbour? Yes, well, it’s a bit ridiculous. So, in hopes of fixing that situation, and also in hopes of being healthier in general, we’ve started P90X. It’s a 90 day program… and it’s insane. That is not an exaggeration. Google it.

I’m not one for ready-made diets and things like that – we’re still eating lots, just healthier. And I’d be super skeptical about this program, except for the fact that ‘regular’ people like us have posted progress videos on YouTube. Look it up; I dare you.

Anyway. We’ve completed Day 2. It’s not easy, by any stretch. Even when I was a gym bum in University, I had a hard time working up a sweat. But in the past two days, I have overcome that particular area of my workout. I’ve been breaking crazy sweats. It’s awesome.

We’ll see if I can actually stick it out. I’m trying to be optimistic. But seriously. It’s painful. Haha.

On another, more exciting note; Brad barbecued for lunch today. It was the first time we’d used it (a welcome-home gift from the Coombs’) and he did a great job. I made a marinade for the chicken and let it sit for a while – it was deadly. Lemon/parsley/paprika – it tastes great. Brad put BBQ sauce on top of all that when he was BBQing, and so the chicken was zesty and spicy simultaneously. We will definitely make it again. If you want to make the marinade yourself, check it out:

Okay, folks – that’s all for now. Hope all is well wherever you all are.


Erika and Brad


28 07 2010

Hi all,

Brad is in Mary’s Harbour conducting interviews today, so I came along with him.

I’m at the VIC (Visitor Information Centre – for Battle Harbour) and he’s off somewhere grilling potential carpenters and maintenance workers.

Anyway. I’m ready to come home, now. Like, right now.

Everything is still going swimmingly, but I am getting more and more homesick as time goes on. And a couple of days ago, I got a letter from my favourite 5 year old in St. John’s (complete with a narrated photo mini-book) and I suddenly got more homesick.

So, a little less than three weeks and we’ll be headed home. I have my final exam in Mary’s Hr. on August 14th, so we’ll probably be heading home the next day if we can manage it.

Nicola and Stephen arrive in St. John’s on August 22nd, and we get a whole week with them. It’s going to make for not much relaxing time when we get home, but that’s okay – I’ll be happy to see my little-big sister and her hubby! Hope we get some good weather while they’re home.

Then, of course, it’s going to be our anniversary the following Saturday. Time flies!

Alright. So. We’re going back to Battle Harbour tonight, and I probably won’t be back to Mary’s Harbour until my final exam. Think of us – we can make it – three more weeks!

We can’t wait to see all of you when we get home. Take care, everyone.


Erika and Brad

Brad and I are really missing these two girlies!

Short and Sweet

24 07 2010

Hi all,

It has been a while since we’ve been on ‘the mainland’, hence the blog delinquency.

I had to write an exam in Mary’s Hr last night, so we came across and stayed the night. Today is Fun Day in Battle Harbour, so we may or may not get across to the island today; the boat is at capacity, so there’s no guarantee we’ll be able to get on it.

We’re still having a good time – but we’re both ready to come home. Three more weeks and we plan to be on the road. I’ll write my final exam on August 14th, and then we’ll be heading back home.

Nicola and Stephen are coming for a week in late August, so we’re pretty excited to be home for that!

Speaking of home… I know I’m homesick, because I had a very vivid dream about three of my favourite people from High School last night (you know who you are – BAA, AJ, SG). I’m assuming that’s because I’ve been sad that I’m not going to see them when we get home, because by the time we get back to St. John’s, they’re going to be scattered all over the world…

In other news:

We’ve gained 10 pounds each, and have actually had to change our eating habits drastically. The food is amazing.

If we end up staying in Mary’s Harbour – we’ll write again, otherwise, see you later!

Brad and Erika

Iceberg Adventures for Rickie and Brad

5 07 2010


We finally have a beautiful sunny day at Battle Harbour. A little chilly, granted, but as long as the sun is shining, we don’t complain!

It has been a busy week on the island – lots of visitors, even though the weather has been pretty miserable. We had a family – the Wixteds, from Massachusetts – who spent a couple of days here, and we had lots of fun with them. They had three kids – Rebecca, Bridget and Peter. I was Peter’s designated babysitter for an afternoon, and we became good buddies. He’s four (“five in thirteen days!”) and he’s such a cute, precocious little kid. He reminded me of Luke (my favourite five-year-old back home) and made me miss him even more than I already do… Ah well.

We also had an amateur photographer, Steven Willar, here for a few days. He brought along his two cocker spaniels, so we enjoyed that, too. Brad got some camera pointers, and I got lots of puppy-time. Worked out well for the both of us, I must say!

There were a couple of guys – Andre and Francois – can you get any more French?? – from Quebec who bought motorcycles to come over here for a trip. They have their own bikes back home, but they heard that the dirt road was bad, so they didn’t want to ruin them. The solution? Buy two more bikes! Dear me. Must be nice! One of them was an oral surgeon… so I guess buying a motorcycle didn’t exactly break the bank. It just boggles my poor poverty-stricken mind…

There’s never a dull day here on the island. We haven’t been bored yet. That comes as a bit of a surprise to me, but it’s a good thing.

The Green Team arrived last night, so Brad has got his hands even more full now, until the end of the summer.

The Green Team is a group of students who are hired to carry out environmentally friendly projects in different communities. Battle Harbour was approved for a Green Team, and now they’ve essentially become another one of Brad’s responsibilities.

Anyway, the kiddies made a great first impression. Not. They were late for work this morning – not such a good thing to do on your first day. Brad gave them an earful (I was very impressed) so hopefully it won’t happen again.

We really are having a great time. Brad has a birthday on July 15th, and we’ll be here for that – so I’m going to have to try and make it a good day. I’m sad that there can’t be more family here with us then, but what can you do? I am beginning to miss people more and more – especially since we met up with Brad’s and Jale last week. But – another month and a bit, and we’ll be home! I don’t mean to wish away my time, but you know what I mean.

That’s all from us for now. Hope you’re all doing well. We miss you and love you.

Erika and Brad

Together Again!

A Mini-Vacation For the Coombs’

29 06 2010

We’ve had a busy time in Battle Harbour, but we’re really enjoying ourselves.

Last week was really great – we had a Climate Change conference on the island for a few days, and we got to meet a lot of interesting people. We also had a couple over from Switzerland, one of whom spoke English – the other could only speak French. That was fun.

Anyway – they wanted to go and see icebergs up-close and personal, so Brad and I split the cost and went along with them. It was fantastic. The pack ice was really coming in, too – so we took the boat into it and had a look around at all the ice pans. Cyril (our boat driver) asked me if I wanted to get on an ice pan (silly question!) and so we found a nice flat one and hopped on. Awesome! I mean, really. It was unbelievable being on a sheet of ice in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean! I made Brad get on (against his will) and we managed to get a photo before he scurried back to the boat. The camera was set to black and white accidentally. Made me sad, but that’s okay! That is a day I will not soon forget. It was beautiful and sunny – I’m hoping to get some of the pictures of that day printed and framed.

The Green Team (a student-based eco-friendly group) is coming to Battle Harbour on Monday, and Brad is supervising them, so we needed to take Brad’s holidays while we had the chance.

We wanted to go to Quebec, but upon review, discovered that we can only go a few communities west into Quebec before we get stuck and have to find transportation by air. We clearly do not know our Canadian geography very well.

In any case, we stopped at Vernon and Adele’s on the way to what we thought was going to be a trip to Quebec, and Vernon mentioned that Adele and the kids were going to Corner Brook for the weekend. That gave us the idea to go to the west coast of Newfoundland for a couple days. It was the day after school was out, so we figured we wouldn’t get on the boat across to St. Barbe – but we did! Talk about a spontaneous adventure.

Halfway to Newfoundland on the boat, we got cell reception… so I looked up some places in the NL Travel Guide and booked us a place to stay. We got a cabin at Shallow Bay Motel and Cabins. Check it out:

We had a “suite” cabin (ha. ha. ha. Punny, I know) and so I had a jacuzzi for one night. I’m telling you. Staying at the Rose Manor last year spoiled me. Anyway.

On Saturday night, we went to see a double show at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival in Cow Head – if you’re on the West Coast, take the time to go! It’s lots of fun. The GMTF site is here:

We had a great time – and, that night, guess who met us in Cow Head? Brad’s parents – with Jale!!

Oh. My. I cannot tell you how exciting that was for us.

So we spend the next day together, enjoying each others’ company until Monday morning, when we had to part ways.

Monday, we took our time to St. Barbe and spent the night at Dockside again. We were up bright and early this morning again to get the boat across, and now we’re back in Mary’s Harbour, waiting to get the boat back to BH Island.

It was a great mini-vacation. Especially since we got to see Brad’s parents and our baby girl. That being said, I am actually looking forward to getting back to the island, and I can’t help wonder what I’ve missed in the four days we’ve been gone.

Not sure when we’ll have a chance again to get the internet – but I’ll try to keep track of our adventures in the meantime so I can record them for your reading pleasure. 🙂

Annette (at the Visitor Information Centre – VIC – in Mary’s Harbour) says that there is a Mother/Father/Daughter who have a Husky on the island – so I’m hoping to make another canine friend. Also – there’s a photographer who is supposed to be spending a few days on the island, and he has two cocker spaniels. So – it may be an interesting week!

Hope you are all well. We miss you – keep us posted on your lives. We appreciate your comments and your e-mails!


Erika and Brad


18 06 2010

Well, then.

I’m in Mary’s Harbour today, because I had an assignment that needed to be submitted by tonight.

Brad arrived back in Battle Harbour (finally) and he promised me that whenever he needs to go to Mary’s Harbour, we will be going together. So there.

Even though I just about succumbed to withdrawal, I managed to survive enough to semi-enjoy the guests who were staying on the island. Since they were all stuck there together, they bonded really well, and we had some good times.

The highlight of it all – for me – was singing with Bram. Remember the kid’s group, Sharon, Lois and Bram? Yeah, Bram. That Bram. Skinamarinky-dinky-dink Bram.

It. Was. Awesome.

The first night the guests were there, we had a singalong/kitchen party. It helped keep my mind off the fact that Brad was somewhere on the mainland, who knew where.

When Brad finally did return, he received a resounding round of applause from everyone in the dining hall, where the guests were seated for dinner. I`m sure they thought I was pathetic, pining away after 36 hours of being separated, but that`s okay.

We`ve got photos of our time with Bram, but they`re not with me in Mary`s Harbour. Will try to bring them for the next time we post.

The Hansiatic cruise ship from Germany is coming back our way again tomorrow. They were at BHHT once already, but they will have a new crew and passengers this time.

We also had a bus tour from Quebec come through – so I got to practice my french.

That`s all for now – and, seriously, you should consider coming up for a visit.

Also, if you know of a reporter who would be willing to do an article on this place (*cough* James McCleod) point them our way. This place needs all the publicity it can get. It`s a beautiful spot, and it deserves to be promoted.

Hope you are all well. Talk to you soon,

Erika and Brad

The Battle Harbour Inn - Icebergs in the Background