Happy Birthday, Cindy!

Cindy at the top of the Emerald Chair in Whistler

Having celebrated Tristan’s birthday with a blog post, it seems only fitting that we do likewise for Cindy’s birthday, which was celebrated last week while visiting Whistler with a few friends from Australia.

After seven consecutive days of skiing, everyone was pretty pooped (with one in our troupe soon to be knocked out by the most epic flu virus ever) so we didn’t want to do anything too strenuous to mark the occasion.

Instead, we got ourselves trapped in a (pretend) cabin that had been buried in an avalanche and had to use our brain muscles to find our way out. Working together efficiently as a team (and with a little bit of help from the Escape Room staff…), we were able to piece together the clues hidden around the cabin and escape just inside our allotted 45 minutes! Maybe not your usual après ski activity, but definitely a tonne of fun and one we are keen to do again when we have visitors next.

Two-thirds of the gang at Escape! Whistler

Mandatory “We Escaped!!!” photo post-challenge. Apparently only 15% of groups are able to complete the Cabin room – woohoo!

Following this intense mental exertion we moseyed on over to the Old Spaghetti Factory [interesting fact: it is not now, nor has it ever been, a spaghetti factory] to carbo-load ahead of our final day on the slopes.

Anyway, as is tradition when there is a birthday in the Up Late team, here are some random tidbits about Cindy you may or may not already know:

Nicknames: Once upon a time, back when email addresses were not some form of your name @ gmail.com, I used the name “fluey” – it was back when DuckTales was on television and I wanted to be the fourth addition to the Huey, Dewey and Louie gang. Before that, I was frequently referred to as “Grub 1” by one of my sisters [my adopted sister, Kat, was “Grub 2”]. For a very brief period, I tried to rename myself Asian Panda at work, but it just didn’t catch on. I now go strictly by Cindy unless you are Kat (who calls me Cind) or Liz (who calls me Cindz) or DRC (who calls me BJ).

Age: 31 years.

Favourite cake: White chocolate with a milk (or dark) chocolate ganache. Never chocolate mud with chocolate ganache – it’s just way too rich!

Favourite sport to play: I’m not much of a sportsperson. If I had to pick a favourite sport to play (which I do, according to this list of questions), I would have to go with volleyball. But not because I am a passionate volleyballer, but because it is probably the only sport I was ever good at. Back in 1997, my grade 5/6 primary school team made it to the regional finals, only to be knocked out in straight sets by (from memory) Syndal Primary. I stopped playing after that, until a brief return from retirement for one season of a social competition in Canberra back in 2011.

Favourite sport to watch: I’m going to go with basketball. Having moved to Toronto, and with a sportaholic husband, I am dragged along to watch a lot of sport. Basketball is easy to follow, whether live or on the television. It’s fast paced, the rules are pretty straight-forward, and, here in Toronto, everyone goes for the same team so the atmosphere is amazing. If you’re lucky enough to watch it live (I’ve been to the Air Canada Centre in Toronto and Madison Square Garden in New York City), the stadium entertainment between plays is seriously impressive, and I’m not just talking about cheerleaders doing a dance at half-time.

Favourite breakfast food: This whole home fries thing has definitely grown on me since moving to Canada. When we first arrived, I remember asking Tristan why there were potatoes with EVERYTHING. But now… breakfast just doesn’t feel complete without that pile of fried up diced potatoes filling up all the empty space on the plate. Still, my favourite brekky  has to be smashed avo, with a poached egg, on Vegemite toast – but now, I would probably top it off with some home fries on the side.

Favourite ice cream: I apologise to all the peanut allergy people out there… but, hands down, it’s peanut butter or peanut butter cup or peanut butter with peanuts on top, basically just give me a bowl of frozen smushed up peanuts . Or, if that’s not an option,  I suppose I could manage mint choc chip.

Coffee: Flat white from anywhere that is not Starbucks (or Tim Hortons, which I hear is now doing espresso coffee).

Manual or Auto: Manual all the way!

Over or Under: Over. Always over. And if you are an under, I am now questioning our friendship. Seriously.

Zee or Zed: Ex, Why, Zee!

Cats or Dogs: Both, but I’m hoping my next fur baby will be a little dashalier puppy I can dress in teeny tiny little snow shoes.

Number of shoes: Not nearly enough! With great sadness, I downsized my shoe collection before leaving Australia. I now probably have 15 pairs on the shoe rack in our walk-in, and then another 5 that sit by the front door which are in reasonably regular use. I also got sent a pair of Blundstone boots from my mum at Christmas, which have been getting daily use this winter.

If you were gay, who would your life partner be? Before Tristan, Pheebz was my wife. If not Pheebz, then Veronica Mars (no, not Kristen Bell, but Veronica Mars – the heroine of the best television show ever, who is seriously everything anyone could want in a woman: smart, witty, sassy, super cool and beautiful!)

Countries I have been to: Malaysia (does it count if you were born there?), Australia, Singapore, South Korea (albeit for less than 24 hours), Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, New Zealand, Vietnam, United States of America, and Canada. It really doesn’t seem like very much now that I’m typing it out. I’m going to have to work hard on exponentially increasing the list while we are over here in Canada. Among other things, I will have to more than triple my list if I want to catch up with Tristan, who is sitting on 37 countries at the moment, on account of his gap year travels and the year his folks took off to travel the world when he was just 4 years old.

Favourite travel story: I love me a good Lost in Translation moment. Language is definitely not my forte, so it happens a fair bit. When I was learning Chinese, my dad used to say his ancestors were turning in their graves every time I tried to say something. Notwithstanding these language struggles, I do try to learn a few core local words and phrases whenever I am travelling – hello, goodbye, thank you, and where is the toilet? are generally on my ‘must know’ list. However, despite doing my very best, it doesn’t always work out and the first example of this was when I was travelling in Europe during my exchange program in 2010. We made a weekend trip to visit Austria, where they speak a dialect of German. Notwithstanding the fact that most locals (certainly in the city) spoke English, I was enjoying practising my skills by greeting everyone with “guten Tag”, which is German for “good day”. I walked into a little souvernir shop in the main square and in my most chipper voice, announced “guten Tag” to the shop owner. He looked at me puzzled for a moment, before responding in perfect English “oh, I’m sorry, you can’t pay by card.” Not only was my basic Austrian/German a fail, but apparently it was so incomprehensible, it made more sense as terrible English! Oh dear. Hopefully I will have better luck trying to pick up French this year.


That’s it for now. If you want to know more about Cindy, pop your questions in the comments below or get in touch!

– T & C (but mostly C)

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