Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What I Don't Think I Will Be Buying Anytime Soon

At work the other day my boss was asking a lot of questions about my driving (whether I have a license, how often I drive, etc) and I started to worry he was going to suggest I buy a car. See, I have this new treatment where I need to go to the doctor's office (across town!) once a week, and because of the schedule in which I can go, that means leaving work early some days. By TTC, the trip is minimum one hour one way. I will get into more details on this treatment soon when I have time to write up the post since I haven't done an update on my treatment in 2.5 months. Oops

Anyway, in addition to that my role is changing to one where I need to leave the office more and it may be convenient to have my own car so I don't have to coordinate with my boss.

I have never owned a car. This might sound ridiculous for a 26 yr old, but I couldn't afford one in high school, then I went to University and could afford one even less (no debt on graduation was worth giving up that kind of luxury!). Then I moved to my dad's where I could walk to the GO train and commuted to the city. And then I moved to the city and it is just way cheaper to take transit. I never really wanted/needed a car before!

But now I kind of do want one. I find myself going home to the suburbs to visit family more, I commute 45 minutes one way to work (on a good day!) and now I need to leave the office so much and I want to minimize the impact on my work by doing so.

So I priced it out! And guess what! I WON'T be buying a car any time soon.

Here was my quick monthly breakdown:
Parking: $150
- I don't own a parking spot and renting in my building is pricy. This doesn't even include parking at work (no idea if I can even get a spot) or parking at the doctor's or around town

Insurance: $200
- I recently found out that if you haven't had insurance before they charge you quite the premium until you build a good driving record with them. So even though I have had my full license and a clean record, I can expect to spend minimum $200/month for the first year. Obviously this could depend on how much insurance I buy too (eg: new car = higher insurance)

Car Payment/Lease: $250
I have no solution to the argument of buy new, buy used, or lease. But I think if we assume I will pay for SOME sort of car for four years, it will be roughly $250 a month. That is pretty accurate for a lease, or car payment with a down payment, or just buying a used car with the down payment money and dividing the cost over four years.

If you add that up, I am spending $600 a month without even DRIVING the car. I think with gas, maintenance, plate renewal, and occasional parking I could be looking at $700 or more (I have no idea how much gas I would actually go through but I would buy a small, gas-efficient car).

Even if I scrape off things here and there and take into account my insurance dropping to a reasonable rate after a year, it would still be at least $500 easy. PER MONTH. That is $6000 a year I could put towards my mortgage. Or vacations. Or fancy new clothes.

Therefore, unless my boss offers a good raise or even to buy me the darn car, I don't think I will be taking the plunge quite yet.

Sigh, good bye dream car.

Oh and PS- Happy Halloween! Was I supposed to do a Halloween post? I bet everyone else will today. I'm a rebel haha

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Things To Do When The Power Goes Out (and you live alone)

Because of Hurricane Sandy, I thought about doing a post on emergency preparedness, but I recommend you look at your own city's/province's instructions. Ontario's instructions for making an emergency kit can be found here.

So instead, I am going to make a list of things to do to entertain yourself when the power goes out and you live alone! I have had one long power outage at this condo once and I was b-o-r-e-d. This time if the power goes out, I want to be prepared!

1. If a storm is coming, charge all laptops, ipads, phones, etc
2. Download some books ahead of time. If night comes and the power is still out, it is much preferable to read a tablet computer than to figure out a comfortable way to read a book by flashlight
3. Get lost in a daydream
4. Eat all the ice cream before it melts
5. Learn to knit
6. Call your dad and see if his power is out and then complain about how bored you are.
7. Make funny faces in the flashlight
8. Practice your shadow puppets
9. Make cookies dough and then be all "oh no! I forgot I couldn't bake the cookies!" and then eat the cookie dough so as to not be wasteful.
10. Introduce yourself to your neighbours. They may have food
11. Write a love letter to your dream man
12. Drink all the booze in the fridge and dance to some ipod music
13. Practice yoga
14. Learn a new dance move
15. Try playing solitaire with real cards
16. Give up and build a card castle
17. Run up and down the stairs to get some exercise
18. Read my blog on your phone
19. Wish you had a wood burning fireplace to make s'mores in
20. Just go to bed

Ok, in all seriousness, please DO NOT waste your flashlight batteries, cell phone batteries, or get drunk. These are all terrible ideas in an emergency! 

However, eating all the ice cream is highly recommended. 

To everyone who is affected by Hurricane Sandy, please stay safe and listen to emergency instructions. Also please remember that if you put yourself in danger, you put the emergency personnel coming to save you in danger.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Cooking with Casey: Shortbread Cookies

I am at the Ontario Tax Conference today (I jealous) so I am busting out my well worn Betty Crocker cookbook to share another favourite recipe of mine: shortbread cookies!

Now, I am a true blue sugar cookie fan, but the thing I love about shortbread is that you only need three ingredients! And I am always out of eggs so that also works in my favour. Woohoo!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Makes about 2 dozen cookies

3/4 cup butter or margarine (softened).
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups of all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 350F

In a large bowl, stir butter and sugar until well mixed. Stir in flour. At this point, I always find my dough too dry so I usual add butter until you can easily mold it in your hands.

Roll out on lightly floured tray until about 1/2 inch thick. Make sure you flour your rolling pin too!

Cut out into amazing shapes like T-rexes, elephants, martini glasses, airplanes, etc and then lay on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

If you somehow screw up (we've all been there), slather in icing. Trust me, no one will be the wiser ;)

 Seriously, my decorating skills astound me!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

My Tips: Wardrobe Clean Up

This weekend I decided to do my monthly spring and fall ritual and tackle this:

No, this wasn't about cleaning up this mess (though clearly it needs it). It was about getting stuff OUT of the closet for good. Yup, it was time to mend, toss, and donate!

I know there are a lot of rule of thumbs about cleaning out closets, such as "get rid of anything you haven't worn in 6 months", but I don't think that these always work because clothes can be very emotional and you can have silly attachments to items. Plus, a lot can change weather-wise in 6 months. I haven't worn my sweaters in 6 months because it was summer!

However, I think purging a closet is so important. Not just for the extra space, but because it is much easier to find an outfit you LOVE if you are only choosing between 10 items. Especially if you LOVE all those 10 items because they are beautiful and flattering!

So here are my rules to cleaning out a closet, and I hope they can help you purge this fall as well. Because let's face it, it is nice to have space to store NEW clothes ;)

1. Go through your wardrobe in the spring and fall. Focus on the clothing your wore for the previous season. Did you never wear a shirt? It is probably because it isn't flattering or doesn't just toss it! Replace it with something you really love.

2. Pull out anything that needs mending and just get to it. I found a few of my white Tshirts were stained with my Anthralin treatment (WHY? HOW??) so they are all currently in the wash with a giant dose of bleach. If it doesn't come out, I will buy new ones.

3. Plan a swap party with your friends, or just allow them first dibs on the clothing before you donate it. I find this makes me feel a lot better about an item I used to love but maybe no longer fits.

4. If you are debating on an item and it is a cheaply made one, just toss it. Don't waste your energy on items that are not quality items. I tend to buy high quality for basic and cheaper items for fashionable trends. When the trend has ended, I just get rid of the item

5. If you are debating, try it on. There may be a reason that you don't often wear it. Maybe it is a skirt that rides up all day or a shirt with tight shoulders that make it hard to lift your arms. Even if the item looks great on you, if it isn't comfortable, you won't wear it. Give it to someone else.

6. Don't keep anything that isn't flattering

7. Don't keep items that don't fit. While of course you are confident that you will lose that 5lbs and it will fit again soon, wouldn't you rather buy a clothing to celebrate? Keep a few pre-weight-gain items that are either high quality or are your favourite. Give the rest away!

8. When buying new items for your now empty closet, be more selective this time! Only buy items that you LOVE. Don't buy something just because it is on sale. That is how you end up with an overstuffed wardrobe of items that you never wear.

9. Think about the clothing you need. I work in a professional office so I only wear jeans on the weekend. Therefore I only have 3-4 pairs. I also have some changes coming up at work where I will be in front of clients now instead of behind the scenes. So I am moving away from T-shirts and cardigans and will need more room for button ups.

10. Don't forget to also look at the wardrobe for the upcoming season! Try things on and write a list of things you need to complete your wardrobe. I like to go to the outlet malls in the spring and fall with a list of items I would like. I find shopping with a list means that I don't buy things that are not needed (I don't need 30 T-shirts because I can't think of a month where I only wear T shirts and need a new one every day). I prefer to just have a few items in each category that I love.

After my purge I ended up with a decent pile of clothing that I no longer cared to wear! Now I have room for a few new fall goodies :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Think Pink!

Today I am showing my dream house and I found an example of each room in it.

Ok, I am just kidding with all the pink :)

But the point is, I LIKE pink. My camera is pink, my water bottles are all pink, my running shoes, my toenails, etc. Pink is my home boy. However I don't have much pink in my house. I think this is because my place used to be very red-themed and when I put red and pink together it just feels a little "valentine's day" today so I avoided pink. Then this summer I was drawn to yellow, green, and turquoise so again I didn't buy anything pink.

When I was in Mexico, I came across a lot of local vendors selling these beautiful hand painted skulls. I knew I wanted one- but what colour? Eventually I decided it was time to bring some pink on into this condo and I picked up this!

I put him in an apothecary jar just for funsies :). Actually, when we were in the ceramics store in Mexico City, they didn't have any pink skulls but my friend asked the store owner and he went into the back and found me one! Yay! I don't even know the spanish word for pink. I also picked up a purple one and a red one for my sister in law and my brother. Because painted skulls are awesome.

Then a week after I came home, I went to the store to buy new sheets. I originally considered a set of beautiful dark pink sheets. But then I remembered that dark pink sheets + white duvet cover = light pink duvet cover, no matter how much you wash the sheets. So I went home with just these.

Sorry for the bad photo- I had to take these at night and that end of my room is SUPER dark.

So as you can see, we may be starting the "age of pink" in this condo! Might as well get it all in now, while I am a single gal in the city! :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bathroom Inspiration

Remember those bathroom reno plans I started talking about back in August? Ya, well I didn't forget. I did go to look a tiles one day, but I have yet to buy one stinking thing for this bathroom. I don't have a car! I can't just pop out to home depot to see what they have in stock! It is frustrating and overwhelming to not be able to get started. Without making any decisions, I can't fully plan this shindig out!

On the other hand, these constant delays have provided me ample time to Pinterest and ogle other bathrooms. I feel like I am finally narrowing the look I want, and I thought I would share with you where I kinda am now.


Recent bathroom makeover by Rambling Renovators

Guest bathroom by Freckles Chick

Ok, so here is what I am loving here
- White tile in the shower. I really like the long subway tiles and I am considering them. This Dusty House has this style as well so I think it is gaining popularity? Or maybe it was already popular and no one told me
- Glass accent tile in shower. Yes! I love some accent tile! But I would place mine more at eye level so I can stare at it :)
- Dark floors. I am loving the faux wood plank look in Freckles Chick's bathroom. However if I do long subway tiles I probably wont do that. Too much long tile
- Grey vanity. Why didn't I think of this before? I was so stuck on the options being wood or white that I didn't think of my other favourite neutral- grey!

So imagine the top photo, with the floor colour on the bottom and a higher accent tile. And a tub.

That is what I am loving on right now. But I really need to get to some stores, see things in person, price things out, etc etc. Who wants to drive me??

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Organizing Under The Sink

Now, I know a lot of people complain that under their sink is sooo messy. But seriously people, you ain't got nothing on me. It is like a bad episode of Hoarders under there, except in this case the hoarder also has a whole lot of pipes. Ready for the before shot? Children and people with medical conditions are recommended to be out of the room.

See, it's not even that it is really messy, but it all goes all the way back into the corner (the oven is to the left). And that giant gold pipe goes all the way back to the back wall before turning. Hence it is just an awkward mess in there and I can never get anything I need (Lord help me if I need my giant soup pot in the back corner). The other issue is that because of the pipes, it is hard to fit any shelf in there!

But then I was at Canadian Tire the other day and I found this shelf on sale for about $10 (ok, technically this was over a month ago...I got busy!).

Now obviously my pipes are not so neat and orderly as the one on this box, but I thought perhaps I could make this work to organize under my sink.

First things first, I cleaned everything out from under the sink:

I found this huge stack of tiles that I didn't even know were back there! I found these small white tiles in the pile, which had me so confused because I don't HAVE white tiles in the condo. However while doing laundry later I realized that the laundry closet in the front hall has white tiles! Now why my laundry room has nice white tiles and my bathroom has stupid off-white tiles I don't like...don't ask me.

So anyway, I finally had the space cleaned out.

Ewww, right? My vegetable oil leaked a bit over the last 3 years. It took a bit of elbow grease, but I finally got the bottom looking white again. I have seen on other blogs where they use peel and stick tiles to cover up damaged cabinet bases under the sink, so if your's isn't cleanable, that is an option as well. Mine was in great shape still so it didn't need that.

Then I worked hard trying to get that darn shelf together. I had a hard time figuring it out how the pieces went together (the instructions needed photos for sure). Once I figured THAT out, it took me forever to find a good configuration under the sink. I still wanted to put my large pots in the back since I only use them once per year, so I wanted the shelf in the front area, but it wouldn't fit around the pipe (The ends were solid squares and so I couldn't get it around the pipe, which would be ideal).

Finally I just did this.

Who knew the small saw in my toolkit would come in handy?

Once I sawed through it, I was able to pop it around the pipe and get that thing together!
 It took a bit of time to find the right heights for the shelves. The bottom one needed to go over the pipe that extends to the back, and the top one needed to be low enough to go under the higher pipes. See? Not as simple as the picture on the box! And yes, I can still reach over the side to access the pots in the back. But if not, the shelves snap on and off super easy and the length quickly extends and shortens, so I could make it smaller in a snap to grab something.

Finally, I put everything back! (and took out the garbage. How good am I at realistic before photos, eh?)

I even moved one of my big pots to the bottom (behind the purple Finish tin) so I can't see myself ever going into the corner unless I need to make soup for 50 people and need a stock pot. Yay!

All and all, I high recommend this product. It is very sturdy and makes great use of the awkward space around the piping. Obviously it works better with larger items because it creates some large gaps that small items would fall though. But I am sure some sort of rubber mat would help with that.

Monday, October 22, 2012

I am a Basketcase(y)

See what I did there? As my grandma would say, "I made a funny punny". Ah, good times!

On Friday last week I went to Winners to buy a faux leather coat and new sheets for my bed. However they had pretty much no sheets in a full size (damn my tiny bed) and no faux leather jackets. I mean, I guess I COULD have bought a $300 real leather jacket, but for some reason I can think of a million better things to spend $300 on. Crazy. I know. I then realized that a Homesense had opened up across the street since the last time I was in that 'hood! I didn't find sheets there either (but I did get some new pillowcases), but I did get THIS.

See? If I had spent $300 on a coat then I wouldn't have the budget left to spend $23 on a basket. Priorities, people!! I love the look of wicker baskets and the large rope around the top of this one makes it look all Nantucket-y and it is just adorable. The only issue with the basket was this:

It had a divider down the middle! I have no desire to store a bunch of magazines or other skinny things in my new basket. I usually only keep a couple magazines on hand at a time and I pass on the ones I have read to friends. Therefore the divider had to go!

I got to work snipping.

It was pretty tough, as that stuff did not want to snap so I would jam my scissors in and use a bit of leverage to snap the wicker. The divider was only held on at the top and the bottom with these ties, so all in all it took me about 10 minutes to free it.

Hurrah! However, with the middle gone, the basket did kinda lose its only handle. I didn't mind too much because really, where am I going to carry the basket? Plus, with the wicker binding cut off on each end, the rope was freed a bit and it can totally be used as a double handle.

Finally, I put my new basket to good use- as a throw blanket holder!

See, I have this one amazing white throw blanket (that I have dubbed the world's softest blanket) but it never really had a spot to hang out when not in use. It was usually draped over my storage ottoman or over the couch, but it never really looked quite right there. Best news is that there is still room in the basket for a second throw blanket, and frankly I think my guests and I deserve separate blankets on movie night. ;)

I have been ogling the throws at West Elm for it too early to start my list to Santa?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Curtain Call!

Remember a little while ago (*ahem* July) I asked for opinions on removing the curtain as a divider between the bedroom and the living room? I simply love getting opinions on the blog, but in this case I listened but then got busy and didn't do anything about it. Oops. Well I finally got around to seeing for myself whether or not I prefer the room sans- curtain. Let me know your opinion on THIS!



Sorry for the awkward before and after. Basically it is now the season of no natural light so I used an old before picture. And then I had to use flash in the new photo so my floors are fantastically neon. haha! Also, ignore the curtain hooks still in the ceiling :P

Anyway, even though I will appreciate your opinion, I will end the suspense here- I LOVE IT. Maybe it doesn't convey in the photo, but the place looks so much bigger without the curtain. However now I feel my bed is all "hello there! I am a bed in the living room!" so it needs something.

Ideas? Footboard maybe or something?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cooking with Casey: Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, Macadamia Nut Cookies

The poor condo is such a pigsty. I swear a tornado came through here, but I know it is just a mix of unpacking and long hours at work. So I have no projects to show today because I am embarrassed to pull out a camera and even take the smallest photo.

Therefore I am sharing my most favouritest cookie recipe today! This one was invented by my stepfather's mother. She had 13 children, so you know this recipe makes a giant load of cookies. Plus you can also tell they didn't care much for health food back then because each cookie will probably kill you...with deliciousness! Well she didn't put chocolate chips and macadamia nuts in them either, so I am probably the more unheathy one. haha, but why not load a cookie with everything you love to make a super cookie?

This is not my photo, but they look a lot like this when done (but no nuts in this photo!)


It will yield about a billion cookies (I wasn't kidding) so you can always halve the recipe.

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup margarine or butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 
  • Chocolate chips (as many as you like!)
  • Chopped macadamia nuts 
I know some people are all about mixing liquids and dry goods separately, but I never bother. Just go ahead and dump it all in a giant bowl. It gets super thick and sticky so I usually will scrub my hands and mix it all by hand too. 

Preheat oven to 350F. Once heated, spoon cookies onto an ungreased baking sheet and press down with a fork. Bake for 8-10 minutes until edges start to brown. I find the first batch takes longer and then it gets faster, so check on them every 5 minutes or so. 

Also, if you are planning to halve the recipe, the easiest way to halve an egg is to crack it into a measuring cup and mix it up. Then pour half out! That is my useful tip for the day. haha

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mexico City: Days 10-15!

This will be my last post about my trip. I really need to get some home projects done, but the condo is still a total sty from unpacking. So we shall see what I manage to get done this week. Coming back to real life from vacation is always hard. I've been working longer than normal hours and I am still not caught up! Sigh...back to reminiscing

Oct 8th-10th: Days 10-12

These three days were really fun because we took a vacation from our vacation!! Veronica and I got up really early and took a cab to the bus station so we could grab a bus to Acapulco! We paid extra to take the luxury bus that had large lounge chairs and mini TVs. They give you drinks and snacks on the bus as well! Unfortunately the TV shows and movies available were ALL in Spanish so we just listened to music and napped. It is a 5 hour bus ride, but we were quite comfortable and the drive is very scenic so it passed quickly.

Many people have this misconception that Mexico City is hot, but it is actually at quite a high elevation so it is more spring like in temperatures year round. Luckily when we were there it was beautiful weather each day, but we really needed to head to the coast to relax in the hot sun.

We checked into our hotel, Fiesta Americana and were immediately blown away by the great customer service. We quickly got to our room and found this:

A view!! I have never had a room with a view before because I am too cheap to pay for upgrades. A lot of rooms in the hotel had a view (it was in the middle of the bay) but it was also the off season, which I think contributed to the room and the service we received there.

We then spent the next 3 days here:

The beach where we were is not great, but it is near the bars and restaurants. The pool and poolside service were so great, however, that we felt no drive to go to the beach anyway. We first got down to the pool and ordered some drinks. When they came over we got double because it was happy hour! with tip each drink was only $3. Oh yay baby.

That night we left the hotel in search of food. We were there on a Monday and Tuesday night in the off season but it was still surprising when we picked a large seafood restaurant on the water we were the ONLY people there. The food and drinks were sooo good. At one point a magician came to entertain us and we also saw a guy go bungee jumping at the bungee jump place right next to our table (haha!)

Tuesday morning came and I told Veronica we HAD to order room service because I never ever order room service and I wanted some pancakes! So we did and let me tell you, those pancakes were some of the best I ever had.

Then we went down to the pool and I told our waiter, Noe, that i had seen people drinking from pineapples and coconuts the day before and we 100% needed one of each of those stat. He laughed and said he would be right back. About 20 minutes later these amazing beauties showed up.

They made my vacation. All the kids swimming in the pool came over to see and begged their parents for them. After enjoying our amazing drinks we got down to some sun tanning and swimming. We both wore sunscreen and reapplied but by late afternoon we could tell we had gotten burnt. I burned my back mostly, but poor Veronica was like a little tomato as the hours went on. She did sum up the courage to go to dinner at this nice steak house (I had amazing ravioli) but she couldn't finish her steak and brought it back to the room. It was lucky we turned in early because only 1 hour later a HUGE storm hit like I had never seen before! Thank goodness we weren't outside!

The next morning we went back to pool (in the shade of course this time). But by early afternoon it was time to pack up and take the bus back to Mexico City. Poor Veronica was such a trooper!!

Oct 11th: Day 13

Thursday was our last day of sightseeing and we made it count by getting up early (again, ugh) and catching a bus that was going to Villa de Guadalupe and to Teotihuacan, the pyramids outside the city! The Villa de Guadalupe is a sacred spot in the city where a vision of the virgin Mary (Guadalupe in Mexico) was seen in the 1500s. There are now 7 churches in this small area and they day we went there was a pilgrimage from villagers outside the city and it was PACKED. The churches were nice, but it isn't really mine or Veronica's thing.

Then finally we loaded back on the bus and headed to the pyramids! It was hot hot hot there, like the desert. But it was really cool and we enjoyed the long walk around the grounds and see all the ruins!

Pyramid of the Sun

Pyramid of the Moon

The Pyramid of the Sun is the larger of the two pyramids and I had to climb it (I mean, it was THERE. I had to!) but Veronica wasn't in the mood for the rough climb so she stayed at the bottom and did some mad negotiation of souvenirs for me while I climbed myself (Thanks Vee!). Unfortunately they closed the very last set of stairs but I did climb almost to the top! I was so winded but it was pretty cool.

I have to tell this one story because it is ridiculous. This one lady in our tour group (there were about 15 of us and the tour was in English and Spanish- she was in the Spanish group but I don't know her nationality) was wearing SIX INCH STILETTOS! Take a look at the stuff we were climbing!! We kept waiting for her to fall and yep, it eventually happened. She was walking down some steps and fell hardcore and took another lady down with her! We ran over and she seemed ok but clearly hurt her wrist (not broken at least from what I could tell). The tour guide and a police officer took her away and when she joined us again later she had a huge cast. Everyone in the group thought this woman was crazy!!

Anyway, after the pyramids we went to a local shop where they make silver jewellery and statues from this very hard black rock called Obsidian that can only be cut with diamonds. We also learned all about the Agave plant and it was really neat! Plus we got some tequila ;)

Oct 12th: Day 14

On our last full day in Mexico City, Veronica and I slept in and then took it easy and packed. We also made one more trip out for fresh juice! Finally that night we got to see Olga's daughter Sofia (she had been at her Grandfather's and then we were in Acapulco when she got back) and got to give her all the presents we had bought for her in Canada. She seemed to love everything and we had fun playing and reading books before bed.

Oct 13th: Day 15

Our last day :(

Olga made us all a delicious pancake breakfast and then we played a bit more with Sofia but heading back to the airport. We gave Olga a HUGE hug and thanked her for hosting us for two weeks and then climbed into that cab. It was a sad moment!

We then headed straight to the duty free in the airport to drown our sorrows in tequila ;). The duty free was amazing here!! This guy got us samples of the tequilas we wanted to try and then some lady made us margaritas! heck ya! However our happiness was broken once again when we realized that because of our stopover in the US, we couldn't buy ANY duty free! NOOOOOO!! Ugh. I was so pissed. Basically America makes you go through security again after you land there to get on your connecting flight and therefore you can't have a giant bottle of alcohol because it is the normal 3oz liquid rule. It is silly because we clearly haven't left the airport!

Sigh, but our flight back was otherwise uneventful. Our flight to Toronto from Atlanta turned out to be oversold, but someone we still got assigned seats together AND they were right behind first class and we had about 4 ft of foot space. I couldn't barely touch the chair in front!

Once we landed we got through customs amazingly fast for Pearson airport and then my mom and stepdad met me at arrivals and drove me home to my own bed at last!

Thus ends my Mexico adventure. It was an amazing two weeks. I kept waiting for something to go wrong, or rain to ruin a day, or even to get ripped off by a cab or something. But, besides a sunburn, the trip was seamless, amazingly fun, and overall quite low budget. Over two weeks of touring, eating, and drinking (obviously we had no hotel expense except in Acapulco) I only spent $1000 max. And I never said no to anything! Our flight was about $500, so overall we are looking at $1500 total for two weeks of amazing adventures.

I don't know if I would be comfortable going to Mexico City without knowing someone as Olga and her friends and family definitely helped us with language barriers and daily plans. But if you are up for a bit of an adventure, I would totally recommend you try a week in the city next time you are in Mexico!!
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