champagne and sun hats.

“do you know the rules of polo?” Katey asked as we were cruising out of the comforts of our inner city limits.

i just looked back at her with a confused look on my face, “you try to score on your opponent while on horseback…with a stick?”

it’s like soccer…but on horses.

content with our definition, we continued on to the Calgary Polo Club for the Veuve Clicquot Classic.

the rules didn’t matter so much in my mind as the pretty dresses, fancy hats, and champagne did.

VCpolo

just call me Vivian Ward in my polka dots. Katey is a much classier Kit De Luca.

laurakateypolo

and if you don’t get my Pretty Woman reference, we can’t be friends.

laura_polo

if you were curious to know the ins and outs of polo, here they are:

  • a polo field is 300 yards long and 160 yards wide, the largest field in organized sport
  • a team is made up of four polo players
  • the object of the game is to move the polo ball downfield, hitting the ball through the goal posts for a score

ponies

  • polo teams change direction after each goal in order to compensate for field and wind conditions
  • a polo match lasts about one and a half hours and is divided into timed periods called chukkers
  • each chukker is seven minutes long
  • play begins with a throw-in of the ball by the umpire at the opening of each chukker and after each goal
  • players must change horses after each chukker due to the extreme demands placed on the pony

poloponies

now we know…but you kind of figure it out as go…and soccer on horses.

the best Pretty Woman moment was at halftime when spectators get to go onto the field to participate in a tradition called “divot stomping” to help replace the divots created by the horse’s hooves. “watch out for the steaming divots.” …seriously, can’t be friends if you don’t get it.

VCchampagne

the rest of the afternoon was filled with festive bubbles and delicious appetizers as we cheered for each goal.

a slightly embarrassing fact, i still don’t know how to properly pronounce veuve clicquot – even after sister sent me google pronunciation instructions. #frenchfail

champagne

i do know how to drink it, though…

veuve_clicquot

and act casual in front of any stand & repeat. i swear i try to be normal, then it just doesn’t work. that bottle was pretty heavy – my arm workout for the day.


have you ever been to a polo match? are you any good with french?

Posted in Life, style | 3 Comments

my favourite spa.

my favourite activity when i enter a new spa is to check out the decor. there is always such a simple and zen approach to the space that automatically makes me feel at ease.

health spa decor

it is often quite similar to that of my favourite yoga studios: lots of sunlight, bright and inspiring artwork, fresh cut flowers, and delicious infused water.

spa cucumber water and they somehow always have my favourite flowers and great books on the nightstand.

health span flowers

wait. what?

i guess that only happens when the spa is actually my apartment. thanks to Your Health Span, my apartment became a spa on Monday.

my massage therapist, Erin, arrived shortly before 7 p.m., shook my hand, changed into her indoor shoes and asked where to set up the table. my living room is a bit of a dance hall, so there was plenty of room for her to get settled there. i offered Erin a glass of water, but she had brought her own not wanting me to go to any trouble – i was supposed to be relaxing, not working.

we discussed the type of massage that would be most beneficial for me and where i needed focus. my shoulders, neck and upper back had been bugging me (desk job pains for life) and wanted all upper body attention.

health span massage

after the table was dressed in clean sheets, Erin gave me three choices of oil – i picked chamomile citrus – and set up her ipad with relaxing instrumental music.

as she excused herself to wash her hands in my bathroom, i undressed and slipped under the sheets facedown on the table.

for the next hour Erin went to work on my back, shoulder, and neck applying medium pressure until i jumped at sensitive spots. she pulled back the intensity working out my knots with ease. she’d occasionally ask if the pressure was too much, and if i was okay.

when i asked questions she would answer, and when i wanted to be quiet she would follow suit. Erin was very respectful of me during the entire process and i felt very relaxed with her. i don’t know about you, but calm and relaxed are not usual feelings when there is a stranger in my house and i’m half naked. …that makes it sound like it’s happened before…just me?

at 8 p.m. Erin excused herself again and allowed me some time to relax, get up and get changed. she explained to me that i may feel a bit sore the following day due to blood following to parts of the muscle that were previously not receiving it, suggested i drink some water and be more diligent on booking massages.

health span njoy lifein a flash Erin had packed up her table and my living room was back to normal.

this happy, relaxed, and knot-free girl dressed in her baggy sweat pants drank a few glasses of cucumber infused water, and curled up on the couch with a book. talk about an amazing Monday night!

i would recommend a Your Health Span in-home massage to anyone in Calgary, and the best part (besides the massage) is they can directly bill your health benefits company. to make an appointment, visit the Your Health Span website.


do you go for massages? have you ever tried one in-home?

thanks to Sweat Guru and Your Health Span for the evening of pampering.

Posted in Life | 5 Comments

right in the middle.

last monday i headed into the heart of Kensington (one of my favourite inner city neighbourhoods) to the one year anniversary party for Midtown Kitchen & Bar.

my lovely date for the night was my social media darling Kelsey, better known as @lubeyisms for those on twitter.

midtown anniversay

we had a pretty romantic night, which included catching up over a glass of champagne, delicious appetizers, and our posed engagement portrait.midtown kitchen

when i first moved to the city, the space was a Greek restaurant that i never thought was open; it was always empty. what a shame for such prime real estate in the eclectic little neighbourhood.

when it was recreated as Midtown Kitchen & Bar, my craft beer-loving coworkers turned me on to it and their pountine burger (it’s exactly what you think. poutine on a burger. talk about decadent, and no i haven’t tried it).

Kelsey_Laura

Midtown’s mission? eat local.

the food is created in house with ingredients by local producers – Alberta/BC – and seafood from the Canadian shores. to top it off they offer small batch craft produced wines, beers (like their featured Village cask that evening, infused with bacon vodka) and spirits.

Midtown Kitchen

i was pleasantly surprised by the space, the menu and the atmosphere. it would make a great date spot, since there is a nice mixture of elegant with their casual…plus, oysters.

Midtown Bar and Oysters

happy one-year anniversary, Midtown! here’s to many more.

-
what’s your favourite hidden gem restaurant in your town?

photos courtesy of Mike Bailey.

Posted in Life | 4 Comments