Crazy Fun Stuff

Teaching an old swan new tricks

Welcome to hell ladies,” he says in an Eastern European accent. I grimace as he presses down on my stiff upper back attempting to coax out an extra millimetre of flexibility. I’m finally ticking ballet class off my bucket list, but now I’m wondering what possessed me to do this.

This piece about my foray into adult ballet is a slightly edited version of the one published in the Canadian newspaper The Globe & Mail (Aug.19,2020). It’s a departure from my usual topics in this blog, but what’s usual these days? Hope you enjoy it.

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Categories: Crazy Fun Stuff | Tags: , , | 36 Comments

How I Mastered the Art of Bathing Nude in Public: Baden-Baden, Germany


Central pool at Friedrichsbad, Baden- Baden:

I’d been steamed, cleaned, brushed and creamed. My nakedness no longer fazed me as an attendant led me to a door for Step 16. He stopped, solemnly turned to me and put his index finger to his lips. What happened on the other side was the apex of an extraordinary experience.

This article was published in Canada’s The Globe and Mail newspaper. You can continue reading there, or keep going here. I have included photos in the blog post (not mine except for exterior photo) to help convey the grandeur of the place.  Continue reading

Categories: Crazy Fun Stuff, Germany | Tags: , , , | 52 Comments

WINE-der WOMAN at the Oliver Osoyoos Half Corked Marathon


Team Wine-der Woman running through the vineyards—C.Helbig

It’s my favourite weekend of the year! It’s filled with belly laughs, outrageous silliness and much wine consumption with great friends. This is our fourth year participating in the Oliver Osoyoos Half Corked Marathon, an annual event that takes place in the vineyards of British Columbia’s beautiful Okanagan Valley. Named the 2017 Canadian Event of the Year at the Canadian Tourism Awards, the “marathon” is an 18 km (11.2 mile) course that winds its way through bucolic countryside with more than a dozen wine tasting and food sampling stops along the way. There are no prizes for speed, only creativity. After being pushed off the podium last year, we were thrilled to reclaim first prize with our WINE-der WOMAN costume. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Canada, Crazy Fun Stuff, Places, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 22 Comments

The Festivities Continue at Vancouver’s Chinese Lantern Festival


Entrance arches at Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival—C.Helbig

January can be a bit of a letdown after the merriment of Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s celebrations. A few nights ago, I was thrilled to get another festive jolt at the Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival.  Lantern displays featuring everything from giant dragons to smiling trees light up the night sky at the Pacific National Coliseum (PNE) complex. The holidays have come and gone for many of us, but this festive event runs through January 21. The bonus: no holiday traffic, parking issues and crowds to contend with. Continue reading

Categories: British Columbia, Canada, Crazy Fun Stuff | Tags: , , , , | 28 Comments

Team “Make America Grape Again” at the Half Corked Marathon


One of our lovely team members modelling “the cap”—C.Helbig

A few weeks ago, six pals and I participated in one of our favourite events of the year: The Osoyoos-Oliver Half Corked Marathon in British Columbia’s beautiful Okanagan Valley. We pride ourselves on coming up with clever and current wine-related costumes for the 18 km walk/run through the vineyards. Some readers may remember us as The Real House Wines of Vancouver and The Walking Red. This year our good neighbours to the south provided the inspiration. We thank you. And, in Canadian fashion, offer up apologies if our mockathon antics cause any offence. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, Crazy Fun Stuff | Tags: , , , , , , | 22 Comments

The Walking Dead Mudders Get Dirty in Whistler, British Columbia


The Walking Dead Mudders nail the “I got your back” obstacle.

A few weekends ago, I was crawling through muddy pits, swinging from tires, and careening down a slide into an icy pool. Somehow I managed to convince four of my pals to join me in these antics at Mudderella in Whistler. They’re the best, and share my passion for donning crazy costumes and entering fun running events. We realized a long time ago we could never win on speed so we put our efforts into costume design. The Walking Dead Mudders were a hit, and unlike some of our pretty lululemon-clad competitors, our look just kept getting better the dirtier and more tattered we got.

Some of you may have heard about, or participated in Tough Mudder. Mudderella is an offshoot of this event, designed for women. It involves a 10 km muddy run through an obstacle course that challenges balance, strength, stamina, and mental fortitude. It’s not as hard core as Tough Mudder but it ain’t no girly event either. Fellas are allowed to participate provided they’re invited by a registered female participant. Continue reading

Categories: British Columbia, Crazy Fun Stuff | Tags: , , | 13 Comments

Zumba in Zihua Here I Come!

Zumba Vancouver and Mexican instructors at Zihua Zumbaton

Zumba Vancouver and Mexican instructors at Zihuaton Zumba

What possessed me to sign up for a Zumba trip to Zihuatanejo, Mexico with 28 virtual strangers? Perhaps it was the endorphin high that kicks in every time I take a class with Luglio—a handsome Costa Rican whose body moves with gorgeous fluidity. Maybe it was because even on a gloomy Vancouver day, a Zumba session transports me to a steamy nightclub in Havana.

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Categories: Crazy Fun Stuff | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

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