When Italian explorer Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot) first spotted the North American coastline in 1497 he declared "O buono vista" and more than five centuries his statement holds firm. The town and area around Bonavista is glorious in every language.
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
It's no secret Newfoundland communities often have unique names and three we recently visited on the Avalon peninsula are Dildo, Cupids and Brigus.
Sunday, September 3, 2017
We'd dreamed of doing a Newfoundland housesit for a good many years and in late August it became a reality. We arrived in Clarke's Beach, a small community about one hours drive from "town" (which in Nfld means St. John's as it is consider the ONLY town) and were greeted with open arms by homeowners, Antje Springmann and Dennis Minty.
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Monday, August 28, 2017
The warm summer temperatures and brilliant sunshine during our four days in St. John's prompted us to hit the road on day one and see the coastal communities. Our first stop south was Ferryland. It was here in 1621 that George Calvert (aka Lord Baltimore) founded a permanent settlement. Prior to this it had been used as a station for migratory fishermen from France, Spain and Portugal.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Pelee Island had been on our list of places to visit for a number of years and as this is Canada's 150th birthday we decided to spend a week there June 10-17. Our rental cottage was basic, but adequate and its best feature was the huge deck overlooking Lake Erie.
Friday, July 14, 2017
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Saturday, July 8, 2017
One of the joys of travelling is sampling the food of each region and while we were in Europe this past winter and spring we did just that - in three countries: Portugal, Spain and France - and we began our culinary adventure as soon as our feet hit the ground in Lisbon.
|Ristorante Caffetteria Museu Nacional do Azulejo, Lisbon|
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
French artist Henri Matisse considered the Rosary Chapel in Vence the accomplishment of his life's work. "It demanded four years of exclusive and assiduous work," he said, "and it is the result of all my active life. Despite all of its imperfections, I see it as my masterpiece."
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Friday, June 30, 2017
As mentioned in Haut-de-Cagnes: Part 1 this is our favourite medieval village in France. The reasons are many, but the main being it continues to be a vibrant community. Ordinary people work and live here. They raise their families here. Haut-de-Cagnes (literal translation is the 'top of Cagnes') is not simply a tourist destination filled with art galleries, shops and restaurants - although it does have a few of each including one or two hotels.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Friday, June 23, 2017
Our five-week housesit in Nice, France allowed us ample time to explore the surrounding area. One day we took the #100 bus (sixty minutes each way) from Nice to Menton which is the last town on the French Riviera before the Italian border.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Villa Kerylos is perched above the Mediterranean in Beaulieu-sur-Mer. Its design is based on a traditional Greek-style home and built in the early 1900s by French archaeologist Theodore Reinach when a hunger for all things Greek was the rage.
Thursday, May 25, 2017
The medieval hilltop town of Saint Paul de Vence is a short, economical bus ride from Nice. For 3 euros per person (round trip) the #400 bus leaves from the Albert 1er bus stop and takes approximately 55 minutes before arriving in Saint Paul.
Monday, May 22, 2017
Housesitting has broadened and enhanced our lives exponentially. We've made lifelong friends and taken care of an array of adorable pets while travelling slow and living like a local in a great many places the average traveller either bypasses altogether or zips through at the speed of light.
Saturday, May 20, 2017
While we were in Barcelona we took the Hop on, Hop off City Bus tour. There are two companies that provide this service, but we opted for the Official Barcelona City Tour as it offers both an eastern and western route that can be done on the same day for a single price.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Saturday, May 6, 2017
Cordoba is one of the most fascinating cities we've visited. Combine its vibrant Spanish zest for life with its diverse culture and there is a lot to love about this place.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Monday, April 24, 2017
The Mezquita-Cathedral of Cordoba is an architectural, religious and historic wonder. It has been used for thousands of years by peoples from various cultures and religious beliefs and today combines a unique Muslim/Christian blend that is visually stunning.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
On Monday, March 20, 2017 we arrived in Cordoba for a weeklong stay. Within seven or eight minutes of hailing a cab from the train station we reached our destination on Calle (Street) Blanco Belmont, but neither the driver nor us could find the number of our Airbnb flat. I made a quick phone call to our host, Juan, who came to meet us and once we saw the narrow staircase leading up to the flat (far right below) we no longer felt like complete tourists for not finding our way - especially as the cabbie had difficulty as well.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
While we were in Madrid we toured the largest palace in Europe - the Royal Palace. It was an easy walk from our flat on Calle Major and the audio guide (viewed on a Samsung tablet) provided close up shots of each specific item and that additional technical perk really enhanced our visit.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
The week of March 13-19, 2017 we explored Madrid, beginning with our home base a lovely Airbnb flat completely renovated with all the mod cons. Although it was located downtown, on a main street and was literally steps away from the Plaza Mayor, there was not a sound once we stepped inside. Sheer bliss!
Thursday, April 6, 2017
While we were in Lisbon we ventured outside of the city to tour Sintra's Pena Palace. This fairyland palace with it's gorgeous exterior, spectacular mountain-top views and sumptuous interior is one of the most spectacular we've ever visited.
Sunday, April 2, 2017
No doubt you've seen those frazzled people at the airport huffing and puffing as they push a luggage cart piled high with suitcases - so many in fact they can barely see where they're going. Not only do they have to spend precious time lining up to check in all their earthly belongings, but they'll likely have to pay extra for the privilege. Once upon a time we were those frantic travellers. Now, we travel with carry-on luggage only.* Not only does it make travelling simpler, it saves money and reduces stress.
|John's bag on the left. Dianne's on the right.|
Sunday, March 26, 2017
During our first visit to Lisbon we bypassed the Santa Justa lift almost daily, but did not venture upward to the viewing platform. This month we stood in line for 30 minutes on Saturday, March 11/17 to ride the elevator - and are so glad we did.
Friday, March 24, 2017
Our first visit to Portugal in 2015 introduced us to the beautiful tiles that adorn so many of this nation's buildings. When we arrived back in Lisbon this month our first destination was the Museu Nacional do Azulejo (National Tile Museum).
Monday, March 20, 2017
We knew from our initial (and all too short) visit last year that we wanted to spend more time in Lisbon and earlier this month we did just that. Flying from Boston to Lisbon via TAP Portugal was an easy and enjoyable five-hour flight. We arrived at 7:15 in the morning and by 9:00 am had settled into our cozy Airbnb flat.
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Both John and I had read years ago about Edward Leedskainin and his ability to singlehandedly move huge stones. A small man who weighed in at around 100 pounds moved Stonehenge size rocks and the end result of his 28-years labour is Rock Gate House, later renamed Coral Castle.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Monday, February 13, 2017
Nestled in a northeasterly corner of the city is the Miami Beach Botanical Garden. A surprisingly small, 2.5-acre paradise, it is home to tropical plants, trees, shrubs and more importantly a much needed serene, quiet, green space in a bustling urban area.
Friday, February 10, 2017
Saturday, February 4, 2017
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Sunday, January 22, 2017
Monday, January 9, 2017
We've just completed a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable two-week house and pet sit in sunny Florida. The Villages is a retirement community of 157,000 and dubbed the only place in the world where residents can play complimentary golf for the rest of their lives. With 30 courses in all there are no worries when it comes to booking a tee time.