20 Years From Now...

"20 YEARS FROM NOW," Mark Twain said, “you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than the ones you did.”THIS online journal is dedicated to our next 20 years!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Bonavista, John Cabot & the Matthew Legacy

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.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Dildo, Cupids and Brigus

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

Clarke's Beach Housesit

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

St. John's, NL

Think St. John's and one immediately thinks of colourful jellybean row houses perched on steep hills rising up from the bay.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Ferryland, Cape Spear and Signal Hill, Nfld

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

Vieux Quebec

Our first visit to Quebec City took place twenty years ago and when we returned this week I had to wonder why it took so long to return!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Pelee Island

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

Vence, France: Part 2

Welcome to the final instalment of our time spent in the lovely medieval village of Vence, France.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Vence, France: Part 1

Tourists flock to Vence to visit Matisse's "masterpiece" the Chapelle du Rosaire, yet this medieval hilltop town has so much more to offer and worthy of a visit on its own accord. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Food, Glorious Food!

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

Matisse's Chapelle du Rosaire

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

Renoir Museum in Cagnes-sur-Mer

During our incredible 5-week housesit in Nice we were fortunate to be able to return to Cagnes-sur-Mer a second time to tour the Renoir Museum. 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Haut-de-Cagnes: Part 2

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

Marc Chagall Museum

The Marc Chagall Museum is a short walk from our port-side housesit in Nice, France. Dedicated to this Russian born Jewish artist, it was a must see while we were in the city.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Jean Cocteau Museums, Menton

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

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Villa Kerylos

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

Saint Paul de Vence

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

Five Weeks in Nice

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

Barcelona by Bus & Foot

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

Barcelona's La Pedrera

The high speed train from Cordoba to Nice stops in Barcelona and while we were on our way to Nice for a 5-week housesit we first spent three-nights in Barcelona the last week of March. 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

In & Around Cordoba

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.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Courtyards of Cordoba

Cordoba's hot, dry climate allowed its early inhabitants - first the Romans and later Muslims - to build homes with a centre courtyard that often included a fountain and well to collect rainwater. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Cordoba's Great Mezquita-Cathedral

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

Cordoba

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

Madrid: Palaces to Paintings

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

Intro to Madrid

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

Sintra's Pena Palace

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

5 Benefits of Travelling Light

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

A Weekend in Lisbon


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

Lisbon's National Tile Museum

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

A Return to Lisbon

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

Coral Castle

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

Key West

Key West is the most southerly location in the continental US and a 3.5 hour drive south of Miami.

Miami

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Wolfsonian Museum, South Beach

Finding the Wolfsonian Museum in South Beach is a snap. The exterior is about as bold, bright and brilliant as a building can get.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Miami Beach Botanical Gardens & Holocaust Memorial

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

South Beach, Miami Beach, Florida

The sand stretches for miles and miles here in southern Florida and it's easy to understand South Beach's worldwide appeal. Just look at that blue sky, sand and surf!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

South Beach = Art Deco

We're currently housesitting in Miami Beach home to its famed South Beach and beautiful art deco architecture.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Daytona Beach

After our Christmas housesit in The Villages, Florida we spent two weeks at Daytona Beach. And while it took me some time to convince John to pose for a selfie, the end result speaks volumes about how inept we are at this social media craze!

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Villages, FL Housesit

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.