Our memories of 2018 includes friends (both new and old), family, travel and housesitting in the UK, Spain and France as well as a change of scenery as both ourselves and our daughter and son-in-law purchased new homes this year. While we're not ready to sell our Elliot Lake property just yet, John and I are grateful for the opportunity to explore the nation's capital this winter at our leisure while we hibernate in our 1-bedroom condo.
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!
Monday, 31 December 2018
Wednesday, 14 November 2018
Rain, Sleet and Snow - OH NO!
The temperatures have dropped considerably since mid October and we've endured rain, sleet and snow - often all within the same day! While driving from Elliot Lake to Ottawa at the end of last month we experienced our first snowfall of the season. Thankfully, by the time we reached Mattawa most of it had melted, but there was still a layer on the top of the picnic table.
Sunday, 21 October 2018
From a visual standpoint, autumn in northern Ontario is spectacular and while we were concerned 2018 may not fare as well colour wise as previous years (due to this summer's drought) our worries proved to be unfounded.
Friday, 28 September 2018
Ferry, Friends & Fall
September has come and (almost) gone which is a shame because it's our favourite month of the year here in northern Ontario. The temperature is moderate, there are virtually no bugs and the vibrant fall colours are a spectacle that continue to amaze. Add friends, another Chi-Cheemaun ferry ride from South Baymouth to Tobermory and a second successful cataract eye surgery to the mix and what's not to love?
|Lake Huron from Fred & Maxine's deck|
Friday, 10 August 2018
Chi-Cheemaun, Cataracts & Coons
My primary goal this summer was to keep the calendar clear to accommodate my cataract surgery and once the dates were set the next item on the agenda was to ensure we arrived at the hospital in southern Ontario on schedule. (My right eye surgery was a week ago on August 3.) The forest fires, especially the Parry Sound 33 fire, were worrisome so we opted to take the Chi-Cheemaun ferry from South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island to Tobermory.
Tuesday, 31 July 2018
Storms, Fires, Friends & Family
The old adage that time flies is proving correct this summer. In the six weeks that have passed since my last post we've been busy, busy, busy and it's been hot, hot, hot.
Tuesday, 19 June 2018
HOME Four Weeks
We've been home a little more than one month and it's been an enjoyable albeit busy four weeks. We've reconnected with a good many friends and family and settled back into a routine that for a change does not require a backpack! Even the gazebo is up, making the backyard a lovely outdoor space without the bugs.
Friday, 25 May 2018
After completing our Nice housesit we flew to Gatwick and before our return to Canada on May 13th we took the Thameslink southbound train to visit Brighton.
Thursday, 10 May 2018
Last year when we visited Menton, France and Ventimiglio, Italy we travelled through Monaco, but did not set foot on terra firma of this postcard-size country. For that reason I did not feel comfortable mentioning or claiming it as a country we've visited, but as of this week that's all changed. Monaco is officially #27 on our list.
Wednesday, 9 May 2018
Vence & Cagnes-sur-Mer
Two easy to reach destinations by public transportation from Nice include Vence: a hilltop medieval village and Cagnes-sur-Mer: a lovely town on the Mediterranean where the French painter, Auguste Renoir, lived and painted during his final years.
Sunday, 6 May 2018
Thursday, 3 May 2018
Grimaldi Castle Museum
Last year when we visited Haut-de-Cagnes the Grimaldi Castle Museum was closed so this week we returned, making certain beforehand to take note of its opening hours!
Tuesday, 1 May 2018
Ships at the Port, Nice, FR
Saturday, 28 April 2018
Charles Negre Photography Museum
During the first week of our housesit in Nice we visited the Photography Museum conveniently situated alongside the Flower Market on Cours Saleya.
Friday, 27 April 2018
Back in Nice with Petra & "the Girls"
The past week has flown by. We arrived in Nice the evening of April 17, reconnected with homeowners Katherine and Paul on the 18th and officially began our housesit with Petra and "the girls" the following day. It's hard to believe today marks the end of the first of our three weeks here, but oh, what a week it's been!
Thursday, 26 April 2018
Paris to Nice Via SNCF Train
Mid day on Tuesday, April 17 we took a city bus from our Airbnb flat to the Gare de Lyon to catch the 14:11 train that would take us to Nice.
Tuesday, 24 April 2018
Our final day in Paris we toured the Louvre the world's largest and most visited museum. It receives 15,000 visitors per day, 70% of whom are foreign tourists.
Monday, 23 April 2018
Paris Landmarks by Foot & Via BigBus Tours
Day five in Paris we took the BigBus red and blue line tours and much to our surprise spent about four hours total on both buses. It was certainly a good value (tickets cost €36.00/person) and the audio commentary provided just enough facts to provide some history and insight without being overwhelming.
Saturday, 21 April 2018
After touring Saint Chapelle on day four of our stay in Paris we strolled a few streets further to see Notre Dame.
Wednesday, 18 April 2018
Our fourth day in Paris we walked from our flat on the left bank to Île de la Cité one of two remaining natural islands in the Seine within the city of Paris. It is here where the medieval city was founded and home to Saint Chapelle.
Tuesday, 17 April 2018
Musee de l'Orangerie
The Musee de l'Orangerie is situated on the right bank and surrounded by the Tuileries Gardens.
Monday, 16 April 2018
Eiffel Tower & the Jules Verne Restaurant
It goes without saying that the Eiffel Tower is on everyone's list while visiting Paris. We had no idea of the many options available to us, but upon learning one can dine in a Michelin restaurant on the second level AND it includes a private elevator ride we booked a table two full months in advance of our arrival.
Sunday, 15 April 2018
The Musee d'Orsay is housed in the former Orsay railway station that was built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900.
Wednesday, 11 April 2018
London to Paris on the Chunnel
We arrived in Paris via Eurostar train 6022 from London on Tuesday afternoon - just one day later than originally planned so while the rotating French rail and air strike did affect us, it wasn't all that traumatic. One might even say it added to the story of our latest adventure.
Monday, 9 April 2018
London's Guildhall Art Gallery
Travel itineraries are rarely carved in stone and today is a perfect example of that. Since early January we've had tickets for the Eurostar (chunnel train) from London St. Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord. Due to the rotating French rail and air strikes that began last week and continue through June, however, our train was cancelled. So, what's a couple to do? Re-book and make the best of it, of course, and this morning John suggested we visit the Guildhall Art Gallery.
Saturday, 7 April 2018
We first housesat for homeowners Lisa-Jane and John in April 2015 and when the opportunity arose for us to spend additional time in Winchester with Poppy we happily packed our bags. Sadly, today is our final day with this lovely girl, but we're SO grateful for our time with her.
Tuesday, 3 April 2018
January 2016 we spent a week in Oxford and enjoyed it so much we hoped one day to return. Seeing as we had a few free days between our Marlow and Winchester housesits and Oxford was within an hour's train ride we made good on that goal and stayed three nights last week in the Malmaison - a former prison turned hotel.
Sunday, 1 April 2018
We spent ten days in mid-March in Marlow, Buckinghamshire with Jasper, Mew and Purr. These three adorable fur babies belong to Claire and David whom we had the pleasure of meeting four years ago during our first UK housesit.
Tuesday, 20 March 2018
Memories of Malaga
After spending 18 nights in Malaga we returned to the UK with wonderful memories that will remain with us for the rest of our lives. Memories like busy, narrow streets and picturesque alleyways.
|Calle Fresca, Malaga|
Sunday, 18 March 2018
Malaga Crystal and Glass Museum
Visiting the Crystal and Glass Museum was a last minute decision on our final day in Malaga and all things considered it was one of the most interesting, perhaps even quirky, venues in the city.
Saturday, 17 March 2018
The Pompidou Centre, on the Malaga harbour front, is a branch of the Paris contemporary art museum of the same name and features a colourful glass cube entrance.
Friday, 16 March 2018
Santa María de la Victoria Basilica: Crypt & Heavenly Tower
Sometimes one discovers a gem quite by accident and such is the case of the rather drab exterior of the Santa Maria de la Victoria Basilica.
Thursday, 15 March 2018
The Bishop's Palace features a baroque red and yellow exterior and is on the north side of Plaza de Obispo. Built in the 16th to 18th centuries it is a series of buildings that take up the entire block.
Tuesday, 13 March 2018
Castillo de Gibralfaro
The Castillo de Gibralfaro sits atop Malaga on a hill named from the Arabic word Yabal meaning mountain and the Greek word Faruk meaning lighthouse and this combination explains why this site was chosen as a coastal vantage point.
Monday, 12 March 2018
Our first glimpse of historic Malaga was its catholic cathedral on the evening of our arrival as it shimmered in glorious light and shadows.
Sunday, 11 March 2018
Malaga Centre of Contemporary Art
Present day artists and their creations can be a mixed bag of tricks, but we were pleasantly surprised by what we found within Malaga's Centre of Contemporary Art.
Saturday, 10 March 2018
Museum of Malaga
The Malaga Museum, housed in the Palace de la Aduana, features the Museum of Fine Art on the first floor and Archaeological Museum on the second.
Monday, 5 March 2018
Pheonicians, Picasso & Plazas
Sunday was cool and sunny and like the locals we headed to a nearby plaza for a couple of relaxing hours to soak up a few rays and savour a glass of wine out of doors.
Saturday, 3 March 2018
Carmen Thyssen Museum - Malaga
We're SO grateful to not have any of the snow that is plaguing the rest of Europe, but we haven't gotten off scot-free either. Yesterday was our third day of rain in Malaga and it's torrential. Umbrellas held high we cued outside the Carmen Thyssen Museum and as I was not about to take a photo in the pouring rain the photo of the exterior of the museum below is courtesy of Google!
Thursday, 1 March 2018
Port of Malaga
Tuesday was warm and sunny and we headed to the port which is a short walk south of our flat and seeing as Malaga is on the cruise ship circuit the city has done a fantastic job of creating an inviting and welcoming first impression.
Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Our second day in Malaga we strolled east past the cathedral to the Alcazaba - a short 6 minute walk from our flat - and as it was such a glorious day we decided to explore its interior.
Tuesday, 27 February 2018
Sunday Stroll in Malaga
Monday, 26 February 2018
First Night in Malaga
We flew from London Gatwick to Malaga, Spain on February 24 and arrived at our Airbnb location in the centre of town around 7:00 PM. We knew we were in the right place as the Iglesia del Sagraria Cathedral looms above the Plaza del Obispo.
Friday, 23 February 2018
Royal Tunbridge Wells
Sunday, 4 February 2018
After ten incredible house and pet sitting days in Guernsey we flew back to London (Gatwick) via Aurigny Airlines this morning.
Friday, 2 February 2018
Guernsey's Little Chapel
Thursday, 1 February 2018
Churchill War Rooms
On our final day in London we visited the Churchill War Rooms. The war rooms became operational on August 27, 1939 just a week before Britain declared war on Germany and closed six years later on August 16, 1945.
Wednesday, 31 January 2018
Tower of London
In the late 1970s when John and I first visited England we toured the Tower of London. We've returned to the city many times since and until this year never considered a repeat performance. John, however, suggested we do it this time around and I am so glad he did. Like so many things (us, wine, to name a few) the tower exhibits have improved (and expanded) with age.
Tuesday, 30 January 2018
Day two of our London stopover was a cold, snowy, rainy day so we headed to the Tate Britain.
Monday, 29 January 2018
William Morris Gallery
Upon completion of our housesit in Attleborough we headed to London where we spent four incredible days. Our first stop on Saturday was the William Morris Gallery housed in the building where Morris lived as a teenager.
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