Tag Archives: travel

Friday flashback – Brigus


My mom grew up in Brigus, a beautiful little fishing village in Newfoundland.

As a smart Catholic girl in Brigus, Mom’s career options were nurse or nun. She choose nursing school and started dating boys stationed at the Royal Canadian Air Force base in nearby Torbay. That’s how she met my dad (originally from the big city of Montreal).

Long story short… they married, settled in Nova Scotia, and had two daughters. Thus the origin of our annual pilgrimages to Brigus.


Legend has it that when my sister was a baby she made her first trip  nestled in a laundry basket in the backseat of the old yellow Volkswagen Beetle. Ahhh, 1971… no five-point harnesses back in those days! Continue reading

What was I thinking?

Laughing Men, sculpture by Yue Minjun, Today Art Museum, Beijing

Laughing Men sculpture by Yue Minjun, Today Art Museum, Beijing

When The Husband and I were in Italy, we did a walking tour of Florence that included the major churches and museums. It was a jam-packed day with only a short break for lunch.

The tour ended with us at the Uffizi and, after being shown the “must-sees”, we still had some time before closing. Even though our feet were throbbing and our brains were mush, we decided to stick around to quickly go through the areas that weren’t part of the tour itinerary.

When I reach a certain point of extreme fatigue, I start to look like the guys in the sculpture above. I get silly. I think it’s a survival instinct that kicks in to delay the next stage of my fatigue, which is a rage that might result in me looking for a place to dispose of a body. (FYI, I would have dumped it in the Arno.) Continue reading

Camping in Kejimkujik

My three boys have just driven away to go camping in Keji. I couldn’t go due to work commitments.


Kejimkujik National Park is where I grew up camping with my family and where The Husband and I developed our backcountry skills. We fell in love with long hikes and heavy packs and took on much bigger challenges.

Continue reading

Two roads diverge…

Maitre D' from Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

Maitre D’ from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

14 years ago, on August 13th, my sister, brother-in-law and I were very late for a wedding… Continue reading

Roman Holiday

Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday (1953)

Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck
in Roman Holiday (1953)

It’s been a while since we returned from Italy but I have yet to tell you about our last stop. As with Venice and Florence, this Rome experience was very different from my original trip in 2000. Thirteen years ago was very rushed and I was exhausted by the thought of all the things that needed to be seen. For this trip, we planned to spend the largest chunk of our time in Rome and we had only pre-booked a few excursions.

I won’t get into all of the details, because there are just too many details. Instead, I want to tell you about two specific tours that we did. They were fantastic! Continue reading

Questions about my past…

From the obscure references I’ve made here and here, people have guessed that I was either a flight attendant or a hired assassin in my previous life. It was not my intention to be cryptic, I just didn’t want to distract from what the posts were really about.

Before I retired at the end of 2000, I was a professional tennis chair umpire.

In case you are not overly familiar with tennis, this is what I did:

A John McEnroe tirade of yore.

A John McEnroe tirade of yore.

This is, of course, not me in the chair. Continue reading

Ephemeral and eternal

Frescos, ceilings, tapestries, mosaics, sculptures… there are just too many beautiful things in Rome to name.

One image, however, has stayed with me the strongest. Petals and stone.

poppies in ruins
Continue reading

1st to 3rd – Florence’s ranking plummets!

You already know that I travelled through Italy thirteen years ago. On that trip, the order in which we visited the major cities was Venice, Rome and finally Florence. Back then, Florence was my favourite city by a landslide. This year it took a huge hit in the ratings and landed squarely in third.

Looking back, I can clearly see why Florence2000 scored so high with the judge (me) and yet faired so poorly on this trip. As with Venice, time and circumstance have altered my perspective. Continue reading

Venice after the flood (of tourists)

The majority of travel guides recommend that you stay in a hotel outside of Venice and only travel in for day trips. This is because Venice is very expensive.

Venice is expensive, no question, but that’s because it is a group of islands where all services and deliveries are via boats and tourism is the main source of income. However, it is due to these very reasons that I’m giving you the exact opposite advice. Stay in Venice.

You see, I finally discovered the thing that makes the city so special – people love Venice because of its Venice-ness. Continue reading

Tin anyone?

I have never understood how the “traditional” wedding anniversary gifts were originally designated. Why paper for the first and wood for the fifth? I mean, you need wood to make paper… you’d think the order would be reversed, right?

Yesterday was our 10th wedding anniversary and to mark the occasion we went for sushi. Then, so we’d be out late enough for my Dad to get the boys to bed, we wandered the neighbourhood and into our local bike shop. We bought new helmets for each other. They are not made of tin. Continue reading