Category Archives: Travel

A Book Takes Me Back To Rome

I was reminded of this photo as I read From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon. Harmon tells the story of the Nazi occupation of Italy. One of the events described in the book happened on my birthday October 16, just ten years before I was born. Two thousand of the Jews living in Rome were rounded up and taken to Auschwitz. Only a hundred of them would survive the war. We did a Jewish history tour of Rome when we visited in 2010 and Dave took my picture at a sign just outside the Jewish ghetto commemorating the deportation of the Jews to Auschwitz.   The positive side of this story was that some four thousand Jews were not taken that October day in 1943 because they were hidden in various Catholic institutions in Rome. That is exactly what happens to Eva the main character in From Sand and Ash who is sheltered in a convent. Many other places we toured were featured in the novel. It was interesting to revisit our ten days in Rome as I read the book. 

Other recent posts about books…….

A Novel So Long It Took Us Through Eight States

Her Worship

No Lesson Required

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Filed under Books, Italy

During This Past Week

golf with Paul and ShirleyDuring this past week in 2012 I wrote about the four different golf courses we had been to in Phoenix with Dave’s brother Paul and our sister-in-law Shirley.

The bell outside the school we taught at on the Hopi Indian Reservation in Arizona.

The bell outside the school we taught at on the Hopi Indian Reservation in Arizona.

I also wrote about going to visit the Hopi Mission School where we used to be teachers. 

uncle and nieceDuring this past week in 2013 I wrote about going out to dinner with my Uncle Herb who was holidaying in Phoenix. golf teamI also wrote about a golf reunion with Dave’s Manitoba golfing buddies and their wives at the Arizona home we had rented in Gold Canyon. 

making chinese dumplingsDuring this past week in 2014 I wrote about making Chinese dumplings in Florida at the home of our friends Jeff and Anna.

Dave gets suited up in the dive shop.

Dave gets suited up in the dive shop for our manatee swim. 

I also wrote about going swimming with manatees in Crystal River on a trip Jeff had arranged for us. 

at the handlebarDuring this past week in 2015 I wrote about a fun night at our favorite Phoenix restaurant with friends. dave and marylou at the grand canyonI also wrote about our visit to the Grand Canyon.  

waterfall-spaDuring this past week in 2016 I wrote about going swimming in a waterfall pool in Costa Rica. dave bamboo pole vaultI also wrote about a musical walk we took in a bamboo forest there. 

You’ve already read on my blog what we have been up to this past week here in Arizona. I wonder what I will be writing about next year at this time. 



Filed under Reflections, Travel

Stop! I Want to Take a Picture

“Stop! I want to take a picture.”

I knew before I said it he wouldn’t stop. When my husband Dave is driving somewhere he is very focused and committed. Slowing down for photo ops on our journey south to Arizona wasn’t part of his travel plan.  windmillsSave for a few photos like this snapped through the car’s front window the memorable things I saw on our journey have to be described in words not pictures.

In North Dakota I spot dozens of solitary hawks perched on fence posts, in trees and on hydro poles.

A hundred miles or so past Fargo dozens of deer dot farmers’ fields. They are grazing on the stubble sticking out of the snow.

In North Dakota a giant statue of a bison is perched atop a hill.

It says TRUMP 2016 on a crude red and blue plywood sign resting against a rusty barrel on the litter filled front yard of a house trailer in South Dakota.

Near Rapid City an antique fire engine is parked in front of a huge billboard advertising The Firehouse Brewery

On the Rosebud Indian Reservation we pass an abandoned schoolhouse with rotting grey shingles its roof caved in over its sagging front porch.

As dawn breaks just outside Sterling Colorado a man is out feeding flocks of Canada geese on a thinly frozen pond.

In Nebraska a road sign features a row of tiny American flags marching along its top edge. The sign informs us we are driving down a highway dedicated to American Veterans of Foreign Wars.

A bare tree with ten wild turkeys in its branches graces the middle of a huge corral full of livestock in Colorado.

rockiesNot far from Denver the snow capped Rockies edge the horizon.

In the middle of nowhere a sign invites us to stop and shop at the Soldier Woman’s Art Gallery and Gift Shop.

As we cross into New Mexico there are lots of signs to watch for bear and elk.

Driving through New Mexico we pass at least a half a dozen other cars with Manitoba license plates. Are they all going to Arizona?

In Albuquerque neon signs tell us we are on the famed Route 66.

On the road between Show Low and Globe Arizona lots of rocks and boulders have fallen down onto the road. Will we hit one?

I spot the first saguaro cactus as we near Phoenix.

Other posts…………

On the Road

We Placed our Lives in His Hands

Radio on the Road


Filed under Arizona, Travel

Queen of Katwe and A Tour in Delhi

Dave and I saw Queen of Katwe this week.  The movie tells the true story of a girl from the slums of Kampala who becomes a chess champion.  The film connected with us because it was directed by Mira Nair. Although Queen of Katwe takes places in Uganda where Ms. Nair has lived for decades, her first movies were set in India where the accomplished film maker was born and educated in the city of Delhi. After her initial movie successes in the 1980s Mira Nair established the Salaam Baalak Trust a charitable organization that now provides food, clothing, education and health care to more than 8,500 street children a year at 25 centers throughout the city of  Delhi. canadian visitor with children at salaam barakk trust dehliWhen we visited Delhi we were able to take a tour of one of the centres and be guided through its neighbourhood by a graduate of the Salaam Baalak Trust to learn what life is like for the 50,000 children who call the streets and train stations of Delhi home. 

At the movie theatre on Tuesday night the film Queen of Katwe gave us a glimpse into life for children on the streets of Kampala,Uganda. On our trip to India we were given a glimpse into life for children on the streets of Delhi, both courtesy of Mira Nair. She has used her profession to raise people’s awareness about the needs of children living in poverty around the world, and to strike a note of hope that they can have a better future. 

Other posts……..

Children on the Streets of Delhi

India Inspiration

Love in a Lunchbox




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Filed under India, Movies

Globe Trotting Vicariously

globetrotter puzzleI got this great puzzle as a Christmas gift from my thoughtful friend Debbie. She knows how much I like to travel and so she picked out the perfect puzzle for me.  It was only two weeks ago that my calendar was free enough to devote time to the puzzle since I’m obsessive once I get started and tend to neglect other duties. Also I needed a block of time when we weren’t entertaining guests so I could let the puzzle take over my dining room table.  And now it’s finished, save for ONE piece I can’t find.  I’m sure it will turn up somewhere. 

puzzleI’ve already been to twenty-six of the forty- two places in the puzzle.  I still have plenty of globe-trotting left to do!

Other posts…….

Travel ABC

Puzzling Tradition

The T-4s Puzzle


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India, Peacemaking and Hospital Life

golden son

I just finished reading The Golden Son by Shilpi Somaya Gowda . Although the plot of the book is a bit predictable and formulaic I enjoyed it throughly because I learned so much about India, the inner workings of a large American hospital, and the art of diplomacy.  

The main character is a man named Anil.  I  have a friend Anil who was born in India so that was a personal connection to the book for me.  Shilpi Gowda tells Anil’s story as well as that of his childhood friend Leena. In doing so Gowda teaches us much about the customs, traditions, gender role expectations and the influence of caste in India.  

A good part of the story takes place in Dallas, Texas as Anil carries out a residency in an inner city hospital there.  We learn about the daily life inside that hospital as Anil moves from area to area; in particular we learn about cardiology, oncology and emergency care. 

How will Anil handle the freedom  life in America offers him? How will he handle the discrimination he faces there because he is from a minority group?  How will he balance the opportunities offered him in America with the responsibilities he still has towards his family in India?  How will he explain some of his life style choices to his very traditional mother? 

Most interesting to me was Anil’s role as a community diplomat, a role he takes on after the death of his father.  Everyone in the neighborhood is used to coming to Anil’s father to help them settle disputes whether it be marital discord or property conflicts. Anil is expected to continue doing that work on his trips home to India and via the phone while he is in Dallas.  I found it intriguing to watch as Anil develops his diplomacy skills and learns to apply some of the lessons learned to his own life. 

You may have read Shilpi Gowda’s first novel The Secret Daughter.  The Golden Son will no doubt be as popular largely because of the interesting subject matter it addresses. 

Other posts………

Beggars Everywhere

A Different Kind of Snow Angel

Meeting the Street Children of Delhi


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Filed under Books, India

O Canada

On Canada Day I thought I’d celebrate the fun I’ve had in so many different places in this great country. 

with dave in st. john new brunswickAttending the national fastball championships in St. John, New Brunswick with my husband who was on the Manitoba team.

dressing up at the museum in quebec cityDressing up in the musee place de royale in Quebec City, Quebec.

family ski trip to banffSkiing with my family in Banff, Alberta. 


Skating on the Red River in Winnipeg, Manitoba. 

joel and marylou on trainHaving dinner and seeing a show at the Station Arts House in Rosthern, Saskatchewan. lucy maude montgomery house

Visiting Lucy Maude Montgomery’s house in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island. royal ontario museum

Checking out interesting artifacts at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Ontario. 

eating lobster in nova scotiaEating lobster in Halifax, Nova Scotia. kayaking tripGoing on a week long kayaking whale watching trip in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of British Columbia

The only province I haven’t had fun in yet is Newfoundland.  And it’s on my bucket list!

Happy Canada Day!

Other posts……..

Biking in Toronto

Celebrating my Birthday in Quebec City

Skating on the Red River


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Filed under Canada, Travel