Category Archives: Travel

What’s In Your Carry On?

A regular feature in the Air Canada magazine Enroute is called What’s in Your Carry On? They ask a passenger what they have in their carry on and then take a picture of ten items from their carry on baggage and ask the passenger to describe them.  I decided the exercise might be fun.  So here are ten things that were in my carry on when I flew to Saskatoon on the weekend. 

ten items

Here are the descriptions of my items from top left to bottom right

Ragged Company– I am madly trying to get this Richard Wagamese book done before I attend my first book club meeting at a Winnipeg library.

Sketching Pad and pencils– I am trying to draw everyday and my older grandson loves to go through my sketch book when we get together to see what I’ve drawn and then add a few sketches of his own to its pages. 

Passport- a must for air travel these days

Go Fish Game- I taught my six year old grandson how to play Go Fish the last time we visited and he really liked it so I brought it along for us to play

Hat and sunglasses- The weather prediction for Saturday and Sunday in Saskatoon was in the mid twenties and since my son’s family likes to spend lots of time outside I wanted to be prepared. 

Birthday Gift- our younger grandson was turning two. I made him a personalized song book and my husband got him a Jets T-shirt. 

Maze Book– My older grandson likes mazes so I brought a book of them for us to do together. 

Day Planner- I never go anywhere without this.  I know I should probably keep track of my life electronically but I’m still not comfortable with that and need a planner where I can make monthly and daily plans for my life as well as have space for notes and ideas. 

Andy and the Lion-  Both my grandsons enjoy this story so I usually bring it along when I am going to see them. 

Other posts……….

A Start to our Trip That Was A Little Too Exciting

Real and Messy and Honest

Plumb Tuckered Out in Lisbon


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Great Times During A Cold and Rainy Week

Our friends John and Velma were here for one week. According to the Algarve locals it was probably the coldest, wettest March week in recent history.  The sun usually shone for at least a few hours everyday and we made the most of those hours.  I will admit all the rain and wind and cold put a bit of a damper on our holiday plans, but we still managed to have lots of good times. Pottery shopping in SagresSavoring the great food at an Indian restaurant in Praia da LuzChecking out the most southwestern point of Portugal at St. Vincent’s Lighthouse

Wine tasting in Silves

Photographing the sailboat fountain on the outskirts of Lagos, something I have wanted to do ever since we arrived six weeks ago. Discovering the shoreline village of CarrapateiraEnjoying the soft sand and cool waters on the beautiful Praia de Bordeira Taking time for a happy hour at 4:00 everyday that included gin and tonics, appetizers and a round of euchre. The guys usually won the euchre matches but on Sunday night Velma and I managed to turn the tables. Browsing in a flea market in Lagos. Dave bought some fresh figs for us to share. 
Appreciating a marvelous meal at the Bistrot Gulli in Aljezur.  I had pumpkin ravioli stuffed with goat cheese and served with a creamy fig sauce.  So good!

Hiking down to the Ponta de Piedade
Smelling the pepper corns on a pepper treeSeeing the view from atop the bell tower on the cathedral in Faro on a very cold blustery day

Hiking to Lagos on another cold blustery dayHaving supper in Lagos with Dave’s brother Paul, his wife Shirley and their friend Ken. Paul and Dave and John are cousins but before the end of the evening John who loves genealogy had explained ways everyone at the table was related to each other with a variety of Mennonite family connections.

Posing in some great scenery in SagresHaving a delicious lunch in a local restaurant in the village of SalirVisiting the fort at Sagres

Listening to the waves roar on a cold and windy hike at CavoireExploring the village of Burgau after hiking there from our homeEnjoying a Chinese dinner in Praia da Luz on our last night there

Riding a tram across the Tigris River in Lisbon.  

We spent an afternoon in Lisbon before John and Velma went to the airport to fly home to Winnipeg and we headed off to spend some time in the Alentejo area of Portugal. 

Despite the bad weather we had a good week with John and Velma that included great conversations and lots of laughter. 

Other posts……..

Up and Down With the Browns

A Family Affair That Started With Excitement

Small Wonders


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Filed under Portugal, Travel

Dave the Navigator Meets Henry the Navigator

A Portuguese waiter helps Dave locate the nearest bus stop on Google Maps

Visiting the Maritime Museum in Lisbon to learn more about Henry the Navigator was high on the priority list for my husband.  Dave is definitely the navigator in our family. I am incredibly geographically challenged and so it is Dave who navigates as we explore new cities, hike new trails, go on bicycle trips along new routes and travel to new destinations. Although in the past he was prone to think electronic navigation supports were just made for people who were ‘geographically stupid’,  I have noticed on this trip he is using the Google Maps app on his phone quite a bit more.  He is realizing there might be new ways of navigating. 

Dave the Navigator with Henry the Navigator

And that’s exactly what happened with Henry the Navigator (1934-1460), the Portuguese prince who supported new methods of navigation and map making that launched the Age of Discovery. This led to Europeans discovering the world was a much bigger place than they had ever imagined. 

Henry surrounded by the cartographers, astronomers and explorers he employed

At the Maritime Museum we learned  how Henry was geographically curious and employed the best cartographers, astronomers and sea pilots of his time.

Dave checks out a map showing the voyages of discovery made by Portuguese explorers

Henry financially sponsored many voyages.  

Dave hanging out with Vasco Da Gama

Henry laid the groundwork for the future successes of famous Portuguese explorers like Vasco da Gama who discovered a sea route to India and Ferdinand Magellan who organized the expedition that led to the first circumnavigation of the globe. 

We spent a couple of hours at the Maritime Museum in Lisbon as both Dave the Navigator and I learned about Henry the Navigator and how his interest in exploration and geography ended up changing the world. 

Other posts……..

56 Kilometers Under Our Tires

The Doctrine of Discovery

Getting to Know John Cabot



Filed under Portugal, Travel

Packing From The Feet Up

empty suitcasesI’ve started packing for our trip to Portugal.  Whenever I am preparing for a journey words of advice from my mother come to mind.  During my childhood when Mom was teaching me how to do my own packing for family vacations or school trips she explained the ‘packing from the feet up’ technique.  Mom said I should start at my feet and think of everything I would need for them on my trip- shoes, sandals, runners, socks and perhaps a toenail clipper. She told me to move up my body section by section like that all the way to my head.  Did I have shampoo, conditioner, my brush, my pink foam curlers,bobby pins,hats, combs, bandannas and hair clips? 

I still pack using that ‘start from the feet up’ technique and it works! Thanks Mom!

Other posts…………

Technology Transforms Travel

Am I a Peripatetic?

Globe Trotting Vicariously

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Looking Back

We will be leaving on an extended trip to Portugal in a couple of weeks.  I’m looking forward to that. We have spent several months out of Canada ever since moving back here from Hong Kong in 2011.

dave at polynesian cultural centreIn 2012 we went to Hawaii.
lunch-in-the-phoenix-botanical-gardenIn 2013 we were in Arizona. 

jay and sue and meIn 2014 we spent time in Florida

marylou and kids at runaway bay daycare and worked at a school in Jamaica

golfing at superstitionIn 2015 were were back in Arizona. dave-shirley-marylou-paulIn 2016 we were in Costa Rica

And in 2017 we were back in Arizona again.

Looking forward to our 2018 winter adventure in Portugal and sharing it with you in my blog.

Other posts…….

Dave Plays Ball in Arizona

Jamaican Introductions

Terrified Times Three


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Am I A Peripatetic?

I was reading a book and came across the word peripatetic. I hadn’t heard it before so I looked it up.  It can mean “someone who travels from place to place, especially for work.”

On a glacier in Iceland

My husband and I do travel from place to place. Just in the last month I have been to Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Iceland and Saskatoon.

My grade one class in Arizona

I have also traveled for work in the past as the definition suggests. We taught on the Hopi Indian Reservation in Arizona for a year and in Hong Kong for six years.  

Going for a walk in southern Ontario.

A second meaning of a peripatetic is someone who “travels on foot from place to place.”  That could be me because I rarely have access to a car so I walk almost everywhere I go. I love to walk and even when I’m traveling I like to fit a walk into my day.

Speaking at school graduation ceremony in Hong Kong

A third meaning of a peripatetic is someone who is a follower of Aristotle. They get this name because the great philospher liked to walk around while he lectured. I know some pastors who walk around the front of the church when they preach.  That’s not me. When I am giving a talk or presentation I stand firmly behind my lecturn looking at my notes. 

Am I a peripatetic?  I do fit two of the word’s three different definitions. So maybe I am. 

Other posts………

At Sixes and Sevens

Is Binge Watch A Word?

Elegant Words

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House Barns and Gelato

And just like that our five-day biking trip is over. Our last day of cycling was fairly easy compared to the previous four. The weather was absolutely lovely, sunny and just cool enough to make for pleasant riding. We were biking mostly in Switzerland today and saw house barns along the way. The house was attached right to the barn just like some of the houses in my grandparents’ village of Gnadenthal in southern Manitoba and like the house at the Mennonite Heritage Village Museum in Steinbach.  I had to stop and photograph these terra-cotta warriors around the swimming pool at a luxurious apartment complex overlooking the lake.  Dave and I visited the site of the real terra-cotta warriors in Xian China and so it was somewhat startling to see these giant reproductions in the middle of Germany. 
We decided since it was our last day we should have our photo taken with our bikes beside the beautiful Boden See which we have been traveling around all week. This very polite and kind young man named David who was resting on a park bench agreed to take our photo. He told us he was on one last cycling excursion before starting his university year in Munich where he is studying to be an industrial engineer. He even took a panoramic shot of our group.
We stopped at noon for a drink at a little place along our bike path where we met a couple from Connecticut who have cycled in many different places. They recommended our next trip should be cycling the heel of Italy’s boot.  Once we arrived back in Konstanz we checked back into the Hotel Halm where we stayed at the start of our journey. Dave has been looking for a gelato place all along our route and he finally found one this afternoon so we had to stop.
Over an excellent dinner last night at a Singaporean restaurant we reflected on our great bike trip and the good quality of the tour company who organized our route, provided our sturdy and reliable bikes, reserved our hotels for each night and ferried our luggage from place to place. We would happily book a tour with them again.  After a day of rest here in Konstanz we will be off to Iceland for the next stage of our journey. 

All the posts about our bike trip

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