Thursday, May 28, 2015


 Sadly, our Canadian reunion with daughter and grandsons had to come to an end,
and off we flew to the west-coast city of Vancouver, BC...

for a very special meeting with author and talented blogger Kristie Hammond, of North of 49

Lovely Kristie took us to see Vancouver's famous Stanley Park:

 an Oasis of Green, a city space which shows the wonderful dense green forests of the North-West of America..

It felt like being immersed in the paintings of my favourite Canadian artist, Emily Carr:

I loved it!

Emily Carr paintings, Google images.

Spectacular indigenous American Totem Poles..

This prow from a Chinese ship is mentioned in Kristie's book 'Ting Ting', the story of a young Chinese girl who relocates to Canada after the events of Tiananmen Square, and her wish to belong.

Dear Kristie gave me my own copy of this and her second book,
'The Moment'.  Thank you so much Kristie!

At the park, I saw my first Wild Rose.  They are so pretty..

and nearby, the most beautiful music being played on an Erhu, a Chinese violin, by busker and talented classical musician Ji Rong Huang.
After enjoying Schubert's 'Serenade' and Massenet's 'Meditation', I just had to buy a CD..

It seemed only right to have a salmon lunch in a rustic Canadian cabin, perched on the hill above the bay..

watched by a bear..

We moved on to the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden,
situated in Vancouver's Chinatown.

Another beautiful place, the Garden is the first classical garden constructed outside of China, a cooperative project between Canada and the People's Republic of China.  It opened in 1985.


Peonies!  I think this is the first time I have seen them growing on a bush.

So beautiful...

A perfect Moon Gate..

All too soon, it was time to return to the airport and continue our journey..

Dear Kristie, thank you for your generosity, and a wonderful, interesting and exciting day.
The wonder of a blogging friendship is obvious: we already knew much about each other, and it was a meeting of Old Friends.

A perfect note to end our Canadian journey.


Sunday, May 24, 2015


Our Canadian adventure continues...
We are enjoying the little grandsons, their cute sayings and sweet ways.
Sometimes we even think it would be nice to live here, and be part of the local scene.

This week we drove to another picturesque regional township, Westport on the Rideau Lakes.

A place of stylish Victorian houses, it has become a small tourist village, with fun shops - Like Rosie Yumski's, where I bought a few quality kitchen items as gifts.

Near the Marina, where yachts floated prettily..

a little spring bubbled up out of the grass, running into a pond.
Perhaps the fresh spring attracted the first settlers to this place.

We had fish and chips at this lovely old hotel, overlooking the lake...

and watching the geese..

Do you think I would eat Moose Tracks icecream?

Of course I did....
(only on holidays)

There was more shopping -
unexpectedly, on looking into a fashion shop, I found a perfect outfit for a summer wedding we will attend later in the year.
Taupe silk, made in Italy, and very reasonable price.
And it fitted perfectly.  
Then there was the decoy duck - a reminder of The Lake, destined to swim in our pool at home..

I love these old-fashioned fences in the farming countryside..
an historic design, but still popular, and attractive.

The lilac season is gorgeous.  Out in the country, we saw long hedges, heavy under a bounty of sweet-scented blossoms..

The little grandsons continue to amuse us.
We are enjoying school and day care pick-ups, putting Big Boy onto the yellow school bus, going to the barber, playing in the park, blowing bubbles, story times, and going to Tim Hortons for coffee and donuts.
The Little Boy is learning new words every day, and is also picking up a bit of French.  This is very cute, as he has begun to put the adjective after the noun in English too!  

We have spent time with the other grandparents, Grandpapa and Grandmama, who took us to a historic village, Upper Canada, which depicts a 19th century village in Ontario.

The village consists of many historic buildings, brought here during construction of the St Lawrence Seaway in 1958, when numerous communities were permanently flooded. The park was opened to the public in 1961. 

We have been to many heritage parks, in Australia and overseas, and this was one of the best.  The principal reason for this is the way they have made it a living museum, with costumed 'residents' in every building, telling us about their lives and trades.
There are three mills, still operational during the summer season:
a woollen mill, a flour mill and a sawmill.

The bakery bakes bread for the community, the cheese shop really does make and sell cheese, from the milk produced at the on-site farm.

The houses were beautifully furnished..

from the simple farmhouse, to the elegant doctor's residence.

Some of the wallpapers were absolutely gorgeous..

Of course, there was a dressmaker's house..

lots of quilts..

beautiful old stoves in every building..

and a big old oak tree.

Our drive home was along the riverside road on the Canadian side of the St Lawrence River...

looking across to the United States on the opposite bank.
We drove along there for about an hour, and my cell phone started receiving text messages, welcoming me to the US and offering mobile roaming rates!
Sorry guys, not this time..

Our daughter bought this sign at Westport...
memories of the sweet hummingbirds at the lake.

Soon we will be packing up, leaving our cosy bedroom under the steep roof of our daughter's century-old house, and saying sad goodbyes.
Then it is time for the long trek home, back to Australia.

Have a great week