Self-Care or Self-Indulgence

For nearly the past year, our world has been flipped upside-down.  At times, it’s hard to know if habits now are truly self-care, or upon guilty reflection, self-indulgence. For now, I’d take the slothful route of self-righteousness:  it’s primarily self-care. Featured photo:   Lovely gently liquor soaked cherry gourmet cake with passion fruit outer layer and…

Heron with Punk Haircut and Other Birdie Delights

I know..I know. Everyone complains right now about travel –the strait-jacket restrictions, barriers to healthy, care-free vacations overseas and in our home countries, during this covid-19 pandemic. Spontaneous Air Flights Impossible I feel the same pain. It can be more complicated, when one has loved ones and family living in other provinces in a huge,…

Gathering Cosy and Safe for Christmas

It seems quaint now, to see photos of being caught up in last year’s bustle of holiday crowds in cafes, stores and yes, even the hotel that hosts for the public, gingerbread collection of cookie, candy and sugar dusted winter tableaux and figurines. At the time, we thought the gingerbread cruise liner ship with onboard…

Overlooked Paths: Discovery and Unexpected Encounters

A few weeks ago, in a park I decided to veer off by bike, onto a different side route.  This side route was right by the entry of a popular bike pedestrian bridge.  I’ve been ignoring this well-marked cut-off, for the past 9 years. I’m not sure why we never bothered to slow down, dismount…

Outdoor Art Adds a Different City Heartbeat

If you need a break from the city’s fast pace and crowds while in the midst of its heartbeat, outdoor art can be a wonderful antidote to slow you down.  Or indoor art in public places, such as the stained glass of Mount Rundle below, taken inside St. Paul’s Church, in downtown Banff. Not every…

Becoming Bird-Alert

Maybe it’s slowly creeping into me over past few years –I’ve become acutely aware of birds as I spin along on bike into park areas or rest for a short time near trees, bushes and tall grasses. It’s like a candle has been lit in me.  Especially this year, I notice bird shadows flitting in…

Social Bonding Over Food

Before covid-19 hit the brakes hard globally on health and our social lives, the last social meal I had with several people was the last day in February. At lunch, I hung out over sizzling stone bowls of bimbap with egg, at a popular Korean restaurant with 3 other employees from another department. In fact,…

Nature as Solace During Uncertain Times

Over the past few decades, I’ve been lucky to live within a 5 min. walk or if further away, a bike ride to very large parks and escape to Nature’s calming presence. Even in urban parks, I can very quickly immerse in the leafy stillness, sunshine, twittering birdsongs, rustling swaths of wild grass and bush,…

Daily Life Lessons During Covid-19 Pandemic

For some folks, a global plague highlights a lot what they took for granted since this past March.  Or confirmed what one knew or decided long ago: Mask-Wearing for Hours is Hot I mean kind of sweaty.  My double-sided, non-medical cloth mask is hot to wear for several hours at room temperature. When reading a…

Fragility of Interconnected Mortality, Trust and Love

I’m sure some travel bloggers look at their own photos and fun posts on where they’ve been, as a string of postcard dreams and memories during the coronavirus-19 pandemic restrictions on daily life. Longing To Be Carefree Again Will we be able to travel again? Carefree and curious, solo or with others immediately beside us,…

Cherry Blossom Bouquets, Sharing Obsession

Cherry blossom bouquets Bounce-sway in warm breeze, Spring pink petals fall. Writing a blog post with photos about cherry blossom season, is an act of memory and hope for me.  Every time.  A thrust forward into the near future with happy expectations of pink bursting-birth all over Vancouver. And Nature delivers every spring. You’re never…

Six Courses for Over Six Decades

Wouldn’t it be lovely to see the decades of your life like grazing through a menu of lovely food dishes? If every decade could be so tasty and palatable. Certainly, each decade has been memorable. Jack brought some fresh seafood from Vancouver when flying in and preparing a 6-course birthday dinner for me. He was…

Jasper National Park- Away from Thronging Crowds

If you really want to avoid wilderness national park tourist craziness, go to Jasper in early October.  Be warned:  I’ve never been there during summer and don’t feel like going there then, to challenge my own claim. Just know that Banff National Park received a bumper crop of all-time high of tourists 2018-2019 (data probably…

A Life –So Far

I have had a problem:  it’s hard to squish alot of stuff into a resume.  It’s like stuffing a pillow that’s fluffy, yet lumpy in the wrong places. Then trying to lie down and wondering if now, the pillow is too puffy. Sometimes we amble along in life, nearly robot-like in our daily routine, chores…

Christmas Snow Beauty, Whimsy and Deliciousness

Some Christmases are for real, especially those living in northern climates:   some snow at home, fun irrelevance with all the decorations, even flat-out commercialization and special food treats. Soft Falling Snow Feeds Dreams Lush snowy drifts doesn’t pile on every Christmas in all parts of Canada.  But when the snow does fall around Christmas, snowfluffy…

Monarchs and Other Butterfly Surprises: Toronto

Much to our surprise, our visit in Toronto, coincided with the Monarch Butterflies’ last sojourn in early September before migrating south to Mexico. Monarch Abundance Not Far from Skyscrapers Quite frankly, I had no idea in advance, the number of monarch butterflies we would see in the city in several parks, with the city traffic…

Dinosaur Dreams and Stories –Past and Now

Until I moved to Alberta, dinosaurs never dented my consciousness. World’s Biggest Museum Dedicated to Dinosaurs It was not until a few years ago I accompanied a sister’s family to dinosaur excavation and research hub, at the Royal Tyrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller. It’s in Canada’s Badlands where the dinosaurs roamed or swam and…

A Wilderness Jewel: Lake Moraine

Recently another blogger, an American ex-pat living and teaching in Thailand, mentioned she saw someone selling canned Canadian air to mainland Chinese tourists. Not a surprising scam. Whenever we’re hiking or snowshoeing in a Canadian national park, I always marvel sucking in fresh mountain air,  gazing over clear turquoise gem lake waters, pristine expansive wilderness…

Art and Alchemy of Glassmaking: Tacoma, Washington

After viewing Chihuly’s Glass and Garden site in Seattle, the following year we took the train 45 km. south of Seattle to Tacoma. Tacoma has been historically a poorer, smaller sibling town to Seattle. It has had a predominantly blue collar population with some water vessel building and maintenance facilities for the military and private…

Glass Art Fantasia in Seattle

Many times when in downtown Seattle, we strolled by the Chihuly Glass and Garden, or colloquially named the Glass Sculpture Garden, near the Space Needle.  We finally paid the admission fee and went inside to discover what lay beyond the glass sculptural twirling shapes sticking up over the bush hedges. Alchemy of Glass Colour, Textural…

Bowing Wild Deer, Warrior with a Writing Brush

Since Japan was my first step into Asia, here’s a salutary bag of traveller stories and pithy impressions. After we happily munched on just warm pounded, luscious matcha mochi from a downtown Nara shop, we strolled over to Nara Park, a heritage park steeped in Japanese Buddhism, some temples …and its wild deer. Bowing, Hungry…