Hike Up at Fushimi-Inari

Carve peace in the heart, Throbbing crowds trudge up mountain Red tori gates rise. My little haiku to set your heart and mind in calmness, at Japan’s famous Shinto shrine and pilgrimage gentle hike along Mount Inari. 10,000 Tori Gates Through Old Mountain Forest You might need to cultivate that precious corner of peace.  We…

Much Matcha Green Tea Desserts: Japan and Seoul, South Korea

Maybe we were a tad crazy during our two week trip, in Japan and Seoul:  it was almost a matcha tea dessert every day.   Yea  –in addition to sipping sometimes a lovely cup of medium to high grade matcha or at least green tea.  There is a sublime difference. Birthplace and Hub of Japan’s Centuries…

Different Flavours for Different Farmers’ Markets: Canada and Abroad

It’s de rigour for us to check out the local farmers’ market whenever we travel and visit a town, city or country. Squeezing in Happy Time– Local and Abroad In past blog posts, I’ve enjoyed showcasing a few in Toronto, Vancouver, Freiburg (Germany) and Hilo (Hawai’i)  –wonderful local foods, sometimes crafts and ambience which puts…

Care and Creative Expressions: 500 Years for L’Hotel Dieu

Initially I wasn’t keen to visit a heritage hospital and convent in Beaune, France.  Like many folks, I associate hospitals with dull institutional places that ..do great work for people from birth to death. There is no North American equivalent like L’Hotel Dieu  —  very old and with past health care public service for 500…

Awestruck on La Rambla and Beyond: Barcelona, Spain.

Barcelona, Spain is like Vancouver, British Columbia  –millions of tourists pour into each city every year.  After four days, we still had not exhausted its rich treasure chest of sights and experiences.  Inevitably visitors end up crossing or on its main pedestrian street, La Rambla. It was my first time in Spain whereas for Jack,…

5 Kids in One-Bedroom Apartment- Unearthing Space and Its Impact

There’s a Vancouver divorced dad-blogger who blogs about life in downtown Vancouver with his 5 children in a 1,000 sq. ft. rental condo. In fact, he probably lives just few blocks from us. Well, it’s admirable he has some of his growing children in bunk beds.  And the kids are only with him for 2…

Blogging is My Truth-Telling

Sometimes I wonder  if I am a rare, geek blogger:   I date photos on my personal blog.  What a dork.  Do people really care about photo dates? I can’t help it.  It’s about truth-telling –things I’ve seen, propel me to tell stories.  Stories of truth.  My photos are part of truth-telling. As Witness to the Marvellous…

Bike Touring : Some Life Tips

To kickstart the new year with you, here’s an infographic I’ve hammered out. Below the infographic starts off with predictable advice from two cyclists bumping along roads and pathways over the past 25 years.  Humbling lessons learned from kilometres dragging our butts and gear at home and beyond.  Lessons for any life journey –liberating, difficult…

Christmas – Strange, Wonderful and Quirky

Occasionally, Christmas seems to breed some unusual, if not also garish or glitzy displays of ‘art’, to celebrate the festive season. Showpieces range from wild gingerbread interpretations at Vancouver’s annual gingerbread contest to overwhelming Christmas light displays –both with aim to attract crowds for fundraising and just sheer spectacle for fun selfies. Every December, St….

Autumn Amble for Wild Birds

Golden leaf medals Quiver ‘n flake off in air: Autumn sighs deeply. Cloud tuffs swhoosh blue skies, Paintbrush branches sweep above While crunch stepfalls on path. Great Horned Owl –o- wise, Wind sweeping -fluffs your feathers, Solid wisdom sits. Wood Duck puffs colour Bands green-blue and magenta: Moving mosaic. 

Are North American Cities Boring?

For some North Americans after a long European vacation trip, returning home is to the familiar and mundane  –especially  when home doesn’t have soaring, centuries old architectural monuments or lots of jaw-dropping art.  Or the North American just might be relieved:  thank goodness for space and wilderness.   As a Canadian, I don’t quite view Europe as prime destination to experience stunning,…

Flickers of Chance: Wild Creature Sights

Throughout Cyclewrite, I’ve featured magnificent deer, elk, bighorn sheep, eagles and blue herons. Most  photo gems taken by myself and Jack, were simply random opportunities where each of us did not plan to stalk the creatures. Serendipitous Benefits and Outdoor Activities Over the years, serendiptous wildlife sightings are just another benefit of spending lots of…

Humanities and Arts: Talent and Creativity Redefines Logic

Whenever there are cutbacks to classroom time, courses or extracurricular school activities for: the arts, theatre, music, creative writing, I’m concerned. Arts, Humanities Touches Daily Life:  Highest and Mundane Details Those snickers about people who major in philosophy, history, literature  –university / college programs which don’t provide a clear-cut path to an immediate job, I wonder:  …

Canadian Camping Newbie @32 Years

My first time camping in a tent on the ground was when I was 32 years old.  I just started to know my partner who had been on numerous camping trips himself. That seminal, first camping time was during a bike trip outside of Toronto.  It meant cycling with our gear, sleeping bag for  over…

Warming Up to Bison Art and Branding

A sign of an entrenched native prairie animal icon, is  a hulking, ugly bison stamped into Alberta handmade soap.  Not that I’ve seen a salmon icon on Pacific coast local soap  –yet.  Pacific coastal soapmakers might find dolphins and whales more romantic iconography for beauty soap products. Not Exactly Cuddly While the bison isn’t cuddly nor evokes…

Rhubarb Mow Down, Chow Down

Rhubarb started off on the wrong foot with my family.  Not until I was 16 years old, it dawned upon our family, the monstrous red stalk and big leafy bushes in our backyard, were rhubarb. Alien Red Stalked Plant with Poisonous Leaves When I was 10 years old, we were excited to have our first…

A Candle for Canada’s 150th Birthday

This blog post is light and small like a cupcake. 2017 is Canada’s 150th year as a country. Sure, the country did exist centuries before, as a collection of different nations of native Indian and Inuit peoples.  That memory and consciousness is still with us today alongside with Canada – in their voices, in names of some…