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…

Art Awakens Commuters, Tourists: Transit Rail Stations

This blog post aims to inspire the cynic and apathetic.  In other words, art deniers don’t want to appreciate art for waiting commuters and walk-through visitors who appreciate visually distinctive stops for a liveable city. A city worth visiting, stopping and remembering well.  For locals and for attracting tourists to even take transit as part…

Touch My Seoul and its Strength

Oddly, the official tourism sites for Seoul seem to be tepid and lack lots of dynamic photos for this great vibrant and historic city in South Korea. It’s only 20 km. away from DMZ, or demilitarized zone by North Korea. Seoul and South Korea – Not Same Romanticization as Japan Maybe Seoul or indeed South…

Startled by Wildlife in Urban Parks

Until last year, I never paid any attention to birds, except for a trip to Brackendale Park in British Columbia to see bald eagles. I just miss seeing the red cardinal bird that’s frequently found in southern Ontario, but not in Alberta.  Or the blue jay bird which seems to be rarer on the prairies….

Deep Temple Bell, Celestial Female Musicians

Jack and I were wandering in central Kyoto city, somewhere not far from Nishiki Market and the Kamogawa river.  During our trip in Kyoto, for several days we would wander into neighbourhood Shinto shrines or come upon a Buddhist huge bronze temple bell either a small one or at large Zen Buddhist temple complexes. Needless…

Christmas Snow Celebrations

Celebrate new ways, Elf dragonboaters ply Snow-sparkly waters. Season flickers hope. Trilling lightly high above, Sometimes hidden bright.  Step with light and dark Winter solstice snow-dancing Furiously, softly.  Walk deep into hearts Journey into the twilight. Starlit path with friends.  Wishing you sparkly-special wishes for peace in your heart and for a memorable Christmas.

For Fun, Attention or Quiet Self-Identity : National Heritage Dress

One thing for certain, travelling in big cities of Japan and South Korea, you can rent a national dress and parade around in it for a few hours.  It’s around 30 – 45 Canadian dollars.  We never saw this money-making practice when we were in Germany, France, Denmark, Czech Republic nor Barcelona, Spain.  Maybe there’s…

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.