Category Archives: Uncategorized

Last of the Summer Flowers


Happy Tuesday, friends! And happy September! Yikes, that came up quickly. For some of you, this signals the melancholy end of Summer; for others, this is the long awaited beginning of Spring. Here in Brazil it is neither, sadly, because we have no distinct seasons. In Rio, September just means…less mosquitos? Some cooler days, but some really hot days, too? Halfway to Carnival??

Whatever September means for you, I hope it is a month that rises to the occasion and gives you many moments that feel oh so good. Here are a few photos to start you off on the right foot:

Double peony



Wild roses

White peony

Garden path

Pink peony


“The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.”

– John Updike, September

Long Time Gone


Well, I am not sure how this happened, but I haven’t published a post around these parts since October 2013. I am not certain, but I believe that leaving nearly 11 months between posts is breaking some kind of blogging rule…the rule of actually writing stuff, for example.

You know how it gets, though – you have good intentions and plans, and yet somehow the days pass by and nothing has eventuated. Like you and that plan to eat more chia seeds or to get rid of that pair of jeans that you bought one size too small. Y’know, it just doesn’t happen.

Mind you, I wasn’t being completely lazy during those 10 months. I was taking a lot of photos and doing some incredible traveling (and, let’s be honest, watching Jimmy Fallon clips on YouTube). The trips I took were so eye-opening and wonderful that I think you will want to get your own glimpse of these places, too.

I will try to share the very best of it with you because we all love to know that special places exist, not so we can put them on some bucket list, but just to know that beautiful parts of our world abound even if they are not right outside our window.

Places like these…

NZ Beach


Argentinian lunch


Colombian hills


Brazil beach


Alberta rocks

Now, if these places ARE outside your window, then congratulations..and also, whaaaat?! Open those curtains for criminy’s sake!

I hope you are all still out there and willing to stop by for a blog visit from time to time. I do hope that these last 10 months have been good to you, or at least civil to you, or maybe just that you have survived them? I am not sure where our standards should be.

Okay, let’s do this! You go give away those jeans already and I will get writing! xx

Time’s Up?


Hello travelers! Can you believe that this little ol’ blog started 1 year ago? I really think I must have blacked out for a month or two because I have no idea where the time has gone.

When I started this adventure with sweaty palms and photo files that were too small, I thought that calling it ‘A Year Of Travel’ meant that I was reaching FAR into the future, and I was really stretching myself. Huh. Turns out that 12 months is not really stretching anything.

So, this is where it all began: Sicily, where our car tried to do the backstroke, and we may have indebted ourselves to the Mafia.

These trips got some attention from you, too:

Malaysia where I was ready to saddle a rat.

Waterton where I nearly engaged in some Greco-Roman with the wildlife.

Edinburgh where I came face to face with Prince Charles.

I have many more trips to write about, so if you will indulge me further I will happily ramble along for another year.


I will selflessly continue to gaze longingly at baked goods (and eat them) for the sake of this blog.

I will continue my intrepid ways to experience the adventures for you to read about. (That hill was MUCH bigger than it looks.)

It’s beyond wonderful that so many of you have taken a moment in your day to stop, to read, to comment or to give me a “thumbs up”. I know there are a gazillion blogs out there to peruse. The fact that my voice is somewhere in that magnificent mix is an honour and a gift.

Thank you. xx

(Unless you are the person who searched for ‘flamenco rear’ or ‘the moon skaters’ and wound up at my site. To you, I say “I’m afraid you are mistaken.”)

I will continue to take photos to fuel your travel daydreams. (In years to come my kids will struggle to recognize me without the camera up to my face.)

In the cold light of January


Hello friend! Welcome to 2013! Here’s hoping that your holidays were magical and bright.

Now we are into the first week of January which is THE biggest let-down, is it not?! Jiminy. All the sparkle is gone, the decorations are packed away, and I’m left with the realization that my resolutions are exactly the same as last year (not because they are so awesome, but because inevitably I did not accomplish them).

But I say January does not necessarily have to be a shock to the system. You can begin a new year gently, tenderly. You do not have to know everything by this first week of this first month.

You will have seen all of the “Year in Review” questionnaires bouncing around. Here is my take on it, in the spirit of A Year of Travel:

Top destination in 2012:

Argentina: Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Iguazu Falls. That country ticks all the right boxes.

Favourite plate of food in 2012:

Sweetcorn pancakes with bacon, asparagus, and Hollandaise sauce in Australia. I would eat that meal again in a heartbeat. (Then again I would eat most meals again in a heartbeat.)

Best thing about 2012:

I found another piece of myself through starting this blog. Truly.

Oh, and this song. I played it so much that my children can sing along to it. My work here is done.

Story that needs to be told about 2012:

Oh, so many! But thankfully the stories coming out of last year are happy, blessed ones.

There was a surprise helicopter ride in New Zealand; there was a trip to Banff with no children along (!); there was my large-ish 50/50 raffle win on Canada Day; there was the “hilarity” of our dishwasher taking 10 weeks to be fixed; there was my brother getting married (just like a grown-up…when did THAT happen?); there were visits from family which acted like a well-meaning cattle prod and made us explore Rio more; there were trips that renewed my faith in nature, people, and hotel upgrades…..So much. Thanks for it all, 2012!

A word that sums up 2012:

Travel (doing it, writing about it, planning it…)

A resolution for the new year:

Well, there are those pesky ones from last year, but….

I have some hopes for 2013. I hope to discover more of Brazil in particular, to carve out more time to enjoy this blog, and to not take things so seriously (it’s kind of laughable how grave I believe things to be – “WIPE HIS CHIN! QUICK! THAT CHERRY JUICE WILL BE IM-POSS-IBLE TO GET OUT OF THE TABLECLOTH!”….that was some insight you did not need).

May this year offer up the things you least expect, but need the most.

Here was my 2012…


Old world Portuguese charm

Old world Portuguese charm in Petropolis.


Best winery experience in Chile

Best winery experience in Chile


So, a helicopter showed up and....

So, a helicopter showed up and….


Seeing the city with my sister!

Seeing Rio with my sister!


Birthday bunting for my sweet girl.

Birthday bunting for my sweet girl.


Colour of the sky exhibit in Calgary.

Colour of the sky exhibit in Calgary.


Yeehaw! Stampede Centennial!

Yeehaw! Stampede Centennial!


Best restaurant discovery of the month.

Best restaurant discovery of the month: Quinta.


Golden larches in Banff National Park.

Golden larches in Banff National Park.


Best meal in Rio of the entire year. Fact.

Best meal in Rio of the entire year. Fact.


The breathtaking Devil's Throat Falls in Argentina

The breathtaking Devil’s Throat Falls in Argentina


My Brazilian gingerbread beauties!

My Brazilian gingerbread beauties!

Friday Photos


I miss the snow more than ever at this time of year. Hope these photos bring you that frosty, cozy, peaceful feeling wherever you are.

This is a good excuse to get yourself a festive drink (as if you need a reason) like Spiced Wine or a Yule Mule cocktail, for those of us south of the Equator. Then I recommend listening to Michael Bublé singing  “White Christmas”:

Now look at these snowy photos, and prepare to feel a few degrees cooler, but have your festive spirit cranked up a bit. Enjoy!


Reflections in my parents’ window.


Icicles outside our holiday cabin in Norway.


Dog-sledding in Canmore, Canada.


Sometimes you just can’t help yourself…. (in Poland)


Frosty leaves in Dublin.


Winter in the Rocky Mountains.

When snow falls, nature listens.”

– Antoinette van Kleeff

Friday Photos


Hello friends! I am in a post-travel fog at the moment. The symptoms are: falling asleep while reading a storybook to my children, being unable to finish sentences, and making ham sandwiches for the past 3 meals. I’m doing GREAT, though!!

Obviously, being in a fog is the best time to do a blog post, right? I thought I would ease back in by doing a photo post which some could call “lazy”, but I call “diversifying”.

Inspired by Patrick Latter’s blog post featuring his photos from the Calgary Zoo, I approached my recent visit to the zoo with a new outlook. I almost never take photos of the animals at zoos because, well, they look like photos of animals in enclosures. But Patrick’s stunning photos made me experiment a bit more to try and capture some shots that don’t look like they come from a zoo.

This is regrettably not a great photo of a grizzly bear, but I had to include it so you could see those claws. Butt-clenching stuff.

Hope you enjoy these! Have a great weekend. I’m going to spend mine getting myself de-fogged.


Friday Photos


Creeping colours in France

Living in Brazil, I miss experiencing proper seasons, especially Autumn.

Do the flip in Oslo

This time of year makes me think of golden leaves, apple cider, and freshly sharpened pencils (must be the back-to-school connection).

Majestic trees in the Cotswolds

I just wanted to share some of my favourite Fall photos with you.

Pick a pumpkin in Rome

Hope you have a cozy, crisp, cinnamon apple crumble, fire crackling, pumpkin spice latte kind of Autumn.


Isn’t it 5 o’clock somewhere??


Well, we have had stunner, my friends! We broke 1000 all-time views of this “little blog that could”! Thank you so much for visiting, for reading, for allowing me to share my stories.

We should celebrate, no? That usually means a drink (you must know this about me by now), but since it is early Monday morning that just feels like we would be on the verge of needing an intervention. Instead I am going to poach an egg, get the kidlets dressed, buy some shoes, and rely heavily on convenience foods for dinner. Man, that’s a buzzkill…let’s get back to where we were going to celebrate….

Thank you again. It’s 5 kinds of greatness traveling with you.

Today’s the day!


Holy Shazam! Remember when I said that my goal was to surpass 30 views of my blog in one day? Well, my kind friends, you did it! 32 views today! Thank you. Now go celebrate with a glass of red wine, a piece of chocolate, and an episode of Downton Abbey. How rock and roll is THAT?!

Now, we must always look to better ourselves, so we are now aiming for 1000 total all-time views of my blog. We stand at (drum roll)…934. Oh, we are so close now. There will be a reward when we get to 4 digits, people. Some blogs give away iPads, KitchenAids, signed books, etc. I will freely give away…heartfelt compliments. If you leave a comment on the ol’ blog, I will lay the love on thick. Yessir.

Man, I know how to motivate people.

On another note, Canada is by far the country that views my blog the most. Yeehaw! Thanks, Canucks! I will take that as a vote of confidence from my homeland…or just as a vote of solidarity from my extended family. Either way, it’s great. Love the Great White North!

Seriously, though, thank you. The fact that you guys are reading this and coming back for more is humbling and simply wonderful. xx



Fortunate me


We need to talk.

But don’t worry! It’s not one of those talks. I just want to check in with you to see how you are doing. It’s been about 4 months since I started writing this blog and you started indulging me by reading it.

Thank you.

You’ve vicariously traveled to 19 different countries. Wow! That’s better than those package tours that strap you and your backpack into a bus for a 10 day blitz of Europe. And, 4 months in, you have no pile of laundry to deal with after your trips (except for that pile of laundry that you normally have to deal with. I can’t do anything about that), you have no overtime to work to pay off that extra week in a hotel, you have no sand to vacuum out of your suitcase (where, oh, where does it all come from?!), and you have no extra kilos to shift after overindulging on your travels (except for those extra kilos you normally…oh, never mind).

And me? I am delighted to be writing these travel tales. Truly delighted. I am even more delighted that someone is reading them and enjoying them. Thanks for all of the kind comments and the “Likes” on the blog. I love hearing from you, so please do drop me a note when you’ve read something that resonates. Comments make the web world feel less like a black hole!

This is how I feel about this blog! No, not like a fish out of water…

There have been 832 views of my blog so far which is very cool or it just means that my family are taking it in turns to visit the site and bump up the numbers (if that’s the case, guys, can you get me to 1000?)! I must’ve done something right back in April because on one day my blog had 30 views. It’s a personal best, people! And records are made to be broken so I’m now aiming for 31 for one day in June. Dream big.

In other interesting news, someone searched ‘sisterdom taboo stories’ and was directed to my post about Mexico. Uh, I guess I am sorry that you didn’t find what you were looking for (taboo? really?), but hope you enjoyed reading about tostadas! I only feel a little creepy.

So, what’s next? Well, I keep writing and striving to post 3 times a week (if only kids could feed/dress/drive themselves). If there’s anything you need, let me know. A specific country you are curious about? More photos? Less…something? We’re in this together, you know.

I’m so glad we talked. Let’s do this again in another 4 months!

I’m ready to travel. Are you?