I grew up sandwiched between a cluster of suburban beach towns. San Clemente is one of those towns. It is known for nice climate, Spanish colonial architecture (nothing like a good ol adobe roof tile) & being the “Western White House” for a post-resignation Richard Nixon in the process of writing his memoirs.
I just never get tired of visiting the Getty when we’re in Los Angeles. This time we took their architecture tour which offered some interesting nuggets of information about the materials (16,000 tons of Italian travertine) & design behind the structure itself (30-inch squares arranged in a grid).
One of my favorite things to do at the end of summer is visit the Ex. The Canadian Exhibition is basically a gigantic carnival that lasts 2.5 weeks, symbolically drawing summer to a close on Labor Day weekend.
One of the highlights this year was sitting in a CF-18. AND a Snowbird. I pushed a lot of the buttons & turned a lot of the knobs. & the ejection seat button.
I find it the most fun to go for their “$5 after 5pm” deal. It isn’t too hot & often is less crowded because people with families have run out of steam by that point. & the Midway is so much prettier once the lights are on!
This year we got caught in an absolute downpour of rain that sent everyone into the Food Building for cover. Once I got over being soaking wet (aw man!) – it did make for some gorgeous photos. See you next year, CNE!
We visited the Canadian War Museum during our trip to Ottawa. We could have spent a lot more time there – there are numerous exhibits about Canada’s military history & its involvement within international conflicts.
One of my favorite parts was the LeBreton Gallery, which is a large multipurpose room that houses artifacts & vehicles from all over the world from the 18th century to the present.
We took a quick jaunt to Ottawa the other week. I’m looking forward to going back sometime – there are many more museums I’d like to visit & I’d also like to go on a tour of Parliament.
We did get a chance to visit the National Gallery & the Van Gogh exhibit. The architecture of the museum itself is quite beautiful.
& of course I took copious photos of Maman, the giant 30-feet-talk spider sculpture that resides outside the museum.
Old Port is all about perfecting the afternoon stroll, pirate ships, & climbing 192 stairs to the top of the clock tower.
I like groups of objects arranged in rows & sectioned with other like objects. Especially when it is produce. ESPECIALLY when there are free samples. What better way to get me to buy a peach then to say, “Hey, try a piece of this peach!”
Even rows of (pure) maple syrup are alluring when stacked appropriately. Sometimes I take photos & think they are so Canadian. The maple syrup is one of these. Marché Jean-Talon was one of my favorite parts of Montreal. If we lived there, it would definitely be a part of my grocery routine. I would also be putting pure maple syrup on everything…
When I’ve heard people talk about food in Montreal, it’s the same 3 things: smoked meat, poutine, & bagels. Well, the first one is out (vegetarian, y’all!), the second should be out (lactose-intolerant, y’all!), & oddly enough, I’m currently in the process of figuring out if I have a gluten sensitivity.
I know, I’m no food-fun at ALL right now. Good thing I sowed my wild oats with this delicious-ness.
As a transplanted Californian, I had never heard of poutine “pre-Canada”. Now it seems to be my mission to explain it to friends and family in the States. I think this photo will do the talking for me.
Yep. That’s what I thought. & with vegetarian gravy. La Banquise has over 25 different varieties of poutine. Not pictured above but also truly enjoyed was the Mexican version with the addition of guacamole, sour cream, & tomatoes.
Look, we’ve all had bagels before. But Montreal-style bagels are pretty magnificent. We requested whatever was warm out of the oven, made our way to the nearest park with a coffee to go & munched through delicious sesame seed heaven.
& no, there aren’t any photos of the actual bagels. I was too busy eating & all you’re left with is a photo of the sign outside & our empty paper bag.
Prompt #17: Tell us what you’d do with three months in New Zealand – whether you’d base yourself in one place or travel constantly, what activities you’d make sure to do, and what you’d skip.
Kakapo. You’ve heard it before & I will say it again. I want to see a kakapo, perhaps more than one kakapo – in person. They first captured my imagination when I read Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine. The whole book was full of heart-breakingly beautiful descriptions of creatures that have been negatively affected by humans. Kakapo are a species of large (flightless) nocturnal parrots that are endemic to New Zealand. Currently there are only 126 kakapo (all named), even with a seemingly strong conservation effort. So for my hypothetical three months, I would love to volunteer for the Kakapo Recovery Program.
The kakapo is a bird out of time. If you look one in its large, round, greeny-brown face, it has a look of serenely innocent incomprehension that makes you want to hug it & tell it everything will be all right, though you know that it probably will not be.
Prompt Number #15: How has travel changed your life? Can you pinpoint a single moment – a day, an hour, a split second – when you knew that things had changed? How did that change impact your life, both on your travels and at home?
Wearing sunglasses in an airport. No, really – I think everyone should do this at least once. I’m a fan of internally pretending I’m someone else at airports. Sunglasses have the power to add a bit of extra ‘oomph’ to helping you walk with a purpose while in transit.
I love that no one knows who anyone else is at the airport.
I could be carrying my banjo because I’m on my way to play on a late night talk show. You could be traveling to Paris to find yourself. They could be flying in to surprise a relative on the opening night of their play. Sure, wandering through the airport aimlessly is an option, but where is the fun in that?
I think travel has a transforming quality because of the lack of consistency. Our daily lives are (usually) schedule-based. We eat the same things, do the same job, see the same people & structures. Our lives retain the same basic skeleton. I know that with myself, I am really able to thrive on consistency. But when I am nudged out of the nest, I take deeper breaths. I stretch more.
If you step outside your boundaries in a way that thrills you, your boundaries will expand to encompass the latest version of you. If you step outside in a way that isn’t right for you, your boundaries stay strong as a safety net to catch you.
You can even stretch from within your safety net, just like a hammock. Don’t forget your sunglasses.