a bridge to watch the sunset

The pedestrian bridge over the North Saskatchewan River between Battleford and North Battleford has become one of my favourite places to photograph.  If you’re ever in the area make sure to take in the sunset from the bridge. I’ve been visiting this area of Saskatchewan since birth, really, but it’s only in the last few years that I’ve appreciated how scenic it is (and it definitely correlates to when I began pursuing my photography hobby).

Battleford pedestrian bridgeBattleford pedestrian bridge 3Battleford Pedestrian bridge 2Battleford pedestrian bridge 7Battleford pedestrian bridge 8Battleford pedestrian bridge 4

 

up on the roof

Still have some Puerto Vallarta pics to share which is a good thing! Between being busy at work and figuring out how I’m going to handle my workload, and being uninspired by the April landscapes this year, I haven’t picked up a camera in awhile. The prospect of May flowers, though, will change that soon!

If you’re interested in traveling and experiencing different places, I really encourage you to think differently about your accommodations and look beyond hotels and resorts.  Renting a house was not without frustrations – there were a few pool issues to be sorted out which meant contacting the owner in Texas and then dealing with the property manager who lived across the street and was extremely busy running a fishing boat charter company, and a language barrier with the pool guy.  Also, because the house was for sale, there were a few showings, but we knew that a possibility before renting, and received a discount for the inconvenience.  Some people have asked if there were any worries about renting a place online because what if the place doesn’t look like the pictures and you’ve spent all that money and it ends up being in a bad neighbourhood?  You do need to do some research.  I looked on AirBnB and Home Away.  Read the reviews, then try to read between the lines of those reviews.  I only look at places that have more than 5 reviews, preferably more (because it’s pretty easy to get three of your friends to give you a good review!). If there’s an address look it up on Google Maps street view.  Establish a rapport with the owner either by phone or email  – do they respond to your inquiries quickly and answer your questions?  This all sounds like it takes some effort, but I enjoy it! Keep in mind, this was for a two week stay, and a good portion of the travel budget was going towards accommodations.  I wouldn’t put this much effort into a three day stay, for example.  Ultimately, the house in Puerto Vallarta was chosen for its million dollar views and my bucket list rooftop, private pool! All the research paid off! All the pics were taken from the rooftop.

The sunsets!

oh the sunsetsalone on the oceansetting sun

The neighbourhood…5 de Diciembre

stained glassbrick buildingmagic hourmountain vista-2open windows-2palm trees and hanging clothes

all in a day's work

Felt a little nervous for this guy painting on the roof!

hillside

And the iguana who liked to sun himself on the ledge of the house’s second level.

so handsomeiguana

 

…more than just books on the shelves…

One Sunday morning when I walked in to work and had the library to myself, I noticed there was nice light in the stacks and got out my phone and took a couple of pictures. One of the perks of being in the library before it opens, is walking through the stacks undisturbed!

before the library opens

Fast forward to a few years later, and because of the recent provincial budget cuts, much will be changing in libraries in Saskatchewan.  The best part of what we had, was that no matter where you lived in the province, you had access to many of the same resources (books, music, dvds) as those that live in the bigger cities and towns. AND, you could put those items on hold and they would be delivered to your local library no matter where it was in the province. Saskatchewan’s a big place so that’s pretty amazing!

Just a few weeks ago, not only didn’t I think it was in jeopardy, but that the libraries would be forced to stop that service in just a few short months. It’s a huge step backwards.

Because the Minister of Education said a few weeks ago that bricks and mortar libraries aren’t relevant anymore, here’s one of my favourite quotes about libraries.

“Congratulations on the new library, because it isn’t just a library. It is a space ship that will take you to the farthest reaches of the Universe, a time machine that will take you to the far past and the far future, a teacher that knows more than any human being, a friend that will amuse you and console you — and most of all, a gateway, to a better and happier and more useful life.

[Letters of Note; Troy (MI, USA) Public Library, 1971]”
Isaac Asimov

No matter where you are reading this in the world, particularly if you haven’t been to a library lately,  check out your local library’s website to see all the different programs and services that are offered.  I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  Libraries are more than just books on the shelves.

 

the sky is my endless fascination

As in Maui in 2015, I don’t think I missed a sunset in Puerto Vallarta.  The sky is my endless fascination.

Most of the sunset pictures I took in Puerto Vallarta were from the rooftop pool. I don’t really have a bucket list, but I’ve always wanted to stay somewhere with a private pool.

Rooftop pool

…a lot of time was spent in this pool staring out at the sea (but my favourite time in the pool was in the evening look at the lights of Puerto Vallarta and the moon)…

 

another puerto vallarta sunset

three sailboats at sunset

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
– William Arthur Ward

tropical kingfisher?

Every morning in Puerto Vallarta while enjoying a cup of coffee, I’d have my camera ready to take pictures of activity in Banderas Bay – sometimes it was a cruise ship coming into port or fishing boats, but a lot of times I was trying to capture all the different birds that landed in view of the balcony.

I think this is a tropical kingfisher, but please correct me if I’m wrong.

tropical kingbird-2tropical kingbird?kingfish marina vallarta

walking in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is a wonderful city.  It also made me mad, sometimes!  (Mad, might be too strong a word).  But, the great thing about travel is it makes you adapt.  You can’t think things are going to be like they are at home.  That’s the point of travel – to see and experience different things. Case in point, in Puerto Vallarta, the pedestrian never has the right away and drivers never use their signal lights. You learn this fast. You never know if you should actually step off the curb to cross the street, because the person who may actually appear to be going through the intersection, is actually going to turn right. So, you wait, or run (more  like that nervous traveler fast walk across the street, clutching bag to hip). Everyone drives and talks on their phone (even the bus drivers barreling down the cobblestone streets). Once you get about two or three blocks off the main tourist streets, the sidewalks are extremely uneven.  For someone like me, who likes to gawk at things and take pictures, and is also a little clumsy, this is a precarious situation.  But, you learn to adapt. And it actually becomes part of the charm.

Here are some pictures from a walk through one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Puerto Vallarta:

favourite streetsteps to si senor restaurantPV NeighbourhoodPV Neighbourhood 3PV Neighbourhood 2blue doorcandy can windowscolourFungus Fou

 

into the mystic

“hark, now hear the sailors cry,
smell the sea, and feel the sky
let your soul & spirit fly, into the mystic…”
― Van Morrison

sunset sail

Banderas Bay, Puerto Vallarta…many photographs to share after two weeks in Puerto Vallarta, but this is one of my favourites.