Rime Ice

I’ve lived in Saskatchewan my whole life (which means I’ve endured a lot of cold winters) and I’ve never heard of rime ice.  The pictures below are examples of it and I’m pretty sure most of us thought it was hoar frost (which is way more fun to say than rime ice).  Anyway, rime ice results from freezing fog, and hoar frost occurs in the absence of fog…technicalities aside, it was quite pretty.

walking to work 4

walking through Victoria Park on a foggy morning

walking to work 2walking to work 5

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Heading for a little Christmas shopping at the Mackenzie Art Gallery gift shop

walking to work 3rime ice

rime ice 2

in front of the T.C. Douglas Building, Wascana Centre

rime ice 3

After about a week of foggy days, it was so nice to see the sun…

and the sun shines

Went to Paris for the Seine

It’s been an eventful year, and the other day, I was lamenting the fact that I haven’t taken that many photos this year compared to other years.  But, then one of my Paris pictures popped up on my screensaver, and I remembered I WAS THERE in the Spring! And, I took a lot of pictures!  Posts are likely to remain sporadic for the next while as I continue with work and pursue Life Coach training on the side, but it’s important to me to also at least dabble on the creative side.

Paris was all about spending as much time near, and on, the Seine, as possible, and the pictures I took reflected that.  When you visit any new city, especially one like Paris, it’s impossible to see and do everything, so you pick and choose the things you think you’ll enjoy the most, and living in land-locked Saskatchewan, that meant being near the water.

River Seine from two of the high vantage points in Paris…up the 422 stairs of the Notre Dame Towers, and the Eiffel Tower.

view from Towers of Notre Dame 2view from Towers of Notre Dameview from Towers of Notre Dame 1from the Eiffel Tower

Views of Paris from the Seine on three different tours…tour boat, Batobus (the boat bus), and an evening cruise.

from the tourist boat

Nice reminder of visiting New Orleans listening to this brass band

on the tourist boatfrom the tourist boat 3on the tourist boat 2evening cruise

From the Pont des Arts Bridge (thought I’d read that all the locks had been removed but there were still quite a few all along the bridge).

pont des arts bridge 1pont des arts bridge 2Pont des arts bridge

Walking along the Seine…

walking along the seine 2walking along the seine 4

Saturday morning stroll

spot the sun worshipper in the red speedo…

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Morning coffee view from the apartment…

from apartment window

And ending a day of exploring…

cheers

 

 

The Enchanted Forest

My favourite family vacation almost came to a tragic end at the Enchanted Forest, near Revelstoke, British Columbia.  My mom, dad, brother (with a box of comics between us in the backseat) and I had just finished walking through the Enchanted Forest and piled into our two door blue Dodge Aspen, pulling our Boler trailer, when I became hysterical at the sight of a spider inside the car (I was five or six at the time) which caused my dad to almost veer across the road, and  plunge down a cliff, which surely would have lead to our demise. This is how I remember the scene, and it’s a story I’ve repeated for many years.  We also visited Bedrock City, a Flintstones theme park, and Old MacDonald’s Farm in Kelowna, and camped near Okanagan Lake where I hoped to spot the legendary lake monster, Ogopogo.

Alas, the two theme parks no longer exist, but the Enchanted Forest still beckons weary travellers on the Trans Canada Highway to stop and walk through an old growth forest full of delightful fairy tale characters.  This summer, I wanted to see if it was as magical as I remembered.

Here’s how the Enchanted Forest started..

how it began

And some of the scenes you’ll see…

cow jumped over the moon

there was an old woman 1red doortea for twodwarfsstorkTortoise and the hareMary, Mary

old woman hat

not sure about this one

Not sure which fairy tale this is?

Wedding partygingerbread man and foxwolftroll under the bridgepeaking out the windowwingsfollow the yellow brick road

Oh, and as we pulled out of the parking lot, I made sure to note just how far down that cliff was…..there was no cliff.

Plethora of Pelicans

I had no idea there were so many pelicans in Wascana Park…

plethora of pelicans

pelicans wascana lake

The pictures above were taken a couple of weeks ago, so then I had to go into my photo library and have a look at the other pelican pictures I’ve taken, mostly near the Albert Street Bridge. The last two are my favourite, a happy coincidence of good timing and just the right light.

pelicanx3-2Wascana Waterfowl Park 4Wascana Waterfowl Park 3

Pelican profilepelican profile 2

ceilings of the Louvre

“Remember to look at the ceilings in the Louvre!”

That’s the advice I took to heart in Paris.  The Louvre is intimidating – it’s the biggest and most visited museum in the world, so not only is there so much to see (over 35 000 works of art), you are often jockeying for a prime position to view a piece of art.  My advice to both beat the line-ups and to navigate through the crowds is to book a skip the line tour.  I booked an Express Tour through Viator, and with our guide, our group breezed through the line, and we were provided with a good overview of the collection. By no means did we see it all (that would take months!), but it was a solid introduction.

And, honestly, mostly I took pictures of the ceilings! Amazing!

Louvre Ceiling 6Louvre ceiling 3Louvre Ceiling 5Louvre ceiling 2Louvre ceiling 7 (1)Louvre Ceiing 4Louvre ceiling

Walking Along the Seine

One of my favourite parts of Paris was being near the Seine River. After a long, cold winter, the real purpose of the trip was not to visit the museums, eat the food, and drink the wine (okay that was part of it, too!!),  but to be outside and explore the city on foot.

Every day, and night, included a walk along the river.

spring afternoon by the seineNotre Dame at night

 

 

In Paris….around every corner…

…is something delightful to discover! The Stravinsky Fountain was on my list….and we happened on it accidentally after a wine tasting lunch while walking through the historical Beaubourg District.

Stravinsky Fountain 9Stravinsky Fountain 8Stravinsky Fountain 3Stravinsky Fountain 1Stravinsky Fountain 4Stravinsky Fountain 7

I love this mural by Jef Aerosol called Chuuutttt!

Stravinsky Fountain 5 and muralStravinsky Fountain 6Jef Aerosol mural 2Jef Aerosol Muralchuuutttt!

A few days into the trip, after lucking out and just coming upon the Fountain, the guidebook was left behind, and the list of carefully chosen restaurants and cafes (after much research on the internet and consulting guidebooks) was deleted from my phone.  There is so much to discover in Paris if you just open your eyes and look around. Plus you don’t need a guidebook to tell you where to eat!  Read the posted menu outside the restaurant and decide if it sounds appealing – the only advice I followed was choosing restaurants that were at least a few blocks away from a major tourist attraction as the food is generally better (and less expensive – you’re not paying the tourist prices). I read that advice in a guidebook, and it made sense to me.

Travel is meant to be fun and eye-opening.  You miss out on experiencing what a place is really like if you’re constantly consulting a guidebook or Google Maps on your phone to find directions to that “perfect” restaurant.