Rambling down La Ramblas

Oh Barcelona, a bustling city filled cobbled streets (my favourite), shopping (don’t bust the budget), breath-taking architecture (Gaudi), mouth watering dishes (think paella and tapas), full-bodied red wine (yum!) and excellent beer (can’t forget the beer). And to top it all off, there is a coastline of fantastic beaches lined with boardwalks and trendy little beach bars. Continue reading

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Taking Action

Just jump already!

Those fine words of wisdom were spoken to me by a 10 year old kid as I was standing paralyzed at the top of a 15 foot diving board. Easy for him to say! Looking at the long line of impatient kids waiting for their turn, I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and jumped. Was it fun? Yes, in a scary way. Did I race back up for a second go at it? Nope – I had reached my own “finished line”. I did it and once was enough. I am scared of heights after all.

Isn’t that the way of things in life? Just jump. Just do it. It sounds easy enough, right? It’s our fears that hold us back from taking those leaps of faith. Fear of injury, whether physical or emotional. Fear of failure. Fear of embarrassment. Fear of the finish line. Continue reading

My Preference – Portugal!

 

“You eat…you pay”

Ok, so those little dishes of olives, cheese and bread that they bring out before your meal without comment aren’t free???

Apparently not and unless you ask or know of this fairly common standard when eating out in Portugal, you definitely do pay if you choose to eat those tasty little morsels.

Portugal is a beautiful country to explore, shop, sightsee, photograph, eat and drink wine… lots of fabulous wine. A medium bottle of wine from the Douro Valley is a measly 2 euros, while a great bottle of wine will cost you just under 5 euros. Not a bad deal when you are looking forward to spending an evening on your deck, with some local tapas and a good book. Continue reading

What’s on YOUR Bucket List?

What is it about bucket lists that makes us think we can only do them when we know our time on earth is coming to an end. We all know that last day is coming for us sooner or later. What if instead, we made it our goal to complete one or more of the items on the list each year, or each month? Do bucket list items have to be something that takes a huge amount of time, courage or money? Or can they be small things that you’ve never quite gotten around to but mean to do “one of these days”. What about today? Is there something on your bucket list you can do today, this week or this month? Continue reading

Why Taking a Drive in the Country is Good for the Soul

We do not remember days, we remember moments.  

~ Cesare Pavese

For those of us that live in the city, you generally need to drive with eyes in the back of your head. Traveling the back roads through the prairies of Alberta gives the promise of freedom and the ability to breathe in the scenery in a somewhat more relaxed mode. In the prairies, we have the privilege of seeing all four corners of the sky at once. Rolling hills dotted with forest, prairie, cattle, horses, rivers and blue sky is what Alberta holds for an afternoon jaunt. Continue reading

Traveling Germany – Part Three

Shut the Front Door!

Have you ever noticed when traveling through Germany or Europe in general, how amazingly intricate and beautiful the doors are? It’s certainly not limited to churches or museums. An afternoon stroll can extend for hours when you take the time to notice, and yes, photograph the variety of doors to behold.

In part two of this series, we enjoyed herring sandwiches along the North Sea. Now it was time to head inland, south to Osnabrück and Koblenz. Continue reading

Farewell Sammie

Yesterday I said goodbye to my companion of 17.5 years.  While I grieve the loss of my beloved Sammie, I take solace in that letting him go, I am giving him a final gift of peace.  He no longer has to suffer through severe arthritis nor kidney failure. Instead, he is free of pain and in a place of peace and love. Continue reading

Traveling Germany – Part Two

Pickled Herring Sandwich?

Ok, before your form your opinion on pickled herring sandwiches – Denmark has red hot dogs, Switzerland has chocolate and Germans like to pickle things…lots of things, and they do a damn fine job of it. If you happen to find yourself driving around the coastal towns along the North Sea, look for the small mobile sandwich huts and grab some pickled herring on a bun. I promise, they are delicious!

We left part one of this series visiting the land of storks in Hansestadt Werben. Continuing north, after a quick overnight stop outside of Brandenburg, we traveled through majestic, tree-lined cobble roads, crossed the Elbe River by ferry, and arrived in Wittenberge. 

A small cemetery outside of Wittenberge, surrounded by poppy fields is where my Dad’s grandparents were buried. Continue reading

Traveling Germany – Part One

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

Errr…no…I mean nein!

Okay, I’m not quite that illiterate in German. Thankfully it’s pretty easy to get around Germany as English is widely spoken. That being said, I do try to communicate in German as much as possible while in-country, often to the hilarity of the various residents I encounter. Quite often, when I have thoroughly mangled what I am trying to say and give up in frustration, I ask “Sprechen Sie English?” A common response is, “Yes, I speak perfect English”. I have seen more stifled laughs than you can imagine – all in good humour. Continue reading

Bokeh Photography – The Softer Side

The word “bokeh” is of Japanese origin and translates to “blur” or “haze”. In photography, bokeh refers to the aesthetic quality of the blur presented in the out of focus aspects of an image.

This post is not to instruct on how to produce bokeh images, but rather to speak to the soft and somewhat dreamy quality some images have, and the emotions they evoke.

I don’t always aim for reality in my photographs. A greater part of my photography passion is trying to capture my interpretation of the world and how I choose to see it. We see enough reality in the news and everyday life and everyone’s perspective is unique.  Continue reading