My blog

A little bit about me and a lot about the things we do.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Change is in the Air

Life around here is about to change....I can just feel it.  Oh it is more than the warmer weather arriving and the snow melting.  It is more than the dormant plant flowering.
There is definitely change in the air.  It started earlier this week when we got a call from 
Stephen.   His years of determination has finally paid off and he is ready to move into his dream job. We are so excited for him.  With that excitement comes anticipation.  Soon I will be booking a flight to the Yukon so he and I can do a little Alaskan tour before we drive down the Alaskan Highway.  It will be different travelling with two big dogs and a cat but I am up for it because I will be making the trip with my boy!  Eventually we will end up back here in DL.  It will be quite a change for us to have Stephen at home with us for a little bit during his transition time.  It's a very good change.  We haven't seen him since November 2013!

Oh yes, change is in the air.....there is even more than that but I will save that for another blog.

Happy weekend.  Can you feel the change?   It's in the air!

Friday, 20 March 2015

First Day of Spring

If I was back in my old life in Ontario this day would have been my last day of March Break and I would be thinking about going to a sugar shack for pancakes and fresh maple syrup.  If I was in Swift Current, I would be finishing up a work week and looking forward to weekend walks in hopefully spring like weather.

In Deschambault Lake, on the first day of Spring I spent my morning out in the community judging snow sculptures.  Tonight Ron is off to work and will spend most of the night out on the ice since there is a big fishing derby here.  These events sound a lot more like winter activities than spring but it is as is.

At least there was one sculpture that was springy...Easter is on its way!

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The Final Dash Home

After a wonderful cruise we decided that we would take some time in Niagara Falls for a couple of days. When we lived in Ontario it was an annual event for Ron and I, sometimes just the two of us, sometimes with family and friends.  After landing in Toronto on Saturday night we spent the night there and then left Sunday morning for the Falls.  We attended a church there, went out for a nice lunch and shopped a bit in the outlet mall. When we checked into our room in the afternoon it was like coming home.  The view from our 35th floor room was spectacular.
It was quite mild so we went for a long walk in the evening down to the falls and through the tourist trap section.  We enjoyed a light reception snack at the hotel and a nice cup of tea.

It seems that there are many views of the fall.  The natural light causes one beauty and in the evening the light show on the falls is quite spectacular.
American Side of Niagara Falls
The beautiful and very spectacular Canadian side of the Falls
 The next morning we had breakfast in the restaurant overlooking the falls and then went for a drive and shopping.
I wonder if that swan thinks he is an "ugly gosling?"  This was taken in Niagara on the Lake.
After a great lunch at the Keg we relaxed and enjoyed the view from our room.

We also kept our eye on the forecast. There was a storm heading this way.

The next morning we headed back to Toronto to avoid the bad weather which we almost did.  We had lunch with Ron's sister before heading to the airport.  The roads were getting a little messy by this time but our flight was still a go.  Boarding time was delayed due to the plane arriving late and then just before starting the process it was cancelled.  We had to pick up our luggage and wait in line to see when we would be rescheduled.  Instead of a direct flight to Regina we were put on a flight to Calgary leaving later that night.  Close to midnight we boarded the plane and arrived in Calgary at 1:30 a.m. (Felt like 3:30 to us). Again we picked up our luggage, checked into a couple of chairs at the airport and waited for our 7:00 a.m. flight to Regina.
Deluxe accommodations at the airport.  At least Ron and I got adjoining chairs.
We arrived in Regina with very little sleep but just in time for Costco to open. We loaded up with groceries and made the 6.5 hours home, taking turns driving.  The last part of our trip was pretty tiring but it made our own bed feel that much sweeter.

It was a wonderful winter holiday with a few extra adventures to be able to blog about.  Next holiday...hopefully to go and see Stephen!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015


Over six and a half years ago Cheryl and I began to plan a southern cruise.  We had made a deposit and then plans changed.  Ron joined the RCMP and was in depot when we were suppose to be cruising.  So finally it was happening.  As we boarded the plane there were a few different types of emotions flying around.  For some of us, excitement and anticipation and for others, fear and trepidation.  The flight was smooth going though and we landed in San Juan, Puerto Rico in the evening and it was warm!  We checked into the Embassy Suites and went for a walk around new San Juan.
It rained a little bit as we walked but we had arrived!  In the morning we spent some time at the beach and Ron and I did quite a bit of walking.
After a lot of walking along the sand and warm waves I noticed that my right foot was hurting but I remember this happening other years.  Either the sand walking or sandal walking had caused a little aggravation.  Other years it would only last a day and then everything was fine.  It wasn't going to slow this girl down.   We boarded the ship around 1:00 p.m. and it was fun watching everything through the eyes of new cruisers.  Our cabins were right next to each other and we only had to look around the partition to see them on their balcony.

Cheryl and Dave became very familiar with the ship right away and our dinners together were very enjoyable and always fattening.  We were treated to amazing food and always way too much of it.
Day 2 - St. Thomas - We took a taxi with Jerry on our own for a little tour and made our way to Coki Beach. 

It was Dave and Cheryl's first time snorkelling and only my second.  The water was wonderfully warm and clear.  They sold dog biscuits on the beach and Dave bought a few.  The fish would nibble from them right out of your hand.  It seemed a little too close for my comfort but it was nice seeing them.  There was a disturbance that caught our attention at the middle of the beach and we learned later that a man from another cruise ship had a heart attack and passed away.  What a sad ending to some people's trip. 

Day 3 - Antigua - Another beautiful day greeted us and Mary, a wonderful taxi driver rescued us from the hungry tour guides.  She took us on a great tour of the island.  At one spot we watched a local woman cut up a pineapple with very little waste.  Cheryl and Dave bought the cut up pieces which we enjoyed later on the beach and it was delicious.
The view of the beach:
We really enjoyed our day at Darkwood Beach.  There were very few people there and the water was warm and wavy.  It rained on and off but it didn't matter.  The waves made it a challenge to get in and out of the water and you had to time it just right.  Cheryl and I learned that the hard way.  One of the waves crashed on us and knocked us both down.  When the second wave came it washed over me.  I didn't know whether to laugh or cry...Cheryl just laughed.  Ron had to choose who to save.  Cheryl is younger and in better shape so he made the right choice and hauled me onto shore.  I now know how a beached whale feels.  I probably carried about 5 pounds of sand back to the ship with me in my bathing suit.
Dave, always the entrepreneur decided to discuss a business proposition.  Since the dog treats worked so well in the last beach, why not here?  He discussed it with one of the guys working there and they made a deal that if it works he will get his share.  Dave was making friends all over the Caribbean.
Day 4 - Martinique -

Our plan was to rent a car and tour the island but all the rentals were booked.  We decided to take the water taxi over to a beach.  We didn't realize until after we got there that every place takes Euros which we had none.  This, of course, only causes a problem when you want to go by bus, buy food or even go to the bathroom.  We had to borrow money for the bathroom.  We felt like beach bums.
There weren't a lot of fish to see while snorkeling but we did see some Starfish and Ron dove down to pick one up.  He made sure to return it to the same spot.  After the beach we found a nice quiet park close to the ship where we spent some time and then Ron and I went for a little walk.

Not sure if Dave is trying to photo bomb the shot or pole dance???

Day 5 - St. Lucia - This was one of the most interesting days.  We decided we wanted to go to a certain beach and so we were joined with four others from our cruise ship to do a little tour before arriving at Anse Chastenet.  We walked through the streets with our taxi driver, Rico to get into the 15 passenger van.  We were thankful that we had a mechanic with us on this trip.  The van was in pretty rough condition and the roads were worse.
There was no air conditioingn in the van and we soon found out that there were no shocks either.  Ron and I sat at the back.  With the heat of the day my foot was the worse it had been.
We saw the sights of St. Lucia.  The Pitons, an active volcano and the Lady's Shoe but what about the beach? 

Finally Rico turned down or should I say up the road to the beach.  The road was narrow, windy and extremely steep.  We prayed that we would survive.  Thirty minutes later we let out our breath as we arrived.
The beach was located at a resort that towered above us.  It costs about $1,000 a night to stay there.  We went out to snorkel and it was absolutely amazing.  The coral and varieties of fish were breathtaking.  It was just like you watch on a national geographic show.  I couldn't believe it.  It was a scary drive but it was well worth it.

Day 6 - Grenada - Ron decided that we should go on one excursion sponsored by the ship and so he booked us on a whale and dolphin tour. 
It was a hot day and my foot was pretty sore but I found a nice spot on the boat, put my foot up and enjoyed the breeze.  The others climbed to the front to keep their eyes open for any sea life.
We were almost out of luck when some dolphins started playing around the boat.  It was nice to see so many but by this time the sun had gotten to me and I was feeling a little exhausted.  Once we got back to shore I decided my action plan for the afternoon was no action at all.  I went back to the ship and crawled into bed while Ron, Dave and Cheryl headed for another beach.
Day 7 - A Day at Sea - which means rest. 

Why do I love cruising?  Every morning I would wake up to room service delivering our tea/coffee/orange juice to our room.  We would sit out on the balcony watching the sun come up.
Through the day you can visit different islands or relax on days at sea.  Ron spent some time in the gym.  Cheryl and I walked around the track on the top deck.  Dave and Cheryl used the hot tub in the morning while I used it a couple of times at night...once with Cheryl and once with Ron.  We watched movies in the theater and one of the shows.  We shopped in the stores and had lots of tea breaks in different spots in the ship.  In the evening we enjoyed delicious dinners and would watch the sunset and every night we would come back to the room to a new little towel creature.

Disembarkation...time to say goodbye to the Jewel of the Seas.  We took a tour of Old and New San Juan.

Cheryl and I had to buy the t-shirts.  They read:  The tans will fade...but the memories will last forever.
It was a wonderful cruise but I can't finish this without sharing a few of the funnier moments.
  • Of course Cheryl and my wave wipe out was pretty good but there was another big splash later that day where Ron and I could only see Dave's legs sticking out of the water as a wave rolled him into shore
  • Cheryl decided to take pictures all around the ship on our final day.  One of interest to her was in the elevator where each day they change a panel on the floor to let you know what day it is.  As we were walking around and she was snapping pictures we decided it was tea time.  She pressed the elevator button.  The door opened and she leaned in to take a picture of the elevator floor.  As she backed out she was ready to go on her way.  She didn't see what I saw.  The people staring at her and the floor like a crazy had just popped into their world.  Oh well, she got the picture and we had the laugh.
  • As we left Grenada we stood on the balcony.  We had spent four hours in the hot sun and a few hundred dollars to go whale and dolphin watching.  Right along the side of the ship we saw numerous dolphins giving us a free show.
  • And finally, our last evening.  Ron put on his sandals to go for dinner and they broke.  He wore them anyway but we decided that we would not pack them.  I thought the garbage was the right place for them but instead he walked through the atrium and walked right out of them and kept going.  As Cheryl and I stood on the floor above we laughed as we watched the confusion of the people looking at the shoes and looking around to see where this guy went.  One cruiser stated, "that guy must have been pretty drunk to walk out of his shoes and not notice."  It made for another one of those memories for us to share.
Now we just have to plan the next holiday but hopefully it won't be another six years before we can go.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Winter Trip 2015

We left our house on February, Friday the 13th...good thing we are not superstitious.  We were excited for a holiday.  It was a little overdue and this one would have three parts to it.  Getting anywhere from where we live takes time.  We drove over 6 hours to arrive in Regina.  Fortunately the roads were pretty good and Ron was just coming off days so he wasn't too tired.  We checked in at depot after a little shopping and tried to sleep.  An early flight was the plan for the next day.
Part A of our trip was just to get to Regina....Part B was a family and friend visit in Ontario.

Whenever we got to go home our first plan is always on how to spend time with the grandchildren.  As we drove from Toronto to Napanee the roads were pretty good and then it began to snow.  Vehicles were in the ditches and we took it easy.  Once we arrived in Napanee we had lunch with Ron's mom and sister and then drove to Kingston to pick up Sarah and Jacob.  The plan was for us to have them for two nights and then do an exchange for Emma and Abby.  It is nice how excited Sarah gets when she sees us.  We had fun with these two.  We took them to church the next morning and evening and they were as good as gold.
On Monday I met Cheryl, my cruising partner for tea.  We were both excited that our 6 years of planning this cruise was about to happen at the end of the week.  When I got back to Mom and Dad's Jenn, Joe and the two other kids were there.  Abby made strange with me but we thought we would give it a try anyway.  Unfortunately, Abby didn't settle down and Emma decided that she would rather be at home as well.  We took a drive that night to take the girls home.  It brought back memories of meeting my parents when Stephen and Jenn decided that they would rather be with mommy and daddy.

The next few days consisted of reconnecting with friends.  Ron and I drove to Verona and I had tea with Tracy, a long time friend from high school while Ron had coffee with Jim, a friend from Sharbot Lake.  It was fun to sit and chat.  Our reconnecting continued in the afternoon.  Ron went to Percy's.  Percy was in our wedding and Ron was in his and they grew up together on the same street.  I went to Nancy's house for tea.  Nancy and I recently found each other on facebook when one of our kindergarten pictures were posted there. 
I hadn't seen her since grade 9....and that was just a few years ago.  I am the one in the front in red with the fancy socks and Nancy is just behind me to the left.  It was funny as we talked I felt like I was a little girl again remembering things from so long ago.

That evening we continued with reconnecting by having tea with Denis and Roxane.  Roxane is my cousin but has always been a good friend and Denis and Ron have been long time tennis partners.  It is always nice to visit and catch up.

On Thursday morning we headed to Toronto to start Part C of our trip.  We had lunch again with Debbie and then in the afternoon I met up with another friend from elementary school.  Susan came to the hotel.  I must have sat with my mouth open as we chatted about her many adventures and accomplishments.  It was great to see her again.

And then....Dave and Cheryl arrived.  They checked in and Cheryl and I went over paperwork, checked into our flights and went to sleep thinking happy thoughts about the next week!

Saturday, 7 March 2015

I Can Do This!

After coming back from holidays I seem to go through a real let down.  I suppose that is normal.  The build up of anticipation, the fun time while gone and then it is over.  This time it seems even harder. We had a longer time away and we spent eight days with Cheryl and Dave.  I had a friend to chat with, walk with and have tea with...which for me that is very important.  We relaxed, laughed, talked, reminisced and enjoyed new experiences.  I had looked so forward to our time together and it was even better than I had expected.
Now, the holiday is done.  The suitcases have been emptied.  The laundry is caught up.  The house is quiet because Ron is back to work.  I have things that I could do but I don't have the motivation to do them.

I guess I will just take it easy this weekend.  Recover from the travelling and then next week I will relive my holidays in some blog entries.

I know I can fill my days.  There are always things to do.  I just need to get over the after holidays blues and get back to life.  I know I can do it but today I just don't want to.  I would rather be at the beach!