Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Time to Shine

The hall is "dec'd"

The porch is done

Biscotti made

Ginger cookies baked

The reason for the season ...

A special "first time" school concert - delightful!

Front - almost centre with red and black checked shirt

Kitchen island centre piece

A birch theme this year

The mantel 

Mom's China Cabinet

The tree

We're almost there and things are beginning to sparkle and shine.

How are your preparations coming along?

As we prepare, let's remember ...

... to be humble and kind!

Till next time ... shine on.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

A November to Remember!

A whirlwind trip to Arizona ...

The farmer had a conference to go to in Scottsdale, AZ
I tagged along
we made a trip of it!

First stop on our way was to see the Frank Lloyd Wright
"Taliesin West".
It has always been his dream to see some of the FLW sites and this was our first.
It did not disappoint.
Nestled into the desert hills with cacti all around, we were guided 
through this amazing facility, baked in the hot Arizona sun.
It truly was a WOW and now we for sure want to see more structures
designed by this brilliant man.

Next stop - the luxury hotel "The Pheonician Scottsdale"
Wowza - this place was fancy - the farmer and his wife were in awe 
and probably didn't quite meet the guest expectations.

Balcony View

However, we stayed two nights and enjoyed it just the same.
While the conference was in session I joined a party of spouses to hike up Camelback Mountain.

I soon learned why they insisted that
we each carry at least 2 bottles of water!
Very hot and oh so dry.

I have never seen such tall cactus.
Thankfully no rattlesnakes were spotted.

A view into the Scottsdale Valley from Camelback Mountain

The hotel even had it's own beautiful 2 acre Cactus Garden

Evening and Morning strolls

A fancy and magical lawn dinner party to end the conference!
We felt so pampered and amazed.

Over the next week and a half we travelled and experienced more awesomeness
and "take your breath away" sites.

Sedona, AZ
"Sedona has long been considered a special and sacred place. It is believed to possess several unusual energy fields collectively known as Sedona vortex sites. ... They believe that the vortexes (or vortices) in Sedona are swirling centers of subtle energy emanating from the surface of the earth."

This truly felt like a sacred place to us ... we hiked amongst the giant red rocks and
gazed from high buttes on this beautiful ancient land.
What a privilege to experience this special place.

Grand Canyon, AZ
South Rim

Pictures simply do not do this incredible place any justice!

We hiked below the rim on the South Kaibab Trail
and lived to tell the story!

Early Morning at Ooh Aah Point
Full Moon peeked out just as my camera battery died
A glimpse of the mighty Colorado River that carved this place!

Pinch me - I've experienced part of this wonderful world!

Next stop was Zion National Park where we stood in the valley
and gazed upwards to the magnificent peeks!
This was the Farmer's favourite.
It was a perfect warm Fall day with leaves floating gently to the ground.

Court of the Patriarchs

A rare California Condor hatchling was spotted high on a cliff's edge.
Barely visible, this black fluff spot caused some great excitement with these
avid birders. 

One more place to explore - as we headed further North into Utah.
Bryce Canyon, UT

Again we were looking down deep into this breathtaking canyon.

Natural Bridge - Bryce Canyon, UT

We felt the high elevations and chill in the air as we did a short hike above the rim and as
we travelled from point to point.


This Canyon was explored all in a day and with the long trek ahead of us back
to Phoenix, we headed back south to Flagstaff, AZ.

The next day we were back in the Phoenix area with a quick stop 
to see the Montezuma Castle - so interesting!

Oh my, this post is getting far too long ...

A few days before catching our flight home we did a quick stop
in Apache Junction, had coffee with a cousin and his wonderful wife
 who own a beautiful summer home there,
explored part of the Apache trail, dined at a real Western (ride your horse to)
eatery, and visited a "shoot'em up" museum village.

Before returning our rented vehicle, we paid a visit to Phoenix's 
Musical Instruments Museum.
This was a surprisingly amazing museum and we were so glad that a friend
had recommended this. Well worth the visit!

All in all, it was a wonderful 2 week get-away.
We ended the trip with a cab ride to the nearest shopping mall, of course, and relaxed with
a huge bag of popcorn while watching Ford vs. Ferrari at the IMAX theatre, of course!!!
He loves his IMAX movies.

Sorry I kept you so long.
Till next time - wishing all our US of A friends and families a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Maritimes 4 - finale - PEI

Squeeking in my final Maritimes post before November appears.

Before boarding the Ferry from Pictou to Prince Edward Island,
we took a drive to the point lighthouse
and saw the earlier Ferry on it's way - a pretty site to see.

We haven't been to the island since the Confederation Bridge was built!

Views along the way. The Lighthouses never get tired!

Our home for
the next few days.

Cool, rainy but it didn't 
deter us from exploring
and staying cozy.

Another Point Prim!
Yummy Restaurant next to the Lighthouse at the Point.
From our "base camp" we travelled to the Belfast area in
hunt of Koleszar Pottery - it was basically closed but an interesting
visit non-the-less.
The owners were busy splitting wood left by the damaging Dorion storm
and let us poke around their farm gardens and mostly empty 
pottery shop.

By chance, on the way back, we happened on to a fabulous little wool shop,
including live sheep at Belfast Mini Mills.
The incredible hand dyed wool really made me wish I could knit!
I purchased a skein of ribbon yarn - maybe I'll crochet a necklace sometime?

The following day we travelled to Charlottetown in the rain.
Our truck turned from black to red but, never mind, it was worth the trip!

Beautiful Historical Homes on our walking tour
Eckhart the mouse guided us to must see places down town!
Can you find him? (at the base of the clock).
He helped us find Cows!!

Another great find in the City Hall was this mural made up of 864 individual tiles,
painted by members of Council, City staff, visitors, and citizens of Charlottetown.
It was a legacy project for Canada's 150th birthday celebrations in 2017!
This is one of 150 such murals across Canada to act as a visual time capsule.
When pieced together, they make up a train that includes symbols and landmarks
representing each of the provinces and territories.

By this time we were starting to feel like drowned "rats" (sorry Eckhart)
and found a most wonderful eatery to warm up and refuel.
So thankful that my farmer is so great at searching out the best of the best
restaurants - he's my personal Trip Advisor?

Gahan House Fish Tacos.
They brew the best Blueberry Beer too!
So the rain let up a bit and we found Sir John A. on a park bench.

Had a brief chat about the weather!
On the way back through the red muddy streets (construction areas) 
to our campsite we searched out Hannah's Bottle Village.
A wee village made from bottles and concrete.

Heading North-East on the next day we saw more storm damage.
Flattened corn fields and more downed trees.

Stopped in Souris for a great lunch at the Poke Shack.

Yummy Rice bowl/box!!
The shoreline here is rugged and beautiful - walked the beach 
and breathed in the delicious sea air.

Along the way we stopped to see the beautiful, Designated Heritage Lighthouse,
East Point Lighthouse - amazing!

The weather wasn't great but the food sure was ...
Stopped at The Blue Mussel Cafe - North Rustico Harbour
 (another one that the farmer had researched)
and it was well worth the drive.

After finding a nearly abandoned camp ground - Winter Bay Camp Ground,
we got dressed up a bit and went on a date night
to the high energy Ross Family Caleigh in Clinton.
One of their last performances for the season.

After a night of heavy rain and much dampness we woke to a welcome
partly sunny sky and made our way to see the Cove Head Lighthouse
in Brackley-Dalvay National Park

Onward to Cavendish ... the park was closed but we were able
to stop and see that memorable Cavendish Red Beach.
It took my breath away and I remember this sight from many years ago.

Our final campground in PEI was Linkletter Provincial Park.
From our site we could see the Confederation Bridge!!
Drove to Summerside for a light panini supper and prepared
ourselves for the long trip back home.

Aw - the bridge!
Farewell to PEI - hope to come back someday soon
to see the rest of you.

When the farmer is headed home, LONG driving days are unstoppable.
The colourful forests whizzed by us on the Trans Canada Highway
through New Brunswick!
One stop over in Levi, Quebec for the night and then
full speed ahead to home.

Apparently it's been raining back home too!

Till next time - Happy and safe Hallowe'en to you wherever you are ... November here we come.

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