Toledo, Madrid and Toronto

Toledo, Madrid and Toronto

March 8, 2024

Toledo: February 28 – March 1 Toledo was once the capital of Spain and known as the “City of the Three Cultures”. Christians, Muslims, and Jews peacefully coexisted throughout history here. The cultural influences are reflected in the well-preserved synagogues, mosques, and cathedrals. The Toledo Cathedral is considered one of Spain’s most important cathedrals. The… View Article

Seville & Cordoba

February 28, 2024

Seville: February 23 – 26 Seville is the capital and largest city in Andalusia with a population of 701,000 and 1.5 million in the metropolitan area. Seville is approximately 2,200 years old and has a large, well-preserved historical centre. We first visited Seville in December 2014. We had taken in many of the important sites… View Article

Marbella, Ronda and Cádiz

February 25, 2024

Marbella: February 18 – 20 Our tour of the south coast of Spain continues to amaze us! Marbella is situated on the Mediterranean Sea, between Málaga and the Strait of Gibraltar. The city has a population under 200,000 and is one of the most important tourist cities of the Costa del Sol. With its subtropical… View Article

Almeria and Malaga

February 20, 2024

Almeria: February 12 – 14 Almeria has a population of 200,000 and is adjacent to a small desert, which creates an exceptionally dry climate. The coastline borders a Nature Reserve, many long sandy beaches and secluded coves on the warm waters of the Mediterranean. It is so picturesque! Agriculture is 40% of Almería’s GDP as… View Article

Valencia and Murcia SPAIN

February 13, 2024

Our first train ride was on a high speed (almost 300km/hr), non stop route from Madrid to Valencia. Security baggage screening is now mandatory, a big change since our visit in 2015. Definitely necessary but sure sent us scrambling. Our Eurail pass is now electronic – very simplified! Valencia: February 6 – 9 Valencia is… View Article

Toronto and Madrid

February 7, 2024

Toronto: January 31-February 2 And we’re off! Our stop in Toronto for two nights went as planned and we quickly adapted to the first time change of three hours. Both days we hopped on the hotel shuttle back to the airport, where we caught the express train into downtown. This saved us about $50 per… View Article

Where Did 4 Years Go?

January 28, 2024

Hello friends and family – we are back! Where did the last 4 years go? Here’s a quick update – this summer, after 3.5 years of growing the business, we sold our record store, ‘Chilliwax Records’ in Chilliwack and rented out our condo there. Then we moved to Vancouver! We are residing in Jordan and… View Article

Cape Breton, NS

September 30, 2019

Cape Breton NS: September 21 – 25, 2019 Nova Scotia’s Island  – Cape Breton – has a population of 132k. The 10,311 km2 island accounts for 19% of Nova Scotia’s total area. Although the island is physically separated from the Nova Scotia peninsula by the Strait of Canso, it is connected by a 1,385m long rock-filled causeway. The only way in and… View Article

Prince Edward Island

September 27, 2019

Prince Edward Island: September 19 – 21 2019 Prince Edward Island (PEI) is the smallest province of Canada in both land area and population (155K), but it is the most densely populated. Agriculture is PEI’s largest industry, with nearly half of the island’s land being dedicated to farming. Potatoes have been produced on PEI since as early as 1771… View Article

New Brunswick

September 21, 2019

New Brunswick:  Sept 15 – 19, 2019 New Brunswick is Canada’s only (officially) bilingual province, according to the Constitution of Canada. I did not know that! The population is two-thirds anglophones, and one third francophones and then one third of the citizens say they are bilingual. We noticed more prominent French as soon as we arrived in NB, especially… View Article

Nova Scotia

September 15, 2019

Nova Scotia Part 1 The Maritimes AKA Canada’s East Coast   The Maritime provinces is a region of Eastern Canada made up of three provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island (PEI) with a population of approximately 1.8 million people. Together with Newfoundland and Labrador, the Maritime provinces make up the region of Atlantic Canada. This is the stormiest region in Canada and the… View Article


September 9, 2019

We are back! We landed in Canada the end of June and have been busy settling in. I would have to say, this was the first time traveling that we were a little anxious to get back. Two and a half months was a long time to wait to see our precious granddaughter Margot, and… View Article


September 5, 2019

Denmark:  June 23 – 28 2019 Aarhus The train from Hamburg (GR) to Aarhus (DM) was strange, as there were no services (wifi, coffee, water) as we rode through Germany. But an hour later the train stopped, the Danish police boarded, did a passport check (never happens), left, and the train departed. That’s called ‘Welcome… View Article


September 3, 2019

Hello! Finally getting around to finish off the blog posts from our spring Europe trip. We have been back in Canada since the end of June and we are enjoying our new life in Chilliwack. We will make a separate post on life at home, after being nomads for eight months. Germany June 20 –… View Article


June 27, 2019

Poland: June 16 – 20, 2019 Poland is the 6th most populous EU member with a population of approximately 38.5 million people. The majority of the population is Roman Catholic. Poland has 15 UNESCO sites.  The country is prosperous with a high-income economy and very high standards of living, life quality, education, and economic freedom. The citizens receive free university, state-funded social security and a universal health care system. … View Article


June 21, 2019

Lithuania: June 14 – 16 2019 Lithuania, a country of 2.9 million, is the southernmost country of Europe’s Baltic states, and a former Soviet bloc nation bordering Poland, Latvia and Belarus. Lithuania is said to be in a geographical centre of Europe. 90% of Lithuania’s are Roman Catholic. The Lithuania language is the most ancient… View Article


June 16, 2019

Latvia: June 12 – 14, 2019 Latvia lies on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea, with over 500 km of coast and many beautiful, wide beaches. Half of the country is covered by dense forest, making Latvia lush and green. The locals are forgers and find fantastic ingredients like birch sap juice, berries, and… View Article


June 14, 2019

Estonia: June 9 – 12, 2019 The history of Estonia was a real eye opener for us. We learned so much and continue to, as we visit the neighbouring countries of Latvia and Lithuania. The territory of Estonia consists of a mainland and 2,222 islands in the Baltic Sea. 67% of Estonian citizens speak Estonian as their… View Article


June 10, 2019

Finland: May 30 – June 9 Hello from Finland – a fascinating, beautiful, friendly country! We thoroughly enjoyed our time here and put many, many miles on our weary bones. We are realizing we are not as young as we used to be and Joe’s hip starts to bother him after about 10k steps so… View Article


June 1, 2019

Sweden: May 23 – 30, 2019 Hello from Sweden! We learned first hand that Sweden is known as the most cashless society on the planet. Most of the country’s bank branches have stopped handling cash. The majority of the shops, attractions and restaurants now only accept credit cards or mobile payments. It just seems odd that… View Article


May 24, 2019

Norway: May 17 – 23 2019 Hello from one of the happiest places on earth! According to the 2019 Happiness Report, Finland is the happiest country in the world, followed by Denmark, Norway, Iceland and the Netherlands. (Iceland will be our only miss). Perhaps the connection is a good salary that a very high percentage of workers… View Article

The Netherlands

May 22, 2019

Amsterdam: May 14 – 20, 2019 Our flight out of Dublin was delayed by an hour. No big deal, but just a bit strange how we were notified. Already loaded on the plane, but still at the gate, the pilot appears and she explains that the Amsterdam airport has a new computer system glitch so… View Article


May 19, 2019

IRELAND: May 9 – 14, 2019   We loved the beauty of Ireland’s rugged coasts, the music, pubs and Guinness, and all the friendly folk we met! It was a bit strange with Northern Ireland using the same currency as the UK (pounds) and being part of Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland using… View Article


May 13, 2019

Almost 5 million Canadians claim Scottish as their heritage, and the two countries have strong ties. And we are practically neighbours; next stop from the northwest of Scotland is Canada and parts of Alaska. We loved Scotland and the friendly people of this country. Sometimes we even understood what they were saying! Haggis ‘Fair fa’ your… View Article


April 30, 2019

WALES – April 2019   Cardiff The people of Wales were always smiling, very friendly and happy! Wales is a proudly bilingual country with 23% of the population speaking ‘Cymraeg’, or Welsh. This 4000 years old language was heard and seen everywhere and sounded very unique. We could decipher nothing!   Cardiff Castle       The red… View Article


ENGLAND   London    Oh, how we loved London – we had such a jolly good time! Four days was not enough but we sure crammed in as much as we could. The weather was absolutely perfect and definitely added to the WOW factor.  We stayed in a lovely, central hotel near the Paddington Train… View Article

Texas Part 2 – San Antonio to Dallas

April 17, 2019

We were in Texas for almost 6 weeks so lots of ground to cover! Joe helped a lot with the blog and wrote the major of this section. Thanks Honey! San Antonio   San Antonio in southern Texas is steeped in frontier history. Today it is a major tourist destination and a city of about… View Article

Texas Part 1 – Dallas to Austin

Dallas   We arrived safely in Dallas after a brief fog delay in Vancouver.     We took a cab to our hotel and later walked to the nearest restaurant, ‘Salt Grass’. It wasn’t really near and the walking path was dark and sketchy. Joe assured me it was fine and that he would protect… View Article

Setting Sales

April 15, 2019

Setting Sales (this post was supposed to go BEFORE the Japan post!)  During a visit to Vancouver in May of 2018, we received some VERY exciting news. Spencer and Lindsay were expecting their first baby in December. We were so excited! Grandparents – the moment we had been waiting for! Our most rewarding job yet,… View Article

Seoul, Korea – November 2018

April 10, 2019

Seoul, Korea Tuesday November 20 A little airport trivia for you! Osaka’s Kansai International Airport is located on an artificial island in the middle of Osaka Bay. In 2001, the airport was one of ten structures given the “Civil Engineering Monument of the Millennium” award. Terminal 1 is the longest airport terminal in the world with a length of 1.7 km! We flew into Seoul’s… View Article

Japan – November 2018

April 9, 2019

Japan   Tokyo is a quick 9.5 hour flight from Vancouver. Joe of course snoozed the whole way while I watched movies. Japan is another country where you are fingerprinted on arrival but this time I aced it. We found our way via bus to our hotel area – 2 hours away! By then it… View Article

China – June 2018

April 8, 2019

China – June 2018 By Joe    Paula got to go to China on a buying trip with her boss, Victor. They are in the vending business and source their toys, prizes etc for the vending machines in China. I was fortunate enough to be invited along. I was quite tepid at first and declined, but… View Article

Life Off Of The Road

We are back and blogging!! September 4, 2018 marked three years since we returned to Kelowna from our One Year Travel Adventure. Where did three+ years go? Well, after some adjustments to being stationary, we settled into our prior lives. Our dog, family and friends were happy to have us back. We bought a condo…. View Article

Homeward Bound

October 7, 2015

Hello there – we have missed you! Feels like we are back talking to old friends again. Speaking of which, we saw lots of family and friends over the last month+. That has helped with our gradual ease back into reality. Having loved ones around again, sharing stories of our year and theirs while we… View Article

When In Rome…..

August 18, 2015

Ciao from Rome! We had a great time here so of course the blog is long – sorry about that! Hope you enjoy….. Overview of Aug 1 – 15 We spent these first two weeks of August in Rome, during Italy’s summer holiday period. There were some restaurants and shops closed but many remained open…. View Article

Amalfi Coast

August 3, 2015

Ciao from Southern Italy – our Italian adventure continues! Our Eurail Pass got us business class train tickets on the highspeed train from Florence to Salerno – so cool, classy and peaceful! Salerno was another port city that gave us a short-lived, but bad first impression. As we made our way from the train station to… View Article

Under The Tuscan Sun

July 27, 2015

  Florence (Firenze) – Ciao from the beautiful Tuscan Region of Italy! Tuesday, July 14 – Friday, July 24 We loved our first apartment in Florence (Firenze); especially the air conditioning! While the location was not very central to the centre, we were able to walk there within 20 minutes. A walk doesn’t usually bother us… View Article

Cinque Terre

July 16, 2015

Ciao! Bongiorno!   We hope you are having a little reprieve from the heatwave. Looks like we will be in the high 30’s for the next while. :0 Please enjoy our tour of the Cinque Terre….we loved it! The Cinque Terre is a string of five coastal towns along the Italian Riviera between Pisa and Genoa…. View Article

Now, That’s Italian!

July 9, 2015

Hello from Italy – our home for the next six weeks! We have waited a long time to visit here again.   July 1-5 – Venice Venice (or Venezi in Italian) was our first stop on our tour of Italy. Venice is in northeastern part of the country, spanning on a group of 118 small islands, separated by… View Article

Rolling on the River

July 3, 2015

Hello! We are very happy to share our Danube River cruise adventure with you! The post is long (sorry!) but it was very hard to cram 13 days, 11 cities and 5 countries into one post. Plus I had a few technical difficulties which caused a wee delay. In an effort to save time, I… View Article

It’s All Greek To Me

June 18, 2015

Thessaloniki, Greece We re-entered the Schengen region without a hiccup – hello Greece! Thessaloniki is a commercial port and is the second-largest city in Greece with a population of 1.1 million. It was named after Thessaloniki, half sister of Alexander the Great. It is here that the Apostle Paul first brought the message of Christianity (50 A.D.). Thessaloniki is… View Article

Zagreb, Croatia

June 11, 2015

  Hello from Zagreb, our final destination in Croatia. We are really going to miss this country!   Friday, June 5 – Thursday, June 11 Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Croatia with a metropolitan population of over 1.2 million. It is located in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of… View Article

Zadar and Opatija, Croatia

June 4, 2015

Hello and welcome back to more Croatia! This country is just full of non-stop beauty!!   Sunday, May 24 – Saturday, May 30: We arrived by bus to a small village outside of Zadar and our next home for a week, in a nice ‘balcony with a view’ apartment. We weren’t actually in Zadar, but… View Article

Makarska and Split, Croatia

May 25, 2015

Hello and welcome back to beautiful Croatia!   Wednesday, May 13 – May 16: Makarska, Croatia We travelled 3 hours via bus from Dubrovnik to Makarska today. To our surprise, a small piece of Bosnia, a city called ‘Neum’, interrupts the Croatian coastline. It was interesting and meant two unexpected passport checks. Makarska is a small… View Article

Dubrovnik, Croatia!

May 13, 2015

Hello from the gorgeous country of Croatia. You have to visit here just to see the colour of the crystal clear water – love it here!   A Short (Recent) History of Dubrovnik…. Croatia’s Adriatic Sea coast contains more than a thousand islands! The country’s population is 4.28 million, most of whom are Croats. Croatia is a World Trade Organization (WTO), NATO and joined… View Article

Montenegro Part 2

May 5, 2015

A Few Things We Learned About Montenegro…. A waiter told us one night, with some concern, that Russia plays a big role in the Montenegrin economy. We discovered Russians own majority shares in 32% of foreign enterprises here. The Russian press claims that Russian citizens (politicians and billionaires) own at least 40% of real-estate property in Montenegro…. View Article

Montenegro Part 1

April 26, 2015

Hello family and friends! We are enjoying incredible blue skies and colourful water while loving the warmth of the coast.   Sunday, April 19 – Podgorica, Montenegro! The mountains looked incredible from the plane – we were excited to be here! Arriving in a new country is always something we look forward to. Podgorica (rhymes with… View Article

Sarajevo, Bosnia

April 18, 2015

Hello! Wow, Bosnia was an eye-opener for us. And we are still confused as hell. Perhaps you have a clear understanding of the recent history in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but here is what we now understand from this learning experience: Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina (abbreviated BiH) with a population of 430,000 people, nestled in a colourful valley. Sarajevo… View Article

Belgrade, Serbia

April 13, 2015

Hello there! Are you ready for another history and geography lesson? Hope you don’t mind us sharing our discoveries with you – it has been fascinating! Monday, April 6 Our flight today was from Tirana, Albania to Belgrade, Serbia and it really got us thinking. These two countries do not have the best relationship. And… View Article


April 4, 2015

  A Few Days in Tirana, Capital of Albania We spent the first two nights at a spa hotel, exploring, relaxing and re-energizing after our tour of Turkey. Then we moved to a quaint hotel that our Albania tour company uses for tour guests. Two totally different hotels and areas of the city. Loved the… View Article

Turkish Delight

March 22, 2015

This is Part 2 of Turkey…if you didn’t see the post ‘Istanbul’, please start there!   Turkish tales… The Evil Eye The Evil Eye belief in Turkey is when someone ‘eyes’ your good fortune with jealousy or gluttony, bad luck in some form is bound to befall you. The Turks believe, even if you mean… View Article


March 20, 2015

Hello family and friends! We are really having fun in Turkey and are learning so much about the history, culture, religion and people here. We have made lots of new friends and the weather is showing promise too!   Monday, March 9 – Istanbul! Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey with a population of… View Article

Meanwhile, Back in Paris….

March 9, 2015

  Our Paris adventures continue! So sorry this post is so long; but covers over two weeks. Won’t let it go that long again. Saturday, Feb 21 Our first destination today was to the Love Lock bridges. (Thanks Brian Kerr for the suggestion!) Sweethearts inscribe their initials on a padlock and lock it to the… View Article

Paris – City of Love

February 20, 2015

  Bonjour from the beautiful city of Paris!  We have settled in and are happy to have a short break from packing and unpacking. 🙂 Sunday, Feb 8 – Paris Great trip into Paris on a high speed, double decker train. Man we were moving! Our Airbnb apartment is on Oberkampf in the 11th arrondissement… View Article

Le Tour de France

February 7, 2015

Hello again….France is fantastic and we are seeing and learning many things about this wonderful country! Saturday, Jan 31 – Annecy, France Annecy greeted us with a big snow display today. It was our first real snow experience so we thought it is quite beautiful! We had an Apartment/Hotel in Annecy that was very central… View Article

The French Connection

February 1, 2015

  Bonjour from France!! This post is intermixed with both of us writing. We hope you enjoy it. Wednesday to Saturday, Jan 21-24 – Toulouse, France Our first stop here is Toulouse, also known as Ville Rose (“the Pink City”), from the extensive use of the unique, pinkish terracotta bricks. Such a pretty city! Toulouse has two UNESCO World Heritage… View Article

The Rain in Spain

January 22, 2015

It’s not raining and only has once or twice in Spain….just had to use that title! Actually we saw our first snow of the year in Burgos on January 16. It was beautiful…..but only lasted a few minutes. We just wanted to mention how much we love traveling by train. It’s wonderful! You arrive 15… View Article

A Tale of Two Cities – Porto and Santiago

January 13, 2015

    Hello friends and family! So nice of you to stop by our adventure …… Monday, Jan 5 – Porto, Portugal Porto is located along the Douro River in Northern Portugal and is one of the oldest European centres. Porto’s historical core was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCOin 1996. We were lucky our apartment was located in this district –… View Article


January 6, 2015

  Sunday, Dec 28 – Albufeira: Portugal! Our first bus trip! We journeyed from Seville to Albufeira, Portugal by bus; it was relaxing and comfortable. As we approached Albufeira, several of the small towns the bus stopped in appeared rundown and the locals were a little rough looking. The stop before ours was in an… View Article

Out of Africa!o

December 27, 2014

Hello all! We know this is an extremely long post but it was an incredible week and couldn’t skip any details. Enjoy! Thursday – Dec 18: Granada We arrived via train into the beautiful city of Granada. The snow capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada seemed so close on the train; now in the city… View Article


December 19, 2014

Hola from the very beautiful country of Spain – our first touchdown on our European adventure! Thursday/Friday – Dec 11/12 We flew today from Atlanta to Philly and then at 7PM, had a 7.5 hour flight into Madrid. We arrived at 8:30am the next day. Man that was brutal jet lag for a few days!… View Article

Thirty-Two Beds and Counting!

December 11, 2014

Whose counting? We are! We have completed our Quebec and USA tour over the last 96 days and have had a fantastic time! And yes, we have slept in 32 different beds.   So hello from Atlanta – just a quick update before we head to Europe! Saturday, Dec 6 – Tuscaloosa, AL We stopped… View Article

New Orleans!

December 7, 2014

    How y’all doing? Here are the last few days in Gulf Shores and then on to our New Orleans trip!   Friday, Nov 28 – Black Friday in Gulf Shores This was our first official Black Friday – sure wish we had something to shop for! We did pop into The Pottery Store;… View Article

Sweet Home Alabama!

November 28, 2014

How y’all doing? This post includes one day from Florida and the rest from Alabama. Loving the South!   Thursday, Nov 20 – Tallahassee FL We left St. Petersburg last night and arrived safely in Tallahassee. We awoke to the news of a shooting at the University here; not far from our hotel. How senseless… View Article

Life’s a Beach

November 19, 2014

Hello all! So nice of you to drop by. We are starting to see signs of Christmas in our travels. Where has the time gone? Can you believe we are almost into our 12th week? Nearing the quarter mark! We still look forward to each new day and the adventures it brings us. We hope… View Article

Georgia On My Mind

November 10, 2014

Monday, Nov 3 Hello again  – on our way to Savannah! Stopped for lunch in Metter, Georgia, on the way to Savannah, at a place called Jomax BBQ. It was packed with people and the menu was shocking! Small salads were $1.50, hamburgers were $4.29, sandwiches $5.99. Meals included 3-4 sides. So cheap compared to… View Article

Charming Quebec City

November 5, 2014

Hello Family and Friends! The story continues….we hope you will enjoy it! Tuesday, Oct 28 – Old Quebec City After a pleasant drive from Sutton, we arrived in Quebec City. The main road into Old Quebec was under construction so we had to follow a lengthy detour. Signed well, but threw Joe the driver for… View Article

Bonjour Canada!

October 29, 2014

Sunday Oct 19 – Montreal Bonjour – Hello Canada – nice to see you again! We arrived in Montreal after an uneventful flight from Boston. We went directly to apartment #1, a one bedroom in the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Griffintown. The host and apartment were great and we were very central. Tonight we had a… View Article

New England Road Trip – Week Two

October 19, 2014

Hello again! Here we are, back for week two of our New England road trip. We logged 1,536 miles! Here is a short video of the ride down Sugarloaf – hope this works! Monday, Oct 13 – Maine to New Hamshire Today we sadly said goodbye to Sugerloaf Resort; our favorite spot so far…. View Article

Road Trip! Week One

October 15, 2014

Week in Review Hello there! We are having a fantastic time! We are not sure if we are fans of making hotel reservations at the spur of the moment. We find we spend so much time looking for the perfect spot when we arrive at our destination, that it consumes a good part of the… View Article


October 7, 2014

First, The Truth of the Matter I’m sure you are wondering how it is really going with ‘us’ – spending every waking moment together in sometimes tight quarters. Well, I will summarize how it so far; after one month: We wake up and go to bed when we are awake or tired and when we… View Article

New York, New York!

September 28, 2014

“A New York Minute” A New York minute is an instant. Or as Johnny Carson once said, it’s the interval between a Manhattan traffic light turning green and the guy behind you honking his horn. (this so true – they love to honk their horns here!) Friday Quote: Friday, Sept 19 Saw our first subway… View Article

Good-bye Chicago and Hello New York!

September 19, 2014

Monday, Sept 15 Chicago con’t Hello friends! Thanks for comments on the last post – miss you all! Today I decided we should get on the subway and travel backwards, away from the centre of town and find somewhere else to explore. I did a ‘little’ research first. We hopped on the train and by… View Article


September 14, 2014

Wednesday Sept 10 Arrived safe and sound in our first US destination! No problems with our carry-on; think we have a good packing system now. Here we are arriving at the Chicago Airport. What you see is all of our luggage for one year – pretty good, huh?     Took a taxi to our… View Article

Last Minute Shopping in Vancouver

September 7, 2014

Forgot how much walking we do in Vancouver – the Seawall is always packed with runners, walkers, cyclist, young and old. Went to MEC today for a shoe bag that was small enough to count as a second carry-on. We bought a Murse for Joe to use – Joe has a Murse! Seems to like it… View Article

Wahoo Whalley World!

Had a great couple of days in Whalley – thank you Randy and Ann for being so hospitable! Dale Mcdougall along with our  dear friend Louise Baert (whom we had’t seen for 25 years!!) joined us for a great BBQ on Thursday. Enjoyed some wine, hot tub, walks and lots of stories during our stay…. View Article

First Stop – Kelowna!

August 24, 2014

Once we were ‘homeless’ in West Kelowna, we stayed in a wonderful basement suite in Kelowna! It had everything we needed and allowed us to keep Salsa with us for the last two weeks before we leave for Vancouver. IF YOU CLICK IN THIS POST YOU WILL SEE IMAGES AND BE ABLE TO ADD COMMENTS…..the… View Article