Saturday, November 26, 2016


Miami seems exotic to me, the landscape, the weather and especially the people. There is such a mixture of people and so many good-looking ones.
We are staying in a very nice apartment in the financial district. It has a pool and hot tub.
I was surprised at the transit here. Where we are staying and downtown there is a train system called Metromover which is free and gets you to lots of places plus to bus connections pretty quickly. Today we went to South Beach. We rented chairs and an umbrella and watched the ocean and beach-goers. The beach is really nice, wide with nice light sand. Walked around a bit after and looked at the Art Deco buildings in the area. I would come back to Miami.
The cruise already seems like a dream. It was good, but there were so many people all the time. I did find it relaxing to sit on a lounger in the solarium and knit and watch the ocean. There were lots of activities but we didn’t do any of them, just relaxed a lot. The weather was mostly nice, warmer than I thought it would be. There were two or three rough days but I liked the ship rocking.
It was fun to go to New York. I did not plan very well for the Florida part of the trip so we went to Macy’s to find a couple of t-shirts so I would have something to wear in the heat. Jude was sick on Saturday so did not go into the city with us. We went to the 9/11 memorial which took longer to go through than we thought so did not do much else. The memorial was sad, but I also thought about all the thousands of people killed in Syria and Iraq who don’t get a memorial.
Lots of Brits on the ship and a fair number of Americans. I overheard some gloating about the election but tried not to listen because it made me so mad. We chatted with a woman on the train today who said she is going back to Puerto Rico because of Trump.
Today we went to the Everglades for a boat tour. It was great. I just loved being out of the city for a while and I have never seen anything like the Everglades. We saw alligators, a big turtle, and two blue herons while we were on the water.
Soon will have to pack once more as we leave for Orlando tomorrow.
Below, big turtle.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Dry Land

Nov 7 to 24
The trip back from Bratislava was uneventful, I even had the whole row to myself. I stayed overnight at the airport and caught the bus the next day for Southampton. The nice thing about taking the bus in and out of London is passing by all the sights, you are high enough to see everything very clearly and traffic moves so slowly there is a lot of time to view stuff.

Southampton is a nice city. I went to the Sea View Museum, which was very good. Lots of information about the history of the city. There was an exhibit on the golden age of cruising, from the 20s to current time. Also one on the Titanic which, I thought after I was done, was not the smartest ng for me to do, see a sinking ship on a voyage across  the Atlantic  just before I was about to leave on one. Boarding the ship I was the passenger everyone hates because I had not printed my paperwork, I was going to do it in Budapest, the apartment I was staying at had a printer, but then the power went out there and couldn't. Anyway it all worked out and they let me on the ship. T and G eventually found me, and we had supper together that night. The next day I did not see them at all, a very big ship and about 3000 passengers. But then we got a routine going so we met for supper and a drink before having a late supper.

Lots to do on the ship, but I really did not feel like doing any of it so, I did not. Staff were all very attentive.   When we got to Boston were supposed to go through Immigration  and then see the sights. However there was a screw up, forms did not get passed out and even though we were given times to go through that got kind of tossed out the window. In the end I did not get through until 2:30 and we had to be back on the ship at 3:30 so no Boston sights. As you can imagine people were pretty upset.

We got to New York around 4 pm the next day, and got off the ship, walked to Macy's and bought Theresa a couple of tops. The next day was a full day in the city but, I was feeling like crap, so stayed on the ship.  Two days cruising to Port Canaveral, went shopping in Cocoa Beach Village, got some sandals and a pattern and wool.

Next day docked in Miami,  took a taxi to the apartment we are staying. It is in the Financial district of Miami. Yesterday was Thanksgiving, Theresa  made a chicken, and we had pumpkin pie for dessert. Today we will head over to South Beach for a bit. Weather is lovely and warm

Friday, November 18, 2016

the flu

I've been at home sick for 1/2 the week. Am pretty sure it is the flu as had really bad aches and a fever. Today I am improved, so will be back Monday for sure
Am trying to read books from library quickly as I had 7 from my hold list come ready. Read After the Fall-good, biography of Stalins daughter-also good, and currently on Underground Railroad- good too.
Mom is doing great, going for walks, including mailbox by corner store! Speech pathologist came by and gave her green light for eating, if she wants, so that made her feel relieved. She has been eating some, usually once or twice a day, eggs, potatoes, etc. She says this Kia the best she's felt in 2 years

Not too much new here. We got all the yard work done for here and jones, each season change, I am never sure if we will, but we did, including moms too. There are a lot of leaves here, and a lot of plants at jones, but all moms needs is digging up gardens and emptying pots.

Am feeling like I should be doing more Christmas shopping, but suspect that is just because of commercialism encouraging earlier Xmas season.

Though we already had one Xmas party,  my work, but here is another work one coming up.

Sebastian is doing well, though I notice wherever I go he follows, when having a bath, he lays on my towel beside the tub.

Richard still has weekends off so we are happy about that!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Ship ahoy

Sitting on the bus to Southampton just waiting to leave trying to ignore the annoyance I feel at hearing American voices. Why must they be so loud? Plus they are happy about their new president.
We had a good last couple of days at Anne and Del’s. We went with them on Saturday to do some errands, always fun to visit stores in different countries. We did not go to a bonfire on Guy Fawkes but heard fireworks all night long. Tried to go out for supper but every place was packed with people who were out for the celebrations.
We had a good time in London too. We stayed in the same place as last time, a convenient location close to the tube. And it did feel good knowing where we were going when we got off the bus from Oxford. 
Went to Greenwich, spent a whole day there and still did not get to everything. The Maritime Museum was so good. We took a boat back up the river.
Yesterday we went to the London Transport Museum. It took us four hours to go through it, it was so interesting. Anne was in town for work so we met her one last time at a yummy ramen restaurant for an early supper. We were so happy to see her one more time.
Up early today to get to the bus station. I was a bit worried about hauling my big suitcase up the steps at Victoria Station but it was fine.
Trying to post a picture. If it works, the bus on the left was built the year I was born.

Sunday, November 06, 2016


Nov 1 to 6
This is a very cool city. I am staying in the old town and it is mostly pedestrian, so not too many worries about traffic. It is also a bit deceiving about how big it is. There are little archways all over which lead to a courtyard which have more buildings, stores etc.My apartment is in one of the courtyards. My landlord arranged for a taxi to meet me at the train station, then met me where the taxi dropped me off to walk over to the apartment. Quite lovely not to have to figure out where to go by myself.

I walked up to the Bratislava Castle and toured around that. Very interesting, it has been restored, and is now a museum. Part of it is an art gallery with pictures of Slovaks, both famous and regular people. Most of them had dad like noses, very strong looking. You also get a very good view of the city, it is kind of like Budapest, one side of the river quite flat, the other side very hilly. The flat side has most of the new buildings, lots of very square looking apartments.I went out for supper the other night, to a restaurant recommended by Rado (landlord) and had schnitzel and potato salad, along with some lovely sausage and a beef broth soup. For dessert they had poppyseed pyrogies, but I was too full to try them.

I am doing laundry this morning, then will head out for a little more exploring this afternoon. I leave tomorrow back to the UK.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Back again

We are safely back at Anne’s, having dropped the car off with some relief. With a car you can get to more places more easily but driving has its challenges. We were glad we rented it though.
The last day in Ironbridge we went to a National Trust house, Attingham Park. It is from the 1700s and the family as usual had their ups and downs through the generations, one bunch buying lots of stuff, the next having to sell it all, the next buying it back again. It was beautiful.
On to our little cottage by Bath. It was a lovely place,  newly built for vacationers, in the country. The owners had our dates mixed up, they thought we were coming the next day but I had an email confirming the dates, and it was ready, so all was good. We spent the first day as a rest day, just drove out to find groceries. The day after we took the park and ride into Bath, but we just wandered around kind of aimlessly. Went to the Jane Austen museum, looked in a few shops. We kind of toyed with going to the baths, but I left my bathing suit in Oxford and we couldn't see a place to buy one, so we went back to our cosy little place. Oh, we did find a wool shop there.
The last day we went to another NT place, Tyntesfield. It was amazing. Four generations of one family lived there from the late 1700s and the National Trust only bought it in 2002 from the last owner’s estate. So all the furniture and decoration belonged to the house. We spent a long time there because we talked to every guide in every room, and since they were almost all eager and knowledgeable, we learned a lot. Then we walked through the absolutely beautiful grounds. It was a really good day.
The drive back was fine. Our GPS lady was very helpful and did not say “recalculating” in that annoyed voice some of them have. When we went wrong she just gently guided us back on track.
Anne's friends Lana and Paul from Edmonton are coming over for supper tonight.
Tomorrow is Guy Fawkes! We might go see a bonfire. 

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Hello Nova Scotia!

I have more or less successfully made the transition from coast to coast.  I don't have my furniture yet, or the car, but Patches made it here safely, and so did I. 

Leaving Tofino was sad, but by the end I had no furniture, so it didn't seem very practical to change plans by then.  I left early in the morning the day after my last services, which was good -there was only one person that I saw up and about, so I was able to minimize the last minute good byes.  My last day of services was really nice.  Lots of people came to Sunday morning, which was really nice, and we had cake afterwards.  That afternoon there was a memorial at the Legion, so I got to see a bunch of people there as well.  Then after the services in Ucluelet, I went for supper at Kuma, which was my favourite restaurant.

On the Monday I had to drive to Vancouver, drop the car off at the shipping agency, and get Patches to Air Canada Cargo, so she could fly to Halifax.  I wasn't sure how it was all going to work, but with the help of the Lower Mainland public transportation, Google Maps, and a cat friendly cab company, it all worked out, and didn't even cost that much.

Tuesday I flew to Kelowna, where I got to see Grandma and Jim.  Then it was off to Rocky for a couple night, and lots of time playing with the boys.  They are full of energy for sure.  I booked a late night flight out of Edmonton, so I was able to meet with Grace and Dallyn and Sam and Nancy and Allison for supper.  I arrived in Halifax about 10 in the morning, but hadn't slept on the plane.

Once I got here I discovered that Allie had a very busy week.  We had to move her out of her apartment and in with a friend, move most of her stuff to Amherst, and organize a big Diocesan Youth Conference.  I drove a U-Haul for the first time, through Halifax and across the bridge, and then down to Amherst.  It was less complicated than  I thought it would be.  Then I quickly unloaded the U-Haul in Amherst, and had to jump back in, and pick up the lady who was the keynote speaker for the conference, who had landed in Moncton.  Meanwhile, Allie was collecting Patches from the friends who she was staying with.

I am settling in well to the new house.  Allie sent down enough furniture that I'm not uncomfortable, and it really is a lovely space.  It has wood floors through most of it, with laminate in the den, tile in the office and lino in the kitchen.  The cupboards are really lovely pine.  Allie keeps talking about painting them, but I love the wood.  Upstairs is carpet and laminate.  Patches loves the carpet.  I guess she's not used to it, as it was all laminate in Tofino. 

Yesterday was my first day of work at the new church.  They have a nonstipendary priest who has been there for years and years- she grew up in the church.  So she knows everything and everyone, and most of my first day was her telling me what's what, and what's when.  I certainly appreciated having someone to answer my questions! 

It's good to be settled, and I'm looking forward to having the car and furniture here as well!