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Of String Bikinis and Christmases Past

13 Apr

Have you ever had one of those moments when what you thought would happen, wished would happen, didn’t? Like that time at Christmas long ago when you so wanted a new bike or that record player. Instead all you got was a box of crayons, or even worse, clothes!


String Bikini Fantasy

String Bikini Fantasy

My most recent moment was a few days ago. S-S and a friend I’ll call Super-D were shopping in a local market. They stopped and started handling string bikinis. Little itsy bitsy teenie weenie string bikinis. Heaven on earth.

My heart started pounding harder, and faster, and faster. Drool and sweat started to flow. I was starting to dehydrate.

Then with that sense that only wives have S-S, without even turning around, said,

“Cool it. We’re just admiring the hangers.”

Hangers??? Hangers!!! It was like that Christmas all those years ago. So high, then so low. Oh the humanity!


Sucked Out To Tahiti

25 Feb
Sandy Beach, Oahu

Sandy Beach, Oahu

What do you do with someone who likes the surf? I mean BIG surf! Dangerous surf! Killer surf!

S-S loves big waves. Now this is a person who dislikes roller coasters and ferris wheels. While I am ripping my body apart on Magic Mountain she will be happy on the Peter Pan ride at Disneyworld. Why the difference? Who knows.

My first experience with this hemi-demi-semi-quasi-death wish was in Hawaii. On Oahu there is a beach where an ambulance is permanently stationed to pick up the pieces left after some surfing doofus decides they want to be ripped apart: Sandy Beach.

I, in my usual wisdom, was relaxing on the sandy shore. S-S wanted a closer look at the water. I noticed as she waded out into the blue Pacific that she was not making any effort to come back. Instantly my manly hormones kicked in. Primal energy and instinct told me to go rescue my mate. Across the sand I flew, visions of Baywatch in my head, my belly flopping up and down. I called. She turned. Our hands met. We were stuck. The shorebreak was sucking the very sand out from under our feet. She was getting sucked out to Tahiti and I was not far behind. Waves and spray pounded our bodies. I needed to pee. She turned to me, smiling. She was having fun! Well at least one of us was.  I slowly crawled back on all fours to our beach blanket. She casually strolled back, asked me if I was OK and toddled off back to the water.

Never trust people who don’t like roller coasters.

Blisters On The …

23 Jan

This post may contain content and language some may consider offensive. Get a life!

Feet on Fire

Feet on Fire

Have you ever had one of those cringe-worthy moments that you wish you could forget but pop up unexpectedly? Read on.

The trigger was recently having to sleep in a top – wait for it – bunk. Don’t ask why I was doing this but I was. The ladder to climb up had small metal rungs that were quite painful on the soles and balls of the feet.

Flasback. The scene: the early ’80s; a conference in St. John’s, Newfoundland, in an old convent that had been converted into a hospital/nursing school; last night of the conference with a dance in the gym.

In those days I used to kick off my shoes to dance. Better foot action. Lordy I was good! The music was loud and fast. My feet were like lightning. After about an hour my feet felt like they had been hit by lightning: hot and tender and blistering.

Sister Pius Condemnata

Sister Pius Condemnata

Slowly I hobbled off the dance floor and almost crawled to the nun, Sister Pius Condemnata, sitting at the hospital reception. She looked at me as though I had just come from some satanic orgy. I started to say, “I have blisters on the balls of my feet.” She immediately shrieked, “You have blisters on the balls?” and then in an octave and 20 decibels higher, “He has blisters on the balls!” Like ninjas a half dozen student nurses appeared out of the shadows chanting, “Blisters on the balls, blisters on the balls …!” The next thing I knew I was thrown onto a gurney, eager female hands pulling at my belt and slacks. What a male fantasy! “No, no,” I eventually and feebly protested, “It’s my feet, the balls of my feet.” Instantly those grasping, exploring hands bounced back like I was some Ebola patient. “Oh!” and “Eeuw!” became the new chant. The angels quickly became white ghosts and disappeared into the shadows from whence they had come. I was there alone on the gurney in the middle of reception feet still burning. Out of the shadows came a hunched, black-cloaked form, Sister Geriatrica Extrema, with her potions and bandages muttering in Latin, or maybe Newfoundland-speak, “Next time, Bozo, wear shoes when dancing.”

It’s amazing what climbing up a ladder into a top bunk can dredge up. I can remember every detail of that time over 30 years ago. Now, if only I could remember what I had for breakfast this morning?

Yes, Virginia. There Are Stupid Questions.

24 Nov

I have been on the road recently, seeing a bit of the world, largely incommunicado. For those of you who have been suffering withdrawal pains here is a a fix.

Did We Miss The Sunset?

Did We Miss The Sunset?

S-S and I were in  Mallory Square, Key West, watching the sunset. Half an hour later, after the sky’s blue darkness had set in and the stars were twinkling in their glory, a woman comes racing into the square yelling,

“Did we miss the sunset?”

You can’t make up this stuff.

Happy New Year! Thank you for your patience. Your readership is Important to us.

7 Mar


Happy New Year! What, in March, you say? Shut the front door! Well, being the kind, considerate person I am, I have waited until all of you have awakened from your deep-freeze state of suspended animation to spread the joy. And it’s been a long, long time since my last post. I’ve been busy, on my website.


I have been nowhere near the frigid, ice-age weather of Gimli. Since I don’t drink – alcohol, that is – I don’t have the anti-freeze solution that others liberally use, especially at this time of year. Took a trip to Cabo instead over Christmas and New Years. Below is link for a video I took of part of the New Year’s fireworks on the beach. Enjoy. Add some colour to your life.


I look forward to the ice being off Lake Winnipeg, maybe in May, or June, or ……

New Year’s Fireworks


Winter Has Finally Arrived

17 Nov
Snow and grey lake, November 17, 2013

Snow and grey lake, November 17, 2013

Driveway and snow, November 17, 2013

Driveway and snow, November 17, 2013

Rant time! At the risk of sounding repetitive winter has shown its face early again. Although not as early as last year – that was October 5th – it’s still early. Now don’t quibble those of you who live in the balmier, semi-tropical climes of southern Ontario or BC. This is early! Winter is not supposed to arrive until December 21, four days before Christmas, and is supposed to exit March 21, on the dot! Instead we have something that generally lasts from October to May, in a good year. Quit whining you may say. You live in Manitoba for crying out loud! Well it’s my blog and I am a winter weenie. There, I’ve said it, confessed, admitted it. I am a winter weenie. Cold and snow are no longer fun. Brute is snug in his shed, hibernating, probably dreaming of new adventures in mowing next spring, with a new spark plug, of course. Me, I have to deal with frozen boogers.

Where I'd like to  be right now

Where I’d like to be right now

Gone are the days of skiing, ice-fishing, snowshoeing and the like. What was I thinking? Now I watch the Northern Lights from  inside the house since they only appear when its -20° C before the windchill.  Darkness, pitch black, comes at 5:00 pm. I have come to the realization I like sun, warmth, blue skies, palm trees, golden  sunsets. Mexico is looking better all the time. Primal scream alert! Aaaaaaaarrrrggh!!!

There, I almost feel better. Pass the Tequila.


Canadian Snowbird Song


Of Snow Fences and Sore Thumbs

29 Oct
Hammer Meets Thumb

Hammer Meets Thumb

Ah, the joy of preparing for winter, the snow, the storms, the -40°C temperatures, sunset at 4:00 pm. I so look forward to it all. Yeah right! Mexico here we come, some time in the distant future. So distant future. Sooo long in the future.

But stuff has to be done in the meantime. Brute has to hibernate for the winter. The garden has to be turned over. The well-head covered. Leaves raked for ground cover over water lines. Along with the leaves comes the snow fence.

This year the snow fence is a true work of art. Straight, tall, an orange splash of colour to catch the inevitable drifts to insulate the ground. All the tools that are required are orange plastic snow fence, steel posts, plastic ties, step stool or ladder, miniature sledge hammer, and the motivation to just get up and do it. Fortunately I have the last in abundance. She’s my motivational speaker, S-S. The sequence usually runs something like this: “When are you going to do the snowfence?”, to “Are you going to do the snowfence?”, to “Do the snowfence!” My pleas that it is too cold, that I have a cold, that I am too old don’t seem to work. So the work gets done. Two steps up on the ladder I get vertigo; my vision goes blurry, hammer hits my thumb. S-S turns a deaf ear to my pain. She calls it whining. “Just do it!”

The Snowfence and Me

The Snowfence and Me

The job gets done. I can stand proud before my winter masterpiece. Master of my domain. I knew all along that I could do it. I wallow in my virile accomplishment. S-S makes me a nice hot cup of cocoa with little marshmallows and kisses the boo-boo on my thumb. I tell her my arm and shoulder are sore. She says that I can go and have a nap. Life is good again.

Sunsets, Sunsets, Sunsets and More Sunsets

12 Jul

I  have a problem.

Whenever I go anywhere it seems 99% of my photos are of sunsets. Perhaps I need to join a support group such as Sunsets Anonymous. People occasionally figure into the subject matter but can be, and often are, ugly, at least according to them. Sunsets, never! Sunsets never complain nor tell you to delete the image. Sunsets just are. If you are interested in forming a SA support group let me know. but don’t expect me to reply too quickly. I have to go out and enjoy the sunset.

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Here is a gallery of images. Maybe next time I can get the number of sunsets down to 95%. No need to rush things. But I do intend to indulge in every travel cliché possible. Am I contradicting myself? Life is so complicated when you are retired.

Tonight’s sunset was great but the bugs! I feel another blog coming on.

We Came Home to This!

1 May
Relaxing at the Sea Monkey Puerto Vallarta

Relaxing at the Sea Monkey Puerto Vallarta

Well, it was a bit of a surprise coming home from a Mexico trip. From 28 degrees to -8 degrees. This time last year spring had arrived. We spent  a last day in PV at the Sea Monkey, on the beach. Palm trees, balmy breezes, people watching, listening to the music, wishing we could stay longer. Ah well, paradise has to be taken in small doses, not a lifetime, at least not yet.

Lake Winnipeg, April 30, 2013

Lake Winnipeg, April 30, 2013

This is what we came back to. From a blaze of colour and sound to monochrome the silence broken only by the sound of the wind off the lake whistling through the trees. There’s no people noise, no music, just blue and white silence. Instead of sunburn there is windburn. Don’t I sound like I’m happy to be home? Under these conditions the jury is still out on that one. Ah well, even the Garden of Eden didn’t last forever. But there is next year!

The Driveway, April 21,2013

The Driveway, April 21,2013

Here is a picture of the beast, percolating, fermenting, stewing, preparing for what will probably be a bumper crop of whatever decides to set up residence in the gravel and mud. As long as Brute, the mower, starts up  when needed there might be a chance of keeping ahead of the encroaching jungle. But experience has shown it will be tough battle.

I Don’t Mow Snow

1 Feb

Wow! I missed January! Did January actually happen this year? Oh well, I was sunning my buns in Mexico while the driveway lay under a metre of snow in – 40 windchill weather. Maybe that has something to do with it.

The truth is out. I am a fair-weather driveway mower. Yup, I don’t do driveway snow mowing, especially when it’s endlessly repetitive, as this year seems to be.

Ice Fishing Shack

Ice Fishing Shack

For the first time there is an ice-fishing shack on the lake near the house. Never seen that before. With the temperatures this year and no protection from the wind it must get brutal in there. They must have to auger down beyond the usual two metres of ice. Last year the ice was gone from the lake in late April. I wonder how late it will be this year?

The snowmobilers have been out in force. They are ecstatic. When I go to the gas station to fill up the car I am now usually lined up behind a convoy of them: summer lineups behind cottagers and tourists; winter lineups behind snowmobilers; always a lineup. The country life is busier  and more crowded than most people think.

So I do appreciate palm trees, blue sky and water, and +29 C. There seems to be a lot of that in Puerto Vallarta.



Roadside Flower 1

Roadside Flower 1

Roadside Flower 2

Roadside Flower 2

There is colour everywhere in Mexico. Here are some examples. Anyone who knows the names of the unknown blooms let me know.

You see these flowers everywhere just growing on the roadside. and this is only a small sample.

Come Spring back home we do not get as any flowers due to the snow depth and coolness. The poor things have to struggle to get through an icy crust. With the micro-climate next to the lake our Springs are cooler by a few weeks than the highway two kilometres away. Crocuses and Daffodils are normally some of my favourites but not for Manitoba. Come June there will be Irises so those pics will come at a later time.

So let’s see how February shapes up this year. My mantra for the month will be “No mow snow,” (pun intended.)