A Travellerspoint blog

WINTER, DECEMBER 12, 2013 to FEBRUARY 8, 2014

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Well this winter which is far from over.....Heather and I will be in San Miguel de Allende for another few weeks.....has been so busy and our experiences so varied I hardly know where to begin. But after driving to Hillsburg to cut our tree and shovelling lots of snow in Oakville we went to NYC for Christmas with Heather's three children, Briana, Tait and Amelie. Of course Sego, Tait's wife and their daughters, Leopoldine and Victoria as well as Briana's husband Rim were there too. While in NYC we went to an Opera at Lincoln Centre and to Brooklyn Zoo with the kids. Heather went a couple of days earlier and I joined them around noon Christmas Day after spending Christmas Eve with my son Doug, his wife Linda and their family in Toronto. It seems wonderful and almost unbelievable for me to be with them all including six of my grandkids and four of my great-grandkids.

Then we headed to Collingwood for New Year's and far more snow.

And, lucky us, we came to Mexico to a lovely Casita (little house) in San Miguel de Allende where we are now. Heather came from Toronto and I stopped in Vancouver for a few days en route. From here we took a three day tour to Mexico City. The weather has been fantastic with comfortable days (low 20's Celsius....70's Fahrenheit during daylight hours but close to freezing overnight). The town of SMA is historic, the shops, markets and restaurants are all great.

March 10, 2014: The rest of our Mexico trip went very well. Our next trip is to France for the month of April and I'll write a Blog entry when I return.

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Posted by douglasw 10.03.2014 21:07 Comments (0)

BALTIC CRUISE TO ST PETERSBURG, AUG 21-OCT 2, 2013

sunny 22 °C

2B0086422219AC6817AEB9122CDCAA90.jpg My son Doug and his new book.

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I met Heather in Amsterdam on August 22nd and enjoyed a couple of days in that marvellous city before boarding the Celebrity Constellation for our Baltic cruise. Our hotel room overlooked one of the canals, the weather was perfect and we joined the crowded streets to watch all the activities.....cycles, music, crowds to mention a few. We rented bikes, visited the Reichsmuseum and just enjoyed being there.

The ship's itinerary had a stop in Warnemunde, Germany so we took a train into Berlin and saw the most important sites and a great museum. We also visited Stockholm and Helsinki before spending two days in St Petersburg. In two jam-packed days of sight-seeing we were dazzled by all the golden domes, the treasures of the Hermitage and much more. And we went to the ballet(Swan Lake) at the 180 year old Alexandrinsky Theatre. A stop in Tallinn, Estonia was a special treat......cobble stone streets, ancient buildings and just a very pleasant place to visit.

Then we disembarked in Copenhagen, stopped at The Little Mermaid and caught a couple of trains to Astorp, Sweden where we visited Ulrika who as an exchange student spent a school year with Heather in Oakville . Now thirty years later she has a wonderful family of three girls around the same age she was when she was in Canada. I can't say enough about how well we were treated by Ulrika, her husband Hans and their daughters, Clara. Ingrid and Astrid. Ulrika runs a horse farm and uses her Icelandic horses as an integral part of her physiotherapy practice. We rode and accompanied some of her patients and it is very impressive to see someone so dedicated.

Then we returned to Copenhagen and flew to Salzburg to visit Heather's son Tait, daughter-in-law Sego and grand-daughters Leopoldine and Victoria for a week before our return to Oakville. We were treated royally and had a marvellous time including swimming, picnicking , hiking and lots more.

Last night, September 17th was the launch of my son Doug's new book STRAIGHT TALK ON LEADERSHIP in downtown Toronto. I think it was a great success and it was a pleasure to meet so many of his clients and even more to be with him and his wife Linda as well as six of my grandchildren and four great grandchildren. More than a little emotional to say the least.

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Posted by douglasw 26.09.2013 14:52 Archived in Russia Comments (1)

OAKVILLE AND TORONTO, JUNE 20-JULY 15, 2013

sunny 28 °C

SUMMER IN ONTARIO

IMG_0227.gif With Powin, Tanya, Ethan and Justin. IMG_0228.jpg EC497E092219AC6817EB374BBABFFF94.jpg. With Spencer, Riley and Shannon.

Since Heather and I hadn't been together since April I thought(and she agreed)it was time for me to visit Oakville. It has been a hectic few weeks including participating in Heather's book club, attending a wonderful Franco-Canadian garden party held by The International Wine and Food Society, attending a performance at the Shaw festival in Niagara on the Lake and two in Stratford on one day with Heather's friend Pat and nephew Cam. Both of these starred Seana McKenna who had coffee with us before the matinee. She had been a guest at Heather's Bed and Breakfast. And we had dinner at son Doug's in Toronto, a bar-b-q at a neighbour's, walks by the lake, lunches and dinners out,visited friends from L'Institut de Francais, took grandchildren Spencer and Riley to The Wizard of Oz and had granddaughter Tanya and her family for lunch in Oakville.

IMG_0219.jpg A summer evening .IMG_0217.jpg Father and son with sled made by my Great Grandfather.

Posted by douglasw 10.07.2013 17:31 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

VILLEFRANCHE, FRANCE, March 30-April 26,2013

This was my seventh four week trip to L'Institut de Francais and apart from saying it was as good as ever I won't bore anyone with the details. Has my French improved? Yes it has but not as much as I expected. I guess I'll have to return next year. Heather went with me, although not as a pupil, and we had a wonderful time. We went to Lyon for a long weekend on the TGV high speed train, stayed in the old town, enjoyed some of the great food Lyon is famous for, went to the opera, rented bikes to go along the paths bordering the rivers and more. Another weekend we went to Lourmarin, near Aix en Provence and stayed with friends. All in all it was a great trip and having Heather with me made it perfect.

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Villefranche

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Posted by douglasw 10.07.2013 17:07 Comments (0)

QUESNEL, WILLIAMS LAKE AND NAZKO, BRITISH COLUMBIA

overcast 12 °C

E5F220462219AC68178D13E26075FD30.jpg Dragon Lake from Melinda and Wayne's deck.

I flew to Quesnel on Central Mountain Air from Vancouver to visit my daughter, Melinda and her family. I even managed to take her Mom's sewing machine which she wanted desperately. So after a day of relaxation, good food and drink we met granddaughter Andrea the next day and drove to Nazko....the site of a First Nation Reserve and in the heart of an area of soft wood lumber harvesting. This is a remote, backwoods, hunting, fishing and general recreational part of the province. So we took a picnic and followed that up with a visit to a famous.....I'm not kidding......truck stop that specializes in home made pies. What a treat !

Then Melinda and I headed for Williams Lake to see the new film "The Great Gatsby". Driving between Quesnel and Williams Lake is very dangerous at night because there are so many deer and even during the day we saw a huge brown bear at the side of the road. This is cattle and horse country so there are also a great many cows and horses in the fields. The country is green and rolling as well as quite heavily wooded. Anyway we stayed overnight, had a steak dinner and were about the only people in the theatre for the movie.

Tomorrow we are taking great granddaughters Makenzie and Erika to McDonalds for dinner and a swim at the Recreation Centre after which I will catch the evening flight home.

Arrived home last night(May 16th)after a wonderful time with my great granddaughters and a breathtaking flight. Hopefully the pictures I took do both events justice. And I am practising with captions of a sort. The iPad is a little tricky but fun.
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Posted by douglasw 22.05.2013 15:17 Archived in Canada Comments (1)

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