To Sea by Virtue

One sunny afternoon last month, we accompanied friends aboard the Virtue, their Beneteau 400 sailing vessel.
We were only too happy to share in the enjoyment of the October sea and sky.

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Rowing in the little boat to the big boat

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Our hosts
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Loving it – let’s go!

020“Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

070“I never get tired of the blue sky.” – Vincent Van Gogh

048“Roll on, deep and dark blue ocean, roll… Man marks the earth with ruin, but his control stops with the shore.” – Lord Byron

046“Long may your big jib draw.” – legendary Newfoundland saying meaning good wishes for the future

057“I wanted freedom, open air and adventure. I found it on the sea.” – Alaine Gerbault

056“How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.”
– Arthur C. Clarke

031“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”
– William Arthur Ward

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050“When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.” – Buddha

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062“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” – Jacques Yves Cousteau
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The Virtue 

  “I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and sky; and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.” – John Masefield

Have you ever gone sailing on a beautiful day such as this?

Relics of Rome

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Tuscan villa 048

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Seeing the above World Heritage Sites, the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain while in Rome, was unforgettable. Being able to get up close had an enormous impact on me. Have you ever been inspired by a work of art that is also a relic of the past?

See more here:  Scenes from Italy: Rome

Sunshine, Surf and Sand

Is there anything that captures the carefree magic of summer more than spending warm days playing at the beach? When the kids came to visit this week, they happily took advantage of the many delights the seaside has to offer. 115 142 143

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Our little girl made a new friend :)
Our little girl makes a new friend 🙂

Building sand castles, catching hermit crabs in their little shells – and releasing them again – jumping over frothy waves and off of sand dunes, letting their dog run free, all this and more made for a memorable summer holiday.

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Jump!
Jump!
Nico loved his newfound freedom
Nico loves his newfound freedom
One, two, three, go!
One, two, three, go!
My beautiful girl
My beautiful girl

Nico probably had the best vacation a dog ever had. The freedom to explore the coastline, running after beach birds that couldn’t be caught, he was a joy to watch as he galloped across the sand in wide circles around us.

Playing fetch!
Playing fetch!

Our little girl played with her new friend from Ontario every chance she got, as if they had always known each other. When the time came to say goodbye, she cried, but they exchanged addresses and made plans to become pen pals until they could see each other again. 🙂
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The day they left, our little boy said he wished he lived here because he didn’t have a “backyard beach” at home.

Come back for more fun any time you want, precious boy.
Come back for more fun any time you want, precious children.

Travel Theme: Play
Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

Playing Tourist in my own Hometown

Ahhh…Home Sweet Home!

After two busy weeks in our fair capital city of St. John’s, my husband and I are once again happy to be back in our house on the Point. Make no mistake, though, I always enjoy our extended summer jaunt revisiting my birthplace, even though husband has to bring some work with him. Time spent with the kids and grandkids is always a great thing, as were the walks around Mundy Pond and Quidi Vidi Lake, not to mention the dining out, the shopping, and celebrating husband’s birthday. We even managed to take a couple of side trips to Grates Cove and Portugal Cove while we were there.

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the drive up the Hill
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Cabot Tower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My trip would not have been complete, however, if I had not taken a spin up to Signal Hill.

Is it any wonder one of my favourite spots has a spectacular view of the ocean? I know, I know. I live by the sea. You’d think I would have had my fill of huge bodies of water by now. But no, when the yearning for the sea beckons, I must respond.

sunny and warm on Saturday
sunny and warm on Saturday
partial view of the walking trail
partial view of the walking trail

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husband enjoying the view
husband enjoying the scenery

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Fort Amherst
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boat entering the Narrows
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view of Cape Spear in the distance
Deadman's Pond - urban legend would have you believe it is bottomless
Deadman’s Pond – urban legend would have you believe it is bottomless
cannons guarding St. John's Harbour
cannons guarding the Harbour Narrows
the warmest visit I can ever remember on Signal Hill
the warmest visit I can ever remember on Signal Hill

I expect to be extremely busy over the coming weeks, finishing the first draft of my novel (but I will be checking in here too!). I’m hoping to have it completed by the time my daughter and her family come to visit in the latter part of August. Wish me luck!

Further Reading:
Sometimes I’m Still that St. John’s Girl

The Whole World Smiles With You :)

I’m sharing a few smiles I’ve collected from around the world in today’s post. While you listen to the great Louis Armstrong, it is my hope these photos will put a smile on your face too. 🙂

Cuba:

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Smiles served with Breakfast
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Our Favourite Waitress
Lunchtime Serenaders
Lunchtime Serenaders
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Smiling faces at Dinner

Jamaica:

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How’s this for Service with a Smile?
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Sweet!
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New Friends from Montreal
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Our Concierge

Italy:

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Sisters we met in Stresa
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Our Favourite Bartender in Rome

 

Friends in Florida:

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Relatives in Ottawa:

Ottawa

Dominican Republic:

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All-inclusive – even the Smiles
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Friendly Lady
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“I’ll be your waiter this evening”
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Charming
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My Personal Favourite  🙂

Photo Challenge: Up

This week’s photo challenge at the Daily Post inspired me to have a look back on our memorable trip to Italy and France. It didn’t take long to come “up” with some photos that fit nicely with the theme.

(Not sure if it’s against the rules to share more than one. ;))  I hope you enjoy them.

Italian Alps
View of the Italian Alps – Stresa, Italy
Staircase at our B & B - Stresa, Italy
Staircase at our B & B – Stresa, Italy
View from our Hotel Room In Rome
View from our Hotel Room – Rome, Italy
View at Night - Rome
x2 at Night
marble staircase in hotel - Rome
marble staircase in hotel – Rome
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x2
Palazzo Vecchio - Siena, Italy
Palazzo Vecchio – Siena, Italy
Duomo of Florence - Italy
Duomo of Florence – Italy
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x2
x3
x3
Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris
Notre Dame Cathedral – Paris
x2
x2
Inside Cathedral - Paris
Inside Cathedral – Paris
Louis Vuitton - Paris
Louis Vuitton – Paris
Eiffel Tower - Paris
Eiffel Tower – Paris
x2 - at night
x2 – at night
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In front of the Arc de Triomphe – Paris
Arc de Triomphe - Paris
Arc de Triomphe x2
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Ceilings in the Louvre Museum - Paris
Ceilings in the Louvre Museum – Paris
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x2

Heritage Fishing Village

 

Come along with me as I revisit my community’s Living Heritage Village. It is a major tourist attraction in this part of our province, providing a historical look back at the old days for our visitors, and seasonal employment for some of our locals.

Templeman House, a registered heritage home
Templeman plaque
Benjamin Barbour House

The heritage homes also boast a treasure trove of antiques and other artifacts.



I just love this door
Fishing Stage
Fishing Supply Building
Alphaeus Barbour House






Schoolhouse
Old Shoppe restaurant
St. Luke’s Anglican Church is also a living heritage site
The church received the Southcott Award, for preservation of Newfoundland and Labrador’s architectural heritage.

During the summer, the Village provides guided tours by staff in period costumes, as well as dinner theatre and concerts in the buildings I have shown here. Also featured are a craft shop, art gallery, tea room, and a restaurant.

So if you are ever in my area, do drop in and check it out. For more info, visit the website: www.barbour-site.com

Autumn Walk on the East Coast

Come along as we take a stroll through Newtown on this beautiful October day.

partridgeberries – a.k.a. lingonberries

The tide is high this afternoon.
Much of my next door neighbour’s garden is still summer lovely.



I stopped to admire another neighbour’s potato harvest. Of course, he insisted I take a bagful.
Dogberries, a true harbinger of Fall


Lobster traps
Mr. Blue Sky and me
Still wearing his shorts in October, and loving it

The Tickle




Our other neighbour is drying salt fish.
Freshly painted grapnels for next year’s fishing season
Kitties, you should have come with us.

Travel Theme: Foliage (and Other Living Things)

Trees and their foliage are, without a doubt, some of Nature’s most wondrous treasures.

But sometimes, the best photograph of a tree is not as much about the tree itself, but what is found in and among its foliage and branches.

Like in this photo I snapped in Varadero, Cuba, you may see tiny birds:

…two “love birds”, perhaps?

Or you might happen upon a couple of sister cats exploring among the leaves:

Paradise backyard, Newfoundland

And if you see a magnificent tree such as this one day, don’t be surprised to find little children playing among its sturdy limbs:

Bowring Park, St. John’s, Newfoundland

This has been my contribution to wheresmybackpack.com’s weekly Travel Theme.
This week: Foliage

Thank you for the inspiration, Ailsa!

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Scenes From France – Part Three: More Paris!

Join me for one last look at our trip to Italy and France, as I share some more of my Paris photos.  Ah, quelle belle ville!

outside Notre Dame Cathedral
impressive French Gothic architecture






Such a friendly congregation of birds outside
the Notre Dame Cathedral!

one of many Seine River cruises

Fountain in the Place de la Concorde


Arc de Triomphe




Beneath the Arc is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
with an Eternal Flame.
Me…and my paparazzo? ;-D
Avenue des Champs-Elysees
Champs-Elysees

Louis Vuitton
Did you know that the Eiffel Tower is nicknamed
La dame de fer (the iron lady)?
Husband and I, just before the Seine Dinner Cruise
Sis and her husband
Au Revoir, Paris!