Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday November 10

Home sweet home. It was wonderful to put on my flannels, sleep in my own bed, and have a nice hot bath.

Leaving Paris was oh so French. On our way out for coffee before heading out to the airport we passed our Metro station only to discover that it was closed...you guessed it, a strike. It made leaving the city a bit more complicated, but we managed. The Air France flight was excellent. Excellent service, good food, and personal TV's. You can tell that I don't get out much.

We took the Go bus to Richmond Hill, and then the Viva up to Aurora. We were looking at it from a completely different perspective, that of a non-english speaking tourist. Let me tell you it would be tough . We complained occasionally in Europe but it would be a heck of a lot tougher for someone coming here. This is one of the areas where Toronto falls down as an international city, one of many unfortunately.

The cost of living has gone up since we left. We see it in the food prices, the cost of transportation and even in the price of a cheap movie. We have come back to the stresses of Canadian living. We see it in the faces of the people in the community, the rage of the drivers on our streets and the headlines in the newspaper. By tomorrow we won't even notice these things we will be so aclimatised, but for today the differences are glaring.

At the end of the day however, we are happy to be home amongst family and friends, as much as we loved the European countries that we visited, particularly Spain. And so the adventure continues. I will up-date you periodically.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday November 8

Our last full day in Paris. It has been a lazy Sunday here and we have felt it too. Stores for the most part stay closed and the city is pretty quiet. We headed out in the morning to see a couple of photography exhibits. One was by the winner of the Beaux Art prize...black and white photos of animals. To my eyes it just didn't sing. They all looked like he couldn't keep his camera still. Then off to another exhibit...Thirty Years in Iran. The pictures were marvellous, but there was no english at all, and no english audio guide so a lot of the history was lost on me. Then lunch and another big walk.

It is so sweet to see all the children out scootering along the street dressed to perfection. They all look like a million bucks. Europeans all dress their children beautifully.

We went to the Canadian Bar for a beer after the boat cruise and it was full of Americans watching American college football. Lots from Louisianna...go figure. Then it was off to the The Academie of Biere for some mussels. We had a great conversation with a french couple. We were commenting on how slim everyone is, and she said, not as slim as the Italians. I said what about all the pasta. Granted she said, but they eat only three raviolis and then just have coffee for dinner. We had a good chuckle about that.

Last note from abroad. Tomorrow we will be back in our own bed. It has been a great ride. Talk to everyone soon

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saturday November 7

We are really down to the wire now. Only two more sleeps and we will be home. I am getting tired of being a tourist as wonderful as it was, and am ready to get back home.

Today we wandered aimlessly and found ourselves back at the Orsay. Gerry wanted a second look and so in we went. It was as wonderful the second time around..As much as I love the AGO, I wish that the Orsay was in Toronto. Then more wandering and looking in shops. They have really lovely clothes, shoes, glasses, well everything. And so much of it. Beautiful pastry shops, endless cheese stalls, and bread as far as the eye can see. All you need is gobs of money!! We stopped in at a creperie for lunch..delicious.

After this we are heading down to the Seine for a boat cruise. The lights will be beautiful, but it is awfully cold here. Good prep for home. Then we will head out for a bite and get ready for our last day in Paris tomorrow. See you all soon.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday November 6

We seem to have had some eating problems in Nice. The restaurants do one sitting at lunch and then close the kitchen. We always seemed to miss the one seating and so were stuck with fast food, Nice style of course. Dinner turned out to be a bit of a headache as well. The restaurants that we could afford we could never get a table, so it was back to bread and cheese. Bread ,cheese and wine are cheap in France so that was an easy solution. No complaints.

Yesterday was sunny and warm in Nice...what a difference a day makes. With the sun shining it really is one of the most beautiful places that I have seen. People, well two people, were actually swimming, it was that nice. We took a very long walk up to the Matisse Museum. I am glad that it was free, because the operative word was museum, not much art to be seen. Oh well, always good to explore a new area of the city.

Today we are back in Paris. Paris too has been sunny and lovely. It is nice to have our bearings, being back at the same hotel again, in the best location ever. Today we walked to the Louvre, down the Champs Elysee to the Arc de Triumph, across town to the Eiffel Tower, and back to our hotel. We will go out for dinner at a restaurant that we visited the last time we passed through ,that has great food priced reasonably...I just hope that we can get a table on a Friday night.

I am sure that it will be another busy day of walking tomorrow. Until then.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday November 4

We arrived in Nice last night after an easy flight and were picked up by the the owner of the b and b. Very kind.

Spent the morning exploring the city. The water is amazing, the most georgous colour of blue. We are back in France so things are expensive again. Even computer time is a fortune. This afternoon we went out to Monte carlo for a look around. We visited the casino that you see in the movies, and unbelievably, they let us in...but the clincher was a ten euro charge. We took a pass, that was more than we would have bet. We went to the poor mans casino where they let the plebs in for free, gerry bet five euros on some blackjack game, doubled his money, and we left, thrilled. Monte carlo is just banks, shopping, casinos, hotels and thousands of security cameras...lovely nevertheless. We are heading out to find something to eat. no plans yet for tomorrow but it is so nice to sleep in our own room.

A bientot

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tuesday November 2

The weather has turned. There is a chill in the air and it is windy. We walked our tushes off again yesterday. I wish that I had a pedometer to measure all the steps that I have taken in the last 50 days. People say they go to the gym to get healthy...baloney, if they wanted to be healthy they would eat fruits and vegetables and drink wheatgrass...but they don´t. They go to the gym to lose weight. Save your money people. Nobody has walked more than I have in the last seven weeks...and yes my legs are stronger, and maybe my cardio has improved minimally, but my clothes fit the same way they did when I left home. It just isn´t fair. Rant over.

Today is our last day in Barcelona. We fly to Nice tonight and the husband of the bed and breakfast owner has agreed to pick us up at the airport. Very kind. We are going to the Gaudi museum today and I am not sure what else. All I can guarantee is that it will be a lot of walking.

We made good old fashioned spaghetti with meat sauce last night and it was delicious. No kitchen in Nice, so we will have to take our meals out once again.

Next time it will be greetings from the south of France. Bye for now.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday November 1

Big day in Barcelona. After going for local coffee, a particularly good cup, I might add, we headed downtown. Thought we would start at the Picasso but the line was far too big, so off to the history museum. Very interesting. Good to get a handle on the local history. Then down to the beach and the Olympic Village. Passed by tons of soccer fields where teams of all ages were lying on the ground faking injuries.

Then a big hike up to the unfinished Gaudi church. It is wild and whimsical, and worth a look, but a bit over the top. Goodness knows when it will be finished...some say 30 and others 50 years. It will certainly be a masterpiece when completed.

Off to lunch in the Ribera. A bit off really good tapas and a glass of read wine. We decided to give the Picasso another crack. As it turns out-the first Sunday of the month is free-hence the line-ups. We decided to line up. It was definitely worth the wait. The early Picasso was typical portraits anbd very well done. Then he moved to the country and did landscapes similar to the group of seven. After was caricatures, he seemed to have a sense of humour, and finally the Picasso we know. His abstracts were his interpretations of some of the old masters. I would say about 50% of the pictures were donated by Picasso himself in 1970. Very interesting.

Back to the hostel and dinner in. Rice and stir- fried vegetables. Not very exciting, but pretty darn good after a big day of walking. We will see what tomorrow brings. Early to bed and early to rise. Until next time.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Saturday October 31

I hate to continue with all the superlatives but it seems that each corner you turn around in Spain is better than the previous. Granada was wonderful. Half an hour from the ski hillks of the Sierra Nevadas and an hour and a half from the beach. Every drink ordered comes with a free tapas, and the city has a wonderful feel to it.

The Alhambra was great though the history is really the most interesting. Until 1492 all religions lived in peace even though they were under Muslim rule. Then all hell broke loose...literally. The Christions weren´t very tolerant to say the least.

We were up at the crack of dawn to catch the bus to the airport. Everything was going along swimmingly...the plane taxied down the runway, did a circle and returned to it´s starting position. The pilot announced "one of our passengers has chosen not to travel with us today, so will shall await the arrival of the police, she will be removed, and we will continue." The police arrived, an argument ensued (we couldn´t hear it) and the woman was removed. On we went 45 minutes late. I don´t really know what happened but I understand she chose not to comply with something.

Barcelona is super busy. It is the way I think that New York would feel. Granted it is a long week-end. The hostel is not downtown, but on the metro line, so a little quieter. We explored the main area this afternoon, but will really tackle it tomorrow. No real Halloweén here, although we see the odd costumed person. Hard to know what is going on for sure, because it seems that anything goes in this big city.

Happy Hallowén to all. Hope everyone is practising and studying hard. I will be home before you know it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday October 30

We arrived in Granada yesterday morning. Another beautiful city with a really laid-back vibe. The hostel is in the Arabic quarter,narrow cobbled sreets, lots of Morrocan food and vendors selling all sorts of things from Nepal etc. Quite a change from the normañ Spanish style. Although I am thrilled to be back in Spain for the coffee...the best in the world.

WE walked up to Sacromonte where there are still people living in caves. We visited the museum there...very interesting. The original gypsies came from northern India. Beautiful views overlooking the Alhambra which we will visit this afternoon. Had a delicious shawarma for lunch and then went out on a Tapas tour for dinner. A great way to meet people. We met a lovely couple from Malaysia and had a most interesting discussion. They work for the UN in re-settlement and I am happy to report that we are well-respected for our immigration policy. He is muslim and she is not, and it was very interesting to here what this meant for them under Sharria law.

Today we will go on a walking tour and then visit Alhambra this afternoon. We could only get tickets for four thirty. It is surprisinhgy busy here. I believe the hostel is serving paella and sangria for dinner so I think we will sign on. Iwill repot back. Until then.

Get ready for Haloweén.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday October 27

We are back in Spain. I really love this country. Seville is beautiful. We arrived on the bus from Lagos at about noon after a fter a five and a half hour drive. We hemmed an hawed about leaving Lagos, but it looked like the weather was going to be a bit overcast, and we arrived in Seville to sun and 31 degrees. Hot. It took us an hour and a half to find the hostel, but as I always say, it is a great introduction to the city.

We took a free walking tour done by an American kid. He was great. Funny, knowledgable and totally irreverant. It was very informative and covered a lot of ground. At the end he pointed us to a fab tapas bar where six of us went for dinner. The food was excellent.

We are off to Granada tomorow. Not enough time in Seville...I will have to return at some point. It is a long week-end coming up. Those Spaniards will use any excuse for a day off, you have to love their lifestlye. It is midnight and we just got in, and the streets are still teeming (teaming?) with people sitting in the cafes eating drinking and yakking. It seems that everyone in Portugal spoke some english, and a whole lot of them spoke really good english. Noone in Spain speaks english, and if they do know a little they certainly aren´t prepared to use it. I´m glad that I have even a little to get by.

I will report back soon.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday October 27

A fabulous day on the Algarve. You have to excuse all the typing errors. this particular computer is so well used that the keys donçt have the markings on the keys...and you all know what a wonderful typist I am. The weather has been fabulous, althoigh it clouded over a bit this afternoon.

Dinner last night was amazing. Enough food to feed four. I had the recommended prawns and they were fabulous. Gerry had the lamb stew of the day which was excellent and enough to feed four. We managed to eat it all. We ran into a friend from Montrel so it was doubly fun.

The beaches here are amazing. Tall sandstne cliffs with steps down to coves that are beautiful. The place is full of brits. All you here is english. My cold is improving and we are heading off to Seville tomorrow. I wouldnçt buy a place here ...way to english, and pretty expensive, but it is really pretty. Have to run, we are grilling some fish, salad and sweet potatoes. I am starving. Then out to a pub for karioke.

Talk later

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday October 26

The chicken and Sangria was great. The young staff at the hostel were really wonderful. They have their hands full with the some of the young people passing through though...they appear to be there to party only, and sometimes this goes on all night. Not much sleep last night!!! We are at a great hostel in Lagos. We took the bus down this morning from Lisbon and just spent the afternoon at the beach...all the young girls are curled up in front of the TV watching a movie. It is georgous out...go to the beach!!! I guess they are resting up for tonight.

Today was a good day to lay low as I have caught a nasty cold..hope I will be feeling better by tomorrow. Poor me.

Not much to ,a rather quiet day as things go. I think we will dine out this evening and go to some of the other beaches tomorrow. There is a bar-b-cue here so we wioll go to the market tomorrow and get some nice fish to grill. Hope the weather is good at home and everybody is busy decorating for Halowe'en.

Until next time.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday October 25

Another big day in Lisbon. We went out to Sintra. A lovely town where the wealthy obvious;y live. Think Unionville or Hudson. Really pretty. Curvy cobblestone streets, great street art and beautiful architecture. It is a good hike up to the castle and the palace at Pena. 6 kilometres to be exact. Uphill. It is a lovely palace . Not ostentacious...think of your grandmother]s house. Te walk up took us about an hour and a half, and then we found the path down..about half an hour. We had lunch in Sintra. You see tourists or rich Portuguese.

Back at te hostel. We are going to eat their dinner tonight. Now the h is not working. Oh well beggars can[t be choosers. Still having problem;s with the apostrophe. Tonight is grilled chicken and sangria for 6 euros. Sounds good to me. I will report back. Off to te Algrve on te bus at 9 tomorrow morning.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday, October 24

First off we gain an extra hour tonight...my very favourite night of the year. They also celebrate Hallowe'en here, and just like at home they are busy putting up all the Christmas lights on the streets. I couldn't figure out what they were doing, the weather does not say Christmas. About 24 today and sunny.

Great day in Lisbon. We didn't get up until 8...those yung people were just as quiet as church mice. They prepared us a nice breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast and we were off. First stop , the expo 98 site where they have a fabulous oceanarium.. the finest I have ever been in. Off to Belem after to eat famous pastries (I wouldn't make a secial trip to Portugal for them, but they were good) A really good modern art gallery with a couple of very interesting installations. A long ride around the city on the trolley and we were bagged. The subway here is so incredibly easy. All colour~coded, new, clean and pretty. They give new meaning to busking here. A guy on the subway playing the accordian with his dog on his shoulder.

Tonight is all the beer you can drink until the keg is empty for 2 euros. This is followed by a bar crawl. We are taking a pass. We ate in. Bar~-b-cued chicken and salad. We were starving and it was delicious. Off to bed early. Greetings from Portugal.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday October23

It has taken me ten minutes on the computer just to get here. A mac, a different keyboard, and a moronic operator. We took the high speed train from Porto to Lisbon today. A comfortable fast ride. I read julia Child-s My Life In France and enjoyed every word. I don]t want to ditch it I enjoyed it so much. I have no idea where the apostrophe is, and the o doesn-t really wrk. We are at a hstel that comes very highly rated. We are at least 20 years , OK maybe 30years older than the next youngest guest. They are all here drinking beer. I thought that they came t Prtugal to see the city, but Gerry informs me that they are preparing to go out at eleven. I guess they won't be too impressed when I get up at 6. The location is fabulous mind you, right on the most central street paved in tiles.

We went for a big walk and up to the castle.It is another beautiful city with tiled buildings, red roofs and cobbled streets. We decided to stop in for a glass of wine at a really neat little bar in the middle f a vintage shop. They only served a traditional sparkling white, very tasty.

They are offering dinner at the hostel this evening. Typical barbecued sausage and cheese with wine for 6 euros. You can't beat that,,,even n the camino. We are in a room fr 6. I guess we don;t have to worry about snoring since everyone is under 20. We may have t re-think our accomodation in Lagos mind you. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday October 22

A huge overnight storm and morning rain gave way to sunshine at about nine twenty. We are the only guests at the hostel at the moment and the morning worker came in and laid out a beautiful breakfast for us. After stuffing ourselves to the gills we set out to explore the city more.
We headed over to the other side of the river where all the port holding takes place. We wandered the cobblestone paths and finally arrived on the the doorstep of Graham's Port. We had a tour and tasting from a beautiful Portuguese gal who spoke fabulous english and entertained us with stories of being a young student in Portugal. We heADED BACK OVER THE RIVER AND WANDERED INTO A TINY LITTLE RESTAURANT FORSOME AUTHENTIC FOOD. Oops didn't mean that. The keys on this computer have all been changed around and it is very difficult to find a comma, dash or apaostrophe.

Back to the hostel to do a little research on Lisbon, and out again. We have the city down pat. No real food store near here unfortunately so I used up the rest of the pasta, made a dreary sauce with tomatoes and tuna, no anchovies to be found, and we ate in again. Marta showed up to take some pictures and we are off to bed shortly. Tomorrow we leave for three days in Lisbon. I will keep you posted. Until then...keep well.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

We truly are no longer pilgrims. We went out for dinner last night with friends; the same place we went the night before with more friends, then it is over. Everyone stays on an extra day and goes to mass to catch up with those who are a day apart, and so three days of walking gets covered. And then it is truly over..you don't know a soul coming in and it is over.

We met a friend for breakfast and then hoofed it over to the bus station and caught a bus for Porto, Portugal. Porto is old and beautiful, but it has been raining today and it sure puts a damper on sightseeing. Tomorrow we will visit a couple of the port producers and see a bit more of the city.Then it is off to Lisbon on Friday.

The hostel is lovely. Much better than our home, and a whole lot cleaner. It was tough to find but worth it. We have a private room that is brand new, and there is only one other person staying here. Tomorrow we will be the only ones. There is a brand spanking new state of the art kitchen and so we made dinner tonight. We have spent a lot of time out and it was great to eat in. Just boring old pasta, but all the ingredients including a bottle of wine cost us 4 euros. It seems to be even cheaper here than in Spain. The gal who works here is great..an artist and exchange student from Latvia. She will photograph me tomorrrow and do a painting of me for a school project.

They have free internet here with laptops supplied. It's great. As well they are providing free breakfast in the morning. Luxury like we haven't experienced.

I will update tomorrow.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday October 20

We arrived in Santiago yesterday. We are pilgrims no more. We stayed Sunday night in Lavacolla at a hotel so that we would be in shooting distance of Santiago in he morning. It was not a pilgrim friendly destination but there were eight of us so they had to put up with us. We made the 10 or 11 k walk in the morning...Sunday seems to be hunting day in Spain, and it is a little eerie to walk through the woods with guns going off. We made it to the pilgrim office, got our Compestelas, no purgatory for us, well maybe not for Gerry, they tell me that protestants still go to purgatory for 900 years..please. We found a place to stay, went to the Cathedral, Gerry made confession and took communion, we hugged St. James, visited the crypt and with our pilrim duties completed, we visited with our friends.

We met at 6pm for wine, pictures and fun. It was great to see everyone again. Then we had dinner at 8 at a great restaurant and went back to the Parador with a Canadian couple that we have spent some time with, for a nightcap. It was great to swap stories and to hear everyone elses highs and lows.

We are spending the day in Santiago today, and will head off to Portugal tomorrow. It gives us a day to catch our breath and to make some plans. It has been a wonderful wonderful run with many happy memories.

We will meet with friends again today, and then we are on our own again. A bientot.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday October 16

Quiet day. left Potomarin about 7:30 and wandered along the sandy paths to Palais del Rais. We hadn´t really planned on coming this far, but somehow missed our planned destination. Easy walk in the cool weather. There was actually frost on the puddles this morning, but we seem to have brought enough gear. The albergue is not perfect but they gave us a private room..boo yah.
We had a great dinner with a Canadian friend and a new one from Brazil. Back at the albergue, Gerry is having a brandy, under 2 euros and to bed.
Only about 68 k`s left.

Buen Camino

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday October 15

The albergue in Sarria turned out to be quite lovely. When we arrived back from dinner they had made a lovely fire in the garden, and were serving an assortment of liquers for people to get together and chat. Very nice.

The walk today was the best yet. It is really not describable. Just beautiful. We were chatting about it while we walked...you can tell people about the blisters, the aches and pains, the great food, the wonderful people, the incredible scenery....but at the end of the day it is a feeling, a feeling that is really special.

Again today was through all the tiny farms. The sheep and goats, all the cattle, and a myriad of dogs. Immense chestnut trees, mighty oaks, and loaded apple trees.

Today we are in Portomarin. I thought that I would be smart and try the municipal albergue. Big mistake. Dirty sheets, dirty bathrooms and a kitchen devoid of even one utensil. We had a shower and left. We are at a private albergue now and it is 100% better.

Portomarin is on a lake, and is really quite pretty. The water level is unbelievably low though. We are going in search of a bite to eat and the fixins for dinner...the kitchen here is fairly well equipped. We are down to 89 kilometres to go. Hard to believe really.

Will keep you posted. Buen Camino

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday October 14

We had a quiet night last evening in Fonferiaa. just sat in the lounge and chatted with an interesting couple from South Africa and one from Ireland. It was an early night. I had to check very carefully for bedbugs as they have been a problem on the Camino...there was a big can of bugsparay on the shelf when we arrived. People are getting eaten alive..well maybe not, but still not very pleasant.

The walk today was`probably the best yet. We left at the crack of dawn, upsetting many pilgrims, but the stars were once again unbelievable, and the landscape as the sun came up was spectacular. A quilt of every colour of green imaginable dotted with the lights of the homes in the tiny hamlets. The walk was along dirt paths shaded with deciduous trees that passed through every tiny farm along the way. Chickens, pigs, sheep, cows, it was fab. There are also two horses doing the camino. Really neat. They have riders of course.

We are in sarria tonight. we were the only ones in our room for a long time, but I see know that we have roommates.

The leg was pretty good today. I am really thankful that it is not tendonitis, you should see what some of the people are going through. I am healing up quite nicely and Spanish drugs are cheap and plentiful.

Until tomorrow.

Buen Camino

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday October 13

Today we are in ?...a very tiny farm village but a nice private albergue.

The walk from Villafrance yesterday was along the highway to start, but then along the river through lovely tiny villages. Everyone was in holiday mode, ambling from town to town stopping at all the cafes along the way to drink coffee and chat. We arrived in Ruitilan where the rubber hits the road...walk up the mountain to O´ceibraro or stay. We stayed. A lovely albergue where the hospitalero provided a delicious dinner of soup, salad and pasta carbonara, a warm bed with explicit instructions not to let our feet touch the floor until seven am when Ave Maria was played, and a hot breakfast of coffee, juice, toast and muesli. We ran into some Aussie friends and a good time was had by all.

My internet doctor has diagnosed my leg problem as a stress fracture. He says that I must rest it for 6 to 8 weeks and then I can push. I can go about my regular routine which is of course walking. Unfortunately I have to hang up my pointe shoes for a bit, but that bodes well for my understudy. LOL. The walking today wasn`t too bad. I can control the pain for a certain amount with paracetemol, and then I stop.

Galicia is absolutely beautiful and the walk today was spectacular. You have to see it to believe it. Undulating hills with beautiful little villages nestled in their crooks. it is as I imagine Ireland. The closer we get to the end the less pressure we feel to walk long distances daily..it is as if we don`t want it to end. But end it will.

Until next time,

Buen Camino

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday, October 11

We are in Villafranca del Bierzo today. A beautiful town in an up and coming wine region. It is a long week-end in Spain as well so the town is humming. I took the bus today from Poferrada to give my leg a rest. It is an awful feeling. You become a walking junkie, and stopping is horrible. I am more exhausted from sitting around than I am from walking. There has been a bed-bug problem at the albergue so I am crossing my fingers.

I walked about 18k´s from Rabanal but could not go one step further. Not only was I in pain, but my leg was on fire. We got to the bar and I thought how am I going to ask the lady to call me a cab when who should appear but our little Brazilian friend who speaks Spanish...he got it all organized and saved the day. The most beautiful taxi arrived. A white merces Benz with leather interior and a smartly dressed driver who could not have been nicer. He took me to Poferrada where I found a pharmacy and stocked up. My concern was coming into the long week-end with everything closed and no ibuprofen. Out for dinner in Ponferrada, a not very good pilgrim meal but fun company and a good time.

We will see what tomorrow holds. I will try walking and see how it goes. I don´t think that I will make the 30 k`s as planned, but we will play it by ear. There is a Parador here and we are going to pay it a visit today. We made an inquiry about two nights at the Parador in santiago when we finish...788 euros . I don´t think so. Oh well.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. I hope everyone has a wonderful day off. The weather here is spectacular today. Must be in the high 20´s. Again, enjoy.

Buen Camino

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday October 9

Today we are in Rabanal de camino. A lovely old town with nothing here. I have a very bad leg, shin splints I think, that makes walking excruciating painful. I was hoping for a pharmacy with ibuprofen and a wrap, but no such luck. Fortunately someone gave me some ibuprofen, and I was able to wrap a scarf around my leg. I will see how it goes tomorrow. I will walk as long as I can and then try to grab a bus or taxi. Problem is we are in the middle of nowhere and we don´t speak the language. There is a Spanish family having dinner as I write this, mother father and three kids, and even though I can´t understand a word they are saying, the body language and the arguments with the kids are universal, so maybe I will be able to figure it out after all.

One more San Martin story for the road. Gerry hemmed and hawed about buying walking sticks before we left Toronto...he decided against it. InLeon Gerry hemmed and hawed about buying one walking stick...he visited the store twice...he decided against it. At the supermarket in San martin they had broomstick handles for 2 euros...he has a walking stick!

Up the mountain tomorrow. I will keep you posted on the leg. So much for feeling rightous about no blisters.

Buen Camino

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday October 8

Today we are in Astorga. A lovely lovely city. Gerry likes it second to Pamplona. We just finished dinner on the balcony overlooking the city and environs as the sun went down and the lights came on...spectacular.

San Martin was as I remember it. Ugly. What I had forgotten was the it is on the highway like a small Ontarion town on highway 7 or 11, non-stop trucks. Three of us for dinner. Gerry, me, and an American from Alaska that follows some Taoist religion that finds them communing in absolute pitch darkness for three weeks at a time. he said he was an ex dentist...who really knows on the camino. It may be our imagination, but it seems to be getting a bit quieter.

Today was a lovely walk along red clay undulating paths through every shade of green imaginable. The geraniums are still in bloom, but barely. the weather was lovely. Once again cool in the early morning and t-shirts as the sun rises higher in the sky. We saw on Spanish TV that we should have sun at least for the next three days.

We are going to put in a light day tomorrow...about 21k.Until then

Buen Camino.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wednesday, October 7

We have arrived in San Martin del camino. We should have saved our mulligan!! Today it poured. Not rain...it poured. Thunder, lightening, the whole nine yards. Our feet were not wet, they were swimming along the camino. We could pour the water out of our boots. So much for goretex. It is kind of like our health care system-works great if you don´t need it. LOL. The algergue has no hot water and no toilet paper-not one of the better days.

By cheating yesterday we caught up with our young friends and were able to spend a couple of hours together. Gerry and I went out for dinner alone though. He chose the place. Turned out the food was fabulous. The best calamari ever. The glass of wine was an excellent local, served at the perfect temperature in beautiful stemware. The place was tres chic. No pilgrim meal for us last night. Yum.

But it was back to reality at the monestary. They separate the men and woman, but since we were married we got to stay in the married quarters. Be careful what you wish for. An obnoxius Aussie woman drove Gerry crazy.

We are slowly warming up. Time for a glass of wine. Things are looking up already.

Buen Camino

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tuesday October 5

We are in Leon today. We cheated a little and took the bus through the outskirts. We were just tired of the straight gravel path, the drizzly weather, and the boring landscape. The hospitalero gave us a bit of grief but we told him that we did walk 20 kms. Leon is a beautiful city and we are out exploring. I have completely walked through my insoles and was able to replace them today.

Yesterdays walk to El Burgo Ranero was straight and boring, but it was a bit overcast and there was a lovely breeze so the 30 k didn´t seem so bad. Quite a lot of the people we have been hanging with took the train from Sahugan to Leon yesterday. One of the Italian fellows has been having such a time with his feet that he finally decided to see the doctor. The Canadian couple gave themselves a dayy off, at the Parador, no less and the little danish girl who wasn´t feeling so well took the train as well. Sahagun is a lovely stop on the way, and the cafe has the best pastry and cookies.

El Burgo Ranero is not much to look at. We made a salad and ate in. I decided to visit the Oki Doki pharmacy to get some cream for my bites, which now look like leprosy. The pharmacist took one look and told me to see the doctor. I don´t think so. I have been dousing them with alcohol and they are looking much better.

Back to real walking tomorrow. I will keep you posted.

Buen Camino

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday, October 4

This will be quick. We are in temprillos del camino (i think). No matter how far or how little you walk, the last hour or hour and a half is brutal. It was actually a great walk today. Cool mornings, and then t-shirts as the sun rises higher in the sky.

Yesterday in Carrion dos le condes we really lucked out at the monastery. A room to ourselves!!!
We ate a pilgrim meal sitting in the beautiful courtyard and it was eary to bed. Gerry has kicked up a nasty blister on his baby toe, so there was some whing, OK not much, but some. I have some really nasty bug bites on the backs of my knees. I am so paranoid about bed-bugs, but I am pretty sure I got these peeing in the woods.

A rather uneventful Sunday. Absolutely everything shuts down on Sundays in Spain so we had to pick up a few supplies yesterday to get us through the day. Gerry bought a case of small kleenex packages...thought it was better than a huge pack of toilet paper. Needless to say we have been handing them out like candy!

It is a whole new group of pilgrims...rather odd. Most are faces that we haven´t seen before, but we chum with an American gal and a couple from Calgary. The Calgary couple are going to take the train tomorrow to Leon, so we probably won´t see them again. Until next time.

Buen Camino

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saturday, October 3

Boadilla was great. The owner has creayed a lovely respite in the middle of a dusty meseta, and he really caters to the pilgrims. Granted, there is absolutely nothing else happening in the village. Gerry and I had a good nights sleep for once.

Today we are in Carrion de los condes. We are staying at the monestery. We lucked in to a room for two. What a luxury. No snoring. We just had a beer with some friends. A really great couple from Calgary, a gal from Montana, and a couple of Australians. Unfortunately they are all about our age...we miss the young ones. The brazilians are here drinking copious amouts of beer, but they are young and crazy and will push on.

The walk from Fromista was easy but boring. There are concret posts along a straight gravel path every one hundred feet marking the way. Where are the waymarkers when you need them? As well, it counts down the kiñometres. 15, 14, 13 etc., talk about destination obsessed. it is so not pilgrimigy. We will eat in tonight. Typical fare. Bread, cheese, tomato, olives, cured meats and tuna. I also bought some tinned octopus...I will probably be the only one to partake.

I am happy to get the internet. It is not readilly (?) can`t figure this word out at all, available and extremely slow. Tomorrow is a long walk in the wasteland, and so I don´t think that there will be internet available.

We have been discussing Canadian Thanksgiving and I will keep you posted. Until then.

Buen Camino

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday, October 2

We are in Boadilla today. A lovely albergue with a swimmimg pool , greem grass, and lovely gardens. Our pack just stopped by, but they are continuing on. 30 k is enough for us.

Burgos was a lovely city. it is a brand new albergue behind the cathedral. There were bunk beds in cubby holes..almost private, but the best thing was....each bed had a light...what luxury. we went out for a beer and the waitress dumped the whole thing over Gerry. No apology, no free beer, and she didn´t even bother to mop up the mess. While we awere sitting there a guy came up and took out the gargbage bags from the bin, opened them up, and then started eating the food remains. I wanted to offer him something, but he was crazy and I don´t speak the language so I didn´t. I feel badly about that.
We went on a train ride around the city. it would have been great except that we couldn´t hear a word. the Spaniards yapped all through the english part, and even if I did shut them up with my shushushing we had a kid behind us who screamed the whole time. Delightful.
We gathered a gang for dinner hanging around the cathedral and found am upstairs of a restaurant that would accomadate the sixteen of us. A great time was had by all.

Off to Hantanas yesterday. it is a popular pilgrim stop in the middle of nowhere. You walk and walk and walk and walk...and then just over the lip of the hill is a tiny town nestled in a valley. It has two albergues and a two bars and we ran into our friend from montreal as well as our young pack and many laughs later we rolled into bed. the kids are pushing on and we probably won´t see them again.

Great walk today.

Must run.

Buen Camino

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

wednesday September 30

We made it to burgos today in record time. An easy walk, but the stretches along the highway can be nasty. We are staying in a brand new albergue. It was not open last year, and is right downtown behind the cathedral in a fabulous location.

I finally had a decent nights sleep and am really feeling refreshed. We had paella at the albergue with our old Canadian friend that we haven`t seen in days. The place was over-run by a group of twenty from France who are travelling as a pack. it can be a bit overwhelming, but they are finished their touregrino vacation today.

We are heading out to explore the city. Tomorrow we start the Meseta.

Buen camino

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

tuesday september 29

I will try to make this quick. i am on someone elses nickel. Dinner in Belorado was a blast. gerry rounded up 12 or so of us for dinner and one of the Italian gals cooked. Pasta with eggplant and tomatoes, bread, a great israeli salad and beer and wine for the grand total of 3 euros each. There were six canadians at the table, and believe it or not three had graduated from Bishop's University. there were two gals from ottawa. one a musician, and the other a recent Oxford graduate. gerry and me, a really nice young man from montreal, and a devout separist from Quebec, working for the federal government(please, you are in or you are out) Although i suppose that he is probably much more representative of canadians in general.. we want to have our cake and eat it. A great time was had by all.

We left at the crack of dawn as usual, and did not get lost this time. the night sky was amazing. there was no light pollution and the stars were so bright you felt you could have reached skyward and touched them.

Big day of walking, but we are in Ages now. tomorrow we will reach burgos. if i am quick I will be able to get this in for free. Until tomorrow.

Buen Camino

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday, September 28

We have arrived in Belorado and are staying at the same albergue as last year. It is a bit rough around the edges, no hot water at all, but wonderful hospitaleros and we will be able to cook a communal meal. A lot of our crew are only going as far as Burgos, so we won´t see many of them after tomorrow. One of our friends got bed-bugs last night in the spanking new albergue, so I have been giving him a hand with care. Everytime I scratch I freak out. This and lice. please no.

Santo Domingo is a really fabulous place. it is the 900th anniversary of the miracle. A chicken and a hen rose from the dead and they have been celebrating ever since. The albergue raises the fowl, and they are housed in the cathedral. And what a cathedral it is. Spectacular. The algergue had a state of the art kitchen and so we had dreams of a gourmet dinner....not to be, everything is closed on sunday in spain except for Panaderia´s where you can get bread, pastries galore, and candy. Things on a plate once again. This time with sardines for me!! It was amazingly busy, and there are two Paraodores there. These are luxury state run hotels that are just georgous. Perhaps we will treat ourselves at the end.

We had a bit of a problem this morning. We got lost. And I mean LOST. Not a hot clue where we were. You might think that a tour of the countryside would be pleasant, but it was dark, so we saw very little , and it added about five kilometres to our day. Boo hoo. All is well that ends well. We are ensconsed for the night and it should be fine.

Until next time.

Buen Camino

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday September 27

We are in Santo Domingo today. A short day of walking and we have arrived at a beautiful albergue. Better than a five star hotel. Brand new this year.
Logrono was a blast It was the festival of San Mateo and everyone one was out for the festivities. The city is beautiful and it was humming. When in Rome..as they say...so we joined in. We went out with our Irish friends and joined an American fellow for a feast. They had huge tents set up with long tables and food as far as the eye could see. Paella, octopus, calamari, huge hams the size of which I had never seen before, and of course wine..we are in the Rioja after all. A good time was had by all.
Yesterday was a long walk through the vineyards. The vines are swollen with sweet juicy grapes and the smell of wine-making is in the air. Gerry is developing his own Camino rhythm, and his beat is a little slowere than mine, so we start walking together in the dark of the morning where four eyes are better than two, but then we find our own groove.
Najera, last night, is a big albergue with one hundred bodies in a room. It is an older gang so the snoring is somethingto behold, but last night it wasn´t just the noise, but the smell. Don't these pilgrims shower?
Our friend from Paris showed up last night in terrible shape. You have never seen such feet. Someone took him to the hospital where they bandaged him up, but he is going to have to go home. I really feel badly for him as he is a devout Catholic, and this must be a test of his faith.
Dinner out was fabulous. I had grilled fish with roasted garlic, Gerry had lamb, we both had a big deliciuos salad and a bottle of wine, all for 17 euros. Can't be beat. We have the afternoon ahead to explore. Talk soon.
Buen Camino

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday September 25

We have arrived in Logrono after a very pleasant day of walking. It has been sunny with a cool breeze.

Estella was a beautiful city. The alberque was as I remember it. Incense burning, crotchety hospitalero, and really close beds. We went out for dinner with a very nice gentlman from Paris, a fellow from Montreal and an Irish gal. Oh yes, and most importantly, beer in the vending machine.

The next day was hot and beautiful, and we left for Los Arcos. We managed to get lost twice, really very difficult to do given the waymarkings...much to the amusement of some of our young friends. Gerry stopped to pick up a brace for his knee. Memories of our Danish friend. In Los Arcos we decided to push on to Torres del Rio, but by the time we got to Sansol we figured we had better grab a bed as it iwas very busy and I thought that there was only one small private albergue. It turns out that there is a brand new albergue, but that too was full. There have to be double the pilgrims this year over last.
We cooked a communal meal and had a great time with the other pilgrims so all is well that ends well.
The line up for beds here in Logrono snakes down the block with more pilgrims arriving all the time. What is this about? I dread to see the numbers nest year given that it is a holy year.
We will join our Irish couple for dinner tonight. We are going out for Tapas. It is a wine festival here so it shoud be a good time. They are leaving tomorrow for Barcelona. We will miss them. She is a cellist, and they are tons of fun. All for now

Buen Camino

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday, September 23 I think

We have arrived in Estella. The weather was absolutely georgous today. Sun, sun, and more sun,

There was a communication problem with my friend in Pamplona and we never did hook up. I don´t know whether I gave him the wrong day, or forgot to send the confirmation e-mail, but we arrived at his house and he was not there. Every cloud has a silver lining however, and it meant a very enjoyable evening in Pamplona. A beautiful, vibrant and clean city. Wine and pinxos-delicious, and the whole town was out in the evening. A state of the art hostel...better than a five star hotel. Hey N, even Miele washing machines!

It was off to Obamas yesterday---sorry, Obanos, the president did not invite me for dinner. Small town, very quiet. Past the almond orchards, the fig trees and the most glorious fields of red peppers. Things on a plate for dinner. Tomato, cheese, tuna and sausage.

Hope the good weather holds.

Buen Camino

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday September 21

We got off to a great start on Friday. Montparnasse on time, found the right platform, and went when our track was called. Yikes. It was really difficult to find. No one to help, and the train, unbeknownst to us, went on forever, and was actually two trains. Finally found our seats and away we went. Just as we were approaching Bayonne, and realizing that we were never going to make our connection, the train kicked everyone off at Dax. Hundreds of people sitting on the platform with no information. Turned out that there was massive flooding and no trains could pass, so they were sending for busses. Talk about the perfect storm; a tractor -trailer overturned on the highway with traffic backed up 6 k, and no bus. We waited 5 hours. When we finally got to St. Jean it was close to midnight, all the hostels were closed and we had to find a hotel. First1-closed 2-closed. Third time lucky. A bite and to bed.

Saturday we decided that we would sleep in a bit and go as far as Orrison. Full, so we decided to go all the way to Roncessvalles. Long way across the Pyrenees in the rain, then driving rain and heavy winds, and fog. My hands were numb but we made it.

Day two to Larrasoanna was rain with heavy mud. Tough but we made that as well.

Now we are in Pamplona and will stay with Inaki tonight. We can´t find a laundromat so all our clothes are wet. Matbe he has a drier, if not we will hang,

Looking forward to the sun.

Buen Camino

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday, September 17

Missed our hookup last night, so we decided to go to Sacre Couer alone. Everybody in Paris answers your questions..but they just make up an answer. No such thing as "I don't know" We got as far as Garde du Nord station and that was it. The print on the map was ineligible, the station was impossible to navigate without directions and we were getting hungry. Came back to our hotel area and ate at an absolutely fabulous (and affordable) restaurant.

Today was off to the Louvre. If the building did not house even one piece of art it would be fabulous.

Lunch at the Canadian Pub. The waitress was from Vancouver. We did a dry run to the train station where we leave from tomorrow. We don't want any surprises. Piece of cake.
In Paris it is definitely about the shoes. You just don't see ladies running around in Keen's. If you happen to see someone in running shoes you know that they are a tourist. FORM OVER FUNCTION BABY.

Sat with a great American couple over dinner last evening. The talk is all about health care. They were wealthy Obama haters. Yikes.

Not sure about the plans for this evening. Nest message will be from the Camino.

Buen Camino.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday September 16

Rolled into bed and crashed last night. We walked our little feet off again today. Good prep for the Camino I suppose. To the market and then off to the Rodin. We walked the Blvd. St Germain every which way and backwards. I saw every street three times looking for the Louis store fo N. Finally found it. I am really directioally challenged in this city with the streets going in a circle around the Seine.

It is very expensive here. As long as you drink wine and visit museums you are fine..they are about the only things on par or cheaper than at home.

I am in a different internet cafe, not nearly as good as yesterdays because I COULDN'T FIND IT AGAIN. Didn't mean to shout, hit the caps lock by mistake. I am running out of time. talk tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday, September 15

We made it!!! We are in Paris as I write. It was touch and go at the beginning....I didn't leave quite enough time to make all the bus connections and we were 10 seconds late. That left Gerry and I running to Yonge street to flag down a cab...all's well that ends well. Check in and security took about ten minutes, so we had plenty of time to read and wait. The flight was uneventful. They served a great chick pea and tuna salad, but the pasta was ho-hum. Free wine mind you.

We landed at 5:30 this morning and have not had any sleep for hours. Off to Notre Dame, beautiful;then to the Louvre, closed; the D'Orsay, beautiful but overwhelming; the gardens of Luxembourg; the market , and then home. It has taken at least two hours to find this darn internet cafe. Dinner tonight and into bed early. En tout ca.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday, September 13

In exactly 24 hours I will be on the plane heading across the pond to Paris. If anybody needs to get a hold of me while I am away, I can be reached at jbanfill12@hotmail.com. I certainly won't be able to get to a computer everyday but I will do my best. We are taking the Viva to Richmond Hill, then transferring to a GO bus for the last leg to the airport. Seems rather appropriate given the type of holiday we are embarking on.

We had an uninvited guests last night. Something, (I am assuming a racoon) made his way into our kitchen, jumped up on the counter, and ate all the peaches. He had the good grace to sit on the chair to chow down, and used the pillow as a plate. It is going in the garbage needless to say. He threw the pits on the floor and left. I hope to goodness that he left. I have checked the house pretty carefully and have found no further sign of him.

On a completely divergent topic. My neighbours lilac tree has bloomed again this week. Very odd. It must have something to do with the weather, although I am not sure what.

One more sleep. Until tomorrow.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Saturday, September 12

I just can't sleep. Don't know if it is nerves, excitement, or the huge cup of tea that I had before bed, but I am wide awake.

Went for lunch in Markham with one of my ballet buddies. We visited an old haunt that has changed hands and been given a facelift. The staff have remained, and the food is as good or better than it was. We quite literally roll out of there stuffed to the gills for nine dollars each. It seems wrong somehow, but delicious nevertheless. Back to her house for a good old chin wag-everything from Michael Bryant to cicadas.(not sure of the spelling) She showed me the pictures from her mums recent 90th birthday party. That woman does not have a wrinkle in her face, and is as smart as a tack. Something to celebrate for sure.

Gerry went to the football game with some friends from work. The elderly gentleman beside him bought him a beer, so Gerry gave him his Argo's hat. Gerry hates the Argo's. The fellow was from Sarasota Florida, loves the CFL, and was over the moon about the hat. Go figure.

Well I'll try the bed thing again. Two and a half sleeps.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

September 10, 2009

I am sure glad that someone reads this blog because it resulted in great Indian food for lunch. Sat down with a couple of friends and solved all the problems of the world. A really interesting discussion was had by all on parenting, not our own, but our parents, and how that has impacted us. Very interesting. The bottom line was that our parents were definitely not helicopter parents.

Since both our watches were on the fritz we had to come up with something that tells time and has an alarm...all for under ten bucks. We visited Zellers, Sportcheck, and the Supercentre. All had something that would do in a pinch, but wouldn't clip on the backpack. Mastermind to the rescue. A kid's clip-on timepiece with a clock and alarm for $6.95, ages three and up. The only problem was that you had to be three to get the thing set up. We finally sorted it out and it is good to go.

Gerry's team had a good-bye party for him tonight. He read me the riot act and told me that I had to behave. I did. A good time was had by all. The food was great and the company even better. Thank you hostess with the mostess. Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

September 9, 2009

Only five more sleeps, as my best friend reminded me ten minutes ago. She also informed me that she has signed on for an organic fruit and vegetable delivery. The girl who eats only oranges and tomatoes. I hope that she has the large sized green bin. Hah hah.

I've been running around picking up small last minute items, andI have to tell you, service out there is non-existent. My shopping is limited to the grocery store and I know why. Getting help is impossible. I think that we are good to go, mind you, so not to worry

Lunch with a friend and her children tomorrow. I hope that she cooks Indian, she does an amazing job. Then it is off to a work party for Gerry. One of the girls on his team is hosting it. Not only is she a great gal, but she has a marvellous home. I made my Peanut Butter Mousse Cake. Considering that I am not a baker it is pretty darn good...though calling it baking is a stretch. Should be fun. All for now.

Monday, September 7, 2009

September 7, 2009

Happy Labour Day. A long week-end for most-but just another Monday for Gerry and me. Hate to rub it in, but it feels good. Gerry wrapped on on Friday, and it was a celebration around here. I guess week-ends just won't feel the same for the next year. We were off to our local market on Saturday, then down to the city. Sunday caught us strolling the Mono Mills Outdoor Education Centre with our friends and their delightful six year old who is starting grade one tomorrow. Seems like a long time ago for us. Today some friends are coming for dinner, and then.....school tomorrow. That really feels like the start of a new year to me. This time next week, at exactly this time to be exact, we will be boarding the plane for Paris, and the start of the real adventure.
Until then.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

September 2, 2009

Home sweet home. Riley's soccer team won last night!!!! First place again. Go Cobras.

Had a chance to meet with dad's doctor this morning...a fabulous young man. Approachable, easy to talk to, seems to be on the same page as we are, and generally a good guy. I came away with a good feeling.

The trip back along the 401 was once again long and boring. Saved by Tim's and a $7.99 audio CD. Good to be back in my own bed.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September 1,2009

I am sitting in Pte Claire at dad's computer. The trip down the 401 yesterday was uneventful,
thanks to the final chapters in my audio book that took me as far as Cornwall, and my Mama Mia CD that allowed for release of pent-up energy the last 45 minutes. I had to make a quick trip to Chapter's this morning to purchase a new book for the long dull trip home. Gives me a better
appreciation of our public librairies, not that I don't love them already. We went out for mussels and fries..yum...and then I was off to my sisters' for a quick visit before bed. One of my nieces started high school yesterday, and the other one started the first day of her final year today. They were full off P+V.

The weather her has been beautiful. Warm and sunny. Dad and I have been able to get down to the village, over to Stewart Hall, and outside for meals. We will pick up a pizza for dinner, have a glass of homemade wine, and I will be off to my nieces soccer game. Hopefully I will be able to meet with the doctor tomorrow...four ears are better than two, and then I will hop in the echo for the ride home. Until then, Happy Birthday Eby.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

August 3o, 2009

Day three of my year off and I am exhausted already. On friday I took two fabulous young ladies to a late lunch and a movie. They actually provided the movie passes and I bought lunch. I had an absolutely fabulous time. If these two gals are even remotely representative of the next generation we are in darn good hands. When I got home Roger's called to offer me some great deal on a digital box. DUH.

Saturday was off to the market, a pot of coffee at the Molloy's, and then home to clean for friends who were coming to dinner. When they arrived we took them down to the gallery and then home . A fun night of hooting and hollering was had by all. They stayed over and left this morning to go and visit their granddaughter who walked for the first time today. The rest of the day was pretty quiet.

Tomorrow I am off to Montreal to visit my dad. I hope that I find him in better shape than he has sounded on the phone the last couple of days. I tried to pick up some books on CD from the library for the long and boring drive but it was closed. Don't you think that Sunday afternoon is the one time that the library should actually be open? Later.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday, August 26th

I have only one more day of teaching left. To say that it feels surreal is an understatement. I don't suppose the reality will really hit until all the loose ends are tied up. Which brings me to my favourite topic of conversation...technology...Roger's in particular. Three phone calls ago Roger's informed me that in fact we could put our cable TV on hold for $3.95 a month. Two calls ago they added that we would lose all our discounts and that the maximum time that you could put a stop on was 6 months and only once in a calendar year. No stopping and starting. So we decided to cancel completely and I called today to do that. No go. It is not my name on the account and so I cannot discontinue service. On top of that, the service will only be cancelled 30 days after the phone call (which they won't accept from me). Does it never end with that company. I seriously dislike them, and I know why. On top of that, there is going to be a credit. That should prove to be an interesting process to get that taken care of. A great big time waster.

Even better. I need new laces for my $250 dollar hiking boots. Easy enough you think. Not on your life. The eyelets are too small to accomodate a standard shoelace. It has taken me three shoelace purchases to find ones that fit. Why would anyone in their right mind design a boot with eyelets that are too small?

That's all for now. It is easy to rant when no one is listening. I feel better already.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

August 20, 2009

I managed to get a profile picture up, not terribly difficult, but I don't seem to be able to figure out how to post pictures. I will ask someone in the know. That would probably be any five year old. Enough time wasting, I have to take care of the last minute details of (or is that for) the book club ladies gathering this evening. A good time will be had by all...couldn't ask for a more fun bunch of gals. Gerry has kindly offered to barbque..he really just wants to hang around for the festivities. Present company excluded, they are all pretty easy on the eyes as well. Gotta go.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

August 19, 2009

I don't pretend to be a writer, nor do I want to air my dirty laundry to the world, but lots of friends and students have asked to be kept abreast of my comings and goings for the next year, and so I thought that this might work. I won't be here everyday but I will do my best to keep you informed. Only one more week of work for me, but Gerry doesn't finish until Labour Day week-end. Twelve days...but who's counting. My book-club friends are coming for dinner tomorrow..yea!!! It is to celebrate Diana's all too brief visit from Singapore. We are happy for her travels but will be glad to have her home. Let's see if this works>