Sunday, 29 December 2013


The pale gray skies are weighted with rain that comes down in a slow drizzle. The air is cool and damp, so much that you can both smell and feel it. A peek of sun is wanted yet I must rely on my imagination for now. Today is the last of the sunshine series and we head off to the Costa del Sol of Spain.

The south of Spain is home to this region of 300 days of sunshine in the province of Malaga. A rich history fills the area's past. Tourism slowly made its impact on the Costa del Sol in the early part of the 20th century, increased in the sixties and seventies and boomed in the later years of the 1900s and current 2000s.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons - Olaf Tausch

Thursday, 26 December 2013


Season's Greetings everyone (that includes all holidays at this time year, not just Christmas). I hope this finds you all well and happy. I had a very good Christmas which was spent with friends who I consider family. And of course, I did go to the movies on Christmas day, as per my tradition. FYI, "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" is good and has some sensational scenery!

As it is Boxing Day here in Canada I am spending the day at home eating leftovers, putting away the Christmas decorations (hey, I have a very small apartment and am craving the space the tree takes up!) and going through some of my items. I will begin sifting through things I do not need and will tote them up the street to the local Salvation Army. It is their annual Boxing Day 50% off sale so I know they are open. This actually marks the start of my downsizing before I leave on my RTW trip in 2014. Why am I doing this you ask? It is a two-fold situation. The main reason is it will save me time. If I did it all at once I will be inundated with choices and feel the pressure of everything else going on. I want to feel the excitement of my upcoming trip and have less stress. Secondly, I will have the time to sell items online that may fetch me some extra cash and/or give some items to friends who will find use for them. 

There you have it. I am beginning to downsize as of today. Starting with a number of Christmas decorations and some clothing. Look out Salvation Army as I will be donating on a regular basis!!  

Monday, 23 December 2013


A couple of weeks ago I was given two free passes to the Canyon Lights at North Vancouver's Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Naturally, my BFF Trina was on top of the list to ask and she was all for it. We headed out on an early Sunday eve, catching the free shuttle that they offer year round. We boarded the shuttle bus (a very comfortable motor coach) at its initial stop at Canada Place. It then wound its way around to various hotels in the city centre before heading through Stanley Park, onto the The Lion's Gate Bridge and finally into North Vancouver. Our driver not only ensured that we arrived safely to the park but also informed of us some interesting tidbits about The Lion's Gate Bridge (it was originally built by the Guinness company) and how the suspension bridge came to be. 

Lights and Totems
Thirty minutes later we were entering the park. The air was crisp and clean with scent of pine. A brisk night, I was happy I decided to wear my long johns and chose my thick scarf. We were met by a symphony of lights twinkling and illuminating the space before us. Children raced from display to display of bright LED lights in white, red, blue and green. Park visitors snapped photos of one another in a classic red sleigh just as we did. Along the paths we saw First Nations totems, more lights and eventually the suspension bridge itself. Towering beside it was the enormous 154 ft Christmas tree that was hard to miss.  In front of the large gift shop a trio played holiday songs that filled the evening air. It was all so glittery. We stepped onto the bridge with a bit of trepidation as it was a bit slick from the ice, soon, however we were walking (or bouncing) along with ease, noticing how black the canyon below us was. With the tree and bridge lights illuminating our way, we crossed the bridge and explored the next phase of the park. The boardwalk around the small frozen pond had globes of light dangling from
branches above and Christmas trees and reindeer made of wire and light surrounded us. We saw a 1300 year old tree and gave it a hearty hug.

After touring the pond we started the Tree Top Canopy. Made up of miniature suspension bridges with lookouts between trees, we admired the white lights that shone like stars. I attempted to take photos with my sad, barely working point-and-shoot camera with only minor success. I knew my flash was not very strong and the lights were only specks in the dark sky but I attempted it anyway. We wound our way above the ground, through the trees and finally back to the boardwalks. Another pass across the bridge and to the Cliffwalk. This is where my nerves set in. It did not bother me one iota to cross the wood and rope suspension bridge that spanned a deep canyon while it bounced with every step. Perhaps because the dark below it appeared endless. Yet, one foot on this concrete and securely built walk with chest-high railings and my stomach began to churn. I did not understand why my fear of heights set in then. Was it because the coloured lights at the base highlighted not only the Cliffwalk, the rain forest vegetation but also the rocky and treacherous terrain and swiftly flowing river? Possibly that, although protected, I viewed it as a ledge? Or some other ridiculous reason? Whatever it was I was glad to have my feet on terra firma once that aspect was done. Incredible as it was to see it was uneasy. To calm my butterfly stomach (none of this even fazed Trina) we headed to concession stand. We ended our bright lights tour with tasty hot chocolate and Bailey's. Yum!

**All photos in this post were taken by and owned by me.

Friday, 20 December 2013


As the fluffy snow has gently fallen over Greater Vancouver under gray skies I am envisioning tropical locales with increased frequency. As picturesque as this winter scene appears I am saddened and desperately praying it melts quickly, as snow is my nemesis. Snowboarders and skiers alike can have it all they want so long as it only falls on the mountains. The white I prefer to see is that of white sand beaches...

Jamaica, synonymous with lush tropical landscape, reggae beats and delectable spicy foods, is where we head today. I visited Jamaica a number or years ago and have not easy forgotten it's beauty and the warmth of the Caribbean sun on my skin. A resort haven, Jamaica has easily become a honeymoon mecca for newly weds. But do not let that stop you. This, the third largest island in the Caribbean, has much to offer vacationers of every type. Their tourism board even has a "Meet The People" program if you want a more local feel and learn about the Jamaican way of life.

Doctor's Cave Beach Club, Montego Bay, Jamaica

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain

Monday, 16 December 2013


Want surfing, sun and excitement? Then head to Australia's Gold Coast in the state of Queensland. A 40km (24.85 mile) stretch of beach, it became famous in the 1920s and 30s with the rise in popularity of Surfer's Paradise and riding the waves. A glittering city, Gold Coast has been compared to many world renown coastal cities like Miami. With a plentitude of activities, festivals and sunshine there little time to be bored.

Surfer's Paradise

Surfer's Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia

Photo credit: Flickr - Stan Paczkowski

Wednesday, 11 December 2013


A short while ago I attempted (and failed) to make some changes to my blog. I changed the name along with the URL here on Blogger. I assumed that doing so would not only be easy but come with the 'how to' of having a re-direct for the webpage. It did not. I also ran into some snags with Bloglovin' (which is one of the ways that you can follow my blog).

The reason I wanted to change my blog name was because if you do a search of blogs with "Wandering(s)"  you will get an enormous number of hits. So, I wanted something more original. Ends up I am not the creative and most of what I chose was taken or had similar titles. Still, I changed it. Big mistake!! After a few months I changed it back as my original name and URL on Blogger was still available. I apologize for any inconvenience that caused you, my loyal readers.


I still want to change. This time around I am doing it differently, should I decide to do it at all. Tonight I am going to a (free) course at the public library on using Wordpress for a blog platform. If I like it better than Blogger I will be switching. I will see if I can keep a similar name and have a re-direct page. I am taking the course so I can, ideally, make the transition smoothly and with ease. Not to worry, I will certainly make a post here, unlike previously, so that you can make the adjustments as needed. I hope that you keep following me and recommend me to your friends and family. My aim is to grow this blog a bit more as I learn more about this form or social media.

Here's to new things and positive change.


Monday, 9 December 2013

Kitty Love

One year ago today I adopted a rescue kitten from Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA). Earlier that year I had put my 19 year old black Siamese-Burmese cross to sleep. He was very old and had stopped eating and drinking. He had a good life yet letting him go was one of the hardest things I have ever done. No cat could compare with Cairo - he was the best, so I was bound and determined not to get another cat for some time. I missed him terribly but still refused to adopt another.  Soon after, I realized that the life that an animal brings into ones home is amazing and knew I needed another fur baby. Despite that I tried to make it difficult for myself -after so many years I felt I was betraying the memory of beloved black fur ball. So I set out to adopt a cat but only if all the criteria was met. Below are the conditions I had set out:

  • Had to be a rescue 
  • Had to be a kitten
  • Had to be a silver tabby with white on him/her
  • Had to have a pink nose 
Hey, I told you I was making this difficult...
  • Did not have to be adopted with a sibling (VOKRA encourages many of its adoptees to be taken with their siblings)
  • Had to be short-haired
I was convinced that I would be searching for weeks, if not months for this cat (famous last thoughts). This was towards the end of November. I perused VOKRA's website and saw some cute kittens but none of them qualified under EVERY specification. I then went on vacation for a week. Upon my return I searched again (it was a Thursday), again thinking I would never find "the one".  There were some cute and sweet little kittens on that website but I knew I would not SHE WAS! The cutest, demure looking silver tabby with a white chest and a pink nose! THERE SHE WAS! My heart leapt - it was kitty love at first sight. I read her "bio" and quickly scrolled down, praying she could be adopted on her own. She was! I immediately filled out the paperwork and emailed it in. I was so thrilled to have found a cat that met all my conditions. I was filled with anticipation as I waited for my adoption application to be approved. I also begged the Universe to not have anyone else want her. She was so cute at 6 months old I could not believe she had not been adopted yet. It was a tense 24 hours but finally word came - I was approved. Next, I needed to contact her foster home and set up a meeting. Shy this little one was but I was certain she was the kitten for me. Her foster told me that she was very shy and may stay in hiding for several weeks as she did when she arrived at the foster home. I guess my fur baby felt comfortable with me as she was only in hiding for 6 hours. The following evening she jumped into my lap. The next day I woke in the morning to find her lying on my stomach. Yep, this cat and I bonded. She filled a void in my heart that was left when Cairo passed away. I was surprised at how quickly I became attached to her. She is nothing like Cairo and I would not have it any other way. It always amazes me the different personalities they have. It took a bit of getting used to having an energized kitten who lives to play after being owned by a senior cat for so long, though, they both have brought so much love into my life. Piper still climbs up the drapes (good thing they are old), races around at top speed and strews her toys all over the place and I expect this will be the case for several years to come. I look forward to it. I realized later that the second I saw her picture all my resolve to not get another cat has vanished. Funny eh?

Oh, and for those wondering where she will be while I travel, have not fear. She will be cared for by my bestie Trina. :)

Ain't she pretty?!

Sunday, 8 December 2013


This week's 'hot spot' is none other than Goa, India. Despite being the smallest state in India, it is favoured by many for its beach life, blend of Indian and Portuguese history, pilgrims and lifestyle suited to expats from around the globe. Located on India's west coast, near the Arabian Sea, this tropical haven beckons. 


Aaahhh... the perfect spot to relax and unwind.

Photo credit: Flickr - Aaron Geddes

Monday, 2 December 2013


**Oops...maybe this post should be called "Monday's Magic Moment" - sorry for the delay**

"Baby it's cold outside". Well it is officially December and a frosty winter season for Northern Hemisphere countries. Even moderately weathered Vancouver has been a bit chillier than normal. To help warm your souls I will be posting warmer destinations for the next several weeks. Enjoy! I know I will.

I have, over the years, heard many things about Thailand. Mouthwatering food, pristine beaches, tropical weather, inexpensive traveling, and steeped in history it offers something for most anyone. Often included in the descriptions and lists of "what to do" of Thailand is the infamous Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan. Although this is not a "spot", so to speak, it is something that is synonymous with this SE Asian locale.

What started out as a small party on the eve of the full moon in 1985 has turned into an enormous beach dance party (or rave) of over 10,000 - 20,000 fluorescent painted Western party-goers. World-class deejay's mix music over dozens of sound systems, food stalls line the beaches and cheap drinks are available everywhere. It is one big party from sunset to sunrise with plenty of fun to had and memories made. Information and guidelines can be found on several websites. I guess with a party of this scale it is prudent and always use common sense and overindulging is best kept at bay. Check out Rough Guides Survivor Guide and Full Moon website for info, tips and survival know-how.

Drop In Bar, Full Moon Party Night

It is not for everyone that is certain, however, it would be a sight to see. Would I attend? I can not say. Dancing on the beach would be fun but 10,000+ people may be too big of a crowd for my tastes. Perhaps if the opportunity presented itself I would decide then. I will just wait and see.

Photo credit: Flickr - Brendan007