The Story of La Grande Hermine Dreams Lived Dreams Broken

If you’ve driven along the QEW between Toronto and Niagara Falls there’s a good chance you noticed the pirate ship in Jordan Harbour. The story of La Grande Hermine is about dreams. And it was someone’s dream that brought this ship to the Niagara Region of Lake Ontario. In 1535 the great French Explorer, Jacques…

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Montefioralle A Tiny Italian Village Hidden Behind Stone Walls

In Tuscany between Florence and Sienna you will find the prettiest tiny Italian Village tucked neatly behind stone walls. This is Montefioralle, a place that dates back to the 11th century where double stone walls were built in an elliptical shape as fortification against the marauders that existed in the Chianti area. Let me take…

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Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens A Secret Wonder

Just down the road from Niagara Falls, one of the world’s natural wonders, is a beautiful botanical garden with 99 lush acres of flowers, plants, trees and plenty of open spaces to wander and relax. The Niagara Parks Botanical Garden truly is a secret wonder, because when we visited, there were only a handful of…

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Gage Park Greenhouse A Joyful Winter Respite

February in Canada brings some sunny days, but plenty of cold, often snow or at least rain of the freezing variety. Unable to escape to warmer climes means that we can find the tropics right here at the Gage Park Greenhouse in Hamilton, Ontario. This greenhouse is fairly new, having opened in March 2019. I…

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Walking on the Ocean Floor

Just before my feet hit the soft white sand the pressure in my ears cleared. It was the kind of quiet rarely experienced on the surface of the planet.  My eyes adjusted to the pale turquoise water, and I noticed the coral with fish swimming about unhindered, and uncaring of my presence.  Walking upright, barefooted…

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Ten Thousand Buddhas Temple: A Place of Peace

The warm sunshine and cool air mixed together under a clear blue sky setting the tone for a beautiful day spent at the Ten Thousand Buddhas Temple here in Niagara Falls, Canada. It is also known as the Sarira Stupa and Chan Shan Temple. Completed in 2001, the Ten Thousand Buddhas Temple is a seven…

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I Wish I Knew: Bloganuary Day 5

Today’s Bloganuary prompt from WordPress is, What is something you wish you knew how to do. For me the biggest thing I wish I knew how to do would be to go back in time when international travelling was easier. Provided of course we don’t have to come back and live through all this madness…

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Road Trip Dreams in Italy: Bloganuary Day 2

Today’s Bloganuary prompt from WordPress is, What is a road trip you would love to take? That’s easy peasy, because a road trip to anywhere conjures up great visions of summer freedom and fun. I have a romantic notion of road trips, the open road, rest stops along the way, naked feet up on the…

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Things to Do and See in Bayfield Ontario

Bayfield Ontario is a quaint little village that sits perfectly on the shores of Lake Huron. Part of the Bluewater municipality, Bayfield has a population of about 1200 people, and the entire village was designated a heritage district in 1982.  It has a long history belonging to early Canadian settlers who travelled here along the…

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The Little Inn of Bayfield History and Luxury in a Perfect Romance

When I was looking for places to stay in Bayfield, Ontario for our summer roadtrip along the shores of Lake Huron, one place kept popping up in my search, The Little Inn at Bayfield. The romantic notion of staying in the oldest inn in Ontario with its double verandahs and big old willow tree out…

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Big Bay The Stone Skipping Capital of Canada

Have you ever skipped stones?  A lazy day spent by the lake tossing stones and watching them skip on the surface of the water is a summer dream.  It takes practice and many summers to perfect the skill. And though I’m not very good at it, I tried my hand at it in the Stone…

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The Green Book Are We There Yet

“I hope this isn’t a sundown town.” She whispered quietly to him.  Their hands rested together between them on the Caribbean blue vinyl front seat of their brand new 1958 Packard. Her thumb rubbed the back of his hand tensely as she spoke. The road ahead was dark. He lifted his hand away to rub…

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What Do You See

It’s that time of year when winter seems to be dragging on. Add to the ice, snow and cold, the misery of this pandemic, and life may seem as bleak as the grey salted asphalt roads. Out for a walk the other day I saw a ditch. A ditch? You ask laughingly. She’s going to…

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Uli’s Stairs a Handmade Dream

I don’t know Uli.  I’ve never met him, though I wish I could.  I have walked his stairs down the Niagara Escarpment in Hamilton, and his story fascinates me.  There are plenty of stories surrounding Uli’s stairs.  His name, Ulrich shortened, is sometimes not remembered, just the way he likes it.  The lady I met…

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Old Fort Erie Niagara Ontario

On the Canadian shores of the magnificent Niagara River, which connects Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, stands an old fort that has a long history of protection and preservation. This is Old Fort Erie, sometimes referred to for student education and in historical journals as Fort Erie National Historic Site of Canada. Forts are often…

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The Gardens at Villa Le Corti Chianti Tuscany

This narrow door beyond the lavender was an inviting focal point for me in the garden at Villa Le Corti, the residence of the Principe Corsini and his family in Chianti Tuscany. The 230 acres of the estate set in the Tuscan landscape is splendid, but this garden door set in an ancient stone wall…

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Thursday Doors in Florence Italy

The doors all over Florence, Italy are enormous heavy wooden doors that grace the façade of buildings and lead to fabulous courtyards tucked away from the bustle of the city. This magnificent door is on Lungarno Torrigiani which runs along the Arno river.  This river that runs through Florence separates the neighbourhoods geographically, but the…

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Badia a Passignano: Eat, Stay, Dream, in Tuscany

I sat alone in a white wicker chair in the backyard of an ancient abbey overlooking the Tuscan hillside. There wasn’t a soul around.  I swallowed. The kind of repetitive swallow that indicates a looming sore throat.  Is it really sore?  Will it get worse?  I swallowed.  Here I was on my third day of…

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