Why did I never turn right? Hiking in Horseshoe Bay, British Columbia

For year now, when I need an easy, no-fuss hike, I just walk out my door to a trailhead about 10-minutes away. The path immediately gets me into the deep forest above Horseshoe Bay. After 500 m of uphill grunting, there’s an intersection. I’ve always turned left. It’s like I’m on autopilot. Left is to Whyte Lake, a pretty, little lake that makes the perfect one hour, door-to-door outing—a reliable and predictable bit of fresh air and exercise. A few months ago, I bucked the routine and turned right.

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Categories: British Columbia, Canada, Hiking | Tags: , , | 7 Comments

Winter hike to Garibaldi Lake, British Columbia

Garibaldi Lake, located in Garibaldi Provincial Park near Whistler, British Columbia, is a popular summertime hiking destination. A few weeks ago, on a crisp sunny day, I finally got to hike there in winter. Verdict: It’s a gorgeous cold weather outing. The blanket of white adds a simplicity to the landscape making it appear even grander than in summer. And, there’s a peacefulness that comes with the largely monochromatic scene. Strangely, I can thank the pandemic for allowing me to hike to Garibaldi Lake this winter.

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Categories: British Columbia, Canada, Hiking | Tags: , , , | 46 Comments

Remembering Egypt: 10 years after the revolution

Remember the Arab Spring? I certainly do. We had booked a trip to Egypt mere weeks before massive pro-democracy demonstrations erupted on January 25, 2011 in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the epicentre of Egypt’s 2011 revolution. After 18 days of intense unrest, former president Hosni Mubarak was forced out of office. Most visitors cancelled travel plans to Egypt. We decided to go ahead with our March 2011 visit. This post features my photo memories from an extraordinary trip during an extraordinary time.

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Categories: Egypt | Tags: , , , , , , | 47 Comments

This is winter on Vancouver’s North Shore

There’s an old saying that if you can see the North Shore from Vancouver, it’s about to rain, and if you can’t, it’s raining. Grey skies and incessant precipitation are typical of winter on the North Shore, part of Greater Vancouver separated by the Burrard Inlet. I grumble about the winter weather, but I’ve also learned to embrace it. With its unique geography and micro-climates, Vancouver’s North Shore offers a huge variety of outdoor activities. It’s one of the few places in the world where you can ski, hike, cycle, golf, and play in the ocean in winter—possibly all on the same day. And, when the sun does peek out, it’s glorious!

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Categories: British Columbia, Canada | Tags: , , , , , , | 46 Comments

My German Christmas Tradition

On Christmas Eve morning my sister and I would awaken to find a large bed sheet covering the entrance to our living room. “No peeking” my mother would say. “You want Christkind to come, don’t you?” Not wanting to risk losing out on presents, we’d try and occupy ourselves with play—that was tough to do when we were bursting with excited anticipation. According to my parents, the angels were working their magic in preparation for the arrival of Christkind (Christ Child), the bearer of Christmas presents.

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Categories: Germany | Tags: , , , | 62 Comments

Paris: 7 things that “stuck” after a year

As some of you will recall, Mike and I did a cycling trip in Brittany and Normandy in September 2019. That trip was bookended by several days in Paris. I hadn’t written about the French capital figuring that the blogging universe doesn’t need another “what to do in Paris” post. But I can’t shake Paris from my daydreams. And now, more than a year after our trip, the same images keep surfacing. This gave me an idea for a post. Instead of my usual approach of combing through my travel notes and photos, this post is inspired by my daydreams. It’s a collection of moments, impressions and learnings that have stuck with me from our time in Paris.

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Categories: France | Tags: , , , | 52 Comments

Teaching an old swan new tricks

Welcome to hell ladies,” he says in an Eastern European accent. I grimace as he presses down on my stiff upper back attempting to coax out an extra millimetre of flexibility. I’m finally ticking ballet class off my bucket list, but now I’m wondering what possessed me to do this.

This piece about my foray into adult ballet is a slightly edited version of the one published in the Canadian newspaper The Globe & Mail (Aug.19,2020). It’s a departure from my usual topics in this blog, but what’s usual these days? Hope you enjoy it.

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Categories: Crazy Fun Stuff | Tags: , , | 36 Comments

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