everyday occurances

Road Trip: Heading North

In my last post I told you about the change of events. How we ended doing a 180 and moved north instead of south. Yukon was traded in for Cayman Islands. Staying in Canada was more ideal than enjoying endless summer, but we might change our minds come winter 😉

After a rush packing our things in Ontario we flew back to Calgary and drove from there. Our things were in a moving van and it could take 3-4 weeks to arrive! Our things would crisscross across Canada picking up and dropping off other big movers. We would not have more than what we could fit into a suitcase, so it was easier to buy a bed and other necessities and drive them up until our other items could arrive. I couldn’t imagine sleeping on a floor for a few weeks.

The drive from Calgary wound across the foothills and mountains between Alberta and British Columbia. The scenery was stunning and we lucked out seeing wildlife along the way. Most people might catch a glimpse of one animal if they are lucky, but we saw Canada’s finest. We saw bears munching clover, uncaring that we drove by and a quick dash across the road of a mommy and baby moose. We also saw mountain goats, porcupine, deer, lynx and elk. The most amazing was the large bison who take over the road for a long stretch of highway close to the Yukon border.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Willow was great for the 25 hour drive, which we spread over 2.5 days. She was quite surprised by the animals. She shivered at the sight of them. Once we arrived in the Yukon we made a fast trip to unload our things at our new house then drove the Whitehorse for my week of training.

Willow the traveling cat

Willow the traveling cat

Stay tuned as I fill you in on my of our new adventures. School life is not as busy as Shanghai, but with our new adventure comes more jobs and less free time.  I don’t have a chance to post weekly, or check daily, but I will get on-line whenever I have a chance.

Road less traveled... a new adventure awaits.

Road less traveled… a new adventure awaits.

Categories: Canada, everyday occurances, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Abstract Answer

Thank you all for the guesses as to what my abstract picture was. I had guesses from hurdles from above, to I have no idea! Most of you got it correct, so well done on having a keen eye.

 

Abstract

Abstract -sign less

This of course was staples… those industrial kind. A sign board along a Toronto street was bare with only staples left behind. It was one of those boards where you could post ads, posters about events, or even garage sales… The random pattern caught my eye and I couldn’t resist the photo.

Thanks again for all the guesses.

Stay tuned…

 

Categories: everyday occurances, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Willow Christmas Meme

Where have I been? What has kept me away for so long? I am not sure. How is it possible I worked full time at a very busy and demanding job and was sick and still found time to blog every week? What is my excuse? I am not sure where time goes. I find it melts away quickly when I am on the computer, so I sometimes avoid putting it on. I am missing Shanghai and the unusual sites, so maybe home is a little too vanilla 😉 to blog about. The daily grind is not as interesting here that is for sure. Besides being home I can easily call and text friends, which was a main reason I blogged. I could quickly communicate with everyone. That isn’t fair to my on line blog friends and followers though. I have taken to twitter also. It is quick and a different platform, so you can always see what I am up to there. From the blog on the right sidebar is my most recent tweets. I don’t think you need an account to view the links, so click away.

So to FINALLY get back to the funny picture of Willow at Christmas. (Better late than never???) I posted this pic and asked for some ideas of what Willow was saying. Thanks for all who sent along ideas. They are great. I just couldn’t decide on one, so I have posted most of them below. Which one do you like best? Thanks John, Quiall, Lucid Gypsy, Lavendar Ladi, Carrissa Hickling, Amy,  and Kate for sharing your ideas of What Willow is saying.

What is Willow saying here? Post your ideas below.

What is Willow saying ? Pick your favourite from the list below.

  1. You’re never gonna believe what I got you for Christmas. Go check the litter box!
  2. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Buurrrppp!
  3. I SAID FOIL WRAPPING PAPER!!!
  4. I hope you’re not planning to send my catnip to someone else?
  5. Why are there no lines on the paper? How do I cut a straight line?
  6. Back off and let me shred this pretty paper!
  7. What???? You didn’t get me a gift?
  8. You didn’t wrap it right!
  9. and a new one I just thought of….. “Eeeooowwwch! The tape is stuck to my fur!

Pick your favourite and post it in the link below.

If you want to see the original post click on the link https://canadiantravelbugs.wordpress.com/2015/12/17/willow-wrapping-presents/

 

Take care and stay tuned. I promise it won’t take me as long to post next time!

 

Categories: everyday occurances, Holidays | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Willow Wrapping Presents

Willow is having her first Winter and Christmas in Canada. She has seen snow for the first time. The first snowfall freaked her out at the big feathery flakes fell from the sky. The second snow she ventured out on the balcony to touch and sniff it. She even stepped into the snow that was 4-5cm deep.

She has also seen a Christmas tree for the first time. In China, we had a small decorative tree about 12 cm tall. This year we put up a 7 foot tree and I was sure she would attempt to climb it, or play with the decorations. Willow has taken it all in stride, a tree in the living room? Why not?

Helping wrap the gifts

Helping wrap the gifts

However, she was not so reserved when I was wrapping the presents. She had to ‘help’ by sitting and laying on the paper. Cats and paper… need I say more?

I love her face in the one shot and I am trying to think of a good caption. Any ideas what she could be saying? Add it in the comment below. I will pick my favourite(s) and post them next week.

What is Willow saying here? Post your ideas below.

What is Willow saying here? Post your ideas below.

Happy holidays.

 

Categories: everyday occurances, Pets | Tags: , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Shanghai Silly: Potato Chips

When I was kid I remember the strange potato chip flavours coming out. Grape seems to be the one I recall and wanted to try the most. Funny I don’t remember if I ever tried them – maybe I was to chicken. 🙂

When we first arrived in Shanghai that memory came back as we walked down the aisle of chips. I tried lime, a sweetish more like key lime pie and ice tea, a lemony flavour. They did have grape or blueberry and I assumed it was ‘normal’, but the next time we went to shop they no longer carried that flavour. This time I was going to be sure to try them and I missed out. Another time I bought Cheetos and was surprised by the unusual flavour. I can’t read Chinese, but on closer inspection I realised I bought steak Cheetos. 😦 I don’t know if it was the flavour or not what I expected, but I wasn’t a fan and never bought them again. Recently I saw another kind of cheesies had something on top that looked like cheese. Mmmm cheesies with extra cheese on top. Nope it was vanilla icing like. Bizarre.

funny chip flavours

funny chip flavours

We usually stick to our old standards now. John likes the plain Lays, which are not as salty or greasy as home. Large bags are a third the size of home, but the flavour is great. I like the cheese Pringles. We bought some at home, but again the greasier and saltier flavour are not as good.

While out shopping I decided to snap a few photos of some of the new flavours that came out recently. Maybe they were just for Chinese New Year, or will be more long-term if they are a hit. My new favourite is Thai Green Curry. They are lime and a hint of coconut…. sounds strange, but it is good. Before that I discovered chocolate and sea salt. It is sweeter than usual chips, but nice too. The chocolate is light and just enough. I tried the numb and spicy hot-pot, but it was something I would not eat again. That and the sour plum melon is too Chinese for me. It has this spice that is in many dishes here and I don’t like it. The pepper and chicken were OK, but I prefer my favs thanks.

My favs in the middle and 2 new ones to try.

My favs in the middle and 2 new ones to try.

Chips are not too expensive; about the same price as home. The small bags run 3.80 RMB, which is around .75c Canadian and the larger bags are 5.20 RMB or $1.00. The tins are 8.00 RMB about $1.50.

What is your favourite chip flavour? Do you ever try any of the new flavours that come out?

 

Categories: China, Culture, everyday occurances, strange adventures, Tourist in My Own Town, unique experiences | Tags: , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Ephemeral #2 -Frozen in Time

This week I have done 2 posts for the WP Photo Challenge. The first one Ephemeral: Shanghai Sillies made me think of the time and how quickly my last few months in Shanghai are flying by. I can’t wait to go home, but there is a bit of sadness as some things I will have to leave and experience for the last time.

Ephemeral is something fleeting, that passes quickly. Sometimes we are lucky to capture something on film that you probably could never re-create, or capture again. A moment in time that flashed by, and forever frozen on film. These are my ultimate examples.

These are my nephews and for the last few summers our tradition is to capture a photo of them as they jump into the pool. This by far was our favourite as they were frozen sitting in midair.

1, 2, 3.... splash!

1, 2, 3…. splash!

The second picture makes me laugh every time I see it. My nephew looks like he is falling from the sky, or the picture was photo-shopped. Nope, none of the above. This was pure luck as I caught this shot of my husband tossing my nephew into the air and catching him. Their hands and position made it extra funny, making my nephew look like he is dropping from the sky, while the entire event took milliseconds in real time.

It's a bird, it's a plane..... WT****.....?

It’s a bird, it’s a plane….. WT****…..?

Stay tuned…

 

Categories: everyday occurances, Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Shanghai Sillies

After nearly 5 years in Shanghai not much surprises us anymore. I think we have seen it all. The only thing that has changed is my bravery 😉 I used to do double takes and stare in disbelief at odd occurrences. Stories were shared about sites we have seen and I am sure a few people thought I was making things up. Well since it is our last year I decided to go for it -there are some things where a picture is worth it. They after all are not shy about snapping our photo even when you clearly say no in English or Chinese, so why not join in the snap happy fun? They are just asking for it with these Shanghai Sillies.

Saturday we went to Old Navy near Jing’an Temple for some great sales. After I was leaving the clearly marked change area we saw a shirtless man trying on sweaters (jumpers) in the main area of the store right in front of the change rooms. Why waste time going into a little room with mirrors when you can try them on while you shop?

I walked away, but decided I HAD to get a photo of this. Really I am not hiding behind this rack, but it was the best vantage point without being too obvious. Christmas season is sneaking up on us and sometimes tempers flare with the stress of getting the last ‘must have’ item on the shelf. Have you seen any crazy shopping sillies? Share them in the comments below, or maybe it is worth a picture and a post.

Is this my colour?

Is this my colour?

Personal Update – you may have noticed lately I haven’t been blogging regularly, virtual visiting or even responding to comments in my usual quick fashion. Some of you know I had not been feeling well and was down with a virus in the summer, then the start up of work was busy and then a tummy bug wore me down. This all hit one after the other. Well it seems it has been more than all that. I had to be rushed off to hospital a few weeks ago with severe pain. The first thought was my appendix, but turns out it is kidney stones. The pain is pretty incredible at times and goes from uncomfortable to so intense you think you may pass out. I am also suffering from fatigue. I can go to bed as early as 7PM. Sometimes I sleep through til morning where other times I am up with pain in the middle of the night. I am still being monitored by a doctor because they want to be sure there is not another underlying medical condition. Whenever I have free time I no longer blog due to the tiredness or discomfort of sitting. My free time is now spent napping. I blog when I can and most posts are quick and easy. Once I am back to myself and full of energy I hope my words and ideas will begin to flow easily again. I miss the blogging world and being active in it, but it is not forgotten. -CTB Nov. 16/14

Stay tuned…

Categories: Chinese Adventures, everyday occurances, teaching overseas, Tourist in My Own Town | Tags: , , , , , | 20 Comments

A short break

Hello everyone. Here we are back in Shanghai and I am back at work. Things have been extra busy and a new schedule has me leaving the house earlier than ever before. As I get back into routine and into a work schedule I decided to take a short break from blogging. I no longer have the time to get on daily to read or respond to blogs. Feeling tired and being so busy it is difficult to be creative and to write well. I want to share our time in Dubai and a month has passed and I still haven’t had the chance to get to that. The words that usually flow are blocked as my head swims with so much; information overload.

When things settle down and I can get myself into a routine I will be back. I thought it best I share so you didn’t think I forgot about you all. I appreciate your visits, our chats and time together, so I know I will be back. It may be a week, or longer… that I cannot say. I decided I rather take a break and do something well than do it just for the sake of doing it, or stress myself to just get it done.I want to be proud of what I share, after all you deserve my best.

The pink bloom is in focus in the background and the white bloom is blurry in the foreground.

The pink bloom is in focus in the background and the white bloom is blurry in the foreground.

See you soon… stay tuned

– CTB 😀

Categories: everyday occurances | Tags: , , ,

Willow Wednesday

Hello everyone…. It is Wednesday. While many of you do a Wordless Wednesday I decided to do a Willow a Wednesday 😉 you see Willow is our little cat. We bought her a year and half ago in Shanghai and she just turned 2 a few weeks back.  She is a pretty funny, very cute and SMART cat! Since we are in Canada for the summer we are missing our little 4 legged friend. So I have played with the idea and figured I would post a photo of her each Wednesday. Welcome to Willow Wednesday.

 

Willow in the Suitcase. Can I come too?

Willow in the Suitcase. Can I come too?

What do you think? Silly? Good idea?

Do you have any furry friends?

Stay tuned… a new Tourist in Your Town will come soon.

Categories: everyday occurances, Pets | Tags: , , ,

Festivals & Gatherings: Tourist in Your Town

Here it is June already and time for a new Tourist in Your Town Challenge. Thanks goes out to  Junkboat Travels (on blogspot)  for participating in last month’s challenge Favourite and showing some of her favourite Burger joints in and around Toronto, Canada.

It is a long weekend here in China for Duan Wu, Dragon Boat Festival. The holiday is usually mid-week, but this year it falls on a Monday. Yippee 3 day weekend. Yesterday John and I went to the Beer Festival. John’s friend had a booth and was selling his home-brew and asked John to prepare some food to go along with the drinks. We spent the day selling tasty Beef on a Bun. Crowds came despite the heat. The energy and fun-filled the air for those expats and locals alike that decided to stay in the city.

The Beerfest runs Saturday and Sunday from noon until 10PM. Numerous homebrewers, restaurants and breweries sell their ware. Most participants are from around Shanghai, but some come from other cities. With a large expat community tastes from other countries are also present. In the evening bands hit the main stage to entertain the crowds and create a bar atmosphere outside. It was held in Puxi near Fuxing Park at Sinan Mansions. Sinan is an outside venue with small 2 story European style buildings. This year is the 4th beerfest, so if you’re in the area next year keep it in mind 😉 The address is:

Sinan Mansions 519-521 Fuxing Zhong Lu (near Sinan Lu)

and in Chinese:

思南公馆 复兴中路519号 近思南路

The metro information:

Line 10 (Purple): Xintiandi 10号-新天地

Shanghai Beerfest

Shanghai Beerfest

The Beerfest gave me the idea for this month’s Tourist in Your Own Town theme: Festivals and Gatherings. Now the festival season is just starting, but if you have any photos from last year post them and give us the details, dates and description for this year. Hey maybe if someone is in your neck of the woods they may stop by. No festivals where you live? No problem… what is your summer tradition? Maybe it is a family BBQ, a weekend around a campfire with friends, a church picnic or even a parade. Just show us something festive and fun that you are looking forward to this summer.

 

Then…

  • post your pictures and then link back to this post so others can find you
  • use Tourist in Your Town in the title and tags
  • invite others to join in
View of the venues just before opening time

View of the venues just before opening time

 

 

 

The challenge runs for the month of June and a new challenge will be up the first week of July

Stay tuned…

 

Categories: Culture, everyday occurances, Tourist in My Own Town | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,