Posts Tagged With: clouds

Fab or Fake?

Being back home I stare at the blue skies and fluffy white clouds. I soak it all in like Frederick in the Leo Leoni books; saving it for later when it is only a memory. Even though we are not returning to Shanghai I find myself still mesmerized by the sky. The other day it looked so surreal… almost fake. I felt like Jim Carey in the movie where he didn’t know everything in his life was scripted and on a sound stage. I looked at the clouds and wondered if they were painted on a blue ceiling 😉 Still they looked fabulous.

The clouds look painted on !

The clouds look painted on !

Today is bitter sweet. About the same time I write this we would be taking off on that long flight back to Shanghai. What adventures will I have this year?

Stay tuned…

 

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Categories: Canada, Tourist in My Own Town | Tags: , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Descent -Photo Challenge

Looking down; a new perspective to see where you have come from… a descent…

The sun setting in Niagara region over the escarpment.

A beautiful golden sunset

A beautiful golden sunset

A plane ride home and anticipating the decent back on Canadian soil. The view was amazing with clouds, landscape and a little sparkle from a lake.

What a view

What a view

The most intense decent, but welcomed after a long climb up hundreds of stairs on the Great Wall on the Mutian Yu section.

IMG_8078

A long way down. What is worse the climb up or keeping your tired, shaking legs steady and in balance back down?

 

The steep climb where we just came down

The steep climb where we just came down

 

This is the challenge set by Word Press this week.

Stay tuned…

 

Categories: Canada, Chinese Adventures, Photography, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Farewell Pixelventures

Farewell for Now

It is with sadness that I write this post as it may be the last one for the weekly Pixelventures Photo Challenge. It is one of the photo challenges I participate in faithfully and very few have I missed. Bastet has encouraged me and spread the word of CTB over the last year by providing links to my humble musings as well as did a “Close Up” interview of me last summer. I will be forever grateful for the additional readers she sent my way. Not only that, but she has helped me grow as a blogger by challenging me into taking better photos and writing poetry, something I rarely did. Again kind words have praised my efforts and pushed me beyond my comfort zone to try something new. I wish her well as she gets some much-needed rest, and ‘me’ time to mend her health and well-being.

For the final challenge she has decided to celebrate and ask us what we should bring to the Farewell. I let my imagination soar. What could I bring if I could bring anything? I decided big, beautiful, bright blue sky with fluffy clouds to accent the sky; the perfect weather and scenery for any party. After all nobody likes to rain on a parade and I imagine the perfect party would be outside.

Blue Sky From Above

Blue Sky From Above

I thought it would also be fitting to share a photo from one of the first Pixelventures challenges I participated in just over a year ago.

Never say good-bye
but see you later,
or see you soon
doesn’t make it easier
but gives us hope
to be reunited with friends
and to be together again

– CTB 😀 July 2014

So let this not be a sad farewell, but a see you later and hope to see you again soon.

Stay tuned…

Categories: Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , ,

HOME -Tourist in Your Own Town

Returning home to Canada for the summer holidays got me thinking about all the things that make HOME special. As it turns out it is all the little things that I miss and started to get excited about especially after 11 months away. Family and Friends are of course top of the list, but what else did I look forward to?

Double Double :)

Double Double 🙂

 

 

1. Food –especially Tim Hortons Coffee. As I walked through the arrivals hall I could see the long line and smell the coffee in the departures section below. Hmmm deep breath. It was too late in the day to savour a cup, but first thing tomorrow morning.

 

 

 

2. Blue Sky with Fluffy Clouds and Sunsets – sounds silly, but when the majority of your days are the same dull gray it is something to get excited about. A few weeks before I came home I saw a picture of blue sky and clouds and I caught my breath. I knew that sky; a distant memory. It was something I started to look forward to. Every day there is blue sky and colourful sunsets. I take a moment like little Frederick in Leo Lioni’s book to soak it all in.

Wide open spaces, blue sky and fluffy clouds.

Wide open spaces, blue sky and fluffy clouds.

3. Wild Life – Living in a large city you are not going to see anything other than birds and maybe dogs out for a walk. Living in a small town and heading to my brother’s place out in the country we experienced more than pets and birds in the last 4 days. Just today we saw a squirrel scamper across the back yard and a bunny munching on clover. Luckily I caught a glimpse of 2 very shy deer across a farmer’s field, at the edge of the forest, nibbling away on seeds or fresh shoots sprouting this year’s crop.

Field of Dreams?

Field of Dreams?

4. Fresh Air, Water and Green Grass – deep breath in… with the poorest levels of pollution, since we arrived in Shanghai, this past year it is nice to go out and not worry about checking the Air Quality Index. It has become part of my daily routine, as much as I check the weather. Levels this past year hovered around 150 with a few days less than 80. The worst was a 4-5 day stretch with the pollution levels getting close to 475, or higher. When day looks greenish and inside is hazy, you just know it is bad. To compare the worst I saw Toronto was 10 and people get excited about that. The World Health Organization state anything over 20 is poor. Then there is the water. A young passenger on the plane was quite surprised when I told him it was OK to drink the water from the tap. Oh the little things we take for granted.

Soft grass to run bare foot in. My feet on Canadian soil.

Soft grass to run bare foot in. My feet on Canadian soil.

5. People and Speaking – Coming home I can speak and be understood. I don’t need to worry if others will understand me. It is a little stress that I never really thought about, but it is there. Trying so hard to say something I practiced, but can’t get the tone quiet right or the difficult zzz and dzz sounds. It then becomes a frustration on both sides. A few times we have been thrown out of cabs because they cannot understand us. At home people are friendly, take a minute to talk and say excuse me, or move out of your way rather than be preoccupied by a smart phone and bump into you instead of taking a step around you. Just last night we were at Wal-Mart and the line was getting longer, but everyone waited patiently as we chatted to the cashier, a lovely woman nearing 75 years of age. Even though it was busy she took the time to chat and enjoy the conversation. That is what I miss most… friendly conversation. Tuesday we were in a Canada Day Parade for the Shriners. People called out “Happy Canada Day” and tears sprang to my eyes. I was home and all the little things I missed for the past year were right here to be enjoyed. Oh Canada, how I miss thee.

Just Clowning Around at the Parade.  My Point of View from our float.

Just Clowning Around at the Parade.
My Point of View from our float.

What makes your country or HOME special? What would you miss most if you moved away? Maybe it is your favourite restaurant, or park? Maybe it is a cool tourist attraction, or site to see? No matter what it may be share it in a post during the month of July and be sure to link back to this blog. Place your link in the comment section below so others can find you too. This theme will run for July and come back early August for a new theme (usually the first weekend of the month). We are in the height of Festivals and Gatherings, last month’s theme, so if you have anything to share of an event you attended or one about to happen let us know. Maybe someone travelling to your neck of the woods would like to check it out.

Looking forward to seeing you. Stay tuned… summer is just beginning.

 

Categories: Tourist in My Own Town | Tags: , , , , , , , ,