Posts Tagged With: memories

Happy New Year -2015

Happy New Year!

It is hard to believe Christmas has come and gone and we are already into 2015. Christmas this year we decided to go home and managed to keep it a secret. My parents were shocked and super surprised. Christmas was lots of good food and New Years Eve was more of the same. New years Day we were on a crowded flight back to Shanghai.

2015 will bring lots of changes, new things and last times… we decided not renew our work contract. We hope to see some new things and places as we embark on the last 6 months living abroad in Shanghai. There will also be many last times to savor and enjoy as we say good-bye to our adopted home.


This image is fitting as it is moving forward and looking back… our time of transition. As we ponder our time here and hold onto wonderful adventures and memories and move forward to our next chapter of unknowns. Let another adventure begin!

What are your plans for 2015?

Stay tuned…

Categories: Chinese Adventures, post a week, teaching overseas | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Proud Treasures: Photo Challenges

This week word press has asked us to show a treasure; something special and dear to our heart. Maybe it is a simple item and others would  think of it as meaningless, but to yourself it is priceless. Bastet has asked us to show photos we like and are especially proud of the way they turned out. To me my photos are treasures that showcase my world travels and bring back memories of places, people and events. Each is special and unique. To have had the opportunity to travel, especially so much in the last 4 years, that has been a wonderful gift. To be able to see places most  people have only heard about, seen in books, or on TV is amazing. I will treasure my photos long after we leave. These below are some I am most proud of and one day they may grace the walls of our home.

I have loved taking photos for a long time and I am trying hard to learn more. Someone once told me look for the shot no one else will have. Although I find a good photo sometimes is a lucky shot, a fleeting moment you happen to capture, a chance encounter that you might be in the right place at the right time, or when all elements just come together. Other times it takes  a careful eye and planning. The following are the shots I am most proud of. Enjoy my treasures….

Intricate carvings

Intricate carvings – Angkor Wat. The lighting was perfect for this capture of the bas reliefs along the temple walls.

I love this photo. It caught my breath and I almost couldn’t believe it was I who took it. Cambodia was an amazing place and this photo was my favourite from Angkor Wat. Everything came together perfectly.

Speaking of lighting be just right…..

Sun or Heavenly Rays in St. Peter's Basilica?

Rome, Italy – Sun or Heavenly Rays in St. Peter’s Basilica?

I saw the sun rays and hoped it turned out. It was much later I realised how this looked and I was really happy with the result.

This next one reminded me of an eerie old B&W film. The sepia tones in the hazy, humid sky after an earlier downpour played with the lights. Everyone takes the horizontal shot of the parliament buildings, so I looked for an alternate angle. I was happy how it was different and the atmosphere and feeling it has.

The Peace Tower at Night

The Peace Tower at Night

I liked the shadows of the palms to frame the view we had on the beach while we were in the Philippines. More than just another shot of the beautiful blue water.

What a view!

What a view!

I also took this shot in the Philippines. I kept moving around to get the right angle, light and detail I wanted. I am really happy with the result. I like how the palm is in the background to give it an extra dimension. It is my new favourite. What do you think?


What do you treasure? What photo are you most happy with? Check out the links above to see more posts, or find out how post your own.  No photos? Then tell us about it in the comment section below.

Like this blog? Want to help me move onto round two of the Canadian Blog Awards? Then please click on the Canadian Blog Awards 2013 picture/button on the right sidebar to take you to the webpage if you would like to vote. Round one closes Feb. 21. I am Canadian Travel Bugs in the Travel and Expat category. CAREFUL you only get 1 vote! Not sure what it is all about? Then read my post that explains in more detail here.

Thanks in advance. 🙂

Stay tuned…

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

Windows & (Funny) Memories

With a new year starting I have been posting more than the usual. I want to share with you our amazing trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia. I have been trying to focus more on writing about daily life living here as an expat in  Asia and less on photo challenges. This week’s photo challenge seemed interesting and as I searched our recent trip photos I found these windows, the theme set by word press.



Windows at Angkor Wat and surrounding temples were interesting with small pillar like spindles that covered the opening so only thin views through the intricately carved shapes could be seen. I am not sure of the purpose since your view was obstructed and little light could come in. Possibly it was to support the heavy stone structures that an opening for a glass-less window would not provide. Some of the window pillars were chipped and broken leaving space to see the views below.

View over the grounds around Angkor Wat

View over the grounds around Angkor Wat

As I was saving these photos to my desktop I came across this photo.


Last spring our trip to Beijing brought us to the Forbidden City. We walked out of a gate along the moat only to realise this was not the entrance area. As we retraced our steps we saw this woman cooking out of the window. It was even funnier when we noticed the sign above her head. Bastet asked us to share a photo of a memory for her photo challenge, and this was a funny story (and it was also using windows) from our trip that made it quiet memorable. It also kept us in giggles long after wondering aloud what she was cooking and why she would be cooking there, of all places. The image lends itself to many ideas and you can let your imagination paint a story. 😉 What do you think she was cooking?

This is my response to 2 different photo challenges that I have combined into one. If you want to see more or find out how to post your own follow the links (above) to Bastet’s Blog and Word Press.

If you want to see more of our recent trip to Cambodia stay tuned… or check out these two recent posts.

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

TOYS: Weekly Photo Challenge

Another photo challenge… this theme is TOYS set by We Drink Because We Are Poets.

This weekend I snapped a few Canadian icons at the Mountie Shop in Ottawa right across from the Parliament Buildings. The Royal Mounted Police are  a Canadian icon in their own right, so what is cuter than Canadian Bears and Beavers in RCMP gear?

Our bedroom in China has a few toys and comforts from our childhood to help make it feel like home. Soft toys were easy and light to pack. The blue dolly was my favourite and she went everywhere with me as a child, so she HAD to make the trip to China 😉

Comforts of home

Comforts of home

Want to see more and take a trip down memory lane? Head over here. What was your favourite game or toy growing up? Be sure to tell me in the comment section below.

Stay tuned…. I’ll post on Ottawa later this week.

Categories: post a week, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Fresh Fallen Snow (New)

In my memories I remember snow… how much, so deep, a big part of winter. Snow in Shanghai is a mere skiff that stops and snarls traffic. I would chuckle, this isn’t snow. If you want to see snow then come to Canada in the winter. They can not fathom the amounts I describ and maybe think I am embellishing or over exaggerating. However, the excitement of the locals and children alike to stop and snap photos, or make a snowman in the street made me feel the childhood joy of snow, a newness and wonderment. Many in Shanghai enjoy the fun side of snow because it was unusual or new to them. I just missed it, that wasn’t real snow.

In the last 3 years I haven’t seen real snow. I have come home each Christmas, but real snow doesn’t arrive until January or February now. Last year really none to speak of except maybe 1 storm, but the temperatures quickly rose and the white stuff was gone as quick as it arrived. Maybe a sign of climate change? Gone are the days of a white Christmas with big fluffy flakes and trees laden with the wonderful white stuff. A white Christmas only seems to happen on a Hollywood movie set to make the ideal scene for Christmas. Have you noticed every sitcom that takes place around Christmas has snow? Even in cities that don’t usually get a lot of snow! Kind of distorts our reality about what makes a perfect Christmas. Most people are probably glad we don’t get  a lot of snow anyway since it slows down traffic and causes delays in travel and getting all the errands done before the big day.

This year was different. The forecasts called for snow and a storm at that. It came late Boxing day and dumped 10-40 cm depending on where you live. In Niagara we saw about 10-13cm of a fine dry snow. It was really windy so most of it just blew around. It was enough to cover everything and make it look Christmasy even though it came a day too late. The forecast called for more snow again and today (Dec 29) it has been snowing all day, about 12 hours and counting. Some of the nice fluffy flakes in a steady pace. A few hours after the driveway was cleared you had to do it again. Everything looks like a winter wonderland with the trees covered in a fluffy white blanket of snow.


I forgot what snow was like… I remembered the ‘how much’ and the beauty, but I forgot some things too. Like how cold it is when it is blown into your face. The heaviness when you try to shovel it. How slippery it can be. How often you must clean the car and driveway and then an hour later you may have to do it again! Putting on all the layers —with mitts, hats, coats, boots…thank goodness I only have to dress myself and not a class of 25! I think I have decided snow is best viewed in a movie, or from a nice warm spot inside with some hot chocolate. I do miss snow, but not all the work that goes with it.


I love the beauty of snow and how it makes things so still and quiet. As a kid we loved to go tobogganing in the park and having hot chocolate when we came back in. Funny enough my greatest memory of snow was after my first year in Shanghai and our school Christmas concert. We started a little late because people had trouble getting taxis and traffic was extra slow as drivers tried to navigate the foreign substance that made the streets slippery and slick. Once the concert was over and I went outside a laughter and joy filled the air as children and adults frolicked in the few centimeters of snow making small snowmen and having snowball fights. I felt like I was a part of a movie and thought about the feeling of fun and joy and how it filled the air and me with happiness; so surreal. It was magical…

What is your favourite thing about snow?

This can fit somewhat with Ailsa’s theme “New” . It is NEW snow, it makes things look NEW and to some people who have never seen snow a skiff of snow is NEW to them 😉 OK a bit of a stretch, but check out her site to see better examples of NEW.

Happy New Year and Stay tuned everyone…

Categories: Photography, post a week, Uncategorized, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , ,

Travel Theme Photo Challenge: Summer

The weekly photo challenge that I enjoy participating in was late last week and an unoffical one sprang up. It had such a great response that Ailsa over at Where’s My Backpack decided to post another. Click on the link to see other participants.

So the idea is to post a picture of what summer means to me. I love summer. The warm pleasant weather, sunny days,

Mr. Potato

time off for vacations. As a child we would drive out East to see my parent’s family home, relatives and my parent’s friends. We loved looking for the landmarks to know we were getting closer. The tunnel in Quebec, the Large Potato in New Brunswick (and if we were lucky maybe a promise to stop at Magnetic Hill on the return journey) and then the Nova Scotia Boarder would welcome us with the sound of bagpipes as we got out to stretch our legs. Next was the little English Town Ferry across the strong currents of river with intense whirlpools. We were almost there!

The beautiful country side would flash by our window as my dad’s country music would blast on the radio. I was not a fan and was thankful for the gift of  a ‘Walkman’ and would bring my own mix tapes to drown out the sad melancholy drone of the depressing story of another country song. Arriving at our grandparents everyone would embrace and pick up where we left off last visit. My dad would help my uncle out on the fishing boats and we would play with our cousins and run through the tall grass, play in the woods, pick blueberries on top of Old Smokey and swim at Warren’s Lake, where to water looked like orange Kool Aide!  At my other grandparents we would walk the beach, they lived right on the bay, pick blueberries on the point, dig for clams at low tide, and have a party. Everyone would come and sing, dance, play guitar and if you couldn’t play an instrument then you played the spoons. Being together was a time of celebration and we enjoyed every minute of it. Sad tears would fill our eyes as we said our good-byes and counted the days until next summer.

Sorry for the graininess of the photos since these are a few of the old yellowed photos I have rescued from harmful sticky photo albums and  scanned.

As always please play nice… photos and words are property of CTB and cannot be used in any form without permission.

Stay tuned for more…


Categories: everyday occurances, Photography, post a week, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , ,