Monthly Archives: February 2018

A Holiday within a Holiday, within a Holiday … Disneyland 2018

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A California kind of month … from social time with friends, to quiet quality time with family, to the bustle of Disneyland!!! A fabulous month in every way!

Sarah, the kids and I … hmmm (well, okay okay, Sarah and Google Maps who are equal partners, equally competent!!) navigate our way from Joshua Tree through the freeway madness of LA surprisingly smoothly and we meet up at our hotel in the heart of Disneyland with more family! Rob, his mom Linda, sister Lisa, kids Brooklyn, Ethan and Addison arrive within a few minutes of our own arrival … timing is everything! We chuck our bags, complete toiletry due diligence and head straight to Laguna Beach nearby, to shake off the bugs of travel. Lunch and beach walking is in order! Best decision yet! I could happily have dumped my bag at the nearest beach hut available and stayed indefinitely … on a bare bones sleeping bag! Amusement parks are not exactly my thing as anyone who knows me, knows πŸ™‚ but I will pretty much do anything for Aliana and Oliver! I loved Laguna Beach! It was a great way for everyone to shake off remnants of an early morning flight and the commute from Calgary or even our own short bit from Palm Springs. The kids all unequivocally (and adults too, especially me!!) thoroughly enjoyed our long leisurely stroll along the beach … the children ran in and out of the surf exploring tidal pools, revelling in beachside nature, digging in the sand! We stocked up on healthy snacks and fruit for kids and grownups alike at Wholefoods nearby and head back to Disneyland. A great week of fun for the young and old, well, older, not old πŸ™‚ ensued … pictures tell a better story than I …

Laguna Beach at sunset …

Onward and forward to Visionary Walt’s Playland …

We all bid adieu until the next adventure beckons …. a fabulous January comes to a close.

Pool Time in Palm Desert, Camping and Hiking in Joshua Tree 2018

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Sarah, Aliana and Oliver arrive to defrost from Calgary’s blisteringly cold winter. We splash about in the pools for a few days, enjoying the desert warmth and just savouring time together. A peaceful relaxing ambiance prevails. We leave the lush Palm Desert vistas behind and drive onward to Joshua Tree National Park for a little hiking and exploring around the stunning rock formations and boulders … this area has always been one of my favourite parts of the desert so it was nice to share this with Sarah and the kids. We opt for a night in an Airbnb trailer on the edge of the park, hoping to catch a starry sky, far removed as we are from the distraction of city lights. The evening’s overcast sky left us a little disappointed. We fall asleep “listening” to the silence and stillness of the desert. Winds moved in at some point in the middle of the night pushing the clouds westward! Sarah wakes up Aliana and I, leaving Oliver to his deep slumber! A fully lit, constellation rich sky our reward for climbing out from under warm comforters … the desert gets quite cool at night making it hard to crawl out from the warmth but glad we did! It is a deeply spiritual experience to gaze at the beauty of the twinkling heavens above us. Certainly a sense of Godly magnificence fills our hearts. More than twenty years ago, while holidaying at a bed and breakfast farm in Prince Edward Island, Brian and I woke up our sleeping kids to experience one of nature’s finest gifts of the night … the Milky Way!! … undoubtedly that memory lives strongly in Sarah and she wants a similar experience for her own children … prompting a return next year!ear

A New Year Begins 2018

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I was fast asleep when the bells ring in a new year, my granddaughter Aliana snuggled beside me. Party animals we were not! No major resolutions other than a promise to continue making health a priority. Eat healthy, exercise daily … do something, anything and go back to reading books more frequently. Simple and doable …

A quick Westjet connect and voila .. I am breathing in the desert warmth of Palm Springs! Hari Om … life is good! Mickey, Gordon and I meet up at the airport and drive off to La Quinta to settle into our cosy Casita Del Nido and thaw out from Canada’s relentless winter. Our friends, Carole and Gordon from Phoenix drive up for a visit a few days later. Lots of wining, dining and connecting followed. Reinforced the value of good friendships and how important to keep in touch. We commit to a return trip next January. Maybe meet up in Sedona for a change of pace? All in all, a fine way indeed to start off a new year. Mickey remains my older sister in so many ways, Gordon, the brother I never had … they probably know the real me better than most anyone I know. They have been around me at my worst, at my best, through thick, through thin and they still love me :)!!! Incredibly, our friendship spans 46 years … we thought of doing something special when the 50 crops up and man, that will happen quicker than a blink of an eye … have to start plotting and planning something.

My favourite part of any visit, remains the early morning walks in the prehistoric Santa Rosa Mountains that loom over the desert landscape …..

Festive Season of parties and celebrations … November through December 2017

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November found me flying to Vancouver and on to Crescent Beach to Mickey and Gordon’s home to celebrate their daughter Michelle’s 50th birthday …what a fun blast of a weekend … I met Michelle when she was barely four years old ….. aah these milestone birthdays that mark the passage of time. The eighties theme party was a sea of aerobics instructors, Village people, Forest Gump characters, rockers, even Tom Selleck made an appearance and ahh yes, our girl of the hour, Molly Ringwald πŸ˜‚

A Gablecraft Christmas party in early December marks my second year in Kelowna … a great evening, full of good cheer. Happy I had the good sense to sign up for the Social Committee as it was a lot of fun organizing the party with the other five ladies … felt good to be part of a community once again. A few days later, I bid adieu to my new neighbours and head back to Calgary for a busy December, full of kids Christmas concerts, birthday parties, family dinners and of course Christmas festivities.

It is not always an easy transition to leave the old behind, be it locale, friendships or your favourite coffee shop to embrace the new at any age but particularly at my age! I am working on weaving all these fibres into this tapestry that is my life, a life that has at times held more complexity than I may have wished for but the threads are gradually softening and evolving into a simpler pattern, more in tune with the emerging me of recent years.

I fly into Calgary’s frigid temps from a Kelowna that has appeared to live on the fringe of winter these past few years … lots of snow with minus two temps but hardly the typically warm Okanagan winters of bygone years, when one had to drive to Big White Ski Resort to catch a glimpse of winter. Despite Calgary’s blistering -25C, Alberta’s welcoming wide open blue skies make the temps bearable but barely πŸ™ƒ. Spending time at Sarah and Rob’s home with my grandchildren trumps all! Oliver’s third birthday set the stage for the weekend. Sarah had opted for a yoga/meditation party for Oliver … this is a relatively new addition on the party horizon … hope the trend continues. Hullabaloo has its place but quiet is nice too. My sister Margaret and nephew Jordan arrive for the weekend … a weekend full of fun brunches, dinners, visits and parties. Thrown into the mix was a surprise party for my nephew Bruce’s 50th birthday hosted by his new partner Rebecca and sister Susan… the family continues to evolve and grow.

Warms my heart to see Oliver and Aliana love building and playing with this old train set … it used to be a favourite of their mom and Uncle Timmy’s thirty years ago! Happy it survived storage in a Rubbermaid over the decades πŸ™‚

Christmas as well, is evolving in our family. It seemed quiet with Tim and Liseanne in the Philippines. Sarah and Rob masterfully managed to keep Christmas gift mania of past years to a minimum …. I say it every year … little kids do not need a zillion gifts!! … it so very obviously overwhelms them, as it should anyone. But we live in this consumer based society … what is a grandma to do? Even though I continue to cut back, I still contribute to that pile of stuff that accumulates every Christmas … Well, what to do? … sit back and enjoy and repeat my daily mantra … ‘we are an evolving society’ …. everything in its own time πŸŽ„πŸ™ƒFitting end to a wonderful year …. dancing! …. posting a fun video I took of Oliver and Aliana dancing to Hawaiian music in their makeshift Christmas light disco that they set up and decorated together πŸ™‚