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wmtc: last day and home

We spent our last day in Oregon poking around downtown Ashland, looking at scarves and jewelry and used books. We don’t shop much when we travel, but there were a few things I was looking for on this trip, and I found them all. We also picked up this v… . . . → Read More: wmtc: last day and home

wmtc: random observations on southern oregon, great kitchens, family love, and absent eagles

This morning we woke up at 3:45 a.m., packed up the car with binoculars, cameras, sandwiches, and coffee, and drove two hours in the dark. According to our guidebook and a few websites, we were heading towards an opportunity to see dozens of bald eagle… . . . → Read More: wmtc: random observations on southern oregon, great kitchens, family love, and absent eagles

wmtc: the rest of the trip

This is the view from my brother and sister-in-law’s new home in Oregon. Last year B+SIL retired, pull up stakes, sold their home in New Jersey, and moved to the other side of the country. One of their adult children and partner – and now their first g… . . . → Read More: wmtc: the rest of the trip

wmtc: leaving vancouver: in which we discover the scary truth about canadian passports

This was an eventful day! We started at the Acme Cafe, for another BOGO breakfast. The food is great even without the discount. But a free goat cheese-portobello-sun dried tomato fritata, with potatoes and toast? Yes, please!The Acme Cafe is a few buil… . . . → Read More: wmtc: leaving vancouver: in which we discover the scary truth about canadian passports

wmtc: vancouver, day four

Our last day in Vancouver was a full one. It included a library, great art, a meet-up with an activist-friend… and noodles!I didn’t want another breakfast at the hotel, so we poked around a bit online and found something nearby. This place didn’t ope… . . . → Read More: wmtc: vancouver, day four

wmtc: vancouver, day three

Another beautiful day here, sunny with a few clouds and a high of 10 or 11 C. Vancouverites are all exclaiming about three consecutive days without rain.We got an early start with the train to a bus to Stanley Park. On the way to the bus, I was intrigu… . . . → Read More: wmtc: vancouver, day three

wmtc: vancouver, day two

On Tuesday morning after breakfast we were finally able to see the pups on the webcam, so the day started out right.After a quick breakfast in the hotel, we bought day passes for transit – Vancouver’s new Compass Card – and set out for the Granville Is… . . . → Read More: wmtc: vancouver, day two

wmtc: vancouver, day one

We forgot to pack Allan’s netbook and my little Bluetooth keyboard for my tablet isn’t working, so this is going to be interesting. And annoying! But I can’t travel without writing, so here goes. We landed in Vancouver mid-day on Monday. A super friend… . . . → Read More: wmtc: vancouver, day one

wmtc: off to vancouver

I struggle to find time to write even a small fraction of what I’d like to post here. But there’s one thing I’ll always write about: my travels. And there are never enough of them.This morning we are flying to Vancouver, our first time there. A few day… . . . → Read More: wmtc: off to vancouver

wmtc: to ottawa for the 2015 cupe library conference

At this very moment I am on the train from Toronto to Ottawa, en route to the CUPE Library Workers Conference. This will be my first time attending this annual event. I don’t know what to expect, but I’m super excited!

Last week I was off work for a few days for my annual Spring New York City fix, and this week for the CUPE Conference. Somehow I am managing to stay on top of things at the library. Being compulsively organized has its advantages.

I’m blogging courtesy of my old netbook, the first time I’ve turned it on in (Read more…)

wmtc: photos from france, may 2014


I have been avoiding the photos I took on my trip with my mom in May. I suspected they were going to be pretty crappy and I didn’t want to see them. But finally I did go through them, got rid of the worst offenses, and posted the rest on Flickr for safekeeping. I’m not happy with them, but… oh well.

If you’re curious: they are here. There are some nice photos of my mom, and I’m even allowing a few of me to stay up, as intensely camera-shy as I am.

wmtc: memo to porter airlines passenger who needs lessons in new york city

Dear suburban GTA resident flying on Porter Airlines from Newark to Toronto:

Since you were not talking to me, I was unable to respond to your erroneous statements. But since you were speaking loud enough for the entire plane to hear, I was easily able to determine that you have no idea what you are talking about.

Here are some facts of which you clearly are not aware.

1. I’m glad you enjoyed your stay near the airport in Elizabeth, New Jersey. However, since you did not venture into New York City, you have no idea how the area near (Read more…)

wmtc: where to stay in giverny and rouen, where to eat in rouen, where not to eat in giverny

I’ve mentioned our wonderful accommodations in Giverny and outside Rouen, but each deserves a post of its own. I’ll review them on TripAdvisor but for Googleability, I’d like to do more.

Giverny: Les Jardins d’Helene

In Giverny, for comfort, convenience, and an absolutely delightful stay at a very reasonable price, you can’t do better than Les Jardins d’Helene. It’s located about a 15-minute walk from Monet’s house and gardens, on one easy, flat road.

The house itself is a beautiful mix of traditional and contemporary design, and clearly a labour of love by a very creative person. Among the treasures (Read more…)

wmtc: rouen and home

We slept wonderfully in our beautiful little cabin, and the following morning we waited to see the other Canadians emerge from breakfast before we ventured out. I was amazed that my mother also didn’t like them: she is so much friendlier and less curmudgeonly than me.

We ran into them briefly, and we both had the distinct impression that they had been waiting to see us before they left. And there’s Elisabeth, wearing a Maple Leaf pin! These people must travel with a bag of Maple Leaf pins to distribute! Yikes.

Breakfast was the usual deliciousness of mini baguettes, croissants, (Read more…)

wmtc: rouen

My plan for Rouen was a bit more complicated than it had to be. I was reasonably certain it would prove well worth it. There are many hotel options in Rouen, but they all left me unimpressed, mostly chain hotels or what sounded like dumps. I thought for the final night of our trip, we should do something special. I booked a room and dinner at a French country home about 25 minutes out of Rouen. My experience staying at French country homes has been very special, and I knew my mother would love it. I prepared her for the (Read more…)

wmtc: giverny to rouen

I have a lot to write tonight, and only two fingers to write with, so I may have to post this in two parts. Yesterday, after we dried off, we rested for the afternoon. I remembered that our host needed payment in cash, so we asked about an ATM… and learned there is none in Giverny. Sandrine, our host, very nicely (and of necessity) offered to drive us into Vernon to use a machine there. On the way there, she asked about our last name. I suspected I knew why, and when she asked, “You are Jewish, no?” I knew (Read more…)

wmtc: giverny, plus tablet and ptsd updates

Keyboard I love my Nexus 7. I hate the Minisuit keyboard, although the problem might be Bluetooth. To blog, I need a keyboard, and I need to use Blogger via the website, as the Android app is too limited. (That seems silly, since Blogger is a Google product.) Using Blogger online with the onscreen keyboard is very inconvenient. I can’t select, can’t easily make links, and can barely see where I’m typing.  I’ve adjusted to the tiny Minisuit keyboard. I dislike typing with two fingers, but I can do it. But I will never adjust to the cursor (Read more…)

wmtc: paris, day four

We had quite a big day today! Most of it was completely wonderful.

I woke up kicking myself that I forgot to take pictures of R and Connie and me. I had the camera with me precisely for that reason and never even thought of it. And by the way, R emailed from the Eurostar. They very nearly didn’t let her on the train, but she did prevail.

Connie and I didn’t set our alarm this morning and slept until 8:40, which is like noon for non-morning people. We had one last breakfast at Au Tramway, but since today is (Read more…)

wmtc: paris day three encore, in which I admit ptsd is forever

So it turns out it’s not just my snoring that’s keeping Connie up at night. It’s noises “that sound like you’re upset,” says my mother. Allan recently told me that I cry or startle or semi-scream in my sleep on a regular basis. The incidents I think of as rare are not, in fact, rare. What’s rare is my memory of them.

I feel I must apologize for ever telling a fellow PTSD sufferer that it eventually goes away. I was 21 years old when I was raped. If it hasn’t gone away by now, it obviously never will. Thank (Read more…)

wmtc: paris, day three

We are back in our cozy room after a long, fun day with R… who I very much hope is now on the train to London! Connie and I went to – you guessed it – Au Tramway for breakfast. We had the lovely petit dejeuner complet, with baguette, butter and jam, croissants, juice, and for me, plenty of coffee. Then we headed out to the Gare du Nord, hours in advance of meeting R’s train, hoping to buy Connie a jacket or sweater.   Somehow my mom left her jacket at home in New Jersey. In fact, when (Read more…)

wmtc: paris, day two

Connie and I were both dead to the world by 9:00 p.m., and when I next opened my eyes, it was 8:30 a.m. Yes! That’s an unheard of amount of sleep for me, and I needed it. We had breakfast in the hotel and were soon back on the Metro. Since we didn’t get the earliest of starts, by the time we got to the Musee D’Orsay, the queue/line/lineup (UK/US/Cda) was very long, snaking around a good eight or ten times. But no bother, we were patient and made our way in. The D’Orsay was Connie’s number (Read more…)

wmtc: paris, day one

Nous somme ici! Connie (my mother) and I got tired of killing time in her apartment and decided to have dinner at the airport. Somehow we managed to stay awake until our 11:30 flight, but my mom was asleep soon after takeoff. I, of course, was up all night, as I can’t sleep sitting up, ever. I find that listening to music helps a lot, although it can be a long night when everyone else is snoring. The flight was perfectly normal and uneventful. I didn’t even have to pay baggage overweight fees as I had been expecting. So based (Read more…)

wmtc: tablet update and off to paris

I’ve had a busy and wonderful couple of days visiting family and friends. Today my mom and I are planning our sightseeing, packing, doing last-minute errands, and generally getting in vacation mode.

What i’m writing on

I’m loving my new Nexus 7 tablet… with reservations, or perhaps just a learning curve.

The tablet itself is terrific. Once I got up to speed with Android functionality and interface, it was obvious why people prefer tablets for most online activities, especially those with no or minimal typing. The Nexus is amazing – speed, portability, ease of use, everything. It is magnitudes better (Read more…)

wmtc: in which I go to paris… with my mother!

From my Flickr page

My mother said, “I want to go to Paris. I want to see Paris one more time while I’m still healthy enough and mobile enough to enjoy it. But…” – here comes the good part – “I have no one to go with.” My mom’s best friend passed away some years ago, and none of her other travel buddies are available anymore. I almost blurted out, “I’ll go with you!” but I thought, better run this by Allan first.

Allan and I have each taken small trips without the other, but never for (Read more…)

wmtc: a quieter life, plus photos

Finally, some peace and quiet. This is the first time since the sewage flood on July 8 that our home is quiet. This lovely state of affairs exists because we filed a complaint with the Landlord Tenant Board, requesting our Landlord be ordered to stop renovations on the basement until after we move out. The complaint has not even been processed yet, but the Landlord backed down. Another lesson in Know Your Rights! (I would like to create a new tag/category for wmtc called “know your rights,” but I feel like it would apply to half my posts.)

With (Read more…)