Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

If you noticed my new friend in my last post you already know something about this. This month, for the first time, both Bu and Lu moved away to school and we are officially empty nesters.

In advance of this event I succumbed to a long held inclination and adopted a rescued dog. Received him rather suddenly on the day Farley Mowat passed away. And since he had just been plucked from a shelter with very low adoption rates – if you catch my drift – in the greater Los Angeles area, we recognized his new citizenship and a new start in life by naming him after that great Canadian writer.

wpid-far-jump.jpg.jpeg

Now Farley goes most places with me.  He is happy at the cottage, so with rental season winding down, he and I will start to spend some time there. For a smallish dog he is pretty versatile: Canoes, hikes and travels well with us. We are vastly contented with each other. Cottager – who was agreeable to a dog but not really enthusiastic – likes him too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As the saying goes, adopting a rescue dog won’t change the world, but it will change that one dog’s life forever – and your own.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

The Cottager is questing on the Camino de Santiago in Spain at the moment and if inclined, you can see what he is up to on his blog where he posts a few lines and some great pictures almost daily.

I spent the better part of a week at the cottage, just catching my breath and bonding with my new friend Farley. He is a rescue from an L.A. shelter and is now permanently on vacation.

Farley

The Urchins had a week at home without mom harassing them to clean up after themselves. And the cats were happy just to have a week without the dog, whom they do not consider a particularly good addition. And so for the price of one plane ticket to Spain, 7 winter-weary creatures had a vacation.  Told you I was frugal.

I did get a few things done.  The deck got its last ever coat of stain. Before it is due again we will rebuild and only use an oil product after that. Stain is a hassle.

unstained deck

stained deck

I also did some gardening at a relaxed pace, having decided to limit rentals and keep the cottage principally for my own enjoyment this summer. 

A few good friends came to visit. My parents came too, which was wonderful as the have only come in fall or winter before and hadn’t seen my garden to advantage or walked on the beach.

petenpatter

Besides these pleasant events, the highlight of my vacation was having nine or ten blissful and uninterrupted hours of sleep each night. No doubt Cottager and the Urchins have better highlights.

Read Full Post »

Heading for the Sunshine Coast?  If, like most folks, your route takes you straight up the highway from the ferry, then you will shortly pass the new Beer Farm.

Don’t!  Pass it, that is.
Drive on in.

This is the home of Persephone Brewing Company – a new and wildly popular craft brewery on a lovely property which was formerly home to a flower nursery. 

1 and 1.89 litre growlers available to take along and start your Coast visit in the pleasantest of ways. We like the Goddess golden ale, but the Red ale is also good.

Check their hours before you continue on your way, as you will want to grab a growler re-fill on your way back to the ferry.

image

image

image

Growing hops at the beer farm

image

Read Full Post »

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Big Urchin (Bu) is home for Reading Break so the rest of the Keats View family arranged a three day weekend and we headed off to Manning Provincial Park for some family time in the snow. Both Cottager and I remember when you had to arrive early at Manning because the cross-country trails and even parking would be full. Nowadays, the world has passed this quiet little place by and everyone heads for Whistler.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The lodge and cabins are basic but budget friendly. There’s a nice indoor pool with two large jacuzzis, a small gym, one restaurant, pub, an outdoor ice rink (used to be free, but no longer) and a clanking school bus to run you up to the ski area. Big roaring fires in the lodge, pub and restaurant.

There is only one lift, but both Saturday and Sunday our boys never waited more than a minute or two for a ride up. The snow was powdery and plentiful, and the slopes half empty. Two all day youth passes plus equipment rental for one of them: 115$.

A basic room for four at the lodge (fridge, microwave and coffeemaker) is 119$/weeknight and 167$ weekends. Nordic ski, snowshoes and skate rental are available right behind the lodge on highway 3. Very good value, but the best part is that wifi is limited and pay (so don’t!) and there are only three channels on the old TV. So we had to go to the pool, play cards, goof around and go to bed early.

Read Full Post »

Just back from a second trip to Toronto and had to head to the Coast for some country air. The Cottager and I have just been relaxing, doing a little raking and wood splitting and catching up on our sleep. Cold and clear so we have had the fireplace going around the clock.The stars last night were amazing!

Today we will catch the 430 ferry back to reality, but first we did some decorating with treasures collected over the past year. This is always challenging since we have more windows than walls but we made good progress.

Sa Boothroyd is a local artist with a gallery on the pier in Gibsons Landing. My sister and brother-in-law gave me this lovely print to mark my Jubilee Year. It’s called Go and Find Some Peace and Quiet and features both an orange cat and a person relaxing in a garden. Perfect!

20130113-125205.jpg

These hanging candle holders are from Jysk and go on sale around Christmas for something under 4$. We hung two in the kitchen pass-through and a few more in some of the windows.

20130113-125915.jpg

20130113-125957.jpg

This print of Molly’s Reach was a gift from friends who borrowed the cottage for a weekend. We found a great spot for it in the kitchen.

20130113-130133.jpg

While visiting our good friends Dave and Gillian last month, Santa came calling and gave me this gorgeous grater/ cheese slicer. Too cool to hide in a drawer, it now has a special place in the kitchen.

20130113-130345.jpg

And finally, another Orange kitty now directs visitors to the loo. I found this in Prague this past summer and couldn’t resist.

20130113-130532.jpg

It’s nice to be back and nice to be blogging. We are planning some kitchen renovations; will construct a sofa table from the side rails of an old bed; add some new baseboard heaters and window blinds; finish staining the deck railings; repair sheds and do some yard improvements. It’s a new year with new ideas and projects so please visit Keats View Cottage again.
Cheers!

Read Full Post »

To find the wonderful in Toronto?

Me, who has been here for less than two weeks? OK, lets start with the two things I mentioned: A good pub and some decent Indian food.

I found the pub just across the street. It’s the Irish Embassy. Handsome and friendly barkeeps – including at least one with an authentic Irish accent – have made me very welcome there. It doesn’t meet my “pint for less than 7$” criteria, but in every other way it is splendid. I had some of the best chicken fingers ever there, and they happily brought me a bowl of curry sauce for my fries when I saw it was paired with another menu item. There is a sister-pub called PJ O’Briens just around the corner, and they have live music on the weekend, so I will check it out then. Meanwhile, here is a picture of my chicken strips, and another of the pub itself.

20121206-194046.jpg

20121206-194122.jpg

As for the Indian, I noted four Indian joints in a row on Queen Street at University, which is not far at all. TripAdvisor was my friend here, singling out two of them for good reviews. I chose one of these, Little India, and was not disappointed. The daily special was a $19.95 menu that started with a vegetable samosa, added four other dishes, including THE BEST butter chicken I have ever had, and finished with a warm sweet. I was too excited/hungry to take a picture but here is a shot of just the leftovers from my meal, which I polished off last night. Great value. Good location. Criticisms would be that the vegetable dish was craaazzzy hot (as in spicy) and they burn an incense which – to me anyway – is incompatible with a restaurant. Just too smelly, but I am sensitive.

20121206-194441.jpg

Read Full Post »

That’s where I am and must stay – for work – until the middle of the month. Bad time to be away from home – and cottage! – but what can you do? Work has been a focus recently, hence a dearth of blog posts. But I hope to have some cottage stuff to talk about in the New Year, so don’t cut me out of your life just yet.

Meanwhile, we must work with what we have, and so I am looking for wonderful things about Toronto. Perhaps you know of some. Good Indian food?; a friendly pub where a pint doesn’t cost $7? Do share!

Here is the first great thing that struck me on arrival…the Christmas lights. This is one of my favourite things about Christmas, and this town does it up right. A few photos to illustrate: The lovely tree is one of several outside my hotel. The reindeer are roughly 10 metres high.

20121201-230811.jpg

20121201-230841.jpg

20121203-212649.jpg

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »