North America

Glittering Gold Bar in My Hands

Glittering Gold Bar in My Hands

On my recent solo trip to Ottawa I visited the Parliament buildings and wandered around the ByWard Market then headed over to the Royal Canadian Mint. This is where collectible coins and investment grade coins are created. As I arrived at the Royal Canadian Mint a tour was just about to start. I  paid the […]

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Fabergé and Faux Fabérge at MMFA

Fabergé and Faux Fabérge at MMFA

In Montreal my favorite museum to visit is the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and yesterday I attended the fabulous Fabergé exhibit. I used to make jewelry and do cloisonné enamel work so I have an idea of the craftsmanship required to create these fine works of art. The extraordinary Fabergé Imperial Peter the Great Easter […]

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Montreal Quebec – Public Art – Memory Gaps

Montreal Quebec – Public Art – Memory Gaps

My third solo trip to Montreal begins next week and I started thinking about things to do and see on this visit to one of my favorite cities of the world. Previously I have stayed at Montreal Central hostel which is next to the central bus station and near St Catherine Street – a great […]

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Big Bend National Park – A Solo Road Trip to West Texas

Big Bend National Park – A Solo Road Trip to West Texas

  I never gave too much thought as to why the West Texas park known as Big Bend National Park was so-named. I found out when I took my first solo road trip to West Texas in December 2010. The trip would take me from Austin to Marathon – Alpine – Big Bend National Park […]

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Ammolite – Colorful Gemstone of Alberta Canada

Ammolite – Colorful Gemstone of Alberta Canada

Ammolite is a gemstone made from fossilized shells of the extinct ammonite mollusks, squid-like creatures, found primarily in Southern Alberta. The shells could grow to as large as 1 meter (39 inches) in diameter. Wouldn’t it be wild to find one of these amazing mollusks while out hiking in Alberta?! Alas, ammolite is not so […]

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Zilker Botanical Garden – A Little Zen in Austin Texas

Zilker Botanical Garden – A Little Zen in Austin Texas

Zilker Botanical Garden is a little piece of Zen in central Austin. I often stopped by in-between client appointments to take a meditative break in my favorite Austin botanical gardens. To have an escape from a busy metropolitan area within the inner city is rare. Zilker Botanical Garden one of the many gems of Austin […]

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YYC = Calgary Alberta Canada Airport Code

YYC = Calgary Alberta Canada Airport Code

  YYC is the airport code for my hometown Calgary Alberta Canada. I enjoyed a visit with my family and just returned yesterday. I like to visit Calgary towards the end of June so that I can enjoy the long summer days. It’s great weather for hiking and being outdoors.     I’ll just give […]

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Quebec City – Two days in Old Quebec and Free Cirque du Soleil show!

Quebec City – Two days in Old Quebec and Free Cirque du Soleil show!

Traveling alone to the province of Quebec in August 2011 I spent my first week in Montreal then traveled to Quebec City on an afternoon train with Via Rail. It was an enjoyable journey of 3 1/2 hours or so. I arrived in Quebec to a sunny afternoon and made my way to the Hosteling […]

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Nature Trails in Austin Texas Hiking is Cheap Therapy

Nature Trails in Austin Texas Hiking is Cheap Therapy

Taking a mid-day break to hike a nature trail in Austin TX is my cheap therapy – I think only of the  exact moment I am in, walking the trail, exploring nature. Time doesn’t exist. Consider taking time for yourself each day or at least a few times per week to enjoy the nature trails […]

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Oldest Oak Tree in Texas – The Big Tree – Goose Island State Park

Oldest Oak Tree in Texas – The Big Tree – Goose Island State Park

The Oldest Live Oak tree in Texas, known as The Big Tree, lives at Goose Island State Park near Rockport Texas.  I paid a visit to the Big Tree in February on my way back from the coastal town of Port Aransas. This old Texas oak tree is amazing! Although the Big Tree is no longer the largest […]

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Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center – Bluebonnets and Hiking Trails

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center – Bluebonnets and Hiking Trails

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin’s southwest includes botanical gardens, hiking trails, as well as a research center including the Restoration Research Trail. After leaving Washington DC Lady Bird Johnson worked to encourage the beautification of Texas highways. Mrs Johnson’s passion for the environment and wildflowers eventually lead to the creation of The National […]

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Mayfield Park – Peacocks and Hiking Trails in Central Austin Texas

Mayfield Park – Peacocks and Hiking Trails in Central Austin Texas

Mayfield Park is an absolute gem. This Central Austin park includes a 27 acre nature preserve, 2 acres of beautiful gardens, an historic cottage, water-lily ponds, and peacocks greet you at the entrance! Mayfield is one of my favorite free things to do in Austin. Certainly there are plenty of beautiful Austin parks to visit, but […]

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