.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

Signs of Toronto

02 Signs of Toronto, Queen Street.  CP 24 News

Toronto is one of Canada’s great cities.  Often called the “New York of the North” (I presume as a complement), it’s a fun place to visit.  There’s lots to see and do in Toronto, from the amazing CN Tower which soars 1815 ft (553 m) into the clouds, to enjoying great architecture,  to endulging in a large assortmant of great restaurants and markets.  We’ll be discussing Toronto in more depth in the coming months.

Today I’d like to introduce you to Toronto through a series of photos taken while walking around the city’s many neighborhoods, and showing you some of the its signage and ads.  I’m always fascinating by the glimpses these images can provide into a city’s character.  This post …

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.All Trips / British Columbia / North America / Western Canada

Granville Island Public Market, Vancouver, B.C.

084 Granville Island Market, 10-2014

One of my favorite markets anywhere is the Granville Island Public Market in Vancouver.  Situated on a piece of reclaimed land, it’s become a peninsula and is an island in name only.  It adjoins False Creek and Burrard Inlet south of downtown Vancouver and is one of those places everyone visiting Vancouver for a few days should see.  It’s not the prettiest setting, not the fanciest facility, but is a colorful venue with a wonderful assortment of food and eateries, and personable vendors (you’d expect no less from Canadians, eh?)

In the early 1900s, Granville Island was an industrial setting and not at all gentrified.  The island was home to factories, plants and sawmills.  After the second World War, …

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.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

California’s 17 Mile Drive: Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach

076 Seventeen Mile Drive, Pacific Grove 5-2014. Monterey Cypress

There are a lot of famous road trips in the USA, like California’s Pacific Coast Highway and Montana’s Going to the Sun Highway.  One of the best known drives in America is scenic 17-Mile Drive (actually distance depends on how you enter and leave) which extends from Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach.  17 Mile Drive leads you through a quiet neighborhood, into a forested area (including some rare stands of monterey cypress), along a rugged stretch of the Pacific Ocean and past the notable “Lone Cypress” tree.  The drive takes you by some of the best golf courses in the country, including world-renowned Pebble Beach, and some of the views you’ll enjoy on this …

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.All Trips / Hawaii / North America

Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii, Redux

00 Volcanoes National Park.  Chain of Craters Road

I’m a huge fan of National Parks, and one of the most amazing parks anywhere is Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii’s Big Island.  When you visit, you’ll know why it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site!  I’ve previously shared some of my experiences here, which you can read at this link if you’re interested.

I recently revisited Volcanoes NP (something about the volcano draws me back again and again).  Kilauea is still active, currently only to a limited extent within the park boundaries itself, although this could change at any time as volcanoes are notoriously unpredictable.  Where Kileau’s lava flows are most active right now is outside the park in the southwestern part of the island near the …

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.All Trips / Hawaii / North America

Hapuna Beach Prince Resort, Hawaii

043 Hapuna Prince 10-2014

One of my favorite places to travel is the Big Island of Hawaii.  Where else can you find the tallest mountains in the world, the most active volcano in the world, and a surreal landscape of lava flows, desert vegetation, coffee plantations and tropical jungle?  The Big Island and its welcoming, friendly people never cease to amaze me.

I try to visit or attend medical meetings on the island whenever feasible.  One of the meetings I enjoy and learn a lot from is held regularly at a wonderful resort known as the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.  This resort was opened on the Kohala coast (rainshadow side of the island) 20 years ago, twinned with the Mauna Kea Resort on 1839 …

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.All Trips / Central USA / Colorado / North America

Boulder County Farmers Market

040 Boulder Farmer’s Market 09-2014

One of the best Farmers Markets I’ve ever been to is Boulder’s, the largest in Colorado.  The Market focuses on locally grown vegetables, fruit, meats, flowers and wines, sold by the farmers that actually produce them.  There’s also great selection of prepared and cooked food you can enjoy right at the market from local bakers and restaurateurs.  Very few crafts for are for sale, a noteable difference from many of the Farmers Markets I patronized while visiting Colorado.

The Boulder Market began in 1987 and  has expanded over the years to include a second site (Longmont), and has over 150 participants.  The Market is held Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings.

The following photos reflect what was available in Boulder the first Saturday in September.

 

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.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

John Steinbeck Country: 3) Cannery Row, Monterey, California

006 Cannery Row 05-2014

“Cannery Row…is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream.”
 John Steinbeck, from his novel Cannery Row’
 

Wow!  With a beautifully written introduction like that, who wouldn’t want to visit this place?  Cannery Row is my favorite novel by American author John Steinbeck.  It may not be his best book, but it’s the first of his I’d read and the one that made me a fan.  Published in 1945,  Cannery Row is set in Monterey, California during the Great Depression, near a waterfront street lined by sardine canneries.  The book’s setting is secondary to the narrative and the many colorful characters Steinbeck develops.  Steinbeck wrote a sequel to Cannery Row, called Sweet Thursday, some 10 years later, a much less interesting novel in my opinion (as …

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.All Trips / Hawaii / North America / Travel Talk

Coping with Hurricana Ana, Kauai

07 Hurricane Ana approaches Kauai’s  southern shore @Po’ipu

It’s not every day a traveler has to deal with a hurricane — especially when vacationing in the South Pacific.  My first brushes with one were exciting in a way, but tedious in most respects.

I’ve experienced a number of “natural disasters” in my life, ranging from significant earthquakes while living in California to brush fires that were close to our home.  And, of course, Canada is known for its blizzards and severe cold weather.  But I’ve never had to deal with extremes of tropical weather before.

While attending a medical meeting on the Big Island of Hawaii, I became aware that tropical storm Ana was forming and gaining strength hundreds of miles southeast of the Big Island and moving on a …

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