Category Archives: Travel

Travel, Local, Food, International, Canadian, Albertan, Camping, Hotels, Exotic, Memorable!


I was away for six days at the Integral Theory Conference 2015 upon my return the garden had exploded once again!! Home for a few days now, thoughts turn to conference impact & the next phase of the garden. I realize I’m not exactly sure when to harvest certain foods or how I will be able to eat all of it! It is amazing to have fresh vegetables!

 It is also amazing to reflect on the fact the speedy travel to Northern California exists – I think about the Edson Trail and how it could take up to three months to travel from Edmonton to Grande Prairie. This is currently a 4.5 hour drive. This leads me to thinking about transport of food and associated costs. 

Food waste on a personal and commercial levels is a hot topic this month. With France declaring it illegal to throw food out, and Jon Oliver showcasing food waste in the U.S. (I’m sure Canadian waste would compare) and knowing how much work went into my small garden I feel compelled to review and modify my shopping, and waste habits. 

One day last year I decided to only purchase Canadian products with a preference for Alberta grown, then any other province. It was eye opening. My cart had about twelve items and the cost of anything Canadian was considerable higher than produce from California or Seafood from Malaysia or India. What sticks outs is prawns from Asia about $8, white spot prawns from British Columbia $30. Access to food and affordability, a topic for another post. Not to mention production processes, labour standards and factory farming. Front yard gardens should be the norm

Specific Winking Beagle Updates – beans have arrived, peas are crazy and even a single cucumber showed up. My dad was up for a few days and built the best climber for the peas – I’ll admit mine was dismal at best! I’ll be adjusting the pea location next year as well, I have to climb into the box to reach all of them. Oops! 



Hillbilly Pea Climbers (according to dad)





Happy to report that between myself, RC, Milena, Uncle Murray and the dogs everything picked; including pea shells and strawberry tops has been consumed. More picking today!

I almost forgot an amazing surprise (sort of) from Mother Nature was also waiting for to get home – an abundance of Saskatoons! 

Saskatoons waiting for harvest


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Filed under Dogs, Food, Gardening 2015, Society, The Garden Project, Travel


I repeatedly hear my friend DA telling me “slow is fast”. Sometimes I listen sometimes I don’t. This week he couldn’t be more accurate. Reflecting on past garden projects, life pathways, how I end up where I’m at and what if anything it means. Slow is Fast is perfect. 

48 hours in Noerthern California – a year ago I would have never imagined attending thus amazing Integral Theory Conference and meeting so many people that engage, interest, entertain and listen to me! Wow. 

I need a little more time to digest things, but in a fleeting moment yesterday, I saw just a little more clearly. On the subject of wind- and the garden. Persistence, resilience and the potential to apply AQAL to the experience of gardening. Still new to me, the integral approach of all quadrants all lines can clearly become part of my garden, and life in general. I’m not comfortable writing or quoting the theory at this point, but am excited about it. 

Resilience, strength, processes. My garden has been all of this- I noticed last week that the potato plants bent in half during intense winds, all returned to their original form- stronger than ever. Wind helps trees to become strong why would it not have the same impact on plants? 


Kennebec Potatoes w Icelandic Butter

 Another Califirnia observation is how many of my garden annuals grow here year round. I love the realization that I can have a physical representation from anywhere in the world in my garden. Always connected.  


surburban Rooster outside coffee shop


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Filed under Everything, Nature, Society, The Garden Project, Travel

Dog Days Take A Backseat

I think I have some of the best traveling dogs out there. For pooches that font get as much car time as others, they are always willing companions on many of our camping excursions and family drives south to visit family. Eight hours seems to go by in a blur.

Pre-trip prep however does include extended activity, food and water. This trip I am testing out a collapsible access ramp. Purchased 1) to prove a point – they aren’t that large, heavy or expensive. That to build our own would be disastrous… 2) test Costco online – they’ve passed the test 3) lifting/assisting my 55lb bulldog just isn’t fun, even less fun is helping our 100lb tripawd in – while both want in desperately neither are very helpful or graceful about it. Needless to say the third dog weighing in at 100lb maybe 96 leaps in and out on her own.

It is inevitable, the second they hear the purr of the diesel engine they have invited themselves along, and no verbal assurance is enough to convince them that they are indeed wanted on the voyage!!

Of course beautiful comfy beds, a/c makes it a nice one. At the same time I’m glad they can’t talk, I am sure that “are we there yet?” would be frequently heard.





Filed under Dogs, Society, Travel

Passion – Reykjavik


I know, still on about Iceland. Every now and then you have a life altering experience and it takes a while to assimilate back into your “former” life. Of course, it will never be the same. At the same time, it is always better! Some fellow travellers have been posting photos of our trip on FB, and one was of a beautiful piece of chocolate cake, and  an almond pastry of some sort from the Passion Bakery.

passion victoria Photo by Victoria Y.

Passion was a lifeline for me. Only a couple of blocks from the Scout House where we were roughing it – delicious bread, butter and cheese as well as beautiful coffee. If you’ve been reading my posts, you know that I am easily impressed by quality bread, butter and water! After a rough first 24 hours, I was riding in a cab back to the House and saw the word Passion out of the corner of my eye, I didn’t even know my street address, let alone where in Reykjavik we were. I thought it’s either a “love shop” or wait there appears to be pastry in the window – googled it immediatly upon getting through the door and was there first thing the next morning!! Salvation!

Passion Staff were also great! So tolerant of my non-existent Icelandic language skills, willing to interpret “to go cup” as “take away” and pick the perfect fresh baked roll, apply the perfect amount of butter, and expertly place the delicious slice of cheese, while preparing my most perfect latte, for five mornings in a row!

passion bread

At Passion they had these beautiful looking merengue cakes in a showcase fridge. I didn’t buy one, as I knew I would eat the whole thing. I did have a slice of something similar at the Bifrost University coffee shop/student lounge though. Delicious. Now I was on a mission! Recreate this dessert. Again, for those that know me, Pavlova (Meregue) and Whipped Cream are two of my weaknesses – combine those ingredients with the challenge of making something new – the gloves were off.

At the National Museum of Iceland I found a small book of recipes in the gift shop. Food and Festivities by Hildur and Anna.

cook book

Note my grams to cups conversion. So, on a wing and a prayer a little imperial to american measurments success was attained!!


MRW Cake cake side

(Chocolate was a fail – doubted my usual ganache making skills, but overall 100% tasty and will be perfected. Baking Merengue in square pans with parchment was also a bit scary – trust in the process haha!)

So find your Passion – travel, food, music, magic, life… It could be right in front of you!

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Filed under Everything, Food, Society, Travel

Stoney Trail


This is what it looks like when a bolt snaps off, your wheel sheers the other seven nuts off, and goes flying ahead of you on a highway where your were once driving 100km/hour pulling a 7000 pound utility trailer, joking and laughing about stopping for breakfast in Airdrie. Whoa!!!! In the end the realization of just how badly that could of ended was scarier than the actual experience. Sometimes the universe has to scream at us to just slow the fuck down and take time to smell the roses!!

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July 10, 2013 · 12:09 am

K.C LAU Dinner for Two

This morning when I woke up, I did not think a great Chinese lunch was in the cards. Having to choose between A&W, Dairy Queen or a less than desirable back of chips and beef jerky from the gas station eating on the road can be ugh :(.
A fine line between sustenance to see you to your final destination and knowing that while hungry what you eat has a high chance of being regrettable.

As we pulled into Valleyview Shell for fuel and I was contemplating ice cream for lunch, I spied something new and shiny. K.C Lau attached to the Paradise Hotel. Always on the hunt for well prepared Chinese food I took a little stroll, leaving Rhett to deal with the fuel.

Ok, menu looks good, restaurant new and beautiful. Very tastefully designed with the right amount of “dynasty” chic. I asked the owner if he was affiliated with KC of Cochrane -no relation.

The real dilemma, stop early on in the 8 hour drive for late lunch or grab bad station snacks and eat at DQ in Whitecourt. Feeling ill at the thought of it, ironically torn between old reliable ( reliable disappointment) and possible pleasant surprise.

That said, our combo lunches were simple tasty, service was friendly and good and KC Lau was the right decision. So, next time you pass through Valleyview on your way to Grande Prairie or Alaska consider a quick meal break at KC’s. ( They also do take out!!)

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Filed under Food, Travel


A teacher I had a few years ago, challenged me with the question of “where do you come from”? I honestly didn’t know, I was convinced that it had to be a very complicated, mind blowing concept that would take me years to find the answer!! DRUMROLL…… The Earth!

 Duh, of course. The human body is definitely from the earth! Everything we have in our daily lives started out as raw materials, from the earth. Every colour we see can be found in nature (from the earth). We go back to the earth. Regardless of how hard we try to deny it, life is a cycle, we are all connected, and we are all attached to the earth.

The recent flooding all over Alberta, especially in the south hit me hard as a very real reminder that we are just visitors here on this planet. While in Iceland, there were magnificent natural wonders everywhere – overwhelming at times in their beauty, and again confirming my status as a visitor here on earth. Iceland inspired to get out into my own backyard more often and enjoy my local natural wonders.Takk Fyrir Island!








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Filed under Everything, Nature, Society, Travel

~ The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

I just love this photo. As the month of June wraps up, and we head into July (summer!) with Canada Day, School Holidays and other summer delights – this photo is perfect for whatever adventure you seek, experience you have, and acceptance you feel. So get out there, and take that first step!!

Let it come from your heart


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“A Village at the Edge of the Arctic” – Raufarhofn, Iceland

I had the privilege of visiting here at the start of June. We saw Arctic-Henge, met the man behind the idea, and stayed with Maddy (who is interviewed in the film). I counted no less than 7 species of sea/shore birds in her back yard. Including the Common Eider (this was very exciting as a birder, when would I ever see one in Canada?) Enjoy!

“We are proud to present the teaser from the documentary movie we have been filming recently in Raufarhofn!

Documentary project about the impact of international volunteering in isolated rural areas in the northeastern part of Iceland. The Documentary film take place in the village of Raufarhofn with the cooperation of Worldwidefriends Iceland volunteers and The Tracker Company.

The intention of this project is to let the world know about this situation and therefore to promote the beauty and the wonders of these people and their village.

This is a non profit project.”

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Takk Fyrir

Takk Fyrir.

I am working on a more detailed and lengthy post. I actually took notes everyday about just about everything I ate, or saw others eating. Is that a good thing, or just the sign of a some sort of compulsive disorder?

In front of me on my desk are two lists: one titled “Food Blog”, and the other “Bird List”. My priorities I guess… I could easily have more lists with names like, Volcanoes, Glaciers, Waterfalls, Sheep I have Counted and Geo-thermal versus Water Heaters. That being said, Takk Fyrir is a little teaser about a few posts yet to come.

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