Showing posts from September, 2016

North Melbourne - 37° 48' 47" S 144° 57' 4" E

Beautiful, marvelous Melbourne! Springtime in Melbourne. A city in the grips of Finals Fever (Aussie Rules that is!). What other city has holidays for not one, but two sporting events? Friday is a day off for the Grand Final Parade and Melbournians enjoy the first Tuesday in November off for the horse race, the Melbourne Cup! A city with its priorities worked out. And to make it more exciting, The Doggies are in the "Granny" for the first time since 1961 with their last premiership being 1954.  Many fans are watching their team in the Grand Final for the first time in their life!  Not a problem for me - Hawthorn has won twelve premierships in my lifetime - including three in the last three years. The coffee really is fabulous and it is a joy to walk around the markets and grocery stores with the incredible range of tasty goods. The options in cream alone makes one want to whip up a pavlova. The restaurants tucked into alleyways off lane ways off lanes serve an extrao

Fernie - 49° 29' 29" N 115° 4' 16" W

Traveller’s Review – Chez Pettigrew         When we first heard about this opportunity for homeless itinerants, we thought it was too good to be true – friendly and engaging hosts; comfortable and spacious rooms; hot showers with luxurious toiletries; amazing mountain views; world-class meals prepared by their in-house chef – all wrapped up in mining-town chic decor. We are delighted to report that it lived up to and surpassed our expectations. Easy to find, this jewel is located in the friendly summer AND winter playground of Fernie. We visited at the end of summer and enjoyed a late-season guided mountain bike tour on the Island Lake Lazy Lizard Trail (ask for Megan and Ali – they will give you a first class workout). If you are lucky, you may experience a night-time, outdoor-firepit-and-jaw-wag during a warm, autumn evening. We didn’t even notice midnight rolling past. Be sure and reserve a spot on the massive outdoor deck with built-in bench and comfy cushions wher

Edmonton - 52° 32’ 03” N 113° 30’ 23” W

North Saskatchewan River, looking east After the tour finished, Kate and I planned a few extra days in Edmonton. Staying at the Murphy's house, we dutifully abandoned them most evenings (leaving them in peace) as we caught up with other old friends. Frances, Patti and Don, Mike and Jill each had Kate and I over for dinner and a visit. Tales of what-so-and-so-was-up-to and what we know of you-know-who were exchanged, as well as our best stories were swapped … usually with glasses of wine used to help jog our memories. Spending this time with everyone reminded me just how wonderfully lucky (it couldn’t have been wisdom way back then) I have been with picking friends. Here they all are, carrying on as interesting and entertaining people that I’m happy to still be in touch with. Aside from a few laugh lines around the eyes and buckets-full of experiences, most of them have not changed in over thirty years. Conversely, how things have changed in this city that I once kn

Lethbridge - 50° 55' 04" N 115° 08' 54" W

The Tour of Alberta is rolling through again and we are along for the ride. This is our third year helping out and we are back with much of the same crew as the previous tour. Fifty marshals are involved, minus a dear friend that left us last year . Mainly south/central Alberta, the stages were: Stage 1.  Street circuit in Lethbridge Stage 2.  Kananaskis to Olds Stage 3.  Rocky Mountain House to Drayton Valley Stage 4.  Individual time trial in Edmonton Stage 5.  Street circuit in Edmonton Sean has driven the Team Five marshal van for two years running and loves it. There are times when he gets to whiz through the closed course at speeds a fifteen-passenger rental van really should not be driven at … with a police escort. Super Driver of the Super Van Van decorating has reached new heights Traveling Marshal Team 5 Fortunately, not all these signs were needed! Up close and personal... Keep those elbows in! "Look!  Police that aren't