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Jewels and Junkies in British Columbia

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Our trip to Canada was not all mountain wilderness.  We were lucky enough to see two great Canadian cities as well, Vancouver and Victoria.  After living amongst the pines for several months, they were the perfect injection of skyscrapers and pedestrians to satisfy our human interaction quota.  Vancouver offered stunning scenery and pop-up-restaurant cool along with a disturbing number of junkies making us wonder where the line between British Columbia and Narcos Colombia was.  Victoria was an absolute gem, plain and simple.  This smaller island city fully delighted and left us scouring real estate listings.

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Encouraging Cozy

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Our impromptu spring break trip to Canada took us straight into the romance of the Great White North.  Banff National Park was a peek inside a snow globe that left us truly impressed.

Even for a directionally challenged loon like me there was something off about driving east to reach the great Rocky Mountains; considered Out West when growing up in Michigan.  We drove through never-ending plains of white, past train tracks and tunnels that should have been part of a children’s play set and mountain peaks that looked like Kindergarten renditions of triangle mountains (mad-jestic in JD’s words).

Strangely, I was reminded of Namibia here.  They are alike in their opposite extremes.  There was the same quiet and same sense of smallness that comes from being the only humans for miles.  Although exhilarating, there was also the feeling that we shouldn’t be there, as if we were trespassing on Mother Earth’s hallowed ground.  The land was both too sacred and too brutal for us to cruise though in our temperature-controlled car.

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Moss and Seals

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The Pacific Northweird has been my home now for nearly six months; three for JD.  We’re still new here but have managed to make a few observations about this piney corner of the country.

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Almost Here

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I miss JD.

After so many practice periods apart from each other, one would think I’d be better at Distance.  But, alas, while I can espouse the grandeur of Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder, I’d rather have less pomp and more JD.

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What the What is Going on in ‘Merica?

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I’m home.  Sort of.  I’m back to being able to recite the pledge of allegiance, drive on the right side of the road and converse fluently.  I’m back in the US of blessed A.  And I’m happy.  I’m proud this is my country.  Perhaps I even feel a bit freer and braver than before.  Certainly, the bravery is needed right about now.  Read More…

Mr.  & Mrs.

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…and we’re married!

Being married is like before but better.  JD is now fully, legally what he has already been in my heart.  I fail to properly describe the awesome (in the true sense) moments we’ve had moving from Engaged to Married.  So I won’t try.  Instead, just thank you to all the friends, family and special randoms who’ve made it the beyond great that it is.  And mostly thank you to JD, my travel partner, life partner, my partner in crime and now my husband.

Ireland: A Good Place to Read

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Some might take this title as a jilt to the Emerald Isle.  Just to be clear, I mean it in the best way possible.  Not only is Ireland the homeland of Oscar Wilde and Frank McCourt, it’s an inspiration to all who appreciate words.  The gray and the green mix into the perfect backdrop for inspiring readers, writers and daydreamers.

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Turkey with Chopsticks

Not quite.

Not quite.

Thanksgiving as an expat is a day of mixed emotions.  It lives up to its name and makes you stop and appreciate the important people in your life.  But when most of those people are on the other side of the world, it also does a great job making you homesick.  And so, with an ambivalent heart, I stepped into my very first Thanksgiving in Vietnam.

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Street Artist in Action

This is the kind of street art I thought only Bert from Mary Poppins does.  But during a trip to Toronto I discovered that there are still a few dedicated artists who choose chalk and side walk to create their masterpieces.  As much as I enjoyed watching the artist work, I enjoyed watching the reactions of other people even more.  Businessmen in suits paused their cell phone conversations to take a look.  Kids pulled their parents across the street to see.  It seemed that no matter what type of rush they were in, everyone wanted a minute to the watch the transformation of a  regular old piece of pavement into a work of art.