July 4, 2017

Summer is in full swing here in beautiful Vancouver and the extreme change in daylight hours is not the only noticeable thing happening (mid winter we are lucky to have 8 hours with the sun up and currently we have 17 hours of daylight).   I have been out retracing my steps so I could capture the summer version of my favourite winter shots!  From white to green it is just stunning. Here they are summer -v- winter!  Both equally beautiful in their own way!

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The last two are taken in Whistler.  Hard to believe that this first shot is the same place and was in fact the venue for the 2010 winter Olympic downhill ski events!Sweet Style-0040Sweet Style-7502

May 10, 2017

Week Two of spring break saw us take a trip to the lovely seaside village of Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific Coast of Mexico.  This part of Mexico is sort of like what Fiji is to Australia – lots of resorts along the beach that serve all the food you can eat for one inclusive price as well as lots of poolside and evening entertainment – FUN!  It think we were the only Australian’s at the entire resort which made us a real novelty!  

We stayed at the Rui Jalisco – the rooms were clean and neat and big enough for our family of 5.  The food was plentiful but dare I say as is the case in most of these mass produced hotels very ordinary – there were 5 restaurants to choose from so we did not have lack of choice but you did have to  visit various restaurants to find the “good” things.  Alcohol was also part of this package so you had access to the bar 24/7 – I suspect they make the alcohol different in Mexico as it was incredibly watered down and I think we only saw one intoxicated person the entire stay!

The entertainment team was fantastic and had everyone involved in various games from square aerobics to zumba to bingo to beach soccer and volley ball.  The Mexican Pool Party that they held one afternoon in the main pool was so much fun – bubbles and floaties! What more could you ask for (see the photo below)  Every evening there was a different themed show and every night was “excellente”.  The kids really had a ball and were involved in lots of different things.   

Apart from plenty of relaxing, swimming, reading and of course eating, we did leave the hotel on two occasions to do some activities.  Our first outing involved a trip to a small local village to see how they live, meet the locals and play with a piñata before heading to a rodeo with traditional mexican games, horse riding, bull riding, dinner and dancing with the mariachi band.

Our 2nd outing was to celebrate Sofia’s 11th Birthday at the local water park where we swam with the dolphins – an amazing experience that the girls will remember for ever.

 We really did love our time in Mexico – the girls have voted it better than Fiji or Bali (I am still stuck on Bali as one of my favourite places in the world).  A big dose of Vitamin D was definitely needed after a Canadian winter and this place did the trick!

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January 20, 2017

We have been in Vancouver for 3 weeks now so I thought I would share some reflections on life here!  Hoping to make this a regular occurrence on the blog over the coming months!  

Reflections No 1

1. Driving around the entire city of Vancouver is easier and less stressful that driving around Sydney’s north shore.

2. Vancouver has had the coldest winter in 10 years and we arrived right in the middle of it. Three weeks later and the temperatures have gone from -6 for my morning walks to +6 and I am suddenly not thinking it is cold anymore! Looking at the rest of Canada though I am glad we moved to Vancouver as there are some seriously crazy low temperatures around (like where Sarah moved to!)!

3. Thank heavens for heated BMW seat and steering wheels! BMW air conditioning/heating on the other hand is a mystery.

4. Snow is beautiful and pretty and so great for photographing and we were so lucky to experience the snow in Vancouver – getting around after it has settled is however treacherous and the Vancouver footpaths are like ice skating rinks!I

5. Snow tires do not stop your car from slipping back down a hill if there is ice on the road! You know it is not good when your husband who is a confident driver says “Oh shit I have no control over this car” – very pleased the rain how now washed the ice away from our street and we can drive back up it again!

6. I have a new found appreciation for winter accessories as you get to wear them here! I am on the eternal search for a new beanie!

7. Canadians call beanies toques!

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January 17, 2017

Discover is my current word of the moment!  I am loving being in a new city and while the weather has been chilly – the coldest winter Vancouver has had for 10 years – it has been blue skies which is perfect for me and my love of walking with my camera!  My iPhone tells me that on Wednesday last week I walked 11km and on Thursday I walked 10km.  – 6 degrees both days and that was 10am – I most certainly have never walked when it has been that cold as it never gets that cold in Sydney!  The rain is set to return so that is set to put a dampener on my walking!

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