Tag Archives: travel

Bayfront Park, Hamilton Ontario

Yesterday was quite mild so instead of going for my usual walk with the dogs at the dog park, middle child and I decided to visit Bayfront Park.

Bear and I taking a walk

Bear and I taking a walk

Middle child with the dogs

Middle child with the dogs

Cocoa Bayfront Park

Cocoa Bayfront Park

Bear posing for us

Bear posing for us

Bear, Cocoa and I Bayfront Park

Bear, Cocoa and I Bayfront Park

Middle child with Bear and Cocoa Bayfront Park

Middle child with Bear and Cocoa Bayfront Park

Path Bayfront Park

Path Bayfront Park

Bear looking at the water

Bear looking at the water

Cuba in January was not the best idea for a vacation

Cuba in January was not the best idea we’ve had for a vacation, simply because the weather is not that great. As it is winter in Canada, it is also winter in Cuba, thus there was only one day that we were actually able to sit on the beach, go swimming in the ocean, and sailing. Most other days were spent around the pool out of the wind. Of course no one was swimming in the pool either, since it was freezing but we were out of the wind and occasionally the sun did appear. There was one day where it was warmer in Calgary, Alberta, Canada then it was in Varadero, Cuba because of the chinook winds! We found out that little tidbit of information when we were again spending time in the lobby bar due to the unsettled weather.

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My husband and I went to Cayo Coco, Cuba years ago and had a wonderful time at the resort we had chosen for that holiday. When I booked this trip, hubby wanted to stay in a 5 star resort, so I made sure I read review after review, as I searched for a nice place to stay. Well, the resort we stayed at, which was listed as a 5, maybe was a three (I found many other Canadians with the same opinion well we were chatting on departure day – our plane was delayed for hours). Sadly the food was horrid, either undercooked or overcooked. Now since hubby has been sick on other trips, I had him take some Dukoral (Travellers’ diarrhea) before we left. Now I didn’t take any Dukoral myself because I am usually fine, well as it so happened this time I got sick, thankfully it only lasted about 24 hours. Then hubby was sick for two days, so much for the Dukoral. Due to illness we had to cancel two of our dinner reservations. (If you have never stayed at an all-inclusive resort, there are usually 4 or 5 restaurants where you must have reservations for dinner).

I didn’t find the hotel to be all that clean, the floor in our bathroom was never properly washed under the sink or around the toilet. When you did see housekeeping cleaning, their rags were usually filthy. Washrooms never had paper towels to dry your hands, instead a roll of 1-ply toilet paper was stuffed in the dispenser. Try drying your hands with toilet paper – you end up with little bits and pieces stuck to them. From the outside all looks good, but as with many things on closer examination you see the truth.

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Now there were fabulous parts to our vacation, especially the day trip we took into Havana. I love history, so touring through old Havana was wonderful, except when it cost me $10 Cuban Convertible Pesos for hubby to receive two kisses from official tourism Cubans (our tour guide warned us of this, but apparently hubby wasn’t listening at that time).

Two official tourism people kissing hubby.

At one point we had the bejeebers scared out of us when all of a sudden we heard cannons going off. The cannons were being fired from Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña  in celebration of Jose Marti, father of Cuban independence. Here is a short video of the cannons going off:

More pictures of old Havana:

At the end of the day we had a half hour of free time which most of us spent having a drink in Hotel Ambos Mundos, one of the 1st residence’s of Ernest Hemingway.

one of the 1st residence's of Ernest Hemingway

With that, it was the end of our vacation, of course there was the 4 hour plane delay at the airport, eventually though we made it home after being awake for 24 hours! 🙂

The whirlwind drive to Quebec & back

Last weekend we endured enjoyed one of our whirlwind trips to Quebec and back in two days. The purpose of our drive? Taking the young man back to university and since he had so much baggage this time, putting him on a bus & train & bus was impractical. Even though the drive is very long (9 hours one way, if there are no traffic issues), I always find it enjoyable, except this time, the weather was deplorable.

Driving before the snow storm hit.

Driving before the snow storm hit.

We had hoped that when we started the drive to Lennoxville, the snowstorm would be one step behind us, sadly though the bad weather caught up with us quite quickly. Now we do have snow tires on our van, especially since you never know what type of weather you will experience, when driving through the Appalachian mountains in the eastern townships of Quebec. Thankfully we arrived at our destination with nerves still intact.

River outside son's apartment

I was quite surprised at how fast the river, outside my son’s apartment was flowing.

After a good night’s sleep, and no sleepwalking by me, we were ready to take the young man grocery shopping.  Actually he shopped, well hubby and I took selfies in the supermarket. I did toss a can of Maple Syrup into my son’s cart, while hubby tossed in a few cans of tuna. (Note: hours later, when we were on the road home, I received a phone call from the young man asking “Mom why do I have a can of Maple Syrup?” Damn, I forgot it, hubby remembered to take home the tuna he tossed into the shopping cart).

Goofing around well son is shopping for food

Goofing around well son is shopping for food

When shopping was finished, and the groceries carried up the four floors to his apartment, we started our way home. The drive home was no better than the day before, the only difference was we were driving in an ice storm rather than a snowstorm. As hubby drove, we counted twelve vehicles in the ditch. It was a scary drive home, thankfully though we arrived safely.