Vietnam ( part 11)

On our last  cycling day  in Vietnam, we had an early start. It was pleasant to ride along the coast. We stopped in a small village and tasted fresh jack fruit. Later, we tasted delicious dragon fruit. Very impressive to see how they grow around a concrete post. We got to see the  fruits and the flowers on the plants. And you can see it also here with the photos.  I know when have some  dragon fruits  in our grocery store but with the long trip to arrive to Canada,  I was not impressed with the taste .   To  “eat local food” is always best. Don’t you think so ?

Dragon fruits have mildly sweet flavour which can be compared to a melon. They are great source of Vitamin C.

Around this house, a field of dragon fruit plants.

Here this lady was selling fresh dragon fruits. Delicious !

Later we saw a salt farm.

Have you seen rice like that ? Before it gets to a bag or a box, it looks like this.

We finished our cycling day.  We had  done 450 km in 11  days. We were very happy  and ready for other adventures !! We had lunch before we got in the van for a 4 hours drive to get to Saigon that is now called HCMC ( Ho Chi Ming City).  On our way, we saw plantations of rubber trees.

As we got close to the big city, the traffic got busier and busier.  Look at this man. What do you think he is carrying ?

My next post will be about our visit in HCMC. Thanks again for reading. And thank you also for comments you make on my travel stories.

 

 

 

 

Memories from Thailand, 2014 (Part 1)

Hello readers.

When I started this blog  3 years ago,  I wanted to share some fun time I experienced. Somehow I never shared this travel in Thailand I did with  my husband . It was February 2014 and  It was another exciting adventure for us . And a special one as it was also our  first trip to Asia.

As usual I will show you some photos and tell you a bit about this trip. Traveling from VANCOUVER  to Thailand with a connecting flight in Seoul was a long journey. At the  Seoul Incheon airport ,  we saw a parade of Royal family.

We arrived in Chiang Mai in the evening. Our friend Fred was waiting for us. We were going to spend the week with him as he lives there and know very well  the country.

After a good night of sleep, we were woken up with a bird song.  We spent the first day walking in the city, visiting beautiful temples . The weather was just perfect and of course much warmer than what we have in Vancouver in February ( and no rain).

We  went to the Sunday night market where I bought some pants as souvenirs. There were lots of products we did not know and it was fun to try to figure out what it was.

If you don’t want to walk you can always travel by tuk-tuk. They are inexpensive .

Some food we ate that day ;

Of course, we would see monks everywhere. They are easily recognizable with their orange clothing.

It was a full first day. We were happy to discover a new country and we were lucky to have Fred to answer our questions. The story will continues on my next post.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

4 Seasons

Antonio Vivaldi wrote the  “Le Quattro Stagioni” ,  each of which gives a musical expression to a season of the year.  Beautiful music !   Today my  post  reflects on  our 4 seasons in Canada. Is there a perfect season ? Or is it just perfect that we  have 4 seasons  (at least here in Canada) ?

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Spring. La primavera. It was not my favorite season when I lived in Quebec ( for about 30 years). Ski season was over. We couldn’t cycle yet. The grass wasn’t green. The snow was melting too slowly (and was dirty) and it was still cold.  As a Vancouverite, spring has become almost my favorite season.  In February – it is still winter- but in my garden I am delighted to see snowdrops followed by crocuses. We start to see flowers (the bulbs) very early and the trees are blooming in March and April.  At last, there is not as many rainy days.  Except this year ( so much rain !).

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And lilac  is a good sign of spring.

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Tulip time is  fantastic when we can visit those  large fields. It has become an interesting outing for us who live in the Lower Mainland. Just south of the border it is also possible to enjoy such beauty. I took this photo in April 2014 in Agassiz, British Columbia. Isn’t it beautiful ?

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Summer.  L’estateSummer Solstice is on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at 9:24 pm in Vancouver. This day is 8 hours, 4 minutes longer than  December Solstice day. The longest day of the year. Oh ! Joy! Dinners outside will  be in order and spending time in the garden to keep it nice.  I am not really a person who spend time at the beach  but walking by the water is wonderful with the smell and the wind.  When I am not traveling  I rather hike or cycle and it is why I really enjoy summer. The birds are happily singing early in the morning inviting me to get out of bed .

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Summer is also time to pick up berries. Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.  I like to have those local berries in my freezer for the winter months.

Sometimes, I enjoy splendid sunsets. This one was taken from English Bay.

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Too soon, for me, summer is fading away.  Days are not as long and not as warm although we rarely suffer from high heat during the summer months in Vancouver. The word fall is not my favorite word of the dictionary.

Fall is l’autonno in Italian.  Fall is a bit sad for me. Falling leaves, cool days  and more rainy days. But on a positive note we see magnificent trees and beautiful leaves.  And when we get  sunny days , we want  to be outside cleaning up the garden once more. Walking in the forest is  good to stay connected with nature that is preparing for a rest.

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Winter. L’inverno. We are getting more rainy days . The days are very dark. We might get snow in the city but mostly we get  it on our local mountains. I used to go up to do cross-country skiing. When snow falls in the city, why not making a snowman ? No need to have little kids around. I have my inner child.  I had fun creating  “Alfred” in December 2016.

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Now, you know that I like  the 4 seasons. You also know  which one is my favorite if you read until here. Maybe you can tell me which one is your favorite ?

Thanks for reading and your comments. Happy 4 seasons !

 

 

 

Flowers in Palm Desert (in February).

On this post from our time in Southern California, I will share some photographs of flowers  . I am really not an expert as to tell you all the name of the flowers  but I sure enjoyed the color and capture them with my camera !

The first photo is  a bougainvillea. Many of today’s bougainvillea are the result of interbreeding among only three out of the eighteen South American species recognized by botanists. Currently, there are over 300 varieties of bougainvillea around the world.

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The pretty  flowers we see here must be from an acacia tree.  I love the pretty yellow color.

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I am not sure what those  white flowers are but they are  nice, aren’t they ?

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some bright red flowers and a butterfly …

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more flowers for you…

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Thanks for looking at the flowers from Southern California.

 

 

 

 

 

1000 Palm Oasis

Another day, another adventure. This time, we went for a hike at the Thousand Palms Canyon of the Coachella Valley  Preserve. This nearly 20,000 acre Preserve is so close and yet far enough away  ( from Palm Desert) to immerse yourself in the beauty and solitude of the magnificent  Coachella Desert.  The San Andreas Fault, the most famous and visible fault of its kind in the word  is located in this area.

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We could admire the giant California fan palms with their stately trunks as high as 60 feet  and their grass skirts remaining still as a hula dancer at rest .

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The fruit of the fan palm was eaten raw, cooked or ground into flour for cakes by native Americans.

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The Cahuilla and related tribes used the leaves to make sandals, thatch  roofs and baskets. The stems were used to make cooking utensils.

We went for a hike  on a warm spring day ( it was the last day of February). We enjoyed the sight of many wild flowers like the desert sunflowers…

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the Indigo bush…

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and some hairy sand verbena…

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We also saw some  happy lizards sunbathing in the sun.  I believe they are Coachella fringe-toed lizards.

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We were happy with our day . Taking advantage of a nice warm day outside is always great. Thanks for reading my travel story. In my next post I will show you more flowers we can see in Palm Desert .

Hiking in Palm Desert (part 3)

Hello readers !

We spent  many days in the  Greater Palm Springs area. We  were outside most of the day and staying active. We enjoyed hiking and at this time of the year (late January/ Mid-February), the weather was  perfect for this activity. We went  in San Rosa National monument. The park is called  Cahuilla Hills. The trails were in good condition. It was a climb with a reward for the view  when we got to the top after about one hour. It was interesting to look at the people ahead of us and how they could be visible if they were wearing  bright colors like this woman here with a reddish shirt. Can you see her ?

The trails go on a kind of switch back. They are large enough to meet.

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As we went up, we could see a golf course and the city  of Palm Desert.

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I will now show you some vegetation we saw during our hikes . I stopped to take photos every time I saw  something colorful. We saw desert lavender or you can say  “hyptis emoryi”. The gray leaves are covered with fine hairs and are soft to the touch.  Spikes of silvery-blue flowers develop anytime throughout the year, but we see more of them  during spring time. This plant grow on dry, rocky slopes along washes and in canyons.

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And here are some other plants  seen.

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It is possible to see road runner and desert cottontail but we didn’t see any there. Another day in another place we saw some.

Thanks for reading . More from my trip in California  very  soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olympia, Washington State.

This short blog is  about our visit in Olympia,Washington’s capital. Downtown, we found the Old  State Capitol and also the new Capitol.  The Capitol Campus is quite nice to visit. It was late in the afternoon , so we only walked outside  but there are guided public tours of the building. It could be interesting to do it another time we drive by Olympia.  We saw some imposing monuments, memorials and what a surprised  to see  a replica of a Tivoli fountain!  Having gone to Denmark many years ago, the name was familiar . What I also learned was that the fountain in Denmark  was a replica of the fountain in Tivoli,  located  few kilometers  from Rome !!! We found a path  going down toward the lake. I  saw some nice flowers to add to my collection of photographs. What a pleasant way to end the day and soon our trip …

DSC02885                                                                                                                                                                                       Romanesque Revival building (1892)- Served as the State Capitol  between 1903-1927.

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State Capitol with its 287-foot masonry dome .

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Tivoli fountain.

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Monument.

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It was really  fall . We saw some trees with bright red color. It was time to go home  and plan other traveling fun trips !