December 2018 - February 2019
  • Day47

    Home "Sweet"? Home

    February 14 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ -15 °C

    We had a rough start this morning. The hotel internet was down since we checked in so we weren’t able to confirm the location of our rental car company. Both of us were almost certain that it was at the airport so that is where we headed, only to discover that it was an off-airport location not far from the hotel we had just left! That was a time delay we hadn’t counted on. Finally at the airport I was told that my luggage was 3 pounds overweight so we shuffled things around much to JS’s dismay. Our flight left 15 minutes early and arrived in Winnipeg 25 minutes early. Due to a CAA blunder we got Premium seats for the price of economy so we enjoyed the free perks of lunch, alcohol of choice, and limitless snacks throughout the flight.

    The temperature was -16 which was tolerable, especially since we quickly hopped into a nice warm taxi (now with exorbitant fares....$43 with a small tip!). But there is so much snow everywhere. Spring seems a long way off.

    And that ends another winter break. The Panama Canal cruise was definitely the highlight and reignited our interest in cruising on future trips. California was interesting but cool. Florida was less exciting because we had been there several times but had the best weather. Snowless winters motivate us to be more physically active, which is a good thing.

    Now we are on a baby watch as we anticipate the arrival of our second grandchild, courtesy of Alyssa & Josh. Exciting days are ahead!
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  • Day46

    Orlando to Winnipeg

    February 13 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    It was time to head North, although today we were only going as far as Orlando. Our flight didn’t leave until 11:25 am tomorrow but since it’s a 4 hour drive (which includes several pit-stops for JS) on the Florida Turnpike we knew we had to play it safe and get to a hotel near the airport today. It rained heavily for the first 2 hours but that didn’t slow the speed of the other drivers. It’s no wonder that there are so many fatal accidents reported on the nightly news, along with the shootings, armed robberies, car jackings and other illegal happenings. Although in recent times, Winnipeg is no utopia either.Read more

  • Day44

    Ah-Tah-Thi-Khi Museum

    February 11 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Three years ago I went to this museum with my friend Gailene and JS expressed an interest in visiting it too. It was a cloudy day with the occasional light shower and was just an hour’s drive from our resort, so it was a good time to go. With my Métis card I was able to get free admission but the clerk couldn’t comprehend what Métis was. The museum was designed by the Smithsonian Institute so it is a quality experience. There is a 2.5 km boardwalk through a cypress dome, which I learned is a type of freshwater forested wetland, or swamp, and is part of the Everglades. There were markers along the trail describing the forest and fauna.

    The museum is on the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation. It is a very modern reserve with several very nice community buildings and schools. There are two large Seminole casinos in southern Florida and it was nice to see that some of the $$$ are going back to the reserve.
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  • Day42

    Weston - on the Edge of the Everglades

    February 9 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    It was moving day....from Fort Lauderdale to the City of Weston, just 34 km straight west. Because we had to checkout by 10 and couldn’t checkin to the new place until 4, we went to the Sawgrass Mills Mall. It was exhausting, even for me, with more than 350 stores! I logged 12,000 steps dodging the Saturday afternoon mobs of shoppers with the added benefit of some good deals.

    I’ve been careful to watch where I’m walking and haven’t had any other falls. As an unexpected bonus, in the past week I found a dollar bill, a cheap bracelet, a lottery scratch card worth $2, and narrowly avoided walking into a 1 1/2 foot green lizard that scuttled across the sidewalk directly in front of me!

    Our new resort, Vacation Village at Weston, is a large resort complex that I stayed at 3 years ago. We are on the 4th floor of a high rise in a nice one bedroom updated unit. I think there have been too many moves for JS as he tried to get into a condo on the third floor (which is the floor we were on last week). Security was called and they were able to confirm that he was a registered guest but was on the wrong floor. I had the biggest belly laugh when he told me about this incident!
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  • Day40

    The Land of Beaches & Waterways

    February 7 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Greater Fort Lauderdale boasts 37 km of “blue wave” awarded beaches, which means they have been deemed to be clean, managed responsibly and have a focus on protection of the environment. Since I don’t have the patience anymore to be a sun worshipper, I chose to do a 7 km walk along the promenade. It is a very clean beach with fine white sand. There were the usual homeless people but mostly locals and tourists enjoying the sunshine and a warm 25 degrees. The lifeguard stations were flying the purple flag to indicate the presence of jellyfish or man-o-war in the ocean so very few people, likely northerners, were in the water. We are located in the Northern part of Fort Lauderdale so the beach is much quieter, compared to the Las Olas area with all the open-air bars and restaurants. After lunch JS joined me on the short walk to Publix. It’s also a nice walk as we have to go over the Intracoastal Waterway. There is a forecasted windchill near -40 C in Winnipeg tonight so I’m grateful to be here!Read more

  • Day39

    Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi

    February 6 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    It was a great day to explore Fort Lauderdale and this time we did it from the comfort of the Water Taxi. The sun was shining and it was 25 degrees so we couldn’t have asked for a nicer day. Like everything else, the fare has gone up to $23 for seniors but we were fortunate to get one of the two-deck boats. We cruised up and down the full route, which took about 3 hours, only getting off once to have lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. We had the best guide on our return as he gave a non-stop commentary all with a good dose of humour. JS was not interested in walking today so on our return to the resort I did a nice beach walk to end the day on a perfect note.Read more

  • Day38

    Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

    February 5 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    The State Park was only one block from our resort, another bonus of this location, and a nice change from our daily beach walks. Mr. Birch was a Chicago lawyer who donated his winter estate to the State of Florida in order to preserve the habitat for future generations. For a $2 per person admission we got to explore the 180 acre park and for the afternoon were able to forget that we were in the middle of a vibrant city. We hiked 7 km through mangrove habitat as well as a small hardwood forest, along a freshwater lake and the intracoastal waterway. The park is known for its endangered gopher tortoises. They make burrows that average 6 feet deep and 15 feet long, which provide refuge for over 350 other species. The tortoise can live to 80 years old. We were lucky to see two of them along the road. We also saw a lime green iguana, shorebirds, wild turkeys and lots of dogs. It was an enjoyable afternoon and exceeded our expectations.Read more

  • Day35

    Fort Lauderdale

    February 2 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 23 °C

    It was time to head south in search of warmer weather. Our condo at the Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort is conveniently located between the ocean and the waterways, so we are a block to either area. There is a Publix supermarket and the Galleria upscale mall within a 10 minute walk. We have a larger (900 sq ft) one bedroom, 2 bathroom unit on the 3rd floor. It’s very clean and comfortable but my only complaint is the location of our unit. Although there are scenic waterfronts on either side of the 17 storey building, we have a view of the parking lot. Since it is peak season and all units are occupied there was no chance of getting a different unit. It was very difficult to find anything anywhere in Florida this month so I’m happy just to have a place to stay. We did succeed in finding nicer weather as it was sunny and 25 today :)Read more

  • Day34

    Disneyworld II

    February 1 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    The International Art Festival was on during our visit so there were different acts and artists throughout the park. We also stopped to see performers at the various pavilions. Our favourite was the Celtic rock band at the Canadian Pavilion. We were biased of course but they drew a large crowd as they were a lively band similar to Great Big Sea.Read more