Friendly Friday Photo Challenge – Pathways

…..thanks to Amanda from Something to Ponder About for hosting the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge

The pathways here are from the neighbourhood, at Highgate Cemetery in London, Kensington Gardens in London, an autumn path along the Lakeshore, a path through the garden at Montgomery’s Inn, a path to a neighbour’s house on Hallowe’en and a path through the woods when we were ‘hunting’ for the perfect Christmas tree.

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Tuesday Photo Challenge – Memories

….thanks to Frank over at Dutch Goes the Photo for hosting Tuesday Photo Challenge

I know I’m a bit late for this week’s challenge but better late than never. I particularly liked this week’s theme because it’s so open ended. So I went back a year ago to see what memories I could stir up.

A year ago I spent quite a bit of time with my Dad (the oldest member of our family) and my granddaughter (the youngest member of our family). My Dad and the family attended a wonderful wedding together, the two of us went to the Royal Winter Fair and I accompanied Winnie to the park, lunch at a restaurant and the Hamilton Santa Claus Parade.P1050241
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WPC – Tour Guide of Toronto

….thanks to Word Press  for a theme close to my heart

People always ask me if I’ll move away from Toronto when I retire. I can’t imagine living anywhere else right now. I live in the southwestern area of Toronto more commonly known as New Toronto or South Etobicoke. I love being 15 minutes from downtown (depending on the time of day) and being able to take advantage of all the city has to offer. On the other hand, I feel blessed to live where I do. A century ago people used to travel to this neighbourhood from downtown because they had cottages here on the lake. A few of those old structures still stand today but they are quickly being eaten up by renovators who appreciate the value of the land.

My father recently moved back here after living in Oshawa for 20 years. He feels like he’s come back home. Nothing beats the view of the city skyline that I see everyday at the bottom of the street where I’ve lived for 39 years.

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I love the nature trails and beautiful parks that you can find all over the city. The big one in my neighbourhood has wonderful hiking and biking paths that wind through Colonel Samuel Smith Park and the Humber College grounds. Part of it is a naturalized area with a pond in the middle and Lake Ontario at the south end. We have more wildlife here than we do at my cottage. It’s not unusual to see coyotes, foxes, beavers, turtles, o’possums, racoons, skunks and the occasional deer. We have birds and waterfowl galore. In the summer many people come to the park to take advantage of the beaches that line the eastern side of the extension to get relief from the heat or to paddle or kite surf.

If you’re not into nature the city offers the best in museums, art galleries, aquariums, recreational sports and the best restaurants.

 

Lesson 200 – 100 Photographs

…..Carla Sonheim gave us as assignment to go out and shoot 100 photos in the neighbourhood

I love this type of assignment. It gets me out walking and it makes me really look at a my surroundings. Once we took the photos we were to share our favourites. Here are 68 of mine.

Accommodations in Florence and Rome

…..in both Italian cities we used Airbnb and VRBO

Venice was the only place where we stayed in a hotel. Travelling with a baby required special needs and many homes listed on Airbnb and VRBO met the criteria for our daughter, her 9 month old daughter and for us, the grandparents.

In Florence we stayed in a lovely apartment above a garage. It was a gated property and there were no neighbours above, below or next to us. There were two bedrooms, a small living room and kitchen, a bath with a shower and an outdoor terrace. The place was air-conditioned and had all the amenities that we needed, including Wifi, a washing machine, a crib and a television.

The location was ideal as well. We were just outside the ring that surrounds the city centre which is closed off to traffic. It was about a twenty minute walk to the leather market and the farmer’s market and just beyond that were all the museums, churches and tourist attractions that Florence is famous for. We were also within walking distance to a small grocery store, numerous caffes and restaurants and a couple of parks.

More about our accommodations in Rome in a future post.

Ciao!

How to Stay Cool in Italy

….when people tell you it’s hot in Italy in the summer….believe them

We knew going to Italy in July that it would be very warm. Everyone who had been there before us warned us over and over again. One thing that we made sure of was to book accommodations that had air conditioning. Here is my list of how to stay cool in Italy in July.

  1. Stay only in air-conditioned hotel rooms or homes with air-conditioning.IMG_9456
  2. Drink lots of water.
  3. Walk in shady areas and underneath porticos if you can find them. They were everywhere in Bologna.IMG_9291
  4. When eating outside make sure you’re under an umbrella and preferably next to water.IMG_8954
  5. Spend time in the mountains (the Dolomites) or high up in the hills of Assisi.

    6. Always wear a hat.IMG_91427. Cool off in the sink, shower or pool.

    8. Sit or stand by a fountain.

    9. Spend time in an air-conditioned museum or find an old dark cathedral to sit in.

    10. Enjoy a gelato.

    11. Cover yourself in yogurt.IMG_9487

    11. Find a shady park and sit or lie down for a spell.

    12. Enjoy an icy glass of  Aperol spritz or Prosecco. IMG_8945

    I hope these suggestions are helpful. Enjoy!