These are eight, random "Daily Photographs" from my personal Flickr collection.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Temporary Announcement

Days 4 to 28 - We will be boarding our cruise ship today. During the time aboard, my eJournal and images will likely remain unpublished. This blog has been active since the fall of 2003 and I will continue creating daily posts and snapping pictures. Yet, they will probably appear online after we return to Vancouver on September 8, 2017.

We'll be soaking up the sun and culture in the Western Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. Do check for an occasional update via our Facebook feeds.

"Wishing you were here"

Monday, August 14, 2017

A Last Bit of Rome

Day 03 - Rome is the type of place that rubs off on one. Its history is a little covered with grit. I always find that just being here makes a person a little different. We've not visited for nine years and I cannot say whether we'll make it again. So, today as we walked around, I just tried to soak up the feelings as well as the sites.

Second Day in Rome

Second Day in Rome

Second Day in Rome

We did make use of our Metro 48-hour pass on a number of trips. In the morning we headed to the Collesium and didn't bother to enter this time. Part of the fun of Rome in August is the others around. It was fun looking at the sites, but just as entertaining watching people. People really are funny animals.

Today's nap was a bit long but well deserved. It was still hot when we went out for a second round at 6:00 pm. We walked from Piazza del Popolo to the Spanish Steps along the top area of the park. We walked just 10.6 kilometers today.

Second Day in Rome

Second Day in Rome

Second Day in Rome

We head to our cruise ship tomorrow to board. We already got train tickets for 5 Euros each. We will leave in morning and try to catch a train at 10:12. The train ride alone is a bit more than an hour and then either a bus or a really long walk with luggage is required. We'll see.

It's been a nice visit and will be a little sad saying, "Aarrivederci, Rome."

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Rome on Foot

Day 02 - After the kind of fitful sleep which occurs after a lack of sleep, we got up fairly early. The jetlag is really just one trying to cope with a nine hour difference time. The Hotel RomAntica puts on a nice continental breakfast in a special room. I went back and forth quite a few times to fill up on ham and cheese, and pastries.

From the previous time in Rome, we knew one can hit most of the 'tourist circuit' by walking. We purchased a 2-day metro for subway use anyway. The stations aren't all that convenient for tourists, but riding makes for a nice change of pace.

We are about a 5-minute walk from the Central Termani with access to Metro Lines A and B. We took the former and headed to the Vatican first. There was not a cloud in the blue sky and the morning temperatures were lovely. It is the life-time dream of some devout to make it to St. Peter's Basilica. It seems a bit unfair that I'm not Catholic but visited for the third time today. Yet as it was Sunday in August, we waited around an hour so we could see the Pope appear for a sermon from his tiny window.

Rome on Foot - Day 2

Rome on Foot - Day 2

After, we looked at our handy tourist maps and walked down a long road to cross the river to Piazza del Popolo. That is one of the places for tourists to hang out. We did for a bit but the biggest fountain was turned off, not for renovations but because of drought conditions. It was one of the only empty fountains of the day though.

Rome on Foot - Day 2

Rome on Foot - Day 2

We took the subway back to our area for lunch. The weather is at its hottest from 2:00 to 4:00 so it made a perfect time for a snooze.

For the evening outing we again found the Spanish Steps after a nine-year absence. We eventually found our way back to the Trevi Fountain too. There surely are a lot of tourists in town! We continued walking and got a little lost. So, we were a bit surprised when we noticed the Pantheon. We'd intended that part of Rome for tomorrow's exploration. As long as we were so close, we marched to Plaza Navona.

Rome on Foot - Day 2

Rome on Foot - Day 2

Rome on Foot - Day 2

Rome on Foot - Day 2

We got back to our hotel after eating something. It was dark. My Mi Band showed that we walked about 13.5 kilometers today. Jay is supposed to do a lot of walking but today felt a bit much for me! We'll probably repeat a similar process tomorrow though.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

All Roads Lead to Rome

Day 01 - My painfully slow Netbook is running on Italian electricity at the moment.

In Roma Again!

In Roma Again!

I was happy with Air Transit service getting us here. It was less than five hours to Montreal and then nearly another eight into Rome. We found the way to the express train to the central terminal. Our hotel is only a few streets away, so the bags easily rolled the distance. Jay has new bag for this trip, but the wheels on mine have gone 'round and 'round for years.

In Roma Again!

We checked into our hotel around 12:30 pm. We had a short nap, showers, a little walk, dinner, and a visit to a supermarket. Now it is after nine and it seems hard to focus on this screen right now.

Friday, August 11, 2017

We're Up in the Air

I've set this blog post to auto-publish at 11:00 am Pacific time. Hopefully, we are now on our way to Montreal aboard Air Transat, a Canadian charter airline. We plan on having less than two hours in transit and then we'll board our next flight. We should arrive mid-morning on Saturday in Rome, Italy. We will head right to our hotel where we'll spend three nights.

1998 in Montreal

I searched on Flickr and found this picture previously taken in Montreal. This was from November 1, 1998 when we took a long-gone charter airline called Canada 3000. We returned twice to the same city on a cross-Canada road trip years ago too.

This time, I don't expect we'll get further than a restaurant in the Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. It's too bad, we'd love going there for an occasional short trip but flying within Canada costs entirely too much.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Bare Necessities


We're pretty good at packing by now. Doing so for one month seems as tricky as for a whole winter though.

On tomorrow's, we require suits for our cruise and a sufficient number of changes of clothes for copious sweating during a Mediterranean summer. We probably don't need things such as our noise machine for sleeping; but hey, why not? I suppose I can always cut down on weight by skipping underwear or something!

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Car Sharing for the Goats

I've had the shiny EVO card in my wallet for a few weeks, but hadn't had the need to try one of the car-share vehicles.

3rd Car @ Queen's Park

When I signed up for the service, I got a free 30-minute allotment. Also, the team attends summer functions such as last week's New Westminster Food Truck Festival. There, I spun a large wheel and was awarded an extra, free 10 minutes at their booth. However, all that gratis driving time will expire later this month.

My Evo

Their app showed one was parked, just across the street, right in front of our building. So, Jay and I had to think of short distance errand to do.

Start Me Up

We leave on Friday for Rome and really didn't have any things we needed to do. Ah yes! Although not necessary, we decided we could take a trip up to Queen's Park to say goodbye to the goats in the city's petting zoo. We had welcomed them at the beginning of the summer but will not return from our cruise until after Labour Day. By the time we return from our trip, they'll be gone.

Bye, 2017 Goats!

Queen's Park has two dedicated parking spaces and two EVO vehicles were there. We parked beside them, I ended the first leg of our journey.

My Other Friend

We successfully said goodbye to all the animals. Our car was still there, so we brought it back to our neighbourhood. It felt weird knowing we could have used any of the three cars to return. It was nice to drive a car built in this millennium. I fit into the tightest parallel spot in front of our door by using the rear camera. Nice first experience using EVO.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

The Disappearing Joys of Paperwork

2017_08_08I'm pretty much an e-guy. I make purchases online and visit my bank branch only a few times per year. I have completely shut off paper statements for nearly everything I can. Yet, there's something about travelling that makes me 'old school'.

I know there are people out there who've never really seen a bonafide airplane ticket. Some of you must remember paper tickets which had to be treated like cash. Each segment of a journey had its own tear out sheet. Ah, those were the days! And one couldn't over-plan too much of a foreign trip before the Internet as it simply wasn't possible. We all had to be a little bit more adventurer and explorer. That was real travel. Sigh.

Anyway, we have a number of trips on the burner and none now belong on the back one. I love keeping them all organized in little piles of paper. This gives me a chance to take joy in arranging and sorting. Creating and correlating stacks of paper might be one thing I miss now that I no longer teach.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Happy British Columbia Day!

Best wishes to all celebrating the Canadian civic holiday today. In BC, the air continued as one of the smokiest stretches from wildfires I can recall.

We didn't anything too special today, but it was nice knowing others have had a long weekend to enjoy life. Our whole lives seem most always like an enjoyable weekend now.


The photo shows a flower from a balcony plant pot. It opened today. That big container contains new lemongrass that has firmly established itself. The flowers are just extra icing on the cake.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Our Visit to the 39th

Vancouver Pride Parade 2017
Celebrating First Nations' Two-Spirited Peoples

Today, we spent the day watching the 39th Annual Vancouver Pride Parade. The amazing thing about that number to me is that we've lived here long enough to have attended half of them.

As has been our habit lately, we took the SkyTrain to Burrard Station. Then, we walked to Robson Street where the groups and floats were setting up. We sauntered down the hill as the crowds thickened and watched the parade in front of Robson Public Market. Towards the end of the parade, we ducked into the Babalyon for shawarma plates and could still clearly watch the participants from our window seats.

Vancouver Pride Parade 2017
Vancouver Pride Parade 2017
Vancouver Pride Parade 2017
Vancouver Pride Parade 2017
Vancouver Pride Parade 2017

Tim caught up with us for a while and we said hello to him again at the end of the event as he was handing out iced tea in front of his church. We following the parade to its end at Sunset Beach where booths are always set up. Somewhere between a half million and 650,000 were in the downtown core attending the event. It was a lot of walking and we were pretty tired by the time we got home after 5:00 pm.

Vancouver Pride Parade 2017
Vancouver Pride Parade 2017
Vancouver Pride Parade 2017

Saturday, August 05, 2017

What's the Collective Noun for Neckties?


For much of my teaching career, I wore neckties daily. I did throw out a whole bunch of them after I retired. What's left of my collection still dates back over three decades. Therefore, some ties are thin while others wide. For the most part, I never touch this collection now. After all, it isn't every day that someone I know gets married or dies. I did get a chance to pick through them though. I don't want to save all my packing for our cruise from Rome to the last moment.

We have been fans of Princess, but also appreciate how Holland America maintains certain aspects of traditional cruising. Recently, the only times that Jay and I wear suits is for our formal nights aboard cruises. I think Holland America Lines calls these special evenings, Gala Nights nowadays. I've picked out four neckties to put in the luggage.

Baltic Cruise 2016
Aboard the Regal Princess on the Baltic Sea - June 2016

Friday, August 04, 2017

Personal Quotes #129

"Yellow's not really my favourite colour, for clothes or the air."
Dennis Sylvester Hurd (1959- )


Thursday, August 03, 2017

Closed-Toe Hiking Sandals

I'm a happy man today, sandal-wise.

For the past three weeks, I have been thinking it'd be good to get some new sandals before our month away in August and September. A comfortable, shiny pair would be good for walking around Rome, and for the Adriatic and Mediterranean ports which we'll be visiting on our Holland America Lines cruise. Earlier this week, I noticed the calendar said our flight leaves a week from tomorrow. There was little time to delay, procrastinator Dennis!

On Tuesday I made an online order for a pair of Keen Arroyu II sandals from Mountain Equipment Co-op. They were about 10% cheaper buying through the co-op and prices were close to what US prices are, given the exchange rate and free shipping. The box arrived by Canada Post this morning.


I like how the Canada Post's expedited-delivery packages are left right in our apartment buildings' postal boxes now. The delivery guy leaves a key in our letter box with a tag indicating which parcel box the item is in. After grabbing the box, I had to leave the keys back in the small, personal box. That is so much better as no one needs to be home to accept delivery. Yahoo. I'm set! They shouldn't require much 'breaking in' either.

Keen Arroyo II

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Bad-Air Day

It's sunny, I guess.

To the West

We had quite a hazy / smokey day due to the wildfires in the interior of the province. I heard that it's probably not a good day to do outside exercise. I only walked down Columbia Street and back only. However, I did spend a little time splashing around in the indoor swimming pool.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

A New Month Begins

Today was the first time this year when the air here felt hot! It is August, after all! Unfortunately, this was also the first day on which we were affected by the smoke from the massive wildfires burning in the interior of the province. Everything appears a bit hazy with a slightly yellowish tint. Presently, the atmosphere does not really smell of smoke as can be the case.


This afternoon, though, I was thinking a little about how spoiled we are. Jay has continued with his cardio-fitness regimen at the Burnaby hospital Healthy Heart program. He's there now. My biggest decision of the day was which 12-pack of local, craft beer to pick up. With the start of a new month, I realized we've been retired for two years and 9 months. We have more than nine weeks quickly coming up aboard cruise ships in both the Mediterranean and the Pacific. We've got winter sorted out already with tickets and apartments in the tropics. Life continues well.

I'm not one to complain (much) anyway, but damn ... we're pretty lucky!

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