World Windows – April 22, 2016

CAM00013© Valorie Webster

Isn’t it just warm and welcoming to look through this window? I can be sure it is worth going inside this restaurant, as we had no bad meals in Sicily!

What windows have you been peeking into? Feel free to share a post in the comments below. If you do, please tag your post World Windows.

Thanks for peering in along with me!

Thursday Doors – April 21, 2016

If you have been following my blog, you know that we recently took a railway trip across Canada and spent some time in Toronto.

At the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto I found this intriguing installation of doors! You might imagine how exciting this was for a door hound! Woof! Woof!

I think the pictures I took tell the story…

20160403_130301_HDR

20160403_130656_HDR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20160403_130958_HDR

Though my husband didn’t see what I saw here, he waited patiently, while I strolled around the exhibit and snapped away. These are not the beautiful doors we generally see in the Thursday Doors posts, but they certainly tell a story.

Check out more doors over at the host’s site…Norm 2.0. (I don’t really think he seems like a grumpy old man!)

 

Canadian Railway Trip – Part 2

As an aside, let me first say that my list of blog posts to read seems to be growing by the minute. I am trying to catch up without deleting posts…I am a loyal reader, if nothing else, here in the blogosphere! But I feel this also needs to be completed…for all MY faithful readers! 😉 So I am writing Part 2 of the Canadian Railway Trip today.

Today, I think I will talk about scenery. Note two things…we went in March/early April and spring had not really “sprung” yet. Also, taking photos from the inside of a moving train can be less than fruitful. Lawrence, a Britt that we came to really enjoy, always had his camera around his neck and was also at list a bit annoyed by this fact. He has traveled the world on trains, though, so I think he knew what he was in for!

Going through the files, let me see what images I can find…we started off from Vancouver at night, so not much to show until the next day.

The first daylight leg of the trip goes through the Northern Rockies. This time of the year, we still see lots of snow and ice, but the views can be stunning.

IMG_0046 They try to announce when photo opps are coming up. This is the best shot I was able to get of Pyramid Falls, with droplets on the window and the bright sunlight blowing out the highlights.

There are a few places where you can actually get off the train…very welcome, even in the frigid weather. A short walk around Jasper on this chilly day…

Wildlife abounds along the way, and again, they try to let you know if something is coming up.

At one point, we were just sitting on the tracks (which is not uncommon, more on that later). Only to learn that we were waiting for a herd of long-horn sheep to cross. Above are the shots I was able to grab of them as the train passed by. I think some of these guys are telling us, by their pose, what they think of the train being on their turf!!!!

Moose seem to be what everyone wants to see in Canada. We were fortunate to get a bit of a distant glimpse of a mother (called a cow) and her not-so-little one (called a calf). Given their size, they actually have a rather stately gait.

No, Dorothy, we are not in Kansas…though it looks like we could be! The plains…

My favorite day for pictures was this beautiful morning…it may seem that the images are boring when you expect the majesty of mountains and Canada, but I was enthralled with the colors, textures, reflections, and lines…

You get to stop often (as mentioned above), as the freight trains have priority on the rails. They pass by very close to you!

I like that these empty cars were the same, but different colors…and always enjoy graffiti. (Is that wrong?) And yes, that black line on the side of the pictures is the edge of my window…close!

To wrap up this mostly visual review of scenery, here is a must-get shot from the last car…

IMG_0001

Until Part 3…thanks for looking!

All images © Valorie Webster

Canadian Railway Trip – Part 1

Having already traversed the northern United States via Amtrak, Portland, Oregon to New York City, a few years ago, we decided to try the Canadian Railway system this year. It is touted to be much better than Amtrak and different scenery, especially as it goes further north in the mountains. It is also more expensive, though with the great exchange rate on the Canadian dollar, not so bad. We boarded the train in Vancouver, British Columbia and were headed to Toronto.

Via route

The train station in Vancouver is like many…an old building that has been used for years and houses the bus station too. This one was charming and sufficient in what it had to offer.

20160329_170100

So let’s get started. We booked a sleeping car, as the trip is over four nights. Comparatively, the car we had was smaller and bigger than our Amtrak trip. (We had to change trains in Chicago before and changed room types…thus the and) It is like an RV…use of every space. This cabin had bunk beds, which fold down, and then two chairs during the day.  Funny truth, we slept in one bed all but one night…tried the bunks and the room felt so cramped…plus, we used to sleep in his mom’s twin bed, so we could do this! We also had a toilet and a sink/vanity. The shower was shared and a few steps down the hall.

The train seemed to rock and roll more than I remembered, but we refrained from putting that old note on the door, “If this train is rockin’, then don’t be knockin’!” It would have been on every door!

On the first night, there was no real food service, as we departed about 8:30 PM. They did offer nice h’ors doeurves and champagne in the lounge car, so we could toast the beginning of the trip.

20160329_203915 Otherwise, we settled in and got adjusted to our new digs…and remembered how to sleep in a twin bed!

The food is included when you get a sleeping car. Three full meals a day and snacks/beverages all day and night in the lounge car. The food was quite good…better than Amtrak. And don’t worry, one never leaves hungry from these four-course meals. Also, given that there is little exercise to be found, other than the walk from the dining car to the lounge car or your room, you don’t really need that much food!

 

I didn’t get pictures of all the menus, but different every day and an effort was made to include local dishes. Riding the rails and having good food with new friends and beautiful scenery was certainly not bad!

After meals, we would hang out in the lounge car with some really nice people…British, Canadian, Aussie, and US…quite interesting and engaging!

I will leave the trip post at this point and continue in part 2.

Note: Except for the map, all images © Valorie Webster

Thursday Doors – April 14, 2016

Big doors, little door and shutter doors…there is a plethora of blue doors to be found in Greece! The white and blues with the sunshine and blue skies are stunning…even almost blinding!

If you have not visited Greece, and get a chance, I suggest the smaller island of Sifnos. The pace is slower, crowds are less and you still get the beauty and simplicity of their architecture. The people are friendly and laid back.

Even if old, abandoned or small, the blue is still evident…

And if blue is not your color, go somewhere else! Or, you could keep looking…

Yes, I had to sit on that lovely little porch!

Happy Trails and Door Searching!

PS – How could I forget…drop by and check out Norm’s Thursday Doors and join in the postings, if you wish! Thanks, for hosting, Norm!

(all images © Valorie Webster)

26 Weeks Letter Challenge – B

This week is the letter 2008 Sept Hiigh Desert Wine Auction_4574.CR2 :

May 2007 Ballooning over Madras 192a Ballooning…what a ride!

Boats…

IMG_5540 Beans…garbanzos made for us in Greece…delicious!

Bottles…food related…and drink (not our party!)

IMG_6070 Boy and Birds. This kid was really having fun with the pigeons…many in U.S. would think it potentially disgusting! No need to worry, really, he could never catch them!

I noticed there were LOTS of “B” images in my collection…this seemed a nice variety.

This fun challenge is hosted by Lumar…maybe you want to join in!