For those of you who haven’t been to Portugal, you should go. It is an amazing country with something for everyone: friendly locals, a crazy selection of UNESCO world heritage sites, beautiful beaches, amazing seafood (which makes sense given its 1,794 km or 1,115 mi of coastline), and delicious and affordable wines. So affordable in fact, that on our first night in Lisbon, we ordered a 7-euro glass of wine. But when the server arrived with our order, we realized that the price was for the whole bottle! Of course, I was immediately smitten with Portugal. I don’t think we paid more than 10 euros for a bottle the whole week we were there. Continue reading
Once upon a time there was a valiant lady who won a great challenge. Her reward was to select the theme for the subsequent challenge, one that would allow the competitors an opportunity to momentarily set down the burden of their duties, have a cup of nectar and pick up a quill to pen their tales. Continue reading
I know, I know. It has been a while. My excuses are valid, I assure you, but I don’t want to bore you with them. Let’s just say that I have been struck with a case of shifting priorities, and unfortunately this blog was one of the things that got shuffled to the bottom of the list, along with many other things that are dear to me. But it was all for a good cause! Read on, and you will see: this is a post of big news…
All set for a food and wine event
As some of you may already know, I was recently in Prince Edward County (PEC). I’m often surprised by how many people don’t even know about this gem of a region. About 3 hours from Ottawa and Montreal, and 2.5 hours from Toronto, Prince Edward County is an absolutely idyllic corner of Ontario.
I am a city girl through and through. But this is country life I can get behind! There is something really special about PEC. It has this sense of place and community that is so prevalent. People are proud to live in the County. And it is palpable. As soon as you cross the bridge to the peninsula, there is instantly a different vibe. It’s a bit like that scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy opens the door to her house after the gale and everything goes from black and white to technicolour.
We always seem to be in a huge flap to get there, but once we do, life immediately slows down. Maybe it’s the beautiful scenery. Maybe it’s the delicious food and wine coming out of the region. Everything seems to taste better there. There are certainly plenty of reasons why people are fleeing their big cities en masse and heading to the County on weekends. Continue reading
Awesome graphic from creativeyatra.com
I seem to be on a bit of a Spanish kick lately. I’m not sure what it is. Perhaps it is my nostalgic associations with the country. Back in the day, I did an oh-so-cliché third year abroad in Salamanca, a small Spanish town halfway between Madrid and the Spanish border with Portugal. I lived in an apartment inhabited by 6 other international students, who after 5 months of cohabitation became my friends for life. Miguel de Cervantes, the author of the infamous Don Quixote, is rumoured to have studied at the Universidad de Salamanca (it was so long ago, no one knows for sure), where I took Spanish literature courses in classrooms three times older than Canada itself. In a country where businesses close for a siesta for anywhere from 1 to 3 hours in the afternoon, where tapas are a way of life, and where most families don’t even start thinking about dinner before 9 p.m., I spent way too much time stressing out about classes and coursework. If only someone had told me that the marks on year-abroad courses were pass/fail! Continue reading