A perfect way to spend a summer afternoon…

These photos were taken from my iphone as I sat on a perfectly sunny and warm Saturday afternoon watching the Toronto Blue Jays WIN against the New York Mets.

What’s better than watching a good ol baseball game on a lazy summer afternoon?

Answer: Enjoying a BBQ on my rooftop patio after.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…(not)

Classes are done.

Warm sunny days are here.

Ice Cream truck is rolling around.

Kids are studying.

Teachers are drowning.

Yes – I am drowning. Drowning in PAPERS!

Final projects….can’t wait for the exams, you can triple that pile!

I just received final projects from my 5 geography classes and had quite the workout lugging them home to mark.

Pretty sure that my breaks, in between marking lovely research projects, will consist of me dreaming about my summer plans. And I am pretty sure that it will be the theme of my posts for the next few weeks.

Come onnnnn summer!!!!!

What in the %!*# Weather?

I had to take these screen shots yesterday when I glanced outside and saw SNOW FLAKES!

What the bleep is going on, end of April?

Here is Toronto this week:

And then let’s compare this to a few places I would like to be instead!

Vienna, Austria


The Settlement, Christmas Island (especially because I love thunderstorms!)

Beirut, Lebanon – with plenty of sunscreen!

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Come on Toronto, smarten up and take a page from the book of these countries (aka screenshot from The Weather Network).

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Happy baseball season!!

Could I be any happier?

Probably not…well, perhaps when I am on a flight to some amazing destination, or behind the wheel en route to Yellowstone…

Baseball – warm weather, good friends, pro athletes, tank tops, peanuts, wine (I can’t drink beer), BLUE JAYS!


Jay’s start in Cleveland, vs the Indians today. The only downfall is that I will still be working, as the game starts at 3:05pm.

Think my school would let me skip class early and race home or to the nearest bar to catch the game?

I don’t think so…but at least I can catch part of the game!

My home opener tickets for April 9th are all ready to go. They have been sold out for such a long time now, but luckily my friend is on top of things and ordered a bunch of tickets as soon as they went on sale.

I have not missed a home opener game since I moved to Toronto, 7 years ago. They are a day I look forward to the entire year. That, and the last day of school 🙂

New logo, new vigor, new hope.


Italy then, and now.

Yesterday, I showed you a photo I took when in Florence, Italy in July two years ago.

Please watch the video from BBC to see what it looks like in Italy right now! Yikes, someone seems to be getting our snow!

BBC News – Snow-covered scenes across Europe.

Also, check out the photo from the Daily Mail:

The Vatican

The Colosseum


Photo of the Day – Happy Place!

This photograph makes me so happy. It was taken in Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park on a bright and balmy July afternoon.

Lamar Valley, Yellowstone

All of a sudden I feel like running up a hill and rolling down….into the brown grass filled with dead leaves….oh I can’t wait for summer!


Fantasy Friday – Get your grass on in Saskatchewan!

Keepin it in the country this week, as I fantasize about all the beautiful things I could see at Grasslands National Park, in Saskatchewan Canada.

Here’s my fantasy agenda:

1. View the Stars

Grasslands National Park is pleased to receive the designation of a Dark Sky Preserve. The Grasslands National Park Dark Sky Preserve is one of the largest and darkest in Canada! It is an excellent place to star gaze and to enjoy the beauty of the night sky. For astronomers, this is one of the best places to observe deep sky objects.


2. Back-country Camping

Back Country Camping is a wilderness camping experience, where campers can randomly set-up tents within the park and enjoy the native prairie landscape with no services. Visitors are expected to park their vehicle on a gravel pull-off and set-up camp out of view – approximately 1km off- road or away from former ranch sites.


3. Back-country Hiking

A wilderness hiking experience for the free-spirited hiker! Hikers randomly explore and enjoy the native prairie landscape without the constraints of trails, markers or limits! Remember to bring your GPS, map and compass!


4. Photography (the right way)

All wild animals experience stress when crowded by humans. This is hard on the animal and dangerous. Wildlife behaviour is unpredictable, especially when females are with young and males are defending territory during the mating season.

The following distances are applicable in most instances. However, it is your responsibility to watch for defensive warning signals and react accordingly by pulling back or leaving the area entirely. In general, stay back:

  • 100 metres from bison (unless you are inside a vehicle);
  • 30 metres from all other large species;

If you spot the following defensive warning signals, pull back even more or leave the area:

  • Bison is shaking his head, short charges towards you, loud snorting, raising of the tail;
  • If you see or hear a rattlesnake.


5. Wildlife Viewing

Prairie dogs are scurrying about their business and short-horned lizards are sunbathing on rocky slopes. It is mating season for the bison herd, and they are often looking for a place away from visitors for some “privacy.”


With any luck, this summer, with my plans in the works I will be able to give this beautiful national park a visit!

Summer Daze


I always love reading a book on a hot summer day, and usually my typical novel is something to do with a great setting. Well, yesterday, I was flipping through this months Travel and Leisure Magazine, and came across this list of great books with a great backdrop.

By Francine Prose

1. Death in Venice by Thomas Mann. Nothing has ever captured so well the beauty and the pulse-racing creepiness of this gorgeous city.

2. Le Divorce by Diane Johnson. Reading this smart, delightful comic novel provides all the fun of a week in Paris without having to leave the house.

3. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster. Read it to find out how little the splendor of Florence has changed – and how much people have.

4. GraceLand by Chris Abani. The sights and sound of Lagos, Nigeria, pulse through this vibrant novel.

5. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. My favorite of Murakami’s books reveals all sorts of familiar – and hidden – aspects of Tokyo.

6. Swamplandia! by Karen Russell. This imaginative first novel is set in an alligator theme park that could exist only in southwestern Florida.

7. Gryphon by Charles Baxter. The American Midwest reveals itself as a place of great beauty and strangeness in Baxter’s eloquent fictions.

8. Bleak House by Charles Dickens. Granted, London has changed a lot since Dicken’s time, but whenever I go there I feel I’ve reentered one of his novels.

It’s time for me to get down to business and read some of these. They sound great and a few can be read online for free!

Check out some of my favorite travel novels as well.

Hot Tamale!

Wow, it’s hot here in Toronto today. 31, but feels like 39 with the humidex. Phew. Summer has arrived! As I glance over at my dog, enjoying the sun on my balcony, I notice how much he is panting away. Same thing with me, I am seriously thinking about my air conditioner right now. But I just can’t do it. That isn’t fair. I need to enjoy this amazing day, after that long winter we just had.

So as I enjoy this scorching hot day, I need to think of ways to stay cool and calm. These tips also help me out when I am on my various travels, like when I went to both Morocco and Hawaii during their hottest seasons (August).


1. Grab a cool drink – Whether it’s water, a glass of chilled white wine, or the classic lemonade drink, cold liquid will do the trick.

Here is a simple lemonade recipe that I like to use, if you are at home or packing for a picnic:

1 cup sugar

1 cup lemon juice

4 cups cold water

Mix well! Add frozen strawberries as the ice cubes!

2. Wear something lose and/or light. When I am on my travels, I really enjoy bringing sundresses along. They are easy to just slip on and I don’t have to worry about what I need to pair with them. They are also easy to pack and don’t take up much room.

Spanish Steps - Rome, Italy in 50 degree weather

3. I really like to take an empty spray bottle along and slip it in my purse to give myself fresh spritzes of water throughout the day.

About to fill this up - overlooking my balcony on this scorcher of a day

4. Do all your touring in the morning and evening. Try to stay indoors, or visit air conditioned museums in the middle of the day, when it is the hottest. If it is just a shame to be indoors while on vacation, try a beach or a pool. Frequent dips keep me cool! BUT I also like to be sun savvy – wear your waterproof sunscreen! Another thing that we did in Italy was to find the side of the road that was shaded and only walk on that side, out of the sun.

I'm ready to jump in. Los Cabos, Mexico

5. Relax, walk slowly, enjoy the sights, sounds and sun at a leisurely pace!

Happy scorcher!

Jellystone…I mean Yellowstone National Park (sorry, my boo-boo)

Yogi and Boo-Boo

Let’s keep with the theme this week. National Parks week.

As I mentioned a few days ago, I am currently in my summer travel planning zone. School is almost over, the weather is beckoning me to come hither…so basically I am forced to start setting my sights on a summer plan that will leave me feeling amazingly relaxed, while leaving my face with a perma-smile for a few weeks into the next school year in September.

Also as mentioned this week, I love visiting national parks. One park that has always tempted me, gave me those nudged, winked at me, flicked their geysers at me… is Yellowstone National Park. I teach about it every year in my class and secretly spend my hours thinking about how I could turn this into a field trip with my classes.

Thirdly mentioned was my tour guide for the parks experience last summer, my boyfriend. His second home is Yellowstone. He knows where to eat, where to camp, the names of the specific animals, (and I mean individually), the sites that are must-sees, and when to go when no one is around. Perfect fit me thinks!

Ok, this really has potential. But I have 6 free weeks to explore the world. So maybe this is an option for a week or two…stay tuned for more!