Brown Pelican – Boca Raton – Florida – POTD Feb 24


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The Brown Pelican is perhaps not the most attractive of birds but it seems to rule the roost here in Boca Raton, Florida.  This one seemed to be enjoying the sea air as it rested between bouts of carousing with a bunch of its cohorts.

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Isle of Wight: A Photographic Walking Tour: Videos

Isle of White - Photographic Walking Tour

A collection of 3 videos showing the beautiful surroundings and scenery on the Isle of Wight. We will introduce you to Freshwater Bay, Blackgang Chine, Bembridge Harbour as well as Whitecliff Bay, Culver Down, Sandown & Shanklin. Our final day, takes you through Priory Bay, Seaview, Appley Tower to the town of Ryde. Our final trek is across Brading Marshes to Bembridge Windmill and Ye Olde Village Inn.

Day 1:Bristol to Bembridge

Setting out from Bristol we crossed the New Forest to Lymington where we boarded the Wightlink Ferry to Yarmouth. Once on the Isle of Wight, we took a meandering route along the South coast of the island, taking in Freshwater Bay and Blackgang Chine and Shanklin before arriving at our lodgings at the Harbourside View Houseboat.

Day 2: Bembridge to Sandown via Whiteciffe Bay

On day 2, we set out  westwards along the beach from Bembridge heading towards Sandown via Whitecliff Bay and Culver Haven. It turns out that Sandown, although not lacking a certain charm, is rather sad and neglected. The scenery on the way there though, is nothing short of spectacular. The rail system, using old London Tube trains, like Sandown is in sore need of sprucing up but is very efficient and inexpensive. We took the train to Ryde and a bus back to Bembridge where we rewarded ourselves with a meal at Shêd, the local tapas bar.

Day 3: St Helen’s, Priory Bay, Seaview, Ryde and Brading Marsh

Our final day saw us set out from Bembridge Harbour this time heading East to St. Helen’s Duver and then to Priory Bay. Cutting through the woods to Seaview, we meandered past Puckpool Park and Appley tower before wandering around the town centre of Ryde. Boarding the train to Brading, we set out across Brading Marsh heading towards Bembridge Windmill, ending the day at Ye Olde Village Inn in Bembridge.

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Treasure Island Nassau Bahamas – Photo of The Day – Feb. 22

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This time of year Canadians’ thoughts automatically drift southwards. This shot was taken in February 2010 when we were cruising the Bahamas and docked opposite Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in Nassau. One can almost forget the cold and snow gazing at this idyllic panorama

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Carnival Cruise Destiny Miami

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The Carnival Cruise ship Destiny looks really majestic as it enters Miami Harbour. Although we have taken a Carnival Cruise before, we were actually on a Holland-America vessel when this shot was taken. In our opinion, the overall experience of Holland-America was far superior to Carnival. At least they didn’t offer pizza for their midnight buffet.  😕 .

In any event,  looking back on this from Ottawa, even though we are experiencing temperatures way above normal, I would still prefer to be on a cruise

Check out our previous Photos of the Day in the slideshow below

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Rideau Canal Skateway – Photo of the day Feb. 21

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Ottawa’s Winterlude is done for the year and the Rideau Canal Skateway is closed due to the recent warm spell. Nevertheless, this was a good year and the Canal saw many visitors from all over the world. This shot captures the charm of the Rideau Canal in all its winter glory.

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Our 3rd Annual Trip to Polarfest 2017 in Selwyn, Bridgenorth, Ennismore & Lakefield

Dorothy & I with our Polarfest HostsAlthough it is not yet ready to challenge Ottawa’s Winterlude or Winter Carnival in Quebec city, Selwyn’s Polarfest is growing and improving each year. Once again, this year, we were fortunate enough to be invited back by David and Judith, our gracious hosts, to check it out.

Our first stop was at the annual sleighride which is held at the Ennismore Community Centre.

Hardworking HorsesOur next stop was at the ice sculptures in Heritage Park in Bridgenorth where, last year, the mild weather almost melted everything away. This year, however, the climate was much more amenable. We learned that the opaque sculptures were made with ice cut from the lake, whereas the clear ones were hewn from manmade ice blocks.Bridgenorth makes a contribution to Canada's SesquicentennialIce Sculptor at WorkAn Ice Sculpted InukshukColoured ice-blocks





Every year when we come for the sculptures, we also drop by our local favourite store Garden Style. As you will note from the picture below they have a fantastic selection of unique items to spice up your home and/or garden

Garden Style

A cute store on Ward Street in Bridgenorth

As mentioned above, Polarfest is a collaboration of several local communities and the main location for the ice sculptures is in Lakefield.

A long and straight road

Lakefield is a short hop from Bridgenorth

Polarfest Ice Sculptures in Lakefield

One of the outstanding ice sculptures in Lakefield

Apart from the events of Polarfest, this area of Ontario has a lot to offer in any season. Below is a sample of what is to be found in and around Ennismore:

An idyllic snowscene

The beauty of winter is all around us.

Burning Houses

The setting sun makes houses across the lake appear on fire!

The grand finale of the weekend is the Polar Plunge which takes place on Sunday afternoon at the end of the causeway in Ennismore. Much as I would have liked to participate, I felt a duty to keep Dorothy company 😉

Polar Plunge at Bridgenorth

Getting Ready for an Icy Dip

Polar Plunge

You can view ALL of the pictures from this great weekend below:

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The King of Trumps

The Saga of Donald

The King of Trumps

There was once a pretender named Trump,
He was both sly AND as dumb as a stump.
Most people believed he could NEVER succeed!
But he’s POTUS now, so who is the chump?

Sure he’s both liar and creep!
Other magnates were NE’ER so cheap
But he pulled wool over eyes
with threats, promises and lies
And now he’s on top of the heap!

But now is no time for tears
and piling on probable fears.
Perhaps he won’t be that bad;
Just an insane passing fad?
After all it’s ONLY four years…

Our Backyard Makeover

Backyard Makeover

Silverstone Interlock Backyard Makeover


Although we have been enjoying it for the last few months now, I finally got around to putting together the video showing our renovated backyard and the process of the construction. The guys at Silverstone Interlock did a great job and made me realize that I would have been insane to even think about tackling it ourselves.

Even though we had several competing bids and Silverstone was not necessarily the lowest, we were nevertheless happy we went with them since they did a very professional job and the results speak for themselves. For those interested, the stone pavers came from Techo-Bloc and were from the Blu 60 series. The large tiles were the Slate Grey, smooth model and the accent stones were Galaxy, Onyx Black.

My biggest misgiving was the Armourstone Retaining Wall, since I had no concept of what this would look like in the finished product but we are very happy with the overall result. Check out the video below for a blow by blow rundown of the entire project.

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A Taste of the Ottawa Tulip Festival 2016

Ottawa Tulip Festival 2016

A carpet of Tulips

Well at least the frost advisory here in Ottawa of late doesn’t appear to have affected the Tulip Festival too negatively. In fact, apparently, they, (the tulips, not necessarily the people), like the cold and the blossoms will last longer because of it. The only problem is that it’s rather cold to spend too much time perusing them.

If you won’t have a chance to visit the festival yourself this year, you can get a flavour of the event from the following video:

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The gift of Scotch can be so much more than a bottle of Whisky!

Scotch Whisky and more especially Single Malt Scotch has become extremely popular lately. I myself only recently discovered the delights of the Scottish elixir. I used to think that Johnny Walker Black was as good as it gets but have come to realize that there is a whole world beyond the traditional blended whiskies.

If there is a Scotch Whisky lover that you want to buy the perfect gift for, then we have got some great suggestions for you that have been personally selected by a self-professed aficionado:

Glenkinchie 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch WhiskyOf course, the most obvious gift is to actually give a bottle of the Scottish liquid gold itself. However, this might not be as easy as it sounds unless you know your prospective recipient’s proclivities where Scotch is concerned and you yourself are somewhat of an expert on the topic as well. Pictured here is one of my personal favourites and which I did receive as a Christmas gift this year because I specifically requested it. It is a Single Malt from a distillery in the lowland district very close to Edinburgh and has a light and fruity taste. I first tasted this particular Scotch at the Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh and immediately fell in love with it. However, it would likely not be everyone’s first choice!

Of course, you would not usually send a gift of Scotch in the mail and in many, if not most, jurisdictions, you can not have liquor delivered from an online merchant, so perhaps you are looking for something different for your Scotch lover (not Scottish lover)  🙂



The World Atlas of Whisky

The World Atlas of Whisky by Dave Broom

Dave Broom’s World Atlas of Scotch Whisky was another item that we put on our wishlist. There is a dizzying array of self-professed Scotch ‘Bibles’ available online but after a little research we settled on this one! So far, it did not disappoint and it makes a great ‘coffee table’ book! If you want to see some more just enter ‘Whisky Book’ into the Amazon search box in the sidebar and you will be directed to your local Amazon site with all the potential books on display!

Terroforma Whisky Stones

Put a chill in your whisky without diluting the dram of your dreams!

Although you might not want to get stoned drinking your Single Malt, these whisky stones might be just what you need to cool your favourite brew to ‘room temperature without diluting it. I was given this particular set as a Christmas gift this year and have already used them several times. Once again, putting whisky stones in our search box will show you the entire array of product available…



Scotch Whisky Glasses

This was certainly one of the more individual gifts that I received this holiday season and one that shows that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to buy a unique gift. Of course it is probably only appropriate when the giftee has a Scottish handle with a specific clan tartan as is my case. These particular glasses came from the Scottish and Irish Store Ottawa. They are not specifically Scotch glasses but rather for cocktails and hi-balls but I don’t think even the most abstemious Scotch drinker would complain if you served a goodly portion of his or her favourite Single Malt in them. If you are local to Ottawa, you might want to check out these stores since they have much to offer to lovers of Scotland.

Glencairn Whisky Glasses

Glencairn Crystal Whisky Glass (Set of 6)If you want to offer something different and unique but can’t find the Clan glasses featured above you might want to consider these authentic crystal goblets which are identical to those used at the Scotch Whisky Experience on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Indeed, we brought a couple of them home from our last trip because when you visit that locale and participate in the Scotch tasting, you are given the glass as a keepsake. I must say that it greatly enhances the enjoyment of tippling a wee dram! Of course there are many other styles available by using the Amazon search bar on the left.



Scotch Whisky Accessories

Scotch Whisky DecanterIf we still haven’t tickled your fancy then perhaps you should take a look at the entire range of other accessories by using the link above or searching on the Amazon site. Whatever you choose, we are sure that your gift will be well received!