All sorts of stuff to talk about...

15 more sleeps!!!  It never gets old...never.  I don't  take traveling for granted and I never stop getting excited and I am so grateful for that.  I know I am lucky to be able to have the life I have.   It's not all luck; I've made it happen but that's a post for another day.  In the meantime,  I AM SO EXCITED!!!

Family time 

I'm just back from a weekend visit with my cousin and her family in Lethbridge which is a city of about 100,000 in southern Alberta.  I flew there and back on air miles I have accumulated on my credit card.  I still have a few more of those burning a hole in my pocket!  It was wonderful to spend time with family and meet the newest member of our crew - 10 month old Maisie.  My cousin and her husband have a beautiful new home right beside the coulees (valleys).  We went for a walk through a bit of them one morning and then early on my last morning I did a spontaneous short walk up a nearby hill to get a better view.  It was a fab weekend!  And after being at home for nearly three months (yow!) it was a welcome break.

I extended my trip! 

So now in between social get togethers with friends and binge watching Netflix and this (I can't stop watching it and I fear I am a bit obsessed) I have to start getting ready for my 10 weeks away.  Yes I don't think I told you that did I?  I extended my trip by two weeks - the main reason being I want to see a hunky adventurer (Levison Wood) at the Destinations Travel show the first weekend in February.  Yes, I know...I have a problem with being obsessed about things.  It only cost me $37 Canadian to change my West Jet flight home. Sold!  Let's not talk about the two extra weeks of accommodation, food, transport okay?  It just means two more weeks out of a Saskatchewan winter and in London which is all good.  Of course, I will be taking day and multi-day trips out of London but I will have my base in Claudia's warm house in Streatham.  Let's put it this suitcase will be spending 7 weeks in my lovely (did I mention "warm" )bedroom in SE London.  Me and my backpack... we will be a bit more adventurous!

A surprise trip!!!  

And you also probably hadn't heard that I am going on a "surprise holiday" in mid January.  I booked through Surprise trips. (run by Expedia)  Basically you tell them when you want to go and for how long, what airport you wish to fly from, how much you want to spend and they do the rest.  So on January 16th I am to be at London Gatwick airport at 7 a.m. and around that time frame I will get an email telling me where I am going and where to check in.  My airfare and hotel (3 star and up) is paid and the rest is up to me.  I was warned not to check my credit card statement but who doesn't do that?  All I know is I am flying Easy Jet which means it could be a (huge) number of places in Europe.  I got to select three places I don't want to go so I picked three places I have been recently...Nuremberg, Ljubljana and Seville. (where I will be in early January)  Please, please don't send me back to Belfast, Vienna or Prague either I am silently begging but other than that I am okay with wherever I go.  Hopefully,it will be a place I've never been before.  Being as I only paid 137 pounds I am not expecting an expensive country nor one too far away.  However will be very exciting and for this planner it will be a challenge for sure.  I hope there is enough time to run into the airport bookshop and purchase a guide book!

A fun filled December 

My December calendar is getting very full with activities ranging from a night at the Royal Opera House watching The Nutcracker (a Christmas tradition for me) to attending the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London (unless it's horribly cold and/or raining - it will still go on but without me rain or shine) to going up to Birmingham for the day to visit the German Christmas market.  And loads more.  I have printed out a full-size calendar for December and January and have been busy filling it in so I don't double book myself.  I can't wait to see London decked out in its Christmas splendour. I have booked to see a Christmas flamenco show in Malaga (which is known for its beautiful Christmas lights) just before Christmas and have booked three nights in a hotel in Seville and two nights in Granada.  I can't wait to learn how they celebrate Christmas in Spain.   In mid December I am heading off under the chunnel via Eurostar to Bruges which is a new place for me.  I've briefly been to Brussels but I barely remember it so I don't even like to say I've been to Belgium.  I plan to stop off in Brussels to at least check out the "pissing boy" fountain again (that I remember!) and the Christmas market.  And I hope to get to Ghent as well - yes I will be one busy lady for those 48 hours!  Of course I will be busy shoving chocolate in my face as well.

Pain relief - at last!  

I've had a cortisone shot in my knee which has provided me with some relief.  It looks like my knee replacement surgery could be as early as March.  I am already worrying about how I am going to keep this blog active while I am recuperating but I guess that means I will have to visit lots of places so I can write about them in more detail later, right?  After all, my next blog post will likely be about another place I visited in Scotland which was over six months ago!

New domain name for the blog 

I do intend to get my own domain name very soon.  So if you have this site bookmarked and can't reach it in the near future try   I have decided to stay with the blogger platform for now at least.


I'm in shock.  I think I got about three hours sleep the night of the election.  This affects the whole world...and to my way of thinking it's not a good way to go forward.  And that's all I will say. (add pouty face)

And I guess that's all my news...hopefully I will get a post or two out before I hit the road on November 29th.  Stay tuned!!!