Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Hydrangea - Santa Elena Cloud Forest

The beautiful petals of Hydrangea. Everything flora, fauna and rodent here is extra large including uber-sized Hydrangea petals and blooms scattered along the hillsides on the road up to the Santa Elena Reserve.

(Spot the Hydrangea bush above, on the left side of picture, in the crevice between the bushes bordering the picture and the tree in the forefront. The bush midway up, in front of a fence post)

You know when I returned home, I had to capture the memory ... cut off my small sized hydrangea flower, dried it, and displayed it on a shelf in our bathroom (just like the ones we spotted at the Common Cup in Santa Elena in 2013).

A year and a half later, in the spring, now settled in our new home city, my 5 year old sees a dead Hydrangea bloom tumbling curbside in the wind and she wants to pick it up and bring it home. My first thought being no its wet and dirty, but then I recalled our dried hydrangea flower in the bathroom and the ones we spotted in Costa Rica and understood. I realized this moment is implanted in her memory. So we picked them up and brought them home.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Bird on a wire - Santa Elena, Costa Rica

Look at the beak on this bird - long and pointy for reaching and sucking the nectar out of deep flora crevices in the cloud forest! The paintings below, the first one, a humming bird with the same long beak, were on the wall in the W.C. at our favourite cafe in Santa Elena, Common Cup.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Travel - Bodrum, Turkey

Bodrum, where the Aegean-meets-the-Mediterranean. Swoon. I want to return to Bodrum. Actually, I want to return and show my children most of the places I have been, as well as, travel and explore other destinations and beauty around the world.


A year ago, in the U.S., two, possibly unlikely, transients were chatting and rooming together in a house, Furkan and myself & two children. My charming Turkish friend Furkan was impressed with my travels through Turkey; he informed me that I knew more and had seen more of his own home country then he had.  "Charming" is the key word here. Furkan was a student at SU last year and we had a common friend.  Both of us a bit transient at the beginning of summer 2014, ended up living together in our friends extra house for the month of June. He was spending his last month in Syracuse post university, I was moving back to Canada and my children were finishing their last month of grade school before the big summer move.  10 months later, settled in Canada, (my old house renovation blog now irrelevant / finished), I am sorting through my photographs and memories and decided to put them together in a travel blog.

Back to our travels in Bodrum, Turkey. 


Our hotel was nestled in this hill, up a windy street from the main street that follows the shore line. It was recommended to us from a friend and I forget the name :). Behind the hotel and further up the hill was a new development of summer vacation houses.

We hiked the trail that follows the curve of the inlet, through the grass, over the rocky beach, alongside restaurant patios to the centre of Bodrum, a bustling town of people, restaurants, and shops. And a castle to boot!

Built in 1402, Bodrum Castle known simultaneously as Castle of St. Peter or Knights of St. John is a must see with city and ocean views, ancient stones, narrow hallways, moats, and dungeons. The Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology is housed in the basement. And a small boutique selling artisan jewelery.

A port to find an excursion to take you out to the sea for a day of feasting and snorkeling.

And a water park, where we enjoyed a restful day at an uncommon site - an empty water park! It was a peaceful and enjoyable break from the fast paced, city of Bodrum.

Bodrum, a city on the sea that captivates many European vacationers, boardwalk strollers, late night dancers, and castle sight seekers. A place to return too.

As you may infer from the pictures, I was fairly new to mothering (that blissful expression) and the 10 month old was my traveling partner.  We bussed it overnight to Bodrum in August 2003. We bought a cheap stroller and between toting him around in the hemp hip carrier and pushing him up and down the boardwalk for our evening strolls & cheesecake breaks, he took in the sights and smells, and you can see, he had a jolly good time too.  The Turkish adore children and he was doted and welcomed every where, even on the snorkeling excursion. But my advise would be to find an excursion that blasts either classical music or allows its cruisers to enjoy the sounds of nature. The dance music was played at the fullest volume possible and ALL-THE-TIME we were at sea.

I hope you enjoyed this travel post and pictures from Bodrum, Turkey. Expect more from me with my children traveling through Turkey, Madrid, Costa Rica, with stops in Amsterdam, Paris, Zurich - both long stays and day trips.