Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category
Today I’m the guest blogger over at The Global Bookshelf, a wonderful site for travel related books.
by Gillian on October 29, 2013 in Author Interview
Our Travel Books For Kids series was the most popular monthly feature so far here on The Global Bookshelf. So when Darlene Foster approached me to tell the story of how her Amanda In… children’s book series came to be I was excited to hear about it. Here she tells how she weaves her own travels into the stories told from a 12 year old perspective.
Turning Travel Memories into Books for Kids
Since I was a very young girl, I’ve wanted to do two things, travel and write. My first time on an airplane was 37 years ago when I flew to England to marry my British husband. I was so excited. I didn’t mind that London was fogged in and we had to land in Scotland first. Read the rest….
If you are looking for travel related books for any age reader check out Gillian’s website:
I spent a fabulous day with my daughter this Thanksgiving weekend. I caught a float plane from Vancouver and twenty minutes later landed on Gabriola Island. This is a trip that usually takes me over four hours by car and two ferries. My daughter picked me up and took me to visit some of the artists participating in the annual Gabriola Studio Tour. I was happy with the choices as each artist had something unique to show. Here is a sampling.
We stopped in to chat with Dianna Bonder, an award-winning children’s author and illustrator. Her whimsical paintings and myriad of published books were enjoyable to look at. A couple of little people will be getting her books for Christmas.
A visit to Joy Olsen’s studio was another treat. Joy creates fun, nature inspired sculptural ceramics. Another perfect Christmas gift was purchased before we left.
A visit to Ted Johnson’s Delfin Designs studio brought out the child in us. HIs wonderful woodwork and trees with doors in them are delightful.
We visited many other talented artists as well, although it was impossible to visit all 41 studios on the tour. It was so great to spend time with my potter daughter, Marcelle Glock, and her community of artist friends and acquaintances. I was also treated to a wonderful lunch at Mad Rona’s coffee bar. It was hard to choose but eventually I decided on a Kiwi Panini which consisted of Albacore tuna, feta cheese and a roasted garlic/artichoke spread. So yummy!
It was a perfect day. The sun shone, the trees on the island were dressed in glorious fall colours, I met very interesting people and most of all I got to spend time with my sweetie. As I flew back home later that evening, I felt extremely thankful for the day, my family and my life.
I hope you had a thankful weekend as well.
I have blooged about my potter daughter here before:
Here is some of what was said:
This travel book is full of adventures and mystery that will be easy for any young mind to assess and evaluate. What I love about this book is the specific descriptions of the famous landmarks in England and how these are worked out in the story to help Amanda and Leah solve the mystery of the missing vintage novel.
This travel novel is indeed worth reading because it offers extraordinary descriptions of the famous landmarks in England coming from a young traveller’s point of view. I give this travel book a rating of four beach umbrellas for the innocent way the country was described and all the values that the author has imparted to her readers through Amanda. She really did a great job of bringing out the young traveler in me and, I’m sure, to all her readers as well.
To read the entire review with pictures and excerpts, please visit
Wishing everyone in Canada a Happy Thanksgiving! We have so much to be thankful for. I am thankful for my family, friends, health, and for this awesome review.
I will be spending time with my wonderful daughter this weekend. There will be pictures. What are your plans?
It is hard to miss this towering edifice as you drive through Medicine Hat, Alberta on the Trans-Canada Highway. Medicine Hat is my home town and I have driven past this landmark many times. This summer my trusty assistant, (also known as my 12 year-old grandson) and I decided to drive up to the Tepee and have a better look. I have no idea why I had not done this much sooner.
Originally constructed for the Calgary 1988 Winter Olympics, the Saamis Tepee is a tribute to Canada’s native heritage. The colours of the structure are symbolic, white for purity, red for the rising and setting sun and blue for the flowing river. There are ten round story-boards built into the tepee depicting native culture and history. It is the World’s Tallest Teepee standing over 20 stories high, weighing 200 tonnes and capable of withstanding 150 mph winds. It was brought to Medicine Hat by local businessman Rick Filanti in 1991.
We were both fascinated by the storyboards inside the Tepee, all hand painted by various First Nations and Metis artists.
This one, The Legend: How Medicine Hat Got Its Name, by Joseph Hind Bull, depicts one of the legends of how Medicine Hat got its name,
This one, called Circle of Unity-Multiculturalism by Nona Foster. portrays the different races by different coloured hands.
This one called, The Plains Indians, by Manybears, shows the relationship between man and nature’s survival.
This storyboard represents Treaty 7, signed at Blackfoot Crossing in 1877, painted by Henry Standingalone.
The storyboard on the left, The Blackfoot Confederacy, by Henry Standingalone, and the one of the right, Plains Cree Way of Life, by Nona Foster, depict the two major groups that populated the area and the things that were important to each.
Each storyboard comes with a detailed interpretation by the artist and represents a variety of influences and history of the First Nations heritage.
There was something magical about standing inside the large Tepee on a hot, sunny, prairie day. It made me realize what a rich cultural heritage my country has. I used to think of it as a young country with not much history. I realize how wrong I was.
Another interesting day trip my grandson and I took was to Red Rock Coulee, 56 kilometers (35 miles) south-west of Medicine Hat, Alberta. This little known area is a wonder to behold. Large, perfectly round, red boulders are scattered around a 324 hectar (800 acre) prairie landscape. Some of these boulders are up to 2.5 metres (8 feet) in diameter and are among the largest of these in the world. It is virtually in the middle on nowhere and we had the place to ourselves. It was like being on another planet!
Research tells me these boulders were formed in prehistoric seas that once covered this area. Sand, calcite and iron oxide collected around a nucleus formed by shells, leaves or bones and grew as the circulating waters deposited more layers. The reddish colour comes from iron oxide. And I thought they were the result of a meteor shower!
This is a great place to hike among the stones and, if you like climbing like my grandson does, there’s plenty of opportunities to do that. The only wildlife we saw were the resident mosquitoes. We were glad we brought bug spray. It was a wonderful day trip and a perfect place for those of us with vivid imaginations. The day ended with an ice cream treat when we returned to the real world.
I spent a day with a good friend at the Bar U Ranch outside of Calgary during my recent visit to Alberta. This now National Historic site was one of the first large corporate ranches in Canada and has been well-preserved. Nestled in the foothills with Pekisko Creek running through it and the Rocky Mountains in the background; time stands still here.
The Bar U brand
The Bar U Ranch is home to the famous Percheron draft horse. We were lucky to go for a horse drawn wagon ride with Smudge & Licorice and driver Ross, who shared interesting stories about the ranch.
A visit to the Post Office was well worth it. There we met Post Mistress Sherrine who provided us with much information. Apparently some interesting individuals have visited the ranch over the years including Edward, Prince of Wales and The Sundance Kid!
Next stop was the Cookhouse which doubled as a bunkhouse upstairs. The cook was busy making cookies, which she offered to us as they came fresh out of the oven. Yummy.
The pantry was well stocked including fresh produce from the well kept garden.
The dining room with two large lazy susans to feed the hungry ranch hands
The ranch hand’s sleeping quarters.
The cowboys read books to entertain themselves. No TV at that time.
We stopped at the Roundup Camp chuckwagon where we were served a cup of tea made over the campfire, by Shane, a friendly ranch hand. We enjoyed our tea and had a great chat around the fire just like they did in the old days of the cattle drives.
We were also shown around the barns by Cowgirl Francis who tried to teach us how to rope a calf. I failed miserably.
Everyone we met at the ranch was incredibly friendly. From the moment we entered we were greeted warmly at reception, by the girls at the lunch counter and by the gift store manager. I learned something from everyone we met. It was well worth the time spent and I highly recommend a visit if you are ever in the area. It is a realistic look into ranch life 100 years ago.
The log cabin, built in 1919, housed the foreman and his family
There is always something happening at the ranch. Cook-offs, rodeos, trail rides, and chore horse competitions. You can watch a saddle maker at his craft or a blacksmith at work, sit around the campfire by Pekisko Creek and learn about the people, cattle and horses that occupied the ranch over the years or pretend to be a cowboy or cowgirl for a day.
I do believe Amanda Ross will be visiting this ranch in her next adventure, Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone.
It has been 24 years since I left the Canadian prairies for the west coast of BC. I try to get back once or twice a year to visit my Mom, my son and his family and many old friends. My daughter and I made a visit to our home town of Medicine Hat, Alberta at the beginning of July. It is not often that I get to be with both my kids at the same time. Here are a few highlights of the trip.
Watch for more about this trip and the adventures I had with my twelve year old grandson later.
As promised here are a few more pictures from our latest trip to Spain. wWe love exploring the old Spanish towns.
And of course there were all those fabulous beaches. I like to go early in the morning before it gets too hot and too busy. I had my choice of sun beds!
Hope you enjoyed revisiting my holiday with me. Pictures are just the best souvenirs!!
I want to share a few pictures of our marvelous holiday in Spain last month. We spent a week in Denia, a historical fishing town dating back to the Iberian Age, with a castle in the middle! Right out of a story book.
outdoor cafes and tapas bars in the historic city centre
a bust of the great author, Miguel de Cervantes who disembarked in Denia after his captivity in Algeria in 1580
and a medieval market with many goodies and some adorable flower pot men!
Such great memories. We truly loved this place and hope to return.
More pictures to come……..