Darlene Foster's Blog

Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

I love my blogging community. Everyone is so supportive and I am delighted when I´m featured on their blogs.

Robbie Cheadle and her son Michael have been reading the Amanda Travels books and recently wrote a wonderful review on Robbie’s blog. This is what she had to say about Amanda in Arabia – the Perfume Flask

The story was sufficiently fast-paced to keep him interested and he wanted to read every night [instead of his usual practice of procrastinating for as long as possible before getting down to his reading]. I enjoyed the book too and thought the language was pitched at the right level for a middle school reader. 

You can read the rest of the review here

https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2017/09/23/book-reviews-the-amanda-travels-series/

Please check out her blog. Robbie and her son not only write exciting children’s books featuring Sir Chocolate, they create the most amazing things out of fondant. The series of books about Sir Chocolate and his friends are also cookbooks. Each book includes a children’s story written in poetry form about the world of Sir Chocolate and five recipes that children can make with adult supervision. How cool is that?

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Fishing boy cake created by Robbie Cheadle. Love those fondant cows!

My good blogging friend, Sally Cronin is running a feature on her blog called The Ultimate Bucket List and invited us to share two things on our personal bucket list. If you want to know what mine are read on.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/smorgasbord-sunday-interview-the-ultimate-bucket-list-meeting-other-writers-by-darlene-foster/

Sally has also asked us to share posts from our archives. I decided to share one of mine from three years ago that features inspiration for my most recent book, Amanda in New Mexico-Ghosts in the Wind.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/08/smorgasbord-reblog-posts-from-your-archives-ghost-hotel-by-darlene-foster/

Sally, a talented writer herself, works tirelessly at promoting other writers. She is like the Fairy Godmother of Writers and we all appreciate everything she does. Check out her blog Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life if you haven’t already. There is something for everyone.

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The Fairy Godmother of writers and bloggers

 

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Check out this and Sally´s other amazing books https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Thank you to everyone who reads, likes, shares and comments on my posts. It makes my day!!

I found music and love everywhere I turned on my recent visit to Liverpool. I fell in love with the sing-song accent of the friendly Liverpudlians and found this city a delight to explore.  After all, this is the home of my teenage heroes, John, Paul, George and Ringo and they have left their mark big time. Landing at John Lennon airport, with a yellow submarine in front, is just the start.  They are everywhere from The Fab 4 Restaurant, MacArtny´s Bar, The Beatle´s Story Museum, A Hard Day’s Night Hotel, The Magical Mystery bus tour and bronze figures of the famous foursome who defined a generation strolling down the waterfront. I couldn’t help but hum Beatles tunes the entire time I was there. Then there is the ferry that takes you across the Mersey River made famous by Gerry and the Pacemakers in 1964. A statue of the charming Cilla Black stands in front of the original Cavern Club. The city loves its music!

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The Fab Four – forever in our hearts and on our lips!

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Where it began all those years ago

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Cilla Black in front of the Cavern, where she worked as a coat check girl before being discovered

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ferry ‘cross the Mersey cause this land’s the place I love and here I’ll stay, Gerry Marsden, now 76,  still lives in Liverpool

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Fabulous views of Liverpool from the ferry

Liverpool is a port city and home to the Cunard and White Star Lines. The ill-fated Titanic and Lusitania were Liverpool ships. Excellent displays of both can be seen at the Maritime Museum. Liverpool is the port where over nine million people have left from to immigrate to Canada and the United States over the years. In fact, my great-grandparents, who boarded a ship in Hamburg, Germany, made a stop at Liverpool, no doubt to pick up more passengers, before crossing the Atlantic.

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A sculpture commemorating the many families who left through the port of Liverpool to immigrate to the Americas and start a new life

The once busy docks have been cleaned up and now house trendy restaurants, interesting shops, the Tate Art Gallery and a number of excellent museums.

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The Albert Docks

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The famous Liver Building with the Liver birds on top, the official mascots of Liverpool

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One of many superlambananas placed around Liverpool during the city’s European Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008.

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We had our lunch of fish finger butties in this old bus. What fun!!

Many excellent museums, art galleries, amazing architecture and great shopping make this city an ideal destination for someone like me. Apparently, it rains a lot there but we had some wonderful sunny days to explore.

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St. Luke’s Church, bombed in 1941 was never restored. It is now a place for relaxation and remembrance. The scent of burnt wood still permeates.

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The Liverpool Cathedral, Britain’s largest cathedral and the largest Anglican Cathedral in Europe, can be seen from almost everywhere in Liverpool.

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Inside the stunning Lady Chapel

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One of many stained glass windows

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I discovered one of the best graveyards ever behind the church with the original mortuary above

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A welcoming library with the names of well-known books listed on the walkway!

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Inside the library, a Harry Potter-like reading room. I was in heaven.

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A typical Liverpool scene. The Cunard building is in the background.

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A juxtaposition of the old and new. The excellent Museum of Liverpool on the left.

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The mythical liver bird keeping watch over the port

I am so glad I got to visit this amazing city! Have you been to Liverpool or know anyone who may have immigrated from the Port of Liverpool?

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” -Marcel Proust

I was fortunate to see many of my awesome friends when I was in Canada. Some gave me a place to stay, some drove me around and everyone fed me so well. They have all been such huge supporters in whatever I do. Here are a few of them.

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It was great that these good friends from Trinidad were in Canada at the same time.

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A picnic with friends at English Bay before a Bard on the Beach performance

 

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A special Bard Buddy who organized the day.

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Always fun to be part of the cast with another special Bard Buddy

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A longtime Calgary friend and travel buddy who drove me around, gave me a place to stay and fed me well.

 

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A wonderful supportive Vancouver friend who gave me rides and attended events.

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A special relative/friend!

 

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A dear friend who provides me with a great place to stay and feeds me well.

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A lovely mother and daughter team who gave me a comfy room to stay during my first week in Vancouver, fed me well and gave me tons of support.

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Travel writer/photographer friend who took my profile picture and designed my bookmarks. Treated me to a lovely lunch overlooking a golf course.

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A supportive writer friend who treated me to a lovely picnic and a Monet exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

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A former coworker and her daughter who came to a book signing

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My longtime friend who provides me with a comfy place to stay in Medicine Hat, a garden to relax in and delicious meals

As you can see I was well looked after. It was so wonderful to be able to spend time with these friends and many others. I am truly blessed.

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”
― Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

 

After visiting six cities in BC and Alberta, travelling by car, train, metro, bus, large and small aircraft and ferry, I am back in Spain and back to blogging. It feels like such a long time since I wrote my last post. The trip was successful on so many levels. I was able to see many family members and friends. The time spent with my mom was precious and seeing my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren was wonderful. I was treated to many amazing meals, picnics, a Monet Exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery, a remarkable production of Much Ado About Nothing at Bard on the Beach and a performance by my son’s new band who dedicated the first song to me! I launched Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind and sold out of books at a couple of the venues. Visiting schools, libraries, and bookstores is always a pleasure for me. A week as a workshop leader at the Vancouver Public Library´s Writers and Book Camp was a real treat as was presenting at the BC Association of Travel Writers.

It was a busy schedule and I am now catching up on sleep and chores but I wanted to share a few pictures with you. I’ll start with the most important, my family.

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Mom with me and my great-granddaughter, Emma.

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An Amanda Travel’s fan

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With my handsome musician son and his daughter

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Sharing Mexican food with grandson No. 1.

 

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His first car!

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Sharing Indian food with grandson No. 2

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Grandson at his youth group’s garden produce stand.

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Great granddaughter, Devin

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Another Amanda Travels fan with a matching Day of the Dead bowl.

They are all growing up and becoming amazing young folks. I enjoyed every minute I spent with them. Then it was off to Vancouver Island.

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Beautiful potter daughter showing off the skirt I brought her from Cordoba. I think she likes it!

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Best buds

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Cousins at the beach

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Typical fabulous family meal, with daughter and cousins. I am so lucky!!

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My new grand-puppy Petite Du Champs. Love him to bits.

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Enjoyable lunch in Calgary with the younger brother who is also my clever website designer.

More to come. I missed blogging and was pleased to see my posts continued to be read and commented on while I was away. You folks rock!!

I will be away from blogging for a while as I am off to Canada to launch Amanda in New Mexico, do presentations and book signings in Vancouver, Delta, Calgary and Medicine Hat, visit with family and friends and stock up on Tim Hortons!! I’ll miss my blogging community but will check in from time to time.

Thanks so much to all of you who read my blog, like it, comment and share it. Time is limited and there are many great blogs out there to read, so I feel honoured that you take the time to read mine. I am so lucky to have such an awesome following.

I will leave you with the trailer to Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind

Laura Best and I have been blogging buddies since we both had stories in the same anthology back in 2010. She is a fabulous writer of books set in Nova Scotia. I am pleased to be featured on her blog. Check it out!

Laura Best

Today, it is my pleasure to welcome author Darlene Foster to my blog. Several years back, Darlene and I were published in the Country Roads anthology together. Ever since that time we’ve been following each other on social media. Darlene is a wonderful supporter to other authors and an all round terrific author and person and I’m thrilled to have her as a guest on my blog.

Brought up on a ranch in southern Alberta, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world and meeting interesting people. It’s no surprise that she’s now an award-winning author of the exciting Amanda Travels series featuring spunky 12 year-old Amanda Ross who loves to travel to unique places. Readers of all ages enjoy travelling with Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, in Spain with her husband and…

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I hope you are not getting bored with my visit to Cordoba but there was so much to see and do in this fascinating city.  I must tell you about our visit to the Jewish Quarter and the fabulous museum we found there.

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The walls surrounding the Jewish Quarter in Cordoba

The Jewish Quarter in Cordoba, or Juderia as it is called, is a walled area surrounding a complex network of narrow streets lined with white buildings. With a quintessential Andalusian flavour, it is a perfect place to wander around and soak up the atmosphere.

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A typical street in the ancient Jewish quarter

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At the centre of the quarter is the Synagogue. It is one of only three original synagogues remaining in Spain. The building, built in the Mudejar style, dates from 1315. It was converted to a church in the 16th century and then held the Guild of Shoemakers until it was rediscovered in the 19th Century.

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The entrance to the Synagogue

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The interior includes restored walls revealing plaster work with inscriptions from Hebrew psalms and plant motifs.

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The Jewish community played an important role in the history of Spain and flourished in Cordoba during the Moorish times when the city was the centre for commerce, prosperity, education and religious tolerance. Unfortunately, in 1492, during the Spanish Inquisition, people of the Jewish faith and the religion itself, were expelled from Spain. A sad part of Spanish history.

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Wandering the peaceful little streets and alleys, we came upon a sign on a door, Casa Andalusi. Intrigued, we decided to check it out. Were we in for a treat!

Once inside we were welcomed by a cosy and cool courtyard with the pleasant sound of water from its fountain,  a mixture of Arab-Spanish music in the background and the faint scent of greenery and fresh flowers.

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The charming courtyard of Casa Andalusi

 

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There were many more serene courtyards and fountains full of fresh flowers throughout the site.
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It was a typical 12th-century Andalusian house filled with medieval Islamic furniture and decorations. The blend of Andalusian and eastern styles gave it a certain charm and transported you back to Arabic times.
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Exquisite leather work.

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A leather globe of the world as it was known at the time. Amazing

I found one room, dedicated to the making of paper out of rags, very interesting.
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and I had to demonstrate
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We were able to go down below the current house where we found items from the old houses of the Jewish quarter including a well and an unearthed Roman mosaic floor, proving just how old the site is.
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The courtyards held an assortment of large pots. I was told if I didn´t behave, I would be put in one!
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This museum proved to be a gem tucked away and not on many of the tourist maps. We were so pleased we found it. It was the perfect end to a long, but fun day.
I hope you enjoyed the trip to Cordoba with me and my wonderful travel buddies.

 

 


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