Darlene Foster's Blog

Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

I am a guest on Sue Vincent´s blog where I share information and pictures of a unique sanctuary I´ve visited here in Spain. Sue´s blog is very interesting with many great posts. Check it out.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Spain is well known for its fascinating cathedrals such as La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, The Mesquite in Cordoba and the Cathedral of Seville to name a few. Besides the well-known religious structures, there are many smaller places of worship tucked away in villages, mountains and locations not often frequented by tourists. I love discovering these as they have their own distinctive personalities and are certainly worth a visit.

Sue has graciously agreed for me to be a guest on her blog so I can tell you about a few of these lesser known churches in Spain we have discovered, not far from where we live. One of the most unique being the Sanctuary of Santa Maria Magdalena near Novelda, in Alicante province, only an hour drive from our place.

Although I love scouring old sites, this delightful example of Spanish Art Nouveau, was built between 1918 and 1946, so…

View original post 1,211 more words

Thanks to Sally, my visit to the fascinating city of Messina in Sicily has been brought out of the archives. If you haven’t read it before, you may find it interesting and if you have, it could be a nice reminder. I enjoy revisiting these places via Sally’s blog.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Darlene Foster gives us a guided tour of the port of Messina with its stunning architecture and history.

Madonna of the Letter and 236 Steps in Messina by Darlene Foster

Have you ever been to Sicily? That island off Italy at the end of the boot. As a kid in school I was always fascinated by that part of the map. I was fortunate that our recent cruise made a stop at the port of Messina. We were greeted by a golden Madonna perched on top of a very tall column, as we entered the harbour. The words – “Vos et ipsam cictatem benedicimus” at the bottom made me curious. Although it rained heavily, I was not deterred and left the ship to explore. I was excited to be in Sicily.

Madonna of the Letter

My first stop was the Duomo de Capanile, the main cathedral in the city. It seemed like a good…

View original post 1,293 more words

Sally Cronin is featuring a post from my archives about my visit to the Keukenhof Gardens two years ago. I´m currently busy writing Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action, where Amanda and Leah visit this amazing place. Hop on over to see the pictures. I hope it makes you feel springy.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Today a chance to tiptoe through the tulips courtesy of Darlene Foster.. Since it brings us all some much needed signs of spring I am going to feature all of the photographs. I am sure you will enjoy as much as I have.

Tiptoeing Through the Tulips at Keukenhof by Darlene Foster

I love tulips. They are by far my favourite flower. So you can imagine my delight when we arrived at Keukenhof, the famous tulip gardens in Holland. Greeted by a sea of tulips in the brightest colours imaginable, I was like a child at a candy store. Covering 32 hectares, over 7 million tulips, daffodils and other spring flowers are on display amongst well kept shrubs, trees and blossoms.

Interesting sculptures and works of art are displayed throughout the gardens. I climbed to the top of a traditional windmill, or molen, to get an amazing view of…

View original post 898 more words

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?

fishing-boy-cake

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.

cropped-for-web

The Fairy Godmother of writers and bloggers

 

whats-in-a-name-volume-two-by-sally-cronin

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!

DSCN0753

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

DSCN0667

Where it began all those years ago

DSCN0663

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

DSCN0773

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

DSCN0765

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.

DSCN0609

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.

DSCN0631

The Albert Docks

DSCN0616

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

DSCN0613

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

DSCN0812

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.

DSCN0560

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.

DSCN0890

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

DSCN0832

Inside the stunning Lady Chapel

DSCN0833

One of many stained glass windows

DSCN0860

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

DSCN0728

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

DSCN0699

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

DSCN0798

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

DSCN0577

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

DSCN0617

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.

DSCN0037

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

DSCN0021

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

 

DSCN0032 (2)

A special Bard Buddy who organized the day.

DSCN0022 (2)

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

DSCN0061

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

 

DSCN0363 (2)

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

DSCN0389

A special relative/friend!

 

DSCN0401 (2)

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

20953603_10154606648227251_3138535098431854683_n

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.

21430078_10154647276677251_3651469642480234240_n

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

DSCN0391 (2)

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

21462937_1837325932949589_3216426103485093076_n

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

DSCN0250 (2)

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.

21105960_10154628182077251_2161798029400984540_n

Mom with me and my great-granddaughter, Emma.

DSCN0158

An Amanda Travel’s fan

21317663_10154643487477251_5468388199796342206_n

With my handsome musician son and his daughter

21105667_10154625649227251_5657927432164193510_n

Sharing Mexican food with grandson No. 1.

 

21078672_10154623160982251_4863353813416331027_n

His first car!

DSCN0074

Sharing Indian food with grandson No. 2

DSCN0080

Grandson at his youth group’s garden produce stand.

DSCN0117 (2)

Great granddaughter, Devin

DSCN0099

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.

DSCN0271

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

DSCN0342

Best buds

DSCN0320

Cousins at the beach

DSCN0326

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

DSCN0307

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

DSCN0059

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!!


click to purchase

click to purchase

click to purchase

click to purchase

Click to purchase

click to purchase

click to purchase

Pig on Trial

click to purchase

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,581 other followers

Archives

Goodreads

click to read review