Darlene Foster's Blog

Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

I missed my two fur babies while I was away, but they were safe at home with hubby. Fortunately, everywhere I went, pets were available to cuddle, play with and walk. My granddaughter has a menagerie of animals at her place. Here’s a few pictures of the pets I spent time with.

Lexi and Roni at my granddaughters place
Lexi, her first doggy
Lexi loves her pillow
Kisses for Roni
Roni and her favourite toy
Thumbelina with her aunty
Motorhead looking very handsome
Timothy, an elegant old man helping out in the office

She even has goats to play with.

Wiener
Bean
Goat love. Granddaughter with her goats.
Me with Pickle and Wiener
Lola the pug, my son’s cute family dog

I got to walk my friend’s granddogs too.

Panda
Walking the labyrinth with Panda
Beau
Charlie

But I was very happy to come home to my two girls.

Dot and Lia waiting for Mom to come home

You can imagine how excited I was when my friend suggested we take a drive to Banff, about an hour and a half from Calgary. The excitement grew as we drove through the picturesque foothills and came closer and closer to the majestic Rocky Mountains of Canada.

Foothills outside Calgary with Rocky Mountains in the distance
Getting closer
Wow! I had forgotten how incredibly amazing these mountains are.

We parked the car and went in search of a good place to have lunch when we encountered a gathering of Stony-Nakoda First Nations people preparing for a traditional dance performance. I am always amazed at my luck when ever I happen upon these cultural events. We were treated to an incredible performance by many members of the Chief’s family. This made my day!

Adorable in a jingle dance dress
Performing the jingle dance

I was delighted to see a jingle dance performance as I mention this dance in Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone

A gorgeous traditional dress with intricate bead work
An impressive performance by the Chief’s grandson
This splendid dance took my breath away
Another beautiful traditional dress
Some family members keeping the dance tradition alive for us to enjoy today.

The importance of family was highlighted when we were privileged to witness a baby naming ceremony for a great nephew, recently born.

A traditional baby naming ceremony
I was honoured to have a picture taken with the chief and his granddaughter in her jingle dance dress

Banff is Canada’s first national park, established in 1885. It is the most visited park with over three million visitors a year. The town of Banff has many wonderful museums, craft shops, and restaurants. We had a great lunch at Nourish Cafe. Although some say it has become too touristy, I feel Banff still retains its mountain village charm.

The town of Banff nestled in the mountains
We had coffee at the impressive Banff Springs Hotel
And visited the original Cave and Basin hot springs where hot water filled with minerals seeps from the rocks
Every where we went, we found incredible views.

And on the drive home, the mountains seen from another view.

Thanks so much Sheila for this wonderful day. A day to remember!

BFFs by the Bow Falls

After two long years, I finally made it back to Alberta, Canada. As I landed in Calgary and saw the prairies unfold below me, I burst into tears. It was so good to see my family and friends again. I was given comfy beds to sleep in, yummy meals, pets to snuggle and great conversations. Four generations of women spent valuable time together at my granddaughter´s place. We celebrated mom’s life at a local park by talking about her life and how much she meant to each of us, and by sharing food, conversation and laughter. She would have liked that. Here´s just a few photos of the trip.

Mom’s sister and brother along with my brother and I celebrating mom´s life
Three generations of amazing women, all mine!
Grandkids and grand dog. Love them to bits.
With number one daughter
With number one son
My excellent chauffeur in Medicine Hat, the youngest grandson with his first car.

And I woke up to goats outside my window!!

Goats on the prairie. Wiener, Pickle and Bean
With my grand goats

I did a book signing event at a wonderful bookstore in Medicine Hat, called Unlimited Characters.

A book signing at Unlimited Characters in Medicine Hat, Alberta. A great turn out.
It was so great to see the prairies

A good friend took me to Banff for a day trip. What a treat. I had forgotten how amazing those Rocky Mountains are. I will do another post just about Banff soon.

The road to Banff
With a good friend at Bow Falls, she treated me to a fabulous day in Banff.
Those Rocky Mountains make a great backdrop.

And I got to see cousins I hadn´t seen for a long time.

Cousins are the best!
A dear cousin in her lovely back yard. She gave me a place to sleep and drove me around Calgary.
And I found the most amazing outhouse! I need to put this in a story somewhere.

It was time well spent and I have all these wonderful memories to keep me going.

More to come…

I finally got away for a few days! I was fortunate to visit the Isle of Arran, in Scotland. The island is a magical place with lovely beaches, manor houses, castles, old churches, standing stones, charming coffee shops, art galleries and lots of sheep. There is a story around every corner. I went to meet writer friends, do some writing and chill. I did all of that and more. I expected rain and got sunshine. Here are a few pictures to give you an idea of how wonderful Arran Island is.

The fabulous view every morning
The two hundred year old manor house I stayed in.
With many perfect places to write
Early morning beach walk
Castle Lochranza. Note the heather on the hills.
So many sheep. I love them!
So cuddly. I just wanted to hug them.
Old farm house on the moor
Machrie stone circle, the site of an ancient burial
You can’t be in Scotland and not search out some standing stones.
I was astounded when I came across these ancient standing stones
You know I had to touch them. Alas, I did not find myself in another century being rescued by a dashing Scot in a kilt.
Holy Isle in the background. An ancient spiritual heritage as far back as the 6th century. It is now a Buddist retreat.
There was cake, lots of cake!
And a very special dog. ❤

It was a wonderful getaway, just what I needed. I returned home inspired.

Now I’m getting ready to go back to Canada, to see my family after two long years.

Note: Most of the pictures are mine but a couple may or may not have been taken by a writer friend who knows I like sheep.

“When I got [my] library card, that was when my life began.”
― Rita Mae Brown

Do you recall the first time you stepped into a library? I do. I felt like I had entered Nirvana. All those books, and I could borrow them for free! I would pick out a stack of books to take home to the farm, read them and the next time we came to town, return them and bring home another stack. I must have borrowed most of the books in the children´s section of the old Medicine Hat Library.

The Old Medicine Hat Library

A new modern Medicine Hat Public Library was built in 1964 which was very exciting. This is the library I took my children to. My grandchildren and great grandchildren now visit this wonderful place. I still get that happy-all-over feeling whenever I enter. I had the pleasure of doing a presentation and book reading there. I felt I had gone full circle.

The current Medicine Hat Library
Dream come true, doing a presentation at my home library.

I was lucky that my love of libraries started early in life. I have since frequented many over the years. Everywhere I have lived, the library is one of the first places I visit. Here are a few that are dear to my heart.

The Vancouver Public library

The Vancouver Public Library, located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, is my all time favourite. This building, designed after the coliseum in Rome, opened in 1995, not long after we moved to the Vancouver area. It is often found on best libraries to visit lists. Every time I walk into this library, I am filled with awe. I always felt it was a place of refuge in a busy metropolis. I was invited to present workshops for the summer book camp at VPL four years ago. A great opportunity I will never forget.

The main branch of the Vancouver Public Library

Calgary also has wonderful libraries and I have spent time in many of them. The newest Central Library opened in 2018 and it is state of the art. The new library was recognized as one of “The Worlds 100 Greatest Places of 2019” by TIME magazine. I was delighted to find copies of my Amanda Travels series on the shelves.

The newest downtown branch of The Calgary Public Library.
Family friendly and interactive
With a North American Bison created out of letters of the alphabet
The most exciting thing for an author is to see her books on display at a library

I try to visit libraries when I travel. They are the heart and soul of the city. When I visited Liverpool, I stopped in at the central library and was very impressed. The reading room was straight out of Harry Potter. In fact two children came running out of the room wearing Hogwarts robes!

A list of popular books on the path to the entrance of the Liverpool Public Library
I could live in this reading room.

The library has a fabulous collection of vintage books including a 1611 copy of the King James Bible.

And a handwritten draft of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!

The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.– Albert Einstein

I´d love to learn about your experience with libraries and about your favourite one.

Today is the last official day of the blog tour and I wish to thank everyone for your amazing support. I hope you have all found new and interesting blogs to follow and made new friends and followers. Thank you to everyone who offered to be part of the tour and a huge thanks to all of you who read, liked, commented and shared the posts. You are all amazing. Today I am being featured on Lisa Day’s blog, Book Time, where she asks me some great questions. Say hi to Lisa, a fellow Canadian who loves words – editing, writing and reading them. She reviews many great books!

Book Time

I am the last stop of the Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady blog tour.

Sadly, my copy of Amanda in Malta hasn’t yet arrived, however, I have been following along with the other 11 bloggers on this blog tour so I got a sense of both Amanda, the main character, and the questions I wanted to ask its creator – Canadian author Darlene Foster.

Foster said growing up on a ranch in Alberta inspired her love of reading and seeing the world. Now retired, she has house in Spain where she spends time with her husband and rescue dogs, Dot and Lia, while writing full time. She also travels, meeting interesting people and getting inspirations for her series about Amanda, a 12-year-old girl who travels the world, learning about the people and culture while solving a mystery. Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady is the eighth book in…

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The love keeps pouring in for Amanda in Malta. Here is a fabulous review by Patricia Tilton from Children´s Books Heal. Patricia writes well thought out reviews of children´s books and I am so pleased she enjoyed this adventure. I often make book buying decisions for the youngsters in my life by reading her blog. Please check it out.

Children's Books Heal

Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady (The Amanda Travels Series 8)

Darlene Foster, Author

Central Avenue Publishing, May 11, 2011

Suitable for ages: 8-12

Themes: Malta, Travel, Adventure, Mystery, Theft, Friendship

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Amanda receives a postcard from her best friend, Leah, and is surprised to learn that she is in Malta with her Aunt Jenny. Reading between the lines, she senses Leah is in trouble. Desperate to help her, Amanda strikes the lottery when she’s invited to travel to Malta with her classmate Caleb Sorenson and his parents.

Amanda is intrigued by this exotic island in the middle of the Mediterranean, full of colourful history, sun-drenched limestone fortresses, stunning beaches and fascinating birds. But…who is killing the protected birds? Who stole a priceless artifact from the museum? And why is Leah acting so strange? She couldn’t possibly be involved in these illegal activities, or could she?

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Today the blog tour takes us to Meggie’s Adventures,travel, thank you notes and other stories from Meg King-Sloan. Meg blogs about things she loves. When Meg was younger she had lots of interesting adventures. These included collecting postcards and other souvenirs, watching butterflies, and going to the beach with her family. Some things never change though – she still loves candy (especially chocolate), ice cream and flowers! Sounds like Meg was a bit like Amanda when she was young.

Amanda in Malta by Darlene Foster – Virtual Tour

Darlene Foster is introducing her new book with a virtual blog tour! This is the latest exciting adventure from her Amanda Travels series. If you’d like to see what other bloggers involved in the tour have written you can check out this post from Darlene’s blog.

Darlene explains the purpose of including food in her stories:

Traditional food is important to every culture. I like to have Amanda try the local food when she travels. Children need to know that people eat different food in other parts of the world and they should at least try it. It bothers me when travellers insist on eating food only familiar to them. Amanda likes to cook and try out recipes so she collects ideas as she travels and makes them for her parents. Read more and an excerpt here

https://meggiesadventures.com/2021/06/07/amanda-in-malta-by-darlene-foster-virtual-tour/

Drop in and say Hi to Meg.

Thank you to everyone who has been following along!

Continuing with the virtual book tour, Amanda in Malta is being featured on Michele Marcellino Somerville’s blog called the Beach Girl Chronicles. Michelle is from Pennsylvania, USA and blogs about the beach, her life, her dogs and her past. She is a fairly new blogger so pop on over, read an excerpt from Amanda in Malta and show her some blogging love. Thanks to everyone for following along with this tour.

msomervillesite

Doing something a little different today, by participating in a Virtual Book Tour to help promote author Darlene Foster’s newest book, Amanda in Malta. I hope you will check it out!

The Blurb:

Amanda receives a postcard from her best friend, Leah, and is surprised to learn that she is in Malta with her aunt. Reading between the lines, she senses Leah is in trouble. Desperate to help her, Amanda travels to Malta with her classmate Caleb and his parents.
Amanda is intrigued by this exotic island in the middle of the Mediterranean, full of colourful history, sun-drenched limestone fortresses, stunning beaches and fascinating birds. But…who is killing the protected birds? Who stole a priceless artifact from the museum? And why is Leah acting so strange? She couldn’t possibly be involved in these illegal activities, or could she?

Join Amanda and her friends as they visit ancient temples, an…

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Next stop on the tour is from Canada! A fellow Canadian author, Debra Purdy Kong asks a couple of questions and shares an interesting except that introduces the Sleeping Lady from Amanda in Malta. Debra is a British Columbia author who’s been writing for over 30 years. Her volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and various jobs, inspired her to write mysteries set in BC’s Lower Mainland. Employment as a campus security patrol and communications officer provide the background for her fascinating Casey Holland mystery novels. Stop in and say Hi!

Mystery Deb

It’s a great pleasure to welcome back fellow Canadian author, Darlene Foster, who’s just released her 8th installment in the Amanda Travel Series, Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady. I had the privilege of meeting Darlene in person at a book signing before COVID. We’re hoping to meet again as travel restrictions lift so I can buy a signed copy! For those of you who aren’t familiar with this amazing series, here’s a quick Q & A:

Can you tell us more about Amanda?

Amanda is a twelve-year-old girl from Calgary, Alberta. She is the only child of Evelyn and Don Ross, both accountants. She loves to read, is interested in history and enjoys cooking. Her parents work long hours so she likes trying different recipes for them, especially ones from places she has visited. She is inquisitive and kind and always wants to help people. This gets…

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© Darlene Foster and darlenefoster.wordpress.com, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Darlene Foster and darlenefoster.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.