Beautiful Hoi An, Lantern City

February 22nd, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized by Lorna

We started our day with a crazy ride with our tour guide from Hue, seriously I thought we were going to die multiple times. I now understand some of the bad drivers at home, if this is where they learned to drive cause they drive with no rules, centre line doesn’t mean anything, no lights or stop signs, everyone just goes and honks their intentions. We drove through De Nang and saw the old U.S. military base, left vacant and deserted, saw the beautiful beaches in De Nang and then arrived in Hoi An. After a little walking tour we got to enjoy our beautiful hotel and pool. This would be a wonderful place to vacation if it wasn’t so far from home. The market had so many cool and cheap things. We strolled through it at night, so warm and extremely busy. There was a lantern festival happening and it made it even prettier. Our next day was a bike ride through the market and then out to one of the villages to a farm where we strolled through the gardens and then had a foot massage, weird combination I know, and then had a little cooking lesson and ate lunch. We rode back to town and while the boys enjoyed the pool EB and I had a relaxing neck and shoulder massage and had our nails done, pretty hard life alright. Later back to the market to buy some more beautiful Vietnamese silk, we could have had anything tailored overnight and delivered to our hotel, but just bought some fabric. Amazing place, we just loved it. Our flight wasn’t until later the next afternoon so of course we had to visit the market for any last minute purchases. We really enjoyed our time in Vietnam and were sad to say good bye.
Next stop Cambodia. As soon as we stepped off the plane and marched our little selves across the tarmac we could feel the heat and the humidity and smell the smoke. We had to get a visa to enter the country which was a bit of a gong show but then met by our guide and driver to take us to the hotel.

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Halong Bay

February 13th, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized by Lorna

Halong Bay is one of the most beautiful and amazing things I have ever seen. It was recently named to the new natural seven wonders of the world. We were lucky enough to spend a night on a boat as we sailed through the Karst mountains. We also toured through the ‘surprising’cave, called that because it is surprisingly big, original right? After supper we we were shown how to catch squid off the back of the boat, I’m pretty sure this was like a snipe hunt at girls camp, you know keep the dumb tourists happy while we et a good laugh, but it was a beautiful evening to be hanging out on a boat in the moonlight. The next morning we went kayaking through a cave into a lagoon, and saw monkeys playing on the mountain side. Sadly no pictures because we didn’t want to get the camera wet, but who knew how good we were going to be at kayaking and so our camera would have been safe. Kayaking was very fun, and I only got a little wet. imageimageimage


On the road back to Hanoi we passed this guy hauling his cow. We were taking pictures and laughing and our driver who had no English thought we were excited about seeing a cow and so pointed more out to us in the field further down the road, cause seeing a cow going down the road pulled by a motorcycle was nothing new to him. image
We flew to Hue and spent the next few days there and did more touring and shopping. We went watch shopping and we each bought a new watch, John’s and Tim’s quit working, I guess they should have bought a “Rolex” like mine. image



New Years

February 11th, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized by Lorna

There were markets like this in every little village that we drove through, getting ready for Vet (New Years)
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Stopped at a temple built in the mountain caves. Our guide said Vietnam army hid there from the American soldiers.
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Van Long Reserve. We stopped at the Van Long Nature Reserve to be rowed along a stream, through the rice paddies and through some limestone caves, along the Karst mountains. The scenery was beautiful and our little rower just powered us along. She was a older lady who had no problem until close to the end when she started to mimick being tired and how hot it was, but it worked, she got her tip.
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New Years Eve in Ninh Binh
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Temple dedicated to an Emperor
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Lily pad flower
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Very large Buddha
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This bunch of kids were following us and finally got up the courage to ask to have their picture taken with us.
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Our Home Stay

January 31st, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized by Lorna

As soon as I saw a home stay on the itinerary, I was a little unsure about the whole thing and it lived up to my worst expectations. All I can say, is I lived through it. Best described in pictures. The first few are of the trip out, the baby riding between his parents standing up , we saw so many like this, so scary. The next is a boat where a family with 3 small children lived. Next are the rice paddies ready to be planted, and then a cute little lady out gardening we met while out walking. Next are our accomadations complete with mosquito nets, and then the Walton’s and our “room”. The outdoor bathrooms, sinks and toliets, breakfast, EB and I in the courtyard and the grand finale, Tim on his new bike. imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

Good Morning Vietnam

January 30th, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized by Lorna


Hanoi is an absolutely crazy city. There are 7 million people and 4 million bikes and they are all on the road at the same time. There are very few traffic lights and people drive on either side of the road, It is complete chaos, but with a lot of honking, somehow it works. That is also how they go through intersections. The pedestrian has no right of way and so you just have to work your way through wall to wall moving bikes and cars. It was terrifying at first but by the end of the day we were pros, in fact Tim and John crossed one of the busiest streets with their video cameras just for fun. The people carry everything and anything on their bikes. Vietnam follows the Lunar calendar so it is New Years this week. They have a custom of buying either a small orange tree or a pink blossomed one which they just carry on the back of their bikes. image This was one of the craziest things we say carried.image
Our tour guide took us to see the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum. I had no idea what we were getting into. We are paraded into the building, told to unfold our arms, no cameras, no sun glasses and then we file past Ho Chi Minh, yup thats right they have him preserved in a big glass casket for viewing. Not a pretty site. He is idolized here, we are hearing a totally different perspective here about him. So far,crazy couple of days, but fun. Here are few more shots of the streetimageimage

More pictures

January 30th, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized by Lorna

I am having a few technical difficulties trying to do this on my iPad. I wanted to put some extra pictures on the end of the last post, put it wouldn’t let me, so here they are. The first cost me a dollar, so enjoy. I took the picture, and then he said to pay. There are these little hair cutting stands all along the streets, I guess I should have chosen a different one. The next pictures are at the University of Literature where Confusionism would have been studied. imageimageimageimage

Prague In Pictures

July 25th, 2012 | Posted in Uncategorized by Lorna

We loved Prague, it was so beautiful, I thought  pictures would showcase it best.

Departual and Arrival

July 21st, 2012 | Posted in Uncategorized by Lorna

After rushing out of downtown London (you don’t rush the tube), back to our hotel, grabbing our suitcases and rushing back to the tube (Tim almost falling down the stairs carrying both heavy suitcases) we made it to the Heathrow Airport. As I went through the scanner at security, of course I set it off so I had to go through the full body scanner which I lit up like a Christmas tree. I then got to be a lot more intimate with the security lady than I really wanted to be and she still didn’t find anything, so I now get the wand. This still shows lots of hot spots, one of them on my bare calf that she can she see. She still gave it a through pat down and finally gave me the green light. Checking in, put us in a room, which a bus pulled up to and took us to our airplane and there we sat for an hour because of stormy weather.
We arrived in Prague to a beautiful, new, entirely empty, airport. Going through customs I’m sure that the customs guys previous job had been head death pronouncer with the Communist regime, I have not seen such a stern scary man. We collected our luggage and headed out to meet our driver, so cool to be the cool ones with a driver waiting there with a card with your name on it. Unfortunately our driver must have worked side by side with the customs dude for the communist death squad, not a smile and hardly a word. Our drive took us through this totally isolated, wooded area with not a soul in site. The Czech radio announcer is blaring and then an English pop song comes on, weird.
We had to ring the bell at the hotel and as we are waiting for the door to be opened I look up and see the biggest spider that I have ever seen, actually quite a few, I’m feeling a little like it is time to go home about now. We arrive safely in our non air-contitioned room with an open window.
Me, “There’s a screen in that right?” Tim checks, “Of course”. Next morning, Tim “Oh, I guess there isn’t a screen here.” Oh well it was stifling, and we only had a fan.
Welcome to Prague.

Whirlwind London

July 9th, 2012 | Posted in Uncategorized by Lorna

We landed in London at 8:15 am local time and took 2 buses to make it to our hotel.  Although we hadn’t slept in almost 24 hours we hit the ground running.  The Waltons got these little pills (No Jet Lag) and I really think they helped.  We hoped on the tube and headed downtown to  met Jamie and Jason in front of Big Ben, I can’t believe that plan actually worked, there were lots of little patches of green, it would have been easy to miss them and no way to communicate.  We started our English experience in a pub eating traditional fish and chips for lunch.  It was kind of the first one we saw and was maybe a little pricier than most we saw later which took Timothy a few hours to get over.  We signed up for a red double decker bus tour which took us by all the main tourist attractions.

We ended our tour with a boat tour thingy up the River Thames which was kind of cool.  I was in some serious need of a Diet Coke and chocolate so we made a stop at the Boots Drugstore to stock up.  Lots more walking and seeing followed, at which Jamie and Jason decided to leave us to go back and do laundry (us or laundry, I guess we lost) and we decided to keep do some more walking.  It was a beautiful evening and there were throngs of people out enjoying it.  It was so crowded already, I can’t imagine what it will be like during the Olympics.  We finally headed home on the tube and hit the hay some 32 or so hours later.  I hadn’t thought I was too tired until I did the fall asleep head jerk on the tube and saw the girl across from me  quickly look away.  We woke up to rain showers the next day but headed out to meet Jamie and Jason again at St Peters, and went to Victoria and Albert Museum.  We decided to go to Harrods for lunch and I picked out this lovely salmon pastry thing, Jamie and Jason got chicken on skewers and after purchasing we found they were cold; you were supposed to take them home to heat up.  Tim wasn’t quite so dumb.  We ate our cold lunch ( it had been cooked) on a wet bench in the rain.  Jamie and Jason had already been to the Tower of London so they went to use their last day and we still had a few hours before we had to go back to catch our plane so we took the tube over to the Tower where the sun decided to join us again and plunked down the big bucks and did a very quick tour.  We managed to pack a lot of sight seeing into 2 short days but it was great and well worth touching down in jolly old England on our way to Prague.

Run for the Cure

October 4th, 2010 | Posted in Uncategorized by Lorna

There are no words to describe the feelings and emotions that I get when I participate in the CIBC Run for the Cure cancer run/walk. This was Jamie’s and my 7th year, Lahni’s 4th, Joel’s 2nd and Emma’s 1rst, and each year it is such a moving experience. I am not an emotional person as you all know, but from the first glimpse you get of that milling crazily pink clad throng I am almost constantly choked up. We walk through the neighbourhood of Willow Park and many of them decorate their trees with pink ribbons and/or pink bras, big string of pink bras across the road, have a pink teddy bear picnic on their lawn, bands playing on their driveway, dancers. People stand outside to wave and cheer us even last year in the rain and snow.  There is even one home that puts out a sign offering to let people use their washroom. Can you imagine opening your home and washroom to 12,000 plus strangers?  In your run packet you are given a ‘Who are you running for?’ sign and each year that brings many heart breaking messages.  One of the ‘Who are you running for’ signs I noticed this year was a 25 to 30ish young man’s sign which read “My Mom, I miss you”  I feel so fortunate to be a ‘pink survivor’ celebrating almost 11 years.  I am also so grateful for children who support me and the cause.  Thanks guys I love ya. DSC_0072