NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Monday, December 31, 2018


I took a detour while driving from Placentia to St. John's and ended up in the town of Dildo.  Yes, you are reading that correctly.

When my daughter Katrina and her boyfriend Charlie visited last summer they made a detour there to sample the offerings at the new brewery.  She bought a long sleeved shirt advertising the business venture, which Charlie "stole" from her so I was tasked with purchasing a replacement.

I got there when they opened and discovered they had the best views!  I was a big fan of their decor choices too.  Craft Breweries are a new thing in Newfoundland, and I hope they do well.  I know they were doing a brisk business in merchandise that morning, if not selling a lot of brews.

I've often wondered what to do with a spare dory we have at the house and now I know!  I've been looking at similar light fixtures online too, so great to see one in use.

After buying shirts and hats which I ended up giving to them for Christmas gifts I made a stop in the rest room.  Murals in every stall!

Of course I'll have to assume the mens room was similarly decorated, I didn't take a look.

My next detour was a quick stop in Quidi Vidi (pronounce that "Kiddie Viddie"), home to Quidi Vidi Brewing Company which even brews one of their lagers using iceberg water, but that wasn't the reason for my visit. And unfortunately I wasn't there to hike the East Coast Trail though the access to the path was nearby and calling my name.

I popped in to Quidi Vidi Village Plantation , a building home to local artisans at work and I wanted to see what that meant.  It turns out only 3 artists were in residence that day and they did not have the kind of thing I was looking for so I just made do with the spectacular views from inside as the last light of day started ebbing away.

Look carefully and you can see the interior lights reflected in the glass!

In Newfoundland even the backyard sheds are colorful.  Don't think mine won't be just as snazzy when the time comes!

Walking back to my parked car I noticed one that not only had a porthole window but a ship on display as well.  Great idea!

Today Katrina and I left Wisconsin for our 2nd January Getaway...hmmm, maybe I should make it a recurring thing even after I move to Newfoundland!  Two years ago we drove all the way to Texas, stopping at numerous sites related to past U.S. Presidents.  This year we head to Louisville, Kentucky, where we'll explore the city neighborhoods and I'll get a chance to say my good-bye to spur-of-the-moment Kentucky jaunts. I can't imagine not being able to sprint to Kentucky or Tennessee at the drop of a hat for some hiking but I will have all those nooks and crannies on "The Rock" to explore instead to keep my mind off my loss....

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Young at Heart

Snow had been falling for a few days in a row when I arrived in Newfoundland a few weeks ago, so of course we had to go out and have a slide, right?  Have to show my California cousin how things are done are in the wintry north.

You do what again? I'm from California!

I mean, never mind that most of us were over 40, over 50, and even over 60 years of age.  Being young at heart is what matters.

Not much danger to old bones like ours in the making of snow angels.  Can you believe that technically this is "road" we were sledding and making angels on?  End of the road on Old Settlement Hill, no one but the moose lives past Uncle Steve's house.

Aunt Rosemary only 12 years older than Cousin Chris

Cousin Darryl was the only "youngster" in our group. I think he may be 30 years old now himself!  Remember when we were thirty and we thought we were getting old?  How adorable!

Show us how it's done, Darryl

Sisters gone wild, that's what I should have named this post.  Rosemary and Agatha were the silliest and most rambunctious.  I won't post their ages, and snow is good for the complexion so they look as young as they act.

Agatha and Rosemary

We were making such a racket that Uncle Steve's dog had to get leashed up to come check out what all the commotion was about.

Lacey isn't young herself, but still ready for adventure

Hey look out!  Here comes a snow plow!

And me?  I only hit the ground once, that's what happens when you're the photographer, and that was just how I wanted least on that day.  I'll live to slide again another day.

"Pam" sandwich

Here are two ridiculously short videos of our sledding attempts, and yes, I shot them holding the camera the wrong way!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Iconic Placentia

For a change I didn't spend much time in Placentia on my last visit to Newfoundland.

Sun breaks through the clouds over Northeast Arm

I was busy getting reacquainted with members of my mother's family and trying to wrap up our home buying situation.  The property we wanted is going to end up being a cash only sale so that endeavor is on hold for the moment; we have our fingers crossed that it will still be available in a few months when our house hits the market and gets sold.

Sacred Heart 

Nevertheless, crossing the bridge is a must if you want to get your groceries or go to the drug store so I did make a few trips into town and get a few photographs of iconic Placentia views.

Looking from Placentia toward Jerseyside as the snow falls

See the hill on the very far right of the panoramic photo?  If all goes well our new home will be just on the other side in the town of Ferndale.  There is even a view of Northeast Arm through a few of the upper story windows! We spend every day making renovation plans - I'm even sorting through paint colors and picking out light fixtures already so let's hope that in 2019 things go our way!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Looking for a Hike?

If you're looking for a hike in Newfoundland & Labrador here's a link where you can even sort them out on the map.

Freshwater cemetery

Or you can just start walking.

View from the end of the road on Old Settlement Hill

The views are great, even in the winter.  And despite what the forecast says, if it wasn't snowing I saw sun almost every least for an hour or so.

Freshwater cemetery on the left, Placentia  in the distance

I make sure to walk down behind my Nan's house every time I go home. I can see Placentia from there, and I like to stand on the hill and think about my Grandad.  Other folks may go to cemeteries to commune with their lost loved ones, I go to the places where we shared happy memories together.

Fences were needed for the sheep Grandad used to keep

I walked for 45 minutes that day, and it wasn't sunny either.  Cold, damp, windy, and at times my feet would suddenly sink into knee deep snow.  I didn't bring a water bottle, but nature provided some clean melting clumps of snow for me so I wouldn't dehydrate.

I wanted to keep going but after climbing over the neighbor's fence I couldn't find a way through the trees and the snow was starting to fall.  Hard to believe that the next time I walk in Newfoundland winter will be gone!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Wisconsin Made, Wisconsin Proud

I should be all caught up with blogging, but for the past 10 days since I left Newfoundland I've been slacking off, wandering around in daydreams.

So today I'm getting out my typing fingers and scheduling some blog posts, get ready for the speed round! First up I have some pictures from Milwaukee when Mom and I went to Public Market and some other places for a day out together.

One of the benefits is the first hour of parking is free, and the other is all the yummy stuff to look at.

We grabbed some lunch and headed upstairs to sit down.  And stumbled upon a gingerbread house competition! Which was great because I didn't get over to the Grand Geneva to see theirs this year.

The public was invited to vote...which to choose?

In the end it had to be the one below, the details were just too fun, though #25 was my runner-up.

I mean, the garden hose alone was worth first place!

Just across the street the cream city brick was visible through the windows while we ate.

So while Mom was finishing up I darted over to Colectivo Coffee and got one of their imitation Pop Tarts to try.  Wasn't a fan, but you might love it!  I'm into doing those things now that I've wanted to but haven't gotten around to since we'll be moving before you know it.

I'm going to miss that many people say that when they leave a place?

One of the spots at Public Market has the coolest counter, and date smoothies which I might try at home one of these days.

We also stopped at the Basilica St. Josephat, someplace I have been to before but my mother had not visited.  When looking back at the post I wrote on that visit, I was amused to discover I also went to Public Market and Colectivo that day.  The pictures are different, only the itinerary is the same!

Most of what you see is painted, the church was originally all white inside.

My mother asked me to climb up and pose for a picture.  I declined politely.

I wonder what it sounds like when the organ is playing and the choir is singing?

If you'd like some nightmares, I suggest going to this link and reading the story of how Josaphat became a martyr.  Or the story of any saint for that matter, gruesome stuff usually.

I made sure Mom went downstairs to read the history of the building of the Basilica, including how they bought the materials from the destruction of the old Custom House building in Chicago and had it shipped to them to be reassembled in a new design.

The Custom House served as a viewing stand for the Vice President during a parade to celebrate the 1893 World Columbian Exposition! It was the second mention of the exposition I saw that day, that history is everywhere I swear.

Merry Christmas...a few days late!  More to come, including news of where I will end up next week!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Haul on Yer Gran-Mudder's Boots

Before I forget I want to thank Barbara Rogers for her comment on "mother-in-law tongue", I've never heard of it and will look into it!  I too suffer from dust/mold allergies so I tend to be in and out of antique shops quickly but it's always fun to have a look around.

Panoramic shot of the Ambrose Shea bridge from Placentia as the snow starts to fall

But let's get to the promised wintry Newfoundland photos, shall we?

On the way out from St. John's yesterday I stopped in the middle of the road to take a picture of all the Christmas trees that will greet you if you to decide to visit this time of year.

Breaking a path through the snow

After their large snowfall a few days ago a few more centimeters came down last night so this morning I couldn't wait to get out for a walk in the woods in Argentia.  There is only so much one can fit into their suitcase so I hauled on my Nan's boots and off I went.  The locals are smarter than I am and take their walks along the road, but I knew the paths up through Argentia would provide solitude and shield me from some wind.

It's not often I spy something and say "Oh that looks like______", so when I saw this sawed off tree with some snow covered branches I had to stop for a photograph.  I swung my boot back and forth through the snow until I hit the gravel beneath and dug out a few rocks for the eyes and nose!  The spirit of one of Santa's reindeer perhaps?

Here's my footprint going up the hill a half hour or so earlier on the right next to my returning imprint on the way down.  The wind was filling them in fairly quickly.

One of the many bunkers in Argentia

 I decided to have a look-see at a bunker I passed, finally lucky enough to come upon an open door when bright light was spilling inside.

Concrete like new, never know it was 80 years old

Forty five minutes of plunging through the soft snow ranging from 6 inches to a foot in some spots and I was ready to get back to a warm kitchen and a nice cuppa tea with my Nan.

But first I had to stop and admire the view of Red Island. Look at the wind making whitecaps out on the bay. Thanks to that wind the air temperature felt like 9F instead of 24F according to the Weather Channel.  No wonder I wanted to hide out in the woods.

No trips out across the bay at this time of the year, thank you very much.  But that's okay, lot's to see and do right here, even if I have to do it in a borrowed pair of boots!