Tuesday, May 8, 2018

High Parks Cherry Blossoms were in full bloom

Cherry Blossoms + High Park = Priceless.  I started following the Sakura Cherry Blossoms prediction of the best blooms webpage about 2 weeks ago.   These guys are good.  Considering a month ago, we had a freezing rain storm and on Thursday we had a hurricane wind storm, the prediction for peak blooms was May 7 to 12.  Now we get out the weather network predictions for the week and our plan is taking effect.  Monday I'm not working, it's sunny so off we go.  Everything was perfect, a wee bit chilly in the wind but we were dressed for it.  Once again we parked at Sunnyside and walked up.

This year was extra special as I had my daughter and her new little boy (my grandson :) with us.  He was crazy excited to see the blossoms - "can I eat them, because everything goes in my mouth".  Luckily Mommy knows how to make him smile (almost as big as her smile).

Greeting us when we came into the park was this herd of Llamas being walked through the trails.  I have been online to see if this is something you can volunteer for or do you pay for it.  Either way it was really cool.  Now next year Ethan might be more excited by this than the blossoms.  LOL

The sun was shining on the trees which made the pathway look magical.

Lots of babies, families and friends enjoying the beautiful treasure that these trees are.  Mother Nature did a wonderful job when she made the Cherry Blossom trees.
 The train is running and you can put your strollers on the front or in between the seats.  Next time :)

Can't visit High Park without taking a picture of the beautiful swans.  One of my fondest memories as a child when we came to Canada was coming here to see the swans.
Thanks Rachel and Ethan for making our visit to High Park extra special this year.  (Note, this is Rachel's picture, she is much better at selfie taking then I am.)

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Vilamoura Portugal - a never ending beach

Vilamoura and the beautiful Praia da Falesia Beach

Summer is coming and the umbrellas and chairs are starting to appear back on the beaches waiting for the crowds.  In July this beach and water will be filled with people and families vying for a seat and an umbrella.  Today it was a wee bit rough, still warm and a great place to spend our final day in the Algarve.  Vilamoura is a resort town known for it's very expensive houses, boats and golf courses.  It is also a working harbour with a fresh fish market right on the water. 

Nothing like a coffee overlooking the ocean in the beautiful white and blue Buzios Beach Club.  

It feels like you can walk for ever.  

A stop in the town for a wine, it is our last day after all :)

A tradition we have shared with the Irvines for 30 years, - Friday nights at the pub.  Nothing different in the Algarve and our favourite was the Cheeky Pup.  The boys enjoying a last laugh with our lovely waitress Jade and a special thank you to Francisco of "Way Around" for getting us there and back safe. 


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Lagos Algarve - history, majestic coastline

As much as I like walking around towns I definitely came for the cliffs and the water, so when we were going to Lagos I googled in Farol da Ponta da Piedade so we could start off with a good walk to warm our legs and body up for a nice lunch.  :).  The views and walk were everything you expected from this beautiful country. 

Every where I looked I was awestruck.  My camera was clicking, archways, caves, rocks looking like they erupted from the ocean, beautiful tones of green and blue.  The coastline went for miles. 

There were lovely little boats skimming back and forth through the arches and around the rocks.  At first we thought they must have come from the town but they were actually at the bottom of these stairs  The only way to them was down the stairs and then back up again. 
Walking around awestruck can be a little dangerous, between looking around, taking pictures, whenever I turned around too quickly I had a little vertigo, which usually resulted in a little scream.  Jim, Doug and Lindsey thought for sure I was pitching over the side a few times.  I found I could stand near the edge, but if anyone walked towards me, whoosh off my balance would go.  Needless to say I did not climb the peak below.  I was getting vertigo just watching them, at one point there must have been 20 people and dogs on the point.  I was ready to vomit.  

These kayaks were towed out from the town and then towed back in when their time was up.  What a great way to spend a couple of hours.  Next time.  

This cat is thoroughly enjoying sunning itself at this restaurant.  Looking very relaxed for a town that was absolutely full of dogs of all sizes.   

Off to the town of Lagos for some exploring and most importantly lunch.  2 Irmaos (2 brothers) is a lovely little restaurant looking over the square and the water.  The food and wine were delicious.  

Needless to say this was not on my lunch plate.  :)

Lagos was famous for it’s contributions to the Age of Discovery.  Henry the Navigator lived most of his life here.  It also housed Europe’s first slave market in 1444.  With its coastal location Lagos was constantly under attack from the Moors, Spanish, and English.  From 1576 to 1755 it was the capital of the Algarve until it was destroyed by the 1755 earthquake and tsunami.  Nowadays Lagos is one of the most visited cities in Portugal.  With lots of restaurants, bars and hotels there is always lots to do and you can walk everywhere. 

This is Fort da Ponta da Bandeira, built in the 17th century where the River Bensafrim enters the sea.  These forts were very important in keeping the Portuguese save from pirates and those dastardly Spaniards.  

New meets old.  

A very bustling town with lots to do during the day and at night.  Definitely where I would want to stay if I was in my 40's.  Or at least think I was still in my 40's.  LOL.