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Seattle Boat Share

View of Seattle from the water
Study a map of northern Manitoba, where I grew up, and you’ll see nothing but a tangle of interconnected lakes snaking all the way up to hulking Hudson Bay. Water has always been comforting to me, and anytime I’m near it, I feel a sense of home. That said, boat ownership has always been daunting. They’re large, they’re expensive, they require regular maintenance. And unlike a car, they’re foreign territory for me. Yes, although I grew up around lakes, we weren’t a boating family, so my experience with boats was limited to invitations from friends. Read more

Filles du Roi

Arrival of the Brides
Painting by Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale.

Recently, my sister, Delores, unearthed a fascinating story that was a stark reminder of the nature of travel for so many throughout history, and for many still today — an act of simple desperation.

Anne LeRoy, a distant relative on the French Canadian side of my family, lived in Paris in 1671. Her parents, François and Anne, tragically died Read more

Disneyland — Tips for the Reluctant

Jada and Mom at Disney
It’s final – we’re taking the kids to Disneyland. It won’t be the first time for our family, but the kids are now 10 and 14. With one tween and one full-fledged teen, Duncan and I feel the need to go while Read more

Historic Stone Street, New York City

IMG_9688The best meal I’ve had in Manhattan was a plate of cauliflower. There, I’ve said it.

I don’t mean to disparage the New York dining scene. We had consistently great food at restaurants all over the city. This particular plate of cauliflower was just that good. It was part of the appetizer menu at The Growler Bites and Brews (they had Duncan at Growler). Read more

Biking the Golden Gate

Golden Gate Bridge from below
Biking the 8-mile route across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito was the highlight of a weeklong late September girl’s getaway with my sister, Shelagh. I hesitated when, weeks before the trip, she suggested the ride, but stubborn pride trumped a paralyzing fear of heights, and I agreed to go.
Fast forward to Read more

The Hyatt Regency Maui: Don’t let the penguins fool you…

2012_04_12_18_10It was 2007 and our ten-year wedding anniversary rapidly approached. The past seven years had been a blur of diapers, baby wipes, and cracker strewn strollers, with family visits to Canada dominating our travel itinerary. The thought of trying to plan (and live up to) the perfect anniversary vacation left us a bit weary. We took the plunge anyway Read more

Fremont – Center of the Universe

Located alongside the Lake Washington Ship Canal in Seattle, the neighborhood of Fremont has a decidedly funky vibe. Duncan and I were fortunate enough Read more

Can I Feel Good About Flying After Malaysia Air Flight 370?

Up in the air
The disappearance of Malaysia Air flight 370 scares me. Although we don’t yet know what took place, clearly something went terribly wrong. Statistically, a drive to the local supermarket is much more dangerous than any flight on a commercial airliner. Meant to be reassuring, this nugget of logical reasoning just leaves me antsy about both flying and driving. What I find most unsettling Read more

Embracing the Burbs

Soul Food BooksAs I drive down the narrow road stretching into English Hill, I struggle to stay below its staggeringly low speed limit. Arcing branches on towering evergreens stretch across the road in an apparent attempt to obliterate the sky in this Redmond, Washington neighborhood. These dark green tunnels, common in the Pacific Northwest, felt claustrophobic twelve years ago when I moved to Redmond from the wide open spaces of Winnipeg, Canada.

English Hill sections off its spacious homes and well-tended lawns into areas with names like “Coventry” and “Sheffield.” Its emergence in the 1980s was Read more

How Much Planning Is Too Much?

Connor with Pack

In April of 2013, I emailed the link to a London vacation rental to my husband, Duncan, while he was out having lunch. We’d previously discussed, rather vaguely, a trip to London for the summer of 2015. Duncan mentioned the rental to my son, who said “Aren’t we going there in, like, two years?” Then, “Is that normal?”

It isn’t the first time my son has questioned my sanity (and it won’t be the last) and Read more