Tag Archives: Beach

Sunset over Cayo Coco

Rewind – Travel in 2016 (1); Cuba in Springtime

Travel wasn’t top of our list in 2016. With the move to rural life there was both too much to do and too much uncertainty about timing really to plan a proper ‘vacation’. Indeed, our summer holiday was, very intentionally, ‘cottage time’ in our new home.

Back at the start of the year, though, I saw a certain tiredness in Paul and, recognizing the long-haul ahead, took the unusual step for us of planning a week away with a focus on doing very little.

Escape into a Cuban Spring

Sugar cane and rum (fresh Pina Colada is a whole different experience!); scuba-diving blessed by the appearance of dolphins  for Paul while I snorkeled the reef; lots of much needed doing nothing round the pool, interspersed with dance classes, tai-chi and water volleyball; a little exploring with glimpses of plantations, mangroves, a crocodile farm and the decaying colonial grandeur of Ciego De Avila and Moron; and, always, the rhythms – rumba, salsa, cha-cha . . .

Honestly, I’m not sure whether or not we will go back to Cuba. There is genuinely a great sense of welcome, even in a somewhat anodyne resort area. But there is also a feeling of smoke and mirrors; things are not entirely what they seem, a lot of the time you see what you are supposed to see, and there are aspects of the Cuban regime and culture that I find difficult and unsettling. We are not very good at ‘resorts’, and, though ours was very good of its kind, that may have influenced my perceptions. Maybe if we go back to ‘travel’, really to see the country rather than laze . . . but I feel there may be other places that call to me more strongly.

Google Photo Album – Cuba

A Weekend of Awesome . . .

There is a song that says Spring is coming; a slushing, a splishing and splashing, drip-dropping, occasional gurgling and gushing, that sings of Spring breaking free of Winter’s grip, long before the greening begins.

This last weekend reminded me yet again of why I love this city!

On Saturday, a five mile, ice-cleat clad, walk through the ravines in thaw; part ice, part slush, part a crystalline softness for which I have no name, sparkling in the glorious, strong sunshine that reaffirms how far south Toronto actually is. How could we follow that but with hot chocolate and brownie roulade at Xoco Cava?!

On Sunday, the shore, bustling with Beachers revelling in a day that already speaks not just of Spring, but of Summer to come. People thronging the Balmy Beach Club patio; and, on the board-walk and beach, runners in shorts, a paddle-boarder, cyclists, roller-bladers, families and their canine companions, all embracing the warmth, the light, with exuberance and energy. We could have just walked and walked, soaking it all up.

Truly a weekend of awesome!

Holidaying at home

We are enjoying a glorious, sunny Victoria Day weekend here in Toronto.

Probably the one thing we haven’t done since we arrived is to just ‘chill’ around our home.  After too long doing too many wonderful things, we decided we needed a rest cure.  What I can’t quite get over is really being able to feel as if we are on holiday whilst staying at home!

Yesterday’s long, lazy brunch at Quigleys on Queen Street gave way to an afternoon on the Balmy Beach, which more than lived up to its name!

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A cool breeze comes up off the water as the never-crowded shore plays host to beachcombers, a guitarist on the rocks, canoeists, games of volleyball. . . In the background  there is a gentle but ceaseless flow of promenaders along Boardwalk. Further back again, in the shade of trees now summer-green, cyclists and roller-bladers make speedier progress along the  Martin Goodman trail.

Paul in hammock on our balcony Paul in hammock on our balcony

This morning we breakfasted on our balcony, looking out at the trees and gardens of the street behind our house.  Paul is now ensconced in the hammock. Later we will head for the beach again, taking an evening pic-nic with us. Tonight the skies over Ashbridge’s Bay will explode with multi-coloured stars in Celebration of Canada’s historical and current ties with Britain.

Biking along the shore . . .

Here are a few photos of my fancy new bike on one of our early bike rides! You can see the battery pack in the larger picture.

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It has been slightly disorientating these last few weeks.  The trees say it’s still winter, with no sign of leaf. Yet the brilliant sunshine and  temperatures have been almost like summer, rising well over 70F over the Easter weekend!