Category Archives: Travel

  1. Too Much to Pass Up


    May 23, 2013 by Amie M

    Paris plans are in full preparatory mode. With the wonderful suggestion from my cousin and his wife to pin places …
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  2. Come Fly With Me


    January 30, 2013 by Amie M

    Last week was a whirlwind. We upped our awesome a million times over in the course of a few days.

    First, we bought another board game. Then we bought something I will get to. We bought my wedding ring. No photos until the big day, sorry. And we finished A Memory of Light. The wedding ring purchase is a story in itself! I may get Paul to tell that one.

    The Something is huge. It is so wonderfully huge that it makes a lot of our collective and separate dreams come true. It is so fantastic, because we never thought it would happen. But with pressure to book vacation time from work, we had to jump the gun. This quick start was a happy one, as we managed to book our honeymoon flights, for a great deal.

    Yep, the future Mr. and Mrs. have two tickets to an European Adventure, featuring Paris, Munich and Lower Bavaria, Reykjavik, and possibly Venice.

    booking flights

    The flights were booked amidst some frantic, elated and ecstatic Facebook messaging to get the details down. Then some more frantic, elated and ecstatic messaging as I had to put Mrs. into the itinerary. That created a tempest of butterflies vying with the Snowbirds for best in acrobatics in my stomach.

    Mrs! Holy poop on a stick through a pennywhistle. That’s happening. At honeymoon time, I will be a Mrs. I think that was the first time I had a moment where I realized the magnitude of everything that was happening. All of this planning, preparing, and researching of things actually amounts to something. All of the wedding preparations didn’t elicit this reaction. Writing Mrs. Amie on an IcelandAir flight reservation did.

    Paris in the Rain

    Enough about my cloud-nine emotions of being a Mrs. come September, Paul and I are going to Europe! More specifically la Ville Lumières, the Romantic Road, Aurora Borealis Heaven, and the City of Bridges. We land in Paris after an over night flight, with a quick stopover in Reykjavik. We are planning to book an apartment for 3 to 4 nights, then take the train through most of France to Venice in Northern Italy.

    One night in Italy, then a quick (relatively speaking) four hour train ride to Munich. We will be using Munich as a base as we rendezvous with several of the small towns along the Romantic Road, with Neuschwanstein as the ultimate goal.

    We fly out of Munich, and head to Reykjavik for a whirlwind 25 hour layover. We plan on doing a Northern Lights tour, and I want to buy yarn.

    My goals to see or do for this vacation:

    • Walk the streets of Paris, in the rain
    • Sit in a street cafe, sipping on a latté, and people watch a morning away
    • Watch the sun rise, or set, under the Eiffel Tower
    • Put a lock on the lock bridge
    • Eat a real macaron
    • Peruse a street market, maybe pick up a souvenir
    • Enjoy the mountains
    • Go for a hike to a secluded lake
    • Drink only local beer and wine
    • Eat a lot of cheese
    • Try lebkuchen
    • Chase pigeons in Piazza San Marco
    • Sit in a hot spring
    • Buy yarn.

    Paul’s goals, as I see them thus far:

    • Take photos
    • Get the perfect shot of Neuchwanstein Castle
    • See the German Alps
    • See Northern Lights.
  3. Honeymoon Hopeful


    November 14, 2012 by Amie M

    Paul and I are hoping we can do a honeymoon. We like to think we travel smart and effective. Like our trip to New York, where we got a mega deal on Mega Bus from Toronto, used some awesome connections for a hotel right in Manhattan, went to famous dives for dinner and took full advantage of CityPass. Paul got his photo scavenger hunt, and I got my palate pleased.

    Or how smart we were with our entire Peru trip. Intrepid really was the way to go!

    Having a big trip a year seems to be the thing with us. Next year with the wedding planning we won’t be able to do it in our preferred spring travel period, making our big trip just perfect for a honeymoon.

    So, Hello Autumn! But where will be good in autumn? I want romance, history, adventure and culture. Paul wants adventure, natural landscapes, isolation and plenty of photographic opportunities.

    I keep pitching Paris, with some time in the Pyrenees. Paul is keen on Hawaii, or Yosemite.

    It sounds like we need to honeymoon in Narnia.

    It would be entirely within our budget. Transportation costs are only what it takes to find a working wardrobe portal. Our accommodations could vary. We could couch surf at a Beaver’s lodge or crash a majestic castle. The food would be amazing, as long as we stay away from Turkish delights. There is always a hidden agenda in Turkish delights.

    And the history! Every time we leave and come back decades could have passed, and we would have been a part of it!

    The landscapes and vistas are gorgeous and torn straight from the wildest imaginations. I think we would do well with a Narnian honeymoon.

    Or we could always try for Middle Earth. I hear Gondor is nice in the fall.

  4. Machu Picchu in Our Living Room


    July 17, 2012 by Amie M

    We’ve been dragging our butts like dogs with worms, as Dad would say. We have been back from our wonderful Peruvian adventure (we really did that?) for coming on 3 months now. There are still some loose ends to take care to further encase our time in the Andes in our memories, and our home.

    We shopped around for a good deal on printing Paul’s best shot of Machu Picchu, and finally pulled the trigger on getting it. Simply Color Lab is who we went with, and we got an amazing deal. Your first order is 50% off, and they have insanely low shipping rates. So for regular 217$, we got a humongous canvas print for 108.

    And this thing is huge. Coming in at a whopping 2′ x 3′, it dwarfs our old Kinkakuji photo that was on the mantle before.

    It is a jawdropper. All our friends who have visited since we hung this bad boy up (which was a hot half a minute after it showed up) have stared at it, mouths agape. My response has been “Yep, I take good photos, don’t I?”*

    *Disclaimer: I did not take this photo. All the awesome photos I publish are really Paul’s. Seriously, they are. The lower quality, shakey ones are me. Unless Paul is in it, then I probably took that one, too, under careful supervision of using his camera.

  5. Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco


    May 30, 2012 by Amie M

    After a long sleep, but still waking up early in Cusco, we decided to wander the town and get some souvenir shopping done. We were worried that because it was a Sunday, and Peru being devoutly Catholic, nothing would be open. But thankfully, the majority of the tourist shops and museums were open for business.

    With much force and pushing, I got Paul to go into the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco. I had heard about this place from a group on Ravelry dedicated to All Things Peru. One of the hot topics is where to buy yarn, and handwoven items.

    The Center is first and foremost a museum and working cooperative aiming to preserve and master the traditional ways of weaving, knitting, spinning and dyeing. All fiber arts are practiced. In the museum, the role of different weavings and traditional dress are explained in great detail. The amount of work the Centre has put into education and promotion of the traditional ways is fantastic.

    In the store itself, you can watch some elders and cooperative members practice their weavings. The store is full to the rim with well priced articles, that you know someone put a thought into each stitch or line.

    While I appreciated and oohed at all the woven articles, it was the baskets of alpaca yarn that attracted me. On our first visit, I purchased a large skein of grey alpaca, a green and brown. And I indeed did return after not finding many places with yarn or rovings for sale and bought a gorgeous orange and red. On the second return, Paul brought his camera. I’m thankful he did.

    With these yarns, I plan on making a fair isle colourwork cardigan, all 1.5 kilograms in fingering weight of it. All this yarn was my big souvenir from our adventure, a little something in line with my hobbies and lifestyle to work with and remember Peru a little longer.

    The white will be the base, and the orange, red and green will be alternating in patterns akin to the squares in the man’s hat above. Or the weavings in the item the woman is holding even further up.

    Each skein, much like the woven items, has a tag that tells you who dyed or made the little piece of art, what it is, where it came from in Peru, what it’s made of and the CTTC mission statement.

    I am currently on the lookout for a basic sweater shape I can take the stockinette stitching and do a charted colour pattern instead. Until then, I will Scrooge McDuck it and roll around on my 1.5 kg of natural alpaca yarn, cackling hysterically with glee.