The silence is deafening…

You were born on Valentine’s Day, which is so appropriate as you were so full of affection and unconditional love. Now our home is eerily silent, and our hearts are empty as we have let you go gracefully to be with your brothers Maverick and Monty.

Quincy

Quincy

It’s been only 6 weeks since we lost your best buddy Monty, and we were so unprepared for you to go this soon. While we mourn your loss and grieve with so much sorrow, know that you filled our lives with so much happiness and we celebrate that with you today as you run forever in paradise now.

We clung to you so tightly after you slipped peacefully into a deep sleep and letting you go was the hardest thing we ever had to do.  Rest assured that we will see you again one day and we will not forget you until that day comes. We miss you so much already Quincy, the pain is unbearable :-(

Catching a glimpse of an Airbus A380

IH_201407-9932I had a chance to see an Airbus A380 last year when we were transiting through Frankfurt but unfortunately (and for whatever unknown reason I still can’t understand) I did not manage to grab any photos.

The immense size of the aircraft boggles the mind, and all I can think of as I’m sure most people do, is wonder how such a massive piece of engineering marvel can actually get airborne.  Yet it taxis into position and hurdles down the runway lifting off with such grace, its sheer size and weight seem to defy all logic. My only regret is not being able to board one and have a look around.  I have seen an episode on Discovery Channel that highlights the construction and delivery of an A380 to a prospective client, and it’s interesting to note that each one can be configured to the specifications of the airline, but then again, for just slightly under $500 million per unit, would you expect anything less !

IH_201407-9931This year once again we found ourselves back in Frankfurt with a six-hour layover – fortunately in the Maple Leaf lounge, and while enjoying the fruits of their offering, I happened to not one, but two A380′s up close and personal.  As luck would have it, both of them were very close to the lounge we were seated in, and they were at the gate (not at the same time mind you), so I grabbed my 5D3 and snapped these two images along with a  few others.

Remembering Monty

Today is a very difficult day in our little household as Lisa and I had to make the heart-wrenching and extremely painful decision to let one of our babies go.  You filled our lives with wonderful memories and experiences for almost 15 years, and we will never forget you for the unconditional love you gave us.

Monty

Monty

 

From the moment we got you at the breeder, you had a mind of your own, and from what we were told about Ragdolls being generally quiet and passive, you certainly defied the stereotype.  You were incredibly strong-willed and everything was on your own terms, but at the end of each day, we knew that you would be close to us with a gentle reminder that your need for attention was real. We miss you tremendously already Monty and the hurt is unbearable. RIP little man.

The difference between Canada and the U.S.

Happy Canada Day everyone, glad I was able to find the difference between our two great nations, this seems to sum it all up :-)

Scenic River Cruises – Jewels of Europe

A few months ago we attended a presentation from Scenic Cruises which was presenting an overview of river cruising and itineraries for 2015.  It was an impressive array of possible sailings, on a cruise line that we had seen in Europe when we did our first river cruise in Southern France last year, and we decided to book Scenic Opal and the Jewels of Europe 15-day sailing for September 2015 from Amsterdam to Budapest.

Why?  Well, have a look at this, I think it pretty much sums up the choice :-)

Around the World in 360 Degrees

This is absolutely the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time, and I only wish I had thought of this myself but what a fabulous way to capture the moments in your life and the things that matter.  I know one thing for sure…I’ll be doing this with my GoPro 3 Hero from now on !!

Enjoy, and hats off to Alex Chacon and the Modern Motorcycle Diaries for this incredible adventure and experience.

Baltic Rendezvous Voyage

Having just recently returned from a quick getaway to the Pacific coast of Mexico where we vacationed at Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa, Lisa and I (along with Janice & Steve) somehow just didn’t think we could survive the few months away from our safari adventure in South Africa, and so totally out of the blue an opportunity came up this week that was just to good for us to pass up.

Here is a map showing the various ports that we will be visiting.

Baltic Rendezvous Itinerary

Baltic Rendezvous Itinerary

So with that in mind, we were confirmed earlier this week on the Azamara Journey, a cruise line we have not yet sailed with but are very much looking forward to.  This is a 10-day voyage on the Baltic Sea through some Scandinavian countries, Western Russia and specifically St. Petersburg which just happened to be the primary driver for our decision to do this sailing, and then two ports in northern Germany.  What was really intriguing is that our stop in St. Petersburg is actually for 3 days, which we have never seen before on any cruise we have taken to date but it speaks to the significance of this city and the vast number of things for us to see and do.

Now comes the difficult part, locking down on some tours for each port which will no doubt prove to be a challenge given the late stage we are at before we sail.  But that’s part of the excitement, doing the research and finding the right opportunities.  I know this, we are both visiting places we have never been to and that alone is well worth the planning effort it will take in the short window of time we have to get everything done.

Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa

In late March Lisa and I (along with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Janice & Steve) traveled to the southern part of the pacific coast of Mexico to the sleepy little resort town of Huatulco.  We stayed at the all-inclusive Secrets Resort & Spa, an adults only property that was very favourably rated based on the research we did, and having never been to this destination in Mexico (hard to believe considering the number of times we have been in this country) we thought it would be a great way to break up the wait time for our ultimate adventure to South Africa coming up in September 2014.

Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa

Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa

The week was a big success, on many fronts including the weather which was extremely hot (averaging around 34C every day), the property, the extremely accommodating staff, and the food which did not disappoint.

I will post a complete review of our stay at this property, including some highlights of our half day trip into the town of La Crucecita (spanish for Little Cross).

Today is International Day of Happiness

What better way to celebrate today by sharing none other than Pharell William’s newest hit, Happy.  Oh, could also be that Lisa, myself, Janice and Steve are also heading to Secrets, Huatulco on Saturday morning so that’s just another reason to celebrate :-)

 

Lost and Found (or is it simply just forgotten) Photography

Wandering the narrow streets in Dijon, France

Wandering the narrow streets in Dijon, France

For all those that know I’m a passionate photographer that perhaps in another lifetime may have been my first calling, I do happen to follow a number of very respected industry experts in this field that I have learned an incredible amount of tips and tricks over the years for which I am truly grateful.  In fact, that’s one of the things that I truly love about photography – it’s not what the final image will look like, but rather how absolutely forthcoming virtually every photographer that I ever reached out to is and the willingness on their behalf to “share the knowledge”.

I recently came across a post from one such individual (Matt Kloskowski – aka The Photoshop Guy) when he posted an article that made me go “hmmmm” !  So after reading it, I had one of those ‘ah-ha’ moments, that lead me to this post today, plagiarizing some of his thoughts at the same time – forgive me Matt, for I have sinned !

This happens to me all the time and I think I’m going to start posting more of the photos here.  When we go away on a trip I take hundreds, if not thousands of photos.  But after the photo shoot, you always kinda know which ones are your favourites and you immediately go process them.  Then life gets in the way and you forget to go through all of the other photos that didn’t make that first cut.

So here’s one of those that fell into that category, and I really like the outcome for something I just skimmed over the first time around :-)  It’s a shot taken while we were visiting in the Beaune and Dijon, France region and I really love the architecture and preservation of these little towns and villages that take you back to another era in time.

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