How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


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Vancouver Again: What Now?

As promised, the store stood tall and proud, its windows reflecting a dull sky. I picked up a decent brand familiar to me, which happened to be on sale. A dollar saved is a dollar earned, is it not?

We walked and walked for miles and hours beneath an overcast Vancouver sky. I kept forgetting where we were and had to remind myself this was not Toronto where the buildings seemed dwarfed by the giant ones here. Tired, we trudged past Joe Fortes Restaurant, a landmark seafood restaurant and chop house, and a popular attraction with actors and people in the music business. It is said you never know whom you will bump into. Of course, one must make a reservation. Instead of waiting in line, a patron walks right in. Especially when new ships come into Vancouver Harbour, I heard this is a hopping place.

The hotel at last; I was ready to kick off my shoes and catch a snooze. By six or so, we ventured out to dinner across the courtyard to Café One in the other tower. Why hadn’t anyone suggested we bring sunglasses? I snapped awake from my lethargy at the sight of the foyer’s bright orange walls right and left. A seating area on one side encouraged relaxation and Wifi. On the opposite side, a bar and baby grand invited patrons to enjoy drinks and music but not open for business this early.

Most tables were in front of a wall of windows, which overlooked lush and soothing greenery. A sign suggested waiting to be seated. Were we with such and such tour? Yes. The wait staff person could not find the special and abbreviated menu for some time. Seated at a table for two I noted the crisp and flawless white tablecloths and sighed sinking deeper into my chair. The menu found, I ordered roasted chicken breast, which came with various scrumptious baby beets and sweet snap peas. The baby greens salad was not good. The restaurant mildly busy, service wasn’t bad.. I took our time with coffee and Mary with dessert.

Stuffed, we headed back to our room for a little reading and TV. Nothing interesting on so we prattled on as females will. Mary kept reading, then decided to try out the pool. No robes in the closet, she called the desk and a nice man delivered two robes on hangers within minutes. How is that for service at a large downtown hotel with 746 rooms and suites?

I tried out the high bed and chose the softest pillow. Why do they have so many? Though too many lights on, their distraction soon lost all significance as I melted into dreamland.

Vancouver Quick Facts:

  • Population: 2.4 million
  • A working not residential city
  • Expo 1986 put Vancouver on the map
  • Expected 15 million people; 22 million came
  • Prince Charles and Princess Diana opened Expo
  • Princess Diana fainted after a 3-hour tour of Expo
  • A jump in immigration by 60,000 followed Expo from Hong Kong due to 1997 repatriation to China and the 1989 Tiananmen Square situation
  • Pushed up real estate prices
  • http://thelasource.com/en/2016/05/02/expo-86-the-bubble-that-never-burst/

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Next on June 20th – Vancouver: A Bus Tour Anyone?

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

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North to Alaska: Dolly Who? Dolly What?

On we trudged; a sign advertising many varieties of popcorn caught Mary’s attention. Mm. It smelled so good inside that shop. I cannot recall all the flavours on offer, but they were many and not cheap. Seasonings were available to mix anyway a customer chose. I’m glad I didn’t need to make a selection. I love popcorn but too many choices of anything give me a headache.

We next chose an open-type shop, the three-walled kind like in an open bazaar, and lickety-split an attractive, fast-talking sales clerk started his spiel. He snared Mary into buying two 8-ounce vac pacs of smoked salmon at $16.99 each USD by throwing in a free 4-ounce vac in the bargain. I guess she wanted to be caught because she had her mind set on salmon from Alaska. This purchase required special packaging and an officious label since we were in a country not our own and food items require special permission to be transported across the border. Oh, the rules of travel.

I am no good without a plan or a map, but we ambled from the main road for a couple blocks to see what we might find.

An advertisement on the ship’s TV had advertised points of interests and there it was. Sheer luck we’d found it so easily. A young woman in period costume outside the little white house convinced us to check it out for ten bucks each. I love a mystery, don’t you? What would we find for such a bargain ticket?

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Teeny rooms jam-packed with period furniture and paraphernalia was worth the escape out the annoying and persistent gauzy drizzle. A flat screen TV graced a wall in every room, running looped film about Dolly, her life, and possessions. Peeling paint and wallpaper and watermarked ceilings framed the crowded artifacts of the day. Dolly (real name Thelma Copeland, born 1888) had purchased the house in 1919 for $800.00 and paid it off in two weeks. She did not allow married men and told them, “No, you’re married.”

She checked hands for rings and again said, “Nope, you’re married.” How did she know? Removed rings and mud on shoes or boots confirmed they had come down the hill, the back way. Those who carried their shoes (and put them on before knocking) to avoid mud, passed inspection.

Married men’s trail to Creek Street. Wood stairs and railings save tourists from mud on their shoes and from slipping and sliding away.

In the ‘20s and ‘30s, prostitution was not illegal. Booze was but nobody paid attention. Dolly received deliveries at night by lowering a bucket and hid the boat supplies underneath the house beneath the nose of the preacher next door.

Downstairs:

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Upstairs:

A couple with two young children zipped past us up the stairs, barely stopping to blink, and were out the door as if house hunting but not impressed with the recommended property.

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The tour of Dolly’s house ended at the back door on an up-do-date wooden deck and walkway back to Creek Street.

Next on June 15th – North to Alaska: Creek Street Shops and a Tram Experience

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


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North to Alaska: Ketchikan Beckons

Dismal fog and rain greeted the new morning, the cruise ship a little tippy and drunk. We had an early breakfast, eager to set foot on dry land again. In the distance, Ketchikan beckoned in what we hoped was fading mist.

We were too early for the 10:00 a.m. disembarking. A small group paced a narrow hallway, faces placid but feet itchy to move on. Soon the line became a throng, hallway, and stairway congested with humanity taking off layers as crowding and body heat rose. It worked like traffic at a standstill where cars in the exit ramp manage to squeeze in front of drivers who are already frazzled from waiting but can’t help edging forward, all but honking horns for something to do.

As 10:00 drew near, Mary realized she’d forgotten her wallet, fought her way down the packed stairs and raced to our room. I should be used to last-minute shenanigans but they still unnerve me. She made it back before the doors opened and we made our way outside at last to a fine, discouraging drizzle.

Ketchikan means creek of thundering wings of an eagle where Tlingit people fished and named the creek by that name.

Watchful for the tour guide we’d come upon in Juneau, she had been neither in the waiting area on the ship nor coming ashore. Passengers gathered in groups around placard-bearing advertisers promoting excursions. The trickle of travellers thinned to zero. No use wasting more time, we took several photos and moved on.

A prominent sculpture greeted all visitors in ship’s port, titled The Rock. Click to read about it and meet the seven life-size figures represented.

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Mary had Alaska canned salmon uppermost in her mind. We tried the first store advertising canned salmon—and there were many. She decided $7.99 USD was too expensive for a measly can. She asked for directions to a processing cannery. The sales girl withheld sharing a specific route, pointed in the general direction of the front window (or maybe a wall), and said it was a long walk up the hill. Good news to Mary who wanted to investigate. Without clear having done any previous research, she blindly headed off with me in tow.

A white bus passed with a sign advertising free shuttle. At a bus stop, we talked to a young English speaking Asian couple, who were guests on another ship. “The free shuttle goes quite a way out of town—all the way to Walmart,” the young man said.

We didn’t want to go to Walmart and Mary decided she wanted to take a city bus. Like the Aries she is, she was willing to jump on the bus and expect the driver to tell her where to find a cannery. Miserable about the situation, I finally convinced her this approach was not worth our time. We should have taken the shuttle for the free tour of the city and beyond. If nothing of interest prompted further investigation, we could return and carry on. What a missed opportunity.

Quick Facts:

To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world.

John Muir

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Next on June 8th – North to Alaska: Dolly Who? Dolly What?

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


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Inlets, Wilderness and a Polar Bear Dip

Yes, we missed the Magician’s magic show due to a sit-down dinner, and not to compare one as more interesting than the other, I did learn an interesting tidbit this day. When I think of Alaska, I think of BIG snow, but how do people get from one town to another in winter especially when it comes to the trains battering tonnes of snow (or so I imagine)? How do they do it? A snow plow train blower is on display on the edge of town for all tourists coming in and out of Skagway to see.

Pictures are okay, but watching a snow blower on the tracks is another story. It gives me goosebumps to imagine getting stuck on a train surrounded by nothing but snow.

After our meandering visit in Skagway, we passed over a couple sets of railway tracks, paths to park-like settings, and more brands stamped/painted on rock faces.

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The next morning, Mary and I grabbed our earliest breakfast while walkers already traipsed the wet promenade deck wearing gloves and bundled in weatherproof jackets with hoods.

Soon we joined other gawkers as the cruise ship entered Glacial Bay. Rain-slick decks, dripping railings, and the weeping sky discouraged the majority of travellers from coming outside. Darn weather. I hunched in my weatherproof jacket and stuck it out until the captain performed a s-l-o-w 180-degree turn in a space I was sure we’d scrape the surrounding mountains. No damage to the ship and no sea life endangered, I guess the captain had performed this act a time or two.

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The show over, we’d had enough damp weather and clumped inside to warm our bones with a hot drink. Mary signed up for a polar bear dip mid-afternoon in the outside pool. Only three other brave souls from the whole ship entered the contest: a 14-year-old girl; a young man of 20 or so; a young oriental mother with her four or five-year-old son, and my sister Mary.

The announcer read a long speech to stir up a little tension, I suppose. Around 30 or so onlookers—noses dripping with rain—drifted outside to cheer on the contestants. Hoods up and dancing from foot-to-foot, the curious itched for entertainment relief from their chill and boring day. There would be no prizes; only ah honourable mention for the winner. Where? On their fleet of cruise ships? So, nothing for their efforts except a plain certificate of accomplishment.

The show was over in a flash. Holding her nose, Mary jumped up onto the raised wall ledge of the pool, leapt up, and cannonballed into the water. Afterward, she asked how many pictures I’d taken. I’d used my iPad min not a fast-action camera. “One—of you,” I said. Oopsie. I guess I failed as her media photographer.

Inside the ship, Mary headed to the hot tub. I lounged next to a white-robed woman to whom I mentioned my surprise when my sister soldiered up for the dip. “I give the three other people a lot of credit, considering the damp and cold weather. Too cold for me.”

The woman looked me straight in the eye and grinned. “How much you want to bet the outside pool is heated?”

“O-hh.” My sister hadn’t said a word about the water. She shivered for all the onlookers and played her part. When I asked about the water temperature, Mary made a face and said, “My lips are sealed.”

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Next on May 25th – North to Alaska: Bet You Don’t Know These Quick Facts

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

 


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North to Alaska: It’s All Greek to Me

The tour guide had to check if the door was open for entry to the St. Nicholas Orthodox Church. We lucked out; she found a caretaker with a key. Finally, a chance to get out of the tiresome misting rain.

The Tlingit parishioners built the blue and white, octagonal church from local wood in 1893. The history is fascinating, at least to me.

The tour ended with the church visit. We were on our own. What to do? The famous Red Dog Saloon beckoned. Silly not to peek inside, right?

Too chilled for a beer, we didn’t stay long and moseyed into a couple little shops—mega touristy trinkets—to pick out gifts for the family back in Ontario. Mary chose two charms for a forgotten bracelet. I bought a bunch of postcards (five for $1.00 USD), which are scarce back home and cost a dollar each if you’re lucky to find them. As well, I picked out two pairs of charming Forget-me-not Swarovski Crystal pierced earrings for my granddaughters. My daughter is a necklace queen; I saw no interesting pieces for her.

Stopped at Vintage Fare Café  and Espresso for a coffee, a sit, and much-needed Wifi. Sitting proved to be my undoing as I felt lazy and tired of the chill in my bones. We were happy to return to the ship without having spent hundreds of dollars on excursions and planned to watch out for tour guides at the rest of our stops in port.

Along the way back, we passed numerous plagues about lighthouses and this huge outdoor mural: Passengers not allowed at the top of this house. I’m surprised my photo didn’t turn out bad either.

The shops are bright and the boats inviting. Why do towns on the water—everywhere it seems—have their buildings painted in delightful, vivid colours?

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Shoes off, we decided to kick back and enjoy a glass of wine in our stateroom. By 6:30, My stomach rumbled. I looked forward to the specialty on the menu: salmon. Other choices were pork and beef but fish it had to be. What luck! No salmon. Ten minutes, they said. This, after a shortage of shrimp the previous night. I was not happy. The twice-baked potatoes were dry and the green beans tough and stringy. Mary’s patience rewarded her with a sliver of salmon which I ranked as undercooked, opaque, and gelatinous. She said it was o-kay.

I had no desire for my usual after dinner coffee. That’s a first. After a glass of water, I was done.

We decided to take in a movie. The small but authentic theatre, we later found out, was also used for various Sunday services. It seemed a popular venue and filled quickly. Having arrived early, we chose seats dead centre to the screen with a clear view throughout the movie, titled Split. It was not clear why the main character with 23 personalities snatched three girls and kept them hidden. I enjoyed the opportunity to vacate our room and the new experience of the glam ship’s theatre. On second thought, that’s incorrect. We watched movies on the ship my mom and I sailed to Canada, but I have no recollection what the theatre looked like. Though only four, I do not know what movies we saw but do recall a man hitting on my mother and gifting me a bag of raisins. I wonder if she confessed to my father when we arrived.

As the credits rolled and we lined up to exit the Alaska cruise theatre, a ship hostess handed out small bags of fresh popcorn. Yum. Another day ending.

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Next on May May 4th – North to Alaska: Skagway Adventures?

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


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North to Alaska: Rainy Juneau Tour

We followed the guide past the library and had our first glimpse of the Sealaska Heritage Center but did not enter.

We then heard a fascinating story about Patsy Ann, the famous bull terrier, whose statue sits overlooking the wharf and continues to greet tourists on the cruise ships to Juneau.

A sculpture in honor of early miners in Juneau’s Goldbelt:

I hadn’t thought we’d see so many totem poles. They come in many sizes, colors, and tell many stories. In front of the Alaska State Capitol Building, we came upon this bear state, a salmon pinned to the rock.

Aren’t the mountains in the background striking? And breathtaking?

The road sloped downward and then leveled; the asphalt had no chance to dry from the fine drizzle. Damp and chilled, we trudged on. The buildings are self-evident in the photos.

As the road inclined, traffic was sparse. We scaled the sidewalk road, calf muscles, and glutes hard at work. An unexpected surprise awaited, one I had not considered. I thought the house smaller than I imagined, but I’d compared it to Washington. Big mistake. The Governor’s Mansion lorded the corner, the yard around it less than I assumed fitting, surrounded by high hedges and trees. True, the house did not butt up against the neighbor’s; still, it neither looked out of place nor appeared ostentatious. I recall a story that Governor Palin complained about a writer who rented next door, supposedly snooping on her family to write about them. The distance between the houses may well be deceiving.

Our tour guide’s used wireless audio equipment instead of a bullhorn.

Feverish picture taking and excitement over, the way back overlooked housing, mostly apartments. We turned toward the city center and passed older one family homes, the old mixed with the new same as every other city.

Quick Tips

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Next on April 27th – North to Alaska: It’s all Greek to Me

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


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North to Alaska: A-Hiking We Will Go

To be fair, I should include what little I know about this Vancouver hiking group. Friends added friends and the group expanded due to similar interests and bonding.  All my family has met them on several occasions during our visits to see sister, Jean. Warmer and more generous people I have never met.

They invited me to what?

A hiking we will go © Jon Nightingale

Towering, impossibly straight trees framed our path and filtered penetrating May sunlight through new leaves and branches. The clean scent of fresh air, cedar, ferns, fir trees, and dry dirt in our path path greeted all comers. Now and again, birds twittered, but quiet reigned except for the odd low-keyed conversation. Other hikers passed in both directions. Heaven.

 

The path began more or less three-people wide on the level gravel-covered ground. At times, we stood aside for other passers-by. A small incline rose up and up till I was breathless and heaving. Was I out of shape or what?

The majority of the seasoned hikers slogged ahead at a brisk pace compared to sisters Jean and Mary, Liz, and me. Jean suggested we slow our pace as we needn’t keep up with the others. The going became rough: stair-like ascent over roots and stones for footholds. Where the trees grew thicker, the roots were wet and the hiking trail muddy and water-soaked. Treacherous doesn’t describe it. Unsteady, I kept my balance—just. Was I up for this?

I can. I can. I can. © Jon Nightingale

I worried how we’d get back to the parking lot though we hadn’t gone half-way, which happened at Jug Island Beach.

Jean and others pulled out snacks and water. Mary ripped off shoes and socks to cool off ankle-deep at water’s edge. The cool temperature discouraged swimmers—still too early in the season. Logs, rocks, and sand offered seating for all who chose to relax or catch their breath. We four arrived much later than the rest of the group.

Though I had a sneaking suspicion, I had to ask. “How do we get back?”

“Same way you came.”

Blast. Back over the wood stairs, rough stairs of dirt and stones, both minus handrails. Going down was easier than going up and I made it. Liz joined the rest of the group as we three sisters stayed together on our return. Whether altitude or lack of sleep, Jean asked permission to help when my legs refused to maneuver a tricky spot while on my hunches. Yes, she pushed me there.

At one point, Mary noticed we were in unfamiliar territory. We’d wandered off the trail. Funny about the timing. Jean and I gazed around, struck with the same thought. Seeing no other hikers for several minutes was daunting.

We shared our misadventure with a couple with an obedient Doberman, with whom we crossed paths. They confirmed we were back on track.

A man from our group passed by, who had made a last minute dash to the facilities following picture-taking. We were gone when he came out. Having no idea which trail we’d chosen first, he struck out on his own. Rotten luck. Alone, he made record time and now passed us on his second trail in.

A parking lot peeked through the trees, but which one was it? Passing hikers pointed to the curve in our path, which snaked to the road across from the lot we needed. Neither of us had a clear recollection of crossing the road at the start of the hike.

Decision made we’d ditch the second hike, we found Ralph had scored the last picnic table for return hikers. The sodden grass squished beneath our runners as we squelched our way toward him. At times, our shoes sank low past the soles. Canadian geese ambled about as if they owned the park, children laughed and hollered and ran. Tense parents kept an eye on them while unpacking picnic lunches.

The sun bright and weather spring-like, a chill breeze ruffled our hair. Grateful for a place to sit, I dropped to the bench. Jean suggested Mary and I snooze in the SUV till the second round of hikers returned. Though tired, closing my gritty and burning eyes was enough. I could not sleep.

I came alive when talk of lunch at a pub surfaced through the half-open SUV window. I’d lost all track of time but my tummy had not.

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Next on February 23rd – North to Alaska: The Peoples’ Path and more

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


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North to Alaska: Will We Make it to the Airport?

When my sister, Mary, and I booked this trip, by way of Vancouver the year before, I’d been gung-ho. The day for departure had arrived, but my heart wasn’t in it.

The afternoon before our flight, I booked a taxi online, then called by evening to check the booking with a human being. Everything was fine. We were set.

When I go away, I use Gravity Pet Feeders (one for each cat with kibble and one full of water for both). That taken care of, Mary and I watched a movie when Dickens waddled to the sofa and sank into the carpet at my feet. His breathing laborious, heavy, and shallow, terrified me. Was he knocking on heaven’s door? What timing for a vet visit so close to our flight. Dollars spun in my head. I picked him up. His eyes were dull and half-mast. What to do? We analyzed the circumstances and an Aha moment struck. Unbeknownst to me, he and Lady Gaga thought they’d arrived at Kibble Heaven and gorged on the mountain of food before it disappeared. Dickens stuffed himself to bursting and had to wait it out. Lady Gaga, ever a lady, pushed away from the tray sooner than he. Just. An hour later Dickens’ breathing better, we toddled off to bed, I wrestling he’d make it through the night; Mary off to sweet dreams. Dickens isn’t her cat.

I never sleep well before a trip. Worried about the scheduled taxi pickup in the dark hours of the morning—more like the middle of the night—I woke up at 2 a.m. sleep gone. My bedside alarm finally jolted me out of a doze two hours later. The travel alarm I’d specifically purchased as a backup had failed. Mary’s phone alarm rang first. Good save.

Forty-five minutes isn’t a lot of time to get ready and out the door but we managed. Dressed, beds made, breakfast choked down, dishes rinsed and deposited into the dishwasher.

As I scrambled, the phone rang with an automated message that our taxi was in transit. Five minutes later, another call: the cab waited in the driveway. Mary gobbled her cereal as did I. My bags were already upstairs by the front door; hers in the trunk of her car.

What is it with taxi drivers with his personal items in the trunk, leaving little room for passengers’ bags? I’ve seen it happen before. He didn’t know how to position them to close the trunk. Exasperated, I leaned in and made them fit. Our carry-ons came into the back seat with us. I had asked for the $35.00 flat rate to the local airport. Agreed. You have to ask for it. Mary and I each kicked in $20 for a five-dollar tip, considering the ride lasted 15 minutes and the storage shortage in the trunk.

An airport attendant, mere feet from the door we entered, approached right away and helped with printing the boarding passes and luggage tags. The agent told us to bring our luggage to the conveyor belt and goodbye bags. They weren’t even weighed. How does that happen? Wow! Mary over-packs coming and going and fussed about paying extra for an overweight bag.

What a difference between Hamilton Airport and Toronto’s Pearson, or are domestic flights less complicated? A previous domestic flight we’d taken from Toronto was nothing like this one. No hassles: no crowds, long lines, miles to walk, and no belt or shoe removal. The Waiting Area was one minute away from—what else?—a Tim Hortons. Mary needed a coffee; I held off a few minutes. Fumble fingers me almost tossed the hot liquid all over myself when I did. How I managed a quick save, I’ll never know.

“What was that?” Mary asked with a smirk. A few minutes later, she up-ended her coffee on the table where her brown overflow carry-all/purse rested wide open with now wet contents. After our boarding passes had printed, the lovely attendant mentioned boarding would be late about an hour. Our Direct flight to Vancouver needed to be refueled and prepared for return there. I wondered why our boarding pass and the electronic posting still say 6:25 a.m. Mary had checked if the plane would be on time the previous night as you’re supposed to. Confirmed. Flight time not changed. By 6:40, the overhead flight information flashed:

Flight 241 departure 6:25 a.m. Delayed. Estimated 7:25 a.m. 

Thank you.

Our waiting area for Gate 3 had a scattered dozen souls. An announcement over the loudspeaker apologized for a minor delay: some valve(s) had to be replaced. Valve(s)? Didn’t sound minor to me. I believe in transparency, but this was scary news. Why were valves mentioned at all? And don’t say they are a minor fix. What’s minor about them? They all feel major to me since we’re to lift off into the sky.

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Next on February 9, 2018: Where’s the Easy Button?

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


I’m Late. I’m Late.

Meant to drop in early today but my granddaughter’s home sick from school. It’s amazing how busy a little person keeps you. On top of that, we had a whack of a snowfall and I haven’t had time to shovel yet. Brr. Don’t you love winter? It keeps on giving. And giving. Groundhog Day soon.

You may have scratched your head after Friday’s post, proposing a new direction: North to Alaska. I shall try regular Friday output—I will try. I cannot say when I’ll come back full time. I’ve had cataract surgery a while back; one of my problems is my laptop screen and I don’t like each other. Ditto for reading.

Last spring I joined a writers’ group because I‘m having a difficult time scribbling anything new and hoped a group experience would motivate me. Nope. I continue to dabble in old stuff, which isn’t a bad thing, but still, I wish I’d have become more productive by now. Too much screen time is overwhelming, though so I shall take time.

Thank you for hanging in with me and your continued reading. I do miss the camaraderie, and your smiling faces in the blogosphere. Your kind support does my heart good.  XX


Hong Kong View-a-Thon, Part 3

Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin

We’d seen all we could at Tin Hau Temple. Sue and I headed to the bus parked in front of a Seven-Eleven Variety Store. We decided, as did the rest of our group, to buy water. A cashier managed to keep up with the brisk business, while another worker (or owner) kept an eye on the crowd. The store appeared to stock anything you can imagine: groceries, wine, water, and clothes.

Soon, almost everyone took his or her seat but someone was still missing. Hurry up and wait. We did wait. And wait. And wait. No explanations were given, at least not to the English Group 8. Finally, the French crowd cheered and the last couple hopped on, to loud and boisterous guffaws. The story: the husband, goofing around—whether on purpose or by accident—sent his wife into the water and of course, she was soaked through. The bus couldn’t turn back to the hotel just for her. Would you believe she bought pants and a top at the Seven-Eleven? I have no idea where she changed.

Next stop: Stanley Market. I managed to go through the paces once we were dropped off into scorching temperatures and no trees. Jewelry kiosks were plentiful, but the earrings I found weren’t to my liking. Why did dollar stores in Canada carry such fabulous Made in China earrings, but after I’d traveled all this way found nothing to compare? I did buy one pair for a souvenir, but they cost too much—five times more than in Canada—and the chandelier type already out of fashion at home.

Stanley Market

© Used by permission of RJ, a member of English 8. All Rights Reserved.

Some tourists avoided shopping by visiting the Stanley Waterfront. I wish I had known about it as I expect it might have been cooler by the water. I’m not overly fond of shopping and anyway, the same products and trinkets came up time and again, especially T-shirts and shawls (Pashminas).

We trudged up an incline, squeezing into the shade of anything available until the tour guide appeared to take us to the bus.

Quick Facts:

  • Japanese occupied Hong Kong in the 1940s
  • A city with lots of convenient washrooms
  • Cross-Harbour Tunnel opened in 1972
  • Cranes and constructions everywhere
  • 12 days a year paid holidays
  • Financial district in a central area
  • Education free from age 6 to 18
  • Lots of private schools for ages 6 to 15, but expensive
  • Great public facilities for young people: swimming
  • Cinemas available but people prefer big TV screens at home
  • One child per couple not applicable in Hong Kong
  • Writing is the same in Cantonese and Chinese but sound different
  • Taoism not a religion but a way of life
  • Population 7.2 million
  • Total land area 1100 square km. (426 square miles)
  • Lots of tunnels
  • Hong Kong means Fragrant Harbour
  • It is the Pearl of the Orient
  • Visas available for visitors who come just to shop
  • No tax in Hong Kong

Only a small group signed up for a boat ride to Aberdeen, an old-fashioned fishing village, which still exists in the midst of modern high rises. Tired, thoughts of home hovered in the back of my mind and I looked forward to going home. I didn’t join in the boat ride but caught up with a group who walked around the town. At one point the ladies needed the Happy House and begged relief at a fancy hotel along our way. Later, we passed a grocery store where I bought a bottle of (Dynasty or maybe Great Wall) wine for 49 Hong Kong dollars (around $8.00 Cdn.).

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Next on January 19th – Hong Kong, What a Throng: Part 4

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

FYI: This is a re-blog of the best parts of my trip in 2014

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I am currently on an unplanned sabbatical but hope to visit here before the end of the month. Many, many thanks for your supportive reading, re-blogging, and tweeting. Your continued follows are immensely appreciated.  XX