Grant Adventure Random moments

While travelling there will always be randomness. Just simple moments that you capture because you were there and voila that randomness becomes a conscious moment.

So here are a few that each have a story as part of this Grant Adventure

img_2667This is the ultimate in a butt Floss bathing Suit – I suppose when nude beaches are not permitted and you want the ‘maximum’ amount of sunshine in Cascais, Portugal, one resorts to this bathing suit style!


How to ‘Co-Host’ a dinner party with a Random Stranger, who then becomes a friend –  Thomas Obrador

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Thomas, was our Host that we signed up with on Eat With. Here’s his link: https://www.eatwith.com/profile/6467/

For anyone who’s done it – you already know what I am talking about.  For those you have not – it’s a wonderful way to meet people and eat in a local’s home.  (confession – although I was a paid guest at Thomas’ dinner party, my skills at conversation allowed him to cook in the kitchen and wonder what he was missing at the table – aka my co-hosting skills) . Here are moments of our dinner with a group of people we had just met at 8 pm one night in Paris!

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The huge moment when you realise that your little girl is growing up to be a beautiful young woman

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When someone else’s moment becomes your moment – we shared a 90th Birthday in Somerton, England.

We were thrust into heading back to England an extra long weekend and thus we planned a dinner out.  We were staying in a wonderful Inn and met a very eccentric man, Andy. Turns out he was in Somerton to celebrate his Mother’s 90th birthday.  Low and behold the restaurant people at The White Hart put us at the only small table for two, in the same dining area as his Mother, Barbara Olley.  We sang “Happy Birthday” and watched her blow out her candles.  Barbara and her son Andy became our moment, during their moment.

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Happy Birthday Barbara Olley!

Happy Birthday Barbara Olley!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.” – Regina Brett


 

 

 

Lisbon – October 5th – who knew what this was about?  We left to wander about Lisbon to do what we do best “when doing nothing becomes doing something”.  Around a corner we go and voila – a marching band:

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Turns out it was Dia da Republica – the day when Portugal celebrates the founding of their Republic in 1910.


Cabo da Roca wasn’t on ‘the list’ of places to go but go we did anyway, in style, Dave on the back of an old motorbike and me in the sidecar.

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Cabo da Roca (Western most point Europe)

Cabo da Roca (Western most point Europe)

 


 El Rinćon de Jaén, in Madrid has yummy yummy food with a wonderful staff serving people.  After graciously taking a picture of Dave and myself with Federico, Daniel & Anna Cavestany – it was their turn to ham it up for me.  I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful this place is to eat and the bonus – people working together who like each other!

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http://www.elrincondejaen.es


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This was THE only Thing (One) I liked about a road random stop at Burger King in Poland!

A Wee Card with A Wee Flag

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And that’s all it takes to be welcomed to the most amazing properties here in England.

We are members of the National Trust for Canada.  We signed up for this membership in Canada based upon a recommendation 3 years ago by a lovely volunteer working at one of the National Trust properties here in Somerset.  Annual Canadian price for 5 Grants $70. (Annual price here in England for same is £120 which converts to approximately $200 Cdn). This is the BEST bargain if you are visiting England for even one week as you are allowed FREE entrance with this membership to ALL National Trust properties in England – here’s a listing:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_National_Trust_properties_in_England

The Canadian National Trust has a limited number of properties and perhaps this is the reason for the price difference.  Either way – it’s a great deal.  We 3-Grants have enjoyed historic castles, abbey’s, museums and stately homes all around this country.

Here’s the one thing you are NOT told about having this membership:

 There’s a wee Canadian Flag on the card!

Why is that awesome?

Each and every National Trust property has a “Volunteer Greeter” at the door.  As we pull out our wee membership card the first thing that occurs is that we are escorted over to a private area near the ‘entrance’ of the grand property we are wanting to enter. Usually a 2nd Volunteer comes over and our cards are examined a bit more closely.  See, here in England they are given National Trust membership cards that resemble an ‘exclusive’ credit card with a barcode that is inserted into a machine and/or scanned.  Not us, our membership is on simple card stock, run through a laser printer somewhere in an office in Ottawa, with only our name on it.

What happens next is always wonderful as we hear “Canada that’s a long way from here!?” and typically the volunteer breaks into a HUGE grin and then relates some sort of personal story about Canada.  We have heard about a daughter that lived in Abbotsford for a while;  a husband’s best mate who was the head master at Shawnigan Lake school; how amazing Expo ’67 in Montreal was.   After the story, we are then escorted personally by said volunteer, or two, in to the property.   We are often handed to the next volunteer sitting in the first room, who’s job is to provide a wealth of information on the room we stepped into.  We are greeted and asked if it’s our first time and the volunteer launches into shared stories about the room, the property or once again, their experience with Canada.

Canada is a great place to be from.  England is an amazing place to visit.

<To the National Trust of Canada – don’t change a thing – the card is beautiful in its simplicity!>

 

Well hello YIN & YANG

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We (as in Dave and I) are 8 sleeps away from experimenting with a new found Wanderlust.   I’m excited and yet I have also come face-to-face with one other aspect that was honestly not on my radar too much leading up to this adventure:

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I have been hugged so long and tightly by friends and family in the last week that I am very much aware of what we are leaving here.

It’s not the physical stuff that sits in this house but our people!

Yes we will have the 6 Grants all within a one hour time zone of each other.  England, Poland  and all of the “Where in the World is Dave” places.   But… because that’s how life is, there is Dave’s Mother, sisters, niece, my sister, my nephews, this huge listing of friends that we share dinner, laughs and of course wine with.   We will miss the invites and being able to invite;  the last minute bbq’s.  The impromptu knock on the door and hearing “hey here I am, you must have missed me!”

And of course we will miss their hugs!

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The “Assumption of Retirement”

No matter how much I look at this picture I only see the young woman… yet I know there is an ‘older’ women in the picture. It’s all about perception I suppose.  

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We have often heard ‘retired’ as to our personal lifestyle and how we live every day… So here’s a story for you….

Assumption, A Dog & A Rabbit

A few years back, my husband and I were out to dinner with another couple, friends of ours. My husband’s friend was the head of animal control for a very large county and always had some interesting stories to tell. This night the couple happened to be a bit late. When they arrived they were both laughing and said “Boy, do we have a story for you”.

Our friend had employees who were friends with a couple who owned a dog. The couple’s dog liked to jump the fence of the neighbor next door and try to play with the neighbor’s big white pet rabbit who was often in the neighbor’s backyard. The dog never hurt the rabbit. He just wanted to play. The couple’s dog would race around and just wag his tail at the rabbit. Even still, this was obviously a problem for both couples, but somehow they were able to coexist. The two couples and neighbours never got to know each except for the occasional fence jumping and separating of the two pets. This went on for a few years.

The couple with the dog had come home late one night and let the dog out to play in the back yard. They were tired and paid little attention to their dog’s activities. They heard the dog frantically barking and growling and went to see what was going on. In their dog’s mouth was the white rabbit. The rabbit wasn’t moving; he was really dirty and a bit rough for wear and tear. They were horrified and panicked. OH MY GOODNESS, our dog has killed our neighbour’s pet rabbit.

The couple removed the rabbit from their dog’s mouth, put it in a box and stared it. Their dog just whimpered and was acting very strangely. The couple asked; “What should we do?” They talked for a long time wringing their hands, feeling terrible about the rabbit. The big question was what WERE they going to tell their neighbors.

In the meantime, they had noticed that their neighbours weren’t home, and it appeared that they hadn’t been when their dog had jumped the fence. The couple came up with an idea. They talked about it for a minute, deciding what they would do.

The couple washed the rabbit, blew-dried his fur, combed and fluffed him up to make him look like he was still alive. It was a masterpiece. Leaving their dog in the house, they snuck over to the absent neighbors backyard and carefully place the cleaned up, fluffed up rabbit in a place he would usually play. Then they snuck back to their house and waited…, and they wait… for what must have seemed like a terribly long time. Then they heard the other neighbors arrive…, and they listened. Nothing happened. So they went about the evening but kept an ear open for any noise just in case they heard something.

Then it happened. The woman neighbor started screaming. She was obviously very distraught… DUH. The couple stared at each other and decided they needed to go ASK “Whatever was wrong.” Leaving their nervous and agitated dog in the house, they went out to their adjoining fence, peered over they saw their neighbors staring at the fluffed up dead rabbit. Their neighbors were frozen in place not moving towards their pet. They were just staring at it. Then the couple asked in the most casual voice they could muster; “What’s wrong?.” The woman neighbor stared at them for a bit and said. “He came.” The couple with the dog looked at each other, and then the dead rabbit and asked; “What do you mean?.” The neighbors explained; “What we meant was our rabbit passed away yesterday and we buried him near his favorite spot. When we came home, there he was…. ,” pointing to the fluffy dead rabbit. All the couple with the dog could say was “Oh.” The neighbor’s husband then moved towards their deceased fluffy dead rabbit. He realized the rabbit was still dead. He looked upset AND very confused.

That was when the couple with the dog noticed the hole in their neighbor’s garden. The couple stared at each other then gave their neighbors their condolences in the most sincerest fashion possible. They turned and went back to their house, closed the door, stared at each other again and then busted out laughing.

We later learned the couple had surmised that their dog had jumped the fence found the grave of his rabbit friend and dug him up. The dog was upset that the rabbit wasn’t moving and brought him to them for help, which explained his strange behavior. The couple never did tell their neighbors what they had done, how could they. They just keep it their private secret. The rabbit was reburied in a different place. A new fence was put in place of the old one; a higher fence this time so that the dog couldn’t find himself over in their neighbors yard.