Same but Different

IMG_2572Let’s start with vacation vs. travel. To those inexperienced in the latter, as opposed to the former, you’ll completely understand. Others may think the two getaways are the same, but they are quite different. Vacations tend to be those one-week jaunts to somewhere warm, where you can relax and forget all about work or whatever other crap life throws at you on a daily basis.

Travelling entails extending those sojourns, not only to relax or escape every day life, but to explore new places and perhaps venture off the beaten path. Two weeks at an all-inclusive resort may sound the same as two weeks in Europe, but they are very different. So, the question is do you want everything to be the same as home? If you do then stay at home. One reason to travel is to experience something different, whether it’s the weather, or food or wine or landscape or culture.

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A Casual Traveler – 2nd Edition

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          * NEW RELEASE *

SECOND EDITION – Re-edited, with More Stories

A Casual Traveler is a collection of short stories and poems that chronicle my adventures and misadventures around the world.

Let me take you to exotic countries in Southeast Asia, and Central or South America, to explore great cities like Buenos Aires or Seattle, and ancient sites like Angkor Wat or Machu Picchu.

I’ll introduce you to interesting people from around the globe, and share my culinary experiences with strange and gourmet food.

Sail with me on a wooden Junk boat in Ha Long Bay. Take an exhilarating motorcycle ride across the country or to the top of Pike’s Peak in the Rocky Mountains.

Get off the beaten path, I dare you. Follow me to places that you have only dreamed of. Take a trip with A Casual Traveler.

1100 Miles to the Hill & Back

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For this year’s annual bike trip the S.O.B.’s did a run up to Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and then back. Our total damage was just over 1100 miles in four days.

We had an extra biker this year, Karl, who joined Tim, Devin, Chris, and myself (Papa Bear). The destination is different every year, this trip was planned by Chris and Tim. Our departure on Thursday morning was delayed by the late arrival of the boys from Michigan, but they made a pickup at the duty free shop in the way of an apology.

IMG_2926[1]It was almost lunch time when we met Karl for breakfast at the Country Diner on Manning near County Road 42. With our bellies full, and a big blue sky looking down on us, we slipped into the middle lane on the 401. Our first stop was at Earl’s, in London, where the beer was cold and waitresses hot.

The ride along the 401, 407, and 400 were boring, but light traffic and perfect weather helped the world become a better place. Chris had his heart set on dinner at Weber’s, near Wonderland, but the rest of us would have preferred a sit-down restaurant with the option of another beer.

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Belles in Cowtown

Cibo Wine BarCibo Wine Bar Yorkville

By Cathryn Gagnon:

A recent visit to see Cityline in Toronto brought the girls and I to Yorkville.  We discovered that a favorite restaurant named Ciao, at  133 Yorkville Avenue, has been renamed Cibo Wine Bar. It did not disappoint.  I was pleased to hear that there now is a Cibo Wine Bar on King Street as well.The place is huge, among the other posh eating establishments in Yorkville.  Cibo is trendy and loud, but the whole atmosphere is vibrant.

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Taste Sensations:

  • CARPACCIO – thinly sliced raw beef, arugula, shavings of parmigiano.
  • FUSILLI – chicken, porcini mushrooms, light cream sauce.
  • ARUGULA – Prosciutto di Parma, shaved parmigiano reggiano, red wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil.
  • TONNO SCOTTATO + CAPONATA Seared Ahi tuna*, black olive salsa, green beans.

We chose to eat a lighter fare, but every mouthful was amazing.  I highly recommend Cibo Wine Bar, rating it 9 out of 10.

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