A Thousand Island Dressing-Down

Thousand Islands are literally a thousand islands at the top of Lake Ontario at the start of the St Lawrence River. It is meant to be a pretty part of the world, and also the place where Thousand Island salad dressing was invented! Unfortunately we had a dressing-down of another variety, but more of that later.

gananoque-marina

Our trip started off promisingly, as we caught the sunset from a beautiful sandy beach Presquile Provincial Park, accompanied only by a few Canada Geese (are they just called “Geese” there? 🙂 ) Continue reading

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A Wildlife Stake out in Yellowstone

Yellowstone is the first national park in the world. It got national park status in 1872, in case anyone is wondering. Yes that’s right, I paid attention!!  But it’s probably thanks to that that wildlife is so abundant – no hunters!

Bison 1

When I saw my first Bison up close it was a special moment. Part fear – is he going to smash up my car? But mostly awe – he was a majestic creature and had a really muscular body and a surprisingly woolly face! Continue reading

What’s Black and White and Red in the Water?

The Whale Watching expedition from Vancouver turned out to be one of the most magical and breathtaking experiences of my life. But we woke up on the morning of our whale watching expedition feeling very nervous.

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Me and my BF have had such bad experiences with travel sickness generally (ahem – Nazca bus -ahem) that it has become a paranoia and we both get really anxious.  Continue reading

More Manatees and a Jumping Ray!

On our last day in Florida we had planned to go another water park, but I was a bit tired of theme parks, and we so enjoyed our beach adventures and manatee spotting that we decided to do more. So we headed to a power station near Tampa – not the most obvious of tourist attractions!

Manatee 1The power station is quite ugly, but it gives off heat, meaning the water in the adjacent river is warm – perfect for Manatees in winter! And to our delight, we were able to get really clear views of the manatees in the clear water Continue reading

Wild dolphins on beautiful Honeymoon Island

Honeymoon Island is aptly named – it is the perfect destination to get-away-from-it-all. Not really an island, it is really a peninsular, just north of Clearwater, Florida.

BeachHoneymoon Island has unspolit sand, and we almost had the place to ourselves. I was standing with the clear waves lapping at my feet, feeling content, when things got even better… I saw a Dolphin! Continue reading

A is for Armadillo… M is for Manatee! (Blue Springs State Park)

On previous trip to Florida I secretly wanted to see a manatee, and always gazed intently into every river, canal and waterway I could find. But to my dismay I never saw one. So this trip I was determined to maximise my chances. We planned a trip to Blue Springs State Park, about 1 hour’s drive from Orlando, Florida.

Blue Springs State ParkI was blown away by how beautiful it was. The trees were draped with Old Man’s Beard above an old white clapboard house like an old plantation house. We hurried to the river and saw some manatee-shaped shadows Continue reading

Dicing with Bison in Kentucky

We drove up through the cotton fields of Tennessee and eventually as the rain fell we crossed the border into Kentucky. My boyfriend wanted to get a KFC for the comedy value (get it?! Kentucky Fried Chicken in Kentucky??!). Looking back I can see that it is quite the comedy gem, but at the time I did not fancy eating there. Besides, the reason for our trip to Kentucky was not to eat wings, but to see Bison (aka Buffalo)!  (I’m sure there’s a buffalo-wings joke there somewhere?!)

Elk 1Our destination: “The Land Between The Lakes” ; a national park which was aptly named, being as it is, um, some land between two lakes. Continue reading

Flamingos in France! (and another toilet lock-in!)

Who knew that Flamingos live in France?! I was flabbergasted when I read about it, and couldn’t wait to go and see for myself. And so for this mission I headed to the south coast of France.

Church in PalavasPalavas Les Flots is a small town on the south coast of France, about 12km south of Montpellier. This turned out to be a charming little place, and the sun-baked yellow houses gave it a Spanish feel. Continue reading