METAMORPHOSIS IMAGE FINAL

URBAN GALLERY HOSTS CENTENNIAL COLLEGE’s ANNUAL STUDENT SHOWCASE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Each year, Toronto’s Urban Gallery hosts Centennial College Studio Arts program’s 1st year students exhibition and with the current Covid-19 crisis hitting all the galleries and public art installation locations so hard, Urban decided to upload a Facebook “gallery” show for the students (follow them on Facebook.com/UrbanGalleryTO)  The works are hung on the gallery walls for anyone wishing a private viewing – contact them via www.UrbanGallery.cagallery gallery3Thanks to Lisa Binnie, MFA, FAS Program Coordinator and Professor in the Fine Arts Studio & Photography Programs, the students were able to organize this year’s show so that their works can be showcased online, building support for their future careers.  Metamorphosis is the theme of this year’s Fine Arts Studio student exhibition, and it will change the way you look at art!  Metamorphosis is not only the theme, but also describes the transformation these emerging artists will experience during the Centennial College fine art program, and continue throughout their lives. Below is a selection of the works on show (installation runs until March 28) so please visit the gallery’s Facebook page frequently to view the various paintings and multi-media works uploaded daily.RavenMaducdoc-Facade-2020 gallery5 CarreraChung_Coda-2020 copy LuZhang-Glow-2020 gallery6 gallery10 ChristaBellewang_Saprophyte-2020

Urban Gallery is located at 400 Queen Street East in downtown Toronto, and is one of the city’s leading independent galleries offering artists catered opening and “meet the artist” receptions. If you have any questions or if you’d like booking information, please contact gallery director, Calvin Hambrook, at info@urbangallery.ca  Until social distancing or self-isolation concludes, Urban Gallery will continue running online gallery events for your safety and convenience.AnneKim_YouAreMore-2020 MYMYMY_Acceptance-OldSkin-2020 AleksandraRodneva-ThereStillWillBeLife-2020 RobertStephenson_Decisions-2020 SidiaAtabales-Schnitzler-Grandma-2020 WeijiaSu_HeartRebirth-2020 YuJunOh-MyInnerSide-2020Thank you for supporting Canada’s emerging artists!

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JAMS AND HORSIES AND BUTTERFLIES, OH MY!

Thanks to the great tour group SHORTTRIPS.CA I enjoyed a day of coach touring around London & Cambridge, a couple of hours West of Toronto this past Saturday and oh what fabulous things I did!!

Departing Toronto at the crack o’ dawn, our “cruise director” Chris advised us that our first stop was the historic Banting House in London. Frederick Banting (with his partner Charles Best) discovered the insulin treatment for diabetes and this was a home he lived in for about a year during the 1920’s when he worked on the cure. 20200307_103806 20200307_103923Unfortunately all the beautiful glass windows had been removed for repair and restoration so all the window spaces were boarded up and the interior was quite dark. I managed to grab a few photos, esp. of his own artwork with was influenced by his friendship with A.Y. Jackson & the Group of Seven….20200307_10462620200307_104653 20200307_105047 20200307_105024 We were given about and hour and a half here, so after I finished my house tour, I headed out into the sunshine and took a walk down the street to check out the local stores. I discovered the “food incubator”, a warehouse full of delicious locally made foods, coffee, packaged goods, and discovered the booth of Glen Farms Herbs & Preserves, run by David Glen. He was busy making all sorts of tasty treats as I browsed the shelves….20200307_112308 20200307_112323 20200307_112342 20200307_112418I picked up local honey, blackcurrant jam (yummmmm) some Apple Mango chutney as well as a few more pots of  goodies. David is hoping to bring his hand-crafted wares to Toronto so check the website for news…  https://www.instagram.com/glenfarmsgourmet

Back on the bus, we then headed off for lunch at the McLachlan Family Farm & Pancake House, about an hour or so away. Our tummies were rumbling so we all encouraged our driver, Roxanne, to step on it!20200307_135124As everyone piled out and was escorted over to the campfire and sugaring off educational exhibits, I spied something a little more exciting so off I went…..

How exciting – I sat right up front for a great view….er, well, they did have cute furry butts!  Here’s maybe a nicer view…20200307_124340There was so much to see around the camp….lots of activities for the kids and those of us oldies who just wanna walk thru the forest…info about the farm and all they offer can be found at: www.mclachlansyrup.ca 20200307_124242 20200307_132616 20200307_134918 20200307_135205(0)The yummy lunch buffet included as many pancakes as I wanted (3), sausage, ham, baked beans, home fries and I had the biggest jug of fresh maple syrup all to myself!20200307_130131Burp! After about 2hrs of sweet fun, we all piled back onto the bus to go visit our 3rd and final destination – the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory. As Roxanne guided our bus through country backroads and highways, we all dozed off, digesting all the sugar we consumed…LOL. 20200307_163924Suddenly, out of the countryside and farmland, the big buildings of the conservatory appeared and we hastened off the bus in desperate need of bathrooms (all that  coffee, hot chocolate & syrup had taken its toll!) then into the hot steamy conservatory to visit the fluttering fairy-like creatures.

It brought back memories of my visit to the big butterfly world in Phoenix, Arizona, a year ago.  Just look at all the pretty b.flies…20200307_162302 20200307_162647 20200307_163312This giant owl moth even decided to hitch-hike on my butt!20200307_162529There were cute quails and lots of pretty little birds (finches, I think) flying around – they eat all the dead bugs, grubs, etc, keeping the enclosure clean for the butterflies.20200307_162857 20200307_162604

Our tour group was given coffee, tea and snacks … then time for one last pit stop before heading home to Toronto. OMG, this (below) was on the back of the loo doors; how about going to the upcoming “Bug Fest” to nibble on real insects? No thank you!! I’ll stick to admiring the wee beasties as they fly around…LOL But if you want to visit yourself, directions and hours can be found here: www.cambridgebutterfly.com20200307_172432Thanks again to the wonderful folks at www.ShortTrips.ca for such an exciting, fun-filled day. Check out all their upcoming excursions that include meals and admissions to all the venues -I highly recommend their big blue bus.20200307_133415

 

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EXCITING NEW CONFERENCE/MEETING CENTRE OPENS IN STUNNING JAMAICAN RESORT

Welcome to Ocean Coral Spring Resort & Conference Centre in Trelawny, Jamaica – just 45mins East of Montego Bay. Can you imagine holding your corporate events or team building exercises where this is your view each morning? Ah, Paradise… what a perfect location for motivating work and play!20200220_064308As part of it’s brand new resort on Jamaica’s sunny north coast, the Ocean Hotels int’l group has created a full-service, fully equipped Conference Centre that can accommodate up to 800 visitors in its main showroom which can also be divided into 2, 3 or 4 separate spaces, depending on the client’s needs. It will offer full A/V services, catering and furnishings. Additional local event suppliers and support businesses can be coordinated thru the resorts’ professional events office. The beautifully appointed accommodations feature all the luxury mod cons and the staff are charming, friendly and most efficient. And the resort has its own private beach with palapas, loungers and beach towels available for guests. Here’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Tanesha Clarke, to tell you all about this unique location for your upcoming meetings….

Thank you for sharing all this information, Tanesha, it was a pleasure experiencing the resort and all its facilities first-hand.  20200222_145612The resort itself opened in December and its imposing conference centre is undergoing the final tweaking and decorating stages, and should be open and ready to present your events by late Spring  (2020). Between or after meetings and business activities, there are multiple dining venues and activities for you to enjoy as a group, or just relax on your own…20200220_151117 20200222_142041 20200224_06412520200222_141936 20200222_142052If you’d like to learn more about Coral Ocean Spring Resort & Conference Centre, visit their resort website: www.hoteloceancoralspring.net
or contact Tanesha directly to receive the corporate events information package (and ask for the wedding package, too, if you’re planning a destination wedding):
Tel: (876) 615-8100 Ext. 9150
Mountain Spring Bay – Coral Spring Trelawny Jamaica
Email: tanesha.clarke@oceanhotels.net  20200219_162509Your rum cocktail is waiting for you in the lobby bar (above). Come check your group in today!

 

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DORIS WAI, our lady of letters, launches solo show at URBAN GALLERY

BOTTLED FEELINGS is a project by artist Doris Wai to collect brief statements of personal feelings submitted online and anonymously from people around the world. These private thoughts are about life, parenthood, and secrets often too difficult to share. The artist then transcribes each feeling directly onto individual bottles with elements of calligraphy and hand lettering. Hosted at URBAN GALLERY, 400 Queen St East in Toronto, the show runs throughout February, closing on the 29th – yes, it’s a Leap Year!  Doris hosted a VIP reception last night, welcoming her family and friends as well as supporters who helped make her dream of a gallery show a reality.20200206_164234 20200206_164316(0) 20200206_160027

 

Doris Wai was born and raised in Toronto, and is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design in illustration, but what she loves to draw most is letters. In 2014, she started her own business dedicated to the beauty of hand lettering, and has worked extensively in the wedding and event industry, design/branding/print work and has been featured on numerous magazines including Wedluxe, Mingle, and Uppercase. Her work has also been featured on TV shows like Cityline and The Social. She became a published author in 2017 with her book Extraordinary Hand Lettering teaching readers the tips, tricks and mindset behind lettering beyond paper, and has started a YouTube channel called The Lettering Lifestyle. thumbnail (2)As you enter the gallery, Doris has placed a thank-you notice to all who have supported her and helped finance this show (what a classy lady!) and as you walk around the gallery, you might just recognize feelings you yourself have experienced, or are an ongoing mental meme!20200206_160128 20200206_160614 20200206_160631One of the bottles carries a funny message…

Doris is hosting a special “meet the artist” reception on Saturday Feb. 22nd (2-5pm) and she looks forward to welcoming you to Urban Gallery…and to share some of your own “bottled feelings” with her. RSVP to attend: info@urbangallery.ca

invitation Feb 22

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EXQUISITE EXHIBITION OF KABUKI & NOH FANS @ JAPAN FOUNDATION

As many of you know, I’m a huge fan lover and am never caught without my own beautifully designed fan to keep cool. My prized fan possession is one that Canada’s Grammy-nominated flutist, Ron Korb, brought back for me from Hiroshima where he performed at a memorial concert. It was so beautiful, covered with tiny origami cranes, that I had it framed (below).20200110_154553I couldn’t believe that I forgot to attend the spectacular exhibition of theatrical fans from Japan’s Noh and Kabuki theatre worlds at Toronto’s Japan Foundation located at 1 Bloor East (Royal Bank bldg) but after a reminder email, I dashed in today for a visit and boy, am I happy I did. Fans Onstage closes tomorrow Saturday Jan 11 so hurry hurry hurry!  Admission to the Foundation’s gallery is FREE.20200110_121738 20200110_121843 20200110_121804To quote the information found on their website:  Japan’s association with fans can be traced back to the Nara period (8th century) with the cypress fans made of wooden hinged strips, followed by the invention of paper folded fans in the Heian period (9th century).  As early as the late 10th century the paper folded fans, which differed from flat unfoldable fans, were exported from Japan to the Korean peninsula and China as luxury imports.  In the West, in ancient Egypt and Greece, there were records of folded fans, but the tradition of using fans died out during the Middle Ages.  Whereas in the East the new technique of making fans – the application of paper on both sides of the fan ribs – was brought from China to Japan at the beginning of the Muromachi period (early 14th century).  This new method of manufacture revolutionized the production and export of fans.  Through Portuguese and Dutch traders folding fans were spread out from Japan to the global market and other cultures.20200110_122019 20200110_122028 20200110_121724Paper folded fans have been widely used in people’s daily lives in Japan, but also in the ceremonies of religions and politics, and particularly most effectively in the performing arts.

Noh theatre, which originated in the 15th century, uses fans in the same symbolic way as its masks.  Noh actors are aiming on stage for some kind of unification of their souls with the spiritual being they find in the masks and fans.  Therefore, the treatment of the objects is as rigid as the actors’ own bodies in order to achieve internal energy flow.  The faces are covered by masks and the hands are often invisible, covered by the costume.  One can see the fans as the replacement of hands, but the performers keep their wrists immobile to create concentrated, abstract movements.  On the contrary, in Kabuki theatre – founded in the early 17th century – the actors’ wrists and arms are freely moving their fans.  In Kabuki, the external effects are established by fans, reflecting commoners’ aesthetics.  This is the opposite of the Noh theatre aesthetic which reflects Samurai warriors’ philosophy.  In Kabuki dance, performers turn their fans from front to back quickly, or create swaying waves, maneuvering their fans with their arms and wrists.  They even toss fans into the air and catch them.20200110_12210920200110_12210120200110_122138The difference of the internal versus external use of fans in Noh and Kabuki is physically evident in the proportion of the fans.  Noh theatre fans have a silhouette almost like an upside-down equilateral triangle, whereas Kabuki fans are wider horizontally.  In spite of these physical differences, one thing is common: they are all beautifully handcrafted.  In both Noh and Kabuki, fans are far beyond decoration or props.  They are the handheld splendours which can conjure universal imagery in the theatrical experience.20200110_12215620200110_122204For directions and times, visit the Japan Foundation’s website: www.jftor.org and remember – only 1 day left to see these magnificent works of art.20200110_122545

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ADVENTURES IN SCOTTSDALE OLD TOWN – Pt. VI

So this was my last day in Scottsdale Old Town – I’d got all my souvenirs and gifts purchased, toured all the cultural hot-spots so all that was left was a visit to the fabulous Museum of the West where I’d spent a few happy hours last time I was in town. https://scottsdalemuseumwest.org/ They have spectacular sculptural installations inside and out…20191219_110813 20191219_110845The museum has multiple levels/floors, all easily accessible, displaying artifacts and memorabilia covering the history of Arizona, stunning artworks, native American culture and even film/TV cowboy ephemera, vintage saddles, spurs…and a wonderful collection of photographs from the late, internationally renowned State Senator Barry Goldwater, pictured below with his wife in the lobby. 20191219_111800Following are photos that are pretty self-explanatory but they showcase some of my fave displays of western art and native artifacts that I had previously discovered. I sincerely recommend a personal visit to experience the awe and wonder of Arizona.20191219_112137 20191219_112157 20191219_112827 20191219_112942 20191219_112900 20191219_113511 20191219_113058 20191219_113904 20191219_113932There’s a spectacular sculpture garden courtyard and they had changed the pieces since my last visit (you can search my previous blogs dated last April to see those pics). These are the stunning works currently on display – all life sized or larger.20191219_114403 20191219_114455 20191219_114528 20191219_114539 20191219_114606There’s a gorgeous rusted and tarnished wall installed as a backdrop…just look at this:20191219_114619 20191219_114642 20191219_114655Back inside, I found even more fab paintings from Arizona artists. I love the donkeys below, and of course, my beloved saguaro cactus…20191219_114135 20191219_113343 20191219_113245 20191219_113253Before I left the museum, I had to visit the gift shop and say hello to my friend Jeffrey who reigns over the souvenirs, art prints, books and touristy nic-nacs. He’s full of cool information about the museum and the local area, and made me feel so welcome last time I visited, I just had to bring him a wee Christmas moose from the great white north! I think he liked it…LOL20191219_111414If you ever visit the  museum, please go inside the shop and say hi to Jeffrey.   Afterwards, I decided to walk back down to the main centre of Old Town, passing more cowboys…20191219_121541…and popped into the beautifully restored Mission church.The stained glass windows were created by local artisans many many years ago.20191219_131825 20191219_131852 20191219_132103 20191219_131907I spent some money on souvenirs there and dropped a few $s into the donation box, hoping to be blessed with a safe journey home….and I was. Less than 15hrs later, I was speeding away from Toronto’s Pearson Int’l Airport in a limo, home to my downtown apartment, a bit sleepy but thoroughly invigorated by my 8 days in sunny Scottsdale Old Town.20191220_072900If you take a trip to Old Town, here are 2 great transportation companies that will get you out and about, and to-and-from your hotel and airport:
Local tours courtesy of Quick Silver Golf Carts: www.ridequicksilver.com   and for affordable taxis & town cars, contact Scottsdale Sedan-Taxi (call Frank at 602-714-9833).  I can recommend both. Happy trails, dear readers…..20191219_113220

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ADVENTURES IN SCOTTSDALE OLD TOWN – Pt. V

My 2nd last day in Arizona so time to work off some of the calories amassed over the past week’s indulgences…LOL…but first I needed another good breakfast at Denny’s to start my day off. Got the courtesy van into town and this time, I headed straight for the Civic Centre grounds (above) and the Scottsdale Contemporary Art Gallery which was easy to find: just follow the sounds of birdsong….

I followed the sparkly laneway embedded with glass and coloured stone and into the front door….20191218_125954The gallery was spacious and cool and the exhibitions were extremely “contemporary” featuring native American artworks, photographs and video imagery. It also showcases architecture and design exhibitions as well as the innovative outdoors “singing bells” installation. www.smoca.org   I then sauntered around the corner up to Main Street on my way back to Barista Brothers, when I noticed some great old buildings with vintage blacksmith & farm equipment on display (below).20191218_132509 20191218_132524Across the road was an old building (it looked old but was, in fact, a relatively new build) that housed the Scottsdale Rodeo Museum – I had to go visit!  Inside I was greeted by friendly museum curator Dave Alford (below) who kindly gave me a first class personal tour of the exhibits.20191218_133543A retired rodeo cowboy himself, Dave was a mine of information on all things rodeo. He introduced me to El Diablo, one of the winningest bulls in local rodeo history…20191218_133512 20191218_133649..and showed me some past photos of him riding rodeo beasties. That’s his red competition chaps hanging next to the photos.20191218_134146So much to see in this modest museum that’s packed with history and cowboy memorabilia. There were even pics of legendary Lane Frost, a young bullrider who was killed in action – his life and career was memorialized in the movie “8 Seconds” where Frost was portrayed by the late Luke Perry.20191218_13420720191218_13343920191218_134436 20191218_135759Thanks for the great tour, Dave, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. www.ScottsdaleRodeoMuseum.com

By now I definitely needed some cooling down so off I went to Barista Brothers to indulge in some frosty gelato.20191218_143601Time for a little more shopping, this time in the Golden Bear jewelers and fashion accessories store.  https://goldhouseaz.com/  I was welcomed into the large boutique by the lovely Marina (below)20191218_163824…who showed me around all the sparkling showcases, finding a number of pieces including the stunning fox turquoise and spiny oyster earrings that eventually found themselves in my suitcase, along with a stunning Larimar & silver ring (below). OMG, my credit card got quite the workout with Marina!!20191231_170242Lots of beautiful art glass as well as home decor and all those gorgeous gems!20191218_163836 20191218_16385220191218_164021After working up a healthy appetite shopping for bling, I chose a fabulous cantina with a sun-drenched upper patio with nobody else there. I think it was called Vines or something like that, but oh boy, the yummy fried catfish was deelish!20191218_151209 20191218_145535With tummy full and feet sore, it was time to call for a ride home and more R&R on my sunny balcony so tomorrow, my last day in Arizona, I’ll have lots of energy for my trip to the Western Museum and a visit with my friend Jeffrey who runs the shop there.  He was so sweet last spring when I visited that I brought him a little surprise from Canada. I waited for the van next to the big Christmas tree in the main square…ho ho ho – I’m finally getting in the spirit!20191218_164342That night was a little chilly so I snuggled up on the bed and watched tv in my warm hoodie that cowboy Dave gave me as a memento of my visit to the rodeo museum.20191218_175030

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ADVENTURES IN SCOTTSDALE – Pt. IV

I’d been enjoying lots of cuisine choices since I’d arrived in Scottsdale Old Town but I had been really looking forward to this next place since my last trip: Hula Modern Tiki Lounge! Located in the heart of the tourist area, Hula kinda sticks out from the usual cowboy-themed diners and resto-lounges. I love my tiki bars – I’ve enjoyed many around the world, my fave being the now-deceased (!) Trader Vic’s in Waikiki. In Toronto we have the fabulous Shameful Tiki but ever since I found it on the ‘net last year, I’ve wanted to visit the Hula Tiki Lounge and I was not disappointed…20191216_163627 20191216_163711I felt like a real old fart as it was only around 5:30pm – too early for a real dinner – but this golden girl decided on an early-bird special. As it was “happy hour”, I chose a few appetizers plus my fave tropical bevvie, a Painkiller, which the bartender kindly served in a mermaid tumbler. Wow!20191216_163248 20191216_164019 20191216_170728I topped off the meal with a slice of tropical coconut cream pie (more like a cheesecake) and Kona coffee. Yummm – I definitely recommend you drop in and indulge when you visit Old Town: www.hulasmoderntiki.com

I then went for a stroll around town afterwards – needed to walk off the calories, LOL – and viewed the Christmas lights.20191216_174855 20191216_174746The next day, I opted for a fab American full-on breakfast and dropped in to the Denny’s a block from the hotel. OMG, it was deelish – I ordered the Lumberjack special and yes, I cleaned the plates.20191217_094026Had to go back to my room for a nap to sleep off all the carbs, but it didn’t take long to get my ass in gear and head to the second touristy area of Old Town where I’d previously visited with AJ and enjoyed the “galloping horsey fountain”.20191217_122013 20191218_121010A team of “groomers” were busy cleaning the fountain and decorating the stunning equine sculptures for Christmas. I made sure to drop in to Berdena’s Cafe across the road for a fresh squeezed orange juice. AJ and I had a pleasant time there in April and I loved the fresh, bright decor and friendly servers. www.berdenas.com20191217_120025The cafe is located in a small plaza and as I walked through, I spied a storefront that had been turned into a “campaign HQ” for the “Save Old Town Scottsdale” movement. So what’s this all about?20191217_120930 20191218_120903Apparently a local developer (with tons of $$s) wants to tear down a huge section of this quaint tourist destination and turn it into a wall of hi-rise condos and chi-chi boutiques and has subsequently driven up the rents on the mom and pop retail stores. Yes, there are quite a few of the traditional souvenir shops but there are so many classy boutiques and jewelry designer stores there, already along with beautiful cafes and galleries. If this development goes ahead, they might very well all be wiped out. I was crestfallen – Old Town is my “spirit home” and I care deeply about the charm and uniqueness of the area. Plus I’ve made lifelong friendships here…I have to get involved, I have to contribute and support somehow….Beverly and Brian Moore of Earthen Rare told me how!20191217_125604Beverly is a very talented designer of leather and hand-crafted bead jewelry and Brian, her husband, works closely with her in creating unique pieces. They are very involved with the campaign and suggested I videotape a plea for petition signatures & support plus my observations on the situation from a tourist’s perspective. So I did – I recorded a “call to action” that has since gone out on social media and I hope it helps. www.standupforoldtownscottsdale.com

But back to Bev and Brian – what a beautiful studio/store they run…the positive energy is palpable and the two of them are the nicest people you could ever want to meet. I spent a great deal of time with them, chatting about the current social and political climate in town as well as browsing the display cases. And yes, I made a couple of purchases there, too, including something very special for my sister back in Australia who, I know, will love the artwork and superb quality. Check out Earthen Rare’s beautiful treasures (below)20191218_121648 20191218_121656 20191218_12184320191218_121746So another full day of sight-seeing, local engagement and making new friends was done…whew! I was exhausted. Another big day tomorrow so let’s call the hotel van for a pick up and home for some R&R on my sunset balcony.20191218_173347

 

 

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ADVENTURES IN SCOTTSDALE – Pt.III

 

 

Sunday Dec. 15th dawned sunny, as usual, and I was excited to see my friend AJ (below) and his husband Tom who were meeting me for brunch at the famous Valley Ho hotel. Poor pneumonia-plagued AJ had mustered enough energy for a couple of hours of catching up, enjoying a great meal and showing me his and Tom’s fave hotel in Old Town.20191215_132650 20191215_132736 20191215_132708We saw a gingerbread version of the famous mid-century modern hotel (above) on the way into Zuzu’s cafe for our brunch. Isn’t it cute?  After our deelish meal, the guys showed me around the property, much of which has been preserved in its original form, complete with colourful wall tiles on each balcony, sexy lounges and outdoor courtyards….20191215_133514(0) 20191215_133255 20191215_132831 20191215_13305420191215_133607After being dropped off by AJ & Tom, the remainder of the afternoon was spent out on my balcony, enjoying the sunshine and watching the palm trees “dance the hula” in the high desert wind.

Next day, I decided on what genuine touristy experiences remained for me to explore so off I went for my morning latte at Barista Brothers to plan the next few days before returning to cold grey Toronto.20191217_11211320191216_135603bac12bdaf26e0111784ffb89e3c2967bI just walked around and watched for interesting photo opps, like this one of the colourful buildings surrounding the Civic Centre:20191218_125015And checked out the artful sidewalks near my hotel (below)…such civic pride makes me wish that Toronto took as much care with their public spaces.20191218_084500Just a few more days remaining on my holiday – I wonder what adventures remain?

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ADVENTURES IN SCOTTSDALE OLD TOWN – Pt. II

The second day in Scottsdale dawned sunny and with clear blue skies…as usual! Based on the recommendation of friend AJ, I headed out to Merci, a cute little French bistro located in an unassuming plaza about 10 minutes from my hotel. Off I went in the courtesy van….20191213_092841…and walked into the cute tiny boite where I enjoyed THE best Quiche Loraine and refreshing salad. www.mercifrenchcafe.com20191213_095146 20191213_100019Did a little shopping for family & friends then returned to the hotel for a swim in the heated pool and some sunbathing…had the perfect balcony for catching rays…and I stayed out there until the sun started going down. What a wonderful relaxing afternoon.20191213_143347 20191213_162438Day 3 started off brightly (again!) so I headed downtown Old Town and landed smack in the middle of tourist heaven – in front of famed Bischoff’s gallery & store where even their grounds contain stunning sculptures. I spent a great deal of time there on my last visit…20191214_103501 20191214_103337 20191214_103430I love their lemon tree out front and surprisingly, nobody steals any fruit so here it is, laden with lemons, surrounded by sculptures and cacti.  www.bischoffsgallery.com20191214_103717I hadn’t previously explored all the parkland behind so imagine my surprise when I discovered the Scottsdale Civic Centre located there along with several chi-chi restaurants, a performing arts theatre, the contemporary art gallery and so many fountains…20191214_104504 20191214_104954

The famous LOVE sculpture is also located there…20191214_105820After hiking around the grounds for over an hour, it was time to head back to the hotel so I could get ready for dinner, so I enjoyed another hour of sunbathing on the balcony and as the evening drew close, I was thrilled to see these amazing clouds that went from soft fluffy white cotton balls to gold. 20191214_161513 20191214_172133Dinner was amazing – I went back to Merci French Cafe to try their Beef Bourguignon and it didn’t disappoint. I’ve never tasted anything so good. Mmmmmm. 20191214_181436Tomorrow, Sunday, I’ll be enjoying brunch with friends AJ and Tom.  AJ’s pneumonia was finally on the mend so he is making the heroic effort to get dressed up and come downtown where we’ll celebrate an early Christmas.