After 28 hours of flying and airports, from Bangkok to Taipei, Taipei to LA and then LA to Vancouver, we finally made it home. Exhausted and excited we exited the baggage/customs area of the Vancouver airport to a group of fabulous, supportive friends. Dale, Kate, Katy, Brianna, Colin, and Mike thank you so much for welcoming us home!  
It was our niece Bridget’s birthday yesterday. She’s a whopping EIGHT! That’s like almost a whole decade. Pretty soon she’ll be driving cars and scuba diving and pretty much anything else she decides to want to do. For now, I think she’ll be concentrating on learning how to rollerblade, which we think is pretty AWESOME. Just be careful Bridget. Anyway, Bridget we love you. Happy birthday, and we’ll see you soon. Your birthday present will be coming home with us on September 4th. Hope you don’t mind waiting! -Uncle Chris and Auntie Laura p.s. – We’re in a country called Thailand, Bridget, learning how to SCUBA dive, just like your Mom knows how to do. Tomorrow we take our first dive in the ocean, instead of just in a swimming pool. We’re excited! Also, we sent you a postcard. Let us know when it arrives. We were hoping it would…Continue Reading
And one more shot of the Piacenza wine gang... thanks guys.
Wow! Who knew turning 30 would be such a blast. I just want to say thanks to everyone for the kind wishes (especially Laura for arranging so many neat surprises). We had another party last night here at Christine’s place in Piacenza. It was a funeral theme, and all of Christine’s international school friends came dressed in black. They also all sang happy birthday in their native tongues which included French, Russian, Spanish, Afrikaans, Xosha (which I just learned is a South African language). It was really fun meeting them. Thanks Christine. Jon and Cam, thanks for the books. They’re perfect choices and I haven’t read either of them already. Although I’ll probably trade them for other books after I read them (the joys of traveling light). That was super thoughtful. Erin, thanks for the card. It does get better and better. We miss you too. Kate (and crew): thank…Continue Reading
Mrika and I.
I know I can speak for Laura as well when I say that we found it difficult to leave Lanciano. As I write this, we’re speeding north in a cozy train compartment toward Piacenza, Italy to see our friend Christine. Laura is napping on the seats across from me, lines of sunlight and shadow moving lazily across her face as the train rounds a bend. The view is a blur of green, with olive groves, wineries, and distinctly Italian villas giving way periodically to sleepy towns of squat, graffiti-clad concrete buildings and ancient looking stone houses. Across the aisle I see nothing but blue sky and the slowly lapping waves of the Adriatic Sea. I know I should be excited to be back on the road, but I can’t help but feel like we’re leaving something behind that’s not easily found. Or replaced. Cris met us this morning at the…Continue Reading
I hope everyone had a lovely Easter.  Here in Lanciano, Easter is a pretty big deal with parades and marching bands going around the town nearly everyday since last Thursday. Chris captured some amazing shots of the Easter parade this past Thursday. We’ve been relaxing in Lanciano with my good friend Cristina (who I call “Cris)  and her family. I met Cris when she was 13-years old and I was 16-years old. We hit it off from the very beginning. Some of you might recognize her because she was one of my bridesmaids.  Her family runs the high school here, called Canadian College of Italy the Renaissance School, where I attended grade 10, 11 and half of 12. Here are a couple photos of this beautiful Italian town and the people I love. The bell tower rings every 15-minutes. First it rings one tone of bell for what hour it is,…Continue Reading
It was a chance encounter. We had met Petrit and Gloria only the morning prior, as we ate breakfast in Selcuk and prepared to go our separate ways. They told us about their trip, and we learned that theirs was remarkably similar in both scope and itinerary to our own. We had each been in Istanbul in the same week; but while we are headed for Thailand to teach, they are on an immigration to Australia, Petrit’s home country, after three and a half years in Gloria’s native Italy. We got along right away, and enjoyed 30 minutes of conversation over breakfast. But as our plans were sending us separate ways, we didn’t really expect to see each other again. I hastily told Petrit how we had scoped out what sounded like a great village near a coastal national park, and intended to go there to take a break from…Continue Reading
As promised, here are some of the photos we got in Vancouver. We’re in London now, and after walking for about 10 hours yesterday (we estimated about 14km), we have a ton of photos from here already, but first things first. Although it is my intent to write more once we get a bit more used to life on the road, for now I think I’ll let the pictures do (most of) the talking.  
Front and center is Dale and Des's beautiful daughter Isla!
Fresh mussels. Shrimp.  Steak. Asparagus. Broccoli. Zucchini. I love food. Des, Dale, myself and Chris all did different tasks to create an amazing dinner at the Millers’ place. The next day we went to Dale’s parents house (also Millers) for dinner. Margie whipped up a fantastic red meat pasta sauce which we washed down with two red wines: “Gnarly” and “Gnarlier”. I preferred the “Gnarlier”. After dinner Mr. Miller brought out the Scotch and Port. We ended the evening with a crash course, delivered by Chris, on how to clean your camera sensor.  
Only 10 more days. Now I’m getting excited. Woo-hoo!!!! We had a huge turkey and ham dinner with Chris’ aunts, uncles, mom and dad. Son and dad bonded with Uncle Dave over a game of snooker. Dad won.  
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After a grueling overnight in the G-hound, we finally made it south to warmer climes. We’ve been in my parent’s adopted hometown of Sorrento, B.C. now for about three days, and I tell you, retirement living has never had it so easy. It’s about 4 degrees celsius, which is downright balmy for a Canadian January, and the lake views and mountain vistas are easy enough to take. We had a late Christmas get together with the Aunts and Uncles here down at the retirement park’s club house, and it was a chance once again for my Old Man to prove he’s better at pool than pretty much any one else I’ve ever met. He’s also better at shuffleboard than his son, but in fairness, he has about 40 years on me. We did a couple of group shots, but I’ll just put up the best one. In the other ones…Continue Reading