Exploring Lake Minnewanka

As with most of the well-known tourist spots, we’ve visited Lake Minnewanka before. Just a quick stop, though, as the sheer mass of tourists kept us from exploring the area last time we were there. This time, no such thing happened. We drove mountain-side last weekend, stopped at Minnewanka, and could finally see what the […]

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Johnston Canyon Revisited

The last time we went to this magical place, the ice was thick and we had no spikes on our shoes. We’re noobs. How are we supposed to know you need spike strips when visiting Canadian parks in the winter. 😛 We’ve wanted to go back since that first time–heck, we’ve even tried–but somehow, something […]

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Trip to Big Hill Springs

During the Summer Holidays, we headed out to hike in Big Hill Springs with friends. It was a super humid day, with oodles and oodles of mosquitoes. The kind of mosquito that bit while we walked, but only some of us were victims. Jan and Kayla, for example, had no bites at all, while I […]

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A Hike to Grassi Lakes

I swear, every time I think I’ve seen all Canada has to offer, we discover a new route to hike and our minds end up exploding. Grassi Lakes is one of those places that will take away your breath and make you want to stay forever. The best part? We’d never even have known it […]

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The Random Photo Post

These are the last of the vacation photos, the stragglers who didn’t come in with the rest of the herd. My in-laws aren’t really photo people. I have a wall of photos in my house, a display of all of the faces we love, but the last family photo I have of us and my […]

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Vacation Photo Diary Vol 1

We went to the mountains. I mean, this was obviously one of the first things we did while my in-laws visited. Have you seen the Rockies? I want to live there. 🙂 We explored Banff and Bow Falls this time, so expect to be bombarded with images of nature that will pull at your heartstrings. […]

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Exploring Bowness Park

Now that the weather is getting better, we’ve had more opportunities to explore Calgary. We’ve been living here for 7 months now (SE-VEN, holy crap, when did that happen?) and still haven’t seen most of what Calgary has to offer. Friends have recommended the Bowness Park trip multiple times, but though we’ve been in the […]

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Royal Alberta Museum

For the first time in forever, we went away for a weekend. Since a blizzard was in the cards for Calgary, we reckoned we’d get the hell away from here, and maybe catch some sun up north. We have friends and family in St. Paul and Cold Lake, and have been dying to visit them. […]

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Calgary Zoo Visited

We had such a wonderful weekend with friends from South Africa who also live in Canada. Besides the good food–and there was loads of good food–we hung out, caught up, laughed and chatted, and also treated the kids to a day at the zoo. We’ve heard really good things about Calgary Zoo, but haven’t had […]

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Johnston Canyon

Since Canada is gorgeous and we have serious wanderlust, we headed out to the Rockies again. As if we could be kept away. This time, our destination was Johnston Canyon and the mission was to see the frozen falls. We miscalculated a little. Who’d have thought the pathways would still be slick with ice now […]

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Peace Bridge Explored

One of the coolest landmarks in Calgary has to be Peace Bridge. Apparently, the locals have nicknamed this one ‘Finger Trap Bridge’, because it kind of looks like a finger trap. I personally think it resembles a diamond back snake. Either way, it’s gorgeous. We haven’t spent that much time exploring Downtown Calgary since we […]

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Snowy Hike

This winter was tough. November through January was lovely, but then February happened. As these things go, it was a record cold February in Calgary–you know, just to welcome its new South African residents. It seems we’ve been breaking records where weather is concerned wherever we’ve moved in the last few years. Remember last year […]

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Calgary Library

If you, like me, love books, this is the place for you. If you don’t particularly like books–shame on you–but you love beautiful spaces, architecture, and design, this is the place for you. Holy cow, this library is gorgeous. We went Downtown with friends to check it out. I honestly can’t wait to go back. […]

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Two Jack Lake & Banff

We couldn’t wait to go back to the mountains. I think this is going to be a theme. We go, have a blast, then already miss the feeling of a higher vantage point as we drive home. We’re always a little desperate to go back, always more at home in those higher reaches. Last time […]

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Things I Don’t Understand – Canada Edition

You know, we’ve been living in Canada for just over a year, and there are still things we really don’t understand. So many things are done differently in South Africa–which makes sense when compared to Germany, but one would think that Canada and South Africa would share more similarities, considering that both have a strong […]

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Walking on Water – Lake Louise

You’d think–after everything–we’d pretty much be sick of road trips, but you’d be wrong. Why? Well, mountains. They call to us. We’ve seen some mountains before, of course. When Kayla was just a wee babe we went to the Drakensberg in South Africa, and we also experienced the glorious Bavarian Alps one December, back when […]

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Downtown Calgary

One of our first exploration trips took us into the heart of Calgary. We hadn’t planned anything specific–it was a see where the road takes us kind of thing, AKA we wanted to get out of the house. Back in Toronto, it was always fun to go Downtown, and while some of us are in full-blown […]

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What’s Different – Calgary Edition

Freshly landed in Germany, I did a post comparing the most obvious differences between Johannesburg and Mülheim an der Ruhr. The post was pretty popular on the old blog, and ultimately led to quite a few comparison-type posts. I’ll link to all of these at the end of this post, if you’re interested. In the […]

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Calgary

Toronto is a city of skyscrapers. Steel and glass. Grey. Yet, there’s an energy there that refuses to be contained. It’s always on the move. Vendors and tourist and business people, rushing from place to place, night or day. Festival after festival, ball games, concerts, camera crews, and every culture represented in food and drink. […]

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Homeward

When you’ve left as many times as we have, you learn that home isn’t the land, air, or water. Definitely not bricks and mortar. Home is a smile, a hug, a long conversation at the end of the day, a week, or even a month. Home is a beating heart. For this reason, I know […]

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Niagara 2.0

The last time we visited Niagara Falls, the fog was so thick we could barely see anything. Going back was a huge bucket list item for us, so we did just on an EXTREMELY hot Sunday this summer. The experience was completely different. Last time, we froze our butts off. Everything was covered in ice, […]

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Moving On

I guess now that the affected parties have been notified, it’s time to announce it here too. Due to circumstances beyond our control, the high cost of living in Toronto, and some personal reasons, our little family is moving on again. This time, we’re staying in the same country, thank goodness, but are moving to […]

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9 Months

To be exact, we hit the nine-month mark last Thursday. It’s the strangest feeling, looking at the calendar and realising how long we’ve lived in Canada. I can still recall the exact mix of excitement and grief when we had to say goodbye to our loved ones at Düsseldorf airport, then board the plane to […]

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A Comparison – Shopping

Let’s keep chatting about the differences between the cities where we’ve lived today. If you want to go back to the post that started it all, click here. Okay. Shopping in Johannesburg is simple. The shoppers are mostly laid back and the cashiers are friendly. There’s no rush either. People wait in line patiently and […]

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A Comparison – The Weather

The greatest of all the FAQ’s we are asked remains ‘what’s different?’, especially now that we’ve lived on three continents. The short answer is a lot, but that doesn’t seem to cut it with the asker. 🙂 So, I’ll do a series of posts that look at these differences in depth. Please do keep in […]

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Ice Ice Baby

It’s official, we’ve experienced another first on our journey. Last night, we had no electricity due to the insane storm that has been raging here in the north since Thursday. Ice rain, friends, is a bitch. If those of you back in sunny South Africa thought the worst thing that can possibly happen in Canada […]

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Horton Tree Farms

Living in Canada means loads of snow and maple syrup. As a self-proclaimed right of passage in our journey to become Canadian citizens, we figured it was a must to visit a maple farm and witness the process of making maple syrup. We’ve seen it a time or two on TV shows, but the actual […]

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Visit to Reptilia Zoo

It’s no secret that Kayla is a serious lover of creepies and crawlies. Her perfect day involves crocodiles and spiders, so we figured we’d deliver. The Reptilia Zoo in Vaughn caught our attention last year, but we haven’t had a free moment to go – until last weekend. As you can imagine, we had one […]

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The Five-Month Update

This Wednesday edition of Maple Mondays is brought to you by a broken router. Being without internet in this day and age is a form of torture, I’m certain. First world problems and all that, but seriously, the internet has become such an important part of my work and daily life. Being cut off from it […]

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Canadian International Autoshow 2018

As you can probably guess from the title, we saw some cars the other day. And rightly so, considering I share a house with two major auto enthusiasts. Kayla’s one big dream for the day was to see a real racecar, while Jan wanted to check out all the American cars we don’t usually get […]

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Braving the Weather

This never gets old. If you, like my little family, have immigrated, or are planning to, brace yourself. Winter is coming, as are the questions about it. Moving to a country with a radically different climate from your home country is always interesting. I say interesting, because there’s something magical but challenging about the whole […]

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Sledding Fun

I mentioned on Monday that we went sledding for the first time. Loads. Of. Fun. I never imagined I’d like it, I’m not a very sporty person, but I’m excited for when we go again. 🙂 And if I’m excited, you can imagine what’s going on in the Kayla’s mind. She had an absolute blast, […]

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Niagara Falls and Fog

Lots and lots of fog. And thick. Trust us to lose one of the most impressive natural landmarks in the world in a blanket of fog. Oh, you don’t believe me, do you? Nobody can lose a waterfall, not one that big. Luckily, I have photos as proof. 🙂 We headed out to the falls two […]

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Say What?

Can you believe that we’re days away from our four-month anniversary of moving? I certainly can’t. In some ways, it seems we’ve been here forever. In others, it’s like we arrived yesterday. This strange limbo also hit while we lived in Germany, so I’m expecting it to last a while. Today, I want to talk about […]

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The Stages of Home – Maple Mondays

The time directly after immigration comes in five stages. Okay, fine, I made that up. This is based on personal experiences and conversations with many other immigrants from all over the world. Turns out, we tend to have the same emotional responses to this immigration-thing. Each person will experience the span of these differently, even […]

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Vacation Highlights

As many of you know, my parents came for a visit over the month of December. I’ve already shared photo posts of us doing the things tourists do (over here and here if you missed it) but we still had some other expeditions that you haven’t seen. Since there are SO MANY photos, I thought I’d […]

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Hello 2018

Welcome back! I lost touch with the blog for a moment there – totally unplanned – and it’s great to be typing something especially for you again. I’m a creature of routine, so being back in routine is a relief. Here’s a little catch-up post. My parents visited us for 5 weeks. It was good […]

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Snow Fun

I learned one of the most important lessons of my life as an immigrant this week – don’t leave the snow shovelling for the next morning. Also, snow shovelling? Not fun, but really satisfying when it’s over. Having a walkable sidewalk made me feel fantastic, weird as that may sound. And thankfully, I had my […]

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CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium (My WIP)

I’m typing this as the snow is falling and slowly piling up outside. Just thought I’d put that out there, since our friends and family in Europe and the UK have been spamming us with wonderful imagery of snow, and we’ve been feeling left out here in Toronto. Ironically, everybody was expecting us to spam […]

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Things I Miss About Germany

Nobody saw this post coming, right? 😛 Truth is, Europe was our home for two years. I don’t believe you can spend extended periods of time in any place and leave it exactly the same as you were when you entered it. People and places change you, whether you want it to or not. For […]

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Photo Catch-Up

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some photos with you, I’ve barely been in front of my computer in the last few weeks. In the name of some semblance of normalcy though, it’s time to fix that. These pics span from around the middle of October to this past weekend. There’s no real theme […]

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Growing Pains

So, Kayla started school this week. Kindergarten in the rest of the world (well, the parts I’ve lived) and kindergarten (nursery school) in South Africa are vastly different concepts. ◄ This is something we’ve been learning really quickly. I also know how much some of you loved the differences posts I did while we were […]

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Let’s Do This

No, this isn’t another of those please-bear-with-me-posts, I really am here to blog to my little heart’s content. Starting today, the schedule is back in action. #FTW A general update on the Canada side of things – we’re getting there. Most of our stuff has been sorted. Heck, Kayla even started school today. You remember how […]

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I’ve been MIA again…

And I’m sorry. It’s been just a tad on the chaotic side of the spectrum here in our new home. You’d think I knew this by now, considering our recent history, but I’ve just realised that people have a distorted view of immigration. Many of the people we’ve spoken to recently picture the whole thing […]

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First Week in Canada

It’s difficult to believe, but there it is. We’ve been in our new home for a week already. One of the first observations or questions we get asked now has to do with the weather. Who’d have thought, right? 😛 But no, it’s really not freezing here in the north. In fact, at this stage, […]

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It’s ALIVE!!!!!!!

Honestly, this is only half a post. Just wanted to drop in and let you know we’re still breathing here in our new corner of the world. Immigration isn’t a simple thing, but I have to say moving to Canada is superior. If you want people who will welcome you with open arms and pretty […]

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Boxes and Suitcases

Boxes and suitcases everywhere. This is my current reality. Those boxes we’re not shipping to Canada are full of stuff for charity. It’s a minefield. The clutter makes me anxious. It’s a combination of excitement and being totally overwhelmed, so every now and then I find myself disengaging to regain some semblance of focus. I […]

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Explanations

Fair warning – this is a long post. After Friday’s big news, we’ve had a lot of good wishes, emails and questions. I thought I’d address some of those today. Most people were surprised that we’re so unhappy in Germany, especially considering how happy all of our photo diary posts look. I talked about this briefly […]

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The Big News

As a teenager, I dreamed of moving to Hollywood. At first, I wanted to act. Who doesn’t? But then, one fateful day, I saw the work of my first idol, Steven Spielberg. More than anything, I wanted to follow in his footsteps and make films. I wrote many brilliant screenplays (they were Oscar winners one […]

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