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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SA Bookswap

The South African Bookswap, organised by Tams, or Bibliobookwolf on Instagram, is one of the coolest bookswaps ever, and I wanted in. Of course, South African as I may be, I don’t live in the country. Or even on the African continent. With shipping costs as high as they are, pairing me with a bookswapper […]

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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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A Visit to Calaway Park

The weather forecast wasn’t great, but we had family over last weekend and decided to have some fun at Calaway Park. None of us had ever been there, so this promised to be a day of exploration. This is not a sponsored post. 🙂 What I really love about Calaway Park is how family-oriented the […]

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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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Mother’s Day 2019

Jan and I aren’t really big on celebrating holidays. We’re more chillaxed and show-them-daily than I-need-to-spend-all-the-money-to-make-them-feel-appreciated people. No judgement if you’re a hard holiday celebrator, it’s just not our groove. So this was literally the first year since Kayla’s birth that we went out of Mother’s Day. And then only because we had friends over […]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Gingerbread House

When we saw gingerbread house kits in Michael’s the other day, my husband immediately knew we had to build one together. He’d always wanted to try baking a gingerbread house, but I’ve never been that interested in art of the food variety. Sure, I bake when I have to, but I much prefer a paintbrush to […]

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Toronto Christmas Market 2017

I guess we wanted to see how the Canadians do Christmas. You know, considering we’ve been to a lot of European Christmas markets. 🙂 Living in Germany will do that to you. Honestly, the Toronto Christmas Market was a lot like its German counterparts – merry, happy, jolly. Sure, this time around we understood the […]

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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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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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Family Weekend in Pictures

I’m so sorry I missed Friday’s post! It slipped away from me without my notice. We had my brother and sister in law over for the weekend, a last visit before the big move, and spending time with them got priority over being in front of the computer. This was also probably the last weekend of […]

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Duisburg Zoo 2.0

We’ve had precious few sunshine days this past season, so whenever we had even half a chance of catching a ray or two, we were outside. Feeling bolstered by the cloudless day, we hiked to Duisburg Zoo. We’ve been at the zoo twice before and this is my second blog about it (hence the 2.0). […]

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De Haar Castle

We’ve wanted to go to this place since we arrived in Europe, but every time we had the trip planned, something got in the way. We finally drove to the Netherlands on one sunny Sunday to feast our eyes upon the glory that is Castle De Haar. The original castle suffered major damages in a […]

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Visit to Duisburg

Would you believe we’d been living in Germany for almost two years before we went for a stroll in Duisburg (our neighbouring town)? I couldn’t either. Duisburg is a quiet city with an abundance of fountains in the city centre. Colourful and weird, these fountains create a strange contrast to the ancient buildings in the […]

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Soccer – Essen vs Mönchengladbach

We’re not the biggest sports supporters in the world, but there’s something incredible about going to a live soccer game. To those of you who take this seriously, I know it’s called football in Europe. I’m South African, so to me it’s soccer. No offence meant. Anyway, the last game we went to (which was […]

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Sunday Afternoon Hike

Sunshine has been rare this summer – I don’t know what’s going on. Apart from three or so heat waves, we’ve had an excess of rain and gloom this season. Pretty depressing, if you ask me. Especially considering the fact that I had a tan last year this time. So, when the sun is out, […]

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When Parkruns Rain Out

Well, I’m sure some of the other runners still had their fun, but by the time we reached Düsseldorf, it was coming down in buckets. So much so that my water resistant jacket (and shirt underneath) were drenched and we had to stop to buy something dry and warm to wear. Jan and Mario would have […]

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Ten Pin Bowling

Life is full of little firsts. A while ago, one of these came up for Kayla, when we took her bowling for the first time. Jan and I used to love bowling back in SA, but haven’t played in about 5 years. Thinking about it now, that puts the last time we played at before […]

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Düsseldorf Kirmis 2017

Another weekend, another fair. Let me tell you something about this one, though – it was huge. Everything is bigger and better in Düsseldorf, right? I almost felt bad for the Saarner Kirmes we’d visited the weekend before. On a cloudy Sunday, we headed to the city to see the fair. Loud music, delicious food […]

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Saarner Kirmes (Fair)

In the post about those things I love about Germany, I mentioned random fairs popping up at every opportunity. This weekend, we found one of those. 🙂 The Saarner Kirmes set up in our hometown of Mülheim an der Ruhr, on the bank of the River Ruhr (Saarn is a suburb of Mülheim). We wouldn’t […]

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Weekend Recap

I’d call it a Weekend in Pictures post, only I took too few photos for that. I don’t understand how the picture-drought happened, to be honest. We got up to SO MUCH, I just didn’t think to snap the events. Those moments I did shoot fall off the other side of the spectrum. I have 32 […]

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The June Report

My… month in pictures? The monthly recap? As far as alternative titles go, these aren’t the best. Sorry. 🙂 Since I didn’t do a single post with photos from this month, I thought I’d give you an overview today (all my WIP posts were of adventures from past months). I’ve been toying with this recap post idea for a […]

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Japan Day 2017

Japan day took place on the 20th of May, in Düsseldorf. This yearly event sees thousands of cosplayers in the city, all to see the firework shows, sumo wrestling, samurai artefacts, talks hosted by the Japanese Embassy and so much more. Most people come to dress up, though. Some come in full costume, so detailed […]

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Trains & Tulips in Grugapark

Towards the end of April, we visited Grugapark one day. We found ourselves suddenly alone after our fabulous vacation, and needed some TLC. Hence, the visit to the park. We’ve been to Gruga a few times before, but we’d never seen it covered in tulips. Being nature-folk, you can imagine how much we enjoyed this […]

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The Random Post

This is the end. We had a blast, saw amazing things and bonded with our tribe. We miss them terribly. The house is still quiet. Going through all of these photos somehow amplifies that. But, before I get too soppy, let’s get on with the post. While I shared all the main events with you, I […]

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From Beethoven to Burg Castle

On the last full day of our vacation, we drove to Bonn to fulfil a dream. Lizanne is a muso and a massive Beethoven enthusiast. So, when she found out that we could go to his birthplace, she was pretty much out of her skin.

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Tulips from Amsterdam

We returned to Amsterdam after a day of rest, but this time, we had a mission. Tulip fields.

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Hello, Amsterdam

Oh, Amsterdam. Still one of my favourite places on earth. The sweet smell in the air (no, not the weed, the pastries :P), the buzz in the streets and the beauty of the city will always draw me to return. Add the fact that we can be understood when speaking Afrikaans and it becomes all the more […]

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Visit to Maastricht and Aachen

We love these two cities so much, we’ve visited both before. This was our second time in Maastricht, Netherlands, and also our second visit to Aachen, which is a small German border-town. I can highly recommend both. This was a lazy Sunday trip and would also be the last warm, sunny day we had while […]

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Farewell, Rome.

On our last day, we had to leave the apartment by 10. Since we had to keep our luggage with us until we left for the airport, we decided to treat the kids. They’d been such little troopers with all the sightseeing, after all.

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Rome – Day 4

By this time, we were knackered. Four days in Rome, walking off your toes will do that to you. Having said that, we were still just as in awe of the place as we were upon arrival. Rome, folks. It’s magical.

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Rome – Day 3

After the excitement from the night before, we returned to the Pantheon first thing on the third morning. Well, first thing is relative. The Groenewalds are early risers. An admirable trait, I tell you. Kayla and I, though, *are not* early risers. In fact, we’re some of the grumpiest morning people you’ll ever meet. Nobody wants […]

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Rome – Day 2

In an unfortunate turn of events, we seem to have lost some of the vacation photos. Don’t hyperventilate yet, though. All my photos are still intact. We’ll get the rest at some point in time, but you probably won’t get to see them. Meh. Our second day in Rome (day one here) was sunny and […]

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Rome – Day 1

So, Rome. Folks, you don’t even begin to understand the spell this place has me under. Even now, I can’t get it out of my mind. But then, Venice was amazing, so maybe I should have known how bewitching I’d find Rome.

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Cologne 3.0

There’s a feeling that fills your chest when you round that corner, or take that step out of the train station in Cologne. The first and most undeniable structure in the heart of the city is the Cologne Cathedral – majestic, impossible and awe-inspiring. It claims your every thought and emotion with its sheer size, […]

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The House is Quiet

Well, I’m back. This vacation was one for the record books. Having friends over was seriously special, and more so because we experienced so many new things together. It was an honour to have them fly half-way around the globe to visit us. All the warm and fuzzies were felt. Having said that, I’ll try […]

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Chillax (My WIP)

Last week, I mentioned the rain being late. Yeah. Not long after I posted that, it came down in buckets. The rain didn’t stop until Friday afternoon, when the weather jerked into spring mode. As in, it went from cool indoors and winter-jacket-cold outside to ‘hey, we’re in short sleeves, please turn off the heating’. […]

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The Rain is Late

Last year this time, we had maybe an afternoon of sunshine every two weeks. The drizzle was constant, predictable like the beat of my heart. Depressing too. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of rain. I come from a place where the thunderstorms are legendary, with rushes of rain like waterfalls and crashing thunder […]

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