Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Mexico to Canada to England

In my Winter in Bucerias 2014/15 post I mentioned how incredible 2015 was. I've had many great times in my life, but never an entire year that stood out as 2015 did.  I saw exotic creatures and historical sites I'd only ever seen on TV. I met wonderful people.


San Sebastian

After six months of blissful existence in Bucerias, Nayarit, we returned to Canada via Vancouver. Every time I see Vancouver, I'm awestruck by how stunning it is. We live 700 km north and don't visit enough.

City of Vancouver

The next day we caught a connecting flight to Prince George. Very soon the ice was gone from the lake and the loons, bears, fox, beavers, ducks, birds, and the occasionally cougar were back.

Yay, garage spread everywhere. 

Cluculz Lake, home

I am eight generation Canadian, a small-town girl from Maple Ridge with big dreams, who loves her country. I've had the honour of visiting eight out of ten provinces and one out of three territories. For the last 25 years, we've lived on quiet and beautiful Cluculz Lake in central British Columbia, 700 kms north of Vancouver.

Though I dreamed about leaving the continent, I never truly believed I would. Thanks to our youngest, who was stationed in Larkhill for one year, I flew to London in June. The United Kingdom is  ... well, there aren't adequate words to describe it.

Our son, my daughter-in-law, and my grandchildren were living in PMQ, military housing within walking distance to Stonehenge. I know! I visited STONEHENGE!

This is me in awe of where I am. Stonehenge behind me. 

Stonehenge was sacred, MASSIVE, an enigma. I stood and listened to the silence, yet I heard the distinct murmurs of every soul who'd stood there before me.

Archaeologists believe Stonehenge was constructed 4000 to 5000 years ago. The big stones are called sarsens and are as tall as 30'. There are various theories as to how they arrived from Wales. Some archaeologist believe they were moved by the advancing ice-age. But most of the truths of Stonehenge are shrouded in mystery. I'm so glad I was able to see it.

Roman Bath in Somerset
While in England, I visited my paternal grandmother's birthplace in Bath, Somerset. Had a plate of authentic fish and chips. Saw the Roman bathhouse. Toured Jane Austen's residence. People-watched from the window of a nearby pub with my son. Stood outside Jack's and listened to a man playing the trumpet solo of The Very Thought of You.

At the Cathedra in Bath I found myself overwhelmed and had to swallow the lump in the throat. On the walls and floors are tombstones and plagues of residents who passed between the 12th century all the way to the 19th century. Among them were babies, soldiers, women who died in childbirth. 

My great-grandparents attended Sunday service here

I visited Old Wardour Castle and felt the ground move with the activity of the people who had lived and worked on the land centuries ago. For a moment, I was back there, in the midst of the bustle. My senses experienced it as once a vibrant and happy place.

There is so much I could say about England, but it would take forever. I hope the photos speak for themselves. England is truly a magnificent place.



River Thames

London's Eye

Big Ben in the distance

Waterloo Station

If you visit England, prepare to see something new and fascinating every single day, and still only get a glimpse.

London Bridge

Buckingham Palace

If you can bare with me, next time I'd like to share photos of the Salisbury Cathedra and the Magna Carta.

Happy New Year. 


  1. Hi Joylene - wonderful photos ..and I know you had a glorious time .. looks like the family gave you a great and wonderful tour of some sights. Stonehenge is magnificent isn't it ... the stones are from a specific area in West south Wales ... and must have been dragged somehow. I came across an idea the other day that perhaps the stones were moved in times of frozen ground .. when they could be more easily slid over distances. It's thought that might have happened with the Cornish and Devon menhirs (megalithic stones) ... created during Neolithic times - which I've written about on a few occasions.

    Wonderful and looking forward to your Magna Carta photos and more of the UK .. cheers Hilary

    PS Happy New Year and another visit perhaps??

  2. Amazing photos! Glad you got to visit England. I lived there for a short time and remember many of those places. Although I'd gladly live where you do, even with the wildlife in my garbage. (Hey, foxes have to eat as well!)

    1. Yes, foxes have to eat. So they look beautiful in amongst the snow ladened trees. My husband saw one this morning. Good beginning to a new year. Cheers, Alex.

  3. Great to hear how much you loved the year. Great people deserve great years. Have another in 2016! We love Vancouver too. Been there twice, wowed twice. Same with Stonehenge and Bath. Two visits, and next time across the pond, we'll try to stay in Bath instead of just visiting for a quick afternoon. We've seen and enjoyed so many of the same places and things, one of these days we're bound to run into you guys! HAPPY NEW YEAR, Joylene!

    1. Thanks, dear friend. Running into you would be a wonderful thing.

  4. What a privilege to 'know' you and experience life through your eyes. Beauuuutiful! I can't wait for your next post! Happy*New*Year!

    1. Thank you, Jamie. That is so kind. Looking forward to reading your blog this year, too. Happy New Year.

  5. LOVE these pictures! I can see why 2015 is one for the memory books. You had an amazing year and the places you visited added so much to your life. Amazing to think of all the new things you saw an experienced in the last year. I am glad you were able to sprinkle in some home time too. :) Can't wait to see more pictures. I want to go to England!!

    Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks, Jess. I hope you get to see England. It will inspire you, I'm sure. Happy New Year.

  6. Hey Joylene,

    Saludos cordiales, warm greetings and jolly good show, eh. What an amazing year you've had with your family, Joylene. Those photos are wonderful and such a worldwide adventure.

    Of course, when it comes to Canada, a lot of the locations you mention, I can truly relate to. It's really nice to see the reminders. When it comes to England, I'm doing my best to be a good representative.

    Thanks for sharing your past year with us adoring fans!

    A peaceful, positive 2016 to you and your loved ones.


    1. Happy New Year, Gary. Thanks for always supporting me and my posts. Means a lot. Best to you, Tristan, and Penny in 2016. Go get 'em, buddy.

  7. So glad it was a great year for you! Mexico sounds amazing and I adore England! I hope you do post more pictures, I'd love to see them. We visited England a dozen or more years ago. No matter how much you see it's just a taste of the country. I can't wait to go back.

    1. I hope you get to go back, Sara. And I do, too. Yes, so much more to see. Happy New Year.

  8. Your pics are wonderful! You pick just the right spots to take them from! Everything's so lovely -- even the garbage-stealing fox. This post is delightful and I can't wait for more! Happy 2016!

  9. There's nothing more exciting than travel. Loved seeing where you've been this past year!

  10. Too say I'm am envious of such a tour is an understatement. Especially England. I'm watching the Midsommer Murder Series and I love the backgrounds, the estates, cottages, the countryside. I love England too, and I've never been, but I would love to! To have seen Stonehenge - WOW! Yes, 2015 was a wonderful year for you - may 2016 be doubly so!


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