Although often immersed in my research and teaching and research, I am a strong believer in also getting away from it all and finding time to rejuvenate and re-energize! And my students and colleagues will often find me enjoying a good cup of Earl Grey tea.
I like spending time with family and friends, decorating and enjoying holidays (especially Hallowe’en and Christmas), gardening, hiking and cycling, going to Farmers’ Markets, and just generally exploring. I love art, history, architecture, good food, and travelling around the world.
In March 2019, I joined a lovely group of women on a trip to Vietnam. We travelled from north to south, starting in Hanoi with trips to Hạ Long Bay and Mai Châu before flying to Huế and then moving on to Hoi An, before flying to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). In the north, we visited the Ho Chi Minh museum, Hỏa Lò Prison (“Hanoi Hilton”), rice paddies, Hang Sung Sôt cave, enjoyed a White Tai dinner at a local home, and spent a night on a wooden junk boat. In Huế, we celebrated International Women’s Day at the Imperial Citadel of Huế and Forbidden Purpose City with visits to the Thien Mu Pagoda and Emperor’s Tomb along the Perfume River and Sun World. Hoi An is a city of lanterns and silver. We learned abut noodles and how to make pho and other wonderful dishes at the Green Mango restaurant. In Saigon, we visited the Cu Chi Tunnels and War Remnants Museum, ending with the excellent Teh Dar show and a tour of the Saigon Municipal Opera House. The food in Vietnam was a highlight; pho and salads (green mango, green papaya, morning glory. banana flower) were highlights!
In the summer of 2018, my husband Brent and I had an incredibly lovely visit with friends and family in Ottawa. We got a chance to do a quick 13 km bike ride around the canal – something we never seemed to have the time to do when we were students. A weekend away at a friend’s cottage 2 hrs. outside of Ottawa was completely relaxing and the lake was a welcome respite from the heat. We crammed in every minute we could visiting people we love to see and spend time with. A friend and I also had a wonderful time taking in Mosaïculture Gatineau which is a fabulous exhibit of huge floral displays. If you are in Ottawa/Gatineau, you must check it out.
In March, 2018, I went on an Intrepid tour of southern Spain with a group of wonderful Australians. We started in Madrid and travelled to Granada, Seville, Tarifa, Gibraltar, Ronda, Cordoba, Valencia, and finally Barcelona. It became a running joke that it rained nearly every single day of our two week trip. Despite sun and some very warm temperatures in (other parts of) Spain, whenever we arrived in town, we almost always saw rain. As a result, nearly every photo of me throughout the trip is in my red jacket. We were struck by the beautiful views, stunning architecture, very inexpensive wines (that were cheaper than water…and it turns out neither Canadians nor Australians much like paying for water!), the markets and the food (tapas, ham, cheese, churros & chocolate, ham, olives, seafood, paella, ham, chufa nuts and milk), amazing graffiti, flamenco performances, and the many remarkable sites (Alhambra in Granada; Alcazar in Seville; Rock of Gibraltar; Puente Nuevo, Windmill Valley, and Plaza de Toros in Ronda; Mezquita in Cordoba; the architecture of the buildings in the City of Arts and Science complex and the Fallas Museum in Valencia; and all things Gaudi but particularly La Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Casa Batllo, and Parc Guell in Barcelona – to name but a few of the highlights). By the end of the trip, I was exhausted but it was a fantastic experience.
In the summer of 2017, my husband Brent and I visited St. John’s, Newfoundland and the Avalon Peninsula for the first time. We explored Signal Hill, Quidi Vidi, and local museums, churches, and shops, even getting to meet Mark Critch of This Hour Has 22 Minutes fame. We also visited former student Sherrie Myers and her husband Tim, who live in St. John’s. We were all over the Avalon Peninsula enjoying the terrific mine tour on Bell Island, some top-notch food at the Grates Cove Studios café, the amazing fossil tour at the Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve and the Cape Race lighthouse, the views at the Cape Spear and Ferryland lighthouses, and a wonderful Gatherall’s whale and puffins boat tour, to name but a few places. We successfully avoided the numerous potholes (some so big people put bushes in them!). We stayed at lovely B&Bs, saw so many interesting historical sites, met so many interesting locals and tourists, and I even enjoyed some Newfoundland Screech!
In the summer of 2016, my husband and I visited Ottawa – old stomping grounds for my us as we both attended Carleton University as undergraduates and I, later, as a PhD student. We spent a lot of time visiting our many friends there and exploring the sights – including Parliament Hill, Landsdowne Park stadium, Byward Market, Museum of Civilization, the Diefenbunker, and Carleton!
In the spring of 2014, I travelled with family and friends in Peru (check out Finisterra Travel!) – visiting Lima, the Sacred Valley, Cusco, Machu Picchu, Puno and Lake Titicaca, and Arequipa. It was an amazing trip enjoying local cuisine (pisco sours, quinoa soup and salad, alpaca carpaccio, ceviche, aji de gallina, and even a little cuy!), Incan and other sites (Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu, Sacsayhuaman, Moray, Monasterio de Santa Catalina), art (Larco Museum, street artists in San Blas), and just the beautiful sights and people overall! We also visited with Maximo Laura, a world renowned textile artist and tapestry weaver, who has been declared a “National Living Human Treasure” in Peru, at his home and private gallery in Callou just outside of Lima. He was such a gracious host and his work is truly astounding to behold. Photos simply cannot do these tapestries justice!