DebBran

Debra and Dana

DebBran

Dana and I are now retired and plan to travel over the next few years. Stay tuned.



Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Noosa Heads March 23rd 2019

This will be our last Blog before returning home on April 1st (no fooling). Our niece Victoria and her daughter Olivia have been with us for the past 3 weeks returning home on March 21st. They took a side trip to Sydney for a few days which they really enjoyed. While they were in Noosa Heads there was a surfing competition with competitors from around the world. One unusual event was dog surfing which was quite entertaining and included numerous breeds such as an English Bull Dog. At least in this area, there appears to be a greater level of home services available. Our car, which is included in the house rental. is serviced and maintained by a mechanic who makes house calls. The same is true of the golf cart. There is even a “doggie ... read more
Mother and daughter
Doggie wash!!
Dog Surfing

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Noosa Heads February 10th 2019

Outside our house in Noosa Springs there is an abundance of birds, some of which provide a melodic symphony of songs in the morning (around 5:30 am) and in the evening at sunset. One species in particular has a very unique sound. The Kookaburra sounds like a tree full of laughing monkies! If you go to Wikipedia ( website attached) you can hear the sound. Australia has such a broad array of birds that are unique, colourful and interesting so it’s understandable the attraction by amateur birders and professional ornithologists. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kookaburra Also in the ponds around the golf course there is a family of Black Swans. These are a rare species (i.e therefore the meaning of a Black Swan event). At the Dragon Fire Golf Course in Carlisle (just north of Burlington, Ontario), they imported a ... read more
Sunset at Avacado Sunset B&B
Entrance to Surfers Paradise Beech on the Gold Coast
Sand sculpture entry of Karen Fralich a Canadian

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Noosa Heads January 15th 2019

The weather in the last 2 weeks has been ideal, highs of 26C and lows of 23C. Some days are a little hot with the humidity but much more temperate than other parts of Australia (particularly South East) that are experiencing extreme heat. We’ve had quite a few rounds of golf and Debra’s had 3 productive lessons which has improved her game resulting in personal best scores. Her language on the course is certainly changing with the improvement!!! Although the golf course is very challenging, it’s in excellent shape and very enjoyable to play (although the 68 sand bunkers and narrow fairways with lots of water can be troublesome). For those golfers, the blue tees are 5915 metres (appx 6500 yards), slope is 126 and par rating 71. So a fairly difficult course!! We’ve spent some ... read more
Mephisto German Tank
Picture of Famous Photographer
Unique Art Display

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Noosa Heads January 9th 2019

We return to Australia for the 2019 ”winter getaway” and to the same house in Noosa Heads that we rented in 2017. Noosa Heads is on the Sunshine Coast about 1 1/2 hours drive north of Brisbane. Our last stay at the Noosa Springs Golf Community was very enjoyable and included in our rental is full access to the championship golf course, fitness membership and the use of 3 pools. The facilities suits our lifestyle and we look forward getting full use of them. The flight on Dec 31st to Brisbane was through Vancouver as opposed to a route taken through Hong Kong in 2017. Total travel time was about 25 hours, which is less than the previous flight to “down under”, but still a bit challenging. With the time zone change, we actually arrived on ... read more
Interesting cloud formation at sunrise
One of 3 pools in our community.


For the next week we stayed at a beautiful Villa about 45 minutes from Avignon that we shared with 4 other couples/friends from Canada. The Provence area is one of the most scenic and beautiful parts of France and our group took full advantage of many interesting sites the area had to offer. On a couple of nights, we enjoyed private gourmet meals prepared for us at the Villa by local expert Chefs. Needless to say the meal, enhanced by the wine of the region, the country setting of the Villa and being able to share the experince with good friends, were all the ingredients of magical evenings. The facility was fully equipped, therefore, it also gave everyone time to socialize while preparing a few meals on our own. Most of our group have scattered upon ... read more
Dinner at the Villa with our friends
Archaeological site at Glanum
Palais de Popes Avignon

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Sarlat-la-Caneda June 3rd 2018

We were looking forward to a visit with our friends Susan and Harry who live in Carlux, a pretty village near Sarlat-la-Canéda in the Dourdogne department. A few years ago, they retired early from their Canadian jobs, bought this former bakery and converted it into a residence and a guest house. They did a fabulous job by renovating the wood and stone structure into a very comfortable home while maintaining much of the original design. On one of the stones, the year carved was 1752 (I think). Unfortunately it was quite rainy the 3 days of our visit and we were unable to get the full enjoyment of the beautiful gardens and grounds surrounding the property. Susan and Harry did give us a good overview of the area which has a long medieval history and dramatic, ... read more
Tasty lunch with Harry and Susan
La Cite Carcassonne
Pont de Gard

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Bordeaux May 28th 2018

A short drive from the Atlantic coast is Dinan, a quaint, cobblestoned, village. Our B&B was built in the 15th century facing the village square which is very centrally located. Debra did a great job in booking our accommodation as most of the places have been in convenient locations, clean and comfortable and reasonably priced. The trade off to those benefits were accessibility by car, parking and narrow winding stairs. Most of the times, we just took what we needed out of our suitcases which made the logistics of getting in and out a little easier. Of course, many of these places were built when the average person’s height was about 5ft. 5 inches so I was constantly battling the doorways etc. and the stone arches always win!!! On our way to Bordeaux, we detoured to ... read more
A happy person eating Lobster Roll and Frites!!!
The Cite du Vin in Bordeaux.
The Miroir d’eau in Bordeaux

Europe » France May 23rd 2018

France is a Republic and divided into Regions. Many Regions are famous for specific products. For example, the Region of Champagne is famous for this iconic Brut (sparkling wine that develops it’s bubbles through natural process). Other wines, cheese etc that are well known come from other areas of the country i.e. Bordeaux (not a region but it is a city), Camembert Cheese etc. We travelled through the Normandy and Brittany Regions which are on the North West coast of the country, both of which have an interesting and varied history. Most of the towns we visited would be medieval or older and the youngest of these would still be older than the oldest community in Canada. After staying in Arras for the night, we’re off to Mont Saint-Michel which after Paris, has the most visitors. ... read more
Famous Oyster Market in Cancale, Brittany
Street in St. Malo
Island of the Coast from St. Malo

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Ypres May 20th 2018

It has been a busy three days as we drove from Paris to Belgium and then back to France to visit the World War 1 cemeteries and memorials. Ypres (pronounced e- pers) is about a 2 hours drive from Paris and we finally had some more seasonable weather, although there was still a chill in the air. Our 2 night stay in Ypres included the ceremony at the Menin Gate and a tour next day of some of the war memorials in the North Salient (Salient in this context is a military term for section). The guided tour included memorials/cemeteries at Essex Farm, St Julien, Langemark (a German Cemetery), Hill 62 and Passchendale, the largest Allied Cemetery of the war. The Menin Gate Ceremony has been held every day since 1928 (except for the German Occupation ... read more
Canadian Monument at St. Julien
Canadian Memorial at Paschendaale
Tyne Cot Cemetery

Europe May 17th 2018

A must do while in Paris is an evening boat cruise on the Seine River. It took us about 1 hour and although the temperature was brisk, it was well worth a shiver or two. We did have to snuggle up a bit to keep warm and when we passed under the Mary bridge (there are 37 bridges that cross the Seine), we kissed as is the tradition on all the boat cruises. It was so romantic!!! With the lights reflecting off the water and the Eiffel Tower fully illuminated, the city becomes magical and shows why Paris is called the “city of lights” There is also a dinner river cruise, however, Debra’s research indicated the food is “iffy” so we took a pass. Our plan next day was to take a guided tour of the ... read more
Garnier Opera House
The Polaine Bakery
The Pantheon




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