On our southern Italy trip in October we drove across the boot of Italy from east to west. Our drive took us from Puglia through Basilicata to Calabria. We could not go through Basilicata and not stop in Matera. We just did not have the time to stay in Matera for several days to explore it as we would like. The best we could do was a brief stop to circle the main square in the modern town and to view Sassi di Matera. 

From Salerno on the Amalfi Coast to Santa Maria de Leuca on the very heel of the boot shaped Italy is a drive of five hours on four lane divided highway over and through the mountains. In the distance one spots hill towns perched high on the mountain sides. 

We spent a week on the Amalfi Coast in October. The weather was warm with each day around 26C and the nights staying around 20C. We rented a place in the old town of Salerno on the South end of the Amalfi coast. Our host, Patricia, is a beautiful person who loves to share her departed momma’s rooftop apartment with stunning views of the Arechi Castle on top of the mountain, the old town and the sea.

In October we travelled to Malta, a small island country located south of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea. The culture dates back over 7000 years and has three UNESCO sites with the Gozo Temples classified as the oldest structures in the world making them older than the Pyramids and Stonehenge. The Maltese language is one of the oldest living languages in the world… the country is literally an open-air museum.

I love the trees in the fall. Our beautiful Elk Valley has wonderful colours leaning towards the yellow of cottonwoods, aspens and poplar and the golden needles of the tamaracks.

Some of the most stunning fall colours are found in Eastern Canada and the New England states. The Laurentians with its hardwood trees turning brilliant reds and oranges mixing with the yellow and green make it a breathtaking experience. At the bottom of the Laurentians is Montreal.


The dog days of summer are the hottest days of the year. Named during Roman times, this spanned from July 24 to August 24. In summer the brightest star in the sky, Sirius, rises and sets with the sun. Sirius translates directly as burning or scorching and is known as the dog star as it is the binary star of the Constellation Canis Major. 

July has always been a month of thinking and planning for me. When I taught, I would be finishing the annual yearbook and grad video for the first week of holidays in July. The second week was needed to unwind and feel relaxed. By the third week I was in the holiday mode and I was thinking about trips.

June is the start of summer, or, at least it was. My grass was green on April 30 and all my trees leafed on May 1. The first three decades we lived here there was always snow and ice in the back corner of the yard until May long weekend.

When I coached youth soccer it rained the month of May. At least two practices of the eight-week season would be called on rain. Not just light rain but pouring rain that would damage the field. The practices were often cold and wet. 

Do you remember summer camp? This winter I discovered that resort living is like summer camp. Most people go to camp for a week or two, we went for eight weeks and stayed in a variety of three, four and five-star resorts in Puerto Vallarta.

Developing a sense of community is important when travelling. As a long-term guest, you can feel community develop within the resorts. One of the most interesting parts of this community is the securing of the daily pool lounger. 

Travel can be a powerful tool. It can expand the mind, satisfies the need for wonderlust and be an empowering experience for anyone, including women. My mother travelled by herself to Europe aboard the Queen Mary back in 1952 and again in 1955 with me at six months old. That was not the norm of the time.