October 28, 2018

Australia Short Visit: How to Spend Three Days in Sydney

Finally, G&N landed “down-under” on a 30-day Australian “bucket list” trip –  it had been a 25-year discussion.
Described by friends as “Vancouver without the mountains” and “Stockholm with more people,” Sydney is Sydney without any comparable. Not entirely sure what to expect of the five-million person (not including visitors) metropolis the twosome stumbled out of their Darling Harbour hotel to explore the highlights. Late morning, after the 20-hour transit including a 16-hour flight leg the only thing on Nutmeg’s mind was finding a strong flat white coffee (maybe two).

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October 14, 2018

Why you Need Patience at the Sous Préfecture in Provence

Nutmeg is self-admittedly not a patient person. She develops a plan, does not appreciate too much external input, and certainly is not thrilled when there is a proposed change. Living in France, with life at a slower pace, has helped with her natural inclination somewhat. Although, Ginger is certain that she may never be fully cured of her affliction.
Here, are some verbal “pictures” of life in slow motion:

Walks with a 12 year old yellow lab
Sunday morning coffee service at the village café
Opening hours/days for the local boulangerie and boucherie
Watching a dog sleep in the sun
WiFi access in a thunderstorm
A swimming pool warmed only by the sun
Waiting for your tax refund

This post is about the ultimate lesson in patience, a heavy dose of bureaucracy, mountains of paperwork and long queues. Welcome to the world of the sous-préfectures (home of French Administration)! Nutmeg has had the pleasure of visiting a couple of these offices while in Provence, the location in Aix-en-Provence…

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September 30, 2018

Isle sur la Sorgue a touch of Venice in Provence

Most people (read tourists) go to l’Isle sur la Sorgue for one of two reasons:

The Sunday market – one of the largest in the region
The 300+ antique stores and dealers

Very few would go because they were expecting Venice in Provence.

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September 16, 2018

Distilling Wild Spirits in Canmore

It is not every day that a new vodka hits the liquor store shelves, and certainly not one that is fabricated using only (100%) ingredients from Alberta. The bad news is Ginger and Nutmeg missed the grand opening party. The good news the Wild Life Distillery is nearby, in Canmore.
The distillery’s founders Matt Widmer and Keith Robinson are both Bow Valley locals. Widmer grew-up in Banff and Robinson in Canmore, their connection, like many residents, was snow and sport related – in this case, cross-country skiing events.

It might seem strange for graduates of Kinesiology (Widmer) and Business Administration and Marketing (Robinson) to join forces, but they both appear to be driven by entrepreneurial forces. In the summer of 2014, they shook hands on the slightly crazy idea of opening a distillery in Canmore, and the Wild Life Distillery began to take shape.
Nutmeg asked how the concept came together. According to Widmer,
“I have had an interest in distilled spirits since 2010. While living in Tofino, I would…

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September 2, 2018

Destination New Orleans: 5 Things to Do During Your Visit

Unkempt and a bit frayed at the edges New Orleans just woke up with bed head.

This is the kind of place where potholes can swallow a car tire in a single bite and construction projects take decades. Flash flooding is frequent when it rains because there is nowhere for the water to go. The city’s residents have adapted, basements are practically unheard of and definitely a folly, slab on grade construction begs for slightly damp walls, and there is a festival of some description almost every day.

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August 19, 2018

Dipping A Toe in France’s Ardeche

This post will most likely make Nutmeg’s Corsican friends angry.
Why bother with the hassle of an overnight ferry, crowded beaches and small twisty roads? If you want to feel like you, have experienced a bit of Corsica without leaving the French mainland, plan a trip to the Ardèche region.
The similarities between, the beautiful island of Corsica and the Ardèche are significant, see below:

 

Corsica

Ardeche

Surface Area
8,680 sq km
5,550 sq km

Widest Point
82 km
75 km

Highest Peak
2,706 metres Mont Cinto
1,754 metres Mont Mézenc

Population
302,000
309,000

Annual Visitors
Roughly 2 million
Roughly 3 million

Agriculture
Chestnuts
Chestnuts

Olives
Olives

Grapes
Grapes

Goats, Sheep
Goat, Sheep, Cows

Figs
Figs

Beaches
1000 km of coastline
Countless River banks

Geographic Formation
Volcanic
Volcanic

 

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August 5, 2018

Banana Bread Love Affair

Nutmeg is picky about her bananas. The fruit has to be perfect, not too green and certainly not a second too ripe. However, when it comes to banana bread, she has nothing but love for this sweet treat.
Most people have a banana loaf variation that they have perfected over the years, or one handed down from a relative. When this recipe landed on Nutmeg’s laptop from cyberspace, she could not resist trying it. A combination of lemons, olive oil, and bananas adapted from 101 Cookbooks, what is not to love?
Print Lemon Olive Oil Banana Bread Recipe type: Quick Breads Prep time:  10 mins Cook time:  50 mins Total time:  1 hour Serves: 1 Loaf   Like most sweet loafs this one is very easy to make. The use of olive oil and lemon make it a bit more contemporary than the one…

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July 22, 2018

How Nowhere Attracts Artists to East Jesus

Today, your GPS or smartphone might just lead you to the middle of nowhere – East Jesus. This artist’s colony is a couple of dusty miles away from Slab City, a squatters’ settlement that feels like an Imperial Valley desert metropolis once you reach this commune, literally at the end of the road.

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July 8, 2018

Sunday Lunch in France

Nutmeg is writing this post on a rainy Sunday afternoon while Ginger is napping off the effects of a long Sunday lunch.
It is a long tradition in France that stores are closed Sunday afternoon, allowing everyone the opportunity to have a leisurely lunch en famille.

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June 3, 2018

Far from Reality Slab City and Salvation Mountain

As Nutmeg stood in front of a crayon-coloured mound of dirt, clay and straw she thought what would Antoni Gaudí i Cornet (Gaudi) have thought of this? The “summit” of Salvation Mountain stands almost 45-feet high, a mass that is easily recognisable in the otherwise pancake-flat California desert.

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