Arrival in UK

Long overnight flight straight through from Calgary. We sat next to a nice gentleman who travels to do his work all over the world. I asked him if he knew his career choice would take him to foreign lands. No, he had no idea.

We had been upgraded, in my view, to emergency row seats. All the legroom and more ….. I feel so blessed. Then the arrival of gluten free meals! I guess I made the request when I booked my tickets, I have never really experienced the delivery before, except in my last Air Canada first class experience! So it was great, few mini bottles of red wine and sleep came easily to me.

Next thing I know my breakfast gluten free muffin arrives and we are nearing our destination. I look out the window and am surprised to see the farmlands all higgledy piggeldy, some straight lines but no right angles as far as I can see. No symmetry or consistency to England’s farm fields. Interesting and I ponder my theories of why so different from Canada.

After some more jet lag: good morning dear ones. We had a lovely private transfer upon meeting up at Sheraton Skyline … Jan, Joanne, Steve and I shared the ride in a Mercedes limo van. Comfy. The jet lag feeling is settling in.

Once at the hotel in Southampton I was so excited to see three large cruise ships in port, Steve slept a nap, and the rest of us shopped. We found a Marks and Spencer and bought acrylic champagne glasses and a few bottles of prosecco for the ship boarding tomorrow. Priorities! It was fun to people watch, to see the outfits of locals.

We enjoyed a lovely old English style pub for dinner. Duke of Wellington? I will try to post a pic of the lovely interior. People order at the bar, and then sit and enjoy. When in Rome …. Er …. England! Cheers!

Cin Cin, Salute to my Italian friends.

Ciao love Pamela





The beautiful flight to Calgary

Stunningly beautiful

The flight to Calgary while short and partially interrupted by my quick nap (lol) was breathtaking.

Tiny plane, window seat, very back row. We soar over the water with sunshine sparkling on the sea water below, with what looked like toy boats playing to some distant song that I could not hear. White streaks giving evidence to how fast each was going. Are they in chase, organized or in random patterns? And the sails up on cousin boats, catching the movement of the ocean air with effortless movement through the rocky shores. Still close enough to see sea birds frolicking.

I watched with curiosity as the terrain below came alive with change. Mountains, windy rivers meandering through and distinguishing sides. Small mountain lakes bleeding, with streams down down and sometimes disappearing from view.

Grey, gold, red, browns and black hard edges carved from what once was the flat earth below. Looking to be new and freshly cut from a flat surface that must have once covered the area. Visually I can imagine the large flows of slow moving ice that would have covered the surface and made round some of the ground.

Beautiful and awe inspiring.

And then as if wrapped carefully for gift giving, the carved prairies. How did they create such uniform and straight lines of division? Who was in charge of this visual creation of perfection from the sky. And who lives in those beautiful farm houses there now standing? I can see the fall harvest has taken place and carefully manicured fields of various colours greet my sights.

And arrival, in to Calgary.


This Adventure has Begun 29 August 2014

Hello all dear ones,

Sitting on the other side of security, having dropped our bags and sighed relief. We are here on time and within luggage weight limit.

Does everyone stress about such things? I brought a small checked suitcase…. It seems to be the only way (weigh) I can stay under limit. And so I “shared” some of my items with my travel partner with the little bit of room he had left over. Ha ha.

How will I get home? Scarlett O’Hara would say ….”I will think about that later …” Smile.

A few weeks ago in preparation for this world travel, I purchased a lovely little light weight bag to carry as an international purse. I thought it was so cute. So this morning as I was trying to find a way to bring my gluten free travel convenience food, I found the new cute bag to be lacking in size. While it still wants to come, it just will not do the trick. I ran out of space.

Items of discard gently set aside. I was noticing still small voices of pleading … “Take me, find a way ….. Don’t leave me behind on this very important trip”.

A light bulb moment as I am putting rejected shoes back in their spots …. A bigger bag! Put the small cute one inside a bigger lightweight lulu bag! Yes! Call it a purse! Plenty of room.

Happy with my packing choices, although I can barely remember what went in to the checked suitcase when I closed it almost a week ago, it seems. I don’t have time to review the selection. Just stuff it all in.

Happily we do the last minute sparkle to our condo, leaving it clean and fresh for showing while we are away.

I sent a few texts as we pull out of the underground garage, top down in convertible, stopped of course, for use of cell phone. And away we go … Few selfie pics posted to Facebook.

An hour to craft the first travel blog and enjoy the anticipation of all that is to come in the next five weeks before I arrive back to this spot.

Off to London UK via a stopover in Calgary to visit my friend. Nice.

Stay with me, it is going to be a great trip!



The Climb: Packing for Europe

Good morning dear ones. The days are passing and I am completing some tasks needed to do before I leave on my great Europe adventure.

1. Pack a lot of appropriate clothes and items of convenience in small carry on size suitcase, to satisfy 5 weeks of various romantic and formal dinners, shared accommodations and walking adventure travel with a group of women.

2. Finish up last minute details for travel clients, friends and womens travel club members for trips upcoming for them

3. Keep my condo in good showing shape as it is on the market for sale

4. Enjoy this first month of my retirement from government service, letting go of almost 30 years in social service sector as a probation officer

5. Keep practicing mindfulness, gratitude, inspiration, peaceful communications and love.

6. Write, write and write.

7. Gather up my artist supplies for creative expression

8. Practice speaking Italian. Mondo facile! Grazie and Ti Amo!

I am excited about this adventure … So much I can hardly sleep. And I love to sleep! Packing lists and visualizations of the days to come are dancing in my head.

An exchange is happening between me and my clothes. “Take me, you know I am your favorite! You took that thing last trip, now it is my turn. I can squeeze up small and fit in”. I love to dress up.

I have a wonderful abundant wardrobe of some of the very best clothes gathered from designers and voyages with shopping all around the world. I am not intending to look like a tourist!

How do I want to feel? What is the journey all about? If this is the day my world changes and it is photographed, how will I be portrayed? On this epic world stage, what is my intention? Who am I with and how do I want to inspire them? Who will catch my eye and how will I feel that I showed up dressed as my authentic self? How does my authentic self dress? What to leave behind?

As with the climb of My Everest, it is a dance …. of waves …. What to take and what to leave behind? Decisions … decisions….. To give my self time to reconsider? Be inspired? Second guesses are often helpful in reducing impulsive decisions.

I have the basic formal items, dresses, and sequins all packed, one half of the small carry on suitcase. Scarves are selected and rolled, with air removed, sealed in large plastic reusable freezer bags.

Next is the dance of the shoes and hats! There was a time a few short years ago that I would fill a small carry on suitcase with just shoes! Lol. I have come home from a vacation with four hats stacked one on the other on top of my head for the flight, so none would be crushed in my luggage.

My goals are different now and I have intention to be more selective, de clutter and simplify my choices. The wardrobe options are many as I have perfected the art of shopping for dresses for probably in excess of fifty years! And my mother, a great teacher, is famous in our family for her shopping expertise. She encouraged me to dress with flare and style. She would say “humour me” and send me to the change room with items that I would have overlooked and then subsequently fell madly in love with.

Having witness to our wardrobe is a glimpse into our soul. Welcome to my world of packing and travel!

Just a few more days and I will be scribing with you of my exotic travels in the Baltic region of Europe. Where old places hold ancient and modern energy of women from the past. I will be there soon walking among them and enjoying, and to be forever influenced and inspired by their musings.

Ciao for now!

Bella Pamela

Repost: What if THIS is that day?

Feb 17 2013

Do you remember the day it all began? The day all the questions came at you at once and you were able to see with crystal clarity your life purpose?

I am so inspired and touched by the journey of my life. Today I can visualize the top, my highest and best, my ultimate happy place, my top 1% of my very best day of the best year of the best decade of this life.

My friend interviewed me this morning. We get together by phone and in person several times a week to talk about life and our respective journeys. We share our muses and the latest books we read and the experiences we have had. The ah-hah moments that rock our world.

Today , in the interview, I said with clarity my priorities of livelihood, travel, health, family and to improve the lives of women around the world. I explored verbally in detail how I came to have these priorities and what I do every single day to take steps toward my highest and best: how I visualize and what practices I personally maintain to ensure I am taking daily steps toward the top of my Mt Everest.

I talked about my craft and what I do to log my 10,000 hours of brilliance toward my genius; becoming world class. I honored and witnessed my own journey and then that of my friend. I celebrate my steps in the direction of my desires and dreams: fine tuning and yahoo-ing as I go; singing my song in my own voice. I recorded the words, the message and the dream so I can reflect and review this day, this moment and this step on my life journey.

I have goosebumps and a few tears of emotion as I tell the story I once heard from the first woman, Canadian, who climbed Mt Everest and the lesson of that adventure. I see with some more clarity what I must do for my own journey. I must have witnesses and I surround myself with support and talent and love.

I ask my friend if she is closer to seeing her purpose in this life. She responds with careful thought and I witness the spark. And I wonder, out loud, what if I was there that day Bill Gates or Mother Theresa or Madonna found their song? What if I am witnessing such a global life changing moment right now?

What if this is THAT day?

Sent from my iPad
Pamela MacDonald, your “travelling” cruise, flight and land vacation specialist
Cell 250-857-5518

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Packing stress revisited

Packing stress …. Again

Hi there my faithful followers. Time for some packing tips …. Do you have some? Lol

I am heading out in a little over a week for a five week trip to Europe. I have two weeks on a luxury Cunard cruise in the Baltic followed by about four days in the vibrant historic city of London, UK. There are formal evenings for dining almost every second night … And we will be doing day time excursions to Russia, Finland, Sweden, Germany and more.

Then I fly to Naples where I will spend a few days exploring the Amalfi coast, perhaps a quick train ride to Rome, with four additional fabulous women from the Womens Travel Club. Herein after referred to as WTC!

We have been taking Italian lessons and getting to know one another with the assistance of appies, gluten free Mediterranean pizza from The Joint, a gifted bottle of limoncello and more than one bottle of cold sparkling Prosecco from Italian region where we will be visiting.

And then a week on an adventure land tour out of Sorrento with seven women from the WTC, visiting the ruins of Pompeii, eating more gluten free pizza and pasta, and checking out the island of Capri as well as one day Walk of the Gods.

And subsequently we have a car rented for a week even further south of Italy about three hours drive from Naples, around Maratea marina area. Walking, relaxing, and some hot sunny beach time.

The reason I give you all these details, other than I LOVE to talk about my trips …. Is you can imagine my challenge for packing all these various venues, clothes for five weeks in one or two small carry on suitcases.

I have travelled this light before … (See previous blog about going to Greece for two week Cunard luxury cruise and followed by one week more casual cruise where I had to take my luggage on commuter train as I crossed Italy). I intend to use the same luggage pieces. I intend to not expand my suitcase and I intend to take the appropriate clothes suitable for all the venues and possible weather possibilities.

It can be very hot, still in August in the Baltic and even in to October in the very south of Italy. I need to figure this all out. Pictures to follow ….

Ciao for now

Love ….

Ps. I am seriously waiting for your packing tips … Bring it on!