Tiny Travelogue: Fitzroy Provincial Park

Fitzroy Provincial Park

Location: Fitzroy Provincial Park, Ontario

Length of Trip: two days, one night (July 2013)

Purpose of Trip:  Super-fun-camping

Method of Transportation:  Automobile

Food: Chili, salad, chips, red wine, banana bread, chocolate croissants

Accommodations: A tent, of course, in the Two Rivers Campground of Fitzroy Park

Highlights:  This was mostly a last minute oh-my-god-get-me-out-of-the-city kind of camping trip.  The park is only an hour away from Ottawa, which was the main reason for choosing it.  There wasn’t really any hiking and the swimming was just okay, but it did the trick on short notice.   

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Tiny Travelogue: Quebec City

Quebec City

Location: Quebec City, Quebec

Length of Trip: Two days, one night (May 2013)

Purpose of Trip:  Official Librarian Business (ie. travel for work)

Method of Transportation:  Airplane

Food: When traveling, I usually try to scout for restaurants in advance.  Being a non-meat eater does prove to be a bit restrictive at times, so I like to find a few options in advance.  I also really hate walking around trying to find somewhere to eat, especially when I’m hungry.  Unfortunately, the restaurant I had pre-selected in Quebec decided to close the day before I arrived, unbeknownst to me.  So I ended up wandering around and just picked the first place that was 1) not too expensive 2) had a veggie option 3) wasn’t just a sandwich place.  I ended up eating at La Piazetta.  It was just okay.  Nothing spectacular, but no complaints either.  I also obtained a snack from a little grocery store called La Carotte Joyeuse.  I highly recommend getting food at a grocery store when traveling – you can usually find something cheap and healthy, especially if you just want a snack like fruit or a cookie (my snack exactly, actually).

Accomodations:  I stayed at Le Grande-Allee Hotel and Suites.  It had the feel of a B & B, but with all the privacy and amenities of a regular hotel.  My room was really cute.  It had a little fireplace and a huge spa bathtub.  The tub was in the main part of the room, rather than the bathroom, so as you can imagine, I ate my dinner in the tub while watching TV.  I really had no choice.

Highlights:  This trip was quite short and mostly spent doing work-related things (it was a business trip after all), so I didn’t really get to do anything fun.  I’d say the highlight of the trip was the hotel!  I’d also recommend walking around the old part of the city. 

International Bank of Bob: Connecting Our Worlds One $25 Kiva Loan at a Time by Bob Harris

Bank of Bob

One sentence summary: The book is a memoir of sorts, following Bob Harris as he travels around the world, following up on micro-finance loans he has made through Kiva.

The good: This book has got it all – international travel, issues of poverty and social justice, micro-finance, and features one of my favourite non-profit organizations (Kiva.org).  It’s an easy read and gives a good overview of how micro-finance works.

The bad: I found his attempts to draw comparisons between the poverty and people he meets to his own family a bit cringe-worthy, but these moments were few and far between.  For a book that could have easily turned into an over the top story of a Westerner ‘saving’ poor people in developing countries, Harris manages to stay fairly down to earth.

Should you read it? I’d say, probably.

Related Reading: Banker to the Poor by Muhammad Yunus

(Want to try Kiva?  Click here and you’ll get to make your first $25 loan for free!  Geez this sounds like a paid ad, but I swear it’s not.)

Basic Banana Bread

Banana bread

This is my “go-to” banana bread.  It doesn’t have any oil or butter in it, and the sweetness all comes from the bananas, applesauce, and honey – no need for added sugar.  It’s more of a breakfast banana bread, rather than a desert banana bread, which is just the way I like it.

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oatmeal (optional)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup applesauce (or pumpkin puree)
3/4 cup honey (or maple syrup)
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
3 mashed, overripe bananas
walnuts (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly grease a 9X5 inch loaf pan.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  In a separate bowl, mix together applesauce, honey, and vanilla.  Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended.  Stir banana mixture into flour mixture (and add walnuts if using).  Pour into loaf pan.

3.  Bake for 60-65 minutes.  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto wire rack.

Tiny Travelogue: Colombia

Colombia

For a full travelogue of my Colombia trip, visit The Colombia Edition. It’s more than you ever wanted to know about someone else’s trip.  No really, it’s a lot more detail than you want.  I promise.

Location: Bogota, Santa Marta, and Cartagena, Colombia
Length of Trip: 20 days (December 2010 – January 2011)
Purpose of Trip:  Vacation
Method of Transportation:  Airplane
Food: see full travelogue
Accommodations: see full travelogue
Highlights:  see full travelogue