This postcard arrived last week from a family member visiting Canada’s east coast. It’s from Fortress of Louisbourg, in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. The fort is a national historic site and is from the 18th century originally made by the French. It was once the third busiest port in North America.
Here’s the back of the postcard. I love the Canada Post stamp of Captain Kirk (William Shatner was born in Montreal).
“Hi. Arrived in N.S. [Nova Scotia] on Thursday, July 15th. We certainly enjoyed our visit to the Louisbourg Fortress. An amazing place and well worth the visit. Went to Sidney for dinner this evening. Heading to the Cabot Trail tomorrow morning. We’ll be sure to take lots of pictures!”
Prior to my recent cruise, I had never been to the Virgin Islands (U.S. or British).
Our cruise ship stopped in the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Thomas – although the port didn’t look anything like pictured here:
I spent much of my time in the U.S. Virgin Islands snorkelling in Turtle Bay off of Buck Island. It was one of the most amazing site and experiences I’ve ever had.
Searching for postcards in St. Thomas, however, was less rewarding as this was the nicest postcard I could find despite looking in several shops.
Last month, I was in my hometown of Guelph, Ontario to celebrate Thanksgiving. While there, we took my daughter to Strom’s Farm & Bakery. It’s a great place as they have lots of fun things to do outside on their farm and the best bunch of mazes I’ve encountered anywhere.
They have several mazes but their most famous and most difficult is their corn maze.
I love mazes, but what I loved more was that they were giving away postcards to commemorate this year’s corn maze:
Naturally, I wrote the postcard to myself. Here’s my recount of our fun on the farm:
[top] “Aerial view of Strom’s Maze 2015. If you get this…I made it out!”
[bottom] “Strom.ca. 50 cents of your Harvest Fun pass went to Hope House. Strom’s Farm and Bakery, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.”
“Thanksgiving Day – October 12, 2015.
Today, I [and the wife and kid] went with Grandpa and Grandma to Strom’s farm for some pumpkin fun! Everyone loves the pumpkin sling shot, the mazes, and the hayride, but the pumpkin marshmallow icecream sandwich made me VERY THANKFUL!”
We were in Niagara Falls a few days ago and it was pouring rain. What to do on a rainy day?
Well, the wax museums, haunted houses, midways, and oddity collections on and near Clifton Hill always offer a lot of (overpriced) fun.
But I was looking for something more edifying to balance the delightful kitsch overload we’d already experienced.
So I suggested Bird Kingdom. I’m not a big fan of birds, but it was close and we had a coupon so we went.
It was an amazing surprise for all of us. It turns out it is one of the largest indoor aviaries in the world. It’s also in a historic building that once housed a corset factory and the old, famous Niagara Falls Museum (they have an interesting exhibit on the history of the building).
There are a lot of beautiful birds to encounter in free-flying enclosures. They also have a fun bat and reptile exhibits. They have done an excellent job in renovating the old building into incredible garden aviary complete with a 3-story waterfall and a 19th century teak Javanese house.
But of course, the best part is there amazing postcards:
This illustrates their lorikeets. For a small fee, you can feed the lorikeets (which are the most colourful birds I’ve ever seen). My daughter enjoyed feeding them and as I was watching her several lorikeets perched on me and started inspecting me (the first time I’ve ever had a bird on me).
The back side also has one of the nicest back-designs:
A few days ago, my daughter and I played hooky to visit our provincial legislature.
My daughter is in grade 5 and the Ontario curriculum calls for studying how our government works. For some reason the teacher has decided not to cover any of this (or any social studies).But I thought it was to important to ignore. Knowing about our democratic system -and our responsibilities within in – is likely the absolute most important thing there is to learn in life (after eating and that Xena was the best TV show ever).
So I contacted our legislature explain we the situation and they offered to give us a free private guided tour. (Queen’s Park has a variety of great tours all free – see their list).
The tour guide was amazing and taught my daughter so much about how government works generally and in Ontario specifically at the perfect level for my daughter. She had her engaged and interested the entire time. She learned a lot – and so did I too.( I can’t know everything.)
Afterwards we went to the gift store and met the nicest sales staff person in Toronto. They had awesome postcards too – icing on the cake.
Here are the results of my shopping spree:
Toronto does not have the best postcards. So it was really exciting to find this one. One of the coolest gimmick postcards – a pop-up vista of Queen’s Park. Here’s it opened:
Aerial view of Ontario’s Legislature buildings and the park in Queen’s Park (the shortcut I use to get around University of Toronto).
And here’s Ontario’s flower, the trillium by a local artist.
This is my 3ooth post for this blog!
I’m not anywhere close to running out of postcards to blog about as I have many years of my own collecting plus a couple collections I inherited. But as a postcard collector, my favourite way to get new additions to the Collection is having them personally mailed to me. Buying postcards is cheating for me. But over the years, people are sending less postcards than they used to (or I have less people who can stand me enough to mail me!)
A friend referred me to a free website to get more postcards in the mail:Postcrossing.com.
Here’s how it works:
- Sign up and create a profile, indicate types of postcards you like
- Request to send a postcard – the system assigns you a name from its database
- You get a link to their profile to see their preferences and address
- Mail the postcard
- When the recipient receives it, they log it into the system
- Your name now goes into the pool for you to receive one
I sent and received several postcards. I love them all but here’s my favourite:
I indicated that I liked “bizarre” postcards and this sender certainly fulfilled my request with spades! I can’t even figure this one out.
“Hi Glen! Here is Postcrossing card for you. 🙂 It’s the weirdest one I could find. LOL! Hope you like it!
I love how the Internet has enabled this (and the site founder too). Prior to the Net, things like this just would not have been possible. Check it out and you’ll love it – the Finns sure do, as you’ll soon discover.