MARITIMER3's SparkPeople Blog MARITIMER3's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Virtual Walk Around Nova Scotia - week 1 A couple of my Spark Friends have gently reminded me that I promised to start a new virtual walk. Thank you, Kate and Audra, for giving me the push I needed. <BR> <BR> I grew up in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, a city across the harbour from Halifax, the province's capital. Halifax was founded in 1749, and Dartmouth a year later. Both cities were settled primarily by people from Britain. As I walk around the province, I will talk a little bit about the people who first settled specific areas. ... Sun, 7 Feb 2016 19:57:42 EST What's Changed?... Me! So what's going on? I recommitted to SP on January 4 after regaining 12 lbs last year. Since then, I've lost 4 lbs and am exercising regularly. I'm switching things around in the house, planning lots of sewing projects, sleeping better and staying within my calorie/fat/protein/carb range just about every day. Still struggling a bit with salt, and realize that I have to almost give up eating out if I'm going to stay below 2000 mg/day. The good news is that I've been off BP meds for 3 weeks,... Wed, 27 Jan 2016 12:01:26 EST Pride goeth before a fall... I have to admit I've been feeling really good about my "fresh start" on SP a couple of weeks ago (see previous blog). Well last night I crashed in a big way. I wrote just yesterday to a Spark Friend saying that my binges were fewer and not nearly as bad as they had been. Or so I thought... to quote Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral. <BR> <BR> Last night I couldn't sleep, and wandered downstairs around 2 to read by the fireplace. 5 minutes later I had a package of crab-flavoured p... Fri, 22 Jan 2016 10:22:16 EST Fresh Start For the first time in months, I'm really excited about SP! I feel like I did when I first started the program 5 years ago. <BR> <BR> I got careless, exercised less and didn't track my food carefully or honestly... a few cookies can't really hurt, can they? Over the past 18 months I regained almost all the weight I'd worked so hard to lose. <BR> <BR> The good news is that I didn't throw in the towel. I didn't quit. Instead, I recommitted. <BR> <BR> Since January 4, I've lost 3.1 pound... Mon, 18 Jan 2016 12:07:32 EST Spark Teams As most of you know, I've chosen to limit the number of Spark Friends I add so that I can really get to know those I correspond with. <BR> <BR> Today I've decided to cut back on the time I spend on teams as well. Currently, each morning I spend about an hour on the iPad, updating my own account, reading articles, playing team games and checking on my friends. <BR> <BR> The games are fun. I especially like the word-type games... last letter starts the next word... A-Z on some topic... b... Sun, 10 Jan 2016 10:23:55 EST Ukrainian Christmas My DH goes to the Ukrainian Catholic church (he's Irish, English and German, but that's another story), so we celebrate two Christmases each year. <BR> <BR> Today is Ukrainian Christmas Day, 12 days after December 25. Traditionally the Ukrainian Christmas dinner is eaten on Christmas Eve, beginning when the first star appears in the sky. There are 12 traditional dishes, beginning with kutia, wheat or barley mixed with poppy seeds, honey, water and nuts. Borscht, beet soup follows, then k... Thu, 7 Jan 2016 21:17:24 EST 2016 Has GOT to be better, weight-wise than 2015. <BR> <BR> My plan for 2015 went all to heck. No legitimate reasons; I simply ate too much and exercised too little, promising myself that I would "start tomorrow". The holidays were an absolute disaster; I ate as if I would never see food again, resulting in a 5lb. gain from December 1. <BR> <BR> Today, January 3, 2016, is the first day of my new plan. I will blog weekly about progress, successes and failures. Hopefully more of the former a... Sun, 3 Jan 2016 14:52:43 EST Some people have kindly asked about our last trip. It had its good points, but was definitely not as good as the spring trip. <BR> <BR> The good points included a stay at the Opryland Resort (ridiculously large, but worth a visit), attending a service at Emmanuel Baptist Church in New Orleans, (neither of us is Baptist, but the singing was wonderful and the congregation made us so welcome), visiting Tulum Mayan ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula and Peter's first-ever visit to Graceland. He's a huge Elvis fan and had never... Sun, 6 Dec 2015 16:40:39 EST Disney World with my daughter When our children graduated from university, I took each of them on a special trip of their choice... all except my oldest daughter, Jennifer, who was starting a job out of town the week after graduation, and who was getting married in the fall. We always planned to do the trip "someday", and this year we were finally able to plan it. <BR> <BR> Some people would think Disney World was a strange destination for two women, 48 and 72 years of age, but it's probablyJenn's favourite place in the... Thu, 5 Nov 2015 08:42:39 EST Cutting back I've cancelled most of my team and newsletter subscriptions. What's the point of getting lots of points when the pounds aren't coming off??? <BR> <BR> I need to hunker down and WORK at this program. I know the program makes sense, but I haven't been doing my part consistently. <BR> <BR> I haven't been exercising consistently. I haven't been using the treadmill. I can't seem to commit to a new virtual walk. <BR> <BR> Some of the time I've been spending online, accumulating Spark po... Mon, 12 Oct 2015 11:11:13 EST Do You Try New Recipes Very Often? I must admit that I don't. I've spent hours yesterday and today going through magazines, clipping decorating ideas, recipes, knitting patterns and exercises. Then I got out my recipe files - 1 envelope each for appetizers, breakfast, beef, breads, chicken, desserts... you get the idea, and yes, I even have my spices in alphabetical order. <BR> <BR> Before adding the new recipes, I sorted through each envelope, tossing duplicates and things that sounded too complicated or needed too many e... Wed, 26 Aug 2015 20:59:52 EST Today I Lost a Spark Friend... ... I'm so glad I found her again! As some of you know, I limit my number of Spark Friends. Probably because I think of you as penpals, and want to keep the number low so that I can keep in touch with you regularly. I may never meet any of you, but you are carefully chosen, and are definitely "real", not "virtual" to me. <BR> <BR> Yesterday when I clicked on the See All Friends button on my page, there were 17 of you rather than 18. Two full rows, but only 5 in the third row instead of... Tue, 25 Aug 2015 11:51:58 EST Do you really believe... that you can reach the goal weight you set for yourself? <BR> <BR> That's one of the questions in an article I read yesterday on the SP site, under the heading, Weight Loss articles. The article is called, " An Obesity Expert Tells Us What Really Works in Weight Loss". <BR> <BR> When I joined SP in 2011, I weighed 192 lbs. and set my goal as 150 lbs. I've reached the low 160's a couple of times, but each time scuttled back to the high 170's/low 180's which seems to be my comfort level. ... Tue, 18 Aug 2015 10:45:16 EST Bit of a Wake-Up Call Hi all... <BR> <BR> As most of you know, I've been sick for over a month, with various diagnoses ranging from a virus to bronchitis. I've been on Flovent for 2 weeks and an antibiotic for one, both prescribed by a doctor at walk-in, as I couldn't get a quick appointment with our own doctor. <BR> <BR> Today I saw our family doctor to see whether my lungs were clearing, and how long I should stay on the Flovent. <BR> <BR> Going way back, this coughing thing started when my office moved into... Mon, 10 Aug 2015 14:10:22 EST Taking a fresh look at my plan My goal weight, from the time I joined SP in 2011, has been 150 lbs. Once I actually got down to 159 point something; another time to 161... then each time I scuttled back to the comfort of the 170's. <BR> <BR> Today I decided to rethink the process. I'm setting smaller, shorter goals. The first is to reach 165 lbs. By October 25, when I leave on a week's vacation with my oldest daughter. To reach this goal, I need to lose 12 lbs. in 13 weeks. Yikes... writing that number scares me.... Wed, 22 Jul 2015 11:40:50 EST Ringing the Bell 1181 Times Today is National Aboriginal Day in Canada, and after church we rang the bells 1181 times to honour the 1181 Aboriginal women murdered or missing in Canada. This number is 3-4 times the number of non-Aboriginal women murdered or missing over the same period of time. <BR> <BR> Most of those killed, like most murdered women in Canada, are the victims of domestic violence, killed by their husband, partner or another family member. Most of the missing women are presumed dead. <BR> <BR> I rece... Sun, 21 Jun 2015 17:01:35 EST Funeral Planning Can Be Quite Interesting Guess this means I'm finally grown up. Peter and I visited two local funeral homes this week to gather information for our (we hope long-in-the-future) funerals. We both want pretty much the same thing. Cremation, visitation one afternoon and evening, church funeral with visitation in the lounge one hour beforehand, reception at the church, and internment of the ashes later the same day or the following morning. Our criteria for deciding between the two funeral homes was to be mainly base... Thu, 11 Jun 2015 13:18:36 EST 3 NSV's in One Week Maybe, just maybe, it's starting to sink in. <BR> <BR> I've had 3 food-related successes this past week, and I'm feeling very proud. <BR> <BR> Peter likes fast food, and brings it home a couple of times each week. It's a challenge. If I know ahead of time, for example, that he's getting a pizza, I plan one slice into my meal plan for the day. <BR> <BR> Last Friday we were at church until after 7, and he suggested getting fish & chips on the way home. I ate the fish, but had only about... Tue, 2 Jun 2015 19:00:39 EST Reminder to self... never add an emoticon at the end of a blog. It makes them disappear. I just wrote an amusing (to me, anyway), blog about getting things ready for a sale at church... I've rented a table and am trying to get rid of some stuff... but when I tried to add an emoticon, it disappeared. <BR> <BR> So... I'll write after the sale instead. Wish me luck. <BR> <BR> Gail (no emoticon) <BR> Fri, 29 May 2015 00:30:37 EST Mid-May, and I'm Not Where I Planned To Be... and that's because I made a realistic plan but didn't follow it consistently. <BR> - I didn't start another long-distance walk on the treadmill after completing my hike from Land's End, Cornwall, to John O'Groats Scotland <BR> - I didn't consistently drink 8 glasses of water each day <BR> - I didn't use smaller plates to encourage smaller portions <BR> - I didn't reduce my sodium consistently enough <BR> - even though I have resistance bands, a medicine ball, stability ball and free weights, ... Sat, 16 May 2015 15:36:59 EST Time to Regroup I've been struggling since November, and have regained some of the weight I worked so hard to lose last year. <BR> <BR> I think that part of the problem is that I am especially busy in the winter, particularly with church activities. First there's the budget process, then all the extra Christmas programs, vestry meeting, filling in with reading, chalice and projector for the people who go south for the winter. I chair the Advisory Board, write for the newsletter and help distribute it, a... Tue, 24 Mar 2015 18:55:38 EST Woo Hoo! I'm an Hourglass Hourglass - top and bottom equal, middle narrows in... only problem is, I'm sure there is supposed to be more narrowing... <BR> <BR> I joined a 90-day challenge started by my friend PIXIE-LICIOUS (check out her Spark Page, she's a great Spark Friend, and sets up some very interesting challenges). She took front and side pictures of herself on January 1, and challenged others to do this once a month, for 3 months. Another option was to weigh and measure yourself, and that's the one I chose... Mon, 19 Jan 2015 11:01:32 EST Thank you to 2 great Spark Friends Two of my Spark Friends stepped up to help when I asked for a buddy to help me get back on the straight and narrow. A great big "thank you". Thanks, also, to several others who weren't in the position to be my buddies, but who wrote very supportive comments. <BR> <BR> I've told so many people that this is a long-term journey. That it's for the rest of our lives... but I haven't been very good taking my own advice. I get busy, or tired, or sick, or discouraged and then I mess up. I know ... Mon, 12 Jan 2015 19:42:23 EST I need a special Spark buddy to help me get back on track I really messed up over the holidays... well really for the past 8 weeks... and I hope that one of my Spark Friends will step up to help me get back on track. <BR> <BR> No point going into the reasons I messed up, I'm sure some of you would recognize them, and maybe even fell into the same traps at some point yourself. <BR> <BR> Yes, there were extra foods around, but that doesn't excuse me for sneaking them upstairs and eating them all by myself. Yes, I was busy, but i found lots of time ... Mon, 5 Jan 2015 13:28:53 EST Planning for Dinner Out Tonight we are going to the Christmas party for one of Peter's pipe bands. They hold it at The Keg, and I've been spending the last hour going over their menu, checking the nutritional values, and trying to plan what I will choose. To make it more complicated, the party organizers have pre-chosen probably 4 options from the menu, and we won't know the choices until we get there. <BR> <BR> I should add that I don't know these people very well. Peter is one of the newer members of the band ... Wed, 3 Dec 2014 11:27:28 EST The walk continues... less than 100 miles to go This wasn't a very impressive month, but in spite of two cataract surgeries, I managed to walk 58.5 miles since I last wrote, and am about 5 miles beyond Alness, heading for Dornoch... don't you love some of the Scottish names? <BR> <BR> I joined Loch Ness at Fort Augustus, and left the Caledonian Canal behind. The trail along Loch Ness, unfortunately, was mostly through a reforestation area, and except for pine trees, there wasn't much to see. Not even a glimpse of Nessie... sorry! <BR> <... Mon, 24 Nov 2014 21:00:56 EST Two inspirational quotes for today... that I read on SP today <BR> <BR> "If it was easy, everyone could do it!" <BR> <BR> and <BR> <BR> "Tired of starting over? Just stop quitting." <BR> <BR> Remember... <em>381</em> <BR> <BR> Hugs, Gail Wed, 12 Nov 2014 08:59:12 EST Not sure what to call this... This has been a bad week. I've been doing lots of extra cleaning, because I won't be able to do a lot of bending for the next month because of my cataract surgery. I haven't done as much walking, under 15 miles last week, and haven't done my ST. <BR> <BR> We went away for 2 days, then Peter started selling poppies for the Legion, in preparation for Remembrance Day (Veterans' Day) on November 11. We've hardly eaten any meals together over the past 3-4 days. I haven't cooked the way I norm... Sun, 2 Nov 2014 21:56:03 EST Better to err on the side of safety As a result of some unwanted posts from someone called JESSICA4LOVE, I've been reminded not to be quite so open with my activity feed. From now on I won't be posting that I'm going away, for example. I'll wait until I'm home again to comment on a vacation. <BR> <BR> I'm sad that there are people out there who attempt to use our posts against us. I certainly don't think that JESSICA4LOVE is anywhere around here, or that she/he? is stalking me in particular, because many of my friends have r... Mon, 27 Oct 2014 08:08:59 EST This Week We Lost Our Innocence Canada lost two soldiers this week, and Canadians lost their innocence. We grieved when terrorists killed people in other countries, but now it is home-grown terrorists, on Canadian soil, and somehow that makes it more real. <BR> <BR> Last night, instead of continuing with our regular sessions, our study group discussed the tragedies and how they affect our lives. We agreed that we must be vigilant, but must not allow this to make us distrust and fear someone simply because they look, or d... Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:18:37 EST Plan for tomorrow 1. Up, shower, breakfast <BR> <BR> 2. Go over readings for morning study group <BR> <BR> 3. Eucharist and study group <BR> <BR> 4. Drop off church kitchen laundry <BR> <BR> 5. Drop off toque and knitted squares for AIDS orphans at church <BR> <BR> 6. Lunch with Gwyn <BR> <BR> 7. Grocery shopping <BR> <BR> 8. Drop off fabrics, quilting materials at seniors' centre <BR> <BR> 9. Gardening - spread corn gluten, prune shrubs. If Peter is available, prune trees <BR> <BR> 10. Skim fat off ... Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:57:17 EST I'm 10 lbs. from goal, and getting scared You see, I'm really good at losing weight. I've done it successfully many times, both on my own and following a variety of programs. <BR> <BR> What I'm not good at is keeping the weight off. I'm so determined that this time will be different, but I'm still scared. <BR> <BR> This time, though, I've lost weight more slowly (32 lbs. In over 3 years). I know many of you have lost way more than that, and in less time. And while I've been losing the weight, I've been learning a lot. For ... Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:17:04 EST The walk continues... Time to catch up a bit. <BR> <BR> Since I last posted on September 6, I've stepped it up and walked 118.60 miles <BR> Total walked to October 11/14: 939.82 miles <BR> <BR> I left you at the Falkirk Wheel, built to connect the Union Canal with the Forth and Clyde Canals without requiring a series of locks. <BR> <BR> From there, I followed the Forth and Clyde Canal to Drymen, the beginning of the Highlands, and joined the West Highland Way, a 95-mile walking trail from Glasgow to Fort Wi... Thu, 16 Oct 2014 14:17:02 EST Heart of Europe, Part 2 We've been in Vienna for 3 nights, and leave in the morning for Salzburg. My first impression of Vienna wasn't great. I found it a cold, unfriendly city... but my impression changed today when I chose to walk around some of the areas near our hotel to see how people live, and especially tonight when we went to a fabulous restaurant in a part of Vienna which tourists would usually never find. <BR> <BR> Did you know that many restaurants in Vienna allow patrons to being well-behaved dogs ... Mon, 29 Sep 2014 16:40:05 EST Heart of Europe Trip and What I've Learned So Far Hi all... <BR> Day 5 of 14 of our trip through what Craig Travel calls the Heart of Europe. Flight was fine. Smallish group, 32, about 8 couples, the rest women, some in pairs and a few on their own. I was surprised to see at least 4 women on their own, paying single supplement (the downside), but doing exactly what they want to do, when they want to do it (the upside). <BR> <BR> Bus driver, European guide who is with us the whole time (airport to airport), Canadian guide who travelled fro... Sat, 27 Sep 2014 15:25:40 EST What I Learned Today I've always exercised at night, and was very proud of myself for walking 3-4 miles on the treadmill most nights, especially since I started my virtual walk the length of Britain late last October. I've walked almost 900 miles since then. <BR> <BR> My thinking was that I would get my housework, gardening, laundry etc. done during the day and then have the evening for myself. <BR> <BR> Today, though, because I left home at 3:15 to babysit the twins while DD#3 and SIL go out this evening, I... Thu, 18 Sep 2014 16:24:24 EST Virtual Walk... past Edinburgh, heading for Loch Lomond Hi Spark Friends. I haven't posted about my virtual walk in about three weeks, but have added 78 miles and am now past Edinburgh, a wonderful (if mostly grey) city, heading for Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. If you look at a map of Scotland and draw a line between Glasgow and Edinburgh, I would be about half way along the line, and a little bit north. <BR> <BR> Edinburgh gave me a chance to see some of my favourite spots. Didn't go to the castle, but did walk up Arthur's S... Tue, 9 Sep 2014 15:56:18 EST Couldn't Find My Earlier Blog Seven or eight months ago, I wrote asking how you knew that it was time to give up on a friendship. When I went back today to look for it, I remembered that I felt so guilty about writing it in the first place that I deleted it. I read the replies first, though, and most of you agreed that sometimes we outgrow a friendship. <BR> <BR> Well today I'm writing to say that I'm cautiously optimistic that a friendship that has deteriorated over the years can be revived. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I took... Sat, 6 Sep 2014 16:26:59 EST Cleaning the Pantry Our kitchen is U-shaped, with the fridge on the left end of the U, stove in the middle of the bottom of the U, and sinks in the middle of the right side. There are upper cupboards on the left and bottom sections, the right side is open to the table, and looks out into the back yard. <BR> <BR> Across from this upside-down U, on the wall dividing the kitchen from the living room, we added 6' of floor to ceiling cupboards, 7 shelves each, which I use as my pantry and for storing extra small ap... Mon, 1 Sep 2014 11:36:18 EST I Challenge You... to add 10 minutes of ST to your daily exercise routine. <BR> <BR> I love my cardio. Cardio comes easy to me, and when I think about adding a new exercise, it's usually in the cardio group. For example, I will keep up my treadmill, but will add swimming lengths in the fall. <BR> <BR> HICKOK-HALEY, one of my Spark Friends, and I were discussing this recently, and we decided to challenge ourselves to do 10 minutes of ST most days, with arms/legs one day and abs/core the next. <BR> <BR> M... Sun, 31 Aug 2014 15:59:57 EST Re... calculating Does the voice on your GPS say that (with a rather disgruntled pause after the "re") when you don't follow her instructions to the letter? <BR> <BR> Spark People is sort of like that. I've been sparking for 3 1/2 years and have lost and kept off 27 lbs. so far. My goal is to lose another 15. My doctor is pleased that my cholesterol numbers are better and I no longer use my puffers. I shop, cook and eat differently, and at age 70 I've become an exerciser. I'm doing a virtual walk the leng... Mon, 25 Aug 2014 12:06:32 EST 10 Minute Daily ST Commitment As most of you know, I have no problem doing lots of cardio exercise every day, as I walk 20-25 miles each week on my virtual walk. <BR> <BR> ST is a different matter. Although I have a stability ball, resistance bands, free weights, a medicine ball and a brand new kettlebell, I often go 4-5-6 days without using them. <BR> <BR> I am determined to reach my goal of 150 lbs. by March 31, 2015, and believe that regular ST is essential to achieve that goal... so today I joined Spark Guy's 10-Mi... Mon, 11 Aug 2014 11:40:45 EST Yard sale Up at 6, showered and started putting things out at 6:30. First buyers arrived before 7. Bev arrived around 7:30 with her stuff and we were busy off and on until 2. Heated up left-over shepherd's pie, put out home-made coleslaw and grape tomatoes. Apple cider, which tasted really good. Called it a day at 3 and went for ice creams (small, but believe me, we deserved them). <BR> <BR> Bev packed up her left-overs, we sorted out donations for hospital store and for diabetes society. Some t... Sat, 9 Aug 2014 18:46:00 EST Better habits finally kicking in... As some of you may remember, I made a shepherd's pie yesterday. Cleaning out the fridge, I cooked and mashed turnip, which I like but Peter doesn't, to have with it. <BR> <BR> Turns out the weather was good today, so he decided to take the Sprite to the car show which is held in town every Thursday during the summer. They get as many as 380 cars each week. He took some snacks with him, and will probably eat a small supper when he gets home around 9. <BR> <BR> I didn't want to eat that ... Thu, 7 Aug 2014 18:49:57 EST Reducing our intake of processed foods Let me start by saying that we don't eat a lot of processed foods. I make most things from scratch, but processed foods sneak in... deli potato salad, low fat cold cuts, an occasional can of "healthy" soup... and I still find the sodium creeping up. <BR> <BR> This week I bought extra chicken breasts, on special, cooked, diced and froze them to use in casseroles or salads. I cooked the trimmings from the chicken to make broth for soup. <BR> <BR> Lean ground beef was also on special, in t... Wed, 6 Aug 2014 19:06:15 EST Protein and Sodium Tonight I grilled extra boneless, skinless chicken breasts so that I would have some ready-to-eat protein for a salad or wrap. <BR> <BR> I try hard to stay as close as I can to the 50% carbs, 30% healthy fats and 20% lean protein recommended by SP. At the same time, I try to keep my sodium intake below 2000 mg./day as recommended by my doctor. <BR> <BR> Protein for our main meal isn't difficult. We eat fish twice each week, chicken twice, pork and beef once each and have one main meat... Mon, 4 Aug 2014 19:06:45 EST Does anyone else have trouble getting below a specific weight number? My highest weight, before I joined Spark People 3 1/2 years ago, was 192 lbs. <BR> <BR> Since then, I got down to 165-166 lbs. twice, and twice my weight quickly went back to 180. That's where I was in January 2014. <BR> <BR> I've worked hard at both eating properly and exercising more over the past 6 months, and when we returned from our trip to Calgary my weight was once again 166 1/2 lbs. <BR> <BR> What is it about that number? Am I complacent because I can wear a smaller size an... Tue, 29 Jul 2014 23:19:34 EST Virtual Walk Update... Have Reached Scotland Hi all, <BR> It was difficult tracking my mileage while we were travelling as I lost my Fitbit just before we left home. I estimated, and feel quite sure that my estimates were low, and last night I got out the maps and added up the miles while we were away (73) and added in the treadmill miles since coming home, and realized that I have finally crossed the England/Scotland border and am about 7 miles south of Jedburgh, one of the cities in the Scottish Lowlands known for its ruined cathedr... Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:32:49 EST The good and the bad... ... of being home... <BR> <BR> Of course it's nice to be home. I love our home, garden, cat and routine... but when I was away I didn't snack in between meals and I seldom ate before going to bed. <BR> <BR> So why is it, now that I'm home, that every time I sit down I want to eat? I wasn't hungry when we were travelling, and I was eating 1200-1300 calories most days. Now I'm eating 1400-1600 calories each day and nibbling. Granted I'm exercising more, so I suppose it balances. <BR> <... Sat, 19 Jul 2014 14:54:25 EST Home again, home again, woo hoo! The cat and the garden both missed us. The cat even slept with us last night, which is quite unusual. <BR> <BR> We had a wonderful trip. I think everyone, if possible, should drive across the country, simply to see how vast it is and to see the wide diversity of countryside. <BR> <BR> I think the prairies (Canadian name for the plains) are beautiful. I loved the wide-open-ness and huge skies. We had a great visit with our oldest daughter and family in Calgary and enjoyed the Stamped... Wed, 16 Jul 2014 20:25:12 EST