The new year began with the family Skiing Mount Baldy,  located up the mountain behind Kathy's father's house in Oliver. As you can see in the photos below the conditions were EXCELLENT!!

      BC Mount Bauldy Madi Kathy Brian at Top                2013 BC Mount Bauldy at the
      top of the Lift  

              Brian Kathy & Madi at the top of Mount Bauldy                                                                Brian Greg & Courtney at the top of the lift                  



                2013 Friends gather
      around the table at Beaco Court                    2013
      Ron & wendy pay a visit to Beacon Court

After returning from BC and after a get together with friends as well as a visit from Ron and Wendy from Scarborough we departed for Guatemala on Jan 24 for Guatemala. For more on our stay in Guatemala in 2013 go to Tundra Travels Page " W Carib Recent"  by clicking here      W Carib RECENT


2013 BC Oliver with
            Jack Coates Family        2013 BC Oliver Jack Coates Great Grandchildren

May 1st 2013
we returned to Canada from Guatemala. For the next week we caught up on paperwork and mail only to head west May 8th for British Columbia and to the   Okanogan Valley to Celebrate the life   of Kathy's father at his memorial   in Oliver.
  Jack passed away peacefully   Feb 7th 2013.

     2013 BC On the ST
        Vincent Bay Cabin Swing              2013 BC On the Dock St
        Vincents Bay

The Memorial in Oliver BC was a great success with the whole family present.We spent the long weekend with our family at Greg and Courtney's cabin   at St Vincent Bay on the Sunshine Coast. Fun was had by all on the Cabin Dock


                                                                                    2013 Madi & Greg on the beach located nearby

                                            Relaxing on the Beach located nearby at St Vincents Bay Madi & Greg are seen shucking Oysters

May 23rd we are back in Sarnia . May 29th we pick up John and Eleanor who will visit us for a week after their singing tour in New York. After a short week we drove E&J to Toronto to stay overnight at Ron and Wendy's and Depart June 5th for home.

            2013 Beacon Court John
      & Eleanor on Aleta's perch             @013 Beacon Court Eleanor
      & Kathy on swing      


                           Relaxing above on Aleta's Perch                                                                                                Two Sisters on a Swing

                                                                                       2013 Beacon Court Eleanor
      & Aleta visit

                                                                                                                Aleta and Eleanor have a Visit

July 8th 2013

Our grandchildren Madi and Barrett arrive for their summer visit.

                2013 Beacon Court A stop at the Ice Cream Store                        2013 Beacon CT Madi Barrett & Kathy watch Cement

       An important stop and break during a bicycle ride in the Point                                Madi Barrett and Kathy watch the cement men in action

        Beacon Court Madi on the beach                2013 Beacon Court Madi
        & Brian

                        Madi & Barrett do their act on the beach                                                                        Time to relax on the couch

August 2013

For ten days just before Labour Day Week End we took Big White and Katalena's Legend to Killarney for our North Channel Fix for the Year. Below a few scenes of our stay in Killarney and the Landsdown Channel area.

    2013 Killarney Big
        White at Roques Campground                    2013 killarney Katalinas Legend at the dock Roques Marina

    Left is Big White at Roques Marina and Camp Ground                                 Right Katalina's Legend is mirrored at her dock at Roques Marina located in Killarney

    2013 Landsdown Channel
        view from Katalina's Bow                          2013 NC Lands Down Channel

 In our boat Heading into Hole In The Wall in the Landsdown Channel                                        Looking North up the Landsdown Channel

        2013 North Channel View
            of the rocks                   2013
            Killarney view in Covered Portage Anchorage

                        Typical rocks adjacent Landsdown Channel                                                             A view from the rocks as we hike in Covered Portage in Frazer Bay

                    September saw completion of the cement work for our to be constructed Car Port that will take place in 2014.


                                                               2013 Beacon CT Big White on
        Car Port Cement Pad

                                                               Big White sits on the future site of our Car Port which is to be constructed in the Spring

October arrived and we were off to Europe!!    :-)

The 2013 October Trip To France and Spain Follows

October 10, 2013

                                                                                   2013 France Brian & Kathy in front of the Eithel

Via Air Canada we left Sarnia in the early afternoon of the 10th of October with one stopover in Toronto before arrival in Paris at 0600 on the eleventh. The flight went by amazingly quickly.   Brian reached a hallmark birthday this year so something special was in the works. Christian and Barbara Ley had agreed to meet us in Paris. The Leys and their young son, Carsten, sailed through SYC in the early 80’s on their way around the world aboard Ganesh. We were fortunate enough to spend time together as the Abbotts readied their boat for shipping to BC. All these years later we had a wonderful reunion and it seemed like just yesterday as we picked up the threads of time.

                                                Below Christian, Kathy and Brian HAPPY to be at the base of the Arc de Triumph in Paris France

                                                                                                        2013 France kathy &
      Brian at the base of the Arc de Trriump

                                                           Below are two views we witnessed  from the top of the Arc de Triumph in Paris France

                                            2013 Paris another view
        from the top of the Arc                2013 France Paris view
        from the top of the Arc

                                                                                                            2013 France Paris We
      descend the stairs coming down the Arc

                                    We descend from the Arc de Triumph and begin our lengthy walk along the boulevard to explore other sites along the way.

                        A human inside this costume remains absolutely motionless as we pass

                                       2013 France Paris
            There is a person inside this statue                         2013 France Paris Brian & Chris in front of another


                                                                            Brian Kathy and Chris on the upper right in front of another ancient Arc along the way.

Two action packed days sufficed to see the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde, Musee de Louvre, Notre-Dame, Sainte-Chapelle, Sacre- Coeur and more. The Champs-Elysees was fascination as our hosts pointed out the sights.

                   2013 France Paris The Church Sacre-Sur      2013 France Paris A
      performer in front of the Church    2013 France Paris

An ancient magnificent church Sacre- Coeur sits high on a hill surrounded by throngs of people celebrating the holiday as an acrobat shows his stuff in the square in front of the church. Also we see picturesque views of fountains and moder monuments 

            2013 France Paris We took a
      boat Tour around Center Island                        2013 France Paris Many
      Historic sites seen on our boat Tour

                                Above a boat tour took us around the Ile de la Cite which was the historic center of Paris that related back to the beginning

Lunch in the Latin Quarter on the Left Bank provided enough time to soak in the atmosphere while a boat ride around Ile de la Cite was a relaxing break. Pont Neuf (1578 vintage) and all the bridges have unique architecture featuring statues, gargoyles and more. Riding the metro was a feat in itself. Supposedly it wasn’t peak season, but the number of people milling about was truly amazing. France has a population of 60 million and is the most visited destination in Europe! Should we be surprised!

Southern France was a wonderful rural experience. Hiking with Christian and Barbara was fabulous. They took us to vineyards, through lavender fields, into the countryside around their home in St-Michel-d’Euzet. They presented us with an historical   overview of Roman inroads such as the Pont-St-Esprit (built in 1265 and still in use)and La Roque sur Ceze nestled into the natural beauty of the Sautadet cascades where Barbara has her favourite swimming hole. A drive through Barjac to the Gorges de l’Ardeche presented huge canyons with rushing rapids and still backwaters with a myriad of sporting activities.

                       2013 Southern France A
        valley with Wineries                      2013 South France We visit Chris & Barbara's favourite

                                        A view of the Valley above in Southern France where our Friends Chris and Barbara's favourite Winery was located.

                                                Below are a few scenes of this beautiful Provence  area in Southern France 

                    2013 South France an arch
        over the river in Provence            2013 South France and a
        small village in the Valley

                        2013 South
        France A wilde goat in the Hills            2013 South France and an
        ancient River Bed

                                                               2013 South
        France and an ancient Roman Bridge

  All the while we experienced Barbara’s delicious culinary talents- duck, cheeses of all variety, artistic salads and more.   Madame Roger Ley, also, entertained us in grand style for quiche and more before our departure from this peaceful area. What a wonderful reunion. En route to Nimes, Christian and Barbara drove us through Uses in Le Midi. Corridors of towering Plan tan Trees were spectacular and lavender sachets were fragrant and plentiful.

From Nimes, home of a huge bull ring and the Unesco Pont du Gard, Brian and I ventured out by train (renfe) to   Figeres Vilafont, then Barcelona. Arriving early in the day afforded us good time to pick up our rental car-a snappy 6 shift on the floor Renault-and head for Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava. To our surprise we found mega high rises, crowds of people and a little spot of course sand beach! Only after we dipped our feet in the med, did we find the autopista and fly down the Costa Azahar, through the ancient port of Valencia to Cullera. Lunch was a med special on the most beautiful beach with a grande marina in Tarragona. As ‘Sterling Moss’ drove a modest 145 kms per hour, we had ‘looneys’passing us at 165. It was quite an experience, but we adapted quickly. From this point on, our pattern was to book the next hotel ahead on the tablet, then accept the challenge of finding it by gps. Make sure one has lots of time!

                                                        2013 Spain and a typical Mediteranian Beach

As we closed in on Costa del Sol, the scenery was spectacular-jagged peaks on the land side and pure sweet Med to the east. The roads were first class winding in and out and around lengthy mountain tunnels. Next stop was on the sea in Calahondra. Agriculture is plentiful along this coast. Ground crops are grown under acres and acres of white plastic. Cucumbers, peppers and more. Apparently the Moors introduced agriculture to the Spaniards. What a blessing.

On the 21 st of October we arrived in Gibralter, took the cable car to the top of the rock to see the views and pesky monkeys. One can see Morocco easily. It was interesting to find a totally British enclave in the midst of Spain and spend our first pounds. The residents guard their culture with gusto. That eve a magnificent sun set over the rock and we received great vibes. Not having enough knowledge or time to approach Morocco we decided to head for Cadiz, the most ancient city in all of Europe. Arriving in driving rain we were introduced to narrow streets and scant parking. With umbrellas in hand we toured narrow streets, ancient Cathedrals, and purchased tickets (in Spanish only) for Paris via renfe.

The Cathedral and La Giralda were notable inSevilla. Also the Torre del Oro, a small guard tower on the Guadalquivir River, monitored gold and silver returning from the West Indies as early as the 1500s. Tapas bars abound.   It was delightful to sit in the street at Geronimo-Cordoba square with beers and tapas in hand watching the world go by. Cordoba had the narrowest streets ever and many peatones-pedestrian only walks. The Mezquita, a mosque cathedral combination, sported lively history. It originated with the spirit of Islam in the 700s and had many alterations as the Islamic element was overtaken by British. A cathedral was built in the middle and many chapels surround it. The pillars and arches were constructed of granite, jasper and marble. Wonderful to see.   Squeezing out of our underground parking garage-with the maid directing traffic-we set out across country to the small hamlet of Chivas en route back north.   A late arrival and early departure put us into Barcelona at a reasonable hour. Here we parked only 7 stories underground! Parking on the street will net you a 200 euro fine and a tow to heaven knows where.

                                        Below the Royal Palace Real Alcazar in Sevilla and below right is a giant sculpture located in Central Square.

                             2013 Spain in Seville and
        The Royal Palace Real Alcasar        2013 Spain Seville and a Mamoth Sculpture   

                                 2013 Spain and in Seville
        one off the many narrow streets                       2013 Spain in Sevilla a
        meat market

                                                              On the left is one of the many narrow streets in Sevilla and on the right a butcher shop.

The   Sagrada Familia Temple, created by Gaudi, was a short walk away. The outside has been under construction since 1883. It is suggested that one book tickets on line before visiting the site. Needless to say we saw the awesome outside. The metro was again very efficient, so we struck off to Las Ramlas-an open air promenade in the middle of the city. Side jaunts took us to the city hall, the Picasso Museum, and the Palau Guell. Audio sets were very helpful interpreting art pieces.

                                        2013 Spain Barcelona Sagrata Familia Temple by Antoni
        Gaudi                                    2013 Spain Barcelona
        The Temle Sagrata Familia by Gaudi

                                                        The   Sagrada Familia Temple, is shown above that was created by Antoni Gaudi

On October 28th we returned our car and boarded the train for Gare Lyon in Paris.

Then the fun began. Arriving at 1130 we looked for our connection area and attempted to get tickets on to Charles De Gaulle and our hotel. A robber relieved us of Brian’s backpack containing his tablet and camera and a zillion connections. Talking to a nice young security guard revealed that they have this happen at least 15 times a day! To top that, the trains stopped running at midnight and we would have to leave the station. Soooooo an angel appeared! Our security guard lived near CDG and volunteered to drive us across the city to our hotel. She and ourselves were escorted to her car by 3 burly guards and 2 German Sheperd’s with info that it’s one of the most dangerous stations in the city! Brian and Kathy will be forever thankful.

For our last day in Paris it seemed fitting that we should see Versailles and a little more of the downtown. This time the metro was a snap. We saw all the opulence of centuries ago and only got  pic-pocketed this time. Insurance is a wonderful thing and our friends are sending us pictures of time together. Even a lovely couple we met in line sent us their pics of places we had both been. Be sure to make a police report if you have misfortune. “All’s well that ends well”, and there is so much more to see. Highly recommended books are “The Rough Guide to first time Europe” and “Eyewitness Travel Europe”. Internet is mostly everywhere.

Below are a few photos taken with our only remaining Camera Kathy's Tablet as all our other photos remain in Paris with two different thieves. All photos seen here of our visit to Europe were kindly donated to us by friends or on Kathy's Tablet so we gratefully  THANK YOU!!

Below Kathy and I stand out side in the enormous gardens  of Versailles and below right you see the inside House of Mirrors

                            2013 France Paris
      Versailles Guarden            2013 France Versailles House
      of Mirrors

                                                                                                2013 France Paris and a
        paainting of Maris Anntoinette

                                            A painting of Marie Antoinette on the left and below one of the many spectacular ceilings at Versailles

                                                                                                2013 France Versailles
        Museum Ceiling

On our way back from Versailles to our hotel we make our last short visit to downtown Paris where as you can see below Kathy took full advantage.

                        2013 France Paris kathy
        at the Bridge of Padlocks                    2013 France Paris Kathy last minute shops   

Above Kathy poses on one of the many bridges among the many padlocks left by tourists and  shops in downtown Paris at her favourite store. No wonder look at the sign behind her.   :-)     HAPPINESS IS!!

Kathy says "Yes we’d do it again." but I'm not so sure!!

Now here it is Dec 20 2013,  a few days before Christmas, as we prepare for the New Year. On January 15th 2014 you will once again see us in Guatemala where we will reunite with our sailboat TUNDRA located in the Rio Dulce.

Feb 2 2017