June 2016

One objective of our New York Week with Kids was to introduce them as many different cuisines as possible. Balanika was our choice for Balkan/Mediterranean cuisine and it proved to be an excellent choice.

New York Theatre:  I am so happy that I picked this play to see when a time slot opened up on my New York  Week with Kids trip. I see a lot of really good theatre but this production was a standout in every aspect. The script adaptation from Haddon’s novel was very well done, the acting was superb and the technical production aspects stunning.

I have found my new favourite hotel for future New York visits. Unlike my regular brief visits to New York as a theatre, food and wine writer (NY Spring 2014), this New York visit had a special purpose. My grand-daughter is part of a youth choir which has the exciting opportunity to perform in a program at Carnegie Hall and I decided to join my family in Manhattan for a full week of exploring New York from the perspective of family tourism.

Vancouver, BC:  Shakespear's tragic tale of young love doomed by outside forces they are powerless to control, is a timeless drama beloved of diverse audiences around the world. The Vancouver rain was pounding on the big tent in Vanier Park as we listened to Artistic Director Christopher Gaze tell us that this pair of star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, will soon take their lives. An interesting choice to have Gaze start the play proper seamlessly from his welcoming statements, and joined for the last lines of the Chorus by the complete ensemble.  As Juliet and Romeo, Hailey Gillis and Andrew Chown, both newcomers to Bard on the Beach, took comand of their roles with a breathy vigor.

When I took this picture of the Crystal Serenity, I was luxuriating in the pleasures of a ten night "Italian Dreams" cruise. After spending two glorious days in Venice, we embarked on the Serenity, calling at ports from Kotor in Montenegro to Taormina, Sorrento and others finally disembarking in Monte Carlo. The icing on the cake for me of this luxury cruise, was ballroom dancing every night in the spacious Palm Court or the Stardust Club. I loved that Crystal experience even more than I enjoyed an autumn cruise along the Eastern Seaboard from New York to Halifax on the Crystal Symphony.