About kshap

A happy generalist. Budding environmental scientist, singer, mediocre tennis player & hopeful kitchen goddess.

home again, home again

hometown glorybackyard peonyThe more I see of this world, the more connected I feel to it, and yet the bigger it seems. The more I jump around, the more I appreciate the comfort of having a place and a city and people that feel like home, and the more I yearn to leave it to see other places. It’s thrilling to be far away from everything familiar and realize that we share things in common with people half way across the world. But, eventually I’m thrilled at the thought of coming back to the stillness of what I know. Travel is full of paradoxes. …not an original thought, I’m sure.mum&dadmusical ride Just as I was starting to feel a little bit weary of living out of my bag, we landed back home in Ottawa. Admitedly it’s totally premature Continue reading

não falo português

imageimageimageWe were perhaps overly optimistic about picking up Portuguese as we explored the country. Not that it has hindered our travels in any real way — we tried to order espresso tonight and received port instead– but we’re working on it. We’ve been impressed by how many Portuguese polyglots we’ve encountered, and most people don’t seem to mind our silly Spanish/French pronunciation as we practice. From Madeira to the Douro we’ve felt very welcome.imageimage
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La détente à Bourgogne

pinot noirbourgogneburgundy boysI was in grade six when my parents first took us to France. A couple teachers balked at four young kids being taken out of school for three weeks, but most of them were thrilled that the little anglo children (at the very French school) were off to practice their French in Europe. As homework, all four of us were to keep a French journal of our vacation (a task I quite enjoyed – surprise!). I can still remember being in our first rental house in the Loire, my brothers and I sitting around a table chronicling our days and decorating the pages with stickers of French flags while my parents cooked dinner: “aujourd’hui nous sommes allés à un château…”.dijon2postcards from burgundy Continue reading

Adventures In Your Own Back Yard

chinatownWhile I think Ottawa has something to tout for every season (then again, I’m pretty into championing my hometown), signs of summer definitely breathe new life in to the capital. The arrival of warm weather after a chilly start to spring is especially exciting; it seems like everyone in the city is thrilled to be outdoors. Jacket and scarf have been shed in favour of a sundress and sandals. It seems cliché, but it’s hard not to get caught up in all the weather talk when the seasonal transitions seem to happen so quickly, and the transitions are so beautiful. A perfect time for adventures in your own backyard.SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCI spent the last week living in Ottawa’s Chinatown, while I house/cat sat for my cousin (thanks, Anne!). While I’m no stranger to the area, it was swell to play house outside of the burbs and we had a great time acting like locals (and posing in front of murals like tourists). I think I consumed just enough pho and ramen to turn in to a bowl of Asian broth–all things in moderation?adventures in your own backyard (4) Continue reading