Posted by: Waheeda Harris | July 28, 2014

Adding to my island list: Welcome to Anguilla…

Back in March of this year, I was exploring several Caribbean islands, including St. Maarten/St.Martin and St. Barthelemy – now I’ve been able to return to visit their neighbour, the island of Anguilla:

Anguilla - Shoal Bay

 

As I began my explorations of this island, I learned that the 14,000 year round residents were happy to have their neighbours like St. Maarten be the gateway for travellers to get to their island, and that mango, guava, grouper, snapper, crayfish and lobster were common ingredients in the daily diet.

As I saw on Shoal Bay (seen above), the sand is white, the sea is clear blue and the beaches are all public, and a welcome place to start any discovery of the island of Anguilla.

Posted by: Waheeda Harris | July 19, 2014

Travel soundbite – F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.

~ F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Posted by: Waheeda Harris | July 17, 2014

Fave shot: windsurfers at Ho’okipa Beach, Paia, Maui Hawaii

On my second visit to Maui, Hawaii, I made sure I visited the popular Ho’okipa Beach near Paia:

Maui - windsurfers at Hookipa

With the right winds, local windsurfers had arrived to take advantage of the weather. The surfers were waiting for the afternoon tides to change, the stand up paddlers had headed out of the zone to gain some shelter along the cliff, so it was all about the windsurfing.

As I watched each one of them descend to the edge of the sea, they were soon gliding across the water. Despite the strong wind and taking a moment to adjust to the wind, it seemed effortless, although I knew it took a balance of skill, know-how and strength to handle the combination of Mother Nature’s creations.

The windsurfers resembled butterflies to me -colourful wings that seemed to sit on the waves like the way butterflies momentarily will rest on a leaf. Its a quick moment and then they’re off on the wave, moving at a fast clip.

I was lucky enough to get some close up shots of windsurfers going in and coming back to shore, but this image of them floating on the sea was my moment of considering them just a part of Mother Nature like a butterfly.

Posted by: Waheeda Harris | July 15, 2014

Summer in the city – dining al fresco

The joy of warm weather is dining outside – and in any city in this season, its all about being on the patio or finding outdoor space wherever you live:

Toronto - my balcony

But if you don’t have a balcony, deck, patio or backyard, I say, head to the park – for a picnic!

Grab a blanket or find a place with picnic tables, bring your food and relax. There’s an instant effect to enjoy a warm summer day when you can be outside, especially with friends or family.

Dining alfresco seems to strip away the heavy effects of winter – making thing simpler, enjoying the beauty of the outside as much as the local food that is probably on your plate. Its all about salads and burgers, grilled veggies and ice cream. Summer is a short time period and an indulgence for us in the northern hemisphere – reminding us that life can be just this.

Posted by: Waheeda Harris | July 14, 2014

Summer in the city – sweet tastes

This girl learned her summer months, not just from repeating them  in elementary school, but from the sweet tastes she would have at every meal:

Toronto - summer fruit

It was all about fruit – the local tastes that would start appearing at the markets, and lucky for me, in gardens and on trees in my childhood neighbourhood.

It would start with strawberries, picked from a neighbour’s garden or a local farm, the warmth of the sun bringing out the sweetness of these berries. I would rarely wait to get the berries home, since I adored eating them right from the plant. I would sit in the backseat of the car, surrounded by flats of berries and would ignore the dust of the earth to start tasting them as my parents were finishing picking them at the farm.

And then there would be cherries, picked from our neighbour’s tree, dark red clusters which would seem to ripen all at the same time. Our neighbour would beg everyone to come pick, leaving empty ice cream containers below the tree for encouragement, as the tree would offer a wealth of cherries, and the devoted would bring a ladder, to get those cherries from the higher branches.

I remember these moments with fondness because as school ended the first reward of summer would be these sweet fruit on our dining table – something I could eat at any meal, at any time, and almost never anything but just as they are. My Mum never limited what I had when it came to fruit – especially considering she and my Dad were constantly snacking on the red fruit too.

As an adult, I still love the fruit, and now often think of various recipes that I can create with these sweet tastes. But my true thrill – sitting on my balcony on a summer day, eating these fresh tastes of summer one after the other.

Posted by: Waheeda Harris | July 12, 2014

Travel soundbite – Betty Williams

 

When all else fails, take a vacation.

~ Betty Williams

Posted by: Waheeda Harris | July 10, 2014

Fave shot: Hoaloha Farms, Maui, Hawaii USA

This became one of my favourite images of my most recent trip to the Hawaiian island of Maui:

Maui - Hoaloha farm

This farm has multiple crops and in order to keep it as natural, organic and simple as possible, the farmers focus on the crops and let the surroundings be as natural as possible.

I liked the out of focus framing of the dried grasses on top of the green vegetation and the fields, just prepared for a new crop.

On this warm, sunny day, it was a treat to be seeing the efforts of local producers. This island is more than just beautiful beaches and resorts – its also a community of farmers, who are embracing the local and sustainable movement with a focus on culture, encouraging locals to start eating more canoe crops – taro, gourd, sugar cane – which connects them back to their Polynesian roots.

Maui - taro examples

And here’s one of the owners – Bobby Pahia – showing the different kinds of taro. And this farmer makes a difference in more than just growing a wide range of produce – he’ll give any local a free taro plant to grow themselves, to encourage them to bring a part of their history into their home.

Posted by: Waheeda Harris | July 8, 2014

Toronto style – The TURF edition

Thanks to fans at Bonnaroo and Coachella, fashion magazines have been creating editorial pages dedicated to the festival style spotted on fans…I wondered how people decide what to wear – is it fashion? style? comfort? weather?

The second annual Toronto Urban Roots Festival happened this past weekend in the city at Fort York – and fans came out in support to hear great music and to show off their music festival style – here’s some images to give insight into the preferred style of fans (and bands):

Toronto - TURF style a

Toronto - TURF style b

 

Toronto - TURF style c

Toronto - TURF style d

Toronto - TURF style Sunday a

Toronto - TURF style Sunday b

Toronto - TURF style Sunday c

 

From face painting to tattoos, denim to fedoras and plenty of band t-shirts, there’s always a way to show your rock ‘n’ roll spirit. Toronto you’re looking good!

Posted by: Waheeda Harris | July 5, 2014

Travel soundbite – John Keats

 

I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.

~ John Keats 

Posted by: Waheeda Harris | July 4, 2014

Summer in the city – music!

Miami - Wynwood Arts District music notes

This mural is from Miami’s Wynwood Arts District – but does illustrate what I think of music – that’s its colourful and all encompassing and that in the summer, its a hallmark of the warm months.

Whether you can find it in your own backyard or if you have to travel to a festival, its a worthy summer goal to go find live music.

I’m headed off to experience TURF – Toronto Urban Roots Festival for the first time this weekend – stay tuned for fun photos from the festival – Happy weekend! (And Happy Fourth of July to my American pals!)

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