Category Archives: June’s Posts

The ship has sailed!

Greetings from the MV Explorer!

We left this evening for Mexico to pick up the students in Ensenada tomorrow. Dan and I didn’t realize this, but we actually get to leave the ship for a few hours in Mexico tomorrow.

The first few days on the ship we have stayed docked in San Diego while we go through a busy Orientation program. For the faculty, it has been an information overload!

Tonight, lifeboat drill and then we are off. Almost 10 days after Mexico until Hawaii, so we hope for calm seas and no seasickness!

The internet is very slow on board, but I do hope to post regularly – either through the ship or while in port.

Jack and Joe chillin’ in their cabin
The Parent cabin, and our home until May 1

San Diego

It has been an eventful 2015 so far. The cab collected us January 1 at 4:30 am, so no New Year partying for us. We looked more than a little like The Beverley Hillbillies at the airport. We wanted to protect our large backpacks that we will need later in Europe, so to make sure the straps didn’t get damaged in transit we dropped them into dry-cleaning bags that Dan then duct-taped shut. Very effective, but hilarious looking. We know we are going to get rid of our suitcases at the end of the ship voyage too, so we chose old, broken-down cases. Add to that a total of 8 carry-on bags, and we looked like vagabond homesteaders at the airport!

We had a very smooth trip to San Diego (thanks Southwest); almost too good to believe. No wait at the bridge in Detroit, friendly laughing border guard, and both flights were early.

We have had a good couple of days in San Diego. It’s cold for the locals, in the mid sixties F, but nice and sunny and warm for us. Our hotel is midway between the water and Balboa Park (where the museums and the zoo are located) so it is a great location. While I did some last minute work in the hotel, Dan took the boys to visit both the Maritime Museum and the Midway aircraft carrier – they had a blast. Yesterday the whole family went to San Diego Zoo (some adorable animals we saw are included here). We arrived even before it opened, and the morning was wonderful, with no crowds and lots to see. As the afternoon got more crowded, we wrapped it up and walked back to the hotel through Balboa Park, which has gorgeous buildings and beautiful gardens. And Joe enjoyed seeing perhaps the largest and most crowded dog park in the world!

Last full day today (Sunday) before we board the ship tomorrow. A little last minute shopping, relaxing, and maybe a swim in the hotel pool later.

Not sure when the next blog will be – but next stop: Hawaii!

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Dogs of our Lives

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and is getting ready to welcome 2015 in. We will be missing midnight this year, as our cab to the airport arrives January 1 at 4:30 am!

We had a great Christmas visit with Grama Joan and Grampa Doug in Kingsville. Aunt Judy and Uncle Malcolm and cousin Evan came too, which was lots of fun.

This time, I thought I would share some photos of Joe and the various dogs he has loved in our travels. You’ve heard earlier about Joe’s love for Aunt Mary’s dogs Louie and Sophie. But in the last month he has been able to cuddle with Rosie, Louie and Sophie (again), Sparky, and Riley. And this year Santa brought him his very own dog suit, so he can pretend to be a dog in their midst.

The next blog will likely be from California. The ship sets sail January 5th. We are very ready!

Joe says to Riley: I am your alpha dog!
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Joe and Sparky Teevan – cuddle buddies!
Well, Riley is cuddly too…
And Rosie loves kisses!

Test Post via Email


June here. This is really just a test blog, to make sure I know what I am doing. I won’t have traditional internet on board the ship starting January, but I will have email. And WordPress allows you to post a blog via email. So, here goes.

The last couple of weeks have been hectic and more than a little stressful. After a wonderful visit with Linda Price in Tucson, we drove through horrible fog and rain to visit Mary and Kevin Becker, as well as Grama and Grampa Cotte, on the way to Toronto. While in Toronto, we completed our visa application for India. Despite the scary (past our departure date) date they told us to expect our passports back, we received them today in London just fine. Whew! After Toronto, we stayed in my sister’s lovely home in Niagara on the Lake, and stayed snuggled in the house during a major snowstorm. My tan from Arizona is now well and truly gone…

We just had a rowdy, lovely, wine-filled escapade with the Teevan family this past weekend, and have temporarily camped out in Matt Thomson and Allison Johnson’s house. We are true vagrants… off to my parent’s place this weekend for the rest of the holiday. We fly out to San Diego January 1, and board the boat January 5th. Very exciting feeling!

Goodbye Sedona, hello adventure!

Happy Thanksgiving to our American family and friends! The weather is cooling off here too, but still glorious. This week I thought I’d share some of the pictures I’ve taken recently on the deck here. Jack says  Dan and I are “getting old” because we enjoy watching the birds.

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After Thanksgiving in Sedona, we will be heading to Tucson to visit with the wonderful Linda Price and our Tucson friends. It will be a trip down memory lane for Jack, who attended kindergarten in Tucson. (Joe still swears he’s never been there – he was two – but for some reason he does remember Linda’s house. It’s that memorable!)

Next week, it’s the long trip back to a winter visit in Ontario.

As our time in Sedona winds down, we are getting very excited about planning the major travel adventure to come! January 1 we leave Canada for 6 months, the first four of which will be spent on the Semester at Sea program. While we are in the various countries, we have quite a lot of travel time as a family. In most countries we are participating in Semester at Sea field programs, and they sound fantastic. Although all trips sound great (tobogganing down the Great Wall of China!), I am especially looking forward to some unusual trips we are doing in Burma, Namibia, and Morocco.

Rather than the crazy hectic pace of a trip from south India (where the ship docks) up to northern India to see the Taj Mahal and Agra, we have decided to stay in the Kerala area of India. With the kind guidance of my Indian friends (thanks Niraj, Kersi, Srini and Ratti!), we arranged some fantastic independent travel in the south of India.

After the voyage is over, we are spending two months in Europe. After a few days in England, we will fly down to Athens, and ferry over to the islands of Naxos and Santorini before flying to Rome. After a few days in Rome we will start a gradual train trip through Europe. If any of you have favorite spots, especially less-well known ones, send them my way!

Visit and Javelina Invasion

It has been a busy couple of weeks, so I haven’t posted in a little while. After the ACR conference it was straight into work on the special issue of the Journal of Business Research that I am editing. In addition, we had the job of getting our Chinese visas for the trip. Sending our passports via courier was stressful for me, as I tend to worry about all the details. But they came back to us just fine; only India left!

In terms of our planning, last week was also when registration opened for the Semester at Sea Field Programs (the off-boat excursions in the various countries). Choosing the trips was so exciting, and made it feel very vivid. Some of the awesome activities we are signed up for including tobogganing on the Great Wall of China, ziplining in Hawaii, safaris and elephant rides in South Africa, a night safari in Singapore, and fantastic cultural tours in Burma, Viet Nam, and Morocco. We are coming back to London for the middle part of December, for lots of little things we need to take care of. The kids are really excited to be able to visit with their friends before we take off again for the Semester at Sea voyage.

This past weekend was really fun. Mary and Kevin Becker came to visit us, and we had a wonderful weekend exploring Sedona and taking them to the Grand Canyon for the day. Throw in Dan’s excellent meals and his prickly pear margaritas, and a fun time is guaranteed!

Sedona hiking with Mary and Kevin
Grand Canyon with Mary and Kevin

On their final morning here, the javelins came to visit. Or rather, they came in mass to eat the owner’s plants in the yard. Moms, babies, and large males were all over the yard, the road, and even our driveway.

How cute are we?

We had heard that they might be more visible as it got cooler, but Joe thinks they showed up to say hi to Mary and Kevin.

Excuse me, but my herd and I have come to eat your plants…

From ACR to Tiger Splash

This past weekend was the annual Association for Consumer Research Conference, which I co-chaired with the smart, talented, and creative Stacy Wood. About 1200 attendees seemed to really love what we created, which was very gratifying. Thanks for all the follow-up emails and Facebook posts congratulating us! And thanks to Ivey Business School for helping us with sponsorship of the Opening Reception. Here is one of my favourite pictures from our Awards ceremony, where Stacy and I thank ACR’s Executive Director, Rajiv Vaidaynathan, with a quote from Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.10635699_10152323840581612_8903293001141522809_n

You’ve likely read about Out of Africa on the kids’ blogs, but it’s really not a zoo, but more of a habitat. They breed animals, especially endangered ones, and give them a ton of space. They also take in rescues, like the baby grizzly you can read about on Joe’s post. What I liked most is that they do a show with the tigers, but they don’t train them. That is, there is no conditioning or training, and they really just play with them. You may like the video of this I made:

June’s take on Grand Canyon Trip

We had an awesome trip to the Grand Canyon this week. The first day we hiked as far down into the canyon as we thought Joe could make it back up. As the warning signs on the way down say, “Going down is optional. Going up is mandatory.” It was glorious weather, chilly up top and increasingly warm as we descended. Having to turn back was expected, but Dan and I really did want to get further down. Next time!

See a short video of the trip here:

That evening we stayed at the Canyon and had a “fancy” dinner at El Tovar on the South Rim. The walk back to the hotel room (about a mile) under nothing but starlight was glorious. The boys were star silly. On the second day we just walked around the Rim Trail a little more before heading back.

On the trip home we took a side trip up into the San Francisco Peaks, up to Snowbowl outside of Flagstaff. It was a perfect time to see the brilliant yellow aspen leaves. Against the green of the pines, it was a gorgeous contrast, as you can see.

View from Snowbowl, Flagstaff
View from Snowbowl, Flagstaff

I had to seriously degrade the quality of the video to be able to upload it with the wifi here, but I hope you still enjoy it.

Visit to Fort Verde and House Tour

This week went by in sort of a blur! Lisa left a week ago, and it seems like just yesterday. Lots of work hours in this week, mainly on the ACR conference. But I did get some tennis in, and enjoyed several hours in the sunshine on the deck.

Yesterday was a fun day, as you may have gathered from the kids’ posts. We went to a nearby town for their “Fort Verde Days,” sort of a local celebration of their pioneer history. The fort itself was built around the Civil War times, and the kids got a chance to chat with Union and Confederate history buffs, Buffalo Soldier actors, and see working guns and cannons from that era. We started the day with a Kinsmen Pancake Breakfast. The local parade was a hoot, with a real small town field, including the crowning of “The Colonel’s Daughter” who is chosen for her horsewomanship (if that is a word).

You can see from the kids’ posts that we then went to a casino. Ugh. However, when the heat is on, and everyone is hot and tired, I thought it would be a good idea to try an arcade/bowling alley. Turns out, the kids’ club they have (for parents who want to gamble) was a huge hit with my kids. As I don’t gamble, I got to sit in a nice spot and read a book! Good time for everyone…

I’ve had a few people ask to see this cool house we are in. So this week instead of photos I am uploading a video to Youtube. It’s a 5 minute walk-through of the place. Those of you who are interested in design may like it – they call the house “Frank Lloyd Wright” inspired. I can see that, with lots of glass, wood, and tons of stone walls on the interior of the house. Enjoy it here;

To all my Canadian friends and family: I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Lisa comes to visit!

The last couple of weeks have been an absolute blur of work, as grant applications came due, the ACR Conference work seriously ramped up in the final days of preparing the program book, and I tried to make progress on various research manuscripts. After a lot of long days, I took a lovely break for the last few days as my high school buddy Lisa Wells came to visit us in Sedona.

Lisa at the base of Devil’s Bridge

We had a great time! While we did a couple of challenging hikes, we also had one or two margaritas along the way, and several wonderful dinners, both at home (thanks Dan) and in fantastic local restaurants (thanks Lisa).

A well-deserved break!
Dan and Lisa on the way to Chicken Point

Lisa and I travelled Europe together more than 25 years ago, and also had a funny low budget trip to Margarita Island, Venezuela together before we both met our wonderful husbands. Although we don’t see each other nearly enough, we immediately fall into the same comfortable friendship we’ve always had.

At the top of Cathedral Rock

Here’s to the best of friends!

Dan’s delicious steaks and some wine on the deck.