writer traveler photographer


Melanie lobstersI wonder if friendships are made in heaven? Or maybe it’s that when you make a new and fast friend, there’s something heady and heavenly about it.

I’m not sure how Melanie Chambers came into my life, but if memory serves, it was a few years ago via the TMAC listserve (Travel Media Association of Canada). As we both teach travel writing, I remember sharing information and exchanging ideas via email and Skype. We’ve since kept in touch, albeit sporadically. But you know how it is when you admire someone from afar—you want to meet them in person!

We did try to connect two summers ago when we were both in Newfoundland. Although we were on the same coast for a few days, for various reasons it didn’t happen.

3smFast forward to March 15th of this year, when, by chance, I came upon Melanie’s blog which eventually led us to launch the JULY PROJECT. (More on that if you scroll down to my March 21 post.)

Last week, after a 23 hour drive from Toronto to Halifax and a short sleepover, she landed on our doorstep to visit for a few days. BOING! The moment Melanie stepped out of the car, I knew we were kindred spirits. You know how it is … feels like you’ve met some old soul you’ve hung around with and loved all your life. (We’re both Scorpios so that may explain in part why our personalities are in sync.)

Mind you, I’m 70 and she’s 43. Cripes —I could be her mother. But I so appreciate her energy, how savvy she is, her passion for travel, and her big heart. I’ve also read a lot of the stuff she writes and have huge respect for her skills and how she approaches story.

Better dial down the rah-rah factor before I get schmaltzy.

2smWhile Melanie was here, we went  on a couple of shopping sprees to the “French Boutique” a.k.a  Frenchy’s second hand clothing stores; I introduced her to rappie pie (a singularly unappealing Acadian dish, but oh-so-tasty); she accompanied me on a last minute photo shoot at Hug Your Nanny Goat Cheese, and we fit in some relaxing campfire chats with Barrie. Melanie also did a couple of 40-something-km bike rides and  went swimming in the Tusket River in front of our home (which I likely won’t be doing for another month!)

IMG_6225smOh yeah. We also got some work done; mapped out our approach and some content for the JULY PROJECT. It’s a whopper. (Details later!)

This week I’ve been working on the 31-day itinerary and realize how much her visit meant to me. I’m still processing the significance of it all. I also realize that I yearn to have this kind of “prime time” with old friends, so I’ve invited them to accompany me on some of the July excursions.

Stay tuned!


  1. July 1, 2015    

    S – I treated myself this early a.m. to follow your latest offerings. So enjoyable. T.hanks for the effort.
    As ever so energizing too! Mentors never sleep as our Scorpio energy seeks and attracts all ages and opportunities! Your faraway friend sounds a special one indeed and how i prize Skype for maintaining mine.-
    .”I believe the best will find me – I shall leave the rest behind me!”

    • July 1, 2015    

      Thanks so much for popping into view Linda Marie! And I especially like your quote. Well stated and great advice!

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