Get in the Road Trip Mood

Find a vintage motel or hotel postcard on eBay. Pick something from your local area so you will know the streets, more or less. Use Google Street View (find the location on the back view of the postcard) see if you can find the motel now. Is it still there at all? If so, is the name the same? Spot the differences between then and now.

Source: Caribou Motel Barrie Orilla Ontario ON Canada Vintage Chrome Postcard | eBay

Take it on the road and visit the site. Get a photograph and (if you have a site) post the then and now images. Find some history, if you can. Or design a history for the motel yourself. Who owned and operated it over the years? Did they love it, grow too tired to keep it going, run out of money? What changes happened around them in the local area?

I found the Caribou Motel in the present, it’s gone. Replaced by a new gas bar. Nothing left of the old motel and diner except the space around the new building. You can see some curb out by the road and the parking lot is bigger than the current commercial business would need. Small hints at what once was.


You can see what became of the Caribou in urban exploration photos from CopySix and other explorers who posted to Flickr and Ontario Abandoned Places. Note: the CopySix post has a comment from the original owner’s family.

What Do You Write on a Postcard??

The first picture Postal Card was Sent as a Joke!

The Origin of the Modern Post Card

In 1840 the British author Thomas Hook made a post card with caricatures of postal workers on it. It was meant to amuse and irritate the workers as it went through the mail. I imagine it did, I am sure he got a lot of attention.

Hook didn’t send it out to anyone else, he addressed it to himself, so he could be sure of having a grin and a chuckle at the end of the process.

From – What Do You Write on a Postcard?

This post has suggestions from humour to writing a mini journal. All good ideas. What do you tend to write on a postcard? Do you only send them when you’re travelling?

Postcards are also a nice way to give someone personal mail (a letter) without having to say a lot. Nice when you’re trying to be nice and send a personal note to someone you don’t know very well.

How would you write a postcard to a Great-Aunt you’ve never met?

Retiring my Old HubPages Profile

Laura is secretly handling the Canadian World Domination plot. It’s all very polite and litter free but for the odd moose rampage.

Laura is an eccentric and reclusive ASCII artist. In her spare time she is a freelance writer, running several blogs and social media type sites. She calls herself an Earth Witch (or a Pagan atheist) when no one in particular is listening.

Laura disappears for hours, even days on urban and rural explorations. She travels with the wrong shoes and the right Ontario road map, looking for ruined buildings and abandoned farm houses.

Laura collects postcards, stones, old Canadian coins, bone china bouquets, hand drawn maps, dust bunnies, books about writing, dragons (real ones) and assorted oddities to which she won’t confess. She likes to crochet, embroider, crazy quilt and sew. Her Grandmother used to say, “Once Laura sews on a button it never comes off again.”

“Adorable, in a wicked, modest way that only the ego-maniacal can pull off.” – Says Gracie (friend and fellow web writer).

“This girl writes like other people breathe.” Comment from a regular reader.

Canadian freewriting niche blogger. Online since 1996.

This profile was written by Laura who thinks no one should have to type their own name this many times in a row.


Just seemed like time for a change. Not even sure what I will do with two accounts on the same site. I would have stuck to just one but with the merge from Squidoo we all had to start fresh, new accounts on HubPages.

Travelling Life Together

A boyfriend sent me this years ago. I don’t know where the original card is any more but I’m so glad I retyped it into my old LiveJournal account. Today I found it there.  If it has a title I don’t know it. I didn’t type a title.

Take my hand.
Let’s travel life together…
but let’s take time
to savor where we go.

We’ll measure distance,
not in miles but kisses.
We’ll pack our smiles
and leave our cares behind.

Instead of postcards,
we’ll collect embraces,
and I’ll memorize your face
on moonlit nights…

We’ll leave the road
for meadows, beaches, cafes,
and secret places
only we will know.

Life’s too short
for us to ever finish
a journey that explores
our heart’s desires,
so let’s go now…

We won’t regret
one minute
of traveling life together
hand in hand.

Alarie Tennille

How to Write a Postcard

I’m writing a post about postcards on HubPages. I found a couple of links where someone had written about writing postcards. A nice idea. So here are a collection of tips for writing postcards.

Write about how you got there, the journey so far. Are you going by bus, driving yourself or did you fly in?

What was the first thing you did when you got into town (the city, etc.)?

Did you find a great place for coffee, a burger, breakfast..?

What are you doing right now. Literally, right at this moment?

Write about something that really stood out. A really funny, bad, silly, delicious, spontaneous event along your travels.

If you don’t want to write at all, draw something. Illustrate your adventures. Use stick figures, draw cartoon characters, or an all out great masterpiece.

Finish off with the traditional “Wish you were here” or something far more stylish and personal.

From Slouching Somewhere:

  • First, pick a postcard. Pick one that’s unexpected–from the shape to the image.
  • When you write about the place, write beyond what’s on the photo.
  • Write about the food you ate.
  • Throw a little bit of humor in it if you can.
  • Write about a place the postcard recipient knows little of. Add details.

via How to write a postcard « slouching somewhere.

A Postcard from Barrie

A Postcard from Barrie

  • This photo was taken on Tuesday in Barrie, Ontario. It was a bitterly cold day, not many people were out walking around.
  • I didn’t hear the news that day. What I remember about the day myself was the walk from the bus station to the coffee shop on Dunlop Street. A short walk but it took longer in the snow. I was an ice cube when I did get to the coffee shop.
  • Photo credit goes to me. That keeps it simple, eh?

I read a post in The Atlantic, a special weekly post from a random city around the world. This one caught my eye because it’s Winnipeg, Manitoba here in Canada. I’ve been to Winnipeg a few times and always enjoy wandering around the city. Anyway, the post gave a snapshot of Winnipeg, that day, A Postcard from Winnipeg.

  • It starts with a photo, about the size of a postcard.
  • Then a note about the weather that day.
  • Followed by three news items.
  • It ends with a credit to the photographer who contributed the post from Winnipeg.

Create your own postcard from where you are.


Rephotography is the act of repeat photography of the same site, with a time lag between the two images; a “then and now” view of a particular area. Some are casual, usually taken from the same view point but without regard to season, lens coverage or framing. Some are very precise and involve a careful study of the original image. Long a technique for scientific study, especially of changing ecological systems, it became formalized as a form of photographic documentary in the middle 1970s.

via Rephotography – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Could you find an old postcard or other photograph of your town, street or some area and create a ‘then and now’ rephotograph? I think getting the position just right would be tricky and take some real patience, likely several practice shots before you could hit it just right.

Other places to find rephotography:

Flickr: Rephotography
Flickr: Now and Then
Flickr: BBC Turn Back Time
Flickr: Paris Then and Now
Flickr: Vancouver “Then and Now”
Design Observer: Views Across Time
Thomas May Photography: Then and Now
Retronaut: Rephotographing St. Petersburg
Wired: Gadget Lab: Camera Software Lets You See into the Past
Web Designer Depot: Then and Now Portrait Photography by Irina Werning
Fourmilab: The Craft of “Then and Now” Photography

Hiding in Plain Sight

Watching replays of Corner Gas this morning. I think the Comedy Channel is running them 24 hours a day over the New Year.

The one on right now is where Brent goes on vacation, a staycation. He is sitting right at the gas station, wearing a Hawaiian shirt, but ignoring everyone. He even sends postcards from Dog River as if he was sending them from exotic locations.

If you were taking a vacation like Brent how would you make sure no one knew you were actually home? Could you hide in plain sight? Write yourself into the ultimate staycation.