Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Good Bye Little Joe

This beautiful old pick up truck, dubbed Little Joe, has been with us for 14 years.  It has been a great truck and cost us nothing for repairs until recently.  Things are starting to go wrong but what can you expect after all these years of fine service.  So to keep from having a close personal relationship with the repair shop we have decided it is time for Little Joe to head off to Ford Heaven.

We stopped in to visit our favourite car dealer to see what they had on the lot.  We have dealt with this salesman for twenty years and purchased several cars from him.  His name is Tyrone Hollbrooke at Wilson Nibbett in Richmond Hill, On.  He is the most honest salesman we have ever encountered.  If you are ever looking for a new or used car in our area give him a call.  You will not be sorry.

Tyronne put us into this 2008 Buick Allure at a great price.  It has low mileage and is in excellent condition.  

We took it for a blast down the highway and it is like riding on the big green couch.  It is an old man's car but we are  It will be more economical as a daily drive than Big Mo that is for sure.  Now that the vette is away for the winter we will be using the Allure as our daily transportation.  Just need to think of a good name for it.

The bad weather seems to be over.  We have had rain for the past week and getting rather tired of it.  Monday night the wind picked up and it felt like the house was going to blow away.  We had some black outs but nothing serious.  No damage and by Tues morning the wind had died down.  Our prayers go out to all those down the east coast who suffered damage and loss of life thanks to Sandy.  

Until next time - safe travels. 

Monday, 29 October 2012

Are you a Zoomer?

Last Friday we headed to Guelph for our first oil change on Big Mo.  Since the truck is a US model we have the first six months of warranty through the dealer where we purchased it.  So a nice hour drive into Guelph to drop it off.  We had made arrangements with John and Judy to meet us at the dealership for a couple of hours of lunch and shopping.  Lunch at Kelsey's was nice but the shopping left much to be desired.

We were heading to a mall after lunch...even had it programmed into the GPS.  When someone (?) noticed an auto parts store.  Oh yes we will just stop here for a minute.  From there to Napa, Canadian Tire and a couple other auto part stores to try to find a special air filter for John's Jeep.  Never did find the filter and never did get to the mall.  Boys!!!   Beware John and Tom.  Judy and I will get you back when we are in Florida in December.  No auto part stores  next time.

John and Judy came back to Richmond Hill after they dropped us off at the dealership.  Excellent service at Robinson's GMC Buick by the way.  Even with the miserable, rainy weather Tom got the steaks on the bbq.  Our friends Dave and Helen also joined us for dinner.  Helen has been following John's blog for several months and this is the first time they have met in person.  Lots of travel stories were exchanged.


I only post to my blog when I have something that may be interesting to family and friends.  John, however, hardly ever misses a day of posting.  He is a professional!!  Here he is working on his posting while enjoying an after dinner refreshment.

Saturday morning we awoke to more rain.  With the storm moving up the eastern seaboard  it appears the wet weather is here to stay for several days.  But that didn't keep us indoors with dry feet.  Off to Toronto Exhibition Place for the Voomers Show. The entrance to the grounds is so very impressive.  As you can see this is a sunny day picture from the internet.  The rainy day picture I took was not nearly as nice so it is in the trash.

The show was put on for the 45+ generation.  Travel, insurance, health products, etc. were all on display.  Interesting to see how many gimmicks there are out there to take money out of the pockets of seniors.  All kinds of things that are supposed to make you more healthy, walk better, talk better, get thinner, even get planted.  Wow!!  There was some live entertainment, a dog show and a couple of interesting gentlemen.   Charlie tipped his hat and then waddled off.  Elvis sang "Are you Lonesome Tonight" for me before heading over to play some Pickleball.

They had some great old cars on display.
And Judy tried out one of the massage treatments
John, Judy and Tom with their Zoomer bags full of brochures.  Most will end up in the recycle bin as soon as we arrive home.

After the show John and Judy headed back to Woodstock.  It was a fun couple of days despite the weather.  We wish John and Judy a safe trip to Ottawa to visit Shawn, Jenn and the two Grands on Monday prior to heading to Florida for the winter.  We are looking forward to seeing them again at Christmas in the sunny south.

Until next time - safe travels.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

South Shore Lake Ontario Continued

Saturday night in Chili's restaurant in Victor, NY.  We are sitting at a table in the bar area as the dining area was full.  As we are waiting for our meal to arrive I looked over at a group of men that we standing at the end of the bar waiting for a table.  I said to Tom " doesn't that look just like Craig".  (This is Dave & Helen's son who came up to the 5er during the summer to help us with our electronics.)   We both agreed that this must be Craig's double until we heard his voice.  Then we were even more curious.  Tom went over and tapped him on the shoulder and sure enough it was our friend.  He was down for a weekend golf trip with some buddies.   We had a nice visit with him until his table was available and his friends moved over to the dining room.  It is a small world!!! 

 Sunday morning we drove up through the south west end of Rochester.  We passed this interesting building which was completed in 1939  and was originally the Genesee Valley Trust Company   I understand they call it the "Wings Over Rochester".  The building is not that impressive but the wings certainly are.

The other building that caught my eye was this one.  The Eastman-Kodak Center

We drove west, along highway 31 to Lockport and then on to the Lewiston/Queenston bridge to cross back into Canada.  The colors are so pretty this time of year but alas shortly the leaves will all be on the ground and the stark reality of the upcoming winter will be here.  

We sat for about an hour at the boarder crossing waiting to get through.  It always amazes me how damn hard it is for a born and raised Canadian to get back into their own country.  Pisses me off actually to tell the truth.  The questions they ask are intrusive and ignorant to say the least but you have to smile and take it if you ever want to go south again.  And this is Canadian customs!!!  What ever happened to "Welcome Home"

It can be just as intrusive going through the American customs.  All we want to do is go down, spend some cash, help their economy, relax and take in the sights!!  Oh well after you get through with the crap the travels in the US and Canada are always filled with interesting things and interesting people.  So many places to go and so little time.

 It got more and more overcast as we traveled towards home.  The winds were blowing very strong and there were high wind warnings at the two sky-ways on the QEW.  But we arrived home safe and sound.  This is the first and last road trip we have taken this summer.  Soon the vette will be winterized and put in the garage for the winter...:(.

Stuart and Heajin have moved into their own place as of last night.  They are both excited to be reunited with their pets that have been staying elsewhere while they have been living with us.  They had brought two labs and two cats with them from Korea.  The dogs are being kenneled at the place that they moved to last night.  The cats were with a friend in Mississauga.  Unfortunately one of the cats got out and took off.  Heajin has spent many hours putting up posters and walking the neighborhood looking for it.  So far it has not returned but cats are pretty smart.  It may return yet.

Tonight  they will come for dinner after Stu gets off work.  We will pack all of their boxes and some furniture that we are donating to the cause into Big Mo and taking it up to their new apartment for them.  It has been really nice having them stay with us and the house will seem empty for awhile until we get back into the empty nester mode.   But I am sure we will adjust

Until next time - safe travels.


Tuesday, 16 October 2012

South Shore Lake Ontario

We had a great drive around the south shore of Lake Ontario over the past weekend.  We left Ottawa Friday afternoon and headed south, crossing over the St. Lawrence River at the Ivy Lea Bridge into New York State.  We stopped at the duty free and met a retired corrections officer, Reg, who now works at the duty free in the summer and winters in Florida. He and his wife sold their home and purchased a 5er a few years ago.  They planned to wander different places but after finding a spot in Florida they decided to go there each year. (not what we want to do!!).  They eventually got tired of dragging the 5er back and forth and now have it parked in Ontario for the summer.  They purchased a little park model in Florida for the winters.  He invited us to drop by for a visit when we are down in December. We might just take him up on his offer. 

The colors along the highway were beautiful.  This was taken just south of Ivy Lea.

We spent Friday night on Syracuse  and in the morning we headed to the Erie Canal Museum located in the Weightlock Building which dates from 1850.

Erie Canal Museum

This Weightlock building is one of three built in New York State and is the only remaining building of its kind in the world. The building was used to weigh canal boats as they passed, charging them according to the weight of their cargo.  After a boat was drawn into the lock beneath the overhang, the water gates were closed at each end, the water was drained out, and the boat settled onto a massive cradle suspended from the balance beam overhead.  The registered weight of the boat was subtracted from the measured weight to determine the weight of the cargo.  
The city had the distinction of hosting a confluence of waterways within its city center. The old Erie Canal (from New York City to Buffalo) and the Oswego Canal (from Lake Ontario to Syracuse) both ran through the heart of the city and the confluence connected the Erie Canal with Lake Ontario to the north.  Canal tolls were abolished in 1883.    Eventually this portion of the Erie Canal was no longer able to accommodate the   larger barges being used.  The old Erie Canal from Utica to Syracuse was filled in and the new Erie Canal was opened from Utica through the Onedia Lake, bypassing Syracuse.  The Weightlock building was to be demolished but they were able to obtain historic designation and retain the building.  It was an interesting visit and well worth the time.

A war memorial in downtown Syracuse that looks like a gathering place for street people.

We left Syracuse and drove north, along the Oswego Canal to the Port City of Oswego which is situated on the shore of Lake Ontario.  Oswego was originally a British trading post established in 1722 and the British built a fort there in 1755 which was later destroyed by the French during the French and Indian War.  A second British fort was built on the same site in 1759. During the American Revolution the British abandoned the Fort and 1778 American troops destroyed it.  In 1782 the British reoccupied Oswego and didn't forfeit it to the US until 1796.  During the War of 1812 the British forces needed to stem the flow of supplies from the interior of New York State along the canal system.  They overpowered the weaker American garrison and recaptured Oswego.  The Fort Ontario that stands today, was built in 1839.  At the end of WWII the fort was used as an emergency refugee center for victims of the Nazi Holocaust, the only one of its kind in the US.  In 1946 the Fort was transferred to the State of New York and initially used to house veterans and their families during the post-war period and in 1949 is was changed to a State Historic Site.  
In a little valley near the fort is the Post Cemetery (1759 - 1943) .  There are 77 graves of British and American soldiers, along with their wives and children.  Also there are  12 graves of unknown soldiers.  It is a pretty spot and reportedly haunted!!.
We found a gate at the edge of the cemetery which leads down to the lake shore where we found a sunny spot on a rock to have our lunch.

 After lunch we headed west, traveling along the Scenic Route towards Rochester.  We stopped in to take a look at a state park along the way and found a marsh with a couple dozen white swans, resting and feeding getting ready for their journey south for the winter.
 And apple orchards!!!  Loaded with apples of all sizes and colors.  Lots of pickers busy and lots of crates of apples ready for market.  You could smell the apples in the air as you drove along the highway.
 One small town we drove through was having their "Scarecrow Days".  There were scarecrows of all shapes and sizes tied to the trees and lamp posts throughout the main street area.  Tons of pedestrians strolling around taking in the festivities.  Children dressed up in their Halloween costumes getting an early start on the candy collections.
 We arrived in Victor NY which is just south of Rochester to spend Saturday night.    After checking into our hotel we headed out for Saturday night dinner at Chili's.   

This is where I will stop for now.  The rest of the weekend journey to follow.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Ottawa Bound

Tom is attending a real estate conference in Ottawa tomorrow and I am tagging along.  It is a very long and very boring drive from Toronto to Ottawa on the 401.  Not much to see but transport trucks, rain and blacktop.  The leaves, however, are outstanding at this time of year.  Due to the rain I was not able to get a good picture of the leaves through the I found this one on the internet.  It is close to what we saw along the highway.  So beautiful!!

We arrived at 6 pm and checked into our hotel.    The Cartier Suites is a nice spot and handy for downtown Ottawa. Ottawa is such a pretty city.  With both the river and the canal passing through it boasts some beautiful parks.  The parliament building are extemely impressive. 

On  one of Taylor's summer visits we took her to Ottawa.  Her and I did a tour of the parliament buildings.  I would add a couple of the pictures taken then but they are not on this little travel computer that I have with me.  Maybe when I get home I will update a couple of those old pictures.  We had watched the changing of the guards, toured the buildings and the grounds.  It was a wonderful day to spend with your Grand.  Wish you were here today Pookeroo!!

Not sure what I will do tomorrow while Tom is working.  Last time I was here I walked for miles down to the market, along the Rideau Canal and around the grounds on Parliament Hill.  This time I have a screwed up knee that will not let me do that much walking.  So I will see how it goes.

Until tomorrow - safe travels.