Saturday, June 18, 2016

Limited Engagement, One Night Only, Tour of Ontario

We're off to Calgary, Alberta to see our grandson, Sawyer, for his first birthday. But first, we're on a whirlwind tour of Ontario. We're driving to Ottawa, followed by Bancroft, followed by North Bay, on to Bracebridge and then to Toronto for our flight.

Leaving Fredericton, it was a balmy 10 degrees and it looked like 999 km to our destination for the day. I'd say that's pretty close to 1000 km.

This is always my favourite view of the St. John River in New Brunswick as we head towards Quebec. But today, the river was totally fogged in.

Making good time...before we knew it, it was Quebec time!

The view always amazes me...the beautiful farms all bordering the St. Lawrence River.

And...Ontario. We were beginning to question the wisdom of driving to Ottawa on the first day, but we soldiered on.

Oh yay...only 98 km to our hotel in Ottawa and, at 30 degrees, a far cry from the 10 degrees that morning.

Ottawa!

This is what two goofy people look like in the restaurant after 1000 km and a glass of wine.

We had hoped to touch base with our grandson, Erik, but he was proving to be elusive. We toured around the downtown in the morning. New Brunswick flags!

And then we saw this sculpture. After checking it out, we found out it is called Maman. Mmm...let's just say it's different.

This is the first time that I've noticed a face on the tower of the parliament buildings. Two eyes, a wide open mouth...I can't see anything else now when I look at it.

We walked up Sparks Street and read some of the signs about Nicholas Sparks, who was the original landowner of what is now downtown Ontario.

Sparks Street was designated a pedestrian street in 1967, one of the earliest of its kind.

This statue is called Joy, although I did think at first it had something to do with a famine.

Jim remembered his Aunt Sadie worked on Sparks Street in a store called Roberston, Pingle and Tilley. (It sounded more like a law firm to me.) After Mr. Tilley's wife passed away, Aunt Sadie married him. Jim couldn't remember exactly where the store was located and here is where you love the power of the internet. Mr. Google brought up this business card, which sent us on our way to 58 Sparks Street.

And here it is today...it would have been nice to see a thriving business, instead of an empty storefront.

This statue, called Territorial Prerogative, is by same sculptor as the statue Joy (Bruce Garner). His widow was quite upset after his death that there were plans to move this statue and  replace it with a monument commemorating the donation of the Stanley Cup. In 2013, she planned to launch a petition, which must have worked because it still remains.

The Bier Markt has over 150 different kinds of "biers" from 30 countries...no time for sampling.

With a last look at the funny face on the parliament buildings, it was time to move on to our next destination. We'll catch up with Erik next time.

For the next 200 km, this was the view...lots of trees and rocks.

Until we arrived in Bancroft. I wanted to visit a former co-worker and Jim was happy to revisit a place where he spent 6 months working at a mine in the early 1960s.

Nancy and I enjoying some sunshine on a boat ride on lovely Lake Coe. Nancy and her husband, Rob, lived in Toronto for many years and then retired to a beautiful home that Rob has built on the lake. The road to their "cottage" is 2.2 km from the main road, on a bumpy dirt road, which then opens onto a lovely view of the lake. Last winter was their first winter, and they survived quite nicely without all the amenities of the big city. Nancy is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer. I was so happy to see her, and it certainly didn't feel like 14 years ago that we had last seen each other.

We spent so much time gabbing and catching up, that I forgot to take any pictures of our lovely tour around the lake. Rob and Nancy on their pontoon boat...thanks for the tour! Sending Nancy good healing vibes. With her awesome attitude, I know her prognosis is a good one. xoxo

Rob feeding their pet chipmunk, Boris. He appears regularly at their door for his peanuts.

OK...I couldn't resist a stop at Kawartha Dairy. Their ice cream is the best!

Salted caramel truffle...oh my! Note to self: this is a small; next time a baby size would be plenty!

We did a quick side trip to Cardiff, so that Jim could see where he used to live when he worked at the mine that summer.


Up near the old Mine Manager's house was this neat twig deer. The houses looked pretty much the same. They were lovely then and lovely now.

Lake Paudash...this is certainly a beautiful area.

Our next stop that day...North Bay.

It is the gateway to everything in the North.

The next morning, I met Terri, one of the ladies I chat with almost every day online. For some reason, I thought she lived in North Bay; but no, she lives in Timmins and made the four hour drive so we could meet up for breakfast. I call all these ladies my imaginary friends until I meet them in real life. Our breakfast time flew by. After all these years of chatting online, we really do feel like we know each other. Thanks, Terri (Teal) for coming to meet me!

Jim had a beer he really enjoyed the previous night, so we headed to the New Ontario Brewing Co. to check them out and pick up a few beer to bring to Patrick in Calgary.



Terri had suggested a walk on the boardwalk if we had time, so Jim and I checked that out as well before heading on. Lovely beach in the distance...

I'm not sure what all this signifies, but I thought it was neat.

The boardwalk is lovely and it would have been nice to stroll the whole length.

Loved the colour coordination with all the flowers...

And then it was on to...Bracebridge.

It was so nice for Jim to spend Father's Day with his oldest daughter, Stephanie.

With Randy and Stephanie in their lovely back yard. Even Ebby managed to sneak into the photo. Nice photo followed by...

Goofy photo!

Ebby was very protective when we first arrived and barked the house down before letting us in. She soon decided we were safe.

And then it was time to head to Toronto to catch our flight to Calgary. We drove down the "weenie" road in King City for old times' sake. When we first moved to King City from New Brunswick, I was apprehensive about driving and stayed on the country "weenie" roads as long as I could. Such a beautiful area...

Things have certainly changed since we moved away in 2002. There used to be just a park bench here. Fancy...

Our old house looks pretty much the same...

But this area has changed so much. Keele Street heading towards the 400 used to be all farm land when we lived there.

The little King museum was also surrounded by farm land. Look at the size of houses being built...there are no small houses anymore.

And our last engagement before leaving Toronto...dinner with some more of my online friends. This photo is almost an exact replica of one we took two years ago with the addition of Teresa in the bottom left. So nice to see these girls again. I really appreciated them coming to see me at the airport. Dinner flew by!

And with that whirlwind trip, which took place over 4 days, it's now time to head to Calgary to see our grandsons (oh yes, and their parents)!

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