Monday, July 4, 2016

The Last Leg of our Whirlwind Ontario Tour

We carried on with the last portion of our Ontario tour. First stop...Port Hope for the 50th wedding anniversary celebration for our friends, Louise and Andy.

The downtown of Port Hope is so cute.

And here we are in Andy and Louise's porch...they have so many antiques and relics scattered around their property and throughout the house.

Happy 50th!

Andy and Louise in June 1966...

And today...Louise was laughing as Andy told the story of how they met and how their wedding almost didn't happen.

Their lovely family...


And siblings...Andy's brother told him he couldn't come from BC and then surprised him. His older sister, Norma, couldn't resist the old gag of bunny ears behind Andy's every photo.

Their beautiful garden...

Jim and Andy...friends since the 1940s.

It was a lovely celebration and we were happy to attend!

We went up and down Highway 400 many times during our trip. It always amazes me to see the beautiful farms so close to Toronto.

The endless traffic...we don't miss that part of living in Ontario.

Here we are arriving in Sudbury. Jim's brother, Howie, passed away suddenly six months ago and we were returning to see where the family had spread his ashes.

The Bridge of Nations in Sudbury...pretty cool.

The next morning we headed to the golf course that Howie had built and owned in Chelmsford.

Howie's chair where he always sat in the club house. One of his sweaters is draped over the chair (not that you can see it in this photo).

The golf course is in terrific shape. It was taken over by Howie's daughter, Tracey, and her husband, Will, a few years ago. The empty frame beside the rock is going to hold a sign in remembrance of  Howie.

Tracey brought us to the place where they have spread Howie's ashes.

A cross that belonged to Howie...

Tracey had been to see the medium, Theresa Caputo, and out of 3,000 people attending, she was singled out to receive a message from Howie. She had been telling us this and then Jim remarked on the fact that the cart she was in was #16, Howie's birthdate. Coincidence? Perhaps. I like to think of it as a sign.

And then we laughed because Will was in cart #25, Jim and Howie's father's birthdate.

We took a quick tour of the golf course...

Before heading back to the clubhouse...

Jim with carts #16 and #25...

Howie's obituary...I was trying to get it without glare and instead just ended up with my face in the photo. Howie loved old cars and had amassed quite a collection.

Howie's rules...

With that visit and a feeling of closure, we got back on the road and headed towards our next stop, Kingston. We kept noticing these ponds full of lily pads and finally stopped to take a photo. Canada is a beautiful country!

And back in the traffic...

Past the big apple in Colborne...

And here we are in Kingston at Jim's daughter's place. I can't believe this snake is still alive. Jennifer has had him for 17 years. Holding the snake didn't bother me. Now if it had slithered out from under a bed, that might be a different story.

We went to lunch with Jennifer and our grandson, Nicholas, and his girlfriend, Courtney. So nice to see them and catch up.

After lunch, we drove from Kingston to Drummondville, Quebec, planning to make our drive the following day a lot shorter. The next morning we were up and in the car at 7:30 a.m. for the drive to New Brunswick. And 8 km from the hotel, this is what we ran into.

And we waited and waited...and eventually realized they were detouring everyone off the major highway onto a little country road.

When we started in the morning, the mileage to home was 712 km. Two hours later, we only had 692 km to go! So much for our early start. It was painful.

This looked like something from an outer space movie. We were back in New Brunswick!

Every visit and stop on the trip was great, but we agreed it was a bit much all at once. Home sweet home. I missed the cats, who were well looked after by my sister. You can hardly tell which end of Cleo is up!

Next trip...Africa in August!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Celebrating Canada Day in Barrie, Ontario

After a wonderful visit with family in Calgary, it was time to fly back to Toronto and continue our driving tour before going back to New Brunswick. Flying into Toronto with its maze of houses upon houses...

Welcome to Barrie...our next stop was to visit with Barb and Ed, our travelling companions for many years. We hadn't seen them in over a year, so it was great to catch up and to plan for our upcoming trip to Africa.

Together again! We met Barb and Ed in 2005 on a flight to China and discovered we would be on the same cruise. We hit it off and have been travelling together since then.

And darling Maggie...she has a few ailments and is deaf, but she is hanging in there.

We had lunch and went out to run a few errands. I don't think we can consider the casino an errand, but we went in and made our deposit.

That night for dinner, we headed to the Big Bone BBQ. You probably wouldn't give this place a second glance with its location in a strip mall, but, for those in the know, it's the place for ribs.

Barb tearing off our "napkins"...

Jim enjoying his ribs. With this combo for two people, you got a full rack of ribs, fries, coleslaw, beans and corn bread for $25. It was delicious!

We went on a tour the next day and drove by Jim's parents' old home. They had retired to Barrie in 1968 when it was a small town.

We swung by the cemetery later to visit their grave.

Mmmm...another Kawartha Dairy. Seems to me I remember someone (me!) saying "Note to self: a baby size ice cream is big enough."

But Barb opted for the small size and I'm not one to let someone eat ice cream alone, so I followed along. As always...delicious!

Ed is the man who loves vanilla ice cream. But there was no way he could keep ahead of this cone before it was dripping everywhere. That is a Small!

It was Canada Day and Barb and Ed thoughtfully supplied us with festive hats and a boa to attend a party in their condo building.

Maggie even got out her Canada scarf!

Happy Canada Day!

It was nice to meet up with Lorraine again, whom we met when she came to visit Barb and Ed in Savannah. Richard lives below them and Barb and I had gone to his condo in the morning to make devilled eggs for him to bring to the potluck. Love his hat...very creative!

It was a great way to spend Canada Day!

The very welcoming hosts for the event, Thelma and Gord.

Another of their neighbours is originally from New Brunswick...Rogersville...go figure. For many years, before the larger highway was built, we would travel through the little burg of Rogersville on any trip to Moncton. The village has a population of 1,170 according to the 2011 census.

Doug and Lynne...they had also come to visit Barb and Ed in Savannah. It was nice to meet them again.

We're looking pretty glowy about now...

A great group of people...they have a very social building.

One of the ladies told me she makes cats out of old socks and gives the proceeds to one of the cat shelters. I was happy to support the cause and bought two of the little creatures.

And no evening is complete until the Sister Wives are dancing!

Thanks, Barb and Ed, for a wonderful visit and for including us in your festivities. See you in August in New York on our way to Africa!

And now it is on to Port Hope for a 50th wedding anniversary celebration...