Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Yes, now we're in Toronto, a gigantic city. Well, we're at an RV park about 40 miles from the madness, but there is more action here than we're used to. I have some great pictures to show you but suddenly am having trouble loading them so will work on that and get back to it very soon. If only I could even understand the question when I go online to ask for help. Way too many words and symbols and tech terms that mean nothing to me. Wah!
Sunday, June 26, 2016
We visited the Canadian Museum of History, which obviously has a good sense of humor.
This is what real ermine looks like. You know, the very fancy stuff that is always on the king's robe. Here it is on a Native American/First Nation/First People/Aboriginal Chief's headdress.
They currently have a huge exhibition about Napoleon and this is one of his very own throne chairs.
It's gorgeous, but my first thought is how has it been kept so clean all these years?
Everybody has been to at least one gold rush display, but this was very well displayed, 'splained about just what gold is, how it is used (even in our cell phones), and why we care.
The guide books all say to allow three hours to visit but we were there for over six hours (including a little bit of lunch) and the entire third floor is closed. That's the part about Canadian history from the beginning of time. They are redoing it for the 150th anniversary next year. That would have certainly been interesting. And taken another three or four hours. I do marvel at Al's ability to read every word on every display. He even remembers some of it.
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Couldn't they just say to watch out for all big animals dashing across the road?
There are countless acres agriculture, gorgeous fields, lots of potential food. It's beautiful.
But it's the end of June, not March when the snow is all slushy and dirty. Or yet another blizzard is threatening to dump a few feet more.
We're in Ottawa, the nation's Capital, exploring and enjoying how clean and friendly it is.
No matter where we go, it's always heartwarming to see a little bit of home.
Yes, it's another Notre Dame.
I've lost count but maybe somebody has done a study of how many there are.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
It was a very interesting trip from Quebec to Montreal. Only about four hours of driving but we stopped in a town called Trois-Rivieres (three rivers) even though it's only one river, the St. Maurice, which joins the St. Lawrence. Something about three channels but it just doesn't make sense. Anyway, we went to another paper mill museum, this one in a real paper mill building with tons of interesting facts making paper history, and about how horrible it was to work in the heat and damp.
But the really interesting part was trying to get out of town because every way that Roada, the GPS woman who lives in the dashboard, sent us involved an underpass that was an inch too low for Homer to pass through. Those fan covers keep the rain out but also make us just a teeny bit too tall for some places. We finally managed with the help of other drivers who had to back up, go around, or wait for us to maneuver out of the road. They don't tell you about the low clearance until you're right there.
If I ruled the world . . .
Monday was very frustrating because Al thought it would be a good idea to drive into Montreal. We drove for almost two hours, looking for parking, getting lost, following detours that led nowhere. All on very bumpy construction zone roads. Seems like all of Montreal is a construction zone but all of the roads are awful. Someone told us that the road crews never do a good job so that they will always have a job. But we saw many parts of town that we wouldn't have otherwise, so that counts for a little bit. Sort of.
Finally we gave up and drove to Laval, the next island to the North. It's bordered by Riviere des Mille Iles (thousand islands) and Al kept hoping to find a giant bottle of salad dressing, but all we saw was this little island. It looks better on the map. The island was given to the Jesuits so wouldn't you expect to find a lot of information about their years there? Wrong.
The friendly girl at the tourist bureau didn't even know about it and had to look online. So she sent to St. Rose, the oldest church. It was locked. Both chocolate shops were closed, the boulangerie was gone, and there is a stop sign at each and every block.
In our wanderings we went by the Biosphere. Remember when it was such a big deal for the Expo 67? Now it's a museum for the environment, but we didn't find the enthusiasm to visit it.
Then we went looking for a Persian restaurant because Al was in a mood to reminisce about the Peace Corps and there is a whole section of it here. One place was closed, one out of business, one too dirty to see in the windows, one on the other side of town, and the only one left didn't serve lamb, so he had to settle for beef. I had chicken schnitzel. Yes, chicken schnitzel in a Persian restaurant. The owner told us that they serve a lot of it. Hmm.
So we were very glad to get home, but both woke up with achey parts from 101 miles of bouncing around in Tom Dually.
The Man With The Maps
Tuesday we made a smarter decision and took the Metro into Montreal. Whew. It was delightful to wander around, visit a museum, have a snack, visit the huge Underground, which is 21 miles of linked shopping malls beneath the streets, (we only did a few blocks) have another snack, look at yet another Notre Dame (they wanted $5 just to look inside so we enjoyed it from the plaza), have dinner and leisurely take the Metro back to the parking lot where we left the truck.
And I still don't speak French.
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Today we'll be leaving Quebec City and France, (if only I could just up and speak French) but almost everyone also speaks English and they are very friendly.
Do you want to see what we did in the last two days? Okay, then don't look.
A little road trip took us to Ile d'Orleans, a beautiful island with acres of farmland and a chocolate shop. Of course we felt it was our duty as Americans to contribute to the economy.
Montmorency waterfall, the highest in Canada.
Sainte. Anne de Beaupre Shrine Basilica.
We've been in a few more old and amazingly ornate churches but no photos.
You'll just have to come here and see for yourself.
Risotto with baby shrimp, a hunk of some white fish I can't pronounce or spell, asparagus puree.
Al's sweetbreads with pear. Who woulda thought of that combo? But he loved it.
Just one of many charming little old streets in Quebec City.
Friday, June 17, 2016
Now we're in Quebec City, learning to speak, well at least read French. The RV park is on the South side of the St. Lawrence with the Chutes de la Chaudiere Parc nearby.
The aforementioned St. Lawrence. Last time we saw it was many years ago from a cruise ship with Lois, Teri, Willie, Julie, and Robert. This time we walked and walked and did I mention walked?
The Old City is beautiful but here is the building that impressed me most. Like an outdoor art gallery. Hard to realize that it is a completely flat space.
Crispy sweetbreads (Al's, of course - I'm not going near that stuff), three kinds of tartare (salmon, salmon with curry, beef) and gnocci with lobster and mushrooms. Life is good.
Monday, June 13, 2016
We drove to Halifax, NS, took a flight to St. John's NL, and now are back in Halifax for another day. Here are some of the highlights. In case anybody cares. Is this any worse than having you over for dinner and showing our vacation slides?
After most of downtown St. John's was wiped out in the Great Fire of 1892 they rebuilt these row houses and painted them cheerfully. Now they are known as the Jelly Bean Houses. The trend seems to be repeated all around town, which must be very perky on the dreary winter days.
Yet another example of how to solve a problem before indoor plumbing.
And another. We were told that the apron is to cover the hidden receptacle and the backrest is to hold a lady's skirts out of the way. So convenient.
I promise to refrain from any more necessary pictures.
Spring comes very late in Newfoundland.
I had forgotten how kind the people were on September 11.
Cod tongue. Yes, a cod has a tongue and the frugal fishermen found a way to use them.
Anything can be tasty breaded and deep fried.
On the left is a Toutan - fried bread dough.
Yes, that is fried bologna breakfast. Al's plate - not mine.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
We went to Lititz, a town in Lancaster Country, where we once again learned how to twist a pretzel. It was considered a skilled job and paid 6 cents an hour. Only cigar rollers made more at 10 cents an hour. Julius had 14 kids (two wives with seven each) who all worked in the bakery.
Then on to Portland, ME, where we had a delicious lobster dinner with Patrick, who managed to eat very well, even with a cast on his hand. It poured rain - poured - but stopped in time for us to drive away in the morning. We've been so lucky with the weather. Maybe I shouldn't say that.
Yesterday we were allowed to cross the border after Cricket the dog sniffed around Homer and sent us on our way to St. John, New Brunswick. This is one of their markets.
Another market has these fun carvings at the elevator. I think I know that guy.
See? Green everywhere?
No matter where we travel . . . . .
Saturday, June 4, 2016
Thursday was another driving day, past this big power plant.
We're usually not spending quite so much time driving, driving, driving, but this trip seems to be different. So I finished the purple blanket and am well into a new one. It keeps me from snacking. But obviously I manage to find treats elsewhere.
We met Andy and Mandy and went to an Amish farm museum to see what life was in the olden days. I'm glad to be living now, thank you.
Al is so easily amused
Don't quote me but this is a breed that might be Randall or American Lineback. I like it.
Not quite like shopping at Britex.
President Buchanan's home is smack in Lancaster.
How to make friends very quickly.
Where is the Toto