June 27, 2017

Wednesday morning we had good intentions - we planned on visiting the Parliament buildings and watching the Changing of the Guards.
Sounds easy enough - however, downtown Ottawa (Laurier Street) was under major construction due to this huge sink hole (picture borrowed from internet). Actually we found that most of downtown was under construction. The traffic was horrendous and the parking was worse. Anyway, we did do a lot of driving on this particular day.  
And we did see the Parliament Buildings as we drove by, but not the Changing of the Guards as we were too late. (This picture was also borrowed from the internet)  
We visited the Hogs Back Falls. They are located just north of Mooney's Bay where the Rideau Canal splits from the Rideau River.

Carole and Andre got home in the afternoon on Sunday from their week at the lake so we went out for a good-bye dinner.  We will be leaving tomorrow morning for Montreal.

June 22, 2016

Today we spent the better part of the day at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.  

In addition to the exhibits of all the aircraft since the beginning of flight, they have added the Star Trek Experience to celebrate their 50th Anniversary.. 

Inter-active exhibits - me in medical! 

Here visitors can try a number of activities to test their aptitude for Communications, Medical, Navigation, Engineering, Science, Tactical and Command branches.

So we attended the famous "Star Fleet Academy".  Both Michel and myself were suited for Engineering - I don't know how they figured that one out - lol!

A view from the space shuttle - gazing at Aurora Borealis! Beautiful!
Astronaut Michel  - lol !!

The museum holds approximately 130 military and civilian aircraft. 
The "Snowbird" was the world's first successful ornithopter.
Built by a team of graduate students at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies,  they made the headlines in 2010 when it sustained flight for 19 seconds at the Great Lakes Gliding Club in Tottenham, On. 

June 21, 2016

We arrived in Ottawa on the afternoon of June 16th and were welcomed by Michel's cousin Carole and her husband Andre. 

We parked our moho right in their driveway! 

Carole and Andre served up a wonderful dinner and that evening we sat and chatted; got to know each other a little.  It has been many years since Michel has seen his cousin and for myself, it is our first meeting. 
Friday afternoon Andre left for a week of fishing with friends; an annual event!  

And we left with Carole, she picked up her mom, and we drove out to their cottage. It is located about and hour and a half from their home in Ottawa, and just over the Quebec border.  

Michel and Carole enjoying morning coffee!!

Here we enjoyed some much needed rest and relaxation. We hung out here until Tuesday. 

Thank you so very much Carole for inviting us.  You have a wonderful place and we enjoyed so much the beauty and tranquility. 

Aunt Marie relaxing at the lake.

Feeding the ducks! They have to eat too!
They are so used to being fed they come by twice a day.

Water fun...
Michel took this kayak out for a paddle too.
It's 5 o'clock somewhere!!

On Sunday Carole's brother Donald and his wife Annick drove out from their home in Gatineau, Qc for a visit.  It was great to meet them too. 

Mili and Bebop

These two gorgeous puppies belong to Donald and Annick. 

Annick competes in Agility with Bebop. 

Lunch at the lake.

It was Donald's birthday, so Carole and Aunt Marie brought a cake out and we all sang Happy Birthday... 

June 16, 2016

Kingston was a quick stop over, one night because we wanted to catch the 1000 Islands Cruise.

There were many to choose from a 90 minute Discovery Cruise to 3 hour dinner cruises.  We took the discovery cruise aboard the Island Belle, a replica of the St. Lawrence Steamer. 

This cruise is cleverly narrated by the living spirit of Sir John A. MacDonald, Canada's 1st Prime Minister and Kingston's native son.

Fort Henry

It highlights the westerly 1000 Islands and Fort Henry along with ship wrecks, classical architecture, as well as the Kingston Penitentiary,  

Kingston Prison no longer in use

June 15, 2016

Last but not least - we had to see the CN Tower before we left Toronto today.  

This picture was taken from our seats at the Rogers Center at the Blue Jays game. 

It is 1,815 ft high and completed in 1976.  At the time it was the world's tallest tower and the world's tallest free-standing structure. It held that record for 34 years.

It takes 58 seconds in the elevator to reach the top. 

Pictures taken from the top of the tower

There is a glass floor one level down from the look-out floor which gives you a view 1,122 ft straight down.  In this photo you can see  into the Rogers Center.

June 14, 2016

Michel's home 260 Jeffcoat Cres. in Toronto 
West Humber Collegiate
- where Michel went to high-school

We toured around Toronto today with the car. We were all over, from one end to the other. We did a complete circle of the city and then across....

Pictures of our day ......
China Town always busy ....
Kensington Market
In November 2006 it was designated a National Historic Site of Canada.
The area is filled with a mix of food stores, bakeries, cheese shops, clothing shops (new and used) cafes, fruit stands. You name it, you can probably find it here.
Royal Ontario Museum
Isn't this the weirdest building you've ever seen?
The new addition - ultra modern - just built onto the old....
We saw a lot of this - in this area especially -
New modern mixed in with the historic old.
(new apartments built around old historic church)

June 13, 2016

It was early when we left Niagara Falls, so it was early when we arrived in Toronto.  First stop on our must-see agenda was Casa Loma; North America's only full sized castle and Toronto's top tourist attraction.

The Conservatory

It took 300 men nearly three years to complete this 200,000 sq. ft. castle and cost a whopping $3,500,000 (at that time).  Located on 5 acres it has 98 rooms and was the largest private residence in Canada. This was home for Sir Henry Pellatt and his wife Lady Mary for less than 10 years before financial misfortune forced him out.

The Oak Room
One of the 5 guest suits

It was a self-guided audio tour that took us up stairs (three floors), down hallways, into many rooms and through a tunnel that went under and across the street to his hunting lodge and the stables. 

We spent a couple of hours roaming the halls of this huge castle.

The halls of Union Station!
This evening we went to the ball game!  
Firstly, we took the subway from Etobicoke (West Toronto)  all the way downtown to Union Station. Took us about an hour. It would have been faster to drive but then we wouldn't have had the experience of the subway!  

Or the experience of Union Station. What a place that is....... 


We had a great time at the ball game. We had hoped to watch the Jays stomp all over the Phillies, but that wasn't the way it went.  The score 7-0 for the Phillies.  

What a busy day! 
Not bad for two old timers....

June 12, 2016

Kellie and Walter

We pulled into Niagara Falls on Friday morning, just a short drive from the OnRoute rest stop in Innisfil where we spent the previous night. We do a lot of 'boondocking' and we were blessed again to find the parking lot of a closed down Target. Here we left our rig for the night while we visited with friends Kellie and Walter.  

(l to r: Audrey, Kellie, Liz, Walter, myself)

We met them last winter in Panama and they were very accommodating hosts.  We enjoyed the evening with them, met a couple of their very good friends, had a few brews and just shot the breeze. We even made some plans to meet up again this winter, maybe in Puerto Morelos MX. 

Niagara Falls is spectacular!
Pictures just don't do them justice. But we did get up close and personal with the falls during this cruise on the Hornblower. What an experience! And yes, we got very, very wet. 

We also enjoyed a behind the scenes view of the falls and felt the thundering power of all that water during our Journey Behind the Falls adventure.  This photo was taken from the look-out deck.

We drove the Niagara Parkway. One of Ontario's most scenic drives. In the 1940's Sir Winston Churchill described this as "the prettiest Sunday drive in the world"..... It runs 56 km between Fort Erie and Niagara-on-the-Lake. It follows the Niagara River which flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. Along the route there were picnic spots, golf courses, gardens, beautiful homes, and wineries (many wineries!!) 

We had a very enjoyable few days here in Niagara Falls touring around and being tourists, and tomorrow we will move on to Toronto.  

June 7, 2016

 It was raining on Sunday and we thought as long as we were just sitting around in the motorhome, it might just as well be moving, so we left Elliott Lake for Sudbury

This was going to be just a couple of nights, but as we were gearing up to leave this morning there was a problem with the motorhome. Michel spent the day inside the motor removing the air conditioning compressor. This afternoon he took the part to a CAT dealer and they ordered a new one. It should be in tomorrow morning  so hopefully he will be able to get it back in without too much difficulty. We should be back on the road on Thursday. 

In the mean time …. We spent most of Sunday at “Dynamic Earth” – home of the “Big Nickel”. This is a mining tour where visitors descend 7 stories in a glass enclosed elevator into the depths of the earth to a replica of an underground mine. A real mine of course is much much deeper, and I am glad we were only 7 stories deep!  During this hour long tour, we saw the transformation mining has undergone over the past 100 years.  It was very informative and very interesting.  Michel worked in a mine way back when he was 19… in Sudbury, but that mine no longer exists and most of the young people working never even heard of it. 

There is a walk-through theatre featuring a state of the art presentation that takes visitors step-by-step through the processing of nickel and copper, from the mill to the smelter and then to the refinery. Visitors can even pan for gold.
We watched three short films: The History of Mining in Sudbury;   Sea Monsters;  and How the Earth Works.

All this took us into the afternoon and we still wanted to get over to Stack Brewing. We had heard in Sault Ste. Marie that this micro-brewery did ‘tasting’ and for some reason we thought it was a place to eat and sample beer. They also said that maple syrup was used in the making of the beer. We found out that basically none of this was true. At least the eating part of it – no restaurant.  Oh and the maple syrup part of it.  They do not use maple syrup to make their beer. They make unusual types of beer though  “Vanilla Chai” being one of them.  As far as the tasting goes we did sample each one of the beers and we bought 4 cans of different kinds to try.