Thursday, September 27, 2012

Niagara Fall! Ottawa!

Hey, what can I say, we made it to Niagara Falls, and got our pictures, had a nice walk along the river and fought the Labor Day crowds.  On our way, we drove through Port Dover and a few other lovely areas.  It is very pretty all along the route.  We had a bit of trouble finding a spot to park but really not bad.  Glad to make it here and see this Wonder of the World. 
 Because it was mid afternoon, Labor Day, and a holiday was a good time to get our drive through Toronto over with.  It went amazing and we were through the area in now time.  Took a side road and drove through many small towns and communties.  Camped at Port Hope in the Zellers parking lot.  In the morning, Jim needed to find a shop that could supply him with a piece of metal for a bit of work he had to do on the hitch for the car.  Found the spot in Cobourg and of course it started to rain so he had to do the work under the awning of the motorhome.  All done, lunch over and we were on our way. Unfortunately, in our travels we had a bit of a mishap.  Going out of the Zellers parking lot, it was extremely bumpy and uneven, don't know if the cupboard door was not shut  or what exactly properly or what happened but all of our plates fell out and crashed on the floor. All smashed except one so we threw it out as well. Looking for new plates. Our next evening stop after taking more side roads and going along the river was Trenton at the Walmart.  it was a quiet nite and we were on the road fairly early next day.   
When we stopped for lunch, Jim discovered that the water pump was not working.  What next!  Drove along for awhile and then found a great spot to stop so he could check things out.  I went for a walk in this little town by the name of Bath and took a few pictures etc.  Jim was able to fix the pump, by passing the relay switch. We bought a couple of books for 50 cents each and headed down the road. Drove along the coast to the intersection just before Kingston and headed north on Hwy 15 towards Ottawa.  The landscape changes here again and the roads are not as good.  Enjoyed the drive through the area, got through Smiths Falls,(took a wrong turn) and back enroute arrived at Merrickville.  This turned out to be one of our favorite places in Ontario.
It is right on the Rideau Canal and there are locks there for the boats to go through.  Very interesting!  We parked and walked around the main street and area.  Had a beer in one of the many quaint and unique pubs and decided to check out the campground which was right in town.
Our campsite, right beside the canal.
We even had a fire and sat out til after 9:00 pm.  Next day, washed some clothes, took another walk, I spent some money and bought a nice little black dress, and had lunch in the Mainstreet Cafe before we hit the road.  We filled up with diesel and propane in Kemptville and proceeded to follow the directions on my phone to the Walmart in Barrhaven to park the rig so we can tour the Parliament Buildings etc.  Arrived there after a bit of confusion and got parked.  Went into Walmart for a few things and I went looking for a pedicure. Didn't have to go far and got what I wanted done.  An hour and a half later I was back in the motorhome. Took a drive around the area and went for a short walk. After a pleasant evening, we were up early, ready to tackle the tour.

  As we approached the Parliament Buildings.  Beautiful!  So much to see!
                              Hmmm,  Princess Auto,  let me see?
Jim picked up a flyer while we were waiting for the tour to start.  We really enjoyed it and were very glad we took the time.  Did lots of walking around.  Went to the Byward Market and had lunch.  Walked along the canal and just had a great day in our Nations Capital!  Were very tired after all the walking so had an early night.  We could have stayed another day, but so many place, things to see and do that we got up early and in the pouring rain were on the way to Old Quebec City.  Can't wait to see this amazing city!



Sunday, September 9, 2012

Long Point!

We spent four lovely days with Rick and Debbie at the Marina where they have a permanent spot for their fifth wheel. The owner allowed us to park the RV close to the water. We met their new friends Karl and Marilyn who took us out on Sunday evening to Port Rowe to see the fire works. Fabulous! I could spend time going into details but the whole experience was great. So nice to see them at their home and be able to picture them there. We're sad to leave but will be certain to plan a reunion at another time.

Martyr's Shrine

Wednesday: Got up early as we wanted to finish our ride along the bike trail. We went west to Port McNicoll, stopped to view the big ship, home for the 100th Anniversary. The S.S.Keewatin. The plans are to turn it into a museum, theatre, restaurant and pub. Will be gorgeous. Continued up the way to Marina's restaurant for breakfast. Yummy! Back on the trail to the Shrine. After checking that out we biked through a lovely park and along the water at Midland. On the way back stopped and chatted with a fellow parked with his RV close to the shrine. Decided that would be a good place to move ours to. Heading back we took a turn into the Huron museum. A gal gave us her ticket so decided to return. Did some shopping and moved the bus. Cleaned up, Jim had a nap and I walked over to view the Shrine. Beautiful place. 70 acres of land dedicated to the many Martyrs in the Catholic Faith. After I returned from my tour we went across the river and toured the museum. Very interesting. When we were done decided enough for one day. It was hot and beautiful so went back to have dinner and enjoy the evening. Next morning, up early again and on the road heading to Waterloo. Drove the back roads again and stopped at Wasaga Beach fo breakfast. Took a very narrow side road through Tiny which ended up being really tiny. Glad to be out of there. It was very interesting taking the side roads and we found ourselves at a small city by the name of Elora. Very famous for some of the movies shot there. Some locals let us fill up with water and while exploring the shops noticed product from my daughter Selena and son-in-law Gerard. That was fun! Found out we were only about 20 min away from Waterlo and our friends home. Arrived at Rick and Debbie's in time to have dinner and make plans for our days together at Long Point. Rick applied on line for a permit so we could park one night on the street. Cool!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

August Roadtrip/Eastern Canada

Museum in Saskatoon
We have been on the road now since August 6th when we left my son Daryl's home at Vegreville. The first day we travelled to North Battleford, Sask. Stopped at the Casino there and got our coupons for food, etc. We each got a total of $25.00 in cash. I played $5.00 and gained $7.00. Bonus. Spent the night with many other campers at the Walmart. Next day stopped at Saskatoon to view the Museum (well worth the stop) and on to Watrous, to the Mineral Springs on Manitou Beach, Little Manitou Lake. Another lovely spot. Went to the Toonie Tues Dance at the famous Danceland and in the mineral pools at the hotel. Sooo glad we stopped. The water is so like the ocean that you can not sink. You float without trying. Wednesday, August 8th, we decided to take the highway south of Watrous and then across on Highway 52. Our advice, don't do it, Jim said, the # of the highway is the number of potholes in a 100 ft stretch. LOL. We finally got to our destination for the night. Friends from Manitoba had told us that there is a small campground in the town of Russell on Highway 16. There was even power and all they ask is a donation and keep the campground clean. We did a walk around town and took pictures of their main street of Arches.
Thursday, headed to Shilo, Manitoba to visit Sam and Linda, friends from California. They live in Shilo which is near Brandon. We spent a lovely 3 days, 4 nights with them and took off for Morden (south and east) to visit Jim's friends, Les and Celine. After a great lunch and visit we headed to Steinbach to visit more friends. Mary has the Rockylaine Bed and Breakfast. A small acreage west of Steinbach. We parked there and visited for 2 days and 3 nights. Also visited with Dave and Sharon Dickey one evening.  Thursday morning, August 23, we packed up again and were on our way to Grand Beach on Lake Winnipeg. Now that is a place to visit and stay a few days or longer if one likes to camp.  Beautiful campground and lovely beach.  Even the water is quite clean for a prairie lake.
Walking the waters at Grand Beach!
Saturday, August 25, we did some laundry and had showers etc. and were on the road again at 10:00 am.  We took some side roads and followed a river down the eastern side of Manitoba, through the Whiteshell Provincial Park which takes you into West Hawk Lake and onto highway 17 which is the TransCanada.  The highway immediately got better when we crossed the border into Ontario and generally speaking have been great all the way to southern Ontario.  We spent out first night in Dryden, ON at the Walmart.  Met a nice couple from Naniamo, BC and wouldn't you know, they know people that we met in California last winter.  Shared a few stories and called it a night.  Up early and on the road by 6:30 am.  Want to make a mile. Arrived at Thunder Bay at around 11:30 and just in time for pork ribs. The city was having its Rib Fest and so we decided to partake. Yummy!!!!!! We also checked out the Casino which was just across the street and a walk to view the Harbor. In the motorhome and on our way again.  Our second night in Ontario, we spent at a small town called Nipigon.  Just had to drive in and see the smallest Canadian Tire Store in Canada and talk to the locals.  Were told that the marina in town had places to camp for the night.  Beautiful.  Even met the mayor during our walk around the marina. 

The motorhome is almost bigger than the store!
Nipigon Marina!
Most days, when we are travelling, we prefer to be up early and on the road by 6:30-7:00am. unless there are things we are going to see in the area. We had seen all we wanted in Nipigon.  As were travelling along Lake Superior, we saw a white sandy beach, Jim quickly made the decision to pull in.  Very tight parking lot and we had to unhook the car so we could get back out.  Kathrine Cove is so sweet and we actually were able to go in the water.  Warm and clean!  

Kathrine Cove on Lake Superior
I noticed that the whole eastern coast of Lake Superior had beach after beach.  After fueling up at Sault Ste.-Marie we continued on to Bruce Mines.  This is another cute little Marina, right off the Highway.  We stopped thinking we would have supper at "The Bobbers" a fish and chips restaurant and stayed the whole night.  Had live entertainment at an open air gazebo/seating.  Very talented young man.

After a huge fish and chips meal and entertainment we were ready to hit the pillow early, morning comes quickly.
Tuesday, August 25, early on the road again and after some debate as to whether or not take the ferry on to Manitoulin Island or drive past Sudbury we decided to go  the highway.  It was a long drive but decided it was worth it as we eventually ended up at the base of the Georgian Bay at Victoria Harbor.  At one point we pulled off the highway thinking we were going to have lunch at a nice picnic spot.  The picnic area was there but no parking for big Rigs.   
 Bus parking instead of Picnic Area
Oh, well,  let's eat and get going!  Once again, had to unhook the car to turn aroung.  LOL!  It was only another short drive and we were at Victoria Harbor where we settled in for the night at the Foodland parking lot.  Nice owner, said it was fine and we were just a short distance from the water and a marina again. After we settled in, got some groceries, Jim got our bikes out and we went for a long bike ride on the trail right next to our RV.  Finished the day with a nice dinner and watched the sun go down over the water.  It was a bit cool and windy so didn't linger long. 

Sunset over Victoria Harbor on the Georgian Bay
Nice ending to a busy day.  Night, Night!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

November/December 2011

November 1,2011 we crossed the border at Sydney, BC to Anacortes, Washington to begin our winter in the US.  We were lucky to be traveling with Bob and Diane.  
This was a very difficult day for me as I had just said goodbye to my Mom at the hospital knowing that it was probably the last time I would talk to or see her.

Jim had to back on to the ferry because they told him he might have to drive off at Friday Island.  We didn't have a reservation and there were a lot of snowbirds loading. Yep, he had to drive off, quickly get in the line up again and drive back on.  It worked fine and we were off again to finish the trip.  Very lovely crossing and no hassle crossing the border.
Drove to and camped at Angel of the Winds Casino the first night then drove to Seven Feathers Casino and overnight again.  Were a bit concerned about the weather but everything turned out fine.
We were following Bob over the pass and this looks bad but wasn't for very long and everything cleared up.
Once we were California the roads were clear and dry.  We stopped at a roadside area and when Jim went to start the RV, it wouldn't go.  He had to use a bungee cord and loop it around the celanoid(sp?)  He did this the rest of the trip to Catalina Spa.  Interesting way to start and stop the Bus.  It was a wiring problem that was probably there from factory.  He was able to fix it.

Next overnight was in central California at a parking lot next to a Target.  By this time Jim and Bob were not feeling very well and getting anxious to get to our destination.  One more overnight at Barstow just outside of the Walmart parking lot.  The lot there is not large enough for overnight parking.  Saturday morning we were on the road to Catalina, about 2 hours away. We arrived around noon and got set up as quickly as possible.  Lying low as the guys were  so sick.  So happy  and relieved to be at Catalina.
Monday morning, Nov. 7, 2011, I woke up with a funny feeling in my side, checking I found welts and very tender.  Checked on line and Yep, shingles.  I guess due to all the stress of the last 2 months. I enquired from a couple of people where I should go, so Jim, Di and I headed into Palm Springs to Emerg.  They were very helpful there and it wasn't long until I was carrying a prescription out the door.  Our insurance covered the visit to emerg and the meds I paid for myself.  Needless to say, I spent the next 2-3 weeks resting and taking my meds.  Checked in with my sister each day to find out how Mom and the rest were doing.
November 18, one of the saddest days of my life, Mom went home to be with her Lord.  Next day, I was on a plane heading to Victoria to help wind things up and attend the Memorial Service.  Jim stayed with the coach. 
A week later, I was once again flying, back to Palm Springs.  Still recovering from everything but my shingles did not reacurr.
So good to see the mountains and the wind
Turbines in the Coachella Valley.
We spent the rest of November enjoying just being in the Valley at Catalina Spa.  The first weekend in December, we decided to make a trip to San Diego to spend a couple of days with Judy, Jim's sister and her friends.  We had a great time and love it there.  Want to return in the future.
December went by quickly and we enjoyed Christmas and New Years with our friends, Bob,and Diane, Gail,and Gary, Gill, and Norm, George and Suzie, Lucille and Alan, and many more.
Jan. 2012, we had a trip to Kingman and Quartzite planned and so did a bit of touring around during that time.  Back at Catalina for the rest of the season.  Visiting and spending time with a number of people. We had company from Canada(very special times) with all of you. Enjoyed every moment.  I have decided that I need to get on with the up to date posts so as much as I would like to record all we did, saw, etc. I am going to leave this post as is and carry on.  Thanks for reading!