Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Canada Trip - Part 3 - Waterloo

A whole lot of life, profound sadness and feeling of loss for the victims in Pittsburgh, wild and unusual storms with tornadoes, crazy cat stuff, and catching up with friends, is going on here!
Grasping for some hope and relief, and amidst deep reflection, the need for the light, love and joy we felt on our trip needs to be re-lit......so here we go with more photos.   

Bright beauty welcomed us as we arrived at my sister, Margaret's lovely home
in Waterloo, Ontario.  The city is booming, the new light rail system has come a long way, and the streets were abuzz with campus life. 

Margaret treated us to a lovely dinner out with both her girls and their partners, at the trendy new Proof  Kitchen and Lounge, just around the corner from her house, in the beautiful new Delta Hotel.  Every plate served was a work of art, but I think this salad was especially lovely with all its colors!

LM and I enjoyed my favorite Fall wine, this beautiful Niagara Gewurztraminer.

This photo of Margaret and I made me laugh out loud...I am my Dad and she, our Mum.  Always so happy to be together.

I love this close-up....the face of joy, resilience, creativity and love.

There was calamari!
Our charming waiter, with his face and personality of Oktoberfest aglow, suggested The Proof's most popular dish, Weinerschnitzel. Margaret opted for this spectacular dinner, and was not let down. It was so generous that 3 of us shared the leftovers with great relish, a few days later!  It came with sweet beet sauerkraut, and heavenly mashed potatoes, and many other little treats, on a very large wooden board. Swoon worthy!
The Proof's ceiling and lighting were so interesting!
Ellie and Andrea - oh, what a joy to be with everyone!!
Andrea enjoyed a wonderful veggie burger and duckfat fries!

Emmy and Matt.....So happy to be together with you always!
We really had a perfect evening and conversation.

Prior to our visit, Margaret and I had been discussing all the things she wanted to do, among them, shoe shopping!  MS-related walking difficulties mean that M needs to choose shoes carefully, they need to slide along a floor easily, and be open to allow her feet to breathe, and they must have some essence of style, of course!!  Off we went to Walking on A Cloud shoe store, and, with the help of the dedicated, intuitive and attentive, Jim, Margaret has two new pairs of shoes, and I have some, too. THANK YOU, Margaret!

My feet are very difficult to fit, and my recent metatarsal breaks have not made it any easier.  These Reikers are truly like walking on a cloud!  Cute, too!

One of our days was spent visiting Ellie and Andrea in their beautiful new home!
We were so excited to be there, and amidst the greetings, etc, I neglected to take a photo of the outside!  It is a mid-century modern red brick duplex in an old part of Kitchener, Ontario.  This house was constructed with true old-time craftsmanship, and in Ellie and Andrea's creative hands, has quickly become a welcoming and warm home for them, and their darling, Chico (kitty).  Everywhere you turn, is a reflection of their love, artistic talents and happiness!
These Chessie cat photos were treasures from my Mum's house, and look so perfectly at home.

Of course, I had to photograph the beautiful turquoise bathroom....all original
and so pretty!
Andrea and Ellie have lots of children in their lives, and I loved how a wall in the guest room is adorned with a collection of art gifts!

We were treated to a lovely array of delicious snacks, and thoroughly enjoyed the bright and beautiful living room.
The back yard is huge and has just been completely enclosed with new fencing.  It also has an original clothesyard, and I see gardens emerging soon!
Heading to the second floor, the wall features portraits done of each other by Ellie and Andrea. 
Of course, a Kliban cat calendar hangs on the kitchen wall!
The lovely Chico, gazing at cat whisperer, LM

Margaret admiring the kitchen decorating!
One of Margaret's beautiful quilts in the master bedroom.
Chico assessing LM's trustworthiness!

She hopped up to a table right at the end of LM's reach...see the ears!
It was a great visit. Sadly, Ellie was off to work, but the rest of us joined Andrea for a delicious dinner at an authentic Oktoberfest Hall.  No photos, alas, it was too dark, but we had fun and more delicious food.

Another day, we were visited by Margaret's next door neighbor, Suzanne, and her elegant and friendly cat, Jazzy.  What a beautiful creature.  He comes right in, makes himself at home, and we fell in love.
LM's hand, of course

Such a sweet beauty.

Saturday morning we visited the St. Jacob's Farmer's Market. It is a huge place with acres of shopping, outside and inside.  The apple fritters and beautiful fruits and veggies were wonderful.

A wall at "The Crazy Canuck" restaurant.....we had a late breakfast and visit to an antique mall with Margaret.  License plates from all the Provinces.

Margaret recently completed this masterpiece quilt called, "Down the Rabbit Hole."
A Sarah Fielke pattern.

One evening, Margaret's quilting group, The Sew and Sews, met with us and Lou got to meet this TINY Pomeranian, Priscilla, owned by one of the members!  

Lou took this photo of me wearing one of the forget-me-not necklaces I brought to commemorate, Margaret's late husband Jerry.  We were very grateful to be able to attend a little memorial service for Jerry while visiting.  He was a wonderful husband and father, and we shared so many happy times. We miss him very much. 

More to come............for now, I leave you with wishes for peace, tolerance, and love as you go about your days.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Canada - Part 2 - Crossng over, Napanee and arriving in Waterloo

Once the weather cleared, the sun and the gentlest breezes, carried us along to our first night's stop.  We departed the New York Thruway at Rome, wanting to drive up to the St Lawrence Seaway by way of Pulaski and Oswego, along the eastern-most shores of Lake Ontario.  Those areas really close up after Labor Day, although they come alive again when salmon fishing season is in full swing. Fishing camps lined both sides of our very rural route.  I know my fisherman was near-salivating at the thought of being there "in-season."  As we crossed the Oswego and Salmon Rivers, there were a few anglers hanging on with hope.  After my non-sleep night, I was nodding off, thus, no photos, suffice it to say New York is a beautiful and varied state, and we were blissful to be on the road headed for our favorite way to cross the border in to Canada...….the tiny little ferry that departs from Cape Vincent.

Waiting in line at the dock to drive our trusty KIA on board and cross the St Lawrence Seaway to Wolfe Island, Ontario.

Cape Vincent is a sweet little town with old brick homes and shady streets.....pretty flowers greeted us as we pulled first in line to get on the ferry, but first, a quick visit to the visitors center, the building in back with the flags.

One lovely rose beside the car as we waited for the ferry to come in sight. 

We have such fun going to Canada this way, and riding the little ferries.  The day had become gloriously warm, with no wind, so unlike similar rough crossings, we were in for a smooth and beautiful trip.

The ferry holds about 4 cars, but this day there were only 2.

Leaving the dock....happy, happy!
We reached the Wolfe Island tiny customs dock in about 15 minutes, and breezed through after showing out passports.  In another 15 minutes we were in the tiny village of Wolfe Island, stopped in the great bakery for LM to acquire a coffee and a snack, then got in line to board the huge car ferry for Kingston, Ontario.  There are no photos because we pulled the car on board, were parked in a sunny spot near the front, and almost immediately fell asleep.  We woke up when the ship docked.  The night before and early morning rainy drive began to catch up with us. 

 Our lodgings, The Fox Motor Inn - Napanee Ontario.  Such a pretty very old town, filled with lovely old homes, parks and a seeming to be thriving economy.  
It was about 3:30 pm when we found ourselves in this very comfy and clean room, and the temptation to collapse into sleep was only overridden by the fact that we were beyond hungry, having not stopped for lunch. 
The motel office highly recommended we head to The Waterfront for lunch.  The day could not have been more perfect to dine outside, under a beautiful canopy of trees, along the banks of the Napanee River.  We were warmly greeted and  felt like we were in a charming French Cafe.  Lunch was beautifully served, and we ate with relish.  Boats pulled up to the dock beside us and others came in to dine, although it was really quiet and peaceful, the lunch crowd having departed.

Tired face, but oh, so happy. We kept laughing about the events of the night before, no sleep, etc. 
The Waterfront outdoor space.....
This folk art piece shows a nice view of the restaurant....a huge old stone mill building. 

After lunch (dinner) we took a little drive around town and visited several of the interesting parks that line the river, then suddenly decided we MUST get back to the motel.  Our room was in a quiet two-story outbuilding, and, carrying our little overnight bags we made our way to the door to the stairs, got just inside, stairs looming down at us, and started laughing so hard, as there seemed no way we could walk up....I was 'round the bend exhausted and, that became contagious to LM....we ended up in each other's arms laughing so hard and the next thing we knew, we were sitting on the bottom step trying to get a handle on the fact that we had to get up and conquer the steps.....up we went, LM dragging me by my shirt, all the while, in torrents of hysterical laughing. It took two of us to figure out the door key card, and within seconds, we were in the room, clothes dropped on the floor, and asleep at 5 pm.....14 hours later we decided it was time to get up and hit the road, and we did just that after a little breakfast served at the motel coffee room.  We love being on road trips together.......to be continued!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Canada Trip - First Leg - Home to Napanee, Ontario

Let the adventures begin!!!  But not before a very bizarre evening unfolded.  All plans in place, car packed, we were in bed at 7:45 pm, my alarm set for 2:30 am, or so. LM went off to sleep in a flash, despite the very heavy damp air, no matter what I tried, sleep escaped.  It became a struggle that was never to resolve. About 10:30 I began to hear noises outside, in the usually stone-still neighborhood.  Hmmmm, maybe the neighbors has just come home, no that wasn't it, the sound of someone digging with a shovel, was my best guess, and it kept coming, the sound closer and rhythmic.  Do I wake up Lou?  no.....he has such a long drive ahead in the morning and it is expected to be in the heavy rain descending on us from the remnants of Hurricane Florence.  So, I got up and walked out to the dining room, pulled the curtain aside to peek out at the neighbors house. By this time I am quite certain the odd/crazy neighbor, has killed his wife and is preparing a grave to destroy the evidence. Pushing the curtain closed, and cuing my brain to calm down and be rational, I got back in bed.....the noise continued, lights going on and off outside, etc.  10 minutes passed, and I got up again to look. Still seeing nothing, while the noises seemed close enough to shake the house.  Back I went and woke LM. He jumped up with a startle and listened to my tale of murder, etc.  He picked up his flashlight and made his way to the kitchen, back in to the living room, hearing the noises, listening by the chimney, and THEN, rushes to the backdoor and out on the terrace, exclaiming, "I know what it is." He looks up and starts laughing loudly. There, on the roof, over the kitchen, were his son John and girlfriend, Abby, working diligently on laying down and securing, a HUGE tarp.  They knew with the hurricane rains coming, that Dad's old leaky roof, had to be secured. We all erupted into gales of laughter that continued on and on while they finished their mission.  Around midnight, they left, after being profusely thanked, and we tried to go back to sleep. LM was successful but I ended up on the couch reading until it was time to leave.  As planned we were in the car and backing out of the driveway, when the first of the rain began.  It was to haunt us for about 4 hours!!

The Massachusetts Turnpike .......so many big trucks kicking up the already torrential rain As always, LM is a steady and very competent driver, Whew!
The darkness began to lift but the leftover Hurricane Florence rains persisted and we thought about the people in the Carolinas and elsewhere, still reeling from the full effects of the storm.
By daylight, we had reached New York State, and this lovely rest area by an Erie Canal lock.  LM took a tiny nap, and I got out to walk about and see the canal.  The air was still so eerily warm. 
Lock 13 Erie Canal.
Looking west from the lock.  The fog sitting in the hills was very beautiful. 

 Back in the car, and we were soon driving out of the storm clouds, in to a lovely warm day.

The trip will evolve into a series here, as time permits, and meanwhile, I wish everyone peace, joy and love as we enjoy a lovely summery Fall day here on Cape Cod.