Yes, we will be boating again this Fall and Winter! We have bought a Jefferson Motoryacht and will share it all on our new blog.
Look forward to the Bahamas this winter once again!
Yes that is a large number! We left Ontario last fall to drive to Florida and continue from there across the United States and up the west coast to British Columbia. We flew home for one month then flew back to continue our trip across Canada back to Ontario. Are you able to spend time with your spouse for that many kilometres (miles)? We have survived intact with many memories. We saw places and cities we would never have ventured. Now, I have a memory book to make on http://www.blurb.ca/.
On our way home we stopped in Huntsville, Ontario, just outside of Algonquin National Park. Paul’s sister lives there with family and as a total coincidence we arrived 7 hours before their second grandson arrived. We went right to the hospital and waited with them to see this new miracle enter this world. All went wonderful and a great celebration was in order.
We came home and are all unpacked, gardens planted and children hugged, not in that order. Now we can catch up with friends over the summer!
Please enjoy your summer!
THANK YOU FOR VISITING OUR BLOG.
We so enjoyed Revelstoke, B.C. with its wonderful ski resort that we stayed at. Onward we travelled to Banff, Alberta. This is a gem about 1 1/2 hours west of Calgary right in the Rocky Mountains. This is a ski village (no Costco or big box stores here). … yes there is a Starbucks, but what town does not have one out here in the western provinces. We stayed at the Banff Park Lodge and this was our view right out our balcony.
We have been blessed with sun as this is Paul’s first time travelling through the Rockies. OOH and AAH is what I hear along the way. Paul received a GoPro for his birthday so we are taking some footage along the way.
From one coast to the other coast of this country of Canada is one highway you have to stay on and it is Hwy #1 (in the western provinces) or the TransCanada Highway, which changes its number once you hit Ontario! The good news is that this highway does not travel through Toronto (hmmm I think that is good news). This highway is one of the longest in the world (with The Soviet Union and Australia). It is about 8,000 km or 5,000 miles long! Wow!
This is in the village of Banff, our 2 youngest boys travelled across the country in October and stayed at the YMCA for one week and realized “yikes, it is expensive to stay here” and moved to Kelowna, B.C. From there they moved again in January. What an adventure for them.
This is an awesome t-shirt I could walk by and not buy. I am now regretting I didn’t buy more for our sons.
We have spent a night in Swift River, Saskatchewan and now in Winnipeg; we are travelling through the time zones and will be in home province Ontario tomorrow.
Hello everyone! We flew to Vancouver Island Friday May 9th and spent time there with my parents…. a very special 80th birthday for my Dad. We brought along son, wife and 7 month old baby girl! It was so much fun. We took the ferry to Vancouver on the mainland and spent an awesome 3 nights there. Paul and I love Vancouver so much. It is a city to walk around right downtown. We were able to walk to the harbour, Stanley Park and even Granville Island. This island is a place of trendy shops and a huge market.
We walked and walked. Mountains, boats and saltwater, tides, we were very happy. Of course, our son and wife had some time alone when we babysat. It was no hardship.
Inukshuks (Insuksuk) are very common in British Columbia and the northern territories. People make them everywhere!
This is a huge tree on the roof! Notice the concrete “bowl” full of earth for the tree…. why don’t we see trees on roofs in Ottawa? Hmmmm. This is quite common in Vancouver, grass, shrubs, trees on verandas and roofs. The climate is perfect for this.
Yes, we did go to Vancouver’s harbour and walked and walked. Look at these cute houseboats. They are everywhere.
Mountains are everywhere in Vancouver, to wake up to a view like this everyday, wow!
We have left Vancouver and travelling through B.C. now. We spent night one in Merritt after dropping son, wife and baby at the Vancouver airport. We are now in beautiful Revelstoke, B.C. ….. this is an awesome ski area. We are staying at the Sutton Place and outside is the ski resort. Nope, we are not skiing and yes, the hill is open! I know it is May… but where there is snow there is snowboarding and skiing.
I need to type this up or else I will forget. My father has an excellent memory and helped with some dates. (Maybe when I am eighty, I will have a memory like his).
Feb. 18 left Orlando – Tallahassee
19……Destin, Florida -Summer Place Inn (we left that place in total fog next morning)
20…..New Orleans – Astor Crown Plaza (Mardis Gras, Surprise!)
21-23..San Antonio TX – Hawthorn Suites
24…..Lubbock, TX – met local Texans at the bar
25-27..Santa Fe – Villas de Santa Fe (excellent city, our favourite)
28…..Farmington, New Mexico
Mar. 1-2.. Page, Arizona (the best sights including Antelope Canyon and Great Bend)
3…..Tusayan, AZ – Best Western (Grand Canyon)
4…..Flagstaff – La Quinta Inn
5….Prescott – Best Western (our worst hotel but excellent dinner at the Italian restaurant)
6-8…Tucson, AZ – La Quinta (our best pool at a hotel, brand new hotel)
9-10..San Diego – Holiday Inn at National City
11….Oxnard, California – Ramada
12-13..Monterey, CA – Holiday Inn. Our very favourite seafood dinner at The Monterey Seafood Restaurant
14-15..Sacramento, CA – Governor’s Inn
17….Crescent City, CA
18…. Florence, OR
19….Centralia, WA (another excellent restaurant, The Waterfront Depot)
20…. CHEMAINUS, ON VANCOUVER ISLAND, via Port Angeles Coho Ferry
25…. Fly Westjet home to Ontario, kiss our new grand-daughter!
Fly back to Chemainus May 9th and have a holiday here and Vancouver… then road trip back home beginning on May 17th through the Rockies!
We didn’t know what to do in Florida so off we ventured. Who knew what we would see and who we may meet. We loved our road trip adventure! BUT, we arrive home tomorrow at midnight and let me tell you I will be happy to sleep in our very own bed!
We are finishing up our road trip and want to share a few more pictures. In the town of Port Orford, Oregon, we went down to the marina. No, not to look at boats for sale. Port Orford has a Dolly Dock, only 2 left in America. This town has an open water harbour and isn’t protected from the sea swells, boats in the commercial fishing fleet are hoisted in and out of the harbour by a huge crane each day–quite a spectacle to watch.
Each boat is put on a “dolly”. Notice the large metal braces on the side of each boat.
This is done every single day… each boat goes in the water to fish and returns to be taken out of the water.
Washington State is similar to Oregon, another beautiful Pacific state.
This above information is in all hotels near the coastline.
WE HAVE TRAVELLED ALMOST 15,000 km since leaving Ontario in Fall.
We are now on Vancouver Island visiting my parents. Yesterday we travelled by ferry from Port Angeles, WA to Victoria, B.C. We have given our boys notice that we will fly home on Tuesday!! Our road trip begins again from Vancouver across Canada on May 17th. Stay tuned.
Another amazing shot that Paul took with his new phone! Gives perspective on how large the Redwood trees are.
Did you know that Washington State Ferries carried 10 million vehicles and 22 million passengers to places… in 2012. This happens every year. Ferries are people movers! Many dogs on the ferry too (they travel too)
Off we leave Sacramento for a leisurely drive through Napa (think.. WINE COUNTRY). We took a scenic route and off the beaten path to see vineyards and different wineries. Paul and I travel with a plug-in cooler and we always have food in it. We stopped right in Napa and bought a bread stick, a cold, cooked chicken and some great cheese. We are now ready for a picnic. We read that at Rutherford Hill Winery we could use their picnic tables for a small fee if we buy a bottle of their wine. We were more than happy to do this. We went in and sampled 3 or 4 wines and then wandered over to their picnic tables. What a fantastic view! We did comment that we visit a winery near Duncan, British Columbia with my parents and we do the exact same thing. That view on Vancouver Island is just as spectacular.
This was a Sunday and a very popular place for those that love to picnic. The glass of wine was awesome. We were driving so a glass is enough, there were a few that had a limo driver, but not us.
The Pacific Highway #1 (or #101 in some places) is a fantastic route, it is slower and windy. We had a day we had 22 miles of such windy roads that Paul was nauseous. I cannot read maps, tourist information or anything else or I would be nauseous. It was not the best of days. It was exhausting as it was only 5mph sometimes. It took over 1 hour just to do 20 miles. Slow and steady gets you places but not fast.
These Redwood Trees are in The Avenue of Giants… can I say more! The pictures don’t even show a whole tree!
Yep, standing right in the middle of the road, Ma! There virtually is no traffic in some of these back roads.
As we passed Napa and Sonoma… I envisioned the Annual Fair. We live in a small town outside of Ottawa and the fair there is the biggest around the area. Our Fair has jams, plants, cows, horses, tractors… a real Farm Fair that is talk of the town. While outside of Napa a Fair there would be… olives, wines, grapes, chocolate (goes with wine and many chocolates are featured at wineries)… how interesting to be at a local Fair down here.
Early pioneer and settler George C. Yount is generally credited to have been the first to grow grapes in the Napa Valley. In 1864, on the marriage of one of his granddaughters to Thomas Rutherford, Yount gave the couple around 1,000 acres of land, which Rutherford dedicated to winemaking.
This is what we see in Monterey, California while we do a nice long walk along the Monterery Peninsula Recreational Trail…Paul and I do love to walk and if we find a few miles of trek, we seek and find! This trail is right downtown Monterey! Great for the locals and we did see lots of those. This reminded us of our very own Rideau Canal right downtown Ottawa. Paul and I do walk this once a week or so in the summer. Of course when I say it reminded me… I mean just the people using it.. bikers, rollerbladers, joggers etc. The view is distinctly different… as you see above.
Monterey was a sardine canning “industry”. The Cannery Row is where many canned fish products were put “together” and shipped off to other parts of America. In the 1950’s this canning industry went to the wayside…. today Cannery Row is a major tourist attraction with hotels, restaurants, beautiful waterfront (see above on a sight one can see). We walked right by all this on our walk on the trail.
The Coast Guard has a major station set up here in Monterey and we were able to walk along their pier. Along the pier are major rocks and on these rocks…. 100’s of Harbor Seals!!! This is the closest I’ve ever been. I could have touched one… but not allowed! They are noisy too… think of a hundred barking dogs… that is what we heard… quite loud. Yes, one could pay money to go to the Monterey Aquarium… but why would you … all these creatures are right there in front of you.
These are not zoomed in! I am just leaning over the pier railing and taking a picture! Amazing. I have never been so close. Now, when one of these seals have a nice sunning spot… they do not like to share so when another seal wants to get too close and sun themselves too….. the one on the rock starts barking and communicating basically…”hey this is my rock, go find your own”. We saw this over and over. Quite a comedy show, I could have stayed there a long time and watched the interaction. ” Dogs of the sea” is what our son called them.
We went to this restaurant for lunch… and IT WAS THE BEST LUNCH WE CAN REMEMBER! There is a nice quaint restaurant we go to in Ottawa… Mr. B’s. This is just like it but with seafood… mmmmmmm!!! I usually put this on the wine and dine page but had to share.
We are in Napa Valley (wine country) now and heading to Oregon. Stay tuned!
It was one month ago, we were getting bored in Florida and said… “hey let’s do a road trip” and lo and behold we have see such amazing stuff… man-made and God-made. Paul and I do not have a boat… so why not? We have driven on back roads, dirt roads and even some back-back roads. We have tried to avoid interstates… we have seen local areas.
ps… As a Canadian I found it very hard to spell Harbor this way…. because my whole life Harbor should be Harbour. … and Traveler is really Traveller… I could go on.
William Randolph Hearst built this castle way, way up on a hill to
have a view of the ocean
We left San Diego and stayed in Oxnard, a small city with thousands of acres of agriculture. Hundreds of acres of strawberry plants! We travelled on the Pacific Hwy to Hearst Castle. This is known as one of the top ten castles in America. This castle belongs to the State of California now since William Randolph Hearst died in the 1950s. He built this castle with 165 rooms, 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways. Construction started in 1919. Just beautiful.
How does one capture a huge castle in a picture? You can’t. We took a tour of the grand rooms inside and enjoyed it immensely.
Mr. Hearst entertained many famous people, including Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and even his mistress stayed there with him while his wife had a new mansion in New York to decorate.
There was a great outdoor pool but check out this indoor Roman Pool, beautiful! Mr. Hearst also had many wild animals, polar bears, zebras and other exotic animals. To this day one can see zebras grazing along the cattle.
We travelled along the hwy to eat lunch in our car at the Elephant Seal beach nearby. Hundreds of elephant seals were sunning themselves along the beach. Awesome sight to see.
These are the females, weighing about 1500 lbs…. but the males that we saw in a distance can weigh up to 6000 lbs!! There is a fence around this specific area so people do not go down to the beach. You don’t want to bother these animals! They have teeth… and big ones!
Big Sur is an area in central California along the coast. This area has the Santa Lucia Mountains rising abruptly out of the Pacific Ocean. This area has stunning views! There is a highway built along this coastline….. built by prisoners in the early 1920’s. … cheap labour! We travelled on windy roads, over bridges, through tunnels and watched for falling rocks (or maybe a boulder or two). If we were heading south we would be on the other side of the road and I’m not sure if I would have enjoyed it as much. Some of the edges do not have those reinforced railings, hmmmmm!
Seagulls hang out at the turn offs, hoping for hand outs of food!
As we were travelling north on this highway, I found it amazing in the sense “how was this road built and who and when was it built” …. San Quentin set up 3 temporary prison camps to use unskilled convict labour. These inmates were paid 35 cents a day. There were 33 bridges built, all this over an 18 year period.
We enjoyed our drive from Arizona to California. The terrain changes drastically on route. When we entered California it became a sandy desert… literally with nothing growing in the sand plus as we went uphill to a very high elevation the desert turned into piles of rocks, big and small. This was so different in the sense that nothing grew between these rocks and boulders. Unfortunately no pictures to capture this scenic transition. San Diego is a beautiful city and we were glad to arrive on a Sunday (as opposed to rush hour on a Monday). We visited the USS Midway… a giant Aircraft Carrier (is there any other kind?). This was recommended by a few people.
This ship was crowded with tourists and many students, I reminisced of the old days when I was a chaperone on many field trips.
A little firepower on the side of this helicopter
With my father and our son in the military, this picture was worth taking. I have more from the “mess hall” that I can share later. (Of course you can change the wording to mother, father or whatever you want to fit your circumstances… even “husband” or “wife” hmmmmm).
We went to lunch to Balboa Park, a famous “park” of museums, schools, gardens, restaurants, zoo….. in San Diego. This was recommended too. Great to have advise since we are visiting a short time.
We left San Diego after one night and travelled to Malibu Beach. Most everyone has heard of this place, yes it is expensive, and yes it is indeed beautiful! We had lunch here only on our way to a hotel a couple of hours away. We had a fantastic lunch at The Beach Cafe Restaurant. On the driveway down to this restaurant, you see signs posted on costs to you as you enter. It costs $40 to park a car in their lot (this is high season, but only $6 if eating at the restaurant). If walking to their private beach… $20 to enter per person. Hmmm… so I am thinking stand with your thumb out near top of their driveway…. enter their car give them $5 and voila you saved $15.00? Do others think like this? This is a private beach and pier, a “happening place” so it is worth the money in high season. That is why they can charge that kind of money and have the place hopping all summer long inside and outside on the beach.
Big example on how expensive it is in Malibu….. In Arizona Paul and I paid $3.65 per gallon for premium gas. In Malibu it costs $4.99 per gallon…. BUT if you want someone to come out and serve you at the station it is $5.99 per gallon. People in Malibu drive expensive sports cars and don’t mind having service. Just one hour north in Oxnard…. fuel was $4.30 a gallon for the premium that Paul buys. This is an example of what the market can bear. Just thought you might be all interested ??
We just travelled through Big Sur through the famous Hwy #1 along the Pacific. Stay tuned for our next blog.
According to Wikipedia… Malibu is home to many famous movie stars and people that work in the entertainment industry.
U.S.S. Midway was the largest ship until 1955!