August 25th. Christmas in Yellowstone. That's what someone in the National Parks Service in the USA told me years ago. Most of the people who work in Yellowstone National Park are not there for the festive season so they apparently share gifts and holiday spirit on the 25th of August. It's scary to think that it is only four months until the REAL Christmas is upon us, complete with snow, cold and everything else that accompanies winter.
Since Heather and Tom were not going to be able to come up to Sudbury this weekend, we decided we would travel to Woodstock to see them and then come back to Sudbury with Kim and Mike on Sunday. The latter have rented a house on the shores of Long Lake for a week, the same as they did a couple of years ago.
The 45F temperature as we headed out at 8:00 AM was a harbinger of things to come. As we headed out of town, old friend Trevor called to say he was visiting from southern Ontario and wondering if we were around to do breakfast. Next time. We did talk for quite a while (Bluetooth), catching up as Sandy and I rolled south.
Vintage Ford Mustang leaving town
For a change of pace, we stopped at the French River Inn for breakfast. This was right next door to the more famous French River Trading Post. We had never stopped here before but the local snowmobile club trail groomer is kept here and they get a lot of business these days from the construction workers who are labouring to four lane Highway 69. This should keep up for a while since the Ontario government just announced that the four laning project, started about 2004 and promised for 2017, would not be completed until 2021 or beyond. The say they need to do due diligence and come to an agreement with the First Nations between the French River and Nobel. I wonder how they have been occupying themselves for the last fourteen years? This once again illustrates that if you want something really screwed up, let the government look after it. Especially THIS government.
I decided that, with my blood sugar becoming seriously elevated again, I needed to get back to my
rigorous avoidance of most carbs. Last year, I reduced my A1C from 10.0 to 7.6 by sticking to meat, green vegetables, some cheeses and nuts. Even whole grain breads that I have enjoyed for years were no longer my friend. With the travel earlier this summer, it was hard to maintain this regimen so my summer A1C was back up to 8.6. Since I really don't want to go blind or start losing limbs, it was important that I go back to my restricted intake.
The French River Inn, which was apparently for sale, had a menu where I could choose the things I needed. I ordered a Trucker's Special, which came with three eggs, ham, bacon and a large serving of baked beans. It also came with three slices of brown toast, but I exercised my rarely used willpower and left them alone. I should have asked for a substitution like sliced tomatoes. Next time. The service was friendly and the food was much better than the fast variety we usually eat on trips.
Trucker's Special at the French River Inn
I do have willpower
We continued south. I noticed right away that the climate control information was not showing on my screen when I made changes. After trying everything else, I pulled over and shut the car off. After restarting, all was normal. Just like a router, modem, computer or phone, if it doesn't do what it should, reboot!
Still River Bridge is one lane
Taxicab with Nova Scotia plates south of Parry Sound
The spot where I wrecked Labour Day 1997 (hard to believe it has been 20 years)
Old man driving
Highway 400 traffic is steady
"Dirty Girl" - a rat car?
On Route service centre at Innisfil
Rather than tangle with Toronto or pay large tolls to the ETR407, we took Highway 9 to Mono Mills, Airport Road to 24 and then the 401 from Cambridge to Woodstock.
Gas was $1.18 in Sudbury but this is Mono Mills
A rare Country Style donut shop
We arrived in Woodstock before anyone was home so we stopped at Tim Horton's for lunch. I had naked chili (no bun) while Sandy discovered Tim's chicken Caesar salad for the first time. Then we checked into the Best Western and arrived at the house at about 3:30.
Fiona has grown since we last saw her. She was walking, although she was a little shaky, and she seemed to be smiling all the time. Shy with is, the smile was always there and she showed a lot of interest and dexterity playing with the toys. Still tiny, but tenacious.
Jasper has grown as well. He is full of energy and more than a little mischief.
Who are you?
I'm a big girl now
After Heather got home, we decided to head out for supper. The Charles Dickens Pub and Eatery is in downtown Woodstock. I wish I could report on the fare but the wait was going to be too long for two young children, so we walked down the street to Crabby Joe's. The food there was predictable. I had a house salad and a hamburger sans bun, sticking to my guns. We will have to try Dickens later because Heather says their breakfasts are phenomenal.
Maybe next time
Downtown Woodstock has huge parking spaces. My mind turned to Biker when
I saw that more than one person didn't seem to understand where the
ends of their vehicle were. Gary is always photographing the misaligned
widgets in downtown Sudbury who didn't have nearly as much space as
this twit had.
Canada's Worst Driver wannabee
On the way back, we stopped at a place called Time To Chill
. The place, lined with Portuguese flags, is owned by Sandra and features all manner of ice cream and pastries. I had to avert my eyes as the others tucked in.
After the Chilling, Sandy and I stopped at Zehr's looking for some Cadbury Dark Chocolate Fruit and Nut bars. For some reason, they seem to have gone the way of Mug Diet Root Beer. And, like the Mug, no one seems to even mention that they existed. We will keep looking but I am afraid that Sandy may have to find a new confection of choice.
Back at the hotel, we turned in early. The plan was to go to the African Lion Safari
in Rockton tomorrow and we figured we would need to be well rested for the experience.
Today's Route (314 Equinox miles):