Sunday, August 27, 2017

Woodstock Ontario to Sudbury Ontario

We were up at the correct time this morning thanks to the adjusted clock. Clocks are like people and can only do their jobs correctly if they are instructed properly.

It was only 55F this morning. I had more sausages and scrambled eggs in the hotel breakfast room while I watched Sandy eat more Raisin Bran. I normally would not have chosen the cereal, but it's amazing how good something starts to look when you aren't allowed to have it. Oddly, I feel the same way about Emilia Clarke:-))

We stopped by to see Heather, Tom and the munchkins before leaving town. Then, it was a short drive to Cambridge where we arrived just after 9:00 AM.

Other than incidentally sitting through the CMA Sunday gathering at the Freedom Rally, I can't remember the last time I attended a worship service. I didn't mention this to any of the fine members of the Cambridge Community Church that I met this morning. They seemed to be good folks with a strong sense of fellowship and the facilities to encourage children to attend. Kim, Mike, Jolene and Robyn have been going there for a while.

We were back at the house about 12:30 and packed to go just after 1:00. For the next week, Mike and Kim have rented the same house on Long Lake that they had a couple of years ago. Before leaving town, Sandy and I stopped at Tim's where I got a Chicken Bacon Ranch Wrap to go because eating chili while driving didn't seem like a good idea. Mike stopped at the LCBO and then they went through the slowest line imaginable at the A&W. Before we hit the road, Kim climbed in with us and we were finally rolling by 1:45.

Traffic was better than I thought. We followed Mike in on the 401 and splurged to avoid the worst traffic by taking the ETR407 Toll Road around the north of The Big Smoke. Then it was north on Highway 400. Kim and I talked about everything  under the sun, but politics and religion seemed to be the dominant themes. The trip flew by and I didn't feel drowsy for a moment, exactly the same way that doesn't happen when Sandy is asleep in the right seat.

Southbound traffic is starting to build on Highway 400

Near Barrie, it stopped in some places

The ramp at the 400/11 split

Looking south, a good place for a construction zone

We took one bathroom break at the Tim's at Horseshoe Lake Road and then, before we knew it, we were in Sudbury. Kim switched back to the Caravan and we waved goodbye for the moment. Sandy and I pulled into our driveway before 6:30 PM.

Today's Route (317 Equinox miles):

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Woodstock Ontario - Clovermead and the Pool

We were supposed to be at Heather and Tom's for 8:00 AM. We were running right on schedule until I realized that the bedside clock was set on Central Time and it was actually already 8:20. The strange clock had a slide switch on the bottom with the North American time zones listed, as well as a button for turning the Daylight Savings Time feature on and off. So simple a grandfather could correct it.

We still had breakfast before leaving the hotel. I had sausages and scrambled eggs in keeping with my carb-lite diet. Sandy had her usual raisin bran.

Seen from our hotel parking lot

The plan had been to attend the African Lion Safari in Rockton but Heather thought the kids might have more fun at Clovermead Adventure Farm in Aylmer. It wasn't very far and had a lot of things Jasper could get hands on with. It must have been a popular place this day because we had to park in the overflow area.

Jasper strapped in for the journey

Fiona was happy wherever she was

We have arrived

Approaching the front gate

Main Street

They say this like it's a bad thing......

Goats looking for a handout

This guy must have gotten a hand up

The water warning gives guests a choice

There were little chickens...

...and big chickens

Old trucks...

...climbing goats...

...and more climbing goats

Heather and Jasper having fun

Tom, Sandy and Fiona watching

Jasper wasn't sure if he liked the kid-sized zip line...

...and then he went again

Dusty old farmer out working your fields
Hanging down over your tractor wheels....

Flower bed or truck bed?

Too many play areas to enjoy in just one visit

Children of the Corn

That's a lot of rules just to get lost

Here goes nothing...

Are we lost yet?

A view of the adventure farm

And Jasper rings a bell

Some of the buildings add to the ambiance

These "old" trees are younger than our kids....

Clovermead is a honey farm

The beekeeper can open the hives without getting stung

Showing a honeycomb with a queen bee

Making our way back to the parking lot

I would say that Clovermead was a good choice for the day. The weather was perfect and, despite the fact that cars were now parking in a second overflow area, it didn't seem too crowded. The reasonable annual fee would make this a good place to visit regularly.

The gang was hungry so we went down the road a short way to Ruby's Cookhouse. It was after the usual lunch hour so there was a lot of room. I enjoyed their Cobb salad while Jasper had a grilled cheese sandwich with fries and Fiona settled for a cut up hot dog and more fries.

Thumbs up for Ruby's Cookhouse in Aylmer

No, you are going to have to settle for milk

We returned to Woodstock where Sandy and I went back to the hotel room for a short nap. Then the family came over and we all enjoyed the hotel pool, ignoring the sign that said the pool was for registered guests only. Jasper liked the water as long as he was wearing his life jacket. Fiona liked it as well as long as one of us was holding her. Sandy just watched and none of us took pictures.

After the swim, we all went to Tim's for supper and then went back to the house for a while. I checked with Kim to see if we would travel together tomorrow and she invited Sandy and I to their morning church service. Why not?

Seen outside Tim Horton's in Woodstock

We didn't stay late at the house and were back at the hotel at a reasonable hour. Again, like the old fogies we are, we turned in early.

Today's Route (61 Caravan miles):

Friday, August 25, 2017

Sudbury Ontario to Woodstock Ontario

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

Jasper James

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):