Monday, March 04, 2019

Woodstock Ontario to Sudbury Ontario

We were up at 7:00 AM. Good thing we had our boots with us, because a look out the window showed white stuff all over the ground. It was -12 C here but -24 C (10 below F) back home in Sudbury. Oh well, the early spring weather here was nice while it lasted.

The Best Western had a hot breakfast the included eggs, sausages and potatoes along with the usual continental fare so we ate in the lobby before leaving.

Snow is back in Woodstock

We were on the road by 8:10, opting for Highway 24/Highway 9 to Highway 400 North. This bypassed Monday morning crazy times rush hour heading around Toronto. Roads were good and traffic was OK. After stops in Erin to use the bathroom and refill the coffee cup, and at Roberts in Waubaushene for a Subway ham and Swiss to split for lunch, we rolled into Sudbury about 2:00 PM. It was up to 10 F under partly cloudy skies and there was a large amount of salt on the roads.

Snow Near Sudbury 

After a stop at Extendicare York to see Sandy's mother Jan and pick up her watch to get the band fixed, a stop at the watch repair kiosk in the New Sudbury Centre and another at the Real Canadian Superstore to get some groceries, we pulled into our driveway non the worse for wear.

Today's Route (315 Equinox miles):

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Woodstock/Kitchener Ontario - Waterloo Region Museum

We didn't wake until after 8:00 AM, when we got a call from Robyn saying that they had our activity planned for the day. It seems there was a Waterloo Region Museum (news to us) and it was hosting a space exhibit. We agreed to meet about there about 1:00 PM.

Heather called to say they would be out of church about 10:00 AM and, since we enjoyed it last weekend, we agreed to meet them at Dean Michael's Griddlehouse for breakfast. Tom was still busy volunteering at the church, so it was just the five of us.

 Well worth a visit if you are in Woodstock for breakfast or lunch

 This weekend, we had a booth

 Jasper's opinion of my skill at taking selfies

Yes, we are amused

As usual, the breakfast was very good. It was nice spending two consecutive weekends visiting all the grandchildren after a winter apart. We need to make an effort to visit more often.

About 11:30, we wrapped up breakfast and headed for Kitchener. It was still early, so I took advantage of the time and headed for the nearby Golf Town store. There used to be one in Sudbury, but our population and season length were not enough to sustain it. The reason for my visit today was to look for Skecher's golf shoes, which Golf Town's website said they carried. These shoes have a reputation for comfort. You may recall I spent last year visiting several Skechers outlet stores across the US, only to find that  none of them carried golf shoes. I also visited some Dick's Sporting Goods stores, another authorized outlet, only to find that they had just a few pair of off size Skechers.

As we approached Golf Town, we saw a modern looking light rail vehicle with "Testing" written on the side. It turned out this was a test vehicle for the ION light rail, part of Waterloo Region's rapid transit system, that was supposed to commence operation between Waterloo and Kitchener later this year. Eventually, it should connect all the way to downtown Galt in Cambridge.

Golf Town had hundreds of pairs of Adidas, Foot Joy and other brands of shoes, but only four pairs of men's Skechers. Of course none of them were in my size. The young lady said they were expecting a new shipment but did not know when they would arrive. I explained the geographical problem and she said that if I sized Skecher running shoes, the size would be the same and I could order on line.That I could do. (UPDATE - She must have been wrong about the shipment because, by the end of April, Skechers had disappeared off the Golf Town website.)

It was eight minutes from Golf Town to the Waterloo Region Museum. Mike, Jolene and Robyn arrived shortly after we did, while Kim had stayed home because she wasn't feeling well.

Waterloo Region Museum

 The museum did, indeed, have a Journey To Space exhibit on display. It featured hands on and other examples of what it would be like to live and work on outer space.

Mars explorers

There were also many permanent exhibits of local history, science, technology and commerce.

Hazel the steam engine operated at Kaufman Footwear 1908 to 1990

An original Conestoga wagon

Threshing machine manufactured locally between 1890 and 1900

Coming of Age traces teenagers from the 1920's to today

My favourite vector graphics video game

The Mezzanine provided an overview of the main floor as well as a Hall of Fame for notable local people and a memorial to those folks who gave their lives in defense of our nation.

The museum is the entrance to the Doon Heritage Village, which includes examples of historical buildings and lifestyles in the area. Although the village wasn't open at this time of year, there was a good view of the St. Petersburg (Waterloo County) train station and CPR steam engine 894.

Our final stop was at Hazel's Snack Bar for a quick bite to eat.

Behind the scene

What Mike saw

My overall impression was that the Waterloo Region Museum was pleasant, informative and well worth the afternoon visit. It called for another visit when Doon Village was open.

We headed back to Woodstock about 3:45, stopping at McDonald's to get some food to take to our room. Then we went over to Heather and Tom's at 6:00 PM to visit with the kids for a while  We had been wearing shoes all weekend, but had to put boots on when it was time to return to the hotel due to fresh snow on the ground.

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Woodstock Ontario - Jasper's Birthday Party

We were up at 7:00 AM but did not get up until 8:00. Heather and Jasper picked us up to go shopping at WalMart, where Heather picked up some party favours for the afternoon and we got Jasper booster seats to replace the little person car seats he had outgrown. Then we stopped by McDonald's for breakfast before going back to the house.

Heather and Sandy went to pick up the birthday cake and, after they returned, Tom took Jasper to a friend's 1:00 PM birthday party. Lucky kid, two parties in one day. Heather and Fiona came over to our hotel room for a while before we headed to Jasper's party.

Hanging out at the hotel

Fiona looking especially cute

The birthday cake

We headed over to C&D Lanes for 2:30. Ostensibly a bowling alley, they seem to cater to a lot of kids birthday parties. There was another one just wrapping up as we got there, but our table was already all set. Family and friends gathered, and some adults and kids actually bowled. Then the staff served a lunch of burgers and hot dogs followed by a very nice cake and the gifts. I avoided the lanes because every time I play, I screw up my knee. Sandy just doesn't like bowling.

Trying to keep shoes from wandering away?

Heather and the sons-in-law (Tom's father Stan on the right)

All four of our grandchildren in one place

Tom's brothers

What's a party without balloons

Kim with Fiona (looking unsure) and Robyn watching bowling

Tom and Jasper with a kid's ball launcher

Fiona and Dad

They don'y need a launcher

The lanes were busy for a while

Heather is very good at party organizing

The colour of the day is purple

Of course, some people lost interest in bowling

Time for food

Birthday boy

Robyn and Jolene

Fiona and her other grandma, Zofia

What is this?????

No room at the table for the adults

It was an awesome cake, and not too sweet

It was almost a shame to cut it

And then there was not much left

Lots of presents

And cards, and money too

The party started to break up about 5:00 PM. We left at 5:30 and headed back to the hotel, stopping to get fuel at an Esso (we get Optimum points there that we use for groceries) first. The gas price was $0.959, 15 cents lower than at home. I have no idea what causes a disparity this great, but the government assures us time and again that the process for setting prices is legitimate. I have my doubts.

If I lived here, I would probably stop by regularly

Can't beat the price

We had planned to head back to Sudbury in the morning, but Jolene and Robyn wanted us to stay another day. Jolene was going to find something interesting for all of us to do, so were going to be here another night.

I would have gone down to the exercise room in the hotel this evening but I forgot my gym bag at home. Not unusual because I actually have not hit the YMCA since last fall. I need to get that fixed soon. Instead, we went to bed early.