Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June 29,30 July 1st Happy Canada Day -Ottawa

So far we have had seen enjoyed the Parliament Buildings, War Museum, RCMP Musical Ride, 24 Sussex Drive. Governor General Michel Jean, was also there. Great to be in the Capital for Canada's 142nd Birthday Party tomorrow. Happy Canada Day Everyone.

At The Canadian War Museum today saw Hitler's car amongst many interesting artifacts. Also realised that Newfoundland was not yet part of Canada when they sent troops to fight in Europe.
Newfoundland joined Confederation in 1950, very recent history.

June 30 Ottawa - Canadian War Museum

Hitler's car, Sherman, Chieftan, Leopard and Tiger Tanks, so much to keep James enthralled. Rhianna less so!! James happy to spend more than 3 hours there. Great cycling in Ottawa, lot's of paths along the river.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

June 28 Smith Falls ON

The Hershey Factory has closed down!! Too bad, we were all looking forward to a tour of a chocolate factory! Fishing, Canal Tour, Sleeping and reading instead!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

June 26,27 Fort Henry Photos - Kingston

June 26 Kingston - Prison Capital of Canada & Fort Henry

Interesting visit to the Penitentiary Museum. Kingston, Canada's former capital city is now our prison capital with 8 prisons in the city. Shawn, Rhianna and James visited Fort Henry.

June 24-25 Photo's Carrying Place - Oldest Road in Ontario Prince Edward County

Thursday, June 25, 2009

24/25 Port Hope, Cobourg & Prince Edward County ON

Came off the 401 and dropped in to see the very pretty villages along the lake as you approach Prince Edward County. Port Hope is a gorgeous, brick village of Georgian architechture lined with flower baskets. Only a couple of hours out of Toronto and still along the shores of Lake Ontario, we are back in farmland, strawberry fields and canola crops. Cobourg has beautiful beaches and is another pretty village. We kept driving to historic Carrying Place and camped in Welland Bay. Aside from the largest mosquitos I have ever seen, they spray blood up to 3" wide when you kill them, Prince Edward County is very pretty and full of loyalist history. Discovered the Trent, Severn Waterway, a huge hand dug canal joining Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay on Lake Huron, a huge feat and now a great pleasure boat vacation route.

We loved meeting Quebecors Rael, Diane and Amelie and they have helped us all brush up on our french. Unfortunately their invitation to join them for a boat ride to the huge Sand Dunes Park had to be cancelled when the weather turned too windy. Instead we explored Picton and Wellington, both pretty villages and lovely Georgian architure, with many homes proudly displaying the Union Flag (no red diagonal cross) and the Canadian Maple Leaf. All very patriotic. Even the Highway is called the Loyalist Highway.

Quick history lesson. Things I learned in Prince Edward County.
In 1600 the Union Flag only represented England and Scotland and the red diagonal cross was not added until 1800 when the Irish component was added. Of course Wales was not and is still not represented on the Union Jack. Strictly speaking the Union Jack can only be called "Jack" when it is flying from the bow of a ship! And not when flying from a land based flag pole.
This is loyalist country. British North American's wishing to remain loyal to England and the King fled here in the 1770's around the time of the 7 year war, the Boston Tea Party to seek the protection of the British here. Originally, they were hopeful of returning to their original homes, but as it became apparent that after the formation of the United States of America in 1776, that would not happen. Honored with the UE initials displayed after their names, the United Empire Loyalists were each given 200 to 400 acress of land along the lake here to aid their re-settlement and to fortify the lakefront against a possible American attack. This proved to be a good strategy which had a strong impact on the outcome of the war in 1812. In the many battled that were fought during this time, apparently the British advanced as far south as Washington DC. Each child of a UE was also awarded 200 acres upon turning 21. Descendants of UE are still permitted to use the UE title, but it no longer comes with 200 acres of land.

Monday, June 22, 2009

June 22/23 Toronto - Blue Jays at Sky Dome & CN Tower

Of course we were the only RV driving right through downtown Toronto on the Gardiner Express Way!! Found a beautiful campground, Gorge Park right on the border of Toronto and Pickering and only half an hour by double decker Go Train into downtown Toronto from Rouge Hill Station. Although it was hot & humid, we had a great day walking around Kensington Market, exploring pigs heads and chicken feet in China town and loving to see the kids wide eyed expressions as they took in the sights. We hopped on and off street cars and subway trains and James marvelled "Just look at the width of this sidewalk, it's huge!!"

Of course we had to go up the CN Tower, complete with the glass windows in the floor of the glass elevator and the even more freaky, glass floor in parts of the tower. Looking out from the top, I was surprised at just how many trees and parks Toronto has. As Canada's largest city, 5th largest city in North America, it certainly has done well retaining green spaces and of course a nice lake front beach area on Lake Ontario. We looked down on the open topped Sky Dome sports stadium where we later went and sat in the nose bleeds section to watch the Blue Jays beat Cincinnati. Not having a clue about baseball, I was delighted to spend my time re-connecting with Paul and Nancy. Paul and I had worked together at Vancouver Magazine almost 20 years ago. Great to see you both again, thanks for coming in and for the great company during the baseball game. It was very exciting for us all to be in Sky Dome with the CN Tower literally towering over us during the game. Home on the train at 11.30pm! Late night for the kids but worth every minute.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Fathers Day to Grandad & Shawn

Thinking of you and wishing you a very happy day. Thank you both for being such great Dad's and to dad for being such an involved Grandad. Here is your first Fathers Day Blog greeting!! How technologically savvy is that. Have a great day, Lots of Love Sandra, Rhianna & James. xxxx

June 20 Walking behind Niagara Falls

Wet and rainy day, good day to walk behind the falls. The water moves at 40MPH, is loud and has enough volume per minute to fill one million bath tubs. It would be receding at 1 metre per year had governments not intervened and diverted the water into the Welland canal and through a hydro electricity dam. Now the erosion is down to 1 foot per year. Thousands, 12,500 ish years ago the falls were 11km further down river.

Friday, June 19, 2009

June 19 Happy 10th Birthday to Rhianna

Rhianna is 10 today and we are at Niagara Falls, fireworks at 10pm tonight just for her, of course!! Spending the day at North America's biggest waterslides. Great place to turn 10, totally tacky and kid heaven.Thank you for the happy birthday emails and to Grandma and Grandad for being organised enough to send birthday card and present to us before we left. Nice for her to have a card and present to open, she is happy to have some of her own cash to dash out and spend. She is loving checking her email today.