Halifax, at Last!


June 28, 2022

Once we left Moncton, we stopped only for gas and refreshments, being now anxious to settle into Halifax for a few days. We’d traveled for a few hours when Jim thought about me almost leaving my pillow behind our last night.

“Did you remember your pillow this time?”

“Umm.” I looked into the back seat. “I guess not. Did you see it when you checked the room?”

“No. But I didn’t look on the bed.”

“Well I guess it’s still there. I just have to hope the pillows are good at the next place.” I smiled. I have some trouble with my neck and shoulders and need proper support when sleeping.

The day had started out rainy, but the sun was out by then. “I can’t find my sunglasses either! We’ll have to stop somewhere so I can get another pair.”

The sun hid behind the clouds shortly and didn’t reappear until we were entering Halifax. We stopped at a Super Store to find a washroom, and some sunglasses, A couple of days later I found my original sun glasses under my seat in the car, while looking for something Jim had misplaced! Lol That was $25 I didn’t need to spend. Sigh. Oh well.

Once again we arrived at our accommodations a couple of hours early and were unable to check in. That Air B&B had an automated check-in system we’d never seen before. Jim was texted a code that unlocked the appropriate lock-box for our particular room, wherein the key was hiding. Once it was opened, our check-in was complete. But it couldn’t happen before three o’clock. I was looking forward to finally relaxing, but instead we had to find someplace to eat, so we parked the car in the parking lot and walked a few blocks until we found a little Ramen Café. We didn’t want much. We each ordered a dish of breaded jumbo shrimp, that were very good.

When we were seated at a long natural wood-slab table, with a few other people, only four empty stools remained available for anyone new who arrived.

I soon noticed four young women standing at the entrance and asked them to join us. It was a lovely surprise to discover they were part of the Nova Scotia Military Tattoo we were planning to attend. They had been in the city for a week, putting fourteen hour days, practicing and performing. They were highland dancers representing three different countries – one from Edinburgh, Scotland, two from Canada (Toronto and Vancouver) and one from Los Angeles. They gave us an interesting insight into what goes into these major Tattoos, and the expenses the performers have to bare. Their only “pay” was room and board. They were responsible for their flights and other transportation to get themselves there.

We made our way back to the suites at precisely three o’clock.

The suite was in an historical three story home, that had been restored on the outside, but the suites had the convenience of an updated bathroom and shower, and a modern kitchen, open to the roomy sitting/dining area. The bedroom was large and brightly lit by tall windows. The original doors, windows and intricate moldings were retained. There was cable TV and excellent WiFi.

The downside was the twenty-eight steps up a winding stair-case to our suite.

Thank goodness we were only on the second floor!

A hot shower and a change of clothes was the first thing on our agenda, followed by a trip to the laundry, a few blocks away, and another to the grocery story, within walking distance. I put together some dinner and then started writing and reviewing until my tired eyes could no longer see the screen of my iPad. The bed was comfortable; the pillows were perfect, and we discovered we were only a few blocks from the waterfront entertainment.

Moncton New Brunswick


We arrived at the Glory Guest Suites in Moncton, New Brunswick where Jim had made a reservation. We were a little early, again, but the sweet Chinese man who showed us where to park was unconcerned. He was, however, concerned about our e-bikes we had on the back of our car. Jim understood him to say something about putting them into the garage, but he couldn’t see any garage, so he assured the man they would be alright.

Once we settled into our rooms and rested for a bit, we went out in search of dinner. We found a lovely pub called the Tide and Boar where we enjoyed an delicious meal of baked, breaded fish, salad and interesting fries made from cornmeal polenta.

I wondered what kind of paint was used for these rainbow cross-walks that keeps them so vibrant.

Jim thought the tidal bore* was to happen that evening, so after dinner, we walked to the waterfront park. It was an interesting spot, but we’d missed the tidal bore.

We were both tired and ready for bed by 9:00 that night. As I was waiting for my turn in the bathroom, a knock came to our door. It was the smiling wife of our host. She explained that they were worried about our bicycles being stolen and they would really like us to put them into their garage. She said they would not sleep at night if we didn’t. We both tried to convince her they would be alright. Many necessary parts were in the trunk and there were three lock on them and the hitch. But they wouldn’t be deterred so we gave in. We both went downstairs with her and she called her husband to come help. It turned out they owned another rental house next door, where the garage was. They both beamed with joy when we had the bikes safely stored in the locked garage.

“You call me in the morning when you want to leave. My husband will help you. You are family!”  That made us smile.

True to their word, her husband was out as soon as Jim called and got the bikes out and to our car for us. We managed the rest, having loaded them many times.

Jim drove back downtown to Cora’s for a delicious breakfast of waffles with cottage cheese and an abundance of fresh fruit. There was even real maple syrup, something that’s hard to find in restaurants because of the cost of it these days.

It was there I had my second nosebleed. I was thankful it wasn’t bad compared to the first, and there were no patrons sitting anywhere near us. Being unable to eat while I tended to my problem, I asked for a take-out box for the breakfast I’d just started eating.  I got it under control quickly, but it left me feeling a little weary.

Before leaving Moncton,  Jim wanted to try again to catch the tidal bore. He parked the car within a short walk to the park we’d been in the evening before, but I just didn’t have the energy. We had seen one on our previous trip to our East Coast, so I chose to remain in the car while he walked to the river and captured  this great video.

Tidal Bore on Bay of Fundy,

When we left Moncton I slept for many miles, then enjoyed my breakfast. Our next stop was our main destination: Halifax.

*A tidal bore occurs along a coast where a river empties into an ocean or sea and the strong, twice daily ocean tide  pushes up the river, against the current creating a high wave of water.  If you ever have the chance to see one, it’s well worth seeking it out. The largest ones occur on Canada’s Bay of Fundy.

On Our Way in Earnest


After two days in Kingston, Ontario with friends, watching some of the Canadian National Pickleball Tournament, we got on our way to Halifax in earnest. First we had to pick up an extra car battery to boost the almost new one we have.

We made it through Montreal during a provincial holiday – Saint-Jean Baptiste Day, and arrived at our first planned overnight stop in Drummondville, Quebec. We stayed at Hotel Alouette on Mercury Boulevard, which we highly recommend if you’re passing through. It is well maintained, very clean and has good high-speed internet. Because the rooms are very compact, you might not want to spend more than a night at a time, but the owner is very friendly and accommodating. 

We didn’t have time for much exploring in Drummondville, but we did take time to look for the Hemmings Generating Station before we left the following morning. We had to take a bit of a morning hike to get close enough to take pictures, and we got scolded for leaving the trail to do so, by the security guard. Actually, he was very kind about it, taking pity on us because all signage in Quebec is now in French only.  

This generating station is just one of many that are part of the James Bay Project, the construction of a series of hydroelectric power stations on the La Grande River in northwestern Quebec, Canada, by the province owned Hydro Quebec company.

We were in Levis, Quebec by noon that day.

Changing Times


It’s been too long since I’ve posted on this site. During COVID shutdowns, because we could do no long-distance travel, I immersed myself in other types of writing. But you might recall that we did do some local travel on our e-bikes.

This past week, we sold our motor home, so our journeys to Arizona are done. We have no plans for escaping the cold of  winter, yet, but we did embark on a new biking journey this week. We took our bikes to Long Sault, Ontario on Thursday evening, after a stop in Prescott to take my brother out for a drive and dinner. We spent the night at the Lion Inn so we could ride the Long Sault Parkway Trail on Friday morning.

The air was cold when we started out, shortly after 9:00 am, but the sun was bright. I took enough pictures to give you an idea of the beauty of the area.

Directly across from our hotel was a round-about intersection with a pedestrian/bicycle crossing that took us to the River Trail, which led us to the Parkway Trail.

The Beginning of the Long Sault Parkway Trail and a bit about it.

The Islands. The eleventh island isn’t named on the map, but there was a road to the right named Moulinette Island Road, which seemed to lead to a private community.

Most of the islands have campgrounds and beaches, that have restroom/store buildings, but there are no houses or businesses. We could hear birds in the trees and see some on the water. It truly is a peaceful green space.

When we reached the end of the trail at Ingleside, we found a great little place in a plaza to eat lunch, before the return ride.

There is a story behind these islands. They were once a part of these two cities, until the 1950s when an agreement was made between Canada and the US to flood the St. Lawrence River that ran beside the towns and between the two countries, in order to expand the shipping lanes. On MacDonnell Island there is an information area with posters that tell the incredible story of houses and other buildings being moved, and the Highway #2 being flooded. We found the small portion of the highway that remained above water.

The road that goes nowhere

Most of the pictures on the boards are now faded beyond recognition, but I did capture the written story in pictures. If you take time to read it, you will be amazed.

The information is posted in both English and French. I cropped out the French only to adjust the pictures to a smaller size and square them up. You can find more detailed information on the Wikipedia website.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey. I can’t say when the next one will be but I hope you’ll join me when it does. Happy Travels!

Signs of Spring Renewal


I’ve really let my blogging slip by the wayside and I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t get into the re-blogging thing. Now that spring has begun to show her face, we’ve managed a couple of interesting local excursions. 

One day we took at drive to Healy Falls, where the water is running rapidly once again.

We got our e-bikes out and did a couple of tours around our neighbourhood to get back into the groove of riding. Then one day we did a 28 km trip to a neighbouring town, with two of our biking friends. It was a warm, almost-like-summer day. It was the last day before Ontario was going into another lock-down, when we’re told to stay home except for essentials, which includes getting fresh air and exercise.

Taking back country roads, with many steep hills, we arrived in Norwood in time for a take-out lunch, which we ate while sitting on the curb of the parking lot. The ride home seemed easier.

A few days ago we discovered, after Jim’s daughter told us about it, the lovely Nawautin Nature Sanctuary in a nearby Township. After an unpleasant start to the day, it was just what I needed to calm my soul. The pictures say it all.

Since then we’ve had rain and cooler weather again, but hope for more excursions soon prevails.

A Ride through Presqu’ile Provincial Park in Brighton, Ontario


Because our riding friends had visited family who work in the medical field, it was agreed that we shouldn’t risk exposure until they’d done a quarantine period, so we did a few short rides around our community on our own during the warm days. By the time their quarantine period was done, the weather had turned quite nasty – rainy and cold most days.

This week we were suffering from Cabin Fever! When we heard the weather forecast for Friday – sunny and hot! – we made plans to take our bikes to Brighton and tour Presqu’ile Provincial Park. Unfortunately our friends had already made other plans for the day, so we struck out on our own after an early lunch. It turned out to be a beautiful day!

By 1:00 pm we had our bikes unloaded at a little parking lot and were ready to ride. As often happens, we were questioned about our bikes by a man sitting in his car and he gave us some tips about what we should look for in the park.

As close as we have lived to Presqu’ile Park, the only time we’d ever been there was for a retirement party for a friend who had worked for the Ministry of Natural Resources, several years ago, so it was an entirely new adventure.

Presqu’ile Park is located at the southern side of Brighton, Ontario, along the shores of Lake Ontario. It is a popular place to camp, whether in an RV or a tent. Paved roads wind through it, connecting the many camping areas. We explored all of them and a few unpaved trails as well.

This rocky beach is a place where many people have built some amazing rock sculptures.

Many leaves now lay on the ground, but the colours were still brilliant with the sun reflecting off them.

We discovered a history we had no idea about before this tour.

There is a story posted near the lighthouse about the dangers of the lake in the fall and the number of ships that ended up wrecked near the shores.

The shipwrecks

The long-gone  dance pavilion and hotel: At the end of a side road leading to a spot called “Day Use Area” there is an inlet and a marshy area.

It’s a pretty spot looking over the lake, but we were surprised to find a billboard that described a hotel and dance pavilion once being in the area.

I wasn’t able to get a picture that could be seen close enough to read clearly here, so I’ve transcribed it:

“In the end of the 1800s pioneer society was changing. Increased  prosperity let to a growing interest in summer resorts and leisure activities and Presqu’ile was seen as an ideal location to pursue these activities. During the summer, tents started springing up on small lots along the bay shore between Salt Point and the lighthouse. As families returned year after year the tents were replaced by small wooden cabins.

In 1891, ferries and other boats began bringing vacationer to the point from Rochester and other cities along Lake Ontario.  In 1905 ,Peter Covell of Brighton opened a summer hotel and dance pavilion that was located at the base of the large dock you can see down the shoreline I front of you.  In 1913, Grant Quick opened a larger dance pavilion, the Presqu’le Pleasure Palace, across the road from the hotel.  This dance hall proved very popular and a year later Covell sold the hotel to Quick.

Over the years additions and upgrades were added to the hotel, with electricity reaching the peninsula in 1923. In 1937, a landing strip for small aircraft was opened on the field close to here to ferry paying guests to the  hotel. In 1939, the old wooden dock in front of the hotel was replaced by the current concrete dock.

Dances were held at the pavilion six nights a week from mid-June to mid-September. Men paid $1.00 per evening or $10 for an annual pass. Music was supplied by a six to eight member live-in band, many of them well-known in the era. In addition, annual regattas with swimming and boat races were highly anticipated by the cottagers.  On Sunday nights, large crowds gathered at the pavilion for a singsong.  At the last singsong of the year, Grant Quick had the audience stand, join hands and sing “Auld Lang Syne”.

After much research we determined that the location would have been behind the brush seen on the right had side of this picture.

It was nearly four o’clock when we had our bikes back on the carrier and ready to head home, feeling invigorated, and carrying a bit of new knowledge.

For more information about camping, walking or biking in the park visit the website.

Sadly, it looks like our biking season is coming to an end, but the purchase of these iGo e-bikes from Green Street Bike Shop in Peterborough was the best decision we’ve made in a long time. We read that the City of Peterborough has offered to pay for snow tires for a number of bikers who want to try riding the trails in the winter, but having spent the last seven winters in Arizona, we just can’t see ourselves adjusting that well to the cold weather!

 I fear we will become arm chair travelers this winter. Future blog posts will be re-runs, or Memoirs, until better ways of dealing with COVID are found and we are free to travel once more.

Hope you will come along for the ride.

Riding West Along the Trans Canada Trail out of Hastings


We got in another, shorter, ride on Wednesday, before the wind, rain and colder weather blew in. Our plan had been to drive to Omemee to unload the bikes and then ride to Lindsay for lunch, and back, but the forecast wasn’t looking good for later on in the day. The morning, however, was sunny and warming up nicely by the time we met with two of our riders in Hastings, to take the Trans Canada Trail west out of Hastings for an hour then return to Hastings where we’d meet the other couple for lunch.

There isn’t much to say, other than it’s a beautiful section of the trail. The many pictures that we took tell the story of the vibrant autumn colours we passed through. Enjoy!

The Trail took us mostly alongside Trent River/Trent Severn Waterway, then we veered off to the north to take this tunnel under County Road 2 and went a little further before turning back toward Hastings.

This could be our last ride of the season. But, then again, maybe we’ll get one more shot at warm sunny weather before winter reaches us. 🙂

Again, thanks to Jim and Julie for contributing to the pictures.

Have Bike will Travel!


Just when I was sinking into the depths of the doldrums, the second of the two e-bikes, mine, that we’d ordered in July,  finally arrived on Wednesday!

Today, we got together with two other couples and went on a beautiful 30 km ride.

We met in East City, an area of Peterborough, and got onto the Rotary Green Trail and headed north toward Lakefield. The sky was still cloudy and the wind was a little chilly. I was wishing that I’d put a hoodie on beneath my jacket, but before long the sun broke through and the rest of the day was filled with blue sky and sunshine.

This trail is beautiful, especially this time of year with the colours of the trees starting to turn. The bright yellows of the golden rod and the red blossoms of the sumac shone vibrant in the sun.

Once out of the city, it meandered through arches of trees and then suddenly took us beside the Old River Road to show us the glorious sparkle of the Otonabee River.

We rode along the road, past the campus of Trent University, before picking up the trail again. We made a stop at the wooden bridge that spans a little pond where Canada Geese swam, taking some pictures, before winding our way through the streets of Lakefield until we reached our destination – Shakers Diner.

We were more than ready for the big mugs of coffee and platters of home cooked breakfasts or sandwiches with fries.

I knew I was out of shape because my legs felt like rubber. If anyone thinks that you don’t pedal with an e-bike, give one a try! After lunch I was ready for a nap, but once we got going again my energy returned.

On our way back, Jim led us on a different path, through the University Campus. and gave the others some bits of history about the land where it had been built. He grew up in the area called Nassau.

We crossed back over the trestle bridge that spans the Canal and were soon back at our cars, tired but happy.

I expect to sleep well tonight! I’m looking forward to getting some more rides in before the winter weather hits.

Thanks to Julie and Jim for contributing some of the photos.

Opinion: Toilet Paper vs. Bidets


I recall the day when I first left our new baby with my husband for an hour while I went to an appointment. When I got home, he was finishing up cleaning the bathtub, a distasteful frown on his face.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“I had to give her a bath,” he said. “She made a big mess in her diaper, so I  put her into the tub to shower her off before touching the mess.”

At the time, my reaction was, “Gross!”

In retrospect, it seems the most logical thing to do. It would have been better if the “showering off” could have been done over the toilet, but in the long run it saved a whole mess of toilet paper, or wipes or whatever else he could have found to do the job.

While doing the grocery shopping yesterday, I reluctantly picked up a 12-pack of toilet paper costing $9.00, an on-sale bargain. I was reluctant because I’ve discovered a much more efficient and environmentally friendly alternative.

When we were in a department store in Arizona in March, stocking up on a few groceries for the motorhome, for our mad dash toward home before COVID-19 closed the border, I was struck by the winding line of people waiting to grab some of the precious packages of toilet paper that were supposedly being unloaded from a truck at the loading docks. There were people with walkers and scooters and quite possibly other health issues, mostly seniors, all crowded together and chatting while in line. Getting toilet paper was more important than social distancing to protect themselves from getting the virus! The wearing of masks was not yet advised in the US. I was glad that we still had a good supply of the commodity in the motorhome.

Soon after we got home, while surfing the net since there was nothing else for us to do – we were under quarantine for 14 days – I saw an ad for a portable bidet. I investigated further. I’d already thought about getting a bidet, but it wasn’t up to me to decide to install one in our bathroom, and I’d never really tried one to know how well it would work. This portable one seemed like a good chance to give it a try. I placed the order. By the time the money was exchanged from US to Canadian, and shipping was added it cost me as much as one that would attach to the toilet !Two months later it arrived, just as described in the ad. It had a rechargeable lithium battery pack with a USB plug, and a collapsible wand attached to a six-inch plastic tube that needed to be filled with tap water. I plugged it in and charged it up.

Bidet with wand down

Bidet with Wand at first angle
Bidet with wand straight out

The first time I tried it I wasn’t sure if I liked it. It did leave my bottom quite wet, and it seemed a little awkward to use. But I followed the advice in the instructions and hung a small wash cloth on a bar behind the toilet, to use for drying myself off. After a few tries I got the hang of it, and was amazed at the efficiency.

Since then, I’ve had to purchase only two package of toilet paper, in much smaller quantities than I’d been buying. My husband is still not eager to give the bidet a try, like anyone that I’ve told about it. “Gross” and a cringe is often the response.

Now, for me, the thought of using the alternative makes me cringe and say “gross!” I also feel good knowing that I’ve taken one more small step toward reducing the clear cutting of trees to produce toilet paper and the amount of waste that is flushed into our municipal water processing plants or septic tanks.

While we might think that being environmentally friendly is not worth the inconvenience we feel sometimes, it’s worth giving new ideas a try. You might just find that the benefits far outweigh the inconvenience.

A Trip to the Phoenix Zoo


Over the last seven years we’ve visited many, many places of interest within our local area, but there are still a few on our Bucket List. One was the Phoenix Zoo. On Saturday evening, we went. As you will see, it was a different kind of Zoo that we saw that night!

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There was a long line up at the gate when we arrived, just before 5:30 pm. We got into it and all the way to the entrance before we realized that, since we hadn’t purchased our tickets online as most people had, we had to go back to the ticket booth and then to the end of the line! Fortunately, it didn’t take too long, before we were following the crowd through the brightly lit canopy of lights, above a wooden bridge over a stream.

The lit-up giraffe was just a hint of things to come.

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An elephant on top of one of the many Food Stands on the grounds

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A few more on the Ground

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Take a look at more of these lighted, moulded animal sculptures in  this slide show. They are amazing!

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Some of them were animated, like this crocodile.

While most of the live animals were stabled for the night, we did see a few – a huge Porcupine that was hidden in the shadows and on the move too much to capture by camera, a few Reindeer and a few Camels.

And then there were the lights! Lots of lights around trees, and globes, reflecting in the pond, and forming outlines of more animals and bugs! Not as easy to capture, but here’s the best we could do with the equipment we had.

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After nearly two hours of wandering, we were tired and hungry. We made our way back to the Savannah Grill that we’d seen near the entrance. There we enjoyed the delicious Aldo burgers and fries, before walking back to the car. Needless to say, we were asleep early that night.