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genealogy of the Bird and Musgrove families
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Our Canadian Adventure - The Blog (page 11)

Toronto (part 2)

Another boat trip and a royal baby (22nd July)

Would never have believed it if you had told me I would be taking my fourth boat trip.  However, it's true.  There are some islands in the bay on Lake Ontario and we had been told that it was a nice place to visit.  This turned out to be very true.

We took the seven and a half minute trip to Centre Island, without hitting any rocks or running aground, and arrived at an oasis away from the noise and dust of the city.  There were trees, grass and flowers, not to mention clean walk ways and views.  You can't see the other side of the lake it is so huge.  We walked a couple of miles round the north of the lake, seeing a cormorant catching a small fish as we walked past him.  Had lunch in the very nice Rectory Cafe before making our way back to the quay on Ward Island, where we had walked to over a bridge.

Back to the mainland, and we walked and walked and walked to The Distillery District which is now full of trendy shops, restaurants and art galleries.  Previously it had been owned by Gooderham & Worts ......... still researching the connection to Sue's Gooderhams which seems a possibility as both families were from Norfolk.  The best part of the district was actually Greg's Ice Cream Parlour - I had a lemon meringue flavoured ice cream and Sues was a toasted marshmallow.  I tell you, they tasted as they were named.  Delicious !

After we had walked and walked and walked back to the Royal York, we were about to sign the royal baby birth congratulations book, which is in the hotel lobby and which will eventually be sent to Buckingham Palace, when we were approached by a reporter from the local TV station, CP24, and were put on the air - LIVE.  She asked us a number of questions and I think we represented us Brits abroad respectfully without going overboard on the joy we were supposed to feel.  I suggested the baby might be named 'James' and Sue interrupted saying "Not James.  They haven't been very good kings in the past".  At some point in my school days, I would have learnt about all the kings and queens, but sadly my expensive education failed to tell me much about them as individuals.

FACEBOOK STATUS : Just been interviewed live by a local TV channel, CN24, on our reaction to the birth of the Royal Baby. They are going ballistic about the birth over here - the CN Tower will be lit blue tonight as will Niagara Falls.

Cathie : Brownie points if you got the words tennis or murder weekends in. Bonus point for tiddlywinks.

Sadly not. Strangely, when she asked me if I thought the Canadians were celebrating the birth more than we had expected, I was going to say, "As you don't win at tennis or tiddlywinks and don't go on murder weekends to Dorking, we aren't surprised, as you haven't got much else to cheer about !"

Just about to toast the Royal baby with the Royal York's special cocktail ..... a blue Mojito !

An anniversary to remember (23rd July)

There are two things I can't quite believe.  Firstly that this is my penultimate blog as we are coming home tomorrow after a fantastic five weeks in Canada (well, nearly five weeks).  Secondly, that thirty six years ago today, I married a beautiful girl.  We were both very young and in love.  Pleased to report that one of these is still true and today was our anniversary present ....... sorry, Sue, no card, flowers  or jewellery (again). 

As on Saturday, Barry was our guide.  He collected us and we drove about 80 miles around some of the vast coast of Lake Ontario. Our first stop was at a giant canal, not the size of those on the Grand Union where we normally go, more the size of the Panama Canal, in fact exactly the same size.  We were fortunate to arrive at the same time as a huge container ship from Poland was coming down the canal and we saw it safely through.  No lock gates or human pushing power involved.

We stopped at a vineyard and tasted a few of their whites.  The young girl who explained their history to us was the grand-daughter of a German wine grower who had come over to plant the vines some years before.

A number of friends had told us that a visit to Niagara-on-the-lake was a must do.  It certainly was and we spent half an hour walking up and down the main street.  More time is needed in this picturesque village and we made a note to stay at The Prince Of Wales Hotel when we come back.

The climax of our day came when we arrived at the town of Niagara Falls.  It isn't anywhere as nice as Niagara-by-the-lake but it did have one HUGE thing going for it ........ the absolutely stunning, awesome, magnificent Falls.  They are everything you think they will be and more.  So powerful, the Canadians sell 20% of the power to America ..... which is directly on the opposite bank. You could watch the water streaming over the top for hours.  However, we didn't stay that long. I overcame my fear of water, not for the first time on our travels, and boarded The Maid of the Mist, which is a 'pleasure craft' with no seats and nothing much to hold on to.  Luckily, I had Sue !  Wearing very fetching blue bin bags we braved the Falls and, when we reached the epicentre, you could literally feel the power of the water on your face.  It was wonderfully cool and a great experience.

 

 It was apt that we should be ending our amazing holiday with a day to remember.  There have been so many over the past four and a half weeks and we will be leaving tomorrow with many happy memories. 

All good things ...... (24th July)

Went down to the peaceful harbour area in the sunshine this morning for our last look at Toronto.  It is a city we feel we can walk about in ...... everything being in squares makes it easier of course. The Royal York is excellently located and a very nice place to stay.  It will be even better when the rebuilding of Union Station, almost directly outside, is complete in 2016. 


Sadly, today we had to pack, pay the final bill, and leave Canada.  We will certainly be back, next time targeting those places we loved and perhaps visiting a few new ones.

Thanks to all of you who have been following our blog and we hope you have found it entertaining and informative.  It will certainly make it easier for us to match up the photos with the places we have been to and the adventures we have had.  A rough estimate of the number of photos we have taken comes to over 6,000 ! 

FACEBOOK STATUS :

No calls from the Networks after yesterday's TV appearance, so looks like we will have to pack and return to Blighty tomorrow. Will miss you Canada !

Thank you for reading our blog

 




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