Saturday 29 April 2006

We're Back in Ontario!

Caden's artwork

Lake adjacent to our RV

Our site at Rideau Acres Campground, Kingston (taken by Gordon)

Thanks to Jim & Wendy for letting us use your driveway and electricity and for the great lobster dinner!

We left Clinton, NY at about 9:30 a.m. and reached the border at about noon. There were three cars ahead of us at the border and the Customs official was giving them the third degree. Who knows why! I thought because of the way he was checking out cars that we would be pulled over and searched for sure. Luckily, we didn’t buy much on this trip so were way under our limit and we were asked very few questions and sent on our merry way arriving at Rideau Acres Campground at Kingston at about 1:30. We were set up by 2:35 p.m. We’re in a site just down from where we were parked at the Titanium Rally last year and since the leaves and undergrowth haven’t reached maturity yet we noticed that there is water on our left hand side that we hadn’t noticed last year. There is a small deck area overlooking the water so I may be spending some time there this week.

So far our plans are to come into Ottawa one day and check the two campgrounds in the city to see if we can access the satellite for our internet and then book a month at that campground so we should be arriving in Ottawa next weekend. I also need to see my chiropractor. My lower back has been really bothering me since we left Erie this week. We’ll also see my sister and family (hopefully if they aren’t busy). We also have Bib booked for an appointment with the groomer in Gananoque for Wednesday afternoon. Bib likes this groomer. She loves dogs and he can tell. He didn’t have a pleasant experience at Smoochie Pocchie in Mesa so I didn’t want to take him to a stranger.

The plan also is to visit Aunt Ruth while Bib is being groomed but I have to clear it with her yet.

After we got settled it was such a beautiful sunny day that I got the lawn chairs out and sat out and read for a while. Bib sat with me. He seems to like being back in Ontario. He hasn’t been all that keen about going outside and if I mention it, unless he really needs to go out he runs and hides behind his chair. He wanted to go for walks, so we did that and then I went for a long walk by myself hoping that will help my back. It’s no worse, so that’s good. It got to about 18C (65F) here today.

Late in the afternoon we went to the closest grocery, the ValuMart just south of Hwy 401 and picked up a few groceries. I hadn’t bought any fruit as you never know if you can cross the border with it or not but we weren’t even asked this time.

So we’re in for the night and will probably just relax tomorrow. I see a lawn chair with my name on it!

Friday 28 April 2006

Happy Birthday Danica and Lilly!

(Photo taken last August at our cottage weekend)


Wendy and Jim at dinner at the Hamilton Inn

Happy Birthday Danica and Lilly!

We have two birthdays in our family today, Danica, my younger sisters daughter turns 18 and Lilly, our granddaughter turns 1. Happy Birthday to both of you!

Gordon and Jim left before sunrise this morning to take some photos but weren’t out long. They didn’t find much to take photos of, I guess.

I just lazed around for most of the morning. We took advantage of Jim and Wendy’s shower to have a nice hot shower, then Gordon drove me to WalMart to pick up some last minute things. My 10 year old Timex has been losing time so I bought an almost identical indiglo Timex except this one has the date on it too. I also got a calculator that takes paper. When you’re adding up receipts, it’s nice to have a paper record.

When we came back, the guys went out shooting again for a while and I started to get things ready to cross the border, receipts in order, Canadian money and passports ready. We’ve decided to cross tomorrow. Hopefully it won’t be too busy. The plan right now is to head to Rideau Acres Campground at Kingston for a week. Rideau Acres is a Passport America Park so should be somewhere around $17-$20 per night depending on if we go with 50 amp service or not.

I also called Vos Trailers where we bought our fifth wheel to get them to order a new bathroom sink for us. Some things fell out of the medicine cabinet on our way west through Ontario and now it has a big hole in it so we’ve been using the kitchen sink as a bathroom sink and I’m tired of it! It should be in by the time we arrive in Ottawa about mid May.

So, I guess we’re as ready as we’ll ever be to return to Ontario, just wish it would warm up more!

Today in Clinton, NY, it was bright, sunny and 55F (12C). There was a slight breeze so a bit on the cool side.

Tonight we took Jim & Wendy out for dinner at the Hamilton Inn in Clinton to thank them for letting us stay at their house and feeding us. Our RV isn’t really set up for dining although we have four chairs, it would be a tight squeeze. It’s better in the summer if we can use a picnic table. It was a really good meal. The food was delicious and beautifully presented. After dinner we took a drive around the town. Lots of beautiful old homes!

My back is still very sore and I’m walking very stiffly. It seems to loosen up during the day but it’s still hard to get up from a seated or lying down or squatting position. Sure hope it loosens up soon. I’m getting very tired of it!

Thursday 27 April 2006

We Arrive in Clinton, NY

I woke up in the night last night and realized that my lower back was sore and indeed it was when I got up this morning. This is the first time it’s really bothered me in ages. So I’m moving very stiffly especially after 5 ½ hours in the truck.

We left Erie this morning at 8:50 a.m. under mostly sunny skies. We had a little bit of everything weather wise on our trip east to Clinton, NY but only a few spits of rain around Buffalo. When we arrived at Jim & Wendy’s near Clinton, NY around 2:30 p.m., the sun was shining and it was about 59F (15C).

We are now parked in their driveway and hooked up to their electric. Since there is no dump station nearby that I could find, we decided to use our on board water for the two days we’ll be here so we won’t be hauling any extra water.

Wendy prepared lobster for dinner tonight. Poor girl. She just worked all day and now has to cook for people she hardly knows (again)! She cooked for us last year when we visited them in Montgomery, AL.

The photo shows our location in their driveway. Very pretty scenery!

Gordon's Aunt Virginia Passed Away

M. Virginia Wolford 1918 – 2006

WOLFORD, M. Virginia (nee Sonnanstine), age 88 of Dayton passed away Wednesday, April 26, 2006. She was born April 18, 1918 in Columbus, OH to Gladys (Butcher) and Ernest Sonnanstine. She was preceded in death by her husband, Clem, two brothers, an infant daughter, and her grandson, Brian Hubbell. She is survived by three daughters: Judy (Dave) Lemmon of Springfield, Jan (Steve) Marker of Camden, and Joy (John) Kemp of Bellbrook; son, Phil (Cheryl) Wolford of Towaco, NJ. Also surviving are 17 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. Virginia is a graduate of Oakwood HS. She worked for the Kissell Company and was a minister at Unity of Lima and Unity of South Dayton. Visitation will be 5-8:00PM Sunday, April 30th at the Newcomer Funeral Home (3940 Kettering Blvd.). Funeral service will be 11:00AM Monday, May 1st at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association of Dayton, 3797 Summit Glen Dr., Dayton, OH 45449. Messages of condolence may be sent to the family via

Wednesday 26 April 2006

Some Relaxing, Some Sightseeing

Spring flowers around Hills Family Campground

Trees growing on the sand dunes at Presque Isle State Park

Presque Isle North Pierhead Lighthouse

Although the day dawned bright and sunny, it was only 30F (-1C) when I got up. It had apparently gone down to 28F (-2C) and Gordon had disconnected the water. Brrrr! We’re not used to this. It was quite warm in Columbus while we were there but apparently it turned cold there too the day we left.

We didn’t do much this morning other than watch TV. After lunch we headed out to do some sightseeing and headed to downtown Erie on Rte5. We saw the downtown, the Bicentennial tower and the lakefront. The Bicentennial tower is 187 ft tall and overlooks the bay. It was built in 1995 to celebrate Erie’s 200th birthday. Gordon went to the top of the tower but I elected to stay grounded.

Erie is very industrialized being a port city. It is very clean, however. Of the areas where we went, I didn’t see much debris around and even most of the houses and lawns were in good shape. There were a couple but it didn’t look like most Eastern American cities. I have to qualify Eastern now as Western American cities are very well kept.

We saw the lighthouse that is in the eastern part of Erie aptly named the Erie Lighthouse. I didn’t take any photos as I couldn’t have gotten a good vantage point with my camera. You have to be quite a distance away to take a good photo and with the wires around and a small plot of land, I didn’t bother. I did get one of it far away from Presque Isle State Park. After our tour of Erie we headed back to Presque Isle State Park and drove to the lighthouse there that’s on the point. It’s called the Presque Isle North Pierhead Lighthouse. Photo above.

On the way back, we photographed the sand dunes. We’ve seen dunes with nothing on them, with scrub on them, with small bushes on them and now with trees on them.

We got back to the RV shortly after 4:00 p.m. in time for me to get meatloaf ready and then go for a walk. I took some photos of the spring flowers around the park.

It did get to about 51F (10.5C) but with the wind, it felt much colder.

On a sadder note, we received an email this morning from Gordon’s cousin Judy. Her mother, Gordon’s Aunt Virginia passed away this morning. She was the last surviving relative of his father’s generation. Unfortunately we won’t be able to turn around and go back to Ohio to attend the funeral so will rely on Gordon’s sister, Carol to represent the family.

We head out early tomorrow morning for Clinton, NY for a couple of days with Gordon’s photographer friend, Jim, his wife, Wendy and their son, James.
This is a photo taken of Bib and I by Gordon earlier in the year. I thought it was a good one.

Tuesday 25 April 2006

Now near Erie, PA

Presque Isle Lighthouse near Erie, PA AKA The Flashlight

Hills Family Campground near Erie, PA

It was supposed to rain in Columbus this morning but we woke up to mostly sunny skies and the mid 50’s. We left Alton RV Park around 9:30 a.m. and headed north on I-71. As we approached Cleveland, the skies clouded over and it started to rain. It never rained really hard and once we left Cleveland behind it didn’t rain much after that although it’s cloudy and as we arrived in Erie, PA, it’s 41F! I want to be in Arizona!

Also just before we reached Cleveland we were in a construction zone with a concrete barrier on one side and very narrow lanes when this yahoo (not the search engine) in a semi starts cutting us off pulling into our lane. Luckily Gordon wasn’t asleep at the wheel. It could have been nasty. This idiot continues on and all of a sudden pulls left across four lanes of travel and almost hits a car traveling in the passing lane. I suggested to Gordon that we steer very clear of him and was hoping that he would continue north into Cleveland but he got off on I-271 (Cleveland bypass) however he did pull into the first rest area, thank goodness!

We arrived at Hills Family Campground around 2:00 p.m. and were set up by 3:00 p.m. As you can see from the photo of the park above, it is nothing special but the sites are large and they have 50 amp electricity and 69 cable channels.

When we got here it was only 54F inside the RV so between the furnace and the electric heater after about 1 ½ hrs it was 65F, almost comfortable.

We’ve decided to stay here for 2 days as we don’t have to be at Gordon’s friend’s place until Thursday and neither of us have seen much of Erie. They actually have some lighthouses at Presque Isle and a State Park on a peninsula that sticks out into Lake Erie. We’re also here for 2 days because neither of us like to pack up and break down and only stay one night. We do it when we have to but since we don’t have to, we’re staying!

After dinner, we drove out to Presque Isle State Park to see their lighthouse. The locals refer to it as ‘The Flashlight’. It was built in 1873 but is now fully automated and maintained by the Coast Guard. It stands on a sand spit peninsula that juts out into Lake Erie.

Monday 24 April 2006

Our Last Day In Columbus, Maybe?

Columbus Skyline from Genoa Park overlooking the Scioto River

More Columbus Skyline

This morning Gordon left early to go into Columbus to have the truck serviced for his 8:00 a.m. appointment. I got up and did my daily routine and then prepared chicken cacciatore for our road trip over the next couple of days.

I read and napped for a while. Gordon got home around 11:00 a.m. He had stopped to see Michelle and the girls on his way back and told them we probably wouldn’t see them again until we’re back next year.

When I was cooking this morning, I realized I need a deeper pan for making things like chicken cacciatore as I keep spilling the sauce all over the stove so I decided after lunch I would go out to Meijer (a mid-west department store) and see what I could find. I haven’t been in a Meijer all winter. So I took off around 1:00 p.m. and found a nice sauté pan with deep sides and a glass cover. Hope I can find a place to put it now. I also got some necco wafers for my wonderful husband. For those of you that don’t know they are discs of pure sugar and come in a roll.

On my way back as I neared the intersection of US40 I saw that there was an accident blocking the westbound lanes so I couldn’t make a right hand turn so decided to go left rather than go straight and try to find a way back to the RV park. Instead I headed to the mall at the corner of SR40 and I-270. I thought I had made a wrong turn and wound up in one of the old malls in Syracuse. They had a Sears and Macy’s and some small stores but most of the stores were closed and there were maybe two people (including myself) walking in the mall. Eerie! I didn’t find anything I liked better than my money so headed home. The accident was cleared up and it was clear sailing so I got back around 3:50 p.m. in time to walk and feed Bib.

On our way back to Ontario we had planned to visit a photographer friend of Gordon’s. They lived in Montgomery, Alabama last year and we visited them there. This time, they have invited us to bring Big Harv and park in their driveway so we will be staying with them, probably arriving Thursday or Friday. Our plan is to cross the border on Monday, May 1st and I have booked an appointment for Bib with the groomer that he likes in Gananoque on Wednesday afternoon. Nothing definite on where we'll be staying but probably Rideau Acres at Kingston, it's a Passport America park.

Tomorrow’s forecast looks somewhat rainy but as we head north although it gets colder, it’s not supposed to rain for the whole day so hopefully we’ll get on the road. Our plan is to take two days to get to Clinton, NY.

Tonight after dinner and getting the dishes done, we drove to downtown Columbus and took some photos. I didn’t get too many as my camera doesn’t work well after dark but I did get some at dusk.

Sunday 23 April 2006

Sunday Chores

This morning I got up and got the laundry ready to take out to the Laundromat. This campground doesn’t have laundry facilities and since we were too tired to go to Michelle’s on Friday and drag the laundry there, I had decided to go to the Wishy Washy Laundromat just down the road and mile or so from the campground. I got there at about 9:30 a.m. and it seemed to be a good time. The place was really busy and I had just enough dryers when it came time to dry. Anyway, I got it all done and got home around 11:00 a.m. in time to have lunch and a nap and read a bit. While I was gone Gordon got the vacuuming done.

This afternoon I headed over to WalMart to pick up some items that we needed and also some things that we can’t buy in Canada, like grits. It’s something Gordon can eat and he likes that for breakfast better than cold cereal. I also stopped at Kroger to get a few items on the way home. When I got back I saw the owner of the campground and since Gordon is taking the truck in for service tomorrow we’ve decided to stay an extra day so I got us signed up to leave on Tuesday.

Since I haven’t taken any photos today, I’m posting the photo that Gordon took of the family yesterday. It’s a pretty good photo of everyone, I think. Even the kids co-operated.