Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity, Jig

We got home on Monday and I think I jinxed the weather.  We were traveling under sunny skies about an hour out of Minot when I commented that we had exceptional weather for 2.5 weeks with no rain to speak of.  Half an hour out of Minot, the sky looked like this:
Through our windshield Minot looked like this when we got there:
Most traffic was stopped as intense rain pounded down.  This was about 10:30 in the morning and you can see how dark it was due to the rain.  We were glad we were following this semi; otherwise we wouldn't have seen a thing.

So we arrived home safely Monday afternoon after a great trip with lots of fascinating adventures.  Are we sad to be back in Weyburn?  Not at all!  Look at this beautiful yard we came back to.
Hidden behind those flowers are my cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, potatoes, and carrots.  Soon it will be salsa-making time. 
My front apple tree was loaded so I picked and froze. 
Look for yummy pies this winter!

Although this trip is over, keep watching this blog.  I'll have other things to tell you and show you from time to time which will include an eight day trip to PEI in mid September.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Where in the World Are the Kings?

Here's a little quiz for Rob and Elizabeth:
where are your folks?
Clue #1:
Clue #2:
Clue #3:
I'm pretty sure you both guessed on clue #1 that we side-tracked to stop in Park Rapids.  We had a great visit with the Nelsons at Vagabond.  Let's make a pact that we all go there together next summer.
I didn't know that there are Amish in Minnesota and they are only about forty minutes from where we always vacation.  How did I not know that? 
Those are splotchy raindrops on our windshield, some of the only rain we had on the entire trip.
We'll be home tomorrow as we are in Fargo tonight.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Starting the End of Our Trip

We've started our journey home, leaving Stratford this morning.  We drove some beautiful rural roads before we hit the four lane.
We crossed into the United States at Port Huron so that we can take advantage of the cheaper gas prices for our trip home.
I wandered a beach at Port Huron for about an hour looking for elusive tumbled glass.  I didn't find a single piece but I got a wonderful pedicure out of the deal.  Walking on the pebbles acted as pumice and now the bottoms of my feet are smooth and silky.
We hadn't expected a travel delay in Chicago on a Saturday but that's what we got.  What should have taken half an hour took two hours.
Silly, silly Chicago.
Lots more driving tomorrow with the hopes of arriving home in good time on Monday.

Friday, August 23, 2013

What Made Me Happy Today

...reading the paper and finding a magazine with 50 puzzles inside it...
...spending time with this lovely kid...

...and with this guy too...
...drinking this medium bowl of latte - thank goodness I didn't ask for the large or extra large...
...enjoying citron tea with the coolest [pun!] ice cubes ...
...seeing more beautiful homes ...

... finding random bubble-making equipment on a tree, there for our use ...
... spotting this guy working at the top of the Festival Theater ...
 ... finding that lots of shops leave water out for dogs, but this one, the Harry Ten Shilling Tea Shop going over the top with this offering on the sidewalk outside their door ... 
... unexpectedly seeing an amazing quilt.  You can read more about it at ... 
... roadside gladioli stands on the road from Stratford to Drayton ...
... and seeing that the Drayton Theater must support these roadside stands ... sky everywhere, here over the Drayton Theater ...
...a back stage tour led by this talented apprentice stage manager ...
Thanks, Elizabeth for a wonderful day!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hellllloooo, Canada!

We had a few splashes of rain on our windshield this morning and commented about how lucky we have been with weather on this trip.  Then we heard there was a 3.5 hour rain delay at the ballgame in New York City today.  We got outta town in time!  The weather is beautiful here in Stratford.
When Bob was on Weyburn's tourism committee, I always told him that Weyburn needed a few swans on the Souris.  His committee didn't take my advice, but Stratford did.
This town is filled with beautiful, old homes.

This next one should have my name on it.
I think this is very clever ... a succulent stuck in a niche in a rock.
Does anyone know what tree this is and would it grow in Weyburn?
We didn't have a lot of time to look around as we went to Rotary at noon and then saw two shows at Stratford's Festival Theater.  Interestingly, the same people sat behind us for both shows.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Until We Meet Again, NYC

Bob drove us out of the Times Square area just as rush hour was starting this morning.  Look!  Look!  See Bob!  See Bob concentrate as he passes Time Square.  I'm not sure I would want just anyone to drive there (especially not me!), but I'm never worried with Bob at the wheel.
He was right about everyone heading into Manhattan as we were leaving it.  This is on the Hudson Parkway where traffic was steady on the other side but not bad on our side.
Part of our trip through New York State today took us through the Catskills.  The countryside is beautiful.  We're now ensconced in Buffalo and we are just two sleeps away from seeing Elizabeth.  Hurray!
Why do we keep going back to New York City when we've seen the major sights except for the Museum of Natural History and when we've seen almost every minor sight and most of the neighborhoods too?
It's because silly old Broadway keeps mounting new shows we want to see.  Look at these two we'll miss.  Daniel Craig on stage: *SIGH* 
I can picture Orlando Bloom as Romeo. 
Stage manager daughter, do you think August 20th is a little late to be moving in equipment for the tech run when the show starts on the 24th?
Tonight we took a break from live theater to see this movie.  Vanessa, I guarantee that it's better than "We're the Millers."
We've left Broadway behind but have four more shows to look forward to in the next two days:  "The Three Musketeers," "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Tommy" at Stratford and Elizabeth's show "Oliver" in Drayton.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Best Happening on the Trip

The above fold-out map of NYC was given to Bob by Mel Goranson a few years ago and it's always conveniently in his pocket when we visit here.
But, now on with the story that's connected to today's title.
First, some facts.  Manhattan has a population of about 1.5 million people but on weekdays that number swells to 4 million because of commuters and tourists.  That's fact #1.  Fact #2 in that I wasn't even around for the best happening on our trip.
Heres' the best happening.  Bob went to take a ride on The Beast, a speedboat on the Hudson River, while I went into the garment district.  Who does he spot?  Mel and Stu.  Four million people and he runs into the other 2 from Weyburn.  How great a "small world" story is that!
On the way o the garment district, I just had to stop to enjoy Bryant Park and to dream of one day staying in this hotel.
Was it wrong to watch these people rather than joining in?
Loved spotting this sign.  Is it the next course Cornerstone SD is going to sponsor?
The fashion district was a huge disappointment although the stores there weren't.  I hadn't been in this area for a few decades and back then the streets were bustling with people rushing racks of garments through the traffic.  Now I suspect the garments are all made in China and very little in terms of the fashion industry is happening here.  The area is spotted with hotels, tourist shops, and Starbucks.
There are fun stores to stop in.  Joyce Buttons and Trims is one of them.
M & J Trimming is really impressive too.

Thanks to Christa Marcotte for getting me interested in going into this area.  And, yes, I did spend money.
This fellow is the only one I saw in the garment district who wasn't just ordinary traffic passing through.
There was a farmers' market at Herald Square.  Elizabeth, I had to sample the half sour pickles just for you.  Delish!
I love this little building.  The writing says Millinery Center Synagogue. 
Why I like it is because of its context within its surroundings.  Can you spot it here?
Bob and I caught the subway at Rockefeller Center to head to Chinatown.  There were police cars, ambulances, a fire truck.  A taxi had gone out of control and hit a pedestrian severing one of her feet and mangling her other leg.  Dr. Oz has an office near there and came out to help.  A vendor put the foot on ice from his cart and now doctors are trying to reattach the foot.  We hope this horrible accident has a good conclusion.
Smelly, smelly durian for sale.
I must have passed this shop on other trips to Chinatown but this was the first time I noticed it.  It sells nothing but chopsticks.
And here's our favorite place in Chinatown.  The Chinatown Rotary Club of Manhattan meets here and this is the fourth or fifth time we've gone to a meeting there so we know the folks quite well.  Lyn, if you are reading this, tell Colin that Alphonso (Do you remember?  I think his last name is Wong.) plans to come to the Sydney RI convention and so does a Rotarian from Hong Kong who was visiting the club today.
In the afternoon I planned to go to the Museum of Natural History and Bob went walking on the Highline.  For the third time, crowds were daunting so I didn't go.  Instead I walked around 8th and 9th Avenue and made a trip over to the Salvation Army Store on 46th.
I love this chest for $100.
This Macy's sewing machine for $24 is impressive even though the tag said "as is" which must mean it doesn't work.
I caught the subway to go to the museum.  While waiting for my train, one came into the station on the adjoining track.  People got in, the doors closed, and it didn't leave.  Instead two policemen came running with some subway people.  Those around me and I didn't know whether to duck for cover or try to see what was going on.  The police went several cars down so we all craned our necks.  We heard very undignified, "f*ck you, f*ck you" numerous times as they took the talkative fellow away.  I'll never know the end of that story.
At the same time, Bob was down by the New York City courthouse and he was told to get out of the way.  "Law and Order:SVU" was being filmed and they didn't want him in it.  The poor guy is getting a complex as on a previous trip he saw the filming of the movie "Tower Heist" and he was told to move along as he didn't "blend" into the background.
We've had wonderful weather here ... 75 to 82 each day and not really high humidity.  The higher temperatures and humidity are supposed to start tomorrow just as we are leaving the city.
Tonight we went to "Motown" which was amazing.
Elizabeth, we are leaving here (even though Orlando Bloom is starring in "Romeo and Juliet" starting on the 24th) so it won't be long until we see you.