Real Time Update

Following another spectacular day in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, the Space Shuttle is currently docked for the night in a gravel parking lot/rv park, next to the ferry terminal in St Barbe, Newfoundland.

The wind is howling outside and even though we’re parked, it’s making us rock and roll. And, did I mention that it just started raining?

Amazingly, I’ve got a great internet connection here and have managed to upload  some of my backlogged posts.

Hoping to catch the ferry to Labrador in the morning. However, if it’s too rough and nasty out there, we’ll postpone it until later in the week.

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Canadians Are Nice People Too

Niagara Falls, from the Canadian side. So much water!

Niagara Falls, from the Canadian side. So much water!

Day 43      July 22      part 2

Today was a big day for us, as our road trip became an international affair. We were crossing the border into Canada, via the Rainbow Bridge, to get a better look at Niagara Falls.

We were hoping we wouldn’t have any problems with customs, what with our space shuttle and our canine critters. Ends up it was all quite fast and simple.

The most complex question we were asked was, “How much beer do you have?” Uh…well, how much did we start with a couple days ago, and how much have we drunk (drinken? drank? dranked?). A short computation in my head, and I shouted….”Four. We have four beers.” At the exact same time, Mark shouted, “Twelve. We have twelve beers.” The guard waved us on through anyways.

Oh Canada!

Oh Canada!

The first thing we noticed about Canada, was how beautifully landscaped and how clean it was. Not only was it much nicer than the American side, but the Canadians also had a 2000% better view of Niagara Falls.

We were immediately smitten with Canada, and were wondering why more Americans don’t move there. We suspect it’s because Canadian immigration weeds out the weak by asking, “Can you withstand the long cold winters up here?”

The second thing we noticed about Canada, was how nice the Canadians are.

We asked a young parking attendant, where we could park the space shuttle. He gave us directions to the RV parking area, where we’d then catch the free shuttle back down to the Falls. He confirmed that, yes, we could take our dogs on the shuttle bus.

We parked where we were told, and walked to the shuttle bus stop. But when we tried to catch the shuttle bus, we were told that, most definitely, no, dogs were NOT allowed on the bus.

It was way too hot and humid to leave the dogs in the RV, so, we weren’t quite sure what to do. And then, out of the blue, a couple of guys who were working on the grounds crew, who had figured out what was going on with us and the dogs, came over, and offered to drive us down to the Falls in their work truck.

We were so grateful for their kindness! What nice guys! What nice Canadians!

After arriving in style in the Parks Department truck, we had a great time walking around with the pups. Niagara Falls, from the Canadian side, was spectacular!

Niagara Falls & tour boat

Niagara Falls & tour boat

Mark @ the falls

Mark @ the falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

To return to our RV, I waited at the Falls with the dogs, while Mark took the shuttle bus back to our RV. He then drove down and picked me up.

We completed the day with a beautiful drive to Niagara-On-The-Lake, where we dined and drank at The Irish Harp Restaurant. Our waiter was a young Irish guy, working in Canada for the summer. We tipped him well, because, as Mark pointed out, we must keep the Irish happy so that they keep producing Guinness.

Lake Niagara

Lake Niagara

 

Niagara-On-The-Lake

Niagara-On-The-Lake

Beautiful flight of beer

Beautiful flight of beer

Canadians...not afraid to have fun. Wading pool in the park in Niagara-On-The-Lake

Canadians…not afraid to have fun. Wading pool in the park in Niagara-On-The-Lake

And then we tucked in for the night, just down the road, at the Pine Ridge RV Park and Campground. Our first night in Canada!

Our first Canadian RV Park

Our first Canadian RV Park

IMG_3281

Fiona’s first night in Canada!

The Reverse Vortex of Hilariousness

Day 43       part 1

There’s an interesting phenomenon that happens as I travel, take notes, and then blog. It’s like a “reverse vortex of hilariousness.”

And as we travel, I keep a daily notes journal so that, by time I write my blog, I can remember everything that happened. I make especially sure to write down stuff that we do, say, or see,  that Mark and I find absolutely hilarious. But, by time I get to translating my notes into a blog post, most of that stuff isn’t even funny anymore.

That, my friends, is what I call the “Reverse Vortex of Hilariousness.” It is when something that was once hilarious, becomes unfunny.

So, when you read this blog, and come across a particular post that seems not so funny, you must remember that funny shit happened, but it’s just not funny anymore.

Here’s an example:

On Day 43, July 22, Mark and I had a discussion about how many axles we’d get charged for for driving our RV across the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara. We thought it was hilarious that, if we had only one axle, we’d be a uni-axle.

See what I mean? Not really all that hilarious any more!! No need to write about that!

Sasquatch, Fast Driving, and Freakishly Large To-Go Cups

Niagara Falls, all lit up!

Niagara Falls, all lit up!

Day 42    July 21

On our morning dog walk in Squirrel Hill, we stopped at the drug store up the street and purchased an electric fan. This would end up being one of our finest purchases as we travelled in warmer weather.

We said goodbye to our friends, and headed out of Pittsburg. Mark had assigned me two duties….#1 was to deal with AT&T on the phone regarding our service. That was real pleasant, as you can probably imagine.

My other assigned duty, was to look for Sasquatch in the woods off the side of the highway. I thought this was a dumb thing to be assigned to, because Sasquatch lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Hello New York!

Hello New York!

Cranberry & Mars...sounds like a candy bar

Cranberry & Mars…sounds like a candy bar

A texting area...cool...

A texting area…cool…

Rest stop

Rest stop

I gave myself a third and final duty, and that was to keep an eye on Mark’s driving speeds. Mark had dubbed FIONA Fast In Our New Airstream, instead of Fun In Our New Airstream. I was getting tired of nagging him about his speed, but there wasn’t anyone else around to do it, so I had to.

Thinking we'll pull up on this guy's trailer and get a free ride

Thinking we’ll pull up on this guy’s trailer and get a free ride

We stopped for lunch at the Applebee’s in Dunkirk-Fredonia, New York. There was a whole story there about whether we were in Dunkirk, or Fredonia, or Dunkirk-Fredonia, but I don’t remember what the story about it was.

What I do remember was the freakin’ gigantic iced tea to-go that I got on the way out. It barely fit in the cup holder, and was so heavy that I could barely hoist it up to take a sip from the straw. I did the best I could with the large iced tea, trying to avoid lifting it in such a way as to aggravate my tennis elbow.

Feeling lucky....Bought a lottery ticket at lunch

Feeling lucky….Bought a lottery ticket at lunch

Our lucky ticket (NOT!)

Our lucky ticket (NOT!)

Why is the info we need on the atlas, always right on the spiral binding seam?!

Why is the info we need on the atlas, always right on the spiral binding seam?!

Our drive continued, through Buffalo, past the Peace Bridge (which takes you to Canada), and right on up to Niagara Falls. When we arrived at Niagara Falls, it was already dark out, which was fabulous, because we got to see the Falls all lit up at night. Very cool site to see!

We drove back to the KOA Niagara Falls for the night, and looked forward to the next day, when we’d cross into Canada to see the Falls from The Great White North side.

Pittsburg Is NOT The Pits

Breakfast on the porch

Breakfast on the porch

Day 41     July 20

After having a lovely breakfast on our friend’s front porch, it was time to run a few errands. Mike and Bev were nice enough to drive us to the big shopping area, where we hit up the pet store (doggie pill pockets for giving Trixie her thyroid pills), the drug store (high-back sand chairs to take to the Newport Folk Festival), and the sunglass store (to replace my sunglasses which were so scratched up I couldn’t see out of them).

Hangin' out on the front porch

Hangin’ out on the front porch

Cool flower in the front porch garden

Cool flower in the front porch garden

The rest of the day in Pittsburg was much more interesting. We drove to the top of Mt Washington to enjoy the beautiful view of the city. And yes, Pittsburg is a beautiful city, so don’t knock it until you’ve been there!

View from Mt Washington

View from Mt Washington

View from Mt Washington

View from Mt Washington

View from Mt Washington

View from Mt Washington

Church on Mt Washington

Church on Mt Washington

After Mt Washington, we drove into the city to see the Old Cork Factory (now upscale condos), and to “the strip” to grab a cup of coffee at one of Bev’s favorite cafes (it was closed…boo), and then back to Squirrel Hill for a dog walk through the fanciest of neighborhoods, and for a quiet dinner back on our friend’s front porch.

Old Cork Factory

Old Cork Factory

Old Cork Factory

Old Cork Factory

Old Cork Factory

Old Cork Factory

On The Strip

On The Strip

Big chicken

Big chicken

Another fun day completed!

Party On, Pittsburg!

Pittsburg @ nite

Pittsburg @ nite

Day 40   July 19

When we woke up this morning, it looked to be the beginning of a beautiful day. However, it had poured rain at night, and we’d left all of our stuff outside all night long. Beginners’ mistake.

The worst of it were the doggie blankets….all four of them soaked and now also weighing a ton. And so, that is how it came to be that we spent all morning doing laundry. In all honesty, all those dog blankets were probably in need of a good washing anyway.

Our goal today, was to reach Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where we would visit our friends Bev and Mike in Squirrel Hill. It was a pretty uneventful drive, unless you count a Gumby & Pokey mid-day tip-over.

We did pass an interesting road sign along the way….”Lordstown,” which was marked as an “Exit Only” exit off the toll road. The irony did not go unnoticed, and we had a great big laugh over that one.

Our arrival at Bev and Mike’s was just in time to get the Space Shuttle situated in their driveway (our home for the next two nights), say hello, walk the dogs, and then hop in their car to go to a party out in Coraopolis. Perfect timing, no?!

Bev & Mike's cat welcomes us to Pittsburg

Bev & Mike’s cat welcomes us to Pittsburg

Bev and Mike welcome us to Pittsburg

Bev and Mike welcome us to Pittsburg

It seemed like it took forever to get to the party, but that was probably ‘cause we’d just spent a good part of the day driving! Or maybe because Coraopolis is kind of “out there.” But when we arrived, what a treat! It was an “Island” theme party, complete with a steel drum band for entertainment.

Party in Coraopolis

Party in Coraopolis

The band

The band

Welcome to Pittsburg!

Louisville Hot Browns & The Airstreams!

** I believe I inadvertently left out Day #36….so, here it is…out of order…

Selfie w/ a cool Airstream

Selfie w/ a cool Airstream

Day 36      July 15

When in Louisville, one must do the obvious…..go to Churchill Downs, and, eat a Louisville Hot Brown.

We began the day with a visit to Churchill Downs & the Kentucky Derby Museum.  The 360 degree film that’s shown in the museum theatre was fabulous, so be sure to watch it if you go there! And be sure to gawk at how tiny the jockey’s outfits are that are on display. We’re talkin’ about some tiny peeps!

Willie Shoemaker @ Churchill Downs

Willie Shoemaker @ Churchill Downs


Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs


Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs


Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs


Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs


Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs

When we had finished going through the museum, and taking the mini tour of the track, we ate lunch in the cafe. At the instruction of Mark’s cousin Susanne, we ordered the Louisville Hot Brown. She told us that, while in Louisville, we HAD to have one. It’s a tradition kind of thing, an epic food thingy that we had to try.

We obliged Susanne, and ordered the Louisville Hot Brown. All I can say is, once is enough. That is one mass of heart attack inducing food that I do NOT ever need to have again. Don’t get me wrong, it tasted good, but, holy moly…just NOT good for ya! Bread, turkey, bacon, and massive amounts of cheese.

The delicious, heart-attack-inducing, Louisville Hot Brown

The delicious, heart-attack-inducing, Louisville Hot Brown

Besides the Louisville Hot Brown, the other thrill of the day was seeing our first Ikea of the entire trip! We are total Ikea junkies, and were thrilled to see one as we drove through Westchester, Ohio in the afternoon. Didn’t need anything, so we didn’t stop in. But we felt at peace, knowing that one was right there!

Our ultimate destination on this day, was Jackson Center, Ohio at the Airstream mothership! We’d made a service appointment months ago, knowing that we’d be going through Ohio. And the day had finally arrived. Well, the day would arrive tomorrow, but we finally arrived there, happy that’d we’d made it on time!

Hello Ohio!

Hello Ohio!


Hello Airstream Mothership!

Hello Airstream Mothership!


Fiona, docked for the night at the Airstream Terraport.

Fiona, docked for the night at the Airstream Terraport.

 

We had a fun time looking at the amazing collection of classic Airstream trailers on the property.  A way cool site to see!

Wally Byam's old Airstream

Wally Byam’s old Airstream

 

Old Airstream

Old Airstream


Lots of old Airstreams

Lots of old Airstreams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Found an ATM machine in the town of Jackson Center.

Found an ATM machine in the town of Jackson Center.