Monday, December 20, 2010

Dec 13 to 19

Well we had more rain on Sunday followed by a freeze and then snow 5+ cm. Finally had enough snow to use my snow mover. It has been snow showering off and on all week. Tuesday I attended the monthly meeting of the Ottawa Branch Ontario Genealogical Society. We had our daughter and son-in-law and their two dogs over for dinner on Saturday. We put up our Xmas tree and decorated it. The Ottawa Genealogist has gone to the printer and so has The Royal Yorker. Sunday evening we have the two dogs over night while their parents celebrate their wedding anniversary. Sunday we
got out for our first cross country ski. Very good! I continue to add data to the Kip/Kipp family file and my Link family file. I am also working through one of the "Descendants of Roger Williams" books and adding all of my cousins to my Link file. The more names I have entered the better the possibility of finding other connections. I must be related to a very large number of people living in New England and also the other US states! Walked 58.5 km for the week.

Dec 6 to 12

Time seems to have gotten in the way this week. It just flew by. I have been working on the completion of The Ottawa Genealogist for Jan-Mar. I have also completed the December issue of The Royal Yorker. I am reading a book "George and Laura," by Christopher Anderson. Interesting read about my cousin! More rain and ice this week but not much snow. And all of this nice weather comes from our friend to the south. After it comes from Canada of course a week or so earlier and then in the meantime picks up all of that nice moisture from the mid west and the south and fires it back at Ontario and the East coast. On Monday my wife and I attended a Christmas reception for the Friends of the Library and Archives Canada. The money goes towards "Raise a Reader" program. Tuesday I attend the board meeting of the Ottawa Branch Ontario Genealogical Society. Saturday my wife and I attended the monthly BIFHSGO meeting. Walked 59 km for the week.

Nov 29 to Dec 5

This week has gone really fast. Tuesday I picked my wife up at the Ottawa airport. She had been away in Milwaukee visiting our oldest daughter. This week I have been working on the next issue of the Ottawa Genealogist. The Gene-O-Rama brochure has gone to the printer. I have also been working on converting my 8 mm home video tapes to digital format. This involves running the tape through the video camera and while watching it the signal from the camera goes through a converter device connected to a computer. The resulting digital file looks good. Monday evening a took my son-in-law to the Met Opera replay at Silver City. The opera was Das Rhinegold. We survived! Walked 55.9 km for the week.

November 22 to 28

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
We had some rain on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday was sunny. Tuesday I was back at "work" sorting books for the Friends for the Library and Archives Canada Book Sale group. I have also been sorting through my e-mails and pulling out items for use in the next issue of The Ottawa Genealogist. I am also putting together the next Gene-O-Rama brochure for our conference April 1-2, 2011. I am also collecting items for the next issue of The Royal Yorker for the St. Lawrence Branch UELAC. Never a dull moment! I watched a couple of old Jack Benny TV issues I found on DVD. I used to watch that show when I was a kid. Kid, now that is a long time ago! It is still somewhat funny considering many things have changed in 50 years, including our views of humour. Also watched a video tape of the Opera "Das Rhinegold" by Richard Wagner.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Thursday I went to see the current Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Part 1. I think this is the best one yet. Friday evening I went to Williamstown Ontario for a Christmas party at the Sir John Johnson Manor House Historic Site. The conversation was good and the food was good. All-together a good evening. The driving was good considering that we had had an ice, freezing rain and snow storm overnight on Thursday. Saturday and Sunday I spent some time watching TV and also watching and recording a couple of my Super 8mm home movie tapes into digital format. It was interesting to watch things from 1997/8. Now I need to do the other 40 tapes I have. This will take a few months. In my spare time I continued to work on the Gene-O-Rama brochure and registration form and The Ottawa Genealogist. Walked 49.3 km for the week.

November 15 to 21

Forgot to post for awhile. Too busy!
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Monday and Tuesday continued the good weather. Wednesday it rained all day. We have been reorganizing our basement TV room so it is more open. Almost done.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
All this week I have been searching for information on people in my Kip/Kipp Family in America file. I have been adding new information. This is a very slow process. I am also working through Descendants of Roger Williams Book III and adding information on all of my cousins. I plan to do the same for the other three books. They are on order. It rained on Wednesday, enough to make the back yard soggy. Friday I raked the front lawn of debris from the Locust tree for the last time this year. I really do dislike this tree, but at the same time I am attached too it because it has grown with our house for over 30 years. Saturday I attended a luncheon meeting of the Sir Guy Carleton Branch UELAC. The speaker was Gavin Watt who is a military historian who has written a number of books on the Revolutionary War campaigns carried out in the Mohawk Valley of New York. He is an entertaining speaker and provides lots of facts. Walked 47 km for the week. Biked 8.6 km. I guess biking is over for this year.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November 8 to 14

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
A very nice start to the week, with sun mixed in with a bit of cloud. We cleaned all of our exterior windows, so we can look out and see the snow when it comes! Monday we attended the fall meeting of the Ottawa Branch of the National Association of Federal Retirees. We listened to two lectures about Transitions in Living - Housing and Money. Since we are both getting older it was of interest. Wednesday we went downtown to City Hall and got our Flu shots.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Two more good weather days have passed. Thursday we went downtown to the National War Memorial for Remembrance Day Services. It was good to be there and honour or veterans. Friday we both had our eyes checked. I will get new glasses soon. All this week I have been searching for information on people in my Kip/Kipp Family in America file. I have been adding new information. This is a very slow process. Saturday we attended the monthly BIFHSGO meting and listened to a great talk on sources for searching your WW I Canadian ancestor. Great weather on Saturday as well. In the afternoon we visited our daughter and stayed for supper and to watch a movie. We watched 3:10 to Yuma with Russel Crowe and Inception with Leonardo De Caprio. Sunday was another great day. Walked 44.7 km for the week. Biked 8.3 km.

November 1 to 7

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Monday my son-in-law changed our two outside water taps to frost-free taps. When they built our house 33 years ago they saved a bit of money by not doing it then. Tuesday was a gorgeous sunny day. Wednesday started off foggy. We went shopping for dish-washers. We will probably buy one on Friday. Late afternoon we cut up a pumpkin, cooked it and froze the pieces for use in making pumpkin muffins and custard during the winter months. We made a batch of pumpkin custard tonight as well. It was great. Along with that we made our tuna casserole. This usually feeds three for two meals, so with two of us it will last longer. Continued to tidy up the gardens for winter. Put up one of the bird feeders today.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
A little rain Thursday. Went shopping again and also took the car in for drip less undercoating. Friday cloudy with some rain. We went and had supper with our daughter and son-in-law. Good evening.
Saturday and Sunday were sunny. We are still working on identifying our European travel pictures. Finally finished off the garden cleanup for the year. Walked 38.3 km for the week. Biked 9.7 km.

Monday, November 1, 2010

October 22 to 31

Friday, Saturday & Sunday
These days are a bit of a blurr except that we managed to rake up and accumulate 7 bags of leaves and plant material to recycle. We also saw the two dogs Jackson and Hogan for a few hours. They were happy to see us both. We obviously had some jet lag as it took about 5 nights to get back into proper timing for our sleep habits here at home. I think we are now back to normal. Walked 20.8 km in three days.

Monday to Sunday
Another week has whizzed by. Did some more garden cleanup. Emptied the garage and swept it clean and then put everything back. Wednesday was very warm and sunny. Thursday we had our daughter, son-in-law and two dogs over for supper. Saturday evening and overnight it snowed in Ottawa. We were supposed to get about 1 cm but according to the official record we received 7 cm which is a record for that date. Finally got around to cleaning the house after being away for three weeks and then recovering for a week! We have been working on identifying the pictures from our European trip. After that we will work on our maritime Canada trip which took place in July. Then we need to edit pictures and produce two slide shows. Walked 51 km. Biked 9 km.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

October 2 to 21

Saturday October 2
Sunny today, abt C. Did some gardening and lawn cleanup today. Cut the grass. Biked 10.7 km. Walked 4.6 km.

Sunday October 3
Trip to London, England and Europe
Took off from Ottawa about 6:55 p.m. on AC 888. There was a gorgeous sunset that lasted for about an hour. The windows were new and we should have had our camera ready. Ed watched a movie called The Canadian Pacific 1946, Randolph Scott and Jane Wyatt. It was good. Elizabeth watched the tracking for the airplane. It was good too! We had dinner about 7:30 p.m. Chicken tomato pasta, cold squash and peas salad, roll, chocolate dessert (dessert was really good). Ed had a bottle of wine and I had gingerale. We slept for about 2 hours and then we were woken up for breakfast at 11:45 p.m. just off of the Irish coast over the Atlantic, muffin, juice and coffee. We travelled 3365 miles at 38,000 feet and about 560 miles per hour. The outside air temperature was as low as – 56 degrees F. We landed at Heathrow about 6:20 a.m. London (BST). Damp with a little fog. Walked 6.3 km.

Monday October 4
We adjusted our watches and it is now Mon day in London. The Underground workers decided to do a series of rotating strikes today so it was a challenge getting to our hotel but we actually made it here by 10: 00 a.m. and were able to check in early. We unpacked and slept until 1:00 p.m. In a groggy state we decided to follow through on our first day’s plan to see the Imperial War Museum and a few other items. The walk to the hotel from Waterloo Station was only ½ mile and it was a short ½ mile. We didn’t really have a feel for distance but do now. We walked to St George’s Circle along Waterloo Road and then onto Lambeth Palace Road. The War Museum was close to that intersection. We spent about an hour in the museum including a lunch of World War II vintage food (rationed food). We had beetroot cocoa raisin and it was good! Beetroot sugar instead of cane sugar which was couldn’t be obtained during the war. We then walked down Lambeth Palace Road to see if it was too far to Lambeth Palace (the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the See of Canterbury (spiritual home of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion worldwide). It was not too far and we spent a little time wandering around this ancient palace and the Church of St Mary at Lambeth and discovered a plaque to Lieutenant Colonel John By erected by the Ottawa Historical Society! The Church is closed first Monday of the month so we couldn’t go in. We wandered along the Thames River in front of the Palace and had terrific view s their house of parliament (Westminster Palace) and the other items along the waterfront. We then crossed Lambeth Bridge and walked down the other side through Victoria Tower Gardens and past the Houses of Parliament. We were going to go back on the Westminster Bridge by the Houses of Parliament but instead decided to walk along the Victoria Embankment. Good choice as we found the statue of Bodiaceae which we wanted to see. Plus the war memorials . We then crossed over on the footbridge (Hungerford Foot Bridge part of the Jubilee Walk of 2002) and walked by the London Eye and the London Aquarium (no time time to see it) to Westminster Bridge. Then we walked over to Lower Marsh which has a market garden through the day and that brought us back to Waterloo Road where the Old Vic stands. We then walked just the couple of blocks back to our hotel. Walked 11.6 km.

Tuesday October 5
Today we were caught up on our sleep. We both slept about ten hours plus waking up at 7:00 a.m. to British daylight. It was somewhat cloudy but not raining. We had already paid for our breakfast and it turned out to be excellent. It was a hot buffet and a typical English breakfast of eggs, bacon, ham, baked beans, baked tomatoes, cold cereal, granola, fruit yogurt, orange and grapefruit sections, toast with jams/marmite/nutella, other pastries/croissant, juice – apple, orange and tea or coffee. It was an all you can eat buffet. We tucked away a good breakfast and then headed for the underground (or Tube as they call it here) at Waterloo Station. We had to go from Waterloo Station to Kew Gardens Station to reach the National Archives (our destination for today). The trip was about forty minutes and we left at a little after 9:00 a.m. We transferred from Bakerloo at Waterloo to District at Embankment. Then we transferred again at Earls Court to the Richmond train (second last stop is Kew Gardens). Not so many trains for Richmond but we moved along fairly quickly. There was about half a kilometre walk from the station at Kew Gardens to the National Archives. There must be a regular “parade” from the tube station to the NA as we followed along in a group (the way was well marked). The building is most impressive with a wonderful artificial lake and fountain in front. The lake is full of wildfowl. We admired that for a bit before entering. Up then to the second floor to get our Reader’s Ticket. We had to pass a small test to get that but were both
successful quite quickly. The long wait was the queue for the ticket itself. Finally after about 45 minutes we had our Reader’s Tickets (with our pictures on it) in hand and they are good for three years. We then proceeded to the Reading Room to start downloading the wills that we wanted and to order the documents I particularly wanted to see. We had discovered before we left the hotel that I had a problem with charging my computer. We didn’t have a conversion plug that would work. My computer was definitely not going to be useful for downloading wills! Ed proceeded to download them on his computer (in total he downloaded 285 wills for us (19 for him and the rest for me). That was wonderful to have that done. I started working backwards on the list and photographed about 50 of the wills. As well I ordered my documents only three at a time though. Surprisingly it was 1:30 p.m. and we were off to lunch. By then Ed had downloaded 145 wills and I hadn’t gone to see my documents yet which were now available. Lunch was interesting and a good price in the cafeteria. We had ham with a local crumbled cheese. Absolutely excellent. Then a local yogurt with plum preserves and a drink of mango and orange juice again – very pleasant. Then we went to the book store and left with 40 pounds (English currency) in books that I had wanted to purchase for a while from the National Archives plus a map of Northern Norfolk for Ed’s Abbs families. Then back to work and Ed finished
download the wills mentioned above and I went to look at my documents. They were very very old and I photographed the two single ones that were about John Blake of Wiltshire in the late 1100s. I will try to transcribe them later. The third item was a large box of documents not yet individually identified. After looking at five of them I decided to leave them for another day. The archivist was very worried about her documents in my hands (after all I was a stranger) and was hanging around behind me to make sure I took proper care of them – I quite understood. I returned the box and headed down to continue photographing items that I wanted. Around 5:00 p.m. we headed back to the Tube and decided to see what direction Kew Gardens was as we will go there on Friday afternoon to walk in the gardens. Then we caught the tube and retraced our steps back to Waterloo. This time the tube took us straight to Westminster where we changed to the Jubilee line and then to Waterloo Station. We looked around for a conversion plug and found one! My computer is now charged up again but the plug is a monster one – two connectors to fit it to the plugin here. It will also work on the continent. Dinner was at the hotel again and we had hamburgers, salad and fries. It was very tasty. We also added in a British dessert – chocolate cookie mash with ice cream – very tasty. We got to talk to Margaret on Skype once again and then I fell asleep sitting up. Then typed up the journal and Ed will upload it with pictures. Enjoy! Walked 6.8 km.

Wednesday October 6
Up at 7:00 a.m. and did Tae Bo before Breakfast. Same breakfast as yesterday by 8:00 a.m. and then planned our walking trip through the City of Westminster and the City of London. We left about 8:45 a.m. walking up Waterloo and across the Westminster Bridge once again. We proceeded to the Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill Museum. It was similar to the Diefenbunker in Ottawa. The War Rooms were at Whitehall. We spent about 1 hour touring the facility and bought a DVD of the Dunkirk evacuation. After visiting the War Rooms we walked past Whitehall and then past Downing Street. We then walked along Horse Guard Parade and through the arch and over to Horse Guards Road which runs along St James Park. We then headed for The Mall which connects Buckingham Palace and the Admiralty Arch and there we saw the statue of the Duke of York. We looked at all the statues in Waterloo Place and then headed up Pall Mall Street back to The Mall and walked by the statue of Captain Cook and walked under the Admiralty Arch. We then headed for Trafalgar Square looking for Canada House which we finally found. Then we toured the square where there is Nelson’s Ship in a
bottle, the fountains in the square and of course the statue of Nelson on top of his column with four huge bronze lions around it and thousands of people! There was also a statue of King George IV and a statue of Charles 1 which is the milemarker. All distances from London are measured from his statue. We visited St Martin In The Field Parish Church and had lunch in the crypt. There were a lot of live people down there eating lunch. We had cheese pies, a chocolate croissant and liquids. St Martin In The Field Church is where my 2x great grandparents went to Church when they lived in London from 1840 to 1850. They lived on Covent Garden Place and their pork butcher shop was on Lamb Conduit Way nearby. After that we visited Canada House. We went up to the door and it said to wait there so we did and the guard motioned us in. We went through all the security and then sent an email from Canada House. It was quite impressive with an enormous floor to wall mirror which looked like a doorway. Very impressive entrance way for our High Commission in London. We were off once again and walked past the townhouse where Benjamin Franklin lived when he was Envoy to London in the late 1700s. Returned to the path along the Thames River known as the Victoria Embankment and found Cleopatra’s Needle (an obelisk from 1500 BC Egypt) which had been a gift to the British people. It is very impressive. We continued along the Victoria Embankment and found the Temple Church and the all the legal courts of England. The Temple Church was closed because the usual person to show the church was sick. There were a number of disappointed tourists whilst we were there. We continued walking along Victoria Embankment past Blackfriars Bridge and came across another foot bridge called the Millennium Bridge which is the actual one from the Harry Potter movie. From there we were looking for washrooms so walked up Peter’s Hill to St Paul’s Cathedral and found a Starbucks. So we went in and ate and drank and used the washrooms! We wandered around the area and discovered one of the old gates of London (from the 1600s) which was very impressive and then continued around St Paul Cathedral courtyard which was redone since Margaret and I were there in 2001 – your Dad and I hadn’t wandered around the Church last time. We then walked back and crossed the Millennium Bridge. But we didn’t see any wizards? We were then walking along the south bank of the Thames and walked by the recreation
of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. We continued past Southwark Bridge winding through narrow street, past the reproduction of the Golden Hinde which as the boat of Sir Francis Drake who saved England from the Spanish Armada in 1588. Then continued past the St Saviour Southwark Cathedral and it was a masterpiece. They have built a church hall, office buildings, condominiums all in the same old stone of the original church. It is very impressive. Continuing along under London Bridge we came to Tooley Street where my 3x great grandfather had his Slop Shop (he made sailor uniforms) and walked a little ways on this street past the London Bridge Tube Station – it is an enormous tube station. We then headed back down Borough Street towards our hotel. We threaded our way down old narrow streets including Copperfield Lane and Mint Street to reach Waterloo Road which took us back to our hotel.
Total distance 17.9 kilometres. Needles to say we are a little tired! Walked 18.4 km.

Thursday October 7
Up at 7:00 a.m. and breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Same breakfast as yesterday and the day before. It is a good breakfast and always hot and fresh tasting. It is very quick as it is buffet style. Today we were planning on spending the day at Greenwich. That entailed catching the Jubilee line at Waterloo Station and then transferring to the Docklands Light Rail for our trip to Cutty Sark which is the stop for the Maritime
Museum and other items at Greenwich. We arrived at 10:00 a.m. at Greenwich and walked down towards the pier into the Thames River. There was a tunnel from the south side to the north side with a very ancient looking entrance building but unfortunately both sides were closed whilst they are repairing them. So we could not do the walk under the Thames River. Somewhat disappointed but on the other hand it gave us lots of time to do other things. We them continued walking to the Maritime Museum and the first buildings we encountered were the Naval Academy. Surprisingly there looked to be a lot of construction but as we moved forward we realized they were filming a movie about life in the 1700s and it is to be a Disney Movie called Blackbeard. It looked very interesting and we watched a few minutes. We then moved on to our objective which was to visit the National Maritime Museum. It was enormous, full of children very excited to be there, but we managed to see many of the exhibits. We will show you the pictures on our return. We spent about an hour at the National Maritime Museum and then moved moved on to our next quest. We wanted to find the Greenwich Observatory and the Statue of General Wolfe. The statue we were not sure where it was located but as we headed towards the Observatory which was up quite a steep hill we spotted the statue looking down at us from the top of the hill. He is directly in front of the Naval Academy at Greenwich. Although this was not a holiday the grounds were crowded with people wanting to visit the Royal Observatory and they gathered by the statue but I think we were most impressed at the time with the Statue since it more directly involves us as Canadians. The Statue was placed on the grounds by the Government of Canada in 1930 which was a surprise. Also it was damaged during the Second World War and still bears the marks of machine gun fire from the air. Not sufficient to knock him down but just put a few dents in it. We then entered the Royal Observatory and stood with one foot East and and one foot in the West of the Time Meridian which is 0 degrees 0 minutes 0 seconds longitude but at 51 degrees latitude. It was a beautiful sunny day and warm for England I suspect. There were a lot of tourists at the site in particular several
buses from Germany. The Observatory and the house for the Royal Astronomer were built in the 1670s by Charles II, King of England and the buildings were amazing. If you remember seeing the “Octagonal Room” it was exactly as pictured. We wandered through the museum looking at all the astronomical tools through the hundreds of years – an amazing collection. The Royal Astronomy building had a cafeteria so we stopped there for lunch and had an egg and watercress sandwich on many grains bread, coke and a slice of orange lavender cake which was very good. We walked
along Blackheath Road through Greenwich Park to the area known as Blackheath where the Palatines lived in the early 1700s before being sent to the American Colonies. Then we headed back to the center of Greenwich to visit the Church of St Alfege which was built around 1000 AD. My 3x great grandfather Christopher Buller and his second wife attended that church and their two sons were both baptized and buried there in 1813 and 1818. The Church itself was completed gutted by an incendiary bomb in World War II but has been completely redone and is quite beautiful inside with the outside looking probably very like it has looked for the last millennium. Back on the Docklands Light Rail to the end of the line which was Bank Station and also Monument Station. We exited right at the Monument – a 300 feet high structure constructed in memory of the Great Fire of London in 1666 and built in 1671-76. You can climb to the top if you wish for 3 pounds each but we were too tired to do that. We then wandered down Pudding Lane which was where the fire started. Continuing on our way we walked to the Tower Hill on which the Tower of London stands. In behind
the tower is the area which is known as Tower Hill and the location of the martyring of many of the supporters/defenders of the Roman Catholic/Church of England depending on the monarch involved. As well there is an enormous memorial to the Merchant Marine members who died in the Battle of the North Atlantic (thousands of them) and also Trinity House where their records along with other maritime institutions like lighthouses are stored. As we moved towards the Tower Bridge to cross to the South Side Ed spotted something to the left which looked interesting and proved to be the Roman wall of London built in 61 AD. A marvellous find and quite well preserved. Continuing to follow the directions we also found the footings of one of the medieval towers at the gates of the City of London. Then around the Tower of London towards the Bridge. We had crossed about half way and discovered
that they were raising the lift in the middle of the bridge to let a boat through. Lots of people were standing around watching and finally the bridge came down again and we proceeded into the district known as Bermondsey. We followed the Tower Bridge Road to Tooley Street (mentioned yesterday) and then continued on to Tanner Road and then we turned right and headed for Bermondsey Street. This is the street that my 3x and 4x great grandparents had businesses on at different times plus the Church of St Mary Magdalen that they attended is also located on this street. We followed Bermondsey Street to Long Lane where Christopher Buller lived when my 3x great grandmother Mary Beard Buller was still alive. This was an interesting old/new street with a mixture of buildings. Following to the end of Long Lane we reached Great Brough Road which led us to Brough Street and then St Georges Circus where we had been on our first day’s travels in London. The way home from there was easy. When we got back to the hotel we decided to go up to Waterloo Station and buy our dinner. We had Cornish Pasties – I had lamb and mint and Ed had a typical Cornish pasty (beef and potatoes). We also purchased a bowl of fruit and two interesting desserts – Chocolate Triffin and Raspberry Almond bar. Both were delicious and your Dad had a beer. We walked 17.6 kilometres today.

Friday October 8
Up at 6:00 a.m. and packing to get ready to move on to our Trafalgar Hotel and the beginning of our European Tour. The usual breakfast once again and as usual it was good and hot and quite tasty. Plenty of food as well to keep us going until lunch time! Today was also the day that we had planned to visit the Church of St Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey. We had walked the direction from the church yesterday on our way home but decided to revise it slightly today and it probably saved us five minutes or so. The Church was incredibly ancient inside. In very poor repair (adequate for holding services but very very old). The two people at the Church were very helpful with their explanations on the Church but must admit it was somewhat depressing to see what was once a beautiful Church in such disrepair. We didn’t go up on the balconies to take any pictures. Really just wanted to escape the poverty of that building. The font though was quite spectacular – all marble and carved – and we have a picture of it. It dates back to 1801 so my 2x great grandfather Henry Christopher Buller was baptized in that font. That made it somewhat pleasant to have found that. We left after twenty minutes and then walking around the corner discovered that the burial yard still existed so we spent more time there than we had inside. My 4x great grandparents were buried in the Churchyard but no stones for them exist now if there ever were any. The graveyards was fairly well maintained
and as we left we discovered a notice saying that the Church was to undergone repair which was nice to read. We then traveled to the Ancient Bermondsey Marketplace (has existed since mediaeval times at least and I think back to Roman times). That was a different experience – sort of like a flea market – lots of really nice items but we didn’t buy anything. Then we headed back on our same path to the Travelodge Hotel to sign out and head for Jurys Inn in Chelsea. We had decided to take the Overground Rail Service from Waterloo. It would take us to Clapham Junction and then we transferred and caught the train going to Imperial Wharf where our next hotel was located. That worked quite well and was very quick (about 20 minutes). We only had to move the suitcases up and down one full set of stairs. Our room here is very nice (about twice as big as our last one). We had planned to go to Kew Gardens so as soon as we had everything organized in our room we headed for the Underground (about a 15 minute walk) and arrived at Kew Gardens (our destination) about a half an hour later. We toured Kew Gardens and had time to visit all of the glass house exhibits of flowers and shrubs plus one of cactus which was very interesting. As well we walked the length of Kew Gardens to the Thames River (somewhat narrower at this point than in the City). To save ourselves the long walk back from the underground your Dad decided we would try transferring to the National Rail Service that stopped at Imperial Wharf which is almost beside our hotel. It worked out perfectly on a transfer if you can image and we were back at the hotel quite quickly. We had dinner in the bar because their restaurant isn’t open. Your dad had a roast chicken/mashed potatoes with vegetable medly plate and I decided on a tuna sandwich on brown bread and onion soup. Both our meals were excellent. Back in the room and we discovered that our wake up call on Sunday is 4:50 a.m. and we leave on the bus at 6:00 a.m. (that will be Sunday morning). The weather is promised to be clear and sunny so we should be able to see the White Cliffs of Dover. Walked 18.5 km.

Saturday October 9
The first day of our tour and it was to be a day on our own in London. We picked up our luggage tags yesterday evening and they are on our bags. We will be across the channel by the time you wake up on Sunday. In Brussels some time later in the day – not sure when yet. We will try to telephone in the evening but we are one more hour away from both of you (six hours ahead of Kathryn and Rick; seven hours ahead of Margaret). Today we had a buffet breakfast at Jury’s Inn and it was quite nice. They made me a bowl of oatmeal which was very tasty and I also had a slice of toast, a sunny side egg, a small amount of baked beans and two steamed tomatoes plus a good sized bowl of fruit and two pieces of cheese – a typical English breakfast except I didn’t eat any bacon or sausage. We had decided to go to the Victoria and Albert Museum today. That involved walking up to the underground (about 2.5 kilometres) and then taking two different lines to reach the museum. The underground connects directly into the Victoria and Albert Museum and likely the others as well. We decided to go out on the street and enter from the road so that we could actually see the outside of the building. Well worth that effort, the buildings are beautiful. We spent about two hours looking around and then decided to take a break in the Cafe and had a scone with apricot jam and clotted cream plus a coke to keep us going and some water. We had spent quite a bit of time in the sculptures area including seeing a cast of David by Michaelangelo and we will see the original of David in Florence. It is a majestic statue about 10 feet tall. We also viewed the tapestries – hundreds of years old and many Christian artifacts from 300 AD on. Your Dad took a lot of pictures and we will show them to you when we return. This is
likely going to be a shorter entry in the journal! We then went back to the Cafe and had our dinner. The food looked so good that we decided to eat there. We had roasted lamb sandwiches (on homemade whole wheat/seed bread) and a green salad. Your Dad also had roasted potato wedges. I had enough meat for me for about three days on my sandwich – the pieces of bread were very large. I ate it all though and it was most enjoyable. Your Dad couldn’t get through all the potatoes which is amazing for him but there was so much food. We went back and viewed some more of the museum and then decided to try and see some of the Natural History Museum. The building is absolutely beautiful in itself. As you enter the enormous atrium on the far side at the top of the stairs is a marble statue of Charles Darwin seated. In the middle is an enormous dinosaur skeleton. The main floor was absolutely packed with people so
we headed upstairs to view the primate exhibit. There was a stuffed white handed Gibbon and we share one mutation with this primate (and so far we are still the only people in the world who do so – along with anyone who matches us). There was also a movie on cutting down a tree and then turning it into an exhibit in the museum. The movie was absolutely fascinating and we watched that to the end and then your dad found the exhibit. It was 5:00 p.m. by then so we headed up towards Hyde Park and the Albert Memorial which we hadn’t seen up close when we came before. Your Dad took lots of pictures of it. Then we walked back to the Underground to head home picking up some yoghurt, oat cakes, bananas and water along the way. The underground was very very busy and we arrived home about 6:15 p.m. Now we will pack up so that we are ready to go at 5:00 a.m. Walked 12.3 kilometres today!

Sunday October 10
An early morning as we were up at 4:50 a.m., breakfast at 5:30 a.m. but our bus was late so we didn’t board until 6:30 a.m. We were very ready. However, we picked up everyone and were on our way to the Ferry at Dover by 7:30. The drive through England was interesting. The land looked very like Ontario as there weren’t any hedgerows or sheep much to speak of; mostly crops. By the time we reached Dover which is quite spectacular we just had to wait a few minutes to board the ferry and the ferry left about ten minutes after we loaded. Dover Castle was very large. We had a distance view of it and would like to see it another time. The white cliffs of Dover though are shinny white and can be seen quite a long ways out and actually we had such a clear day that you could still the white cliffs when we were on the French coastline. We drew in along the Normandy coastline continuing to move along the coast into the Port of Calais. Whilst on board the ferry we had a light lunch – carrot cake and cheese. Most pleasant. We were off the ferry and on our way by 11:45 (new time now as this is European Summer Time) and will be our time now all the way through Germany, Switzerland, Italy and back into France. We had landed at Calais which is a French port. In about half an hour though we would be in Belgium having passed the port of Dunquerke made famous because of the forced evacuation of 338,000 British, French, Belgium, Polish and Dutch troops when they were encircled by Hitler’s armies in 1940. They speak Flemish, Dutch, Germany and French in Belgium so we didn’t feel too lost as we could speak enough French if they didn’t speak English. We had a coffee break at a car stop about 50 kilometres from Brussels and had a chocolate cupcake and yoghurt. Arrived in Brussels at 3:00 p.m. and saw the
Atomium which is a very large metallic model of an atom created for Expo at Brussels in the 1950s. We arrived at our hotel around 4:00 and our room is very nice. We then went out for a walking tour in the old city and dinner. We went to the Grand Place square) where we saw the ancient buildings of the Guilds. They were quite beautiful although only dated back to the late 1600s because the original wooden buildings burned down in 1697. We then choose our restaurant for dinner and had a traditional meal of Flemish stew – absolutely delicious and we had a glass of house wine to go with it. The restaurant was really the front of an old house on one of their famous eating alleys. After that we walked about and had a Belgian waffle with strawberries, cream and chocolate – also very delicious. Continuing our walk about until it was time to head back to the hotel at 8:00 p.m. No internet except for 30 euros a day. Decided to pass on that and use our phone card. No public telephone at the hotel so bought 15 minutes of Internet and the keyboard is different. Managed to send an email to you and reduce our mailboxes before the time was all gone. We probably will not try to get in touch with you again unless we find a hotspot or internet cafe until Thursday when we have access once again in Italy. You will not know this other than our email since we will not be online. Heading for bed soon as we are up at 6:00 a.m. and on our way at 7:30 a.m. to catch our boat trip up the
Rhine. It will be interesting to take the path of your ancestors except in reverse. Walked 10 kilometres today.

Monday October 11
Up at 6:00 a.m. with breakfast at 6:45 a.m. and it was a buffet breakfast that was incredible. There were four stations and each station was about ten feet long and four feet wide laden with food. I started with a vitamin enriched juice and a bowl of fruit – grapefruit sections, orange sections, pineapple and mixed fruit plus cheese (a piece of camembert). Then the hot table and I had a hard-boiled egg, rye bread but there were several kinds of eggs, bacon, sausage, and potato cakes. Then I had a bowl of cereal – granola, walnuts, almonds, filberts and dried apricots. There were a number of other cereal and fruit choices as well. Then a bowl of yoghurt and finally a glass of freshly squeezed orange – they had a machine which squeezed oranges right in front of you. We left on time at 7:30 a.m. from Brussels heading for the German border in a southeast direction. We then moved up along the Rhine and gradually worked our way down to the Rhine River (360 degree turns and all – fabulous views).

Felt like we were already in the Alps! We ended up at Boppard Germany where we boarded our Rhine cruise ship. It was a large cruise ship and very well appointed. We had lunch on board as we were leaving which included Schnitzel (sausage), fries and raw vegetables plus minestrone soup and a bottle of red wine (local). We then proceeded to the deck and watched the shores of the Rhine pass us by (in the reverse direction that your ancestors came up from the Palatine to Amsterdam! The travelogue was very good describing each of the castles as we passed by then. The tour was 1.5 hours and most enjoyable. We landed at St. Goar and walked around this small village for about an hour and did some shopping. They had the most fantastic cuckoo clocks and we were tempted to buy one but not practical as it is fragile to bring home in a suitcase. Then boarded the bus and headed along the Rhine River south towards Heidelburg. As we traveled we passed kilometres and kilometres of vineyards – this is the German wine making area. At Heidelburg we again got off the bus and walked around this University town in the old area. There is a castle high on the mountain which was built in 1683 and was a 45 degree climb from the street and one kilometre in length. We puffed our way up and the views were great. Then back to look at the old area of the city which included an old church, a monument to the Bubonic Plague and an ancient bridge first constructed in the 1200s. This was over the Neckar River and some of your ancestors lived in this general area. After that we headed to Karlsruhe where we unloaded at our Best Western Hotel about 6:45. After a rest we had a buffet supper which was very nice. Walked 7.7 km.

Tuesday October 12
Today was an early day; we were up at 5:45 a.m., breakfast at 6:30 and it was a fabulous breakfast. Even more interesting food than yesterday. Hard boiled eggs (still warm), bacon, sausage, pork meatballs, turkey, chicken, ham, three kinds of potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes with cheese, and I may have missed some. For cold food, cereals – two kinds of granola, several types of nuts, same with dried fruit. Also a fruit area – grapefruit, oranges, pineapple, mixed fruit salads (two kinds), four kinds of yoghurt (apricot, strawberry, natural and plain) and then the bread (rye/other not sure which flour), many pastries, squares, and then cold cuts (at least ten different kinds) and a cheese bar. Then fresh fruit juice including grapefruit juice which pleased me and of course tea and coffee. Very nice breakfast. We left at 7:15 a.m. as our tour leader wanted to beat the traffic. We were doing so
well until the German Police pulled us over as they wanted to check the bus – that took about twenty minutes. When finished we were deep into traffic. Our first stop was at the border into Switzerland. Because they are not members of the Economic Community we had to pass through their border although Trafalgar must have such a good name that they did not come in to check our passports. Our wait there was only about ten minutes; however we had lost an hour in total so had to change plans somewhat. Our lunch stop was now the Rhine falls which was quite interesting and we
spent about an hour there and had our lunch. We ate cranberries and a bar that we had brought with us from Canada. We just didn’t feel like a large meal at 11:00 a.m.! However, that gave us time to really look around the waterfall and we walked from one side to the other and back again taking lots of pictures and discovering an interesting part of the Rhine River. Back on the bus and our change in plans was reviewed. We would still be able to make it to our appointment for the train and cable car up the Stanserhorn Mountain in the Swiss Alps. This was to be quite
exciting. The drive itself to get there took us through at least ten tunnels in the mountain as we headed for Lucerne. Several of the tunnels were several kilometres long. At last we arrived at Lucerne and our train station. The train took us about half of the way up the mountain. The old train went all the way but has since been replaced at the top by a cable car. Only 38 of the 45 people on the tour took the train and cable car. The others spent the afternoon shopping in Lucerne. The Cable Car was quite exciting although there was a heavy cloud layer on the mountain and people screamed each time that the car went over one of the cable supports. Part way up we went through the clouds to brilliant sunshine and we were looking at fluffy clouds instead of the earth below. The mountain is 6300 feet (1300 metres) tall and is the highest I have ever been on land. It was cold coming up but on the top it
was warmer in the brilliant sun. They have a spot where you can have a 360 degree view which is a metal stand built up over the chasm between mountains – the secret is not to look down! Your Dad took a panorama of shots. Then we climbed up to the mountain peak (about another 500 feet from where the cable car brought us). The view was terrific and we could see all the mountain peaks around us sticking up out of the clouds. As I was looking around, I was suddenly thinking – oh my gosh, we are at the top of one of the mountains in the Swiss Alps. We really enjoyed our time up there. Soon enough (after 1.5 hours) it was time to come down once again. First the Cable Car and we had a reservation so passed ahead of this big long line of people waiting for their ride down – they actually booed us which surprised me. We passed through the clouds and could see the ground far beneath us. Then onto the train again and back down the rest of the mountain. But that wasn’t the end of our day. We boarded the bus once again and drove to the next part of our optional tour and it was a boat ride on Lake Lucerne. It was really cold and I wore my new red gloves that Kathryn and Rick gave to me for my 65th birthday. I also had on a turtle neck shirt, a sleeveless vest, a hooded fleece jacket and then my windproof/waterproof long jacket. I had both hoods on and I was warm enough to stay outside and enjoy the boat ride along with about 5 of the tour people. It was interesting to be on the
highest glacial freshwater lake in the world (and the largest). It provides 45% of the drinking water for Switzerland apparently. The boat took us from the Stanserhorn Mountain to the dock at Lucerne a trip of about 45 minutes. After that we had two hours to tour Lucerne with its ancient bridges built in the 13th century and old
buildings that date back to the early 1600s. We walked around for awhile shopped at The Bucherer and then it was time to board our bus and head for our hotel in Stans. This is an old house (very large) made into hotel rooms. Our room is quite nice and
fairly large. Our dinner tonight was on Trafalgar once again and it was a fairly simple dinner of cream soup and fresh whole wheat/mixed grains bread. Then chicken/mushroom sauce, carrots and onions and roasted potatoes. Finally a chocolate
pudding with whipped cream. This was at 8:00 p.m. and we finished about 9:15 p.m. We have to get to bed early as we are up again at 5:45 a.m. for a 7:15 a.m. start to Venice. We walked 10.3 kilometres today.

Wedenesday October 13
Up again at 5:45 a.m. again today and breakfast at 6:30 a.m. This was a cold buffet breakfast with granola and fresh yoghurt. Whole wheat bread and cheese (and ham but I didn’t have any) along with jams. Orange Juice, apple juice were also available.
We were on the bus by 7:15 a.m. and moving towards Venezia (Venice). First we had to clear the Swiss border since they are not in the Economic Union. This is quite a trip through many many tunnels in the alps plus the incredible images of the mountains on either side of the road as we moved south through the Alps. They are up to 12000 feet high and they look it. We did not see any snow on these southern alps as we had on the northern alps when we were near Lucerne. Margaret and I flew over these mountains and they were snow covered caps with brown peak and an obvious lower treeline in mid-November 2001. Finally we reached the Gotthard Tunnel and this is now the second longest tunnel in the world. It is 17 kilometres long and took us just under thirteen minutes to clear it. It has stop lights every 500 feet so that the traffic can be brought to a halt. Shortly after the Gotthard Tunnel we reached the Swiss border and managed to cross fairly quickly into Italy which is part of the Economic Community so we did not have to go through their border control. We continued driving through the now Italian Swiss Alps which are the tallest but gradually the plains of Northern Italy took over. We stopped for a break about 10:30 a.m. and had our first opportunity to try out our Italian. We did very well and
managed to purchase a bottle of spring water without difficulty. Continuing along the highway towards Milan where we were to have our lunch, we gradually passed out of the Alps and the level flat plains of upper Italy were all around us. Lunch was an interesting affair. We had a lovely salad (lettuce, other greens, mozzarella cheese balls, fresh olives, and tomatoes) with balsamic dressing and extra virgin olive oil, four bread sticks with olives cooked in the batter (excellent taste), and a bowl of fruit plus a bottle of local wine – very tasty (a red slightly dry wine).
Then back into the bus and we continued driving to Venice. We reached Venice at 1:30 a.m. and immediately caught our water taxi to Venice. Venice is an island (actually a series of islands with the building on stilts that are not on islands making for a continuous community with lots of waterways linking the homes and other buildings. Our first boat ride took us around the whole city of Venice to the far side near the Piazzo St Martino. This was about a 30 minute boat ride out on the Lagoon (which opens into the Adriatic Sea) and is surprisingly a very large body of water. We had a special exhibit arranged for us of a glass blowing display. This is Venetian glass and then we were shown about 19 rooms of venetian glass. We thought about buying a piece but hated to spend that kind of money on a fragile piece that might break on the way home. So we didn’t do that. We then had about 1.5 hours to look at Venice
and did see quite a bit of the area around the Piazzo. Then our next excursion was a gondola ride through the small (water) streets of Venice with a musician playing music and a bottle of Spumanti wine. There were six of us on each boat but only Ed and I really drank the wine and it was a large bottle – we had too much but managed to look stable. ? This ride lasted about 45 minutes and was so very pleasant – we quite enjoyed it and when finished we immediately went and bought a map of Venice to remember it by. We also bought a small china plate just to remind us of our time in Venice. Then we all got onto water taxis and travelled back along the Grand Canal through the middle of Venice to our bus – took after 15 minutes and was a very speedy trip. There were about a dozen of us in each taxi and we passed by all
the castles and estates of the rich in Venice – quite spectacular. Back to the Hotel and this one is particularly nice. Our dinner was again with the group and we started with a tomato pasta starter, then pork, mashed potatoes, peas and peppers as the main course and then a carmel pudding with chocolate sauce for dessert. The pasta was really great and I think it is a pity to not let the Italian chef make us
an Italian meal for the entire meal instead of making an “English” meal but we are just enjoying this trip not leading it?. Still no internet for a reasonable price so we will wait until Rome where it is supposed to be available free. Time will tell. We are to be up at 6:15 a.m. tomorrow so that will be a treat. The total distance walked today was 7.6 kilometres.

Thursday October 14
Up at 6:00 a.m. with breakfast at 7:00 a.m. This was a cold buffet breakfast but was quite acceptable – with cereal, bread, fruit juice, cheese and meat, yoghurt and coffee or tea. We were in the bus at 7:45 a.m. on our way to Rome. This is a long trip and we spent most of it on the bus travelling. Our first stop was one of the autogrills. They offered a good variety of food and you could have bought freshly made sandwiches or pastries or just water like we did plus a package of fruit bars which turned out to be very good. Northern Italy is industrial and there are many many tunnels in the highway continuing from our trip of a day earlier which saw us using the longest tunnel in the world (17 kilometres). Most of the other tunnels are quite a bit shorter. Sometimes we were right on the edge of the mountain flying around a curve. Lots to see but especially the grape vineyards and the olive orchards. I have acquired a liking for fresh olives – they are quite good but I
suspect it will not last as they have a strong taste in Canada. Lunch was again at one of the Autogrills and we enjoyed a fresh salad, olive breadsticks, fresh bowl of fruit, a bottle of wine and a dessert. The desserts were very interesting and we had purchased a chocolate chiffon dessert with possibly a mocha topping. We enjoyed our lunch very much. We shared all the items as it is too much food for one person. We had stopped at 1:00 p.m. for our lunch so continued then straight on into Rome. We were staying in the southeast area which is a relatively new area of housing with our hotel reached via a lot of residential housing. This hotel is very nice and we finally got the Internet working. It was good to be able to hear from both of you.
Our first night in Rome was one of the optional tours which included a walk from the Trevi Fountain to our restaurant. First we threw coins into the Fountain and then walked from that Piazza to the next which was the Poppolo Piaza where we saw Trajan’s Column. Crossing the road we were able to see the city gates (these had also been pointed out to us when we drove downtown to our rendezvous with the guide who led us) and the tomb of the King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel. From this Piazza we crossed several more stopping to look at a few items. We arrived at the Pantheon (not to be mistaken for the Parthenon in Greece!) and this building (completely intact) is 2008 years old. It is a magnificient structure with the largest free standing dome in the world (before St Peters Basilica was built). We spent some free
time there taking pictures of this building which was originally a pagan temple and following the acceptance of Christianity as the state religion of Rome because a Christian Church and is to this day. From the Panthenon we then headed for Piazza Navona where our dinner restaurant was located. A lovely restaurant with chairs outside under an awning (probably a hundred people or more eating there with our group being about 44). We started out with fresh bread and a choice of red or white wine or water. Then a plate of antipasto (including egg plant breaded). The next course was pizza and in total our group of four received four pizzas (different kinds) and each of us ate one entire pizza. I especially liked the last one which was a three cheese pizza. Dessert was Tretta (chocolate ice cream embedded with chocolate pieces and whipped cream on top). We wandered around the Piazza for a
bit and then headed home – everyone full of wine and exhausted. The distance was 6.8 kilometres.

Friday, October 15
Up today at 6:00 a.m.; we just woke up early. We needed to breakfast at 7:00 a.m. and it was supposed to be on the roof but ended up in the basement so delayed us somewhat. Good breakfast except the scrambled eggs looked strange – somewhat runny to put it mildly. I ate cereal, fruit (canned), cheese, yoghurt, fruit juice (grape fruit?), and some pastry because no brown bread. We were all finished by 7:25 a.m. and on the bus just after 7:30 a.m. which was good. Today our destination was the Vatican Museum. We had a special conducted tour of the Museum and boy was I in for a
surprise. Margaret and I spent an entire day there! The tour was precise and controlled so that we had just one hour in the Vatican Museum and then one hour in St Peter’s Basilica. It was all the time that we had actually. My daughter and I spent one entire day at St Peter’s Basilica. It was really nice to see it all again and I enjoyed it. I felt somewhat sad that Ed had so little time there but he said he enjoyed it. The Cathedral and square are all set up for a beatification ceremony tomorrow so the space was somewhat limited. We wandered around St Peter’s Square
which was most interesting once again. Then we headed for the Vatican Shop and bought a small statue of Piata which we will enjoy and be a good memory of our visit to St Peter’s Basilica. We also bought a book on Rome and the Vatican which will be helpful remembering everything that we saw today. We had lunch but I picked a salad which was somewhat old but the roll was good as was the spring water. We should
have gone and bought a proper lunch and it was a good lesson to us. Then we were off to the Coliseum to see that ancient building and have a tour plus on our own in the Forum. The Coliseum was quite interesting . I learned that we shouldn’t have been up in the very top when we visited it in 2001 but the person in charge said it was okay so we had climbed up. There weren’t very many people there so perhaps that way why we were permitted to go up. Apparently it has been closed since 1970. But the views were lovely and we enjoyed them. The tour guide said very few Christians died in the Coliseum and it was funny the effect that had on me. Last time I found it depressing to think of all the Christians who were martyred there and this time of course the element of question entered into the thought and I simply enjoyed such an ancient establishment and how much you can learn from being there. We had some free time and so Ed and I walked around the ruins but it is different from before in that so much is fenced off and better organized. That is a plus I think in terms of protecting the dig. Then back to the hotel for a couple of hours break. We were off to the dinner at 4:45 a.m. and it included a lovely walk through the ruins and also Campione Square. We saw a young couple in wedding dress obviously very happy at their special day. The end of the day was idyllic as we enjoyed our stroll about and then back into the bus and heading for our dinner’s restaurant. They were all ready for us with lovely breadsticks and wine to start. Quickly they brought us antipasta – bruschetta, Italian meat specialty and red wine. Then we moved into the Pasta courses – first a filled pasta –cottage cheese and mozzarella then a second pasta which was equally delicious. Next course was the dinner and I had chosen beef and potatoes were included along with a separate salad (olive oil). Everything was very nice although I only ate half of the meat (far too much). Then into the dessert course – ice cream and fruit. Then a final drink of spumanti and we saluted our evening. Then back in the bus and another boisterous crowd on the bus – it is lucky the police do not stop us for rowdiness (I am sitting quietly in my seat as is your Dad?). Back in the hotel I wrote both of you and I am now talking to Margaret. The Distance today was 11.8 kilomeres. On to Florence tomorrow.

Saturday October 16
Unfortunately Ed was sick in the night with vomiting and diarrhea, he is feeling better this evening but our day in Florence was quite an effort for him. We were up at 6:15 a.m. and headed down for breakfast just before 7:00 a.m. I got Ed a cup of tea but there wasn’t really anything else for him unfortunately. My breakfast was a different affair as I managed to eat at three different tables starting with cereal and juice, then having cheese and an apricot bar and finally a glass of grapefruit juice and apricot yoghurt. Then we headed out to the bus. We left at 7:45 a.m. and managed to get out of Rome quite quickly. I turned on the GPS today and watched the path out of Rome and towards Florence. I turned it off after about half of an hour. Ed slept most of the time to the first stop. At the first stop we tried to get gingerale but the stores only had sprite. Did find some nice thin slightly salted crackers which worked well. We arrived in Florence about 11:30 a.m. and immediately were dropped at a leather store. Not only did they sell every leather product that you could think of but they do trimming, alterations, etc. right at their store. They had a demonstration for us of several of their products which was very interesting and included putting gold leaf on leather and a movie on making leather shoes. The leather jackets were wonderful and if I was younger I would buy one
but I already had a leather coat and do not want another one. The leather though is absolutely beautiful – so soft and light but they would be warm. I promised myself that I would buy a piece of leather for myself as a treat – I had to decide between the various purses/wallets and other items. I didn’t rush? We had a map and headed out to find the statues in the piazza Signoria (the copy of David is there as well as Neptune, Zeus and many others as it turned out). We spent about half of an hour there and Ed was able to rest for a while. We had purchased a special electrolyte powder to help him to get better. You just mix it with water and the druggist was quite helpful (he spoke some English). We walked towards the Duomo in Piazza Duomo (the people’s piazza) and actually the Church of Sainta Marie del Fiore. This is an absolutely beautiful Church with a facade of three colours of marble – white, pink and pale green. It is one of the largest cathedrals in Italy and was the largest. It has the largest free standing (double) dome in Italy. We queued up to view the Church and it took about 30 minutes to look all around the Church – another rest time as well. Then we headed back to see the other Church Sainta Croce. The first church had been free to view but this one was 5 euros each but worth every penny (as was the other one actually). Sainta Croce contains the memorials for Galileo Galilei, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Dante Alighieri, Vittoria Alfieri, Nicolo Machiavelli, Gioacchino Rossino and many others. It also include the original “Statue of Liberty” by Pio Fedi. Many of the paintings date back to the 1300s and the 16 small chapels beside the main altar have amazing frescoes and paintings. We spent about 45 minutes in the Church and they permit pictures so we took pictures of as much as we could. Then we went out through one of the Cloisters unfortunately missing the other cloister and the two crypt walks. There just isn’t enough time to see everything and there wasn’t anyone else that we were particularly trying to see. We were to meet for our Florence City Tour at 3:25 p.m. in front of the leather shop and I forgot to mention that I did finally decide on my leather purchase and it is a beautiful red leather purse (small clasp purse) with three
inner pockets and every bit of it is leather. I will enjoy using it and my Aunt Elaine had given me a small leather purse when she went to Italy (I was about six years old). I used the purse for many many years until it finally just wore out when I was in my 40s. The lifespan of really good leather is very very long. Our City Tour started at the leather shop and led back to the Signoria Piazza but far more detail on everything. For instance I did not notice that the building behind in the statues mentioned earlier was a palace belonging to the local Duke. We spent a number of minutes looking at all the statues once again but with some new information on the individual sculptures and their sculptors. We then left the civil piazza as the young woman described this particular area of Old Florence and moved towards the Religious Piazza which was of course dominated by the People’s Church or the Duomo as it is called (the actual name of the Church being Santa Maria de la Fiore). She explained about the marble stone and that originally the facade had been much plainer but the Medicini family wished to have a spectacular church in their homeland and when Florence was named the Capital of Italy back in the 1600s, then they removed the old facade and added the spectacular one that is now there. The Bell Tower is a separate building and has a viewing platform at the top as does the dome with there being 491 and 497 steps respectively in each (plus you pay a fee to do it!). We then moved to the Baptistry which is also in the same marble facade as the Church of Santa Maria del Fiore. The doors are the particular attraction as they are known as the Gates of Heaven. The 12 scenes depicted are all Old Testament and we learned that they are only copies of the original. The Arno River flooded over and the brass carved door panels popped out and the decision was made to copy them and keep the originals in the museum. We then moved towards the Museo Nazionale del Bargello to view Michaelangelo’s works there especially including the Statue of David. It was about a five minute walk and we arrived to enormous lines (one of individuals trying to get into the Museum) and the second of several tour groups also trying to enter the Museum). We waited in line about fifteen minutes which I found somewhat strange since we had a reservation but then we received the tickets and basically we had arrived fifteen minutes before our tour time started – perhaps you have to do that but it does rather cut into your observation time.
The Museo was wonderful though and I managed to look at everything on the first floor especially David. He did a fantastic job but I am waiting to see Moses before I call this his greatest work. The Pieta was wonderful as well and I shall rank them as I see them once I have seen Moses. Dinner was again part of our fee and the restaurant at this Hotel is very nice. We had Spelt Soup as a starter. The soup was excellent and likely made with pork stock but not greasy (it was split pea with tomato sauce). Then the main course was pork roast (I had an outside piece), roasted potatoes and peas. The Dinner was hot which was wonderful. Then for dessert a Chocolate Mousse which was very very good. Our dinner companions certainly kept the conversation lively but we begged out leave around 9:00 p.m. as we are both quite tired. Distance traveled today was 10 kilometres. Tomorrow off to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Sunday October 17
Heavy rain in the night and still raining in the morning, this is our trip along the Italian and French Rivera coast and finally we will enter France. It will be nice to be able to mostly read the signs and understand more of what people are saying.
Up at 6:15 a.m., breakfast at 7:00 and on our way at 7:45 a.m. Breakfast was a cold buffet although at the last moment we were brought scrambled eggs (actual eggs!) and bacon. The dry granola type cereal is quite good, the yoghurt is also very good, cheese slices (real cheese) and fruit juice make a nice breakfast. Leaving our small village of last night proved to be quite easy and we were headed to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. This is a real touristy place and as soon as we arrived we were immediately inundated by salesmen trying to sell us umbrella and scarves (mostly Algerians I think). We parked the bus and loaded onto a small electric train
which took us to the correct area but still necessitated a ten minute walk back to the actual tower. The way was absolutely littered with stands and people carrying their wares. We had to thread our way through all of them to reach our objective.
I found the Church and Baptistry more impressive but the tower was interesting and we wandered around it and then the Church (inside and out) and then the Baptistry (outside only, they had an admission fee and if it had been right there we would have paid it and gone in). We spent about an hour there including going into the Local McDonalds restaurant for a couple of cold drinks. It was painted similarly to the old buildings so a little hard to spot but still had mostly the same food as in North America. They usually also offer specialties of the area. Then we headed back to the train and riding that back to our bus so that we could make our journey to the next stopping spot. We were on our way again by 10:45 a.m. and the views as we drove along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea were spectacular (including driving through 169 tunnels). Sometimes we were on bridges hundreds of feet above the valley floor looking down on skyscrapers for the large cities – amazing roads.
We stopped for lunch at the last service centre before leaving Italy. The Service Centers offer very unusual food – mostly homemade and very tasty. This time we had a sandwich with provolone and a second cheese I have forgotten for the moment plus tomato and cheese (toasted). We also had a fruit salad and drinks. A most enjoyable lunch. Tried to call Kathryn but it was only 1:30 p.m. our time (7:30 EDT). We didn’t get through unfortunately. We will try again though to call to use up our 32 minutes of time. On our way again and continuing driving across the elevated roadways and underground tunnels. We were riding in the front seat (our turn to be there) and will be glad to be in the second seat tomorrow as you can see better from that seat. You can not see out the side in the front seat – only out of the front and the pictures are not as good. Finally we arrived in Nice (our stopping spot and our hotel, an older building from the early 19th century although renovated). We unpacked and then walked in the rain up to the Mediterannean Sea. It was very warm to our fingers and it was quite wet but very pleasant to do anyway. We were out to a restaurant for dinner (all the group) and it was a typical French meal in Nice. We started with a lettuce salad which included large mounds of salmon – very tasty. Then a beef stew with squash, tomatoe salsa and then fried potato rings. It was very good and also baguettes (French style). Then we finished off with a dessert of ice cream. Well our day was still not done as we were scheduled to go to Monaco for the rest of the evening. We had a guide for this event and she introduced us to Nice showing us where famous people lived and gave us a great background on the history of the city of Nice. Originally settled by the Greeks as a trading post under the name Nicea and then a Roman settlement before Christ, Nice was originally part of the Duchy of Savoy and an independent state into the 1700s. Defeated by the French and freed after the French Revolution following the Battle of Waterloo, a free vote of the people united them with France. There are three main roads, one down by the Mediterranean, a second about half way up the mountain side and the third (Via Aurelia) at the height of the old Roman settlement. Monaco is a free standing state within France and is four distinct areas including the Royal area where the Prince
Albert II lives, Monte Carlo where all the gambling is, a commercial area and a fourth area which I have forgotten already?. We drove to Monte Carlo to have a look at the Gambling Casinos and the grounds around these establishments. From the parking garage it was a climb of the height of 5 sets of full storey staircases. The flora is absolutely wonderful – huge cactuses line the walks and all kinds of blooming flowers. There are five fountains with the main one just set down from the top of the hill. As you look down over the fountains you can see the picture often displayed for the Royal Casino. We could not enter the Royal Casino with our cameras so just wandered around outside for the 1.5 hours. It was a little on the cool side (12 degrees Celsius) and a typical winter day we learned so somewhat cool this time of the year. Our return trip was on the middle road (we had travelled the lower road to get there) and the views at night were dazzling of the City of Nice from this height. Arriving back at the hotel, we were on internet but did not manage to
catch our children online. Usually we manage to speak to them at least every other day but the time change and the busyness of this trip has resulted in our only speaking to our eldest daughter a couple of times and not our youngest daughter at all. We managed to leave a message on her cell phone! That is the closest we have come to talking to them. Tomorrow we travel to St Paul de Vence – a beautiful village inhabited by artists and other such individuals. Then on to Lyon for our last stop before Paris. We walked 12.9 kilometres today. I do not think we have gained any weight but haven’t lost any either !

Monday October 18
Up at 6:00 a.m. today and had a relaxed morning getting ready to go as our bus didn’t leave until 8:15 a.m. Our breakfast at 7:00 a.m. was excellent. Rye bread, plain yoghurt (excellent quality), hard boiled eggs, applesauce, granola and walnuts in warm milk, and fresh cheese. It was cold here to start the day (less than 10 degrees Celsius) but we had lots of clothes to keep us warm but we were wearing several jackets and I had gloves on. Today our first destination was St Paul de Vence. This is a mediaeval walled city high in the Alps and we arrived about 9:30 a.m. Our tour guide was local and led us through the mediaeval village pointing out various interesting points and then we had 1.5 hours to investigate the village on our own. The views from the walls of the city were quite wonderful (we could see the Mediterranean about 30 miles away as well as all the countryside around. Many ancient shops and homes were along the old narrow roads. We found the Church and inside was a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture dating back to 1100 A.D. We wandered around the many streets quite enjoying ourselves. It is interesting to see such an intact mediaeval village especially given that both of us can trace our ancestry back to these early years in small villages. We then loaded back into the coach and headed for Avignon (2.5 hours distance) but it turned out that the winds were very high (described as violent winds on the road sign) slowing us down somewhat. The winds were horrific all the way to Avignon. Avignon has the Papal Palace for the Popes when they lived at Avignon from 1305 to 1375. They returned to Rome after 1375. This too was a walled city and the Papal Palace is huge but cost 17 euros to visit. We decided we didn’t have time to do that but we did visit the Church which was a Romanesque (1100 AD) Church and quite fascinating to be in. We spent a lot of our time there and then went outside to the Garden of the Church (Notre Dame de la Doms). Here we climbed up and looked out over the walls of the city although held on so that the wind didn’t carry us away?. Our time was up so we headed back to the bus but before leaving we dashed up one of the corner turrets and had a good view from there as well. Then our final destination was Lyon (250 kilometres away) and we had to pass down the Rhone Valley which was beset also
with violent winds. Our bus driver was fabulous handling the bus expertly and we managed to do the trip in just three hours given that he couldn’t get a high speed going. This hotel is fairly basic but does have free internet which makes it perfect in our eyes I suspect. Plus we are only here about ten hours! Hardly worth putting a lot of money into accommodation. Dinner was provided tonight and it was excellent rolls, Salad Lyonese (with chicken and quite good), main course was fries, string beans (really good) and a meat roll which was okay but I would have been more excited with a French cut but you need to please all of the people not just a few?
We walked 9 kilometres today only but were up and down stairs a great deal so felt like more. Tomorrow is our last stop – Paris. I am most excited to see Paris in spite of the possible difficulty with strikes.

Tuesday October 19
Up early once again at 6:00 a.m. and down to breakfast by 6:40 a.m. A good breakfast with cereal (mixed granola), plain yoghurt, fruit juice, swiss cheese slices, applesauce, home made bread. We were in the bus by 7:15 a.m. and on our way from Lyon to Paris. The news of protests in Paris was not particularly good but our trip was uneventful. The rain was quite heavy for about half of the distance but started clearing somewhat around lunch time. We stopped at one of the AutoGrill restaurants just about an hour before Paris. We were not overly hungry so had a nice roll (whole wheat), a bowl of fruit (pineapple, orange, grapefruit and mixed apple pieces) and a compote of apple and grape with a crumbly oatmeal topping. It was a very nice lunch and I suspect the dessert is a local favourite. We continued on our way to Paris. The road was not particularly busy although traffic was picking up in both directions. We learned around 12:30 p.m. that Versailles would be open for us to visit (closed by strike in the morning) at 1:30 so we continued on our way there.
The traffic had increased substantially as we headed towards downtown Paris and then headed to the northwest towards Versailles. Just as we were to turn the corner to the Palace we could see a large crowd bearing down on our location. Our bus driver quickly pulled into the parking area at Versailles and we were into the Palace quite
quickly. I completely forgot about the protest as we were intrigued by the stories about Versailles given by our tour guide. Just as an aside, as a Canadian likely we have a difficult time understanding why the French are protesting. Currently they retire with full government pension at the age of 60 and this pension was 100% contributed to by their employer (no salary deductions from their pay). Since we can not retire until 65 at full pension and we contribute 60% (employer contributes 40%) to our government pension plan and if we have private plans we contributed 50%. I think they need to wake up and see just how much their present system is costing and the inability of the present day economic situation to support such a bountiful pension age and plan. We viewed most of the main central floor of Versailles and since pictures were permitted we will be able to enjoy it many times in the future as Ed took a lot of pictures. I asked a question near to the beginning which perhaps
increased the guided portion of our tour and must remember not to do that in the future. I was curious at the state of Versailles following the French Revolution. The present day displays are simply wonderful and seem to fit so perfectly into the rooms. However, indeed the revolutionaries carried away most of the treasures of Versailles that were portable and what we were seeing was the product of carefully replacing the furniture as it became available (some from other royal palaces). They have done an excellent job and the rooms that were replicated were quite beautiful.
We then wandered about the grounds for about fifteen minutes but the gardens are mostly finished and a lot of them have been cleared away for the winter period. Perhaps one day we will visit again and see the gardens. Unfortunately I was slowly succumbing to the flu that had beset Ed earlier in the week and by the time we reached our hotel I simply had to go to bed and sleep. I would miss the evening entertainment but I didn’t want to go and then not be able to attend the Louvre and Eiffel Tower special tours tomorrow plus the guided tour of Paris by a step on guide. The decision was regretful but as I type this following a three hour sleep I think it had to be. I am still quite weak but a good night’s sleep and I should be able to manage tomorrow. Ed went to La Nouvelle Eve cabaret dinner show. They had jugglers, a mime and an acrobat with lots of dancing and a Can-Can dance. There were lots of skimpy outfits and lots of bare “breasts.” It was good fun. Lots of people there, young and old. It looks okay at the airport so we will hopefully be heading home on Thursday. Distance walked today was. Walked 6.2 km.

Wednesday October 20
Up about 6 am then breakfast and on the road by 7:30 for our tour of Paris. Breakfast was very nice – cereal, rolls, croissants, lots of different jams. Bowls of fresh fruit (orange, grapefruit, apples, melons), orange juice, ham and cheese (pepper brie), scrambled eggs. We headed off on the bus towards the Arc de Triomphe and had good pictures there. We then picked up our city tour guide. He was very knowledgeable and pointed out all the new and old parts of the centre of Paris. There is so much to see there and it is a beautiful city. I see why they call it the City of Light. Although there was a strike on we did not see any evidence of it in the tourist areas. Probably they were staying away from those areas as tourism in
Paris is a big industry. That is good of them. The Louvre however was on strike in the morning which we knew. Our booking wasn’t until just after lunch so hopefully, like Versailles, they would be back to work for the afternoon. I hadn’t realized there were so many old palaces in Paris – there is a great deal to see and I didn’t spend a lot of time learning about Paris nor do we purchase a guide book. Definitely we want to come back and spend some time in Paris (plus Ed could do some of his French research there and I could work on our son in law’s families). We found
it easy to get around in the stores as our French worked very well and when that failed many of the clerks did understand a lot of English. We did try to use French though and resolved to take both French and German courses to help us to speak the language enough to get around and be understood. We would also be able to speak French here which we haven’t done for a while either of us. I kept looking for a present for our son in law. I wanted something special made in France for him but other than clothes which we decided we wouldn’t do I couldn’t find that extra special item. Finally we decided on a birthday present which we will purchase back home. I did manage to find a Golfing magazine in French and a handy bottle opener made in French you could just have in your suitcase when you travel for those bottles that do not open by screw cap. There were so many sites to see in Paris and we continued down one street after another – Hotel d’Invalides was created by Louis XIV and is an absolutely beautiful building. It houses 2000 soldiers and he wanted it for his Army/Navy as they were his pride and joy. The great towers of Notre Dame come into view behind this building but we couldn’t stop. The ancient church of the Madeleine with its Grecian columns all around the building was also most interesting. Then the Pantheon which is the oldest building in Paris. We were edging our way towards the Eiffel Tower and occasionally had glimpses as we worked our way towards it. It is a magnificently beautiful structure all steel except for the cement footings. The metal work is so intricate it looks almost lacey. We were to ascend to the second floor and from the ground it didn’t look that high. However,
once up there on the elevator the views of Paris were wonderful. We ascended the staircase to the floor above (the wire caging is on the floor below) and then you had a clear view of Paris without the wire mesh. Paris is an enormous city and works like the spokes of a wheel. The gardens work like the spokes of a wheel. The Arc de Triomphe created by Napoleon in 1806-1807 also has this spoke design with trees stretching out in a circular linear pattern. It was now time to move on to the Louvre for our tour there. First before our tour we had lunch. Their cafeteria is
set up to do various European countries food and we chose French food. We had Quiche Lorraine, salad, and rolls plus water. It was very good. The Louvre is an enormous palace that was the home of the Kings of France up to Louis XIV. Originally it was a
fortress that guarded the City of Paris and the Seine River access to Paris. The front part is new and built to accommodate stores and access points to the Louvre. We went right away to the inverted pyramid and took our pictures there. We also saw the prime Meridian (Rose Line in DaVinci Code!). We toured the Louvre especially seeing the Mona Lisa but also many other pictures (Madonna of the Rock) and statues. Also excavated are the original footings of the Castle and we walked along the old moat (no longer full of water!). We then had some free time and went up outside the Louvre looking at the various statues. We were trying to find the inverted pyramid but there didn’t appear to be access to it like in the film. The film does take some poetic license. Back to the Hotel and looked around the shops for a bit and then rested up for our Farewell Dinner. The Farewell Dinner was proceded by a bus tour commencing at 5:15 p.m. We drove to the Latin Quarter and then walked to the restaurant (about 1 kilometre). Our Restaurant was said to be typical of French restaurants that Parisians would attend. Our menu was in French/English/German. That was a surprise and some of our waiters spoke English and German which was a surprise. However, most were French speaking. We chose French onion soup and avocado/shrimp for starters, then duck/roasted potatoes, broccoli-chicken in wine
sauce/broccoli/roasted potatoes and for dessert Peach Melba and Profferoles (pastry covered ice cream in chocolate sauce). We began with a champagne toast and then drank red wine the rest of the evening plus water. On the way back we stopped the bus once again near Notre Dame Cathedral and had a good look around it. Then we drove by the Eiffel Tower lit at night – a fabulous sight. Back to the Hotel around 10:00 p.m. but couldn’t bring up our email for a while. We needed to be up early in the morning so an early night. We walked 10 kilometres today. Home tomorrow.

Thursday October 21
Up early at 5:45, breakfast at 6:30 and on the bus by 7:15. Our bus took us to Charles de Gaulle airport arriving there by 8 am. After a little walk we found our terminal and the Air Canada line which we joined. They finally decided to check everyone through and we then proceeded to security which took a while. Your mother’s hand bag was searched. Through security by 9 am. The wait passed quickly at the airport as we were not flying out until 1330 (loading at 1245). Unfortunately there
was a problem with one of the doors and we ended up on the tarmac for 1 h and 30 minutes waiting for repair and then a position to fly out over north west France and southwest England and mid Ireland. Our flight was quite lovely having been blasted by the wind along the Rhone Valley, the seat belt light came on only once for our entire flight back to Montreal!
We watched two full length movies - Sex and the City 2 and Knight and Day. We had to rush somewhat at Montreal because we had to clear customs, pick up our suitcases, drop them again for our flight to Ottawa and get to the gate in time. We had had plenty of time but did manage to get there with about half of an hour to spare. Rick and Kathryn kindly picked us up at the airport which we greatly appreciated. Home again is quite pleasant but the trip was so fantastic. Walked 7.6 km. END of TRIP

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sept 27 to Oct 1

The tour started this morning about 8:00 am. We visited Fort Johnson and Guy Park at Amsterdam, New York and Johnson Hall at Johnstown, New York. We drove by many historic plaques and Butlersbury near Fonda, New York. all of the previous were in the Mohawk Valley of New York. In the afternoon we visited the Schoharie Valley and located the site of several of the Palatine Dorfs as well as Upper Fort, Middle Fort and Lower Fort. We saw Vrooman's Nose (a nice hiking hill) and where Timothy Murphy lived, Middleburg Reformed Church, the Tory Mann Tavern and The Old Stone Fort Museum. We then went back to Schenectady to visit the grave site of Clarissa Putman Consort of Sir John Johnson. We had showers threatening all day but it only rained when we were on the coach. Rain in the evening. We had a banquet in the evening and our speaker was Mark Jodoin, journalist and author. He talked about Rev. John Stuart a loyalist from the Mohawk Valley and some of his descendants. Walked 8.3 km.

The tour started this morning about 8:00 am. We did a quick tour of the Johnstown Battlefield and then headed back to Amsterdam to pick up some of the tour we had missed the previous day. We drove by the Clarissa Putman house, Queen Anne Parsonage, Fort Hunter and Schoharie Crossing. We then headed off to visit the Old Palatine Church at Fox's Mills and then to Stone Arabia, New York to visit Trinity Lutheran Church and the Stone Church (Dutch Reformed Church). Then we had a very delicious lunch (dinner) at Saltsman's Inn at Ephratah, New York. In the afternoon we visited the Nellis Tavern and Fort Klock near St. Johnsville, New york. After that we headed west to visit the Indian Castle Church near Little Falls, New York. Our speaker here was Ken Johnson, author of The Bloody Mohawk. While there we watched a very dangerous looking set of storms and clouds pass over. This ended with a short rain shower and them it started to clear. After that we headed to Utica and then New Hartford, NY for our hotel. There was a threat of severe storms all day long. Walked 7.3 km.

The last day of our tour of the Mohawk Valley of New York. We headed off from Utica about 8:30 and headed for Rome where we had a tour of Fort Stannwix. After that we headed back East to Oriskany to see the Oriskany Battlefield. Then we headed off towards Syracuse to have lunch at the Cracker Barrel at Cicero. Nice lunch. After a stop at the duty free we crossed the boarder and headed towards Williamstown on the 401. We arrived back at Williamstown about 5:15, unloaded and then headed home in our car. Arrived back in Ottawa about 6:45 p.m. Walked 7.2 km.

Rain today, abt 16 C. Lots of catching up to do today. Walked 4.3 km.

Cloudy today. Did some garden and lawn cleanup today. The cold weather is coming. Walked 7.8 km.

Sept 20 to 26

A gorgeous sunny day abt 19 C. We worked on details for our next trip. Did some more painting outside. Walked 6.2 km.

Cloud and rain today abt 14 C. Did more work on our upcoming trip. Did Tae Bo this morning. I entered tombstone GPS readings in my family files from our trip last week. Walked 4 km.

Not a bad day. cloudy with sunny periods, abt 19 C. I am still working on the latest issue of The Ottawa Genealogist. Biked 12 km. Walked 2.8 km.

Cloudy and cool. Rain overnight. Worked on The Ottawa Genealogist again to day. Almost done this issue. We had our daughter, son-in-law and their two dogs over for supper. Nice rack of ribs, with chicken,baked potatoes, salad and wine. The dogs had hamburger, which they gobbled up. Walked 7.1 km.

Rain overnight. Cloudy and cool, abt 14 C. Finished The Ottawa Genealogist today, except for proofreading. Getting ready for our bus tour to the Mohawk Valley. Walked 6.1 km.

Headed to Cornwall in the morning. We are meeting our fellow tour guides their and we are staying with them overnight. went out for a nice lunch and then headed off to Williamstown for a reception before the bus tour on Sunday. The bus tour was sponsored by the Sir John Johnson Manor House Historic Site. Interesting afternoon. Went out for supper in the evening to Mustache Joes in Cornwall. Prime rib, very good. Walked 5.6 km.

Today we were up at 4:15 am in order to have breakfast and get to Williamstown to catch the tour bus which was leaving at 6:30 am. A little rain to start the day. This was a long day. We headed to Montreal and took the Champlain bridge over the St. Lawrence, then to Chambly, Quebec where we visited St. Stephen's Church and then Mount St. Gregoire, Quebec. We then headed down highway 15 to the border crossing at Champlain, NY. Slow work there, they have new border procedures. We stopped at the Butcher Block in Plattsburgh for lunch, then headed down I-87 towards Albany, NY. We cut west on Highway 7 to Schenectady where we visited St. George's Church. We then headed to our hotel in Johnstown, NY. Most of the sites we visit during this trip have some connection to the Johnson family of the Mohawk Valley. walked 6.3 km.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sept. 13 to 19

Sun and cloud today. The hotel in Newmarket had a nice hot breakfast. We went through a couple of rain showers on our drive. We travelled from Newmarket to East Gwillimbury to visit the Selby Cemetery where we located the tombstone for my gg grandmother Martha Abbs. When then headed north around Lake Simcoe to Baysville, Muskoka. This is where my g grandfather James Allen lived and died. We visited the Baysville Community Cemetery where we were shown the location of the family plot. There is no stone for him. However, there is a marquee close by that contains a number of tin name plates which used to be located an wooden crosses over grave sites. They brought them all together in one place. The research by the cemetery people has located the plot site. We took photos. we also located a provincial historic plaque about the founders of Baysville. After these two visits we headed back to highway 11 and then 400 and ended up at our motel in Toronto about 5 pm. We had supper at the nearby Perkins Restaurant. Walked 4.5 km. steps counted 8600.

A good day weather wise. Sun and cloud with a threat of showers. We had breakfast at the motel and then set off for the Archives of Ontario (AO) which was nearby on the campus of York University. We arrived there about 9 am. We both had items to research. The first thing we did is order any books etc. that we wanted to look at that were not on microfilm. I then headed to the microfilm cabinets to find the County Marriage Register films I wanted to look at. The AO has very nice viewers on hand and lots of them. The have film readers that will project the image onto a computer screen. Adjustments can be made to the image and the image can be saved as a digital image on a USB drive. We headed out of Toronto about 1:30 and after a pleasant drive arrived home in Ottawa about 7:15 in the evening. Walked 4.5 km. steps 19200.

Sunny and cool, abt 19 C. Did Tae Bo today. Cut the lawn and did some tidy up in the garden. This evening I assisted in loading boxes of book from the Friends of LAC book sorting group for the book sale this weekend. I was really tired after I got home. I am reading the last Harry Potter book. Walked 4.6 km.

Cloudy and cool, abt 16 C. Rain in the afternoon and evening. Read some more Harry Potter. Went shopping and picked up the tour information for our next trip. Walked 4.4 km.

Sunny but cool today, abt 19 C. Did some outside painting today on the garage door and frame. I am changing the colour from brown to yellow. Much brighter! Finished reading my Harry Potter book. Now I am ready for the next movie. Biked 12 km. Walked 21. km.

Fog this morning, then it became sunny, abt 19 C. We did TaeBo again this morning. After a break I put on the second coat of paint while it was sunny. Late afternoon we dressed up and headed to Cornwall for the Charter Night Banquet of the St. Lawrence Branch UELAC. The meeting ran a little long and we got home about 11 pm. Walked 1.9 km.

A little fog this morning. By mid afternoon it was sunny and warm. abt 22 C. This lead me to do some more outside painting. I am working on the next issue of the Ottawa Genealogist. Biked 11.4 km. Walked 2.8 km.

Sept 6 to 12

A dreary day with cloud most of the day and intermittent rain showers. We did something different today. We booked a boat trip on the Rideau Canal with "Chuckles" at Chafferys Lock. The boat is a converted lobster boat that runs on electric motors backed up by batteries and a small motor that operates a generator. We travelled through two locks, Chaffeys and Davis and stopped at Jones Falls for an hour to look around. We saw several Loon families and a Blue Heron. Jones Falls is interesting for its four locks which raise or lower boats about 56 feet. There is also a huge sandstone dam that holds back the waters. The dam dates from 1832. Walked 5.3 km.

The day started off cloudy and cool. Afternoon was sunny and warm. Evening rain and T-Storms. Started back at the book sorting facility of the Friends of the Library and Archives Canada. The book sale is coming up in two weeks from Sept. 17 to 19, at St. Laurent Plaza, Ottawa. Cut the grass after supper before the rain. Did some reading in the evening and watched a DVD. Walked 7.4 km.

We did Tae Bo again today. We manage to get through the Basic program which is 25 minutes in length. Not bad for senior citizens. We have started re-watching a DVD on The History of Britain. Walked 6.8 km.

Cloudy and dreary today with some rain. Starting reading the last Harry Potter book again. Walked 7 km.

Sunny today a bit cool and warm at the same time. Finally got reasonable weather to do some caulking around the windows. Biked 12.2 km. Walked 7.7 km.

The weather was great today, sunny and warm. We travelled from Ottawa to Brantford, Ontario in about 6 and a half hours. We bought some plants to take to the Princeton, Cemetery. When there we took a few more photos and took about 30 GPS readings. Just comparing some stones from previous visits, some of them are deteriorating badly. In the evening we had supper at East Side Marios in Brantford. After supper it was raining. Walked 4.6 km. steps 24,200

The day was cloudy with some sun by mid afternoon. So it was hot and cold throughout the day. We attended the Schultz family reunion at Princeton, Ontario. There were about 32 family members present. We had a very nice pot luck lunch and a multitude of desserts. After lunch as president this year I ran the business meeting. I gave a brief summary of research for the last year. Cousin Lee gave a talk on the Schultz family and what he is doing about contacting Schultz families in Germany. My wife gave a talk about DNA which made families aware of what it can do. It may have confused some as well. After that family members broke off and chatted. We left about 4:30 and headed across country to Newmarket for the night. We stayed in a nice Holiday Inn Express. Used the exercise room. Walked 8 km. 12,675 steps counter reset.