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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Road Trip Aug 2019 - Canada

From Fairfax, VA we went north toward the Niagara Falls area - Williamsville NY - to be exact.
We stayed with long time friends Jon and Barbara.  It was great to spend the evening with them and to catch up.
They're retired also and have three daughters who are married with lots of grandkids.  They are involved in their church and quite active in their local pickleball scene.

Our visit was too short, but then again, it was great to spend a little time with them.  We left early the next morning and made our way across the QEW./Lewiston-Queenston Bridge.  We were prepared for a busy time but instead it was early and Civic Holiday Weekend in Canada and the traffic had not picked up yet.

Going through Toronto was not too bad and we continued north toward North Bay before taking the turn to Rutherglen and Talon Lake where our friends Jeff and Tiffany have a cabin.  We parked our truck near the campground office and called Jeff, who arrived a few minutes later in his pontoon boat.

Their cabin is only accessible by water and we loaded a few things on the boat and were off to the cabin!
 Its a great location among 4-5 other cabins and buildings owned by them, Tiffany's brother and Jeff and Cheryl who live a couple hours away in Canada.
It was fun just hanging out and talking, relaxing and enjoying a great couple of days.  Jeff and Tiffany have 4 kids, three of whom are still teenagers.  The youngest two girls were there with us along with there three kids, and we all had a nice time relaxing.

They played board games in the evening, or read or put together puzzles.
One night we had a campfire.  A couple of days they rode across the lake a ways and anchored the boat for some fishing and swimming.  They have a jet ski and the kids hopped on that pulling a raft.  It was great fun and against all odds I caught a couple of small mouth bass.
It was great fun and relaxing and a perfect few days.
Once again and all too quickly it was time to say goodbye and Jeff taxied us over early in the morning to our truck and returned to the cabin for a few more days.
It was early in the morning and the rains came as we drove into North Bay for some fuel and got some ice.  We traveled south and east in the direction of Detroit.  We were going to Petrolia, Ontario to see Meghan's parents Marg and Bill.

Jeff and Tiffany told us about Weber's Charbroiled hamburgers on Highway 11.  We drove right by it, so decided to stop for lunch.
By now the rain had mostly stopped and we got there before the crowds.  We were eating under an umbrella at a table while the folks were starting to line up.  The burgers were the best in Canada and a real treat.  Glad we stopped.

Next, we travelled on to the Sarnia/Petrolia area and a couple of days with Marg and Bill.  We had another fabulous time with them, having seen them in March when then were returned from their winters stay in and came to see us in Virginia.

Bill had a golf tournament on Friday so Marg, Pam and I hung out and went over to the waterfront near Sarnia to Skeeter Barlow's for dinner.  I tried pickerel and vegetables with a baked potato.  It was  fantastic.  Don't know that I've ever had that fish, but it was great.
Somehow I missed taking a picture of us so I snagged this off the restaurant web site.

Pam opted for pasta in a mushroom and shrimp sauce which was good also. Bill was still at his golf tournament later finding out that he had prime rib.

Saturday morning Bill and I played a round of golf at the local golf club in Petrolia. It was a great day for golf and we had some fun.  In between all the rest of the round, we each hit a couple of good shots.  We had dinner back at their place and then went to a local play.  It was great!

The comedy was "the New Canadian Curling Club".  It was entertaining and very well done.
 The local theater is the Victoria Playhouse Petrolia (VPP) and every summer they fill the seats with local theater goers who enjoy great music and acting.
The facility retains the old architecture of the early 20th century and has been completed renovated recently.  It was originally built in the 1889 in the midst of the region's oil boom.  It is a great facility and a perfect setting for the evening.
The next morning we left early, made a quick stop at Tim Horton's in town for coffee and some Tim Bits and made our way about 20 miles over to the Blue Water Bridge/border crossing back into the U.S.A.

Our week in Canada was filled with great memories of friends and all we hoped for this trip.  Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Road Trip Aug 2019 - Maryland State Capitol

We left our home in Norfolk VA mid-day on Saturday for Fairfax VA to see Adam and Melissa.  We we planned an overnight stay before heading to Williamsville, NY.  We changed it up a bit and drove to Fairfax by way of the Eastern Shore through Annapolis MD.
Since we hadn't seen the Maryland State Capital, we drove there for a quick visit in the middle of the afternoon.  We parked downtown near the Vistor's Center in the public garage and walked the two blocks to the capitol.

The Maryland State House sits atop the what seems like the highest point in the city.
The capitol is small by some standards but is rich in history.  It is the oldest State House in continuous use in the U.S.  That note is quite amazing to us since it goes back to 1772.  
It has a beautiful dome that is unique as it is made completely of wood with no nails.

The current State House is the third to be located on the site.  The first one burned in 1704, the second was completed in 1709 but was not adequate for the growing colony.  The current structure was started in 1772 and completed in 1779.

The State House has the distinction of being the only State Capitol to serve as the nation's capitol from November 26, 1783 - August 13, 1784.
I took the diagram from self-guided tour brochure that gives a layout of the the old portion of the State House at the top and the annex which was joined to the existing building during the 1902-1906 construction period.
The building included spaces for both the bicameral body with 47 members in the Senate and 141 representatives in the House of Delegates.  We took a self-guided walking tour and viewed the old House Chambers which was set up as a replica of how it appeared in 1876 - 1905.
Something I don't remember seeing is a walking area that was an additional thickness of the existing carpet pattern where viewers walked.  I don't know why that caught my eye.

Next we saw a collection of silverware from the USS Maryland housed in the next room on the same side.
The silver service was created in 1906 and depicts 167 scenes from Marlyland's 23 counties and Baltimore city.

Across the hall is the Old Senate Chamber's where General George Washington resigned his commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army on December 23, 1783.
A painting as well as a statute captures the event in the Old Senate Chambers.
The State House is also the place where the Treaty of Paris was ratified, ending the Revolutionary War.

The Senate Committee and Stairwell Rooms house two galleries with important paintings.

The walls are filled with paintings of key figures in Maryland's history including Washington, Lafayette and Tilghman at Yorktown, and John Hansen who was a delegate to the Continental Congress and at one time served as President of the Continental Congress.  I've never heard of him.  But that's one reason we go to these places -- to learn.

The Stairwell Room is surrounded with paintings showing important Maryland events.
Displays includes paintings showing George Washington's travels through the Revolutionary War, the four Maryland signers of the Declaration of Independence and the signing of the Treaty of Paris.

We spent about an hour at the State House trying to absorb as much as we could and then continued our drive to Fairfax to see Adam and Melissa and spend the night with them.

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Friday, August 2, 2019

Flashback: Pancakes and Polishing the Roadrunner

Sometimes my mind wanders.  There we were, reading to the boys before afternoon nap time and engrossed in "Curious George Makes Pancakes."
The boys love pancakes and this one had a few blueberries in the plot.

For some reason it triggered a thought back to our time at Cheyenne Wyoming during Frontier Days. I remember gong to a free pancake breakfast downtown in Cheyenne and along with hundreds of other folks, being served some big pancakes.
It was a fun day.

A day or two later I was in the midst of one of the many projects we have going at our house in Norfolk (15 minutes away from the boys). I decided it was time to clean the vinyl siding on the house and garage.  I had some fairly expensive spray that was supposed to take the grime and algae? right off the vinyl.  I hooked up the hose and started on the garage first.  I figured I could give it a test run on the back side of the garage and no one would notice if it didn't work out.

Well, the green stuff and dirt didn't loosen up and fall right off after I sprayed it.  Instead, I had to use elbow grease to get it clean.  I got a bottle of Awesome spray soap cleaner from Dollar Tree and it worked perfectly. With my ladder and some rags, I systematical rubbed down one side, then the other, row by row on the siding.  I didn't mind it, but it took a little while.

In fact I did one side and the back, and on another day did the front and saved the other side for yesterday.
All in all I spent about and hour a side on the garage but I was pleased with the results.  Not only did it get clean, I got some exercise,  and felt a sense of accomplishment while I worked away.

As I stepped back it reminded me of all those times that I washed and waxed the Roadrunner.
I never minded doing it and knew that I was saving money by doing it myself and I knew that it was done well.

So there I was -- thinking of days gone by that were fun memories.  Thankfully we have pictures of all the places we went and things we did and can look back and smile.
We're about to head out on a road trip tomorrow and make some more memories.  We'll be in the truck going to Canada, (north of Toronto), Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee for a couple of weeks.

I imagine there will be lots of those kinds of days with flashbacks and memories of our time on the road.  We enjoyed it SO much.  And we are enjoying this stage of our life too.  Hope you are having a great week and thanks for joining us today!

Monday, July 1, 2019

Getting Settled In

We've been in our new (renovated house) for a couple of weeks now and things are moving along well.  I'm including a few pictures of the mostly finished house.

Our daughter Kelly asked a few days ago if it felt like home?  -- Not yet but we are getting there.  Here is a look at what we've had done:

The house.  We painted the whole house and renovated the kitchen and both bathrooms. We opened up the kitchen by taking out a half-wall between the kitchen/dining room and cut a pass-through window above the stove between the kitchen living room. The master bath had a door from the hallway and the bedroom. We took out the hallway entrance. We also had a new roof put on, new gutters, new windows and have done some gardening. We still have the baseboards and trim and baseboards to finish inside.

After becoming fans of downsizing, we relearned the skill of upsizing and got new furniture for every room.  I was amazed at how quickly we filled up the garage which is from the tools and stuff we carried in the motorhome.  😳

We love projects and have a long list so we are enjoying it.  Pam's garden is still going strong despite a fungus that took out the squash.  The

pictures:
Kitchen
 New flooring, countertops, cabinets and appliances, lighting

 Dining Room
New lighting, pantry cabinets

Den/Family Room
Living Room

Hall
New lighting, moved cold air return vent from above closet to the door (second door on right). Removed hall access to master bath.

 Office/Bedroom
New lighting

Hall Bathroom
Completely renovated, new floor, tub, vanity, lighting, shelves, tile, 
Boys bedroom (for sleepovers with Grandma and Papa)

Master Bedroom
Master bath
Completely redone. closed off the hall door, moved the pocket door from the bedroom, tile floor and shower, new vanity and plumbing.

Laundry room
Removed cabinets, moved washer, dryer, added mop sink, added shelf, bench seat at lower right

Deck
We didn't do anything to the deck, just got a table and some chairs.  Adam and Melissa gave us their umbrella which gives us some good shade.

Garden
Yard

That's a brief look at our new abode and some of what we've been doing in the last month.  Hope you all are having a great summer.

Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!