|What's New 2017 - 2018|
Table of Contents
Toronto & Come From Away, October, 2018
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, July, 2018
Canadian Eastern Provinces, In Search of Three Pines, May 2018
Great Rivers of Florida Cruise, November 2017
Indy, R.I.P., September 29, 2017
Niagara Falls, NY, September 27, 2017
B & B Ranch, Fly Creek, NY, July 2017
Stratford, Ontario, Festival, August, 2017
|Toronto & Come From Away, October, 2018|
Joyce recommended reading The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland. The Day … tells the story of how the city of Gander and the people of the Newfoundland Island hosted nearly 7000 stranded passengers when U.S. airspace was closed. We bought tickets soon after learning the stage show was playing in Toronto.
Arriving in Toronto we checked into the Hilton Garden Inn, photo above, center. Toronto is a city of just under three million dwarfing our upstate NY hometowns. I played the tourist with conviction gawking at skyscraper after skyscraper condominiums and office buildings and the CN tower, photo, lower left. After a short walk from the hotel we reached The Royal Alexandra Theater, photo above upper left and lower right. The show exceeded expectations.
|Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, July, 2018|
For several years we've traveled to Stratford, Ontario, Canada for The Stratford Festival. This year though the plays on offer didn't justify the long drive to reach them. Joyce found The Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake with a play bill that was to our liking. We saw three, Stage Kiss, Of Marriage and Men - The Man of Destiny & Oh What a Lovely War.
King & Queen Streets intersect in the heart of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Old Town, one block from our B&B. Restaurants, art galleries, high end jewelry stores and low end souvenir shops line the streets. The art galleries in particular called out " buy me, buy ME!". I was easy prey. The photo above is just a sample of the color riot on Queen street.
Butterfly ConservatoryButterfly Conservatory
Splashes of color flit in front, behind, below and above you so quickly it's impossible to keep up. The photo above shows jusr a small example of the more colorful inmates. Stand still and it won't be long long before one of them lands on your head, hands or shoulders. In the photo above, top center, Joyce provides a landing pad for a colorful inhabitant. I could've stayed all day.
|Canadian Eastern Provinces, In Search of Three Pines, May 2018|
Joyce and I are fans of Louis Penny's Chief Inspector Armand Gamache mystery series. They feature the fictional town of Three Pines in Canada's Eastern Townships in the province of Québec. Joyce treated us to a long weekend at an elegant resort and a Three Pines tour led by Danielle, the owner of the Purple Valise.
Luxury marks every aspect of Manoir Hovey from the valet service parking our car on arrival, dining in the "Gentleman will wear jackets" dining room to extricating the car from a blocked in parking space as we left. Manoir Bellechasse in A Rule Against Murder, the fourth book in the series, is loosely based on Manoir Hovey.
In the photo above, upper left and lower center, Joyce enjoys the view of Lake Massawipp from our suite's balcony. Upper right, a gentleman can relax in the Le Tap room. Lower right, a king sized coffee cup in the living room or a tub? Neither of us chose to try it, concerned about getting out! Lower left, Louis Penny's mysteries in English & French.
Three Pines Venues
Three Pines Venues
Photo above, top, center left, We visited Abbaye St-Benoit-du-Lac in Saint-Benoit-du-Lac Qc. Brother Patrick welcomed us to the Abbey. The Abbey supports itself by producing ciders and top quality cheeses. While we were there it hosted a large group of Canadian Forces veterans who arrived for a blessing of their motorcycles. The Abbey in The Beautiful Mystery, book 8, is inspired by Abbaye St-Benoit-du-Lac
In the photo above, top center, right, The Hadley House on Lake Memphremagog, scene of a séance and murder is introduce in book 3, The Cruellest Month and is inspired by the The Old Mansion House in Georgeville, Qc.
In the photo above, middle left, on the Three Pines tour we ate lunch at the Le Relais Restaurant Bistro in Knowlton Qc. One of several eateries inspiring Olivier's Bistro in Three pines, though not nearly as grand, no couches, soft chairs and the smell of fresh brewed coffee and croissants. A strangers body's found in the Bistro and, after all this is a murder mystery, the victim of a brutal attack.
In the photo above bottom left, in the mystery series the book store, introduced in How the Light Gets In book 9, is operated by Dr. Myrna Landers, a former psychologist. The fictional book store is based on Brome Lake Books in Knowlton, Qc.
In the photo above, bottom right, the La Rumeur Affamee Boulangerie (bakery) is introduced in The Brutal Telling, book 5 inspiring this home of fresh bread and pastries, the Three Pines Boulangerie.
|Indy, R.I.P., September 29, 2017|
I first met Indy in New Jersey on a four state horse hunting expedition. His gentle manner and quiet disposition, not to mention a canter as smooth as glass … love at first sight. His dressage level training exceeded my own by several levels and, over the period of a year, I never did learn to ride him properly. In spite of that I enjoyed his company and caring for him. Love is shoveling out a stall full of frozen manure on a cold January Sunday. I found him a new home in Virginia with visitation rights in perpetuity. He was loved in his new home and spoiled by all. I'm not surprised. One magic day's visit the stars and planets magically aligned and we rode as if joined at the hip, figure eights, circles and serpentines. So good travels Indy as you cross over the Rainbow Bridge.
|Niagara Falls, NY, September 27, 2017|
Photos courtesy of Joyce W.
Even though on a short visit to Niagara Falls, NY, not seeing the falls was out of the question. We walked the 3 mile perimeter of Goat Island and the tiny Three Sisters Islands enjoying the views. In the photo above, upper left, the Maid of the Mist approaches Horseshoe Falls in the background on the Canadian side of the Niagara river. The rainbow was a bonus! Photo upper right, the Niagara river running at full force, 30 miles per hour at up to an estimated flow rate of one and a half million gallons per second. It's roar could be heard 100's of yards away. Photo lower left, Himself overlooking the American Falls. Lower center, Joyce with the Niagara river beyond. Lower right, In the foreground the American Falls, just beyond is the smaller Bridal Veil Falls separating the American and Horseshoe Falls. Which falls is "better"? silly question. Beauty can't be quantified.
|Stratford, Ontario, Festival, August, 2017|
It's our third year attending the Stratford Festival seeing three plays, Tartuffe a comedy by Molière, Twelfth Night by Shakespeare and Guys & Dolls, a Broadway musical, music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows.
Once again we stayed at the Birmingham Manor B & B hosted by Dom and Elana. While the location is excellent, the rooms charming and breakfast sublime I must admit the unlimited supply of home made biscotti is a major draw.
In the photo above, top center, Joyce graces the marque of the Festival Theater. Bottom center, the exterior of the Festival Theater. Upper left, the other Avon river. Last year we experienced the Avon river in Stratford, England, and now completed the pair. Left center, a bevy of swans ply the Avon. Lower left, Stratford from the Avon. As part of a tour of the prop warehouse we had the opportunity to try on some of the clothing. Upper right, Joyce's been transformed from a mild mannered Sweetie into a flamboyant denizen of the Middle East. Lower right I reveal a hidden persona, blood stained but defiant warrior.
|B & B Ranch, Fly Creek, NY, July 2017|
We enjoy staying at B&B's when on the road, meeting new people, exploring new places. A drive to see "Oklahoma!" by Richard Rodgers, music & Oscar Hammerstein II, lyrics, at the Glimmerglass Theater in Cooperstown created an opportunity to explore another portion of NY state. Looking for a place we'd both enjoy Joyce found the "B&B Ranch in Fly Creek. High on my list was the opportunity to feed my love of horses with country walks, cute critters and plush surroundings for both of us.
Just finding the B&B was an adventure as we followed the GPS system's directions. The roads became narrower and narrower turning from asphalt to dirt. In the photo above, lower left and top center, the entrance to the ranch and the final warning for the faint of heart.
Upper right, my special place, a handsome well equipped stable where I was delighted to groom six well behaved horses. Something about the special aroma of a horse relaxes me. Right center, a corner view of the main building. Once a fine mansion it had fallen far into disrepair but a major remodel restored the Mahogany walls and parquet floors.
Food, a critical test! The ranch is farm to table using the beef, pork and goats raised on site along with fresh vegetables from the gardens. When we asked "When do we eat?" the reply was "when would it suit you?".
Bottom right, our posse trails behind us during a walk in The woods. Bottom center, Joyce schmooses with 'double o two'
Oh, the play was terrific!