Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back to Lockport

Vanessa and I had planned to go back to Lockport after she moved into her new home. I bought the bus tickets, exchanged the money, and was all ready the day before, when I met her at the Jack Layton Memorial.
After the free concert we went to Fran's for dinner and planned to meet at 1 pm at the bus station.

The next day I was about to leave for the bus, when I checked my messages, and saw that Vanessa had been sick all night, and wasn't able to come. So off I went on my own.

Maria and her mom Mae, met me at the bus station and we took the Lewiston bridge to get across the border. Big mistake. It took almost an hour, and we were behind and idiot who kept turning off his engine, and waited for a 4 car length gap before turning on and moving forward. Needless to say we were frustrated with him, and when Maria honked at him to move, he laughed and 'flipped the bird.' He tried to speed up though when a car from another lane moved in front of him. Stoooopid guy.

When I got to the house, Maria showed me all the food that she had bought at a food auction. 10 dozen cobs of corn, plus peppers, onions, apples, eggplants, garlic, tomatoes and goodness knows what else.  She and I set to work shucking that corn. (Oh we had many shucking jokes, us two mother shuckers!)

As it was canning season, I helped out as much as I could. I pulled the silk off the cobs, while Maria cut the corn off the cobs, and Bob bagged and vacuum sealed the corn.  I sliced and bagged and vacuum sealed the eggplant, while she blanched tomatoes and made pizza sauce to can.

There was a swamp close by that Maria wanted me to see. It would be a nice hike and I was told I would see some cool animals and birds there, including eagles. When we got there however, the swamp had dried up due to the very hot weather, and there were no animals to be seen.
 Later on Maria took me to Hobby Lobby to check out more craft supplies! We also went to a chocolate shop where we both had samples and an ice cream.

On the Saturday there was a stamping show so Maria and I met her friends, Darlene, Holly and Laura for breakfast, then off to the show. I spent a good chunk of money there, but there were some very cool stamps, dies, and other tools.
That evening Maria and her family went to a family wedding. I decided that while they were getting ready that I would go and read in the hammock outside. Before I left, I asked them not to lock me out, and I was told, "of course not."  After an hour of so in the hammock, I was thirsty and went to go in to get some water. Yes, you guessed it, someone had locked me out!  I went to Mae's entrance, and her door was also locked, but I noticed the door wasn't quite shut properly, so although I couldn't turn the handle, I was able to shove it open. Thanks goodness, it would have been a long night out there with the bugs and such!
Olivia and Elliot

Shortly after I went inside, Maria's friend Darlene showed up and we ate dinner together, a bean casserole that Maria had made in the crock pot. It was really good. After dinner Darlene showed me a few card techniques and we made a couple of cards.

Later that night, Maria, Bob, Mae and the kids came back and told me all about their time at the wedding, it sounded like they had a great time. However one of the dogs had shown them how angry he was being left alone with me.  Sam had peed on the carpet in their bedroom!
Beeboo and Sam

Sunday came around quickly, and Maria and her daughter Olivia were going to take me back to Niagara Falls to catch the bus. As it turned out, Elliot wanted to join us, as well as a friend of 'Liv's and then Bob said he wanted to come. We all piled in the car and made our way to Niagara Falls.

It was another pleasurable and relaxing holiday on the 'farm!'

Friday, August 10, 2012


Way back earlier this year, Glenn wanted to know if any of his friends wanted to join him in Montreal to explore the city. I was certainly interested as long as it was in the summer months when I was off work. A date was set, for the August long weekend. There were a good number of us wanting to join him.

We had a couple of meetings to try to organise what we were going to do, how we were getting there, and where we would stay. In the end a large number of participants decided that they couldn't go for one reason or another. So at out last meeting there were just 3 of us. We decided to try to recruit more people as it would reduce our costs.

Glenn said he had found a woman he knew who wanted to join us.  We had decided that Glenn would drive, (he volunteered) and we would stay at the Montreal University residence. Glenn had booked a smaller room, and when he found the 4th person to join us, he tried to upgrade to a bigger room. He was not successful.

The night before we left, Glenn and I went to see the Picasso Display at the Art Gallery of Ontario. I asked him about our new travel buddy. He said he had met her 3 times before and thought she was okay. (Famous last words!)

We all met Glenn at the subway and he drove us to Montreal.

We got in quite late, but were happy the room was cheap. That was until we saw it!  The room was 10' x 10' and only included a single bed with a trundle single underneath. Where were the other 2 suppose to sleep? I had brought along a fold up mattress, which I unfolded on the desk, and then Glenn had a very small 3' x 3' square to curl up in. I had mentioned a couple of times that we should take a picture, because no one would believe that we all managed to sleep in there.
Our 'hotel'

The next morning we visited Old Montreal, and ate lots of food.
Glenn did some wonderful research scouting out not only vegan restaurants, but gluten-free ones too. I ate very well on this trip.

Unfortunately the 2nd night I wasn't able to sleep, thinking I would fall off the desk and flatten the woman sleeping on the floor. At breakfast I said I would go back to the room to catch up on some sleep, as they were planning on going to the science centre, and I wasn't really interested in it. When I took Glenn's charger out of my bag, I said that perhaps our other travel companion could carry it for him in her bag, to which she answered, 'NO!' She then said she wouldn't do any f**cking thing for me. We all looked astounded at what she had said. Each of us got up to pay, and I asked the others if I had done anything to make her say that, they didn't think so. Then I went to her and asked if I had offended her in some way, she said no, but she didn't like the things I said.  I asked her, 'like what?' She said she didn't want to talk about it. Well that was fine for me, I left my money on the counter and returned to the room to get some sleep.

Later on that day I called a friend, AnnMarie that I had visited a couple of years before. She was the first host I had couchsurfing. I asked if she would like to get together for dinner later, and told her of the strange encounter with the travel buddy, and the cramped quarters we were staying in.  She suggested we meet at 8pm.  I called later and met AnnMarie at a subway station where she had her bike. We walked over towards a fire station and she locked up her bike again, and said she had a plan. AnnMarie was going to rent a car and drive me back to the residence, pick up my stuff and I was going to stay with her. I started to say that wasn't necessary, but she cut me off and said she wasn't asking, but telling me!  I was very grateful.  When she saw the room I was staying in, she had all the more reason to take me to her home.

After I dropped my stuff off, we took the car back, and walked towards he home. We stopped at an ice cream shop and had the most delicious raspberry ice cream ever!

That night I realised I had left my charger at the room, and went back to pick it up. I had to stick around to charge my phone. I had planned  to go to a swimming pool and sit in the sun, but while I was waiting for my phone, the rain came. Later on it stopped, and I walked to the pool, and enjoyed the sun, until it rained again!

Later that night I was meeting Glenn and the other two for dinner. The reservations were for 7:30pm. I got there early as I wasn't sure where the restaurant was, but just sat and waited for them anyway. I got a text from Glenn saying that the new travel buddy was still in the shower at 7pm. Strange since it would take then 45 minutes to get to the restaurant. The next text informed me that she was now ironing her clothes. Yes, she had brought along an iron for a long weekend trip!  Then the final text came saying they would be there between 8 and 8:15. I called the waitress over and ordered my food saying the others were going to be very late. I had just finished my dinner when they finally arrived and they had about 30 minutes until the restaurant closed!
I had the most delicious desserts, which made the waiting a little more bearable.
Then we went off to a chocolate cafe, where the other 2 women walked on past not realising we had stopped. Glenn rush off to get them, while I bought a raspberry chocolate mousse cake for AnnMarie. When they came in they wanted a table, but it was far too hot for me, so I said I would leave and go back to my friend's place.  That night I asked Glenn if he could pick me up at my friend's place, but he wanted me to meet them at a restaurant that was quite far away. I told them to wait for me at the hotel then, as it was an 11 minute bus ride. He said they were leaving at 8:15 am. I said that I'm sure they wouldn't mind waiting for me. I don't think he got the sarcasm. Well they did make me wait forever for dinner!

I won't be traveling with some of those people again, just not my type of travel companions.
Oh and here are a couple of pictures of me, being silly as usual.