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Friday, May 31, 2013

FOTO FRIDAY - 5/31/13

Dear Family and Friends,

In 2003 Chuck and I took a 3 week scooter trip into Canada. Our scooters were Aprilia Scarabeos 150cc.

Needless to say we took the back roads.

Here is a photo of our scooters with Mt. Ranier in the background.

During this trip we camped out for a third of the time, stayed with family and friends a third of the time and slept in motels a third of the time.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Niagara Falls

Dear Family and Friends,

One of the sights that Matt wanted to include in his vacation was a trip to Niagara Falls.

We went to the Canadian side of the falls which are located about 45 minutes from Toronto.

Here is a picture of the American Falls from the Canadian side.

Here is a picture of the Canadian Falls.  The Canadian Falls are horseshoe shaped but the mist was so much that it was hard to tell.

Another view of the American Falls

The Canadian Falls.

The Canadian Falls and a local resident.

Chuck enjoying the falls.

Maid of the Mist boat.  These boats take you right to the base of both of the falls.

Matt, waiting to load on the Maid of the Mist.

We had a great time at the falls.  Matt especially enjoyed this part of the trip.  The weather was overcast, but it was beautiful just the same.

The next day we flew from Toronto to Seattle.

Matt's vacation is over for this year.  Now he has to decide where to spend his vacation next year.  Such a big decision.


Friday, May 24, 2013

FOTO FRIDAY - 5/24/13

Dear Family and Friends,

This photo, taken in 2007, is from a flea market in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

I miss flea markets.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Toronto Canada

Dear Family and Friends,

We spent a few days in Toronto before heading flying back home.  This included a trip to Niagara Falls.

First, I will share a few pictures from Toronto.

Here is a bronze statue outside the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Tim Hortons is a wonderful pastry and coffee house.  They are located all over Canada.  If you make a visit to Canada and do not see one, you had your eyes closed.

Probably the oldest department store in the western hemisphere.  The Hudson Bay Company has been around since 1670.  Today the department store is known as "The Bay."  While in Toronto we heard that the company has been purchased by Target.

Here is Matt hugging up to a Canadian Moose.

 A trip to Toronto must include a trip to the top of the CN Tower.

 View of Lake Ontario from the top.

 View of the city of Toronto from the top.

These folks are standing and laying on a glass floor at the top of the tower.  Chuck and Matt did it, but not me!!

Saturday I will share about our trip to Niagara Falls.


Friday, May 17, 2013

FOTO FRIDAY - 5/17/13

Dear Family and Friends,

This photo was taken in the Palouse country.  (Eastern Washington and Northwestern Idaho) which is rolling hill wheat country.  Chuck and I took many scooter trips to this area in the spring and fall.

Another picture from this part of the country is this round barn.  It is located near the border of Idaho and Washington just outside of Moscow, Idaho.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Across Canada Train Scenery

Dear Family and Friends,

By far the best scenery of the train trip was when we went through the Canadian Rockies. We left Vancouver about 10:00pm which meant we could not see the countryside until we woke up the next morning.

Here are some photos before we reached the Rockies.

Matt made these next two photos and was generous enough to let me share them in this post.

Once we got into the Rockies the scenery was awesome.  Pictures cannot do it justice.

Beautiful Pyramid Falls

Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.

This lake still had quite a bit of ice on it, but it had melted enough to start reflecting the snow covered mountains behind them.

Love this shot of the Canadian Flag flying proudly in front of the snow covered mountains.

A colorful totem pole in Jasper.

The remainder of the trip was a lot less dramatic as the landscape flattened out and became colder and browner.

Here is Matt and Chuck outside the train station in Winnipeg.  Can you tell how cold it was starting to be?

We arrived in Toronto about 10am on Saturday morning.

Next time I will share some pictures from our Toronto visit.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

VIA Rail Canada - Taking the train across Canada

Dear Family and Friends,

Chuck, Matt and I spent 4 nights and 3 days riding the Canadian passenger train, VIA Rail, from Vancouver, BC to Toronto.

We had a fun adventure and Matt and I took a lot of pictures.

In this post I will share with you about the train itself. 

We had sleeping compartments on the train.  Matt had one to himself and Chuck and I had a double room.

Matt set the timer on his camera and took a picture of himself in his room.

Matt's seat let out into a single bed.  He had a toilet and sink in his room.

Here is a picture of mine and Chuck's room.  These chairs folded down and disappeared at night when the beds were made.

We had a toilet and a sink in our room too.

At night our little room was transformed into this.

Chuck took the top bunk.  Notice the safety harness to keep him from falling out of the bed.

It was not exactly the Ritz Carlton, but we all three slept well.  The rocking of the train lulled us to sleep.

Our train car looked like this.  A long hallway with rooms to the right.

See the door that is at the end of the hall?

Behind this door was the shower for our car.

Now that you have seen all these comforts I am sure you understand why we did not spend a lot of time in our rooms.  However, the other areas of the train offered a lot of nice public spaces.

Notice the dome on the top of the car pictured below.  There were about five of these cars scattered along the length of this train.

The dome is a nice observation area to sit and enjoy the scenery.

These cars also included public areas where you could play games, watch movies or just visit.

There was always coffee, tea, juices, fresh fruit and snacks whenever you wanted them.

We really didn't need the snacks because we had three nice meals each day in the dinning car.

Here is the menu for one of the evening meals.

Matt photographed his breakfast one morning.

Here is Matt in the dining car enjoying himself.

He photographed us across from him.

I'm not sure who was the biggest ham on this trip....Chuck or Matt.

There was one other special observation car on our train through the Canadian Rockies.  We spent most of the day in the Rockies in this car.  Matt and I took tons of pictures which I will share with you next time.  When we got to Edmonton the car was taken off the train so it could be added to the train going the opposite direction through the Rockies.

This is how this car looked from the inside.

It was from this car that I was able to take two pictures of our train. The front half and the back half.  We were on a large curve and I was able to see the train from one end to the other.

Our train was quite long....over twenty cars.

We had a nice relaxing trip across Canada.  Now that you have seen our transportation, tomorrow I will share the scenery.