Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

January through April 2013

February 21, 2014

January 9 I flew back from Newfoundland and was back into at least some house finishing activities. Elena and I decided we were to make trip to Peru in the Fall to see Macchu Picchu and other bucket list sites in that interesting country. So lots of internet arranging for the trip. Elena’s friend from Peru told us it was easy and much cheaper to arrange your own tour which we/I set out to do. Got off to a shaky start with a malfunction of an internet reservation site that resulted in two extra plane reservations that told me the reservation had failed before making one on a different site, that told me I had been successful. That took a lot of “sturm and drang” and phone calls plus a few weeks before the charges were removed from credit card 😦

I was also rehearsing for a concert with LPM scheduled near end of February, and my ENT had scheduled me for surgery February 21 to “ream and clean” my sinuses of nasal polyps. These to those who don’t suffer are a consequence of allergies and this was my second surgery, the first happening nearly 30 years earlier. My family doc had me get a head cat scan to see the status of my sinuses before my referral to the ENT. When it came back and he was showing it to me, his comment was: How do you breathe?

Anyway I was also slogging away at getting trim installed, stained and varnished in the workshop. Just to keep life interesting Elena’s cousins in Brooklyn NY were to celebrate the wife’s 90th birthday in Mid March, and had recently celebrated the husband’s 97th. Elena was going to fly out, so to join the celebration I planned to drive to NYC on February 14, and made reservations on Airbnb at a place near the celebration site.

Things went well with the trim work, and the choir rehearsals were also good, the unfortunate thing being that my surgery was on Feb 21 and the concert on the 23rd. I was hoping my post-op condition would let me sing, but discretion being the better part of valor, the continued oozing of my surgery made me sit that one out.

However by the time I had to depart for NYC my sinuses were much happier, and I set out for Brooklyn at the crack of dawn with a few snow flurries happening. By the time I got to London, it had turned into much more threatening conditions, very slick roads and an 18 wheeler had jackknifed across the oncoming side of the 401 about 30 km up the road and pretty much stopped traffic from both directions. I continued on at a safer snails pace and finally drove out of the nasty roads as I crossed the border into the US at Hamilton. Then made very good travel time getting to my accommodations only a couple hours later than I had anticipated. A good time was had by all, a few days visiting with family and the big birthday party. Then me back to Newbury and Elena to St. John’s and her classes.

Not long after getting back to Newbury it was time to seed the grass in the newly landscaped terrain around the house. I had made a trip to the US in Michigan to get moulding trim and a vanity and toilet for the bathroom in workshop as well as grass seed.

One of the first outside jobs with Spring weather was to prepare the soil and spread grass seed. I borrowed a harrow from my friend Ron up the street and and dragged it around with my lawn tractor to loosen up the surface a bit before applying the seed I brought back from Michigan.


After missing the February LPM Concert because of my sinus surgery, I did succeed in singing the Gilbert and Sullivan fundraiser concert in April, as well as the Voiceprints Spring Concert. Elena was completing her final term of teaching before retiring, and then flew out to Ontario. After a few days of recovery we loaded up into the VW camper and headed across the border to spend May and early June in Sarasota. When we crossed the border at Sombra-Marine City for some reason the US customs decided we were suspicious, and did a complete dis-assembly of everything in the van. After more than an hour of inquisition we were finally on our way. We had a brief stop in Louisville to visit my sister Trish and her husband Del, and then onward to Sarasota. A bit more than a month enjoying sun and warm, Elena running every day and me riding my bike for at least 20 km pretty much every day. Then in early June back north up the Atlantic coast via Jacksonville and then up through Savannah and a stop in Greenville, SC with Elena’s cousin. From there back meandering across the south back to Ohio and back up to cross the border at Detroit-Windsor and home to Newbury. Then shortly Elena was back to Newfoundland and I was back to work on house stuff.

April-May 2012

January 22, 2014

After Dean headed off to Newfoundland with the donor van, I continued to slog away at the window liners and bits of the finish of the solar chimney interior. I also did some caulking and painting on the top that I put on my utility trailer in preparation for the trek to Newfoundland and back. The initial plan was for me to go with my MPV and trailer to pick up a load of stored stuff to bring back to Ontario, and also to engage in helping with the transplant process on replacing the automatic (dead) transmission with the good clutch and transmission from the donor van. There was the possibility of both the VW camper and the MPV plus trailer would be moving west together, with a recruited additional driver. However that was not to happen. I headed to Newfoundland on April 3 with trailer in tow. Dropped down through Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine and then to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to take advantage of cheaper gas, and got to the ferry on the night of April 4, sailed at 6:30 the next morning and drove across the island arriving in St. John’s just before midnight.

Unfortunately the work on van conversion was not possible at that time, and the extra driver not possible either, so I loaded up the stuff in the trailer and headed back West on May 5. As before first the approximately 1000 km across the island, then the 6+ hr ferry ride, this time overnight trip, and hit the ground on the far side in the morning running. This trip I chose to stay north of the border the whole trip, did not relish the idea of having the entire trailer load of stuff torn apart by US customs looking for whatever. I made it to Montreal the second day on the mainland and Elena joined me by air. We spent a day visiting my daughter and Elena’s cousin, and then we drove together to Toronto, where we unloaded some items for my step-daughter. Then I went on to Newbury to unload the rest while she stayed for a visit with daughter and a HS friend from Buenos Aires.

After unloading the trailer and catching up on stuff around the house (grass etc) back to Toronto on the 18th, and a visit to the Picasso exhibit at the AGO.  After that  Elena was in Newbury for a several days and I showed her a bit of the countryside around the region as well as the lay of the land in London.   Then  up to Kitchener to visit friends, on the way to drop her off in Guelph for a conference at the University.   After the conference back to Toronto and on June 13 she flew back to Newfoundand.