Friday, June 24, 2005

The Belleville Trip

I really enjoyed taking the train to Belleville. It was fast and relaxing. It took just over an hour one way and I sat reading and had a little doze as well. It was lovely to be going faster than the cars on the 401! I worked out that it was actually cheaper for me to go by train than to drive. Gas prices are so high that it would have cost me more than $25 each way.

The Graduation Ceremony was lovely and extremely well organized. There were 30 graduating students and a large percentage of them graduated as Ontario Scholars (80% or more). Marion was one of them.

It was lovely to see the Hogewonings again and the children are growing like weeds. Marion is a very beautiful , elegant young lady. She will be going to Trinity Western University in British Columbia in September to take Inter-cultural Religious studies and then followed by Medicine. She hopes to work in Africa with AIDS children.

Lydia is also growing up and is doing ballet. She looks very different from Marion, but is also a very beautiful young lady. Waldo, at 11, is getting taller. He was very happy to show me his autograph book and scrap book from a recent trip to Disney World and his last birthday party with a bunch of other little boys. He is presently over-shadowed by his sisters, but as he gets older and more mature will come into his own and will be a fine young man.

It was a most enjoyable break from my usual routine and has given me a yearning to go on a longer train ride!

Hermien, Waldo, Marion, Dirk and Lydia

Hermien, Waldo, Marion, Dirk and Lydia Posted by Hello

Graduating class of 2005, Quinte Christian High School, Belleville Posted by Hello

Marion in the receiving line Posted by Hello

Waldo and Lydia Posted by Hello

Lydia and Dirk Posted by Hello

Daryl and Marion Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Upcoming trip to Belleville

Well, tomorrow I am going on the Via Rail train to Belleville, at the eastern end of Lake Ontario. It is about an hour from Pickering and only costs $50. With the cost of gas at the moment, it will probably work out cheaper than using my car, not to mention a whole lot less stressful. I will be attending the graduation ceremony of the daughter of friends of ours. Of course I will be taking my new wonderful Olympus C-7000 camera and will post some pictures as soon as I can. Dad and Michael are staying home. I return home on Friday morning.

Toronto Island Report

It was a very challenging, but enjoyable day. We took Dad's scooter, which weighs a ton and is very cumbersome, and our 2 bikes to the Pickering GO station, then loaded the cooler onto the back of the scooter and we boarded the train to Toronto. Dad had to go into the "handicap" coach, which was a struggle in itself as he does not know how to reverse and parallel park in a train, so we travelled with him sticking out into the aisle. I was not allowed to have my bike in the handicap coach, so Michael ended up taking 2 bikes into the next one down.

When we got downtown we had go down a level into the station, one at a time in the handicap elevator. A short distance to the ferry terminal, with Dad being very nervous, especially as we were on the wrong side of the road and hit an area of road works, so we had to go into the road for about 100 yards. Anyway, we soon got to the ferry terminal and met up with the kids and then boarded the ferry....

Once on the island Sandy found a lovely spot for us to picnic. On the edge of the water with a beautiful view of the city. Dad did not move and refused to go exploring on the scooter. He and Suzanne went for a short walk to a marina and back. The rest of the time he just sat in the scooter and dozed or ate lunch. At least he had somewhere comfortable to sit!

Then the return trek, when Dad went gaily heading off into the wrong direction, instead of waiting for us to direct him. Of course he is as deaf as a post, so he did not hear us yelling at him to stop. Once we got back onto the platform, we found the train waiting and Dad zoomed up the ramp, nearly shooting straight out the other side of the train, because he always pushes down on the "forward" lever insteading of lifting his thumb when he wants to stop. He would have been killed if I had not caught the scooter and yelled at him to stop. The opposite door of the train was open and there was about a foot drop down to the platform on the other side. The scooter would have landed right on top of him!

Even with the all the hassles, it was still a very pleasant day, especially as Michael and I rode from one end of the islands to the other and left Dad in the care of the kids. I got cooked and the next day, sported a very red nose and red arms. Poor Sandy forgot to bring a hat and sun screen. He is so fair that he had to stay under cover as he burns really easily.

The scooter came in very handy as we were able to put all our "luggage" on it. The cooler strapped very nicely onto the back, on top of the motor.

Dad's scooter was the pack horse for the cooler, camera bag and jackets. Very Handy!! Posted by Hello

Suzanne, Greg and Michael on the ferry heading back to the Queens Quay dock in Toronto.  Posted by Hello

Toronto Skyline from the channel near Gibraltar Point Posted by Hello

The sail ship taken from the beach at Centre Island Posted by Hello

Swans and a tall sail ship from Centre Island Posted by Hello

Kayakers cruising past us Posted by Hello

Dad with Toronto waterfront in the background. Posted by Hello

Suzanne and Sandy Posted by Hello

Suzanne, Greg and Dad at "our" picnic spot Posted by Hello

Dad on the GO Train Posted by Hello

Friday, June 17, 2005

We're off to the Islands!!!

On Sunday we are loading Dad, his scooter, our bikes, cameras, and food onto the GO train and we are going down to Toronto Islands. We will meet the kids down there for a day of fun and revelry....well, actually for a picnic under the trees on the shores of Lake Ontario. Dad will be able to get around on the scooter, which is better than having him sitting around at home in front of the idiot box all day!

Watch this space for the next exciting episode!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Killarney Provincial Park

In 1999 we planned a trip to Northern Ontario to go on the train trip to the Agawa Canyon. On the way up we stayed for 3 nights at Killarney Provincial Park. The first 2 nights were lovely and the daytime weather was spectacular. The third night was awful. It started raining in the evening and then we were hit by a tremendous storm. I am terrified of lightening and it was very scary to be in a tent with thunder and lightening. I buried myself inside the sleeping bag and eventually went to sleep. In the morning it was still raining and there was quite a lot of water inside the tent! We decided to pack up and leave, and after falling out of the tent into a muddy puddle, I decided that I would NOT camp in a tent again, and we haven't.

We travelled up to Sault Ste Marie and stayed in a log cabin at the local KOA. It was lovely and warm and dry!

More next time about the wonderful trip to Agawa Canyon.

Camp site at Killarney Provincial Park Posted by Hello

Canoe, Killarney Posted by Hello

Almost a painting Posted by Hello

Still Water Posted by Hello

View from the top of the rocks Posted by Hello

Reflections Posted by Hello

Beautiful pink rocks, Killarney Posted by Hello

Beaver Lodge at Killarney Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

New Camera!!

Here I am back again. I got the Olympus Camera (click on the heading of this post to see a review). I worked hard for that...2 extra shifts at work. We went to Costco on the way to Darlington on Saturday and bought the camera plus a 512 MB xD card. I spent the weekend playing with the camera and took hundreds of photos. On the default setting the photos are about 20 MB each, but that gives you a lot of leeway to crop, zoom, fix etc etc. I took some great macro shots of dandelion flowers and some of a dragon fly sitting on a branch. The one dragon fly picure has been played with. I did a video, but it was not too exciting. I will have to play around with that. The camera also takes panoramic photos and for that I will have to get a tripod.

Below are 3 macro shots I did. If you click on the photos you will see a larger version. I will post a couple of landscape shots that I did as soon as I have reduced them in size in Photoshop.

Overall, I am very pleased with this purchase, especially since it was even lower in price when I got to Costco. $529 was, I thought a pretty good price, seeing that Tiger Direct quoted about $730! What is more I got a genuine Olympus xD card from Blacks on sale at $99. Next month I will get a backup battery.

Watch this space for more photos!

Dragon Fly  Posted by Hello