Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Catching up

21 Comments

Ready, aim, fire!

Ready, aim, fire!


I am getting behind! Every day we are doing more things, exploring more places and by the time we get in at night I am so tired I can do nothing more than check emails for emergencies and fall into bed.

Getting wet at Cave of the Winds.

Getting wet at Cave of the Winds.

But today we got up extra special early and have already walked 7 miles (11.3K) and we’re back at the hotel taking a nap before heading out for the evening. So I’ll see if I can give you the short version of what we’ve seen. (Click on any photo to see more detail.)

Riding Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls.

Riding Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls.

Do you remember the trip we made last October where we saw all sorts of lighthouses? Well this trip, once we got past Niagara Falls, where we played under the American Falls and took the boat ride into Canada’s Horseshoe Falls, seems to be all about forts built in the early 1800’s.

Learning about family life at the fort, kids went to school until 14, then boys had to find a job in town or join the army.  Girls had to get married.

Learning about family life at Fort Henry; kids went to school until 14, then boys had to find a job in town or join the army. Girls had to get married.

And about the war of 1812 where, according to the Canadian guides we’ve heard, America invaded and wasn’t very nice to Canadian villages.

Fort Wellington never saw a battle, but sent troops out to fight in other local villages.

Fort Wellington never saw a battle, but sent troops out to fight in other local villages.

We’ve been driving up the St. Lawrence River through Ontario, headed to Montreal and Quebec. We saw a couple of freighters on the river, and, near Kingston, lots of houses out on quite small, rocky islands. Seems a romantic way to live until winter arrives.

Headed west on the river.

Headed west on the river.

But right now we’re in Ottawa, Canada’s capital. We toured the Parliament building this morning.

Parliament Hill, with Peace Tower.

Parliament Hill, with Peace Tower.

It’s beautiful inside, designed much like the National Cathedral in Washington DC.

Stone arches everywhere.

Stone arches everywhere.

And it has a library that reminds me somewhat of the Library of Congress in Washington DC as well. Absolutely stunning.

It was very quiet in the library.   We were in awe.

It was very quiet in the library. We were in awe.

After the Parliament building we walked a couple of miles to the Laurier House, where two Prime Ministers of Canada lived, Wilfred Laurier and William King, 12 years apart. Lots of history here too.

Prime Minister King ran the country during WWII from his office on the third floor, preferring it to his office in the Parliament building!

Prime Minister King ran the country during WWII from his office on the third floor, preferring it to his office in the Parliament building!

And after that…we sat on the house veranda for a spell, letting it all sink in. Then we wandered back to the hotel, noticing the beautiful buildings of a beautiful city.

Built in different centuries.

Built in different centuries.

Many different cultures and influences are evident in this city.

And a river runs through it.  Actually a canal.

And a river runs through it. Actually a canal.

And now it’s time for a nap.

Resting our feet.

Resting our feet.

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Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

21 thoughts on “Catching up

  1. Seven miles of walking! Wow! I can see why you may not be caught up, Dawn. 🙂

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  2. I have never been to Ottawa, so this is very interesting.

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  3. Hey! Welcome to my city, Dawn. How long are you here? Were you here for the terrible deluge yesterday? Have you done a haunted tour? My favourite small museum is the Bytown Museum just below Sapper’s Bridge looking out to the Ottawa River. And it’s haunted. So is the Chateau Laurier. Have you been down to the National Gallery to Nepean Point which overlooks the mighty Ottawa River across to Quebec? Happy trails in Montreal and Quebec City. I LOVE Quebec City. You will be transported. And it’s a GREAT walking city.

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    • We walked down by the Bytown Museum…did not know it was haunted. They didn’t tell us Laurier was haunted either…but I could see that it might be as both Prime Minister Laurier and his wife died there. What should we see in Montreal and/or Quebec City?

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  4. Definitely time for a nap!

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  5. now isn’t this what retirement is all about – so much to see – so many things you didn’t know about .

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  6. Such an interesting and fun trip, Dawn! Thanks for sharing it in words and pictures.

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  7. What wonderful travels! And you are on your way now to Montreal? One of my favorite cities, though I’ve only had a chance to visit once. The name ‘Kingston’ reminds me of seeing a boat in the harbor at Grand Marais, its home port (noted on stern) Kingston, and my amazement that a boat from Jamaica (my first thought) would find its way up to Lake Superior! Took me a day or two to remember about Kingston, Ontario.

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    • We just got to Montreal. Staying in the old city…will look for dinner tonight and figure out what to do with the car for tomorrow (car is definitely a liability here!).

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  8. A nap seems entirely sensible after your travels today!
    Looks really beautiful. I’d love to hear some practical details about traveling to Canada. One day in the not too distant future I’d like to take a coastal Superior trip, and I wonder about the basics!

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    • It’s easiest if you have a passport…next easiest is the enhanced DL. Don’t know if you can still go w/ just a regular DL and birth certificate. Will email you separately when we get home if you like.

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      • That would be great! We have the enhanced DL’s. I was wondering about the ease of credit card use, too, or if we’d be better converting some cash. It’s been a while since we’ve crossed the border!
        Thanks!!

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        • You need to call your credit card company and tell them you will be traveling in Canada so they do not freeze your account when they see foreign transactions. Also if your ATM card is affiliated with MC or Visa you need to find an ATM that also is affiliated with your card (most are, but those inside restaurants and bars often are not) or it will not work.

          You can use a credit card just about anywhere except maybe fruit/veg markets and small stores, possibly not at small bed and breakfasts….but you can convert money just after you cross the border,there is usually a little place at the end of the bridge….I found the conversion rate was slightly better at a local bank than at the bridge though. It’s about 30% right now…maybe 28%.

          We have converted $400 to Canadian (100 was about 128 Canadian dollars) but only because my husband is paranoid. I’m sure we’ve spent less than $100 in cash. We’ll have to convert it back when we cross back into the US tomorrow. I’ve heard they won’t convert back the change…so if you have coin, spend that first.

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        • Ps. When you call your credit card company make sure you ask if they charge a transaction fee when used in Canada. Our American Express does. Our MC does not. So we are only using MC while here.

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