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Chester and Sharon: Powassan, Ont. Day 14 and 15: June 28 & 29:

Louise Speaks:  Day 4 & 5:  From Grimsby it was off to Powassan to 100_9682visit Chester and Sharon, two of my cousins on my dads side.  Now this is another interesting story.  I never knew who Chester was…I always knew him as Butch...another name change.  This was my favorite cousin on my dads side when I was growing up because he always stood up for me.  Chester (he’s too old to be called Butch now) and his family lived in South Porcupine.  Yes that is the name of the city.  We had so much fun at this house.  All the kids used to sleep upstairs and there was a vent in the floor.  The vent was right over the kitchen table below.  As kids we would lie on the floor by the vent and hear what our parents were talking about at the kitchen table below…interesting stuff.

20160630_101732But Chester was close to the age of my brother Ray.  They would hang out together and go play ball.  Now Chester was the most handsome cousin of the bunch (sorry to the others).  He had the blond hair, blue eyes, and looked just like one of the Beach Boys.  I was only 8 or 9 but wherever Chester went that’s where I wanted to be.  My brother Ray would say no, but Chester always said let her come.  My brother won so I didn’t get to go, but I remember Chester going to bat for me.

This trip was no different.  I had never met Sharon but I had been to this house before.  Chester’s parents, my aunt and uncle used to live in the downstairs apartment.  When I brought my parents here in 2001 we stayed a couple nights here but for some reason I didn’t meet Sharon. Sharon and I have been FB friends for some time now so it was great to meet her in person.

chester poolWhat a great visit and what a fun time.  Sharon makes the most awesome deserts and I’m sure she gets all the recipes from FB because she is always posting them.  They are turning the downstairs apartment into a Rec space complete with Bar and Kitchen and a separate room for a Pool Table.  Since our return, the pool table has arrived so I’m posting a picture copied from them.  It won’t be long before this is the party house.  It’s a shame to get rid of that apartment though,because I was planning on moving in.

We had so much fun visiting with Chester and Sharon.  They gave us a tour of Powassan and took us to breakfast at the cutest restaurant.  You could tell everything was home made as the smells were to die for.  We saw where Sharon and Chester met, where they used to live, where Chester taught and that was pretty much the town of Powassan.

20160629_192458What a pair Chester and Sharon make.  While Sharon cooks and fed us like royalty, Chester has the most beautiful yard complete with deck, porch swing and flowers everywhere.  The weather was just perfect so sitting outside for our morning coffee was just perfect.

deck2Chester’s mother is one of the aunts that just recently passed away a few months ago and was one of the reasons for me coming back…I just waited a few months too late.  I did however get to visit with my aunt when I was back in Canada in 2007, so I am grateful for that.  Chester has four siblings, including a set of twins, but I didn’t  get a chance to see any of them…they are all spread out and none live close.  I did get a chance to meet one of Chester’s sons, but in the rush of leaving did not get a picture of him or with him…so yep another reason to come back.

deckWe had so much fun in Powassan.  It was such a good visit and so nice to catch up.  I told Chester there are only two aunts left and all of us cousins, and if we don’t keep in touch we are going to drift apart.  Well that pressure lies on me as all of them live in Canada, so like I said before…I can’t wait another 10 years to come back and visit.  They sent us off with the sweetest strawberries I had ever tasted…yet another reason to come back.  Thank you Chester and Sharon for a great visit and for opening up your home to us.  I hope you give us the chance to return the hospitality…we do have a large timeshare in Vegas…lol.

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Aunt Rose: Grimsby, Ontario: Day 14: June 28, 2016

Louise Speaks:  Day 4:  It was hard leaving Niagara Falls but the trip must continue.  Like I had mentioned earlier, our trip was going to be a half circle, so we are heading northwest.  I have an aunt that used to live in Hamilton, but is now in an assisted living facility in Grimsby, just outside of Hamilton.  So that is our first stop.

100_9678Aunt Rose is Cecile and my dads sister…second to the youngest.  These are the only two relatives left on my dads side, except for the zillion cousins I have roaming around.  As we arrived to see my Aunt Rose she was getting her hair done and she recognized me right away.

20160628_121845We had so much fun chatting we decided to stay and have lunch with her.  What a great visit.  She kept forgetting her walker, which would indicate to me she really doesn’t need it, but it was a good joke reminding her everywhere we stopped…umm Aunt Rose, your walker…lol

100_9679After lunch she took us upstairs to her living quarters.  It was actually very nice with a large restroom and a great view from the 4th floor.  We continued to visit and discovered how lonely she is when she is in her room.  I’m glad she has lots of activities to keep her busy and hope that her children, my cousins, go visit her often.  When it was time to leave she walked us out to the RV and met Gracie.  She had a pretty quick step because I had to keep up with her…and that was without her walker.

20160628_124853Aunt Rose has two daughters but due to our schedule and theirs we were unable to meet.  I did see them both in 2007 and stayed at the family home in Hamilton during that visit.  I understand she has recently decided to sell that home, so another memory gone.  Saying goodbye to my aunt was difficult.  When they are getting older and not able to live alone, it makes me wonder if I will ever see her again.  I guess I need to come back to Canada more often than every 10 years.

 


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Horn Blower (Maid of the Mist) June 27, 2016

100_9650Louise Speaks:  Day 3:  Our last day in Niagara Falls and we could not come here and not do the boat ride to the Falls.  In previous years this attraction was known as “The  Maid of the Mist.” This was on the Canadian side of the

American Falls

American Falls

Falls.  Turns out there was a mishap and Maid of the Mist lost their contract.  So the American side, which never had the boat ride picked up the contract.  Not to be out done, the Canadian side came up with a new company name of 100_9659“Horn Blower” and the boat rides continue.  It’s fun to see the boats however.  They take the exact same route but the American boat the guests wear blue raincoats and the Canadian side the guests wear red.  Still a Niagara Falls attraction you just can’t miss.

100_9660To avoid us from having to drive and find a place to park the RV, Bonnie once again came over and picked us up.  Now as a kid, Sonny and I used to walk to the Falls, that’s how close my aunt lives to the actual Falls.  But driving it 20160627_142359today, I’m glad we were driving and not walking…humidity is pretty bad today.  Since my Aunt has taken such a liking to Gracie, she offered to dog sit so we could enjoy the day.  Bonnie just dropped us off and we will call her when we are done.

20160627_142413Now I have been on this boat ride before but Thelma never has.  The boat leaves every 15 minutes and the cost is $18 Canadian money…meaning it’s about $12 on your American Credit Card.  Everyone is handed a “Red” raincoat and you are herded through long lines.  But since a boat leaves every 15 minutes the line does move very quickly.

100_9663This is a stand up ride.  They pack you onto the boat and you find a place to stand.  There are two levels.  You first pass the American Falls which are big and straight.  You head to the Canadian Falls which is in the shape of a Horseshoe, hence the name Horseshoe Falls.  There’s not much to write about except it is an experience you will never forget, and you will get very, VERY wet.  I am going to post pictures without writing as a picture says 1000 words.

20160627_142301It is very difficult to take pictures as it is almost as if it is raining the mist is so intense.  I took pictures as far as I could but didn’t want to ruin my phone or camera.  Once we turned around I could take more pictures of the American Falls and of Rainbow Bridge, the bridge we crossed when crossing the border.  Things sure look different from the bottom looking up.

100_9667When we were done with the boat ride we decided to do the tourist thing and just walk the boardwalk.  We went as far as the Niagara River which is the beginning of the Falls.  The river looks like it is moving so peacefully and then it just “falls”.  There are still many suicides each year of people floating down the river and going over the falls.  These are not suicide attempts, as no one survives the fall.

20160627_151720We were able to see just how close the boats get to the falls from up above.  Knowing that we were on one of those boats explains why we got so wet and shows us just 20160627_151611how close we were.  We were also able to catch a rainbow over the falls, which was a very beautiful site.  People like my cousins who live here don’t see this as a big deal, but us tourists were very impressed.

100_9672While walking along, I happened to see a young lady wearing an ASU shirt.  I had to stop her and ask for a photo with the falls as a backdrop.  I mean come on…what are the chances of finding a Sun Devil Fan at Niagara Falls?

20160627_145502After walking and going into the few museums and gift shops it was time for Ice Cream and to call Bonnie to come pick us up.  What a fun day and what an incredible experience.  Even though I’ve done it before, it is still an spectacular thing to see and do.

Tonight is our last night in Niagara Falls.  I really don’t want to leave as I have had such an incredible time with my family.  I know I have more family to see, but I can see my childhood memories flashing before me.  Oh well, this gives me another reason to come back.  Thank you so much Aunt Cecile, Bonnie and Bridgette.  You made this stop one I will never forget.  Love you all!!!