A Travellerspoint blog

Farewell Ottawa

Well Dear Readers

The time has come and we are, as of now, on the way home!! Loved the holiday and have had an absolute ball!!

So! We were picked up by Rowan late morning in the Truck, and taken out to Smiths Falls to have a look at the just completed renovations to their house. Not enough space here to go through an inventory of what had been done (sorry my OCD friends) but suffice to say, the outcome is nothing short of splendid!! The kitchen area is now bright and airy with beautiful tiles as splash areas in the kitchen. Also, something which got Bryan's attention, lights along the inner part at the top of the cupboards which can be set to almost any colour you might like! But of course, those who know Bryan, will know Blue would be the colour of preference. Tulsa (beautiful black dog) loves the new floor because you always know where she is with her claws clicking on the new floor boards!!

From there, we went through Portland (yes! There is a town in Canada called Portland) to a shop called the Village Green in (sorry Rowan! I can't remember the name!) and had a gentle little looky look!! Following this, it was down the road for an ice cream! Mmmmm! Yummmmo!! Izzy decided she'd have this Bubblegum concoction, which surprisingly, was in this hideous fluorescent blue!! Anyhoooo! The result was this little cackling, blue tongued person on a sugar high. Honestly, the girl has me in hysterics with her antics!!!

After this, it was back to the hotel, have dinner, then fall exhausted into bed.

Yesterday, we all went in to the War Museum, which surprisingly didn't go down well with Miss Izzy!! I mean, seriously, what 7yr old little girl wouldn't jump at the chance to crawl over tanks and armoured personnel carriers et al??? So after some pacifying, she realised there might be a shop and all sads disappeared!!! Shades of Miss Fiona!!! If anyone is in Ottawa, the War Museum is certainly a place to visit!!!

After that, it was dinner at Baton Rouge with the best steak I've ever had!!! And I'm told the ribs were to die for. I'll leave that for others to judge!! Good food, good wine then back to the hotel for our last night!!!

So! Last entry folks!!!

Soon back on in Aus!!! Back to little pussycat and home!!

Cheers all

Bryan & Ron

Posted by BeeandRon 11:34 Comments (0)

Ottawa

Mt Tremblant and Shopping - Yeehaaaaa!!!!

sunny 17 °C

Hello Dear Readers

Well our visit to Mt Tremblant went well. Rowan dutifully arrived driving 6.4 litres of wonderful American Dodge V8 which certainly put a smile on my dial!!! Off to Quebec and along the highways to Mont Tremblant, kids playing happily in the back for Oh Dunno!! about 5 minutes. Then the pinching, shoving and "Mummy, he's looking at me/hit me" started". So Mummy had to intervene with threats of iPods being confiscated for 2 weeks and other dastardly threats which seemed to work for most of the way. Then when we arrived, whilst Daddy was trying to concentrate and find a parking spot, all out War erupted in the back of the Dodge!!! Well Dear Readers, after calling in the United Nations and sending in the peace keepers, we managed to extricate the two main players from the back of the Dodge and it was just like hitting a light switch. All instantly calmed down. Must say though. All jokes aside. The two of them really are great kids and they do look after one another. It's just funny watching the antics going on. Really makes the day entertaining.

First thing we do after stopping for a bite to eat is onto the Gondolas and up towards the Ski resort. Izzy was just a tad hesitant but managed to be a brave girl and deal with the ride. All was fairly uneventful for the second Gondola trip up to the Ski Resort. Funny about the second ride though. Ron was standing looking at the billing boards and a woman casually asked if he was planning on using the Gondola to get up to the top. When he replied he was, she handed him 8 tickets and said she couldn't use them. No sooner had she handed them to him and she disappeared off into the Sunset like she'd never been there. So somehow we managed to score $160.00 of tickets out of the blue!! What a lucky day!! And a big Thank You to the Perfect Stranger for offering the tickets. Somehow or another we'll have to find a way to pay that one forward.

After we'd looked around at the top, oooooing and aaaaahhhhing at the scenery we came back down the mountain and Izzy went on the Bungy jumping (kiddie style of course) gizmo and they all had a go at the Luge!! Turns out Rhys is as competitive driving his lugemobile as he is with Ice Hockey and tried to out manoeuvre Daddy. He came off second best, but I do suspect it's only a matter of time, and a short amount of time at that, and he will be tipping Daddy out of his lugemobile!!! Still waters run deep with that young man and you can see the wheels turning.

From here it was a gentle walk down the hill to the Dodge with all being kept quiet (except for me) munching on Beaver tails. Yes folks, Beavertails, but not as you might imagine. They are a type of pastry deep fried then sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, followed with Lemon being squeezed on to all of this. The result is yummo!!!

Anyhoooooo.........back into the Dodge and back into Ottawa with repeats of previous antics but not as intense this time. I think the rides etc managed to calm them a little. The only issue was Izzy decided she'd die if she didn't have Moxy's for dinner (Chain Restaurant) but considering the time and all of the proceedings for the day, Mommy put her little size 7 down and damped down any further discussion on this subject!!! Again, very funny watching all of the antics and certainly not out of place.

The following day we went to the Museum of Arts and had a look at most of the wonderful works of art on display. We didn't go into any of the contemporary exhibitions as they are not what we like. And following that we went shopping!!! How unusual. I now have another bag so I can take all of the extra stuff home.

This morning we went on the Lady Dive Amphibious bus tour. Was a great way to see Ottawa we really enjoyed that. Oh! and because I was one day short of my 60th Birthday, I got a Seniors ticket. So there are some advantages for being an Old Fart!!!

For the rest of the day, we haven't done much. We suspect the next couple of days may be action packed, so we're girding our loins (figuratively speaking of course) and getting ready for what might be to come.

Take care all

Cheers

Bryan and Ron

Posted by BeeandRon 12:36 Archived in Canada Tagged holiday Comments (0)

New York - Ottawa

Well Hello Ottawa!!!! Spring has sprung!!!!

sunny 16 °C

Hello Dear Readers

Hope all are well

Not a lot to tell you really. Have been very slack and not doing a hell of a lot!!

So - New York!! Beautiful place in many senses. Does your head in, in other respects. It seems the City Fathers and Mothers decided that not only would they start digging up half of Times Square whilst we were visiting, but also half of the streets. Therefore, streets that originally had room for horse and buggy now had room perhaps for two billy carts to pass by each other. That along with an ambulance trying to get through with the Blues and Twos flashing and not getting anywhere in a hurry made for some amusement indeed. We took a Hop on Hop off bus down 7th Avenue and at one stage it took about an hour to move about 2 kilometres. I kid you not!! If it weren't for the fact we had already walked a fair way that day, we would've got out and walked. As it was, we did the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, 911 Memorial followed by a Night Tour of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn all in the one day. Not bad really for a couple of oldies!! I did put a few piccies up onto Facebook and will put some up on the blog soon.

The next day we flew out of New York and into Ottawa. So! I didn't mind the staff of United Express. The woman that helped check us in was really helpful, even though she spoke like she was in Military Academy. But I will say if it weren't for her, the plane would've taken off without us because figuring out their check in system took more than a little contemplating. Then through the friendly team looking after Security!!! OMFG!!! Such bad tempered arrogant pigs!!! Ooooops!!! Forgot myself. Honestly!!! The BS you have to go through to get onto a plane these days!!! And have they caught anyone yet??? Hell No!!!! But I guess it makes the everyday punter feel safer to go through rudeness and pat searchs, losing your pants because your belt is in some stupid little tray not to mention keeping an eye on your wallet and passport whilst they go through all of the scanners as well. Truly does nothing to enhance a happy journey I must say. OK. Rant over!!!

Well not quite. Then we are bundled into this tiny little jet with seats the size of the kiddie chairs sold at Bunnings and this tin can is as hot as hades!!! I also think the chairs were those sling type chairs like they use at outdoor cinemas, because this skinny little arse had decubitus ulcers by the time the Jockey managed to spear us into the tarmac at Ottawa Airport. Anyhooooooo!! We managed to survive that nicely too. Character building I think it is glibly called!!

Today we had a free day to do whatever we wanted to do. So what does one do when the luggage capacity is at the limit??? Shopping of course!!! Managed to find some really beautiful Teal blue Chinos, a grey knitted cardigan (Just to please the colour consultant of the team - I mean surely Navy blue knitted tops go with Orange sweaters underneath!!! It's all I had folks for a lovely chilly 6c morning) and some jocks and socks because I've nearly run out and I'll be short for the last couple of days. And Hell might Freeze over, but my Butt isn't gosh darn it!!! A new bag is also on the shopping list now strangely!! Also found this really wonderful Barber shop and had a fantastic trim because I was really starting to get a little wild and woolly. Don't want to be mistaken for a Bison, so trimmed I am now!! And smell really nice to boot!!! Not that I smelt bad to start off with, but I'm sure you get the drift!!

So folks. We head out tomorrow morning with Rowan, Jenni, Izzy and Rhys for parts unknown. Should be fun and looking forward to that. Piccies to follow from that little venture as soon as I can get them loaded up.

Take care

Cheers

Bryan and Ron

Posted by BeeandRon 14:05 Archived in Canada Tagged holiday Comments (0)

Monte Carlo - Milan - New York

Hang on to your Jocks Betty, this is getting faster than you think!!!!

sunny 24 °C

So dear Readers

Sorry for not being so disciplined about writing the blog but I've been out and about having fun. By the end of it all, I'm knackered

However, on to what's been happening!

Monte Carlo was a place that once seen, you may not really want to go back to again. It's the same for me and Venice.

There are so many beautiful things, beautiful cars, beautiful people. But it's all so hideously expensive. And a lot of the staff in the hotel were just a tad on the pretentious side. I guess they deal with big money all day long. So for them it really is nothing. But that comes across to travellers who have decided to splurge money and not really spared the expense, even though they aren't made of money, as cold and not welcoming. We thought the Fairmont Monte Carlo was OK. But for a 5 star hotel, it lacked a lot of good vibe.

We did get to see the Ebbussi De Rothschild. A villa built by one of the extremely wealthy members of the Rothschild family and it really is fabulously over the top. From what we were told by the tour guide, this woman was more interested in animals than people and she had many pets of all shapes and sizes. She even arranged a wedding for one of her prized poodles. All I can say is, I'm glad I didn't live there and have to put up with her BiPolar personality. Apparently she was well and truly over the top with dealing with people and hit many of her architects with an umbrella if she was not getting her way. I would have found another use for that umbrella and it wouldn't have been opening it up where the sun was shining, let me tell you.

To finish our last night in Monte Carlo, we went to dinner at a seaside restaurant near the hotel. Lovely place, lovely meal and was having a great time. At one point though, Ron mentioned something about a person holding "court" in the restaurant. Turns out is was none other than Novak Djokovic. He visits the restaurant whenever he is in town and whether he loses or not. He also has motivational talks with all of the restaurant staff and knows all of them and their family by name. Certainly shows the mettle of the man!!

The next day was our travel day to Milano. The only stressful part about that was getting the train in Monte Carlo. Only stressful because we should've caught the train from Nice. But after having a conversation with the concierge at the hotel, she stated point blank "but Monsieur, you will pay $100.00e for a taxi to Nice and a 45 minute drive, only to come back through Monte Carlo and then onto Nice!" So, paid $15.00e instead and then hoped the train actually did stop at Monte Carlo and not go straight on. Fortunately she was right and we made it to Milan. Late but we made it.

Then booked into this fabulous Hotel. It's called Room Mate Guilia. Fantastic. Only 4 star, but ambience, decor, staff ran rings around the 5 star Fairmont Monte Carlo. We were working out how we could cancel New York and stay longer in Milan. However, logic soon returned, darn it, and we had our one night stand there. Milan is very beautiful and we managed to see a little of the town before we had to head to the airport and fly into New York.

I've already mentioned about my lunch episode at the Emirates Lounge on Face Book. Suffice to say, I'll never trust a red capsicum again!!! Nearly turned myself inside out. Thank goodness for the Baileys I must say.

Booked into another fabulous 4 star in New York called Hotel Casablanca. The decor does have you thinking you'll bump into Humphrey Bogart or Lauren Bacall at any stage. The view out of the window is totally dreadful but that is all I can say bad about the place. All of the staff just too happy to help you, full of helpful suggestions, room clean if a little small. But in reality, another winner here

We spent most of the day on the hop on hop off buses, working out what to see next. So tomorrow is the big swoop on the Statue of Liberty, 911 memorial and perhaps the Top of the Rock. I think that will finish our time here as we'll be off to Ottawa fairly early on Friday.

So take care folks

Cheers

Bryan and Ron

Posted by BeeandRon 16:01 Archived in USA Tagged holiday Comments (0)

Arles to Monte Carlo

From wonderful to "Oh Girl..........absolutely fabulous!!!!"

semi-overcast 26 °C

Hello Dear Readers

So, I seemed to have sorted the IT issues. As always, 1x little thing to do and Whammo!!! There you go!!! It's working a treat now.

Yesterday was the drive down from Arles to Monte Carlo. Must admit, didn't see a hell of a lot except for the back of my eyeballs within 5 minutes of sitting in the bus. I'm still quite sleep deprived from my Flu issues and still doing a lot of walking as well. So by the time we get to bed, I'm usually quite happy to be there, but the quality of sleep has not been the best with all of the coughing. Have managed to find these lovely lozenges which, if I take one of them when going to bed, I'm now out like a light until about 02:00 and I'm not complaining about that at all.

So what did we see on our first day in Monaco/Monte Carlo??? Well really, it only takes about an hour to see the place. The trick is getting back to see places if you don't have the legs of a goat!!!! My goodness!!! The hills are steep here. And the Hotel we are staying in, has been built on ground re-claimed from the sea!!. Speaking of Hotels. We are in absolute luxury here. Although I do wish someone would do something about the scenary!!! Some yobbos keep parking their boats in our view and spoiling the outlook. Not to mention the ocean liners there as well. We had dinner at a little restaurant on the foreshore of Monaco with a lovely bottle of Rose!!! What more could you ask for really!! Prosecco perhaps????

Today, we've been for a road trip to the highest point here in Monte Carlo. The views are absolutely spectacular. The whole city, principality or whatever you want to call it has been built into the side of a mountain. The engineering here is amazing. Apparently there is a 660% VAT on any buildings here, which helps keep Prince Albert's coffers topped up along with all of the Tourist trade. Never thought I'd get to the stage of being sick of seeing Bentley's and Ferrari's but really, they are becoming oh so five seconds ago!!! Only kidding. My eye's are bulging out of the sockets with all of the expensive machinery driving around here. Saw a McLaren today and just as he went around the hair pin bend near the Hotel, he opened it up. OMFG!!! The noise was amazing and wonderful.

Also, this morning there were enterprising young men with vintage sports cars at the front of the hotel. The cars could be hired so you could really play the part of a poser around Monaco!! I've got a photo or three and will post them when I can onto the blog. Needless to say though, the E Type convertible got my vote and I would've given both of them to take the car home. Sadly, no one was interested in any Jaffa's for the day!!!

During the morning we also went to the Palace and had a walking tour around there. Also saw the changing of the guard.

Whilst looking around the crowd, I hear this very familiar voice saying "Bryan Russell..............I can't believe it!!!! Sure enough, it was my good friends Jackie & Geoff Graham. Last I saw of them they were in Portugal. But here they were, right in front of me and with huge hugs, it was G'days all round. Absolutely fantastic to see them. Of course, the next time I do see Jackie, it will be back at work!!!

We haven't done much this afternoon. Bit of a rest day really.

So will send this on to be up on the blog now.

Cheers all.

Bryan and Ron

Posted by BeeandRon 07:52 Archived in Monaco Tagged holiday Comments (0)

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