Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ottawa, Canada

Ottawa, Canada

For various reasons we have not been able to blog for almost a year, but we wanted to make sure and get a few more done before our mission is over. After having spent a year going to Ogdensburg on the weekends, we found out that the capital of Canada, Ottawa, is only an hour away from there.  One Sat. we drove across the bridge into Canada, which is right down the street from our house.  It crosses the St. Lawrence Seaway.  We look at Canada from our living room window every weekend.  It was fun to get to actually visit what we had so often looked at from across the seaway.

The bridge to Canada is a block from our house in Ogdensburg.  After crossing the bridge, it only took about an hour to arrive in Ottawa.  The first thing we did was go to the Rideau Hall, which is Canada's White House. 
This was a grand and stately building. It was much different than we expected. Mainly, there was next to no security. We were apparently there on a quiet day and got to have a private tour. The President of Canada was even in at the time and we were instructed how to greet him in case we should see him passing through a hall.
This is our private tour guide, Phillip.
Next we went to see the Canadian Notre Dame Basilica.
It was beautiful.  There were people inside praying, from time and to time, and so we felt we had to time our shots when no one would see.  We did not want to disturb anyone's prayer or worship.

It was beautifully and elaborate.

                                             The ceiling was my favorite part.

             There were also many stained glass windows.  This is only one of many.

                                                   This is Parliament. 
We did not have time to get out and take a careful this is a drive-by.

A street sign I thought was fun. 
 "I do say, sir, I live at the corner of MacKay and Queen Victoria, ole chap!"

More shots of some of the wonderful old buildings downtown.

If you look closely at the "Ride for Dad" ribbon is says in small print Prostrate Cancer.  I thought it was interesting that dad's cancer gets equal time here.

A big beautiful grand hotel right in the center of town.
We roamed through it and it was elegant!

More buildings

I guess every "big" city has to have it modern art. 
Ottawa gets a giant sized spider.

We found a market place with all sorts of European food markets two blocks north of the central part of town.  Phil found some sesame seed crackers he had had in Germany on his mission back in the 60's.  Very fun and yummy!

We took a picture of tourists taking a ride through the center of town.  It's kind of funny when you think about it, tourists (us) taking pictures of tourists.

We only had a couple of hours to spend in Ottawa, as we had to get back to Ogdensburg.  But they have a tulip festival in May we hope to get back for.  If we do we will blog Ottawa again.  It was quaint and delightful.

So long....

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Watkins Glen State Park

We had an outing where we went to the famous Village of Watkins Glen. It is famous because of the annual NASCAR Race held here at the International Race Track, but we were told about the breathtaking State Park and we were on a quest...

Little did we know when we started out the price we would have to pay to see its beauties! It was indeed breathtakingly beautiful but the price was far above money. It was stairs...

and more stairs.................

Stairs without hand rails....

Steep stairs.... But then suddenly there was a breath taking waterfall!

Just enough to captivate you and entice you to want more. Unfortunately to see more you had to pay the price of MORE stairs....

Then paradise was your reward!

This spectacular scenery was brought about by a glacier creating a narrow gorge 400 feet deep through rock leaving a hanging stream behind.

The stream left behind created rapids and waterfalls where it met with layers of hard rock.
Just when you think you've climbed all the stairs there could possibly be...there are more.

But the view just beyond the next set of stairs was ALWAYS worth the effort.

Some of the trail is over a waterfall and some of it is under one. Here is my favorite companion going up the next set.

There are 19 waterfalls in all and everyone of them breath taking.

Some of the waterfalls you can stand behind.

Some of them have a Romantic feel

Lover's Lane......not Lover's Leap!

There are over 800 stone steps in all and we were very successful and tired at the end of the hike!

It sort of made our 19 steps up to our apartment seem not so bad......

....until the next day when every leg muscle we had (and a few we didn't know we had) were all screaming at us!

The Village of Watkins Glen is on the south end of Seneca Lake - one of the five finger lakes.

The outing was phenomenal....but I am not sure we will be willing to pay the price again.

Mother Nature certainly has her beauties and I am glad we captured some of it to share with you.

I am also glad we can enjoy it again by simply looking at our blog. Much easier on the legs!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Winter finally gave way to an eruption of spring. Everything came alive with flowers and blossoms. The already green grass became velvet and lush beyond discription. It truly took us by surprise since it seemed as if winter would never end. It was so magnificent it took our breath away.
This is one of many, many apple orchards in the area.
I pinched off one single bloom and spent the rest of the day in heaven smelling it!
Then the Lilacs! Rochester even has a lilac festival because they are so prevalent.
As wonderful as the apple blossom was.....the lilacs won the fragrance contest! Luckliy they were two different days, so each of them filled me with joy.
Everywhere you look there is another flowering tree. I have no idea what they all are but they are glorious!
This little tree is the only one we've seen like it. It's red was so brilliant.
Three different flowering trees in one picture.

These are bushes right outside our little chapel. They are beautiful at a distance but then...
Look up close.

These bright yellow bushes were some of the first to flower and they were all over.


These are on the temple grounds. Again beautiful at a distance and......
exquisite up close. They reminded me of a bridal bouquet.
This was a queen of the flowering trees. I found out it was an ornamental pear tree.
These flowers are very large and amazing.
Up close...
Closer yet.
The grass would have little patches of blue in places.
Up close..
Flowers everywhere
These are on the temple grounds

Tulips were one of the first to bloom. Again on the temple grounds.

We have decided that the end of the long dreary winter was amazingly celebrated by mother nature with an spectacular celebration in color. I think we will stay! We hope spring was also good to you.