Monthly Archives: October 2016

Oh Canada


Paul works for a good part of the morning and we are off to Canada. Stopping just over the border in Sault Ste. Marie we go for a long run around the city. It takes us a good 2 plus hours to run with a pleasant waterfront, parks, and is pretty much a paved route for cyclists the whole way. We park the evening at a boondocker location-Up on the hill, with lovely hosts Paul and Diane. Nice spot right off Hwy 17. Dad’s soup, great sleep. We next head to Ottawa and decide to stay 45 minutes outside the city at Fitzroy Provincial Park.


It is our 12th anniversary! Shower and nice dinner. We wake late and have a pleasant run on all the trails in the park which added up to 4.6 miles. Not many people are camping as the park will be closing soon till next season. I join Paul on a lunch date at Pressed, a gourmet sandwich place in Ottawa, with David R. a programmer friend. Afterwards we walk around Ottawa to see the huge, impressive parliament buildings, the canals and locks.

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We sleep that evening in boondocker’s driveway


Meet fellow boondocker David,  his wife and children. They have an Alto camper and we shared stories. We take the train into Montreal the next morning. Breakfast in Old City at Tommy, the British Empire Building. Walk around and look in some art galleries. Lots of construction going so we head to Contemporary Art Museum (MAC) to see a show that Paul was interested in dealing with music and computers.

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Jean-Pierre Gauthier
Orchestre à géométrie variable

Jean-Pierre Gauthier, a master builder of drawing machines and kinetic sculptures here lends his talents to instrument building and complex composition. Orchestre à géométrie variable is a wildly chaotic but rigorous sculptural environment which combines electronics, primitive robotics and musical elements to stage a sensorial and kinesthetic experience. Nineteen pre-programmed compositions explore a diverse array of musical styles, which together result in a new kind of musical experience.

We eat a street cart lunch, head to Arsenal Gallery which was closed but we were lucky the guy in Division gallery upstairs offered to give us a free tour. If you are into contemporary art these galleries are a must. Walked up to the top of Mont Royal to look at the view.


Good climb up and trek down. Go to Huck’s apartment and meet his roommates. Nice place and we enjoyed talking with them till Huck got home. Went to dinner at Else’s down the street. Good food, slow service which is nice and not rushed. We all have pumpkin cheesecake. Paul and I head back on the train to our boondocking site in St. Eustache. Next day we drive to a nature park on the way Into Montreal. Close to the highway so you do hear some traffic but its a peaceful location with easy paths and wooded trails. (5.6 miles) Eat some breakfast in the van and head to the Italian market that Huck recommended.

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The colors, smells are overwhelming my senses. I Must Eat! We share a croissant sandwich and pastry while listening to really good street musicians: a cello player and guitarist nailing some gypsy swing jazz (think Django Rheinhart). Shop a bit for dinner food, cooking utensils, produce. Head to Quebec City and stay at a KOA which is unspectacular, smells like horse manure outside but has the cleanest restrooms in juxtaposition. We wash up and have an eggplant dish. Paul learns he needs to have the van in Baltimore earlier than he thought. A bit stressful. Next morning after laundry and breakfast we decide to ride our bikes to Quebec City. Park off highway at a nice park and ride with a river by it.  Ride across the somewhat famous Quebec Bridge and along the St. Lawrence river to the ferry port while passing sculptures, picnickers, well designed outdoor spaces. Park our bikes and walk around the Old City.

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It really feels like you are in a European country. People speaking French, old buildings and cobblestone streets. We walk on top of the wall which surrounds the city. We eat a nice cafe lunch and head back over the river on the 3:20 ferry. Paul enjoys conversation with an older local resident while I enjoy views on the top deck. Ride back through Levi and to the van. We drive into to the USA through Vermont then sleep in our van in a National Forest near Littleton, New Hampshire. Wake to gorgeous leaf  color everywhere. Drive to Boston to spend a little time with daughter Hannah. Pick up Ravi our nephew and go to dinner in Harvard Square at The Russell House Tavern. Ice cream afterwards at Toscanini’s. Very enjoyable evening but we have to say goodbyes. Sleep in parking lot of Wellesley College. In the morning we get up and drive south to Philly. One stop to mention is in Southbury, Connecticut off Hwy 84. We ran for 12 miles on the Larkin Bridle Trail which is easy, lined with trees, ponds, and marshy areas. Nice way to stretch your legs.



October 16, 2016

Spending time in Madison is always a treat. We get a free place to park our van in sister Anne’s driveway and we are walking distance to sister Carrie’s home. Everyone goes on with their daily schedule of work and school while Paul and I visit where we can. We continued our running streak with a run to Turvilles Point Conservation Park and back. The park has only 3 miles of wooded trails but the run there and back along the shores of Lake Monona is beautiful. While in Madison, Carrie is in a car accident and although bruised, sore and scared she was able to come home after being checked out of the hospital. She has the week off to recooperate. Paul makes a few dinners for everyone with a risotto that even Inde likes and a variety of pizzas. Dinner out with Anne one evening at Monsoon Siam and dinner at Kabul with Carrie and George are tasty. I have time in my day to explore the Chazen museum of art, shop with Carrie, eat cheap and delicious cart food lunch on the UW campus with Anne, and get a relaxing massage.(first massage since IM Lake Placid) I spend Friday morning riding my bike out to the country.

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The route is online and called the Oregon Route. Scenic farm roads and bike trails and back through the city. My lovely sister Carrie thought Paul and I needed a break from the van one evening so she gave us a gift certificate to the Hyatt downtown Madison. Feeling a bit displaced from the van we ended up just getting some takeout food and watching a movie in the large bed. (the movie was called Youth by Paolo Sorrentino which we recommend) In the morning we do a 2 hour run out on the campus nature trails. The terrain is varied, by the lake and pretty. A highlight is the Eagle Heights community garden.
Shower back at the hotel and then enjoy a delicious breakfast and coffee at Barriques, buy flowers at the Capital farmer’s market before walking back to the van. Good bye Madison & Anne, Pat, Luna, Inde, Carrie, George, and Milo!

Back at my parent’s home mom needed some help out in the garden. We got a lot of weeding and clearing done and mom even started sweating which made her happy.

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Paul helped mom out with a new chromebook to make her more connected and mobile. She seemed to be getting the hang of it and was amazed at the speed. Paul gets as much work as he can done on Ardour before we get ready to move on. Dad gives us some of his famous soup for our journey. A short visit to my high school friend Debbie and her husband Rick. Paul again cooks a fabulous dinner for all. Squash soup, sausage risotto, rosemary parmesan focaccia. Much libations were had. Next, back to Matt’s again to spend a little more time together. Matt is now running strong and he took us on a beautiful 5 mile run in the Kettle Moraine forest-green bush trails. Mom and dad come over for dinner at Matt’s and again chef Paul makes salmon, steak for dad, squash and rutabaga mash, kale and potato wedges. Dad seems pleased. We leave in the evening for Julie’s home (Matt’s girlfriend) and we park overnight in her driveway. In the morning I go for coffee and a short tour of Appleton, WI which looks like it is doing very well. It is the birthplace of Harry Houdini and the local History Museum has an exhibit about him. No time to see this alas. Paul and I head north and do a brief visit with Kathy(my 2nd cousin) and Burt who have a nice home on a lake which resides in the Nicolet National Forest. We camped overnight on the upper peninsula of Michigan at Indian Lake SP in pretty much the same spot as a few years ago. Quiet night, vino, watch a movie and sleep well.

Wonderful Wisconsin Wedding

Our whole family anticipated the upcoming wedding of Lucy (my niece) and Ari for about a year and now September finally arrived. Family and friends came from coast to coast to be there. Paul and I decided to arrive a week early at my parents to help out where needed and to visit. We hadn’t seen my parents since last summer. It was enjoyable running on country roads and past my childhood home on Harding Road. Paul and I spent a clear Saturday afternoon running on the Ice Age Trail near Delafield and the Kettle Moraine Forest SP Lapham Peak unit. There is a look out tower in the middle which you can climb up and see an amazing view. Back at my parents’ we washed linen, cut branches, painted wedding logs and mom made brownies.


We were able to sneak away to Matt’s house on Lake Winnebago for a few days where we had some lake time and a nice dinner with Matt and Julie. We also hiked up at High Cliff S.P. near Appleton. Interesting park with old lime kilns, wooded trails next to cliffs and lake views. In the evening we got to watch Matt play indoor volley ball at The Bar in Appleton. Good game but the bar food was pretty yucky. The wedding weekend is upon us! People start arriving at Camp Wandewega on Friday all through the day. The lucky peeps got to stay on the campground which is pretty incredible as you will see from photos. The camp has been featured in Anthropologie catologs if it looks familiar.

Meeting and greeting, hugs and kisses. Dinner is served casual style with lasagna from Holy Canoli and brownie dessert by mom. A blue grass band played music while people square danced, slow danced and just plain old crazy danced. There was an bright pink sunset that was probably one of the best I have ever seen over the lake. Paul and I headed to the hotel parking lot for a nights rest in the van.

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Wedding Day! Beautiful sunshiny weather. Paul and I go for a 10 mile run on the Ice Age trail near La Grange this time. Even prettier than the last run with marshy fields, woods and lakes. Why did I not know about theses places growing up? Shower at motel and eat a late breakfast in Elkhorn at a diner next to the movie theater. Paul is fascinated by the original facede of the First Bank.


We head back to Camp Wandawega where the wedding is about to begin. Love is all around and the wedding is beautiful in every way. A string quartet plays music as the wedding party walks up the aisle in an outdoor chapel.


Heartfelt words and vows and Lucy and Ari are a married couple. People spill over to the lawn for drinks, dinner (Grandpa Bob’s corn, pig roast, falafal food truck), a variety of toasts and speeches.


Dancing all night to family band which is to say all the many musicians including Santosh and Ravi. Laura and Dan, Bird Dog, are a highlight as is Momonita,  and Lucy finishes the night by singing her sweet songs to her bride. Big bonfire, smores and much fun had by all.

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Instead of driving Paul and I decide to just sleep the night in the parking lot at camp. Shhhhh

The morning after people are moving a little slow but all the clean up gets done and many goodbyes are said. We head to Madison to spend some more time with sisters.