flower.forgottenWe consulted the list numerous times and, we forgot something… the TV. It was only when we arrived and noticed the empty television mount that we remembered the TV sitting unused in the basement. Not that we don’t have numerous books, e-books downloaded from the public library and Amazon, e-magazines plus podcasts and audio-books. Surprisingly, the television and the necessary remote were not even on the list. But we will miss watching So You Think You Can Dance even if the reception here has been a bit crunchy.
Not that we have not forgotten things on trips before. We have left in hotel rooms cameras and electronic cords for tablets and found that pj’s under a pillow disappear with changing sheets. Once we even left a cooler with all the fresh vegetables for a trip sitting on the driveway beside the back door. (we phoned friends and they tucked it into our shed to wait for our return)
The list of things we need to remember grow as we age. One of us…and we won’t mention who…forgets to close doors and put the covers back on jars. One of us…. and again we won’t mention whom who…occasionally forgets to turn off a stove element and even how to drive to places frequently visited.
herb.forgottenThe family scribe types Tales from the Trailer and a small rabbit inspects our campsite. Hopefully, it will ignore Diana and Ron’s gift of our herb planter that we did remember to bring.
But here in the beautiful Bruce Peninsula we don’t have much we have to remember. The weather is beautiful, although a little crisp, making it perfect for hiking. The Bruce Trail Conservancy has set up a huge hiking network over public and private lands across southern Ontario with 885 km of trails plus 400 km of side trails. Trails are well marked and each trail is carefully documented in the ring binder of the Bruce Trail Reference Maps and Trail Guide. We study the guide to decide to decide whether we want to hike north or south and slip the section guide into its handy plastic folder. We do have to make sure we remember to return the section back to the binder after the hike.
tobermory.forgottenNote to ourselves for tomorrow: pack the clip on repellent. Bruce Trail hiking is in the woods with lots of mosquitoes. We opt for the sunnier walks in Tobermory and the board walk of Singing Sands at Dorcas Bay. Lunch lets us sit on a bench watching young kayakers navigate Tobermory Harbour. We even share a kiddie ice-cream which the family scribe opts to eat with a tiny tasting spoon.




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Filed under 2014, Bruce Peninsula

Post Notes

snowNow that we’re back in the bitter cold it’s time to list what has worked for us:

1)      Leave early in the morning.

2)      Cross border at Port Huron/Sarnia and drive through Detroit to I75. Driving time is about 15 minutes extra but there is very little wait time at the border.

3)      Use “Along I-75”, by Dave Hunter for delightful details about the trip, best way to negotiate the cities and where to find Pilot Gas Stations.

4)      Gas up at Pilot/ Flying J ( for the best coffee, cleanest washrooms and discounted gas (RV Plus Discount Card). Pilot is also very pleasant and have let us do the trailer blow-out.

5)      Stay at Comfort Inn ( for clean rooms and discounted prices for seniors. Best prices are with Choice Privileges Reward Program Card using online booking or the 1-877-424-6423 number. All the Comfort rooms we have stayed have fridges and microwaves. This is helpful since we do not eat in restaurants for religious and health reasons.

6)      Here is our route:  (Note: we stop every 2 hours to refill and washroom)

·         From home to Comfort Inn Airport Turfway Road  (KY244), 7454 Turfway Road, Florence, KY, US, 41042,  Phone: (859) 647-2700 [ 8 hrs driving] –beside mall

  • To  Comfort Suites(GA 624), 120 Plantation Inn Drive, Macon, GA, US, 31210, Phone: (478) 314-5130 [7.5 hrs driving] -beside mall
  • To  Myakka River State Park [6 hr 11 min  ]
  • Return from Myakka River State Park to  Comfort Suites At Kennesaw State University  (GA539)  3366 Busbee Drive NW , Kennesaw, GA, US, 3014, Phone: (678) 275-2090 [7.5 hrs driving]
  • To  Comfort Inn,  1210 Neubrecht Rd , Lima, OH, 45801, Phone: (419) 228-4251 [8hr 10 min  ]
  • To Home [5.5 hrs]

7)      Do not bring fresh fruit or vegetables across US border. Only Canadian produce in season is acceptable.

8)      Preorder minimum US minutes for iphone before we leave. AT present, if we go over that minimum, the rate stays the same. When we travel we set up the iphone with no cellular and no data to save roaming charges.  However, we are able to access free wifi at McDonalds, Public Libraries, Publix grocery stores, and Target to update and check messages.

9)      Use a credit card with free health coverage outside of Ontario. Ours is from the Teachers Credit Union and lasts until we are 72.

10)      American gas companies don’t accept Canadian credit cards because they need an American Zip code. There’s a work-around. Simply enter all the digits of the Canadian postal code and add 2

11)      We download books from the library to listen on our MP3 players. The trick is transferring the files to Books.

Overdrive transfer to Audio Bks

Choose External for Card

Click advanced options

  • Base file=> name of book (can add author’s name)
  • “Highlight base file name and copy”
  • Browse
  • ? create new folder in music =NO
  • Files on Sansa clip=> highlight audio bks
  • Expand it
  • Make new folder and paste “Highlight base file name and copy”
  • Select OK
  • Select OK again
  • Returns to list of parts
  • NEXT (will transfer to portable player)

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Filed under 2013, Florida


??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????The weather forecast is wrong. It’s a beautiful sunny day. In the morning the family scribe writes while the family driver hikes and takes more pictures.

In the afternoon we bike down to the café to check the internet. The café is closed today but they’ve been kind enough to leave the wifi on. We even have a brief conversation with our daughter via Skype.  She assures us that our home does have now have electricity and we don’t have to worry about the pipes freezing.  Our big problem is that layers of ice cover the driveway and the steps to the house. It’s even difficult to buy salt in our ice-stormed town.  We might be able to back in a car on the iced driveway but there’s not enough traction for the trailer. Our daughter offers to try and find salt to put down but we need to hire someone to repeatedly salt and de-ice.

But we’re on holiday in a beautiful area and we walk over to the weir to see the birds. The alligators are out sunning themselves along with many birds. We’re surprised to see someone let their dog run into the water, scattering the shore birds. Alligators love tasty dogs. We’re even more surprised when fishermen with cast-nets catch an alligator in the net. They’re not willing to do anything to set the animal free and just laugh. We try to phone the front office of the park but there is no answer. We bike back quickly and our campground host radios the rangers. Their answer is that they will check it out but they there is not much they can do.





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Filed under 2013, Florida

Circling Around

??????????????????????????????? tomatoes.k ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? tomatoes.k ???????????????????????????????As the end of our holiday ends we circle back to preparations for the trip home, checking the internet for weather predictions for I-75. We also check our home town hydro map to see if our house has electricity. A neighbour’s nanny is kind enough to gather our mail and flush the toilets to keep the water lines running. We’ve even received a photo of our house and we’re happy there’s not too much snow in the driveway.  A predicted warm spell for the week-end should melt the ice but we’ll buy extra salt before reaching home.

It’s a morning of errands; Campbell RV because of our saggy awning (we’re told to extend the bars), Detwilers for fruits and veggies, Target to buy blank sweatshirts for future embroidery projects, and Publix for groceries.  We return back in time for lunch on our back patio and settle down to reading and even a nap. We’re gathering energy before the drive home.

It’s too windy to bike to the café to check the internet and besides, we’re too tired.  We’re thrilled to see a movie of our granddaughter smiling and grasping colourful striped socks and pictures with her Dad. We’re looking forward to seeing pictures of Mom and daughter.

We stop at the bridge to see the roseate spoonbills, wood storks, and black –necked stilts stalking the sand bar. Alligators float slowly towards the birds. Overhead a bevy of forked tailed frigates point black arrows followed by a flock of roseate spoonbills streaking fuchsia across the sky. Masses of vultures swarm above. The alligators float closer and the shore birds do not move. The snaky black neck of the anhinga nods. Splash. The alligator thrashes the water.  Dinner is served.  One less bird stalks the sand bar.

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Filed under 2013, Florida

More Extreme Weather

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Still Extreme Temperatures

As it happens the family scribe is a frog nut. Frogs, stuffed, sculpted and carved, proliferate like a plague in the basement sewing studio littered with frog pictures. There is even a frog telephone that rings with a dying gribbit. But when a frog hitch-hikes a ride into the trailer via laundry that has blown onto the ground, the family scribe screams. It is up the family driver, errant knight at 7 a.m., to remove carefully remove the frog and send it back to its home in the woods.

Although the trailer has air conditioning it is so noisy we feel we are the rattles inside a tin can. With another blistering day and thunder forecasted,  we leave early and head out to enjoy the coolness of Fruitville Library. It’s probably not the best day for the beach and the family driver is unwilling to get more than a foot wet because of the undertows.

We’ve heard about the Goodwill store at Honore and 17th. We’re not sure if it is an urban myth that someone found an incredibly valuable painting stacked against the wall. However, the store is spacious, clean and extraordinarily well organized. We stock up on books from their large selection.

Our outdoor lunch at a decidedly nondescript park convinces us to seek the air-conditioning at the AMC mall where they are playing “Saving Mr. Banks”. The picture does not live up its reviews but we are intrigued to learn more about P.L. Travers. Afterwards,  we dodge the mall train and shop for plain baby clothes for the family scribe to embroider for the new baby in our life.

Facebook helps us keep up to date with our family. Our son posts his frustration of riding endlessly to work past downed trees and non-working lights. Our daughter in Ethiopia sends wonderful pictures of her daughter in the arms of her husband and we learn about her journey as a new mother. We are especially grateful to our other daughter who put out a call on Facebook for a friend to check if there was electricity in our neighbourhood. There is and we are able to enjoy the last days of our Florida trip.


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Filed under 2013, Florida

Extreme Temperatures

???????????????????????????????We feel terrible for our families and friends who are suffering from the ice-storm cutting off the electricity of our home town. We are sorry you have no electricity, no heat and not much hope of an immediate end. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

We try to contact our neighbours but we suspect that most have fled to other parts of the city with electricity.

It’s the second blistering hot day in Sarasota and we join the throngs flocking the Siesta Key beach.

We watch fearless young men manipulating giant banana shaped kites sail across the bouncing waves. Some kite sail with their feet firmly attached to their boards while others do not even enjoy that security. The trick, we are told, is to manipulate the kites to catch the wind and that steers the board.

But after a few hours on the beach we are tired and hot. We play the air conditioned movie trump card to see Judi Dench in Philomena.

We return back to the campsite just in time to head out to the Birdwalk to take pictures of birds against the sunset.

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Filed under 2013, Florida

A Bouquet of Pleasures

??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????The family scribe is a dreadfully early riser, usually 5 a.m. But even the family scribe is challenged to reach the washing machines before they are busy for the day. By 7 a.m. the family scribe is just starting to load up the washing machine when a man shows up with a pillowcase full of laundry. The man, very tall and extremely fit looking, makes it clear how difficult it is for him to have to walk the extra three minutes to the other washroom with machines.

Today is our anniversary and while we have tried to think of something special for the day we find that just being in Florida feels like a celebration itself. The family scribe elects to write in the cool of the morning giving time for the family driver to grill masses of potatoes for Shabbat. By lunch time our awning patio area is too hot but we have a splendid back patio behind the trailer surrounded by lush palms and there we have a delightful lunch.

Our first step is the Fruitville Public Library to let the family scribe update the heavier notebook computer which we usually do not slep on our outings. We plan on joining the library ($15 for 3 months) on our next trip so we won’t have to bring so many books. A family urges us to go to the small pond beside the library to see the turtle. But beside the turtle floats a baby alligator. They both swim towards the bread someone (not us!) has tossed into the pool. As the turtle reaches for the bread a huge catfish plunges upwards and grabs it.

When we reach Detwilers Farm market we kick ourselves soundly for never visiting it during our four trips to the area. Detwilers has superb fruits and vegetables in great condition at reasonable prices. At long last we have finally found a place that has the great produce we would expect from the warm Florida climate.

Our last shopping expedition takes us to Target which has the head strap for our GoPro camera. We also pick up some movies and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia for an anniversary treat.

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Filed under 2013, Florida