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Travel Diary
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Welcome to our U.S.A 2007 holiday travel diary page. We will be updating it and the photo albums on a regular interval, so keep coming back to check out our trip. We depart Brisbane on July 18 at 11.00am and arrive in L.A on the 18th at 07.00am.

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Tuesday July 17 - Brisbane

It’s 7.45 in the morning and we have just over 24 hours before taking off for our trip. We left Proserpine on Friday 13 for Brisbane to spend the weekend in the city with Brock. We stayed at the Sebel Hotel (used to be The Carlton Crest) just two blocks from Queen Street. The three of us did much walking around the mall & enjoyed coffee & meals in various cafes.

Gary & I continued our walking regime by walking over to Southbank & back on both Saturday & Sunday mornings. Rather crisp but nevertheless worth the effort just to see Brisbane before is comes alive. It was on Sunday morning while walking along the boardwalk adjacent to the river that our first holiday “incident” occurred. The peace & tranquillity were broken when we heard the frantic voice of a woman saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry”, just milliseconds before she & her powerful pushbike ran into the back of us, knocking me to the ground. Fortunately, Gary had managed to grab her before she was able to descend upon me. Being true to self all I could think of was the black tyre marks down my white pants which I was going to wear for the day. I needn’t have stressed not one bit of black could be seen, because the front tyre had managed to connect with the four inches of exposed flesh between the bottom of my pants and my walking shoes. All I suffered was a bit of bruising & the affirmation that trying to keep fit & healthy is a dangerous pursuit.

We are currently staying at Wynnum with our friends Rob & Karen. On Sunday afternoon after bidding a tearful farewell to Brock at the airport we decided to have a rather late lunch early dinner out. We ended up at Clevland at what would have to be one of the best (in every sense of the word) restaurants. It is called the Lighthouse & is right on the water’s edge.

Monday saw us back in the city, shopping for gifts to take with us. We walked from The Valley along the river into the city. Holiday mode had started to kick in!! Rob our obliging host prepared a beautiful roast chicken dinner to round off the day & to mark Gary’s & mine 30th wedding anniversary (which will be celebrated in New York).

These last couple of weeks have been filled with so many emotions, not the least being one of sadness at the thought of being away from Brock & all our friends for such a long time. However I am pleased to say that we are both starting to get excited at the prospect that this time tomorrow we will be checking in for our direct flight to L.A..  [Back to albums]

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** New York **

Wednesday July 18th - Brisbane / L.A / New York

Arrived at Brisbane airport 3hours before take off, all the necessary procedures were taken care of. The plane was totally booked with two floors of passengers all eager to take off. But not to be. After 2.5 hours on the tarmac due to a fuel leak (which was due to one of the tanks being overfilled. It took all concerned 1.5 hours to establish that it was safe to open one of the middle doors for some fresh air. The delay in take off meant we missed our connecting flight from LA. We were rescheduled & then bumped to a later flight. LA would have to be one of the least passenger friendly terminals around. The short version of a long tiring story is that we arrived in NY at 1.15 a.m. NY time with no shuttle bus to greet us as they all go home at 11.00p.m.. Finally arrived at our hotel around 2.30. On top of this both Gary & I are still fighting the flu, so we were pretty exhausted. [Back to albums]

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Thursday July 19th - New York

After a few hours sleep we set off for our first look of The Big Apple. Our hotel which is quite luxurious & very cosy & comfortable is only three blocks from Central Park, so it was a very pleasant walk & the heat wasn’t too bad, a little humid but not like we experience. For any of you planning a trip to NY it is worth considering staying at The Manhattan Club, it is so central & within walking distance from some of the broadway shows. As we were both feeling tired we retreated to our hotel after lunch in the city. After a good night’s sleep we set off around 8.30 this morning. [Back to albums]

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Friday July 20th - New York

After breakfast which we couldn’t finish (mainly because the servings are more than large), even the waitress commented on the fact that we don’t eat much) we set off for bus tour of the city. We bought a 48 hour pass on an open double decker bus. It is a great way to see the sights one can hop on and off at any time. We got off & caught the Staten Island Ferry & took numerous photos of the statue of liberty. The weather is absolutely gorgeous, very suitable for site seeing. We then walked along Broadway to ‘Ground Zero’ & spent some time there before hopping back on the bus & finished our tour of downtown Manhattan. When we returned to our drop off point we decided to do the uptown tour which takes us around central park and in to harlem. A most interesting tour—wealth & lack of side by side. We were going to do the night tour but decided we needed to have a shower & a cup of tea, so we’ll do that tomorrow night & will also head over to Brooklyn for some night time photos of the NY skyline.

We aren’t sure when we will do a buggy ride of Central Park but we both want to be feeling well enough to enjoy it. Twilight is until 7.30-8.00 so much can be fitted into one day. [Back to albums]

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Saturday July 21st - New York

The weather here has been absolutely fantastic. Didn’t start too early this morning as we wanted to do a night tour & knew it could very well be a long day & we weren’t wrong. Started around midday. Took the open-top bus tour (this is really the best way to get acquainted with the city) & hopped off & headed for the Hudson River to enjoy a 75 minute river cruise. A different view of New York & a closer look at the Statue of Liberty. There is much walking between stops & sites. Gary & I are so pleased we embarked on our walking regime some time ago. It is nothing to walk 20 plus blocks e.g. we are staying on 56th Street & Times Square is around 34th Street so we would usually walk there & back. The distance between blocks isn’t a great distance & is never boring. We have taken the subway twice & the rest of the time we’ve walked.

After the boat cruise we caught up with the bus again & did the downtown tour once more. The tour guides are very animated & very knowledgeable & do their job well.

Our drop off point was back in Times Square where we would join the night time tour. I may have mentioned earlier on that it is still quite light until 8.30 or so, so we decided to ‘kill’ time before we set off for the night tour. What better way to use up an hour or so than to walk round three floors of ‘M & Ms’ products. The think tanks were really working overtime when coming up with product ideas. Anything from plastic drinking straws through to crockery & cutlery, boxer shorts, shirts etc.. Not to mention the many,many flavours of M&Ms.. It was overwhelming really. After our M&M fix we headed for the bus. A two hour tour was in store. It took us over to Brooklyn where we viewed downtown Manhattan. Very spectacular at night. We arrived back in Times Square around 10.00. An experience of shoulder to shoulder people probably 8 deep across the footpaths. Gary & I decided it was time to head back towards home & try to find somewhere to eat. We ended up in a little café & enjoyed a chicken Caesar salad & spaghetti, once again the meal sizes were big to say the least & of course we couldn’t finish them. Bed time was well after 1.00a.m.. [Back to albums]

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Sunday July 22nd - New York

Not necessarily an early start but another big day ahead of us. We took the subway to Coney Island, probably about 45 minutes away. What a day. The weather was perfect, a gentle breeze blowing across the water & the temp about 26 degrees. Once again walking was the order of the day. Picked up a famous Nathan’s hot dog & took in more of the sites & people. We didn’t get home until about 6.30. Gary & I decided we wanted a steak so around 9.00pm we headed off for dinner. A steakhouse about two blocks away didn’t disappoint. The steaks were so flavoursome & tender, you could almost inhale them as they didn’t need chewing!! (See photo of steaks in cold room) Another 1.00 am bed time. This has to stop. [Back to albums]

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Monday July 23rd - New York

Oh joy! Woke to find it raining. So we decided to sleep in for awhile. Finally woke at midday. Still raining, so we’re not in a hurry to hit the streets. What a great day for shopping. Caught the subway to 34th Street to visit the famous Macy’s Store. It is a beautiful store. Still has some of the original wooden escalators. All the male shop assistants wear black suits with ties and the women wear black also. Everyone is so helpful and cheerful. Didn’t go overboard with the spending, just enough. It was still overcast and had been raining off and on but was starting to clear. So guess what we decided to do? Yes, that’s right—walk home. Most enjoyable. On the way called into a chinese restaurant for a meal (before 10.00 I might add). It wasn’t as long as the previous days, but nonetheless we were pleased to fall into bed. [Back to albums]

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Tuesday July 24th - New York

Set off mid-morning, yes walking again. This time it was to Madison Square Gardens on 32nd Street to book our tickets on the Amtrak. Gary & I are taking a train into Washington on Thursday where we will be until Monday 30th, when we fly into Ohio. After that it was time to brace one’s self for the presentation of another big meal. Our brains and stomachs just can’t handle it. Thank goodness we don’t force ourselves to finish what’s on the plate, just eat enough to sustain us for our next mini-marathon. We walked down to Central Park & took our long awaited horse & buggy ride. It was around 3.30p.m. so it wasn’t too hot. Once again we were not disappointed. After that we went for what was to be a short walk, but turned out slightly longer than anticipated. Then walked back to our hotel. Tonight around about 8.30 we went out to get some fruit & decided we were a little hungrier than what fruit could satisfy. Found a great diner-The Brooklyn Diner. Other than the steakhouse this would have to be the best meal we’ve had so far. Usually we only have one proper meal a day, with a couple of snacks in between.

Tomorrow we have a helicopter flight booked. Another memorable experience no doubt. Tomorrow night we will be heading to the Empire State Building. Hopefully we’ll be able to be there as day goes into night.

I know this sounds like a travel diary, but our time in New York has been more than just going from A to B, however there are some things that can’t be adequately explained or described by the written word. Besides it would take me pages & then you would be very bored. We have met the most incredibly happy, helpful people & yet the New York people don’t see themselves that way. [Back to albums]

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Wednesday July 25th - New York

Well today was our last day in New York. This morning we took a 17 minute helicopter ride over the city. Truly spectacular. This is a truly great way to see the sites. It was a little hazy, but nevertheless clear for miles around. As I was sitting in the helicopter, overawed by the enormity of the city, I became very aware of how very special this holiday is. I have always wanted to fly a helicopter but as this is not possible a ride in one is certainly the next best thing. I felt truly blest to be able to enjoy such an experience with Gary. Of course it would have been great if Brock had been able to join us. However there will be a next time & we will see this amazing, exciting, noisy city as a family.

Of course no trip to New York is complete without the obligatory visit to the Empire State Building. We joined the long queue around 4.00p.m & by 5.30p.m. we were once again taking in the sites of the city from another angle and vantage point. After spending some time 86 stories above the city we joined another queue to exit the building. We had been told that one of the best places to view the city is on top of Rockafellar Centre-known as ‘The Top of The Rock’. Once again we were not disappointed. The wait to get to the top wasn’t nearly as long & the view even more awe inspiring. I think the photos say it all.

Another night of not getting to bed before midnight, but who cares, this has been for me a dream come true. I’ll be sorry to leave the lights, noises, smells & not least the people of this uniquely diverse city.

Anyone who is contemplating visiting New York, I’d like to share a few tips with you. Firstly, consider visiting around late September early October when it is not as busy with people on summer holidays and school vacations. The weather is not as hot as it is autumn, but not too cold to make site seeing uncomfortable. Take a ‘hop on-hop off’ tour bus, it is a great way to get around the city & is inexpensive and the tour guides are very knowledgeable. Also be prepared to walk from A to Z,it is another great way to see what the city has to offer. I also recommend it for losing weight, but start your walking regime now, because I don’t think anything could prepare the tourist for the amount of walking that can take place. Lastly, if you don’t like cities, don’t go. The sightseer has to be prepared to be immersed in what New York has to offer. It offers mixes of people from every nation approximately 96 countries are represented in NY. Along with differences in wealth, attitudes, opinions & characters. The most outstanding aspect of our eight days in New York was the friendliness & helpfulness of the New Yorkers. They are happy to have people visit the city they love. They are grateful that people want to continue to come to New York. Perhaps some of you are wondering did we at any time feel unsafe. The answer-no. While it may not be prudent to walk through Central Park at one o’clock in the morning, (one has to use common sense) the couple of times I walked a couple of blocks by myself, I certainly didn’t feel at risk in any way.

YES, We love New York. [Back to albums]

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** Washington **

Thursday July 26th - New York~Washington

Well we’re on the road again. More specifically we’re on the train. It was a rather hot & humid day in New York, so a three hour air-conditioned train ride was just what was needed to refresh our travel weary bodies.

Washington is a very interesting city, especially with regards to its lay out. New York was very easy to get around. Streets run East to West & Avenues run north to south & most of them are numbers (eg our hotel was on the corner of 56th Street & 7th Avenue). I’m not too sure about Washington. It’s a little like Canberra- a central point and the main streets are circular & other streets run off them. Both cities can be confusing to get around in, is it any wonder the political powers of both cities don’t really know what they’re doing or where they’re supposed to be going??? [Back to albums]

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Friday July 27th Washington

We didn’t get a super early start this morning. However we were ready to rock & roll by 11.00a.m.. The open top buses also operate in Washington so we boarded one right outside our hotel. Once again the only way to sight see. It was a beautiful day, a little warm but a gentle breeze to override the humidity. We stayed on the bus for the full tour so that we could work out what we wanted to see. As most people would imagine Washington has many monuments & historical buildings—what do we first/where do we go first? Gary & I headed back to our hotel to plan out precious 2 and a half days. Oops, our age is catching up with us, we ended up sleeping for a couple of hours & only saw the inside of our eyelids!!

So we were ready for some decent food. Where we were staying was very close to a number of restaurants and eateries. Had a great Thai dinner and then went for a walk. Mind you it ended up being a long way home. Once again the streets of Washington don’t make sense. [Back to albums]

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Saturday July 28th Washington

A very hot and humid day was ahead of us. We caught the bus again and our first stop was the Lincoln Memorial. Of course most of you will have seen the photos by now. Once again we walked everywhere. We went to the Viet Nam War memorial wall which is in a huge park in the same area as the Lincoln Memorial. In the same park area there are memorials for pretty much all the wars of the 20th Century. Very moving. We walked to The White House. As to be expected the public can’t get too close and Pennsylvania Avenue is closed to traffic. For those trivia buffs the official address of The White House is 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington D.C.. So if you get a letter with that as the sender’s address, you’ll know whom it’s from.

The temperature reached the mid-thirties and very humid. We decided we had enough of walking and hopped on the bus to the Aeronautical & Space Museum. Refer to photos. This museum is part of the Smithsonian Institute . There are numerous buildings containing galleries & museums that make but the Smithsonian. British scientist James Smithson (1765–1829)[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smithsonian_Institution ] willed that his entire fortune be used to set up a museum etc in America. The interesting thing about this is, he never set foot in America. A section of the museum 'The Museum of American History' as very interesting. Once again the photos explain a lot. Ab Lincoln’s hat is stored there along with one of Edison’s first light bulbs. It is really difficult to give a blow by blow description of what we saw and what we thought. Besides it has taken me this long to write about what happened a week ago, imagine how long it would take me to complete this blog.

Do I need to remind you that I AM on holidays? We are having such a wonderful time and have met truly beaut people & are now enjoying catching up with great friends. [Back to albums]

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Sunday July 29th Washington

Sunday was another hot and humid day. We had a leisurely breakfast in the hotel where we were staying & then set of on the bus once again. We gained temporary relief from the heat when it rained. Gary particularly wanted to see the various documents associated with America’s history of becoming a nation. Like most places one visits these days there are always queues for entry and security checks. However this is a small price to pay to be able to move around without worrying about one’s safety. We did get to see ‘The Bill of Rights’, ‘Declaration of Independence’ & the American Constitution. One of Gary’s regular comments is the patriotism of the Americans. So many homes have the flag flying & other bits & pieces to do with their nation. Another interesting fact is that a number of founding fathers were Masons & there is a strong Masonic influence in the layout and planning of Washington.

After the historical sight seeing had been accomplished we headed for the main Smithonian Museum & that is where ‘The Hope Diamond’ is housed. What a truly magnificent gem & to think that it has been cut a couple of times-the original was piece would not have been something to wear on your finger! Like most places we visited one could spend hours if not days just wandering around the museums etc. Sight seeing could easily become a full time job. Mmm,maybe I should apply. Gary& I finished off our time in Washington by heading back to our favourite Thai Restaurant for another great meal. It certainly doesn’t feel as though we’ve been away from home for two weeks, although we’ve only been in The States 12 days. Tomorrow we move on to Ohio. [Back to albums]

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** Ohio **     ...........     scroll down

Monday July 30th Washington - Ohio

Well it is time to move on once again. We are looking forward to meeting up with our friends in Ohio. Gary & I will be staying with Rose & Joe and their three girls for most of the time. We fly out of Washington & into Detroit, Michigan which is the closest major airport to where we will be staying.

We arrived in Detroit around 2.30 to a welcoming part of four ladies wearing T.Shirts saying ‘Welcome to America Greenhills’. What a welcome. Keep in mind that Gary has never physically meet any of these people only spoken to them over the phone. However, it was like visiting long term friends. After a couple of stops along the way we finally arrived home about 4.00pm. We were taken to our room which has been beautiful decorated to make our stay as comfortable as possible. You may have noticed a basket of goodies sitting on the dresser-that is our comfort pack. Not long after, Joe arrived home from work & it was a great meeting. We feel very much at home in ‘Oak Shade’ and have been privileged to share family meals and much laughter with Joe, Rose, Robin, Samantha & Angel (Angelina). They are really very special people to be able to welcome into their home two people about whom they know very little. They have two delightful scottish terriers, two Lamas, a homing pigeon & eight chooks. [Back to albums]

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Tuesday July 31st Ohio

I must say it was a true pleasure to wake up & know that we didn’t necessarily have to be a particular place by a certain time. Don’t about Gary but I am looking forward to slowing the pace just a little.

Well, colour me surprised, we’re off to WalMart. For those of you who don’t know about WalMart let me explain. They are chain of stores along the lines of K.Mart/Big W. A good majority of them are opened 24/7. One can literally drive the car into the service area for a tune-up/service etc, leave the car walk through the reception area into the store proper. Once there a visit to the Optometrist, Hairdresser, Pharmacy followed by a coffee can take place. Having completed those necessary appointments one can move on to the serious shopping. Most WalMarts have a huge food section as well as a ‘variety’ section. I would not be exaggerating if I said you can pretty much buy everything you need under the one roof. To us the prices are more than reasonable. Gary very much enjoyed the experience. As for me, I enjoy any shopping experience if it is under cover and air-condititioned.

Speaking of air-conditioning, the weather continues to be hot and humid, perhaps not as hot as North Queensland, but nevertheless hot. [Back to albums]

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Wednesday August 1st Ohio

An easy day to day. Gary & I went for about 4km walk through fields of corn. Oak Shade is a rural area & is predominately a crop growing community. Joe and Rose however, do not live on a farm. The crops are mainly cereal crops. The fresh fruit is truly beautiful. We are here at the right time of year for the melons, stone fruit & berries. The apples are just starting to come in to season.

Another visit to WalMart, the end of summer sales are on, so Gary & I are picking up some great clothing bargains. [Back to albums]

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Thursday August 2nd Ohio

Thursday is ‘Garage Sale’ day in the area so we’re off to do some browsing. It is another hot,humid day, so hopefully we won’t be doing to much walking around in the heat. Not much to see at the garage sales, bought a couple of cheap pairs of walking shorts. Another quick trip to WalMart. We love the place. It is lovely to come home to an air-conditioned house & be greeted by two excited dogs. Then to have a cup of tea made for you. Let me tell you we are being spoilt. [Back to albums]

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Friday August 3rd Ohio

Two of the girls-Robin and Samantha both work, so sometimes our activities need to be worked around their hours. So today when Robin returns from work, we’re heading out to one of the State parks for picnic lunch and a walk. I sound like a broken record BUT, once again it is hot and humid.

Had a beaut lunch then took one of numerous walks through the park. The one we choose took us through lots lush green forest & ferns, the round trip was over 4kms. (Gary took some photos which of course you would have seen some time ago). When we arrived home we decided it was time to cool off, so into the pool we went. The relaxation process was enhanced by a drink and some nibbles-what a life. [Back to albums]

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Saturday August 4th Ohio

Another great day, had a sleep in & came downstairs to the smell of bacon & eggs. In the afternoon Joe,Rose, Gary & I headed off to Toledo to do some men’s shopping. Went to one of the big electrical and electronic stores. Once again items very reasonably priced. On the way home we stopped for an ice-cream Sundae. After dinner the guys decided to watch a State of Origin football dvd that Gary had brought over. So Rose & I decided we would prefer to go out into the yard & enjoy the twilight & a gentle breeze. A nice night was had by all. [Back to albums]

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Sunday August 5th Ohio

After lunch we head into Toledo to ‘The Art of Glass’ museum. Another experience that didn’t disappoint. We were able to watch some glass blowing being created-starting from scratch to the finished product. It is not easy to explain the entire glass making process (and some of you don’t even care) so just let me tell you, it is a true art form and one that has me absolutely fascinated. On our way home we had a delightful Chinese meal. Some of the highlights of our experiences and the numerous journeys by car are the laughs and conversations that we have. We have been accepted so lovingly into the Sorge household that we are part of their family. They are a loving, caring family and we are very blessed to be able to have experienced their friendship. We consider them to be our extended family. [Back to albums]

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Monday August 6th Ohio

Entry coming soon….watch this space. [Back to albums]

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Tuesday August 7th Ohio

Well after much nagging from Gary (doesn’t he know I’m holidays) I have dragged myself to the computer to update our blog. I know there is a gap of one week, but at least it’s a start.

This week we are staying with our friends Darla & Steve, still in Wauseon Ohio. Today, was an easy day, but nonetheless fun. Darla was going for a hair cut so she took us to see The Candy Cane Christmas Store. It is a store full of Christmas decorations of every colour, shape, size, material and theme imaginable. What’s more it is opened all year round. Gary & I walked around for two leisurely hours, it was absolutely beautiful. Those who know me, know that I am not the biggest fan of Christmas, but believe me a wander through this store touches the heart. The Nativity Scenes are so detailed. This experience must surely bring out ‘the kid’ in all of us. Yes we did buy a couple of goodies, just couldn’t help it.

Who knows what we will do tomorrow. It has been quite hot and humid lately, and this morning we had a thunder storm, ligthening & and some good rain. We may get more rain this evening. [Back to albums]

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Wednesday August 8th Ohio

Today we once again headed off to WalMart. Afterwards we caught up with another friend. It is so good to see people who made me feel so very welcome three years ago. It is even better this time round being with Gary & having him share the friendships. Dee met us for coffee & then took us to her home to have her husband meet Gary. They hit it off & we have plans to have dinner together on Friday night. Dee took us to the Veterinary Clinic where she works as a secretary-quite a large practice for a suburban vet’s clinic.

From there she took us to a Harley Davidson store. Something else on a grand scale. The people in the shop were very friendly & enjoyed talking with us. Americans love the Australian accent, but usually ask are we from England or New Zealand. Only a couple of people have picked where we’re from. After we set the record straight that we’re not connected to either, they are most interested to learn more about Australia. A number of people we have met ask us about Steve Irwin & all express their sadness over his death.

Steve & Darla’s two married children and their respective partners came over for dinner. Their son Travis has two small children who are an absolute delight. We had a great family meal & plenty of laughter. Off to bed at a reasonable hour as we are heading into Armish Country tomorrow-three hour drive one way. We will be staying in a B&B overnight.

Who knows what we will do tomorrow. It has been quite hot and humid lately, and this morning we had a thunder storm, ligthening & and some good rain. We may get more rain this evening. [Back to albums]

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Wednesday August 22nd Ohio

This evening we headed off to Toledo to a baseball game. Before the game we went to the Spaghetti Warehouse & once again had a delightful meal which of course was way too large, so home it came in a box. The night was very humid (I sound like a broken record) & didn’t cool down at all. It took me a while to get into the spirit of the game. I enjoy watching people, so it was fun for me observing the fans. We had great seats and didn’t have a lot of people around us. You can see by the photos where we were sitting in relation to the playing field. As you look at the photos you’ll see Rose & I enjoying the obligatory Fairy Floss or ‘Cotton Candy’ as it is called here. I eventually found myself getting excited when the home team-‘The Toledo Mudhens’ were doing well. They were playing the ‘Detroit Indians’. It wasn’t a major league game but nonetheless an important game as there were talent scouts just in front of us, looking for potential players for some of the major teams.

It was a great night and the home team won. Mind you one of the players and the umpire were injured, I’m told no-one gets injured playing baseball!! [Back to albums]

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Thursday August 23rd Ohio

Today we’re heading off to spend the night and tomorrow with another lot of friends. It is so exciting for me that Gary has the opportunity to meet some of friends. Everyone Gary has met they have hit it off immediately. Cathy & Dave Rowe and their daughter Kayla are taking us to “Tony Paco’s” in Toledo. For those of you who are wondering where you’ve heard that name before and for the rest of you who have never heard of it let me enlighten you. Jamie Farr who played Klinger in M.A.S.H. comes from Toledo. In one of the episodes of M.A.S.H. the characters are asked what they miss the most about home. They were encouraged to ‘ad-lib’ in this particular episode so Klinger said the pickles from “Tony Paco’s”. In a couple of other episodes he received packages from home containing Tony’s pickles. These references made Tony Paco’s very popular.

Once again the meal didn’t disappoint, but we did end up bringing some home. (I get excited when I eat everything on my plate-very rare occurrence, because everything is too big). We had Chilli & hot dogs. I have eaten at this restaurant on my previous visit, but I had forgotten how good things tasted. The five of us had a great night, once again much laughter and conversation. Again you’ll see by the photos how big the meals are. Gary also took photos of various memorabilia. There are a number of Tony Paco’s restaurants but this one is the original. There have been a couple of occasions when some of the M.A.S.H. cast have come together at the restaurant. [Back to albums]

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Friday August 24th Ohio

We had a sleep-in this morning—correction I slept in. Gary was busy downloading the photos of our evening out. Of course we went off for our walk, which was round the top of a reservoir. Again the day turned out to be hot and humid, around 35 degrees Celsius. We headed off into a town called Archbald. There’s a great diner called Mom’s Diner & you can see by the photos how it has been decorated and furnished. They make the best malted milkshakes that we have tried in a long time. An experience I’d be more than happy to repeat.

After that we headed off to Cathy’s mum place to pick a couple of fruit pies she had made. What a beautiful lady. Allow me to digress for a moment. We have met the most welcoming, warm people. They have welcomed us into their homes without any hesitation. Shopping can be a great experience as shop assistants comment on our accent (we have been confused for British, Canadian & even Swedish) we’re told it’s great, cute & interesting. The majority of people are helpful & friendly. Cathy’s husband Dave & Gary really enjoy each other’s company. Americans are always keen to learn more about Australia, so often the conversation is ‘about us’. [Back to albums]

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Saturday August 25th Ohio

Back at Rose & Joe’s. The guys decided to have a quiet day at home watching movies. Rose, Angel & I went off shopping. Don’t need to tell you another great day was had by all. [Back to albums]

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Sunday August 26th Ohio

Today we headed off into Michigan to the Henry Ford Museum. Just when we think we’ve seen a museum that can’t be bettered we are again pleasantly surprised. This museum offers something for everyone. As you can see by the photos there are certainly some historical pieces. I particularly enjoyed the exhibit on the way our life styles have changed over the last 100 years or so. We walked around the displays for about five hours and really only touched the surface. The displays are very well put together & with a good deal of information, so it a must to take time & read what it is all about. According to one of the staff, what is on display is only 20% of what they have to display. The exhibits are being updated & there are special exhibits for a limited period of time. The ‘Rock &Roll Stars’ Cars & Guitars’ display was really worth seeing. You’ll see a photo of steering wheel with a bullet hole in it. That was Elvis Presley’s car. His aunt took the keys out of the car when it was parked in the driveway-he wasn’t happy. So he took to the car with his pistol and shot holes in one of the side panels, a tyre and the steering wheel. The hole was left in the steering wheel as a reminder of the temper he had!! Also on display is a letter written to Henry Ford from Clyde Chestnut (a.k.a Champion) Barrow, one half of the Bonny & Clyde bank robbers gang. Clyde thanked Henry Ford for making great V8s that helped him his not so legal kind of work. The letter was written on the 10th of April 1934, and on the 23rd of May both Bonny & Clyde died in a hail of bullets (168 rounds) in a police ambush. There is something for everyone in this museum. More than one day is required to fully appreciate what is offered. There were even small displays of old jewellery, clocks & pewter. Once again Gary & I had a truly great day. [Back to albums]

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Monday August 27th Ohio

Today we had a day at home & I cooked dinner. Pumpkin soup, followed by rissoles with onion gravy, mashed potato & beans. One of the girls described it as an Australian meal. I guess it is in a way. Americans don’t make pumpkin soup, for what reason I am not really sure. One thing I do know is that pumpkins aren’t available all year round. Once winter comes if you want pumpkin you have to buy it in a can, already mashed. [Back to albums]

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Tuesday August 28th Ohio

Off we go again to a shopping centre or Mall as they’re known here. Can you believe that Gary & I are pretty much shopped out. We have to stop some where as we’ll have to mortgage our house to pay for the excess baggage charges!! The two older girls were at work so it was just Rose, Angel, Gary & I. We all get on so well together & have so much fun. They like & are learning to appreciate our aussie sense of humour. Gary keeps them amused with his constant photo taking. He has taken well over 2,600. I know you’re pleased that Gary has edited a good deal of them. To think that I was so pleased with myself when I took over 400 photos when I was over here in 2004!!! And for those of you who haven’t seen enough of our travels Gary has about 5 hours of video film. Yes it will be edited. Your invitation to our home movie night will be in the mail very shortly!! (This will sort out who are our true friends). [Back to albums]

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Wednesday August 29th Ohio

We are experiencing another hot day after a few cooler days. Have decided to take a picnic lunch to a nearby lake-Harrison Lake.

Fortunately there was a cool breeze blowing, so lunch by the lake was thoroughly enjoyable. We were entertained by three ducks and two delightful squirrels. An obligatory walk through the bush surrounding the lake took place. An absolutely beautiful way to spend an afternoon.

The countryside is so green & lush & hard to imagine that in a couple of months’ time the trees will be bare & the ground covered in snow.  [Back to albums]>

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Thursday August 30th Ohio

Today was grocery shopping day. We headed off into Toledo-about 60kms away. Once again the opportunity to experience more shopping presented itself. There are some supermarkets which sell international food items. They also sell wines from different areas. I am pleased to report that there are a number of Australian wines on the shelves from various parts of the country. Not much different in price from what we pay.  [Back to albums]

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Friday August 31st Ohio

Well the local event of the year has finally arrived - The Fulton County Fair. Gary & I are looking forward to it. This year is the 150th anniversary.

What a day. Gary & I put in 11 hours of fair fun. Of course saw the usual art & craft exhibits. Rose & Angel entered some drawings and paintings & both managed a First & Second in their respective classes (see photos). The needlework was really impressive as was the floral art. Didn’t get to see the baking section as it was still being judged. I think the people of Proserpine can be quite proud of the effort that is put into the exhibits. For our population size I think we do very well.

Gary & I didn’t go on any of the rides - they are the same world over-body jarring & teeth rattling. Rose’s three girls went on a few of them but were very discretionary. You can purchase a all day ticket to ride any or all rides for the time you are at the Fair, tickets cost $14.00. not the rip of we seem to pay for our rides anywhere in Australia.

Next was the food. Nothing necessarily to write home about, but let me say anything imaginable as well as unimaginable that can be deep fried is deep fried. You will see a photo of me holding a deep fried onion ring. The biggest onion rings we’ve ever seen. We didn’t eat a great deal during the day, one’s stomach can take only so much grease. Had a great time just wandering around. The early part of the day was pretty quiet, with most people are work & school. Around 5.00p.m. the crowds started. Gary & I bought a steak sandwich & went to the grandstands to watch the tractor pull. Very,very noise, & very smoky. After a couple of hours of having our bodies being subjected to the vibrations of the machinery it was time to go home. Once again we had a great day, but like all fairs/shows one visit will last for 12 months.

A large number of people bring their caravans (RVUs here) & stay for the week while the fair is on. It is not only exhibitors who stay. For some people it is a social event and the chance to renew friendships made in past years.

One of the interesting exhibits was the blacksmithing demonstration. The fellow who was doing it, was not a long time professional. He took it up after he retired. We could tell he really loved what he was doing.

We certainly have been exposed to many different cultural experiences which one wouldn’t normally get on an organised or guided tour. Sometimes it is all too much to take in at once. It will be so good when we are home to go through our photos & videos to relive & enjoy those experiences. (Another plus about getting home will be—No More Blogging). Seriously though, we hope you have enjoyed our photos and written commentary. It truly has been an experience of a life time and all the more sweeter that Gary & I could share it each other.

Special message for Noela. Gary took quite a number of photos of the floral art display. Maybe some new ideas for next year’s show!! [Back to albums]

Saturday September 1st Ohio

Didn’t do much today. Had a day of rest.  [Back to albums]

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Sunday September 2nd Ohio

Father’s day in Australia but not in America. It is the 3rd Sunday in June. Relaxed for part of the day. Gary cooked Eggs Benedict for our breakfast. A culinary hit with the Sorge household. Joe & Gary went off shopping—nothing exciting for the girls to do in an electronics store. So we stayed home and soaked up the sun and played some board games & had wine and nibblies. It was a delightful day, not too hot & a gentle breeze blowing. After another delightful meal all of us headed down the backyard where a fire was lit so that we could spend an evening outdoors. A couple of weeks ago we bought a few fireworks so decided Sunday night would be a good night to let them off. They weren’t noisy ones, just pretty. Unfortunately our plans for an extended evening by the fire, melting marshmallows and chocolate was short lived-the mosquitoes almost carried us away. As soon as it turned dark & the fireworks had finished we headed for the house.  [Back to albums]

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Monday September 3rd Ohio

Today is the Labour Day holiday. We all took our time getting up, and then sat around talking and just enjoying each other’s company. Had brunch then continued sitting around talking. To finish off a relaxing day we all went out to dinner at Applebee’s. A great restaurant which does excellent steaks. Again much laughter, great company & beaut food. As you can see by the photos we had a great time. The guy in a couple of photos next to Robin was our waiter. He was a very friendly young man who seemed more than co-operative to be photographed with Robin. Mmm, maybe love at first sight.  [Back to albums]

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Tuesday September 4th Ohio

Headed off to Toledo to the Botanical Gardens. It was heading towards another hot day—the temp. climbed to the mid30s. The walk around the gardens was very relaxing. The flower gardens are still in bloom and the surrounds are still lush & green. Of course there was the obligatory odd sculpture imposing on the landscape. None of us could work out their significance. It appeared to be a case of ‘blank spot, let’s fill it with something’. Would have better to have left a blank area.

Tomorrow we head off to Indiana where we will be staying for two weeks with Ron & Judy. They have quite a few things planned for us & there is a possibility of going to Nebraska & Niagara Falls. Not too sure if we’ll have wireless internet connection so we might have to visit the local library every so often to down load our photos & of course update the blog. So if don’t hear from us, don’t fret, we’re still around. Words really can’t sufficiently describe the great time Gary & I have had. We will be very sad to leave our special friends & this picturesque area. Our lives are all the more blest & richer for our time in Ohio.  [Back to albums]

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Wednesday September 5th Ohio/Indiana

Today we left the Sorge household and travelled to Indiana to spend time with more friends Ron & Judy Kennel. We met in Shipshewana where we said goodbye to Rose and the girls. Needless to say we were all very upset as we parted company. We have shared each other’s lives for the last 4 weeks & so bidding farewell was not easy. Ron & Judy knew how to help us over our sadness, by taking us to an Armish Restaurant. Once again another very hot day so it was great to retreat inside to the air-conditioning. What a life we have, sat over lunch for a couple of hours just talking. I am sure you wouldn’t find it hard to believe that we had so much to talk about!!

On our way home we called into a cattle auction. Those who know me well must be laughing, trying to imagine me at a cattle auction. I was very brave. Thankfully we stayed only a short while. The auctioneer was something to see & hear. Gary has a video of the auction.  [Back to albums]

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Thursday September 6th Indiana

Today was a relatively easy day. Went for a morning walk, had a late breakfast & then headed for (Yes you guessed it-Walmart). We bought the ingredients for Eggs Benedict which Gary will prepare for us. For some reason the days just zip by. Had a late lunch/early dinner then headed out for another pleasant walk. The weather is still hot & quite humid.  [Back to albums]

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Friday September 7th Indiana

For those of you who are interested we are staying in Goshen, Indiana. There are a number of Amish areas in the region. It is a very interesting experience-we can be in Walmart & then drive a few kilometres into the country & see black horse drawn buggies & washing that had been washed in gas-powered wringer washing machines flapping on clothes lines.

We headed off for Southbend-The Home of the Hummer. Ron & Judy are great hosts. On Friday evening we headed out to attend an Amish auction and haystack meal, the ingredients of which are listed below.

Hay Stack ingredients (crushed crackers+rice+sunflower seeds+onions+greenpeppers+black & green olives+celery+pineapple+crushed cornchips+lettuce+meat sauce then covered with melted runny cheese sauce), one of the guys in our party asked one of the ladies serving the meal was it something to be eaten or had it been eaten? Gary was most gracious & bravely ate pretty much all of it. As for me I played it safe by having bar-b-qued chicken.

The auction is held every year to raise money for a home run by the Mennonite Church to assist disabled people. Everything is donated & goods range from hand made tea towels to furniture to hand made Amish quilts. The items don’t necessarily go for a song & the night ends up seeing tens of thousands of dollars being made. One gets to mingle with the Amish, the Mennonites, the Conservative Mennonites, the Beachy Amish to name just a few. It was a most interesting night. Of course it had to be the night that it decided to rain, but it was held under a couple of really large tents.  [Back to albums]

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Saturday September 8th Indiana

Once again we didn’t get an early start. Went for a walk, had breakfast, sat & talked then decided to get going. We attended a play called ‘Plain & Fancy’ which humorously looks at the differences between the Amish way of life (plain) and the modern way of life (fancy). The performers are semi professionals who are in between jobs so to speak. The performance was very professional indeed & a great afternoon was had by all. The theatre is an authentic copy of an old Amish barn which added to the atmosphere. Again it decided to rain, but this time we were not under a tent. We were sitting out in the open watching school marching bands perform. School marching bands are a big thing over here & the competition is serious. They continued performing in the rain which must have been terribly uncomfortable & somewhat difficult. A couple of the bands were very, very good & their uniforms were pretty classy. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves despite the weather conditions.  [Back to albums]

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Sunday September 9th Indiana

Went to church this morning, no particular denomination. It is a church that is aiming at a wide age range but no-one in particular. Can’t say Gary & I were touched or moved to be part of the congregation, nonetheless it was an experience.

We came home and had a beautiful fish lunch that Judy cooked for us. She & Ron had caught the fish earlier in the week so it was very fresh. After a much needed nap for a couple of hours we headed out again, this time for dinner. Judy’s sister & brother-in law invited us over along with two other couples. Of course we were fed rather handsomely (this is tending to be the rule rather than the exception). As always the people we meet are curious about Australia & our culture etc & so there is much talking going on at the dinner table. Another night of not going to bed before midnight. We will need to rest when we return home.  [Back to albums]

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Monday September 10th Indiana

Didn’t get up too early this morning after our late night out. After the usual leisurely breakfast and walk we headed over to a place called ‘The Old Bag Factory’. Many years ago the factory manufactured mesh and hessian bags. The old buildings have been renovated and now the site for art and craft. We visited a shop filled with beautiful &unique hand sewn quilts. They are more than the traditional Amish designs. The owner of the store designs the quilts and wall hangings and has various employees who cut out the patterns, puts them together and sews them. One lady is Amish who uses a treadle sewing machine as well as hand sewing (the Amish don’t use electricity). The articles can be made to order and can take many months to complete, usually pretty close to a year or more.

After our the cultural part of the afternoon was completed Judy & I met up with some of her former teaching colleagues for coffee. Having accomplished one social part of the day it was time to head off to another lot of their friends for dinner. Yes you guessed the supply of food was more than ample-I don’t think I’ve seen so much mashed potato in one bowl!! It was really good too (my friends know how I feel about too much mashed potato). In fact the entire meal was truly delicious. We then journeyed out over to the shed in the backyard. I’m telling you I haven’t seen so many olds tools in one place. The guy (Willard) loves to go to garage sales and auctions-(just a side line, it is becoming increasing popular to auction off deceased relatives possessions if they haven’t been taken care of in a Will. Of course not everyone does it, but it is becoming the done thing). Gary & Willard really hit it off and had a wonderful time together discussing tools etc.. Once again we experienced wonderful hospitality and friendliness. While we have been here under a week it feels longer as we have put so much into five days and have met so many wonderful people. Gary &I really love this part of The States and will be very sad to leave.  [Back to albums]

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Tuesday September 11th Indiana

Today we went into Shipshewana where we toured a Mennonite Information Centre. The information and display centre has been artistically and uniquely put together. It endeavours to give an unbiased history of both the Mennonites and Amish. The differences and similarities of both these churches are explained very well. Having said that, the visitor will leave with a lot of information with many questions being answered, but probably just as many new questions being asked.

Of course today is the sixth anniversary of September 11th. Unfortunately there were only a few flags flying at half-mast. It would appear that people are starting to forget, maybe continued healing is taking place. Who knows?

After our visit to the Menno-Hof Centre we visited a few different shops and of course Gary took more photos. I think he has taken over 3,000. I’m sure glad we don’t have to buy roles of film and have them all developed. Of course if we’d gone down that path I would not be sitting here typing. Oh what a pleasant thought. Then again it is a pretty expensive way of getting out of typing up our holiday adventures.

For a late lunch, in fact we skipped lunch altogether and had an early dinner (about 5.30) we went to my favourite restaurant The Dutch Essenhaus. This is where they serve the best chicken. Gary & I both love the taste so much. After dinner we went to Judy’s other sister for dessert. Essenhaus German Chocolate pie. Judy’s sister Miriam plays the piano. She started playing when she was 3 years old and is now 78. In fact saying she plays the piano doesn’t give her sufficient credit. She is so very talented. How many ways do you think you can play Mary Had a Little Lamb? Let me tell you Miriam can play it as a funeral march, as a jazz piece, as a rag time piece and many more. We laughed so much, it was a family evening around the piano. Did I tell you we’re going to miss our American friends?  [Back to albums]

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Wednesday September 12th Indiana

This morning Gary & Ron went into town where Gary did some badge swapping at one of the fire stations. I am very pleased that I didn’t have to be part of this little exercise. Ron & Gary had a wonderful time chatting to the guys. I decided to go for a walk while Judy caught up on some chores. Well you know what? I should have gone to the fire station, because while out on my walk I fell over. Don’t know how it happened. The foot path was very wide with no cracks, so I didn’t trip over anything. I just started to fall and couldn’t stop. I knew I was literally going to fall flat on my face so I turned my face to one side. Ended up with the left side of my face, in particular my chin and lower lip copping the brunt of the fall. Yes Gary took pictures so you will be able to see the injuries. I was very fortunate not to have fractured something or broken some teeth. Maybe it is time for me to give up walking as a form of exercise, it is becoming too dangerous. For the present however I’ll have to continue to walk otherwise I’ll put on weight with all the food we’re being served. We have really had to be firm when it comes to being offered seconds. Firsts are big enough, let alone coming back for seconds.

We took a tour of the Jayco Caravan(trailer) factory & then went through a number of different vans. Oh boy do they know how to make trailers. The American Jayco factory is not directly connected to the Jayco factory in Australia, but there is a connection which would take too long to explain. The four of us had so much fun going through the vans. I have always said my idea of camping is a five star caravan and some of these are certainly five star-with a price to match. After that we went to WalMart (hadn’t been for a couple of days) & bought all the necessary ingredients for our Australian meal on Thursday evening.  [Back to albums]

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Thursday September 13th Indiana

Today was spent preparing & cooking an Australian meal for Ron,Judy, Judy’s two sisters and their husbands and Ron & Judy’s son Steve and his wife Chris. First course: Pumpkin Soup, Second Course: Curried Mince with beans and boiled potatoes & Third Course: Pavlova of which I made two. I decorated one with Kiwi Fruit & Nectarines-Australia’s colours green and gold and the other I decorated with Raspberries, Blueberries and Strawberries being Red, White (the cream on top) and Blue for the American colours.

Yes, the entire meal was a great hit. To any of you who are thinking of getting me to cook a meal for you on our return, think again!!! This gal still enjoys eating out-of which we have done quite a lot.

Also had the woolly mammoth on the top of my head trimmed once again. Great hairdresser, just a pity she is such a long way from Australia.  [Back to albums]

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Friday September 14th Indiana

We all woke up a little late this morning. Judy’s daughter-in (Chris) law took us to a nearby canal that meanders through a town. There is a beautiful walking track that we took for a couple of kilometres. The temperature the last few days has been quite cool & today it was overcast as well. When we were out walking the temp was probably only in the low tens’. We stopped at an area where we could see & hear birds from a glass enclosure. It was beautiful to see the birds and animals in their natural environment. There were chipmunks stuffing their faces with nuts in preparation for the winter. We also witnessed groundhogs foraging. Yes there are photos.

After our walk we went home to prepare to go out again. This time we had Buffalo Wings. Yes, yes I know-‘You didn’t think buffalos had wings’. Don’t really know why they’re called that, because they are not necessarily huge, but nonetheless very, very tasty. After that we headed home for a much needed nap. We headed off to a college ball game. I know I am not going to be converted to American grid-iron. Man, is it a slow game. It takes two & a half hours to play a total of 48 minutes of football. Then there were the cheer squads-ho hum! Having said all that it was another American experience.  [Back to albums]

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Saturday September 15th Indiana

Woke up late once again. Had a great American breakfast over at Steve & Chris’s. Then the six of us went to have American hotdogs. I had a pork sandwich instead. Another great night was had by all. Headed home to try & have an early night, because we’ve got another big day ahead of us tomorrow. [Back to albums]

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Sunday September 16th Indiana

Would you believe I am typing this while we’re in car driving across Canada to Niagara Falls. We’re planning on spending a couple of days here looking around. Gary & I are so excited about seeing another country. We certainly have done some sight seeing and Judy & Ron are so much fun and such good tour guides. Well it is 7.15p.m. and still day light. We won’t get to Niagara Falls tonight but we have just searched the internet & booked a room a couple of hours drive from there. So tomorrow Niagara Falls here we come. Golly this has been one great adventurous holiday.  [Back to albums]

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Monday September 17th Canada

Last night we stayed in a town called Tillsenburg somewhere in Ontario. Once again we did not get an early start & left for Niagara Falls around 11.00a.m.. It only took us about two and a half hours to reach the Falls. The first thing we did was book into a motel. While it did not overlook the falls it was just a block away. We decided to stay two nights, of course that isn’t nearly enough time to see & do everything but it is better than nothing.

Before I take you on our adventure let me explain the falls. Niagara means thundering water. The Niagara River runs from Lake Eerie and empties into Lake Ontario. It is 58 kilometres (36 miles) long. It travels from south to north. About one-fifth of the world’s fresh water travels down the Niagara River.

They can be viewed from either the U.S. side or the Canadian side. We chose the Canadian side-certainly very picturesque. Those who have seen the falls from both sides say the view from the Canadian side is a lot prettier. There are two lots of falls-The American falls and the Canadian falls. The Canadian falls are called The Horseshoe falls.

Once we had settled in we headed to The Falls. We purchased a four event pass which was an excellent way of doing it. For the first part of the adventure we decided to take a ride on the Maid of the Mist. This is a boat that goes out on the water and travels up to the Horseshoe Falls. It is a great feeling being on a boat and getting the spray(mist) from the falls. The passengers are supplied with lightweight ponchos, which unless one keeps perfectly still don’t do a whole lot to keeping dry. You can see by the photos that I opted to let my hair get wet. As the boat approaches the falls the mist of course becomes heavier and it is very difficult to see much at all. The boat stays put in one spot for what appears quite a few minutes. Then we return to jetty. All the while taking in the awesomeness & enormity and splendour of this natural wonder. I was surprised to read that it is not considered to be one of the seven wonders of the world.

Next we viewed The Falls from behind. Again we donned ponchos and walked under the falls. We were able to walk out into portals and see the falls from behind. There have been walkways built in the rock under the falls. This is truly a magnificent engineering feat. Of course we did a lot of walking and just standing gazing into the vast amount of water crashing down. The camera and movie camera certainly earned their place on the tour. By the time we had finished those two breathtaking experiences it was time to eat. The four of us agreed to dining in the tower which overlooks The Falls. There are two dining rooms one of which revolves (we were told entrees started at $60). We chose the buffet on the floor above-We Were Not Disappointed! We had a table by the window and were able to experience the sun setting over the falls. To see The Falls from a different height and perspective added another dimension to the experience. The meal didn’t disappoint either. Everything was beautiful including the glass of Canadian Murlot. Around 8.30 as we headed back down towards the falls fireworks had just begun. What a magnificent way to end a truly memorable day. We leisurely walked back to our room observing The Falls being lit up by coloured lights. Another spectacular sight. Mind you we all agreed that we much preferred The Falls with just white lights on them. You can make up your own mind when you look at the numerous photos.  [Back to albums]

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Tuesday September 18th Canada

After a reasonable sleep-in we headed down for a leisurely breakfast. We then caught a people mover to where we took a walk along the rapids. There has been a side walk built in the side of the rock which runs parallel with the rapids. There are a couple of places where platforms have been built and one can get closer. The rapids are only a couple of kilometres down stream from The Falls. Once again a truly magnificent sight that can only be appreciated fully by witnessing in person.

Next stop was the Butterfly Conservatory. We roamed around for a couple of hours photographing and enjoying the different coloured species. Needless to say I bought a very appropriate butterfly T.Shirt.

To complete another exhilarating day Gary & I took a helicopter flight over the falls. That was another experience of a life time.

Back to the township of Niagara, dinner and then a 45 minute IMAX movie “The Niagara Falls Movie: “Niagara: Miracles, Myths and Magic” and then another view of The Falls by night.  [Back to albums]

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Wednesday September 19th Canada

We had plans to be out of the area by around 10.00 but had to have just one final look at The Falls. Well this took us to 12.30. We parked the car near where the water starts to go over the falls. Another aspect of The Falls worth seeing. As you can see by the photos it looks like waves on an ocean. While we were there a Sheriff’s helicopter flew and hovered over the area for at least an hour. So far we haven’t heard what it was about.

Tonight we are staying in Chatham-somewhere in Ontario. Tomorrow we head back to Goshen.

I really thought our holiday could not have got any better, but I’d have to say my time in Ontario would have to be the highlight of our time away. Mind you New York can’t be beaten as far as I’m concerned because it’s an awesome city. But when it comes to breathtaking scenery & speechless moments Ontario wins first prize.  [Back to albums]

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Thursday September 20th Canada

Today we headed to the most southern point of Canada-Point Peeley. The mass of water is Lake Eerie, another of the great lakes. Then we headed back home. The four of us had a great time together & really enjoyed seeing the little bit of Canada that we did get to see.  [Back to albums]

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Friday September 21th Indiana

An easy day at home, trying to get our head around packing. Eek what a thought! Tonight we’re going to another Amish quilt auction. Well actually tonight is just walking around looking and sampling some of the different food that is available. We did walk around and did a little food sampling. It was held in the fair grounds & of course Ron & Judy bumped into so many people they knew. Ron & Judy’s daughter and son-in law and two girls will be arriving from Iowa for the week-end.  [Back to albums]

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Saturday September 22th Indiana

Went off to the auction & had some lunch & then home for a well deserved nap. Tonight Ron & Judy’s son and daughter-in law who live directly over the road will be joining the gang for a bar-b-que. Still haven’t started the packing.  [Back to albums]

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Sunday September 23rd Indiana

We had a leisurely breakfast once again and then it was time for Gary & I to tackle the packing.

Our time in The States is very quickly coming to an end. It is hard to believe that we have been here 10 weeks. Our last two and half weeks in Indiana have been an absolute treat and we will miss Ron & Judy very much. We are going to miss all our American friends. We have met so many people and formed new friendships that we know will continue from the other side of the world. At this point Gary & I would like to express our thanks and love to our special friends who have invited us into their homes, lives & families. Rose & Joe and their girls who so graciously opened up their hearts and home to us for more than four weeks. Steve & Darla and a number of very kind people who generously had us in their homes or took us out for dinner in order to extend American hospitality to some aussies. Lastly but certainly not least Ron & Judy who didn’t know what it was like to spend one full day at home while we were with them for two and a half weeks. Our experience of American hospitality and friendliness is next to none and we leave with heavy hearts, but we will be back.  [Back to albums]

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Monday September 24th Indiana

Well it is time to bid The United States of America good-bye. We leave from Chicago at 6.00 this evening on American Airlines to connect with a flight in L.A. to fly directly to Australia. Touch down will be 6.00a.m. Wednesday and we will be home in Proserpine in the afternoon. A long trip but certainly worthwhile. Another plus will be no more blogging. I am sure many of you have enjoyed our photos & travel diary and of course it has been great sharing our experiences but I am over it. We have also enjoyed hearing from those of who dropped us an e-mail from time to time. It is always great to hear from friends back home. We are looking forward to getting home.  [Back to albums]

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Tuesday September 25th Los Angeles (LAX)

Surprised to hear from me. No we’re not in the air, we’re in Lax Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Our plane from Chicago had mechanical problems so after about two hours on the tarmac we were loaded into another jet and headed for L.A.. BUT of course we missed the connecting flight by about 30 minutes. We weren’t the only ones of course.

Do I hear you say how nice that QANTAS have put us in a hotel. WRONG-QANTAS couldn’t have cared less. When we finally did find where the QANTAS staff were hiding out the girl told us they were closed and closed the door on us. Obviously part of her training didn’t require her to read “How to make friends and influence people”. The staff at American Airlines were very,very helpful. We were given a voucher for accommodation and meals. We leave tonight to fly to Auckland then to Brisbane. So we arrive in Australia 26 hours later than expected. Don’t think we’ll do much sight seeing today, not really in the mood-just want to get home.

We have had a great time (really words can’t adequately describe our feelings and experiences etc) and certainly hope that you have enjoyed taking the trip with us. Do hope I haven’t prattled on for too long-that’s my way of making sure you don’t forget me.  [Back to albums]

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The End, (het eind, l'extrémité, das Ende, l'estremità, a extremidade, el extremo) or is it??  [Back to albums]
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