Saturday, June 2, 2018

Day 20 - Another Day, Another Province, Another Time Zone - Hello Ontario

We wake up very early with an alarm clock!  Don't miss that from my working days.  Up at 6 am and we are on the road at 7 am!

It is a Saturday morning and it is quiet on the roads.  

We have a long day of travel and we did not have a lot of options.  There is not a whole lot of places to stop and stay at between Winnipeg and Thunder Bay that we are interested in.  So we have an 8 hour day of travel today.

The Ontario boarder is only a few hours away and we stop to take pictures.  

Ontario has a special spot in my heart.  I was born in Ontario - Kitchener, Ontario to be exact quite a few years ago.  However I moved away when I was only 3 years old.  My Mom did move us back here in the 70s but again not for very long.

You can see how different the landscape is here. And it is now down to single lane traffic with the occasional passing lane.  Speed limit is at 90 km too! That is 20 km less than what we are use to.  It is slow, and thankfully there is not too much traffic.

After 4.5 hours we stop in Kenora for lunch at this small bakery/diner.  The food was good and home cooked. But check out their restaurant system!  I think it is from the 80s and still working - must take forever to update!

I decide to drive from here as I need something to keep myself busy.  As a passenger I just get too bored!  I should state now that Bernie has been doing most of the driving, around 90% of the driving.  It works for us, he loves to drive and I love to take pictures, research and report on the towns we are passing thru, navigate and control the GPS and research places to eat at.  

Now Bernie is the navigator and he is falling asleep!  I am jealous!  He tries really hard to navigate and locate a place for dinner tonight and use the GPS but he struggles!  So I know that tomorrow we will be back to me being the passenger and Bernie doing what he does best - drive.

I should let you all know now that even though we are happily married we have had struggles in the car at times.  Thankfully we know each so well and one takes the load when the other needs a lift.  For example today I am tired and grumpy and Bernie stops for a coffee and buys me a latte.  It worked. 

Oh but neither of us likes each other's choice of music so sometimes it is difficult to pick what to listen to.  Often we travel with no music.

We have been enjoying listening to the radio from the various towns.  I also download a lot of podcasts and have been listening to them along the way.  Bernie is now hooked on Cruise Radio!

We pull into Thunder Bay at around 4:30 pm.  We are staying the next two nights at the Hampton Inn and Suites, a brand new hotel here.  The room is lovely and well appointed and lots of space.

Oh and our clocks were moved forward an hour too today!

I should point out now that we usually plan a few days in advance, sometimes up to a week ahead. Like right now, we know we are in Thunder Bay for two nights as the drive was so darn long and the next leg is long to Sault Ste Marie so we opted to take a day to rest in between and see some sights here.

We are meeting up with a friend in Ottawa and wanted to be there for the weekend so that determined the pace from here to Ottawa.  Nothing is booked after we leave here until Ottawa but we will review our options probably tomorrow.

I check out sites like Kayak, Trip Advisor and even the cities' web page for options.  I then compare prices on a few sites.  For example this hotel was cheaper thru, around $30 total cheaper.  Even cheaper than the hotel's own website.

You can see immediately that Ontario is in the midst of a Provincial Election that will take place June 7th and right away we are seeing lots of campaign posters.

After checking in we relax for about an hour while Bernie is tackling Yelp to see some restaurant recommendations.  I have to say Yelp has been the best and most used App for us.  Because it shows most restaurants that the restaurant does not have to pay for ad space and of all types and shows honest reviews.  So far we have not been disappointed.

Bernie chose the restaurant tonight called El Tres!  I would share their website but it really has nothing on it.  The link above will take you to their Facebook page.  A Mexican Restaurant in Thunder Bay.

It is busy in here but we take two seats at the Bar.  Which was a good option because the bartenders were very interesting to watch.   We order drinks!  I am enjoying 

We order a cheese queso dip and an Empanada (yes that whole dish has one empanada in it) and guacamole and shared. It was so darn good!  And the drinks were so yummy too.

Check out all their hot sauces

We are back at the hotel.  I am going to get this blog posted and then we are going to watch tv then crash.  

Oh I forgot to add that we saw an old VW Bug, but it was part of some artwork.  It was up high, painted and had six steel legs coming out of it that kept it up in the air.  It looked like a BIG BUG!  I did not have the camera out and sorry I missed the picture because it sure was funny.

People have also asked me about gas prices.  Let me refer to Bernie as he keeps track.  The cheapest gas we saw was in Saskatchewan at $1.25 a litre, Highest was in Ontario today at $1.35.   Still cheaper than Vancouver that is around $1.60. 

Thanks everyone for all the lovely comments.  It is wonderful to hear how people are reading my blog each day.  Some have commented how they have learned things about our Country.  Many have said they have always wanted to do a trip like this and love following.  Others from all over the world are impressed with what Canada has to offer.

Here is our scavenger hunt list today:

  • Moose
  • Deer
  • Hitchhiker
  • Eagle/Hawk
  • Licence plates from every Province in Canada - but you can not count the province you are in.  So if we see an Alberta plate in BC then it counts, but not if we are in AlbertaBritish Columbia  SaskatchewanManitobaOntarioQuebecNew Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Yukon, and North West Territory
  • Skunk - saw a dead one
  • Sheep
  • Beaver
  • Goslings
  • Buffalo
  • Goat
  • Owl
  • Bear
  • Loon
  • Crane
  • Prairie Dog
  • Fisherman fishing
  • Canoe
  • Hummingbird
  • Antique car on the road
  • Old VW Bug
  • Car broken down on the side of the road
  • Helicopter on the ground
  • Airplane on the ground
  • Speeding ticket- hopefully not our own
  • Ambulance with sirens on
  • Dump truck
  • Line painting crew at work
  • Mail delivery person walking their route
  • Cruise Ship 
  • Coyote 
  • RCMP officer
  • Hop on Hop off Bus
  • Sea Glass
  • Lobster

If you have any items you think we should add to our scavenger hunt list, let us know.

So Today's Stats 
Driving distance today 700 km 
Total distance 5420 km

Thanks for following. 

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