05 January 2017
On Wednesday "the girls" decided that a trip to the US of A was in order. Why you ask? Well so did I and the answer was “because we should”. After they checked out the weather reports it was decided that the next day Thursday 05, January would be the ideal day.
Off we went in more or less bright weather from Ottawa. A short distance from the cut-off for the Ogdensburg Bridge we ran into just a little bit of snow that lasted for only a couple of minutes so all was good.
Upon reaching the US side of the border we all had to go into the Customs & Immigration office because Hareth only has his Yemeni passport and had to be screened before entering. Even though he has a valid US multi-entry visa this procedure is still a requirement. The first officer that he saw was, how can I put it, - not very helpful and asked quite a few questions which seemed irrelevant. After about 45 minutes he passed Hareth off to a second officer which was much more accommodating and after only a few questions his passport was stamped and off we went on our merry way.
As we were travelling along the highway we passed one sign which said to reduce speed because of severe storm conditions ahead. Hmm, "The Girls" said that there was not supposed to be any severe weather. Well, it was only a couple of minutes later that we ran into some snow, then more snow and finally heavy snow which were almost whiteout conditions. Visibility was reduce to only about 20 meters in the blowing snow. Heather, our dauntless driver slowed down to almost a crawl and got us safely to the turn off to our destination the Salmon Run Mall.
However, it was decided that we should eat at 'The Olive Garden' restaurant before venturing through the snowstorm to the mall. Trying to find our way into the restaurant was a daunting task we never did see the entrance even though we must have driven past it. So it was into the mall to find a place to eat. Sadly, none of the kiosks served food that Heather could eat but there was a restaurant/brewpub which did have a menu. The food turned out to be better than expected and we were all satisfied.
A stroll through the mall and into a couple of stores were not encouraging and we came away with full stomachs and empty hands. Out into the snow storm we ventured.
After clearing the snow off of the car it was then off to Walmart to see what was on offer. One thing about the storm - it kept most people at home or at least out of the stores. "The Girls" did manage to make only a couple of purchases and it was decided that because the storm was still raging it would be best to head off back home in the day light.
The storm had not abated and in fact may have even got a little worse but Heather was up to the task and after only about 15 minutes in the storm it was all over. The storm was a localized lake effect storm and the forecast for Watertown, NY was for 3-5 feet (1 - 1.5 metres) of snow to fall over the next 2 days.
Once out of the snowstorm it was clear sailing all the way to the border. The Canadian customs lady was certainly surprised when she was told we had only spent $30.00 for the entire car load. Explaining the snowstorm brought forth a chuckle and understanding of why we did not stay longer.
The remainder of the drive home was uneventful and we all arrived safe and sound. No doubt Hareth will have memories of his first major storm that will last until the next one.
07 January 2017
It was a quick decision of yes we would love to so after a quick breakfast (we are late risers) it was off to Barrie and Eve's into their vehicle and off to Brockville. While Eve and Wendy checked out the quilt shop Barrie and Bill did a tour of Dollarama. I think the boys had a better in the Dollerama than they would have had in the quilt store. Wendy did manage to pick up some quilting material for Heather who will be starting quilting lessons later this month.
Once the purchases were paid for it was lunch time at the next door restaurant which specialized in Italian food. Both Bill and Barrie opted for the spaghetti with meatballs (delicious) Wendy with a spinach salad and Eve with a chicken wrap. No complaints about the food and the coffee kept coming.
Once satisfied it was off in search of the owls. Because both Barrie and Eve are avid birders they have gained knowledge of just where these birds may be hanging out.
We did manage to see two of them. The first on top of a hydro pole flew away shortly after we stepped out of the car but I did manage to get a couple of photos. It was then off in search of another one and in a short time the second was spotted - also on top of a hydro pole.
While the wires may not have added anything to the photos this majestic bird seemed to try and pose for us. As it was cold and windy it was back into the car in search of another but sadly it was only the two that we spotted Saturday. Perhaps another outing will bring more.
Back at Barrie and Eve's one drink turned into two and then order in pizza.
A wonderful day's outing with good friends.
A big thanks to Barrie and Eve for thinking of us.