Saturday, July 12, 2008

Toronto's Great, Eh?

Our 36 hour trip to Toronto was jam-packed full of fun-so much so, that Jim and I were commenting on the drive home that it seemed like longer than one day ago that we drove up there. So here is our account.

We left home just before 8 AM on Friday, as the rain started to fall. We were only a little concerned with the current weather because we had planned to go bike riding when we got to Toronto, but the weather people were predicting that the rain would move through by late morning. And they were right! After an uneventful drive, including through customs, we parked along Lakeside Blvd at one of the parking lots for the park areas along this stretch of Lake Ontario. As a result of some internet research we knew to stop at the Ontario Welcome Center on the QEW and pick-up a Toronto Bicycle Map, which we did. The great map opened up a world of biking opportunities in Toronto. So we ate our picnic lunch, changed into our biking clothes and headed out on the Lakeshore trail to the Humber River Trail. This is the bridge over the Humber River at the start of the bike trail. 

We headed north, following the river, and rode almost 15 miles until the trail ended. For the most part the trail was on a separate bike trial, with a couple of short portions on roads. The trail was well-marked and we enjoyed riding through residential areas, urban industrial areas and a variety of city parks. We took a couple of side trails on way back so by the time we got back to the car we had logged 34 miles. The weather was great for biking and the riding was wonderful. We looked forward to riding on Saturday. 

After checking into our hotel (Sheraton Centre) we took a walk around an art festival which was right across the street from our hotel, surrounding the reflecting pool by city hall. There was a lot of interesting artwork, but very little that I would consider putting in my home.

Then we headed for Rogers Centre, the baseball stadium for the Toronto Blue Jays, who were playing the Yankees, our reason for going. Unfortunately, this was not the night for the Yankees, they lost 5-0 and they played pretty poorly! Now that I am home,  I checked the score for this afternoon's game between the Jays and Yankees and the Yankees won 9-4! I guess we were at the wrong game. We did have fun and I was glad we were there. I even wore my pink Yankees hat! Again, I was surprised by the number of Yankees fans at the game-it almost seemed like a 50-50 split.

Today, after breakfast at Cora's, we rode our bikes east on the Lakeshore Trail, ending at The Beaches area. On our return trip we rode north on a trail that followed the Don River. Again, another great trail! We stopped to watch a rubgy game and saw one team score. During our ride today we also saw a Master's Tennis Tournament, a beach volleyball tournament, soccer games, baseball games, lawn bowling, war canoe training, runners, roller-bladers, walkers, and lots of bikers. Here is a rugby photo.

I wanted to go to my favorite yarn store in Toronto so instead of driving there and having to find a place to park, we decided to ride our bikes. I later realized that this impacted how much yarn I could buy. Now you need to know that this is also Jim's favorite yarn store because, just a couple of shops away is an Adult Lingerie store, which features live models in their store front windows! Yes, you read that right, live girls, wearing some of the things that are sold in this store, which is aptly named, Miss Behavin'! Jim happened to notice that there was an available place to lock our bikes right in front of this establishment, so he took his time locking up the bikes!

We ate our lunch on Queen Street at an Italian place recommended by one of the yarn store employees and it was wonderful. 

When we finally got back to our car we had covered 37 miles and thought we'd better be heading home. 

Jim drove both to and from Toronto so I got lots of knitting done. The old QEW had some slow sections today which made our trip a bit longer, but customs wasn't too bad so overall it was a fine trip home.

Here is a weird story that happened to us. We get in an elevator to go up to our room in the hotel and one other guy gets in with us. He is wearing a Yankees shirt and we talk about going to the game. He then asks us if we are from Rochester, we say yes. He then asks if we live in Greece and again, we say yes and seriously try to figure out if we know this guy. He then asks if we live on Apollo Drive and then he tells us that he was one of the cops who investigated our house robbery-over 2 years ago!!! And just to add to the coincidences with this story, he was staying on the same floor in the same hotel as we were and then at the game, he sat in the same section where we had our seats! 

Tomorrow is Sunday-we'll go to church and then I will ride my bike if the weather cooperates.

Hope all is well. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

No, not like the car commercial on TV-like the GarlicZoom! Maybe I am the last person on earth to know about the GarlicZoom, but let me tell you, if you like minced garlic but hate to mince garlic, then you need the GarlicZoom. See the photo below.

If you  know about the GarlicZoom, skip this section, but if you don't know about this fun, little kitchen gadget, read on. While shopping with Gram in Saratoga, we were wandering through a cook's store and I saw this little item. Now, I love fresh garlic in various recipes, but I do not like the garlic press that I have and trying to mince it on a cutting board always gets so sticky and messy. So I decided to invest in this GarlicZoom. Tonight I made Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar and Garlic, from which called for 6 cloves of garlic, minced. I peeled the 6 gloves and then opened the top of the GarlicZoom and dropped in a clove and zoomed the rollers across my counter tops. After a few zooms, I had beautifully minced garlic. I tapped the garlic out and repeated with the other cloves. As an added bonus, it goes in the dishwasher when you are done zooming around! The garlic zoom has 3 little knives that spin around when you zoom the wheels across the counter, mincing up the garlic. It is wonderful. If you want more info, or want to see a YouTube video about this check out this website: 

Today was a very productive day for me. I seriously cleaned the livingroom (Corey, ask me if you cannot find something when you come home, but it is probably now in your room!). Then I went to the Village Yarn and Fiber store in East Rochester for a couple hours of spinning with my spinning teacher. There were a few other spinners and knitters there this morning so I had a nice time talking about knitting, spinning, and life in general. There were several questions I wanted to ask my teacher so I also learned a few things too.

From spinning, I went on a errand marathon-from booze to bike tires! 

Yesterday, in the 90 degree heat, I went for a 56 mile bike ride-excellent training for RAGBRAI. I rode from home to Lock 32 on the canal trail, went south on Clover Street to Mendon Ponds Park, did a loop through and south of the park including the hill on Quaker Meeting House Road. I came back north on Clover Street to the canal, where I continued on to Schoen Place, where I had a very sweaty lunch at Aladdin's. After about 3 glasses of ice water and a humus pita, I took a 20 mile route home. It was a good ride and I would do it again before I go to Iowa, maybe with some friends (B & S???) and maybe when Corey was working at the Lock, so I could use that as a rest stop.

Corey called from almost heaven,West Virginia, in an Appalachian Mountain High (how's that for 2 John Denver references!). He and Mike had just finished kayaking a Class 5 stretch of the Cheat River and he was psyched. He described a gnarly river that challenged them and exhilarated them. When they got to the take-out, they were shuttled back to the van (the rig) by a classic West Virginia mountain man, named Glen Miller. Corey estimated his age to be somewhere between 150 and 200 years, with a pick-up truck of similar age! Ahh, to be 19 and flying by the seat of your pants!

Uncle Bob sent photos of their completed kitchen project and it looks great! I don't think I know anybody who had their kitchen remodeling project come in on time! Do you?

On Monday night, we signed our papers for our Long Term Care Insurance. If you are in our area, and interested in this kind of insurance, we would recommend the guy we worked with. Get in touch with me and I will pass along his particulars to you.

Tomorrow is bike riding day (on new tires!), and I think I will head north and check out a short new trail that goes between Durand Beach and the Seabreeze road. The forecast is for cooler temps than Monday, which will be a welcome relief. 

Hope all is well.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Look What Came in the Mail!

Look what the mailman delivered today!

I signed up to be part of a yarn swap with a group on Ravelry called Teachers Who Knit. Several hundred teacher/knitters signed up to participate and we were randomly assigned to another teacher/knitter. Someone got my name and I have the name of a different teacher/knitter. The woman who got my name has been in touch with me via e-mail, indicating that she lives in Oslo, Norway! So today this package arrived from Norway and it contained these 4 skeins of alpaca yarn in a deep turquoise colorway. It is definitely something that I would have splurged on for myself, if I wanted something very special. She also included a new cyclometer for my bike, as she picked up on my biking interest from the initial questions I had to answer to join the swap and she read my blog and profile on Ravelry. So it was a wonderful treat today and I will have to do some pattern research to find the perfect pattern for this lovely yarn. 

I have not sent off my swap gift to my recipient yet because I am hoping to find something unique during my travels this summer. She lives in PA and has a wide range of other interests in addition to knitting. It has been fun thinking about possible things to include in her gift package, and I am looking forward to putting it all together.

I've been knitting on my Pi shawl, but will put that down in to start a baby sweater for a friend who is having a baby in October. 

Hope all is well.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Adios to Jenny Lake

After 5 great days at Jenny Lake, we left this morning. I rode my bike from camp to Johnstown, about 36 miles, and then Jim picked me up at a Stewarts. I had a good ride and for the second time in a row, I got my average speed to just over 15 mph, which makes me very happy. 

We had a wonderful stay at Jenny Lake, doing all those things we like to while at camp-swimming, fishing, reading on the beach, relaxing, eating great food, and chatting with people we only see at summer. Thanks to Mom and Dad for their great company. This year I took my spinning wheel to camp, thinking that spinning on the porch would be delightful-and it was. I spun every day and finished making the orange fiber into yarn. I took the finished skeins down to the lake and dipped them in, squeezed the water out, and then let them dry on the  deck. I'm quite pleased with the finished result. Now I need to get started on navy blue to go with the orange for a scarf for Corey. 

Here is a photo from one evening when I rowed Jim around the lake so he could fish. He managed to catch a couple of fish each of the two times I "guided" him around the lake. 

We talked to Tucker while we drove home this afternoon. He had been in Telluride, CO, for the 4th of July, enjoying the festivities with friends. He sent this photo of him in front of Lizard Head Peak, where he and his friends were hiking and camping. 

Several of Corey's SU friends stopped in today on their way back to SU from PA. We invited the 3 of them to join us for a Ponty's dinner, which they were glad to do. Corey had already taken them to Tahoe's for a garbage plate, and to the beach for an Abbotts. They enjoyed the "hat trick" of Rochester foods! We enjoyed our visit with Griff, Ben and Steve, and would welcome them into our home anytime they were in the area. 

Tomorrow Corey leaves for a weekend concert in West Virginia. He and his friend, Mike G., are leaving this early in the week so they can go kayaking for a few days before the concert starts. We will be back to our empty nest status for a week. 

Hope all is well.