In some way I have successfully found how to keep busy with little projects everyday so I can actually fill a day and have time pass quickly without Cathy or the business activity we used to have.
Usually my independent travels have been to small quiet locales, and the selection of a suitable place to stay has been easy since there were limited choices. Criteria is clean, convenient, and quaint and unique – e.g. The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge (my favorite), and just one of the many fine places Cathy and I stayed over the years. On my list of requirements is now Internet access, since I want to tell you what I am up to!!! This week I found it much harder selecting accommodations in Montreal and Vancouver – too many choices, and in big unfamiliar areas. The advantage however was getting to know the areas and transportation systems with my time consuming on-line research.
I had a wonderful Road Scholar introduction to Montreal in the fall of 2009, so that was not too overwhelming, but I had to pinpoint where I would be arriving on the bus, and departing by train. Montreal has a great Metro system, and finally in my search on Monday I found a small European style Victorian Hotel which has been renovated and modernized inside – The Hotel Viger. Big cities have a wide range of prices, but all I want is a good place to sleep and not “buy a place.” I will arrive in Montreal just blocks from the hotel, check in, and will still have most of the afternoon and then the evening to re-explore Vieux-Montreal – the old part of town. In the morning I will stroll to the train station for my 11:40 AM departure to Toronto. Now you may get a few short posts hopefully with images and/or video from both the bus and the train from Burlington to Montreal and then to Toronto as they both have WI-FI on board.
Finding a B&B in Vancouver became a much more time-consuming task, and actually took me three days of off and on research. I quickly realized that I needed to learn the neighborhoods, and the transportation system. Vancouver’s SKYTRAIN was built in time for EXPO 86, the world’s fair (one of my interests) held for the 100th anniversary of the founding of Vancouver (the second World’s Fair in Canada – I attended the first in Montreal in 1967 – but that is a lifetime ago – in fact, Bill and Dutchie were there at the same time, but we did not meet then). I finally zeroed in on the Windsor Guest House, and after a couple of emails I called and got Leslie on the phone. “Yes, Ray Boas, you know that is a famous name in Vancouver,” she said. “Yes,” I replied, “Franz Boas, the father of modern anthropology, is my great-grandfather. I am always flattered when someone asks or recognizes the name,” I replied. We chatted for awhile, and I booked the Edward Room, on the third floor with views. Built in the early 1900s I am looking forward to this stay. The B&B is in an older neighborhood, close to the Canadian Line of the Skytrain, and will be accessible. So, it all fell into place and now I can re-read about all the things that I wish to experience in Vancouver and share with you. There is so much, I again will be running harder than a thirty-something year-old – but I am good at that!
It is now Friday. I ran errands in Keene today – always create a long-list since it is such a long trip of 12 miles away – ha, ha! I finally found some short-sleeved Oxford Shirts at Penny’s and got a nice summer weight sports coat for the trip (I want to dress up for dinner on the train). Saw it on sale from $150 (end of season) for $69.99, but it rang up at $49.99 – I questioned the difference to which I was told they reduce prices, but don’t necessarily get to the signs. My $30 shirts were $11.99 each – I had better remember to go to Penny’s, it has been probably at least 5 years since I was last there with Cathy. This week I also researched another opportunity, and tonight decided that I will book a trip to Portugal the first week in November. It will be a pilgrimage to Fatima, the site where three children were first visited by Mary on May 13, 1917. And, as you may recall, we lost Cathy on May 13th. I was waiting for a sign from Mary and Cathy to book this trip, and that sign came to me today.
So, that is it for now. My next post will be on Monday. Have a great weekend, as always, RAY