Ohio Rolling Stone


Ohio Rolling Stone

I have spent most of my life in Northeast Ohio, having grown up, returned after college, and raised my son in a southwest community outside the city. I retired from a large regional bank in 2016, shortly after my father died, and around my 65th birthday.

I don't have a bucket list, but I try to snag opportunities as they present themselves. For example, I decided at the last minute to accompany a friend on a drive back to northern Minnesota in January 2017, allowing us to catch up on about 30 years of our lives. It also turned into an opportunity to see her beautiful house on Lake Shagawa, snowmobile across the ice on the lake, snowshoe, and drive a dogsled team. What a fun trip - one that I couldn't have even considered at the last minute, while I was still working.

In the first year after I retired, I visited family in Charlotte, NC, visited my mother's childhood home in southern Ohio, guest crewed for about a week on the Tallship Pride of Baltimore II (we raced other Tall Ships up Lake Huron to Mackinac), watched the Louis Vuitton America's Cup qualifying races from the Navy Pier in Chicago, completed a solo, 7-week, 9,000 mile road trip across the US, and visited Ely, MN, in January. Then (outside the "12-months after I retired) in the following few months, I chartered a 41-foot sailboat with my brother and niece in the British Virgin Islands, visited Alaska with a cousin I had reconnected with on my road trip, and completed my 3rd Bayview to Mackinac race on a 35' sailboat.

This Rolling Stone is gathering no moss, and looking forward to more adventures!

North America » Canada » Quebec » Québec City May 19th 2018

Just like yesterday, it was off to a boulangerie for breakfast! Since this was the day of Harry and Meghan's wedding, I ran out to pick up coffee and croissants, and got back just in time for the vows. To be honest, I probably wouldn't have bothered, but my roommate was watching, so I did, too. Right after, we headed down to the lobby to start the day's activities. We took cabs to the Residence of the Governor General of Canada within the walls of the Citadel. This walled fortress on the St. Lawrence River changed hands between the British and French over the years. It was interesting to hear about the relationship and "pecking order" among the British Queen, the Governor General, the Canadian Prime Minister, and the Senate. It seems a kind of confusing ... read more
Oldest house
Meat Pies and Sugar Pie

North America » Canada » Quebec » Québec City May 18th 2018

Sadly, our QC hotel does not include breakfast as our hotel in Montreal did. That forced us to forage down the street cafes, for edibles. I managed to get by each day with coffee and a chocolate croissant. As you can see, I suffered miserably. Our guide was Marie, a retired teacher. She said that 96% of the population speaks French as the mother tongue, 1.6% claim English as their mother tongue (though nearly everyone is at least bi-lingual), with the rest divided among other languages. The French/English "social divide" seems pronounced in QC than it was in Montreal; though much of what we saw in our few days in Quebec was good-natured ribbing between Francophones and Anglophones, it seems likely that the teasing may also disguise a deeper chasm. Here are some highlights of Marie's ... read more
Street Performer in the Lower Town
Old foundations

North America » Canada » Quebec » Québec City May 17th 2018

After starting with a hearty breakfast at the hotel, we headed off to The Notre-Dame Basilica, where we learned a bit of history and were treated to a private organ concert. The Basilica was originally built in the 1670s, of wood instead of stone, since they were pressed for time and funds, and also because wood insulates better than stone! In the early 19th century, after the church was deemed to be too small, the current Basilica was designed by (of all people!) an Irish Anglican named James O'Donnell; the sanctuary can hold about 10,000 people. On his deathbed, O'Donnell converted to Catholicism, though some say it was so he could be buried in the crypt of the church he designed and built! The Catholic Church was the center of life in early Montreal, attracting all ... read more
Looking forward from balcony
View of pipe organ from the loft

North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal » Old Montréal May 16th 2018

Today's tour was led by Michel who was assisted by Mario. It was mostly walking, with a few short bus hops. Mario was only with us part of the time; the rest of the time was running ahead to get our tasty-tastings set up at the next locale. What a variety of offerings! We started in the Portuguese section of Montreal (who knew there was a Portuguese neighborhood there!?) and ended up at the farmer's market, which was (to me) very similar to Cleveland's West Side Market. On our way to the first stop at Padaria Portuguesia Cafe, Michel talked about the early settlers in the area. Young girls (some native, some French, aged 12-15) would choose from the available male suitors. These young girls (especially the natives) taught the men to survive. The commitment was ... read more
Fairmount Bagel
Mural Fest
Chapelle du Notre Dame du Bon Secours

North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal » Downtown May 15th 2018

After our hotel breakfast, we met our guide for the day, Christian, in the lobby for our tour "Facets of Daily Life in Montreal," which is to include the Theater District, McGill University, the Golden Square Mile, and the Underground City (a taste of that yesterday). One of the things that Christian emphasized was the immigration trends, and how that shaped the neighborhoods in Montreal. Christian talked a bit about schools in Montreal; some are primarily Francophone (French speaking) while others are Anglophone, and still others are bi-lingual. In addition there are public and private variations of both. It can be a complex decision for families, but some of the decision is simplified by the constitution, which eliminates some of the conflict. Non-citizens must send their kids to Francophone schools, but English-speaking citizens may choose the ... read more
Metro and Underground Art
The old next to the new!
Ball on a rope!

North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal » Old Montréal May 14th 2018

After breakfast buffet at the hotel, Sylvie introduced Marie who would lead us on a walking-history and culture tour; in the afternoon we would have the rest of the day to explore. The potential difficulty is the fact that nearly all the museums are closed on Mondays, so with the beautiful weather, we planned to spend the afternoon in the Botanical Gardens, but that was not to be, since THEY are also closed on Monday! Marie promised to be entertaining and she was! she started out by telling us that Montreal is on an island, with its own "mountain," Mount Royale (get it? MontReal). It's really more of a huge hill, but we learned during the tour that Montreal's tallest building cannot exceed the height of their mountain! The a park surrounding and including Mount Royal ... read more
Marche Bonsecours
Updated Coat of Arms

North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal » Old Montréal May 13th 2018

We awoke in Gananoque, ON, ready to head for Montreal. Though we didn't have time to visit the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, NY, we decided to try the Great Lakes Maritime Museum in Gananoque. FAIL. It apparently had been a large and interesting museum, but they had to move to a different location, and have not yet opened at the final location. What we did find was a) REALLY hard to find and b) a room about 10' x 20' that was part of the yacht club office! Maybe next time! We hit the road for Montreal to meet up with our Road Scholar travelers. But on the way, we stopped in a small town, determined to eat in a local place (I think there was a Subway in every place we went, and in ... read more
Detailed Stone Work
les Chuchoteuses - The Whisperers

North America » Canada » Ontario » Gananoque May 12th 2018

Today, we headed off to Canada, but first we visited the Roswell P Flower Memorial Library in Watertown, NY. Though Watertown had a few private libraries at the time, the city had discussed having a public library open to all, and Emma Flower offered to build one to honor her father, a former governor of New York. The library continues as a public lending library, and also apparently houses a genealogical research library, but also houses quite a number of unique pieces of art that you can view in your library visit. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. I may have to return to Watertown for some genealogy research of my own! We drove north and east to the St. Lawrence River to the 1000 Island region, which straddles the US/Canadian border ... read more
Alster Tower, or the Playhouse
Boldt Yacht House
Muskie in a Bar

Pam (a friend I met on my first Road Scholar trip) and I are heading up to an "independent study" Road Scholar trip in Montreal and Canada. She drove to my house, then we left together on a road trip to explore the 1,000 Islands (NY and Ontario) area, Montreal, Quebec City, and on the way back, hitting Kingston, Ontario and Niagara Falls (both sides). The "independent study" means there are fewer group tours and activities, with afternoons and evenings left on our own to explore. This trip is different from recent trips because I normally travel alone; We left Strongsville about 9 am and drove as far as Watertown, NY. It occurred to me that some of Mom's family is from the area, so it might be fun to come back later for a couple ... read more

North America » United States » Alaska » Anchorage March 13th 2018

I head home tomorrow evening, so this is my last full day here. I had thought I'd venture out today on a last adventure, but after some road experiences on the past two days, I have reconsidered going very far from the city. As I said in an earlier post, the roads in the city tend to be navigable, but snowy and icy. When venturing farther from Anchorage, either north of the city or south and west toward the mountains, the road conditions can deteriorate quickly if you're in a rental car not really equipped for rougher conditions. Driving around here has been a treat, because I have gotten to see some vistas that I would have missed just being at the hotel. The mountains, while certainly always present, just appear suddenly when I don't necessarily ... read more
Yum! Biscuits Soft as a Cloud!
Welcome Furry Friends!

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