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Drive to Indianapolis, Fly to NY, Cruise to Canada

Peggy's Cove Lighthouse
Peggy's Cove Lighthouse, near Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada

This is our first trip since 2001 where we didn't have to consider our animal family in our travels - whether we brought them with us or we made sure they were safe at home. Kiki and Kitty have passed on and we miss them very much. Of course, we do have to insure that our plants get watered, but plants are not the same thing as members of the family.

This time it is a drive to Indianapolis to visit our friend Ellen, then join her on a 5-day cruise to Canada, followed by a short stay in New York city.

Patty & Craig at Loveland Pass

Our trip east took us through Utah and Colorado, where winter was starting to show. We got off the main highway and visited Loveland Pass; location of the Continental Divide at 11,990 feet. While we didn't see snow for the rest of our trip, we certainly saw some here.

Ellen at home

At Ellen's place - and for the rest of our trip - autumn was still in full flower and the colors were just spectacular.

Here we see Ellen on her back porch. The fountain shown was removed a few days after this shot - no one wants the fountain parts to freeze up and it is removed every year as it gets colder.

5-day Cruise to Canada

leaving NYCSaturday morning we flew into New York and boarded the Regal Princess for our 5-day tour of Canada. In the first shot the ship was leaving New York harbor and this was our goodbye view of Manhattan.

The Regal Princess has a Seawalk feature on the main upper deck. It allows passengers to walk over a clear sections of the deck, where they can see all the decks, the sea, and the docks - when in port. It is a unique view, but it is kind of scary to walk over the invisible floor 16 stories above the ocean.

Here we see Ellen taking a tentative look, with the wind swirling - as usual.

Ellen on SkywalkRegal Princess & seawalk

Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Our first port was Saint John, in the Bay of Fundy, home of the highest tides in the world. We took a 6-hour tour of the Saint John and the surrounding area and stopped both first and last at the Reversing Falls. The first picture is of the falls in the early morning, when it looked like rapids rushing to the open sea. Six hours later the water was running from the ocean back up the river and looked rather calm. If you look at False Island, you can see that the morning shows much more of the island and also a rocky point on the shore in front of us. In the second shot the island is much smaller and the point is completely covered.

Reversing FallsReversing FallsPatty, Craig, Ellen at Reversing Falls

The reason this tide is so much higher than in, say Halifax, is that the Bay of Fundy is geographically located so that the Atlantic Current, which flows in a counter-clockwise direction, is forcing water into a funnel which is growing quite a bit smaller. The same amount of water comes out the smaller end of the funnel - where Saint John is - as goes in the larger end. This means more water in a smaller area, thus the tide rises and falls a greater number of feet.

Here the three of us are posing in front of the river in the morning, near low tide.

Ellen, Patty in Covered BridgeSt. Martins

North of Saint John is the small fishing town of St. Martins. The quaint covered wooden bridge is no longer in use, but it is kept for tourists like us to take pictures of.

Fishermen have to take their boats out on the high tide, because this is what the river looks like when it is near low tide. 

Sea CavesSt. Martins dock area

These sea caves are just north of St. Martins and are flooded at high tide. We stopped here to have some of the best lobster soup we have ever tasted. It was expensive, but it sure was good.

City MarketReturning to Saint John, we stopped at the City Market in the center of town. It is one of the oldest farmer's markets in the western hemisphere.

Inside it was like a huge barn, with a ceiling like an upside down canoe. We found tourist trinkets, all types of foods, and even restaurants inside. We did purchase some maple syrup butter at less than half the price we later found in New York City.

The City Market fronts on King's Square and off this square is the Loyalist Burial Grounds. This is resting place for many of the people who sided with the British and fled the Colonies during and after the Revolutionary War.

The fall colors were in full flower and the entire area was very calming and beautiful. Patty pauses a moment here.

Patty at Loyalist Burial GroundsPatty at Loyalist Burial GroundsPatty at Loyalist Burial GroundsPatty at Loyalist Burial Grounds

Our next stop was the first museum we visited on our trip - The New Brunswick Museum. Here we see Patty posing outside with the colorful fall flowers and Patty & Craig inside the museum standing next to a full-sized moose.

Patty outside New Brunswick MuseumPatty & Craig in New Brunswick MuseumCareton MartelloTower

Before our return to the Reversing Falls, we passed the Careton Martello Tower. These towers were originally erected to resist invasion. Because they were round, there were no weak areas and could resist being overrun, as long as the food held out.

The reason for erecting them here is this location overlooks the Saint John harbor and this area - from here to Halifax, Nova Scotia - was a key part of the British shipping and defense industry in the new world. After the Revolutionary War this entire coast had to be carefully defended against the colonists to the south.

Below is another shot of the first and last stop on our Saint John tour - the Reversing Falls. Here you can easily see 'rapids' are no longer rapid and, in fact, the river is running backward in a very languid fashion.

Reversing FallsRegal Princess

On returning to the Regal Princess we took this picture of a crew member cleaning the hull with a long pole. When our tour left in the morning, the letters were resting on the red curb on the dock.

This comparison really brings home just how much water flows in and out of the Bay of Fundy every 6 hours.

Now it was time to say goodbye to Saint John. This picture from our stateroom is not spectacular, but neither is the Saint John skyline.

Saying goodbye to overcast Saint John
The three of us arriviing in Halifax

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Leaving the ship at each port, Princess offers to take a picture of all departing passengers. Sometimes these pictures turn out quite well. Here we are seen with a cook and a lobster - well sort of.

Shore Club, Hubbard, Nova ScotiaAnother all-day tour; but this one included a lobster dinner at the Shore Club in Hubbard, Nova Scotia.

Since lobster is Nova Scotia's largest export, it was notable that the owner of the Shore Club has a license plate on his car that read 'LOBSTER'. I asked him who he paid off to get that plate and he assured me that he asked for it the first thing, the first morning that people could apply for a personalized plate and was simply extremely lucky.

Here we see Patty and Ellen at the long table where all the tour was fed their dinner. It was a one-pound lobster, the tastiest size, and we all learned a thing or two about removing lobsters from their shell.

Patty & Ellen eating lobster

Hubbard's is at the head of St. Margartes Bay and our primary destination - Peggy's Cove - is at the mouth of this bay. It is about an hours drive through some rough and beautiful coastline. Below is a picture of the Atlantic Ocean from Peggy's Cove. It feels as forbidding as it looks in this picture.

Atlantic CoastAtlantic CoastPeggy's CovePeggy's Cove

The lighthouse at Peggy's Cove is shown at the top of this page, and there are always a number of tour busses stopped here. I thought the picture with people all over the area - like ants - was pretty representative of our experience.

There are 36 houses in the community and, if you are willing to walk from the busses, this view is a somewhat iconic picture that is often painted by artists.

Regal Princess

Upon returning to the ship, this picture fairly represents just how big this ship is, in relation to the dock around it.

Halloween at sea

Patty at Captain's LunchOur last day on the ship was a day-at-see and it was also Halloween. This meant the crew all dressed up and the passengers were encouraged to do the same.

Of course this didn't apply to the Captain's Lunch - held for the most travelled passengers on board. With all our cruises, we do qualify for this privilege. However, we had to dress for the occasion. Here we see Patty, next to one of the ship's officers, starting into a delicately prepared dessert.

Below is our Halloween attire. Patty had her picture taken in the proper attire. Then Craig, Patty, and Ellen finish dinner in the Crown Room - something we try to do at least once each cruise.

Patty in Halloween gearCraig, Patty, Ellen in Crown GrillPatty & Ellen in conga linePatty at balloon drop

 Later in the evening there was a 'Balloon Drop' in the atrium. You can see Patty  doing her part to keep the balloons in the air. Following this a conga line started.  Although Patty and Ellen weren't near each other in the line, they both participated  and had their pictures taken.

New York City

Ellen's first subway ride


Ellen had never been on a subway in her life. Well, that simply had to change and we certainly were going to record it. Here it is.

We took the subway to the 9/11 Memorial, where Ellen went through the museum

World Trade Center site

 Whether you are there or just looking at these pictures, the memorial is something you will remember.

 We came into the memorial at the 'red star' and the picture below is of the South Pool.

South PoolOne World Trade Center

 This picture of One World Trade Center was taken from the South Pool.

 Craig & Patty walked through the memorial and then into the Oculus below. The Oculus is a very unique building -  in the shape of a dove - but it is also a Westfield Shopping Center.

 The picture below the Oculus is of the inside of the building, almost as unique as the outside.

the Oculusinside the Occulusalways building something in NYCBowling Green subway entrance


Craig & Patty walked through the Oculus, over to Greenwich St. and down toward Battery Park. On the way they passed several buildings under construction. Manhattan is always under construction.

Upon reaching Battery Park, they found the Bowling Green subway entrance - a very unique little building.

A policeman informed them that, if they wanted to see the Statue of Liberty, then they should take the Staten Island Ferry, instead of the tours. It was free and the statue tours were full.

Thus informed, we see the Staten Island Ferry dock entrance and Patty on the ferry as it pulls out.

Staten Island FerryPatty on Staten Island Ferry
Patty & Statue Of Libertydocking in Staten Island

 We got a number of good views of the Statue of Liberty as we  crossed and this view of the Staten Island terminal as we  approached it.

Staten Island Ferry view of Manhatten

 Returning to Manhattan, we got this traditional picture from the  Staten Island Ferry.

 The last picture of the day shows our view as we exited the Staten  Island Ferry terminal, took the subway to the 9/11 Memorial,  picked up Ellen, and took the subway again back to Times Square  and our hotel.

exiting the Staten Island Ferry terminal


Patty & Ellen walking in Central ParkDay two started late - why get up early on your vacation if you don't have to - and with another subway ride. This time to 79th street and Central Park.

Here we see Patty & Ellen starting off in Central Park.

After a bit we reached Bethesda Terrace. Again, the fall colors simply dominated the greenery.

Bethesda Terrace

Ellen getting her Diet Coke

Ellen getting a Diet Coke
lunch view from Loeb Boathouse

After leaving the Bethesda Terrace we walked the short way around to the Loeb Boathouse and had lunch there. We have seen this view in any number of movies.

sitting in Central Parksitting in Central Park

After lunch we walked into a more secluded section of Central Park.

Pausing in this gorgeous glade, we had to take pictures of each other and the autumn foliage we were walking through.

Alice in Wonderland statue

As we circled around, we wanted to find the Alice In Wonderland statue.

Finally we happened upon it and waited until most of the children were finished climbing all over the statuary before taking this picture. 

The Museum of Art - MOMA

Our ultimate objective this day was to visit The Met - The Metropolitan Museum of Art. This museum is actually located in Central Park, off 5th Avenue.

The weather was turning rainy when we got there and we took a guided tour before wandering around on our own.

The walk back across the park to our subway stop was dark and wet and we were glad to have umbrellas.

We took the subway down to 50th Street and walked east to visit our last stops of the day.

We walked by Radio City Music Hall and the girls simply had to have a picture in front of this brightly lit icon.

Then we proceeded though Rockefeller Center and - while the ice rink was being cleaned - we had fun pressing through the people looking on.

Radio City Music Hall at nightRockerfeller Square Ice RinkSt. Patrick's CathedralPatty & Ellen praying for Harry

Our final stop was St. Patrick's Cathedral - we arrived shortly before it closed. We were able to get in and Patty & Ellen paused to pray for Harry.


Ellen's Stardust DinerCraig & Patty in Stardust Diner

Our last day in NYC we set out to have brunch at Ellen's Stardust Diner on 51st Street & Broadway. Wanna be Broadway actors work here and the deal is they get to perform for the customers. All the waiters sing and dance and there is even a runway in the middle of the restaurant. We even saw people singing and performing from the 2nd story balcony.

After this great fun, we walked all around Times Square. It is not an exaggeration to talk about the canyons of New York.

the canyons of New YorkPatty in Times Square

Patty climbed steps made for people who want their pictures taken with Times Square in the background. Following this we took a cab to the airport and evening flight back to Indianapolis.


Entrance to Indiana Museum of Art

We were ready to relax, but that would have to wait for Monday. Sunday Ellen had plans to show us where she worked - The Indiana Museum of Art.

This is the main entrance and this is the original art piece that initiated all the statuary 'word art'.

There was a grand forest behind the main building and we ventured out there after browsing through the main art exhibits.

Ellen & Patty entering the museum groundsview of IMA groundsPatty & Ellen walking to park grounds

It was a spectacular area and here we see Patty & Ellen walking down a hill, leading to another 100 acres of park that was recently linked to the IMA.

This 'new' park had an entirely different theme from the museum on the hill. The art was to be played with and on and there was a great deal of space between everything.

First we see a swing set made from a tree sticking out of a small outhouse like building.

The human bones exhibit where Patty & Ellen are sitting was used in a scene from the movie 'The Fault In Our Stars'.

unique swing on park groundsPatty & Ellen sitting on bonesLilly mansion at holiday timeEllen & Patty at the Lilly mansion

We walked back up the hill and moved to a new area of the museum. This was the Eli Lilly mansion and grounds. We didn't get to go through the mansion, because everything was about to close. The picture above is the main approach, decorated for the holiday season. To the right we see Ellen & Patty in the main drive up to the main house.

Autumn colors at Ellen's house

We got to relax Monday, but on Tuesday morning we left for our trek back to the Southwest.

This is a picture looking out Ellen's front door, just before we got in our car and left.

While the day was overcast, the colors were still brilliant fall. The water fountain in the back of her house had been removed by this time and the leaves were not long for this world.

The Drive Home

City Museum, St. Louis, MO

Patty at City Musuem, St. Louis, MO

This museum was recommended to us by our daughter Danielle. She said this was a 'must see' place to visit, so we planned the first leg of our journey home for a relatively short day from Indianapolis, IN to St. Louis, MO.

We weren't disappointed. We planned up to two hours in the morning of the second day and had a hard time keeping our visit to three hours. It was a totally unique place.

With the exception of some of the more conventional exhibits, the entire place was constructed from discarded items repurposed for use in an abandoned 10-story industrial building.

It is a touchy, feely place where kids go 'nuts' and some parents might worry. The common advise is to bring a flashlight and kneepads - they sell them in the gift shop. You will be crawling everywhere and lots of dark places.

As you can see from the pictures below, many walkways are really crawlways and the loops of supporting steel are sometimes the only thing between you and a long drop.

Craig climbed to the plane shown, out on the wing, and across to the walkway through the loop of steel. He also moved from one isolated room to the main area through the tight loop shown below.

There are lots of additional pictures of this museum, but we decided to put them on their own separate page, which you can reach by clicking on any of the pictures here.

Entrance to City MuseumCraig moving from one floor to anotherUranus Fudge Factory, MO

Route 66 has some interesting signs, none more unique than this one. While we didn't stop - this was our longest driving day - it does seem this sign probably brings plenty of business from travelers who had no intention of stopping when they started their day.

Conoco station in Shamrock, TX

Remember the movie 'Cars' - well, who doesn't remember. Now there are several Cars movies and Disneyland even has a Cars section in California Adventure.

This is the actual Conoco station used to model the station in the movie. They have superchargers in the back, so this is a guaranteed stop for all Tesla drivers using I40 as their way to travel the U.S.

It is located in Shamrock, TX, between Amarillo and OK City.

A Maynard type truck is parked at the side and the gift shop sells everything Cars and Route 66 for the discerning tourist.

Here we see Patty - the U Drop Inn is a simulation of a 50s Roadside Diner.

Santa Fe, NM

Border to New Mexico on Route 66

Now this is a border crossing. New Mexico doesn't want you to have any question that you are passing from Texas into New Mexico - Land of Enchantment.

Following Route 66, Santa Fe was a place we had never been to and we decided to spend part of a day there. We arrived around noon and headed to the central square all Western Towns tend to have.

The Palace of the Governors building encompasses one entire side of the square and houses many street vendors selling anything authentically native - I hope.

Palace of the Governors, Santa FeCentral square - Santa Fe, NM

Here is a picture of the square - town businesses all face this square - and Patty is barely visible by the garbage can, in front of the tree trunk

This time we were told by both our daughter Danielle and our niece - artist Danielle Wood - that we had to stop at the Meow Wolf Museum in Santa Fe. Since they were open until 10PM, we got there about four in the afternoon and wound up spending more than four hours in this bizarre, colorful, fun museum. Just like the City Museum in St. Louis, we have a number of pictures on a separate page - for those interested. Click on either picture below to access additional pictures.

This museum was opened in 2016 and a number of local artists - including some of Danielle Wood's friends - contributed. There is a story being told through the museum, but it will take real detective work to figure out what is really going on. The museum consists of a house, with various and very strange entrances and exits within it. The rooms you go through are even stranger. The decoration reminds us of someone with some bizarre visions and weird ideas of reality.

The first picture shows Patty in front of the entrance. The second picture is of Craig 'playing' a series of bones like a xylophone - yes it is a musical instrument.

Patty at the Meow Wolf MuseumCraig playing bones in Meow Wolf Museum


Larry & Christie, Craig & Patty at Iron Springs Cafe, Prescott, AZ

Our first overnight in Arizona was near Prescott. We stopped there because we wanted to visit with our cousins Larry & Cristie Wood and to see their new home.

It was desert living at its finest, even though all the boxes hadn't been unpacked yet. We all went to breakfast at the Iron Springs Cafe - previously the Prescott Railway Station, but moved to its present location.

Then it was into Prescott's central square, where Patty & Craig made a full circuit and stopped at Marino's Mob Ice Cream Parlor. Craig simply had to try some - it was delicious.

Then on to Phoenix, where we stayed with our friends Mike & Marilyn. Patty had picked up a Christmas Tree ornament for Marilyn and they both decided the place on the tree where it belonged.

Craig in Marino's Mob Ice Cream Parlor, Prescott, AZPatty's Christmas ornament gift to Marilyn, Phoenix, AZKim & Fred, Bradon, Craig & Patty in Tempe, AZCalifornia Border checkpoint station

Monday evening - our last day on the road - we saw Fred Wood's family ( ...well we didn't see his daughter Danielle, or his son Nick...) Kim & Fred, her son/grandson Bradon, Craig & Patty. Here we have all finished dinner and are trying our best to hold our stomachs in.

The following day we crossed into California and were relatively soon back at home.

Everything was ok and we turned into 'bums' for a while. That's it until the next adventure.