Our trip into Ontario was made for one special reason: to meet Laura and Carm, "good friends we had never met".
They are "anytime" RVers. They share their Ontario home with three sweet dogs and one Amazon Grey Parrot.
Laura often shares some of her creative writing on her blog Pursuit of Idle Pleasures, along with tales of their camping trips and other adventures.
Laura and I have followed each other on Blogger for several years. In fact Laura was the first person to comment on my blog.
I knew in my heart that we would hit it off with these two, but our compatibility was almost over the top!
Carm and Craig shared many thoughts and past experiences in the computer world, including assembly language, PDP-10 systems, and a programmer's evolution as he gains experience and skill. From similar starting points, Craig's career drilled down into computer hardware and architecture, while Carm soared upward into databases and enterprise (corporate) applications.
Laura and I were instantly comfortable with each other. I think we chuckled about our men a few times when they weren't around.
We parked the Alfa in their driveway, and for three days were total guests.
We arrived on Saturday and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon talking and enjoying the warmth of summer. I was delighted by the fact that Carm was as interested in American politics as I am, and holds many of the same opinions on what is happening.
[From Craig] I was hoping that such a political pairing would not develop, as it had the potential to dominate the visit. The wide-ranging conversation Saturday night went on delightfully longer than any of us expected.
On Sunday they took us to Upper Canada Village, a heritage park that depicts 19th-century village life in Upper Canada.
Their good friends and neighbors Trudy and Leo met us there.
[From Craig] Trudy and Leo are not connected in any way with the following plaster statues.
We started by going through the exhibits in the welcome center.
Then we wandered through some of the many restored buildings that have been moved there from locations in the area.
Costumed docents gave short talks in each and were quite available for interactive questions. I felt very much like I was talking to people from the 19th century.
While at the village, we watched the "Musical Ride Show" put on by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The horses are bred and picked for their conformity of size, color and gait. The riders are mostly young men and women, who train together for several years.
The performance of precision drill patterns that were set to music, and reminded me a bit of some of the police motorcycle demonstrations we have seen in the US. But horses make it better.
After the show, people were given the opportunity to meet the horses and riders up close. I of course told this fine fellow he had done a beautiful job.
On Monday, Carm and Laura took us on a driving tour of downtown Ottawa, and then the four of us visited the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Laura's father Olaf is a volunteer docent, and gave us a personal tour. He is a retired doctor and works at the museum a few times a week.
Here Olaf gave Craig a few pointers about the cockpit controls in a demonstration model.
I have been to several aeronautic museums, but this was better than the others because we had such a knowledgeable guide.
The weather was very hot while we were visiting. Something I did not expect to experience in Canada! But it was not nearly as hot as it was in the southwestern US at the same time. It did cool down at night, so we were comfortable sleeping in the Alfa without air conditioning.
On Monday evening we were treated to dinner at Trudy and Leo's home. Somehow we didn't get pictures of the Canadian Goose burgers we had. Their property is a farm, and Leo hunts, mostly on their land. The gooseburgers were very good, moist and tasty.
One of the best benefits of blogging, and reading the posts of other bloggers, is making contacts and new friends. It is a real treat to be able to meet people like these.
We now have a very good reason to come back this way again someday, but even if we can't do that, these special people will be in our hearts as good friends who we have met in person!
Yes, you too Grace!