Tag: Niagara Region

VanLife - Ontario Yours to Discover

Canada 150 – Ontario Yours to Discover

VanLife - Ontario Yours to Discover
Ontario Yours to Discover – National Steel Company

As our time is drawing to an end here in Ontario, I am torn but excited at the same time.  British Columbia has been my home for so many years and I have been away for almost 3 years now.  Though I was born here in Ontario, it’s never been home.  It’s so difficult to explain to people, but there is a burning inside of me to get back to my home.   There are some very beautiful areas in Ontario, places such as Belleville, or Cottage country, Northern Ontario is breathtaking.  I, however, live in the Niagara Region currently and there is truly so little to offer.

Ontario – Niagara Region

VanLife-Ontario Yours to Discover
Ontario Yours to Discover – Steel City

During my stay here in the Niagara Region, I have been introduced to many different people, some very interesting and some not so much so.  A perfect example was just the other night at Starbucks.  Three young ladies likely in their late teens, talking rather loudly about how they hate immigrants.  I thought this kind of funny since they were not Native Americans, so their families were immigrants somewhere down the line.  They looked over and saw my wife sitting there, and Michelle is from the Philippines.  One would think they would maybe cool it, but no a simple “awkward” and they continued their discussion.  As far as I am concerned this is not the Canada I grew up in.  It sickens me to hear things like this being said by the next generation.  I can somehow understand my parents thinking like that though I would never agree with it.

This is certainly not the first time I have heard such comments.  I have even heard things like that from some of my family.  One reason that makes us want to move from the area.   There is nothing here that we can relate to,  we are explorers, travellers.  Our enjoyment certainly not sitting in the backyard weekend after weekend seeing how many beers we can down.  This seems to be the extent of many in the Niagara Region.

Time to move on from Ontario

Now that we are in the early stages of the summer, and we have been able to work the kinks out of our Motorhome it seems like a perfect time to move on.  Since Michelle is new to Canada, it seems like a perfect idea to do a drive across the country so she can get an idea that there are wonderful places in this country.  There are many places that immigrants can be at home, respected and treated as equals.  I have learned over the years that people become “institutionalised”  where they are too afraid to learn and grow.  Once this happens they become closed to anything new or different and then all that is left is judgement.

Our plan is to depart late afternoon on the 2nd of July, and we are going to do our best to travel no less than 500 km a day so we can arrive in the lower mainland of British Columbia 10 days later.  I have made this trip on a number of occasions, and I have to say there is something so special watching the amazement on someone’s face during their first cross country journey.   I know Michelle took joy when we were travelling the Philippines watching me as we travelled all over Negros Occidental, now it’s my turn to watch her.

Shooting Pictures for Canada 150

VanLife - Ontario Yours to Discover
Ontario Yours to Discover – Quaker City

I am most excited about 10 days free to shoot images as we cross the country.  I am hoping to find the time to shoot celestial images as we cross through the Prairies.  There should be some fantastic opportunities for night shoots, and if we are really lucky there will be some fantastic opportunities for weather pictures.   I am looking forward as well shooting in the mountains if possible.  There is a special spot in my heart for sunrise/sunset and water.  I am wanting to shoot long exposure if possible.  I am also doing a review of a set of presets and brushes for Lightroom so be sure to keep an eye for that review!

Since this is Canada 150, and we have the opportunity to travel across Canada, explore like we love to do.  Memories last forever, those are the only things we can keep with us forever.  Houses, cars, pools they are material, but memories are forever!  I am so looking forward to shooting images as we go.  On “Instagram” I use a tag called #seenthroughyourbedroomwindow, I am hoping to be able to add many shots under this heading.  I love the fact that every day we will have another amazing view to take in.  My sister Deb is coming along with us, and I am very excited about her joining us.  She will be piloting “Little BlueJay” as we make our way across the country.

It All Started in Ontario

As a child, I played competitive hockey here in Ontario, first with the Penetang Jr Kings and then with the Belleville Bulls of the OHL and the Trenton Bobcats their farm team.  I spent most of my teens living with a billet in a different town and travelling by bus to games.  Most of the time I was on the road and I loved that feeling of being on the move.  Later with the Navy, and then of course when I retired I lived abroad.  Michelle keeps asking if I am excited about the trip, and so far I have been pretty calm but I know once I am on the road all of the stress from getting the trip organised will drain away and this will be another trip of the lifetime!

Be sure to follow along with us, enjoy our stories and hopefully many many pictures.  Are you on an adventure want to share? Let me know we would love to hear about your adventures as well!!

Our First Dreaded Knock on the Door

Our First Dreaded Knock on the Door

Boondocking – Our First Dreaded Knock on the Door

Another fabulous weekend behind us living the Van Life.  We spent Friday night Urban Camping in the Niagara Falls area.  Specifically under an overpass with fabulous graffiti covered walls.  If you want to see some of the images be sure to read our previous post.  The second night we were in Jordan Station boondocking on the shores of Lake Ontario, right next to the Abandon Ship, when that dreaded knock on the door came to us.

The Dreaded Knock on the Door

Michelle finished work around 3 PM, which gave us plenty of time to finish the few chores we had before heading off to Jordan Station.  We needed to do some shopping and a trip to World Gym so we could grab a nice hot shower.  If there is one thing I know, it’s how important it is to have that clean feeling, especially when one is on the road.  It takes away the aches and pains and makes you feel human.  Once completed on to the QEW we went. We could feel our spirits lift, as we headed off, knowing how much we wanted out of the Falls even if for a few scant hours.  We arrived at the Beacon Motor Inn area where there is what we learned is a private parking lot of the marina, which we will discuss more in-depth later.

Once we were all set up, dishes completed, Michelle pretty much fell asleep immediately.  I, however, had other plans.  There has been far to much time between my opportunities to get out with the camera to do some Landscape Photography. While we were living in the Philippines, I would be out everyday shooting Street Photography scenes, or landscape and I always had my camera with me.  Living in British Columbia, I would travel as well with my camera every day, even while at work.  The scenery though not as beautiful as the Philippines, but still beautiful.  Here in Ontario though, there are so few things I have an interest in, and at this point, I have shot everything, in the area that I have found accessible.

La Grande Hermine

With Michelle fast asleep I headed down to the La Grande Hermine to shoot some sunset images.  This is an area I have shot many times in the past and I never tire of it.  There is so much to offer, the Abandoned Ship, the breakwater, or the marina, there is always something to catch your interest. I spent a good hour and a half shooting the ship from different angles, some of those pictures you will see here on this post.

With the sky almost completely dark, I made my way back to Freddy.  I took one more shot of the ship, through our dining room window, then decided to dedicate my time to more domestic chores as Michelle caught up on her sleep.  There is one thing for sure and that is this area is lovely in the wee hours of the evening and wee hours of the morning.  My plan for the morning is to get up for 5 AM for the 06:09 sunrise to shoot what I am hoping will be an epic sunrise.  Epic is a word I feel is overused, but when it comes to sunrises it seems to fit the bill.  I have seen sunrises at sea on the Pacific, Atlantic, Caribbean, Indian Ocean, and the South China Sea, so I know when to use that magical word.

Once completed my morning shoot, I headed back to Freddy.  If there is one thing I love to do whenever possible is to prepare breakfast for Michelle.  I made Michelle our usual oatmeal, bran, kasha, nuts and fruit cereal, and a nice fresh coffee press.  After all, we need to have good coffee or there is no point in living!  After breakfast, we crawled back into bed for a nap.

Then it Happened – That Dreaded Knock on the Door

Our First Dreaded Knock on the Door
Boondocking – Our First Dreaded Knock on the Door

Fast asleep, enjoying the warmth from the early morning sun, we were awakened by a pounding on the side of the van.  It had finally happened, that dreaded knock on the door the voice said, “Hey Buddy you can’t stay here!!”  I jumped out of my skin by the pounding, but I knew what it was right away.  I searched for words as I tried to wake myself up enough to respond to the voice outside.  “Move on, you’re in the Way!”

Not to cause problems we quickly complied.  We had a lot of luck this weekend and we knew we would sooner or later experience that dreaded knock on the door.