Thursday, July 6, 2017

April was THE month part 2

Last fall we planned a geneolgy trip to Canada with mom and dad.  We were excited because Mom's family was from Lindsay area and Garry's was from Hamilton.  We decided to stay in Toronto which was right in between the two places.  I found us a three bedroom house to rent on Trip Advisor and we booked out tickets and were set to go Spring Break of 2017.  We had a layover in Chicago going to Toronto, but a non stop on the way back. 

Our first day consisted of meeting up in Hamilton with Garry's cousins whom he had never met.  We had been in contact with some of them, Penny and Henry Cormier mostly through Christmas letters and emails.  She is the family record keeper and was more than excited to show us what she had.  We met at the cemetery where most of Garry's aunts and uncles and grandparents were buried.  It was quite extraordinary meeting his cousins.  We could see a lot of personality traits evident in them and Garry.  Phillip (the guy in yellow) was a go getter.  He and Henry brought stuff to clean and dig crevices around the graves.  They got right to work finding and clearing them off so we could take photos of them all. 
They knew where a few were, but most they just knew the general area and so we had to track down and find several graves.  They had brought incense and did a ritual where they lit the incense and bowed three times in front of the graves to honor the dead.  We all participated in this ritual.

This is Penny

We had a lot of talks and teachings about the ancestors at the grave sites.
Dad was especially chatty as this is his expertise...geneolgy.
We had a group photo at the end before we headed to downtown Hamilton. 
Garry's grandfather owned and operated a laundry mat for years.  Some of his cousins remember living on the top of that building.  It was sold in the 70's and is now a restaurant, but 149 James Street is the address of living on all of our records of them.
This is the back of the building.  It was about three stories high and this is where the children of grandfather lived with their families.
After seeing this, we went to Penny's house and scanned in a bunch of her photos and documents.  Her house was beautifully decorated with Asian flair and evidenced her Chinese ancestory.  She never had children.  I loved seeing all the Chinese stuff.

Cynjyn enjoyed looking through the various photo albums. 

And Dad loved showing her Family Search and Ancestory and getting her started on those websites. 

All in all, the kids enjoyed this trip the most.  They loved hearing and learning about that side of the family and the traditions and seeing everyone. 
One day we  adventured to a castle in downtown Toronto.  Garry did a great job driving us everywhere, but downtown was super busy and scary...after this day he said no more sight seeing downtown.  Anyway, I loved the castle!!  We had our own audio tours and could go at our own pace.

We stayed together at the beginning, but by the end we got split up. 

It was beautiful and fascinating.  The royalty had an obsession with the Greek Gods and so a lot of that was incorporated into the ornamental features. 
They had one of the first heated showers.
See that top watch tower, we were at taking the photo from the one on the other side of the castle.  You had to hike up some crazy winding stair cases to get to the top, so mom and dad opted out, but we had a blast.

We took a selfie in this one of the one we had just come from.
See that redish building down the street?  That was the royal stables.  They built an underground tunnel to it.  This is where we were headed to. 
Here we are in the tunnels.

And we made it, see the castle in the background where we just came from?  It was so cool!!

The stables where they kept the horses were super fancy and boy were those horses well taken care of.

Another day was spent in Lindsay. Many of mom's cousins were there to meet us.  We met at a museum that opened just for us as it was closed on Tuesdays and gave a history of the town. Then we went to lunch and then to the graveyard.  It wasn't as fun as Garry's because they knew right where the graves were and Dad already had most of the information from these graves. 

But then we went to the old homestead where Mom's ancestor grew up.  It is now owned by random people but they were nice enough to let us come in and have a look around. 

They had found this sign in one of the barns when they moved in and cleaned it up. 
They had done a lot of renovations to the house, but this was the original door from the mudroom into the kitchen.
Another group photo on the front porch.
They were bee keepers and this is one of the original bee houses.  One of the ancestors formed Burt's Bees.
It was a beautiful part of the country. 

Mom thoroughly enjoyed the tour as did the rest of us.
One day we ventured into Port Hope.  It was the port town where her ancestors landed when coming from England.  It was a quaint little sea town and we dropped dad off at the archives center and we wandered.  We ended up at a bakery.
We went down to Lake Ontario.  It was cold and windy, but super cool.

We went to a unique store while dad was searching and got some cool photos.

And we ended the day with a bite to eat at a world famous place called Olympus burger. Non of us really liked it though, but hey, we can say we tried it. 
We saw this sign on the way out of town and decided to stop and get a photo.  It was a fun day.
Our last major adventure was Niagara Falls. That place was cool.  We heard that the Canada side is the best one to visit.  As we could look over and see the USA, we agreed that this side WAS indeed way cooler.  We had signed up for a tour that included a walk behind the falls, a motion movie on how the falls were created, a boat tour to the bottom of the falls and a butterfly exhibit.  We also had a bus pass that let us on and off to get to the various places. 

Our favorite by far was the boat tour to the bottom of the falls. 

We got soaked, but boy was it fun.

Luckily, we had brought PB & J sandwiches and chips and fruit for lunch and enjoyed a bite while waiting for the bus to take us to the butterfly exhibit.
That place was pretty fun.

It also had a little owl exhibit in the guest area. 

That was Tanner's favorite part. 
This little cute butterfly was on the glass as we walked in and looked like a scary creature's eye and made us a little leary to enter, but we were glad we did.

Waiting for the bus to go back, it was a long day but beautiful!
We went back to Toronto and I texted the owner of our house for restaurant recommendations and he told us of this little local Italian place and we gave it a try.  It was pretty good. 

We were so greatful that we made time to go on this genelogy trip.  We had been talking about it for a few years, and we just needed to make the time and go and it did not disappoint!

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