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Saturday 30 May 2015

Captain John's

Captain John's Harbour Boat Restaurant.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada 
Address: 1 Queen's Quay West
Date: Oct 2006

  Captain John's Harbour Boat Restaurant has been floating at the foot of Yonge Street in Toronto for about 40 years.  The ship's real name is the MS Jardin and it used to be a cruise ship before sailing over from Yugoslavia to take it's place as part of Toronto's waterfront.

Right this way for Captain John's Seafood.

  We went to eat at the restaurant once.  It was much later in the life of the restaurant when it was no longer the glory days.  We enjoyed ourselves, but we both agree the meal tasted more like we were eating at someone's house rather than in a restaurant.  On the way out there was a chance to win a free dinner for two so we threw a business card into the bowl.  Sure enough we got the call.  We went to eat at the restaurant again.  While the food tasted the same, our stomachs were thankful both times that it never felt like we were on a boat.  Lake Ontario doesn't usually get that rough, especially on a large ship moored in the harbour.

Nighttime at Captain John's.

  Time passed on and eventually Captain John's Restaurant was closed.  There was much debate on what to do with the now vacant ship.  The boat was unable to move under her own power and had never moved during her entire stay in the harbour.  It was finally decided that the ship and this part of Toronto's history must go.  In May 2015, tugboats pushed the ship out into the lake.   The whole thing was hauled off to the scrap yard with Captain John himself standing on the deck waving goodbye.

I said Captain. He said Wot.

This location is near Queens Quay station. Visit other Toronto TTC stations.

Map of Our World
Captain John's

Post # 54

Monday 25 May 2015

Halifax Public Gardens

Halifax Public Gardens Bandshell.

Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada 
Address: 5665 Spring Garden Road
Date: July 2006
Website:  www.halifaxpublicgardens.ca

  It was the perfect summer's day to relax in the park.  Our plan was to do nothing but walk around downtown Halifax.  We walked through the wrought iron gates of the Public Gardens and it wasn't long before we realized what a beautiful place it was.  We walked over a small bridge and stopped to admire the view.  A small stream flowed under the bridge past trees, flowers and miniature buildings.  The stream was also home to many of the park's resident ducks.

Bridge View Halifax Public Gardens.

  Three ducks managed to steal the show.  Below they are devising a plan to get our attention.

Quack Quack?  Quack. Quack. Quack!

And then they put the plan into action as a duck parade began and marched right across the pathway in front of us.  Well done! Attention received!  We followed the parade deeper into the gardens.

  Before we go further, one more word about these ducks.  We have determined that these were mallard ducks.  We also noticed that the heads of the two males were blue and not the traditional green.  It seems that there is much debate over this on the internet, much like how one person might see a dress as gold while another sees it as blue.  Some people claim that the blue is just a trick of the light reflecting a certain way.  Others have stated that the bright green is caused by the high testosterone levels in the ducks and that these blue headed ducks must therefore have lower testosterone levels.  A third option is that we have completely misidentified them and these are not mallard ducks at all.  All we know is that they put on one heck of a parade and it wasn't long before the ducks lead us to another pond.

Boer War Fountain Duck Pond

  In the center of the pond is the Boer War Fountain.  It was erected in 1903 and has a soldier standing at the top of it to commemorate the Canadian soldiers who served in the South African War.  At the base of the fountain is a pond filled with ducks.  We also noticed many other birds in the gardens.  There was a Toulouse Goose being watched over by a pigeon and an American Pekin Duck waiting by the pathway hoping to take part in the next parade.  After following the birds around, we finally took a seat on a bench near the bandstand and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon.

Toulouse Goose & Pigeon.
The next one will be along any minute now.

Map of Our World
Halifax Public Gardens

Post # 53

Wednesday 20 May 2015

Mykonos Windmills (Bourne Identity)

This your store?  It's nice.  A little hard to find.

Location: Mykonos, Greece
Address: Mykonos Windmills
Date: June 2000
Website:  caprice.gr

  During our visit to the Greek island of Mykonos we stopped by their famous windmills.  These windmills were originally created to use wind power to grind wheat.  Today they stand as one of the most recognizable features of the island.  We recently discovered that the picture above is the only one we have that includes any part of these windmills.  You can just see one of the blades and rope from the windmill that we were standing beneath. This is back in the days before we owned a digital camera so we are still going through old shoe boxes and albums in the hopes that something may turn up.
  What we did capture perfectly is the scooter rental store from the end of The Bourne Identity.  In reality it is a restaurant called Sea Satin Market.  We know that the movie was still filming in 2001, so we expect that we beat Bourne to the island by about a year.  This restaurant is where Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is finally reunited with Marie (Franka Potente).  Franka Potente is best known for her role in the wonderful film, Run Lola Run, where the story unfolds in 3 possible outcomes.  In The Bourne Identity, Marie rents a couple of scooters out front and then turns and heads inside.  She starts to tidy up the store when Jason suddenly appears in the doorway.  As the couple embraces the camera flys out away from the building and Extreme Ways by Moby starts to play.  We finally get a glimpse of those Mykonos windmills and then the credits begin to roll.
  Do you think there are more pictures somewhere in that other box ?  
Oh baby.  Oh baby.  Then it fell apart. It fell apart.

Map of Our World
Sea Satin Market
Mykonos Windmills

Post # 52

Friday 15 May 2015

MUSIC - Rock Lobster

Somebody went under a dock and there they saw a rock.

Artist: The B-52's
Song: Rock Lobster
Released: 1979
Where to listen: East Coast, Snorkeling, Aquariums & Beach Parties

    The B-52's were the first successful band to hail from Athens, Georgia.  They would be the most successful if it weren't for a band called REM.  While REM may have sold more records, The B-52's are much more fun.  This song is great for parties and summertime travel.  It would be perfect if you were at the beach with boys and bikinis and girls and surfboards.  This song also works when visiting any fishing towns in the Maritime provinces of Canada or the North-Eastern USA.  We visited a 55 tonne lobster in Shediac, New Brunswick that is sitting on a huge rock.  Now that is a rock lobster!
  This song is also great to help kids learn all the fish noises when visiting an aquarium.  The ending of the song is sort of an Old MacDonald of the sea.  Instead of moo, quack and oink it gets a little more complicated.  Let's look at some of the lyrics.

Here comes a stingray (wok ahh whuhh)  - The noises are hard enough to imitate let alone write downBelow are two southern stingrays from the Toronto Zoo.

Hey ray, what do you say?

There goes a manta ray (aya aya ayah) - Manta Rays are the largest rays and can reach widths of up to 23 feet.  We have never seen one or heard what it sounds like.

In walked a jellyfish (uuhhh) - We have seen lots of jellyfish, but they always seem very quietThe picture below is of a Japanese sea nettle from the New England Aquarium.  We don't know if Japanese jellyfish sound different or not, or if this one has been in Boston long enough to pick up an accent.

Mind mah stingahhs.

There goes a dogfish (reeawr) - Dogfish are a type of small shark.

Chased by a catfish (blrroooh) - The catfish below are from Sea Life London Aquarium.  You can always tell a catfish by its whiskers.  Actually those whiskers are not hair but skin.

You were expecting we would say meow?

There goes a narwhal (eehh  eehh) - A narwhal is a whale that lives in the Arctic and has a long tusk.  We did see this one on display at the Royal Ontario Museum.

Bye Buddy.  Hope you find your Dad.

While the song Rock Lobster may not be as educational as this blog post, it is always lots of fun no matter where you are vacationing.  Oh, and remember to watch out for that piranha!

Watch out for that piranha. (yayayyaayayayooo)

Map of Our World
Toronto Zoo (Stingray Bay) , New England Aquarium , Sea Life London Aquarium
Royal Ontario Museum

Post # 51

Sunday 10 May 2015

Late Show with David Letterman

From the pages of blogger.com, It's the Late Show with David Letterman!

Location: New York City, New York, USA
Address: 1697 Broadway Ave.
Date: May 2003
Website: www.cbs.com

  David Letterman has been a part of late night television since 1982.  Originally his show was on NBC, but years later it moved to CBS.  His NBC show was called Late Night with David Letterman and now it is called Late Show with David Letterman.  The Late Show is filmed inside the Ed Sullivan Theater on Broadway in New York City.  This is the same theatre where The Beatles performed in 1964 making their American television debut.  Like most late night shows, with the exception of Saturday Night Live, it is filmed in the afternoon.
  We had already successfully called and secured tickets for the week we would be in New York.  We arrived around 3 PM and picked up the tickets.  We then had some time before we needed to return and line up again to get inside.  We took this time to check out the neighbourhood.
    The south side of the theatre on W 53rd Street was starting to be closed off to traffic.  This was because one of Letterman's guests was filming a segment.  Jesse James (Monster Garage) had converted a hot dog cart into a drag racer and they were going to race it down the street.  Also on W 53rd Street is the Hello Deli.  The Hello Deli is owned by Rupert Jee and longtime fans of the show should recognize him.  Through the years he has appeared on the show many times.  Usually a camera comes into the deli and Dave talks to Rupert from the studio.  Another memorable segment was where Rupert went around the city wearing an earpiece and did and said whatever Dave told him to.  In the photo below he is the one in shorts standing just outside the deli door.

Hello Rupert.  Hello Deli.  Hello Dave.

  We returned to the theatre and lined up to go inside.  We ended up being about 6 rows back just in front of Paul Shaffer and the band.  Paul Shaffer has been the bandleader throughout Letterman's late night run and is Dave's official side-kick.  One fun thing about being at the taping is that we get to hear the band's entire performance while those watching at home are viewing commercials. Before the show Dave came out and chatted with the audience until it was show time.
  The episode we watched consisted of Mark Wahlberg promoting his new movie The Italian Job, Jesse James racing his hot dog cart dragster down 53rd street, and a musical group called The Sounds.  Every night Dave does a Top Ten list and on this night it was the Top Ten Good Things About Having the Same Name as a Celebrity.  The show located people whose real names are the same as famous celebrities and had them come up on stage to read the list.  Number one was read by a man named David Letterman. "When people meet me, they say Wow, you look much better in person."

The Ed Sullivan Theater on Broadway.

David Letterman has become the longest running late night talk show host in television history.  It will be about 33 years since his original show took to the air.  He will host the Late Show for the last time on May 20, 2015.  Thanks Dave!

Map of Our World
Late Show with David Letterman
Hello Deli

Post # 50

Tuesday 5 May 2015

Northern Lights Attempt

The Lights of Churchill.

Location: Churchill, Manitoba, Canada 
Address: Joe Buck's Ridge
Date: Oct 2014
Website:  www.everythingchurchill.com

  We went to Churchill to see polar bears and Northern Lights.  We succeeded in seeing polar bears.  The Northern Lights are caused by charged particles entering the Earth's atmosphere.  The resulting collision causes the much sought after light display.  Usually it manifests itself as greenish lights causing waves across the sky.  Unfortunately, for the three nights we were in Churchill, the skies were cloudy.  We slept in our room each night with the curtains drawn back despite the glare from the street lights.  All of this was in the hopes of catching even a glimpse of this spectacle.  

The spectacle of The Northern Street Lights.

  While we were in Churchill, we went dog sledding with a company called Bluesky.   They are located to the south-west of the town.  As we waited for our chance to go sledding we could see the lights from the town to the north.  The lights were giving off a yellowish green glow visible through the trees.  The picture below may be able to fool some people into believing we had captured the Northern Lights, but not us.  We hope to head north again soon and give it a try once more.  Perhaps in Iceland?

The Lights of Churchill

Map of Our World
Churchill, Manitoba

Post # 49