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Sunday 30 October 2016

Dead Zone Gazebo

Gah-zee-boh  Do you like that word Alma?

Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada
Address: Queen's Royal Park
Date: July 2016
Website:  www.notl.org/content/parks-recreation-faqs

   Niagara-on-the-Lake is a popular tourist destination.  The beautiful little town draws crowds year round.  One of the big draws is a gazebo that looks out over the lake from Queen's Royal Park.  The gazebo was actually built for the 1983 movie The Dead Zone and has remained in place ever since.  In the movie, Johnny (Christopher Walken) emerges from a coma to discover that he has the ability to see past and future events when he comes in contact with a person.

King And Delater Street.

  Johnny touches the hand of a woman who has been murdered in the gazebo and suddenly he sees what has happened to her.  He sees the woman walking along the pathway that leads from King Street into the park.

Old Fort Niagara.

  He sees the killer standing and looking out across the water towards Old Fort Niagara.  Old Fort Niagara is located in the United States just across the mouth of the Niagara River.  The fort has been there since the early 1700s.

Toronto across Lake Ontario.

  On a clear day, you can look across the lake and see the skyline of Toronto.  The distinctive CN Tower stands out above all of the other buildings.

I stood there. I saw his face.

  Johnny sees the killer call the woman up to the gazebo.  As the woman is attacked, Johnny tries to save her.  He is jolted out of his vision, but not before he sees the killer's face.  The killer is...

She knows him. Not Scared. She knows him.

  We won't spoil the movie for you. You will just have to watch the David Cronenberg directed film or read the Stephen King novel on which it is based.  When you visit the gazebo you can be glad that it was only a fictional murder.  If that still makes you uneasy, you may also be glad to know that the original gazebo was replaced near the end of  2015.  What stands today is a much sturdier, wheelchair accessible replica.

Map of Our World
Dead Zone Gazebo
Queen's Royal Park
Old Fort Niagara

Post # 142

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Las Vegas in the Fall

Falling Leaves Inside The Shops at Crystals.

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Address: 3720 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Date: Nov 2012
Website:  www.simon.com/mall/the-shops-at-crystals

  Everything is larger than life in Las Vegas. That includes the leaves falling from the ceiling inside The Shops At Crystals.  The mall was still decorated for the fall season when we visited.

Falling Leaves.

  Giant leaves hung from the ceiling and looked like they were about to land upon us.

Catch My Fall.

  They looked as if you could reach out and grab them while they floated down to the stores below.

The Pumpkin King.
This is Halloween.

  Below the leaves were some pumpkin-headed figures who looked like relatives of Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas movie.

Falling Leaves Inside The Bellagio Conservatory.

  Autumn was also the theme inside the Bellagio's Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.  The Conservatory changes its displays seasonally throughout the year.


  The Conservatory was filled with bright displays featuring flowers and pumpkins.  There was also a water wheel turning in the middle of the displays

Pumpkin made of Flowers.
 Water Wheel.

  Instead of pumpkin-headed gardeners, the Conservatory has a talking tree that greets visitors as they walk past.

Welcome to Bellagio's world famous conservatory.

  One tree was all sparkles and water and it reminded us that winter would soon be on the way.  When that happens the conservatory would be full of sparkle, representing ice.  The people of Las Vegas may even have to brave temperatures as low as 8 degrees Celsius.

Sparkle and Shine.

Map of Our World
The Shops at Crystals
Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

Post # 141

Thursday 20 October 2016

The Ben Jungle

Deep within the Ben Jungle.

Location: Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Address: Benleigh Drive
Date: Oct 2016
Website: ben-nevis.com

  There is an area of Scarborough, Ontario that is known as Bendale.  Inside that area is a group of streets that all start with "Ben".  In fact there are 15 streets that start with "Ben".  These streets are tucked in between McCowan Road on the west, Bellamy Road on the east and Lawrence Avenue to the south. This area has become affectionately known as The Ben Jungle.  We decided one day that we would explore the deepest, darkest corners of this so called jungle.

The Benroyals have declared that no trucks shall pass.

  We entered the jungle on Benleigh Drive and drove past Benroyal Crescent.  No trucks are allowed on Benroyal Crescent.

Ben!  Benny! Benorama!

  We turned onto Benorama Crescent and then found ourselves on Ben Doran Boulevard.  Benorama sounds like it was named by Rob Schneider's Photo Copy Guy character from Saturday Night Live.  Ben!  Benny! Benorama! Makin' copies!

Have you seen our missing dog?  His name is Benji.

  Next we were on Benary Crescent.  We think that this street name should be pronounced like canary.  There was a lost dog poster on a pole as we came across Benroyal Crescent again and we started to wonder if we were headed in circles.  We hoped there would be no missing posters put up for us in the near future.

Beware of hobbits at Benshire & Ben Nevis.

  We turned onto a street called Benshire Drive.  A shire, according to The Lord of the Rings books, is a place where Hobbits live in Middle-earth.  Next we passed Ben Nevis Drive and wondered why some "Ben" streets were written as two words while others were mashed into one.  Looking online afterwards we determined that Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles and is located in Scotland.  Also located in Scotland is the Ben Doran Guest House.  It would be very interesting if someone who grew up in Scarborough started a Bed & Breakfast in Edinburgh, Scotland and named it after their old street.
Small bursts of Fall.

  There was one tree that was changing colour for the fall.  We continued on along Benshire which then took us through the hydro field.

Barenaked in the Hydro Field.

   We have determined that this is one of the roads where the Barenaked Ladies filmed their Lovers in a Dangerous Time video.

Alright kids time for attendance.  Benjamin?  Benicio? Benard? Bentley? Benson? Benita?

  We reached Bendale Public School and saw our first non "Ben" street name.  Across from the school was a road called Bellchasse Street. While the street did start with "B", we knew we had gone too far north. There is also a North Bendale Public School, but it is not located in the jungle.  We turned around and drove until once again we were surrounded by "Bens".

Judah Ben-Hur Crescent

  The next street we encountered was Benhur Crescent.  Ben-Hur was a famous film starring Charleton Heston and known for its climactic chariot race scene.  Again, we are not sure why it appears as one word in the Ben Jungle.

Why no Benheavy or Bendarkness?

   At Benlight Crescent we turned around again and headed in a southern direction until we hit Ben Alder Drive. 

Hydro equipment atop the summit of Ben Alder Drive.

  Ben Alder is another mountain range in Scotland.  Some of these names are starting to make sense.

What is the Benprice of Benhomes on this Benstreet?
Benfrisco, somewhere in the jungle.

  We drove further south through the jungle and passed Benprice Court and Benfrisco Crescent.

Escape from The Ben Jungle.

  And then we saw it.  A way to escape the jungle.  We had made it!

Where have you ben?

   We had arrived at the corner of  Ben Stanton Boulevard and Lawrence Avenue East.  Who knows how long we had ben gone? We checked our map and realized we had only visited 13 streets.  We had no choice but to head back into the jungle once more as somehow we had missed two small courts.

A Benlark is a small songbird like a Benary.
 I Benadair you.  I double Benadair you.

  After one more drive along Benleigh Drive we located Benadair Court and Benlark Court.  Now our mission was finally complete.  We had quite an adventure in the Ben Jungle.  You won't realize how much fun it can be until you have ben for yourself.

Bendale Blvd. below the Ben Jungle.

  There is one more street which is related but for some reason not connected to the rest of the jungle.  South of  Lawrence Avenue and Danforth Road,  Seminole Avenue becomes Bendale Boulevard if you follow Seminole eastward..

Also for those of you that prefer a travel guide before venturing into the jungle, here it is.  The fastest way to travel through the Ben Jungle without missing a single "Ben".

Enter the jungle from Benleigh Dr. at McCowan Road.  Drive past Benroyal Cres. Turn left onto Benorama Cres.  Look right before you turn or you will miss Benadair Ct. Turn left onto Ben Doran Blvd. then right onto Benary Cres.  Make a right turn on Benshire Dr. then go left on Benleigh Dr. Continue past Ben Nevis Dr. and at the intersection of Benlight Cres. and Benlark Ct. turn leftTurn around in the court and then turn right at Benleigh Dr.  Head past Benhur Cres. and turn at Ben Alder Dr.  Turn right at Ben Stanton Blvd.  You will drive past Benprice Ct. and Benfrisco Cres. before finally escaping the jungle at Lawrence Ave. East.

Map of Our World
The Ben Jungle

Post # 140

Saturday 15 October 2016

Beau The Giraffe

Hello Beau.

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Address: 1 Franklin Park Road
Date: Sept 2013
Website:  www.zoonewengland.org/franklin-park-zoo

  Beau, the Masai giraffe, towers above the visitors to Franklin Park Zoo.  The zoo offered a chance to feed Beau and we were excited to take part.  Due to some signage issues, we missed the morning feeding but the staff at the zoo was helpful and squeezed us into the afternoon feeding.

Giraffe Measuring Stick.

  Beau the giraffe stands about 17 feet tall.  He is about three feet taller than his mate Jana.  The couple has a baby named Henrietta who was already 8 feet tall and rising.

39 Feet of Giraffe.

  Henrietta and Jana were in the yard with Beau, but Beau was the star of the show. 

Feeding Time.

A special elevated platform had been built so that zoo visitors would be up at giraffe level for the feeding.  Henrietta was too small to reach up to the platform and Jana just wasn't interested in us.

Big-hearted Beau.

    Beau was waiting for us as we walked around to the feeding tower.  As we got up nice and close we realized that he has an enormous head.  A giraffe head is about 2 feet long.  That also happens to be about the same size as their heart.

Feeding Beau.

  Beau loved eating squash right out of our hands.  A zebra shared the enclosure with the giraffe family.  He looked like he would also be interested in a handful of squash.  He hung around just in case Beau dropped anything.  Sorry our little striped friend, but Beau easily got every last piece with his giant tongue.  A giraffe tongue is about 21 inches long.

Beau blow.

  Beau also seemed to love sneaking up on people while they were posing for a photo with him.  He would give a big puff from his nostrils right on the back of their neck.  Giraffe are beautiful creatures and Beau had a great personality which endeared us to him right away.  He truly was a gentle giant.

Map of Our World
Franklin Park Zoo (Giraffe Feeding)

Post # 139