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Saturday, 20 August 2022

Courtyard Hotel Rosebank

Courtyard Hotel Rosebank Johannesburg South Africa

 Location:
Joahnnesburg, South Africa
Address:  39 Tyrwhitt Avenue, Rosebank
Date:  October 2018
Website:  www.clhg.com

  We travelled to South Africa in hopes of seeing as many different animals as we possibly could.  The first place we visited when we arrived was the Rosebank section of Johannesburg. We stayed in a Courtyard Hotel across the street from a busy shopping centre.  Little did we know that behind the gates of our hotel we would be introduced to so much wildlife.

Spider On The Wall Courtyard Hotel Rosebank South Africa
 
    Upon arrival, we checked out our room and found we were not alone.  On our wall we spotted a spider.  We generally like spiders as we hope that they will eat other flying pests.  We took a photo for later identification.  The best we can determine is it is a type of wolf spider and harmless.  It kept to itself patrolling the walls.
 
Black Jumping Spider Johannesburg South Africa.
 
    Above the window we spotted another spider.  This one appeared to be a black jumping spider.  It didn't jump at us when we took a closeup picture.  Enjoy your stay little friend.
 
Courtyard Hotel Doorknob Dolls Johannesburg.

    Our favourite thing that we found on the walls during our stay in Rosebank was these three ladies.  They were dolls designed to fit over the doorknob and let hotel staff know if we needed anything or just wanted to be left alone. 

Leopard Tortoise Rosebank Johannesburg

  After settling into our room, we headed outside and walked towards the main entrance.  Coming along the pathway was a leopard tortoise.  He stopped and gave us a look and then lumbered along.  This tortoise was a permanent resident.  His shell was far too big to fit under any fences.  He seemed perfectly content, but if he wanted to escape his only chance would be to make a break for it when security opened the front gate for a guest.  Security opened the gate for us to leave.  We looked back as we crossed the street and headed to the mall.  We didn't see any tortoises following us.

Beautiful Jacaranda Trees In Johannesburg South Africa
 
    As we returned to our hotel we were able to get a good look at the jacaranda trees that line so many of Johannesburg's streets.  We were lucky to be visiting during September to November when the purple flowers bloom.

Looking Up At A Jacaranda Tree in Johannesburg.

    These beautiful trees are not native to Africa, but came from Brazil.  The first jacaranda were said to be brought here and planted in 1888.  There has since been a ban on planting more but every year the streets of Johannesburg still turn purple.

Cape White Eye Sits In A Jacaranda Tree.

  As we returned to our hotel we noticed a cape white eye sitting up in one of the jacarandas.  These small greenish-yellow birds have a bright white circle around their eyes.  We wished that we could see the jacaranda from the bird's vantage point high up in the branches.

Common Myna In Johannesburg South Africa

  Another bird we spotted up in the trees was this common myna.  It had chosen a less colourful tree to make its perch.  This bird is also known as the Indian myna and is now an invasive species found all over the world.

Cape Robin Chat Rosebank Johannesburg

  Sitting on the edge of a bench in our garden was a cape robin chat.
 
A Cape Sparrow In an Eavestrough.
 
     Up on an eavestrough was a cape sparrow.  South Africa has many bird species whose names start with cape. It was done to represent that they came from the old Cape of Good Hope and Cape Province that made up a large part of South Africa.
 
Tortoise Courtyard Hotel Rosebank South Africa

    The next morning we walked along the edge of the garden to see who was visiting today.  We spotted the tortoise just sitting still in the leafy garden.  His busy day had yet to begin.

Hadeda Ibis Rosebank South Africa.

    This morning there was also another visitor walking through the grass.  It was a hadeda ibis.  They are named for their loud call of "HA-DE-DA" which many South Africans use as their early morning wake up alarm.  We did hear them calling out at various times, but they never woke us up.

Hadeda Ibis On The Roof Of Rosebank Courtyard Hotel.

    This hadeda did give out a cry as it flew away.  We had returned to our room, but we rushed out and spotted the ibis now perched up on the rooftop.

Go-Away Bird Rosebank Johannesburg.

    We continued our walk along the edge of the garden.  We heard another unusual noise and looked into the trees.  There was a grey bird hidden in the branches making a sound that sounded like the last whirl of something that had been wound up.  "Whirrrrrrrrrr".  The bird sounded most displeased.  It is called a go-away bird and perhaps this is why.  We were happy to spot a cat lingering beneath the tree the bird was sitting in.  At least the bird's displeasure was not directed at us.

Karoo Thrush Courtyard Hotel Rosebank Johannesburg

    As we walked along the garden wall we saw some dirt falling from up above.  A small bird was busy kicking dirt out of the eavestrough.  We didn't take this personally as we were quietly walking along so the bird probably didn't know that we were there.  It did fly down to give us a closer look.  The picture (above) isn't the best, but this is a karoo thrush.
 
Snail In The Drain Courtyard Hotel Rosebank

     Near the pool area we spotted this rather large snail.  It was just hanging out in a drain.  Thankfully no wildlife was taking a swim in our pool.
 
Speckled Mousebird Johannesburg

    At the end of the garden we saw another grey bird and expected to get a good talking to.  It turns out that this was not a go-away bird but a speckled mousebird.  It is smaller than a go-away bird and has a different hairstyle and a darker face around its eye and beak.
 
The Garden Of The Courtyard Hotel Rosebank.

     The next day we were off to see some large animals such as lions, giraffes and elephants.  We also enjoyed our time visiting some of Africa's smaller wildlife within the walls of our hotel.

Map of Our World
Courtyard Hotel Rosebank

Post # 314

Wednesday, 20 July 2022

Canadian Tire Turns 100

Canadian Tire Turns 100 Celebration

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address:  169 Bastedo Avenue
Date:  July 2022
Website:  www.canadiantire.ca

  This year Canadian Tire is celebrating their 100 year anniversary.  Canadian Tire stores sell more than just tires and have been providing automotive, hardware, houseware and sporting good needs to Canadians for a century.  As part of the celebrations, they worked with local residents in order to turn a Toronto street into a giant beach party for the Canada Day weekend.  Up and down Bastedo Avenue there were giant inflatable pool floats on every front lawn.

Flamingoes Bastedo Avenue Canadian Tire Celebration

   We are not sure how the theme for each yard was chosen.  Did the homeowners help set up the displays or did Canadian Tire send in a team?  There were lots of yards with flamingo filled displays.

Yoga Flamingoes Canadian Tire 100 Years Celebration

     Some of the flamingoes were more chill than the others.  The flamingoes above were taking part in a yoga session. 

Dinosaurs Canadian Tire 100 Celebration

     Another popular theme was dinosaurs.  In the corporate world some may say that Canadian Tire is a dinosuar.  Meaning that the company is old, not that it is no longer relevant.
 
Dinosaur Bastedo Avenue Canadian Tire

  Canadian Tire is far from extinct.  Despite being one hundred years old, their website boasts over 500 stores and that 90 % of all Canadians are only 15 minutes away from a Canadian Tire store.

Blue Canadian Tire Truck With Ice Cream.

  Parked up and down the street were some brightly painted pickup trucks.  This blue truck was full of ice cream.

Pink Canadian Tire Truck Full Of Beach Balls.

    This pink truck was carrying a load of Canadian Tire beach balls.

Yellow Canadian Tire Truck With Crocodiles.

    There was a yellow truck carrying a flamingo, a pineapple and a pair of crocodiles.

Canadian Tire Unicorn Floaties.

    Seeing a unicorn was not an unsual thing on Bastedo Avenue that day.  The largest unicorn floaties were up to 16 feet long and could hold about 5 adults.  One of them would take up the whole pool and leave no room for little Johnnie to test out his water wings.

Peacock Bastedo Avenue Canaidn Tire 100 Years.

    One of the yards had a nice display with a single peacock in front of their bushes.

 A Flock Of Lawn Ornaments Canadian Tire Celebration

    Other yards did not subscribe to the theory that less is more.  This yard had quite the flock and variety of birds.  If Canadian Tire is offering you free lawn ornaments why say no?

 Canadian Tire Bastedo Avenue Umbrellas In Yard.

    Another yard had a whale and a variety of umbrellas.  Luckily the weather was perfect all weekend or this display may have been picked clean by people needing to "borrow" an umbrella.

Llama Floaties And Giant Donut Canadian Tire 100 Year Celebration.

    We started to get a bit hungry as we walked past donuts that were half eaten by grazing llamas.

Giant Floatie Melon Flamingo And Pineapple On Bastedo Avenue Toronto

    We started to feel like we needed some refreshment after looking at all these displays of watermelons, pineapples and pink lemonade coloured flamingoes.  

Gelato On The Danny.

    Thankfully at the top of Bastedo Avenue you can find Gelato On The Danny which can stop hunger and provide refreshment all in one shot.  With gelato cups in hand we headed back south through the beach party once more.

Snail Sprinkler Canadian Tire Walk Slow.

   A sign beside a giant snail told us to walk slow.  Not a problem now as we worked on eating spoonfulls of our gelato.  We were wondering how these floaties stayed upright and if you just kind of hung through the snail shell.  Then we checked the Canadian Tire website and realized these are actually sprinkler snails.  You hook it up to your hose and jump through the hoop to beat the summer heat.

Inflatable Cows From Canadian Tire 100 Year Celebration

    There was one yard where a group of inflatable cows had been properly fenced in.  Much safer than the flamingoes, unicorns and dinosaurs allowed to just roam free in other front yards.

Canadian Tire Chalk Drawing Bastedo Avenue

    One driveway had a different approach.  Someone has drawn a 3D chalk drawing of a canoe headed over a tall waterfall.  These types of drawings mess with your perspective and trick your mind.  We are not sure if the chalk was donated by Canadian Tire.

Killer Whales In A Canoe At Canadian Tire 100 Years Celebration

    There was a yard which had killer whales inside canoes and on a floatation device.  We are not sure why these intelligent creatures would need this mode of transport when they are such excellent swimmers.  Most likely they had just recently displaced the human occupants.

Summer Of The Century Celebration

     Canadian Tire has called this their Summer Of The Century Celebration.  We hope they have more events like this across Canada so everyone gets a chance to help them ring in their one hundreth year.


Map of Our World
Summer Of The Century Celebration

Post # 313

Monday, 20 June 2022

Kick-Ass In Hamilton

Capri Pizza Hamilton Ontario

 Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Address: 25 John St N
Date: May 2015
Website: capriristorante.ca

    The Capri Restaurant in downtown Hamilton has been there since the early 1960s. We have visited several times through the years and it has undergone some changes.  We were once allowed to take a peek at the famous Blue Grotto room upstairs which is designed like a blue cave.  We have also been lucky enough to visit the site of a historic ass kicking in the parking lot out back.  Sadly, this appears to have been turned into a construction site building new condominiums.

Capri Pizza Old Look Hamilton Ontario

    When we first visited Capri it still had its original look.  A mural on the wall, round tables and bright colours with dim lighting.  It has since been renovated with a more modern look.  Change is always inevitable. 

Capri Pizza & Spaghetti Sign Hamilton Ontario

     The wall at the back of the building was painted to read Capri Pizza & Spaghetti.  In the movie Kick-Ass, this is where Kick-Ass comes across a couple of car thieves and makes his first attempt to be a hero.

Capri Pizza Parking Lot Hamilton

     Unfortunately, Kick-Ass and his baton are no match for the two thieves.  Kick-Ass ends up getting stabbed in the stomach.

Capri Pizza Parking Lot Hamilton.

    As his attackers run away, an injured Kick-Ass stumbles out into the street.  Now for a bit of movie magic.  Note the interlocking brick roadway.  A car hits Kick-Ass and he flies up over the roof.

Mary Street As Seen In Kick-Ass In Hamilton

    Kick-Ass lands with a thud on the ground.  Not only is he now lying on an asphalt road, but he is also two blocks over on Mary Street.  The car that hit him speeds away past the Hamilton Vision Centre.  The movies mix a bit of reality with fantasy.  You can visit what is left of the Capri Pizza parking lot and area, but be sure to come inside and enjoy a very real meal.


Map of Our World
Kick-Ass In The Street , Capri Pizza Parking Lot
Capri Family Restaurant

Post # 312