Sunday, May 27, 2012

C, eh? N, eh? D, eh?

So, near the beginning of the month, I took a short (read: one day) excursion into the province of Ontario which, as you geography nerds would (and should) know, is a part of our northern neighbor, Canada.  (Cue Ralph Wiggam singing...)  The purpose of this trip was two-fold:  first, to make sure everything with my passport was in order.  Some of you may recall the issues surrounding my passport when I initially applied for it five years ago so I could join my best friend, Esther, on an English excursion.  (And thanks again to Juli and Emily who went above and beyond to help me get what I needed in time!) I wanted to be certain that there were no lingering issues that might prove a hindrance to my traveling to Costa Rica in June.  (Luckily, I crossed the border both times without a hitch!)

The other reason for going is because I'd never been.  The last time I was close enough to the border to cross over was when our family went to Niagra Falls back in 1999 (Yeah, back before 9/11, before stricter passport laws were enforced, back when one could cross the bridge there and get back without a passport...).  Unfortunately, by the time we reached the Falls, the bridge was closed for the day (or maybe it was temporarily closed for repairs; I forget).  Whatever the case, we couldn't cross over, and my chance to go to another country was thwarted.  When I moved here, though, I realized the border is not really that far off- only a little over 2 hours, which would be like driving to St. Louis or KC from Columbia.  So I figured, why NOT go?  Thus, on a day off of work, I hopped into Frankie and ventured into the exotic (read: nearly identical) land of Ontario, Canada.  For the past few weeks, I have been telling some of you that I will blog about my international/intracontinental adventure.  Finally, here it is, in all its photographic glory.

Here is a view of New York from the Canadian side of the St. Lawrence River.  The drive north was lovely- especially since the trees were finally covered in green, and there were some lovely wildflowers blooming along the roads.  Once I crossed over the river into Canada, the drive reminded me a lot of the drive to Nauvoo- on one side, a wide, rolling river; on the other, quaint, lovely country homes surrounded by trees.  In fact, one of the only things that indicated to me, as a driver, that I was NOT in the U.S.  was this:
(Note the colorful fabric rectangle flying above the porch.  Many houses I drove past had similar rectangles of fabric displayed.)
(Okay, the road signs are different, too... but once I hit rural roads, there weren't as many of those to remind me...)

( Brockville's City Hall building)
 Now, because it was to be a day excursion, I didn't venture very far- just to the small town of Brockville.  Like most small towns in the U.S., there wasn't a lot of very touristy things to do there.  However, being a long-time admirer of old architecture, I found plenty of great buildings to photograph.  Here are some of my favorites:

This is a fantastic, huge white home right on the main drag (a little past the downtown area).  Despite looking a little like the house in Beetle Juice, it is a house I would LOVE to call my own!

These are some of the cool, old buildings that dominate the center of the downtown area, right by the town hall.  (Don't you just love that fountain?  I think more cities need to have a fountain centrally located!)

 These are two churches, nearly identical, that happen to be right across the street from one another!  (I forgot to check the names to see if they were of the same denominations...)  I love the way they both look!  And it's hard to tell in these photos, but some of the roof tiles looked almost iridescent in the sunlight.

After wandering around downtown for awhile, I found the Brockville Museum, which cost about $5 to get in, but had a lot of interesting information and artifacts to look at.

An antique fire engine.

A car called the Briscoe ("The Aristocrat of Small Cars") that was actually manufactured in Brockville.

A hearse, also built in Brockville, that made me think of Scrooge... ("Merry Christmas, governor!  Merry Christmas...")

Since Brockville is right on the St. Lawrence River, rowing was undoubtedly a popular sport.  (This boat reminded me of Must Love Dogs, in case any of you happen to have seen that film...)
A printing press (Yeah, being a book nerd, I'm always fascinated by these!)  

I just thought these doors were fantastic!  (I don't remember if they had any historical/cultural significance to Brockville or not- they're just beautifully carved and stained!)
 Finally, after a lot of wandering around in such nice, warm, sunshiny weather, I headed back home!
(The sign welcoming me back to the good, ol' U.S. of A.!) 

Now, only about 14 days until my next international adventure!!!