July 4th Weekend 2008
Family Comes to Ontario
by David “Sumoflam” Kravetz
2008: I spent Canada Day (July 1) at home in Kentucky, but some of us
would head to Canada and spend America’s birthday celebrating the wonders of
Canada. Today Julianne joined me in the Explorer and Marissa and Adam,
along with Joselyn, came with us in their brand new Jeep. We left
fairly early and headed north on I-75 from Lexington. It was pretty much
non-stop except for gas stops and rest area stops. But, I did pull a nice
surprise for the Jeep loving Adam and Marissa. Just near Toledo, OH is the
Chrysler Jeep plant. There is a great photo op place…
The Noes showing off their new Jeep in front of
the big Jeep sign near Toledo.
We continued north past Detroit and I thought we (actually I — the others were
along for the ride) would try something else new. I have continued to
search for interesting ways to cross into Canada rather than the old bridge
crossings in Detroit and Sarnia. Through research I discovered a ferry
that goes from Marine City, Michigan to Sombra, Ontario. I had never been
on it, but thought it might be fun, so we took exit 248 (25 Mile Road) off of
I-94 and headed east to Marine City. We made it no problem to the small
ferry. Only twelve cars could get on and take the 10 minute crossing over
the turquoise blue St. Clair River.
Looking across the river from the car. Missy and Adam enjoy the ride.
The little border entry in Sombra, ON. It took us five minutes at customs.
Sunset looking at the US along the St. Clair River on the St. Clair Pkwy heading
north to Sarnia.
It was a beautiful drive along the St. Clair river as we made our way into
Sarnia. We passed a number of viewpoints until we got to the large petro
complexes south of Sarnia. From there we hopped on the 402 and drove
straight to Woodstock. I then threw the next surprise that Julianne and I
had concocted…Adam and Marissa were told they would share a room with us, but
instead had their own room at the hotel…it was so much fun to be able to do
that for them!!
2008: We had a nice sleep after a long drive yesterday and prepared for
our long trip today. Plans were to visit Shakespeare, Stratford and St.
my earlier trip report about these areas).
Our first stop f the day was a visit to
Jakeman’s. The family has
thoroughly enjoyed the maple syrup I have bought back before and so we made a
quick stop so that they could meet Mary and Bob and their family. It was a
beautiful day and it was also different to see the maple groves all with leaves.
Jakeman’s as it looks in the summer time
At left is the Jakeman family: Mary, Bob,
Chad, Kimberly & Devin (not pictured is Stuart)
On the right is Marissa, Adam and Joselyn
Noe, Julianne and David Kravetz (me!)
They even have some new products out: Beaver, Bear and Moose Nuts!!
I used the moose since I have so many other moose things on my sites
From Jakeman’s we headed north through Embro and then to Shakespeare. I
really like this little town. Lots of unique shops, etc. Julianne
and Marissa also seemed to enjoy it. We visited
Bears Am I and I
introduced the family to Sue Gueguen, the master bear maker. She was
working on a quilt bear when we got there and also showed us her “suit and tie”
bears, which come from old suits and ties. These were pretty fun.
Sue works on a bear made from a quilt
Julianne looks at Sue’s workmanship; the suit and tie bear; a bear made from
Inside the shop; a construction worker bear greets us; granddaughter Joselyn
models some “bear” ear muffs
We also went next door to visit Terianne Miller at Funky Junk. She has
accumulated more flamingo things since our last visit.
Funky Junk has some fun stuff…
…including more of the folk art that I am so fond of
These pieces are made by Sharon Ogden of Kitchener, Ontario
We also visited the shop next door to Funky Junk. Though the gal in the
shop was too involved in her book to give us any attention, I did enjoy the
things we saw in Mezzo.
Mezzo has some real fun stuff outside…a yard decorators semi-paradise
A metal sculpture; a glass rendition of Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss”, which is one
favorite works of art; then a crane made from brass and copper
I like the uniqueness of Shakespeare with all of their little shops. Here
is a collection of photos of places in Shakepseare:
A typical house;
Chanticleer; an old antique shop
Bears Am I, Mezzo and The British Touch
And we can’t forget the Quilt Place…Julianne was on this trip mind you
Before we left Shakespeare, we stopped at the highly recommended Rose Marie’s
for lunch. They were celebrating Christmas in July. They all walked
and I drove down there with the car. We enjoyed some great sandwiches and
soup and then finished off with Christmas pies.
Rose Marie’s…Merry Christmas in July
A few of the flowers seen in Shakespeare
From Shakespeare we headed to Stratford. Along the way we ran into another
wood artist’s place…funny that I missed it before. The place is called
Robbin’s Amazing Art. He is one of many Chainsaw Woodcarvers. I
have not actually visited him, but we did stop outside his place and get a few
photos to add to my collection of strange and interesting folk art work. I
really did like his creativity.
Robbin’s Wood Carvings: Bears and angels
Dolphins and eagles
A dancing pig and who knows what?
We made it into Stratford and our first stop was to see the swans. Marissa
was really excited about this and looked forward to getting pictures of Joselyn
with the swans.
Marissa and her third eye
Missy and Adam enjoy the swans of Lake Victoria
A couple enjoys mingling with the swans from their canoe
A tour boat trudges by…and a closer view of the beautiful lakeside home
After seeing the little tour boat, Julianne wanted to go take a ride and we all
thought it might be a pleasant break from driving on the road. The lake is
in a beautiful setting in the midst of Stratford.
Boat tours are taken from the tourist office in Stratford
Paddleboats are also available as are “Boathouse” Cones
Our pilot takes off and Marissa, Adam and Joselyn enjoy the ride
Julianne enjoys a Boathouse Cone while David looks on
Three of the many bridges to be seen on the lake
Long boats are stored on the lake out of reach
A beautiful tree lays on the lake as folks walk along the shore
Downtown Stratford as seen from the lakeboat
One final look at the swans
Stratford has a lot of little shops and sidewalk cafes. Unfortunately, we
didn’t really have time to see them.
A couple of shops and the tower that overlooks the Shakespearean Gardens in
From Stratford we meandered our way to St. Mary, Ontario. Marissa wanted
to see the large murals on the building there.
Some parts of the murals on the side of the community building in St. Marys
The water falls on the river in St. Marys
It was a long day. We soon returned home, but, Marissa being pregnant and
all, she needed to stop. We tried a couple of Variety Shops but they did not
have a public restroom so, here we have…
….Marissa in a pit stop
All photos and commentary expressed are copyright of Sumoflam Productions and David Kravetz. All rights reserved.