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August 20, 2011     Times
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August 20, 2011

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By - Lorene Stoll Christy, Deana and I flew out of Peoria, changing planes in Chicago before flying to Syra- cuse, New York. We arrived in Syracuse about noon, collected our luggag and then found our rental car. We then headed to Canada to spenda few days in Montreal and Quebec City. It is very windy on our drive there. It was almost like a dust storm that we have here some times. We arrived in Montreal about rush hour. The traffic was heavy, but after driving around a little while we found our hotel in the Chinatown District. We had to park under the hotel and it was very close there. We checked into the room, and relaxed for a little while, while deciding what we were going to do tomorrow. We decided that we would take a tour of Montreal. We then left the hotel and walked around the area for a while and found a place to eat and just enjoy watching people walk around and the nice cool weather. As we were walking back to the hotel, into the wind, it was blowing really hard. It was picking up dirt and sand that was lying on the sidewalks and blowing it into our eyes. We woke up to a cool morning, but we are taking a tour of Montreal that will last about 3 hrs. We saw a lot of the highlights of Montreal like Old Montreal, the Olympic stadium that was used for the Summer Olympics of 1976, Mt. Royal Park Lookout, St Josephs Oratory, McGill University, Chinatown and the University of Montreal. After the tour, we went back to Old Montreal, ate lunch, and then walked around the area and then back to the hotel. We then walked to one of the many underground shop- ping malls that they have in Montreal. We spent some time looking around the mall and then decided that we would go to the Casino de Montreal. This is on an island. What a big com- plex this is. It consists of several buildings. The main building is 5-levels with restaurants on Auguat 20, 2011 National Bowlin the top level. While on any level you can walk down a hallway into another building that has 3 levels and if you can't find enough places to gamble you can go into another building that is 3 more levels. This is for the serious gambler who isn't satisfied with just a few machines or tables to play. We ate alight supper and then went back to the hotel for the night. Friday morning we are up early as we are going to take a bus tour of Quebec City and it is a three hours drive over there. We started out on the wrong foot when we got to the tour station. The bus was 45-50 min late; as the original bus driver didn't show so we had to wait for another driver to get there. This driver was not happy about doing this tour and he showed it most of the day. When we arrived in Quebec City, we stopped and picked up our tour guide. We then had a one-hour tour of the city, then went for lunch. As our tour guide was leaving us after lunch, she explained to us how to find our way around the city. We ate lunch and then drove to the St. Lawrence River area for a tour on the river. After the boat ride we went back into the city and were on our own for about an hour or so. Then back on the bus for our ride back to Mon- treal. It is now about 9pm as we arrive back in Montreal only to find that they have closed some of the streets, because they are having a bicycle event going on. It was a real challenge getting back to our hotel. Of course, we have not had anything to eat since lunch and are hungry, so we find a little something before we retire for the evening. Sat morn, we kind of slept in for us and then walked down to the underground shopping mall. This is so unique because at street level there are busi- nesses, but underground there is a huge mall of several levels. We only walked through a small portion as you could spend the whole day there and not cover the complete malL The mall goes on for several blocks that are all connected. There is also the Metro stops under ground too. The mall is relatively easy to find omae  know what to look fo And, it keeps you out of the winter gfier. When we left there we walked thru China Town, then back to our hotel for a pit stop and then off to Old Montreal for the afternoon. We spent the whole afternoon there just meandering around watching people We also saw about 6 different wedding par- ties having their pictures taken in the area-which is the most beautiful place in the city, so we were told. Walked back to the hotel to relax and clean up a little before going to a local steakhouse for supper. Sun morn we are up and out of Montreal in good time. We were not affected by the closing of any of the streets for the bicycle event that was going on. We were back in the good ole USA in about an hour. We are going back to Syracuse a different way this lime. We are going to Albany to meet with Rachel Leimbach for lunch. Rachel lives in the Albany area. We drove thru the Adirondack Mt., which was a very pretty drive. We called Rachel as we neared Albany and met her for lunch and had a nice visit with her. After hmch we bead back to Syracuse, driving along the Erie Canal for  miles. Got to Syracuse in good time, found our hotel, checked in, then decided that we would find the convention center, which is were we will be bowling, then asked around about someplace to eat. We decided on a local Mexican eatery. This was housed in an old church that has been turned into a restau- rant. This church was part of the underground railroad for slaves escaping to freedom. Some very interesting history in this old church. After eating, we drove around Syracuse and finally found Syracuse Univer- sity. The University sits on top of a hill and is a really beautiful Mt. lhflasM Times campus. It has several new building, but several of the old original build- ings are still there also. Then back to the hotel for the night. Monday, we decided that we would drive north to 1000 Islands that is very near the Canadian border. We ate lunch there and then went for a two-hour boat ride around some of the 1000 Islands. We saw some of the millionaire homesl crossed into Canadian waters and got a short history lesson about the area. Then ?.hey let us off at Boldt Castle. This castle was being built by one of the owners of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel for his wife. Four years after the building of this castle started, it was suddenly stopped because his wife had died. The castle was never finished and the family never returned to the Island. The castle remained empty for over 60-years. Now the Bridge Authority owns the Island and they are trying to refurbish the castle according to the original plans. The castle has 127 rooms, servants' quar- ters, a powerhouse and a small castle for a playhouse for the children. All the money that is received thlu admissions to the Castle is used for the refurbish- ing. We spent quite a bit of time on this Island, enjoying the, castle and the grounds. Then it was back to shore and our drive back to Syracuse. We ate supper and then drove around the area some more, before heading back to the hotel. Tuesday morning we were a tittle lazy for us and just took our time getting going. We drove about an hour to take a ride down the Erie Canal. We went thru a lock on the canal, turned around and then came back thru the lock again. It was a beautiful day and a very enjoy- able ride. We also had a small history lesson while riding on the barge. As we left our ride, we decided to find the casino in this area. We ate supper, then, lost our money in the casino before heading back to Syracuse for the night. Wed morn we are up early as we have to bowl today. This is the second year that we are bowling at a convention center. USBC rents the convention center, then brings in the lanes and scoring system and puts them together for us to bowl both team and singles and doubles here. The convention centers are better equipped to handle a large crowd like this event draws than most bowling alleys are. So for this bowling tournament this seems to work very well. I did not bowl. Christy bowled good and Deana bowled so-so. When we left there we went back to the hotel to relax and change clothes. It is really hot here today, so we decided that we wanted to play miniature golf, so found one and played one round. They had an ice cream stand next to the course, so we had some ice cream, then drove back to the hotel. Thursday morning we are up really early as we bowl at 7am and are supposed to be there one hour before. We bowled our 6 games this morning, then left in a hurry to get to the airport to catch our flight home. When we got to the airport, we found out that our flight had been cancelled because of bad thun- derstorms in Chicago. They booked us on another airline and finally got us to Chicago. Then we find out our flight from Chicago to Peoria was delayed. We got back to Peoria a couple of hours late and still had to drive home. We had a good trip, and bowled ok. We just want to know who is paying the airlines to keep us from getting back home. We have had this prob- lem before and are just wonder- ing. It seems that we never have any trouble getting awajfrom "home to where we are going, but have trouble getting back home. Oh well. Next year, we are back in Reno. 9