Don’t leave home with­out one …

The Southern Gazette - - EDITOR’S VIEWPOINT - Ge­orgina Par­sons is a re­tired travel agency owner/man­ager and Travel, Tourism and Hos­pi­tal­ity col­lege in­struc­tor. She can be reached at Box 1239, Grand Bank, A0E 1W0; e-mail: ‘georgina­[email protected]­’ or by call­ing (709) 8323499.

An up-to-date GPS that is! If you’re go­ing to be driv­ing at any­time dur­ing your va­ca­tion, make sure you have one of the new ones that gives you free life­time traf­fic and map up­dates.

Un­for­tu­nately, on our re­cent trek to north­west­ern On­tario and Win­nipeg, Man­i­toba we took one we bought 6-7 years ago. Ev­ery­thing was work­ing great un­til we hit New Brunswick and SAM (as I called ours for s… au­to­mated male) started lead­ing us astray, try­ing to get us to go off the new Trans Canada High­way at ev­ery exit.

I dreaded what it would do when we got to Mon­treal, as on all other trips we man­aged to go wrong our­selves (the fault of this fe­male not read­ing the maps cor­rectly ac­cord­ing to her hus­band) and al­ways missed the en­trance to the tun­nel. But luck­ily SAM steered us right through it this time.

How­ever, on the way back, ap­proach­ing Mon­treal from a dif­fer­ent direc­tion as we came back via the 401, in­stead of from Ottawa, we went astray be­fore the tun­nel – I wanted to come back via the USA but as we had a new truck with no plates on it, hubby wouldn’t chance cross­ing the border.

Any­how, we soon were back on track and on the cor­rect route home.

SAM also tried to lead us astray in Thun­der Bay, but I re­mem­bered the route and wouldn’t lis­ten to him.

But he did man­age it in Sault Ste. Marie though. And God bless his heart, he did steer us right in Win­nipeg, which was a good thing as be­ing in the mid­dle of down­town Win­nipeg at rush hour is not a place to go wrong.

Then there was Kitch­ener-Water­loo, a night­mare to be sure. We went round and he kept send­ing us back to the same in­cor­rect spot.

I kept eras­ing the his­tory and en­ter­ing the cor­rect ad­dress, fi­nally af­ter what seemed like for­ever, we got out of the city and back on the TCH, only to find our­selves in the mid­dle of a traf­fic jam, which went all the way past Toronto.

It took as four and a-half hours to travel 90 kilo­me­tres – and peo­ple do this ev­ery­day on their way to and from work!

Not for me … give me a lit­tle ole New­fie out­port any­time.

Other than traf­fic woes, and ve­hi­cle trou­bles, we had a great trip.

We stay in Kenora, a beau­ti­ful small city on gor­geous Lake of the Woods in north­west­ern On­tario. May 24th long week­end is the be­gin­ning of their lu­cra­tive tourist sea­son.

The weather was gor­geous – sunny and in the mid-20s – now if only our tem­per­a­tures would more like that!

The lilac, cherry and ap­ple trees were all out in full bloom. The wa­ter foun­tain in the lake near the har­bour front was turned on, spout­ing wa­ter high into the air. The mari­nas around town were filled with plea­sure boats.

There were pri­vate jets and float­planes com­ing in daily, as the cot­tage own­ers re­turned for the summer sea­son to their mil­lion dol­lar homes on the lake’s 14,000 is­lands.

The large statue of ‘husky-the-musky’ was polished and ready for pic­ture tak­ing. (You can’t be a tourist in Kenora un­less you get your photo taken un­der­neath the large fish statue.)

Un­til a few years ago, the TCH went through town; now you have to exit onto the old TCH (Hwy 17), which is only a few yards away and this will take you through it. It is well worth the de­tour.

Ev­ery Wed­nes­day dur­ing the tourist sea­son, there is a large farm­ers’ mar­ket on the har­bour front and through­out the sea­son there are sev­eral ma­jor fish­ing tour­na­ments held there. Their annual Har­bour­fest celebratio­n takes place the first week of Au­gust.

Win­nipeg is just a two-hour drive west of Kenora. While there, we en­joyed vis­it­ing the large zoo, the Forks’ mar­ket­place and, of course, there is great shop­ping with sev­eral ma­jor malls and lots of places to eat and stay.

Dur­ing the win­ter, one can watch the Win­nipeg Jets place at the MTS Cen­tre, also where ma­jor con­certs are held, and in the fall you can take in a Blue Bombers’ game at the sta­dium.

But best of all was spend­ing time with our daugh­ter and grand­chil­dren! Ev­ery mo­ment with them was pre­cious, as we don’t get to see them of­ten enough.

As for SAM, I gave him to my son so he can find his way around the Penin­sula, hav­ing re­cently moved here from Gan­der – I don’t think the roads around here have changed all that much so SAM shouldn’t lead him astray.

This is my last reg­u­lar col­umn while I fo­cus more time on writ­ing my new book of short sto­ries en­ti­tled ‘A Life So Changed: A col­lec­tion of sto­ries’.

I hope you all have a pleas­ant summer. Be safe.

And if you’re not plan­ning on tak­ing a va­ca­tion, be a tourist at home and visit your local tourist at­trac­tions, mu­se­ums and din­ner the­atres.

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