Saturday, June 14, 2014

Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada June 9-13, 2014

We are headed to Chagrin Falls OH for a month to tend to family business. On our way to Ohio we took a few days and had a lovely visit to Niagara Falls.  We stayed on the Canadian side and traveled over to the US side one day, just to see the falls from a different viewpoint. 

We had read that Canada Customs for RV's could be more intensive, but  30 minutes while we waited behind the 'Yellow line' outdoors with Tiger seemed a little much to us.  They rummaged through our rig, truck and truck bed and of course found nothing.   And Bob and I sort of giggled as they asked us to put out the slides enough to walk though the rig but with the slides not fully extended, not all cabinets were accessible.  OK, we fully admit, we think this stuff way too much.  Seriously, 30 min, seemed excessive for some old folks in an RV.

It seems to rain here a bit and we were lucky, we thought, on our adventures, as we mostly caught the breaks between storms.  When we did get a little wet it was not bad as it was 70 degrees outside.

We did the tourist thing one day (Canadian side).  That consisted of the Horn Blower boat tour (pretty neat as they bring you right up to the base of the falls), the White Water Walk also really cool as we got to stroll along the class 6 water rapids that feed into the falls which was beautiful.  Our one day ticket also included the behind the falls tour - a tunnel that looks into the gushing white water (sort of a reminder of a snow filled TV screen in the day) and a 4 D movie of the falls (a simulated boat tour where you were both rained on and snowed on).  Both of these last tours were interesting in their own way but we would not, personally, pay to do these had they not been in a grouped ticket.  That said, they were both still enjoyable and wet.  Three of our four tours included disposable rain ponchos, aka plan to get wet. Our second adventure day in Canada included a walk along the falls with more photo ops.  While there we lucked upon the opportunity to see a "Stomp" show.  What a neat treat.  Stomp is a percussion/dance show with all sounds made from common things like brooms, pots, and plastic tubes.  If you are not familiar with Stomp check out this YouTube Video Stomp  We so enjoyed the show that day and we also got to view the Falls one more time.  We finished with a lovely Seaood brunch at the Canadian Casino with crab legs, raw oysters, shrimp, clams, salmon, sushi, and every seafood dish one could dream up- even seafood lasagna and lobster ravioli.  The food was quite good, most especially the Canadian Salmon. 

Spray of the Falls Water on the
Horn Blower Boat Tour
Class 6 Rapids-White Water Walk
Looking into the water fall from a tunnel
Behind the Falls Tour
Niagara Falls viewed from the Canada Side
Niagara Falls viewed from the Canada Side
Niagara Falls viewed from the Canada Side
Flowers along an Ontario sidewalk
A local Canadian Squirrel - Love that color
Niagara Falls viewed from the Peace Bridge
Niagara Falls viewed from the American Side
Niagara Falls viewed from the American Side
Niagara Falls viewed from the American Side

We are off  to Ohio for a bit of work.  We expect to be back on our traveling adventures around mid-July.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

March 2014 - June 3, 2014: A Special Tribute to Bob Werner Sr.

Since our last post we have been to the Cape Hatteras area and Kitty Hawk.  While there we got a call that Bob's Dad fell ill while on a Caribbean cruise.  He was air evacuated from Cozumel back to the US.  We headed back to FL to assist in his recovery and we remained there from the end of March until the end of May.  While sadly Bob Sr. passed, we saw him every day for 6 weeks.  These bonus weeks we had with him were such a gift. 

This post is a tribute to a wonderful man, father, grandfather and most important, a true friend.  Bob Senior touched so many people in such a positive way.  While he was buried with full military honors at West Point (attended by all the kids and grandkids), he will remain with us always as we travel on.

Robert Rehm Werner

Robert Werner, age 88, of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, died May 6, 2014, after a brief illness. He was born June 1, 1925 to Minerva (Rehm) and Louis Wolf Werner and grew up in Yonkers, New York. He was their only child. His parents lived frugally on his dad’s teaching salary so that the family could travel. By the time he graduated high school he had traveled with his parents to all the states (48 at the time), Canada, Mexico, South America and Europe. He kept this love of travel to the final days of his life. In the last two years he traveled with one or another of his children to France, Italy, Scotland, Egypt, Turkey and Central America. Two months before he died he was zip lining in Honduras.

After graduating high school he enlisted in the Army in 1943 and went to Europe with the 86 th Infantry Division and was wounded in combat in Germany. He won an appointment to West Point (signed by General Eisenhower). Graduating in 1950, he was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers. He married his high school sweetheart, Leila (Wilson) Werner on June 7, 1950 at West Point following graduation.

He made the Inchon Landing with the 62nd Engineer Construction Bn in the Korean War, and later served in Japan, Germany/France, Greenland, and Korea again after the Pueblo Incident. In 1964 he was assigned to the Office of Chief of Engineers and returned for a second tour, focusing on water resources and environmental impact in planning. He held a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Texas A & M, was a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas, and was awarded a PhD in Economics from South Dakota State University. He retired from the Army as a full Colonel in 1973, and wanting to test some of his ideas in civilian life, joined Dalton, Dalton, Little and Newport, consulting engineers, to head up their Planning and Environmental Systems Group. In 1982 he left Dalton and founded SEMCOR, Inc. a strategy consulting firm, and later SEMCOR, Europe.

Throughout his life he was a good synthesizer, able to bring multiple disciplines and viewpoints to solve problems. Over his many decades he had a continuing interest in engineering, planning, strategy, peace and religion. His book, "Designing Strategy: The Art of Scenario Analysis, 2010" reflected his vision and perspective. 

He was an avid tennis and bridge player, and achieved Bronze Life Master in bridge.

After his children were grown, he became the patriarch of the family in the best sense of that word. He kept a far-flung family together through summer reunions, daughter winter getaways, guys’ golf, holidays and adventures. Everyone willingly came not only because it was great fun, but because the Colonel said so. The interest, love and acceptance he consistently showed to each member of his large extended family made him a role model for all of us.
"Over the years I've done a fair amount of reading and writing about religion and the church. Recently I came across a small cross that I considered a work of art. The sculptor artist that designed and made it calls it Trinity Cross. My modified interpretation of the cross and Trinity is light, live, love. Light in the sense that we have intellect, reason, the ability to question, the ability to think. All of this we might attribute to the Holy Spirit, God, that is with usLive in the sense that we must use the talents that we have usefully to make our way in the world, care for a family, and contribute. All as we might say God would have us do. And love as Jesus preached to be compassionate, care for others, deal well with others. The cross is a nice little artifact and I like to wear to remind me of these things.” -R.W.