We arrived back from Japan and both Marilyn and I experienced some serious jet lag after being up for more that 24 hours straight. We should have been eager to go right to bed but our bodies kept saying it was only mid afternoon. As a result we stayed up through most of the next night as well. That was Wednesday and on Thursday July 31 we had tickets to see John Couger Mellencamp at the casino with Dave and Leanne.
Mellencamp was a bit of a disappointment. He was having trouble with his voice so his concert only lasted an hour with no encore. That didn’t stop us from having fun though. We all did some gambling and drinking and got home around 3am. We took a taxi out to the casino at a cost of $55 one way and that was a very good idea and made us very good role models for any youth who may have noticed.
Mellencamp was also a lot older looking than I imagined he would be. I guess I just got his youthful image stuck in my head. Still it was great to hear some of his hits performed live such as Hurts So Good, Jack and Diane, Pink Houses.
Marilyn and Leanne went to bed when we got home but Dave and I stayed up until the sun came up over the lake. They had to be in Whitby for 9am for their son’s game (lacrosse I think). Wow….such troopers. Meanwhile I got to do my second “all nighter” in three days.
By the way, John Couger Mellencamp was born in 1951 and those songs I mentioned were hits in 1982. All in all he had 22 hits in the top 40 throughout his career.
On Friday we went back to the casino to see Smokey Robinson and were blown away by his band, back up singers, dancers and over-all broadway type show. His voice is as good as ever it seems despite him being 74 years old. He sang for more than two hours and did so many of his hits.
On Tuesday (my birthday) Marilyn and I went to Niagara on the Lake for three days but first I want to talk about another group we saw when we came back home. The Moody Blues….. famous for songs such as “Tuesday Afternoon” and “Nights in White Satin” were on tour and we went to see them on August 8th. Once again we got to hear some ‘old dudes’ still rockin’. It was a great concert that had the older audience on its feet.
For those who are interested, the Moody Blues started back around the time of the Beatles and had their first big hits in 1967.
For my 65th birthday Marilyn and I traveled to Niagara on the Lake for three days. What a story-book village NOTL has become. It is full of beautifully restored buildings from the early 1800’s, has a charming down town with great restaurants, and everyone seems so friendly…..cars stop to let you cross the street.
We stayed at a bed and breakfast which Marilyn arranged. It is called Amarula House and has three rooms all named after African animals. Turns out the owners, Dean and Lynette are originally from South Africa. We got upgraded from the Zebra Room to the Cheetah Room after Lynette had a cancellation. It was really quite lovely and spacious. There was also a pool but we were too busy to find time for a swim.
There were three American women staying in one of the rooms and we had some great conversations. They were all elderly, traveling companions, and described themselves as feminists and ‘left-wing’ Obama supporters. Needless to say we got along fabulously. All of us had attended the same play – Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw so we also discussed the play in great detail.
I read a lot of George Bernard Shaw when I was in University but this is only the second time I’ve been to the Shaw Festival. Shaw (1888 – 1950) was, of course, an Irish playwright, novelist, journalist, etc. who was an ardent socialist and often wrote in support of equal rights for men and women and other important social topics.
We rented some bicycles on Wednesday and did a self-guided wine tasting tour. We had all these free tasting coupons so we mapped out our route and started out around 10am (it’s never too early to drink fine wine I always say). What a great way to enjoy the Niagara wine district. The land is also flat so it is not a strenuous bike ride from winery to winery. We actually traveled about 30-35 km and thanks to a network of great bicycle paths, the only thing we really had to worry about was other people on bikes who were also a bit tipsy.
We also took a little side trip to see the Falls. Since living in Livingstone Zambia which is 12 km from Victoria Falls, we often refer to Niagara Falls as perspiration ..ha ha. Niagara Falls has grown a lot since we were there last but it is still just one big amusement part.
We did drop into the Fallsview Casino just to see how it compared with Rama. I played Roulette for about 15 minutes, won $250 and left. I seem to be on a roll these days. My last four trips to a casino over the past three months has netted me over $2600.
Although it was my birthday (which was officially celebrated from August 5-8 this year), I think Marilyn got it mixed up. On the way back to Hawkestone we stopped at the Apple Store in Newmarket where she bought a new Apple Mac Book Pro for her graphic design course. Do you have any idea how much they cost?……wow.
We had a laugh at the Apple Store because it was the second place in a row that seemed to be run by kids. Yup everyone there is pretty young. We had the same thing happen at a brew pub in Niagara region which also seemed to be run by people barely old enough to drink.
Rob and Kelly held their annual Hawkestock music fest at their house on August 9. As always, it is great music, good food, and lots of fun conversation.
We are flying to Saskatoon on Wednesday for a week. Malcolm (our nephew) and Jen are getting married on the 16th. It will be nice to see everyone again. I’ll write a blog when we get back so you can check back if you so desire.
HOPE EVERYONE IS HAVING A GREAT SUMMER.