US-Canada Trip 2022 Day 7


I’m writing this post on my phone as opposed to my laptop. I’m not sure how it’ll look, so bear with me.

I traveled to 3 states yesterday. That must be some kind of record or maybe that’s just me because I’m from Western U.S. and the states are huge compared to the east. Anyway, we crossed into the US early in the morning after we were grilled by the custom officer.

He asked why, of all the cities in the whole world, we chose to visit Toronto and Ottawa. I don’t remember being grilled like this when I returned to the US after visiting Canada 5 years ago or is that just typical manner of the people on the east coast? Mom said he was just doing his job but really?

It certainly left a sour taste in my mouth.

We drove through New York and Pennsylvania before getting to our destination – Washington Crossing State Park in New Jersey. It surprised me by how green it was. Perhaps, it’s because I’m from out west where there’s little to no rain.

I loved the greenery and seeing the autumn colors starting to peek through. It was one of my purposes of the trip.

I’ve always wanted to see the place where George Washington crossed the Delaware river as depicted by the famous painting but it turned out, the painting had exaggerated the event as often history does. It was certainly a good history lesson and I learned quite a bit from this little history tour.

Which brings me back to why I’m writing this post on my phone. I stayed at the worst motel in the history of worst motel last night in Bordentown, New Jersey. I requested for a non-smoking room and the moment I entered the room, the smell of pot and smoke hit me like a punch in the face. I told front desk and all he did was spritzed air freshener in the room.

After he left, I discovered not only could I not get wifi in the room but my cell signal was gone too. It was like being sucked into a black hole. Normally, I wouldn’t mind a night without internet but I happened to need to modify the itinerary which involved modifying a few hotel reservations and I can’t do that when I don’t have internet.

After complaining to the guy and showing him the room was a black hole, he switched me to another room. Still, the smell of pot and smoke hit me when I opened the door. I’ve stayed at plenty of bad motels before but this is by far the worst.

Well, I’ll reporting from Philadelphia for the next 2 days. Hopefully, my living accomodations improves.

US-Canada Trip 2022 Day 6


Between Mom’s snoring and feeling cold due to lack of covers, I got a very poor night sleep the night we arrived in Ottawa. The cons of sharing a bed with my mother – she wrapped the covers tight around her because she was cold while I just had the thin blanket sent up by request.

Anyway, the day forecasted rain so I wanted to see as much as I could of Ottawa before it starts to rain. We walked down to the Rideau Canal to see the canal locks. When I was studying for my Civil Engineering and we talked about the locks at Panama Canal, I couldn’t imagine what those locks looked like. Well, I have a pretty good idea now.

The picture above was one of my favorite pictures that day despite the gloomy sky. This is the Alexandria Bridge. On the other side is Gatineau – part of Quebec Province. I love the variety of foliage colors even though I am slightly disappointed that I haven’t seen much autumn colors yet despite the autumn equinox was a few days ago.

I almost forgot our surprise that day. We had planned to tour Parliament Hill but it was closed. As we continued to walk up the street, we found men and women dressed in kilts and were practicing their pipes. I tried to ask around to find out what was happening but just my luck, everyone I talked to was a tourist like me and they either didn’t speak English or they, too, were just as clueless as me.

I tried to Google it on my phone, too, but had no result.

Then the parade began. Men and women walked down Wellington Street in either a police uniform or in kilts.

In the meantime, mom has developed a dry hacking cough. She was cough every few seconds. At the same time, she was having leg pain. I told her a few times, “if you must rest, rest,” but she was adamant, saying she has traveled this far to see Ottawa, not to lie in a motel room.

I felt frustrated to had to stop every few minutes to look back to see her grimacing at the pain while hacking a cough or two. It made me feel hopeless because I couldn’t help her. It also made me feel frustrated because she was throwing tantrums as well.

By the end of the day, I am starting to feel an itch in my throat. I sure hope I haven’t caught whatever’s got mom because my swollen gums have just gotten better. I don’t want a hacking cough and who knows what else.

US-Canada Trip 2022 Day 4-5


For date reference, day 4 is referring to September 23 and day 5 is September 24. I think this is more for me than for anyone in particular.

As I wrote in this post, I felt like the trip had gone downhill after day 3. Even with the spectacular views from CN Tower on day 4, I can never compare those views to that of the Niagara Falls.

After CN Tower, we took the street car up to Toronto Chinatown. I have been to only two other well-known Chinatowns so far – Los Angeles and San Francisco – and I’ve come to expect rowdy behavior from the senior residents of Chinatown. Still, it was a bit disorienting and with Mom constantly wandering to God-knows-where, I had to be on my toes every second.

Can you tell my anxiety level has been pretty high during this trip?

After finally grabbing a bite, we walked a few blocks down to Toronto City Hall. It was my idea because I needed a photo of the Toronto sign in the Nathan Phillip Square to prove I’ve really been to Toronto. I don’t know about you but have you ever had to prove to someone that you’ve really been to a certain place?

I have. From then on, I’ve always photographed the sign of the place I’ve been to.

That afternoon, on the way back to the hotel, I received a call about my car. At first, I thought they were calling me to notify me my car was ready to pick up but it turned out they broke something while dismantling the car door. So now, new parts will need to be orders and who knows how long that’ll be. I became so anxious after the call. I know I should had been but I was.

Day 5 aka my birthday was spent driving from Toronto to Ottawa. Mom drove while I sat back and enjoyed my birthday drink from Starbucks – Iced Matcha Latte. I was thankful she allowed me to connect my phone to the rental car so I can play some music instead of listening to the hum of the road and our pathetic attempts of trying to make small talks with each other despite our small talks so far lasted less than a minute before Mom either got angry and started shouting or she got bored.

She also wasn’t feeling well that day and she had to exit in a random town and take a nap behind a Tim Horton (Canadian coffee franchise) while I just sat there, earbuds in, and listened to my music. I volunteered to drive but she wouldn’t let me, most likely still worried about my driving skills after my accident.

We finally arrived at the Ottawa motel at a little after 4 PM. As soon as we had a small meal, mom took some cough medication and went to bed.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #218: Over the Hill


Donna from Wind Kisses is guest-hosting this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge and she is challenging everyone with the topic of Over the Hill.

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CMMC: September Pick a Topic


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US-Canada Trip 2022 Day 3


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CFFC: Curves


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US-Canada Trip 2022 Day 2


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Share Your World – Week of September 19, 2022


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US-Canada Trip 2022 Day 1


The last two days has been absolutely crazy. On Monday, I worked almost 12 hours before continuing on Tuesday with a little over 4 hours to complete my 16 hours of the 40-hour work week.

For the first time in a long while, I felt hectic, trying to get every customer billed and all the payments reconciled. I am a billing and accounting specialist, in case you haven’t figure that out. I send bills to customers and reconcile payment for a living.

I am writing this post prior to getting on my first flight from Salt Lake to Las Vegas. From Vegas, I’ll have a 4.5 hours layover before boarding another flight to Buffalo, New York. Of the airports I have been to so far, the Salt Lake airport has the best Wi-fi. So I’m taking the opportunity to type this on my laptop with a physical keyboard.

Anxiety-wise, I think now that I’m sitting in the airport, sipping on an iced chai latte, I am feeling a better, not near-hyperventilation like a few hours before. In fact, I had been near-hyperventilation for the last few days.

I was getting cold feet about trip. There’s so many worries. As much as I tried to relax and look forward to my long-awaiting trip, my anxiety, as always, was holding me back. Darn you, anxiety! Always causing misery. Why can’t you leave me alone?

So many things to do, my brain kept telling me. You can’t go. I barely slept the night before my flight. My brain kept me all night with about a million thoughts. Why didn’t you purchase carry-on luggage for the flight? There’s no way you will bill all these people before your flight. You can’t place your trust in those people to take care of your garden.

All night long. Just thought after thought. Ugh!

I spent Tuesday night on the flight to Buffalo, New York and will be there at 5 AM. Hopefully I will get a few hours of shut-eye during the flight.

Sunday Poser #98 – Living Boldly


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#SundayStills: #Closeup on Garden Raspberries


I cannot believe the day has at last arrived!

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #217: Opposites


Tina is the host for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge and she has chosen the topic of Opposites.

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Friday Thoughts


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CMMC: September Color – Bright Pink or Magenta


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CFFC: Photos in 50 steps or less


The garden is always less than 50 steps away.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Truthful Tuesday 09-13-2022 on a Wednesday – Music


Di from Pensitivity is the interim hostess for this week’s Truthful Tuesday and the topic for this week is all about ways to save money in these times:

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Sunday Poser #96 – Driving Style


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Share Your World – Week of September 12, 2022


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#SundayStills: Monthly Color – #Apricot


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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #216: Urban Environment


Sofia leads this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge and the topic she’s chosen is Urban Environment.

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Losing a Friend


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CFFC: Found in Nature


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