The Day The World Came To Town

Looking for a good read? Maybe something heartwarming that reassures you there’s still good in the world despite how mean your social media friends have become? This is an excellent choice!

“The Day The World Came To Town” is a first book by Jim Defede. Well researched and beautifully written, this book is officially one of my favorites.

It’s about the Canadian town of Gander (population approximately 10,000) which absorbed about 6,500 passengers and crew from 38 planes diverted to their town when American air space was closed on 9/11.

The people of this and neighboring towns rallied, opening emergency shelters in every church, community center, school and fraternal organization they could find. Residents stripped bedding and towels from their homes to care for these unexpected guests. They took care of quarantined pets at the airport, offered phones and computers for communicating with loved ones, bought toys for the hundreds of stranded kids and operated free taxi services to help people get to the store for new clothes because they weren’t able to access their checked luggage.

They gathered medicine, food, and diapers. Stores donated toothbrushes and toiletries. Locals opened their homes to strangers, inviting them to shower, watch tv or even stay the night. They called them the “plane people” and it seemed that everyone was eager to help make them comfortable and feel welcome.

And they did this for days.

It’s a depressed area and these people didn’t necessarily have a lot to give. However, they gave freely of what they had to help these weary, frightened and stranded travelers who arrived as strangers but left as friends.

A native of my community was on one of those planes and I once heard her recount her 9/11 experience. She told of how the passengers on her plane agreed to pool their resources to start a scholarship fund for the children of the town as a way of expressing their gratitude for the kindness they found here. By the way, she even talked the plane’s crew into letting her use the plane’s PA system to address all the passengers at once.

Donations were made by individuals and foundations to fund new computers for the school, food for the needy, a new roof for a church… the list goes on. But the community didn’t help because they might get something in return. They did it because there were people in need and it was the right thing to do.

Read the book. It will make you feel better and perhaps remind you of what can be done when we all work together.

Toronto Skyline

Toronto skyline.JPG

Isn’t the Toronto skyline beautiful? This is the view from a ferry ride at sunset a couple of years ago. If you’re visiting a city that offers a ferry – even if it’s really a commuter ferry – take a ride! It’s usually just a few bucks each way but offers you a different view of the city and offers you a fun diversion.

This particular ferry took us to Toronto Island Park which was practically deserted that October evening as darkness had all but fallen when we arrived. But we walked around  a bit before hopping on the next boat back and enjoying the city lit up for the night.

This was a trip of many amazing memories and experiences but this inexpensive little boat ride is hands down one of the best things we did.

Niagara Falls: A Tale Of Two Trips

P9307683_editedPretty, isn’t it? I took this picture of Niagara Falls years ago. I was there with my husband at the time and we had a lovely long weekend being tourists in a very touristy town. We went home and split up three months later.

Fast forward a little more than a decade. I went back to Niagara Falls with a guy I had been dating for several years and expected to someday marry. We had a fantastic visit, went home and three months later  – we split up.

Seriously, friends, you can’t make this stuff up.

I’m not a superstitious person but I have to say – if I ever find someone to love again, I’m not going with them to Niagara Falls. I’m getting too old to keep losing mates.

However, if you’re looking for a fun little long weekend, Niagara is a great place to be. Just remember, if you wish to visit the Canada side (which is the best, you have to do it) you’ll need a passport. Your best bet is to actually stay on the Canada side. There’s more to do and great hotel rates. The last time, I stayed in a room with a falls view and it was a sight to behold, especially at night when the falls are lit up.

I have no idea why I felt compelled to tell you this story but maybe you’ll find it interesting. I’m sure it won’t happen to you especially considering that Niagara has long been a destination for honeymoons and lovers’ getaways. So, go. Have fun. Take pictures and let me know how it all works out for you!

Cadillac Motel

IMG_5447.JPGIsn’t this sign fabulous? I saw it while walking through the tourist district of Niagara Falls, Canada. The motel is billed as retro chic with themed rooms that celebrate ZZ Top, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis and more. They just don’t make signs like this anymore.