Saturday, June 29, 2019

Let's Travel Canada ~ Bay of Fundy NB

You know how much I love lists.  Let's Travel Canada is a list of must see places in Canada.  I haven't traveled much but I'm hoping to rectify that before old age and dry rot ends my traveling days.

The Bay of Fundy is also on another list I love . . . 50 Places in Eastern Canada to See Before You Die.

Did you know that the reddish cliffs at Hopewell Rocks were first formed millions of years ago as a massive mountain range – older than the Appalachians and larger than the Canadian Rockies – began to erode.

This was definitely one of the highlights of our recent east coast trip.  I could have stood at the bottom of the ocean forever . . . well, until the alarm sounded that the tide was coming back in . . . LOL.  There aren't enough adjectives for the awesomeness of this place.

For more information on Hopewell Rocks and the best times to visit check out

Day 2 of Our East Coast Trip . . . a LOT of driving . . . and a Wire Bridge!

Every night that we had decent internet service we posted a video about our next day schedule.  

On Day 2 we were leaving Cornwall ON and making the almost 800 km drive to Digdeguash NB.  It was a long day of mountainous roads and monotonous scenery.  By the end of Day 2 and we were starting to not like rocks and trees . . . and that is so not like us.

We were driving somewhere between Sherbrooke QC and Coburn Gore ME when we found this little gazebo in Notre-Dame-des-Bois QC.  With an altitude of 555 meters , Notre-Dame-des-Bois is one of the highest perched villages in Quebec. Built in 1877, it is named Notre-Dame-des-Bois in honor of the Virgin Mary. Lying against the foot of Mount Megantic and Mount St. Joseph, this village core is surrounded by a sea of ​​mountains ; from Marble Mountain to Saddle Mountain and Urban through the White Mountains, which form the borders of New Hampshire and Maine. 

If you stand facing the direction of each metal strip you were looking at the mountain stamped into the metal.  It may have been a dreary day but that didn't stop us from being enchanted by the gazebo and the town.

Important Hint:  Remember to add an hour to your clock when traveling from Eastern Standard Time to Atlantic Standard Time.  We had to call our motel to request late check in because we didn't realize this until we were half way through Maine.

In hindsight I would have traveled through Quebec rather than northern Maine.  Just my personal preference because there really wasn't much to see except the same scenery for hours, very few places to stop for a snack or bathroom break.  On a positive note, I can say I've been to Maine now.

My favourite thing about Maine was in New Portland ME . . . a Wire Bridge.  The New Portland Wire Bridge is a historic suspension bridge.  The bridge carries Wire Bridge Road across the Carrabassett River a short way north of the village center. Built in the mid-19th century, it is one of four 19th-century suspension bridges in the state. It is one lane wide, and has a weight limit of 3 tons. The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.

We looked at it and weren't sure about actually driving across it even though Snow (my little Sonic) was light enough.  When I watched another vehicle cross the bridge I was glad I made that decision.  There was far too much rocking, bobbing, weaving of the bridge to suit my comfort.  It was even bouncy when we walked across it!

We finally made it to the Dominion Hill Country Inn in Digdeguash NB.  Because it is located in the country we assumed it would be rustic but comfortable.  We were really surprised when we arrived.  The inn is comprised of several cabins, a manor house, a community centre and so much more.  It was spotlessly clean and our hosts were absolutely charming.  This was definitely one of our favourite places to stay.  

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When we arrived . . . late, as I mentioned earlier . . . our host came out to meet us and gave us a tour of the property.  I asked about a coffee pot or microwave in our room because it had been a long day and I really needed a cup of tea.  Our host went into the kitchen and put together everything I could possibly need for that cup of tea, including a tea kettle, cups, and all the fixings.  

We had an amazing sleep.

After packing the car back up in the morning, we headed to the manor house for breakfast.  A really good selection of breakfast foods and the company of other guests made for a true family-style meal.  

This inn would be perfect for a quiet couples get-away.  One group of ladies were staying there for girl time and playing bridge.

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Thursday, June 27, 2019

Domestic Sex Trafficking: It's nothing like what you see at the movies

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What a terrifying statistic! 

I attended an event recently to hear Karly Church speak about domestic sex trafficking in Ontario.  She was a very eloquent speaker who conveyed a lot of shocking (at least to me . . . or am I just that naive?) information in a fairly short period of time.

Church discussed several misconceptions of domestic sex trafficking:
* Not all sex workers are trafficked.  They may have entered the trade by choice or by personal circumstances such as homelessness or addiction.  Only persons who have been forced or coerced into sex work by a third person or group are considered to trafficked.
* Movement is not necessary.  Trafficked persons may work in a specific area or may be moved from town to town.  In fact, a trafficked person may still live at home and go to school but be forced out to work by her pimp/"boyfriend" every weekend.
* A sex trafficker/pimp is rarely a complete stranger.  
* Most traffickers are usually similar in age to their victims.
* Victims are rarely kidnapped. 
* Trafficking is not gender specific.  Pimps may be male or female.  Victims may be male or female.  For the sake of clarity in this post I will be using he for the criminal and she for the victim since that is primarily the case.

The stages of commercial exploitation are:
* Luring.  The trafficker will assess a victim's vulnerabilities, collect information, find out which of her life needs are not being met, and make her feel special by taking the time to get to know her.
* Grooming and Gaming.  This is where the red flags really start to appear.  This stage is often called the honeymoon stage.  The victim will often refer to the trafficker as her boyfriend.  He will make her believe she is in love and that all her dreams will come true.  He may promise her a home and family.  He will instill a sense of belonging or family and promise to keep her safe.  At this stage he will be providing all her basic needs as gifts, treating her to a place to live, new clothes, hair, and nails.  He will be very complimentary.  During this time, if the victim isn't already a drug user, illicit drug use may begin.  Standing back you can see this is all too good to be true.  But what teen would want to believe it wasn't true, it wasn't love?
* Coercion and Manipulation.  At this stage the pimp will begin withdrawing all the gifts, compliments, and basic needs, leaving the victim to wonder what she did wrong.  All she wants to do is get back to the honeymoon stage and she may be willing to do just about anything he wants in order to return to his good graces.  He my ask her for sexual acts and break down her morals, values, and boundaries.  When she complies, she is rewarded.  The next step is to condition her to accept money for sex, giving her money rather than gifts.  At the same time he will also be breaking down all her other relations until she is 100% dependent on him.
* Exploitation.  By this time the he has broken her down.  She will say yes to anything he asks in order to try and win him back.  He may threaten the safety of her loved ones.  He may demand repayment for all the money he has invested in her until she believes she is truly indebted in him.  He may use emotional and physical abuse, or confinement and isolation to force her compliance.  She will comply.

These steps probably seem very intensive and time consuming but the truth is, depending on the vulnerability of the victim, the whole process from luring to exploitation can take as little as 1 day or as long as several months.  The investment is worth it to him because a pimp usually has more than one victim (a stable) and they are all making money for him.  He can earn as much as $250,000 annually from each victim.

Where are victims recruited?  
* Online through social media or dating sites
* Group homes and shelters
* Schools
* Through friends
* Street involved

Risk Factors
* Low Self-esteem
* Bullied
* Victims of abuse
* Marginalized
* Racialized
* Poverty
* Live in high crime areas

Women are not often pimps but victims of domestic sexual trafficking may become recruiters of new victims.  She may recruit for her own self-preservation or survival, it may feel like an opportunity and a way to reclaim a bit of power and control.  Remember that these women have been conditioned by their pimps to be compliant.  We must remember to see them as survivors of domestic sex trafficking rather than as criminals. 

Warning Signs that Someone You Know May be a Victim of Domestic Sexual Trafficking:
* the use of language pertaining to trafficking (such as "in the game")
* excessive primping with new clothes, hair, nails, etc.
* frequent relocation
* neglecting healthcare needs
* not in control of their own money - always owing money
* disoriented or isolated - withdrawn from friends
* secretive
* signs of a controlling or abusive relationship
* always accompanied by someone who seems controlling
* unexplained money, clothes, hair, jewelry
* no identification
* two cell phones or changes number frequently
* signs of branding (such as a tattoo)
* exhibits hyper-vigilance or paranoia

So why don't the victims leave?  Fear.  Where are they going to  go?  They have been made to believe that their family and friends don't care.  What would they do?  Then add to that the psychological hold their pimps have over them.  

What can you do?  Listen to your gut.  Don't confront the victim or her pimp. Instead, contact Crimestoppers, police or a similar program.  Give them a description of the person you believe is being trafficked and leave it to the specialists.  These victims require special care to help them leave that life.

Another way to help is to raise awareness of this rapidly growing crime.  Check out Project ONroute at or

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

A horse and buggy ride through Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg ON

I have always wanted to visit Upper Canada Village and when I saw this promotion:


Stretch your vacation dollars further when you visit Upper Canada Village (Morrisburg, Ontario) and Fort Henry National Historic Site of Canada (Kingston, Ontario). With each paid admission, you will receive a free gate admission to visit the other heritage site or to use to visit one of the day-use parks or beach areas, absolutely free.

Our beach areas include Glengarry Beach, Mille Roches Beach, Woodlands Beach, Farran Beach, Crysler Beach and Brown’s Bay Beach.

The reciprocal program is valid for the regular day program during the regular operating season and cannot be used in conjunction with other discounts or specials.

. . . I knew the time was now. I'm so glad we did. It is very similar to Fanshawe Pioneer Village in London ON but much bigger. Everyone we spoke to was very friendly, informative and gave great advice. We arrived late in the afternoon and asked the cashier what was the best way to see as much of the village as possible in just an hour or so and she suggested the horse and buggy tour. So we toured most of the village by horse and buggy and I took way too many photos.

There was also a boat tour available.  Maybe another time?

We visited Fort Henry National Historic Site for FREE on the way home from the east coast. More on that later.

Canada Continental Hotel, Cornwall ON

The staff were friendly and helpful. My grandmother always used to say "if you take care of the corners, the rest will take care of itself." The corners were dirty. Motel had a general uncared for look and feel.
I know this rating makes it sound like I wasn't happy with the motel. It was a nice hotel but you could tell there was not enough staff or perhaps enough interest in keeping things to a high standard. There was a nice breakfast. It is situated near lots of restaurants. But . . . 

The staff appear to be a family with young children living in the hotel and they looked exhausted when we checked in. Our breakfast was served in one corner of a beautifully furnished lounge/restaurant which was shut down. I think if that restaurant were to reopen and there was enough staff to take care of the property properly it would have made a huge difference.

The price was right. We paid $71.10 + taxes & fees = $83.55. Not our best deal on this trip but well within budget.