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Saturday brought me over the border at Buffalo to Ontario, where a number of my cousins and my Aunt Sue have homes in the summer community of Ridgeway. This area is remarkably similar to the Cape Cod community where I spent many of my youthful summers, Menauhant in East Falmouth, Massachusets (I will get there by Labor Day).
I started the day in Cleveland, and visited the large and well-maintained Cleveland MetroParks Zoo. While much of the zoo is a bit institutionalized, they have an impressive indoor Tropical Rainforest built in the mid-90s, similar to the Tropical Rainforest exhibit we have in Seattle, only larger. I liked the use of mist throuhgout. The animals were behind glass so it wasn't horribly realistic, but they had great interpretive signage.
On grounds I met a Cleveland docent, Rachel, working a cart at the rhinocerous exhibit. She said she had never met a docent from another zoo before.
It was fun swapping stories with her. My favorite was about their colobus monkeys, some of which had painted tails. She said their line was it was because they were getting special training, and the paint was to easily distinguish them, but in fact a couple were troublemakers and they needed to be able to tell instantly which ones. I love getting (and giving) inside scoops like that!
In Erie, Pennsylvania, I saw this sign for Big Woodie's. Something about pepperspray, stunguns,and sugar free fudge struck my funny bone.
On to Buffalo, over the Peace Bridge into Canada. I had a fabulous evening with my Aunt Sue (on the left) and her three boys Peter, Bobby, and Ian, and their wives Debra, Julie, and Monica, plus assorted first cousins once removed -- this photo has Kendra and Leann, Peter's twins. The others were at a big end-of-season bash at the boat club.
These are all cousins I have not seen in eons, and the consensus is that we cannot let this continue. So we are talking a Jones family reunion, probably here in Ridgeway, as soon as next summer.
Today's beer: Molson, of course. I am in Canada, eh?
I will stay here a couple of days. Bobby and I are going to Buffalo Tuesday morning to see the house where our dads grew up, and Nichols, Dad's old school.