Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ruby Tuesday

I'm posting today over at Ruby Tuesday 2.

Taken in Red Square in Moscow Russia on May 9, 2011 Victory Day. You can read more over here.

All photography on this post at Junk Boat Travels are under copyright. If you would like to use any of my photographs please contact me first.

Monday, July 30, 2012

It's Monday! What Are you Reading?


It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. For this meme, bloggers post what they finished last week, what they're currently reading, and what they plan to start this week.

It was a light reading week with so many other things that we had on our schedule. This usually ends up being one of the busiest week's of the summer.
I won't be posting next week because we will be in Paris!!

A Perfect Evil (Maggie O'Dell #1)

Meh! I mentioned reading another of this author's books last week, with the same reaction. Last week I read number 7 in the series this week was number 1. At least number 7 had an interesting story line.
I'm not even going to waste any energy on this one.

Borrowed as an e-book from the library.
People Like Us
From the book jacket:
The way journalist Gus Bailey tells it, old money is always preferred, but occasionally new money sneaks in--even where it is most unwelcome. After moving from Cincinnati, Elias and Ruby Renthal strike it even richer in New York, turning their millions into billions. It would be impolite for high society to refuse them now. Not to mention disadvantageous. As long as the market is strong, there's absolutely nothing to worry about--except for those nasty secrets from the past. Scandal, anyone...?

This was most entertaining.  The characters are stereotypical old money New Yorkers not amused by all these New Money self-made "newcomers' elbowing their way into their tight lipped enclosed social circles. 
It boggled my mind that there are people who have so much money for so many generations that all they do is socialize all day every day. Every single evening is spent in getting dressed up and going out.
I will be reading more from this author.

The Ottoman Motel
From the book jacket:
Welcome to Reception…
Simon and his parents arrive in the small town of Reception and check in to the Ottoman Motel. Then, while Simon is asleep, his parents disappear.
Are they lost? Has something terrible happened to them? Have they simply driven away and left him?
All Simon knows is that he is alone in a strange town. And, as a desultory police investigation begins, he realises he is unsure who he can trust.
The local police constable is kind; a B&B owner gives Simon a place to stay. The citizens of Reception have taken him in—but why does it seem as if no one is trying to find his parents?
The Ottoman Motel is not just an intriguing character-based mystery, but a moving study of fear and loss. With this assured and nuanced debut, Christopher Currie proves himself to be one of the brightest young novelists in Australia.

2012 books read (55 to date):
The Coast Road - John Brady
Still Midnight - Denise Mina
The Bulgari Connection - Fay Weldon
Good Bait - John Harvey
The Heretic's Treasure - Scott Mariani
Dead I Well May Be - Adrian McKinty
The Devil's Elixir - Raymond Khoury
A Darker Domain - Val McDermid
The Impossible Dead - Ian Rankin
GB84 - David Peace
The Emperor's Tomb - Steve Berry
Stonehenge Legacy - Sam Christer
Inquisition - Alfredo Colitto ABANDONED!
The Troubled Man - Henning Mankell
Nineteen Seventy-Four - David Peace
Faithful Place - Tana French
Dead Like You - Peter James
Brother and Sister - Joanna Trollope
The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton ABANDONED!
A Beginner's Guide to Acting English -Shappi Khorsandi
The Snowman - Jo Nesbo
The Leopard - Jo Nesbo
The Stone Cutter - Camilla Lackberg
Miramar - Naguib Mahfouz
The Gallow's Bird - Camilla Lackberg
Nineteen Seventy- Seven - David Peace
Timeline - Michael Crichton
Millennium People - JG Ballard
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
Birdman - Mo Hayder
Clara Callan - Richard B. Wright
The Paris Vendetta - Steve Berry
Little Girls Lost - Jack Kerley
The Reutrn of the Dancing Master - Henning Mankell
Nemesis - Jo Nesbo
Dublin Dead - Gerard O'Donovan
City of Bohane - Kevin Barry
This Beautiful Life - Helen Schulman
The Copenhagen Project - K. SandersenPrague - Arthur Phillips
Fortunes of War - Gordon Zuckerman
The Cold Cold Ground - Adrian McKinty
Before the Poison - Peter Robinson
The Mozart Conspiracy - Scott Mariani
Dancer - Colum McCann
Pig Island - Mo Hayder
Old City Hall - Robert Rotenberg
The Paris Wife - Paula McLain
The Last Good Man - A. J. Kazinski
Homesick - Roshi Fernando
Black Friday - Alex Kava
Only One Life - Sara Blaedel
A Perfect Evil - Alex Kava
People Like Us - Dominick Dunne

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Foto Finish

Foto Finish
Cat Patches hosts this weekly meme. Her theme this week is YELLOW.

This wall mural is in a section of Toronto called Leslieville. I took this photo in June 2012 while wandering around the area.
LESLIEVILLE began as a small village back in the 1850's. The village grew up around the Toronto Nurseries owned by George Leslie and sons, after whom this neighbourhood is named. 

The mural includes Leslieville's first public school principal, Alexander Muir, who composed The Maple Leaf Forever. Muir's poetic verse was inspired when a brilliant autumn maple leaf fell from a Leslieville tree onto his jacket. That maple tree is still standing today and has become Leslieville's most famous landmark, designated by an historic plaque at the intersection of Laing Street and Memory Lane.

The Maple Leaf, our emblem dear,
The Maple Leaf forever!
God save our Queen and Heaven bless
The Maple Leaf forever!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Jenny Matlock 

I'm posting over at Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. 
Today's letter is J. 
I am going to feature some photos of Junk-boats that we took as we cruised the Yangtze River in China in 2009. I have not retouched any of these photos, so if they appear foggy it is because it is quite foggy as you sail along the Yangtze.

Toronto ON - Branson - Clarksville Missouri

April 2008 - Branson/Clarkesville MO

Click on the links below for more side trips.

Driving by St. Louis.

Getting close to Branson, lots of show advertising.

We spent a week at Silverleaf's Timeshare in Branson and then a week in Clarkesville at The Vacation Villas at The Summit.
This was the spring that had so much rain in the area that everything was flooded.

We stayed a week at Silverleaf's Holiday Hills Resort in Branson Missouri.
We have stayed in Silverleaf resorts before in Texas and I am not a fan of them. They are not up to the normal RCI standard in my opinion. I did send a letter when we returned outlining my complaints about maintenance but never received a response. UPDATE It is now owned by Holiday Inn and here is an interesting article about it.
According to their website:
Surrounded by the majestic Ozark Mountains and Lake Taneycomo, Holiday Hills Resort offers unlimited opportunities for vacation enjoyment. It's the ideal place for those who desire endless sight-seeing and activities or simple relaxation in one vacation location.
Only three miles away, Branson is known as the "Live Music Capital of the World" for its bright lights and spectacular musical entertainment, theme parks, museums, shopping malls and craft malls. 

Regardless, it was a great spot in Branson. It was a two bedroom and the second bedroom could be "locked off" and serve as a studio with a microwave and a fridge. It is on a golf course.

When in Branson Missouri you must visit Mel's Hard Luck Diner. We stopped in for lunch and loved the 1950s decor. The servers walk around singing and will sit right down with you.
Most of the staff have CDs for sale, and they will even autograph them for you. Staff will go out of their way to pose while they are singing, if you have a camera handy. Our server was Karen Richardson and she was amazing. Several American Idol contestants have sung there as well. Most of the servers also perform in the various shows in Branson hoping to be discovered.

John golfed at Holiday Hills.

Around town. We saw some shows.

We definitely did The Titanic Experience! NO PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOWED!!

Best Elvis impersonator!

Taken in Branson Missouri at Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede.

This was not as bad as I thought it would be. The show is very entertaining and the food certainly didn't leave you hungry. You can also visit the stables. Our only complaint (because we don't have children) is that dinner is always served way too early at this events.

Included in your meal:

A Mouth-Watering Tender Whole Rotisserie Chicken - yes each person gets a whole chicken!
Delicious Hickory Smoked Barbecued Pork Loin
Dixie Stampede's Original Creamy Vegetable Soup
Scrumptious Homemade Biscuit
Hot Buttered Corn on the Cob
Tasty Herb-basted Potato
Dixie's very own Specialty Dessert
Unlimited Pepsi®, tea or coffee

Branson Landing features a scenic boardwalk along the 1.5-mile Taneycomo Lakefront. At the heart of the Landing is a vibrant town square terracing down to the $7.5 million spectacular water attraction that features the first-ever merging of water, fire, light, and music.



Drive from Branson to Clarkesville.

We also spent a week in Clarkesville at The Vacation Villas at The Summit.

Drive home from Clarkesville MO - Chesterton IN - Toronto ON

We had tornado warnings so we decided to spend the night in Chesterton IN.