July 30, 2017: The Kids Finally Go To Canada!

Sunday. Today is the first of our two day drive from Rochester down to Dallas.  We got up this morning and the weather was good and we had a decent start on the day.  So as we headed west on the New York Thruway approaching Buffalo I talked to Dominica about trying out driving through the Ontario Peninsula of Canada, rather than going south to Ohio, to get over to the midwest region.

She has never driven across the Ontario Peninsula, the kids have never actually set foot in Canada before at all, and it has not been since I drove to college in Michigan somewhere around 1995 that I last drove across this region.  That made it not so hard to talk her into trying that route.  Definitely a change of pace that we need on this long drive and since we are not stopping in Cuba, Missouri tonight because Paul is not home, we have more flexibility than usual.  So we gave it a try.

Luciana Waiting to Enter Canada

You can see in the pictures of the car that we have a big load of stuff from our storage unit in New York in dad’s barn.  You can just make out the first of the girls’ white dressers being transported.  They really need that for their bedroom, they have nowhere to put their clothes without it.  We were only able to fit one this time, next trip we will be sure to get another one.  It is going to take forever to move all of that storage unit one load at a time in this minivan.  Even with all of the cargo space that we have, we didn’t even make a reasonable dent in the storage unit.

The trip across Canada went really well.  We made good time on the very fun drive across Canada and the girls got to add another country to their list.  Then we got to Michigan, which is a little interesting because I used to live there.

We took the very short detour to drive through Flint, Michigan and go past my old university and even swing by my old house that I used to rent there with Aaron, Jamie, Russell and Lurch (I never knew his real name, Jason perhaps?)  It took a little bit of driving around to find my old house, I really did not remember what it looked like at all, but I was able to get pretty close to it.

Liesl Ready to Enter Canada

The area has changed quite a lot, the school and the area around the school look nothing like they did twenty years ago when I was a student here (wow, more like twenty four years ago!)  A lot can change in a quarter of a century, I suppose.

Getting Lunch in Canada

It was pretty neat to get to stop by and see it again.  I’ve not set eyes on Michigan at all, let alone Flint or my old school or home, since I left there in 1995!  It was pretty surreal.  Such an influential part of my life, but so long ago and so completely disconnected from the rest of my life before or after.  Such a strange, isolated part of my life.  And it was cool to get to show the family. Likely none of them will ever see any of it again, we have no tied here.

Luciana with a Bagel at Tim Horton’s

It was not a long pit stop.  There was nothing much to see.  We found the house, took a picture, and left Flint.

We drove through Lansing, it was just on the way, and went nearly past where Michael Ralston (my Godson) and Joe live.  So weird that they moved out here, of all places.

We got to Chicago and discovered that we had made amazing time.  The route across Canada appears to save us an hour or more compared to driving through Ohio!

We stopped in western Illinois for the night in Springfield.  Just grabbed a hotel there.