Jul 7, 2014

The Driving Vacation

7/07/2014 — cori
You know how we always enjoy a good road trip?  Well....this one was a doozy.  I think it was a little too much road and not enough trip for us.  Out of 13 days of vacation, we drove for 8 of those days. Chuck needed to get back to work to just take a vacation from his vacation.  But all those miles logged meant more time together building memories and living experiences that we can talk (and laugh) about for years to come.  Here's a recap of the drive, uh, I mean, vacation.  We went to:

2 countries
2 provinces
9 states
6 hotels
1 cabin
3,951 miles

Our first stop was Niagara Falls. 

We got to have double the fun with Grandparents there.

After four days, we made it to Maine, specifically Acadia National Park.

We walked on the sandbar that gives Bar Harbor it's name. 

The best hike we've ever had was the waterfall 
hike up Dorr Mountain on a rainy afternoon.

The trails were so beautifully built.  
We took three incredible hikes all three days we were at the park.

We kayaked in the Atlantic Ocean

Just something beautifully unique.

On the top of Cadillac Mountain at the eastern most edge of the continent. 
This is the first place in the continental U.S. that witnesses the sunrise each morning.

Chloe admiring the Atlantic Ocean on her perch at the edge of the world.

Those mountains in the background are called Bubble Rock North and South.
Their innocuous name belies the treacherous climb to reach the top.  They
don't seem very bubbly when you're grasping for breath and holding on for dear life.

Quaint, picturesque Old Town Montreal.  You really do feel
as if you just went back in time and are walking the streets of Paris.

A picture perfect sunset in Terrebonne, Quebec.

A policeman took this family photo of us.  That is lake Ontario in the background.   This policeman walked up to me as I was taking this picture and told me that no photos were allowed in the park.  I instantly clicked my camera off, put it down and tried to not act/look guilty as charged.  He looked dead serious, but apparently he was joking cuz in the next breath he asked if he could take our picture.  I guess I don't understand Canadian humor.

My astute planning landed us in Toronto on Canada Day.  NOTHING is open on Canada Day.  No grocery stores, Target or shopping malls. Zilch. So, hypothetically, if you happen to need underwear because you only packed enough for 10 days and not 13, you're in trouble. Recycling is an option.  But so is buying over inflated laundry detergent at a gas station and begging the baseball team of boys hogging the washing machine at the hotel to squeeze a load in between all of their dirty clothes and then sitting there the rest of the night in front of the washer/dryer like you were in college.  Soooo...we went to a lot of parks, skipped alot of rocks  and found a movie theater.  Thank God restaurants were open or we wouldn't have seen much of Toronto from our hotel room.  Canada also offered us the most exquisite food of our trip.   Every time we see The Amazing Spiderman 2 we will think of you Toronto.

We had a little mis-understanding between us and Canada on our first stop at the border.  The intimidating guard asked us if we had any weapons on us, specifically spring-loaded knives.  Chuck said "no".  But ever the rule follower and not wanting to hide anything from nice Mr. Guard I asked Chuck, "Don't we have that camping knife in our glove box?"  Mr. Guard did not like me talking to Chuck or opening the glove box.  He started acting very nervous and asked Chuck, "What's she saying, what's she doing?"  It was a little perilous there for a while.  I learned the hard way that camping knives do not qualify as spring-loaded.  That is helpful to know if you're ever crossing a border and feel the need to divulge every last detail in the hopes of being completely honest and forthcoming.  Also, never open a glove box at a border crossing, they won't think you're looking for your Swiss Army Knife that you thought you left in there after your last camping trip.  It might make them a little upset.  I'm just passing along helpful tips for travelers here.  After that little incident I promised to never to say a word at any more border crossings from now on.  I am mute.

Let's just say we continued to have border crossing issues, even after my declaration of muteness.  This time I didn't open my mouth and insert my foot, instead, I just simply forgot my purse at the hotel - after we had already checked out.  I just happened to not remember that little fact until after we got in line to cross back into the US from Canada at Niagara Falls.  Ooops.  There are no u-turns in the border crossing lanes.  You get drilled (read: interrogated, motives under suspicion, questioned about your goings and comings and gambling habits and your entire itinerary)  leaving the country.  You get drilled coming back in and you in turn get drilled trying to leave it again, 15 minutes later.  If we didn't look suspicious, I don't know who does.  That was a good day for all of us.

Lastly, Bennett kept us laughing for days with his keen observation.  Once we'd been driving in Canada for about an hour, Bennett looks up from his book and was like, "Are we in Canada?"  We answered in the affirmative.  He then went on with, "I didn't know they had fields here."  What??!? Explain yourself Bennett.  "I thought it would be all snowy and cold."  There was nothing to say, we just shook our heads in utter amazement.  However, we did enjoy pointing out all the fields to Bennett the entire rest of our trek through Canada.  They have LOTS of fields by the way.  And in the winter, they are filled with snow, so you probably can't see them.  But trust me, they are there.  I've seen them.

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