Sunday, October 27, 2013

American Adventures Part II

A much overdue account of our early October road trip.

There is nothing I crave more than adventure and being spontaneous! So when the opportunity arose to join in on a road trip, I barely blinked before saying yes.

We were up early Thursday morning to hit the road and found ourselves in Novi, Michigan by early afternoon for a quick visit at my Aunt and Uncle's home.  It had been almost two years since I had seen them, so it was a much overdue visit! Their youngest son Peter found the boys to be good playmates, engaging them in light saber battles and Nerf gun wars.

When our short visit came to an end we hit the road again for just a short bit until we came to Detroit.  In America and around the world Detroit carries quite the reputation. I have to say, however, that the city center itself was quite nice.  And we didn't even get mugged or shot at ;)

GM Headquarters 

The GM buildings were pretty impressive




Our next move was to cross the boarder into Canada.  The border guard seemed rather suspicious of us, but we crossed the boarder all the same and began the long drive across stretches of nothing but countryside until we reached London, Canada to have a bite to eat.  With full tummies we hit the road to finish out the journey to our destination for the night - Toronto!


In Toronto we were welcomed by the warm hospitality of my dear friend from Afghanistan.  He hadn't quite made it home from university, so we headed out to by some alcohol as a "thanks for letting us stay at your place".  But did you know that the sale of alcohol isn't privatized in Canada? And that it's not for sale after 9 PM! We couldn't believe it, but happened to be in luck - there was one wine store in the area open until 11 PM! We had a nice chat with the guy offering us free wine and cider samples and then bought what we wanted and headed back to my friend's apartment.  My friend and I hadn't seen each other in 5 years, the last time we were both in the United States.  Yet we laughed and chatted just like old times until late into the night. In the morning he made us a delicious breakfast and then gave us a quick run-down of what we should see in Toronto before he had to head to university.  We then explored the wonderful city of Toronto on our own for a while, dodging some rain here and there, until we felt that we had gotten a pretty good impression of the city and needed to hit the road. 

Friends reunited

The group

Nice view of Toronto from his balcony

downtown Toronto

Mario + Tim Horton's Coffee + Canadian Flag



Toronto is really awesome!

Since no trip to Canada is complete without a visit to Niagara Falls, that was our next destination! We were soaked with mist as we approached the falls. We got a few minutes of viewing them by daylight before we headed into the town to eat something.  Then it was over to the American side via the Rainbow Bridge and back to Canada for some final admiration before hopping back in the car and making our way back across the border.

Here we come!

First views of the Falls

Beautiful!








Walking around the town

On Rainbow Bridge

Boundary line in the middle of the bridge

Falls on the American Side


Heading back to Canada!





 By the time we left the Falls it was already getting kind of late, but we decided to drive as far as we could before stopping for the night. We drove through New York and briefly through Pennsylvania and by the time we crossed the border into Ohio were ready to find a place to stay.  We got a hotel coupon book in the visitors center and we called a few places only to find them either fully-booked or overpriced.  I saw a sign for a place in Geneva, Ohio, so we just drove until that exit and ended up taking one of their very last rooms.  It was nothing fancy, just a Motel 6, but the room was clean, the beds were comfortable,and the price was low.  We crashed pretty quickly after our long day

The next day drove through Ohio, stopping in Cleveland and Columbus.  By Saturday night we were back home in Bloomington and enjoyed a night in with my roomies.

Cleveland

Cleveland

Friends!



Blue Slushie Tongue! I think we've been in the car a little too long ;)

Ohio State Capital 

Ohio State Capital 
Sunday we got some much-needed rest before heading to the boys' most favorite place for lunch - Olive Garden!




Later in the day my mama drove down to Bloomington and took us all to the Oliver Winery. After a nice tour of the facilities we enjoy wine tasting while my underage brother had to simply watch and sip his apple juice.

                                  

                                           

So yes, many an adventure was had!!!!

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