Today, we drove from Ann Arbor, MI to Morrtis, IL, en route to Peru to visit with my 98 year old grandmother. We flew out to IL about five years ago to visit, and she was still in her own home in Oglesby back then, but the morning before we arrived to visit, she had taken a fall and was all alone for a time until my uncle arrived before us. That was what finally convinced everyone that she needed to be in a nursing home. So today we will be visiting her there.
Along the way from Ann Arbor, we had a lovely stop in St. Joseph, MI at the Curious Kids museum, after lunch at a local sandwich shop. This is one of those hands-on museums that are a lot of fun. Exhibits ranged from a Japanese area with stamps, information on fighting outfits, Origami and a sitting room,
to a TV studio outfitted by the local TV station.
Before we left town, we let the kids take a dip in chilly Lake Michigan.
Plenty of billboards like this. Not as many as for fireworks, but still…
We had planned to hit the famous Kellogg’s Cereal City factory tour today, as it is one of the most celebrated on our route. But as Susan was reading the description to the kids at breakfast, she came to the end of the article which stated (paraphrasing) “This attraction is closed, but we’ve left the article here for your enjoyment.” Argh!
We’re now headed to the Curious Kids’ Museum in St. Joseph, MI. As an added bonus, we’ve already had our daily dose of rain, so we are sure to have a dry remainder of the day!
I mentioned the router before. One of the laptops that connects to the router acts mainly as a server, running tasks in the background, and sitting unobtrusively in the trunk. When everything is working well, I can take pictures from in and around the car, and the Eye-Fi card in the camera will send them wirelessly and automatically to the laptop. The laptop will then run a program which looks at the timestamp on the photo and compares it to a gps track log, and figures out where in the world we were at that time, and records geographical data in the picture metadata. The picture is then automatically uploaded to flickr. And when this doesn’t happen automatically, I attempt to do it manually afterward. So there are lots of pictures on flickr. If you want to scan the un-filtered album, point your browser over to http://www.flickr.com/photos/tastewar/tags/xctrip/
We didn’t make it as far yesterday as we had hoped, largely due to a lengthy wait to cross the border into Canada. Then a short while after we had made it, we ran into heavy traffic due to an accident. But when we got up this morning, the day looked fine, and we had a room in a hotel (Travelodge) right along the western shore of Lake Ontario.
After our “continental” breakfast (on what continent do they serve cellophane wrapped Sara Lee muffins? Oh, that would be North America…), we had a lovely walk along the shoreline, and took some fun pictures which I subsequently accidentally deleted. Argh. As we say in the software industry, that was a “cockpit error” and not a failure of technology.
We then paid for liters of gasoline with Canadian dollars, extinguishing any hope of mentally converting the price. Best that way, probably. We followed the QEW to the 402, stopping briefly for some snacks at a grocery store
Then after crossing the border
we headed down to Dearborn and the Henry Ford Museum, which was to be the highlight of the day. But we arrived at 4:00 and the museum closed at 5:00, and they didn’t offer any kind of reduced admission. A nice cashier, though, said we could go take a peek into the main hall, where we saw this
and not much else. Then we drove to Ann Arbor, had some Chinese food for dinner, and found a hotel.
We visited Niagara Falls today!
And as Sam warned us, it truly is more spectacular in person than photos would indicate. When we left our hotel this morning, it was 80 degrees and sunny. By the time we got to Niagara, we had driven through some rain and the temp had dropped 12 degrees. When we arrived, we were practically forced into a commercial parking lot rather than the one for the state park, by an aggressive flag man. In the end, the parking fee was the same, but we had to walk through a commercial Visitor Center that was made to appear as though it were the official one, and we were given quite a hard sell on a bus tour. In the end, we decided to hoof it, and walked to a bunch of the attractions there.
Here’s a taste
Thanks to fabulous light blocking curtains and a late night at the hotel pool, it’s 8:00 a.m. and the girls are still sleeping!!
(Tyler is reading nicely with a little book light.)
Get Up!! Time to go to Niagara Falls!
Well, perhaps it’s too early make such a prediction, but we did at least get on the road today. Our friends Larry and Amy, and their children Allison and Jeffrey treated us to breakfast this morning, which was a real treat! Then our neighbors, the Greers, took our picture before we headed on our way.
We were a little later than we intended in getting on the road this morning, but that was mostly because we decided to have some floors refinished, since the house will be devoid of living things for a span.
We followed Rt. 2 from Arlington all the way through Massachusetts up to the northwest corner, then into New York and Troy, where our friends Wendy and Charles, and their children Gregory and Marguerite, treated us to lunch. What a great way to start a trip!
After a relaxing lunch, we found our way to I-87 S and then I-90 W, which took us out to Rochester, where we are spending our first night.
This afternoon our cat Marion went to “camp” at our friend, Susan O.’s house. She seemed willing to explore her new setting and she will be loved and cared for. Thank you so much, Susan. Have fun being spoiled Marion.
That means our house is now pet-free and plant free (on our back porch for watering by neighbor, again, thanks). Playoffs are done (Cardinals (Emma) lost in the crucial 3rd game to take 2nd place in the league) and the Mariners (Tyler) lost in the National League West semis in a good game. Time to sleep!!