This morning finds us awakening in Morris, IL at the Comfort Inn. Morris is home to the Dresden Nuclear Generating Plant, and I did a little research to see how far away from us it is, but it would take about half an hour to get there. Would love to drive by and at least take pictures for Susan’s dad, but it is in exactly the wrong direction. Susan wanted to go get a few groceries last night and asked where there was a supermarket, and was given directions to the local WalMart. But we have sworn off WalMarts and fast food for the whole trip. Groceries will have to wait.
And by the way, the title is just a reference to the famed Morris the Cat; no disrespect meant to the town.
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.
Before we left town, we let the kids take a dip in chilly Lake Michigan.
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 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