Monday, June 22, 2009


How about 17 hours? Argh! Was a long, tiring haul, but there was an end in sight.

I was the navigator for most of the trip. Why? Well, probably two reasons. Number One would be it was Lynne's car and Lynne LOVES to drive (a control thing, lol? Nope, probably because I'm a more conservative driver. Read: Sticks to 10-15 km [or 5-7 miles] over the speed limit ); Number Two - I don't need glasses to read the map and I'm a pretty good map reader/navigator. The rub? I need the right map!

Yup, that helps . Lynne grabbed her "Yahoo" map that got us to the hotel (note the last three words "to the HOTEL" - very important). It was on the last page that got us there. Si
mple then, right? Just work backwards and change the W to E (east) the S to N (north). Yup, Lynne says, that'd work. Okay, so off we go, no problems... we had one issue up around the town of "Normal" (an oxymoron) 'cause we thought maybe we needed to turn off or... so we got off the ramp, realized we were indeed going the right direction, and did a circle and got back on the I-74. Problem solved. Time taken: maybe 5-10 minutes.

We're on our w
ay, smooth sailing 'til we get to I-94. Map says to merge onto I-69. Okay. We got here with these directions and our TripTik so why question success? Flip to next page (first page) and go to Provinicial Route 402... Nooooooooo, we don't wanna go to Sarnia! That's about 2 hours North that we don't need to go! That's the Sarnia crossing map, not the Detroit/Windsor one we came down on (much prettier crossing and scenery, but we just want to boogie, lol)! We used the "Sarnia" instructions for the last couple directions that took us RIGHT TO THE DOOR OF THE HOTEL!

Okay my driver says, get me back on route. Navigator (me) says take 127 S the second
you see it and that'll take us back to Jackson and the I-94 E which we will NOT get off of 'til Detroit and the border crossing. HeeHeeHee. Questions ensue and I say, just drive and do what I say, "I know how to read a map". What bravado, but whew, it worked, lol. Time taken messing around and going a bit out of our way - about 1/2 to 3/4's of an hour. No biggie. Ya, right says the driver. Next rest stop, I get the keys. And I'm not giving them up for 4 hours - that's about all I'm allowed with my conservative driving, lol.

The border. We've put our papers/receipts in order and got our passports ready. First stop the Duty Free shop for ciggies (for Lynne) and booze (for me - gotta mix some more White Russians when I get home - might need them, lol). Purchases made, we proceed through the labyrinth of pilons (geesh, what a mess) to the queue to "check out" of Michigan.

Our turn and I handover the two passports and we answer the standard questions: how long have you been gone? where do you live? how much did you spend? Okay, the customs officer says, that's it, have a nice day. Yahoo. "But WAIT", she says (oh, oh), "what's in that box?" What box? Oh that box (10" x 12" x 30" disreputable looking thing with strips of paper poking out of holes and top). Well, it's just a 29" metal Christmas Tree. A questioning stare, a pregnant pause and she says again, "Okay, have a nice day". Sue, you owe us, lol. Your dang tree just about did us in . Lynne says to me "for heavens sake, what were they thinking? That we would put bad stuff right out in the open?" Uh, Lynne, have you heard the expression "hide in plain sight?", lol.

So off we went, no more direction snafus or time wasters other than a couple more rest stops, gassing up of the car and construction/traffic slowdowns through Toronto. Lots of
deer sightings - safely in fields munching away.

We left Peoria about 6:30 am and arrived home at about 11:30 pm (12:30 pm Ottawa time). Total time for rest stops/gas stops, direction snafus and border... 17 hours. Unload stuff from car, drag to porch, hug my travelling companion and best friend and say good night. Drag my stuff into house as quietly as possible, drag my sorry, tired butt in, try to leave everything so as not to trip anybody in the morning, brush my teeth and crawl into bed. Didn't see daylight 'til about 11 am.

Couple days off before I do a 3 day seminar with Sharon McNamara Black this weekend. What was I thinking?!

~ Shelley

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