So, as the kids have noted, we're back on the road. Once again, I'll try to summarize so that maybe the kids' posts will make sense. So, the return trip:
Day 1: We left Monday from Massachusetts at around 9 am or so. Took I-93 north to Bow (just short of Concord, NH) and visited our friends there. (Thanks for lunch!) Then on some smaller roads west through NewHampshire and Vermont. We stopped for the night in Middlebury VT, which seemed like a lovely little town, although the insects were ferocious. And for the record, we all said goodbye, just the night before we left. I was even up at 5:30 or something and said goodbye to Grandpa Ernie in the morning, although I'm sure I was a little bleary, and I went back to sleep right afterwards. The movie Emily mentioned was Goonies.
Day 2: Middlebury, VT to Niagara Falls, Ontario. From Middlebury we went to Fort Ticonderoga, NY, taking a small ferry across the skinny bottom part of Lake Champlain. The fort was pretty interesting, with lots of history about the English vs. the French, but not a lot about it's role in the Revolutionary War. From there we took Hwys 8 and 104 across the state to the border. Crossing was easier than we were led to believe. We found a hotel and walked down to see the falls all lit up. I must say that I never expected so much glitz at the falls. It was a late night, and so the kids didn't blog. And I must say that the Skylon Tower advertisements were really annoying. (Worse than me reading all the Wall Drug signs!)
Day 3: Niagara Falls, ONT to Tobermory, ONT. We walked down in the morning to see Niagara Falls again, and decided to try the "Maid of the Mist" boat ride. Randy stayed behind with Willy - NO DOGS ALLOWED. He would have hated it anyway - we got absolutely soaked, and I think the poor dog's greatest fear is sprinklers. The boat ride was really, really fun - the only thing that might have made it better was a temperature greater than 70 degrees. We did dry pretty quickly though. Willy's highlight was being part of a group photo with some German tourists. I was waiting for Randy and the kids to get back from the bathroom and watching this group of four taking pictures of each other (three at a time). I offered to take one of all of them, and they wanted to hold Willy's leash to keep him out of trouble. So he got to be in their picture. I'm sure it will make for an interesting story for them. "Wer ist der hund?"
Anyways, we left Niagara Falls at around 11:30 or so and headed north to St. Catharine where we were going to get our oil changed (every 4ooo miles!) We met lots of very friendly and helpful folks there, first just trying to find the VW dealer, and then, after they were too busy to do the work, going to a different repair shop and getting it done there, not to mention the kid in the park that I thought we might end up just taking with us. So the VW repair manager recommended a ferry that ran across Lake Huron - even printed up a schedule and fees sheet off the internet. So, we changed our plans and headed northwest to Tobermory, where we stayed the night.
Day 4: Tobermory, ONT to Munising, MI. Got up very early in the morning to catch the first ferry out of town. This one was a lot bigger than the last! The ride was very nice, even though we had to stay on deck with Willy. It was a little chilly, but we had chairs in the sun and were comfortable. Allison's fleece jacket is lost somewhere - you folks in MA, keep an eye out for it! After we got off the ferry, we pretty much just drove through Ontario on Hwy 17. Very beautiful. Still no moose sightings. Crossed the border at Sault Ste. Marie (thanks, Susan for helping me pronounce that right!) and were randomly selected for a search. They only spent about 10 minutes at it. Randy said they looked under the hood. ?! There's barely room for an engine in there! Emily was worried that they might have seen her undies. I made up the rest. :) The weather turned nasty somewhere in Ontario, and is drying out now. We didn't see much of the UP through it. Maybe more sun tomorrow?
To explain kids stuff: The chsssh sound was the doors on the ferry to the automobile section - You pushed a button and then they un-airlocked or something. Evan was very chatty today, and Emily was grumpy - I don't know why. She slept on the floor because they've decided that three in a bed is too many. Tonight Allison is on the floor.