Monday, September 7, 2009

I heart NY

Drove across New York to the tune of $25 for the toll road, but I got an “I heart NY” bumper sticker. I’m not 100% sure it’s true, but it does chronicle my short ride across the Empire State. Highlights included lots of hedgehogs on the side of the road sitting like sentinels, and a view of the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile – maybe the hogs were there to salute the giant hot dog!

Spent the night in the Niagara Falls/Buffalo area. Another Motel 6 – brand new and really nice! But it was strange being in that town. There were no young people there – most folks were 50+, I’m guessing the younger generations have left to find greener pastures. Stopped in Target to pick up something cheap so that I could get some cash back from the purchase, and three different women nearly bumped into me as I was shopping around the corners. “I’m Sorry,” “I’m Sorry,” “I’m so, so sorry.” Was the response I got for the near misses. I thought about that. What did they have to be sorry about? Why would they apologize for not bumping into me? “Excuse me,” or “Pardon me” might be a little more appropriate, but even that seemed a bit unnecessary. In addition, I just couldn’t imagine any man apologizing for nearly walking into me – they might expect an apology, but to give one? I just don’t think so! So it made me wonder about the women in the area and how much (or rather little) power they had in their lives. Wasn’t there long enough to give it a more thorough exploration, but still, I wondered.

Stopped at Niagara Falls. I went there when we lived in Erie. The first time was in the winter with a school group – I remember getting out of the bus, looking around impressed, and then getting back in the bus – it was too friggin cold to give it a good look. The second time was with my dad and grandmother. It was a warmer day, but still really overcast and wet. I remember getting one of those plastic rain jackets and going on the boat by the falls. I think I did it by myself while my dad stayed with his mom – I thought about that and how they let me explore on my own even as a young person. Probably one of the reasons I am such the adventurer now. But this time, WOW – it was a spectacular day – picture perfect!! Beautiful blue skies – amazing views and Higbee and I had a great walk around the state park and looking at the rivers, falls and the woods in the area. It was a fun morning, and I got yet another sticker for the camper.

Crossed into Canada to make the shortcut into Michigan. I was surprised at how easy it was – I fully expected a closer inspection – and thought for sure I’d have to raise the popup, have the dog x-rayed, but the guy just asked me a few questions (he didn’t even raise an eye when I told him I had been on the road since May to visit yoga studios), and we continued on to Canada. It looks a little more like Europe there. The architecture looks like Northern Europe, and the signage, well, that is exclusively Canadian. The re-crossing back to the US was just as easy except for the LONG lines as the border. The bridge that I took over the waterway showed spectacularly blue water though, wish I was able to capture an image of it.

Then another long drive to Eileen’s. Whew. I broke all the rules on that trip – stayed exclusively on the interstates, drove WAY longer than I was supposed to, ate crap from rest stations, and arrived absolutely spent.

But even though I can already detect a cold winter breeze here, it’s truly beautiful. I know why Eileen lives here. More on that later.

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