Des (thagirion) wrote,

New York Again

I'm back in the United States. I'm so happy about that. I had a nice time in Canada but that's when I really started to feel the urge to go home and that I was done with this long trip. I had fun with Gamma and CVersailles though. Honest review of the two cities I visited there. I liked Ottawa. I did not like Montreal. Gamma's dad wasn't kidding when he said it was a big city. Holy cow. Might have had to due also that I couldn't read the street signs that were all in French. That didn't help my driving phobia any. In fact the drive over was very good until I got into Montreal and hit traffic. That wasn't so bad. Traffic is traffic in all big cities but then the signs were all in French and the shapes and colors were all different. If I didn't have the GPS I would have been in HUGE trouble. And when I finally got to her neighborhood the strange one way streets with poles dividing lanes. Yikes. And just bad luck that they happened to be doing construction on her street when I arrived. I couldn't go the way the GPS said but I found a back way because I could see it on the map.

It was nice to settle in that night and see her budgies and I got to meet her husband. They were very nice and good cooks. Her husband makes these cool wood bowls and he had a room just of them. I got to sleep in the basement. There was a room down there with an entertainment room, mini kitchen, bathroom and laundry room. I'm so thankful when I can do laundry on this trip. I've had those where my little black bag was stuffed and I was running out of clothes.

The next day she took me to the Montreal Botanical Gardens. I didn't want to drive because I was so tired so we took the bus and then we took the subway. First time on both for me and my thoughts on that are I do not like buses. I don't like riding with strangers and they are so close and it smells. The subway I did like because it's a train and I like trains. But well trains are not good for my back. I learned that the first time I took trains to visit ACTiption in NC. I just kept thinking of James Bond "Shake not stirred." We did get to rid one of the new trains that was all blue. It was nice and more comfortable at least. I did get some nice photos. So new experience but no matter how tired you are nothing beats having your own car and your own freedom. I've driven through some very difficult areas now so had I driven there myself how worse could it get?

Now the Botanical Garden itself was great. My gosh biggest one I have been to you yet. We did the green houses which are always my faves in all these places. The rest we only walked a tiny portion. Unfortunately my back started acting up and I didn't get to do everything I would have liked. I had to cut it short. I was pretty zombified at one point. I missed out on the insetarium. Too bad about that. I wonder if they'd have had any giant centipedes? So then we came home. I had decided to cut my trip a day short too and leave today Wed the 14th.

So I packed everything and loaded up the Jeep this morning. But then my stupid GPS couldn't find the hotel in NY. It couldn't find anything. It couldn't find Gamma's house or the hotel in Ottawa. WTF? I thought I was out of satelite range or something. CVersailles hand wrote directions for how to get to the interstate. But those darn French roads had more than one name and I got a bit lost when I left as one didn't match what she had said. I pulled into the parking lot of an office building of some sort. Luckily I saw the over pass she had mentioned as a land mark. I tried putting the way points myself into the GPS and with not wifi my phone's google maps wasn't working. I couldn't get data in Canada so I couldn't send pics to friends and that's why things like maps and weather weren't updating on my phone. So what I did was scroll forever til I found the road to the previous NY hotel I didn't like. I knew that area so I put the way point there and it found that. I decided to try something different so instead of going home through the Prescot Ogdenburg bridge again I went down highway 20 to the 1000 islands. Not only did I figured it would be good to see something new but it was faster. Had I gone through Ogdenburg I'd be going through those small towns and some have low spees of 30mph. This was about 4.5 hours so yes I did this instead.

I knew getting back into the United States would be easier. The guard lady took my papers and asked a few things. She still searched my trunk but I didn't have to get out and it was very fast unlike what I had to do and wait on from the Canadian side. So much easier and faster thank goodness. I hate border crossings either way so glad that's over with. If I ever go to Mexico at least I can speak Spanish. My only regret is that I didn't stop at the tower by the 1000 islands on the Canadian side. I saw it and thought about it and was indecisive and then I passed it and it was too late. When will I be there again? Possibly never so wasted opportunity because I didn't decide in time.

I'm so glad my cellphone works again too...sort of. It still takes forever to send text. It arrives on the other side but on my end sometimes it still says "sending" for hours. I don't know why that is. At least I can call Chris and anyone else again without getting nailed with huge roaming charges. I hate it and think it's stupid since I have free calls to Canada, Mexico and US why should it matter where I'm calling if I'm in one of those three countries? Really makes no sense. At least we got Skype to work for Chris and I have been using that a lot to get around phone calls from my tablet.
OH something else I don't like about Canada. Pine Trees. Haha. I could not keep my poor Jeep clean. And I washed it at both houses that was so nice but it was totally pointless as the next morning it was covered in gross yellow pollen again as though it's never been washed. ARG. I thought it was just because my room in Ottawa was under a pine tree directly but it happened in Montreal too. I probably won't be able to wash it again until I get to my aunt's in Georgia.

So the plan is to barrel through all the states day after day no extra lay overs like the first time. So I'm in NY now and tomorrow morning I head back to Virginia. Just one night again then back to NC. It's going to be a brutal trip as those two are the longest. I'm only staying one night in NC too. Not til I get to Georgia will I stay a few days to recover before the final leg which is 8 hours home to Tampa. I'm proud of myself. I can really tell I've gained driving skills on this trip as I've had to do things out of my comfort zone. But as I knew would be the case phobia is NOT cured. It will never be cured. I just have to face it everyday and not give into it. When I get home I probably won't go out for a month though haha. Other than to get my oil changed and my new headlights installed. Tires need to be rotated if not all new tires. I'll see what they say. I'm over 8k miles today. The Jeep is 9 months old.

This hotel is way nicer than the crappy one which was the Ramada Inn. I'm only five mins from there at the Holiday Inn Express. Huge difference. Indoor pool, exercise room, it's clean no smoking, it smells clean like nice chemicals and attention to detail. They have four pillows per bed marked soft and firm. I think that's great so guests get a choice of how they like the hardness of their pillows. I think that's awesome as choice is so important. Since I'm only staying one night in each place I'm not going to unpack much if I can help it so loading up the car will be easy in the mornings.

I might post pics later. Right now I'm emptying my Gopro memory cards that are stuffed with driving footage. So I'll stop here for now and may make another post tonight. We'll see.
Tags: travel
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