Sunday, July 11, 2010

National Lampoons Northern Vacation

I have just returned home from a 3 week trip across New England and parts of Canada. We got to explore areas we've never been to before, and catch up with friends and family. I finally got all my pictures from the trip geo-located and uploaded, so its time to share some interesting facts about observations about the trip:
  • Round trip was just over 33oo Miles.
  • We were in 13 states (Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, West Virginia), and two provinces (Ontario and Quebec).
  • Despite my best attempts to avoid it, I have now driven in downtown Manhattan... and survived.
  • The worst place to drive was not Manhattan, but Montreal. I am pretty sure the Montreal city planners were all high when they designed their highway system.
  • Geocaching is a great way to explore new areas. I found 53 caches on this trip, including ones at lighthouses in Rhode Island and Ontario, on the end of water breaks in Plymouth Rock Mass., the Bruce Trail in Ontario, and many interesting churches, graveyards, and waterways.
  • Travelling with an 8 month old isn't as hard as it sounds. It also has the advantage of forcing us to slow down and take more frequent stops, which allows us to not be as tired at the end of the day, and more opportunities to take in local colour and culture.
  • The french are pansies. I knew this before, but having experienced Montreal its confirmed. They are, however, very nice pansies.
  • I have finally seen the Queen - twice. Neither was planned. It was like she followed me around Ontario.
  • Canadians can congregate and celebrate a major event (Canada Day in Ottawa including a visit by Queen Elizabeth II - 300,00 people rocked the nations capital) without becoming completely security paranoid. It makes me proud to not have to go into lockdown mode whenever more than 200 of us get together in a major city to party it up.
  • The farther north one gets (until hitting the border), the less social people become. In North Carolina waving to someone you pass on a sidewalk will almost always be met with a wave in return. In New York you may, if you are lucky, just make eye contact. They are, however, just as nice once you get to know them.

The above pictures outline our trip. It was definitely well worth the time and money spent on hotels and gas. Good times. Now I must get some sleep. Work starts again tomorrow.