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Monday, July 6, 2015

Holiday Road - Day 1, Watertown New York

The chronicles of my first trip outside the United States, even if it is just to Canada.

* * * * * * * * * *

Ms Rivers and I left the house on or about 3:45pm, which was slightly later than we had anticipated.  In fairness to us though, we had a few things to do before leaving, including cleaning and some packing related stuff.

Anyway, our destination is Quebec City, Canada.  Heading up the plan is to take interstate 81 to the border crossing, then once we arrive in the Great White North (henceforth GWN for the balance of these postings) following the seaway up to Quebec City.  Since we are both too old to want to stand 12 hours of driving, we decided to break the trip up into two parts.  The  trip up stop would be in Watertown, New York (for where I write this) and the trip back stop would be in Albany, New York.

The actual trip from NE Pennsylvania up to Watertown was uneventful.  This is not surprising, given the fact that there really isn't anything between the two points, other than glancing blows at Binghamton and Syracuse.  Actually interstate 81, with its lonely stretches in central PA and central NY should get some kind of recognition for "highway with the least to see".

The actual touchdown in Watertown was at something like 7pm, which isn't bad timing.  Our vehicle, by the way, is a brand spanking new Chrysler 200, which we rented for this trip.  So far I am impressed.  It has two bordering-on-must-have options:  Sirius satellite radio and a backup camera.  By the way, you know it's true love when your partner doesn't mind you listening to Howard Stern.

Dinner yesterday evening was at a Ponderosa steak house.  Funny* story:  During my first "post-wedding trip"** (many years ago) I ate at a Ponderosa steak house near Washington DC and I am reasonably sure that I got food poisoning.  Telling Ms Rivers that story elicited a completely reasonable response of "well maybe we should eat somewhere else", but throwing caution (and good dining sense) to the wind, we plunked down the $30 required for all-you-can-eat and had some typical non-oriental buffet food.  So far no food poisoning on my part.

Finishing up the day we stayed at a Hampton Inn.  Going up I used by frequent guest points for the room, and coming back Ms Rivers is using her points for that room.  I like to think of it as being a reward for all of those long business trips spent to such glamorous locations as Hartford, CT and central New Jersey.  No offense to residents of either.

Conversation of note:  Is it pronounced...




I know it's the latter, but part of my wants to be the quintessential Ugly American, just once, by using the former pronunciation.  I know, I know, I actually won't, but it's a nice thought.  I have to keep the whole food poisoning thing in mind after all.

Regardless, today it's back on the road to the GWN this morning.  I will drive while Ms Rivers learns French.  We have a book, by the way, and she's good at language stuff.  I am not.  But I can drive, so I do feel I am doing my part.

(*) Funny as in ironic, as there is nothing actually funny about projectile vomiting (unless you are watching a Monty Python movie).

(**) I hate the term "honeymoon".  It sounds, well, dumb.  Like some Appalachian mountains custom enjoyed by people with 4 functioning teeth, a moonshine still in their back yard and Skoal rings in their pants.  Hence "wedding trip".

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