September 18, 2012

A Fucking Ferry???

So I guess the best place to start is at the beginning, with how we got there, how we got home, and what we saw along the way.

As you all know, if you’ve been reading about this journey the whole time, I was really scared that my mom and I would fight on the car on the way to or from Squam since it was about an 11 hour drive each way and we have a tendency to not get along if we’re together for too long. THANK THE OLD GODS AND NEW that didn’t happen. In fact I had THE BEST FUCKING TIME EVER adventuring with my mother through the US of A.

Blake drove me to my mom’s house, which is about an hour away, after (his) work on the Wednesday (the 12th). We shot the shit for a while and then we walked to a Chinese food restaurant in my mom’s new town (she just moved into a gorgeous old house that they’re currently renovating the fuck out of) and we all had dinner. Then Blake left and my mom and I pretty much went to bed right after that because we had to get up at 3am to ideally leave at 4am because we had to be in New Hampshire for registration by 5:30pm.

I was up before my alarm at 3am and I was dressed and ready to go about 15 minutes later. (I’m pretty low maintenance in that regard. I’m not a high maintenance pain in the ass ALL the time!) I don’t know what my mom was doing because she was upstairs and I was downstairs checking e-mail and tweeting etc with my phone. Then my mom and John and I loaded the car with all our stuff and then we were on the road!

This is me and my mom about to start our adventure and being very very excited and awake for it being 4 in the fucking morning:

Damn, I look good in a tiara.

Honestly, the way there was pretty much a blur and I forget 95% of it because I was so out of my mind with terror and excitement. I know my mom and I talked about a ton of stuff but god only knows what because it really was just shooting the shit.

We had no trouble at the border that I recall. As is typical when border crossing, the person (I can’t even remember if it was a dude or a dudette, honestly…probably a dude though) didn’t really care what we were doing or where we were going because we’re white ladies with the same last names on our Canadian passports going to an art retreat. We couldn’t have been more benign if we tried.

I don’t even know where we crossed the border to be perfectly honest. I think it was Cornwall, Ontario to New York, or at least that was the plan, but the GPS lady was a tricksy little hobbit so it could have been anywhere really, I just know it wasn’t Buffalo or Niagara and that we definitely crossed into New York state.

So by the time we were driving across NY it was light out and the GPS lady was telling us what to do and where to go and everything was fine, until we go over this hill and the GPS lady was like, “Now get on the ferry,” and in front of us was a FUCKING LAKE! We had literally 20 seconds to decide what to do because we were in a lane to a little booth where the ticket lady was waiting for us, so we go to the booth and my mom’s freaking out saying “WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS?” (to me, not to the lady in the booth) and the lady said we had to pay $13.10 and then we had to drive up to the ferry and wait to get on, freaking out the whole time. The lady at the booth’s parting works were “Trust your TomTom!” (which is what my mom’s GPS is called). That became our mantra for the whole trip, trust your TomTom…(which turned out to be bad advice on the way back but I’ll get to that later.)

So my mom had never been on a ferry before and she was losing her shit and I’d been on a BIG ferry on a school trip once and threw up so I was scared that would happen again, but this was a little ferry and we THINK we were crossing Lake Champlain into Vermont. We know we were crossing into Vermont but the actual name of the lake is pretty much a mystery because the GPS doesn’t tell you that stuff (or if she does, we didn’t know that setting).

These are pretty much the only pictures I took on the way to Squam, all on the ferry and freaking out about the ferry (which was probably only a 10 minute ride in reality but it felt longer and we were practically screaming the whole time):

See all those water droplets? I had my window down when we got on the ferry and I got sprayed!

Wherever we were, there were mountains!

“A fucking FERRY? This wasn’t on the map!”

I love this picture. She looks absolutely radiant.

This happens to me a lot, actually.

New York was pretty much the same as Ontario and I’ve been there a million times before so it was no big deal, but I’d never been to Vermont or New Hampshire before. Both were pretty cool. And pretty much the same as each other, as far as where we went. There were a lot of trees, some mountains, a lot of winding roads. The only real difference I found between the two states was that in Vermont there were lots of campaign signs for senators and stuff, but no signs for Obama or Romney or even that Gary libertarian guy, who I thought would be popular in Vermont. In New Hampshire there were all kinds of signs telling people to vote for Romney, which surprised me because I thought NH was a blue state, but A) apparently it’s a toss up/battleground state, and b) Mitt Romney has a house 35 miles from where we were staying. Also, according to Belinda, where we were was like, a super expensive part of the state. I can’t remember the figure my mom gave me but one of the ladies in our cabin was a rich lady from Victoria, BC and she knew how much property was worth there by the square foot and it was crazy expensive. They also had rules as to what colour you were encouraged to paint your house if you built your house on the lake. A bright pink house would have been extremely frowned upon.

In NY, we stopped at a Wal*Mart because I had broken Blake’s phone charger for the car so I had to get us a new one and my mom got me some socks because she thought it was pretty pathetic that I only packed one pair because I literally only own 3 pairs of socks (until now): one normal black pair, which I’d packed, the black pair I wear with my Docs and a black pair Charlie got me from Free People last year that on a normal person would only go to just above the knee but on a midget like me, they go all the way to my crotch so I honestly have never worn them. Oh and I have fishnets and stuff but I’m not wearing fishnets in the woods.

Also at Wal*Mart I bought 15 bags of Pretzel Cheddar Cheese Combos because I’m obsessed with them, I love them and eat them for practically every meal, and they’re extremely hard to find in my part of Canada in the quantities I need. I’ve cleared out the two convenience stores that had them in our town, one store in Wasaga Beach and another store in Barrie. And that’s just the places that even have them in that flavour in small bags OR big bags. I’ve bought them all. And the one store in town says they’re going to get me more but it’s been a few weeks and so far there’s been no progress so GOD BLESS AMERICA AND THEIR INFINITE SUPPLY OF CHEDDAR CHEESE PRETZEL COMBOS!!!

Also, let me tell you how fucking weird it is to see BEER at Wal*Mart! In Ontario we have liquor stores that are controlled by the government somehow because here alcohol is a controlled substance more or less. I mean, it’s not a big deal or anything, they’re just liquor stores, but that’s the only place you see alcohol here so seeing it just out in the open at fucking WAL*MART was a little crazy. I’ve been to NY and MI a million times so I’ve obviously seen it before but it still kills me every time because it’s just so bizarre. It’s kinda like seeing one of your teachers out in the wild.

In New Hampshire we went to an actual liquor store and they didn’t carry coolers. In fact they didn’t even know what a cooler was. You could buy giant bottles of premixed mudslides and shit like that but we wanted like, 6 packs of vodka (or whatever) COOLERS. Like Mike’s Hard. (In my case, specifically Mike’s Hard.) So the lady behind the counter was like, “I have no fucking idea what you’re talking about” but a lady who had just walked into the store and who had overheard us asking about them pointed us in the direction of the grocery store across the road (WEIRD!!!!) and so we went and it was like, fucking alcohol cooler MECCA.

Mike’s Hard Lemonade was invented in Canada. We’ve had it up here for about a million years before it was introduced in the US. I know this because we learned all about the brand when I was in college. Anyway, up here, I’ve only ever seen the lemonade, the limeade, the cranberry, and there’s a gross blue one. There’s also sometimes a pink lemonade for breast cancer. If there are more than that in Canada (or at least, Ontario), I’ve never seen them and when I drink, that is what I drink. Specifically the lime one.

WELL!!! At thie grocery store they probably had like, 12 different kinds of Mike’s Hard that we don’t have here and that I’d never heard of. And I was shocked because IT’S A CANADIAN BRAND so why don’t we have all this shit? I got a case of Mike’s Hard Strawberry Margarita (which is AWESOME – I still have 3 of 6 left) and I think my mom got the cranberry. I stupidly didn’t get anything else, and I should have because Blake and the kids wanted some stuff from the grocery store that you can’t get here and we didn’t have a chance to hit a grocery store or a Wal*Mart on the way home because my mom’s GPS lady is a stupid bitch who put on on the NY Thruway all the way home so we could cross as BUFFALO which is way too West. And we didn’t get off the Thruway because the toll booths freaked my mom out and we just didn’t know *where* to get off that would have a Wal*Mart or a town or whatnot. It was also getting pretty late when we were going through NY on the way home and it was in NY that I wanted to fiind a grocery store because it’s almost Halloween and I happen to know that around Halloween, in some places in NY you can get Boo Berry cereal, which I’ve never had and I desperately want to try. If ANYONE SEES ANY BOO BERRY (I don’t even know if it’s one word or two) CEREAL, PLEASE BUY ME A BOX AND I’LL PAYPAL YOU THE COST + SHIPPING!

On the way home we drove through New Hampshire and Vermont in the afternoon and since we didn’t have any time restraints, we stopped at all kinds of little shops and stuff, of which there are many in the parts of those states we were in.

We stopped at this veggie stand in NH because their sign was awesome. Behold!

My mom chatted them up and I got so distracted by the sheer amount of produce they had that I forgot to ask them about the pot. Because if they really did have some, I would have bought some in a heartbeat and would have just smoked it right there (I would never bring drugs in my mom’s car). I was pretty surprised that I didn’t catch the whiff of weed AT ALL at Squam. Lots of alcohol, especially since we were in the party cabin, but no pot that I was aware of and I was on high alert.

Anyway, at that farmstand I bought some strawberry jam, which Blake says is really good, and a bumper sticker for him that says “Eat Right or Die!”  I also took a picture of some weird red pumpkins for my mom:

On the way home, I bought a pink t-shirt that says NEW YORK on it (duh), something that I can’t say because it’s a gift for someone who may be reading this (just a little thing that was less than $10) and a hand pressed card that says “Namaste” on it that I’m probably going to frame one day for my future office. I also bought a lot of Diet Coke and Dasani water because it’s my favourite water (reverse osmosis FTW!) and in the US it’s only $0.99 whereas in Canada it’s $2.00-$2.50 a bottle. Oh and since I like drinks, just in general, the whole time we were in the US I was buying weird, local pop in neat bottles that I never kept but I did keep some of the cooler bottle caps.

We also stopped in Vermont to eat at a Friendly’s…oh lord. We ordered these “Mac & Cheese Bites” which is battered macaroni and cheese that is then deep fried. My mom and I each tried one and they were some of the most vile food stuff I have ever had in my whole entire life and it pretty much summed up American cuisine for me. I did follow it up with a cookie dough sundae with chocolate sauce and whipped cream though, so that was pretty cool. We actually brought the Mac & Cheese Bites home so Chris and John could try how vile they were but I haven’t heard as to whether or not they tried them. They were in the car for a long time so who knows how they tasted by the time they got to them. *shudder*

Also let me tell you that Friendly’s? Not so friendly to someone with major anxiety issues. The colours and the decor of the place was like, closing in on me and freaking me right out to the point where I had to take Ativan and go out to the car and get my bag and camera so I didn’t feel so naked and exposed. It was pretty terrible. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

Crossing the border on the way home was a bigger deal than crossing into the US because the guy asked more questions, but still, we were pretty benign so he just waved us through (IN FUCKING BUFFALO WHICH WAS NOT WHERE WE WERE SUPPOSED TO CROSS!) and then we were on home turf and my mom knew more or less where to go from there.

I fell asleep during the middle of the ride home (like, IN Ontario) with my glasses on and they dug into my face so hard that it STILL hurts to touch in places a day later. :o/ We got to my mom’s around 3am, unloaded the car and went to bed.

I woke up yesterday around 7:30am I think and John had given me the password for the internet so I set up my laptop on a table on my mom’s fucking awesome front porch and just internetted all morning until my mom said she’d take me home.

On the way back to my house, we stopped in Orillia, which is the next big city to my mom’s new town and we went to this place called Mariposa Market and we had homemade meat pies, homemade chicken noodle soup, cornbread (which I’d never had before) and homemade donuts that were pretty much the food of the gods.

We’d parked in a parking lot behind the shops and restaurants of the main street and I noticed this, uh, advertising, on our way to lunch and decided that on the way back I’d take a couple of pictures of it. Take a look. I kinda love it and I’m not even really sure why…maybe it’s the ad geek in me:

I kinda wish the light would have been better, less glaring or maybe I had a better lens or maybe I’d have had the time to play with under exposing it but I just wanted to take the pic and get home so there it is.

After that, we went home and waited for the kids to arrive since it was right after school. My mom hung around and waited for them, we all had a group hug in the driveway, then she went home and Madison and I chatted about Squam as we unpacked my stuff. Then Blake came home and we chatted about everything that had happened in the last 5 days, watched Doctor Who, had some pizza, went to bed.

The End…For Now…

4 Comments

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  1. Belinda says:

    BTW, Mike’s hard lemonade is technically a malt beverage. I think that most places in the US call coolers by whatever brand name they are, whether they are Mike’s hard, or Bacardi Breezers or an actual wine cooler which people rarely make anymore because of all the other malt beverages, but if you asked for a ‘wine cooler’ in my state, they’d know what you meant. Usually they’re with the beer though.

    Mac n Cheese bites started in the south, in a state where they had Church’s chicken. The first time I saw them commercially was about 10 years ago when I was in Vegas and they were being tested. I have always thought they were nasty, but there are hordes of people who will eat just about anything mac/cheese/fried related to get out of eating vegetables.

    Friendly’s is also the kind of place that I require meds. There are just some restaurants that rub me the wrong way, from the lighting to the color schemes.

    • Sunny says:

      In Canada, Mike’s Hard is VODKA none of this malt beverage bullshit. They’re also 7% alcohol while the ones I brought home from the US are only 5 (and malt shit, not tequila since they’re margaritas).

  2. Belinda says:

    FYI I did notice people mentioning smoking up while we were there but they apparently went downwind of the cabin. *shrug*