International Crossing #2: ON to NY then to OH

Today was mostly a travel day. After having a nice breakfast of canteloupe and “Timbits” (for Dunkin’ Donuts fans, the equivalent of Munchkins… for normal people, they’re donut holes) with Keith and Joanne, we loaded up the car around 9:15 am and headed out of Toronto at rush hour. Brilliant! It could have been worse, because we were moving pretty well most of the time, but it seems like the people in Toronto drive like maniacs. The rest of Canada wasn’t so bad, but these are big-city drivers, I guess.

Canada-US borderWe got to the border crossing at Buffalo around 11:30 and it took us about 10 minutes to get across. The guy at the border asked us even fewer questions than the Canadian woman had on Tuesday! Very impressive homeland security!

Our friend Christian, who was in the same training program at Sun with Dave, lives and works in Buffalo. We called him up to see if he was available to meet for lunch. He told us to meet him at a place called Pearl Street Pub & Brewery, and told us he’d meet us there. He couldn’t meet us right away, so we had some time to take care of business.

I made a few phone calls and finally got the payment thing with the movers straightened out. (I used the same trick as before to navigate the Fleet Bank phone menu: keep selecting numbers until I get a real person, regardless of whether the choices are relevant.) It turns out that there’s a limit on the amount of money that can be charged in a day. The woman temporarily changed it for me, and then I called the moving company back and said, “Try it again!” Of course we didn’t hear from them right away, but several hours later we got a phone call telling us we’re all set. Hooray! We can finally enjoy our vacation!

Then we walked around downtown Buffalo a bit looking to buy a stamp. I still hadn’t mailed my parents’ anniversary card, which I bought in Montreal. (Sorry, guys! Love ya!) It was quite the runaround finding a place that would sell me a stamp, but finally a guy in a newsstand sold me one and we were all set.

Downtown Buffalo was very interesting, primarily because they had an Elvis impersonator on a stage performing “Return to Sender” and there was, surprisingly, quite a crowd of spectators. Otherwise, downtown Buffalo is a sad, crumbling place. We went into a shopping mall that had obviously been designed in the early 1970s and basically not touched since then. You know when a mall is full of newsstands and dollar stores that it’s not quite the hip hangout.

We finally met up with Christian and had a great lunch. It was good to catch up with him. Hope to see you in San Diego soon, Christian!

We got back on the road around 1:30, a little later than we’d planned. It was a pretty uneventful trip, other than the fact that it rained on and off. Of course, we hit Cleveland at rush hour and it was pouring. Yuck!

We made it to our hotel, the AmeriSuites in Independence OH, and were so glad to just chill for a while. We were also psyched to have internet in our room! We went out and had Pizza Hut for dinner, then came back and chilled some more. Good night!

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