Yes you can…take a ROAD TRIP!

Does the idea of being stuck in a car for long periods of time scare you? How about having a back seat driver that “thinks” they are helping you as they bark out commands every 3 to 5 minutes (NO, REALLY!) Well, the most of you probably do not have to deal with this and even if you do,  the process and destination are well worth it.  So despite having these are potential drawbacks, I decided to engage on two road trips. Montreal, Canada and Buffalo, New York.

How else does on spend their American Independence Day? I went to Canada. Yeah, not for health insurance, but to spend time with my large family. Sounds fun, right? Well, it actually was. We are grownups! We have mortgages, kids and are full of life transitions (college, marriages, more children and new animals).  Now, just about everybody was able to go out for a beer and explore the city.

Montreal is a city that tones of the Bay Area, Seattle, and just a bit of Brooklyn tones. The city  is artistic, laid back, and everyone seems to be here. I happened to be in town when William and Kate were in “town”. At this point, my grandmother confessed to watching the wedding and thought “that was a WEDDING”.  So, instead of stalking William and Kate, we visited family and part of the city that had a bit of tourists and caught the end of the JazzFest in the city.

Who says you can't be fit on vacation? Just put in JUST DANCE and get your workout on! No couch potatoes in this family.

Can't help but get excited about the bikes in Montreal!

Can't help but get excited about the bikes in Montreal!

Ok, they were really excited about the bikes!

Ok, you have to try the Poutine! And yes, you can request it as a vegetarian!

J'aime Montreal and my family! Even, the back seat driver....

A few days later, we thought, let’s get in a car again for another eight hours and go to Buffalo. Now, the planning for this trip totally humbled me. Honestly. I did not prepare and usually i still get the area that I want to be in. Well, the same weekend of dropping off my cousin to his summer program was the TASTE of Buffalo! And, Buffalo is a major city, so why would I think I could wait last minute to make lodging reservations, well, I thought it was Buffalo. Well, we ended up staying in a chain place by the airport because all the B &B’s and all hotels were completely BOOKED!

Buffalo, was all about letting go! My cousin, came to this country about 10 years ago and is finally leaving this family. I am really that he decided to go away and who knows where he will graduate from  but at least he took the leap and decided to explore a different place.  As we let him go, we wanted to see the city. While, the majority of time was centered around him (orientation, parent sessions, etc) the morning was all about Niagara Falls.

The tourists and cameras were snapping, but everyone felt especially lucky to see this.

Who doesn't love rainbows at Niagara Falls?

Really misty, but what do you expect next to a waterfall?

You could miss this sign if you are not paying attention.

We just took a look around and decided that next trip should be all about Buffalo!

So, you need a recap, right? Roadtrip 101.

1. Limit the back seat drivers ASAP!  I have heard stories from the stopping car on side of highway and threatneng to kick people out to the driving on the side of the median just for effect. Either way, nip it in the bud.

2. Co pilots are awesome. Having an awesome copilot is tons of funs! You co pilot can be the mediator or liaison between front and back depending how crazy things get.

3.  Getting there.  Zipcars, can be a great tool but watch out for mileage and awful cars that might be in their fleet. The penalties are high and the ezpass is not included in the rate.  Rental cars might be a better option.

4. Yay or Nay for rest stops? Be smart! I was with the group of people who can easily spend 30 minutes in a gas station, just looking. So, I decided to stop when  I needed and when nature called (My grandmother was with us one trip. I couldn’t deny any 81-year-old women access to the bathroom).

5. Hotels. Know where you are going and where you might want to stay. Make sure major festivals are not going on and maybe you will be able to stay in the place of your choice.

6. Food. Go local! Canada was a fix of foods, especially since I am a return vegetarian. Being a vegetarian in a Haitian family is just a TAD difficult. In Montreal, you have to try the Poutine and in Buffalo, well, I should have been at the Taste of Buffalo 🙂

7. Sanity. Stretch, have good music,  enjoy the stories and time in the car.

After my road trips, I have an even larger crush on New York State! I thought that a cabin in Vermont or Rhode Island just made sense, but New York is just as high on the list! Be safe on the road and just go!

going to Canada. fourth of July? Going to anoher country….of course.


~ by travelling womanists on July 12, 2011.

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