Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 1

The goal was to leave our home at 4:00 a.m. so as to avoid Montreal traffic.  We left at 4:18.  And those extra 18 minutes cost us.  We also got a little lost, and had to backtrack a bit. 

So we were off-schedule AND it was raining.  Those two factors caused me to think I was going to need a Plan B.  And about the rain, I must stop here to say that Mark won the Bright Idea award.  Our car-top carrier attaches with cloth straps inside the four doors.  Unfortunately this breaks the weather stripping around the door that normally keeps rain out.  So whenever it rains, we get four streams of water pouring into the car.  This year Mark prepared for the possibility of rain by attaching four Ziploc bags to the metal clips.  We laughed when we saw what he’d rigged up, but we weren’t laughing when those babies filled up with water, and we didn’t need our umbrellas in the car.   Good thinking, Markus!

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Okay, back to the story…by the time we reached Thousand Islands (where we normally cross the border, and look over the bridge declaring the beauty of the water and all those islands, and pass right on by) it had stopped raining so I went with Plan A, and directed Mark to Rockport where I told everyone we’d be going on a little cruise.  091Some of the islands are big enough for houses like this one.  And some are just big enough for a house like this.  040094  This man had just a little shack built on his island.  016Our guide showed us the multimillionaire, George Boldt’s daughter’s home that she sold about 10 years ago for a little over 400,000.  Now it’s worth over $2 million.  Of course we also saw the famous Boldt castle.  That guy was just plain indulgent, if you want my opinion.048The place is just a museum now and is used for events like weddings.  Below is the castle’s boathouse.  And Claire, if you are reading this, you’ll be happy to know that it was explained on our cruise how Boldt’s butler created the famous Thousand Island dressing:  a little relish, a squirt of ketchup, and a dollop of mayonnaise!!054After the cruise, we had a picnic not far from the water, and then got back in the car to continue our journey to our first night’s destination which was at the Parkview Hotel in downtown Syracuse.  194I had my first experience with getting our hotel for this trip on Priceline.  That job is always Mark’s, so I was a little nervous about it.  Check out what I got us for a mere $50!!!  It’s a fully restored building that was renovated as an 83-unit hotel and opened in May 2005.  The rooms were ENORMOUS and very tastefully decorated!  161 We relaxed there for a bit.  Our driver took a little snooze, and then we headed out to get something to eat.  And that place was Taco Bell—a real treat for us TB lovers.  We also found a Borders bookstore!168 We pretty much fell into bed that night.

And that was the end of Day 1 of the Billingtons’ Mystery Road Trip!