Thursday, September 11, 2008

Canadian Vacation 2008

Before I get started detailing our vacation day by day I wanted to let you know that I will be doing this journal in chronological order. The newes entry will be at the top of my blog. Please scroll down to see older blog entries.
Unfortunately because of how long today was I was unable to get photos from International Falls but will have some in tomorrow's entry.

DAY 1 Thursday

Our day began in the early hours ....... 4 :15 a.m. after a quick wash up and brushing of teeth we were out the door by 4:36.

The previous night we had prepacked the car so we only had our carry on luggage and a few small bags to toss into the car. We headed out and arrived at Norfolk International Airport at 5:15.
It took a while to get the car parked and to make our way through TSA. All our bags passed muster and Veronica and I headed up the stairs to get a newspaper and some breakfast.
We then found a nice cozy perch in the airport lobby where we relaxed for a couple of hours waiting on our flight.

We ended up being super early to the airport so we spent three hours before our flight departed.
We ended up departing Norfolk at 9 a.m. heading to Detroit.
The first leg of our journey took about an hour and half. We had an hour lay over in Detroit during which time Veronica and I split a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich. By this time it must have been around 11-11:30 AM.
The sandwich was surprisingly good. Usually airport food SUCKS. However this meal was decent.
We departed out of Detroit at noon. On our second leg of the journey we were heading to Minneapolis Minnesota.
This flight took an hour and a half. This flight was unremarkable except for the nice elderly lady who was seated next to me. On this leg of the journey Veronica had the window seat and I had the middle seat. To my right was a distinguished looking woman who appeared to be in her seventies. This woman was nice enough but there was one little issue that I had to deal with during our long hour and half flight to Minneapolis Minnesota. I do not think that there is any real way of putting this delicately ........ This woman wreaked of "old folks smell" .
Those of you who have ever spent anytime with the elderly might be able to relate to what I am speaking of. There is no way to accurately describe this smell.
This smell was not constant but it seemed like every other minute a cloud of foul smell would waft in my direction.
The smell permeated into my nasal passages and into my memory bank where it is permanently affixed for the rest of my days. I hope that as I age I will never get " old folks smell" but if I ever do, please give me a good soaking in Lysol and send me on my way. Needless to say I did not get anything to eat when I arrived at Minneapolis Minnesota.

Our layover in Minni was rather short and the next and final leg of our airborne journey was to International Falls, Minnesota.
The airport at INL is rather small and they only have one gate and only three flights arriving daily and only three flights departing daily and NWA has a monopoly on all flights.

Uone arrival at the airport we got our over abundance of luggage, got our rental car and began the tricky task of loading our car. The car we got was a 2009 Buick LaCross. It is a very nice car with heated leather seats but it was somewhat lacking in space compared to the amount of luggage we had. It was a tight fit but we crammed everything into the car.
We then headed to Kmart and the local grocery store to get our provisions. Every nook and cranny of that car is now over filled. It is like stuffing ten pounds of baby poop into a one ply small diaper.
The old saying "My cup runneth over" applies to our car and luggage situation. We then checked into our hotel the Super 8 for the night. The place really smelled of cigarette smoke and the a/c has a short but at least the T.V. is new.
After checking in and dropping off just a small portion of luggage, just enough to get us through the night, we then went to our favorite restaurant up the street........ THE CHOCOLATE MOOSE.

As usual the food was FANTASTIC.....huge portions and very tasty. I got the Bacon Cheeseburger with Salad and homemade chips and Veronica got the Philly Cheese Steak with Fries. We decided we would split each of our sandwiches in half and share thus giving us a more well rounded dietary meal...lol. Hey, isn't that what vacations are all about...splurging and doing things that you don't normally do?

After finishing our meal, we are now in the room and just about ready to crash for the night.
Tomorrow I will take some photos of the Airport, the Chocolate Moose and a few other sites in International Falls and give you details of our 2nd day.
Until then....... May your lines be tight and your muskies be huge!!!!

DAY 2

Man, what a lousy nights sleep I almost got!!!! The a/c in our room was all messed up. You could turn the a/c on and it would work for about 4 minutes. Then it would totally turn off and I could not turn it back on for a while. I ended up having to turn on the fan only on the a/c system. Everytime the a/c would go off, I ended up getting up and turning the fan on until it got hot in the room. Then up I would get to turn the a/c back on so that we would not baste in our own juices. This procedure went on and on throughout the night. It made for a very segmented and lousy nights sleep.
I ended up getting up for good around 6:15 AM. We had gone to bed rather early so at least I got a minimal amount of sleep.
It is 8:15 now and Veronica is up and moving about. We will be going out for breakfast shortly...to the Chocolate moose of course. Then its off to take a few pictures and then we will be on our way to get through customs at Ft. Francis. Once through there, we will be in Canada. I will make another entry tonight to let you know how the day went.
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