After what seems like years in the making, today was finally the day to hit the road for the Potted Plant Cotillion! It’s like living a dream! We never thought the day would actually come!
We started our day off at the crack of dawn – 9:30. In the morning. We were facing a long drive, and hadn’t done a whit of preparation for it. First up on the docket? Making muffins, as everyone does on the morning they’re supposed to drive to Canada.
We still had all kinds of packing to do, too, including, most importantly, our potted plants. We went to great lengths to pick potted plants no one else at the cotillion would be wearing; in the end Pookie went with a Meyer lemon tree…
…And Schnookie chose a “hot & spicy” oregano.
With our plants picked out, there really wasn’t anything else to pack. We sat around for a while, waiting for the muffins to come out of the oven…
…And put together a picnic lunch.
Now, we adore road tripping because spending hours in the car means spending hours listening to music. The iPod-to-Ookie ratio was high on this ride, and we’d both made playlists especially for today’s drive.
Between the two of them, we had three hours of music just to kick things off before launching into our standard “Five-star” shuffle mode. The singing along was loud, atonal, and marked by some serious gusto. It was a beautiful day for driving, and even Pookie’s car’s totem, Twinkdo, was rarin’ to channel its Inner Garfunkel and hit the road.
With all our preparations, we didn’t actually roll out of the driveway until 11:30. Thanks to glorious weather, ridiculously light traffic, and the endless thrill of not being at work on a weekday, the driving seemed effortless. The sky was robin’s-egg blue, the clouds fluffy and white, and the wildflowers along the highway bright and abundant. Really, you can’t ask for much more than that.
We enjoyed a muffin breakfast on the road in Jersey, oohed and aahed over the rolling hills in Pennsylvania…
…And stopped for our picnic somewhere between Scranton and Syracuse.
Along the way, we even discovered where the big rival from the MacGyver ice hockey episode is located. We wonder if being from New York would disqualify them from the Minnesota State Hockey Championship?
It was only after passing Syracuse that we got to traverse some highway we’ve never seen before. We paused to sell a pair of kidneys to pay for gas, and then it was all uncharted waters for us. For starters, who knew Thousand Islands was in New York/Ontario? We always figured it was somewhere off the coast of California, next to Catalina. Second, who knew the St. Lawrence River was so pretty? (When we stopped at the toll booth right before the St. Lawrence, we made a point of picking lane 6, in the hope that it would encourage the Lightning to accept Andy Greene straight-up for Vinny Lecavalier.)
Third, who knew that they were trying to lure Brett Hull to Western New York?
Disaster struck right at the border crossing, though; after weeks of anticipating taking a picture out the window of a “Welcome to Canada” sign, Schnookie totally dropped the ball because “Bridge Over Troubled Water” came on the shuffle right then, and she was distracted by singing along. Several disconsolate minutes later, she announced she was going to take a picture of the road instead, to show off how different it looks from an American road. As soon as those words were spoken, a Coors truck passed us. A Coors truck.
So, um… Canada doesn’t look very different from the US. There are even the same birds here. If we saw one red-winged blackbird, we saw ten billion – seriously, birds, we wouldn’t have minded seeing some more variety. Remember that for our drive home, okay?
Hey look, though!
Signs for Ottawa! WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!
We pulled up at our hotel at 7:30 on the button, extravagantly pleased with a day well driven. Of course, we were quickly made to feel like the Little People when we tried to drive into the hotel parking lot, but found our way blocked by a group of large, fit-looking, well-dressed teenage boys, their pretty, well-dressed girlfriends, and their well-dressed parents. They showed not the tiniest inclination to move out of our way when we were in the car, then were even less inclined to notice us walking through where they were blocking the front door of the hotel when we were on foot. You guessed it, Gentle Reader – draftees! In our hotel! It’s like being in the same hotel with the Devils, but before they’re actually Devils!
We managed to resist the urge to spend the entire evening gawking at the 18-year-olds who might someday be people we’ve heard of, and wandered off into nearby Byward Market, armed with suggestions from Sherry, and found a nice, relaxing dinner. Of course, it wouldn’t be a hockey trip for us if there wasn’t something odd happening in our sauces. Upon discovering carrots in her chicken burrito, Pookie sighed helplessly, “What is wrong with these people?” Well, that’s what we get for driving to Canada for Mexican food.
Stay tuned, Gentle Reader, because we’ll be back tomorrow with all kinds of news from our meeting up with the rest of the Cotillioneers, and maybe even with Draft news.