Thursday, July 02, 2009

Day 2 - You came here to do what?

Today starts in Sandusky, Ohio, goes to Canada, and Frankenmuth, Michigan.
After making the best of a treadmill run and stair climber in a very damp hotel fitness room we took off again. On this day we were headed to Port Huron, MI in order to cross the border into Sarnia, Ontario, Canada and get a look at Lake Huron.
Along the way we went through Detroit. The view from the interstate showed a lot of really old skeletal buildings. They were way older than the recent trouble, but empty with windows broken out and roofs falling in. If a place could be affected by its own personal image, it is not surprising that there is so much depression in the area. It looked horrible. Maybe getting rid of some of those buildings would give the whole city a better self image and allow the people to have some hope. The only operating auto manufacturing facilities that I saw belonged to Ford. If there are others in town they weren’t obvious from the interstate.
We also caught site of this Uniroyal tire. Don’t know if the brand is made there though.
The crossing into Canada didn’t take very long. We only waited a few minutes in line at customs.
What took some time was answering the border agent’s questions.
Agent: What is the reason for your trip? FabHub: We are going for lunch.
Agent: You are going for lunch? FabHub: Yes, we are on vacation and want to go into Canada to eat lunch.
Agent: Where are you from? Fab Hub: West Virginia. Agent: This is a long way to come for lunch!
Agent: What else are you going to do? FabHub: Look at Lake Huron.
Agent: Where are you going on vacation? FabHub: Iowa
Agent: Iowa is in the other direction! FabHub: We know, we are just traveling around.
Agent: How long will you be in Canada? FabHub:About 3 hours.
Agent: Do you have any firearms or other weapons? FabHub: No
Agent: What is in the box? (Referencing a big box in the back seat of the car.) FabHub: Water
Agent: Why do you have a box of water? FabHub: To drink along the way, it is a disposable cooler.
Agent: It's a Cooler? Why... Ok, have a nice day. FabHub: Thank you sir!
The exchange may have been funnier in person, but the look on his face and the tone were a bit humored with our excursion plans.

When we got across the border we drove around a while until we manage to find Lake Huron where FabHub allowed himself to be photographed again.
I left the camera with him for once and went down an old metal staircase to stick my toes into the lake water.
We found some lunch at Skeeter Barlow’s.
Skeeter’s had a great view of the lake (pic avoids people) and very slow service.
After lunch we found some gulls acting badly. They never follow the rules.
Proof that we were in Canada –
Road signs in Kilometers
Wal-Mart is a Supercentre (note the spelling and the flag)
On the way back to Michigan I got a few bored in traffic shots from the Blue Water Bridge, which crosses the border. This first is from the Canadian side of the bridge.
This one is the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse built in 1829 on the Port Huron, Michigan side of the bridge.
The other is a request by FabHub, a look down on a traffic light from the border bridge on the Canadian side.
We made it back across the border with the agent asking the same questions about our excursion and “The Box” as they did on our way in. FabHub was ready with his answers this time.

Our next stop was Frankenmuth, which is a town with a Bavarian theme. And a store that sells Christmas all year long. Don't look too closely, you might see Santa being rude to passers by.

Along the road to our next stop we took a break at a gas station to see if they had any State shaped magnets, which I am collecting. I had two of them when we started the trip and now I have three. This station had a Michigan magnet, YAY! Outside we were getting ready to go and saw this State Trooper car. They have a unique way of getting people to pull over in this district. Pull up next to the offender and turn on the hood sign.
During this trip we are using our TomTom GPS to get around. We love it because TomTom always knows where we are and gets us to where we want to go.The roads that it leads us on, such as this worn out trail to Frankenmuth, are sometimes a bit odd, but we have learned, follow the directions and we will get where we are going. Just don’t get in a hurry.
When we got to Frankenmuth we wandered around through some shops and saw lots of Bavarian things. Then it was time for dinner. The town is sort of known for its chicken dinners. There are two competing restaurants that attempt to be the best in town. We chose the Bavarian Inn because they don’t have garish neon signs outside the building. Then we chose to not have the chicken, because they had Schnitzel on the menu. They also had Bitburger Pilsner, (our favorite German beer). Unfortunately, what wasn’t garish outside was grotesque inside. The amount of food that was eventually wasted just on our table was the problem. It started with two kinds of bread and strawberry rhubarb jam, and then we got coleslaw, beans salad, pasta chicken salad, and cranberry salad served as the “salad”, and then sauerkraut, butter noodles, squash casserole, and potato krokettes served with the schnitzel. Other than cleaning my plate in the picture, we left the rest of this food. The waitress had the nerve to ask if we wanted dessert!
The really sad part is that the schnitzel wasn’t that good. We should have had the chicken. So that is day two and we have already had some awesome adventures!

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