The drive through Massachusetts and New York state was uneventful with good weather. It took us about seven hours to cross the border into Canada where we spent the night at John's Gate Gourmet Bed & Breakfast in Niagara on the Lake. For dinner we walked a very chilly three blocks to the Cannery Restaurant in the Pillar and Post Inn. The service was outstanding but the food unremarkable although remarkably overpriced. Still, it was nice to try a selection of local wines. and the festive feel was certainly in the air:
|Johns Gate B & B|
Our last six hours or so to Michigan were as uneventful as the previous day's drive and the weather cooperated the entire way. In fact, we saw no snow the entire time we were in Michigan. Amazing! And we made both border crossings in record time with virtually no traffic backups!
Susie and I spent the next week or so pretty much hanging out with family, although we did see a couple of friends. We enjoyed a tasty lunch at Nonna's in Ada and Charley's Crab in downtown Grand Rapids. We also enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Marco's Bistro: quiet, great service and tasty food wrapped in a nice price. One couldn't have asked for anything better.
|chicken pot pie at Nonna's|
|quiche and salad|
|Bernice and Tine - golfing partners|
|Susan's cousin Mary Vandenberg Speyer coordinated the meeting at Raybrook|
Another goal during our trip was to get out to the Ten Have compound at Clear Bottom Lake, just west of Rockford. So, even though it was quite cold the skies were clear when we headed out to Clear Bottom to check on the progress of the new Ten Have home. When all is said and done, hopefully by spring, Uncle John and Aunt Marian will be comfortably settled in their wing along with cousins Jennifer and Scott and their daughter Clare. This is going to be one fantastic summer at the lake!
|uncle John keeping an eye out for crazed squirrels|
|"OK, so this thing here is gonna go there and we're gonna have this over there. . . "|
|cousins Susie and Jennifer|
Aside from spending quality time with Susie's mom and seeing family and friends, we did get the chance to check out a few pieces of property. After last summer we began looking seriously at moving back to this part of the country to be close to Bernice. Anyway, it was a good opportunity to see what the property values are like compared to the eastern seaboard (good) and the availability (not-so-good). But we're in no big rush, at least for the present.
Our return trip to Providence went off without a hitch -- border crossings were OK, although not quite as smooth as our outbound leg. But we managed to make it to our overnight in Rochester in good weather, although our dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse reminded us to keep our expectations .low when it comes to (most) chain restaurants.
The final driving day, New Year's Eve, was pretty uneventful, although we encountered a few annoying snow squalls in central New York. But by the time we hit the Hudson River Valley it was smooth sailing right into Rhode Island.