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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Canada: Another Long-lost Vacation Gem

So excited! I found my 7th grade journal. And in it was my account of our Canada vacation! One of the many vacations that I failed to remember almost anything from. What does help, though, is 1.) Seeing pictures, and 2.) Reading about it from old journals. And this one was pretty cool to read, because it is really detailed. (Even though I was only 13 years old.) Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures at my house, but I did throw in some random (but relevant) ones I found here and there to keep things interesting. Sound good? Ok, so without further ado....

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Sunday, June 24, 2001 (Canada vacation, 13 years old)
"I'm in Michigan! Right now we're in the car on our way to Toronto. We just left our hotel in Dexter, Michigan. Right now it's 9:00 am."

"Yesterday, we left our house at about 8:00am, and went to Muscatine, Iowa to pick up Grandma George. Then we started off to Dexter. We went across a bridge from Iowa to Illinois, so we were in Illinois once again. We went through Geneseo, but that's the only city I actually know where it is. We didn't really go through other towns. We stayed on highways all the time! Whenever I would ask where we are, my mom would always be like, "We're not in a town." So that really helps!

Once we got out of Illinois we went into Indiana, and it was the same kinda thing. Only when we first came over to Indiana, we were around Gary, which is a pretty big city, so we were barely moving sometimes. It took us like a half an hour just to get out of that part! We stopped to eat by the highway at Denny's. I had club sandwiches with french fries. It was like 1:00 when we finally got to eat, but we had a few snacks along the way. (It's really bumpy. Right now we're in a suburb of Detroit! There's a taxi right in front of us!)

It took us a few more hours to get to Dexter, MI, but we also lost an hour when we crossed over to Michigan because of the Eastern time zone. We finally arrived in a small addition-like place in Dexter, where David and Stephanie lived. That's where we dropped off Grandma. (Right now we just crossed over the bridge to Canada! It was really pretty. You could see big buildings in Detroit. Right now, we're in some town. It looks just like the United States.)

Image from here

We went to Stephanie and David's house. (Stephanie is Mom's cousin.) Their house is really big and nice. They built it 5 years ago, and it has lots of pretty woodwork and big windows. First we took this little tour of their house. They have this little living room, then if you go up a stair, there's a little table, and there's a desk by it. Then by that, there's a little kitchen area. To the left, there's a hallway with a pantry, a closet, and a guest bedroom and bathroom where Grandma George is going to stay. If you go back down to the living room and go left, there's another living room with a fireplace that's really nice. Above that, there's a balcony that's to the upstairs. Next, their master bedroom is to the left of the living room. The bathroom has 2 sinks right by each other; one for Stephanie and one for David. Then there's a big whirlpool in the corner, and a shower on the other side. In the basement, there's another guest bed and bath. There's also Stephanie's office where she works. She has a blue iMac computer! Next to her office is her workout room. The upstairs has another living room thing, and David's office! He also has a computer. Then, right next to that is a library! All along the walls are bookshelves full of books! There's also a dining room in the main level.

We stayed at Stephanie and David's for a little while, and we ate dinner. We basically had appetizers. There were cheese rolls and meat rolls (I had a cheese roll). And there were also veggies. When we left Stephanie and David's, it was only about 20 minutes to our hotel.

We got to our hotel at night; it was probably 8:30. We mostly just watched TV the rest of the night. This morning we woke up, got ready and went to a continental breakfast. I had milk, a glazed doughnut, and a banana.

We're in Canada. Now, it's pretty much all highway, open land, and trees. It's pretty boring. Plus, there's pretty bad radio stations. We passed a mall in the town in Canada that we went through that had a Guess store, a Tommy Hilfiger store, and a Nike store, but it wasn't open yet! I wanted to go there!

When we get to Toronto in a few hours, we're going to the CN Tower, but I don't know what else!"

Wednesday, June 27, 2001
"I'm in our hotel in Niagra Falls, Ontario. I'm actually bored right now! This is the only thing to do. My dad's resting, my mom's lying in bed watching her "soaps," and Haley's resting on the floor. She has the whole comforter down there. I'm under the covers. I don't want to watch Mom's stupid show. I think it's like 3:30, but I'm not sure. There's not even a clock in this room! Pretty soon we're gonna order pizza from Domino's, or eat at Pizza Hut or something.

Niagra Falls is pretty cool. This is our second day here. Tomorrow morning, we're leaving for Hershey, Pennsylvania. It'll take about 8 hours to get there.

Niagra Falls has lots of souvenir shops, but they have the same stuff in each one. There's other attractions on these streets also, like the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum, the Wax Museum of the Stars, the Haunted House, the Fun House, Dracula's Haunted Mansion, the Guiness World Records Museum, Ripley's Moving Theater, the Adventure Dome, and more. There's also restaurants like Hard Rock Cafe, Planet Hollywood, and Rainforest Cafe. We ate at Hard Rock Cafe yesterday.

We also saw the Falls. We took lots of pictures. It was pretty. We went on Maid of the Mist, which is a big, 2-story boat, and you wear this plastic, garbage bag-like blue raincoat, and it takes you around one side of the falls and back. If you want, you can put your hood up because you get really wet, but I didn't! It was cool! I didn't care if my hair got wet! I mean, c'mon! We also went in this tower by the falls called the Skylon Tower. It looked kinda like the CN Tower, only it was a lot smaller. You could see the whole Niagra Falls area. We had to wait forever to go back down in the elevator, though.

Niagra Falls - Image from here
Today, we slept in a little later than usual, which was good. Then for breakfast, we ate at a restaurant right by our hotel called Wimpy's. I had toast. Then we went to this butterfly observatory by Niagra Falls, and a butterfly landed on the back of my leg, and it wouldn't fly off! They said not to touch them, because the scales of the senses on the legs could get damaged, so I couldn't even touch it! There were all different kinds of butterflies flying all over, in this big, glass building, and a whole bunch of plants. We also walked around outside through these gardens. It was really hot, so I got ice cream. Then we shopped around a little on the streets, and went to Baskin Robbins for ice cream. Then we went back to the hotel...Tonight we might take a walk, and Haley and I might go swimming. The indoor pool is right by our room.

A couple days ago, we went to Toronto. I think that was my favorite place just because it was cool to see the liveliness and all the different people of a big city. There was even a little Chinatown. We went to a mall, but we didn't know hardly any of the stores in there. The two big department stores, Eaton's and The Bay, I've never even heard of, and they're pretty popular in Ontario. Eaton's was three stories! I got jeans, and so did Haley. Then we both got this jacket to match (and to share).

Image from here
In Toronto, we also went up in the CN Tower, the tallest building in the world. It was really high! You could see all of Toronto! Before we went up, we watched a video about it, and we rode two motion simulators. One was about wildfires, and one was about war planes. I didn't like them that much, but they were fine, ya know? Right next to the CN Tower was the Sky Dome, the indoor arena that the Toronto Blue Jays play in. It has a retractable roof! There was a gift shop in our hotel, and me and Haley both got a beanie baby. Haley got a bear named Cheery, and I got a dog named Regal. He's really cute! I also got another dog named Tricks, at the Rainforest Cafe in the mall we went to in Toronto. Also in Toronto, we went to Planet Hollywood, where I got a green shirt. That was the first time I've ever been to a Planet Hollywood. It was pretty neat. Outside on the walls, there were handprints of different movie stars. I put my hands in Sandra Bullocks'. The last day in Toronto, we went to a science museum. We didn't get to see it all, but we wanted to leave because we wanted to go shopping.

Our hotel was really nice in Toronto. Both nights we stayed there, me, Haley, and Dad went swimming in the indoor hotel pool. It was small, but it was really nice. The water was really comfortable, and you didn't even have to get used to it! There was also a whirlpool that was hot, but it was comfortable. You could make the water bubbly for however long you wanted between 3 and 15 minutes. The only thing is, there was a pop machine in every level, and none of them had pop in them! It sucked because we wanted pop, but oh well! There was a parking garage under our hotel where we parked! It was cool. Our hotel was right in town, too, but it had a really good alarm system. The traffic was really busy in Toronto, and there were lots of people on bicycles!

This is our second night in Niagra Falls, and our last night. Tomorrow morning, we're leaving for Hershey, Pennsylvania. The first day, we're going to a chocolate factory, and the second day, we're going to an amusement park, and I think we're staying all day. Then after that (Saturday), we're leaving for home! But we might have to stay the night in a hotel in Ohio or Indiana another night, because it'll be a really long drive.

I'm anxious to get home, because I want to play outside and play Sims and stuff. All the souvenirs I've gotten so far are a green Planet Hollywood shirt, a blue and white Niagra Falls shirt, two dog beanie babies, a fuschia ring, and a candle. Things are pretty expensive here, but they're cheaper in U.S. money. That's good."

Saturday, June 30, 2001
"Right now we're somewhere in Pennsylvania. We're finally coming home! But we're in the middle of 15 hours coming home. We'll be lucky if we get home at 11.

Yesterday and the day before we were in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Thursday, when we got there from Niagra Falls, we got our hotel (which, by the way, didn't even have a pool), and then we went to the chocolate factory. We rode through all these rooms inside and took like, a virtual tour of what a Hershey's chocolate factory looks like, and how they make Hershey candy bars and Hershey's kisses. Then we went in different souvenir and candy shops inside the building. Next we decided to take this tour on a bus all through the town of Hershey. On the bus, it was really hot. We saw the Hershey school, the butterfly conservatory and Hershey gardens, the Hershey cocoa factory, Zoo America, Hersheypark, the Hershey mansion, and some other Hershey landmarks.

Image from here
Yesterday we spent all day at Hersheypark. Most of the time it was fun, but it got up to around 95 degrees! It was so hot! I think we bought like 4 waters and a lemonade altogether! Some of the lines were pretty long, too, but we never had to wait that long. We saw three shows: A dolphin and sea lion show, and short little musicals: So Fine! The Sequal, and Girls Night Out. They were all pretty cool, but I didn't like the dolphin and sea lion show that much because I've seen so many of those kind of shows already, and also I was really thirsty during that show! Hersheypark has eight roller coasters, and I went on three of them. I went on this one really short one; I forgot what it was called, though. And I went on the Wild Mouse and Lightening Racer. I like Lightening Racer the best, because it was really fun. There's actually two trains on it. The red one is called Lightening, and the green one is called Thunder. The whole time you're on the roller coaster, the two trains race each other! It's really fun! You also go under this cave, and mist sprays in your face. And when you're in there, they take your picture. At the end of the ride, you go past the finish line, and you find out who won. We found out that Lightening usually wins. I was on Lightening once and Thunder once. On the Wild Mouse they also take your picture during the ride, and we thought it was good of most of us (not Mom!), so we decided to get it. It was a really good picture of me! We went on other rides too, but we mostly spent our time there walking around trying to find things and going to shows. I liked the water ride we went on, because the water felt so good! It was like the log ride, but I think it was called The Flume, or something like that. I was in the front, and I got the most wet!

While we were in Hersheypark, we crossed over to Zoo America, which was right by Hersheypark, and you could get in it free with Hersheypark tickets. The zoo was really small, and didn't have much. I thought it was pretty boring. The coolest thing was the Albino alligator. It was white! We didn't spend much time there, and we went back to Hersheypark. Then we went to Pizza Hut to eat, and when we got back to the hotel, it was 8:30, and Making the Band was already starting the second show! I was mad because I wanted to see the first one, because it was a really good one.

We're in Ohio now. We just got here from West Virginia. We only went through a teeny part of West Virginia, though. I wanna get home! I'm sick of riding in the car, not going through any towns, just highways, and I'm tired of my ears popping!"

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So that's my full account of our Canada trip! I think I confused a "highway" with an "interstate," but then again, I was 13, so I'm sure I didn't know the difference. :) That brought back a lot of memories that I had forgotten! I wish I had some pictures with me to post from this trip, but we did get some of the falls, and some of us in our Maid of the Mist ponchos. And I remember photos of us at the CN Tower and Hersheypark on our refrigerator. I will have to look for those sometime!

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