on the road, finally!

Well, I did have an elaborate and expressive post, ready to share with the world!
Unfortunately, I am super poor with this whole “wordpress” thing… and it got erased.
That was a sad feeling.

So here I am, ready to try again! Only this time, I will write… get up and leave… come back and write… etc. Now that I know how to somewhat use this website.

It’s been a few days!
Where I left off, I was discouraged by a delay in Memphis, TN. that had to do with a roof rack, my birthday, Memorial Day, everything being closed, and $400 I didn’t have to spend on my CR-V. Eventually, it worked itself out, sending me on a journey that has panned out to be full of more adventure than I thought possible for only 19 hours of road travel.

When I set out on day one, my first stop was Auntie Carrie’s house. She had wine, a pescatarian dinner, and  dairy-free friendly coconut cream ice cream, and graduation and birthday presents ALL waiting for me. The dinner was delicious, but the company was better. I always love seeing my auntie. She packed Sophie and I up the next morning with plenty of snacks to feed a small, peanut and chocolate-obsessed army. It wasn’t long before I got to Chicago and enjoyed a coffee with some of my good friends in the Starbucks at LaSalle and Lake, from which we walked to expose me to the Benefit Brow Bar. That was fun 🙂 Ladies with eyebrows like mine, I’m sure you understand. After nearly fainting from drinking a Frappuccino way too damn fast (on a nearly empty stomach), I decided it was time for my next destination – FOOD (with a friend). I met up with my friend Cody.

Long lost buds

Long lost buds

He’s from State doing a co-op program in the Chicago area. We went to a restaurant called “Jalapeños”, because I had the realization that the farther away from the South I got, the worse the Mexican food was probably getting. Here’s the thing – I’m obsessed with Mexican food. Hispanic food. WHATEVER. Recently, the fish tacos have been a daily thing. I love them! Anyways, “Jalapeños” was really great for a “farewell to Mexican food” stop. Cody and I dabbled in hockey and more conversation and eventually passed out. Good thing too, because the boy works earlier than God. Well, okay. I was up at 5 A.M., but still. When you’re on a road trip, that is the last thing you want to be doing. Cody and I shared one last coffee (a past-time on which our relationship was founded) and he was on his way. However, Sophie and I stopped at a quaint little breakfast place called “Round the Clock”.

Sophie and breakfast.

Sophie and breakfast.

I had a veggie skillet with Cholula Hot Sauce allllllll over it. After eating that, catching up on my journal, writing some letters, and enjoying a conversation with my mom, I hit the road again. A quick stop by Target with a gift card in hand, I acquired a new Polaroid camera and some film for my trip.

Arriving in Michigan was great. To begin with, I got to see this pretty girl!

Haley, the beautiful!

Haley, the beautiful!

I went to the restaurant she’s working at now, and had a delicious Mahi-Mahi sandwich. They even wrapped it in lettuce for me, rather than using bread. While enjoying myself one fine Jose 1800 margarita, Haley and I caught up. She’s been “wwoofing” around for the last few months, and honestly she made me even more excited for the Peace Corps leg of my new chapter in life. I met up with her friends named Sam and Pete. Sam and I have been somewhat pen pals for the last few months (via Haley’s recommendation) and it was cool to meet in person. I hung out at the Grosse Point Yacht Club with those boys all day.

A view from the bar top.

A view from the bar top.

Eventually, we enjoyed dinner on The Terrace. Haley joined us as well. It was this meal that my ventured into new realms of seafood! We started with calamari and crab bites. For dinner, I ordered the Halibut (HOLY MOLY) and also sampled an oyster. I think it was an oyster… Regardless, I experienced quite the culinary array that night. Eventually, we left the beloved yacht club and found ourselves headed to a local bar, and back to one of my new friend’s houses where we stayed up all night around a fire. DEFINITELY an awesome night. Waking up brought a day that was headed for the Great White North.

Upon crossing the border into Ontario, I was overwhelmed with distractions. The windmills!

Beautiful. Energy providing.

They were so pretty. Honestly, I was in awe of them. I’ve seen them before… but this time, they were more awe-inspiring. Perhaps it’s because I was by myself. I was the master of my moment then, and nothing could touch me. Also, along Highway 402 in Ontario, there are SO many things to see and do! Between the Butterfly Conservatory, nature trails, conservation parks, and other sights to see along the way, I decided I should pick one. I chose the Royal Botanical Gardens.

This is the beauty of my trip – just me and my CR-V.
We ventured to the Arboretum where the lilacs were in full bloom. These were absolutely beautiful and smelled as sweet as heaven.

The lilacs.

The lilacs.

Can you see the bee?

Can you see the bee?

In bloom.

In bloom.

I have a leaf obsession.

I have a leaf obsession.

There were some cherry tree projects in the same area. After inspecting the rest of the Arboretum, I ventured to the Lake Gardens. I loved it there. It was filled with irises, old yard supplies, unique deciduous flowers, and more. The view from here was gorgeous and very “I am nowhere else but Ontario right now”.

Echeveria.

Echeveria.

Tennessee state flower.

Tennessee state flower.

A fairy land.

A fairy land.

Old house panels.

Old house panels.

Track view.

Track view.

One last look of the train tracks, and I decided it was time to finally head to Uncle Brady’s. After a minor fuel-related incident, I walked into a house I haven’t been in for over a decade. What surprised me? It smelled the same – comfortable. I had some Tito’s with my fam jam and crashed on the comfiest couch in this world. It was nice to finally sleep.

We woke up this morning and went out to Lake Scugog! It was pretty short-lived though because naturally, it got darker and colder, just earlier than when we expected. The puppies and I had a ton of fun.

Lake Scugog and Ontario skies.

Lake Scugog and Ontario skies.

Ahh, the wind.

Ahh, the wind.

We polished our day off with some fish n’ chips, and a maple candy of course!
Oh, Canada! I love this part of you.

"My maple candies!" Ross Geller

“My maple candies!” Ross Geller

Sorry for the long post. But it’s been a hot minute since I’ve had internet.
Until next time…
I’m so sick of typing!

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