Part 2: Off To Vacation...Or Not - A Series of Unfortuntate Events In Illinois, Indiana and MI (Or The Curious Case Of How Our GPS Almost Derailed Our Vacation) - Friday, June 11, 2010

I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, but Larry and I really needed this vacation. We'd been going non-stop lately every weekend for who knows how long and we were at our wits end. So needless to say we were chomping at the bit to get beyond the Illinois border.

As I mentioned in my last post, Jack our beloved cat, didn't help things much prior to our embarking for the trip. But we woke up at 3:00am on Friday and got ready in record time. We actually managed to leave the house by 3:30am - which was a first for us. So confident that we were, we did our last minute checks: house locked - check! Bags all in car - check! Last minute trip to the bathroom - check! GPS hooked up check! We were good to go!

So we started off with a bang - we cleared the Chicago area in record time for us. Everything was going great...until we hit Indiana. We noticed our GPS's battery was at zero even though it was plugged in! Now of course, before GPSs came about we would be perfectly fine with our old standby, the map, but when you get one of these suckers, your world virtually comes to a standstill when it stops working - rendering you utterly and pathetically incapacitated. So we pulled over and Larry starts to take apart the part that goes into the cigarette holder - and then the part literally just falls apart. There was no getting it back together. I of course was muttering something about things should work and not fall apart several years after buying them and poor Larry is looking like he's going to blow a gasket because time is ticking away and we're on a deadline to get to Toronto.

So Larry offers that we probably don't need it for the trip. Then I interject that...yes, yes we do need it because the darn thing now has us hook-line-and-sinker because we use it for everything from the map, to looking up restaurants and shopping etc...

Then I said that we just need to look for a Best Buy. The problem is of course that it's about 8:00am and nothing is open yet and we are in Indiana and don't know where we are!

On top of that...nerves kick in and I suddenly have to stop at every rest area to use the facilities - this is not helping us get to Toronto on time and any time we gained with our earlier record time departure just went to hell-in-a-handbasket!

So for several hours we drove through IN and then into Michigan, where we finally found a Best Buy and it was open!

After going in twice to Best Buy, yes twice, the first time we purchased a part that they said would work, got back to the car, tried to make the GPS work, it didn't, walked back into Best Buy, returned said part that didn't work, talked to another sales person who recommended another part, bought said part, walked out to the car, tried the new part and...success!

So after completely blowing our time, we finally got to the US/Canadian border and then had to...wait. Sheesh, we could not catch a break.

Now we're waiting in line for customs and I of course am a nervous wreck. Not because I have anything to hide, but I just get incredibly nervous when the customs agent asks questions. The last time we were in Canada, the agent was asking me questions and I just blurted out answers and just kept talking and talking and talking - a spy I would not make!

We made it through customs relatively quickly (Larry did all the talking) and we were on our way into Canada.

Now I know this is going to sound naive, particularly since I've been to Canada before, but for some reason I was just expecting for the terrain to immediately be different. It wasn't. And for the next several hours until we we near the Toronto area, I just kept saying "It looks like Illinois." Which does make sense since Illinois has a huge amount of farms and our route to Toronto had farmland as far as the eye could see.

After our long and convoluted trip that day we finally arrived in Toronto - I swear it was like the doors to vacation nirvana opened up: we were at our destination!


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