Thursday, December 8, 2011

Journey to the Kingdom of Florida - Part 3 (Lexington, KY)

Even though the motel room in Windsor was very nice and Mili and the kids slept like babies, I barely got any. This is not unusual for me. Often when I am on the road I am excited and possibly a little worried about how everything would go – both of those can be factored in to explain the unexpected disturbance in my sleep pattern. Anyway, our plan was to start early so that we could take plenty of breaks on the way and still reach our next destination before it got dark. We woke up at 6:30 next morning. Helped ourselves with the continental breakfast offered free by the motel and hopped in the car around 7:30.

Goofs: Mili left her purse with all of our passports along with her credit cards, bank cards etc. into it on the breakfast bar in the motel. The young man who was working in the reception rushed to stop us as we were about to drive off the parking lot and handed over the purse. Relieved I thanked God for blessing me with such an excellent weapon in my arsenal to embarrass Mili. It usually always went in her favor. With our passports back and safe we were on our way to Lexington, KY – our next stop.

The border to USA was supposed to be only a few kilometers away from the motel. However, my GPS took me in a Merry-go-round trip. After circling the same route twice I shut it off and took couple of wrong turns to hit the right spot – the U.S.A. border post. 

Since moving to Canada we have gone through the border posts between the two countries several times. Most went without any issues. A few didn’t. Once we were sent inside for a special interview. Once a young female Canadian border post agent got really nasty with me on my way back to Canada, rightfully so, because I forgot to take my Canadian papers with me. Anyway, this time around things didn’t go very badly. The border patrol was a middle aged man with clear British accent. Here’s how the conversation went:
BP: What is your country of citizenship?
I: Orlando, Florida.
BP: I asked - what is your country of citizenship.
I: Oh! Canada.
BP: All of yours?
I: Yes.
BP: Where are you heading?
I: Orlando, Florida.
BP: How do you plan to get there?
I: Driving, of course.
BP: Driving? Hmmm. (He gave me this strange look) Do you know where you are
       going to stay?
I: Holiday Inn, Kissimme. (That’s where the Disney Land is located)
BP: (He nodded, satisfied) How many kids?
I: Two.
[I unlocked the sliding door which he opened and made a brief conversation with
the kids.]
BP: How much money you are taking?
I: 300.
BP: (Baffled) You gonna need much more than that, you know, right?
I: We’ll use credit card.
BP: You already made all the arrangements?
I: Yes sir!

He gave me another strange look, nodded, frowned, thought, then returned the passports. We were allowed to go.

We took Interstate I-75 and sped toward south. This freeway runs through America from north to south. We would take it through Michigan to Ohio and then Kentucky. The expressway brought back the memory of my first accident, years ago. I was studying in the Oakland University, Rochester, about 30 minutes away from Detroit. It was clear winter morning and I was taking my roommate to see a car that he wanted to purchase. I had received my license only a month ago and was yet to drive on an expressway. That day for the first time in my life I headed for I-75. I could only go halfway down the ramp to the expressway before hitting black ice (difficult to see ice formation), my car spun two times around its axis and was thrown into the ditch next to the ramp. I was unharmed but my roommate got a large cut. That accident had made my life much more difficult than it was as I had only liability auto insurance. My car was totaled.  

Here are some quick facts about Detroit (one of the largest cities and metropolitan in USA):
1. Motor city of USA with three major motor companies: General Motors, Chrysler and Ford
2. In 1909, Wayne County built the first mile of concrete highway in the world on Woodward Avenue between Six and Seven Mile roads. Until then, a surfaced road was gravel, and often a horse was employed to pull a car out of the muddy muck