Sunday, July 17, 2011

Jenkins Family Roadtrip Day 1, July 1

Our family vacation was a blast. We all enjoyed much needed time away from everyday life and stuff. It has been a few years since we went on a road trip as a family and the kids were asking when we would go again. So July 1, we left home bright and early heading for the border, destination: Washington D.C.

Our first little glitch was the border, we decided to cross at Fort Erie, since Lewiston/Queenston bridge is always backed up and usually Fort Erie is not a problem. Not this time, we spent three hours in line before we actually got to the bridge, then it was customs on the U.S. side. By this time everyone is starving for lunch. We found a Bob Evans just outside of Buffalo, and started the U.S. leg of our journey.

In order to get to D.C. we had to go through Pennsylvania first, and part of our Pennsylvania journey would take us through the Allegheny National Forest. We filled up with gas in Jamestown, it was a pleasant surprise to fill up the gas tank for less than $80, something we don't see here in Ontario any more when filling up our van's large gas tank.

And we were onward, D.C. here we come!!! But driving through Allegheny is where we had another glitch in our adventure. We had our destination programmed into the GPS which showed our estimated time of arrival, the Allegheny area of Pennsylvania is rather, hilly, to put it mildly. Turns out our GPS's estimated time of arrival was based on distance as the crow flies, didn't take into account steep inclines and declines. For every 20 mins we drove, 10 mins was added to our arrival time. Which was rather discouraging since we were frustrated with the three hour wait at the border already. Also, my inner ear was acting up and after an hour or so of my ears popping and all the steep inclines and declines, I was starting to feel dizzy and ill.

And with the steep inclines and declines the roads were also full of all kinds of S curves and what not. Made the drive quite interesting.

But what made up for the frustration of seeing our arrival time becoming later and later was the scenery, it was gorgeous!!! We also had a good chuckle at a sign for a church that said "Gerry Free Methodist Church". Does that mean there are no Gerry's allowed in that church? LOL

We finally made through the Allegheny State Park and Pennsylvania, into Maryland, where we encountered our next obstacle, toll roads. We Canadians aren't use to having to pay to drive on a highway. LOL And the closer we got to D.C., the busier the roads got, which made the line ups at the tolls longer. We finally arrived at our hotel in D.C. around midnight that night. We stayed at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, and it was a beautiful sight to see after a long adventure to get there. They had valet parking for us, and they took our luggage upstairs for us so all we had to do is crash and burn to recharge our batteries for our next adventure.

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