I really loved the bed at our hotel. Normally hotel beds bother me by the second night, but I slept ridiculously well on this one. Sadly, that great sleep was shorter than I would have liked. I woke up around 8:00 AM so I could be ready for an early check out.
We checked out and got on the road before 10:00 AM, starting the long drive from Toronto to Cleveland. It was a work day, so traffic was almost non-existent, especially compared to when we arrived.
It was a bit overcast out, but the road was smooth as we made our way over the enormous bridge spanning the bay in Hamilton. Hayley Sales sang from the CD player and before too long, we were passing the mist of Niagara Falls and approaching the Peace Bridge.
A quick stop at the duty free shop scored us a couple more trinkets for family and some Jackson-Triggs for home.
The border was packed. Lanes upon lanes of vehicles moving at a snail's pace. Mom made a lucky choice in lanes and we blew by the rest in about five minutes. I smiled as Ghosts of You came on the radio just before we crossed back into the States.
The iPod carried us for the next leg of the drive, leading us to the Angola rest stop. We grabbed a quick bite at Denny's, put some gas in the van, and got back on 90 West for the last chunk of the drive.
We got home around 5:30 PM and started to settle back in. Kris stopped by after work and helped unload the van. A little later, Grandma came over with a birthday cake for me. I had almost forgotten it was birthday at that point, it had been such a long day.
And just like that, the trip was over. I always have a bit of a hard time switching from vacation mode back to home life. The change from constant new experiences to hanging out in the living room tends to bring me down. But it was an amazing adventure and I have projects waiting for me. It's time to get some work done.
Here's to the road, natural (and man made) wonders, good wine, good music, and good friends, both old and new. Until the next adventure.