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Day 5: from Canada to Gettysburg (PA)

July 28th, 2010 · 2 Comments


What joy if you draw back the curtains in the morning and lookout over the Niagara Falls! And one of the nicest things is that they look different every single moment of the day. It was still early (6:30), but the sun was shining full force. A light fog was rising from the falls. It again promises to be a nice day.

But alas, we have to move on again.

Today we go to Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. Gettysburg is the place where one of the pivotal battles of the Civial War took place, and where the war was turned in favor of the North.

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But first to repack our suitcases and then breakfast.

At the manager’s reception level a big breakfast buffet was waiting. We were having breakfast while looking out over the waterfalls, and there was plenty of choice.

Miriam ordered a “cooked to order” omelet, which is one of her favourites.

Samantha wanted that as well, an omelet. Not a problem of course, but she had to order it herself… Well Samantha “I-don’t-speak-English” was very much capable of doing just that, and we were proud of her! It was even so bad, that she couldn’t recall the Dutch word for mushrooms… She’ll be able to manage herself if need be.

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* Miriam had forgotten our camera, so she made a few snapshots with her iPhone*

After breakfast we gathered our suitcases, checked out through the menu on the TV and headed for the lobby. The car was brought up by Valet parking and the luggage could be loaded again. Loading the luggage becomes easier every time we do it. If you don’t watch out, people might start to think we’re experienced…

Anyway, we hit the road with the intention to stop at TOPS (supermarket). Unfortunately we followed a different route than we’d assumed when we came… Whoops!

DSC_0021 When we were still in The Netherlands, we did our due dilligence regarding exiting the USA for Canada and then – more impartantly – back again. According to the experts that should not pose any problems.

The only thing we did not know, and which nobody told us, is that since we were (re)entering the USA over land, we actually did need the green I94W form…

The digital ESTA is, as the border protection officer told us, only for entry through (air- and sea-) ports.

But the funniest thing was… he really didn’t know how to handle the situation either. He called in a colleague, who didn’t know either, and told him he always just lets people pass when they are on the ESTA. He assumed the officer that asked him would know, since he was the training officier!

Obviously a hilareous situation, but you have to keep a straight face, since you want to cross that border and not piss off the officer.

In the mean time “our” officer called in his supervisor and checked the rest of our passports. And yes, there it was again, as always, that one question. Why do I have a visa for Saudi Arabia! So onece again I explained that I work for a US company in Internet Security, and that I have to make business trips to customers there. And that takes care of that problem.

The supervisor, who had heard the story from “our” officer, wasn’t to certain wither. That did not help much! But he waived us through, since we were causing quite a queue by now, and they treated it as a normal re-entry.

But whether you do or do not need a green form when re-entering the USA from Canada… Just like “our” officer, we still do not know!

But anyway, we are – without a green form – back in the USA!

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When we drove into Pennsylvania, we stopped at the ‘Welcome Centre’. Miriam took some leaflets and then we went on. At Erie, we stopped for some shopping. First at the Wegmans, for a nice loaf of bread, spreads and got some fruits. Also made a quick stop at the Target with the intention to get some drink bottles, but that turned in to a little more …

In the same corner we saw a little Jo-Ann’s. Miriam did not need anything, but I said I’d like to see whether they sold a special type of button. Unfortunately I could not find them, but Miriam sure did find something… She found a few nice pieces of fabric. Most were discounted too, so that was another bargain   :o)

While I was driving Miriam made some sandwiches and we ate those while driving. Life is good now at the moment!

The trip went smoothly and our “LeaLea” manouvered us just fine through the USA. She regularly made us use the Turnpike, but since it saved a lot of time.

Along the way we swapped placed and Miriam took the wheel from me for a while, so I could do something else than driving.

And so Gettysburg is getting ever closer. We were not too far from our destination when we came across another Jo-ann’s. We really did not deliberately seek them out today! But still … a quick look back and Miriam did not come out empty handed …

Miriam was pleasantly surprised, because on the other side was also a Hobby Lobby. Beforehand she had been trying to figure out what stores we could visit along our routes and had (then) been unable to find any besides the one in Rochester. Again she did not come out empty handed. Most fabrics she buys are only half yards, so it’s not too bad.

In this area there are many Quakers, and we happened to run in to a couple in the Hobby Lobby. The children asked nothing at the time, but once in the car they wanted to know why these people were wearing somewhat “strange” clothes!

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After this short break we moved on. Gettysburg itself looks pretty at first glance. But we’ll see more, hopefully, tomorrow morning. First to our hotel and then something to eat. Again, much too late.

Tonight we stay at the Hilton Garden Inn. The room looks spacious and tidy. We have a “fantastic” view of the Giant Supermarket! Heheh… I fear that after yesterday the views from the hotels to come will be a bit disappointing…

Adjacent to the hotel was an Arby’s. Since it was already a bit late we decided have something to eat there.

Weather in Gettysburg, Pa at time of posting: 20 °C, n/a, wind n/a at n/a.

Categories: USA Roadtrip 2010

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Sara // Jul 28, 2010 at 20:07

    Part of Trip Day 5 (Canada to Charleston) was translated but not all. I love your reports. Can you fix this so all us Americans can read it too?
    Thank you!!


  • 2 FPeeters // Jul 29, 2010 at 06:07

    I just crashed halfway through the translation and had to go to bed… I finished it tonight.
    (And I’ll do Day 6 tomorrow!) ;o)