Best quote of the week ...
Just after crossing the bridge from Canada
Samuel: "What's that smell"
Nathan and I simultaneously: "Detroit"
Honestly though, we enjoyed Detroit. We didn't go downtown really, and so I can't say that it doesn't deserve its reputation, but we had a great time. We drove out the Saturday before Thanksgiving. I would have preferred to leave on Friday right after school, but Samuel was really excited about attending the Basketball Jamboree on Saturday morning (they have the High School team come and teach the younger kids all of the rules of basketball and get them all excited about the season). So, he went to that and then we got on the road at about 11:30 AM.
The trip went well- we love road trips. There were a few minor issues. One is that we really need a new car. I still LOVE my Explorer, and it is running great and still looks fine, but we have just outgrown it. We added a third row a few years ago, so we have 8 seat belts, but now that we have four kids we HAVE to use all three rows to fit us all, and that leaves very little luggage space. So, it was pretty crowded. Nate really wants to trade it in on a minivan. I'm almost sold, but not quite.
We also had a really annoying 15 minutes in Buffalo, NY. First I got a speeding ticket (well deserved, but certainly undesirable). Then, we pulled off for gas and I nursed the baby, after which he promptly threw up ALL over me and my seat. So, then I'm stripping him down and washing him off with wipes and Nate is rummaging through luggage looking for clothes for him and keeps opening the doors and it is FREEZING (poor naked baby!) Also, I've got to say that judging from the 10 minutes we spent there Buffalo is one weird place.
Luckily, once he was in warm clothes and back in his seat the baby went to sleep for the rest of the drive. We had a little bit of fun as we neared the Canadian border. The fastest way from our house in New Hampshire to Ruth's house in Detroit is to cut through Canada for a couple of hours. I am never quite sure which way the GPS will lead us, so I printed off the directions for the way we wanted to go before we left. This was good, because when it came time to leave the I-90 and head up to the border the GPS was saying to stay on I-90. So, we turned off anyway and figured that it would soon adjust the route. So, for the next 30 minutes or so it would tell us to get off every single exit (to turn around). The time to reach the destination kept getting longer and longer. We were just laughing at the poor thing, and fully expecting it to finally get the hint that we were NOT turning around. Nate wondered if it didn't have a map of Canada, but I was sure that it would. However, as soon as we got on the bridge it said, "You have left the map." For the next couple of hours we did not exist. I guess that is what you get for buying a cheap GPS :) (luckily, most of our driving is in the good old USA, and it works great here).
Ruth and Andrew and their children were so welcoming and we had a wonderful stay there. We played Wii, shopped, and enjoyed a marvelous Thanksgiving dinner. Other than the disastrous pumpkin pie (stay away from organic canned pumpkin) it was so delicious. It was great to do all of the cooking together and then not have to stress about having everything done at a certain time or cleaning up and getting ready for company. It was just us.
We were so inspired by the cute playroom that they had set up in their unfinished basement that we left a day earlier determined to finish a playroom in our basement. Work on that is ongoing (more to come), but the kids keep reminding us to make it "cool like Noah's!" We also fell in love with Benjamin's high chair, and sweet Andrew braved the crowds on Black Friday AM to score us a great deal on one (and to get his wife a totally sweet Christmas surprise). Thanks again, Andrew! Ruth and I originally had big plans to go Black Friday shopping (I have never done it), but we bailed (sleep is good too - and cheaper).
All in all it was a marvelous Thanksgiving - and it was wonderful to spend it with family. It is funny that we think that a 13-hour drive is "living close to each other" but for us it is. The other day Sam pointed out that they came here in October, we went there in November, and they came here in December, so he wanted to know which day in January we were going to Michigan! Unfortunately that isn't in the cards, but we do plan to go for winter break (the last week in February). So get ready Goughs - here we come again! And thank you for hosting such a wonderful Thanksgiving!
(Ruth, did you take pictures? I can't remember. If you did will you send them to me? Thanks!)