Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Driving to Quebec part 1..

So when Quebec was announced as the last show of the tour it was an absolute given that i would be there. After 119 shows around the world it didn't matter where or when the last show was, i would be there!

Kami’s dad bought four wristbands online the day they went  on sale, unfortunately as things worked out Mark was unable to attend due to work commitments so Beth, Kami and i started to plan for a road trip. Kim (Kami’s sister) is out in Ohio so she would fly into Quebec for the show and meet us there.I reserved a room at the Loews hotel right across the street from the venue. I also started to text a few friends asking if they could make the show and things started to come together slowly over the coming weeks. I had been pestering Wendy for the last few weeks about coming to Philadelphia for the “last” show, she decided to forgo the Philly show and i was real down about her not attending, however, she started to make plans for the Quebec show when it was announced which i was excited about, there's nothing better than seeing with your best friends at a show, and the last show of a tour at that! Beth started preparing her contribution to the road trip a week before we left, Vodka gummy bears! These are gummy bears placed in an airtight container, you then periodically over the next week add copious amounts of vodka and keep the container in the refrigerator!!

Hotel was booked, wristbands were purchased and a week before we left we started to check out the best driving route. We planned to leave the Thursday morning, drive as far as we could, get a hotel before the Canadian border then cross the border and arrive in Quebec on the Friday, stay Friday and Saturday night and then leave Quebec for the drive home Sunday and Monday. it was a total of nearly 1600 miles round trip.

We left around 9am Thursday morning, Beth drove for the first hour as we had to drop Mark off at his office in DC, it was sad to know he wasn't going to the show and we were continuing driving without him. He joked and wished me good luck travelling all that way with two girls in the car, we would then be meeting Kim and Wendy in Quebec, this was not going to be much of a “testosterone” trip!

tomtom    

Took us a good hour to get into DC and then out onto the I95. We decided to head up the 95 straight through New York state, crossing over into Canada just south of Montreal and then driving the 20 East over to Quebec. We had looked on Google maps and picked the town of Plattsburgh to stay in tonight, it was a good 10 hour drive but was only 15 miles from the border and would leave us about 4 hours to drive to Quebec the next day.

As soon as we hit the 95 i took over driving from Beth. I don't mind driving at all and its so much easier to drive here in the US when you get out onto the open roads, you get up to 65 hit cruise control and just sit there! The last few weeks down in DC the weather has been real hot and humid, some days its been up as high as 105` and the humidity just zaps the energy out of you, especially when your from the UK and not used to it at all. As we drove North though i could see the outdoor temperature dropping and it levelled off around 75 as we drove up through the state. About 4 hours into the drive there was shriek of horror from the back seat! I turned round, “what’s wrong” i said to Beth as i saw disappointment on her face, “ i forgot the vodka gummy bears” she said. We had heard all about these bears for the last week from Beth, how good they were, Beth and i had sampled one of them in the morning to check they were coming along ok and she was eve so excited to have them with Wendy and Kim in Quebec. Beth and i had packed a cooler full of drinks in the basement before we left and neither one of us had thought about the bears!

I offered to turn back round and go back and pick them up, after all it had been a weeks work for Beth preparing these and they are not something you can just make in 2 days!! we carried on and after finding a TGI Fridays was 10 miles further up the road we decided to stop for dinner and try and find the supplies needed to make a new batch of vodka soaked candies!

gummy bears

We pulled off for Gas and found a liquor store for the supply of Vodka, Beth and Kami then went into Wal-Mart and came out with two packets of gummy bears and a Tupper wear type container. We drove over to TGI’s, Kami went in to Beth a table, i opened the trunk of the car and Beth set too making her concoction in the trunk! She added half a bottle of Vodka, two packets of bears, put the container in the cool box that we had filled with ice before we left and we all hoped for the best! After dinner and the most amazing glass of cider called  Angry Orchard at TGI’s, we filled up with Gas and headed back down the highway. We had 3 more hours till we would get to Plattsburg.

We hadn't booked a hotel in Plattsburgh as it was a small town near the border, in the middle of nowhere and how many people would be there after all ? The three of us joked in the car on the way about the possibility of us arriving to get a hotel room and every room in the town being sold out as we had picked the one day in the year when the whole of Plattsburgh was invaded upon for some unknown festival or party!

The last hour of driving was taking its toll on me, Kami had managed to sleep a little in the back seat, Beth had been reading her book most of the way and i had just been watching the sunset out of the window, it was a beautiful night,the temperature had dropped down well below 70`, in fact it was 63` when we got out of the car at the hotel we chose in Plattsburgh. Kami and i waited in the car while Beth went in to try get a room. She came out within a minute only to tell us that the hotel was full due to the Plattsburgh annual fishing tournament being held nearby!! we were all in hysterics for the first minute, until we realised that what if we actually couldn't find a room!

There was a Hampton Inn not even a mile down the street so we did the same again, Kami and i pulled the car up to the lobby, Beth went in to try and get a room and i relayed to Kami how I’m sure we were doing what everyone else must have done that wanted a room, gone to the first hotel, then moved to the next and so on, so i wasn't holding out much hope of us staying here! however, Beth came out holding a cardboard packet with the room keys in and told us how she had managed to get a room even though this hotel had told her there wasn't just the fishing tournament on but there was also the annual iron Man competition nearby!

it was around 9pm when we checked in Beth checked on the progress of the Gummy Bears, they looked ok, the vodka was disappearing and the bears were still in the shape of bears. The three of us went straight in the pool which was pretty cold but refreshing, the Jacuzzi however was nice and hot and we hung out in the warm water for half and hour before heading up to the room and all three of us sleeping like logs for the night!

To be continued…

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