Our migration West... and South: Day 1

Two weeks ago we departed the Dundas Valley to begin our trek to Southern California, where we are spending the next year. The drive was spectacular, taking us 8 days. We saw a lot, but you could spend a month and still not see all there is to see. The highlights for us began when we entered Colorado... but before all of that, we had to pack up the cars and get through US Customs! 

After weighing all our options, we decided to drive both our cars out "convoy" style. One real-life game of tetris later and we managed to fit everything we set out to bring with us into the Civic and the Fit. And don't you worry, Bertie had ALMOST the entire bench seat (of the air-conditioned Civic) to share with her stuffed Moose-y. 

We drove from Dundas to Sarnia and entered the States via Port Huron, Michigan. US Customs was relatively stress-free and took about 20 minutes. We had all of the necessary paper work (and then some), including the DS- 2019 form or "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1 and J-2) Status". That's the basic document used in the administration of the exchange visitor program and allows them to process the J-visa and stamp your passport. Joshua was certain they would let us bring Bertie in with us while we waited to be approved and I was certain they would not. In the end, the told us to leave "everything"  in the car except our passport and wallet (yes, that included the dog). But then they seemed to give it a second thought and offered for us to put her in the crate inside the first lobby, where she would be supervised by an officer and have air-conditioning. I did so and whispered to her to be a good girl. 

...She only barked at one officer. 

Not too much to see in Port Huron, but it is at the mouth of the St Clair River and Lake Huron, and as you cross the Blue Water Bridge that links Sarnia and Port Huron the bridge lives up to its name! 

Our first stop stateside was Alpine Cycles to ship my bike out so that it didn't have to piggy back on the Fit for the whole ride. We then hit up AT&T for our new US digits. One drive-thru chili dog later and we were back on the road toward Indiana. 

Here are the road buddies catching some shade and catching up on their chats. At this pit-stop we also purchased our American the Beautiful Pass -- $80 to access all of the national parks and forests in the country for a year. Did I mention that the Fit does not have A/C? We had its windows tinted in anticipation and I bought a portable fan, but I dare say I was still hot. Damn hot! Maybe even so hot, I could cook an egg in my shorts! 

Et voila! Indiana! 

We stopped at Indiana Dunes National Park (America's newest National Park) to wet our feet and let Little Miss go for a swim. Unfortunately, the photos don't allow you to see it, but the sun set over the Chicago skyline. It was a lovely low-key park with dunes (duh!) and large beaches. 

A late dinner at Johnson's Fish and Shrimp in Lake Station, Indiana just before closing, for some fried perch and shrimp baskets, and then over to Illinois. 

We spent our first night in Oglesby, Illinois and entered into Central time zone when we crossed the state line. 

Day 1 of driving: ~900 km


  1. Wow, what a great adventure you're starting! Can't wait to read what is yet to come ♥️

  2. Books were one of your first loves and the world is one big book. 🌏📖💚


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