Wednesday, 26 December 2007
Day 4: Departure for North Carolina (USA)
I was still busy wrapping gifts last night prior to our departure for the US. We left the house at noon and it was still freezing with piles of snow along the roads. This is my second time to experience a long drive, but this time I will be the human "tom tom" (gps)navigator.
My cousin's husband loves to drive and for him driving down to the US is another exciting task. Based from the quest map's calculation, the total distance is almost 800 miles and approximately it will take more than 10 hours to reach our destination, Durham (North Carolina). Unfortunately, as our trip progresses, we can not meet quest map's set time due to unavoidable weather condition and other circumstances that we encountered along the way.
The landscape of Ontario is not really impressive except when we reached the boundary of the US (Buffalo), near the Niagara Falls, including the Ontario Lake which provides a natural scenic attraction in the area. We thought it was not a busy day in the border for the inspection of our passports. But when we stepped down from the van, we proceeded to immigration office and from there the people were squeezed inside a double walled glass room waiting to be called. It took us 2.5 hours to wait for the interview. It is the same procedure being done at the airport where finger printing and photograph taking are required for every traveller, except for the $6 dollars fee.
It was almost dark when we left the immigration office and we are now heading to the eastern side of the US. Everybody is hungry especially my cousin's kids, so we decided to proceed first to Denny's restaurant for a quick dinner! I enjoyed the meal and everybody is ready to continue the journey.
There was not much scenery along the way since it was dark and I could barely see the surroundings. From Buffalo, down to West Virginia, then from Pennsylvania to North Carolina, it was a smooth journey with few stops to fill the gasoline tank. When we reached West Virginia, the van was travelling slowly because of the fog, unending road curves and the rain. Finally, when we reached the boundary of North Carolina, we were lost and my cousin's husband was disoriented to go back again to the motorway. After so many attempts contacting our host, we finally got the right track to reach our final destination safe, sleepy and exhausted. It took us 12 hours to finally step inside our host's house in Durham.
I was so sleepy despite of having quick naps during the travel. My eyes were really tired and I could hardly open them which tend my head to fall down forward. After a hot sip of coffee, our host guided us to our rooms and immediately changed my clothes and my back touched the smooth bouncy bed and I don’t know when I my eyes finally surrendered.