Travelogue -- a New World MMP

Part I – Three new Citizens

I’ll start with the bottom line. Here I am, tired and jet-lagged, sitting at my desk at work and Doping instead of working. So, everything is the same as before (except for the jet lag, which will pass). Almost. Oh, and we did have fun!

The one tangible result of 12 days in The New World is a brief meeting with INS, and three Certificates of Citizenship, one each for each of my three children. They are American citizens!
(The other tangible result is a multi-thousand-$$$-shaped hole in our bank account… but we knew that ahead of time)

OK, back to the beginning. In the beginning, God created… oops, wrong beginning :smack:

Let’s try again. We all (my wife, 3 kids and I) headed for the airport late at night, July 31. Flight to Toronto was (thankfully) mostly uneventful. Now, when you read forwrad, you will ask “why Toronto?” Well, that’s because my wife has a few colleagues there who invited us specially to come over for an outing on lake Ontario and a barbecue at their place. So we did.

The Second Day, we drove. You see, our next stop was a B&B out in the boonies near Trois Rivieres (half-way between Montreal and Quebec (city)) which we knew from last year. So we drove for about 10 hours that day (and this is the point at which I was asking **myself **“Why Toronto? Why didn’t we fly to Montreal?”)

More about our time in Canada, in the next installment (which will be up later)

Cutting things short(er) – on Aug 5th we headed for the USA. The major event of that day was getting to the border (at I-91 in Vermont) and realizing, suddenly, that Sunday afternoon is not the best time to be crossing in to the US… with all the New England home-bound weekend vacationers. So we waited for nearly an hour to get to the US border control point. Getting through was actually almost easy compared to what we feared – it helped that I started by handing over my American passport and adding “and these are my kids. We’re here to get their Citizenship papers.”

the Big Day

Came the following day. Dateline, Aug 6, 2007, About 11:30 AM. Hartford, CT. Somewhat disappointingly, unlike Naturalization cases, there was absolutely no ceremony – we just walked up to the INS offices, signed a few papers, and got their Citizenship Certificates. We couldn’t even take any pictures inside the building… so we took a few outside. I’ll post them later as they become available (I haven’t downloaded the camera yet)

I want to get this up, so I’ll post this as part I. More to come… Part II – NYC (and some other stuff). Will be up later today.

Hey Special1, welcome back!!! We missed you (especially Roo)! Nice OP, and I look forward to reading more about your adventures through the North American continent!

Roo, I’m sorry I missed you this morning, but I figured Special1 would help you sleep (nudge nudge, wink wink). :wink:

And, in honour of Special1’s return to the MMP fold (and his indignant repeal of my no-smooch, no-flirt rule - c’mon, I’m a married woman!), here is today’s song for Roo:

[Peggy Lee]Never know how much I love you
Never know how much I care
When you put your arms around me
I get a fever that’s so hard to bare

You give me fever
When you kiss me
Fever when you hold me tight
In the morning
Fever all through the night[/Peggy Lee] :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Okay, back to making lunch!

ETA: Yayyyyyy, I’m first!!!

Well, apparently I sensed that there was a new MMP up, because I’ve been very awake since about 5:30. Glad to have you back, SO. I’m looking forward to pictures and more of the story.

Going back to the old MMP: dunno how you missed it, Hank. Glad Scottish Darling will be around. And, yes, Lisle is next to Naperville (little brother lived in Naperville for 10 years or so - well, Aurora first, then Naperville, but same general area) - not that you were asking me…

Anyway, what she missed was the part where I’ll be in the Chicago area in less than a month. Need to figure out what we’re doing. I’ll be there on my own on September 7, just for an MMPFest. (Well, and I thought it would be nice to be there without a big group for a little while.) So we need to think about where to meet. Ideas? (And, yes, if you are reading this and are brave enough to post here, you’re invited :D)

Why do I have to get up so early? Guess I’ll do that now.


yawns and stretches

Mornin’, folks. This…this morning stuff is for the birds. I don’t even know if birds would like it, because they’re relatively sensible creatures.

grumbles and yawns again

Part II – NYC and some other stuff

We last left you with our hero about to dare the dangers and mysteries of … NYC!!


Aug. 8, left worcester MA (where we had stayed for the past three days as a compromise between Hartford, CT and Boston, which we also visited)

Stopped at the Cloisters (at the very northern end of Manhattan Island) for a few hours – a great place!

Then headed for our place for the next three night, a B&B on Staten Island (Richmond). Decided to get there through the New Jersey side and the Goethals Bridge instead of through Brooklyn and Verrazano… just to see something different.

And headed out immediately to the Staten Island Ferry, and off to Manhattan.

Incidentally, anyone visiting NYC, be sure to catch the S.I. ferry just for the view – it goes reasonably near both Ellis and Liberty Islands (and the Lady herself, of course). At night, you get a good view of the lit skyline as you approach (or leave) the South Pier.

It was well past 5 PM already, so, having time for only one thing that day, we walked from the Battery up to Ground Zero, and paid our respects.

We later learned that we missed a huge storm (and a veritable tornado touchdown in Brooklyn) by about 8 hours… by the time we arrived it was clear and hot (and humid, but we figured that was natural, too)

Aug 9 - spent all morning in the Museum of Natural History; then spent the afternoon at the MOMA. In the middle, we saw a bit of Central Park (West Side, near the M.N.H.) and learned to navigate the subway system.

Ate dinner in Chinatown. Kids were fascinated by the food (and, despite their youth, they are no newcomers to different cultures and cuisines, so that’s saying something.)

Aug. 10 – spent pretty much all day at the metropolitan. What a huge (and wonderful) museum!

Saturday, Aug 11, we decided to be adventurous, and drive into the city. We figured parking would hardly cost any more than five Day Tickets for the subway (we were right about that, too – $50 including all the tolls, instead of $35 for subway tickets)
So we got to drive over the Verrazano Narrows bridge (twice) and the brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge. And drive from the Brooklyn Bridge all the way up to Central Park. And see Manhattan from the ground, in general. Those Avenues really do look like man-made canyons!

We wanted to see Soho and Greenwich Village, but got disuaded by the traffic on Broadway heading down there (even on a Saturday), so only grazed the area and slunk off toward the manhattan bridge.

On our way to JFK I finally understood the old question about “driveways and parkways.” Answer – it’s called a parkway because you PARK there! (in between minute motions of 5 car-lengths once a minute) :smack: Luckily, I remembered that people have told me to leave plenty of time to get to the airport, so we got there still 2 hours before flight time, and had no problem.

This is getting long, so I’ll leave longer descriptions of our time in Quebec and in Boston to Part III – Addenda

sounds like a nice vacation
looking forward to the 3rd installment.
Catch y’all tonight

Wow, wtg, SpecialOne!! Great original MMP; sounds like you had a fantastic time on your vacation. I’ve been to the Cloisters once, years ago - it blew me away! I’d love to go back there sometime.

Up and caffeinating - in fact, I’m late in leaving for work, very late, today. laughs I’ll get there eventually. :slight_smile: More later today, so Happy MM all!


Glad you had fun, Special1. Today is cleaning day, and I need to start printing Clarkfest Photos for my mother.

Hey Dotty. . . ~waving~!! Thanks for the song. Nice one! I like it! Have a great day today! Thanks so much for playing sing-a-long with me these past few days. It was fun!

<snerk> You don’t have to tell us everything.

Nice OP!! I hope your jet lag passes quickly, but I think I’ll take this opportunity to give you a hard time.

gt, I beat you. I was up at 5 am. I have no idea why.

LOUNE, even the birds aren’t up at 5:30 am. It’s dead silent here.
I think I’ll crawl back into bed for a few. Be back in a bit. It’s nice to have you back, Special1.


What’s Fnord?

Nice OP, I like travelogues.

gt, I already have the calendar marked. Of course it’s marked ‘anniversary’, but the Wife has already resigned that her wedding anniversary will be a Dopefest. Downtown works great - she works downtown, so I’ll just shoot down in the afternoon or evening, meet her and we’ll be off and running.

I hate August. People expect me to work in August.

Part III – Addenda

In the previous two installments, I glossed over two parts of our trip – most of our time in Canada, and the time we spent in Boston.


Aug 2, bright and early (8:30 on the road!), we headed East from Toronto (actually, for you locals, whitby, where we stayed the night in order to get a leg up on our long trip.)

We needed to get to around St. Casimir (about midway between Trois Rivieres and Quebec [city]) [[route]](,+QC,+Canada&sll=45.15779,-75.7581&sspn=4.772133,10.28320
3&ie=UTF8&ll=45.267155,-75.541992&spn=4.76306,10.283203&z=7&om=1), so didn’t have that much time on our hands; still, got off the 401 for a couple of hours to take a short look at (and eat lunch in) historic Kingston, Ontario. Of course that meant we had to go around Montreal at about 4:30 PM. Have I used the :smack: smiley enough for traffic-related mistakes yet…?

The place we stayed is a wonderful B&B out in the countryside, with their own woods and stretch of river, and wonderful hospitality (and dinners, for a fairly reasonable price), which we used as a base to go see the Mauricie National Park on Aug 3., and historic Quebec (and the Nouvelle France Festival activities) the next day (Saturday, Aug. 4)
In the middle, we also saw the Saturday market at Deschambault, as well as some more villages and towns in the area.

Aug 5, we drove to the US - but I covered that part already.


On Aug. 6, after getting the kids’ Citizenship Papers, the kids and I headed for Boston to meet up with my wife (who had set up a business meeting with a colleague at Harvard for that day). Stopped for lunch at Friendly’s on the way – that may just be the best chain of Roadside Restaurants in the world, IMO :). Picked her up in front of the Coop at Harvard Square at about 4 PM (I have my own fond memories of that store, and the Harvard area in general, from previous years – but not this time), and decided to take the scenic route back to Worcester. On the way, went through Newton, where I lived for a few years as a child, then stopped in Framingham – to shop at the Filene’s Basement store there. Got out of that store two hours later and $200 poorer… but well worth it. Joined the Strip Mall that is route 9 out to Worcester.

Aug 7 was our “Day in Boston.” Fanueil Hall/Quincy Market, including Clams and Clam Chowder for lunch (yum!); The Freedom Trail; Downtown Crossing (and another 2 hours in Filene’s Basement there!) Drove back out by way of Cambridge – took another look at Harvard and the Square/Yard area, and headed back out to Rt. 9 via rt. 16 through Watertown and Newton (again)
Hit the Natick Mall/Shopper’s World this time, for our shopping spree – I picked up some stuff for our computer at Best Buy (or was it Circuit City? Don’t remember) while the rest of the family spend an hour at Border’s (we probably shopped at 15 book stores on our trip, we’re geeks like that – I just haven’t mentioned all the other Book Stops!)


Forgot to mention, about the Staten Island Ferry in NYC – the best part about it is that it’s completely free! So, you get to see the skyline, see the Statue of Liberty from a reasonable distance (although not really close up) and take a 30 minute boat ride for absolutely no charge. Well worth the time.

… And this concludes the tale of Special1’s adventures in the New World…

We now return to our regularly scheduled M.M. stuff. Good morning to all the insomniacs who have checked in already! :p:D (on preview – especially to Roo. Hope you can get back to sleep! if not, I can always try and keep you company ;))


Good Mornin’/Afternoon/Evenin’ Y’all! I’m up, caffienated, showered, dressed and even did a little cleanin’ up of da cave! No I do not know where all this energy is comin’ from, it’s just here is all. In a few Ima go take my neighbor to his adult day care group cause his wife had to be at work earlier today and I’m nice. I hate callin’ it “day care” but I don’t know any other term for it. This is the neighbor who has Alzheimer’s but will do anything I tell him, for some reason.

Great OP Special1! Sounds like a good time was had by all. Yay on the kidlets citizenship papers.

Ok, off to collect neighbor and head out. I’ll BBL. Behave now!

Morning, all. Nice OP, Special One – just reading about your itinerary has me exhausted! But you had a great trip. I hope your family enjoyed it as much as it sounds like you did. But to actually drive in Manhattan? Okay, you are considerably braver than I could ever imagine being!

I’m up and caffeinating. Other than that, I’ve got nuttin’ this morning. Back later when the ol’ brain cells might actually be firing.

Lovely to hear about your travels, Special1! And glad you’re back - we missed you. :slight_smile:

I feel ill today, but I can’t quite pinpoint it. Maybe it’s just a severe lack of sleep.

ETA: CURSES! The Dunkin Donut underlings didn’t put sugar in my coffee!! :smack:

Thank you everyone for the compliments :slight_smile: It was a bit tiring on the long-haul days, but there were really only two of those (well, maybe Worcester-Hartford-Boston-Worcester qualifies as a semi-long-haul, too, but not really that bad. Worcester-NYC, OTOH, definitely does not qualify for the category, IMO.)

Well, in defense of my sanity, it was Saturday, and not a Work Day!

ETA: **Haze **-- hope you feel better, and I hope good karma makes up for the lack of sugar in your coffee and makes the rest of your day a sweet one :slight_smile:

Nice OP Special1, and it’s good to know that your children are no longer dirty, rotten illegals coming here to take U.S. worker’s jobs. Darn Ferriners! My daughter got hers last week.

Welbywife and I had a wonderful weekend with the **Fairy Chats ** on the Pirate Ship Revenge. Well, it wasn’t a pirate ship, and it’s not named the Revenge, but the rest is true. For the excitable: Piccies! As usual, I’m the good looking one.

We were worrying a little bit about the weather as we drove down to Solomons, Maryland to catch the boat. It was kind of gray and blah as we drove, but just about the time we made it to the boat the day washed it’s face, put on a little makeup, had a cup of coffee, and started to pretty up some. We had no trouble finding the place, though we did spend a few minutes wandering around before I made contact with FCM. Our fault of course. There were boats to look at, after all!

Shortly after meeting FCD (who, unsurprsingly, is as cool and easygoing as FCM) we were on the boat and underway and let me tell you something: Goooood sailing. The winds had been forecast to be sort of blah, but we were getting a pretty steady 4-5 knots out of the boat, and even heeled over sharply a few times when the wind gusted up to 20 or so. We made a little trip around the bay, lunched on the way (Sammiches, Welbywife’s Uberfamous Tater Salad, fresh veggies with dip, and CCC’s for dessert), and returned to dock just about the time the sunburns would have been getting bad.

Docking was the fun part because the two experienced sailors had one inexperienced sailor trying to help and mainly, I think, getting in the way. That and the fact that we’d managed to leave the boat in reverse. Do you have any idea how hard it is to bring a boat forward when it wants to go backward? I didn’t think so. It’s very hard. Welbywife managed to get some good pictures of this, though I must say that we were disappointed with the pictures overall. The camera’s been acting funky for a while, and several pictures were too dark to bother with. The aperature doesn’t seem to be working correctly - the camera probably needs a good cleaning. Those that were okay, or were light enough to bother with are all you’re gonna get.

In any event, we had a great day on the water. It was like a mini-vacation and very relaxing. It also decided us on the idea of really and truly learning to handle a sail boat, and then getting a little something of our own in a few years.

That’s all for now, it’s time to make the boss think I deserve my paycheck.


SpecialOne, you were in Toronto, and you didn’t visit. I’m hurt. :smiley: It sounds like a fun vacation- minus the huge amount of driving. I’m glad your kids are Properly Citizenized now.
welby, those are great pics. Have you bought a boat yet? You should buy a boat. How about now? Huh?
Rgfngnrmp. Mr. Lissar and I watched a Doctor Who episode with zombies yesterday. I may have mentioned this before- I’m a wimp, and my subconcious is terrified of zombies. Especially late at night, when all the rational bits has switched off. I finally fell asleep just after Mr. Lissar left for work at six, and the phone rang at nine.

I’m going to do the laundry, and then have a nap.

What a great OP, Special1!! It sounds like tons o’fun! We missed you lots, though.

And Welby, I am sooo jealous! A day on the boat with the FairyChats sounds like a great time, too!

Hey Dotty, I made your pepperoni bread this weekend, and it was a big hit! I might tweak it a bit next time and add mozzarella instead of cheddar…

[whine]I wanna go on vacation, now!![/whine]

Great OP, spec1!!! Little did you know that you were actually treading on some of my old stomping grounds. First the drive along the river in Canada sent you right through Prescott, ON which I visited many times with my Gran as a kid. We used to day trip to Ogdensburg and sometimes cross over to get fireworks. :smiley: “Why, no, ossifer, there ain’t no stinkin contraband in the trunk.” :wink: Then you actually shopped in Framingham where I lived for nine years while married to the Klingon. There was a faaaaaabulous little eyetalian place called Giovanni’s across Rte. 9 from the mawl that we ate in every Friday night. Probably gone now, though.

My day began with a huge injection of adrenalin because an armadillo decided to set off the flood lights just as the mutts were out for their morning piddle. First time I’ve actually seen one…the dogs, too, for that matter and they set off an alarm that I’m sure woke the entire neighborhood. :stuck_out_tongue:

Today’s agenda is pool inspection and then deck pour. I’ll let you know how that goes.

welby, looks like a great time.

swampus, you are the sweetest bear ever was.