Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It Turned Into An Adventure

One of my absolute favourite things to do with my husband is go on little weekend adventures. I call them "adventures" because they are rarely pre-planned and often turn into something unexpectedly wonderful. (See: Hills of Headwaters)

Well, we definitely had one of those adventures this past weekend. It started as they all usually do. Matt and I were sitting around on Saturday morning, with the whole day stretched out ahead of us, when one of us asked: "So... what do you want to do this weekend?". Some of our go-to dates include the local farmer's market, maybe a hunt for a new coffee shop, or a Groupon for a restaurant we haven't tried. But this weekend, we wanted to do something a bit different.

I suggested we head down to Buffalo in the States for a bit of shopping. With wedding season approaching, I was in desperate need of a cute dress or two to wear. So off we went - hopped in the car for a quick two hour trip to Buffalo for the day. The ride down was pretty uneventful. As we neared Niagara Falls, we reminisced about the time Matt surprised me with a day-trip there for my birthday back when we were dating.

I remember it well - he insisted on keeping where we were going a complete surprise, despite my constant and excited pestering. The further we went, the more confident I was that we were on our way to Niagara Falls - my dad had taken my siblings and I there many times when I was a kid. I just smiled and kept my mouth shut as we drove on towards our destination, certain that I knew where we were headed. Well, that certainty was quickly wiped away when Matt made a turn in the opposite direction of Niagara Falls. Now my curiosity was really peaked. We drove on for about another hour before I started pestering him again. This time, he decided to fill me in on the secret - he was taking me to Niagara Falls.

Let me tell you - his family and I have never let him down about this. "Remember that time you got lost for 2 hours on you way to Niagara Falls?" I'm sure he's sick of hearing it. But we laugh about it now - and that's what we did when we reminisced about it on our way up to Buffalo. (Hint: foreshadowing).

So we finally make it to the border crossing and then onto the mall for a solid day of shopping and enjoying each others company. Matt's patience on the day of shopping was rewarded with a trip to Cracker Barrel - his favourite childhood restaurant (I think it may have won me over too!). After our bellies and shopping bags were full, we decided to finish off the day with a bit more exploring and a trip to Walmart to get some of those yummy cereal brands that are only found in the States. It was a great day.

When we were ready to hit the road again, we got in the car and set our GPS to take us home. It was about 8:45pm at this point, and we were set to arrive at 10:45pm - a short 2 hour drive away. As we followed the GPS, we noticed it was taking us a bit off the beaten path. We traveled through some quaint little towns (and some a little more on the sketchy-side) assuming that this was just an alternative route to the highway. After travelling a bit further down these roads, we double checked the GPS to make sure it wasn't set to avoid highways or anything. Nope. Either way, we were making good time and were set to arrive in Kitchener in just an hour and half's time. So we carried on, soaking in the sights and chatting away.

By this point, the time was 10:00pm and, according to the GPS, we were about 40 minutes from Kitchener. And yet, we were still in New York. "I don't remember there being a border crossing this close to home..." I thought. So, just for good measure, we decided to pull the car over and examine the route the GPS was taking us more thoroughly...

Turns out we were set to arrive at 10:45AM THE NEXT DAY. Oh my. We had a good laugh about it at first, but then it set in that we had been travelling South into New York for almost 2 hours. Every time we tried to reset our GPS, it kept taking us along this same route. (Both Matt and I are severely directionally challenged - so this posed quite a problem for us.) We eventually plugged in the address of the mall into the GPS and managed to make our way back to the border crossing. What should have been a quite 30 minute trip turned into a 4 hour one (that beats out the Niagara Falls blunder). When we reached the border, we paid the toll to enter back into Canada through the bridge - and that's when it hit us. "OH!!!" Our GPS was set to avoid toll routes. That explained our 12 hour detour through the States to get back to Kitchener.

By the time we reached Canada, it was about 1 in the morning and Matt and I were completely exhausted from the day's events. We eventually decided to get a hotel in Niagara Falls for the night - not a bad place to wake up in the morning! What was supposed to be a quick little shopping trip in Buffalo turned into a full weekend adventure. Not complaining! You should try it - get lost sometime :)

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