Last week I went on a whirlwind trip that involved three states and one Canadian province in six days. From gorgeous 70 degree weather to high winds and stinging rain, we experienced it all.
The purpose of the trip was to visit my new university and secure a place to live. I invited my sister, Amy, since it was her Spring Break and when her fiance,Rich, wanted to go as well we added Buffalo to visit with his family. We got cheap round-trip tickets from Seattle to Pittsburgh for $221. (I guess no one wants to go to Pittsburgh for Spring Break!) We arrived in Pittsburgh and drove the hour or so south to Morgantown, West Virginia – Home of the Mountaineers!
The next day I found an incredible place to live. After a couple u-turns and wrong turns trying to find some of the complexes on my short list, we went straight to the apartment complex that was at the top of my list. I had every intention not to sign a lease at the first place I saw, but like Rich said, “You’d be a fool not to live here.” From the full-sized gym with six basketball hoops to the cardio and aerobics room to the outdoor pool (to be completed this summer) to the free wireless internet and cable to the free private shuttle van to campus- I would be a fool not to live there! The best part is that it’s furnished and the leases are individual- meaning I only have to worry about my room. I don’t have to find roommates or worry if they’re going to pay rent or not. To me, it’s like off-campus dorms. I signed a lease for one bedroom in a three bedroom all-girls apartment. I’ll have my own walk-in closet and bathroom. Such a sweet setup!
In the afternoon, I met with a Math advisor and had a quick walk around the historic downtown campus- boring stuff to anyone but me. That evening we met up with my Aunt and my two young cousins. It’s been a couple years since I’ve seen my cousins last and it took awhile for them to warm up but once they did it was a non-stop laugh fest. It was also the first time that all us cousins on the Voorhees side were all together. I’ll get to see a lot of them when I move out there.
The next day we began our journey to Buffalo, New York. All in all, it wasn’t a bad drive- about 5 hours from Morgantown. That afternoon, Rich’s family took us to Niagara Falls, or the Falls if you want to sound like a local (Buffalonian?). Hilarity ensued when we got to the Canadian border (we drove separate cars from Rich’s family) when Amy and Rich proceeded to confused the Canadian Border Agent. I surprised they let us in at all.
Border Patrol Guy: ‘Where did you pick-up the rental car?’
(Wrong it was Pittsburgh.)
Border Patrol Guy: ‘Are you staying overnight in Canada?’
Amy: ‘I don’t think so. I don’t know.’
(This is where I jump in and say no we are not staying in Canada overnight.)
Border Patrol Guy: ‘Where are you staying?’
Rich: ‘Ahh…. the Casino Niagara.’
Border Patrol Guy: ‘That’s in Canada.’
Amy and Rich: ‘Oh no, we’re not staying in Canada….hmmm….I don’t know we might me… we didn’t make the arrangements. We’re with the car ahead of us.’
Border Patrol Guy: ‘So, you don’t know where you’re staying? Is it the Seneca Niagara?’
Rich: ‘Yes, that’s it…. I think that’s where we’re staying.’
Border Patrol Guy: ‘Uhhh hmmm.’
I still can’t believe they let us in.
The Falls were pretty cool… literally. It was about 20 degrees F cooler standing next the Falls than when we got out of our car. Amy loved the fact that I’ve been all over the world and that I haven’t been to Niagara Falls. She got to show me something she’s already seen. Here are the pictures I took: Niagara Falls and Clifton Hill.
Getting back into the States was just as difficult. I think we’re the only country in the world that grills it’s own citizens when trying to get back into our country. Amy paused and thought for a second when the American Border Agent asked us where we picked-up the car. She giggled ever so slightly when we she correctly said ‘Pittsburgh’. I’m sure that didn’t arouse suspicion. He also carefully thumbed through my passport and had lots of questions about why I traveled to all the countries (‘because I love to travel’) and what I did for a living (‘I’m currently unemployed’). When I got back from my round the world trip the only question I got was ‘Why did I go to Egypt?” as the immigration agent barely glanced through my passport. Luckily, the border agent let us back into our country.
Note to self and others who go to Buffalo: Do not order Boneless Buffalo Wings if you’re out with a local. After I told Rich’s Uncle Tony that I had order Boneless Buffalo Wings for the table he look at me like I was crazy and said, “What!? How is that possible? Boneless wings!?” He, of course, used more colorful language.
All in all, a jam-packed fun trip!