Emily and I made it home yesterday evening. This is what I can say about the last month.

I'll give you a quick overview of the trip and later I'll fill you in on a few details.
We drove through 17 states and 3 Canadian provinces for a total mileage of:
[Editing note later in the day: One of the Canadians among you--thanks Trish for being kind--pointed out that Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick are actually three separate provinces, so we visited 5 total. Perhaps I should have Emily proofread this blog from now on.]

(States and provinces were: Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ontario, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, Maritimes [Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick], Quebec, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. We went through some states and provinces twice.)

Most of the country was suffering under a heat wave when we were nice and cool up north... we did buy a lot of ice for the cooler and the last few states were a little rough. When we hit Colorado Springs yesterday and it was 100 degrees I started to despair. But in Alamosa it was 75 degrees. Elevation helps.

We visited some great national and provincial parks including Prince Edward Island National Park, Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia, Fundy National Park in New Brunswick, Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Wind Caves National Park in South Dakota... we bypassed Rocky Mountain National Park as the call of home was too strong and the pile of dirty laundry too large.

Canada was lovely. The Maritimes were so much fun.  And Canadian money is clean. I don't want to wipe my fingers after handling it (though likely it is still as germy as USD)... and I like the queen's picture. I also like that their big coins are called loonies ($1) and toonies ($2)... though I didn't like having so much metal in my pocket and kept looking for the one dollar bills.

We did some hiking in the Green Mountains of Vermont.

Tracked down (and I don't have a smart phone!) multiple yarn stores and visited many of them.

I was able to spend a lot of time with family from all over the country including this little stinker:
These two kids belong to my oldest friend (we met in preschool). They were playing with rocks at Hopewell Rocks on the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick.

And this sweet thing belongs to one of my new sister-in-laws. You make me smile too J!

There was all the camping. We tried to find a camping spot in Quebec.  They had a huge book of campgrounds. The province seems to be littered with them. The book was in French, but I was proud of myself for figuring it out mostly (it was fairly graphic). We ended up needing to make some time and opted for a beautiful hotel in Quebec City. This modern, very European Best Western was courtesy of one in Maine which had some issues (they gave us a gift certificate).

Camping in Vermont was lovely--we opted for shelters after a big storm though.
Camping on the ocean, Cape Breton Nova Scotia.
I was able to see this amazing show in Minneapolis at the American Swedish Institute (much more on this later, never fear):

But of course the most important thing was that I got married.

I am the luckiest woman alive.

The big road trip begins...

If you haven't heard, July is a month of travel for me. We are on our way... a big circumnavigation of the middle and eastern part of the US as well as a big chunk of Canada.  Here is some of what I have seen in the last four days.

Small town Colorado... you can get your booze, power tools, and your pain killers in one stop.

As well as the first yarn store sighting of the trip in Walsenburg, CO just over the hill from the town I currently call home...

And then there was the corn. Hundreds of miles of corn. The horizon broken now and then by wind turbines. We spent a lot of time on I-80 and let me tell you, in the middle of the country it is 14 hours of corn. I like to think we eat it from the cob, but I strongly suspect it becomes corn syrup rather quickly.

Another yarn shop search in Benton Harbor, MI, brought me to Ivelise's Yarn Shop after several calls to a very helpful woman named Maggie who was tending the shop that day.

After several wrong turns and a tour of a neighboring city, we found the place and I did buy some yarn for another Stephen West Pagona. I was addicted to the first one and now I'm doing one in green (Madelinetosh Sock). It is the perfect travel knitting. Maggie told me as she was balling my yarn for me that Ivelise is 87 years old, has owned the shop for over 40 years, and still comes down every day. I was sorry that I missed her. I suspect that Ivelise has some personal investment in this quote on the wall at this point:

Pagona was quickly underway... (when I wasn't driving!)

I did wish I had time for a dip in Lake Michigan here though:

Today we got to spend a little time in Canada. We visited family in Detroit last night (Petunia the Rottweiler gave me more slobbery toilet-water kisses than I could every possibly need, but the hugs from her kid-friends were priceless) and decided to take Lake Erie to the north instead of visiting Ohio.

So far I love Canada. I have only have limited experience thus far as I was in the country approximately 5 hours today and haven't been there previously since I was 18 months old. I have this to say about Canadians so far: they are much more courteous on the highway than Americans. I was driving and we hit a huge rain squall. It was sunny one moment and then it was raining so hard I literally couldn't see the lines on the pavement for what felt like forever but was probably only a few seconds. What I noticed immediately was that everyone around me slowed down drastically and within seconds EVERY CAR on the interstate (do they call them that in Canada?) had their hazard lights on and was driving a very sane speed considering the very poor visibility and the dizzying rate my windshield wipers were waving. If I had been on I-80 in the USA there would have been people whizzing by me at 80 miles an hour (apparently some Americans don't think they need to actually see the road to drive the car).

This faucet was in the women's room at a rest stop bathroom on the tollway. I'm not quite sure why it is there, but Canadians are even nice to pets.

So far I love Canadians. And I love the coins I got in change for my french fries--all with Elizabeth II on them. (Do the coins always have the queen on them? And what happens when she dies? That is a lot of coins to re-issue.)

We crossed into NY and stopped to see Niagara Falls. I felt it was necessary as I've never seen them and who knows when I'll be there again. I was dismayed at Disney feel of the place, but awed by the water.

It hasn't all been roses (or corn) and watching people in orange hats.
There was that first night camping in a state park in NE with the heat and the fireworks until midnight...
The brain fog from hours of driving...
The lack of good gluten free food options at the moment I am hungry...
The toll roads that discourage me even further in a search for something to curb the lack of food-induced grumpiness...
The town we stopped at first tonight where every hotel room was full and there was no convenient campground and we had to keep driving...
Road trips.