We packed up the car and hit the road in the morning. We took the Ambassador Bridge over the Detroit River into Windsor, Canada and from there headed to Niagara Falls. Crossing into Canada was quite easy, we only needed to show them our “Real ID” Dirver’s Licenses. Around lunch time I picked up a Tim Horton’s coffee at a highway road stop while Cheryl had lunch, and in the early afternoon we crossed over in the U.S. again, but had a small snag because we were supposed show them our passports to enter the U.S. again. As it happens, I had them in my backpack in the back seat and offered to get them out, but the border guard just waved us through with a warninig for next time. From there, we took the Thruway to East Syracuse for our usual stop at the Hampton Inn. After checking in,we did our usual thing and went to the Ruby Tuesday just down the road for dinner.
Up in the morning and breakfast at the hotel, then back on the road. The Thruway got us to the Mass Pike, then we took 95 northand got to Marblehead, where we would be staying with Cheryl’s sister Lisa. After getting settled, we all went out (including Dave) to the Three Cod Tavern for a seafood dinner. From there we went back to Lisa’s for some conversation before turning in.
We went up to Magnolia where we visited Kathy, Dick, Dylan, and Ashley, and had a great dinner prepared by Dick. The place in Magnolia is really beautiful, a property owned by Audobon, where Dick works, and they live there and keep up the property. It is heavily wooded, and overlooks the ocean.
On our third day in New England, Dave took us out for a cruise in his boat. I got a bit more sun than I should have, I keep forgetting that the sun is more intense on the water. But Cheryl got to drive the boat. Dave offered to let me drive as well, but I was just enjoying sitting there and wanted to let Cheryl do it. She grew up here, after all. It was certainly a great day on the water.
Cheryl’s brother Michael has been declining, so we coordinated with his wife Cathy to get him down to the area and have a family get together. So on July 24 we checked out some local restaurants, and settled on the Sylvan Street Grille in Peabody because they had a private room we could reserve for a reasonable price, and it was fully accessible for a wheelchair. Then I texted my brother Dennis to tell him that because of these plans we would have to skip our planned stop in Roslindale.
On July 25 we had no particular plans and Cheryl asked me what I wanted to do, and I suggested going back to the sea shore in Lynn/Nahant. We walked here almost every day when we were staying in Swampscott a few years ago, and I always enjoyed walking here. I did make a mistake in wearing sandals, however. I should have worn my running shoes instead. Still, it was a good walk on a bright, sunny day.
Erin came up in anticipation of tomorrow’s get together, and we spent some time with her and with Janet. Dave and Lisa made a really nice fish dinner for the four of us.
Cathy and Michael came down and got into an accessible room at a hotel around the corner from the restaurant. We went down to the restuarant to get things started, and people started drifting in over the next half hour. With the exception of Donny who lives in Virginia, we had all of Michael’s siblings there, and many other family. It was really great to have everyone together, and it has been too long since it happened. And while Michael was not in great shape, I think he understood that his family was there for him. Cheryl had prepared a photo book, a kind of “This Is Your Life” for Michael, and made copies for all of the siblings as well, and distributed these at the restaurant. Everyone loved looking through the photos. All in all a very good day.
This was mostly a rest day after all of the activities so far.
We got up and went out to breakfast with Lisa and Dave. Then it was off to Bakerpalooza. Everyone in my family who could make it gathered at Jim and Stephanie’s place in Eliot, Maine. We did meet up with Dennis and Lyra, and Tim also made it this year. Plus the Grahams, Latters, and Fountains. I was able to renew my relationship with my cousin Steve, who I had not seen in years, and that was important. And seeing Terry was great. The transplant was a great success and she looks fabulous. It was a great day with family, and I had enjoyed two family reunions in as many days. Going back to Lisa’s we were in a real downpour though, and the drive back was not fun at all.
We got up and loaded the car, and hit a snag. The driver’ side door would not latch closed, and upon inspection we saw that the three screws that hold the latch mechanism in the door had all disappeared. My guess is that two of them had already come out previously and I didn’t notice, and then the third one went right now. For just a moment we were facing the idea of driving 800 miles with a door held in place by bungee cords, but then Cheryl’s brother Mark came to the rescue. He had the screws and tools, and we were back on track. Then we headed for Chelmsford to have brunch with Eileen, Seamus, and Felix. They were not at the Baker family reunion because they were at the Ahearne family gathering on the West Coast, and they actually flew in yesterday. It would be our first time seeing Felix in quite a while, because he was in Korea studying when we got together for Samantha’s wedding in Colorado in June, and we were eager to see him. After that, we got back on the road, and headed to the hotel in East Syracuse.
Going back we elected to not go through Canada because it would most likely have put us in Detroit right in the middle of rush hour. So we instead took the more southerly route through Ohio. The drive was unexceptional, which is always good, and we were quite happy to get back home. We have had so many trips this year that we are tired of not being at home.