Field Report:
Travelogue: Seventh Day - Ottawa to Home
Rosie, Beeotch, Dancing Queen, Peeps

The final day of our odyssey came at last and it was time to head for home. While we had thoroughly enjoyed our sojourn through the Northeast, we were looking forward to sleeping in our own beds.

But ... as long as we were in the neighborhood, we thought we would check out the IKEA store before leaving Ottawa. We are all fans of IKEA products and styles so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Meandering around the large store, we spotted a number of items we just couldn’t pass up: a desk lamp for a newly decorated room, a cozy travel blanket, great kitchen knives and a decent sized sieve, even some end tables and a coffee table. Even though it meant unloading and repacking the car, we managed to fit it all in and still be comfortable on the long drive home.

Actually, we're sorry we didn't get a photo of us in the parking lot with all out possessions of the moment piled up around us, trying to fit everything plus the IKEA purchases into the space. We contemplated strapping one of the travelers to the roofrack, but fortunately, one of us is spatially talented. It was mesmerizing to watch -- or maybe it was the effect of the heat?

We had left the hotel to head over to IKEA without stopping for breakfast, so by the time we had finished our shopping, we were ready for some fortification before hitting the road. And where else but at the IKEA café could you have Swedish meatballs for breakfast? Odd, but delicious!

A quick stop for coffee at the Starbucks across the parking lot and we were ready for the road. Our over-packed car ate up the miles between Ottawa and Toronto as we skirted the northern edge of Lake Erie -- occasionally getting close enough to see the water. Although we hadn’t planned it, we arrived at Toronto on the leading edge of the afternoon rush hour. Our progress was impeded only slightly because of the inevitable road construction, but that allowed us the time to spot the CN Tower as we drove through town.

Luckily for us, the sky didn't open up until after Canada's largest city disappeared in our wake. The rain came down hard, but fast and the downpour was over fairly quickly. We stopped at a likely-looking service plaza complete with Mickey D's to refuel passengers and vehicle, then continued on our way. The clouds began to reflect the light of the westering sun inspiring us to try to capture the images both through the windows and out the sunroof opening.

Watching the clouds and singing along to the CD player kept us entertained until we reached the border at Port Huron. The sun had peeked out from behind the clouds and sparkled on the waters of Lake Huron as we crossed the bridge back into the U.S. Gone were the signs that we found funny (like the one about parking spaces reserved for pregnant women!) And miles instead of kilometers ... How slow our progress seemed. Would we ever get home? At last we did. Many hands made light work of unloading the car, but our travels weren't quite over. We still needed a few staples to see us through the evening and the next morning, so off we went to the grocery store. Milk and bread and donut peaches, and we were all set.

Donut peaches in hand, we sat out on the front steps oohing and aahing at the fireworks lighting up the sky. How clever of us to arrive home in time to celebrate Independence Day.

Our week-long journey was an education as well as an adventure. New England is an incredibly beautiful part of the country, filled with natural wonders and history. It was fascinating for all of us to see things we had only read about or seen on television. Neither does justice to the reality and this trip will not be our last.

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