Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Day 6

Arrived into Union Station last night a little on the late side, give or take about 50 minutes down. Apparently some people on the train only started gathering their rather sizable pile of luggage when the train stopped at Aldershot. The service manager was rather clear for the stops a little further on about getting luggage ready prior to arrival at Oakville if that's where they were getting off.

Stayed at the Strathcona Hotel, the walk to there was a little...interesting shall we say. Not that the distance was any issue, since it was only a block and a bit away from Union Station, but that the snow on the ground made for tough walking and my feet are paying for it. The Sorels work wonderfully at keeping feet warm and dry, rather important with the slush on the sidewalks and really watered down slush at the curb edges crossing the road. But they're not made for a lot of walking and with the condition they're in means that feet move around a bit and my feet are now quite raw. I am quite happy to have running shoes to provide some better support to the feet.

Anyhow, back to the hotel. Everything was good, though internet isn't free, and the room was a little on the small side. But the bed was really comfortable, which after all the "all-nighters" we've pulled over the past few days is Very Appreciated. Answered the alarm on my cell this morning and then promptly fell back asleep. Woke up a little over an hour later when Michaelea advised we'd overslept. I continued sleeping. :-)

Checked out after packing up everything and having a shower. Back over to Union station and found the walk a lot wetter this morning than yesterday. Got to the car rental place (Alamo/Enterprise) and went through the process. The rental agent must've been quite sympathetic to our "adventure" and put me on as a second driver for no charge (regular value of $11/day - When I heard that price, I had pretty much decided that Michaelea would be the driver) and the vehicle we got was considerably "upgraded" from what I was expecting. I had requested a compact car (ie: a Chev Cobalt), and what we got was a Chrysler Sebring! Leather seats, much more room, and potentially even Sirius Radio. Not that we need it since we brought our iPods and the RoadTrip to play our music on the drive.

Departure out of Toronto was rather uneventful, the Don Valley Parkway moved pretty well and the 401 east was pretty good too. Around Oshawa we had to pass by a car which had done something stupid and removed the front bumper at speed, spinning out as well. We followed the ambulance in, but traffic moved around the wreckage pretty smoothly. The rest of the 401 was in wet condition, no worries atll. Once onto the lesser highways, we're noticing a fair amount more slush and lots of fog, but otherwise, no issues for us. Michaelea's even following the rather pedantic speed limits. (out in Alberta, these roads would be rated for at least 90 or 100 rather than 80...)

So we're definitely into dial-up internet after this update (we'll do a bit of war-driving to post this) and enjoying our holiday time with the folks...Next update when we have a few spare minutes.

Cheers to you and yours!


lynn said...

Hey Jon & Michaelea!

What an adventure you have had ... and it really doesn't sound like a lot of fun either! But I'm glad that it sounds like you have arrived safe to the cottage.

It also sounds like VIA is the better train, or is it just that Amtrak sucks at winter conditions?

We are all fine, your nephew is keeping us all entertained with his sunny disposition. If you get a chance to play a game called Things, do ... it is a lot of fun.

Have a great time on Christmas Day and the rest of your time with Mom and Dad Harrison. We still think we might be able to pick you up in Edmonton so will chat somewhere along the way. I'm not sure if I will remember to call in the morning, but I will try!

Love you both, and please wish Bob and Karin a Merry Christmas from us too.

Jon & Michaelea Calon said...

Hi Mom,

VIA is definitely more prepared to do battle with mother nature, owing primarily to the fact that we typically have much more "winter" than Amtrak experiences, though no excuse really with respect to Chicago!

Mom & Dad Harrison pass along their best wishes as well.

I hate dial-up internet...Checking e-mail is a half-hour plus ordeal!