A journey is best measured in friends, not in miles.
— Tim Cahill
So when we last left off, David and I had collapsed into bed in our beautiful European-inspired hotel room in Chicago. That was Monday night. Tuesday morning we prepared to head back to Detroit. I had hoped to somehow meet up with Jane on our way out of town, but she had her own adventure to tend to, so we didn’t get the chance. Instead, David drove us along Lake Shore Drive to head out of the city on another beautiful day in Chicago so I could see the waterfront and Soldier Field and Comiskey Park (which isn’t called Comiskey Park anymore, but whatever). It was lovely. We stopped for breakfast at what David tells me is the only rest stop (anywhere?) that’s built on an overpass (that is, it serves both sides of the big highway). He tried to win me a Nintendo DS from a game machine, but didn’t have any luck. Oh well.
By the time we got back to Detroit, we had just enough time to change and grab the tickets and David’s brother and head downtown to Comerica Park to watch the Tigers take on the hated Cleveland Indians. I had walked around the outside of Comerica at Christmastime, but this was my first time inside. I immediately went to the team store to purchase a Tigers visor so I could credibly root for the home team (and without betraying my Braves – the Tigers are in the AL).
We walked around the stadium so I could see everything, and I even got the boys to ride the mini baseball Ferris wheel with me!
I also got a half-yard frozen daquiri, but that is neither here nor there. We then got a beer and something to eat (I had egg rolls. Egg rolls! At a baseball stadium! And chili-cheese fries. Breakfast of champions.) before settling into our seats.
David’s dad snared excellent seats down the right field line off Stub Hub, and during warm ups, I looked up and who did I see? One Grady Sizemore, centerfielder for the Indians, stretching and jogging not 20 yards from me! He’s hot, let me tell you.
Once David figured out what I was doing, he tried to take my camera away, but I didn’t let him. It’s my duty to take pictures of hot baseball players, and I take that responsibility very seriously.
The game itself was great – the Tigers won – and we headed home to do a little laundry and fall in to bed.
Wednesday morning, we packed up and got back in the car, this time headed for a little town just northeast of Buffalo, New York. My cousin was to be married Saturday, and Wednesday evening was her bridal shower (she, and a lot of wedding guests, was from out of town, but nearly the entirety of our moms’ side of the family lives in this town, which is why the shower was there and so close to the wedding). Since she had asked me to be in her wedding, I needed to be at the shower that evening, so we left around 9 or so and headed for the border. The Canadian border.
As David is fond of telling me, if you head due south from Detroit, the first foreign country you come to is Canada. Going through Canada would save us several hours, assuming the border crossing didn’t take long, and time was of the essence that day, so with our passports in hand, we made a quick entrance into the Great White North.
We had a lovely Canadian day. First, we had breakfast at Tim Horton’s. Donuts, yum. Then we stopped at Canadian Tire. It’s hard to explain Canadian Tire – it’s a little like a KMart crossed with an auto parts store, I guess, but David has been talking about it as long as I’ve known him, so we had to go.
We found Canada t-shirts there, on sale for $8.99 (or “Nine dough-lers” as David was fond of saying), red for him, white for me. Then we stopped for lunch at Harvey’s, a Canadian fast food joint. This one was located inside a Home Depot. Thank goodness for GPS. Our burgers were delicious, and people in Canada are so friendly!
We made an equally smooth entrance back into the U.S., and made our way through the Western New York countryside on a gorgeous afternoon, and I honestly don’t know if there’s any better place to be. We got to my aunt’s around 3:30 and David encountered the first wave of family introductions. The shower was girls-only, so I left him there to await my uncle, the District Attorney, who had agreed to take David and Steve (the boyfriend of one of the other bridesmaids) out to dinner. He was not happy that I couldn’t be there for the introductions; I’m sure he had Sopranos-like visions of my Italian uncle picking him and “going for a ride,” but he was a good sport.
The shower was lovely; my aunts did an amazing job, as always. Afterwards, my cousin and I and one of the bridesmaids went to find the boys in town. We walked into the restaurant only to see my grandpa holding court at their table. I hadn’t expected him to be there, but I should have guessed he would be. We attempted to pull up a table to their booth to join them, but the waitresses stopped us, which was not a good idea. My grandpa doesn’t like to be told no. Next thing you know, the wait staff is dealing with an ornery old man, and my cousin and I are laughing our heads off because this is so typical. I think David might have been scared, though.
In the end, we took the booth behind them, and my grandpa came to sit with us for a bit. He told me how much he’d enjoyed talking to David and how glad he was that I’d brought him. Made me so happy. One of my aunts showed up and then the 6 of us – me and David, my cousin, my aunt, the bridesmaid and her boyfriend – headed to the only bar in town to catch up some more and play some darts. And with the exception of the boys, I can tell you that all of us are supremely bad dart players.
It was, however, a lot of laughs. I love my family, and I love how seamlessly David fits into it.
Around 11, we headed back to my aunt’s house where we were staying and fairly collapsed into bed, again. First, though, we had to repack a small bag, because in the morning, we were headed back to Canada: Toronto. I’ll tell you all about Day 7 next time (which, hopefully, will not be two weeks from now)!