ROAD TRIP THROUGH THE USA
MONTRÉAL (CANADA) TO TORREON (MEXICO) JULY 21ST TO AUGUST 3RD 2009
Amish community, Berlin, Ohio
This was a different kind of trip! Over the summer of 2009, we bought a Toyota Corolla in Québec and decided to drive to our new home in Torréon, Mexico. With our 2 (almost 3) year old daughter, we decided to break every day on the road by a day off, visiting some of the interesting sights the journey had to offer.
Day 1: Montréal-Kingston (Ontario) -585km-
We left at 8:30am with mixed emotions has always. We are leaving friends and family behind, but a new adventure begins! We stopped in some rest areas along the 401, and arrive in Waterdown at around 5:00pm. It is poring rain –again- (same weather as most of our summer in Canada!)
Rob and Mary Pat offered us great wine and a fabulous diner with other friends from St.Maarten. It was great to see all of them again! Alixe loved playing with Andrew and Benjamin, friends from the Montessori school in St.Maarten. Hope to see you soon all of you guys! Late night & more drinks.
Day 2: Kingston-Berlin (Amish country) Ohio. -585km-
We wake up at 7am, have a good breakfast with Rob and Mary Pat and hit the road by 8:30am. Our first stop is Niagara Falls. I last saw the falls when I was 10 years old and Cynthia never saw them. The parking of 20$ is quite expensive, but the falls are actually free to see. Big, impressive, lot’s of water and lots of tourists. We buy a souvenir T-shirt and move on to the USA. The bridge to the USA is empty! There is one car in front of us. Five minutes and here we are into the USA! The border crossing was a piece of cake!
We drive into New York state and then Pennsylvania. For most of the day, we are driving through vineyards and I am amazed to see how much wine this region produces. (It is literally from Toronto to Pennsylvania).
We stop for a miniature wine sampling, buy a bottle for the night and back on the road!
Driving through Akron is easy and we finally make it to Berlin, the largest Amish community in the USA. We are more than happy to find our room at Simple Blessing Cabins. We go out for dinner at Boyd & Whurthmann (an authentic local restaurant) and bedtime.
Day 3: Berlin, Ohio. (Rest day)
Rain today (again). I see all these carriage on the road and I am amazed by the way they dress. Who are these people? Really, so many unanswered questions… They dress in such a conservative way. They live without any electricity, but many of them have generators to produce electricity at night. They don’t have a phone at home, but I see some of them talking with cellular phones during the day while at work. They don’t have TV’s, but some of them are at the McDonald’s in the morning watching the news. So many contradictions that I am not sure I can really explain how Amish really live. I have the impression that even if they are trying to keep a traditional way of life, globalization, modernisation and commercialization are slowly invading their community. We visit Heini`s cheese factory in the afternoon. Yummmy! 55 kinds of cheese produced here. Over 10 tons of cheese produced daily!
Day 4: Berlin (Ohio) to Bardstown (Kentucky) -630km-
We make an early stop to a local winery to buy wine, more cheese and hit the road by 10am.
It is a quiet day without any real sights to the exception of the Kentucky Welcome center and a truck on fire! We make it to the nice Spring Hill Winery Bed & Breakfast in Bardstown at around 5:30pm. It has been a long day on the road.
Welcome to the Capital of Bourbon!
Spring Hill Winery and B&B is an old century house, located in the middle of vineyards. The owners: Eddie & Carolyn and very welcoming and the homemade breakfasts prepared by Carolyn are simply phenomenal! A nice family feeling.
Day 5: Bloomfield & Bardstown. (Rest day)
Capital of Bourbon, here we are! We visit the Bourbon Heritage Center (and distillery). So cool to see all these barrels! Each ware house contains 20000 barrels of 200 litres each! The tour ends with a nice free tasting of a 12 and 20 year old Bourbon. Delicious!
We walk in old Bardstown, and there isn’t much to do here except drink Bourbon!
We Pick Nick in the vineyards, and go out for dinner in Bloomfield, a tiny typical small American town.
Day 6: Bardstown (Kentucky) to Nashville (Tennessee) -324km-
Not many kilometres logged today, but many sightseeing’s! Kentucky is the birth place of Abraham Lincoln, so we stopped to see his house when he was young, and we also stopped to see the somewhat debated birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. Early in the afternoon, we stopped at Mammoth Cave National Park, the largest systems of underground caves in the world. There are almost 600km of underground tunnels and caves explored. There are some great caving trips organized by the National Park, but you need to book ahead at it is crazy busy during the summer. Cynthia didn't want to l1eave Kentucky State without having some KFC, so our lunch was perfect today
We got to the outskirt of Nashville at about 4pm, a perfect time for me to go for an 8km run to explore the neighbourhood. It is definitively more black country down here, but people are friendly and wave at me as I stroll across some poor neighbourhoods. CONTINUE TO WEEK 2...