Tuesday, May 02, 2006

It really is amazing how much you can do in so short a time. Tomorrow will mark our official two weeks away from home. Only two more to go.

Our tear down was very smooth and extremely fast. For those of you who have seen our booth set up, you would have really been impressed with what we were able to do – we even beat Tim H. and Nathan B. over at Vision Forum, which is very unusual! We were rather impressed with ourselves. A family from the church we visited in CT helped us tear down, and after we were done, our two families did some reels while waiting for our turn to bring our trailer in. We play Celtic jigs and such during our set-up and tear down process.

Yesterday we drove out to Boston to visit my Aunt Michelle, whom we haven’t seen in two years. We tried to meet in a nice park in the downtown area, but with our big white rig, there was not a parking place to be found. No matter how hard we searched, not high, nor low, nowhere was there room for the McDonald clan to park and enjoy themselves. So, after following my Aunt Michelle around the city, we found a place for her little car, and she jumped in our van and after some good directions, we found a place in Cambridge, parked there and walked around Harvard Square and the Harvard campuses. During our walk, we heard some very loud obnoxious music and upon rounding a corner, saw in the yard the one of the dorms, college students playing in five moonwalks, eating lots of food enjoying a live band. It has to be one of the strangest sights I’ve ever seen.

There is so much to do in Boston! The city was literally swarming with people, and the driving… I have never seen so many careless and reckless drivers in one place in my life! And I have lived for a good long time. ;-) It’s as though they don’t realize there are lanes, and specified parking areas. You just stop wherever and the other cars will drive around you. Seriously, people will just stop their car in obscure positions in the middle of the road, and everyone else just ignores is, thinking there is nothing abnormal about it, and they drive on. Oh, and those pedestrians…they cross the street wherever they please, and whenever they please. They don’t care if the traffic is coming right at them, they just go. In order to stay alive, we adopted some of the Boston attitude, crossing the street when the other people did, and what not. For all we knew, the people driving just might decide a red light is just as good as green.

The weather was nice all day – sunny, breezy and just gorgeous. After walking around town, getting lunch and “John Harvard,” we dropped by Aunt Michelle’s place to decide where to go next. After hanging around and chatting with the neighbors, we decided to get some dinner at “The Barking Crab,” a restaurant located right on the Boston Harbor. The area we ate in was pretty much a tent covering over the pier, so we had a lovely view of the harbor. They had a really good shrimp appetizer and all the seafood was fresh. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, despite the nippy, windy weather.

Right now, we are driving through New York, on our way to Michigan, and watching the Baby Einstein episode called Baby Monet. And my computer is about to die, so I had better shut down. Maybe I’ll get some knitting done…

Hooray! We made it through the Canadian border with nary a problem, ey? ;-) We hadn’t realized we were going to go through Canada, so we didn’t bring birth certificates or any form of identification for those without a photo ID. We pulled up to the booth, and upon arrival, the security guard proceeded to ask questions.

“So, how many do you have in there?”

“Eleven. Nine children, my wife and myself.”

“Oh? And where are you headed?”

Michigan. Here is a copy of the magazine I publish which has our itinerary in it. We speak at conventions and just finished up in Massachusetts, and now we’re on our way to Michigan.”

“Oh? And what do you have in that trailer?”

“Luggage and books and educational products we take to the conventions.”

“Do you have birth certificates for the children?”

“No, we didn’t know we were going to come through this way, so we didn’t bring them.”

“Hmmm.” All this time he’s jotting down notes…rather eerie.

“Okay. Take this paper up to that building on the left and they can help you there.”

So, we pull up to the building on the left, whereupon Dad goes in to talk to the officers. After a few minutes, he comes back out.

“Alright, everybody out!”

“But William is sleeping!” Mom protested.

“Sorry, but we all have to go inside.”

So, we all piled out and filed into the building on the left, went down the hall and into a small office where another man waited for us. He asked us similar questions, a little more nosey, asked to see all the photo ID’s we had, and then told us that when going into a foreign country, we should always have birth certificates.

“Well, I trust you are all American citizens."

He stamped a yellow piece of paper, and told us to take it back to the group of officers outside the office. One of them took the paper, and they all watched us as we went back outside and climbed back into the van. We grabbed some dinner, and found our hotel, went to bed, and here we are again…waiting to see what today will bring, ey?


  1. Daniel Blanchard9:09 AM

    Sounds like the time I went there...It was rather intresting when the searched the car (taking everything out, jumping on the bumper [I have no clue for what reason] and then leaving us to clean up the mess). Now the easy part was getting back into the US. The converstation went like this:
    Guard: "Going home?"
    Me: "Yes."
    Guard: "Ok have a safe trip." (WOW, scary!!)

  2. They did not search our car or our trailer!

  3. I think they were just too tired. Go figure.

  4. Oooh...reels are so much fun to dance! Just curious though, where do you all find your "Celtic jigs and such" music? I love Celtic music, but it's hard to find music that actually sounds Celtic/Irish/Gaelic and not like somebody with a guitar and a violin is trying to sound Celtic...if you know what I mean. So anyway...if you have any good recommendations as to Celtic CDs and where I could find them...that would be wonderful! Thank you...and I hope you all have a wonderful time in Canada!

  5. Ah-ha! You poor things! I understand completely what that feels like. I have had quite a few interesting experiences with the Canadian border! Remind me to tell you about our interesting crossing on the way home from LEAH last year... quite a funny one. Just a hint, it all happened at 2 A.M.:(

    See you soon,

  6. Tiffany, just a wee correction. Canadians actually spell our signature "ay?" like this: eh?

    Don't ask me why. It certainly doesn't follow any spelling rules.

    But it's still, "eh."

    So, it was a quick trip through Canada, eh?

    Praying for your mom,
    Mrs. Janet Billson

  7. Mrs. Billson,

    Do they really spell it "eh?" The place we ate at had a chalk board and they spelled it "ey?" Maybe it was an American trying to be Canadian...


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