2017 Dec 15-16 Driving down memory lane; Binghamton and beyond

the whole 2 days was a trip down memory lane! It’s like the last 4 years overseas didn’t happen – although at several times during the day i had sad moments of missing Al Ain…

Headed across the street for breakfast at Cora’s again, memories of Ottawa and such great fresh food. While eating received a call from my resort in Orlando saying they are having a celebrity golf tournament while I’m there and would I like to go, meet the celebs with free dinner and transportation and VIP on the 18th green… um yes lol thank you God.

I’m driving a car down to Florida for an elderly couple of snowbirds from North York; Found it by luck … instead of paying $600 for a one way car rental now I’m getting paid $600 thank you God, homeless and jobless so every bit helps 🙂  Easy bus and subway to their condo.  On the way a young guy gives up his seat for an older woman… never saw this overseas but then I rarely took public transit. Everyone leaving says thank you to the bus driver, again not used to that. At Finch subway I walk through the attached mall, 5700 Yonge where I worked a dozen years ago for the Ontario Ministry of Health when I hear “Dave”… my old chiropractor recognized me as I walked past his office, John Filo, great guy we talked about kids and it’s so fun that I have so many good relationships in my past this often happens. 5 minutes walk and the clients Saul and Linda waiting with their car running… so cute they gave me some water and snack bars and chocolate for the journey. 4 years ago exactly I did this trip with this same company (“Cars To Florida”) and I love the drive as I get to see my friends and family along the way.

Snowing and windy of course south over the Burlington Skyway; 2017-12-15 12.13.07 always intimidating.


Breezed thru the commercial lane at the border – yup have to line up with the truckers – amazingly only 5 minutes at customs all paperwork in order to import the car etc they didn’t even charge me the USD13.05 fee. Texted Mike and Theresa that I’d arrive around 6pm. No US phone yet so no more communication for a few days. Winter scenery in upstate New York is awesome along the small highways between Buffalo and Binghamton. 2017-12-15 14.48.47

Quick stop for gas and lunch … in a mainly abandoned strip mall

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then arrive on time. They look the same, the house is the same full of hockey and Christmas stuff          2017-12-15 20.46.23 2017-12-15 19.01.06

and across the street at his daughter’s Mike has built an outdoor rink for his great grandson to skate on. I put my luggage in my room and smiled… another day I will write about the incredible generosity and friendship and dozens of times Sarah and I stayed in this room over 6 years of Binghamton Senators games. We caught up about kids and life in their living room and over dinner – a chicken speidie sub of course down the road at a nice dinner. Talked also about their son in Alaska and we looked at maps and brochures that made my eventual visit definite now – who wants to come?

In the morning (16th) shower, pack my bags, coffee, sports section sitting in the living room as always. What a great visit with Mike and Theresa Prozeralik, great unbelievable friends with a huge impact on my life and that of my kids. I’ll visit again soon.

Seven+ road hours scheduled for today down to Williamsburg VA. Light snow falling as I left, stopped for gas and breakfast at a Tim Hortons no less… used their wifi to download today’s googlemap for offline use. Mid morning at a coffee shop probably isn’t a good sample, but wow so many old people in the USA! The gulf region is the youngest in the world, a generation younger, so it’ll take time to get used to back here. Snow stopped falling around Hershey then soon after there was none on the ground and dry highway. Too bad I can’t stop to see my sister and friends in this area but… 8 hours on the road will be hard enough without it being late at night arriving. Spent the next several hours listening to christian radio and country music … and liking it lol haven’t heard that in years really. Planned to get past Washington DC before rush hour and made it… only to get stuck in Maryland due to accidents on I95. So… got off and got gas and had dinner and figured out a smaller highway which saved a bit of time. Traffic in DC area  – always a nightmare. Managed to change lanes quickly in heavy traffic in front of an unmarked cop luckily I at least signalled so he didn’t pull me over .

Got to the resort finally, Greensprings Vacation Resort in a touristy area east near the water. Someday I’ll come back for a longer visit as I only stop on this road as a layover to Florida in years past. I had to book two nights as its our minimum but I’ll head out in the morning to get to Florida instead. They have 2 checking people in  with a lineup yet 4 marketing staff doing nothing beside them… maybe think of cross training some so they can help at busy times? The marketing staff try to convince you to take the timeshare purchase meeting but needless to say I was declined (US$200 still not worth me delaying leaving tomorrow), made easier by the robotic unsmiling male who served me. Now if had been the cuter woman who had been smiling at me since I came in… I might have said yes 🙂  No VIP checkin and no food or water in the welcome gift bag.

Very nice 2BR condo, feels like home as its similar to many of the US ones I’ve stayed at with Diamond Resorts International. Quick swim, groceries, then watch the Ottawa Senators outdoor game on TV, 1st one I’ve seen in years. It was exciting unexpectedly and they even won. Wrote this after the game, now to bed.  2017-12-16 21.22.57

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