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Dear Clemson,

All during my time as a student, I cheered for your football team. I was either at the game or watching it on TV, and through thick and thin, I was a diehard fan. I bled orange.

When I moved to Pittsburgh, I was pretty distraught that I wouldn’t be able to make it to any games and would only be able to watch a few on TV due to a limited cable plan, but I faithfully followed Game Tracker online when only ESPN-U was covering the games.

Through our six year relationship, dear Clemson, I’ve suffered a number of heartbreaks. They’ve come in the form of missed field goals (from short distances), fumbled hikes, and huge upsets–even losing at home in triple overtime. You sure know how to ruin a tiger’s day.

Yes, you’ve given me some great times…some wonderful victories, and truly, up until this year, those have been enough.

But I’ve moved to Savannah–UGA country–and put my reputation on the line for you. For Saturday’s season opener against Alabama, I wore orange along with 10 other Clemson fans to Wild Wings to watch you, ranked 9th, triumph against a team ranked 24th. I had so much excitement and so much faith.

Then you managed to let Alabama stomp all over you, and ultimately, me. Losing 34-10 in an upset on ESPN’s gametime show is no way to kick off a season.

You broke my heart, Clemson.

I want our relationship to work out, but unless you win against the Citadel, NC State, and SC State, I’m not sure that it will.

I want to have faith in your abilities. Help me believe!

Sincerely,

A dejected, but hopeful fan

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Literally blazing. As in a blazing furnace.

David and I just got back from our first run outside in Savannah. It was 85F outside with 81% humidity and wind gusts up to 23mph; good living, eh?

On the bright side, the bugs weren’t that bad at all!

We only ran 3.75 miles, but it took nearly 37 minutes to finish, and we were soaked by the end. Whew! That said though, once David and I get acclimated to running in this sort of heat, humidity and beach breeze, we’ll be able to handle any sort of race! Maybe even Iron man! At least, that’s what we’re hoping.

More on our first week in Savannah tomorrow.

…the scenery never changes.

That’s from the license plate on my granddaddy’s truck (it has all of the backsides of a sled-dog team implying that the view of any dog but the leader is of a bunch of behinds).

The backside of a u-haul is what I got to look at for about 13 hours last Thursday while following David to Savannah, GA. Not just any U-Haul, mind you, but a 26-footer. That’s right. The only U-Haul available in the greater Pittsburgh area for a one-way trip was 26 feet long…meant for a 4-5 bedroom house, and we lived in a two-bedroom apartment–a sparsely furnished/decorated one at that!

The Tuesday before we moved, Nathan, Ryan and Sarah came over to help us load up. A few hours and tons of feet of rope later, the majority of our possessions were on board and secured. We didn’t even fill half of that truck. It felt kind of good in a way–whoa, so glad to see that we don’t own 26 feet of stuff. We made plenty of trips to Goodwill in the week before the move and handed off all of our perishable food to friends in order to minimize what we threw away. Yay for pseudo-green living (side note: we love to recycle, and Pittsburgh made it easy to do so. Savannah? It’s a pain! Another post for another day…)

We left Pittsburgh at 5:15am on Thursday (yes, we slept on the floor for a couple of nights…having the U-Haul completely packed was worth the sacrifice, believe me) after getting up at 3:30am to finish our last-minute packing and cleaning. I literally walked backwards as I vacuumed–right out the front door–turned off the vacuum, locked the door and headed out to the car.

As we drove down I-279 south bound, the heavy reality of our move finally started to sink in. After passing through the Fort Pitt tunnel (sorry, Kacie, I forgot to get David to blow the horn)–the last tunnel/bridge in downtown before leaving–I actually got a bit misty eyed.

Over the 16 months that we lived in Pittsburgh, we both worked hard to make it our home. Believe me, after living nearly 23 years in South Carolina, moving 600+ miles away to a new culture and climate and away from family, friends and the familiar was tough stuff. David had already moved from his Ohio home to SC for school, then out to TX for his first rotation before heading to Pittsburgh, but still, getting settled in the Burgh was an adjustment and a half–for those of you who were transplanted there, you know what I mean.

Anyhow, we made continual efforts to look at the Burgh as our home. We got familiar with the area, met people, joined a church, found doctors, settled on a bank, had our favorite grocery stores and restaurants, knew just where to go for a Starbucks jolt regardless of where we were at the time, spent plenty of time exploring the area, used North Park to our advantage, loved our apartment–even knew the maintenance guys by their first names, decorated all the walls, had friends over for game nights and movie nights…it was home.

So for a while after clearing the Fort Pitt tunnel, I got this intensely tough feeling of “leaving home.” It was pretty similar to the feeling I had when leaving Greenville, SC right after our honeymoon.

Moving along, though (pun intended), we were on our way to our new home in, Savannah, GA–720miles south of Pittsburgh. We tracked out our route on MapQuest, and it quoted the trip at about 11.5 hours. We figured that it would be manageable for a day’s trip–a tough day’s trip, but still manageable. We planned to stop twice for gas along the way and then stop in Columbia, SC to see my grandparents. I packed sandwiches and snacks for both of us so that we wouldn’t have to stop for food.

Once we got out of Pennsylvania and a good ways into West Virginia, we stopped to fill up our tanks. The CR-V? 15 gallons. The U-Haul? 60 gallons. Ouch. Thankfully David’s company is reimbursing us for our fuel expenses, but even so, it’s hard to swipe a personal card for $180 in gas (each U-Haul fill up)!

While filling up, I swung by McDonald’s (yikes, I know…we never, ever eat fast food, but we didn’t eat breakfast because we didn’t have any breakfast food left…sacrifices had to be made) to pick up a biscuit for both of us. We headed back out shortly after.

I’d say the first few hours were some of the longest because neither of us could call friends or family to chat. We had each other to talk to, of course, but we didn’t have 11.5+ hours worth of stuff to talk about–at least not that day.

The first half of the trip was especially hilly through West Virginia and Virginia, and David quickly realized (and subsequently, I did as well) that the U-Haul wasn’t a fan of going uphill. Even with the pedal floored, the U-Haul wouldn’t go more than 55 on an uphill (now remember, we’re talking about WV and VA hills, not the rolling hills of SC or NC). Once we crested a hill, though, David had to practically ride the brakes to keep the truck from getting away from him!

If my memory serves me right, we got through WV and into VA before filling up again. Another $180 into the U-Haul, another rest stop, and then my phone calls began. I called everyone whose number I had–so long as the reception held out. If I didn’t call you, I don’t have your number or for some reason the call didn’t go through. I’m sorry!

It was so nice, though, to catch up with friends that I hadn’t talked to in a while, and of course it was great to talk to the friends we’d just left behind in PA. We miss you already! Shoot, we missed you all on the way down…you’re welcome in Savannah anytime!

(part II coming up later tonight)

Sorry for my obvious break from updating. David and I are up to our necks in boxes, packaging tape and sharpie markers. We’re hitting the road bright and early Thursday morning and will be making the drive down to our new place in one shot (after stopping for a good southern meal at my grandparents’ house along the way).

We cannot wait to be at our new place! We’ll miss Pittsburgh and the friendships we’ve formed here, but we’re anxious to see what God has in store ahead. Our internet in GA should be up and running by Monday of next week, so look for an update then.

Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers.

Yesterday at 11:46am, David and I crossed the finish line of the Cleveland Marathon.

A lot took place before that statement could be made, though. We trained for 18-weeks, starting with small three and four-mile runs with “long” five to six-mile runs on the weekend, and building up to our one and only 20 miler.

Then race weekend came. We drove up to Cleveland on Saturday morning, arriving at the Expo by 10:30am. Being a pretty large race (10,000 runners total in the three events), the Expo was impressive. Around 50 vendors put on quite the display giving out free samples of granola, protein bars, yogurt, peanut butter, jelly, energy drinks, runner’s gel, protein-packed donuts etc. Needless to say, we stocked up. There was even a health station where you could get your blood pressure taken, a body fat analysis, and have your glucose and cholesterol levels tested. Too fun!

After wandering around for a bit, we picked up our racing bibs, t-shirts and goody bags. It made me think of Megan’s post about race t-shirts. The marathon shirts were black and dry-fit, while the halfers got a red cotton one. Not sure about the 10K racers–did they even get shirts? Poor people. Oddly enough, the prize for winning the 10K ($1,500) was larger than the marathon ($1,000). Hm.

One of the pace team leaders (the race provided pace runners that you could stick with during the race based on the time you wanted to finish in. For example, there was a 4:15 pace group that, if we stayed with them, would finish in four hours, 15 minutes) was giving bus tours of the course for free, and we immediately jumped on board. It was a beautiful day in Cleveland, and the course was equally gorgeous. Part was through a park, part on bike path, and part right along Lake Erie. We were going to be running by the Browns’ stadium and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. What could be better, right?

Shortly after the tour ended, we headed back to the hotel to get off of our feet before David’s parents arrived. We sorted through our goody bags determining what we would keep (i.e. sample sizes of icy/hot, sun screen, lotion, hairbands) and what we’d throw away (umpteen brochures for other races, coupons for random brands of granola bars, Kotex pads–ha!).

David’s parents arrived, and we headed back to the Expo where we met up with Mike, (our trainer from the gym who also ran in the marathon). Mike was aiming for a Boston Marathon qualifying time (had to beat three hours and 15 minutes to do so), but we were not. Maybe one day!

The race sponsored (after we paid for it) a pasta dinner, and boy was it tasty! I ate more pasta that night than I have…ever. I figured I’d need the energy. After Mike, David and I sat down, the other tables started filling up, but not ours. We thought we had the lonely table until a group of four joined us–all from Pittsburgh. We all laughed together at the “hills” in Cleveland (compared to Pittsburgh) and talked about North Park, etc etc. It was a lot of fun.

David and I went to bed at 9:00pm Saturday night since we knew we’d have to get up at 4:30am to get ready, pack up, eat, meet up with our pace groups, and walk to the start by 6:30am. A relevant side note: when we left the pasta dinner (held at a different hotel), we heard some really loud music and saw lots of high schoolers in exquisite attire: prom night.

So, back to the story, we went to sleep. Around 1:30am, I woke up to the sound of people running up and down the halls screaming obscenities. Yes, you guessed it. Prom kids. I looked out of our room’s peep hole and saw a group of guys and girls–all with beverage bottles (you know the type) in their hands–sort of stomping around and arguing. David was able to sleep through it, so I went back to bed in hopes I could do the same. Then 2:00am rolled around. More yelling and heavy steps. David woke up and called the front desk; the concierge assured us that he’d send security up. Shortly after, it got quiet.

Then at 3:30am, back to it. By that point, David and I just prayed for deep sleep and ignored it until our alarm at 4:30am.

Despite not the best night of sleep, we woke up excited and energized about the race. We got dressed and headed downstairs. Remember the beautiful day before? The morning of the race was anything but. It was in the 40’s and raining–not drizzling, raining. We donned garbage bags for warmth and to keep dry, then headed out to the start. We saw some friends along the way (a coworker of David’s, the Berry Anns, Nathan’s sister, Melinda) which got us pumped up. The start was sort of depressing since we stood there in the pouring rain waiting for 7:00am to roll around.

Then the horn sounded and we were off to “Cleveland Rocks” playing in the background. The marathoners and halfers all started at the same time, and with nearly 5,800 total in both groups, the first few miles were pretty crowded. The course was more flat than hilly, but it did have a few climbs. The first of which was in between miles two and three (climbing up the hill by the Browns’ stadium).

David and I were trying to keep a decent pace, and the first 12 miles or so flew by. For those of you who are not runners, that may be hard to believe–after all, that’s about two hours of running. Trust me, though, once you get in the zone and have tons of spectators cheering you on and are in a group of 100s of other people doing what you’re doing, it passes quickly.

Around mile three, the rain stopped, and we discarded our trash bags. The overcast skies gave way to sun around miles 10 and 11, and the gorgeous weather was back!

Then at mile 12, the halfers took a left-hand turn to go to their finish line while the marathoners kept going straight. Things started to get tough for us a few miles later.

Without the large group of people around us, the run started to get a little lonely, but we kept right along trucking. There were 18 water/powerade stations along the way and two Hammer Gel (GU, essentially), and not being used to hydrating that often, David and I over-hydrated a bit causing me to have to stop at a porta-john. Ugh! Granted, it was like a 60 second stop, but enough for me and David to both be aware of the lactic acid building up in our legs. I’ve heard of people running marathons and (sorry for the details in advance) using the bathroom “on the run” without missing a stride, but I couldn’t bring myself to do that. I’m not that hard core.

Anyhow, we got right back to running and were still at a pretty good pace by mile 18. Then we turned onto the bike path along Lake Erie and the wind said “hello.” Not just any wind, might I add, but a nice gusty headwind for over five miles–you know, the kind you could probably lean pretty far into without falling. Intense! We walked/ran those five miles, but kept pushing.

By that point, it was really just a race to finish. We no longer care about how long it took, but just that we finished strong! From mile 23 until the end, the streets were covered with people cheering, and that pumps just about anybody up. We made the turn right before mile 26, and just had a half-mile straightaway left. We could see the finish line. All of the burning in our legs faded at that point, and we finished holding hands. It was intense.

As soon as we crossed the finish line, I was completely overcome with emotion, and David and I hugged for a while. We received huge medals for completing the race and immediately wore them around our necks with pride. We then joined up with David’s parents and Mike for pictures and lots and lots of juice, bananas, water, pretzels, etc. So good! Oh, and let me just add, the shower after the race was the best I think I’ve ever had!

A few huge pluses:
1. We had tons of people praying for us; thank you so, so much! God was definitely keeping us going!
2. A lot of our friends and family were tracking our progress via text message/email, and knowing that pushed us forward.
3. We saw David’s parents cheering us on at the start, mile 11, mile 23, mile 25 and at the end. It was such an encouragement for us and made the race that much more enjoyable. Thanks Mertens!

All in all, it was an incredible experience. Was it hard? Uh huh. Did it hurt? Yeah. Are we sore? Oh yes. Are we tired? Absolutely. Would we do it again? Without a doubt. When? December 6…Kiawah Island.

That was me Tuesday. Tack on a few more to bring me up to date. I love birthdays!

Last year for my birthday, David cooked a fantastic meal–complete with a menu and fancy napkins–at our apartment. It was like Chateau de la Mertens or something. Delicious! We finished up last year’s dinner with a slice of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. Mmm!

The only thing similar to that this year was the dessert. I hadn’t had cheesecake since summer 2007, it was high time!

I woke up on Tuesday morning to David singing “Happy Birthday,” and he made some great blueberry muffins from scratch for breakfast. He gave me a birthday card at breakfast with a gift card for a “stone pedicure” inside. I was thrilled! He headed off to work, and my morning was rather uneventful–aside from the wonderful emails, calls, and Facebook messages I received from friends and family.

At noon, I started the longest and most amazing pedicure I’ve ever had. I’ll spare you the details, but it was two hours of incredible!

I came back to the apartment to find a gorgeous flower arrangement on our kitchen table with a note from David. I thought, “Aww! He stopped by during his lunch break to drop off flowers. I love him!” I didn’t see his car in the parking lot or his keys on the key rack, so I had no reason to suspect otherwise.

I picked up the bouquet and walked into the office and saw my handsome husband standing there grinning. He’s wonderful, let me tell you. Despite his crazy busy schedule at work, he blocked off the second half of his day on Tuesday as “vacation” and spent it with me.

We walked five miles in North Park, relaxed, talked, and just enjoyed each others company. We felt like kids playing hooky or something.

Around 5:00pm, we changed for dinner and headed to Benihana Japanese Steakhouse. I told Hoy, the hibachi chef, that it was my birthday, but that I didn’t need all the cheering, etc. He smiled and agreed to keep it down. When he started cooking, though, he kept giving me more and more food, “birthday gift, for you!” I was plenty stuffed by the time we left. Thanks, Hoy!

We headed from there to the Cheesecake Factory, of course. Random note…did you know that their carrot cake actually has the highest calorie content of any dessert on the menu!? I was shocked.

Chris, our server, was a Cheesecake Factory vet having worked there for several years, so we had a lot of fun chatting with him. He found out that it was my birthday, and he said, “Happy 21st!” I had a puzzled looked on my face, I’m sure, but before I could say anything, he said, “I’m 21 too, but with eight years experience.” Aka, he’s 29. I followed suit with, “Ah! Well I’m also 21, but with only three years experience.” We ordered wine and our cheesecake and thought nothing more about it.

There were at least three other birthdays going on in the restaurant because we kept hearing singing and seeing cheesecakes with candles in them breezing by us. Little did I know, I was in store for such a treat.

Chris approached our table and said, “We’ll charge you for the cheesecake, but the embarrassment is free!” Out came a huge plate with my chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake (oh yeah, I don’t scrimp on special occasions!), a burning candle, and “Happy Birthday to You” written in chocolate sauce on the plate. Mmm! They sang, of course, and I dug in. It took both of us 10-15 minutes to finish our slices, but they were delicious.

After finishing, David chuckled and said, “I planned ahead, just in case.” He pulled out a birthday candle and matches. Looks like I would have been in for an embarrassment either way. Too fun!

All in all, my birthday was amazing! Here’s to a great 24th year of life!

So the story of my happy, surprise-filled, early-birthday celebration weekend.

Last Thursday, our small group planned to meet for dinner at Ryan and Lisa’s place. I had been really busy with work in the week leading up to this dinner, so I didn’t really ask any questions until the night of. David got home from work, and I asked him if Ryan had mentioned what we’d be having for dinner. David said he thought it was some sort of chicken dish, but he wasn’t completely sure. I love chicken, so no further questions from me!

We drove over with Sarah, and nothing in the conversation led me to believe that anything out of the ordinary would occur at any point that evening.

After arriving, I commented that dinner smelled fantastic, and Lisa responded, “Yeah, Ryan’s been cooking up a storm all day.” That should have struck me as odd, but I just let it pass. Ryan offered to get us drinks, and while he was in the kitchen, I walked into the dining room with everyone else; I should have noticed the two extra place settings on the table, but nope. I was clueless.

I was a little more focused on the appetizer dip on the table. If you’ve seen my “Dinner in Greenville” album on Facebook, you saw a photo of this dip. It looks gross and sounds gross, but tastes amazing!

I started going on and on about how my mom made that dip! I was shocked that Ryan had even heard about it before, but Lisa mentioned that it “must be a German thing…” (Ryan is Polish, so this should have caught my attention too). I grabbed a couple of crackers and chowed down as Ryan said, “David, don’t you have a gift for Sally Ann?” David smiled at me and walked into the kitchen.

Now, I immediately thought back to November when, for David’s birthday, I made cupcakes and brought them to group. I got all happy inside that maybe David had made me some cupcakes, “How sweet of him!” I thought to myself.

Little did I know…

Instead of David coming back out of the kitchen with cupcakes, he came out with my parents! And for those of you who know me well, you know that I’m really close to my parents. This was a huge deal! They flew up from Greenville to surprise me for my birthday and had been collaborating with David for about a month to pull it off. Kudos! They got me good.

My mom made the dip, of course, along with my favorite home cooked meal (poppy seed chicken, pineapple delight, creole green beans, knot rolls, rice, and sweet tea). Mmm!

On Friday, we spent a large part of the day at the Pittsburgh zoo and aquarium–tons of fun! Lunch was at the original Primanti Brothers in the Strip District of downtown, of course. If you’ve never been there, they serve Pittsburgh’s most famous sandwiches: huge sandwiches stuffed with meat, cheese, fries and coleslaw, and anything else you might ask them to add. Amazing!

After filling our calorie count for the entire day in one meal, we headed back to the apartment to relax and talk until my parent’s flight out that evening.

It was so nice to be able to spend that much time with them in real life–not over a video conference or phone. I love and miss them both so, so much! They made my birthday one that I’ll always remember. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

…my birthday got even better (is that even possible?!) yesterday. More on that later!

We finished our first 20-mile run.

That’s so great to say. Here’s how it all went down:

We got started right at 7:00am this morning. It was a crisp 69F outside and breezy, so we were feeling pretty good from the get-go. We were definitely not dressed as though it was going to storm outside–wishful thinking of course–and were wearing running shorts and sleeveless tops. No sunscreen, though, because it was forecast to be really cloudy and ultimately, thunderstorm-y.

All of that said, off we went. In all honesty, despite a few instances where the breeze stopped and we lost our shade, miles 1-10 felt really good.

Then we turned around to run back.

It was around 8:30-8:40 at the time, and the sun decided to rise and burn off all the clouds and the breeze. Meanie! Needless to say, we started warming up, but at least miles 10-12 were on a slight downhill (coming up was tough, but of course, going back down was fantastic)!

**Side note: we always carry 8-oz water bottles full of Gatorade with us when we run along with GU, but today, silly us, we didn’t. Big difference, let me tell you**

That said, we were lucky to have four water fountains on the way out and the same four on the way back for our use (at miles 1.4, 3.1, 4.1, and 7.6). Of course running from mile 7.6 to the turnaround and back was a pretty intense gap in water consumption, but we kept on pushing.

When we paused for water at mile 12.4 (the 7.6 one on the way back), there were two older runners grabbing quick sips, and one of them had run our same marathon before. He said it was even flatter than the trail we ran today; great news, believe me.

Miles 12.4 until 16 were the most brutal. That’s where the sunburn and raw skin began. Ouch and ouch. I had never run in a sleeveless shirt, and my armpits weren’t too thrilled about rubbing. Burn! And of course, the sun came out, and we were sunscreen-less, and I’m from partly Irish heritage.

Oh the pain. At least that pain took my attention away from my silly hip which started acting up around mile 15.

Miles 16 until the end were off and on (running and then walking, back and forth), but we finished the last 1.5 miles at a nice-paced run. Yeah for kicking it at the end! To be honest, I haven’t asked David how long it took us, and he’s out at the moment, so you’ll just have to live with your wondering! When we finished, the last thing I cared about was how long it took. I wanted Gatorade and food and to take 100% of my weight off of my legs. Oh, and to get into the shade as soon as possible so that my arms didn’t completely fry.

Too late!

So now, after an ice bath, lots of aloe vera and lotion, a hefty lunch and some much-needed stretching, I’m feeling good. Too look at me, you’d think I was just out on the lake today or something and forgot my sunscreen.

That is if you can ignore my hobbling gate.

So David and I took a pseudo-spontaneous trip to Niagara Falls last Friday, and it was amazing. We didn’t realize how close we actually were to Niagara until recently, and with our move to GA coming up, we figured, why not head that way–even if just for a day?

Off we went at 8:00am in the most perfect weather (at least in my mind), and 3.5 hours later, crossed over the border to Canada. We had been told that the American side of the falls paled in comparison to the Canadian side, so we just skipped out on the American side altogether. Sorry, red, white and blue!

Back to “Crossing the border”…we had to show our IDs and answer:
1. Where are you from?
2. Where are you going?
3. What are you taking into the country?

Simple. I’ll get back to that in a bit. We made it to the visitor’s center (after passing amusing 100 km/h speed-limit signs), got some brochures about touristy things and then walked down to the falls. It was probably around 70F outside in the parking lot when we arrived, but at the falls? It was much cooler. The mist was everywhere and felt great! Yes, a little chilly, but I’d rather be cold than hot. There was still a lot of ice in the Niagara River, so that was contributing to the temperature shift too.

We took a lot of pictures and sort of smirked at the sad people on the American side that couldn’t see anything. I’m so glad we were told about the Canadian side! We enjoyed watching big chunks of ice fly over the falls at 40mph–kind of crazy that a little kid actually went over the falls decades back and survived. He’s the only person to ever accidentally go over and survive; it’s a 130 foot drop!

We headed into the gift shop before buying tickets for “Journey Behind the Falls.” The most popular attraction is, of course, “Maid of the Mist,” but due to all of the ice in the river, we weren’t able to do it. It didn’t bug us all that much, though. There are only so many ways that you can look at a waterfall, right?

On Journey Behind the Falls, we took an elevator 130+ feet down through the bedrock behind the Horseshoe Falls and stepped off into a series of tunnels opening to window portals that showed the water rushing over. The walls were shaking with the roar of the water, and we were literally under and behind Niagara Falls. Pretty awesome.

After we got our fill of Niagara Falls, we decided to tour the wine country of “Niagara on the Lake” (a city in Ontario). We stopped at Stonechurch Vineyards for our very first wine tasting. Sure we’ve had wine before, but we never got to sample three to four different ones before making a purchase. We bought a delicious Chardonnay and a Cabernet Sauvignon that we can’t wait to enjoy!

Around 3:30pm, we headed back to the border to drive home, but getting through customs this time was a completely different story. Coming in, we had a nice gentleman with simple questions. Going out, we had a woman who apparently didn’t want us to go back to our homeland. The series of questions went something like:

“ID? Birth certificate? Passport? Where are you from? Where did you go? What did you do? What are you bringing back? (to me) Your ID is from South Carolina, but you don’t live there? You drove up to Niagara for the day? That’s odd. Where did you go? And what did you do there? And where did you go? What sorts of things did you do? Why did you go to Canada?”

Geez, lady! Anyway, we (and our two bottles of wine) were able to drive through and onto American soil a few minutes later.

Now here’s David’s favorite part of the story. We filled up his car in Pittsburgh before we left, and we made it there and back on one tank of gas. It was 474.8 miles round trip, and the fuel light never came on. We got nearly 40mpg on our trip! After reading an article on CNN.com about how driving fast (especially over 70mph) significantly decreases fuel efficiency, we opted to cruise at 65mph, and it made a huge difference.

What a wonderful trip! I certainly wouldn’t recommend spending a weekend at the falls (as there really isn’t all that much to do), a day trip is certainly worth it. Our trip cost less than $100 (including gas and the wine!)

It’s spring in the Burgh, so I felt like changing my blog’s design to reflect the sort of clean, crisp weather we’ve had here for a few days. Enjoy!