Beth's mom took us to Pancake House this morning for breakfast. The kids were in seventh heaven - they'd ask, "Can i get orange juice?" and i'd say, "You can just drink water," and Beth's mom would say, "They can have orange juice! You can get whatever you want!" And then their faces would light up, and they'd ask, "Can i get bacon?" and she'd say, "SURE!" It was like they'd just met their fairy godmother. They're getting so spoiled that i'm pretty sure they're never going to want to go home with me.
I'm getting a little bit spoiled too, though. I got this thing for breakfast called a "giant apple," and it was just delicious. It's like a giant...apple...thing. Not a pie or a pastry or anything you can describe, but completely delicious. But not overly healthy, probably.
After breakfast, we made a quick stop at Trader Joe's (because we can!) and then came back to pack lunches and get what we'd need for the day. I grabbed my passport and the kids' birth certificates, and then asked Beth, "You have your passport, right?" And she looked up in shock and said, "No! I never even thought about it!" So sad! I'd have just skipped the whole "going to Canada" part, except that my kids were completely, completely excited about getting to go to another country AND about going through the giant tunnel under the river, so ... it would have been mean to skip it.
On the bright side, most of the day, we spent not in Canada. We went to see where Beth grew up, and we drove through a little bit of Detroit. (It really is so sad, seeing the buildings that are just in utter collapse. It honestly does look like a city that's been bombed, but only in certain areas.) And then we drove to Belle Isle.
Apparently the Grand Prix is going to be on Belle Isle in the near future, so the track is all set up (I got to drive on the Grand Prix track!) and the bleachers are up, and it's kind of confusing to drive around right now. But it's such a great park! There's an aquarium and a conservatory (both free!) and a giant playground and just lots of great old buildings and spots to walk around and see. The aquarium is in this cool old building, and the conservatory was just beautiful. There's still a lot of work to be done, but it's going to be so amazing when it's finished.
And then we dropped Beth off downtown, and then we drove through the tunnel. The kids thought it was amazing - especially the part where the speed limit changes from mph to km/h. So exciting! We stopped at a little park, and the kids leaped out of the car and yelled, "I'm on Canada!!!" (Me: "In Canada." Them: "ON Canada!") And then, as soon as they weren't overwhelmed with excitement, they all withered and asked if we could please go home now, because they were so thirsty!!!
So i drove us to a little convenience store, where we bought bottled water (Canadian water! Yay!!!), which they drank reluctantly (They don't like bottled water at all, preferring "good water." Y'know - tap water.), perked up, and agreed that they could make it a little bit longer. We walked along the river, through a sculpture garden, mostly so that we could spend more time in Canada that just the drive from the tunnel to the bridge back to the USA.
And then back through customs. (The customs officer on the way back in was much more cranky than the one out, and the kids were full of stories of, "He made us open the door to make sure there were kids in there!") Customs took forever coming back into the US, whereas it took no time at all leaving. Either Canada is fine with us sneaking in, or the US is just crankier. Or something.