I love being an American. What other people can get away with going to another country and using their own currency to purchase things. Last week I crossed the border into Canada. I have to admit it was a bit difficult to remember I was in a foreign country until the boys in the hotel lobby started talkin aboot drivin the big trucks over the ice bridge next summer. (All I can say about that is at least they have jobs.)

Anyway, my parents and I decided we weren’t far enough north in Petoskey, MI, so we drove up through the Upper Peninsula and over the International Bridge (over the locks) and into Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. For those of you who are geographically challenged, the Upper Peninsula is a whole other part of Michigan apart from the “hand.” The people who live there are called “Yoopers.” Ontario is a province in Canada (they call them provinces not states there—one of the many differences between our countries aside from national health care, their weird pronunciation of the vowel “o,” and a love of hockey). And, Sault Ste. Marie is pronounced “Soo Saint Marie.” There’s actually a Sault Ste. Marie in Michigan, too. Guess where it is.

While in “Soo” we visited the Bushplane Museum and the Sault Ste. Marie Museum, and took the Agawa Canyon tour train. The Agawa train was an all day adventure. We boarded first thing in the morning and rode the rails for four hours, 114 miles, into the beautiful scenic north. Once we arrived in the Agawa Canyon, we hiked around for awhile along a river and through the woods. It’s hard to believe we are in danger of not having enough trees on the planet when you visit such stunning places as this. It was so out of the main stream that the few people we did pass along the way had funny stuff outside their houses for our amusement and all waved at the train—I’m pretty sure we were the only people they ever got to see. After the ride home, we went over to the local casino where my dad and I won enough at the slots to pay for our dinner. (And that was Canadian money.)

On our way back to the Glenview Cottages (aka cute but crappy cabins in the middle of nowhere), we stopped at the Frontier Village. It was on the tourist map and I really wanted to see what it was. I was under the mistaken impression it was something akin to Jamestown Settlement where I visited the other week. Wrong. Big time. It consisted of a trading post (a sort of grocery store that also sold canoes), the Totem Pole (a cheesy tourist shop), an ice cream shop, and a fish and french fry stand. My dad made a funny when he noticed that the french fry stand was posting what we call in America, a “sign FAIL.” Right below the flashing neon “open” sign was a sign that said “sorry we’re closed.” Loving the tasteless tourist trap and inspiring my mom and dad to get involved in finding fodder for this blog, I made sure to walk around the entire place taking photos which I have posted below for your enjoyment. If you’re ever north of Sault Ste. Marie on the Great Northern Highway, make sure to stop in.

I do love Canada and its people. I even know the Canadian National Anthem and have been there about a dozen times including a trip to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (I love saying that). I recommend a visit there to everyone—just make sure to bring your passport or the nice man at the border won’t let you back home. As much fun as those crazy Canucks are, it gets dang cold there in the winter.

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