After dropping Tommy in Manchester, the Quad drove to Burlington, VT to meet up with our good friend from Albert Einstein High School, Colin Riggs. This spot was an awesome commune with maybe 25 people living in an enormous house with an abundance of bikes, vegetable gardens, chickens and fun to go around. We spent two nights exploring Burlington, checking out the Tim-Burton-Style Magic Hat Brewery, touring the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream factory, seeing parks, and boogying to live soul music.
Colin was a fantastic host, as we all crashed on the floor of his wonderful abode. Burlington and the rest of Vermont are really spectacular -- the billboard free highways and rolling wooded hills made it one of the most beautiful states to drive through.
After leaving Burlington, the Quad ventured north, sailing smoothly through the Canadian border to Montreal, Quebec to visit Ms. Emily Doyle. We spent time biking all around the city, checking out the Montreal Jazz Festival (even though, unfortunately, The Roots tickets were sold out...), exploring some sweet neighborhoods, and reaching the summit of Mont-Royal. It was our first time in Canada, both individually and collectively, and for some the first time being in a place dominated by the French language. We had an amazing dinner of tagine made by Sarah's Moroccan homestay sister, Ranya, one of the most friendly and beautiful people you will ever meet.
After our fill of delicious cheese, wine, baguettes, and a few cigarettes, we headed west, through Toronto, before reaching the glorious (and tourist infested) Niagara Falls. We only spent a few hours here because of the crowds, and because we were all anxious to meet our good buddy Adam Yalowitz in Chicago for America's birthday, July 4th!
The drive from Montreal to Niagara to Chicago was our longest yet (950 miles in one day) but we were blessed with a glorious sunset, endless fireflies and a sky dazzling with July 3rd fireworks at every exit as we drove across Michigan. We were pretty thankful for the extra room in the backseat without Thomas' long legs.
While some of the Quad celebrated the fourth in the emergency room dealing with prolonged illness, the rest of us had a wonderfully beer, burger, and dog filled fourth before reuniting downtown in Millenium Park to witness some high quality Chicago fireworks. We spent the next day checking out the (free)Lincoln Park Zoo, cruising by the beach, and hanging out with old friends (my dude Collin Davis and Mary Clarke in the house!). I think the group has come to the conclusion that the Chicago skyline has to be the best we've seen thus far (Sorry NYC).
Next the group (including Sir. Thomas Channing Hester) will head up to Wisconsin to stay with Paul's family, before an extended stay Ben's family's cabin near Nisswa, MN. Stay tuned ladies and gentlemen, and keep in classy.
(keep scrolling down to see the last post now with photos!)