Iceman Celebration Day 2016 - The Drive

My friend Elliot at work is from Hamilton, Ontario and is one of the few real Canadians that I know. I only told my Mom, my Dad and Jenny Reck where I was going on this Iceman Celebration Day roadtrip. But I had been teasing people about this trip. When I passed by this freeway sign I snapped a picture and sent it to him. While passing by Brantford, I saw an exit to Wayne Gretzky Parkway (who was born in this town and is considered the greatest hockey player of all time). Look, if you don't know who Wayne Gretzky is, then you never watched the 1991 Saturday morning cartoon Pro Stars featuring Michael Jordon, Bo Jackson and Gretzky fighting crime, helping children and protecting the environment. And because of that, I truly do feel bad for you and the household in which you were raised.
You only live once. I believe that the kids call that "YOLO". Or is it #YOLO? I don't know, because I'm not a kid anymore. As of the time of this adventure, I would officially be in my mid-30s. And you only turn 35 once I guess. In 2013 I established #IcemanCelebrationDay, which is the Twitter hashtag that I created to talk about my birthday on my preferred social media outlet. Over the past few years, I've taken off of work to have adventures. Since this is one of those monumental birthdays (halfway from 30 to 40), I might as well do something great to celebrate it, right? Months ago I concocted a plan in secret to take a solo roadtrip to a foreign place that I have never been to. Early in the morning on May 5, I said goodbye to Korben Dallas, packed up the car and started heading East. The destination? The one and only Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada. It was about time I see her with my own eyes. And why not? This is my day.



















I had driven through Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana with the top up. After al, it was still early May the temperatures were rather mild. But somewhere in Michigan I decided to pull over and take Lindsee's top off. After all, this girl and I were ready to free and not worry about the judgmental stares of the onlooking randoms.























I drove through the middle of Michigan, opting to go through Kalamazoo, Lansing and Flint to cross into Canada instead of risking going through Detroit. The last time I went to Canada, I spent a little time in Detroit and I was lucky to get out alive. If you survive Detroit, you don't try to cheat death by going back. Instead I drove through Flint, but I didn't stop to drink the water. That's suicide. But I did come up with a new drink called a Whiskey Flint - it's a whiskey and water, hold the water. I finally crossed the bridge into Canada, handed over my passport and apparently answered all of the 20 questions right this time. I was let into the country. That was probably the worst idea that the Canadians have ever made. Don't they know who I am? I'm the Iceman. And I like to party.
















For the longest time, I wondered why I had kilometers listed on my speedometer. Well today I got my answer. See, our neighbors to the North use the metric system, which means that instead of Fahrenheit, they use Celsius. And instead of miles, they use kilometers. At 55 miles per hour, I was actually going 88 kilometers per hour. When this baby hits 88 kilometers per hour, you're going to see some serious shit. WHAT DID I TELL YOU!?! 88 KILOMETERS PER HOUR!!! It doesn't have quite the same ring to it.























The first thing that I bought in Canada was a chocolate milk and an ice cream cookie sandwich. I'm like a little kid, but with a credit card. It took me a minute to open my milk (these cartons still get me) and I was overjoyed to see English and French all over it. It took me back to my days in High School where I took a foreign language that I thought I would never need to use again. Little did teenage Scott know  that we would need to know it again. HA HA HA! Take that sucker! In your face! Learning isn't just for babies pal.









There was only 1 place I needed to go to in Canada, and it isn't Niagara Falls. It was the one and only Tim Hortons. I was incredibly excited until I found out that there is a Tim Hortons at nearly every freeway exit and city block in the entire country. Not to knock their religious system, but I think that there may be more Tim Hortons than churches here. And as a person of size, I'm OK with that. Although I need God more than I need doughnuts, someday I will figure out a way to have both. Worshiping in the church of Tim Hortons.
Speaking of churches, there was this really cute little one across from the bank. I stopped to exchange some of my American dollars to Canadian funny money. I figured since I was going to be here for the next couple of days, I would need to try and do something to fit in just a little bit. Even if it was something as simple as using their money. But I felt like I already fit in because so far, Ontario looked just like Midwestern America and Wisconsin. Flat land, grass, trees, sunshine and clouds. I was a foreigner in a not so foreign land.































It's about a 10 hour drive from Milwaukee to Niagara Falls (plus you lose an hour when you cross from the Central to Eastern time zone, so I decided to head out around 530 in the morning. The only time I am ever awake this early is when I stay up all night, so this was quite an adjustment for me. But the adrenaline and anticipation of this trip kept me awake. Plus I was fueled on McDonald's breakfast, lots of caffeine and rage. Rage, rage, rage. Until the wheels fall off. Hopefully the wheels would stay on until I got back from this adventure.
I'm a real sucker for Cinco de Mayo. I even claim to be a "born-again Mexican" so that I don't feel weird for fully immersing myself in this Mexican holiday. I wore my Brewers "Cerveceros" jersey and have a couple of sombreros in the trunk. To make it totally not official, I stopped at Taco Bell. Yeah. Real Mexican.