The minute my friend M said “road trip” I immediately answered, “I’m in”.  No questions about where we were going or what we were going to do.  I knew where we were headed before she even said those two sweet words: Troy, Michigan.

The other usual suspects – KP & AU – were also ready to go on this adventure with us which happened to start at 2:00a.m. last Saturday.  Yep!  I said 2:00a.m. as in morning; as in after mid-night Friday; as in you’re 100% correct if you have reached the logical conclusion that the last good night’s sleep any of us got would have been on Thursday.  Nevertheless, Ms. M. was driving and scheduled our departure time.  And guess what?  We were all up and at our front doors eagerly waiting for M to pick us up to get the road trip under way.

To my knowledge the four and a half hour drive was pretty uneventful.  I say “to my knowledge” because I’m not going to lie about being asleep for the first hour and fifteen minutes of the trip (if not more…but I’m not going to admit to that!).

We had our snacks, good humour and road maps all at the ready.  Finally, at 7a.m. we arrived at the border that was the only barrier between us and Troy.

At that time of the morning I assumed the border guards would be either sleepy or in a good mood inspired by sleep deprivation (sort of how I think we were all feeling). That was until SHE stuck her head out the booth.

SHE: “Where y’all work at?,” SHE barked (Yes, the woman ended the sentence with the word ‘at’).

M: “Toronto…”

SHE: “Shut that engine off!” was the next bark she uttered before M could even finish her sentence.

SHE asked us each a few questions that we answered nicely, including what I think was the most important question: “Where y’all going”.   Then it happened:  KP sweetly asked SHE a question about the town we were visiting.  The question wasn’t too personal, but just enough to get SHE to lower her hostility.  It was a bit like the scene from the Grinch.  Do you remember the part where the ugly shrivelled stone that was in his chest slowly grew into a beautiful red heart and finally the Grinch smiles?  Well, this is pretty much what happened.

Suddenly SHE smiled slowly and told us she had recently relocated from Florida.  For a few more minutes we all chit-chatted before being ushered through to the other side of the border.  Then M being M just couldn’t resist doing something that I think only she could get away with …

The path was clear to continue on the next leg of our journey. We were no more than a half hour away from Troy when M spotted him…  There stood the border control guard on duty.  Hands clasped behind his back; legs shoulder width apart and firmly planted in the lane to the right of us.  This was a man focused on his mission: guard the border.

“You’re looking good officer Williams!”  shouted M.

“Woot-woot!” shimmed in KP.

And do you know what he did?  Officer Williams smiled and stood even straighter.

I guess it’s true that a few kind words go a long way.  They certainly helped the first leg of our road trip.

Stay tuned for Part Deux of the trip!

Laters & G’Night,