The return trip to visit David’s cousins in the US, who came to Switzerland to see us in 2010, was put off because of his accident in 2011. We finally managed to make it in July 2013: David, Seán and Áedán spent two an a half weeks visiting various places in the US and Canada. Jacqueline stayed at home and looked after the cats and house during the hottest Summer in Zurich since 2003. Luckily, David and the Boys were in Port Huron during the American heatwave: temperatures were more moderate for the rest of the trip and we only had a couple of brief spells of rain.
Pauline and Greg were fantastic hosts in Port Huron, which coincidentally held its Blue Water Fest in the week that we were there. We got to meet up with quite a lot of the “clan” on the first Sunday. Not only did we get to see everything there was to see in the Blue Water region, but we also had a super trip to Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake in Canada. We got a wonderful insight into the Middle American way of life, including malls, car-driving everywhere, splendid burgers and the challenge of home-made pizza à la Áedán with fresh yeast proving nearly impossible to find. There was also time for a trip to an Indian heritage event.
We went from Port Huron by Amtrak (train) to Chicago and spent two days in the Windy City. We were most impressed by the centre of town and the redeveloped Millennium Park area. Of course, a trip up the Willis Tower was a central part of the visit.
From Chicago we flew to New York City, and spent a week in the Big Apple, seeing everything from Central Park, the new Highline Park (super!), Rockefeller Center tower (great views – Empire State was outrageously expensive!), Staten Island ferry, and a brief viewing of Coney Island beach. American apparal was acquired. New York cannot be seen without subway travel and lots of walking in Manhattan, which more than compensated for the car-journeying in the Great Lakes region.