Toronto to Atlanta (mind you, by road!) – Part 1

My parents were visiting my brother (Taimur) in Atlanta, and you know how we are all in North America and it seems no big deal to go to the US, so we decided to go meet them. Here came the twist in the story;  Zoey did not have her PR card at that time and she could not return to Canada, except for if she was in her private vehicle. So what did we do? We traveled 1562 kilometers (approximately 15 hours) by car!, with two kids!! (we deserve a standing ovation or my husband does at least)

We packed lots of snacks, charged the iPads to the max and decided that we would have a night stay about midway to Atlanta. We left at 2 pm, the journey started off well, kids seemed pretty excited about the road trip, the little one not realizing that it would last 2 days (evil laugh).


Photo credits: Tanzeela Hasan

The journey till the border was quite pleasant and it was interesting to see how the landscape changes even within Canada as you move away from Toronto. At the border, the immigration officer wished us a good day deciding shortly after that no, this cant go that smoothly.  We were asked to wait in our car to get I 94 for the kids as they were entering the US for the first time.

Those were the most terrible two hours of the whole trip. I had to use the washroom but the officers seemed so angry and upset (trying to look cool) that I dared not ask them if I could use the restroom. Long story short, after wasting about 2 hours at the border and making a quick stop at a McDonald’s nearby we resumed our journey.

By this time the little one had turned into a screaming monster who just wanted to get to Mamu’s (uncle) place. It was already 10 pm, my brother and dad were calling us to just stop and have a night stay somewhere, but Hasan wanted to cover as much distance as we could during night time. Around 12 am kids eventually gave in to sleep and so there was some peace in the car.


Photo credits: Tanzeela Hasan

We eventually stopped at 2 am, at Hampton Inn Cincinnati (Ohio). Maybe because I am  used to the extremely nice people in Canada (in one instance, a girl in downtown stopped jogging and held the door of the cab, while i tried getting in with 2 kids and lots of add ons), I did not find people in Cinncinati very welcoming/helping.

We left our hotel at around 11 am the next morning. This leg of the journey was not that exhausting and after lots of lunch/coffee/pee stops we reached my brother’s place at about 9 30 pm. We traveled through Michigan to Ohio to Kentucky to Tennessee to Georgia. Friends and family who know how badly I suck at geography, would be so proud of me right now. (I asked my brother if Michigan was in Detroit)

Zoey having a shake break

Photo credits: Tanzeela Hasan

A few things that helped us keep the kids entertained during our road trip:

  1. iPad
  2. iPad
  3. iPad
  4. playing guess the animal sounds or name the animal baby games worked sometimes
  5. coloring works for some parents but Zoey decided to color the car so we let go of the idea.

While in Atlanta, we had some amazing food and explored some amazing places like the CNN headquarters Atlanta, the Coca Cola factory, Georgia aquarium and the Stone Mountain. I will talk about these places and more in the upcoming posts. Happy reading!


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