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Genie and I left Albert Lea Sunday morning, July 23, at 9 a.m. by car to be in Burlington, VT by Wednesday evening, the 26th. The reason was to visit and help Dan and Laurie, as Laurie was having hip replacement surgery Thursday morning, the 27th, at the University of Vermont Medical Center. 

We also took along a “we miss you” care package for Michelle Klatt, daughter of David and Shari Klatt of Albert Lea. Michelle is employed by orthopedic specialty center in Burlington. 

Sunday night we stayed at the Comfort Inn Ironwood, Michigan. After crossing into Canada at Sault Ste. Marie. We stayed at the Sleep Inn Sault Ste. Marie on Monday night. Tuesday night we stayed at the Comfort Inn Pembroke, Ontario Canada. Wednesday evening we arrived at our destination, the Quality Inn Colchester, Vermont (Colchester is a small town bordering Burlington).

The surgery Thursday a.m. was successful by Dr. Michael Blankstein a surgeon with the orthopedic specialty center in Burlington.

You talk about a small world – we deliver a care package to a young lady from Albert Lea, employed by the same clinic as the doctor doing Laurie’s surgery. 

We stayed at the Quality Inn Colchester six nights, leaving Tuesday morning back to Albert Lea. We stayed at the same motels on the way home, except staying at the Quality Inn Petawawa Ontario, Canada, instead of staying in Pembroke, Ontario, Canada.

Some of the interesting things we saw going to and coming back from Vermont were:

A deer sign in Ontario reading “Increased risk when flashing.” (It wasn’t flashing).

A Stone Hedge Farm in Ontario.

A bull moose by Mattawa, Ontario.

A grass roof on the border crossing building at Sault Ste. Marie.

Sap from pine trees in Colchester, Vermont that covered our car and then two hard rains in Canada that washed the pine sap off!!

Excellent flat level farm land by Ottawa, Canada.

See if you can figure out what the following have in common. 

Val at the Comfort Inn check in desk Ironwood Michigan.

Tammy at the guest breakfast area in the Comfort Inn, Ironwood, Michigan, who reserved a you’ve been naughty chair for me.

Ashley at the sleep Inn Sault Ste. Marie Canada, check in desk.

Mitka at the guest breakfast area in Sault Ste. Marie, Canada.

Alexandria at the Quality Inn check in desk Petawawa, Ontario.

The housekeeping lady who helped us get inside the Comfort Inn Pembroke, Ontario. (Her 13 year old son also helped us).

Sarah at the guest breakfast area in the Quality Inn Colchester, Vermont.

The answer is: they all know what “Minnesota Nice” is even though they have never been to Minnesota. That is what all of them had in common besides being good public relations employees.


Bob is a retired AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) agent, currently working on his master’s degree in Volunteering. His wife, Genie, is a retired RN, currently working on her doctor’s degree in Volunteering. They have two children, Deb in North Carolina, and Dan in Vermont. Bob says if you enjoy his column, let him know. If you don’t enjoy it, keep on reading, it can get worse. Words of wisdom: There is always room for God.

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