On the Road, part deux.

I’m sitting in a hotel room, cuddling a feverish 1-year-old. Because of course we weren’t going to make it the whole way without somebody getting sick. I wanted to get a chance to write this post last night, but have you ever tried to put 4 children to sleep in a hotel room? It’s damned near impossible. First they appropropriated my iPad because WIFI! NETFLIX ON THE WIFI!!! And then it was the battle of who gets to sleep on which bed with which parent but also NOT with that sister and I need more space and a piece of ice from the machine and my blanket’s in the car and SHE’S TOUCHING ME.

Hardly anybody makes it through that with any amount of staying up late to write blog posts power.

But here we are. In Ottawa. Today we’ve got just a 4 hour drive, and then? Nous arrivons a Québec! This is really happening, like, for real. As we drove across Ontario, (the many many days of driving across Ontario) I watched the road signs slowly go from completely in English, to English with just the important stuff also in French, to English-French bilingual, to French-English bilingual. And now during today’s drive they’ll continue shifting until we are all French, all the time. I knew that this was part of moving to Québec, obviously. But I’ve been so focused on the packing up the house, and the actual trip itself, that I guess I haven’t been able to stop and really grasp that no, when this trip reaches its end we won’t be going back home, to our own beds, in our house, in our neighborhood. We are strictly moving forward. It’s a good way to move, forward is. But it’s actually quite terrifying if you stop and think about the significance.

So I will just sit back, enjoy today’s drive. Take things as they come. I’ll freak out on Monday, when Nate goes back to work.

And now- trip pics!

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As I mentioned in my last post, we decided to spend a third night at the KOA in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Nate took the girls swimming, they played mini-golf while the baby and the dog napped and I actually got to sit and read some of my book (!!!), then we had a pizza and plain spaghetti delivered to our campsite (who are we trying to impress, here?), fire with marshmallows, and bed. We had a long driving day ahead of us.

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When I looked over the map for day 9, I was shocked to realize just how freaking huge the Great Lakes are. Like, we drove all day and that night we were still on the shore of Lake Superior, still in Ontario. Not too much of note happened this day. We drove around the lake, we got out and put our feet in the lake, we drove some more around the lake. We got to the hotel. We bathed the kids and let them watch many hours of TV. We went to sleep.

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Another drive day. Not too far this time, just from Sault Ste. Marie to Sturgeon Falls, where our third and final campground awaited us. We drove, stopped for ice cream and got lunch at the slowest Wendy’s in the universe. After we set up the campsite we explored a little (playground! Bridge! Dock! Bird’s nest!) and got some rest.

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When the girls saw that you could rent boats here, they were very excited. So we got everyone outfitted in life jackets and took turns paddling around in a kayak. It’s been a while since I’ve been out on the water, but Nate had never been in a kayak! We all had an excellent time, and have agreed to make this an activity we repeat again soon.

I also have to give a shoutout here to the staff at the Sturgeon Falls KOA, they really were outstanding. Made us feel very welcome and helped out with anything we needed. Also, the kids really dug the game room.

Another interesting thing that happened this day was the friendship Fiona struck up with a couple of other kids staying at the campground. These kids spoke only French, and Fiona’s French is still quite limited. But they were all running around together enjoying themselves nonetheless. So that was very nice to see, gave me hope for their social lives! I, however, tried to make conversation with the kids’ mom as we both washed up the breakfast dishes (ain’t no such thing as vacation for default parents, just a nice work trip, amirite?) but our conversation was limited to “Nice to see the kids playing together. Sorry, I don’t have any French.” “Yes, it’s nice. Sorry, my English is very bad.” Buuuuut here’s hoping some harsh immersion will give me small talk skills in no time.

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Still more flipping Ontario, but only short 4.5hr day. And I finally drove a respectable 2 hour leg of it!

True confession: Nate has done the lion’s share of the driving this entire trip. For some reason (maybe chronic sleep deprivation?) I have not been able to do more than like 45minutes at a stretch before my eyes just start closing. It is not good, y’all. Me! Who used to do MA-VA drives all the time, by myself, no big thing. Luckily for us all, Nate is an excellent driver and may have been a big rig hauler in a past life. He’s a beast.

But finally yesterday I came across the magic combination of iced coffee, m&ms, and a borderline healthy lunch (Burger King with a side salad, SALAD you guys!) that allowed me to do the entire second half of the drive myself. So go me!

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And now we are back on the road, doing the final leg. We’re about to cross into Québec so I’m going to go and freak out a little, will update more later.

 

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