Sunday, July 31, 2016

rv living - day two

Day Two
Chutes Provincial Park, ON to Neyes Provincial Park, ON
640 km
Depart - 10:30 a.m.  Arrive - 8:45 p.m.

Today is the day we learn two lessons:
1. We take a long time to get going. We wanted to go visit the falls before we left the park and estimated we could get up, eat breakfast, walk to the falls, enjoy, get back to the RV, pack up, and be on the road by 9:00. Hardee har har har. Impossible.
2. If we ever want to enjoy this trip, we need to stop in the middle of the day. Driving long and hard from start to finish is going to destroy every single person in this camper. So we decided to stop when we needed to, and to try to make those stops at fun and interesting places, and to not look at the clock. If this means pulling into our campsite late in the evening, eating supper at a time when we should be sleeping, and going to bed in the middle of the night, then THAT IS FINE. No one is going to arrest us. And no one did. Other campers may have wanted to file noise complaints, but they didn't. At least, not to my knowledge.

And another lesson, but this was learned quickly on the first day of travel, RV travel is no cocktail party. There is no getting up or wandering around or using the bathroom on the go or peacefully nursing your baby. Imagine what it feels like driving in the back of a school bus. Multiply that by a million. Throw some kids on top of you. Bang your forearms against a kitchen table. That is what it feels like. Except for the driver, who enjoys a smooth ride at the front and wonders what his wife is blathering on about when she exclaims, "Slow down!" and "Watch out!" and "Aaaahhh!" and other helpful, backseat driver kinds of things. So now you know... not the choice of travel for those who might suffer from motion sickness (which, on the second day, I was very worried that Annie did).


Clara loves running water. Waterfalls are her dream come true. 

There is a giant baseball in Sault Ste. Marie. We ate lunch beside it and played an unsuccessful game of catch.

Our spontaneous stop for a swim in Lake Superior. Cold, refreshing, giant horseflies, tiny tadpoles. Good stop, good decision. Parents pat themselves on the back and readjust all expectations.

What's this? Oh no big deal. It's just the view of Lake Superior, FROM OUR CAMPSITE.

Canada is hideous, really.

rv living - day one

I am 97% certain that how I organize the pictures and stories from our trip matters only to me and me only. But I've been over-analyzing the whole thing - should I do this thematically? chronologically? in order from best to worst? And in the end... it's this. A bunch of photos from each day we drove, followed by a bunch of stuff we did in Saskatchewan. Also, I'm going to pretend I wrote the posts at the end of July, but I really didn't. This isn't going to win me any internet awards (and isn't that the reason I'm doing all this? the awards and accolades?) but here it is anyway. Our trip. Which again, let me remind you, was really nice and highly recommended.

So, here goes.

Day One
Oakville, ON to Chutes Provincial Park, ON
520 km
Depart - 10:30 a.m.  Arrive - 7:30 p.m.

Oh, how naive we were on day one. With the help of David's parents, who occupied the kids, we finish packing up the RV, piled in, and then with much cheering and whooping, pull out of the driveway. Two houses down we realize we forgot to lock in place the sliding door between the "kitchen" and "bedroom" of the RV so we pulled over to fix that. More whooping and cheering and we begin again. Only to realize we left the roof vents open. Pull over again to remedy that situation. And we're off! To the gas station! So then, after that last stop, we're going. Like actually on a highway, we're going. We start our RV day with picking a child of the day (which was meant to prevent fights but actually started more than I could have ever imagined), a decade of the rosary (indeed - somebody needs to be in charge of this behemoth motor vehicle and it's not going to be us), some studying of the map, and a couple of books. We set up the dvd player for a movie and discover that RV travelling is LOUD and there is no way anyone can hear the movie. Much complaining. Adults discuss. One hour later, we stop to buy headsets. Back in the RV, now there is much cheering. Except, as we set out once more, we realize that two of the four headsets do not work. Back to the store! Return "old" headsets (if they are bought only 20 minutes before, are they old?) and buy new and we're off and that is when I realize that this trip is going to take forever. We may never ever get out of Ontario.

Anyway, the rest of the drive included about 18 bathroom breaks (much easier when you bring a bathroom with you), one more movie that people could actually hear, a few more books, some colouring, and some snacks (apples take up a lot of time). After about hour three, poor little Janie decided she hated her car seat and there was a lot of crying, stopping to soothe her, more crying, stopping to soothe me, and, finally, getting her to sleep.

And then we arrived! Not as far as we wanted to go, but a beautiful provincial park nonetheless. We feel really blessed by all the great places we stayed. The beauty and peace and fresh air and uniqueness of each park made us realize we would very much like to do this more often. Camping is fun! It really is, and we're going to make it part of our summers.

jane the jellyfish

She's three months! Three-and-a-half now. And she's pretty sweet.

let's motor home, part 2

(The title is courtesy of Joe, who said it when we started driving on our last day. One of my prouder days as a parent, when I realized my son appreciates a good pun.)

Well, we drove 6238 kilometres and I took 2132 pictures. Would you like to see them all? Probably not. But here are some, these ones from the first two days of our drive, heading from Oakville up around Lake Superior. We rented this RV and began a 25 day adventure that would take us to a celebration for my dad in Manitoba, then to Shaunavon for a couple weeks, and back home through the United States. We have a bunch of kids, ages seven through to three months, so was this even a good idea? And the answer is yes. Yes it was. (I'm serious... I'm not just trying to convince myself.) The drive and the number of hours that we had to put in each day were hard, especially, I think, for Clara, who was the most tricky to keep occupied. The days were long, the suppers were late, the bedtimes non-existent. BUT we saw so much, did so much, learned so much. We saw beautiful lakes and breathtaking skies. We ate a lot of hot dogs and roasted a million marshmallows. We swam and played in a lot of waters. And my most favourite moment, which I will hold onto for all of my days, was when we brought Joe, Henry, Annie, and Clara out of the RV in the middle of the night (I told you bedtimes were non-existent) to see the stars. The audible gasps and giggles from each one of them, when they looked up in the brilliant sky to see the impossible number of stars, was worth every trial and tear of the day.

So will we do it again? Yes, please.

So 2123 pictures left to look at! Sit tight! I'll be right back with them!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

let's motor home

This is us.

And this is what we've done.

All the way from here.
(our house)

To there.
(Grammie and Papa's house)

And it was awesome (and sometimes terrible) (but mostly awesome).

I'll tell you all about it. When I finish the laundry.