This past week we set out on the proverbial summer family road trip. We packed ourselves and five children under the age of ten into a seven seater mini van and set out from Ontario to Saskatchewan. If you’re Canadian you’re probably thinking: “Why would you go to Saskatchewan?”…the things we do for love.
When we first got into the van the children were happy to be there.
We left in the evening so we could drive through the night while they slept. Those little angels stayed awake until 1:00am! Nolan asked; “Are we there yet?”; as we made our first left turn… out of the driveway….. no jokes.
Around 7:00am we drove into White River, the home of Winnie-The-Pooh, for breakfast. In an effort to make our vacation more frugal I packed picnic style breakfast, lunch and dinner. I thought long and hard about what to make, asked the opinion of the masses, made meals from scratch to cut down on litter and was sure the kids would find eating at picnic spots much more enjoyable to being stuck in restaurants constantly nagged about their behaviour.
See those lovely home baked muffins loaded with chocolate chips mommy made just for you little man, aren’t the great? “Mama, slide?” No honey, eat your breakfast we’re not stopping again for six hours. “Mama, slide?”
So maybe there were more exciting things to do on our trip besides eating. For example the wonderful baskets of activities I scoured Pinterest for and gathered up just to keep my little minions from death by boredom. Surely those will be enjoyed.
They had books to read, pages to colour, snacks to be replenished, magazine quizzes (which are a road trip essential), DS, a travel pillow, road trip Bingo games from Gramma and the ever popular don’t-leave-home-without-it “fart noise slime” These children of mine are so blessed to have me as their mother and in return spent our 34 hour trip playing quietly together, bonding for life. The only noises were full of laughter and encouragement. No one wanted the drive to end.
We decided spur of the moment to add an educational element to our vacation and stopped for lunch at the Terry Fox Monument just off the Trans Canada in Thunder Bay. The mosquitos enjoyed us almost as much as we enjoyed our lunch. The highlight of this pit stop probably being when Nolan began chanting; “Terry Fox is a hero! Terry Fox is a hero!” while successfully photo bombing the memories of about a dozen other vacationers.
We somehow managed to trick the kids into getting back into the van and drove on to Dryden where we stopped for dinner. It was a cute little playground. But there are no pictures. This was the point in the drive where mommy lost all track of time and space… AND WE HADN’T EVEN LEFT ONTARIO YET!
No one was comfortable.
Everyone was bored.
The baby would not stop talking…. and no one could understand him.
By the time we hit Winnipeg I was so hungry I could eat a sandwich from a gas station.
Sometimes getting to the destination really is the hardest part of the journey. And that is never more true than in the middle of a family road trip. “I just said we’d make it across. I didn’t say anything about the wheels staying on.”