Though we’ve been back from our big trip for a couple of weeks, other travels, hosting company, and a bad stomach bug have kept me from fully returning to normal life.
So our trip is still on my mind, especially as my kids remind me of our adventures and as I share them with friends who ask.
To record them all in one place and to satisfy any curiosity there may be (?) about what did and how we did it–here’s a little peak into our adventures.
A Peak into Our Canada Extravaganza
Day 1: Departure
Acquired expedited passport (a minor miracle–tip: call your Congressman and plead your case) then drove six hours to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Arrived at 2am and slept at some friends’ house. Sounds crazy but amazingly it went well.
Days 2-4: Montreal
Drove 14ish (it should have been less, but Toronto’s traffic was insane) hours to Montreal. Arrived at our hotel, which was apparently hosting prom night.
Wrangling my children and luggage amidst gussied-up teenagers was weird. Hubs was concerned our hotel neighbors would make a ruckus and keep us up, but my money was on our room being the source of ruckus. In any case, I had about three noise machines going and we all slept fine.
We spent and day and a half in Montreal. Highlights: Mt. Royal (note: do not attempt to summit it pregnant, on foot, with a double stroller), Atwater Farmer’s Market, the old city, that nap I took at the hotel, and the kids’ train in a local park (Bun’s fav).
Low points: The emergence of my son’s feral cat persona and the impact it had on our restaurant options. Being attacked by angry birds in a park; it was both unprovoked and completely horrifying.
Days 4-5: Quebec City
Thankfully, Quebec City is only 2.5 hours from Montreal. So after a brief driving tour of the city and a stop at the farmer’s market, we were off to spend the rest of the day in Quebec City.
Quick impressions: older and “frencher” than Montreal. Felt a bit European. Stellar crepes. Completely awesome.
Keeping it real: my son threw a stainless steel water bottle at another family’s table in a restaurant our first night there. Mercifully, they also had small children, no one was hurt, and after a good night’s sleep, we had our happy Buckaroo back the next day.
Days 6-9: Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
Epiphany: they don’t call it “New Scotland” for nothing. It looks so much like the Highlands I’ve seen in pictures.
Thankful for: our two bedroom cabin, which meant–holla!–no sleeping next to babies and we got to cook and eat in. The short walk to the beach. The fact that our children are undeterred by frigid waters and rain–the beach was their favorite thing regardless. A lovely afternoon by myself in a coffee shop. My kids are champion nappers. Watching the World Cup as a family.
Living dangerously: taking our son on a two and a half hour whale-watching boat trip during lunch/nap time with only (really, really, lame) gas station snacks to sustain us all.
Miracle: the whale trip went really well. The kids behaved, the scenery was amazing, and Canadian chips were a surprisingly satisfying lunch.
Days 10-16: Bar Harbor, Maine
Best vacation spot ever: mountains, beach, lakes, a cute little town, and a well-stocked grocery store. We stayed in a cabin in the woods, where the kids could explore and I went to sleep each night to the sound of the wind in the trees.
Trip-planning tip: if you decide to tackle a long road trip with small children, plan to spend a chunk of time in once spot on the back half. Even if everyone is crazy pants for the first half, you’ll have the consistency of the last part to look forward to. It worked really well for us.
Whew! You made it! 🙂
Ok, so tell me: what adventures (near, far, or in-between) have you had this summer?