Beauty Found :: Canada & Maine

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The point of these “beauty found” posts is to share bits of beauty I discover in everyday life. And to force myself to look for it.

Well, beauty pretty much smacks you in the face in Canada and Maine.  While taking a two and half week road trip with a two and four year old (and baby on the way) certainly had its challenges, I’d say the splendor we saw outweighed any struggle along the way.

Upon our return, a friend asked me how our trip went. My reply: “It was perfect.”

Woah.

“Perfect?”

Not only is “perfect” not a word I often employ (recovering perfectionist and all), I could easily recount a variety of episodes on our trip that did not remotely approach perfection: my son’s uncanny resemblance to a feral cat, both in sound and action. Starting our trip with a midnight drive to Michigan. Braving Toronto’s epic traffic during what should have been nap time.

As long as he had access to rocks and "ponds," he was good.
As long as he had access to rocks and “ponds,” he was good.

So what the heck did I mean when I said “perfect?” After some thought, I decided: I wouldn’t have done anything differently.

From what where we went to what we planned to do to what we adventures we found along the way, I wouldn’t go back and make different decisions. Given our circumstances (pregnant with kids in tow), I think it was the best it could have been.

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Would I have preferred to eat something more local and interesting than hamburgers for dinner in Montreal? Sure.

But with hungry people, an unstable toddler, and a long walk back to the hotel, we did what seemed easiest at the time.  After all, I got to have crepes, lobster, and fresh baguettes later on. And we got to chat it up with the super friendly manager, who educated us on all things French and Québec.

Four hour hike with the kids = everything you'd imagine. But if we'd cut it short, we would have missed this view.
Four hour hike with the kids = everything you’d imagine. But if we’d cut it short, we would have missed this view.

Would I have preferred that my son not throw an epic tantrum at the nice restaurant in Maine (while I happened to be flying solo with the kids for a bit)? Of course.

But how he responds to being tired and out of sorts is completely beyond my control. He would nap soon. So until then I addressed it as best I could and eagerly awaited Daddy’s return.

At which point I passed Buckaroo off to Hubs and enjoyed my popover, jam, fresh blueberry lemonade, and view of the lake.

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Would it have been easier to go on this trip with just my husband? Of course. But that’s not our current reality.

And while it would also be easier to just stay home, Hubs and I have decided that we’d rather travel and have adventures with our kids–and adjust our expectations–than have no adventures at all.

How do you approach travel/travel with kids?

About Jenn

Jenn is a mommy of three and wife to her best friend. She enjoys good books, dinner guests, elevenses, and proper apostrophe use.

  • Brenda v.

    Travel w/ kids……. Never hesitated, always an adventure no matter where we were going. A great opportunity, in the car you have a captured audience. Sure there will be challenges along the way, but that just makes life more interesting and brings you closer together. Just try and be prepared for anything unexpected, dig deep and push forward.

  • Love traveling. So important for people of all ages to realize that the world is bigger than our little bubble.

    • Oh, good point, Ali. And even if our littles are too little to remember much, I’m glad we’ll have the pics to show them and stories to tell them.

  • Yup, we totally did the same hike on Cape Breton. I’m so glad you guys did this trip! And I’m so glad we got to swap stories, in real life(!!!!). XO

  • Anne

    Bravo. (Er, you’re female: Brava! lol) What a cool writeup. For me, it’s refreshing and encouraging to read that we can have fun and travel as a family, even with littles. Accept what is, adjust expectations, see the beauty. (So, did you see PEI? I better click through your posts and make sure I didn’t miss anything!) 🙂

    • Anne, yes, the expectations are key :). No, we didn’t see PEI this time, but I was fortunate to have been able to go last fall with a friend who lives in the area! It was beautiful, especially that time of year.

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