Thursday, July 21, 2016

Up to Day 8!

Thunder Bay to Winnipeg, Winnipeg to Minnedosa, day in Minnedosa

Tuesday morning saw us off and away from Thunder Bay. We were able to meet up with another cousin of mine for coffee/breakfast before we pulled away. On the look out for moose and deer (we told the kids they weren't allowed to turn on their devices until they spotted one), we set off and away in search of the prairies. Unbelievably Sergeant actually did spot an ungulate relatively early on, so they were able to plug in for a bit.

Monkey has decided that the van now has a name.  And "her" name is now "Minty". Black Grand Caravan named Minty... Why not?  So she was talking to Daddy about whether or not Minty needed a fill up, if Daddy should maybe clean Minty's windows...

In the wilds of northern Ontario, where there was absolutely no cell service at all, Smarty decided to check his device for what the weather would be like in Winnipeg. He was confused that it showed Friday's date and forecast. So we reminded him again about internet connections.

We stopped in Dryden to meet up at a park for snack with a friend and her little guy to get some ants out of pants and soak up some sunshine.

Monkey made a new nickname for Sergeant. She calls him what sounds like "Kiwi" (likely supposed to be Keirie) so when Hubby said "Hey, Kiwi" Sergeant looked up and said "No thanks, Dad. I don't want any." Hubby and I laughed and laughed!

One thing that was made abundantly clear every time we went into a rest room with automatic toilets was that Girlie absolutely dislikes them. They flush like three or four times before she has time to finish up and put her pants back on.

Once we moved from Ontario into Manitoba Hubby breathed deeper. Monkey repeated again and again "All I see is grass and grass and grass!" and Girlie was in awe of the fields that look like sunshine! Canola might be her new favourite flower!

We spent the night in Winnipeg, stopping for a visit with some friends from seminary days. Great visiting and chatting, then we were off to the hotel to eat pizza and play in the most amazing hotel pool we'd been to yet! Totally worked out the travel ickies, cleared some cobwebs, and then we had a couple more friends stop by the hotel and visit.

Wednesday morning we left Winnipeg and moved along to Minnedosa, stopping briefly in Gladstone to take a picture with Happy Rock. About ten minutes away from Poppa and Grandma's house Monkey demanded her num. I was not about to give her a soother right before we were stopping, so she yelled and yelled. Then told us very concisely that she "was such a sad Macintyre".

Once we were settled in with Poppa and Grandma, Hubby and I walked down to a bakery to bring some snack back, came home, walked with the kids and Poppa around and to the park, and then Hubby and I went out to pick up fishing licences, and the radio cut out to give a tornado warning. When we got back to the house the kids were talking about the tornado warning and looking out the window.

Something else that happened yesterday is Monkey and I got new fishing rods from Poppa! Both hers and my first ones. And Poppa made all four children some flies for fishing. Such a special gift! And everyone was so excited to get out fishing.

Today, day 8, we spent fishing on the lake, splashing in the little wading pool in the back yard, and vegging. Hubby and I have reset up our luggage, caught up on laundry, and restocked our snacks for the bottomless pit that is Monkey. Tomorrow we are off to Saskatoon!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Days 4 and 5

We have made it to Thunder Bay! Our day four was a rest day, visiting with family and enjoying not being in the van driving all day long. Hubby and I visited the cemetery so I could see my grandpa and great grandfather's grave sites, he and I went for a run, and the he took the kids to the park nearby.  An aunt and uncle popped over with some kids, grandkids, and dogs. Another aunt and uncle came up from Sudbury and we had some great conversation.

Day five saw us from Elliot Lake to Thunder Bay with a lunch stop at the giant goose in Wawa with my aunt and two of her grandchildren. Smarty spent his device battery on videoing some of the drive along Lake Superior. We put our toes into the water in one of the bays, and we visited the Terry Fox Memorial and view of the Sleeping Giant. More to post on the trip from Thunder Bay to Winnipeg and today's trip from Winnipeg to Minnedosa but I'll get those later today.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Days two and three

Days two and three complete! And now we have a rest day.

Day two started with finding out that the elevator in the hotel was broken. The night before I had gone down to cycle a bit in the fitness centre and when I was finished the hotel staff were trying to get some people out of the elevator which had stuck on the second level. So I wasn't terribly surprised to see the "Out of Order" sign on the door in the morning.

We passed through Saint Louis de Ha! Ha!, found some Couche Tard, and navigated pit stops and lunch stops in the beautiful Province of Quebec. We found dinosaurs, cheese curds, and fleur de lis.

Shortly after one of the stops , when we were back on the road, Smarty asked Daddy to explain something he had seen in the restroom. It was a condom dispenser, with brightly coloured cartoon type advertising on it. So Hubby explained, plainly and concisely, what they are and what they are used for. Yikes! Kids growing up too quickly!

When we arrived at the hotel just in time for a massive rain storm. When it stopped we decided to walk a couple blocks to a grocery store for some fresh food. While we were shopping it decided to start another torrential downpour again, letting up a bit right when we were done. We got a bit wet on the walk back to the hotel, but I enjoyed it. I had forgotten what it's like to walk in a warm rain! Tons of rain in Nova Scotia, but it's different.

Day three brought us to Petawawa for a coffee break. We saw deer in the woods, the big machinery on display, and we did a brief walk through of the Canex. On the road again there were cars parked along the sides of the road sporadically and people picking berries, lots of tiny little townships, and inukshuks. There was a sign for three townships ahead with a combined population of 300.

And the chatter. After having tea, Monkey is always talkative. And bored. Still asking for food every 5 minutes, she started telling us why she needed more gummies. Apparently littler kids need more food than bigger kids because they need to grow bigger and stronger. Also, her little puppy wasgoing to kill everyone. Listening to her imaginative play is slightly terrifying. But we eventually found that she said "kill" but was meaning "bite". So I think (maybe?) we convinced her to use the word she means instead of the one that is morbidly entertaining.

We made it to Elliot Lake to visit with my Grandma and Great Grandma, back in the house I always remember visiting as a child. Smarty has been loving the back yard, the girls loving the dolls. Troll's homestead (a gazebo Grandpa made decades ago) is still there, and walking through the yard brought back some really wonderful memories for me.

Introduced the children to their Great Grandmother and Great Great Grandmother. Hubby and I visiting and chatting until bedtime,