Monday, July 18, 2016

Family Adventure ala the Great White North!

I have finally clawed my way out from under a mountain of dirty laundry from our vacation and have caught my breath slightly.  We got back from two weeks in Canada, Maine and New Hampshire last week and then I took the three younger kids to a family reunion on Saturday.  My older two kids are in New Orleans at the youth gathering, and I left my middle two boys with my parents for a few days.  So it's just me and my newly-minted 7-year-old girl in the house.  And it is QUIET.  Weirdly, strangely quiet.  Our house is never quiet, unless everyone is asleep or the kids are up to no good.  But today my girl and I got home and she's playing with her new set of miniature horses (whispering her story line), and there is no other sound.  I'm not sure I like it.  I'm looking forward to the time just with her, but I gotta say, I'm kinda missing the hustle and bustle a bit.  I'm sure when everyone gets home I'll be wishing for a little peace.  Always greener on the other side.

Here are a few highlights from our travels:

  • The night before we were leaving, as we were about to go to bed, my husband opened the fridge.  And he found it full of grape lemonade.  The drawers were half full of lemonade, the shelves had standing lemonade. . .it was everywhere.  So, instead of going to bed after a full day of packing, we completely cleaned the refrigerator (and cursed the dog and all of his dog hair which seems to get everywhere).  We quickly ascertained that the spigot on the lemonade dispenser had been left on after someone (we had our guesses) filled his cup.   But, as we assumed, when we questioned the children the next morning, the culprit was the elusive family member NotMe.  

  • Just as we were about to leave Niagra Falls, one of our children (in a tousle with another), whacked his head on the headboard of the hotel bed, cutting it open, complete with blood all over his hair.  Commence quick shower and direct pressure.  He wasn't in much pain and the cut seemed okay.  But all I could think of was Massive Head Wound Harry.  I'm a terrible person.
  • We have many "discussions" about who sits next to whom on our long vacation drives.  After one such heated discussion, one boy proclaimed "I'd rather sit next to Hillary Clinton" (than next to his brother).  1) That was highly undesirable to him , and 2) he's been listening to his brother discuss politics too much.
  • Quebec is awesome.  Everything is in French, and I mean everything.  Every now and then we would find things that might also have English printed underneath, but not often.  None of us speak French, but we managed just fine.  It was like being in Europe, truly it was.  We could have spent much more time there.  We ate well (poutine, crepes, pastries, Tim Horton's, McDonald's (they are waaaaaay better in Canada!) and we saw beautiful scenery and old city streets.  It was amazing.  My youngest daughter kept practicing her "French" by saying over and over and over "Cinco de Mayo!"  We didn't burst her bubble.  But one son had had just about enough of the French culture and was longing for his homeland.  On our last day there, he proclaimed, "I'll be glad to get back into America and be done with all this French monkey business!"
can you guess which store this sign is in?
  • Wildlife seen:  Loon (rare sighting and he played hide and seek with us while we were in a canoe), eagle, foxes. . .but no moose.  We looked the whole vacay, but never found one.
  • Each major adventure seems to create its own soundtrack, and this year was no different.  But I'm sorry to report that the soundtrack for this vacation was. . .T Swizzle!  Yep, a few of the kids are obsessed with her, and we heard Taylor Swift songs over and over.  I'm pretty sure she is never, ever, ever, getting back together with her boyfriend.  Good to know.
  • In Acadia, we spent $7 and got two crabbing nets for the boys and they spent many an hour on the dock catching and releasing scores of crabs.  Seriously, the best $7 ever spent!  When we left, the boys passed our nets onto another family to keep the fun going.
  • Camping isn't quite what it used to be in our family, and multiple electronic devices traveled with us.  Every night, this was the sight on the camper floor:

  • We ate lobster (rather, I tried it once and never again).  My husband and some of the kids loved it, but the whole process was disgusting to me.  I couldn't even watch him embracing his inner caveman as he pulled the thing apart.  I'll stick to meat that keeps some of the mystery alive by not looking like it did in the wild, thank you very much.  
  • We ended the trip with some major outlet shopping (no tax in New Hampshire = one happy mamma!), and three feverish children.  We all powered through, however, and made it home in my aforementioned 19 hour driving day.  Another family adventure in the books! 

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