Friday, March 23, 2012

so that happened.

I drove to Canada yesterday. It`s really not that big of a deal to drive to Canada from where I live, it takes a little bit more than an hour if nobody needs to stop to pee.

My plan had been to cross into Canada at the Peace Bridge, which connects Niagara Falls, NY, USA with Niagara Falls, ON, Canada. That didn`t happen because someone was talking or punching someone else and I was distracted.  Fortunately, there are LOTS of options for entering Canada legally, and we got stuff sorted out and all was well.

The Canadian border agent was very nice, because, well, he was Canadian, and it`s a law or something that they have to be nice. I presented him with the many birth certificates, my ID, and the notarized permission slip The Mister had drafted that said I was allowed to leave the US with our children. When we finished, Henry said I like that guy, and by Ì like that guy, I mean I LIKE HIS GUN. 

Okay, then.

We went to Ikea, because it was on the way and I believe in being practical, and also nothing says GOOD TIME like a shopping cart that doesn`t turn and four kids in flip flops. 

We had about 2 hours left of our trip, which meant it was the perfect time for the GPS (borrowed from the in-laws) to become possessed by the devil and the anti-saint of good travel and the whole trip went straight to hell in the handbasket most commonly known as my supercool minivan.

North on the QEW. NO WAIT!!!! Turn around and go south on the QEW. NO WAIT!!! turn around, turn around, recalculating, recalculating, no satellite contact, recalculating....OH SCREW IT YOU`RE LOST. SORRY ABOUT YOUR LUCK.

Also... no cell phone service.  Did I mention I was alone. (That was a question, honest, but the Canadian computer keyboard has the French accent grave enabled where the US question mark should be.) And more also... no actual written down address of the place we were going. Because nothing helps when trying to locate a house in another country as much as not having an address.

FOUR HOURS LATER, we arrived at our destination. 

Olivia was quick to inform our hosts that I was using some VERY VERY VERY bad language, and that somehow the boys didn`t notice. Direct quote: I honestly can`t imagine how that happened, though. Yeah, me neither.

Anybody have an awesome travelling alone with the short people story (yes, this is a question). Do tell.


  1. Hmm. I'm sure packed away in the back of my noodle are some doozies that involve 1) Walmart, 2) McDonald's, or 3) highway service station restrooms with no toilet paper.


  2. When my parents moved away from me (because they love my brother more) I helped them move by driving my dad's truck with a trailer attached. I was following them through the unpopulated wilds of southern Oregon, without so much as an address in case we got separated.
    They had a cell phone, but had conveniently changed their number without telling me(I'll bet my bother had it). It was supposed to be a five hour drive; me alone with a toddler. (My brother wouldn't have done it. Even if he hadn't been in prison.)
    At one point, my dad got pulled over for speeding. Not knowing where I was going, I also pulled over. The officer said I couldn't stop there and that I should move on.
    I continued down the highway until I saw a turn-off for a Women's Logging Museum. I pulled in to the tiny, snow covered parking lot and attempted to turn around. My plan was to wait at the end of the driveway until I saw my parents drive past, then get in line behind them again.
    My plan did not take account the fact that I do not know how to back up with a trailer attached. I tried and tried, to no avail. And then, through a gap the trees... I saw my parents drive off without me.
    With the limited cell service I had, I called home. The call kept getting dropped, but I was finally able to tell my husband that we were in danger of freezing to death at the Women's Logging Museum.
    He made several phone calls, eventually tracking down my parent's new cell phone number. They returned and backed me up. My dad mentioned that they had gone on down to the next town and stopped at DQ, thinking that I had just gone on ahead. To where, I don't know.
    They didn't even bring me a Blizzard. I'll bet my brother would have got one...

  3. I had been widowed for less than a year, and I was taking the kids aged 3 and 6 from our home on Vancouver Island in Canada to Portland, Oregon to meet up with some other widowed families. Not a long trip, particularly, and promised to be a pretty fun road trip for us.

    I tend to fly by the seat of my pants a lot more than I rely on planning, so I arrived in Portland, on the second day of travel, as scheduled. As I said at the time, "Might I suggest printing out your maps/directions BEFORE you roll into the city. Sitting in the car, road-weary, with the rain pouring and the kids complaining is not the best time to be looking for a free internet connection for the laptop to google a map of downtown."

    We got to the hotel and restaurants perfectly capably after that, which is the way it usually goes with me, but maybe I will make more of an effort to pre-print directions another time...


talk to me, people. because you know i get all giddy when you do.