We awoke in the clean and comfortable Travelodge around 8, in plenty of time for breakfast and a truck wash before J’s meeting. Breakfast was the usual continental, plus hard-boiled eggs which C didn’t eat. What is wrong with this kid? As E was drinking her milk, she made a face. J took a sip: it’s gone bad. How many times have we made the kids drink bad milk? Not being a milk-lover herself, mommy once forced a little E, around 2 years old, to drink a cup of milk that E kept complaining was “coldy”. Mom finally took a sip and realized it was sour… boy that makes you feel bad as a parent.
Anyway, we packed up, piled into the PT and headed off to find a truck wash. J hosed ‘er down with minutes to spare and we drove off into downtown Timmins. The meeting was right in town and as we piled out of the truck the meetees came out to check ‘er out. The girls headed off to find some real coffee in the little downtown while daddy did his thing. We found a little used bookstore and bought some new entertainment before winding up at Christopher’s, a lovely coffee shop with great food. Mommy bought some lunch with E ate half of with gusto and C turned her nose up at. E met a little girl who about 4 years old and the three of them danced and played. A local singer/guitarist had set up there and was practicing for his night gig and that got the girls dancing. Daddy finally showed up to eat his lunch and after a tip for the songman we piled in for the next long leg to Ottawa.
A very long leg.
Like 9 hours long.
And we didn’t leave until about 1pm.
We are getting into some very bad, late night habits here…
The girls had a long sleep after listening to some more Narnia (The Horse & His Boy) and Alice in Wonderland (the gryphon and the mock-turtle singing – some of the most bizarre audio we’ve ever heard…) We were no longer driving along Lake Superior but still in lake country more or less. The scenery continues to be beautiful and vaguely familiar, while the drive is unfathomably long and sometimes passes so slowly it feels like we haven’t gone anywhere. The girls sleep and play and sing and read and really are remarkably well-adapted to this nomadic life.
We stop for a stretch in North Bay and end up having dinner at McDonald’s – the first of the trip! It has a play area which suits E just fine. Except it’s not one of those nice, safe, toddler play areas. It’s a slide, a really tall one, that one gets too by climbing up these levels inside the play structure. So E teaches C how to get up. The slide must be about 20 feet tall. E thinks it is great and slides with glee and great abandon. Little C however is stuck at the top. Doesn’t want to slide and doesn’t want to climb down. M can hear her little voice echoing through the tube of the slide, “Holp.” Help. She can’t get down. So E shows her how to climb down. Level by level, E climbs down, gets C to sit on the edge, C holds out her arms and says, “Holp,” and E carries her down. Then it reapeats. About 8 times. What a neat thing to watch, big sister helping little sister, little sister depending on big sister.
The next stop was in a no-name town (the small ones runt together after awhile…) for gas and bedtime snack. The girls scampered into their PJs and then scampered in a nearby grassy area while eating their bagels. Then we piled in the PT once again.
For 4 ½ more hours.
This, my friends, is a big province. In a big country.
When we arrived at D & G’s place in the countryside outside Ottawa, it was close to midnight and E was still awake. She hopped out with Dad to the front door, where J was meeting G for the first time, and said, “This is our hotel for TWO nights!”
- Melodies: Chronicles of Narnia – The Horse & His Boy, Alice & Wonderland (getting weirder by the chapter)
- Miles:450 miles (725 km)
- Meals: continental with bad milk, chicken wrap and soup at Christopher’s, Happy Meals in North Bay
- Meltdowns: the girls slept on and off all day. There wasn’t any room or reason for meltdowns.