What I did on my vacation

May they always look at each other like this
The crowd I spent my vacation with.

Team Mitchell was on vacation last week. We laid low at home and it was wonderful.

Highlights of the week include:

Sean’s birthday. We picked up dinner and had our neighbours over for dinner. I made a cherry cheesecake and it was pretty good for someone who doesn’t bake. I made it from a box, but still, I made cake! I should have made him wear the Dora party hat we have in the cupboard from Flora’s 2nd birthday.

Our ninth wedding anniversary. We didn’t do much to celebrate it, but we did acknowledge it.

I read six novels.  I have completed my challenge for 2013 to read 35 books. Now I need to up the number since there’s a lot of 2013 left. Some novels were trashy, but that’s what summer reading is all about.

I played with Instagram video. I’m not sure if I love it yet, but it is fun.

Embedly Powered

Embedly Powered

I took Flora to the ROM. The train trips to and from were big adventures, but an unexpected highlight of our trip was the bat cave. I was convinced she would be terrified of it, but we walked through that thing at least six times in a row.

Train ride
Pink Teddy enjoyed the trip too.

Lots of time spent outside. We went to the park, the splash pad and spent lots of time in the backyard. My favourite afternoon was spent in the backyard just enjoying my family, talking, hanging out and playing.

We’re back to our regular routine today – Sean and I at work and Flora at her school for summer camp. I think our return to routine was almost welcome, but I’ll still look forward to the next backyard party this weekend.

We’re back!

Home again jiggety-jog.

I’m happy to report that my worries about long-distance traveling were blown out of proportion. Flora traveled like a champ. She got good use out of the portable DVD player we bought (more than I would have liked, but it kept her happy) and was generally in good spirits the entire week despite not napping much. (Oh please let this not be the end of naptime though.)

The rest of us traveled pretty well too. No major meltdowns from any of us. Considering that we drove for nearly 18 hours (with stops) before we stopped in Bangor, Maine for the night, that’s pretty remarkable.

New Brunswick is a lovely place. A lot of Sean’s extended family lives there and it was great to see so many of them and in mine and Flora’s cases, meet them for the first time. Flora was a bit shy with most of them, but would usually open up and chat eventually.

Other highlights include:

  • The cottage we stayed at: ocean view, just big enough for us, lots of books to read and modern appliances (including a dishwasher and washer/dryer. Very different from the cottages I stayed in as a kid)
  • Whale watching on the Bay of Fundy. It was early in the season, but we saw a couple of finback whales. They were coy though, just flashing a bit of their backs out of the water.
  • Lobster! Even though Sean chased me around the cottage with one before he put it in the pot.
  • Watching Flora pet jellyfish, starfish and sea urchins (she’s much braver than her mama, who recoiled in horror at these creatures).

Here are our pictures from the trip.

We drove back on Canada Day and after our longer trip south of the border, I insisted we go through Canada coming home. We were lucky that traffic was pretty smooth most of the way (although it was busy going the other way). I wanted to get some Quebec cheese on our way through and I was thrilled to find a cheese shop on the Trans Canada Highway. It was early in the drive so I felt like I had to rush to pick what I wanted since Sean and Flora stayed in the car. The cheese made it home (even the curd!) and I’ve tried not to gobble it up too fast.

Sean and I returned to work today, but it still feels like a vacation. Flora is visiting family this week – my mum and sister are tag-teaming on taking care of her this week. Sean’s mum is getting some grandkid time too. Judging from the phone call I had with my mum last night, they are all having a ball. Boating, swimming and general fun with grandma and auntie is a good way to top a long-distance trip with your parents. Sean’s mum is babysitting the dog and cat so it’s just Sean and I at home now.

I keep saying “2003 called. It wants its life back”. (We got the dog in 2005, but the cat’s been around since 1998 so it’s not an entirely true statement.)

The break has been nice so far. I went and had my nails done and Sean went to see Soundgarden on Saturday night. We do plan to do stuff together: dinner’s on the agenda and possibly a movie (if we can decide on one we both want to see that’s worth parting with our hard-earned money for – too bad HP7 Part 2 isn’t out till later in the month). Outside of that, our plans are loose. Tips are welcome.

The weather’s been great and it’s shaping up to be a fun summer. Here’s hoping it stays that way.

Are we sure that travel is about the journey, and not the destination?

I fear that I have lost my mind.

Sean, Flora and I are traveling to New Brunswick on Friday for a week-long vacation. Sean’s extended family is down there and Flora and I have never been. I’m excited about the trip, but I am freaking out about the journey. We’ve never done this long a road trip with Flora before. Naturally, I haven’t even started packing yet. I’ve thought about what to pack, but I haven’t actually begun the act of packing those things into the various suitcases, totes and bags that we’ll need. I’ve been making lists (mental and written) and every time I say “we need to bring _____________”, Sean says “don’t forget, we’re renting a compact car”.

Sean is also one of those people who will drive non-stop until he has to get gas, coffee or go pee. He has been informed that he won’t be doing that with his wife or daughter in the car, but I fear that we will push the limits of our endurance.

I’ve done the things the interwebs tell me to do: we’ve bought a portable DVD player and loaded up on Dora, I bought some surprise toys for the car and I plan to bring out some old favourites. I will make sure to have the essentials in easy reach: snacks, drinks extra diapers/clothes and blankets. And garbage bags. And this. And that. And lots of other things.

(Pictured at right: the generic-brand MagnaDoodle the interwebs told me was good for the car. It was a hit when Flora tested in Monday night, so I hope it’ll still be good in the car.)

I know this is possible and I’m probably overthinking it to death, but I suspect that this is going to be less of a vacation and more of a test of my parenting and wife-ing skills.

Any tips on how to make this easier for all of us? Either way, if you could just send me some kind thoughts on Friday/Saturday and again on Canada Day (when we come home), I would be very grateful. In the meantime, I’ll try not to have a nervous breakdown packing and I’ll take some nice pictures of our trip for everyone.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by Melissa Price-Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.
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