Quick Before the Mosquitoes Get You…

This is the first camping trip where we’ve really had to deal with mosquitoes, especially early in the morning and in the evening.  So far we are winning…though the mosquitoes have scored a few.  We keep applying the bug spray and have the citronella candle going and it really seems to help.  Our site is so wooded and we love it because it gives us amazing privacy and keeps us nice and cool during the day, which is so important because we don’t have a 30amp hook up at this campground, so we can’t run the AC.  As I’ve mentioned before, the trailer turns into an oven on a sunny day!

Dealing with all the mosquitoes has brought back memories of the Little Professor and his experience with them in his early years.  We bought our house when he was 2 going on 3 and where our house is located, there are a lot of those pesky, itchy bugs.  We’ve never stayed out late in our backyard because of them.  When we would arrive home we’d say to the Little Professor “Hurry up, the mosquitoes are out!  We need to get inside before they bite us”.  He took it very seriously and would scurry into the house without pausing for anything.  For about two years we would arrive home and he’d join us in rushing into the house and proclaiming “We need to get in the house before the Mosquitoes get us!”

I don’t remember exactly how it came about…I think the Little Professor asked us where the Mosquitoes live or a question like that, but we soon realized we had been terrorizing our child for years every summer season.  It never dawned on us that he didn’t know what a mosquito was.  He was assuming they were as big as dogs and instead of leaving itchy bumps, they would most likely rip your arm off if they got a hold of you!  The unmistakable relief, on his little face, when we told him they were tiny little bugs was enough to make any mummy feel guilty for all the anxiety we had caused him.  Now, a couple years later, it’s something funny we can all laugh about, like we did the other night!

Daddy says… Poor little Chipmunk

Camping is always a great experience.  There’s this relaxing, laid back feeling with camping that is hard to feel anywhere else.  It’s  funny because we’re enjoying this comforting isolation, deep in the woods, separated from the rest of society, and yet- we’re only 15 minutes from our house!

As it is, I took the Little Professor to a Doctor appointment today, continued onto work for a few hours and was back at the campsite by 3:30 in the afternoon.  Thankfully I work for a company that encourages working from home, and my manager is also very supportive of the process – so I have been able to spend part of my work week right here at the campsite, logged into work on my laptop.

As fun as it is, there is, of course, the occasional bug bite or scraped knee to deal with. Last night each of the older kids needed Mummy to fix some boo-boos.

Just look at these sad faces!

         

As you may, or may not, be able to tell – they are all faking!  They were giggling and having fun with Mummy while they were getting bandaged – and Mummy decided to see if she could get a “sad face” picture of each to demonstrate the pain and suffering of their wounds.  So, in order to get sad face pictures, she would tell each in turn a sad little story about a down on his luck chipmunk that ran into all sort of adversity. Hit by a car – with his Mommy chipmunk watching, but he lived… however the little chipmunk had amnesia now and couldn’t even recognize his Mommy chipmunk… So Sad.

But, minor injuries (and memory impaired chipmunks) aside, everyone is having a lot of fun and we just don’t want it to end.

Let’s go camping…again

While cleaning the trailer out late Saturday afternoon, Daddy and I had a great idea…let’s go camping!  Sometimes I like to do crazy spontaneous things and it just happens I married a wonderful man who is willing to indulge me.  So…we packed up the trailer for another week long trip.

We are camping close enough to home that Daddy can still go to work during the day and we brought all the “technology” so I can work from the campsite.

After arriving at the campground, we set ourselves up and headed out for a day trip down to Plimoth Plantation.  It was Little Miss Fancy’s first time and she had a blast.  One of the 17th Century women put the girls to work watering the garden and beating the bedding with a stick.   They also spent some time feeding a bull…this was not a recognized chore and is possibly frowned upon by the establishment.  We were given a private tour to the chicken coup where the Princess announced it smelled like chicken poop and spent a lot of time asking many questions about life in a new colony, during the 17th century.  During all this we periodically gazed out to the ocean and breathed in the warm, salty air.  I can’t imagine being anything but truly relaxed there!

   

When we returned back to our campsite we roasted hot dogs and Smores over a roaring fire.  The kids all found their own sticks and Daddy whittled the ends for them.  Everyone was exhausted and super giddy…there were lots of giggles and silly jokes.  Halfway during the meal we were visited by a very odd looking Caterpillar.  Someone tried to feed it leaves, some of us took pictures, we all got a really close look.  Once we were all finished studying him, I gently tossed him onto a bush and was met by screams from all three kids doing a voice over for the Caterpillar falling to the ground.  What a bunch of cheeky monkey’s I’m living with and I love them all!  I’m just so blessed!

   

 

 Before and After pictures of the backseat crew…

  

Now that’s a good day!

Trophies…

   

We have two new trophies to add to our fireplace mantle.

It was the first thing the kids did when we got home.

They were so excited to go to their Soccer Trophy Ceremony that they didn’t even mind the cool, damp rain.  They didn’t notice the puddles or the mud and they didn’t even care that the “ceremony”, which we were told would hopefully be finished within the hour, was only 10 minutes long.  Their focus was on the solid little trophy that represented their “hard work” for the past two months.

They were all smiles as they showed off their trophies to each other and anyone else who would listen.  It didn’t matter that everyone had one and they were all the same.  To my little children, and all the children around them, their own trophy was super special.

The Little Professor received his first trophy last year and all year he’s shown it off to anyone who has come to our house for a visit.  His little sister always wishing she had her own.  Now my little Princess does and she’s so proud of herself!

I’m so proud of both of them!

I’m not much of a sports person at all but I do enjoy watching my children play.

I have to admit, I wasn’t quite as excited for the Trophy Ceremony.  I grumbled the whole way there.  I was less excited about the rain and the muddy puddles but I soon forgot about all of it when I saw the smiles on my children’s faces.

However, that being said…I’m so glad the season is short and I’m even more glad it’s over!

Don’t judge me – we can’t all be model soccer mums!

Now we can go back to having our Saturdays free to do family time and go places.  We can plan camping excursions without worrying about the children missing a game.

We can look at the fireplace mantle and enjoy the trophies because

…we will definitely be talking about them for weeks and probably even months to come!

Dr. Jones, Dr. Jones, Calling Dr. Jones…

The great thing about having two children with birthdays 10 days apart is that we can schedule a dual wellness visit in one trip.  Today we all piled into the small doctors office – Daddy, Mummy, Little Professor, Mighty Princess, Milk Monkey and Little Miss Fancy – all of our voices reverberating off the the cheap paneled walls.

Some of our voices louder than others!

Dr. Jones was amazing as usual and took it all in stride, not the least bit fazed that there were 7 of us in the tiny exam room.  She was brilliant examining my two sweet children while answering the non stop questions from the Little Professor and Little Miss Fancy.  She makes the 25min drive well worth it!

The Princess and the Monkey both grew big and strong over the past year, extremely healthy and super cute!

What more could a mother ask for – I’m so thankful!

When we got home from the doctors the kids played out back by themselves for the very first time.  I was inside with the Milk Monkey while the kids exercised their little bodies along with their independence.  Little did they know I spent the whole time standing by the window watching their every move.  

It was fun watching their little personalities shine!

  

Some how Little Miss Fancy managed to fit herself into one of the Princess’s size 4-5 costume dresses!  Maybe she was able to do it because she’s model thin.  She’s also very tall so instead of having it reach her ankles, it barely made it to her knees.  The two girls had me in stitches with their posing, so we just had to take some pictures!

What goofy girls we have living with us!

I just love them both!!

Daddy Says… The Grind

Well, the trip is over, we’re back at our house and we grudgingly return to the daily grind.  The return to work and our everyday lives only seems to reinforce our desire to be on the road full time.

There is a great sense of freedom out on the road. We could picture ourselves making on the spot decisions about how long we would stay in one place, which direction we would head next and what the destination will be. We just went from Burlington Ontario (just outside Toronto) to Long Point (Out on Lake Erie), considering our heading, we could have just kept going west. Stopping along the way until we hit the West Coast!

 There’s also a really fun sense of adventure. When we left Long Point and decided to just find someplace along the way to spend the night, we were able to talk it out, do some quick research and find someplace we thought might work.  And, as it turns out, we changed our mind halfway there!  And the place we found was perfect – if only we had a bit more time to stay. It would have been fun to check out the NY State Park a bit and talk with the “neighbors” who were so helpful the night we pulled in.

We just have to stay focused, keep planning and find a way to get out there full time. While the daily grind might be necessary right now, we have to work to keep it temporary and not lose sight of what we truly want.

A fun filled, adventurous life on the road.

Home Safe & Sound…

We are finally home after a long day of driving.

It’s bittersweet!

It has it’s positives…unlimited running water, unlimited wifi and access to all the TV channels, but it’s not our trailer, it’s not our dream of life on the road.  This trip was definitely our longest trip in the trailer and the most consecutive time we’ve spent in it.

We have come to realize that we love, love, love life in the trailer.  We are much more relaxed as a family even with all the crazy issues we’ve encountered.  It’s a giant step out of the rat race, a whole other view on life – one that I could easily adopt.

For now, we are home and already planning our next trip.  We are also working towards our goal to be on the road full time.

Last night we stopped and spent the night at Darien Lake State Park – not to mistaken with Darien Lake Theme Park and Resort Campgrounds, however it is right down the road from that.   We pulled up to the front gate around 7:30 pm to find out everyone who works there had gone home.  There was a white board sign telling campers to find a site and just check back in the morning.  We were really impressed with how beautifully green and lush the park was.  All the sites were well maintained.  We found a great site with the help of an older couple who were camping in the park.  It was right next to the washrooms so that was an added bonus.  It took us about 10 minutes to set up in the pouring rain, but once we were all inside the trailer it felt like we had arrived home.

Miss Fancy was excited that we were able to find the channel that had a special on featuring her favourite singer – Miss Fancy made me smile as she sang along loudly to all the songs.  Our youngest two children played by my feet while I prepared dinner for everyone.  It was very cozy and relaxing, and stopping for the night helped break up a very long drive and we were able to get a great nights sleep!

The more we camp the more we realize all the things we need to have.  Important things like fuses in all the necessary sizes, extention cords in different lengths, some tools and even simple things like a toaster.  We will be stocking up on those things before our next big trip.

We are all counting the days until we are back on the road, even if it’s just to a local state park.  In the meantime I’m going to take a long, hot shower and not care about how much water I’m using and whether or not we’ll have to dump the tanks!

With Great Power….

We are finally back in the good ole US of A!  We had a wonderful time the past couple days at Long Point Provincial Park.  It’s always so sad to leave Canada, more so when we do not have any set plans to return.  I really wish we could have spent at least another week at Long Point but we decided to leave today so we could split the long drive into two days, stopping to camp tonight.

The drive was mostly uneventful up to the border.  The trailer was pulling really well and easy, we were even able to stop and get some Tim Horton’s on the way!  Mmmm…coffee and Timbits!

The border on the other hand was super eventful.  It started with us getting caught in the wrong line at the border.  The lines were long and we didn’t see the sign for “RV’s” at the far right of the border until we were stuck in a line on the left side – it just wasn’t visible.  I frantically tried to see if people would let us cut to the other side so we could be in the correct lane, but as I hung out my window people would either look the other way or shake their heads in shame at us for not “obeying” the rules.  Apparently there is no excuse for unawareness when there’s a trailer attached to your vehicle.   It amazes me how incredibly helpful and understanding other RV owners are but the tolerance level from non RV owners is extremely low.

Since we were stuck in our lane we had to go through the border hoping we would be able to make it out the other side.  Maneuvering in tight spaces is very difficult when hauling a 36 foot object behind us.  We were also hoping to get an understanding border agent too, we’ve always had great experiences at the border so we weren’t too worried.  Unfortunately, we were not met with understanding at all, instead we were met by an extremely young guy who thought being in a position of authority meant he could treat us as rudely as he wanted.  He snapped at us and kept muttering things under his breath and when we would politely ask him to repeat himself he would yell at us sarcastically.  I was seriously shocked at the way he was treating us and doing it in front of our kids causing them to get upset and stressed.  We did our best to keep smiling so the kids would keep calm.  I’ve always found that if we can our countenance calm and composed that the children will react the same.

He then asked to see in our trailer – actually what he did was tell us to give him our trailer keys and also give him the keys in our ignition.  He was extremely agitated and tried to open one of doors with the wrong set of keys.  I leaned out my window to let him know he had to use the other keys…I was more concerned for our trailer and the fact that he was being so rough with the doors.  I get that he’s doing his job, and by all means, he can  search our whole trailer all he wants, we have nothing to hide but I don’t think damaging our home away from home is part of his job description.  When he didn’t pull our steps down fully and he jumped up on them when they were half folded in I just about jumped out of the truck.  The thought of my children kept me in my seat.  I was so disappointed because we’ve always been treated with respect before.

As it turned out, he suspected us of being trailer thieves – the kind with 3 kids and a baby in the back and crayons strewn across the seats– and we were escorted to the side and asked to exit our vehicle with all of the children. We were then met by two other border agents who were so nice!!!  I was so thankful for that!  The kids were all freaked out by this point.  Daddy brought them into the building while I gave the the new border agents our trailer Registration and helped them find the VIN number.  They explained to me that our licence plates were reported stolen but it’s obviously a mistake and they just needed to figure it out.  It was so nice to be dealing with people who were reasonable and mature! 

It was actually a dealer licence plate with the exact same number as our camper licence plate that was stolen.  So whoever stole the dealer car, thank you for all the excitement in our day!  When we finally made it back to the truck – all the new border agents waving goodbye to all our children – the Little Professor very solemnly asked us “Why did the police arrest us Mummy?!!” his eyes so big and his face a little pale.  I felt so bad for him.  We explained that we were detained, not arrested and that if someone had stolen our trailer, isn’t it great they would have found it so fast!  He eventually agreed it was probably a good thing, but I really wish the first border agent could have used a little more discretion when dealing with us.  It’s disappointing our little ones had to encounter such immaturity from a person of authority but in the end it’ll be a good life learning experience.

As a wise man once said….With great power comes great responsibility!

Before our brief incarceration we encountered a bomber plane – at least that’s what I thought it was.  It was amazing!  He was swooping – probably not the official word for planes – all around us…and at one point it looked like he was coming straight for us.  It was very cool.  By the time I was able to get my camera out he had started to leave the area.  I kept hoping he’d come back but I guess it was time for him to head home and it was time for us too.  It’s not every day we get “swooped” by a bomber.