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.

 

A Trailer-full….

I’m amazed at how much laundry we generate while camping!  Today we had to do laundry.  We held off as long as we could but we were at the end of wash cloths, towels and under clothes.   Everything gets so dirty very quickly.  I was hoping that some how camping in a trailer would help us avoid the dirt, but no such thing.  Most of the time we – and by we, I actually mean the kids – are filthy!  It just comes with the territory.

At the last campground it was all about the grass stains but here it’s sand, sand and more sand!  We just can’t seem to avoid it.  The kids love to jump in it and dig in it…I even caught the Princess burying her flip flops in it – thank goodness, they would have been impossible to find.

Nana L took the kids down to the beach while Mummy and Daddy had the fun job of hauling the laundry into town – the Milk Monkey came with us.  The kids changed into their bathing suits and waited patiently as little Miss Fancy (the name we’re trying out for our cousin as she takes so much care with how her clothes match.  There’s always a head band or hat that goes along too.  Soooo cute!) finished getting herself ready.  We all turned around to look as the trailer door was dramatically swung open and out came little Miss Fancy in her beautiful, little ruffled white bikini with a matching sunhat and earrings.  She looked like she was ready to sip pina coladas poolside at a 5 star tropical resort. Loved it!!!  She was 10 going on 18!  However, I explained to Miss Fancy that one trip down to the beach would wreck her beautiful bathing suit and promised we’d take her to a pool one day soon, where she could wear it without damaging it with sand particles caught in the fabric weave.  She agreed to put on an older bathing suit and then the kids were off to build sand castles.

Now as I write this our trailer is packed with sleeping family.  We have Daddy and Mummy, Nana L and our dear friend Baba (that’s what our children call her), the Milk Monkey, the Princess and the Little Professor, Miss Fancy and my brother Tim all sleeping in our trailer.  You would think with so many people we’d be completely full but no, we still have one more spot available, so if anyone wants to join us….   You’d have to be a little bit crazy!  Having all these visitors makes it feel more like camping and less like a roaming home.  Having more family around means more hugs for the kids, more love and more people to take them to the “other” park, the one that needs an adult accompanying them because we can’t see it from our site.  Having more family around means lots more love and fun!!

 

Bronte Creek Provincial Park….

Today we left Bronte Creek Provincial Park and headed off to the next campground on our agenda.  It was kind of nostalgic camping at Bronte after all the years I spent going there as a child.  Our visits were always day trip ones because way back then wasn’t a campground.

  

I’m so glad they added the camping!  I’m hoping we get to go back soon.  The kids had so much fun and the views were so beautiful.  I wish we could have spent more time there but I’m also excited to continue on with our adventure.  The days at Bronte went by quick because we spent so much time running around with all the celebrations going on.  We did manage to hop over to the “day use” side of Bronte and the kids had a chance to experience the “play barn”.  Being there brought back so many great childhood memories.

Yesterday my little cousin officially joined our family for the following month – cute name for her to follow!  I’m surprised at how well she has fit in to our family.   I thought for sure our gang would have driven her crazy by now, making her regret her decision to spend the next 4 weeks with us but she’s already very comfortable and thoroughly enjoying herself!  She’s super helpful and I’m already beginning to wish she’d never leave!!!

Something exciting we saw today…a turtle getting ready to lay eggs.  We never actually saw her lay the eggs.  She was getting scared with so many people watching her.  We took a few pictures and waited, then decided to give her some privacy.  All the kids really thought it was cool to be able to be so close to the turtle.

   

Four Feet too Short….

We made it to Canada without any major issues – yay!  We were able to get on the road by 2:30am and arrived at the campground around 1:30pm.  We set up the trailer only to find the electric hook up was over 50 feet away.  We had a long 15 amp extension cord that we were able to hook up to using our adapter, however as soon as we turned on the air conditioner it blew the circuit.

Going without A/C was not an option – it was a sauna in the trailer.

We had to find a 30amp extension cord – apparently not an easy task!  We eventually found one at an RV dealership.  As it turns out they are not only hard to find but are fairly expensive too – and by fairly I mean very!  We opted for the 25foot one for $75, rather than the 50foot one for $140.  When we got back to the campsite and hooked it up we found out it was about 4feet too short.  No biggie, we figured we’d just move the trailer up a couple feet, except that it turned out we had blown a fuse too and couldn’t lower the hitch.  So back in the truck we climbed and off we went in search of a fuse.  It was around 9pm by the time we finally got everything working properly and in the right place!  By that point we had spent about 19 hours in the truck and we were all a little punchy.

It could only get better from there and it did.  We had a wonderful time with friends and family at the Milk Monkey’s baby dedication.  It was so nice to be able to share that day with everyone.  The next day we celebrated the Princess’s 5th birthday and the Milk Monkey’s 1st birthday with all our friends and family too.  It was a great weekend…I’m so thankful to everyone who took the time to be with us during this special weekend.  We thoroughly enjoyed seeing everyone!  I wish we could do that more often!

We put the extra big sink in the trailer to good use!

Daddy Says… The Milk Monkey turns one.

Today the Milk Monkey turned 1 year old, and of course we celebrated in our favorite way – camping! It’s amazing how quickly the year has passed. Our little guy has grown so much.

We took the trailer on our first really long haul, and after a long weekend of fun and adventure we are all exhausted. This post is being emailed in, so hopefully it gets through ok! Once we are able to secure an Internet connection for the computer, we’ll have a lot more stories to share.

Until then – Happy Birthday Milk Monkey!!!

The Milk Monkey enjoying a birthday dinner of smoked ribs ala Honestly Daddy.

The Night Before Canada…

I’m exhausted!

If you ever want a good work out, spend the day packing a trailer!!  My body hurts all over…especially my legs!  That first step up to the trailer is so high, it’s like a lunge every time.

We had most of the trailer packed and ready to go, but there’s always the last few things…which turn into a few more things and even a few more.

Now, we are packed!

Since we’re leaving in the middle of the night, we decided to sleep the first part of the night in the trailer, that way we don’t have to bring all our bedding out at 2am.  We really, really need to get bedding and pillows just for the trailer!!  At the moment everyone is asleep except me.  Daddy went to sleep at 8, so that he’ll be rested while driving through the night.  On a long trip like this – 9 to 10 hours – we try to do a good portion of it during the night so the kids can sleep.  That way we don’t have to stop as often.

I really enjoy long trips in the car, especially with my wonderful husband.  We talk and laugh – it’s usually the gasping for breath with tears rolling down my cheeks kind of laughing.  We eat sandwiches and snacks and drink coffee.  While the kids are sleeping we quietly listen to music, usually something that my amazingly patient husband has to suffer through – this time it’ll be songs from the show Smash…yay!!  I usually end up playing a game or two on my laptop, read my kindle and I always, always spend time texting my friend Superwomen!!! She’s the best!  

What I do not do is drive.  That’s better left to Daddy.  He prefers to do it, I prefer to let him – especially now with the trailer.

I look forward to the long drives, especially the ones to Canada!  It’s always a nice feeling knowing that I’m heading home to see my friends and family.  This time is even more special because we are having the Milk Monkey’s baby dedication.  I have family travelling from all over so they can attend.  It’ll be so nice to see everyone.  I’m so excited!!!

I guess I should try to get a little sleep before we leave!

It’s Finally Finished!!!

After weeks and weeks of endless sewing I have finally finished the quilt for my Princess!

I’m pleased with how it turned out.

It’s not perfect,

but it’s beautiful!

What I really love about it is that I finished it.  Lack of follow through has always been one of my flaws.  I start many projects but I rarely finish them.  I tend to lose interest before I get to the end.  As I get older – or as I like to call it…more mature – I’m learning the importance of finishing things to the end.

It turns out, finished projects are much more beautiful than the unfinished ones.

I really enjoyed sewing it, I just didn’t enjoy the looming deadline.  A month is not enough time to complete a quilt that size.

I’m so happy with how it turned out…the colours, the pattern and even how it has the wrinkly quilt look to it.

My sweet little Princess is going to love it!  I can’t wait to see her expression when she sees it.

   

Soon, I will start picking out fabric and a design for my next quilt.  I’ll be making it for my Little Professor, for Christmas – months and months  from now!

Soccer Pics and Solar Panels…

Our weekend went like this…

Saturday morning the kids had soccer pictures so they had to be at the field half an hour earlier than usual looking their best.  The Little Professor and I had been talking about cutting his hair, it had grown too long and he doesn’t like it when I style it for him.

He says I make it stick up too high.

I say it sticks up because it’s too long.

We both agree keeping it short is the way to go.

We decided to cut it last minute, so that put us behind in our schedule.  With a lot of rushing we were able to make it to the field on time.  I gave strict warnings not to get dirty.

No running around and no digging in the dirt…just stay clean until the pictures are taken!

That didn’t last long…the Princess was all over the place, rolling around in the grass and digging in the dirt.  When I reminded her of the no dirt rule she responded…”It’s not dirt Mummy, it’s sand!”  Then the Professor came running over with pieces of grass all over him, all sweaty and flushed and something on his shirt.  Apparently, one of the other boys was throwing grass and a blade landed in his mouth which made him throw up…on his shirt.   I guess all those times I told him not to put grass in his mouth because dogs pee on it really made an impression on him.  Thank goodness for baby wipes!!!

I managed to get both of them clean and you can’t even tell in the pictures.

    

The rest of Saturday and most of Sunday was spent shopping and packing for our first big vacation with the trailer.  We’ll be driving all the way to Canada (10 hours) for the Milk Monkey’s baby dedication.  There was a lot of eye rolling and sighing going on at the stores.  It makes for a very distracting shopping trip and as a result we ended up going to 3 different Walmarts in one weekend.  Not fun!  One of those times we came across a travel trailer in the parking lot.  The owners had unhooked it and were off somewhere.  It had what looked like a solar panel propped up on the ground charging the battery.  Super cool!!!  It left us full of questions.  Did Walmart mind that they had unhooked and left it unattended?  I wonder why they did that?  Where did they get the cool solar panel?

I needed to know!

So I found a scrap of paper and left them a little note and put my email address on it.  We tucked it into the door handle to their trailer.  I don’t know if they’ll get it, they should, and if they do I’m not sure if they’ll email us back but it was worth a try!  If they do, I’ll let you know!

Later…back at the trailer…

    

We started packing our things.  I also put down some of that rubbery shelf lining to try to keep things from moving while the trailer is on the move.  Meanwhile, Daddy un-boxed his new smoker/bbq –it was a late birthday gift– for travelling.  It turns out it’s too big to fit in the storage compartment of the trailer.  That won’t stop him!  He’ll find a place for it.  He’s pretty excited to smoke something…I think it’ll be ribs first!

School Begins Again…

Today was the first day of Grade 1 and Grade 3 in our house.

No, the Professor and the Princess didn’t get dolled up in new outfits, they didn’t have new school supplies and they didn’t pose for pictures.

It was actually rather uneventful.

Aside from the amazing little Milk Monkey trying so hard to participate from the side lines!

School took place in our living room and we were all super comfy in our pj’s.

I enjoyed a nice cup of coffee as I began the journey of teaching my Princess to read and write.

The Professor easily fell back into his normal school routine.

It all feels so natural now.

Of course, there were the usual moments of holding back my frustration, especially while the Princess learned to write the letter “A a”.

Her tiny little fingers gripped the pencil as she tried to form the curved part and then connect the “stick” just right.

I wanted so badly to be able to help her do it perfect but instead I encouraged her gently “That’s it, you almost have it!  You’ll get it on the next  one!  Keep trying!  Remember it’s a lower case ‘a’ keep it between the lines.”

She was trying so hard her forehead had little wrinkles and her nose was scrunched,

her little freckles displaced – I love those freckles!

She blew through the math, at times losing patience with me “Mummy, I get it!” and she did get it!

She’s so smart!

The Professor and I came to an agreement, he’s now on summer work load.  It just made more sense.

He’s still 6 years old and he blew through Grade 2 in less than 8 months!

It’s time to slow down a bit.  We’ll supplement with lots of reading and some fun projects!

Today I added up his grade average for last year – 99.2%!

His response was “That’s it?!  I’ll have to try harder this year!”

I reassured him he did awesome this past year, he definitely doesn’t need to worry, just keep up the excellent work!

I’m a big fan of my Little Professor!!!

We made a pact – this year I’ll try to be more patient and he’ll keep on working as hard as usual!!

Just in case I haven’t mentioned it enough…

I absolutely adore my children!!!!