During our long drive we planned to make some strategic stops along the way to break up the trip. Since we were driving through Sudbury, we took a couple hours and visited the science center (we thought it was funny that it was located on 100 Ramsey Lake Road). The science center had a lot of cool stuff including some giant bugs from Malaysia which we got to hold. After the science museum we drove by the big nickel and snapped some touristic photos. Then it was a couple more hours driving. Midway between Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie there is a city called Elliot Lake and while Elliot would have loved to make a pit stop here, we decided not to. It was too far off our route so instead, we hit a motel in a place called Blind River.
A visit to the Aylmer area would not be complete without a visit to the kids’ most active Canadian mail buddy. A visit to Gump’s house is like a trip to a Southwestern Ontario botanical garden, and we got the full summer tour. We also managed to sneak in a load of laundry while doing the tour and chasing some chickens. Thanks again! It’s always fun seeing you!
While camping we also did some visiting with Farmor in Copenhagen (i.e. the very little village in Ontario, Canada, not the capital city of Denmark). Farmor puts the kids to work painting concrete and they let their creativity loose making some unique paint jobs like Elliot turning an owl into a penguin, and Sienna painting a rainbow serpent (not featured). When they got tired of painting the cousins hung around inside, playing games and relaxing by the TV.
Our first attempt at family tent camping was in Port Burwell with Angela, Pete, Kenzy, and Logan. Our first night Farmor and Penguin (aunt Suzy) came to visit and hang out by the campfire while Crystal, Derek, Kyle and Owen came to visit on another night. Although the weather was a bit on the cool side, the kids still braved the water and got in a nice day at the beach. We also tried to catch fish along the rocks next to the pier, but the water was too murky and the fish were not biting. To make up for the missing fish the kids toasted a lot of marshmallows and we took turns at telling spooky stories by the campfire. All in all a very successful time where everybody had fun. We are already looking forward to next year!
A couple of years ago we started doing yearly road trips and it turns out that this is a way of travelling that the entire family really enjoys. This year we first flew to Toronto and got some time in with the family before we headed north to the Georgian Bay, drove through Saul St. Marie to visit friends in Minnesota and then explored a bit of Wisconsin and Chicago as we headed back east towards Toronto again. We put more than 5,000 km (3,100 miles) of mileage on the car during our trip and in between visiting friends and family we got to see and experience a bunch of new things. Fishing, kayaking, and pontoon boating were all previously untried activities for most of us, and on the “never-seen-before” list we added a giant nickel, a real ass, lots of inukshuks,some poison ivy, and a black bear in the wild … or at least a wild black bear near the highway. All in all it was yet another very successful trip for the diary. What is extraordinary about this trip, though, is that I managed to keep somewhat on top of all the picture taking/sorting along the way. Hence, I am practically done going through the 2,145 pictures I took and I will be posting the approximately 275 which made the cut in the days to come (For those who have been looking in vain for the pictures from our last Canada/US trip in 2016, they have now been posted. Click here and scroll down).
Farmor lives together with Gump (Darryl) a little bit down the road from Uncle Derek and Aunt Crystal. There is always lots to do at their house. The pigs need to be feeded, vegetables need to be picked, wagon rides need to be taken, driveways need to be decorated, and birds need to be nurtured (the little bird flew into a window and Sienna held it in her warm soft hand until it was feeling better and was ready to take off again).
I am little bit behind on the updates, but I’ll try and catch up today and tomorrow.
First off, I can tell that the 18 hours of transportation from Kaj Munks Vej in Denmark to Calton Line Road in Canada went amazingly well. I base this on the fact that the elderly lady closest to us on the airplane commented on our kids’ very good behavior 7 hours into the flight, and that the airline didn’t miss a single piece of luggage (for the first time in 3 years), and that none of the kids threw any tantrums whatsoever despite serious boredom, lack of space and overtiredness.
The past few days the kids have been enjoying the new surroundings and hanging out with the family in Canada. Sienna took one night to adapt to the jetlag, so she is back on her normal schedule. She spent all day and her first night at grandma’s/farmor’s house yesterday (“farmor” is the Danish word for grandma. It means “father’s mother” and Shawn’s mom prefers Sienna and Elliot to use this title rather than grandma).
Elliot is a little bit off his rocker. He is having lots of fun too, but he has a hard time beating the jetlag and he refuses to sleep in the night. He has also been bullying his older cousin Logan, ripping most of the plants apart and he almost stabbed one of the dogs at farmor’s and Gump’s house with a pen.
I am missing my photo editing software, so I am challenged on the picture side, but here are a few pictures of my little troopers playing outside Uncle Derek’s (Shawn’s brother) and Aunt Crystal’s house.
On November 7, 2002 I realized who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I wrote it in an email to a dear friend… “I still think he has a funny shuffly walk and that he dresses like a nerd, but I don’t care anymore”… 645 days later we got married and tomorrow we have our 5 year anniversary. I love him more than ever and I just have to look at our kids to be reminded that we are a match made in heaven. Otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to produce two such perfect children.
We are taking the kids on a little trip to Oslo, Norway to celebrate. Firstly, we are going to the Museum of National History to look at some dinosaurs (like Curious George) and then we are having lunch in a nice park called Vigelandsparken. When I was living in Norway (in 1996) I used to go to this park all the time. It would be minus 25 degrees Celsius and everything was covered in snow. I would sit there for hours listening to Toni Braxton and fantasizing about how my life would be when I hooked up with the man of my dreams. Hence it is a very appropriate place to be celebrating our anniversary.