Matthew, Seth, Lizzie and I embarked on a little adventure this morning...we're on a road trip! Destination: Alberta.
It was a spontaneous decision - well, as spontaneous a decision as one can make when needing to pack up three kidlets and for oneself. I've been thinking about this trip for a while, but just decided last week that we were going to brave it, and I have been running around since then trying to pull things together: picking up dvds from the library; buying an ipad holder for the car; packing the kids' backpacks with dollar store things and markers and paper; finishing up a truckload of laundry; packing our clothes and sundry (not quite the kitchen sink) into bins; leaving the house in a semblance of order and cleanliness; and contacting the friends we hope to see while we're there.
At just past 3:30 this afternoon, we checked into our mid-point hotel, after driving 700 kilometres in seven hours and ten minutes. We have another full day of driving tomorrow. Not bad for a day of driving with three crazy kids huh?! They were actually amazingly cooperative...and rather glassy-eyed after watching about five hours of movies! Well, Lizzie half-heartedly watched two movies on my ipad but she mostly just coloured and worked on letters with her Leapster writing thingamabob, and chatted (endlessly and about nothing of consequence) with me.
We took three quick breaks on route...to top up with gas and to play two-minute tag to stretch our legs and to pass out sandwiches and snacks. Thankfully, it's been pretty chilly and drizzly out all day, so there was incentive to get back into the warmth of the van and continue driving. :)
A few highlights of my otherwise-pretty-quiet/boring day:
* Keeping in mind that we left our home at 8:20 this morning, I laughed out loud when Seth asked me in a plaintive voice, at 9:15am, "when will we be there?" What a classic line! I've explained to the kids for days already that we will be driving for two whole days to arrive at our destination, but I guess when one has seen little of the world two full days of driving must be experienced to be believed. After seven hours, I think he's now a believer!
* Around noon, while gazing out at the highway, I was blown away when right in front of my eyes a hawk swooped down and grabbed a small black bird in its talons. I gasped. I was just as startled when, a moment later, I saw the bird miraculously escape those vicious daggers and fly away, apparently unharmed. It was amazing - like the windshield was my very own giant 3D movie.
* I loved watching all of the mama birds flying around with their newborn spring babies. I could all-too-easily put myself in those mama birds' feathers, watching in horror as their babies would inexpertly swoop and almost crash land before spiralling back upwards again with a frantic flutter of wings. After watching some of those antics, I couldn't help but think that some of those mama birds might just want to tuck their little ones back into the nest for a while longer. Or maybe that's just my sentiment speaking.
* I laughed out loud another time, when I saw a series of road signs that I thought was funny. We had just passed through a larger city, and I saw two huge signs: one said in large block letters "IMPORTANT INTERSECTION AHEAD;" the next read something like "Global Mobilization Road ahead." Finally, the intersection of interest came into view. The name of this all-important road? "Pinkie's Road." For some reason, that just tickled my funny bone.
* I really do think that Canadian landscape is spectacular in all of its variety. I love it all: majestic mountains; undulating hills rolling through lush prairies; marshy land and land that looks barren and wind-swept; lots and lots of black-earth farmland; and everything in between. I love driving, and this is some of the best of it. The variety is also one of the reasons I love that I'm driving with my kids...I want them to see and love this great land like I do.
Anyway, dinner is done and bedtime routines are about to begin. I'll be glad an hour from now when at least two of the three are sleeping and I can focus a little bit of energy on working on Part 2 of my Learning posts.