Tuesday, August 04, 2015

7.5 hours in the car--with twins

We went off grid.  Away for the August long weekend...(Canadians have a holiday August 3) and travelled to see a friend at his family cottage in Minnesota.  It was billed as a 4.5 hour trip by the directions that the Professor printed out.  Our friend said, well---maybe up to 6 hours.  It was 7.5 hours -- each way...with four year old twins.  In between multiple interruptions, I did some knitting on the Turkish Lace Camisole while the Professor drove.

What was the delay?  Road construction, a little line up at the border crossing, and about 50 billion pit stops.  We had to visit every rest area and water every tree and plant between here and Minnesota...and a second time on the way home.  No kidding.  However, I am the first to proudly say: we had no accidents in the car!

Meanwhile, while away from the Internet for the first time in eons, the CBC published my opinion piece.  Due to the holiday weekend, I'm not sure many people read it, but it's live here:

Environment Canada air quality system needs a megaphone

Although the skies here are now clear, this has been a terrible forest fire season--and Canada does not have nearly the air quality alert system (or the weather warning system) that the US has.  I was reminded of this when we were alerted by weather radio, early Sunday morning, to a big storm near the lake cottage where we visited.  This is something the US is doing very well!  Maybe Environment Canada/Provincial/local governments/health care systems can learn from it.

I wanted to share fun lake photos of boys digging, but the Professor (and possibly his camera) have now rushed off to a conference at UC-Berkeley.  Here's a brief description I wrote, in part, to a friend earlier today:

We just returned from our friend's family cottage in northern Minnnesota.  It was gorgeous in terms of location and really a fascinating old family retreat, full of family treasures dating back over 100 years.  (Including working pump organ, hymnals from 1908, and other amazing handmade woven, braided, quilted, rug hooked, wood working treasures.)  Downside is that a 320 mile trip took 7.5 hours each way because of construction, border crossing, and two boys who needed to make a ton of bathroom and food breaks.  It was a very long trip! We stopped by the road and watered the plants many times between Winnipeg and Ottertail, MN. I also saw the inside of every single rest stop.

We really enjoyed seeing our friend though and the boys spent many happy hours digging into the sand, wading in the water, taking a boat ride, and checking out the cottage and lakeside wildlife.  

There is nothing like rushing out to see a blue heron on the dock at 6:45 AM!  Well, maybe playing with minnows in a bucket (a close second) and watching all the water come alive in a temporary lake water aquarium in the cottage living room... 

That...and s'mores.  The boys had s'mores for the first time this trip, and it clearly was an enormous hit. :)
Hopefully, I can share a photo or two sometime soon.  

In the meanwhile, Happy August!

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