The Odyssey

Off we go. Join us for live updates along our 16-hour drive to the East Coast of Canada.

It’s our annual two-week summer roadtrip to visit T’s grandparents in New Brunswick.

I love family roadtrips for many reasons – bonding, listening to music in the car, taking unplanned detours, delicious food stops, snacking on junk food, getting lost in thought and feelings of hope, and dreaming about the future together.

In the last 7 years, we’ve had many memorable roadtrips with T – my favourite being the week-long trip to Thunder Bay during the first pandemic summer in 2020 and driving through breathtaking Lake Superior (pictured at top – does not do the views justice).

As far back as Homer’s Odyssey, the concept of the journey has long fascinated people – the idea that you don’t finish the quest the same person as you started.

The destination is the cherry on top, the journey and all the milestones along the way are the prize.

This year’s quest got off to a sputtering start – a day late! The hubby and I both got sick (kids and their damn germs) and I was stuck in bed the day we were supposed to leave.

Alas, a day lost in the grand scheme is not a big deal. The sun is shining and here we go!

10:00 a.m. – Kingston, Ontario

Two hours into our drive, we took a bathroom break at the En Route in Kingston.

I was excited to see a Popeye’s Chicken, because only on roadtrips do I have a craving for fried chicken in the morning. Alas, it was closed.

This is the first roadtrip we’re bringing bikes with us! It’s going to be exciting to explore the trails by T’s grandparents’ cottage.

The hubby installed a bike hitch on our car. It’s holding up well so far. 14 hours to go!

12:10 p.m. – Ontario-Quebec Border

The trick to surviving a long drive with T is taking frequent breaks.

This playground at the Montreal side of the border is a regular milestone for us. There was a time when T was dwarfed by this sculpture. Now it’s a breeze for him to climb.

4:00 p.m. – Outside Quebec City

One of our favourite pitstops on the drive out East is Normandin, a restaurant with delicious pasta that T loves – and what made him decide he likes pasta sauce with meat.

I like their BBQ chicken.

We’re having an early dinner then have 6 hours of driving to go.

6:00 p.m. – Somewhere in Quebec

T is passed out, which is great.

In our early roadtrips, he would resist napping and we dreaded when he fell asleep because he’d wake up a short while later, very disregulated and have a meltdown that’d last for a while; and driving off the road seemed like the way to end our suffering.

Now, he can nap 1-2 hours and wake up pleasant.

Small blessings. 😊🙏

7:10 p.m. – Near Quebec – New Brunswick Border

This part of the drive is so beautiful – despite the dark clouds on the horizon.

I’m thankful the hubby and I can tag team this drive – 3 hours on, 3 hours off – as it makes the 16 hour marathon bearable.

T just looked out the window and exclaimed, “Look at all those trees. Good job trees. Making all that air for us.”

Yes, I think we’re nearing the point of delirium. About 3.5 hours to go. We can do this!

7:25 p.m – Even Nearer to New Brunswick Border

Nothing like a joke to break the tension.

T was getting cranky and acting and talking like a brat.

Then this beautiful rainbow appeared through the dark clouds.

“There’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,” T said.

“I already found my two pots of gold,” the hubby said.

“Papa’s not a pot of gold, he’s trash,” T said, trying to get my goat.

I quickly snapped back, “And you’re the leprechaun, cuz you’re short and annoying.”

I expected T to snap back angrily but he just started laughing out loud.

Then we all laughed together.

Small blessings. 😊🌈

8:40 p.m. AT – New Brunswick border

We hit New Brunswick, finally – 3 provinces in one day – and one hour ahead than Eastern Time.

It’s the home stretch. 3 hours to go.

I’ll be taking over for the rest of the drive as soon as we hit the next rest stop.

We have about an hour left of daylight and when it gets dark, the drive gets a bit hairy cuz you’re always on the lookout for moose. 😆

T is still in really good spirits. At some point soon, we will shove a phone in front of his face to sedate him for the final stretch of the drive. 🤣

See you at the finish line!

12:15 a.m. AT – New Brunswick

We arrived. I’m tired. Will write more later. 😆

43 thoughts on “The Odyssey

  1. Wow, what a trip! Given that it takes 2 hours to travel from east to west in Ireland, it always fascinated me when people embark on cross-country trips in places like Canada or USA! I find that too many families are jumping on planes these days for an all-inclusive resort-style holiday when it’s time for an adventure. Everyone seems to have forgotten how amazing road trips can be. The time you spend talking and playing lots of fun games with your child will help you bond with them like never before, plus you’ll see a carryover when the road trip ends. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    1. Thanks Aiva. It’s amazing indeed to think about the difference between cross North America roadtrips versus Europe. I’d be happy to do a Roadtrip across Europe one day. I bet we can cover quite a bit of countries. 🙂 I can’t believe you can do Ireland in 2 hours.

      And yes, roadtrips provide great bonding moments and adventure.

  2. Wow! Quite the journey ( and I’m an RV person!) loved the way we, the readers, got to travel with you. And lol at your humor. Enjoy the trip! Looking forward to reading about your adventures!!!

    1. Thanks Vickie. I ended up getting quite the sick, grr, the last two days. Just getting out of it now. Look forward to posting more updates soon. Hope you’re enjoying your summer!

  3. I’m such a fan of a good road trip as well. Glad to hear that the new bikes are coming along on the journey! It’s neat to see how much the weather changed from Ontario to New Brunswick. I love that there was even a rainbow, which always makes the gloomy skies tolerable. I laughed so hard at your comeback about T being the leprechaun that I nearly just spit out my tea! So good! Enjoy your time out east!

    1. Thanks Linda. It’s been an ok trip so far. I ended up getting quite sick the last two days. Not sure what it was but very high fever. Not very good luck with vacation time this year so far.

      I’m glad the T comeback made you laugh. It sure made me and us laugh out loud too.

      Hope you enjoy your long weekend ahead!

      1. Sorry to hear that you weren’t feeling well. It’s never fun to be sick, but it’s even less fun when you’re not at home and don’t even get to sleep in your own bed. Hopefully it’s out of your system and you’re able to enjoy the remainder of your holidays.

        I had all of last week off as we went on our annual Algonquin trip the weekend before the long weekend. We had pretty decent weather, but the mosquitoes in the evening were awful. I’m covered in mosquito bites, but thankfully they’re becoming less itchy now.

      2. Thanks Linda. It’s actually been quite awful the last week. I have pneumonia and it’s as awful as it sounds. Not how I wanted to spend my vacation. Haha. I hope to be on the mend soon.

        I can’t wait to hear more about your Algonquin back country camping trip soon!

      3. Oh gosh, sorry to hear that. I had pneumonia once when I was younger and it was pretty rough. I remember having to go to the hospital because of it. Hopefully you’ll feel better soon and that everyone else doesn’t manage to come down with it.

    1. Thanks Rebecca. It’s been wonderful so far. I hope you and your family are doing ok. Your son and community are in my thoughts.

  4. M and I have been talking about a long road trip, when I have more time. I like the idea of stopping in interesting places along way.
    It seems that you have mastered travelling with a kid – good for you guys!
    That area looks gorgeous!
    Rest up and enjoy! Blessings!

    1. Thank you! I recommend a Roadtrip. It’s a great bonding experience. 😊 And please do share with us if you do go!

  5. The Odyssey – I love it. Laughed at “driving off the road seemed like the way to end our suffering.” Oh yes, I remember some drives like that. I love that you all are off to adventure together. And your small blessings – they really add up! Have a great time!! <3 <3 <3

    1. Thanks Wynne! I know you can definitely relate. Your trip looked amazing and I hope you’re settling into the new job ok this week!

  6. I love road trips. But oh my gosh, that was quite a long one you just did! Fortunately, the trip went quite smoothly. Now you deserve a good day of rest after all that driving. Have fun in New Brunswick!

    1. Thanks Bama! 😊 It was long but we do it this way to save both time and money from staying overnight somewhere. It’s quite the adventure for sure. And now we’re all about pass out again to sleep. Happy Wednesday morning/Tuesday evening! 😊

  7. So sorry you both got sick but at least it didn’t happen when you got to T’s grandparents. T has come a long way with his road trips, how nice! Looking forward to your next post and have fun!

    1. Thanks Diane. We arrived at midnight and let’s hope we don’t get anyone sick. T still has the sniffles and it’s making me nervous. 😆 We might need a pot of your soup!

  8. I was wondering when you were going to go on your summer vacay! I love to live vicariously through your pictures of such a gorgeous place with cool temps. Looks like fun has already started! Have a safe trip. Can’t wait to hear more!

    1. Thank you. It’s our annual visit to my in laws in beautiful and serene New Brunswick. Will be happy to share this beautiful province in future updates. 😊 Hope you enjoy your weekend too!

      1. It’s been a year already? It just flew by! We are very lucky to get to visit every summer.

    1. Thank you Deb. We’re 9.5 hours into the drive and are starting to get squirrely. 😆 Just gotta survive 5.5 hours more.

  9. Safe travels, and have a wonderful time, Ab! There is something so magical about road trips – there is so much to observe and experience. Biking at the grandparents cottage sounds like such a joy!!

    For some reason the reference to Homer’s concept of the journey gave me chills, and I’ve getting them again writing this! I think it’s this: “you don’t finish the quest the same person as you started” and the final destination is just an added benefit. I’m realizing I’m reaching my destination a different person than when I set out on my journey. Thanks for the lovely wisdom this morning, Ab. 😊

    1. Thanks Erin. I know you went on a nice drive yourself recently. There is something for sure magical about roadtrips, whether literally or figuratively. And I know you can relate given your own multi-year journey. 😊

      Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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