Since today was a short(er) driving day we slept in until 7 (ahhhhh….) There was no continental breakfast at the hotel so I made the kids Oatmeal (that tea kettle I brought is definitely proving itself useful!) while I tried organizing our stuff.
We love Candy! I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I have prepackaged little baggies of bulk barn candy for the kids. Every day they get a new package and can eat it whenever they want but when it’s gone .. it’s gone (until the next day). Today I introduced a new rule (it makes me feel better about just handing them a bag of candy to eat at 8am): In order to get your bag of candy you must pass a test – today’s quiz:
“Name all 5 Great Lakes.”
They both failed. (*Sigh) BUT we kept practicing. Later in the day I overheard them in the backseat playing school with their toys and one of their questions involved naming the great lakes (hey- maybe I’m onto something).
We hit the highway and saw a sign that read 489 km to Kenora.
“That’s not very far.” said Rain (spoken like a road-trip veteran already)
Our take-off song – Press Play: “I’m Straight” by Jonathon Richman & the Modern Lovers (Completely non-family friendly video warning!!) I have no idea how this song became a family favourite… i think it started with a Strombo show.. #SayNoToDrugs
Just outside of Thunder Bay we stopped at the breath-taking Kakabeka Falls (Niagara of the North). Moxie is very intrigued as to why the water is brown/yellow…I’m assuming it has something to do with the composition of rocks/minerals .. I guess we should have spent some time in the visitors centre – I’ll have to settle for Wikipedia! Regardless they were quite the sight!
Not long after that we spotted a MOOSE!!!! actually we spotted two of them – a momma moose and her baby! Sooo very cool, especially because they were not leaping out at us from the side of the road like the signs would lead you to believe.
We were still revelling in the glow of our first moose spotting when we saw another one… but this one was dead on the side of the road… with a wolf-like animal tearing it apart… (Toto, we are not in the GTA anymore..)
We were soon distracted with the excitement of crossing the 90*Longitude West as we entered Central Standard Time Zone. It is the first time the kids have ever crossed time zones and I was relieved to have gained another hour in our day. Rain was intrigued that my cell phone automatically did the change but the clock in our Ford Escape did not (my phone is smart)
Our stomachs were still on Eastern Time Zone so we stopped briefly at a lake-side picnic area (there an abundance of these stops all along the TransCanada highway – so amazing!) and I whipped us up some gourmet Peanut Butter Sandwiches with a side of baby carrots and cherries.
Low on gas, we pulled into a station in Ignace. I didn’t realize it was full-serve until I just about screamed in the face of the gas attendant at my window (hmmm… maybe less coffee tomorrow jitter-pants). Luxurously enjoying some quiet time while my gas was getting pumped I noticed a small gathering of people decked out in their Canada Day finest lining up along the street beside us. I asked the gas-guy if there was going to a parade and yes, sure enough a parade was scheduled to begin in 15 minutes. We drove across the street, parked and stood with the locals just in time for the start. It was simply amazing. Ignace has a reported population of 1,202 but I think we saw about 100 (tops!!) of those people today. The parade was typical small-town and especially close to my heart as I grew up in a rural community. The kids were thrilled by the excitement and shrieked for joy when candy was thrown out for bystanders. (Rain and Moxie can definitely hold their own in a show-down against country kids during a candy free for all). The parade lasted about 5 minutes in total and was absolutely perfect. We were invited by a lovely local woman to join in the after-party at the arena but alas we still had a lot of driving ahead of us. This will remain one of my highlights.
We made it to the Days Inn in Kenora just before 3pm and as if the day couldn’t get any more exciting – there was a giant slide at the pool!!! I swam lengths while the kids went up and down the slide and then we got ready to hit the town.
Our goal was to find a giant fish (Husky the Muskie) but somehow ended up at the marina during the tail end of a Canada Day event. Rain and Moxie were super excited to see some farm animals in make-shift pens.
Moxie, “What a cute animal… is this a cow?”
A local girl stared at her, nodded her head with a puzzled look on her face…”yes… that’s a cow…”
I smiled at the little girl. “Don’t worry. She’s from the city.”
After reacquainting ourselves with basic farm animals we got directions to Husky and went for a quick visit and photo-op!!
Despite the muskie being on the same road as our hotel, I still managed to get lost (damned roundabouts) but it all worked out because we saw a deer eating carrots on someone’s front lawn. COOL !!!
Back to the Days Inn for dinner followed by a lazy evening of cartoons (cable tv is a huge perk to hotel living) and writing/planning.
Tomorrow we will cross into a new province; finally! Up until this trip I never appreciated just how freaking big Ontario really is – not to mention beautiful!
Happy Canada Day!
much love from
PS. I forgot our Canada Flag tally sheet in the car (again) but the kids report the total is approximately 400 !!! Who’s ready to guess what the final tally will be by July 19th???