Wednesday, August 8, 2007

"Can I go nowhere with you?" - Joel Plaskett

I don’t even know where to begin. Our trip was wonderful! Home seems so dull and boring by comparison. I’m hating being back to the daily grind of greasy dishes and Ernest off playing golf instead of snuggling on the couch after a swim, sipping tea and feeling sheer bliss. And yet, I am much more at ease in the routine than before we left so I’d say the vacation was a complete success and did exactly what they were designed to do. I’ll try and give somewhat of a summary and hope it doesn’t dull or disappoint you.

Day 1: Hey good looking, why the frown? You always look better when it’s upside down.” – Joel Plaskett
We are an hour behind schedule, stuck in a slew of traffic and the beautiful sun that was shining at home…has secluded itself behind a cluster of grey ominous clouds. Little Lady is exhausted but has seemingly picked up on our excitement and is adamant that she’ll avoid sleep. A mother several vehicles ahead with a boy about two gets out and head to the grass. The boy proceeds to expose himself and pee across the entire ditch. It brings entertainment to all in line.
You said you’ve got no place that you’re going to, can I go nowhere with you?”
Several hours later the sun has sunk, it’s late, and we’re lost. Not only can we not find our hotel …it appears we may be in the wrong STATE! I’m starting to wonder if all that advice and accolades about family vacations being absolute rubbish may be true. I’m also questioning my sanity in thinking that a “great idea” for our first family vacation would be to take phobic me to another country, do the driving ourselves, and arrive at night. This is starting to look substantially stupid. After all, I can hardly handle strange city’s in my own country, never mind in a nation I hear terrifying news from almost all the time. However, my fears are unfounded for after finding a map, our hotel, and our beautiful suite things take a turn for the better. It takes some time to send Little Lady off to sleep but when I emerge from the bedroom Prince Charming gives me a mischievous smile (Hey watch where your mind goes! I won’t write about those parts so don’t even bother getting excited!). He asks if I want a snack and I say that I do, “What do they have in the vending machines?” Nonchalantly he reviews the list “chips, chocolate, ice cream…” He trails off with a tiny grin. “WHAT!? You better not be joking…they have vending machines that sell ice cream?!” I’ve never heard of that and I’m practically bursting with enthusiastic disbelief. (As you can tell by my reaction I have a soft spot for the cold stuff. This is the reason I will never reach my goal weight…or be anorexic). Not only did their vending machines sell ice cream….they sold Ben and Jerry’s. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ben and Jerry’s. God Bless America!

Day 2: America is awesome.
I wake up with a feeling of wonder. The world is a glow. This is sheer bliss. My baby is giggling and grinding her teeth (she finally cut her top two, any advice on how to stop a little girl from grinding her new teeth?), my husband is sound asleep after neither of us getting much last night, and I have a giant junk food hangover. But I am happy. The rosy glow goes on throughout the day as I discover all the great things you can get when you venture farther from home. I’ve traveled a lot in my life, and even been in over half the states, but I’ve never really discovered the shopping scene there before. I’m like a kid in a candy shop as we scour Target, Bath and Body Works, and Victoria Secret. All the things you can’t get in Canada. We shop, we swim, we watch movies after Little Lady’s lying down. I’m quite at my leisure.

Day 3: The grass isn’t always greener.
On Day three we discover that although there are some things that surpass anything we have on our side of the fence…there are also some things we just to better. First of all, most of the specialty shops were nothing special. We have similar ones here and for the most part they’re even more unique. I was also disappointed by Macy’s and JC Penny. From watching the movies you might believe these big box stores are something spectacular….but they’re basically an American version of The Bay…and not even nearly as nice. Another fall out we had with our dreams was the food. Nothing fabulous and for the most part, far worse. Canadians obviously can cook better than I believed. Even restaurants from the same chain taste better this side of the border. But despite the dashing of some our excitement we still feel the stress fade as we splash in the pool, snuggle, and stay up late. Plus, as we sit at supper and I feel self conscious for breastfeeding an eleven month old a little old lady approaches me and says “You have a very lucky baby.” I’m a little confused but I smile politely and say thanks (On a side note, I realized that I am also over polite for that side of the border as I smile and say hi and hold doors for everyone I meet). She continues
“ She is suck a lucky baby to get to have breast milk for supper. Good work. That makes me very happy to see.” That was probably the highlight of my day since I have been feeling so stressed about the breast feeding battle. (On another side note: Little Lady only nursed in the morning and at night today! We’re down to two! Yay!)

Day 4:Hold me in your arms and let me fall”.
When we were in college and deciding on whether or not we should date, Prince Charming and I spent two months talking, praying, and listing pros and cons. I was very cautious as I had just come out of a really bad relationship and both of us had decided not to date unless we were sure there was a wedding in the future for us. In the end Prince Charming knew I was the one and wanted to begin long before I did. I was so scared. I kept coming up with excuses why I wasn’t right for him, but really I was just afraid to fall in love with someone so spectacular. One night it was obvious our relationship had reached the place where you either move forward or forget about it. I was so afraid to take that step. We were sitting in my car discussing it when Prince Charming suddenly told me to wait right there. He returned a few moments later, took my hands, and placed in them a list. It was the list of all he was looking for in a future wife…with a line stating simply that I met or exceeded every expectation. He made a simple, sweet speech about how much he loved me and how he wouldn’t let me down, then basically ended it with “My heart is in your hands, it’s your decision.” And walked away. The next night I said I was ready to move ahead, we were dating within the month, married in just over a year. Anyway, on Day 4 we bought a bunch of Brad Paisley Cd’s and drove around the city for hours while Little Lady slept. It was one of the highlights of my weekend. When we were dating we didn’t have much money and we both lived in dorm. There wasn’t many places for privacy or much we could do within our budget. Gas was a lot cheaper then and we both had vehicles so most of our dating and falling in love was done in a car, just driving. We would talk for hours while the country music played in the background. This weekend I felt I was falling in love all over again. We found a song on one of the Cd’s that matched the night Prince Charming made me make a decision perfectly. He says if he had known about this song, he would have simply handed me the lyrics.

Day 5: No, I didn't get a thing doneBut I sure soaked up every minute of the memory we were makin'And I count it all as time well wasted” – Brad Paisley
After a leisurely morning (as leisurely as possibly with a bright eyed, munchkin who loves mornings) we slowly packed ourselves up and started for home. In the afternoon we stopped at the airport to welcome home our friends as they returned from adopting their daughter in Ethiopia. It was a wonderful moment to watch! As we walked away I wondered when we would complete our adoption and if there is an adorable brown eyed baby out there for us too. Who knows what the future has in store? Right now I am a very happy mother of a beautiful blue eyed munchkin and the wife of one amazing man who is very relaxed after a wonderful vacation.


Stephanie said...

It was lovely reading about your vacation - especially the part about discovering that our American vending machines have ice cream and the part where you describe how you and your husband met (and fell in love).

It was also entertaining reading about your synopsis of JCPenney and Macys (I'll have to check out the Bay next time I'm in Canada) and the quality of restaurants in the U.S.

I've only been to Canada once and found it to be a very beautiful and peaceful place. Pleasant people. Good food. Loved it.

Just out of curiosity, how did you think the prices compared between the two countries?

Erika said...

Thanks for sharing, I have the shopping bug now though.