So the first day of our return trip to Saskatchewan started surprisingly well. Although I had assumed we were setting alarms for 6:30 in the morning, my wife’s went off at 6:00, effectively waking me up. I started sipping caffeine and leapt out of bed (yes, in that order) got dressed and started loading my things into the car. My wife, mother-in-law and kids were surprisingly swift and efficient and we were all loaded in the car at 6:50, despite our departure time being scheduled for 7:00. This is both miraculous and appreciated, as there is usually SOMETHING that delays us.
Hell, even the local Tim Horton’s had no lineup in the drive-thru, allowing us to quickly grab some hot liquid joe without delay. We were on the road and heading west before we were fully awake. We reached Campbellton and crossed over to the Quebec side relatively smoothly and without issue. The streets were quiet and once we crossed into Quebec, we automatically gained an hour on our day. An hour as far as the clock is concerned; our time in the car would remain unchanged. But I digress…
We encountered the usual bullshit along the way; light rain, semi trucks slowing us down, etc. We reached Mont Joli and stopped in at the next Tim Horton’s and grabbed further coffees as well as apple juice and snacks. It was shaping up to be a reasonably good day, making good time and crossing the Province reasonably quickly. Then, the toddler fell asleep. Then he woke up. Then the issues started. I’m not really certain why I was surprised; this is basically what he did on the way out, as well. It’s rough for a tangy Cook male to be strapped into anything for any long period of time.
We made such good time that by about 4:30 in the afternoon, we had crossed into Ontario and reached Ottawa. Since we had no chance to do so on the way in, I chose to have us eat dinner at Zak’s Diner, which is one of my favourite diners in the country. When we reached the Byward Market, the boys made their presence known by being rambunctious, running across streets without looking and being all-around pains in the ass. Kids, am I right? We ordered food and as we waited, it dawned on me to go check the Asian shop where I usually buy my prayer beads.
My mother-in-law and toddler joined for the short, five-minute walk that ensued and I was sorely disappointed to find that the shop carried none of the beads I typically purchased from there. I returned and ate my meal, which depressed me as it was almost literally twice the price of what I had paid for it in 2007 when I would have eaten there last. My two kids were being noisy, knocking things over and generally ruining the experience. Am I bitching about my kids too much? TOO BAD, IT’S MY BLOG!!! But seriously, I love them to death but kids and road trips don’t agree. With me. They don’t agree with me.
My goal had been to have us spend our first night heading home at the Chateau Laurier, right in the heart of downtown Ottawa. When the price of an individual room caused rapid breathing and random chest pains followed by profuse sweating and my left arm going numb, I chose to drive us out of town to Kanata, where I found a subsidiary of best Western called “Glo.” A chic looking, clean-cut little hotel, it was a comfortable night’s stay, after some screwing around to get the wifi to work.
There is apparently some free continental breakfast downstairs, so we’re going to go see what’s up with that before hitting the road again. Although we’re already in Ontario, the safe bet is that we’ll be spending a second night in this Province, given how long of a transit it is. Hopefully but the end of today, we’ll be close enough that there third day will carry us back into the Prairies and closer to home. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for some caffeine… ☯️