The Vacation Chronicles, Vol. 8

Honestly, there’s a special place in hell for whoever designed Ontario’s highway infrastructure! I mean, seriously… Why is the largest Province with the longest length to cross, the only fucking Province without twin-lane highways? How does that happen??? We took to the road yesterday morning and grabbed our Tim Horton’s coffee and ventured out onto the highway. Within minutes, I was competing with campers, RV’s and semi trucks for space on the highway and to try and make up some time for the extremely long day we had ahead.

I know I’ve been complaining about the boys a lot during this trip and there’ll likely be more of that when I write up the singular post covering the actual time IN New Brunswick, but today I’m going to focus on Ontario and how its highways are trying to kill my family and I. At one point, a semi truck was trying to pass another one and came straight at us… IN MY LANE! I only had a moment to pull off onto the shoulder in order to avoid a head-on collision. This is why we need twinned highways through this Province, people!

Although I am certainly not trying to promote breaking any speed laws, there’s something to be said about the country’s largest Province being the only one with adequate highways. Unless you happen to be in close proximity to the Ottawa/Toronto areas, you’re pretty much screwed. Not to mention that the motel we had stayed in the previous night was grungy, smelly and the towels looked like they hadn’t been laundered since the same decade as their patterned carpet came from. Despite all these difficulties in trying to get from one end of Ontario to the other, I was somewhat entertained by something I found in a bathroom stall at a truck stop…

This totally made me laugh, which in retrospect probably wasn’t;’t the best thing for a random person to be doing in a bathroom stall with people on the other side of the door. I’m sure some of them were wondering why a guy was giggling while using the washroom. But I digress… We did have a fun stop where we fuelled up, grabbed some snacks and Nathan had time to ham it up for the camera outside of a lighthouse we were visiting…

All he’s missing is a sword and he could bathe in the blood of his enemies…

My wife and I had calculated the mileage and distance and determined that in order to successfully reach Regina today without arriving in the wee hours of the night, we had to reach Dryden yesterday. This would leave a little over 900 kilometres to cover today, give or take, which amounts to roughly ten hours of travel. This made sense on paper but we were all pretty spent and cranky when we reached Dryden and ready to end our day.

We had some issues with obtaining accommodation in Sault Ste. Marie on Wednesday night, which is why we ended up stuck in that light-awful motel. For last night, I was looking forward to staying in an actual large-chain hotel so that the wifi would actually work, there’d be complimentary breakfast and, oh yeah… I could actually shower and come out clean as opposed to dirtier than when I went in! Feeling safe and in a secure environment also played a big role.

After visiting four different big chain hotels and being told everywhere that they were fully booked, I was flabbergasted. One clerk actually told me that I should have booked ahead and I wouldn’t find anything anywhere, this time of year. I explained that we were cross-country travellers and couldn’t plan and reserve ahead as we didn’t always know where we would be staying, so what were hotels doing to accommodate guests such as us? She had no answer…

We once again found ourselves in a grungy, rundown motel with doors that could barely be secured, wifi that successfully kicked me off of work in the middle of an email and incompetent staff. We booked two rooms and while the family was out getting supper, someone tried to open my room door. When I opened the door to see if it was my wife, some guy was next door trying to open my mother-in-law’s door. I asked him what he was doing and he became confrontational. Even after I explained that room was booked, he argued. I spent the night on guard.

Having this behind the main building of our motel doesn’t fill me with a lot of confidence…

We obviously made it through the night but there’s no breakfast and this whole town feels quite dirty. I can’t wait to get on the last stretch of our journey and make our way back into the Prairies, where there are twinned highways, overnight accommodations make sense and our home is just around the corner. Today should be our last day of travel before getting home and getting prepped for my return to work on Monday. Work will ironically be the much-needed break from travelling that I need. It will be glorious! ☯️

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Shawn

I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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