Our Goals for the Canada Leg – 20 days to go

Children Books Worksheets

Get ready to roll your eyes and shake your heads as I share some things we are hoping to accomplish during the Canadian Leg of our trip. These aren’t so much travel list checkboxes but rather goals for the next few months. Whether we do these or not, we at least WANT to do them. When we get back we’ll reflect on how many of these we managed to see through.

Food / Dining

Eat fries just once a week. Yep, even I recognize this will probably go by the wayside when I see two chip trucks on the same day of driving. Or when I have to order a “fish and NO chips”. That just doesn’t sound right at all.

You can make friends with salad. If we are at a restaurant and the server asks if we want a salad, we have to say yes. It is kind of like the fry challenge in the Supersize Me movie but with salads.

No alcohol for the first 30 days. That Coors Light thirty days from now will be that much more thirst-quenching. Actually, forget Coors Light, we’ll break the cleanse with a Kokanee.


No arriving at our destination after dark. With one scheduled exemption, we know the difficulties of setting up a camp in the dark. We will leave early enough to ensure this doesn’t happen. This is another rule that should lead to fewer fights!

Share the driving load. We hope to do a more even split of the driving than we currently do. It’ll be safer splitting up the long hauls and we should be in better moods. Additionally, our Pokemon collecting will stay relatively in sync. What this really means is that Paigey should drive at least 5000km over the next few months.

Kid Schooling

Start on the first day (even though it is technically summer break). Yep, class begins on day 1. We want to get the kids used to a routine and wanted to start it as soon as possible.

We have aligned on this daily approach:

  • Start things off each day with one hour of worksheets at breakfast
  • Do an educational activity in the afternoon (i.e. museum visit, nature hike)
  • After dinner, one hour of journal writing and reading
  • Just before bed, the daily postcard-writing ritual

Adult Schooling

I used to read a book a week. And by used to, I’m guessing twenty years ago. I’m going to aim for 15 books by the end of the Canadian leg. First up is Naomi’s Road. And by books, I mean actual books, the ones that have paper and not a backlight.

Yo hablo espanol. Since the first stop after Canada is Colombia, the kids and I will work on our Duolingo Spanish. Aiming to make it to checkpoint 3 before the leg is completed. Paige gets a pass on this one.

Physical Activity

The family currently gets about 15,000 steps each day. We don’t plan to break that habit even though it is going to be tough on big driving days. Rain or shine, we expect to be out there walking.

Julie milestone. She wants to be able to bike and swim by the end of the summer.

Isabella milestone. Currently, our badminton record is a rally of 18. She’s told me 50 is the goal.

Mike milestone. I will swim at every lake, river, ocean or pool that we spend a night at. So if there is a lake at our campsite, I have to go for a swim in it. Rain or shine (assuming no lightning).

Camping Skills

Paigey will master the art of starting a fire with flint.

Izzy will be able to make the campfire.

Julie will learn to cook pancakes on the campfire.

Mike will eat said pancakes.


Have no “wildlife mishaps”. Forget the fries…..this will be the toughest. Isabella got bit by a chipmunk once.

Virtual Wildlife – Pokemon Go

In the game Pokemon Go, there is a specific pokemon that can only be “captured” in northern regions of the globe. We need to get ourselves a Pachirisu and maybe a couple extra to trade with “friends”. It sounds silly but that has been an empty slot in our Pokedex for years!

Like I said earlier, I can’t wait to see which of these we actually follow through on. Being candid, I really only wanted to share the ones that are generally positive. My goal of eating at all 8 Canadian locations of the Olive Garden does not need to be shared.

Ciao for now.


2 thoughts on “Our Goals for the Canada Leg – 20 days to go

  1. elana metter June 12, 2022 / 8:58 am

    I love this post. I’m very excited to see which of these you guys do and don’t do.
    On a sidenote I was once made fun of for long time for being relatively fearful of a chipmunk, I did not know Isabella has been bitten by one I’m very sorry to hear that and it reaffirms the fact that chipmunks can be dangerous. I have a healthy you had a rational fear of animals.
    I’m so excited for you guys I can’t believe it’s less than 30 days away.
    Cheers, Elana
    Sent from my iPhone


    • Mike P June 12, 2022 / 9:48 am

      Thanks Elana….the great chipmunk attack….hope it stays a once in a lifetime experience!


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