A few days in and this is my first blog post. I start a lot of posts but then always seem to get distracted by children in the backseat. Today we sit in Mike’s aunt’s backyard while the kids play soccer and I am going to try to actually finish a post. Below you’ll find my fun list of things that we want to do in the three months across Canada. Please add to our list by letting us know your suggestions in the comments below. Any not-to-be-missed experiences that you’ve had in your travels across Canada?
See a moose: Despite spending a lot of hours in a car across Canada’s north, I have never seen one in the wild. My friend Tamara once told me that it was because I never spent enough time in a canoe. We’ve already driven about 12 hours and so far the only moose I’ve seen is the stuffed one (see above) in the ice cream parlour in Sault St Marie. *Thanks for the yummy treat Auntie Sil.
Hold a starfish: Spending lots of time in BC as a child I spent a lot of time taking starfish out of crab traps. It was only when I scared Michael by lifting them on rocks that I realized most Ontario children did not play with starfish. Izzie and Julie are going to learn about petting these critters.
Catch a fish: The fishing rods did not fit in the car so this will be interesting but I think lots of provincial parks rent them out.
Read 12 books (one per week): My friend Eva gave us a reading list. I cannot wait for reading to replace TV for a while.
Julie to swim with her face in the water: She still hates getting her eyes in the water so I think that this may involve a lot of diving down and picking up toys at the bottom of the pool.
Izzie to waterski: I loved waterskiing as a kid and I hope Izzie will too.
Get Pat’s curry at the Saltspring market: We’re stopping on Saltspring Island where I used to visit every summer as a kid. My mom asked to pick up some Moonsoon Balti (a large one). I am just excited to see the Ganges market once again after so many years.
Do Pilates in 3 different cities/towns: For Mother’s Day, the kids gave me this as a gift. I cannot wait to spend some time on a reformer again.
Remove Julie’s training wheels for good: She is very close to being to ride without them and it will make Michael happy to not have to put them back on each day (they do not fit on the bike rack).
Learn about 25 animals: During homeschooling, we’ll learn about two animals each week and hopefully write a short report that we’ll add to the blog.
Have the kids write a journal: Isabella has already started her daily journal which I wanted to be physical but the pull of imagery with the iPad may make it an online journal. I guess it will be less paper to carry and make it easier to syndicate to grandparents.
Send lots of postcards: We rarely get postcards anymore but I loved writing them as a kid. Get ready to receive a lot of postcards from Julie using all her new sight words!
Eat BC peaches in BC: I realized yesterday that we’ll probably miss BC cherry season but I hope that we make it there for peaches.
Pick blackberries: I love picking from those bushes along the side of the road on Vancouver Island. Isabella’s favourite fruit is blackberries so I hope we find some.
See a whale: Do you think that we’ll be lucky enough to see an Orca on one of our ferry rides?
Zodiac ride on a Yukon river: Getting the family out on the water seems exciting in the land of grizzly bears.
Visit a hot spring: We’ve done this in other parts of the world but the kids would not remember it. I love finding a hole in the earth and soaking sore camping muscles.
Go to the Olive Garden and Fuddruckers: Mike and I have different childhood memories when it comes to family restaurants. He loves the Olive Garden with its breadsticks and “Tour of Italy” trio. I remember my great Aunt Carrie taking me for Burgers at Fuddruckers with my cousins. We would tell the cashier that her name was “Michael Jackson” and laugh hysterically as she was called to the cash. The Regina location is gone but there seems to be one in Saskatoon.
See our new baby cousins: My cousin Jill has had two kids who we’ve not seen. My girls cannot wait to meet Henry and Halle.
Teach Izzie some Canadian history and geography: I brought a Canadian Kids Atlas (which took up too much space according to Michael) because I wanted to teach the kids about where we are driving and some of the history of our Country
Get zero speeding tickets: A lot of kilometres ahead of us and we need to learn to slow down and enjoy the journey.
Finish B level books with Julie: Julie learned to read all the A books. If the Canadian leg is the Bs then we can move onto Cs in Colombia. Seems right!
Read or listen to the first Harry Potter books: I borrowed the first few as audiobooks from the Toronto Library. Since I get sick when reading in the car, I thought that this might be a fun way to start the Harry Potter series. We are two chapters in and Izzie is loving it while Julie has trouble following the quick-speaking British reader.
Drumheller – Dinosaur Provincial Park and Hoodoos was very neat to see as a kid if you guys haven’t already taken the girls there.
Hotsprings – I’ve been to a couple Hotsprings in BC! Not sure if your exact route but I’ve been to the Keyhole Hotsprings near Whistler and Halfway River Hotsprings in Nakusp – both places were great and very steamy!
Yukon – Fishing for arctic grayling in the Yukon on Lake Laberge and the Thirty Mile River was noteworthy. Local guide “Mark” took us out on his charter.
To see a moose – many moose – drive to Newfoundland.
Actually tried that one….drove the island for a week….no moose….bad luck I guess
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Us too! We camped in Newfoundland for a month and saw none. Algonquin Park is my go to for photographing moose, May, September, October are the best months 😊
If you ever need to augment the atlas experience, this online Indigenous map is a fantastic resource, and comes with tonnes of info on all the territories you’ll be travelling through, as well as a teacher’s guide.
Also, check out the kids’ Canadian history portal here: http://education.historicacanada.ca/en/collections/18
& more kids’ activities here: https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1528210353182/1580759773150