What the Picture doesn’t show…
One of the many things I dislike about Facebook other than peoples brag factor, is the ability to make things look all rosy and good. Our family took a small getaway vacation this weekend and I posted some pics. Several of my friends have commented to me that it looked like we had such a fun great weekend. Don’t get me wrong, we did have fun, but the pictures don’t capture the essence and comedy of moments in between. Several times throughout, I stopped, looked at Tanya and said, “What am I doing… what are we putting ourselves through here”. Somehow our memories have a way of going from “I want to poke my eyes out” to “yeah, that was a fun weekend” awfully quick though thankfully.
After taking a day off work, and planning a winter weekend trip to Ottawa & Montreal, I was excited to get a jump on the day and head for some winter outings by 9am. As our vehicle pulled out of the driveway shortly before 11:30, we were excited to finally be on our way. A few accidents along the way caused us to extend our late departure and allowed us to see the more scenic views and back roads, Napanee, and beyond to Newburgh. 20 minutes into the trip, the questions commenced from a few different sources…. “are we there yet” and , “how much longer” No matter how often we answered, it didn’t prohibit the same question from being asked every 20 minutes. After finally arriving in the capital city, the weak bladdered one announced she had to go to the bathroom…. And it couldn’t wait. After circling the block south of the parliament buildings, a McDonalds with no parking was located and a pit stop occurred. Doris, our GPS lady was in a tizzy with all the wrong turns I was taking her on but somehow she managed to direct us and find our way back to our refreshed ladies .
As we made our way to Hull, or whatever they call it these days, we went to the Jacques Cartier Park and were able to enjoy the commencement of Winterlude activities without long lines. The minus 21 temperatures which with the wind felt like -31, didn’t slow us down… much. After several trips down the slide, the beginning stages of hypothermia began to set in. On one occasion, there was the elateful sight of my eleven year old bounding down the slide, with my disconnected GoPro bounding on a head of him. Just Awesome. After a quick trip to the warm tent, some Beaver tails and sugar on snow were in order… both of which found their way into #2’s hair. The hypothermia had left most of our bodies with the exception of #1 who was pleading for me to carry him around as his toes were about to fall off.
We arrived at our hospitable host’s home, which was a highlight for the weekend. We left our kids with theirs and made our way out for dinner. We had a great time, as did our kids. The weak bladdered one especially had a fun time… too fun in fact to stop what she was doing and use the facilities, instead rather, electing to urinate in her pants. We’re still not sure how much she drank while we were out, but it was enough to wet her pants in the evening and to wet her pull ups, pj’s, sleeping bag and bed that night too. She’s going to do great things … one day. One day.
After a hearty breakfast, we were off to our busy days events. Arriving on the Canal, we managed to make our way down without much trouble. With the -25 temps, the picture shows Tanya, Isaac & Faith on the Canal with the Parliament buildings in behind. What the picture doesn’t show…Is #2 refusing to pose for the picture because the tongue on her skate was bothering her and she was cold. The overtired and teary Diva could not be consoled, especially with the constant barrage and pestering by #1. Not even the promise of yet another beaver tail could rescue the situation, although it did manage to find its way into her hair yet again.
After rondez vousing back at the Chateau Laurier and retrieving our partially clean van, we began our quest to a hill to ski. Not long into our trip, I discovered that we’d left some clothes at our host’s home, which caused us to go out of our way to go back and pick it up. I’d like to blame one of my 3 offspring, but this clearly was all on me.
After finally arriving at Edelweiss Ski Resort in Quebec, a picture of our family shows us ready to tackle the hills. What the picture doesn’t show, is the constant fighting between siblings, the weak bladdered one falling on the hill and urinating her pants… AGAIN, going back up to the top of the hill, prematurely jumping off the lift only to shut the whole thing down as the chairs narrowly missed her head. After the tears and cries began to disapate, the weak bladdered one announced that she in fact needs to go to the facilities yet again. Apparently the urinated fall, did not quite empty the bladder before and but now we were in emergency bathroom mode. At this point I was quite content for her just to let go and finish the job in her pants, but she was determined to rescue her last amount of dignity and finish the job at the chalet water closet, all the while crying down the hill. On one of my own desents, a partial fall I felt went undetected until I went to pay four our dinner, only to realized my credit card was now split in two.
As we finished the day, a quick family photo shows us smiling and ready to head to our next adventure in Montreal. What the picture doesn’t show, as we packed our frost bitten bodies into the van, was that Doris, the GPS lady decided to route us back 45 minutes to where we came from rather than take us on the shortened route. After locating a timmies for #3 to do her thing, we were off In search of some gas and food. After finally finding a gas station, and delicately entering the severed credit card we were informed that all the pumps had just ran out of gas and we’d have to go elsewhere. As we left, now a few hours behind schedule and left the capital city in our wake, the pestering and sibling rivalry began yet again, and the weak bladdered one started up with the “are we almost there yet” questioning only 5 minutes outside of Ottawa.
As we arrived at our favourite hotel and checked in, the gracious francaphone hotel clerk gently swiped split credit card and sent us on our way. Our valet parking attendant helped unload our now dirty and tattered van. As he brought our belongings up to our room, I reached for my wallet… which was not where it should be. After arranging for security to escort me back down to the parking facility to retrieve my wallet, I received the call from my family that it was safely nesselted back in our room… exactly where I had left it.
Our Hotel picture looks modern and relaxed…. What the picture doesn’t show, is that, although our bed was extremely good, the sleep we got was not. Although #3 managed to keep dry and give us a urine free night, she managed to kick and move a and keep her mother awake all night.
There is a picture of us all relaxed and waiting for our hotel meal for breakfast. What the picture doesn’t show is the servers arriving with our Belgian waffles and ommletes for the kids and Tanya and looking at me perplexed… “umm… ya, so what did you order?”. As my meal arrived, the kids were long finished theirs, #1 and #2 announced they needed to go and couldn’t wait. #3 ironically was good and didn’t need to go.
After checking out, we began to make our way to the Canadiens matinee. A few steps into our km walk, #3 began sobbing that her pants were hurting her and were too tight. Apparently wet pants must make things a little more comfortable because the dry ones were causing quite a stir. In between tears, we managed to undo the buttons, unzip the pants and make the journey somewhat more bearable. The tears did not stop the entire time, but she managed to make here way there, fortunately without her pants falling down.
We arrived at the game, Tanya had her contra ban water confiscated while I had managed to sneak in several electronic goods and recording equipment. A picture of our family shows the kids getting their faces painted and enjoying the family day festivities. During the first intermission, #2 and #3 began to lobby and interigate hard to take them for snacks and more tattoos. I confirmed we’d make the trip at the halfway point of the 2nd period when lines weren’t so long but the thorough barrage of tears and questioning did not let up. Finally at the 16:00 minute mark, I caved and left with both daughters in tow to get some Popcorn for Isaac and some hotdog and fries for the “starving” #2, which also managed to find it’s way into her hair. After returning to our seats, not before tripping and falling on the stairs and gifting a portion of our popcorn to the drunk lads in 314 row CC, #3 started in on wanting to look for more face painting tattoo artists. I wanted to sit down but my quest to give my kids a fun time and a good weekend won out over that part of me that just wanted to enjoy the game. After leaving and walking around the entire upper bowl, we found that facepaint place, only to disover the tattoo ladies were gone. So back to our seats we went and enjoyed the last few minutes of the 2nd period. As the period came to a close, I noticed #1 beginning to fade fast and put his head on his mothers lap. My concern for the health of #1 was quickly interrupted with the request of #3 to once again go and try and find the talented tattoo face painting ladies. Of course when we arrived, the line was now quite long but wait we did and missed a good chuck of the first half of the third period. Now the only good thing about missing that, was not getting to witness firsthand the coyote diamondbacks from Arizona, Glendale, Pheonix or whatever they call themselves these days, scoring two goals to go ahead in the game. As the game came to a close, no comeback was to be had and our beloved habs lost yet again with us in the stands.
As we journeyed back to our car, #1 was at this point in quite a bit of pain. #3 was not complaining at all, which one can only assume that she had wet her pants to make the trip a bit more comfortable.
After retrieving our now destroyed and messy van from the valet, I drove exactly 2 feet until I realized I needed to get the boy some tylonel. As I opened up the back of the van, I was sarcastically happy to discover the suitcase needed was now wedged and packed firmly under all the other suitcases, under all the ski equipment, and of course under all the skates. After some hastily rearranging, I was able to get the said medication up to the front and administered to the ailing #1 child. As we started off on our journey home, the moaning and cries began to intensify. Our prudent advanced preparation caused us to empty a bag and give to the now inconsolable child in case he was to get sick. He assured us several times that it was only his head that hurt and that his stomach was fine. Somewhere between Boul de Sources and Boul St. Charles, the partially digested remains of the Belgian Waffles and “Mais Soufflé” popcorn made their way all over the van…. All over the van… and nowhere near the bag. As I stopped at the next Tim Horton’s and surveyed the damage of the Boul de Sources Barf, I felt it best not to take a picture. No one needs to see that disgusting mess. As my freshly puked on son awated in between the doors of Horton’s, the horrified glances of nosy onlookers watching and sneering to see a middle aged man paper towel and mop up the remains of the Belgian popcorn waffles party mix. As #1 waited without his coat, which by now was resting in a near by snow bank awaiting one of us to clean it, we ventured into the back of the clearly trashed van to go under the skates, under the skis and all the other luggage to retrieve a fresh set of clothes for #1. As we pulled away and set out with new bags in hand, the trip got a little better as we inched our way closer to the border. I yelled to confirm if we needed to make a stop at the on route and was assured all was good and we kept on going. 5 minutes past the exit, another portion of the Belgian party mix came up but this time into the Tim Horton’s barf bag. 5 minutes after that, #3 announced that dropped her water bottle. I knew by the sound of her voice, there was more to the story and then asked if her lid was on. With a hesitant giggle and laugh, I learned in fact it was not and was now mixing on the ground in the carpet with skis, the other garbage and of course the remains of the party mix. As we made our way to the next On Route, I questioned again if we should stop. Again I was assured, we should keep going, all was good. 3 minutes past the exit this time, the third deposit of party mix came up. 5 minutes past that, #3 informed us that she needed to go… bad, and it couldn’t wait. Of course. Why not.
Finally we arrived home, unloaded our vehicle, and although I’d considered allowing to Ginger the dog to help lick up the mess, I elected to try and keep her away from boul de sources barf and go at it and clean myself.
As time will go on, I’m sure from looking at the pictures, we will remember the good times. Our memories have a way of forgetting the fighting, the crying, the peeing, the cold, and we will remember the good family fun. Maybe we will go back to winterlude again but for now and this coming weekend, I will elect for a warm home, a remote, a nearby washroom, and a good auto detailerJ