travel time

Elliot and I are going to visit some family on the Sunshine Coast for the Labour Day weekend. We’ll be gone for four days, and during that time, if all goes well (and we’re taking ferries on a long weekend, so you can bet that all will NOT go well…), we’ll be spending about seven hours driving, four hours on four different ferries, and about three hours waiting at ferry terminals.

Don’t ask me why I calculate these things. Seriously, don’t ask me. I don’t know.

the dreams have started

I am a nervous flyer. I think a plane crash would be a horrible way to die. Yes, there are thousands of horrible ways to die, but that’s beside the point. And yes, I know the chances of being in a plane crash are minute, but who said phobias are rational?

So the upcoming 14-hour flight to NZ has me concerned. That’s a lot of time to be thinking about crashing, and if we did crash, it would be over water at nighttime. So we’d crash, and we’d be in the ocean, freezing, and it’d be dark. Yes, we’d be dead, but back to that rational thing…

The dreams started two nights ago. They always appear at some point before I fly. Two nights ago the dream was about a plane crash, but we weren’t in the plane. We just watched it crash. Not reassuring.

They aren’t always bad, though. Last night the dream involved us being in the plane, and the plane was never more than a couple of hundred feet in the air. When I asked the pilot why we were flying so low, he said being close to the meadow helped us go faster.

The plane also had what seemed like an unfinished basement, and we could go down there and play hockey and basketball. This was good for Elliot. A friend of mine who loves holding babies was also on the plane, and she held Amy almost the whole time. A very bizarre dream, but not scary.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever dreamt about us actually crashing. I think there’s something (thankfully) in my psyche that prevents me from dreaming that dream. Although, now that I’ve said that, I’ve probably jinxed myself.

home sweet home

I don’t think that’s the first time I’ve used that title. I had a great time in Ottawa, but it sure was nice to come home and see my boys.

On our last day, Amy and I headed downtown to the ByWard Market. The quality and quantity of the fresh produce made my mouth water. We ambled around for a couple of hours, then went to the National Gallery.

Unfortunately my timing was bad. Amy was getting pretty tired, and instead of gently falling asleep in the stroller, she screeched and squawked. A lot. In cavernous rooms with nothing but art, security guards and a few tourists who probably wanted some peace and quiet. I saw what I could, but felt too uncomfortable and decided to go. Turned out to be quite an expensive trip. If you go to the National Gallery, don’t park in their parking lot.

Our flight home was early the next day. Amy and I were up by 5:20. This is a case where you don’t do the math as it relates to the time zone you’re moving to. It will just make you tired.

Our flights home were quite good, it just took a while as we had a three hour layover in Calgary. I thankfully had the stroller, but by then I just wanted to be home.

Elliot was happy to see me, and possibly even happier to see Amy. He keeps calling me Daddy. 🙂

can’t beat the weather

Amy and I are just finishing up day three in Ottawa, and we’re having a great time. Yesterday we went up to Meech Lake and spent some time hanging out in the shade and eating while the other members of our party played in the sand and swam. I managed a quick swim at the end of the visit. The wind was a bit cool so it took a bit of cajoling from my sister to get in, but I did it. Once in, the water was fine.

Today we went to the park in the morning, were home for lunch, went to the tennis club for a swim in the afternoon, followed by another visit to a different park, and then to DQ for a blizzard…about an hour before we ate dinner. It was hot today, but not humid at all. The pool felt lovely, and I got Amy into her pink bikini and into the pool for the first time. It was pretty cold, so she just went in up to the top of her legs, but she didn’t cry. It was mostly just a photo op for the bikini, one she likely won’t wear again as it provides little sun coverage.

We had some lamb burgers for dinner, the kids are now asleep, and I’m just enjoying some down time. The heat makes me tired so I’ll probably head to bed early. Tomorrow I’m going into Ottawa to the market and to the National Gallery.

I’ll be posting pictures on the kids’ site when I get home, seeing as the pictures are mostly of Amy.

makes me re-think the 14 hour trip to NZ

Amy and I are now in Ottawa visiting my sister for a few days. The plane trip out was a bit harder than expected, but we made it in one piece.

I’ve travelled with Elliot several times, but always with Greg. This was my first time travelling on my own with a child.

The first hurdle was the security check in Victoria. I knew that Amy would have to be out of the stroller, what I didn’t remember is the stroller had to be collapsed. The security guard offered to help me, but I stupidly tried to collapse the stroller while holding on to Amy. Yes, she has head control, but she doesn’t have full torso control yet. I had to lower my arm on her back a bit, and I leaned over a bit too far. She fell backwards and narrowly missed crashing her head on the conveyer belt. She wasn’t hurt, but it sure scared her, and she started crying. Of course there were dozens of people milling about, and they all witnessed me almost drop my child.

The next hurdle was getting settled in my seat and getting the stuff I needed out of my backpack. It wasn’t too bad, but I had to sit Amy in the seat next to me and keep one hand on her to make sure she didn’t fall.

The Victoria-Toronto leg was four and a half hours, and it passed relatively uneventfully. Amy had a couple of short naps, cried a bit at times, cried a lot when we landed, and then was all smiles when we stopped.

The next (and biggest) hurdle was getting to my Ottawa connection once we landed in Toronto. I’m used to making the connection in Calgary, where you literally walk fifty feet to the next gate. The walk in Toronto airport was a LOT longer. And I didn’t have the stroller with me because I was assured I wouldn’t need it for such a short time. Okay, it’s not about how long you’re there. It’s about how far you have to walk. I know that now, and I’ll argue the point next time.

So I hoofed it across the entire airport, or so it seemed. Carrying my tired, hot, full-diapered child, my backpack and my pillow. All with a full bladder. Oh, and did I mention the flight from Victoria left late? We got off the plane the same time I was supposed to be boarding the next one.

I went as fast as I could, and as I neared the gate I realized I’d have to pee before I got on the next plane, and I’d also have to change Amy’s diaper. So I did the fastest diaper change in the world, and then moved on to peeing. With a child who doesn’t stand. Without a stroller. The peeing part was okay, it was the doing up the pants part that was difficult. And I happened to pick pants that had a fly. And a button. And velcro. As I’m struggling with the fly, I hear over the PA, “This is the final boarding call for flight 706 to Ottawa”. CRAP.

I left the bathroom with two out of three fasteners done up (I didn’t get the button), and ran to the gate. I was the last person on the plane. Thankfully I was flying West Jet and they were very helpful and patient.

The next leg was going to be easy — a 40 minute flight to Ottawa. However, I had a very tired child who screamed about half of the flight. She also pooped. Which meant I had to change a diaper on the plane. Now, I am not a comfortable flyer, and I will avoid going to the bathroom at all costs. But I had to change her. Sure enough, as I’m in the teeny tiny bathroom changing her on the teeny tiny hard-as-a-rock stainless steel change table, we hit some turbulence. I freaked. I think I put my finger in poo. I got out of there as quick as I could, screaming child in tow. It was awful.

She cried the whole time we descended, poor girl. But again, the West Jet staff were amazing. They actually told me it was good for her to scream, because then she’d swallow and her ears would stop popping.

We arrived safe and sound, though, and like her brother, Amy seems to have adjusted to the time change with little effort. We went to bed at 11:00 local time and were up at 7:30. She had three naps today, and she fell asleep at 7:00 pm. Hopefully she’ll (we’ll) have a good night.

We spent the day today at Saunders Farm, which is a bit like Galey Farm but soooo much better. More attractive, bigger, more to do…I’d definitely like to go again the next time I’m here with Elliot. It made me miss the little guy, going to a place that he would have loved.

Tomorrow we’re spending the day at Meech Lake. The weather’s supposed to be beautiful.