What I Did on my Summer Vacation

Though it is mid September–it is still summer so hopefully not too late to post this.  I wrote this a few weeks back but was having trouble posting my columns–this is a semi-oldie and I will let you decide if it is a goodie:

Short but sweet. That is the definition of my summer vacation. But it had somewhat of an inauspicious beginning.

Pre-vacation was spent stressing out to come up with the perfect time to take a few days off. Then there was the problem of packing. Whenever I pack I tend to hate my wardrobe and can find nothing, and I mean nothing that seems right to wear for the various occasions I expect to be experiencing. And then there is the problem of packing shoes—running shoes in case we walk (or God forbid hike) somewhere, casual shoes to wear with my ever present denim jeans, dressy shoes in case we go somewhere that warrants it, and another pair thrown in for good measure. I was only gone from Friday to Wednesday, so four pair of shoes for five days seemed just about right.

Our destination was the Ottawa area and my sister’s cottage in Montebello, Quebec. An interprovincial vacation—how exotic is that? So exotic that it took us about 13 hours to get there. It would have taken someone who read the Google instructions correctly maybe 9 hours not counting traffic and construction in TO and Ottawa. We made fairly good time for the first three-quarters of the trip, having left at 1:20 a.m. Friday morning (so not my idea) to avoid the nightmare gridlock that is Toronto. A variety of people had warned my husband John of the horrors of Toronto traffic and so his plan was to get there early enough to avoid it. His plan worked. But when we got into Ottawa we were stuck in jam for about an hour. Then we did not make a turnoff—so had to turn around, go back and find it. But that was only a 15 minute mistake.

I was the one who made the big, huge, gigantic, enormous, titanic of a massive mistake which cost us two hours of travel time, adding more time to an already long trip. I try to look on the travel time as part of the vacation, but when you have been on the road for over 10 hours, that aspect quickly goes out the window. The 28 steps outlined in the Google directions from Kingsville to Montebello were pretty clear, unless of course you read the instructions incorrectly. After we got onto a certain road, for sake of clarity let us call it 17, we were supposed to look for a turnoff, say 5, which would then take us onto the 406. Reading instruction number 23, I read that the turnoff was 120 kilometres away instead of 12.0, so we did not bother looking for the turnoff as we thought we had a good while to just relax and enjoy the ride.

Then we came upon a sign that declared: “Montreal: 78 kilometres”. Hmmm………. I knew that my sister had said that Montebello was only about an hour away from her home in Orleans and we had been on the road for well over that amount of time. We were on our way to Montreal—which might have been a good vacation if it had been our destination. But it was not. So we stopped and looked at the directions again and my husband said, “Are you sure there is not a dot there and it says 12.0 and not 120? “Well, I will be darned”, I said. I generally do not swear, but if memory serves me right, I did not say darned but it will have to serve as a good facsimile thereof.

We turned around, having gone an hour out of our way, to travel the hour back. My husband was exceedingly sweet about it—but what choice did he have—he was stuck in the car with me and it would have been a lose/lose situation to get upset. But John on vacation is different than John either post or pre-vacation. He is cool as a cucumber and ready to take on anything.

Oh, and did I mention that we had no cell phones? So my sister was panicking and putting out feelers to my sons as to where we were. Pay phones seem to be the dinosaurs of the 21st century and so were somewhat incommunicado for hours. But———when we reached our destination—we had the time of our lives. The cottage, which could be featured quite appropriately in any homes magazine, was situated on eco-Lake Charette. The view was absolutely unbelievable, the host and hostess were the mostest, and we spent four relaxing days chilling out. The ride home was much less eventful, hence enjoyable.

Postscript: Our youngest son took us to The Source in Kingsville as soon as we got back, and both my husband and I are now the proud owners of cell phones!

Do you have an area where you are behind the times?

Published in: on September 13, 2014 at 12:15 pm  Comments (29)  
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29 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Funny blog, and I’m glad you have cell phones. Now you need your reading glasses bumped up a notch? 120/12.0 looks the same to me as well!

    • I wear “real” glass, so methinks a bump-up in prescription is in order

  2. It’s 2014 and neither of you had a cell phone?!?! Well, I’m very glad that you finally reached your destination and had a wonderful visit. Maybe a Christmas idea might be a GPS for your car :). By the way, what kind of cell phone did you get?

    • We have had cell phones in the past but our contracts had run out–my husband and I have Nexus phones and my son has a top of the line phone with all the bells and whistles–mine only has some of the bells and none of the whistles

      • My iPhone is like an extension to my hand. It never leaves me :). I feel lost without it!

      • I am starting to understand the charms of the cell phone too

      • Thata girl :).

      • are you making fun of me? cause if you are you owe me some chocolate………..

      • No, of course not. I’m proud of you! I was just in a Bell store researching my xmas present. I want the new iPhone :).

  3. It sounds like a great trip, made better because you were able to relax after the bumpy start. And now I am truly the last cell phone hold-out in Ont.. my husband and daughter both have iPhones, I haven’t yet felt the need. These days I am easily reachable by landline anyway.

    • so good to hear from you – I personally have never had a cell phone before–and since I am a lot older than you I think I too can vie or is it vye for the last hold-out–I have been caught in a few situations when having a cell phone would have made things better–now all I have to do is remember to carry it with me
      Are you still feeling poorly–you are the most intrepid and least complaining soul I know, and I so miss your blogs. Take care of yourself my friend. I have not been blogging as much of late but want to keep in contact with you ❤

      • I’ve lost interest in the blog for a bit – mainly because I’m not doing as much as I used to do. It is taking a lot longer than I’d hoped to feel better, but that doesn’t mean it won’t get better. I guess it sometimes just takes a bit of time and a few adjustments.

        I still check in to see what is going on with some other blogs – so I’ll keep in touch. Nice to talk to you.

  4. I am forever one step behind the times…and somehow have resigned myself to being in last place. Barely keeping up seems to be ok though..loved this post..

    • one step behind is two steps ahead of me!

      • Laughing – we really are two peas in a pod!!

      • I don’t mind sharing a pod with you at all!

      • The feeling is completely mutual!

      • ❤ 🙂

  5. I thought a cottage was just about as charming as you could get…until I realized you actually didn’t have cell phones. That’s charming!

  6. Although reading the post brings a few smiles, I know that it was not funny to you at the time. The scene is reminiscent I would think to many of us, at least to me…even the packing issue…. I could soooo relate…what to take, not happy with what to take, and the ‘shoe’ decision. Travelling time is to me part of the vacation too, but like you said not when you get to so many hours on the road…
    Glad though you had a good time when you finally arrived. We’ve had a cell phone for almost a year now, but not fully confident in it’s use even now. Still learning…. anyway, enjoyed reading your post.. Diane

  7. You’re not alone, I now have my first cellphone that take photos and plays music 🙂


  8. Well, sorry you had such a time traveling to your vacation getaway! I’ve done some similar things…misread maps, looked at directions and gotten confused and caused all sorts of delays and back tracking. Somehow my husband and I still manage to travel together. And yes! Cell phones are amazing! I don’t know how I lived before I had one…even having the non-smart version for the first several years was huge. And since 2008 I’ve been a proud iPhone owner…excited to get the new one just coming out! ~ Sheila

    • the new one sounds phenomenal–mine is not up to the minute but I like it–now all I have to do is remember to carry it!

  9. I’m reading this just a day after I got lost on the way to a friend’s apartment. My travel directions snafu wasn’t quite as bad as yours but I did manage to wrongly copy down Google map instructions and missed a step. So rather than going from A to B to C, I was looking to go from A to C, not realizing that without B, it was physically impossible to get to C. I think my not owning a GPS is about the generational equivalent to your not owning a cell phone (sorry to bring up the age thing, I’m using it for pure example purposes). In any case, I’m really glad the vacation still ended up well and that you both got home safely and uneventfully. 😉

    • I have tried many a time to go from A to C and it never ever works–
      the vacation was absolute heaven, but I did not get in a vehicle for two days!

  10. Ha ha! Though technology will never be able to make up for human error, confusing signage & poor road design. We have GPS and got lost this summer too! (did you enjoy Ottawa construction? it seems like every street in town is being ripped apart! 😦

  11. Wow I can’t even remember ever using a pay phone? That is kind of sweet 🙂
    As for getting lost? ALWAYS! I am just not made to navigate 😛

    Choc Chip Uru

  12. Glad you had the time of your life–once you got safely there!

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