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?