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Rocky View Publishing assistant editor packs up family and heads on road trip

By: Sara Wilson

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jul 17, 2014 10:23 am

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Do you know what is worse than having your truck break down on a family road trip on 10 Mile Hill in Kicking Horse Pass in a section where there is no cell service with a five year old, 14-year-old dog, mother-in-law and partner?

Absolutely nothing.

That’s how we finished our road trip to Vancouver Island this past week, stuck on the edge of a cliff.

We’d been planning this trip for a couple of months, ironing out the details. We were all visiting my family on the island and had a jam-packed schedule for the 10 days we were there.

Ten days and nearly 4,000 kilometres later that is.

They say life changes when a child comes into your life, and they are right, however, life goes to a whole level when you pack a five year old on a road trip for 10 days.

The sheer volume of stuff that comes with a five year old is beyond description, the colouring books, the movies, the laptop, the stuffed animals, the snacks, the frisbees and it goes on.

I’ve always been kind of an over-packer, but I spent the better part of a decade living out of a duffle bag and I thought I had a lot of stuff then.

Packing the truck was a professional Tetris game we played every day, just to make sure we had anything that may be needed – because God help you if you forgot to bring something.

Time management is also key on a family road trip, making sure the child is occupied the entire time is as exhausting as it sounds, and humbling as well.

We had planned every hour of the trip with all the best family entertainment we could find – bug zoos, horse rides, ice cream shops, swimming in the ocean, splash parks, and then you turn around and all they want to do it play in the bushes.

And so you let them play in the bushes, a humble lesson for new parents that sometimes over-thinking will be your doom.

Their level of fascination with what I consider mundane components of life are the most fascinating things for them.

A realization I had to make very quickly.

Watching them learn new things, new words, new concepts is exciting to watch and be apart of.

However, the incessant questions regarding all the new things you just taught them, can test one’s patience – and that’s putting it mildly.

I had asked a friend who has two kids around the same age how he dealt with all the curiosity, “ I love it,” he said. “I love the answers I come up with.”

That just changed my whole outlook on it, it was now a challenge to not only explain what she was seeing, but test my creative side as well.

I won some, I lost some and it then became a game between my partner and I as to who could come up with the better, more creative answer.

Obviously I won them all against him.

Looking back now, after the 10 loads of laundry and hours of unpacking, the trip just seems like a blur.

To those brave parents that do that trip – and if you haven’t driven from Airdrie to Vancouver you must, it’s beyond beautiful – with three or four young ones, you are my heros.

Those that venture out on the trip, don’t forget the wine, that helped too.


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