Monday, July 3, 2017

Oh, Canada!

July 1st! Canada Day for all Canadians, and the first day of international travel for the Royans! Take your Tums and empty your RV of any banned food, booze, guns or drugs (relax... there were no drugs), it's time to cross the border into Canada!

Passports and necessary documents in hand, Mark's tummy churned as we inched closer to the border crossing in Sault Ste. Marie, all the while watching massive ships sail through the Soo Locks below us.  

When it was our turn, Mark was so nervous that he blew right through the stop sign before the check point.  

Border Patrol: "Sir, there was a stop sign back there that indicates that you are to stop... and wait... until called." 
Mark, with a deer-in-headlights look, took this moment of fear to overcompensate with extreme cheerfulness: "Hi there! I'm sorry! I didn't see it! How are you today? First time! What do you need? Excited to see all that Canada has to offer! Can't wait!"
Border Patrol: "Passports please." 
Mark: "Just mine? Or passports for the whole family?" 
Border Patrol: "We'll need them for anyone you'd like to bring with you, sir." 

Mark handed over the passports. Border Patrol Guy handed them right back. "Very well, sir, have a nice trip." 

Hooray! We were on our way! Oh, Canada!! 

We had a quite a bit of tree-lined roads to traverse between Sault Ste. Marie and Ottawa (our first real point of interest), so we took took some time to enjoy our first Canadian bonfire, restock our groceries, eat Poutine and see some local sites. 

The boys most enjoyed Science North in Sudbury, a real Sid the Science Kid type of Science Center with plenty to explore.  

Max took a liking to a skeleton exhibit that asked participants to place the skeleton's bones in their proper positions. Max determined this box to be full of "penis bones" and tried repeatedly to find the necessary hook on the skeleton for the penis bone attachment.  In case you're not in the medical field or don't have a penis... there was no such hook.  

Striking out with the skeleton activity, Max moved to the Flying Squirrel exhibit, which allowed you to pet a real Flying Squirrel! He found the squirrel to be so soft and cuddly that he choose its likeness in the gift shop. He very cleverly named it "Squirrel."

Farther down the road, near Sturgeon Falls, we visited Larry's Chip Stand in search of their famous Poutine. Not big fans of gravy, the kids questioned why anyone would ruin perfectly good fries with such a vile condiment.  Max, who also hates cheese, was especially turned off and took the moment to quote Ratatouille: 

"I do not like food, I love it. And if I do not love it, I will not swallow. "

At the Sturgeon Falls KOA, we relaxed by the fire as the kids went about mixing "potions" on tables other than our own.  This is why picnic tables rock. As do hoses. 

FYI Mamas if you have any type of old, relatively shelf-stable food (old Halloween candy, sprinkles, flour, sugar, spices, oils, vinegars, grains, etc... the best tip ever is to throw them in baggies in the freezer and compile a "potions" kit. Buy some plastic beakers and... voila... you've got yourself hours and hours of free time as your kids play outside.  When they're done, leave the mess in the grass and pat yourself on the back.  Clever Mama. 

The KOA also provided a campground full of other kids... who all spoke French. Fearless Andrew strutted over to the bunch with a notebook and green marker in hand, ready to draw out whatever he needed to communicate. Every so often he'd run back to Mark for some high school French.  

Endless days of driving were topped off with gourmet homemade meals, of course. RV Chicken Picatta or Risotto, anyone? What do you think we eat? Hot dogs and burgers all the time? Chef Mark would never allow it! 

Much of Central Canada behind us and groceries in tow, we're heading to Ottawa! Allons Explorer! 

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