Oh dear. I turn my back for just for one minute and there go my city kids hugging a bear again. I also catch them playing in the car at our too-beautiful-for words campsite in Banff National Park.
But there are signs of hope too for my coffee-shop loving brood as I share in this essay for up! magazine. And the summer trip to this Rocky Mountain and aquamarine-river locale afforded them a chance to paddle like a voyageur, raft the Bow River and even see a real grizzly too. Because this corner of Alberta truly is an outdoor haven for families, however they take their lattes.
The Fairmont's Le Château Montebello is not your average Canadian cottage. In fact, it’s said to be the biggest log cabin in the world. And as such the expansive river-front property situated between Ottawa and Montreal offers biking, horse-back riding and drinking of cocktails at the piano bar. (Well, does your cottage have a grand piano?)
But there's also much to discover in the surrounding town of Montebello. This is my story in Vacay.ca about exploring this unique Quebec getaway.
Kids seem to have a certain way of keeping track of time. I think this originates in the family road trip, as in, Are We There Yet? Are We There Yet Now? How About Now?
These six road trips featured in the summer issue of Today's Parent nip that in the bud with itineraries that keep the peace in the backseat. Read about my family's journey along Quebec's St. Lawrence North Shore, a road trip from Quebec City into the Charlevoix region that's full of adventurous stops of whale watching, suspension-bridge crossing and cheese-curd consuming. (Hey, who says Quebec agritourism isn't an adventure?) Click on Classic Road trips to start planning your trip into other corners of Canada with the help of my fellow travel writers.
PS: This was my first byline as a "mom of three." Which perhaps is rather appropriate as my son looked at my luggage tag the other day and said: Where's your name? It doesn't spell, M-o-m.
Illustration by the talented Patricia Cavazzini
She had learned In Flanders Fields in school, just like I had years ago, but was my daughter ready for the realities and impact of war?
This is my story for Vacay.ca on our moving visit to the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.
Ahh, the green van. It carried my family across the county many times. Rockies, Prairies, Canadian Shield, reverse, repeat. And this was before iPods and TVs in mini-vans. The most high-tech equipment we had was a mini-kettle that would plug into the cigarette lighter so we could make instant porridge. (Dad liked those early morning starts.)
Later, as a teen, I found the aging van embarrassing. Especially when it came sailing around the corner with a red canoe and yellow kayak on the roof. (Uh, Mom could you make a more discrete entrance?) But looking back, I think: Weren't those trips the best? We'd pull up at a campground. My sisters and I would jump out, ready to test the dinghy on a new lake. Later, tucked in sleeping bags, we'd wind down the captain seats as our beds. What fun. What memories. Oh, that's me on the left with the terry cloth shorts. Hey, this ain't a fashion blog.
It started with a 1979 GM van. Throw in miles (and miles) of Canadian scenery, sisters, dogs and my Dad's Crystal Gayle tape and what do you get? A love of travel. And yes, this travel blog.