Guest Post: Carol Pitre: To Road Trip or Not to Road Trip

To Road Trip or Not To Road Trip 

Sorry Will, old friend, but that is the question.

Well, that becomes the question when you’re facing an entire summer month with no plans, a husband who has used all his vacation time, and three children otherwise known as the Bickersons.

I should mention, I do adore a good road trip. In the past, I have always been the first passenger in the car and ready to get outta Dodge at the mere mention. Of course, being the sole driver did give me pause… I paused long enough to put on my rose-coloured glasses and imagine that those magical ipods and DVD players would save me in an hour of need.

That said, let me paint a picture of my three Bickersons… My first born, 11 years old at the time, is happy to travel but states very clearly: “I love road trips! Except for the road part.” My middle child, nine years old and whip smart, can’t quite generate any excitement at the idea but he’s willing to “play along”. (For the record, he did include air quotes and a wink of the eye.) Finally, my six-year old daughter brings up the rear with plenty of happy, bubbly energy.

With the children (mostly) on board, there’s only one decision left to be made… Where to?

While I’m pondering destination ideas, I fall upon an unusual stroke of genius: tie the trip into a good book. Three out of three Bickersons love a good story; two out of three Bickersons are redheads; and one out of three Bickersons wishes she had a sister. Anne of Green Gables it is.

PEI or Bust! Done.AnnesHouse

Prior to the trip, we spend our evenings reading chapter after chapter of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s famous novel. I do my best to give the characters unique voices so the children stay engaged. The plan works as I sometimes hear chuckles at the funny bits and cries of woe when one of the kids misses a chapter due to another commitment. Despite the varied crowd, Anne is loved in our home and now we are ready to visit hers.

A brief look at our road trip stats:

– Eleven days

– Four provinces: ON, QC, NB, PEI – and back

– Three children and one 15-year old niece (the world’s best road trip assistant)

– Forty-two hours of driving

– Twenty-one movies watched in the car

– One dead car battery in Quebec

– Spotted in the St. Lawrence: one blue whale, several belugas and many, many seals

– Anne’s house was a highlight right down to the bottle of raspberry cordial in the pantry

– My children do NOT like lobster

– My children LOVE the ocean

– My children LOVE hotel pools slightly more than the ocean

I could write endless stories about our experiences and the intensity of spending eleven days and nights together. Rather, I would summarize it as such… The Bickersons will always be the Bickersons, but amongst the endless hours on the road, the spectacular vistas, visiting new provinces, trying new foods, and tasting the salt of the ocean water, I was able to understand my three Bickersons just a little bit more. It was sometimes difficult, but a priceless adventure leaving us all with fantastic memories.

Road trip? No question.

Addendum: The day after returning home, my oldest asked: “Mom, can we go the other direction next summer?”

Alberta or Bust? Hmm, I need a good novel…

::

Carol Pitre is a mother of three; seeker of adventures on the road and otherwise.

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