This is my attempt to give the briefest possible recounting of our trip.We had fun at my parents’ for the first few days. The kids got to do some sparklers and Zak stayed up really late to see some fireworks at Uncle Josh’s. The boys were all up very late every night and Ben missed too many naps, but they kept on going.
As you know from an earlier post, I got to go flying. We also got in a little visiting, but I never see everyone that I hope to have time to see. Chrissy and Mark came out with their two little ones and they all played in the mud. And I also got to see Sunny and meet her little (not so little) baby boy!
On our day of departure we hit the road much later than planned. It was the only time on trip that I and my children weren’t responsible for delay. It didn’t matter anyway. We ended up held up on the highway while a semi was taken out of the lake it had driven into. There was a lot of construction too. At last we made it to our campsite, hastily set up tents and sleeping bags, and then headed into the city. We made it to MEC three minutes before closing but they closed early. Mom called and told them our sob story and they had pity on us, unlocking the doors to let me in! Unfortunately, they were out of some of the items I was looking for. We had a late supper at Montana’s. By the time we got back to our campsite it was midnight! I was wondering what in the world I was thinking when I planned on doing this trip. Bedtime went quite smoothly. The mosquitoes nearly carried us off, but we managed to get into the tent first, and amazingly didn’t let any of the beasties in.
During most of the next day I was still wondering what I was thinking when I planned this trip. It just seemed like way more work than it was worth. Anyway, sparing you all the details, I wasn’t having a good time. Once I realized that the best place for the kids was at the beach where they could cool off, and that Mom and Graeme weren’t going to have a miserable weekend if they couldn’t spend it all at the festival, I felt better. Graeme was able to make it out for a visit on Thursday evening and back again late Friday morning for the rest of the weekend. We did get to see some good music, breathe second hand pot, eat some yummy food, and people watch. I was surprised how many people I ran into that I knew. It’s kind of amazing in a group of thousands! Of course, there were more people I would have liked to meet up with, but I didn’t have a spare second to make any plans. I did see one familiar face that I couldn’t place, but that will be my next post.
The highlight for the kids from the actual festival was chasing bubbles at the main stage. Gabriel’s overall favourite part was, “spending time with Daddy”. I’m not sure about Zach, but if I had to guess I’d say it was discovering a caterpillar, seeing a tree frog, and a fawn.
Lots more photos on Flickr!
The last couple of days went well. The kids had fun when they were keeping cool in the water. Zach always seemed to have a little group of kids with him, catching pinheads and whirlygigs. Noah was absolutely, incredibly amazing. What a good baby he is. The only part he really doesn’t like is being in his car seat. Aside from all the negative things associated with camping in Manitoba, the thing that made the trip most difficult was that nothing was within walking distance. (At least not for such youngin’s.) We had to drive to the beach, drive to the festival site. Car camping without driving anywhere creates chaos in the vehicle, but when you are unloading and reloading and unloading and reloading the van…… well, it’s disaster. And time consuming.
Our trip back to Hometown went smooth. When I say smooth I mean, it took much longer than it could take because we stopped for gas, to eat, to nurse, to pee. In fact, the trip seemed to last forever. But we made it to Hometown safe and sound – so it was smooth. Dad was starting a fish and fries supper when we got there. Mmmm……yum!
I surprised myself by having the van packed back up around noon on Monday. (Lots of stuff had just been thrown into Mom’s camper trailer at the campsite.) As usual, it seemed to have expanded over the course of the trip so I had to tie even more on the roof. In typical bush chick (or hick) fashion, my load was cushioned and partly wrapped with mill felt.
After the drive home I was back in my “I’m not leaving home for at least two years” mindset. But I knew it wouldn’t last. I’m already trying to come up with ideas to perfect the packing for the next camping trip. I can’t even say the drive home was smooth even though we made it alive and well. Noah screamed on and off for most of the drive. I stopped in Upsala to feed him. After that the dog started climbing up onto the cooler in the back, a height I didn’t think he could crest. This put him in a position to hop over the seat onto Noah. I stopped and returned him to his spot on the floor. Since he was stretching his nose to the open back window I thought maybe he was hot. I cranked the air. I opened the window on his side. He climbed the cooler again. This time I tied his leash onto something on the seat back. Not short enough. He climbed the cooler. This time I tied him shorter and started driving again. He started whining, and I thought, “I bet he needs to pee or poop. No matter. We’re just twenty minutes from home and, finally, Noah is not screaming.” No sooner had I consoled myself with this thought when the van filled with the unmistakable odour of dog crap. As you can imagine, kids complained. I felt awful. The poor dog. He’s never had an accident. If only I got him out for a break. I think he’s forgiven me.
The moral of the story is: don’t go to folk festival with four small children! Though Graeme has taken to embellishing how horrible my weekend was, all in all, we had good times. But I wouldn’t do it again. Not until the kids are much older….. and we’re there performing with our family band!
Having said that, we’re working on a plan to hit the Red Rock Festival in August, but probably just for the day. It’s much closer!