A Tale of Two Drivers or A Journey to The City

*When you don’t know which title to pick, pick both.

When we left Tuesday afternoon, Country Driver was behind the wheel. He likes wide open spaces, long drives on clear highways, and sing alongs to whatever song is being bluetoothed from his phone’s playlist. His wife rides along shotgun and happy. The kids ride content in the backseat quietly entertaining themselves.

All is good. They have the rest of the day (and the next day) to look forward to. There’s going to be a hotel stay, shopping, a museum, and a heart checkup. The skies are as clear as the highway. We’re all excited for our trip to The City.

Fast forward 3 hours and we are in the heart of The City with 415,000 people. This is 138 times bigger than Country Driver’s town. He got out from behind the wheel shortly before arriving in The City. Country Driver is too courteous to drive in The City. City Driver drives like he owns the place. He does what he needs to do to get where he needs to go. Blinkers be damned.

Anyway, City Driver took the wrong bridge into The City. Fortunately, his wife and Google Maps were able to navigate him to the hotel. The hotel overlooks a lake named “Chocolate Lake”. Hence, the hotel’s greeter is a chocolate lab named Aero (as in the chocolate bar of the same name).

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Loving Aero kisses

No trip to a hotel is complete until you have bed jumped and pool swam. Having competed the former upon entry, we changed into our suits and went to take a dip. I want to apologize to the couple who was in the pool when my otters arrived. I tried to keep them from splashing as much as I could. I tried to get them to keep their voices down, too. They are two country boys who are used to swimming in wide open lakes.

Bonus! There was a hot tub and it was nice to finish the swim with a sit in the hot tub. The boys joined me for a few minutes (I limited their time).

Then City Driver rounded everyone up, got them changed back into city clothes and we headed out to supper at Montana’s. The atmosphere was neat – wild west country style decor. The boys got to see a moose head and see just how big they are.

After horking down supper, City Driver got them to the mall where the boys could ride the escalators. Only one store had toys for the boys to look at and they were over priced.  $35 for a $10 stuffy. I imagine! They were happy get a bath bomb, though. We perused Build-A-Bear and came out empty handed. We made it to Toy-R-Us, too. One boy spent his $10 from Nanny. The other didn’t because he’s saving up for a puppy. I’ll let you guess which one couldn’t wait to spend.

Stores closed at 9, we stayed until 9. Back at the hotel we went to spend the remainder of our change down in the games room. Air hockey. Donkey Kong. The Simpsons. Pinball. Double Dragon. Ghosts and Goblins. A photo booth.

photo booth

It was a nice try…

10:45 pm and the kids were finally in bed sound asleep.

8 hours and 15 very short minutes later we were all bright eyed and bushy tailed. We hit up the free breakfast buffet, packed up all our stuff and made two trips to the truck to get it all loaded.

It was finally time for the moment we were all excited for. We were going to the Museum of Natural History where the Body Worlds RX exhibit was on display. First, we checked out what else the museum had; a 70+ year old tortoise, frogs and snakes.  Our favorite was the topographical sand table. With the help of a projector and an X-Box sensor bar, the sand would change color and the topographical lines would change to reflect the height of the hill we built. Furthermore, we could “dig” for water and the water would flow according the topography! We all want one for our house. The other really awesome thing they had was a globe that would change depending on what was being projected on to it. It could be any of the nine eight planets or the moon. It showed ocean temperatures over a year, daily air traffic around the world, shipping traffic, earth quakes, tidal waves and that was just the stuff we hung around to see!

 

Finally, we visited the Body World RX exhibit. We had to get there before Bang exploded. He was super excited to go. Should you ever get the chance to see this exhibit (there 9 and they travel the world) I highly recommend it. It’s such a learning experience. It shows how our bones work, how our muscles work. It shows our organs and veins and capillaries. It shows our 25 feet of intestines. It shows heart disease and lung disease. It showed our reproductive organs. Neither DW or I realized that a uterus was so small! And it showed it all in pristine detail. We were blown away by it. Unfortunately, our exhibit didn’t include the infant section where would have been able to see fetuses in various stages of development in the uterus. Bang was disappointed as he was really looking forward to that part.

From here, City Driver took the family to the hospital. It was time for a check up. For those who are newer readers, you can read about Crash’s open heart surgery when he was just five days old. First on the to do list was an EEG of Crash’s heart.

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Our Robot Baby

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2 years ago, Crash was only up to Dr. Wong’s shoulder. 2 more years and he’ll be as tall as him!

After that it was off to get an echo-cardiogram (ultrasound) done. Once that was done and Dr. Wong had a chance to look over the images he came to fill us in on his findings. There is a normal narrowing of his pulmonary, which is expected from this type of surgery. He said if there was any stress on the pulmonary it would cause Crash’s heart work harder in the right ventricle. He didn’t see that happening so he’s confident Crash is doing well. He doesn’t need to see him for another 2 years…

What a relief.

City Driver, ready to be done driving, got the family out of the city and back on the highway toward home where Country Driver gladly took over while the boys watched Cars 3 and DW crocheted. Anxious to be out of the truck and not wanting to fall asleep, Bang threw a couple fits that made us want to throw him from the truck. Fortunately, by 8:30 the boys were back in their own beds, the lights were out, and it was night night time after an exciting day and half journey to The City.

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Eco Kids

It all starts with you.

Or me.

Or our kids.

Or someone else starts it.

At some point someone will get tired of seeing litter and will decide to do something about it. Someone mentioned that a group should get together to clean up an area. Some else asked, “Why does it have to be a group? Why not just take a garbage bag with you when you take your dog for walk? Why not take a bag with you when you go to the park? Why not?”

It’s the little things that matter the most.

Every spring our town calls for a band of volunteers to help clean up our town. Volunteers register and either pick or get assigned a small area to clean up. Naturally, some areas are worse than others. It just depends on where the winds blow and what’s around to catch the garbage; fences, tall grasses, bushes, buildings, etc… We picked the area in front of the bar/Chinese restaurant.

DW likes Chinese food. The bar is for a significantly younger crowd.

It’s a pretty set up they have. Volunteers spend a couple hours on a Saturday morning picking up garbage and beautifying the town we live in. The town provides gloves, garbage bags and garbage bag pick up. Actually, it was a local car dealership who offered to pick up the full garbage bags. The town also provided t-shirts, BBQ hotdogs, apples, bananas and Timbits afterward.

This event had been planned for weeks so, of course, it rained. It poured. Cats and dogs kind of rain. The kind of rain Fort Mac so desperately needs but isn’t getting. We survived an hour of the rains and made significant headway in our clean up when the kids were done and approaching melt down. It was a bit chilly being so wet. We tried not to get too mad at them, even though there was still more garbage. We cut our loses, decided we had cleaned enough in the rain and the rest would wait for better weather.

before clean up

Before

after clean up

After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So perhaps the next time you go for a walk, perhaps with your dog or perhaps your cat or even your lobster if you live in Atlantic Canada, you could take a bag, big or small, with you to pick any litter you might find along the way. Imagine if we all…

If only there was a way to stop it at its source…

fg

This is exactly what we were finding. Sad.