I don’t remember anymore how and when we took the decision to take the kids on a road trip through parts of Canada and the USA. We always had this passion for adventure and exploring but until then we never brought the kids. We spent weekends away, and we had summer vacation at the beach, but we did not really travel since we became a family and it was time to change that.
We started our trip by visiting family in Montreal. Their warm welcome helped us to recover from jetlag, stresses and stains and after a few days we were ready to hit the road direction Mont Tremblant, about two hours north from Montreal.
We arrived at the little cabin that would be our home for a couple of days, in the late afternoon. The sun was almost set behind the tree tops and left golden reflections on the quiet lake just beyond our porch. The children spotted the little red pedal boat that swashed gently against the rack, within a blink of an eye and it wasn’t an easy task to dissuade them to take it just now.
This perfect Canadian postcard setting won us all over and allowed us to arrive. We would spent days without phone, no internet, no TV and without nowhere else to be, no rush, no clock. Instead we did take the little boat on a cruise (or five), roasted marshmallows over a bonfire, danced through the cabin, spent hours searching the most beautiful stones and flotsam, invented games, had ice-cream and pasta everyday and spent for the first time since something that felt like ages, really time with each other.
We found our pace during this first days and while we had only limited time, we still tried to travel without rush. After spending half of our road trip in the loneliness of the Canadian woods, we arrived in the lively and colourful city of Toronto. It was a delight to see how the kids enjoyed this city and how excited they were about everything, they are city children after all 🙂
Toronto was our last Canadian stop before crossing the border to the USA at the Niagara Falls and it left us sad knowing that more than half of our journey laid behind us but happy knowing that some was yet to come. (we would have gladly skipped the detour to the ER though when our little one broke his collar bone) We started off our American leg within the beautiful Fingerlake Region where we spent our days hiking up river beds and our oldest one even dared to take a swim beneath a freezing cold waterfall! I am not sure who was prouder, him or me!
Before returning for farewells and more BBQs to Montreal, we spent the final stop of our Canadien- American Roadtrip in the Adirondacks, a national Park in upstate New York. We could not have chosen a better place for winding up our real first family adventure. We stayed in a little cabin in the most beautiful garden, bounded by a wild river and welcomed by incredible Airbnb hosts that invited us over to join them under a starry night for wine and lovely talks around their bonfire and to enjoy one of the last warm summer night of our recent journey.
There is no doubt that this road trip was special; for us as parents, for the kids but mostly for all of us as a family. It gave us a glimpse on how life could be, how we could be. It was during those days, under the milky way in a garden of strangers, while dancing in a cabin in the woods and when fishing for crawfishes that we decided to follow our dream and take the kids on a real trip, a big trip. A trip around the world that we will start in not too long from now.
Author – Lena Drevermann
Lena grew up in the Ruhr Area in Germany and lived there until graduating from University. Being an adventurous soul, she decided happy-go-lucky to follow her heart and move to Paris – and to start a family soon after. Besides working in a Computer Games Company, she is blogging on Fouronaworldtrip.com about traveling as a family, life as an expat and most importantly: about their upcoming sabbatical in which they will travel around the world as a family.