Random thoughts of an upbeat mind

Posts tagged ‘road trip’

The Horror

Image result for scale

Stepped on the scale on Monday …. If I didn’t know before that I have put on weight I definitely know now! O_o

I feel very obsessed with this new revelation and have been getting up in the morning to workout before going into the office. Given that I go to work for 7:30 am, this is no easy feat. Nothing like feeling badly about yourself to motivate you to get up and moving. 🙂

Today I am going to make the 4 hour drive to Ottawa to attend the funeral of my BFF’s father. He passed away last week after a long battle with cancer. *cancer sucks* My BFF and her father only recently attempted to have a relationship but I feel like it was too little too late. She is being pressured to speak at the service and her eulogy was filled with bitterness. 😦 It has since been edited.

The funeral is at 3 pm and afterwards I will be driving back to Toronto. Madness, I know. But I didn’t want to take too many days off for this. I am hoping that my cousin who lives in Ottawa will be home before I leave so I can see her for a quick minute.


What happened this weekend

Last week, we had a visiting co-worker from California. She is a lovely lady and I got a chance to get to know her better as I was her “date” Friday night since everyone else was busy.

She did not want to spend the evening in her hotel room so I, the homebody, was tasked with figuring out what we would do. I took her to The Real Jerk as she had never had Jamaican food before. She really enjoyed her curry chicken roti. Our waiter was not the most attentive and neglected to bring our jerk flavoured wings and got our drinks mixed up. We still managed to leave full and content.

During dinner she mentioned that she would like to see Niagara Falls before she leaving on Saturday evening. She expressed doubt that she would go by herself so I volunteered to play tour guide. I was up very early to make sure we got there and back in time for her 6 pm flight. From my neighbourhood it’s about 1.25 hours without traffic.

We arrived around 9 am. The first thing we did was buy tickets to the Hornblower boat ride, which takes you to the base of the falls. Even though it was early there was still a short wait.


After that it was time for a meal, some souvenir shopping and then a walk to the falls. We headed back to the car around 2 pm in order to get to the airport by 4 pm giving her plenty of time to return her rental and check in.

It was a great way to spend the day. I forgot how much I love Niagara. And the weather was perfect for being out and about.

Looking forward to the weekend

I am trying to get back to normal. For some reason this last road trip wore me out more than usual. I left early on Friday morning and until I got to MD. There was an accident that slowed traffic to a crawl. But all in all a good drive down. We managed to find a prom dress for Princess at Target of all places AND on clearance. It was just her size. Less than $40 US, yes please!

Prom dress

In the course of 3 days I had my favourite flavour of ice cream three times. 🙂 It was almost 4 but somehow having ice cream at 7 am on Sunday didn’t seem like a great idea.

The service for my cousin was great. It ran long but that was not surprising since there were a lot of people on the program to speak about how wonderful she was.

My Mom met us down there and I drove her back. It was a long drive back as we stopped like we usually do but she went one way and the kids went another. It was like corralling cats at times. LOL

I was hoping to get back home by 7pm but too many long stops and leaving 1+ hour later than I planned made for a long day. But by 10 I was happily on the couch.

I am really looking forward to the upcoming 3 day weekend. I so want to sleep in and spend the day lazing around.

On a side note, traveling over the weekend interrupts my regular workout schedule but I did manage to get a quick walk in on Friday with my Aunt while we waited for dinner to cool. I am back on the wagon with 2 workouts done this week, right on course.

Quick trip recap

Well if there was every a time I was to question my sanity, it would be based on this trip.

I woke up at 3:45 am Friday morning and by the time we got ourselves together and in the car it was minutes to 5 am. Not our best start but since the goal was to arrive in one piece we didn’t have a time line.

Routes to MD

The highlighted route on the far right is the one I take. But with the weather and the mountains, I was hesitant to take this hilly route. So I took my Aunt’s route which is the one to the far left. It adds about 30 minutes to the drive but it is all highway driving.

On the Canadian side just before getting to the Peace bridge border crossing, I encountered blinding heavy snow. 😦 It lightened up just after the border but then returned a short while later. To think I took the longer route to avoid bad weather. lol

The rest of the drive was long and uneventful. My only complaint was that since my GPS really only has fastest route or shortest distance options, it kept redirecting me off the highway so I had no clue how long the trip would really take. Also since I was unfamiliar with the route it was harder to gauge when to stop for food and gas.

We arrived in MD just after 2. Since my Aunt was still at work, we headed to the mall. Princess found a pair of boots she liked and I bought a face mask. Then we moved on to Walmart where I am proud to say we did not spend a lot. There is really very little we “need”. We also spent some time in Target and TJ Maxx.

My Aunt opted to cook dinner so we just picked up dessert and finally arrived at her home just after 7 pm. It was a long day and I was glad to finally stop moving.

We slept in a little on Saturday. Okay, it was a little for me and a lot for my kids. So much so we were almost late to the ceremony. It was a great service. I met some new family members and reconnected with others. I’m really glad I made the effort to go.

My plan was to leave around 3 pm and head back to Canada. BUT towards the end, there was picture taking and it took long to say goodbye to everyone.

To add to our lateness, Princess left her winter jacket at my Aunt’s house so we had to stop there on our way home. My Aunt was not home. Lucky for us her garage can be opened with a code and she doesn’t lock the door to house from her garage. So we were able to get the jacket and change our clothes.

Long road trip short we took our usual way home since I figured it was quicker and easier for me. We did stop for a meal and a walk through another TJ Maxx so we didn’t get home until after 3 am Sunday morning. O_o About 48 hours after I started my journey.

I fell into bed and was fast asleep but for some reason I was up at 7 am. I gave up the hope of going back to sleep at 9:30 and got out of bed and went to the living room to read “Between the World and Me“.

Yesterday afternoon we attended my brother’s concert, grabbed some food on the way home and then relaxed on the couch. I was beat and ready for bed by 8 but decided to stay up a little later so I could try to get back to my regular bedtime.

I still feel tired but it’s manageable.

I will be going back to MD for my cousin’s ceremony in 6 weeks. I wonder if the new job will give me the time off so I don’t have to do this quick turnaround again.


It’s almost home time

I know I only came for 4 days but they seemed to have passed in a blur. It does not help that I have been up late and slept in a bit this morning.

My kids have been doing the stay up way too late and get up even later which has been messing with the timing of our outings. *Argh*

I am aiming to leave by noon tomorrow so we don’t get home too late. Crossing my fingers that we miss heavy traffic on our way back.

Short recap to come in the next day or two.

Why am I still awake?

I got up shortly after 3 am this morning to make my drive to MD. It was not so much a struggle as a strange feeling that I hadn’t really slept at all but just laid in the bed for 6 hours in the dark. I actually heard my reminder to turn off my A/C.

Diva offered to give me another wake up call at 3:30 but that didn’t make sense.

We were up, showered and in the car by 4:02 am. Gold stars for everybody!!!

Traffic was light all the way to the border. Actually traffic was great all the way to my cousin’s house. The only thing that added time to our trip was the 2 stops along the way. Our first stop was for gas at a service center and the line up for Tim Horton’s was so long and slow that I left the girls in line and filled up the car before they were finished. 😦 The second stop at McDonald’s seemed to take longer than it should have given that there was only 2 orders ahead of ours. I think the hot cakes that Princess ordered had something to do with the delay.

Between you and I, every time I go into a McDonald’s in the States I am alarmed by the size of the people on BOTH sides of the counter. **shhhhh don’t tell nobody**

There was crazy thick fog that appeared once we crossed the border that made visibility in some places very difficult.

More fog Fog

The sun was out in the above pictures. Other than that the whole drive was very uneventful. We ran into some traffic 10 minutes from our destination and arrived safely at 1:30.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing while my girls went to the mall with my cousin’s daughter. My cousin moved last year to this beautiful property on a lake. If I hadn’t been chilling on the couch, you would have had some beautiful scenery shots. Oh well maybe tomorrow.

I figure if I can stay up until 10 that should “reset” my sleep cycle and get me back on track. I don’t really feel tired right now but hopefully that will change when I lay down.

6 hours


Until I leave for Maryland.  I don’t think since I became an adult have I every willingly went to bed at 9 pm.

My plan is to get up at 3 am and get out the door by 3:30. This will get me into MD around 12:30-1 pm which will leave us the better part of the day. 🙂

“Lucky” for me I am feeling ridiculously tired.

I know the trip will pass fast but I am still looking forward to every moment with my family.

The road trip that wasn’t

This morning I was dragging to get out of bed.  I slept in and lazed until after 9. 🙂  I had dreams of leaving at 10 but that was not my reality.

When I arrived at my girlfriend’s place it was after eleven!?! O_o

I decided to drive my own car.

As we got to the main street I asked her if she had the necessary documents to cross the border.  She said she had “the latest driver’s license, you know the enhanced one.”  I said I didn’t realize that the latest one was enhanced.  I was under the impression that you had to apply specifically for that one.  She thought you didn’t.  This made no sense to me.  But when she pulled it out of her wallet it looked just like mine.

A quick google search confirmed to her that she did not have the enhanced driver’s license.  Her passport is expired.

I am so glad that we discovered this near her place as opposed to at the border.

I can only imagine how crazy and foolish we would have looked as I am handing the US border officer 3 passports and 1 regular driver’s license.


Anyhoo, I returned her home and my kids and I went to try the new pretzel cheeseburger from Wendy’s.  It was never on my list but I can now say I’ve had it.  No need to repeat that experience.

Pretzel cheeseburger

I managed to get a lens filter for my new camera.  So I am now ready to take it everywhere with me. 🙂

We stopped at Winners where both my girls picked up headphones.  Diva tried hers out on the way home and decided she did not like them.  I am not sure if that is really what it is or buyer’s remorse.  Either way the headphones are going back.

We also stopped at the thrift store on the way home.  Nothing caught my kids’ eye.

Since I am home and it’s grey out I will be doing some cleaning and relaxing for the rest of today.

Tonight I will try my hand at homemade pizza.

On the road again

A girlfriend of mine mentioned that she wanted to do a day trip to Buffalo to do a little stocking up.  Since I love to travel across the border I volunteered to go with her.  Little did I know that means I will be driving not riding shotgun. 😦  Now I do have the option of driving her car but I think I would prefer to drive my own.

I don’t know about you, but this summer has been brutal allergy-wise.  Today I had a major allergy attack and my eyes felt like they were on fire.  My contacts were not happy.  Having said that I think I will suggest we drive her car since mine is standard and she can’t drive it.  That way if my eyes are really bothering me, she will be the back up.  I also plan to walk with my glasses as another back up.  But I am not a fan of driving in my glasses.

I have expired allergy pills and will be taking one tomorrow morning until I get to the store to pick up new ones.

I don’t have a long list of things to buy for once.  I haven’t yet gone through my kids’ closets so I will refrain from buying anything for them other than a couple of pairs of shorts, ear phones for their ipods and cheap jeans if I see any.  A friend of mine bought her daughter $8 jeans at Macy’s.  If I see such a deal I will be picking up a couple of pairs for each child.  Plus we will be traveling to Maryland next month so any shopping that needs to be done will be done them.  By that time I should have a good grasp of what they really need.

For the most part this will just be a day out with my girls.  They will get to go to their favourite place, the mall.  I will try my best to walk with my pleasant face and I only have so much patience for shopping now-a-days.

Trip to the beach

I had great plans of getting up early-ish on Sunday morning and arriving at my cousin’s place for noon.  But I was moving so slowly that it was noon before I even left the house. 😦

I arrived at her place at 3 pm and we sat a spell.  She took advantage of the 4 extra pairs of arms and left us with with her newborn while she went into her basement to paint some books shelves that she is making.  That girl is very handy.

Around 4:30 we decided to pile in the cars and go to what my cousin described as “the only beach in Kingston”, Grass Creek Park.  It was a good little drive.  I can’t say how far as I was too busy trying to keep up with my cousin who I think thought she was trying out for the Indy 500 or Formula 1.

The beach was small and surprisingly crowded.  My cousin said it was probably worst during peak hours.  The minute we arrive my cousin’s 3-year-old daughter started her “I want to go in the water” chorus.  So my girls and my sister went in with her while my cousin set up her beach tent.

Around 6 I started to get hungry and since my cousin had promised her child that if she obeyed the rules there would be ice cream from McDonald’s I knew that’s what dinner would be.

My cousin gave the 20 minute warning to her kid.  Then the 10 minute warning.  Then it was time to get out of the water.  Well little miss water baby was not having it.  So while my cousin took down her beach tent I went to talk rationally to a 3-year-old.  It was very interesting to see how out of practice I am.  I gave her two options, walk and get McDonald’s or be carried and we go home.  Neither of which appealed to her.  I asked her if she wanted me to carry her.  She said no.  So we started to walk.  All the while she still let me know she wanted to go in the water.  I forgot how single focused small children are.

By the time we were finished with our meal and ice cream it was after 7.  I was anxious to get on the road but Diva left her sunglasses in my cousin’s house and my cousin wanted the help unloading the children.

It was 8:15 when we got on the road to make the 2+ hour drive home. 😦  With traffic and a stop for cheaper gas in the suburbs, we arrived back at my place at 11.  Of course I still had to drop my sister home.  Had I planned properly I would have told her to bring all her stuff with her.

Thankfully my mother only lives around the corner so I was back home by 11:30.

Yesterday morning was a struggle to get out of bed.  Coupled with I was supposed to be at work early which didn’t happen.  I was dragging all day.

It seems I can no longer do 2 late nights in a row. 😦