Road trip across America – June 1982
Being posted from British Columbia to Ontario allowed a plan to be hatched for a road trip that would allow us to explore some of America on the way. It seemed a great opportunity to see some of the features of the US we would not likely otherwise get to visit. We had to drive our car to Ontario so let’s just detour south and check things out on the way. With 3 small children and a small budget, we decided camping would be fun and inexpensive (I mean cheap). We didn’t anticipate the effort required to drive all day, do some sightseeing and put up a camp at a different campground every night – with tired kids that required attention. Everyone had their chores to help out – nobody liked blowing up the air mattresses for sleeping.
The route was south from Vancouver to Washington state then south through Oregon, California and then across the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio on into Ontario to Toronto – a long drive.
This was a marathon trip looking back with 3 young children. We checked out these spots and so many more on the way….it was great to learn about so many new things.
Los Angeles – we visited the many sites including Disney Land, Knotts Berry Farm, and Universal Pictures.
Arizona, New Mexico – we checked out Tombstone and the site of the gunfight at the OK Corral;
Arizona – Grand Canyon – is a sight to behold and Shawn wanted to leap into the Canyon. He was always full of energy and it was a challenge to control around the un-fenced edges of the canyon.
Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee – lots of sites including Elvis mansion in Memphis; Loretta Lynn’s ranch at Hurricane Hills
The RCMP were pretty good on their transfer arrangements. We had been able to visit and plan our move and find a house to rent ahead of time as I recall. So when we arrived after our long road trip we had a place to move into once the furniture arrived. After renting for a while and tiring of the traffic noise from the busy road behind us we bought a property nearby in Erin Mills, Mississauga. It was on a nice quiet street with great neighbors, the school was at the end of the street so convenient for the kids and there were many children around for friends.
Family life was busy, routine but hectic with 3 kids and two working parents. The school at the end of our street had before and after school daycare which was so helpful. We had found a fantastic daycare facility for the twins before they were of school age. The street and neighborhood were full of families and friends for the kids at school and to play.
Kids sports became a focus as well to occupy them and to teach them teamwork and how to get along with others including taking direction. Ice hockey, skating, baseball, soccer, lacrosse, and swimming were featured in the line up of activities – the kids had their own and favorite activities. It was a big juggle to meet all the demands. Both boys were in competitive sports at an elite level and this made great demands on our time to get them to practices and games. My daughter had her own sports that also required attention. Playing snack bar at the older sons games was a favorite pastime for the twins. Weekend scheduled games and special tournaments provided regular trips away to other parts of Ontario and the US.
There were also holidays and trips around the region to see the sights such as Niagara Falls, Upper Canada village, camping and other activities kept us all occupied. We went to fall fair in Toronto for the kids to enjoy the fun of the rides, exhibitions and show bags. It was a busy period for everyone as they were growing but a fun time.
We took trips north to Orillia to see my parents who were getting frail and ill before they passed.
We even managed to take a trip to the Dominican Republic with the kids. The Dominican Republic is the most visited destination in the Caribbean. It is a geographically diverse nation, the Dominican Republic is home to the region’s tallest mountain peak, Pico Duarte, as well as the Caribbean’s largest lake and lowest elevation, Lake Enriquillo. The island has a warm temperature and great climatic and biological diversity.
The country is also the site of the first cathedral, castle, monastery, and fortress built-in all of the Americas, located in Santo Domingo’, the capital, an area declared as a World Heritage Site. Music and sport are of great importance in the Dominican culture, with Merengue and Bachata as the national dance and music, and baseball as the favorite sport. We stayed a lovely resort and enjoyed the water, tours, and experiences of a different way of life. The way of life was very poor for the locals but the staff was so friendly and lovely.
Good Bye Canada
So it was farewell as we took our final journey leaving for Australia – see separate page on our cross Canada camper van journey.