Did I say that out loud?

Thoughts and musings of a mom

ode to my trailer

​I miss camping and…

the scent of an open campfire 

the coolness of an ocean breeze

the closeness of family

late nights and sleeping in

freshly baked donuts just around the corner and reading novels into the wee hours of the night

listening to the waves as they crash upon the shore

open windows and shaded decks

walks after dark

fireworks lighting the evening sky

searching endlessly for beach treasures

melted marshmallows sandwiched between chocolate cookies

starlit nights and full moons over the water

the crispness of the morning and the heat of the afternoon sun

I miss the laziness of summer.

But for now, I’m going to relax here on my porcelain throne in the blessedness of my home for a few more minutes and relish in the fact that no matter how hard I try, it is impossible to wash my hands at the same time.

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Oh, Mickey, You’re So Fine…

PhotoPass_Visiting_Magic_Kingdom_Park_

Last week, our family went to Disney World for the first time together.  I had never been there as an adult, but went twice as a child, back in the days when there were only one or two parks.

I figured this was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip (or my last once-in-a-lifetime trip to Florida) so we decided to stay on resort.  Because of this, going back and forth from the resort to the parks, involved countless bus trips.  This time gave my husband plenty of time to chat up the other tourists (he may or may not have swapped venison recipes on one trip), and me, time to reflect on our adventures.

So, without further ado, here are my top ten not-so-secret things you may or may not know about Disney World 2015.  I suspect none of these reflections will be found in any of their brochures.  Ok, I strongly suspect.  Without a shadow of a doubt.

1) You can still land a rocket on Mars safely in the Mission Space ride in Epcot with your eyes closed.  Tightly.  Without breathing.  And without your sister who bailed on you when she saw the barf bags.

2) They say it’s the happiest place on earth.  Clearly those people NEVER took children to the park for the ENTIRE day in 30 degree Celsius (or 174 degree Fahrenheit) weather.  It must have been one of those honeymooners who wore Mickey and Minnie bride and groom ears who coined that phrase.  You know the ones.  They have the coordinating Mickey and Minnie shirts too.

3) Based on my extensive research, aided by a child who MUST visit every public washroom on earth, Disney must have more working tampon dispensers than the rest of every public washroom in all of North America combined.  Either that, or no one has permanently etched a pertinent message regarding its working condition on any of them yet.

4) Talk about one stop shopping.  At the Margarita kiosk in Epcot, you can buy a margarita (thus the kiosk name) AND a bag of Doritoes.  Because, well, why not?  I know when I’m enjoying a bag of Doritoes, my first thought is always, “Man, I sure could use a margarita to wash this down with!”

5) And while, we are talking about alcohol…back to that guy who coined the phrase “happiest place on earth.”  He may have been one of the dads walking around the park, holding his beer carefully, while his wife pushed their loving bundle of joy in the rented Disney stroller in the 30 degree Celsius (or 174 degrees Fahrenheit) hot sun.

6) If you are planning on riding on one of the Disney buses to and from the resorts, keep in mind that you may need to stand up on the bus and hold on (for dear life) to the Holy Crap Handles (depending on your audience, this device may have a slightly different name).  Shave and deodorize your armpits accordingly.  Enough said.  Oh, and hold on tight, because it can become awkward really fast if you fall in between one of those lovely honeymooning couples.

7) Those big refillable Mickey cups (not to be confused with the little Mickey cups…wink, wink) should come with a warning label about developing a possible addiction to Cherry Coke after the 964th refill.

8) Eventually you just want to flush a toilet on your own.  In your own time.  When you are good and freakin’ ready.  Although you must admit, the automatic water sink feature would be a good idea in your own home.  The towel dispenser could become a little too expensive though.

9) It’s the only place on earth where you want a Mouse, or should I say, Mousekeeper (Disney word for Housekeeper) in your room.  The last time I had a mouse in my own house, I left it a tip, but it said “Snap!”  And the mouse said, “Oh, crap!”

And finally, because all good lists should have 10 points…

10) And while you are sticking around the resort, take part in the festivities that surround you there.  For instance, everyone in their lifetime should rent a four seater bicycle.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  But you’ll probably die laughing anyways.  Oh, and it’s probably not a good idea to go with the margaritas and Doritoes right before that.  Armpit hygiene optional.

But when all is said and done, even though going to Disney may be more of a trip than a vacation, there is nothing better than seeing the happiness on the face of a child (and sometimes really, really tall ones too) when they finally get to meet Mickey and experience the magic of it all.

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Travel with Me, My Tweet

The last time my husband and I got away by ourselves, without children, without any agenda, was eight years ago. Far too long. It was our tenth anniversary and we decided to stay in the same inn where we had honeymooned years before. Only on that particular weekend, a skunk had sprayed the chimney down in the basement, and guess whose room had the chimney go right up through it? We did switch rooms, and all was well, but in the years following, we decided we were just as happy with Chinese takeout from a local restaurant.

So last week, when my sister asked if she could take my children for the weekend, I didn’t hesitate too long at all and made plans for them to visit her, and for my husband and I to hightail it out of town. In fact, we left the country. We debated camping because I’m a smart shopper (cheap), and I have an incredibly unhealthy fear of bringing home critters from hotels, which is very ironic when you think about it. In the end we stayed at the Hampton Inn, the hotel voted number one in Bangor, Maine, by people who stayed in hotels in Bangor. Or someone like that.

Based on my vast years of extensive research, all while not leaving the country, I have discovered that people like to shop in Bangor. I like to shop. Therefore I figured that we had chosen a proper getaway location.

If it weren’t for the roaming charges on my non-iPhone cell phone, I think I could have live-tweeted the entire shopping adventure. But instead, you will have to be satisfied with my belated not-so-live tweets via this blog post. So here goes…

@terrishoyt They let us out of the country. #hopewecangetbackin

My husband is happy to be with me!

My husband is happy to be with me!

@terrishoyt Motorcyclists don’t wear helmets here. #safetyfirst, #thatcouldhurt

@terrishoyt I’m in Bangor. I forgot where I wanted to shop. #shouldhavedoneafacebookpoll

@terrishoyt Found the Christmas Tree Shop. Not one Christmas tree in sight. #mustbechristmasinjuly

@terrishoyt Dollar Tree. Have another $397 before we reach our 24 hour limit of $400. #startingoutslow

@terrishoyt Found LLBean. Husband may be out of control. I found a dress I wore when I worked in a museum in 1989. #plaidiswhereitisat

@terrishoyt Buffalo Wild Wings. Have more flavours at Smitty’s back home. #knowwhereiwillbenextwednesdaynight

@terrishoyt BWW. Tzatziki should be a wing flavour. #ithinkiamontosomething

@terrishoyt At Kohl’s. Must. Part. With. Money. Can’t. #mightbecheaperatwalmart

@terrishoyt Finally found our hotel. Looks nice. Didn’t find any creatures. Where to next?

@terrishoyt Found a Christian bookstore. 15 minutes until closing. #shopfast

@terrishoyt Found a giant Wal-Mart. Oh. My. Soul. #diedandwenttoheaven

@terrishoyt Walked into Wal-Mart. Saw school supplies. #almostthrewupinmouth, #thisisnotheaven

@terrishoyt At Wal-Mart. Found only a few deals. Must be wrong time of year.

Me showing off my daughter's new clear sunglasses from Wal-Mart.

Me showing off my daughter’s new clear sunglasses from Wal-Mart.

@terrishoyt Women’s clothing in 3 different categories. Mature women, Casual women, and Not Enough Material for my body. #iamacasualwoman

@terrishoyt Discovered someone who shops at Kohl’s. But she forgot to buy a shirt to go with it. See picture below for more details.

@terrishoyt Next stop mall. I think my husband may have lied to me. I don’t think we saw the entire establishment.

@terrishoyt Olive Garden to eat. Oh. My. Soul. Why does our province not have one of these? #neverevenglancedatkidsmenu

@terrishoyt Husband taking me for drive through back roads. I debate in my head out-of-country issues of van breaking down out of country.

@terrishoyt Back to hotel. Sleep. No children crawling in with me tonight. And yet, I still wake up 3 times throughout the night.

@terrishoyt Quick breakfast, checkout, and off to Target. I want a new blue purse. #defeated

@terrishoyt Next stop is the Burlington Coat Factory. Takes a while to find the coats. Apparently having COAT or TREE in your store name means little.

@terrishoyt Hi! This is 1992 calling. I would like my pants back. This picture may have cost me an arm and a leg due to roaming charges. #worthit

Hello 1992!

Hello 1992!

@terrishoyt Off to Old Town Canoe in where else, but Old Town. Husband bought a paddle. I slept on a display chair. #tiredofshopping

Bucket List Check Off

Bucket List Check Off

@terrishoyt Final destination – Marden’s, where I bought when I saw it. #finallyspent$4onmyself

@terrishoyt No problems at the border. #whew, #breatheagain

@terrishoyt On our way back, pick up children, and thank sister who conveniently just fed my youngest ice cream with chocolate in it. #exhausted, #thankful

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Row, row, row your boat

Last week my family decided for the second year in a row to go tubing down one of our province’s lovely rivers. Basically you rent a tube from one of the tubing outfits and they drive you to a certain location by the river and let you go. There are signs at the end of your run indicating where you are to get out of the river and someone is there to help you get back to your vehicle and load off the tube.

Last summer when we went in mid-August, the river was fairly low due to the lack of rain we had received in the weeks previous, and so therefore we had to walk through some of the river whenever we got stuck. Of course, my husband, being the prince that he is, hauled his princess (me) and her big tube, over many of the low spots so that she wouldn’t have to take her goddess-like body out of her tube and break a sweat.

That was not the case this summer. In fact, the company that we had chosen to rent from had closed the day before because the river was too high. It had lowered considerably, but what was typically a 3 hour run was now being done in 1.5 hours. It wasn’t going to feel like a fair ride after you had just eaten 3 candied apples and a bag of cotton candy, but it was definitely going to be quicker than our first trip.

As we were tenderly trying to settle our backsides into the tubes, we were numbing our toes as the water was very cold. Of course, that was completely forgotten by me as I watched my sister flip/fly her body end for end over her tube. I admit it, I laughed, but quickly stifled it as she rose back out of the water and I saw the look on her face. She had a look of fear, having quickly seen her life flash right in front of her eyes. I felt bad for her, but also knew she could break my knees if she felt like it.

So after we finally all got settled and were going down the river, and my sister’s breathing returned to normal, we decided to all join up together. Initially we had only 2 or 3 of us attached together with bungee cords or rope on our tubes, but then thought it would be a great idea if we connected all seven of us together. My husband kept us all lassoed together, like a cowboy trying to herd cattle. Or a dog walker walking down the street. Or a preschool teacher taking the class on a field trip. You get the picture.

You know how something seems like a really good idea at the time and then later, well, you know, it’s like, not so much? So we were gently sailing down the river, when we came upon a big old dead tree sitting there, minding its own business. But something seemed foreboding about that big old dead tree. Hmmm, could it have been the deflated inner tube hanging from one of its branches and no other signs of life?

So, my husband, like in a bad movie which goes directly to DVD, yelled out, “Look at what happened to the last guy going down the river!” Foreshadowing, I tell you. Immediately, my daughter became caught in some low-hanging branches and I had to try to get her from the clutches of the tree. At the same time, my husband got stuck in the tree as well. We were all yelling at him to let go of the ropes because we were (honestly) afraid he was concentrating too hard on keeping us all together. He thought we are not as concerned for his safety as we should have been. Then he flipped off the tube, and went under. All I could see was his crazy knock-off Tilley hat floating in the water. I was inwardly panicking. He reappeared and held onto the tree, and then lost the tube while trying to get back on it.

Finally he somehow got ahold of his tube, and floated for a little bit on this stomach. He then managed to turn himself over onto his tube so that he could relax and actually lay on it. We continued down the river all connected together, and enjoyed the rest of our ride, almost disappointed that the ride was going to be shorter because of the high waters. Some may say we laughed in the face of danger that day. Personally I almost peed my pants giggling at times.

Although my daughter shook for a good portion of the trip (the other one was hanging out the side of the tube and we had to constantly remind her to sit down), she still wants to go again next year. Only next year, the water will be a little lower than this year. And a bit higher than the year before. This princess can’t handle too much stress while on vacation.

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