Here it is, a few days later. Here is a rough outline of The Plan. I have to tell you, The Plan has been pondered, tweaked and adjusted over and over, mostly with the assistance of the awesome Google maps product. It reflects my wish that this trip emphasize Kid Fun – in other words, proximity to water and roller coasters are major themes. My original thought was to try to visit every National Park, as I’ve never met a National Park that I didn’t want to spend months in. But that quickly proved very impractical and in conflict with the kid-happiness goal. Anyway, here is the plan, as reserved at campgrounds across the continent:
1. Montreal, Quebec City (Easternmost point of trip)
2. Ottawa, Gravenhurst (North of Toronto, Muskoka lakes area)
3. Toronto (CN Tower, Air Canada Centre, Hockey Hall of Fame, Canada’s Wonderland)
4. Niagara Falls (a million tacky but fun activities, plus Great Wolf Lodge)
5. Bruce Peninsula, Manitoulin Island, Sault Ste Marie
6. Oshkosh (site of the world’s largest, I think, airshow, which we are going to), Minneapolis
7. Winnipeg (virtually everyone says “why would anybody want to go to Winnipeg?”. More on that later. I think they think the same about Minneapolis but are not quite familiar enough with it to diss it with the same vigor as Winnipeg).
8. Drumheller, Banff, Edmonton, Calgary
I agonized for quite a while about the Sault Ste Marie – Wisconsin route vs. going around the north shore of Lake Superior. When I noticed that the Oshkosh airshow was at the same time as we’d be passing through, it was a no-brainer. I do feel slightly bad about screwing up the original all-Canada flavour of my plans, but I think it’s worth it, Sam in particular will really like the airshow!
My biggest concern at the moment, apart from the possibility of coming across one of my son’s dead body with the other son’s handprints around his neck, is the drive from Winnipeg to Drumheller. It seems like there ain’t a lot there. I think our time in Ontario, the US, and Alberta will be pretty full and fun.
The trip starts with a flight from Kelowna to Montreal on July 1, and a return flight from Calgary to Kelowna on August 20th. May God have mercy on our souls 😉