on the banner below to download the latest version from
the Adobe site.
Jonathan, Elaine and Rosalie prepare to board
Elaine Weeks photos Chris Edwards
you’ve been lucky enough to travel as much as we have over
the years (especially before children), it’s really tough
when you can’t do it. Since starting this publication over
2 1/2 years ago, we really haven’t had time to plan or take
a proper trip (i.e., over two days). We decided this past January
that we were dammed if were going to let another year slip by.
and I decided we were overdue for a return trip to British Columbia,
where we had spent six eventful years back in the 90s. We cashed
in all those precious air mile points collected over the last few
years and booked 17 days in July when we figured we’d be the
with our two kids 11-year-old Jonathan and 7-year-old Rosalie, we
looked forward to hooking up with friends acquired during our years
in Vernon. We also hoped to see family members who had moved to
B. C. in our wake.
April, we discovered that we would miss most of the Detroit 300
events, including the appearance of the Tall Ships, as well as the
big bash celebrating the centennial of Camilla Wigle Stodgell, ‘Walkerville’s
six months between booking the trip and actually leaving for it
passed incredibly fast. Chris somehow took care of most of the travel
arrangements in between teaching two night courses at the University,
producing several videos, a plethora of websites and of course,
publishing four Walkerville Times.
we knew it, we were battening down the hatches at home and driving
up Walker Road to the airport. We arrived bright and early (we love
flying out of Windsor – the airport is so small, you can drive
right up to the check-in door) and picked up our “e-tickets.”
Things seemed to be falling smoothly into place.
that is, it was time to pass through Security.
Passenger Edwards please return to the check-in counter?
in the 1/2 hour since checking in, our boarding passes mysteriously
disappeared. After much fumbling through carry-on bags – had
we really once traveled around the world for a year? I wonder (see
Christmas in Jakarta, Issue 12) – we hear Chris’ name
being called to return to the check-in counter. Yes, the passes
are right on the counter where he’d left them.
they’d still put them in envelopes, I would have them,”
Chris explains somewhat sheepishly.
we really need a vacation.
board the little Dash 8 for the 50-minute hop to Toronto without
further incident. Our seats are by the wing (as is usually the case
whenever we fly). But this doesn’t bother Rosalie in the least.
look at that!” she cries as she peers out the plane window
at patchwork fields far below. “Now that’s what I call
we slowly ascend into thick clouds, she asks, “Are we going
to see heaven?”
don’t think so,” I answer thinking, I hope not.
while later, she observes, “the propeller is chopping up the
past her and have to admit that that does seem to be the case.
she sighs as she settles comfortably in her seat. “I haven’t
been in the clouds in a long time!”
little “puddle jumper” gets us to Toronto in good time
for our connection onto a proper jet to Vancouver. We settle into
our seats – Chris and I behind the kids, who are excitedly
chattering away. I crack open a good book.
the serenity of Deep Cove in “super natural”
British Columbia helped make our trip great.
we know it we’ll be over the Rockies.
minutes pass and the jet’s ‘umbilical cord’ is
still attached to the boarding gate. Finally, the the captain informs
us that we are waiting for the food – the airline switched
caterers on Saturday and there have been a lot of delays as a result.
He assures us that the food should arrive in 45 minutes –
an hour from our scheduled take off.
to Chris, “we should have flown Friday.”
we wait for the “sure to be delicious” airline food
to arrive, the kids entertain themselves playing rock, paper scissors.
I read and write in my journal in between watching a tiny boy standing
in the aisle next to me. He is bugging his older brother who is
doing word searches. Finally, he grabs the word search book and
pencil away from his brother. His mother, also doing a word search,
does not notice.
boy refuses to give the things back to his brother. He drops the
book in the aisle. His father says,
pick up the book.”
ignores him. His brother cannot reach it. I pick up the book, give
it to Matthew and tell him to give it to brother. He does.
while later, Matthew begins to lose it. He is having a crying fit.
He will not calm down. He is getting hysterical. We still have not
left the ground. Matthew is being passed over the seats from his
dad to his mom and then back to his dad again. They cannot calm
him down. Everyone studiously ignores them.
me. I cannot stand to see him cry and his parents seemingly helpless
to get him to stop.
he is hungry. I dig into my bag – all I have is fruit leather.
I pass it to his brother to give to him. Matthew stops crying for
two seconds to look at it – then starts bawling again.
still have not taken off. I’m becoming convinced that Matthew
is making so much noise, the pilot will not be able to take off.
finally, we start moving. As we roll down the runway, Matthew is
really crying now. He is louder than the engines. When we finally
lift off, Matthew is screaming and then, mercifully, two or three
minutes later, he stops. Matthew is asleep. Thank God.
rest of the trip was great. Really. Except for when Jonathan put
a garter snake on my bare shoulder while I was writing post cards,
but I’ve run out of room so you’ll just have to trust