Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Wind is fun!
We're more than halfway through our road trip from Toronto to Winnipeg. We could've been home yesterday, but we decided to stay at Thunder Bay for a whole day to kill time because the workers haven't finished working on our home yet. We only gave them a two months notice, you see, which they obviously took as "don't bother to do anything until the very last minute because it'll be a long time before they return".

But I'm getting a bit a head of myself. Last time I wrote we were just going out to get ready to pick up the dogs, so I guess I should start there.

On Friday we drove out in our new lovely Tahoe to buy basic things for the dogs (food, bowls, toys, shampoo, Martha Stewart orthopaedic dog beds). We also popped into Canadian Tire for a bunch of other things then rushed to the condo to pack up and have lunch with our lovely friend Adelit before heading to the airport. Adelit followed us as she was kind enough to help look after Blake when we took care of any doggie business. At the airport we were also supposed to meet Mike, the kind chap who vacated his condo for us to stay in. He was to pick up the over-sized dog cages in a van and deliver them as a donation to a vet friend. We got stuck in traffic and arrived a bit late and felt guilty about keeping the dogs in the cages longer than necessary.

It turned out that we were feeling guilty for no good reason. I expected to run into the building and hug my dogs right away. It turned out that we needed to wait for custom people to check the dogs and give us a document which we needed to get signed at the other side of the airport and come back with it. We waited for almost forty minutes and then drove around the entire airport, getting a tiny bit lost, but then finding the correct office. Then headed back and released the dogs. The whole system was so mind-numbingly clumsy, inefficient and stupid that it's not even worth me writing about it any more on this blog.

Then the big moment arrived. A forklift brought the first cage and put it down. Inside was Sir Leo who was cautiously happy to hear our voices. He didn't want to get excited over nothing and first make sure he wasn't hallucinating. When he was convinced he tried jumping and clawing his way out of the cage. I let him out and calmed him down.

Then the next caged arrived with Dexter who looked a bit confused and subdued, but happy. Even Leo stuck his face to see if his little brother was OK as they spent the entire trip in separate cages. Leo's top hobby is to puncture holes into Dexter's flesh, but he does actually love him. Miron let him out and I hooked both dogs on their leads. 

The sense of relief was huge. Not only were our dogs healthy and uninjured, they were also fairly relaxed and happy all things considered. As a bonus they weren't even really dirty. I expected them to be covered in filth after staying over ten hours in those cages, but that wasn't the case. We still gave them both a good wipe with the doggy wet wipes we brought. 

We took the dogs around on the lead to do their business and gave them water. Blake was considerate to sleep through the entire thing and only wake up once the dogs were loaded into the car. Mike and his friend loaded up the cages in their van and we said goodbye to everyone before departing on our epic journey.

Toronto to Sudbury - day 1
Blake was pleased to finally be driving fast once we got on faster roads. When I told him we were going home he was alarmed as he wanted to continue driving around so we explained to him that we won't be getting home any time soon and there'll be plenty of driving... Blake certainly had his fill and it's good we had an iPod handy.

Our first stop was at Sudbury. We started our trip later than expected, but we still managed about four hours. We found a nice motel with ground floor rooms opening to the outside so I snuck the dogs in. I couldn't see anything anywhere about no dogs allowed and they were perfectly behaved. Once Blake saw the bed he went straight to it and crashed.

On the next day we drove for ten hours plus stops and that was exhausting. Well, to be more precise, Miron did all the driving, but it was still quite tiring even on the passenger side. We had a few stops and Blake loved it when I opened the window to have wind blow in his face. The views were spectacular offering multi-coloured trees ranging from green to bright red and pink. Lots of lakes and mountains. Could've been worse.

We stopped for lunch and let the dogs out a couple of times, including an off-the-lead run on a quiet side road. The dogs really appreciated the chance to really stretch their legs for the first time since the flight.

We should've called it a night at nightfall, but got a bit greedy and kept driving. It was dark and misty with twists and turns and big trucks popping out of nowhere, but at least it wasn't raining. We eventually called it a night in Thunder Bay, our intended stop for the second night.

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, we stopped here to kill a day to give the workers time to finish the very basic work (like, you know, electricity). Miron rested after the crazy long drive and I stretched my legs by taking Blake to buy some stuff at the nearest shopping area (including yet another card reader because the first one got ruined after one use). 

Sudbury to Thunder Bay

We walked along a big road for forty minutes and the sun was out without really being too hot. It was lovely. Blake slumped over my head to cover his face from direct sun-light, but it looked as if he simply collapsed on top of me after we walked here all the way from Toronto. So just before I reached the centre a nice middle aged woman stopped and asked if we needed a ride. I refused politely since we were practically there, but could've really used the ride twenty minutes ago!

So after a quick lunch at the small McDonalds inside Walmarts (classy!) and some shopping we walked back. I had to put my feet up after all the walking, but it made up for being cooped up in the car for so long.

I caught up with many of the TV shows that started over the last couple of weeks and we took the dogs out a couple of times (which didn't stop them from urinating a bit in the room anyway out of nerves). After taking Blake to the hotel pool for a bit we ended the evening with a nice dinner and watching X-Factor US and a double bill of Modern Family.

Thunder Bay to Winnipeg - Today's journey

Now, the last leg of the trip. Tonight we should sleep at our home, the whole family for the first time. I think both Blake and the dogs could really benefit from settling in at our new home and develop a routine.

You know what? I think so do I. I'm ready to be bored for a while.



Mark said...

That Blake is so cute!
I'm glad everything is moving along smoothly for you. It's nice to know that the people there understand your funny English. But don't worry, you have it down-pat in no time at all and.
It's a whole new world for you. Enjoy it.

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mark clifton said...
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