Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Road Trips and Rest Stops

Now that I am a parent, every destination seems so much further away. Gone are the days of driving straight through from point A to point B. I remember when my daughter was an infant, what should have been a two hour drive took closer to seven. That trip involved nursing in the car in a church parking lot, a diaper failure that necessitated finding a store to buy a whole new outfit...You get the picture. Now that the children are older, they still seem to need frequent stops, even for short trips.

Usually you can find a public washroom, but every now and then you are stuck stopping at a place where the facilities are for customers only. We've bought sandwiches, doughnuts, chocolate and gas, just for the use of the washroom. One time we had to leave a toll highway then buy something at the closest convenience store to achieve customer status. With the extra fee for getting back on the highway, it ended up being a $10.00 bathroom break. But when you gotta go, you gotta go.

The drive to my mother's house is just under an hour and a half. We have only made it there once without having to stop part way. Knowing that the rest breaks are inevitable, I have discovered all the places en route where we can stop to "freshen up." This weekend we were driving up and my son needed to stop. Of course he couldn't wait an extra five minutes to get to the next Tim Horton's. So we stopped at a cheese factory on the highway. I warned the children that this would be a "customers only" kind of place so while they used the facilities I went and made a purchase. They had a large display of curd, what my kids refer to as "squeaky cheese", made fresh the same day. We opened it up as soon as we were in the car. I must tell you it was the best paid bathroom break ever. It was the squeakiest curd we have ever eaten. If you have never had cheese curd, the squeakier it is on your teeth, the fresher it is.

The bag of curd only lasted a few blocks, and we were slightly giddy from the sheer delight of it all. It was then amidst the giggles and squeaks that my son exclaimed, "Look! Chicken swans!" I couldn't make sense of what he was saying. "What on earth is a chicken swan?" I asked him. "You know, they're like swans, but with black necks and white on them." He was of course referring to Canada geese, but we've decided we like the name chicken swans better. Oh for chicken swans and squeaky cheese; even if it takes a little longer to get places, I wouldn't trade my travelling companions for anything.

A bevy of chicken swans by the river


  1. We have a 5 hour drive to visit my parents on the coast in the summer. I can confidently predict now - it will take perhaps 7 hours, factoring in stops for bathroom breaks, kids being randomly travel sick, and so on...

  2. Queso y ganzos, es un buen menu.