Road Trip 2017 Part 1

#Lacourseroadtrip2017

Yeah it's a long hashtag, but it's the hashtag I used for sharing photos of an amazing road trip I went on this summer with my best girlfriend Estelle. We took our youngest kids, her two girls, my two boys and we drove across the United States and Canada for what can only be described as a cathartic and epic road trip!

I don't know about you but I love travelling and I really love travelling by car.  There are things you will never experience if you only fly to your destination.  Can road trips be utterly dull and uncomfortable, absolutely, but then you should pick better people to travel with.  And I don't know there is just something about getting in a vehicle with a friend and driving somewhere random for no other reason than to go some place new.

The boys and I started our trip from Alberta, we headed into Saskatoon to visit with my mom, grandma and sister for a night before we headed to Prince Albert to get ready to leave with Estelle and her girls.  My boys are used to travelling in the car for 5 hour trips, with maybe one stop, I'm not that nice mom that pulls over everytime they cry they have to pee, but our plan for the trip was going to be 8-12 hour days in the car, so I really wasn't sure what to expect.

Once we were ready to go, we headed for our first stop which was Brandon, Manitoba to stay with our friend Brandi.  Here's the lesson we learned that day, DO NOT ALWAYS BELIEVE THE GPS!! I knew to get to Brandon we should go through Yorkton, instead my van GPS took us to Hudson's Bay.  I will let you look on a map to see how far apart those two places are but they are no where near each other or on the direct path to Brandon either.

We knew where we were (on the road to Hudson's Bay or just passed Hudson's Bay) when we stopped at a little rest stop.  You ever watch horror movies where people pull off the road, go down a rutted road to a rest stop?  Yeah that's what we did, if it hadn't been daylight I would NEVER have pulled in there.  There were barbeques and some dilapidated buildings and outhouses that were rotting.  And the HORSEFLIES!! OMGeeee they were the worst!

 We pulled over to take a picture of all of us at the border signs, Estelle wanted to stop at all signs but I thought that was a bit excessive.  Anyways we stopped but a swarm of horseflies surrounded the car and we opted to not get out! Welcome to Manitoba!
 One cool thing about our huge detour is that we got to go through Riding Mountain National Park.  Being that I live in Alberta, I wasn't awed by the sight of Riding Mountain for it's Mountain name, but it was so pretty to drive through.  I wish my kids could have stayed up to enjoy the sights!! The good news is the boys and girls did AMAZING!  There was no fighting, no crying and no complaints about being in the car for so many hours!
 After an evening at Brandi's we got back on the road. Since I had driven all day the first day I decided to let go of some of my crontrol freak nature and let Estelle drive. I am the worst passenger until I get used to your driving.  And it is definitely worse when I sit in the front seat, in hindsight I should have maybe made Havana sit up front when her mom was driving.  Estelle is an ok driver, but because it is not my same style of driving it makes me nervous. I am fully aware of this fact, but I am sure it still drove Estelle batty!

 We made it across the border with no issues!! It was empty and we were legitimately surprised when the border just appeared.  Turns out Brandon is similar to Lethbridge and Medicine Hat and sits close to the border, in fact it may even be closer!

We got out took some pictures at the sign, but these were quick stops because we had many more miles to travel!!

Come back for Part 2, Journey to Pittsburgh!

Have you ever done a cross country road trip?  What were you favourite places to stop?

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