As we cross the Canadian border after nine months of travel, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, seeing the Canadian flag makes my heart happy. This is the country I chose, the one that welcomed me with an open arms, the country that I have long felt to be the place where I belong, despite the dreadful winters and long months of bitter cold misery. I love this place with all my heart.
We stayed at Indiana Dunes State Park for G-boy’s birthday, and committed not to drive too far on his special day, which we started by opening gifts. The girls got to open a small gift also. They were happy that one of G-boy’s birthday gifts was Lego, because in our house, Lego is a shared toy, so if one of the kids gets it, they know they’ll all get to play with it regularly.
I went to Six Flags Great America a total of three times in the four years I lived in Chicago. After immigrating to Canada in 2000, I never thought I’d return to this park. But traveller souls have a way of always coming back to places they never thought they’d see again.
When I first arrived in Chicago in 1997, I knew exactly three phrases in English:
“Hi, how are you?”
“My name is Mariana”
“I don’t speak English.”
Blast from the past at the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum
When I was a teenager, I didn’t get out much. I had to work to help at home, and as such, I moved between my house, school, work, a couple of after-school activities, and not much else. But there were some cool outings once in a while. One of these outings from my teenage years that I’ll never forget was a field trip to Hannibal, Missouri, where the high school juniors got to see Mark Twain’s Boyhood Home and Museum (and more).
She asks us to come see the beautiful house they’ve just created, and when we come outside, a lovely fairy house awaits.
She runs out of the driveway, waving at the RV as she comes near the street. She smiles at us, and I like her immediately. Not that I didn’t already like her—after all, we’ve been speaking to one another about writing, editing, and various other topics for nearly four years now, and she has always been kind. Her offer of a cabin by the lake, for as many days as we would like, is simply the cherry on top of what I already considered a good friendship.
After leaving Regina, we drove towards Winnipeg, Manitoba, to visit some friends. But first, we (of course) had to stop at a library, so I could get some freelancing work done and so the kids could have a nice break from driving while they read books and played.
After finishing up our time in Alberta (and thankfully recovering from the awful bug that went through the RV), we headed towards Regina, Saskatchwean, with a stop in Moose Jaw to break up the drive a bit. Dan seemed to have escaped the virus for the time being.