The first thing to know when making a trip to Canada is bring more than one laptop for four people. This is critically true when two are teens who live and breathe for time on Facebook. The second thing to know is how to make frozen pizza and chicken fingers in less than familiar ovens. Other than these basics, a Canadian trip can be a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of a coastline megalopolis that is some 100 miles from Cuba. The PS3 is hundreds of miles away, so no background warfare sounds as you walk through the TV room. Kids are actually driven to pick up their guitars, read books, and consider some outdoor activity on the lake.
The last activity is a little harder to encourage. After a week without the screens, it actually starts to look like their neurons have settled down, and my teen boys can really live without the frantic Call of Duty soundtrack to their lives. But no doubt a single game session will get the dopamine churning and the screen wars will break out again in our home. There is a boarding school up here. I'll keep that in mind, more fantasy than reality no doubt.
So my dear SK friend, you may be soaking up that Parisian culture, but I am enjoying life up here in the Great North. You may get to the Louvre, but does that really compare with perusing local shops and galleries with their 1001 ways to represent moose and loons on endless key chains, tee shirts, mugs, wine glasses (I'll refrain from going on)? And what about the shoe selection here? You can't beat moccasins for comfort! Really all kidding aside, I also got to spend a wonderful day with my sick son in the local emergency room. The cost: a flat, reasonable hospital fee and a whopping $73.00 bill from the ER physician. Ah... family vacations.