Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Our Mini Montreal Adventure A.K.A The Cure For Cabin Fever

    The word "SPONTANEOUS" is not really in my vocabulary.  I am by nature a planner (which drives most of the people around me nuts).  Honestly it's difficult to be spontaneous with 4 children.  I mean I sometimes fantasize about just getting in the car and going somewhere, but it's just not really in me.  That is until this past week-end.

    Christopher (my husband) is a funeral director for a family run funeral home.  He is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (yet another reason why "spontaneous" is not in my vocabulary).  Basically we are used to his crazy schedule, but there are times that it begins to get to you.  This past week-end Christopher booked the week-end off.  He was in full fledged cabin fever and needed to get out of the house.  He had no idea where he might like to go, he just knew that he had to "GO".  We considered going to a hotel, but Christopher has stitches in the bottom of his foot (don't even ask) and Riley is in a cast.  There is no point in going to a hotel if you can't enjoy the indoor pool.... so that meant that a hotel was out.  The other problem is with our little dog Fergus.  We can't leave Fergus overnight, and kenneling him can get expensive.  Where could we go?  Christopher sat on the computer, while I had the lap top out.  Together we combed the internet looking for some family fun that was within a reasonable distance.  Just when we were about to give up, I came across Montreal's Biodome.  biodome.qc.ca  It looked amazing.  Now the trick was to see how my husband felt about driving to Montreal.  He was in.

    We got up Saturday morning, with four really excited kids.  They were up for an adventure.  For the most part they were all really good for the drive, although Rowan kept whining asking "How much further" every five minutes ( I will neither confirm or deny that I offered to throw him out of the moving van).
    As we arrived in Montreal, the kids little face's quickly became glued to their windows.  Elly kept squealing with delight and pointing out beautiful castles (can you tell that we are ultra religious by the fact that my daughter mistook churches for castles).  They loved the newness, the big buildings, the everything.

    When we walked into the biodome I thought that there must be some kind of a function, because people were lined up for what seemed like miles.  No, there was no function, it is always busy like that we were soon to find out.  If there was one draw back it was that the place was just too crowded.

    The Biodome was amazing.  It is basically three different world climates, all in one building.  My favourite was the rainforrest which was our first stop.  Everything was lush and green and tropical.  Over top of us were monkeys and parrots.  I looked over at the roof and saw a sloth.  It was amazing!  Honestly it was like playing the eye spy game, because everywhere we looked was a new and amazing creature.  The next area we traveled to was the Canadian landscape.  I will be honest, the Canadian landscape did not float my boat, only because we live in a rural area and all I have to do is drive two minutes and I can see that.  I say that the "Canadian" area didn't float my boat, but that is not entirely true.  I was fascinated with the lynx.  As a child the lynx was my most favourite animal.  It just sat there looking regal and bored, up on it's rock, it's face turned away.
    The most favourite exhibit of the kids was the penguins.  We were only separated by glass, and the penguins were mere feet away from us.  I always think of penguins as comical, but when I saw them in their environment I was amazed.  I had no idea that they were such fast swimmers.  They frolicked and played, much to all of our delight.
    The Biodome was amazing!  It was busy, but that was o.k.  The price was certainly right.  We took advantage of the joint ticket with the Planetarium, and our admission for both, for all of us was under 100 dollars.  That works out to less than the price of a movie admission.  The nicest thing was that they offered complimentary wheelchairs.  That meant that Riley could thoroughly enjoy the visit too.

    After we had finished up at the Biodome, we walked over to the brand new multi-million dollar Planetarium.     http://espacepourlavie.ca/en/planetarium I was really excited about the planetarium.  Christopher and my very first date was to the ROM Museum in Toronto, and then we went over the to Planetarium (the Toronto Planetarium no longer exists).  We sat back in reclining seats and watched Laser Pink Floyd.  Christopher didn't know that the seats reclined and so he had his neck all twisted so he could see.  I knew that the seats reclined, and had mine reclined.  I too had a twisted neck because Christopher had put his arm around my neck in an affectionate way, and it was killing me.  We were still new and I didn't want to tell him that he was giving my curvature of the spine, and so I quietly suffered (I bet he wishes that I would occasionally still quietly suffer).

    I walked into the Planetarium expecting what we had seen in Toronto all those years ago.  The sight that greeted me was completely different.  I felt as if I had been transported onto the deck of the HMS Enterprise.  The walls glowed like stars.  There were touch screens everywhere, inviting children to come and learn.  On the back wall was the largest collection of meteor rocks in Quebec.  I was in complete awe, and at that time I did not know that the best was yet to come.

    We lined up to go into the theatre and watch the movie about stars.   I expected the chairs that reclined.  I was shocked to see Adirondack Chairs all around the outside, and beanbag chairs that resembled rafts in the middle of the room.  The floor looked like it was polished glass.  The kids all ran for the beanbag chairs.  As we relaxed in our chairs, the lights slowly dimmed and it looked like we were in the forest, and that polished glass floor began to look like a lake.  All around us was the sound of the forrest, the crickets, the frogs.  I could feel my blood pressure lowering as I listened to that beautiful symphony of the woods.  All that was missing was the blood thirsty insects.  At one point it felt like we were floating up into the stars.  It was absolutely amazing.  If we had more time, I would have gone to see the movie again.

    After that theatre, we walked across the hall to another more familiar theatre.  There were the reclining chairs, the starry ceiling.  Our guide directed us through the constellations and their history.  She told us where to find the stars and when they appeared.  This part was not as entertaining, but it was very interesting and educational.

    We drove home, all of us still floating on the wonderful day.  The kids kept shouting out what their favourite part of the day was.  Midway through their best part of the day, they would interrupt themselves to adjust what their favourite part was.  I sat in the front smiling over at my husband.  We had done something spontaneous and it had been a huge hit.  We had found the cure for cabin fever.  As the kids slowly drifted off to sleep, we looked forward to our favourite part of long drives.  The best part of a long drive home, is that quiet talking we do when the kids are all passed out in the back.  We had coffee in hand, and lots to talk about.  We congratulated ourselves on a job well done, and basked in the beauty of the day we had just put in.  We vowed to make a return trip to Montreal.

So here is that part in the show where I tell you that I am in a contest for Mom's of Multiples, and I really want to make the Top 25 (very prestigious) and so I need your help.  If you could just hit that little pink circle, then scroll down and hit the little pink heart to vote for me,
 I would be most obliged.

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