Laura Marie Takes Canada: The Return Journey

August 25:

On our way home from Canada, we spent a little time with Laura Marie’s great-grandmother and great-aunt in North Attleboro, Massachusetts.  Sitting at the dinner table, she leaned over and quietly confided in me, “I can’t tell them apart because they both have white hair.”

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Published in: on October 25, 2013 at 6:49 am  Leave a Comment  

Laura Marie Takes Canada: August 24, 2013

August 24:

* We spent all day in the old city of Quebec.  Laura Marie saw a wedding party leaving a church, and said excitedly, “I never saw a bride getting married in Canada!”

* We passed a street musician playing Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” on an electric piano—and Laura Marie loves Beethoven.  After walking away, she said, “That dude that was playing the piano is really cool.”  Several minutes later, she asked, “Was that guy Beethoven?”

* Laura Marie drank a juice cocktail, and said, “I’m drinking my incredible soda.”

* While standing in a crowded line to see Cirque du Soleil, Laura Marie was on my shoulders.  Suddenly she started singing very loudly, “Happy birthday to Daddy’s head….”

* Laura Marie got tired of me kissing her as I carried her, so she informed me, “If I want you to kiss me, I’ll tell you.”

* Today wrapped up our Canada vacation… or as Laura Marie kept calling it, our “Canada adventure.”

Published in: on October 24, 2013 at 6:26 am  Leave a Comment  

Laura Marie Takes Canada: August 23, 2013

August 23:

* Today we went to a fancy chocolatier on an island near Quebec.  They had the fanciest chocolate everything I’ve ever seen.  Laura Marie wanted a gumball from a machine.

* We explored Canyon Sainte Anne.  They had a really cool kids area with a big Sudoku puzzle the size of our living room rug, and they had moving parts for the numbers.  Laura Marie conquered her first Sudoku!

* At the park, Carolyn showed Laura Marie a little pink sweatshirt she brought in case she got cold.  Laura Marie replied, “Thank you, dude.”

* The hosts at this B&B have two young children who are trilingual—they’re fluent in French, Spanish, and English.  Before going to bed tonight, Laura Marie said to the kids, “iBuenos noches!”

Published in: on October 23, 2013 at 6:12 am  Leave a Comment  

Laura Marie Takes Canada: August 22, 2013

August 22:

* At breakfast on this day, Laura Marie had a lot of thoughts to share with our hosts.  Such as: “We’re staying here because we’re on vacation.”  “I don’t remember home because we’ve gone to so many places at Bed and Breakfasts.”  “I have a passport, too.”

* While I was brushing her teeth, memories of home apparently started to return.  She said, “I remembered that I have a piggy bank at home!”

* There was a pond in the backyard of this B&B, and Laura Marie spent a good deal of time squatting next to it… petting frogs.

* In downtown Quebec, there was a shaggy teenager sitting on the sidewalk playing folk songs on a guitar.  Laura Marie stopped to listen for a few minutes, then said, “That’s beautiful music that the dude is singing.”

* When we put Laura Marie to bed, she kept getting up.  Finally I said, sternly, “Laura Marie Hyde!  Lie back down!”  She replied, with equal severity, “Nathan Hyde!  Stop lying on my pillow!”  It messes me up when she says something so stinkery but funny at the same time.

Published in: on October 22, 2013 at 6:10 am  Comments (1)  

Laura Marie Takes Canada: August 21, 2013

August 21:

* Staying in a Bed & Breakfast in Saint-Adele, Laura Marie talked nonstop to our hosts at breakfast.  One story began, “One time I was tired and grumpy because I didn’t get enough sleep…” and she launched into a long and detailed story.  She also told them, “All day long I think about eating hamburgers.”

* We went to a children’s amusement park called Au Pays Des Merveilles, and Laura Marie wore her Little Red Riding Hood costume.  When the young lady who worked at the park as Little Red Riding Hood saw Laura Marie, she was so happy that she started chattering excitedly in French.  Laura Marie just stared at her and smiled.

* There were some extremely long slides that went down part of a mountain in the amusement park.  Laura Marie went down one, and then called back to Carolyn and me, “Are you guys okay?”

* After she emerged from a long stint in a castle moonbounce, I asked Laura Marie how she liked it.  With a sigh, she said, “It kinda wore me out.”

* We played a game that was like a life-sized board game, where you roll a large die and then walk to the right space.  Once there, you read the directions on that space and do what it says.  Laura Marie landed on one space that said “Kiss Your Parent” (and yes, that’s what it actually said).  She didn’t believe it.  She asked four times, “Is that really what it says?”

* Different characters did performances where they told their stories… in French.  It was very interactive, and the children in the audience frequently said or did something in response to the story.  During the story of Alice in Wonderland, Alice kept asking the kids questions, and they would shout in happy unison, “Oui!”  Afterward Laura Marie asked us, “Why did the kids keep saying, ‘Wheee!’?”

Published in: on October 21, 2013 at 6:03 am  Comments (1)  

Laura Marie Takes Canada: August 20, 2013

August 20:

* As we drove from Toronto to Quebec, Laura Marie was in the back seat singing away.  When Carolyn and I turned around to look at her, she said, “You know, guys, I need my privacy singing.”

* Laura Marie and I have a running joke where she talks about Muenster cheese and I pretend to be scared, as though she’s talking about monster cheese.  Apparently she wasn’t in the mood for that today.  Refusing to play along, she said to me, “You make up that, and I don’t make up it.”

* At lunch, Laura Marie had a kids’ coloring page with a word search on it.  Carolyn and I, not thinking that she would have any interest in it, kept finding words.  Finally Laura Marie had had enough, and she said, “Stop finding words!  I’m jealous ‘cause I can’t read!”

* When Carolyn ate her salad quickly, I said, “Mommy’s tearing up that salad!”  She saw there wasn’t much of my buffalo chicken wrap left, so she replied, “Daddy’s tearing up that wrap!”  Just then Laura Marie swatted at a mosquito that flew past, and she said, “Lolly’s tearing up that mosquito!”

Published in: on October 20, 2013 at 6:38 am  Leave a Comment  

Laura Marie Takes Canada: August 19, 2013

August 19:

* Last night I went to sleep wearing a t-shirt with a pocket, and in the same room as a four-year-old.  This morning I woke up with little dolls in my shirt pocket.

* We visited the castle Casa Loma.  Carolyn had told Laura Marie about a spiral staircase there.  Laura Marie kept saying she wanted to see “the twisty stairs.”  They had one of those machines that presses an imprint on a coin.  She saw it and said she wanted to “squish a nickel.”

Published in: on October 19, 2013 at 6:30 am  Comments (1)  

Laura Marie Takes Canada: August 18, 2013

August 18:

* Apparently our Toronto wakeup call has a slight variation.  This morning the day started with two of Laura Marie’s dolls–Snow White and Lambie–squealing in a very high-pitched voice, “Wake up, sleepyheads!”

* At the Toronto Zoo, Laura Marie took one look at the baboons and, without a word, cracked up laughing.  When I asked why she was laughing, she said, “Because they have funny faces… and red butts!”

* As we left the zoo, I said to Laura Marie, “You’re a silly Canadian goose.”  She replied, “I’m not a goose.  And I’m not a silly Canadian!”

Published in: on October 18, 2013 at 6:12 am  Comments (1)  

Laura Marie Takes Canada: August 17, 2013

August 17:

* On this day we discovered that our daily wakeup call throughout the duration of our vacation was going to be a certain four-year-old girl standing next to our bed yelling, “Wake up, sleepyheads!”

* While eating at Rainforest Café in Niagara Falls, I noticed that Laura Marie’s attention was fixed on something nearby.  So I asked what she was doing.  She said very matter-of-factly, and none too quietly, “I’m staring at the lady.” Um, oh—I guess I did ask.

* We headed south a little to a park that had a really beautiful garden.  The whole time we were there, she pretended she was Alice and was in Wonderland.  Although I’m not sure she was really pretending.  She got pretty upset if we had a momentary mental lapse and called her anything other than “Alice.”

Published in: on October 17, 2013 at 6:54 am  Leave a Comment  

Laura Marie Takes Canada: August 16, 2013

August 16:

* We thought Laura Marie might sleep late after getting to bed late.  But nope—we awoke with her standing right next to our bed, shouting, “Wake up, sleepyheads!”

* During breakfast, Carolyn poured syrup on Laura Marie’s waffle.  Laura Marie remarked, “How sweet of you!”

* As we rode the Maid of the Mist within an admittedly intimidating proximity to Niagara Falls, Laura Marie coolly observed, “It’s probably not a good idea to go under the water falls.”  She has the gift of understatement.

* During lunch, we were all quietly eating when Laura Marie suddenly said to Carolyn, “You are silly and dangerous.”

* After we got some ice cream and started walking along the falls, Laura Marie found a small green patch of earth in the middle of the vast crowds.  At her suggestion, we sat there and enjoyed our ice cream.  Several minutes later she said cheerfully, “So how do you like this meadow that I found?”

* At dinner, I asked Laura Marie why she had chosen Rolo ice cream earlier in the day.  She answered, “Because it caught my eye.”

* I told Laura Marie, “You’re an amusing person.”  She asked what “amusing” meant and I explained it.  A few minutes later she said to Carolyn, “Mommy, you’re a confusing person.”

* And my all-time favorite: As I was getting her ready for bed that night, she said, “You’re the world’s best daddy.”  I don’t think I’ll ever recover from that.

Published in: on October 16, 2013 at 6:39 am  Comments (4)