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August 01, 2012


I remember a trip to the ocean when I was young when a truck jack-knifed on a bridge and we were stuck for hours. There was a sense of camaraderie between the other folks on the road and knowing it was an accident and not construction, made the road rage disappear and the gratefulness surface. Glad you and your family are ok.

So so sad. Life is fleeting.

Usually you make me laugh out loud, not sob out loud!
In the middle of a ten day road trip myself, and this being the first time as the sole driver, I'm carrying a lot of "Oh God don't kill us all" driving anxiety.

Beautiful post.

Hope you continue to stay safe.

I was feeling slightly less than grateful for my two girls today, who are In A Mood, until I read this. Thank you. I hope you all stay safe and well.

Edward and Patrick have always been the spit of each other! (as we say in Ireland...:) ). And yes, New Zealand IS as awesome as Steve thinks it is; I would go back in a heartbeat.

There but for the grace...

We were once literally the car behind a fatality on a dark motorway in the middle of the night in a very rural area. We were so lucky to not be involved. We waited ages, and eventually all the cars were turned around, let through to the other side of the carriageway, and sent on our way. But we were lucky.

One beautiful Sunday a couple of weeks ago, I was floating in my pool, watching the clouds, and feeling annoyed at the noisy helicopter disturbing the serenity of the morning. Turned out two people had died on the road right outside my neighborhood in an incredibly unlucky car accident. No drugs or alcohol, just really, really bad timing. It was a very strange feeling to find that out the next day, and realize that that was what the helicopter had been for. I suppose there's always someone nearby having a pleasant time when someone else is dying tragically, but still...

I hope today is more fun!

Oh man - I heard about that accident on the radio yesterday (I live in Kanata - west end of Ottawa) and....yes. I understand completely about the thankfulness. I'm glad you guy are okay and I'm glad you are enjoying your trip! I kind of want to hang off the bridge over the Queensway (417) and fan girl wave at you as you drive past (I assume you are coming this way?) but I'm pretty sure they arrest people for that kind of thing. Also I don't think my two year old and five year old would think that was fun. But I've been reading your blog for years now and it delights me no end to think that you are in our neck of the woods! Enjoy your trip!



I've only been to Toronto, but I agree that Canadians are lovely people!

And I have a yucky daily commute on a major interstate. I often get stuck in traffic because of wrecks. I've made it a habit to say a quick prayer for whoever is involved, instead of complaining and letting road rage take over. Life is such a blessing.

Love the updates. Have a great time!

Hooray - welcome back!! I've missed you. I loved Canada too - although I've only been to PEI on an Anne of Green Gables stalker trip. It was a perfect combination of American culture, Canadian hospitality and class, and British chocolate and TV. If I could only get my husband to move there....

How heart wrenching. We had the same thing happen to us last summer, on our "Big Trip" to Maine from WI. Somewhere on the Mass Turnpike in the middle of the mountains, we were stuck in a very long line and when we finally got to move, we passed a crushed mini-van as the ambulance sped the other way. It was a horribly grounding moment for us as well.

I hope the rest of your trip is filled with beauty. I would love to travel through Canada, but first I need to get passports for four children and the two of us!

A few years ago I drove I-80 from NJ to PA to take my college student daughter to a concert we both wanted to see. I crossed the border and I-80 came to a dead stop easily an hour before my destination. After several hours and an eventual detour that was...interesting...I learned a similar story to yours. Two people had driven off a bridge into the river below. It was an eye-opening experience. I'm not a religious person but it does make one rethink their priorities. Glad your family was safe.

Terribly sad specifics:


Beautiful post. Glad you are enjoying Canada, and registering my vote for one of your infamous blog-get-togethers north of the border one of these days: how about Toronto?


I have not commented here in ages. But I have been reading you non-stop since first I read your entire blog archive in one sitting back in, let's say, late 2003 or early 2004. In my head, we are quite close and I never miss a post. Don't stop writing!

Goodness. I'm going to try to remember this post whenever I get stuck in traffic. I'm so glad you're OK and am sending prayers to the family/ies who lost their loved one(s).

After 1 trip to Vancouver, 2 to Winnipeg, 2 to Toronto, and 2 to Nova Scotia, I have to agree with you: Canada and Canadians are so stinkin' nice. Love them.

My son is 3, and some days I'm just panicked that he's growing so fast... I love seeing the pictures of Patrick sleeping, and knowing that I have many years left of that beautiful, peaceful sleeping face young children have.

Are you on your way to the tyler place? I think it was here that I first read about it, and we had 2 fantastic years there... which also included our only trip to Canada, post TP. Love those Canadians ...wanted to stay longer!

Thank you for the reminder to hold our loved ones close. Safe travels.

Oh, poor girl and her family. I hate that a small moment of inattention or unintentional mistake can have such tragic consequences. Safe driving to you for the trip!

Excited to hear that you'll be trying to post throughout, though.

Yay. Come to New Zealand sometime. And yes NZers love to holiday in Canada.

How terribly sad -- and the victim so young. Without intending to imply that all such tragedies can be prevented (clearly they cannot), I do note that 2/3 of those in that minivan (one killed, two badly hurt) weren't wearing seatbelts. Let's all remember to put ours on, and teach our children to do so, hopefully so much so that they will never forget (again, not really meaning to imply such is truly reliably possible, but written as a mom who would like to protect my own kid forever and ever and of course to see everyone else here be able to do the same as well).

Thank you, Julia; your writing is, as ever, beautiful.

Pembroke? Are you around Ottawa again? Drop me an email!

As someone from Canada, who just got home from a week spent in Sudbury, it is VERY beautiful where you were driving when you wrote this entry!!

Sad that you had to encounter what you did but glad it made you feel grateful for your time together.

Enjoy our beautiful country! Niagara Falls (from which I live 20 minutes away) is STUNNING if you haven't been there yet!! :)

Just noticed for the first time, looking at the photo of Caroline in her cowboy hat, that she has Patrick's and your features (nose and mouth), just different coloring!

Thank you for that reminder of how precious time together is.

Last week I was coming home late from watching the Opening Ceremonies, my two asleep in their car seats, my husband in his car because he'd met us after work, when we got stopped. And stuck. Eventually we got off, and luckily the freeway was only shut down between two exits (long and windy detour otherwise.) Turned out two women were arguing, and managed to fall out of a party bus on the way back from a concert. Still haven't figured out how one does that, but it put my evening's inconvenience in perspective.

How wonderful that Steve's family has embraced all of you. Sounds as if you're having your usual rollicking time of a road trip.

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