Light at the End of the Tunnel
The Plan: A visit to Quebec to see a garden art installation, a picnic and hike in the Gatineau National Park.
The Forecast: 50% chance of rain for an hour.
The reality: 100% chance of rain indefinitely.
We gambled on the art, and spent 45 minutes in the rain. It was neat -- the kids loved it -- but it was very wet. Next time we'll ignore the forecast and bring umbrellas. We piled back into the car, and tried to figure out where to have our picnic. Ultimately, we ended up at the best dry, heated place we could think of: a mall food court. We were the family sitting amongst the restaurants eating leftover homemade pizza, crunchy whole carrots and apples.
We wandered around the mall, lost. We found escalators, a pet shop and a $6 pumpkin spice latte for mom, who was feeling a little underwhelmed and wondering how we ended up playing hopscotch in Old Navy when we were aiming for rocks, logs and creeks. After an hour, we decided to head home in the dreary drizzle.
At the doors a miracle happened. The rain stopped and my caffeine jolt, also known as optimism, kicked in. The kids asked if we could still go to the Gatineau Park ("I like walking, I just don't like being soggy"). Caffeine, pep and Autumnal joy were coursing through my brain as we exclaimed "sure!"
Cue the sound track: A mix of The Lumineers, Matthew Barber and Jack Johnson.
Pit stop: On the side of the Gatineau parkway. Malcolm on his Winnie the Pooh potty in the short grass. People slowing down for the hazard lights flashing, then realizing it was just a bare bummed toddler answering nature's call, in the most natural of locales.
We walked. We frolicked? The kids crawled amongst ruins and posed with thumbs up in front of waterfalls. It was all roots and rocks and double dares to run all the way to the top of that huge hill. Just as clouds part at the end of a rainstorm, and light shines through at the end of a tunnel, the best days are remembered for the way they end.