I was very nervous about flying with two young children. Or, to be more specific, I was very nervous about travelling with Maggie, because one of her few really challenging issues is a deep-rooted and life-long hatred of being constrained in any kind of seat. Max is a fairly seasoned traveller, and he is generally mellowed out by cars, so I felt less worried about his maintenance.
The plane that we flew in was quite small, and there were only two seats per row. Ian and Max sat together on one side, and Maggie sat on my lap in a seat on the opposite side. Max had a backpack full of travel activities, so he was quite content, and Ian had his jaunty hat to entertain him, so he did all right, too.
Maggie started out the flight with some questionable behavior. She tried to steal the cell phone of the guy sitting next to us and talk on it, and this was not a baby-friendly kind of guy. He grunted irritably when I apologized, and glared at us sidelong-style for the rest of the flight. One mortal enemy safely secured, Maggie reached over the seat in front of us and drummed a festive beat on the bald head of the gentleman sitting there. Just as I was beginning to panic, envisioning an angry mob chasing us off the plane and pelting us with their broken cell phones, Maggie requested milk, and nursed herself into a slumber which lasted for the rest of the flight. She woke up and got angry (kind of a lot) at intervals during the car ride, but we made it to my dad's house in better shape than I had feared.
So, what did we do in Canada? Truthfully, not all that much. But in a good way.
The kids got acquainted with their Canadian relatives.
Max learned that game where two grown-ups flank him, hold his hands, and swing him up into the air. It is, according to him, the only way to travel now.
There were many relatives to meet, and Maggie is not a schmoozer by nature, so she got a little overwhelmed from time to time. By which I mean, she clung to me like a barnacle for much of the trip. In spite of this, she charmed the masses, and got to see first-hand where her facial features originated.
Max is much less reticent, possessing his father's hustler spirit. He quickly deduced that many aunties/great-aunties/grandparents/great-grandparents/uncle/great-uncles = someone always willing and able to play with him, and he was much pleased by these odds. His adjustment back to real life will be slow and, I am sure, quite painful.
He had some trouble at first, figuring out which auntie went with which name, and called them all "that friend auntie" at first. Luckily, Auntie Jill now has distinctive red hair, which helped Max to sort out who was who.
We didn't hike, or sight-see, or attempt feats of strength on our trip, which I realize might make for boring pictures (if you're not in them). Sitting around in a hammock is delightful (I wish I were doing it right now, to be honest), and if it doesn't make your heart pound with photographic excitement, you can at least experience the warm, altruistic glow of knowing that our trip was exactly what we wanted it to be; time with our much beloved family.