Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Journey to Find Roots (and Soda)

My dad discovered shortly after we moved here to the Canadian border that his great-grandfather actually immigrated to the U.S. from a community in Quebec that's only about 40 minutes from our house. We found this a funny coincidence, and A., who is more into family history than I am (probably because he actually knows all of his family history, as his family on both sides has lived in the same place for hundreds of years) wanted to go take a look at the place.

So we went on Saturday.

It was a very spontaneous trip. We didn't even leave until after Jack woke up from his nap at 3 p.m. We did find my ancestral village. It's actually pretty trashy and creepy, and I think A. said it best when he remarked that it was a good thing my ancestors left. We found the cemetery with some gravestones of people with the family name, although I'm not sure exactly how they're related to me.

Charlie is not in this photo because he was sulking in the car after staging a really spectacular post-car-nap meltdown. He didn't miss much.

Up to this point, none of the children had been too impressed with our journey to find our roots. They were bored. And hot. 

So we went to the beach.

With ten square feet of sand and everything.

What we actually did was drive a few minutes to see the St. Lawrence River, and then stumble upon a public park with a small beach. Perfect. A. had mentioned before we left that we might go to the river, so I of course brought extra clothing for the children. Because any time you bring children into close proximity to water, you'd better have extra clothing.

Except I forgot Cubby's, so after we were done at the beach, he had to sit in the car in his T-shirt and underwear while I hung the Classy Flag of Drying Shorts out my car window on our way to a restaurant for dinner.

The restaurant we stopped at was one just on the Canadian side of the border very close to our house that's well known for their French fries. And, of course, poutine. Because that's what French fries are for around here: drowning in cheese curds and gravy.

I myself am not a fan of poutine--why sog up perfectly crispy French fries?--but I am a fan of French fries. Because this was our big day out, I even got a can of soda for everyone. Usually I'm totally Unfun and get the kids water or juice, or, if they're really lucky, one soda to share. Because does a two-year-old need 12 ounces of corn syrup? No. 

But this time they each got their own 7-Up. Based on the excitement this generated, you would have thought they'd won the lottery.

Turns out, it's just that easy to make lasting memories. When I asked the kids what their favorite part of the trip was, they unanimously said the beach and the soda.

Sand + 7-Up=Good times, kid-style.


Anonymous said...

Oh, dear me, now I NEED to know where your relatives were! I have put in quite a bit of time lurking along that border on the Quebec side and can report that all of the villages are wretched-looking. In Napierville, there is a beautiful stone house that once belonged in my family, but in the modern world it sits across the road from a car racing track, making it unendurable to visit on a race day because of the noise, and unendurable on an ordinary day because of the ugliness. If you have any interest in wars and rebellions, there are some good sites relating to little known pieces of history (War of 1812, the Papineau Rebellion in 1837-38).

Enjoy your exploration!


tu mere said...

May be when the baby is born Charlie will decide that he's too old for meltdowns since he'll be in competition with baby sister. Can't imagine any other child being as good as he is at it though. Oh well, one can only hope.

Anonymous said...

Concerning Charlie...I figure as long as the rest of you go on and do your thing and have fun doing it, he will come around and join the party because you are having so much fun and he won't want to miss out. Well, I hope for your sake that it turns out that way eventually.