Home again. Well, home for the twins, anyway. I’m currently in my sister’s basement recovering from the nine-hour (including the hour wait in customs) ride back from Montreal, my neck still in a crick from my trapeze pratfall. I’m looking forward to some shut eye before diving into the pile of work awaiting me.
We left Montreal at what felt like the butt-crack of dawn, considering how late we’ve been sleeping in, and completed the one-hour drive west to Rigaud with time to spare. Despite the nap in the car, the twins, I knew, were ecstatic to finally be going on the zip-line, which they’d been looking forward to ever since I first made their itinerary months ago. Now, despite each one having been penalized nearly half an hour for some less-than-savory behavior, they would finally get the chance to see what all the fuss was about.
Compared to Arbraska’s Barrie, Ontario, location, the Rigaud park is far larger and more diverse in its offerings. Had I been able to move my neck, I would have had a blast. Instead, I sat out and contented myself with getting embarrassing video footage for the montage for the twins’ b’nai mitzvah next year.
After finishing the beginners’ course, the kids moved onto L’Aigle, a course consisting purely of zip-lines, including a 750-footer and one that stretched over the golden fields of an open meadow, where groundhogs scurried for cover whenever a zip-liner screeched past overhead. Only a few reminders to keep their legs straight and to steer with their hands, and they were flying through the canopies like pros.
When their aunt-allotted time was almost up, we found the Tarzan Rope, a one-game course that consisted of hurling yourself off a platform into space, sailing across the void on the aforementioned rope, and grabbing the cargo net on the other side. After my trapeze experience, I doubt I would have been so brave as to voluntarily propel myself off a 25-foot platform face-first into a net. But they both did it, even if Micaela did flail about for a moment before finding foot purchase. (See snort-inducing video below.)
Before any of us realized it, we had to head home. Not only were we dreading the ride, but the twins were especially not looking forward to returning to school the following day. At the end of our trip, we were a little slaphappy, and while recapping some of the weekend’s highlights over lunch, we were pleased to find the small cafe empty, as we couldn’t help cackling hysterically over the horrible waitress from the day before. Just saying, “I’ll give you a tip” caused the two to fall into uncontrollable fits of laughter.
The line at the border was far longer than when we’d come through a few nights earlier (we were the only ones crossing at midnight), but the interrogation was far less harsh, and this time the kids were prepared for such questions as “How is this woman related to you?” and “What is your mother’s last name?” (The latter threw Micaela off, since Ilene often still uses her maiden name.)
But we made it through, and I spent the rest of the ride telling stories about airhead students, redhead rivalries, and misadventures abroad. Before nodding off, the twins bounced around ideas as to where we should go on our next adventure, their heads dreaming up grandiose voyages on foreign continents. They balked at my idea of youth hostels, but train travel appealed to Carter. Micaela seemed to only be satisfied with staying in high-end hotels, no matter how much we extolled the virtues of a sleeping car on rails.
But that’s all at least another year away. They’re still digesting their memories of Montreal. And I’ve yet to recover from the trapeze — or our Egg-spectation waitress.