Our 2-day adventure in the deepest, darkest wilderness of Quebec was a success,
despite it taking us about 7 hours to reach our destination, which is a mere 3-hour drive north of Montreal if one has accurate directions;
despite travelling down what couldn't possibly be a road, but by all indications (ie, the written directions) was the right way, though it was later proved to be an inaccuracy, and, in fact, an ATV trail;
despite severely putting the 4-wheel drive to the test, though no one can now accuse us that our vehicle never goes off road;
despite killing a rabbit;
despite copious swearing and teetering on the brink of deciding to just head back to town and order a pizza;
despite Helena throwing up in the car within a handful of kilometres of our destination, thereby further delaying our arrival due to clothes change and car clean-up and almost not making it before it was completely dark;
despite the pouring rain, on both nights, slightly inhibiting the access between the two cottages;
despite Helena staying up late (and I can never fully unwind until I know Morpheus keeps watch over her) and still getting up early;
despite someone thinking that chicken curry is appropriate cottage fare (what? no steak on the barbecue?!);
despite having to toast marshmallows over the flames of the wood stove indoors;
depite not having a moment's peace, and not having time to read;
despite not getting the carseat fully clean or remotely dry in time for the return journey.
Despite all the bloody oxygen, we drank like fish and smoked like chimneys.
Helena loved the lake, the boat, the fish. She went "fishing" twice (I went only once), and there in the boat on the lake slept the deepest naps of her lifetime. On shore, she built sandcakes to feed the fish, scooping them up when ready and tossing them off the pier.
Helena rode on the back of the all-terrain vehicle, the thrill in her face of which will be topped only when she someday mounts a Harley.
We gazed at stars, rather uninformedly, but in awe.
Helena is not yet jaded by family gatherings, the dynamics, the expectations, the stresses. The in-laws.
But home. How I love that word.