This post has been a long time coming but if you’ve ever done a big move you know that it is a busy time and takes a while to get settled. I wanted to share a little with you about what it was like moving during a global pandemic as well as share some photos of our beautiful new home!
So we found out on January 6 that our movers were coming January 28 (the actually ended up showing up unexpectedly the 27th). That was not long to plan a 10 day drive + a 14 day isolation plus say goodbye to the place and people that have been home to me for the last 15 years. It was also a very short amount of time for my oldest girl to process her grief. Both girls would celebrate birthdays as soon as we arrived in our new home and wanted to have a little party before we left as well. I wanted to grant them that special time iwth their friends before we left but it was a pandemic! Thankfully, about 5 days before our movers came, we were allowed to have 10 people gather outside. So the girls invited a combined 8 other girls to the outdoor rink by our house and those little girls toughed it out for 45 min or so to skate, drink hot chocolate, eat cupcakes that froze waiting to be eaten, and make our girls feel so special. We are so thankful forever for our west coast friends.
It was not an easy task figuring out accommodations for the trip considering we have 3 pets! Thankfully once you have 3 people, the RCMP will cover either a suite or adjoining rooms. The problem was that a suite was often not possible as the limit in most places was 2 pets per room. Add to that, many hotels don’t have adjoining rooms anymore! It was a full time job just getting hotels and our isolation location booked! We did get it all booked with a combination of adjoining rooms, suites and in a few places just 2 separate rooms. All but one place really was excellent, and even that one place at least offered us somewhere to lay our heads overnight.
I have said it before and I will say it again, travel with your kids from the beginning. Our daughters were TROOPERS! I cannot sing their praises enough. We stayed in 9 different hotels. Only one night was there a pool that we could use and only one night could we actually eat in a restaurant. There were a few days through Manitoba nad northern Ontario we couldn’t go in gas stations to use washrooms and in some places we couldn’t even find anywhere we were allowed in to get lunch! They were totally agreeable to eat the baby carrots from the cooler with a side of already opened chips! Due to the pandemic, all the fun activites we thought we would do on this drive were out the window. One night we went to Walmart so they could spend their birthday money and other than that, we hung out in the hotel. There were a few times we were on the ground floor with outdoor door so they could play out in the snow. They did their school in the car, read, drew and watched some shows. I read our Narnia book outloud as well as some Canadian History. I don’t think these girls complained once!
We hauled our camper because it was too stressful to figure out how to ship it last minute and also we wanted the extra space. We put our cats in there for driving so we didn’t need to listen to them meow. We also put a giant cooler full of meat we didnt want to throw out as well as all our overnight bags and a giant rubbermaid full of activities for them to do in isolation. We brought their quilt and pillows so they would have that if they needed it. We also brought some dry goods for during our isolation period and a small rubbermaid of snacks for along the way. We brought juice boxes so we didn’t have to buy special drinks at each lunch stop and paper plates for splitting up food in the car. The most annoying part of having the camper was that we didn’t fit through the drive through of fast food places. This never mattered before because we could go in, but not during a pandemic. So we were stuck a few times. Somedays we walked up to the windor or called in but other times we were just out of luck.
The other annoyance was all the stuff we had to carry in each night! We didn’t want our instruments ruined so we kept them in the truck and brought them in each night along with my canning that I didn’t want to throw out! All in all, we made it. We enjoyed our nights in the hotels together and I enjoyed reading in the car!
When we arrived in NB we had to go straight to out isolation house. We had filled up with gas before the border but had to stop and use our jerry can with about 20 km to go. Thankfully Thomas had filled two up and strapped them to the back of our camper last minute. We didn’t need it until the last 20km of the trip but we were glad to have it.
Thankfully we had found a cute Air BNB that was willing to change their pet rules for us and let us stay there for two weeks. I am so thankful for that as it was such a cute little house and such a comfort knowing we had a place to stay for 2 weeks where we had space. There was a little yard for the kids and the dog and lots of room for us to spread out when we needed time. I had stopped at walmart before the border and bought some things like playdough, a new game, new barbies, etc to help pass the time. A local RCMP wife did a Costco run for me and some girls I used to coach brought me groceries plus a bunch of Amazon packages for birthdays I had ordered to her house. Birthday week started 2 days after we got to our new house.
On February 22, we boarded the boat to come to our new home on Grand Manan. The truck with our stuff didn’t arrive until the next day so we went into another Air BNB here on the island. In the end it was 28 days between hotels and the 2 Air BNB’s that we were out of our house. It has been fun exploring this beautiful island and there is so much more for us to explore. I am currently writing an article for The Canadian Schoolhouse about Grand Manan so if you check there in May you can find out more info. I’ll leave you with some photos of our first few weeks here and the beauty that is this island!
Any questions about travelling / moving with kids, message me or leave them in the comments. This is the very short version!
I hope you all enjoyed a few images of our new home! Feel free to ask any questions about travelling or moving during a pandemic!
God bless you all!