At last, we have met people like us: a couple with a young child and a baby, traveling cross-country and off-season in a recreational vehicle.
Having relocated from France to Montreal several years ago for a job opportunity, Virginie and Arnaud, with their eight month old son Baptiste and almost two year old daughter Olivia, the time seemed right to take advantage of a second parental leave to cross Canada and return to Quebec via the USA.
They bought an old Dodge Ram for about 4500 Canadian dollars and had reached Bodega Bay on the Sonoma coast, where we overlapped for a night. After San Francisco, they planned to head east towards Las Vegas, with a view to returning to Montreal by January.
They came over for a drink, bringing with them some rather delicious smoked salmon acquired further north.
We compared notes, and seemed to have traveled an almost identical route down from Vancouver. They said they had even seen us a few days earlier, at a vantage point for elk viewing.
The kids all played merrily, Sophia and Olivia bonding over some building blocks my aunt Gretchen had given us, and Lulu and Baptiste removing toys from each other’s grasps.
Sadly, we bid our new friends adieu the next morning.
Claire – On maternity leave from career as editor of monthly finance trade magazines, and occasionally a freelance translator. Half-American/half-English, raised in the suburbs of New York, has lived in London for almost nine years.
Daniel – Furniture designer/maker based on London’s Columbia Road flower market, for ten years, also an aspiring painter and DIY supremo. On one-year career break to reconsider options. English by birth, but mother is half-American and spent part of her childhood in Bronxville, New York.
Sophia – 3.5-year old spitfire who loves school, singing, swimming and being a big sister
Lulu – Born May 8 of this year, a model baby who eats, sleeps and gurgles.
Special guests – American, British and international friends and family who drop in along our trip to see whatever part of the country they fancy. They’re welcome to travel in the car with us and sleep in an adjoining tent.