My First Journey

From Ann Arbor to Ottawa.

My first journey

On Thursday Daddy & Mummy & Grannie & I drove from Ann Arbor to Ottawa in MacTavish. We left late on Thursday evening & arrived there on Sunday morning. I was 5 weeks old & slept in my little car bed most of the way or on Grannie’s knee, & at night we lived in cabins. We stopped in Toronto to see Auntie Lily & Uncle Milton. It was 600 miles altogether and Mummy & Daddy said I was very good all the way.

Except for when I woke them all up pulling my hair.

It is funny to read about car travel almost 70 years ago- seat belts unknown, so the baby travels unrestrained in her car bed or on her grandmother’s knee. And I’m sure Cec was smoking throughout, totally discouraged around babies today- I can remember as a little girl MacTavish’s cigarette lighter which popped out when glowing, and the lovely smell of the newly lit tobacco, before the less pleasant smell of actual smoking took over.

They drove on Highway 2 all the way to Prescott, and Cyn’s markings show them stopping at Chatham, Hamilton, Toronto, Belleville, and Kingston before turning north to Ottawa at Prescott. In those pre-Hwy. 401 days it took much longer than it would now- the road goes through the towns rather than bypassing them- and there were no fast food rest stops then, so trips were more leisurely, with stops in towns for food and fuel. And the proud parents wanted to show off the first girl in the new Costain generation to Cec’s aunt and uncle so there was a social visit too.

The September account book shows details of the tidying up needed before leaving the States- the mundane housekeeping bills to Dairy, Detroit Edison, and the Trojan Laundry mingling with one-of-a-kind expenses such as a sum to the Michigan Department of Revenue, and the rather expensive cost of binding and mailing the thesis. However, there is no October entry dealing with the cost of the journey. Normal life resumes in November when they are settled enough to be getting a salary and paying rent in Ottawa.

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