One last day in the car. Everyone slept well after we got home.
This was the most challenging drive so far -- there was thick, less-than-100m-visibility fog in the morning, and that was topped off with freezing mist and snow squalls just before lunch. Despite this, some drivers still insisted on going 90 miles an hour. The Forester handled this fairly well, letting me push perhaps faster than was absolutely wise, but helping me stay out of the way of faster traffic.
We made it home before 6PM, which made it a good day. Ceili clearly missed us, she spent the evening curled up next to me and wouldn't leave me alone overnight.
Overall the trip was mixed. The problem with travelling isn't the travelling, per se -- the kids do just fine in the car for the most part. The problem is the not-being-at-home part overnight and at the far destination. The kids are bored, confined, and don't have access to their stuff, so pester constantly for screentime or TV. They do better when we have activities, like the Aquarium and the Zoo, as long as we don't push them too hard. And then there's me. At the end of day four I just felt totally done with the trip. I did better with the travelling part, as I'm more engaged and take control of that part of the decisions and execution than I do with managing the family. But it was still a long week for me.
The Forester is a decent car -- not a rewarding car to drive in the same way that the Mazda is, but more comfortable. It absorbed the milage we threw at it with ease, without being wearing to drive. I doubt that I could drive the Mazda as far (even without family!) and be as willing to do it all again the next day. The Forester's behaviour in the mist and snow was exemplary, especially considering I didn't have any limit-testing experience with it -- it never felt like it was going to do something stupid on me, even if I didn't have the subconscious trust in the car like I do with the Mazda (the ability to let my subconscious drive the car briefly while I mentally do something else). It has the same vague-feeling on the centerline that my Legacy and both Imprezas that I've driven had. Jenn and I were thinking about whether or not this would be a suitable car for use while the family has the dog -- we have concerns about the long-term space (both kids are probably going to be big like my brother and Jenn's uncle, and the dog isn't small either) but we could probably make it work for a few years.
Next for us is back to Cambridge for the dog training. Then maybe Calgary in July, depending on how we do with the dog. I think that this trip has helped Jenn decide not to drive to Calgary, which is good (less time in the car) and bad (more expense). If we were to do a road trip I'd want it to be a road trip, where we did an activity then drove on to the next place. I think that might work better than staying put in one place.