road trip, road stops, on route, ontario, bathroom, in public bathrooms

I travel A LOT throughout the province. It’s one of the hazards of moving away from home and having to travel to see family all the time. This weekend was no different – it was my bestie’s wedding and no amount of distance was going to stop me from being up there to celebrate with her!


The trip from my house up to the Muskoka area is along one of the province’s major highways – Highway 401. As you make your way along the 401 there are a series of road stops that we all know well, called On Route. For those that don’t live over here and therefore don’t know what I’m talking about, these are small mini plaza areas off the highway with a convenience store, large public bathrooms, fast food locations, a Tim Hortons (coffee/tea is a necessity on these trips) and a gas station – designed to have everything that a traveler will need along their journey.


What blows me away when we go on these road trips comes in the most unlikely place – in the bathrooms at these road stops! You would think heading into a bathroom would be a pretty mundane and uneventful experience, but you wouldn’t believe some of the stuff that you see in these specific bathrooms!


In fact, these random sites are sometimes so entertaining that I have been keeping a list during the last few trips, preparing for this very blog posts. If you’re looking for a good laugh and a little bit of entertainment this Sunday, here it is… A list of things that I have genuinely experienced first hand in the bathrooms at these On Route locations…


  1. I walked into one bathroom to find a couple women standing at the counter area, alongside the sinks, cutting a full pie into pieces. Like a full, home baked apple pie… The best part of this is that there is nowhere at that On Route location where you can purchase said full sized pie, so they had to have brought it with them, then made the decision to bring it into the bathroom whereas the road stop itself is full of tables and seating areas for those that stop there…


  1. I can’t count how many times I have walked in on young kids, like 10/11/12 years old taking selfies and bathroom mirror pictures trying to make sure that they get the ‘perfect’ picture for their social media, including (of course) all the ‘latest’ poses such as the duck lips… It makes me happy that I grew up before it was common to run around with a smartphone in hand.


  1. One of my favourites (how can you not smile when this is how you start your day) happened at approximately 6 AM. I walked into the bathroom to this little girl spinning and pirouetting up and own the length of the bathroom in a full length dress. When I stopped to let her spin past me without running into her she stopped in front of me and explained ever so calmly, and yet with such a ‘matter of fact’ tone, saying, “I’m a princess and I’m practicing my dancing because it has to be perfect!” Then off she went, spinning away with a huge smile on her face hahaha


  1. These bathrooms serve as an important point for many travellers to clean up, so it is not at all uncommon to see women washing their faces, or even washing their pits, reapplying deodorant, for that feeling of freshness along the way. There are, however, times that people will take this a step further… I’ve walked in on women trying to wash their hair in the tiny little sinks (while talking about the hotel they say they will be at in just a couple hours… why not wait for the availability of a shower?) or shaving their legs in the sink, their feet propped up on the counter or in the sinks.


  1. I once walked in on what looked like a couple SUPER over tired women around my age, they were just washing their hands and chatting calmly until one of their phones went off. The ringtone was obviously a popular song in both of their opinion because suddenly both women burst into song singing along. The best part? They were enjoying the music so much they apparently forgot it was a phone ringing because when the music stopped the one grabbed the phone and exclaimed, “Shoot! That was my brother and we didn’t answer!”


  1. I’m not sure where this next guest was heading to – but I walked into the bathroom at one of these locations to a woman who was getting ready for something big, maybe a burlesque show or something? She had her stuff spread all over one side of the counter where she was carefully gluing rhinestones to her bra. I’m not sure if she was just trying to avoid attracting attention, but I would imagine a table in a corner out in the actual rest stop had to have been more comfortable and easy to work at than this tiny cramped end of the counter with women bumping into you from time to time.


  1. At the one rest stop there was a few women crowding around the one sink. As I walked past I caught site of an adorable little puppy sitting in the sink, getting a full bath. The best part was how content the puppy seemed to be, enjoying being pampered.


  1. This one goes along with experience #7 but was so adorable I felt like it deserved to be listed as its own experience! Approximately 3 sinks down from the women washing their cute little puppy was a young girl, looked like she was maybe 5 or 6, diligently bathing her stuffed puppy, looking over to the women as she mimicked their every move to make sure her own puppy received the same pampering as the puppy they were bathing.


Have you ever seen something comical, interesting or unusual during a road trip? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments!