Vacation Aftermath

We emptied the trailer and the car onto the lawn at Blue Moon, Rod and Ginnie’s cottage.  Well folks.  There was a lot of sorting to be done.

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Of course the children were no where to be seen.  They were also not heard.  They were so happy to chill with a movie, some Legos and crazy crafts.  We just let them be.  The kids were in great shape.  They were relaxed and got along.

Knowing we are off to a group camping trip of twenty next weekend gave a purpose to our chaos.   Camping in one spot for three days and four nights will be a breeze.  Even the kids are looking forward to being in one spot.

Rod and I arrived at about nine oclock on Friday night.   Matthew and Ginnie welcomed us with really cold beers and put the kids to bed.  Rod and I were a little bummed that the group vote went against that one last night at Awenda.  Although, scoring a site there at 7pm on a gorgeous Friday was unlikely.  We sat down on the couch with our beers.  The kids were someone else’s problem, and there was nothing to do.  We both crashed so hard!  It has taken about four days to start feeling normal.  I have never seen my friend Rod so exhausted.  Saturday I slept in.  Coming down to the porch and sitting there to the sound of the birds and smell of the woods, seemed to settle me.  It was so weird!  After lunch, I took a nap and woke up, had a drink and was ready for another nap.  I didn’t think I was so tired!

We are all back in the city.  I still do not have my sense of time back.  I have no idea what day it is!  I came home to the smell of my neighbor’s broken BBQ gas line, a jungle in the backyard and a science experiment in the fridge.  I just dove into laundry and camping prep and thank goodness, the Olympics.  What those athletes do is so much harder than what I do!

Watch for the kids interviews over the next few days.

 

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The work it takes to make it through this trip.

Rod is a workhorse.  You need a workhorse to do this.  He is a man who just gets it done.
I have done my fair share as well.  I try to keep all of our stuff organized, so we can get going quickly when we need to.. Sadly I have a horrible memory, so I keep forgetting where I put everything…  At least the trailer is small enough, that I do eventually find the stuff.

We had all good intentions on getting the kids to do some of the work.  Every kid would have their task when it came to packing up the trailer or setting up camp.  There all had a specific blog to keep up with.

At first, the endless driving seemed like work to Rod.  Now that he is used to it, It is  a vacation from the work.  It is an opportunity to look at the sights and get some fresh air.  The kids are buckled in.

The work really starts when we get to the campground.   Just pulling onto a site is a project in itself with the trailer, where you want to park the trailer, where you want the door of trailer, how you will back in or pull through the site.  If you do not give it enough thought, you will scratch the fender off.  

Then there is the levelling.  Travelling with little water in the tank, the trailer has to be levelled just right or the taps will not work.  Travelling with too much water, you can increase your load by a thousand pounds.  If do not stabilize it right, it feels like you are sleeping in a canoe.

Then, you let the kids of out of the car.  Crap falls out of the car, crap follows them around the site for you to pick up later, and the worthwhile crap gets lost in the crap in the car.  So much effort is put into charging all the electronics.  We are four laptops, three smart phones and a dumb phone.  Cords are constantly being mixed up and all you here, is That is my cord, No it’s mine!  Who cares?  Let’s just charge your itouch!

Charging station.

When the kids are at their best, 40%0of the time, one opens all the windows in the trailer and a couple take out the camping chairs.  But if we are stopping to camp, inevitably, it’s dinner time.  I laugh to think of what the other campers are thinking as we pull up in this old trailer with writing all over it.  The doors open, out come seven people and within 12 minutes, the kids are making noise sitting on chairs, Rod has removed the propane tank and set-up the outside stove and something is already cooking and we each have a beer in our hand.

sidebar: after tasting so many microbrewery craft beers, Id like to say one thing:  ENOUGH WITH THE HOPPS ALREADY.  We both like the hoppy beer, but hopps doesn’t make the beer.

Packing up takes a steady one hour.  Dishes, putting away the beds and laundry.

Always laundry, no matter where you go!

Laundry.  Our first weekend at Auntie Mo’s House, she did all of our laundry.  Bliss.   I have had to do laundry twice this trip.  If we were close to a comfort station with laundry, I took advantage of it.  I never had enough quarters.  My loads were always too big.  The first time we almost drove away from the campground leaving the clothes in the dryer!  What a save that was.  Three nights ago, we were folding laundry, a little drunk, at 11 pm.  We have a little sorting to through at the end of this trip with all those girlie underwear!

Then we have the blog.  I know we would boot have taken so many pictures had it  not been for the blog.  After twelve years and all these kids, we are a little lazy about taking shots any more.  The kids were good about taking pictures.  I overheated my lap in the car, uploading pics from my camera, Rod’s and the Nikon camera.  I have to admit, we missed a few turns because I was busy editing.  Rod says the first priority is figuring out where you need to go before you blog.  I tried, I really tried.

North to Lake Huron

So far this trip has really followed the shore of Lakes Ontario, Erie and now we go to Huron.  Up from Point Pelee National Park is Petrolia.  The world’s first oil town.  I have been waiting for this the whole trip.  Petrolia Discovery, a sort of pioneer oil town museum.  Well, it’s Tuesday and the countryside shuts a lot of things down on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Not even a decent turn around for the trailer!  I had all these kind of things worked out, but since we have changed course like 4 times, I just lost track.  Bummer. We did picnic at a neat little park across the street from Petrolia with some awesome scupltures in the cut down tree trunks.  Sadly, the ash borer invasive bug has killed so many ash trees in Ontario.  While we were eating and walking around looking at the 7 sculptures, they had chainsawed 5 trees on the opposite side of the park.  The sound of a falling tree is like a car crash!

Off to Rock Glen Gorge, near Grand Bend in Arkona.  The Ausable river runs through this gorge and there are so many fossils to be found.  It was a wonderful 2 hour stop, a great walk along a boardwalk, up the rocky valley with beautiful potholes and treasures to be found.  Rod wishes we made it to the museum, but by the time we got through we had forgotten to look for it.

JOSIE SAYS:  7: I liked lots of clay and if you stood really still, 3 damsel flies would land on your arm!

LILY SAYS: 7: It was fun and lots of great life there.  I liked rubbing the clay and the fact that there are such old fossils to be found three hours away from our house in incredible.

ARTHUR: 7: There was a big pool under a cliff.  Not the kind you swim in though.

RUBY: 7: It was fun and nice.
CHARLIE: 8: I really liked rocking across the rocks up the river.

Arthur had a knack for finding the smallest pieces of fossils.

We are now headed past the PInery and will camp where we run out of gas and patience!  We are headed for Tobermory the top end of the Bruce Peninsula, one of Canada’s newest National Parks.  It’s far, I need to turn five pages in the map book!

LESSONS LEARNED:

When on a long camping trip, always secretly pack some coffee whitener and a firelog, just in case.

Close the windows at the back of the trailer when on a gravel road or everything will get covered with grey dust.

Bring lots of quarters, toonies and loonies for the laundry machines.  TIP:  do not use this change for ice cream!

I THINK THEIR GOING TO EAT US SOON…. TEE HEE HEE

THEY’VE GONE INSANE. FREAKING INSANE. Alright this morning I woke up everyone so that we could play UNO. Very intense game for the kids. We all finished the game and had some bagels for breakfast, after that when we were starting to pack up, Rod made Charlie cry(nice going dude) and then things got crazy, this morning we got a total of 3 scratches, 2lost water bottles and some missing ear buds. Things will get better mummy said. 2 hours later we reached the pioneer place thingy and found out it was closed. HOW FREAKING FANTASTIC. Then we headed to rattlesnake campgrounds. Were there any available campsites? Yes. There was a group campsite for 115$. “Will you pay with cash or credit card?” Go die. After we left there we headed down a steep hill and our breaks over heated, HOW WONDERFUL. Then Rod and mummy said we were going to walk TWO KILOMETERS TO CRAWFORD LAKE. That’s when Ruby started crying. Could this day get any worse? I bet 20 bucks it WILL. Toodles Lily.

Can bacon save the trip?

Oh my god guys. They are finally asleep. It’s our chance to blog. This was a little hard today. We kept it together, but those girls are already finding it rough. Lily can’t believe we are doing this for three weeks. Everybody giggles at her princess ways. She is such a trooper really Arthur has been wanting to go home since we left Toronto. But then he finds a water snake!
Today’s drive was long. I totally miscalculated how long it would take to get here. I am all worried about the itinerary now. and the bugs. Josie is not happy. Lily was freaking. I told her to go put some clothes. Camping in short shorts. Who does that?
Anyway, we are not quitting. But I never thought we might! It is only day two!!! Cried Rod. So tomorrow morning we are going to make bacon for breakfast. We have no eggs, only a few English muffins and bagels, but we have a pound of bacon. We will win those kids over.

Almost ready for departure.

ETD: July 11 2012, 10AM….tomorrow!!!

DESTINATION: 34 of Ontario’s most unusual spots to see

TRANSPORTATION:  1978 Prowler, Rod and Ginnie’s garage sale find

TRAVELLERS:  2 sets of parents, 4 tweens, one 6 year boy & two dogs

CHALLENGE:  accident prone family

Time for those final lists.  The big one being what is left to do?  Most of the todos involve setting our houses up for departure: paying bills, last laundry, making sure there is enough food for the spouses who are staying until the weekend, but not so much food that we will return to fruit flies and mold.  Obviously, the dishwasher started leaking today!

No time to worry about that now, this is the trip of a lifetime.  Okay my neighbor is leaving for the Galapagos Islands tomorrow, and that sounds kinda cool.  Who cares!  WE are headed for Depot Harbour near Parry Sound.  I use the word trip versus vacation, cause we are stay at home parents and we will be working our butts off over the next few weeks.

The girls are excited to blog the heck out of this trip.  We know where we are headed and hope that these unusual spots are worth it in the end. So far I think this is going to work out, barring any complications.

Follow this blog!  The one thing that will keep the kids sane is knowing that people are watching.

Bonus blog:  Ontario microbrewery beers!

Can’t wait for tomorrow!  I need a drink.

 

 

Craft kit for the car!

I knew that we might get bored in the car and explode if we didn’t have anything to keep us busy so I made a craft bag including the essentials.  
– pencil crayons
– markers
– ruler
– construction paper
– white paper
– beads
– elastic string
– note pad
– coloured cord
– dollar store craft kit
– scissors
– tape
Ruby says she is going to teach us how to make beaded bracelets so that should be entertaining.  I’m thinking of teaching everyone how to make some paper garlands to put in the windows of the trailer since we don’t have any curtains!
Sincerely, Josie “Are we there yet?” Adams

Packing day!!!

Today is packing day! Hooray… The parents say we get one backpack full of whatever we need. Are you kidding me?
My make-up and nail polish kit wont fit in an entire backpack. So I will just bring mascara, OH THE HARDSHIPS I’m going to face, List of stuff I need:

– long sleeve sweater

– 6 t-shirts

– a bunch of other stuff

Thanks for reading -Lily:)

Planning, planning, beer

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Who wants to spend a whole night planning a road trip? No one. Who’s doing it? Rod and mummy. Supplies: maps, maps, maps, a computer with google maps, a fan, a lot of talking, and beer. A lot of what ifs and a lot of different plans, A B C…SRYZ. How does the alphabet go? Can’t remember too many plans.
Ontario here we come!
By Lily:)