Travel and technology

Rod and I enjoy every part of the driving.  The fields, the hills, the old houses and bizarre little four corner towns.  We marvel at the fields of windmills down past Chatham.  We try to guess the crops, usually corn or soy, but we saw onion today!  Rod has that eagle eye to find any animals.  We drive as long as we can push the crabby little tummies sitting behind us.  Rod prefers not to drive on the 400 series highway.  Fuel mileage while pulling this trailer is best when we travel at 90km/hour.

This is what my lap looks like when I travel.

The kids on the other hand are incredibly focused on the laptops and itouches on their laps.   We can barely keep all these electronics charged!  We want them to read, we want them to write posts, we want them to watch the beautiful scenery just outside their windows.  I have to yell back, hey look at that high levee.  They miss every deer that Rod yells out.  The only thing they sometimes seem to notice it the outrageous smells that waft quickly in and out of the car as we pass some fields.  Really, like watching icarly reruns is going to mean anything to you in a year.  Is that top score on Subway Surfer going to make you a better person?

It is just something we, as parents, need to accept right now.  I think it sucks, but at least they aren’t yelling in my ear.

 

STATS DAY 12

Day 12
Distance: 2087 km

Blog hits: 2199

Unusual spots to see: 23

  1. HELLHOLES
  2. CRAWFORD LAKE AND IROQUOIS VILLAGE
  3. WARSAW CAVES
  4. POINT PELLEE
  5. CASTLE KILBRIDE
  6. ELORA GORGE AND QUARRY
  7. CHELTENHAM BADLANDS
  8. MARMORA BIG HOLE
  9. SPARTA, OLD TOWN
  10. FORT GEORGE & MISSISSAUGA
  11. ROCKWOOD POTHOLES
  12. CAMP PICTON
  13. DEPOT HARBOUR
  14. PETROGLYPHS
  15. SANDBANKS DUNES
  16. BELFOUNTAIN PARK
  17. BIRDHOUSE CITY
  18. PORT BURWELL WINDFARMS
  19. COMFORT MAPLE
  20. CANADA SOUTHERN RAILWAY STATION IN ST-THOMAS
  21. LAKE ON THE MOUNTAIN
  22. POINT ALBINO LIGHTHOUSE
  23. FERGUS WAR MEMORIAL

Animal/crazy bug sights: 45

Snakes: 5
Deer: 6
Bats: 4
Hawk: 2
Ground hog: 1
Dead miles: 1
Frogs: 3
Giant spider: 3
Stick bug: 1
Eagle: 1
Llamas: 2
Rabbits: 4
Eagle: 1
Rabbits: 4
Great blue heron: 3

Welcome to the tip of Canada!

In the face of dwindling interest and awesome things overload for the kids, we had to throw the big guns at them: Point Pelee. The most southern tip of Canada and an Eco wonderland.

Point Pelee Provincial Park

The trip isn’t over yet but it is a constant battle to keep them focused. As soon as we arrived at the visitor’s centre, they were running around enjoying a really good interactive museum.  It was really well set up, everyone from Arthur (6) to Josie, almost 12, found something that excited them.  On the shuttle down to the tip of Canada, we discussed that perhaps this would be our last day, three of the five were very upset. Majority wins!  We reached the southern tip, and tried to keep Arthur from jumping into dangerous undertows. We found another beach and swam on a pebble shore with four foot waves. The kids were smiling and laughing and throwing themselves in the waves. A rating of 9 and 10 s for Point Pelee.

RUBY SAYS:

At Point Pellee the waves were massive.  i could go there all the time except you swallowed a bunch of water.

I don’t think they realize that they still have five weeks of summer after this, enough time to catch up on reruns and sleep.

Rod just bought an assortment of micro beers and fresh perch, so we are here for a while longer.  Back to Wheatley Provincial Park, a perfect place to rest for these two days.  The campground host came by to say hello and brought some colouring pages for the kids.  When we arrived from our little trip to Point Pelee, there were 7 eggs sitting on our picnic table.  Freaked us out, cause Rod had been searching for our four leftover eggs this morning, and all of a sudden there were 7, 1 for each of us, on the table.  We assume from our host and not some wild chicken in this amazing bird sanctuary.

A day in the life of Party Caravan

A typical day. Today is day 12.
Matt & Ginnie are still here.

7:30 Wake up to girls yelling at Arthur to pour his own cereal.

Discipline

8:30 espresso and blog updates
8:40 lily does her nails in stripy red pattern

9:00 kids steal all the camp chairs and move to next site to play game

9:10 Arthur falls in the firepit, screams, blames, cries, gets distracted from Ruby with an albino caterpillar. He returns to the game.

9:24 coffee round 2 and Ginnie’s banana bread

10:00 packUp site

11:00 Matt played fetch with dogs and we look at map

11:22 Heat sets in and so it’s beer o’clock.

11:45 realize we have to leave by noon! Annoy the kids to pickup chairs and trash on ” play site”

12:10 leave for st-thomas train museum.

12:13 realize we are four farm fields away from Sparta, an unusual place in the book

12:15 miss the county road for Sparta.

12:25 drive through 190 year old town, Sparta and decide to stop

12:35 find the Adobe blacksmith shop now a museum with an amazing assortment of historical objects from the area

12:50 girls want to leave amazing place cause the old man with no shirt on is too severe about no touching, even though they aren’t touching

12:45 Arthur touches too many things and Matthew takes him out of building

1:15 arrive in St-Thomas and stop at first pizza shop. Pile out. Closed. Get back in vehicles.

1:25 ask local and we go to Al’s, best pizza in St-Thomas. And cheap!

1:45 Find the CSR train station and tour a gorgeous crafted building.

1:53 Arthur rubs his hand on a table and gets a crystal sliver

2:45 Tour ends. Kids are annoyed they didn’t ride a train. Sadly, The tour was a little dry and the kids were not as impressed as we were. It was a beautiful building.

2:30 say by to Matt and Ginnie. Will they make it to Cheltenham Badlands?

4:10 stop for ice cream in 1970s town of Wheatley

4:30 arrive at Wheatley provincial park. Gatehouse girl gives us her favorite spot, we fill up with water, lesson learned!

4:40 arrive at site and scratch the fender off of the trailer. The 35 year old plastic shatters into 10 pieces. Irreparable. I see the ache in Rods face

5:50 kids get out of car and start complaining about the site: only one table, no paths, poison ivy. It’s a very nice site with a view of water and a cool breeze

6:10 tell the kids to suck it up. It’s a great site!

6:15 get to work: level trailer, set up stove and camp chairs and beer o’clock.

6:30 put water on for corn to boil and beer o’clock.

6:40 help Arthur make a menu for pretend coffee shop.

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7:00. Put on steaks boil corn and it’ll be bed by nine and beer by fire so that’s all I have.

Catfish creek.

We are at Springwater Conservation area campground. A beautiful place within the catfish creek conservation authority. We are in a Carolinian Forest, a protected area that runs like a banana from grand Bend to Toronto down to the Carolinas. It contains over a third of all of Canada’s rare species of trees, birds, etc. Last night we heard new bird songs. Cool weird bugs like the albino caterpillar, a giant wasp thingie live here.

So Rod went to pay up for our site at the front gate. This is the conversation that was had between Rod and the teenage attendant:

ROD: Catfish creek eh? You got any catfish?

TEENAGER: I think they call us that cause we are right next to catfish creek.

ROD: Well if the river was full of pike, they wouldn’t call it catfish creek would they?

TEENAGER: I don’t know. I don’t fish.

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15 minutes before noon we realized that noon was check out time and not two. Everything was packed, we were enjoying a shady beer o’clock and the kids were just playing on the next site. Rod read the camp rules and we realized we have broken every campground rule in the last 18 hours! Matt walked with beer, we parked 2 cars on site, we were 9 not a maximum of 6 people per site, the dogs have not been on a 2 metre leash, we brought the dogs into the bathroom with us and we had a trailer and a tent on a site designed for one or the other.

STATS DAY 9

Day 9
Distance: 1392 km

Blog hits: 1984

Unusual spots to see: 15
Depot Harbour
Peterborough Petroglyphs
Warsaw Caves
Marmora Hole
Lake on the Mountain
Camp Picton
Birdhouse City
Sandbanks dunes
Chetelham Badlands
Bel fountain park
Rockwood Potholes
Elora Gorge
Dwarf Cedars
Crawford Lake

Animal/crazy bug sights: 29

Snakes: 5
Deer: 6
Bats: 4
Hawk: 2
Ground hog: 1
Dead miles: 1
Frogs: 3
Giant spider: 3
Stick bug: 1
Eagle: 1
Llamas: 2
Rabbits: 4
Eagle: 1
Ground Hog: 1
Turtles: 3

Lessons Learned: 12

Prime the water tank.

GAMES the kids play.

Day 11 was a non eventful day. Yesterday was jammed pack and Matthew and Ginnie arrived to meet us. We have also allowed the kids to stay up too late too many nights in a row playing UNO. Fatigue has caught up, so we thought we would slow it down.

We also have a killer drive to Point Pellee tomorrow so we drove half way to break it up. We had a great spot at Rock point Provincial Park but the beach did not deliver so we left early for Point Burwell. Beach. The provincial park was full so we just went to the public beach. It was sandy and nice, extremely shallow. The water quality was unknown but we had a nice time. The great view from the beach were the 29 windmills on a point to the east.

I thought I would use this slow day as a post about the games the kids play.

Number one is UNO. A classic card game. Sadly they left the deck by the sink and the cards got wet and stuck together! They ended each day playing three rounds. It was so funny listening to them. One day they said, let’s play without saying a word! Their silence was the funniest of all!

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They also play funny make believe games at every campsite. Changing campsites allows the kids to create different worlds every night. They really are funny! They play town hall, and nail salon. I had to pick up all this play money they had made from scraps of paper at the site this morning. The other day they played some kind of Mystery Date game show where Arthur had to pick the best girl. As we made dinner tonight, I heard them on the next site opening a bar I think? Five bucks a beer.

Here is a picture of Josie “hypnotizing” Ruby with her new pocket watch.

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I love it! I just can not keep up with their imaginations.

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A great game, until they lost the ball, was HOT. Rod and I would sit in our chairs and marvel at the fact that our kids were happily playing ball!
Josie explains the game:
We all stand in a circle equally apart and pass the ball randomly to each other, or a bad throw. If someone misses the catch or throw they get a letter spelling hot. It is a game we like to play with Arthur when he is acting normal.

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STATS DAY 8

 

Day 8
Distance: 1643 km

Blog hits: 1922

Unusual spots to see: 14
Depot Harbour
Peterborough Petroglyphs
Warsaw Caves
Marmora Hole
Lake on the Mountain
Camp Picton
Birdhouse City
Sandbanks dunes
Chetelham Badlands
Bel fountain park
Rockwood Potholes
Elora Gorge
Dwarf Cedars

Animal/crazy bug sights: 42

Snakes: 5
Deer: 6
Bats: 4
Hawk: 2
Ground hog: 1
Dead miles: 1
Frogs: 3
Giant spider: 3
Stick bug: 1
Eagle: 1
Llamas: 2
Rabbits: 4
Eagle: 1
Rabbits:  4

Lessons Learned: 11

Albino Point

Point Albino:  Canada’s most luxurious lighthouse.

 

GINETTE’s version.
Point Suckino is what it is!

We decided to tack on a quick visit to the shore of Lake Erie Point Albino Lighthouse on our way back to Rock Point Campground after Fort George.
We read that before the lighthouse was automated, the last one to be automated in Canada, the poor lighthouse guy had to wade through the waters to get to it because the lighthouse’s rich neighbors would not let him walk through their grounds to the light house.  Here we were, arriving at 5:35 ready to super hike it to the lighthouse before the Point Albino residents association closed the gates at 6PM.  Anyway some lady came out in her moumou and said no you cannot go through.  The hike is a mile and you won’t make it out by 6.  So we turned around and drove away.
Thank fully Ginette had misdirected the caravan earlier, again, to the wrong edge of the Lake and we saw the white Lighthouse from way far away.  That was our only view.:)

ROD’s version

We get there, and even though they have to let us in until 6 o’clock, they do not let us in.  How do they know how fast I walk?  Why are they blocking us from our own protected monuments?  Clearly, these wealthy American yacht club owners are really just trying to keep us out.  She said come back tomorrow, but I bet she would have a new reason to keep us out.   The last thing she said was, “And you won’t get in with those dogs!”  @#%$@^

Our souvenirs

So far just a few of us bought a souvenir from this trip. Any favourite thing we spend money in is berries at the market or some icy drink on a hot day.
Charlie found a jacobs ladder toy at Crawford lake. Ruby saw a worry stone but I ushered her out for the lake hike.
She hasn’t forgotten it’s been three days of “remember that stone. ”
Then Josie saw a pocket watch and loves it. It’s her one thing.

Rod is gonna buy a rock point tshirt. Rod says if this trailer makes it through this trip, it will be his souvenir. Lily found awesome moccassins Ruby is still upset but her special thing will come. Fort George was Josie’s place to find something. Arthur just wants what everyone has.
Matt says my thing is the trip itself. I think he is right. We’ll see.
I can’t wait to see What ruby will find?

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