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.

 

Trail ride Birthday

On our way back home Ginette had been planning on bringing Josie on a trail ride for her birthday. “I think we’ll be around Owen Sound, tomorrow at noon”, said Ginette.  Matthew had done research the day before.  He found a great place called Windsong Ranch.

We had to leave Cypress Lake campground by 11AM and drive about two hours to Owen Sound from Tobermory.  Pulling a trailer really screws up travelling time and everything takes longer.

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We arrived at Windsong Ranch. Gord, the rancher says   “Oh you are all wearing shorts. “(he wasn’t very impressed.)   Then he looks at our feet and says “I see you’re wearing running shoes”  I said, “I thought were better than crocks.   I thought we did good.”  We had jump into the trailer to change into pants and rubber boots.

Not all of the Party Caravan crew were keen on horseback riding.  Gord said Leave it up to me and sure enough he got everybody on a horse whether they liked it or not.

While we were cleaning and brushing the horses, Charlie was getting really nervous.  Heather, the lady rancher, said not to worry.  They will put her on the calmest horse they have:  Magic.  Well Magic was the tallest black horse I have ever seen.  Charlie ended up trading horses with Arthur.  He was supposed to ride Alladin, the pony.  Magic was so big his poops could be Arthur’s size!  Josie turned to her dad and said, “You’re in my house now Daddy.”

We got a lesson and started on the trail.  Charlie really relaxed and ended up having a wonderful ride, thanks to the ranchers.  Lily and Ruby were so competitive and kept trying to pass each other.  They were comparing passing each other with all the Mario Kart they played.

The views were gorgeous and we had an amazing afternoon.  Still feel the pain I tell ya!

Rod and I were so ready to have one last night of camping before ending the trip.  It would be nice to have a dinner swim after horseback riding.  But the kids were decided.  The girls voted us down.   Arthur was on our side. But majority wins.  So Blue Moon we went.

Give a little, Get a little

Rod here.  I could tell these kids were about to pop, all we did was drive 250 km to see Belfountain park and the Cheltenham badlands and they acted like we took them on a 24 hour endurance race across the Sahara. I can’t remember what that’s called but i know it’s grueling.  We needed to find a campsite last night and stayed at Rockwood, which turned out to be an unusual site!  We went on a night hike and saw bats and these giant potholes.  They were about 12 feet around.  We were impressed and only realized that they were on the list this morning driving away!

Rockwood Potholes, although very impressive.

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway we had to give them a break if we were going to keep them in this so we decided to whimp out and hit Elora Gorge only an hour away. That better buy us some mileage later on.

Elora Quarry

We figured the hottest day of the year could be spent floating down the gorge on a tube and we told them so. Ooops, no sooner had we explained our plan to treat them to a relaxing drift in visual heaven we discovered that the drift would cost us 25$ a head plus extras. WOW, we were looking at 175$ plus registration charges plus 75$ per person deposit on the gear. At the end the kids were expected to haul a 4 foot truck tube back the 2 km to where we started. Man we just can’t get a break, you should have heard Arthur start balling(maybe you did we’re not that far away) as if his life had just been altered forever. Either way this just wasn’t going to happen, that kind of money can be spent much more wisely especially with Josie’s birthday right around the corner. So we cheaped out and hit the Elora quarry where we could swim for free and enjoy a beautiful limestone quarry likely a hundred feet deep. Ginette thought it was so cool to swim in a quarry, after seeing that huge Marmora Hole quarry a few days ago.

Rules, rules,rules, no floatation devices which aren’t CSA approved, really, is that what the CSA does? I thought they tested light fixtures for safety hazards. So we left a few floaties behind only to find that no one follows the rules here anyway. Not only were people floating around on any dollar store item that had an air pocket but the rule about not jumping from the cliffs seemed to be confusing all the teenagers.  Seemed they didn’t see the signs, so neither did I. I was the first one up in the group followed by Ruby the smallest.  Scared the crap out of me but I have a rep to uphold so off I went and Ruby came right behind me. Shortly thereafter, Lily and Ginette, but to my surprise Josie mustered the guts to follow along too. Nothing shocked me about the Davies jumping off cliffs, Ginette has been known to do it nude, but when my spawn actually pull off something like this I’m always impressed.  It’s usually Josie, she was so scared I could see her shaking from the water below.  These were only the smaller cliffs. The rangers let the public get away with it.  This nutso family started jumping off the 50 foot cliffs and they were booted out of the quarry.  Josie and Charlie stick by the rules.  This was a learning moment:  break the little rules if it is safe and fun, but push the limit and you get will get caught.

So that was our easy day of little driving and a little diving, more chicken for supper and perhaps an aperitif after, nothing hard of course, there’s an alcohol ban at this park. But they promised they wouldn’t search the trailer.

A few pics of just chill in on the campsite, in the intense heat.

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Lessons Learned

DAY 6

  • When things are getting really bad, just hang in there, cause something good is about to happen.

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.