I am camping at Sandbanks. I went canoeing. I played sea monster at the beach with Daddy. Soon I am going to Wolfe Island.
This week’s post is being composed under a canopy of oak, maple and birch trees while birds sing and columns of sun beam through openings in the leaved roof of the Woodlands campground at Sandbanks Provincial Park. The sounds of kids playing off in the distance and a gentle breeze are only adding to this deep sense of bliss I am feeling right now. We’re only two days into our stay here and I am already feeling a deep sense of unwind and relaxation.
The trip down however was anything but the peace we’ve found at our campground. We got away a little later than we liked and then promptly got stuck in the holiday traffic we were looking to avoid—on both sides of Toronto. The worst of which was the near two hour, 20km/hr stop-and-go logjam that started before Pickering, and didn’t really clear up until Port Hope. The service centre in Port Hope was a collection of pretty much every single vehicle we were trapped on the 401 with. There were lineups even for parking.
We gassed up, esppressoed up, made our lavatory pitstops and got back on the road with a much more amiable traffic flow. The rest of the trip was delightfully uneventful and we arrived at Sandbanks unloaded and set up the site as quickly as possible so that we could get into Picton and look for some grownup beverages to help lubricate away the day’s travel and camp setup stresses. Once I had an ice cold beer in my gut, life was all sorts of better.
This is our first time at Sandbanks and we’re thoroughly impressed. Friends for years have been telling us what a gem this area is and we’re not disappointed. And judging by how far in advance we had to book and how quickly sites disappeared, somewhere we were very happy we could work into our week away that leads into Wolfe Island Music Festival.
Sandbanks has a lot of everything we’re looking for: beaches, playgrounds, forests, nature trails, lake (Ontario), and beautiful treed and large campsites. It’s the perfect place for us to spend a week off decompressing and creating some amazing family memories. And that’s what we’ll do.
Which brings to mind that this week marks one year that we have had Wolfie in our family. As Danielle and I were talking by the fire last night, it’s funny to think how much has changed in how we camp with Wolfie since then and how much we have added to our camp life. We have: the awning and outdoor rug to double our outdoor living space; the propane BBQ and outdoor fridge cooler; and the dining tent that Kelli and Bill donated to our cause. In short, in a year’s time we have really figure out camping and have it down to a science. And this weekend we’ll venture off to Wolfe Island to the music festival where Wolfie got her name. And we’ll blow out a candle on her first birthday cake… Though, that birthday cake might be a glass of red wine.
Today’s itinerary is very much the same we’re rolling with all week: figure out what we want to do, and then do it. A good chunk of that involves beach and sun. But some of it involves food and beer too. So, to counteract that, Mommy and Daddy are heading out for a jog. Then, we’ll hit the beach
So I am typing my part of the post a day later but for all the right reasons. The second day we were at our campsite the mom from the campsite had come over to see us and to bring her shy little girl over to meet Emelia. Chloe is as equally shy as Emelia and because the girls were close in age mom thought that it would be perfect if the girls met. They played briefly and then we turned in for the night. Last night just as we were wrapping up dinner mom and Chloe came up the path to our campsite. The girls hit it off, we quickly we hit it off with Christa and Chris (mom and dad) and our night plans moved to their campsite and we were there into the wee hours. The girls giggled, played loom and had some s’mores as the grown-ups chatted and shared some grown-up beverages.
This is what I love about camping, the spontaneous friendships you develop. The girls played all night and quickly this morning after waking they were asking to play once again. Sadly their family were done their camping trip this morning but addresses have been exchanged and the girls were already planning their letters to each other. It was so sweet to see these two shy girls come together and make an instant friendship. We had a great time with both families sharing a love for camping and the great outdoors.
Back to the camping trip itself. I have to say Sandbanks is a bit of heaven. It is a true natural camping site, the sites are huge and lush. They are spaced out with forests between each site. We are surrounded by a canopy of mature trees, sounds of birds chirping, kids playing and chipmunks everywhere. We have settled in and instantly the stresses of day-to-day life washes away. A true sign of a relaxing vacation other than swinging in a hammock in a canopy of trees is to realize that you are only 2 days in and you have relaxed more in those two days than you have in the last two months. It is pure family time, relaxing and unscheduled. What else could you ask for?
I am trying to soak in every second, every second of a happy little girl who is happy to swing in the hammock for hours and watch for chipmunk rather than be tied into technology. Emelia is loving camping as much as we are. She is loving learning about the animals and nature around her.
So on that note I am shutting off technology once again and back to time with family and family time.