Sun, swim and smiles!

IMG_0001We went camping and my favourite part was the beach and swimming with Daddy. And I liked the playground too!

IMG_0002He said

Even though much of the early part of this week was focused on getting the Pilot fixed from the break-in last weekend, the great support from our insurance company coupled with the superb service we got from both Burwell Autobody (who are doing the repairs) and Enterprise (the car rental) and in an hour of my time Monday morning, I was back home with our rental.

IMG_0003And the best part was Burwell was able to work the repairs in two parts for us (window first), so that we could have the Pilot back for the weekend in time for our trip out with Wolfie to Lakeport State Park in Michigan. Tomorrow, the Pilot goes back in to get the body repairs finished and we’re back like it was brand new. Or at least on the outside looking new… we’ve kind lived in on the inside of the truck! It will be great to have all that jockeying around out of the way!

IMG_0004By Thursday morning we were completely refocused on our weekend away in the camper. A midweek discovery that the wiring wasn’t bad in the trailer and a fuse just needed replacing and we had the interior lights and ceiling exhaust fan back! Bummer was I could have know this weeks ago had I checked both fuses on the fuse panel… With that good news, gone was the notion that I would have to attempt to rewire the entire top half of the trailer!

IMG_0005That left Thursday for me to tackle taking off the rotting and reasonably useless handyman special box cover that the original owner had built to house the propane tanks on Wolfie. We never liked it, and with each passing year, it weathered a little closer to complete rotten disintegration. Given that the person who is going to help us install in a battery into Wolfie for off the grid camping wanted the box out of the way, I had all the nudging I needed. It was off in twenty-five minutes and we had back a more original and much more appealing look to Wolfie. It always looked like Wolfie had run head-on into a bookshelf and we just left it… Not any more.

IMG_0006Friday by noon we were loaded and off to Lakeport. The weather reports for the weekend were all over the board but the most common threads were high heat and potentially some thunderstorms. Aside from one sprinkle Saturday midday, the rest of the weekend was sunny and very hot—in essence summer! The beautiful Lake Huron waters and beach allowed us to keep much cooler and refreshed all weekend.

IMG_0007This was the first real time where we gave Emelia a little more freedom to just run and go and be a kid. Pretty much from dinner time on Friday night we didn’t see her – she was either at the playground, riding her bike, or engaged in a colossal water gun fight with kids from all over the camp site. It was really nice for Danielle and I as we got time to just sit and enjoy a conversation for longer than five minutes that wasn’t interrupted by the itinerary needs of an eight year old who can’t come up with fun on her own. By the time it was dark and most of the kids were back at their sites, we coerced a completely soaked and joyful Emelia back to our site for the night under the guise of S’mores.

IMG_0008Saturday we spent a big chunk of the day at the beach enjoying the cool, refreshing blue waters of Lake Huron. While the shallow waters near the beach were rocky and tough to navigate, water shoes solved that problem so we could get out the shallow sand bar out from shore and really enjoy the lake. Emelia also got plenty of time to play with her fast friends she was making at the playground and then another evening around the campfire.

IMG_0009That was until a couple showed up at dusk and proceeded to try to set up a new to them tent for the first time ever. If there is one piece of advice I offer anyone to take seriously, it is: never make the first time you set up a tent with your partner of choice at the campground you’ve just arrived at. That is unless you’re okay with the prospect of divorce. Danielle and I had no choice as our fire pit faced the domestic dispute unfolding to sit and watch and wait for the right time between verbal volleys between the two to ask if they wanted help.

IMG_0010After an hour and half, we had their work of engineering ass-backwards tent put together complete with sweat and some swears of my own in by that point by flashlight in the complete dark. And as much as they were completely thankful for our help, deep down Danielle and I knew we were paying forward all the help we have been graciously offered in our journeys with Wolfie. It felt good to give back to someone else.

IMG_0011This morning we were up probably the latest we’ve ever all slept in at nine-thirty! We commenced both breakfast and packing up at a snail’s pace because the heat was stifling. By eleven in the morning it was close to the thirty plus degrees it was going to hit. And so it was decided once the trailer was packed and ready we were going to spend a half hour in the cool waters to bring our bodies back to a reasonable temperature.

IMG_0012With that out of the way, the only thing left to do was to shower, hitch up and head home. Which is where we are right now. And while Emelia was sad to leave the campground and the lake, when we reminded her in two weeks we’re back at Bon Echo and then Wolfe Island she was immediately back in her happy place. Which is also where Danielle and I are at too!


IMG_0013She said

This week was an interesting one. The plans for this week were to solve the electric problems we ran into at Bon Echo and get things in order for our weekend away. Monday was to be the day that John was going to investigate the potential rewiring of the trailer. But that plan went in the toilet when we were cleaning up the mess of the truck break-in.

IMG_0014I spent much of the morning working between the daycare kids, Emelia and the phone. Between calls to the police station, the insurance company and repair place Monday turned out to be quite a balancing act. Emelia was still really shaken up by the whole ordeal so she opted to stay home with me versus going to her school camp. She wanted to stay pretty well at my side for two days. Thankfully she has finally put it all behind her.

So Monday was a write-off, between arranging the repairs, navigating with the insurance company how it was all going to be paid and John dropping the truck off and getting the rental, before we knew it the day was done and we had a lot accomplished… Just none of it actually came from anything on our original to-do list.

But, at least it was done!

The rest of the week was a blur, dealing again with the insurance company and repair shops both who have been amazing to deal with. In the middle of everything we were able to get the truck back in time for our weekend away and that is all that mattered to us.

IMG_0017Thursday John thankfully had the day off and we could really focus back on getting things in order for the weekend. First agenda item was once and for all figuring out the wiring issue in the trailer. With the trailer cleared of anything around the wiring John was able to try and test the lines to see where the power was failing. After fiddling with a few things he tried one more shot at the electric panel and found a second fuse that we had not checked the first time and that was the source of the problem. All my worry that I had accidentally triggered something while cleaning up in the trailer turned out to be a blown fuse. We thankfully had extra fuses from when we purchased the trailer and we were up and in business. The rest of the night could now focus on getting the trailer packed and ready.

.  By twelve thirty we were hitched and ready to go. And off we went!

Friday I was only working a half day so the children would be gone by noon hour. John and I were able to organize things around the children as I only had two daycare kiddos for the morning. By noon the house was cleaned and organized, the trailer was packedWhen we realized that John had a weekend free in July we were able to book a campsite at our go-to Michigan campground. Emelia just loves going there, the sites are pretty good sizes, it is not as natural as the sites were have been spoiled with at the Ontario Provincial Parks but the close walk to the beach, clean waters and clean beaches, as well as the freedom that this park gives Emelia brings us back again and again.

Emelia loves going to Lakeport—there are always tons of children around. Because of how the park is laid out lots of the children are given a bit more freedom to roam a bit from their sites (some way more than others so it was hard to tell Emelia we had slightly stricter rules than other parents). Emelia does get a more freedom there than at home, she is really great about checking in with us and always letting us know where she is so we give her more chances to big a big kid there.

IMG_0015Saturday was another beautiful day, before noon we were at the beach and loving the cool water on a hot summer day. Emelia and John were off playing with the water toys and water guns having the times of their lives. I went back and forth in the water to cool down and then back to the beach to enjoy some relaxing in the sun. As our tummies started grumbling we came back to the campsite to get a later lunch. Our timing could not have been better, by the time we were eating our lunch the skies turned dark, the winds picked up and it started raining.

Although the rain was short lived skies looked a little dark so we decided to pop in town to so a tiny bit of shopping. I got a couple maxi skirts to round out my limited summer wardrobe and Emelia found a really sweet dress that she will wear for our upcoming family photos. We only did a bit of shopping and saw that the sun was shining and wanted to waste not another second inside.

We headed back to the campground and made a pit stop to get some ice cream before going back to the site. The sun was blazing still so we wanted to get in another swim before starting supper. The rain had cooled the lake down so I relaxed on the beach while Emelia and John braved the chillier water. (Editor’s Note: The water was just fine, just someone needs it bath tub temperature)

IMG_0016The day was almost done and we wanted to head back to get dinner on the go. Emelia of course wanted to go off and play with her new friends. She only popped back long enough to grab a couple nibbles of dinner and then off again to play. It is just so incredible to see her coming far out of her shell. She is still pretty shy but she is now going up on her own and making new friends and we could not be happier to see this side of her.

The sun had begun to set, just then a car pulled up to set up camp for the night at the site behind us. A couple got out of the car with a toddler. It was only a matter of minutes and we knew it was going to be a disaster for them trying to set up the tent.

John and I have set up tents and the trailer in the dark, in terrible rain and it is not fun. Needless to say it was not going well for them, once things calmed I said to John we have to help them. So off we went to offer to help them out. The husband was so relieved and when the wife came back with the toddler from the bathroom she could not say thank you enough for our help. John and I have been there, trying to set up with an overtired child, and add in that there was threats of rain at night (that never happened) it was stressful for them.

This tent proved to be beyond frustrating but with flashlights in hand we finally got it up. Emelia was incredible helping entertain and distract the 2 year old boy while the parents got things in order.

By the time all was said and done it was now 10:30 we had a tired little girl and it took no convincing that she needed to get to bed. John and I were not far behind her and we were all settled in for the night.

IMG_0018The sun must have worn us all out because by the time we all woke it was 9:30, a personal record for Emelia! We were all well rested and ready to get up and enjoy the last morning. We took things slowish but as the heat kicked in we knew that like it or not we needed to get packed up. The sun was blazing and an hour later John and I covered in sweat had the trailer packed. It took no convincing whatsoever that we were going to grab our suits and dive in the water once more before leaving. The cool water was exactly what we needed. We played for about ½ hour or so and then headed back to camp for a quick lunch, showers and a final good-bye until next time.

We made pretty good time getting home and were happy to be home back in the air conditioning and luxuries of home. And even better news in two weeks we get to go out again and have another amazing week together in nature and lots of family time!

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