I got to spend the WHOLE week camping with my friends Chloe and Courtney! I had so much fun.
Here we sit two weeks from our last post, on the other side of a completely wonderful vacation camping in our beloved Wolfie and having added more amazing family memories to the collective story we’re writing together. Of course we took last week off from posting being that we had much more pressing things to do—most namely finding out how amazing the new campfire confection in our repertoire, the “S’moreo” is! (that is a reverse S’more made with Oreo cookies, white chocolate and of coarse, the freshly fire-roasted marshmallow)
So last time we left our story here, I had just (in the nick of time) had finished the repair (er… well, upgrade to LED) to the tail lights on the trailer. And the good news was, two Friday’s ago as I hooked up the trailer, just ahead of a torrential downpour that included hail, I connected the wire harness to the Pilot and turned on the lights, everything worked! Eureka, we had the Pilot and Wolfie connected and we were officially ready to go the next morning – bright and early. All we had to do was pack. And try to get some sleep… in spite of the overwhelming excitement.
The alarm seemed a little early given that we were headed out on vacation, but the moment we realized we were hitting the road for a week of camping, the adrenaline kicked in and we were readying the car for our early departure. Before we knew it, we were on the road and making good time with the sun as it rose into our eyes over the 401. But the best part of the early departure was hitting Toronto before traffic had any chance of slowing us down. We even managed to avoid the 407 ETR toll road given the traffic was so light. We breezed path both sides of Toronto without a single tap of the break pedal or leaving the comforts of cruise control. It was validating justification for waking up at such an unholy hour on vacation.
We managed a stop at The Big Apple to get a snack and some more coffee for the road before the last 40 minutes of driving to Presqu’ile Provincial Park. It’s funny, this park was one of the first ones we ever visited in Wolfie and we both remember liking it quite a lot but neither Danielle or I could really remember the park, aside from having a monster thunderstorm pass through – our first scary storm test in her – when we stayed there. But, from the moment we approached the park it all started coming back to us: beautiful, sandy beach; wonderful tree-lined campground; and their lighthouse. And aside from the ‘fragrant’ smell wafting in from Lake Ontario (much akin to the smell of a fish factory toss pile baking in the August summer sun for weeks), we were delighted to have this as our home-away-from-home for the next week.
We got in to the park about 2 hours ahead of the check-in time and we able to set up in our site for the night right away. Knowing that we were moving the next day a site over to be next to our camp-friends, the Jornitz’s we didn’t set up our full compound. We did however get enough out to have a quiet little night that included campfire, making some friendship bracelets, and even dinner cooked on the aforementioned fire. Danielle and I had a few of our adult beverages we made in the weeks leading up, and then we all retired for the evening after a long day of travel had taken it’s toll on us. What followed was probably the best sleeps Danielle or I have ever had camping.
The next day was all about packing up and moving over to our neighbour to the Jornitz’s site next door. We packed up Wolfie as loosely as we could an then patiently awaited the tenants on the site’s departure. And waited. And, waited… And, finally by the 2pm checkout time the family was gone and we could begin our moving over to our site for the rest of the week. Shortly thereafter, the Jornitz’s arrived and we all began the process of settling in and setting up our homes for the week. We were all in and ready for the short walk down to Lake Ontario before dinner. We played in the water, collected skipping stones and even some of us (myself included) cooled down in the brisk waters with a quick dip. With our friends here, us situated in our sites, all that was left was to spend the next week relaxing. And that we did!
The area we were situated, The Pines, was the smallest one (in terms of sites) in their campground and proved to be a perfect location from the bike paths, the amphitheatre f0r the evening programs, and morning walks to Lake Ontario where would have our coffees at while Emelia and the girls would search for stones to collect for later painting. Even better was The Pines was a very quiet campground. Despite not being a ‘radio free’ campground where no music is allowed at any hours, it was a fortress of solitude pretty much any hour of the day. In fact, our two sites were probably the loudest in The Pines… and we were pretty quiet. It made for great sleeps and perfect nights by the fire — save for the night we were visited by the family five raccoons accompanied by a skunk!
The other gem of this park was the big, sandy beaches they had for swimming. Like the ones at Sandbanks that we’ve fell in love with, these ones were easily half to a third as busy. But, they have you the same long, white sandy coverage and were nice and shallow quite a ways out so that kids could play freely with a lot less supervision. It gave Emelia and the girls the space to play and splash around and the parents (yours truly) the room to cool off and refresh. Of the six days we were there, we spent portions of five of those days at the beaches in the water frolicking and it was perfect.
The weather for the entire week was sunny and hot which led to a daily routine of getting up when we damn-well wanted to, and then having coffee down at the lake before breakfast, then going for some version of a bike ride or walk before having lunch and then planning an afternoon at the beach. After dinners, we typically then took in the odd night kid’s program show at the amphitheatre before settling in to the Jornitz site for campfires and S’Mores. It was perfectly wonderful routine that we were able to maintain till Thursday before a brief bought of rain caused us to make a plans adjustment for the day to include some cards and a trip into Brighton to get some supplies.
And before we knew it, the Jornitz family were packing up and leaving. And, then the next day we were doing the same. While parting ways and leaving the camp site was sad, were heading home with some of the best camp memories we had ever created in Wolfie and with a definite new location for our summer itinerary—somewhere only three and a half hours from home and half way between us and the Jornitz’s! Add in all that we liked about this campground, and that it’s a great midway spot, and I think we may have a place to create many more family memories at for us, for years to come!
Different than previous vacations, and something new we’re trying this year, we’re coming home on the Saturday before returning to work on Monday. Normally we want to squeeze every last minute in Wolfie that we can, but to the detriment of being able to give us appropriate time to unpack, unwind and get ready to get back to the grind. For this trip specifically, it also gave us the opportunity to not miss out on Home County like we did last year. And that worked our tremendously as we both friends playing the festival this year and friends we’ve made through CBC Radio 3 and attending festivals like this one coming too.
We were back in town in time to meet up with our friends and see the ones that were hitting the stage, before they did. We ended a last night with a wonderful night of music, friends and lots of laughs. We went to bed tired but happy to be waking up to a bit of another day with those friends and music before we all had to go our separate ways and return the the regular daily grind, which is where we are at now. Here it is two full weeks from our last post, me with a body full of happy memories and a little sad that it’s over. But then, again a little delighted, that in three short weeks we’re back at it again, for our August trip to Bon Echo!
What a glorious week, the week was the perfect blend of sunshine, fresh air, time with friends and lots of time as a family. As John has mentioned we returned last week to Presqu’ile, a park we went on our very first trip out with Wolfie. I remember the beauty of the park and the many activites we could do there so I was so happy to get back to the park for longer than our last trip there which was only two nights.
The whole week could not have been better, we had mainly sunshine, some heat and a tiny bit of rain. It was the best camping weather we have had since getting our trailer 3 years ago. We only had one day with a mild amount of rain and that didn’t last and was replaced with sunshine.
We spent much of the week in the sunshine, the girls played for hours at the beach playing and jumping over the waves. The beach itself was really quiet, that was the theme of the park much of the week. I have to say although we adore Sandbanks, Presqu’ile might have jumped ahead as a favourite. The park is much quieter but with the same feel as Sandbanks. Sandbanks attracts a lot of day use traffic but Presqu’ile doesn’t seem to so the park was much quieter. But there was still a ton to do, there were children’s programs some of the evenings, there was the nature centre, the lighthouse, the beach and lots of hiking and bike trails. Even with a full week there we didn’t get a chance to take in everything.
Once again we camped with our friend’s the Jornitz family, we met them 3 years ago at Sandbanks and have stayed really good friends and our girls get along so amazing. The girls get along so well that it allows the parents to enjoy some time together while the girls happily go off and play. But the real sanity saviour this week was our Emelia, you can tell she was raised in daycare because she was amazing with Courtney (3.5 years old), assuring she was always including in the girls games and made sure she was staying safe. Emelia was so good this week, she was up past her bedtime more nights than we can count, her schedule and routine were in the tank and she still was amazing the whole week. We couldn’t have been prouder.
As always with vacation the week flew by in a flash and before we knew it the Jornitz family had to pack up and we had to do the same the next day. This year when we were booking our camping trips we opted to come home a day earlier to get life back in order at home. There is always a mountain of laundy and a house that doesnt have a bit of food in it when we return. So I wanted to come back home to get life back in order at a normal pace and not feel burnt out going right back to work. This worked perfectly this time.
We woke Saturday morning at a lazier pace and let ourselves sleep in but once we were up we got ourselves organized quickly and by 11:30 we were on the road. Going to our we hit no traffic but we were on the road at the crack of dawn, this time we were leaving and timing to hit Toronto at the peak of traffic so heading home we opted for the toll road home and few through Toronto. We were home in no time and ready for the rest of our day.
We were happy to be home but we didnt have much time to relax, we took quick showers and changed out of our camping clothes and then we were off to Home County to see some of our favourite Canadian acts. We were also joined by our friend Dawn who was able to make it down for the weekend. It was the perfect end to an amazing week.
In 8 short days we managed to squeeze in the things that mean the most to us, family, friends, camping and music. It was perfection.