Coming up Marshall!

FullSizeRenderI got to spend the entire weekend with my cousin Marshall! And now I am camping with friends Chloe and Courtney!

He said

After a very busy week getting things wrapped at work, for a week away, and then at the same time making sure we had everything ready at home for the trip the week flew by in the blink of eye. In fact it came up on me so fast, I still needed to head into work on Friday morning to wrap a couple of last things I hadn’t got done. But, before we knew it, it was after lunch, I was home and we were in the sprint to get everything into Wolfie and us on our way. There was still a lot to get done: the lawn needed cutting; I need to shower, I had to pack, and we hitch up the truck.

Before we knew it we were headed north of London to make our way up to Charlie, Todd and Marshall’s new place in Bracebridge. Only trouble is about 10 minutes north of London, when musing about the potential things I forgot it struck me that I forgot my thyroid pills! So, it was back to London, and the house and quickly I blew an hour of our getting there time. We got back to the house, Danielle ran in and grabbed my pills and we were back on our way.

When we planned the trip we (well… I) decided we would head north of London and take the backroads to get to Bracebridge rather than take the major highways and be frustrated with Toronto traffic and then cottage traffic heading north from Toronto. The two trips routed by the Maps app, only showed a difference of 30 minutes more for the way we chose, but knowing that the traffic going the Toronto way can easily add an hour the decision was very easy.

The drive up was a little bit longer but came with the added bonus of absolutely no traffic and stunning scenery. It took us a bout four hours to get up there, but that came with a stop for dinner just outside of Barrie at a Subway for dinner. Once we filled our bellies which was a little overdue, we were back in the truck and an only about an hour out from Charlie & Todd’s place.

We had seen their place in pics that Charlie had sent Danielle and we were excited they got such a nice place after having such a rocky road finding one. But the pictures we saw didn’t do the place near enough justice. First of all, Bracebridge is just a beautiful little town. But their place is just wonderful and gives them everything they need both in proximity to stuff, and then the house itself. We’re so happy for them—if not somewhat jealous!

The visit albeit short was a wonderful one. It’s so great to see how naturally and easily Marshall and Emelia reconnect. They were thick as thieves all weekend long and Emelia was such a good help with him too – changing diapers and taking special care of her cousin all weekend long. She kept him entertained playing all sorts of game with him and doting over his every move. At one point went I took Emelia downstairs to have a shower and as Marshall stood at the top of the stairs, waving goodbye, he broke into heart-wrenching tears because he thought she was going away.

It was so great to get to spend a couple days with them before we started our vacation — and even better for Danielle to be with her sister and nephew, especially. We got to see a slice of their new life and hear about how life is so much better for them than when they were in Toronto. Even though they’re a longer distance away, I can see us making more excuses to see them.

Today we got up a little later than we wanted to and left sooner than our hearts wanted to, but with another three and a half hour drive ahead of us something we didn’t want to doddle too long on it. We said our goodbyes and began what was a beautiful drive from Bracebridge (again taking northern backroads) from Bracebridge, through Haliburton, Bancroft and then finally arriving at Bon Echo after a couple of stops along the way.

Unhitching and getting the camp site set up took the longest we ever have at over three hours mostly because levelling the trailer proved extra tricky. I also think it didn’t help that we were a little zonked from all the travel too. But the good news was the Jornitz family was already here (and set up much faster than us). We eventually managed to get the campsite set up, dinner had and were over at the Jornitz family campsite to enjoy some S’mores before landing back at our site to write the blog and then get some much needed rest.

We have what looks to be a fantastic week of weather ahead of us, plenty of great activities on their programming calendar, and of course we have the Jornitz family here too! Should be a fantastic week together. And the funny thing is even though we seemed to just have a week-long camp trip I really needed this one, and am looking forward to it! Can’t wait to see that Mazinaw Rock!

She said

This week proved to be a crazy busy one. I had about a million things to do to prepare for our week away. After last years and the disaster for food prep when we came to Bon Echo I try and plan and prep as much of our food as possible in advance. So this week was about taking care of the kids, getting Emelia to her activities and getting everything in order for this week. It meant a lot of planning, some food prep and getting everything back in order in the trailer. I felt like it was go-go-go all week but in the end I got it all organized so that by Friday afternoon all that was left was to pack our clothes while the daycare kids slept and put everything in the trailer. With all the work it was worth it because we were ready to go shortly after the last little one was picked up by their parents.

Other than a bit of a hiccup with forgetting something at home we made incredible time. Because we were heading through Toronto at the worst possible time and then hitting cottage country traffic at a less than ideal time John started to quickly look at alternative routes. He founds a perfect one that really made the trip up there stress-free. We managed to miss any sort of traffic and it made for a great drive up.

By the time we pulled into Charlie and Todd’s place it was after 10:00 and we had a tired girl on our hands. Marshall was already asleep so we gave Emelia a few minutes to catch up with her Uncle Todd and then we got her to bed. She was out quickly and then the grown-ups could really relax and catch up. Shortly after midnight Charlie got home from work and she and I chatted to the wee hours of the morning. We get to see each other so rarely face to face that we both treasure these rare quiet moments together to just be sisters together and catch up. We said our good-nights and both crashed for the night.

The next morning I woke to the amazing noises of our nephew running and giggling. I could not wait to see him and he and Emelia just instantly ran to each other and hugged and played together. The pure love between these too just makes my heart full. Marshall and Emelia play together so well, he looks at her with the sweetest looks and she just dotes over him. She wanted so much to just take care of everything for him, she even dressed and changed his diapers. I think she’s hired! The whole weekend was like this, the kids playing together and the grown-ups loving spending time together.

We spent most of Saturday exploring around their new hometown. We walked downtown, enjoyed music in the park, had breakfast on a patio, went to the beach and watched the kids play happily together. Once we soaked in all that fresh air we had to get back home to get Marshall down for his nap, Charlie and Todd needed some rest themselves so Emelia, John and I went for our little exploring adventure. We ventured back to downtown but further down to see the falls and grabbed an ice cream while taking in all the sites of the town. Once we were back at their place we came together and got supper made and tried to take in as much time together. This morning we had to say our sad good-byes. My heart ached as I said good-bye to my sister this morning but know it won’t be long before we can be up seeing them again.

Today we start the adventure of our Bon Echo camping trip so as sad as I was to say good-bye we are so excited to spend our week in one of most favourite places. So for now that is good-night for me this week, until next Sunday.

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