I was so happy to see my friends Chloe & Courtney and spend the week with them camping!
When we first booked our camping trip to Bon Echo, Danielle had suggested that we only book to the Saturday instead of staying the extra night and coming home on the Sunday. At first I wasn't so supportive of the notion because of course I'd want to squeeze as much camping as we could out of the trip. But I heard her out and agreed that we'd come back on the Saturday. As we got closer to the trip and realizing this was our last week-long trip in the trailer, I wasn't so sure I still supported that notion fully. I may have even tried to encourage Danielle on a couple of occasions to see if we could book the extra day, and while our site was still available, for whatever reason we didn't book it.
As I sat there Monday in beauty of the park and our site, and while having the most amazing day, it struck me how happy I was I heard Danielle out and we kept our original plan of coming home Saturday. Even at just the start of our amazing week it finally sunk into me how much better it would be to head home at a more leisurely pace on the Saturday with still another day to get life back into order before we had be back to the usual pace of the work-week. Suddenly the week felt even that more relaxing. And, I must have thanked Danielle two or three more times for the Saturday check out.
Sunday from the moment we arrived at the park, Emelia and the Jornitz girls fell right back into the swing of being camp besties. We no sooner had our camp site set up before the girls were hatching plans and bouncing from our trailer to theirs. We had our first (of many) camp dinners together and then headed down to the beach to catch our fist glimpse of the stunning view of Mazinaw Rock and the reason we fell in love with this park. And then we settled in for the night around the Jornitz's campfire enjoying the company of the great friends we had made. There was lots of laughs and S'mores—it was the perfect way to kick off our week.
The next day we were delighted to see the Speaking of Wildlife program that we had seen in years past was back at the park. They feature rescued animals, and specifically ones native to Ontario. In years past we've seen skunks, hawks, owls and snakes. This year's program was just as great—back was Chanel the skunk with a new cast of critters in a groundhog, Canada goose, a ground squirrel, and a wolf! The kids were mesmerized by the program as were the grownups too! It is the one program that we have – and will continue to – make sure that our plans are free that day and time when they're in the park we're at. We've now seen them twice at Bon Echo and once at Presquille.
The rest of the week was pretty much the same mixture of getting our for a hikes or walks, taking in the programs, having dinner together and then closing down the evening either with a campfire and/or some laughs around a rousing hand (or five) of Angry Birds Uno. It was so great with the girls at the age where they can be trusted to go to the comfort station and return on their own or travel between our two sites safely. They were so happy and so were their parents to be honest. They entertained themselves and I don't think once this week, I heard the expression, "I'm bored".
We of course fit in all of our favourite things. We crossed over the lake and to the Cliff Top Hike to take in the stunning view on the lookout at the top of Mazinaw Rock overlooking the lake and campground. We canoed in the lake and up to the Walt Whitman memorial. And, we took the Wanderer Tour paddle boat around the lake to learn all about the rock paintings. And of course we swam in the lake!
The week couldn't have been more perfect. The weather was gorgeous—not too hot and not too cold. And while there were some mosquitos, for the most part they were unnoticeable. We only had rain two times: one evening rather than having a campfire we moved indoors to play cards and the other evening was our last night there which basically made packing up a little more justified. Other than that, whatever we wanted to do this week, the blue skies and sun shined away as our backdrop. We never really had to use the AC and the nights provided me some of the best open window, cool, fresh air sleeps I have ever had.
While Saturday morning came a lot sooner than we wanted, inevitably the week came to an end and it was time to part ways and head to our homes. With a much slower pace we made our way back and were home just about dinner time. We got the trailer unhitched, unloaded and Danielle got the mountain of laundry under way before we retired to the couch to catch up on a little TV we had missed and to sit there knowingly nodding that we had another day to get caught back up to the pace of the world.
This morning when I woke up there was a moment when I think I must have mentally air thanked Danielle another three or four times for her brilliant planning before getting out of bed. We finished up getting the trailer emptied and cleaned and then took it to storage. We got the groceries taken care of, laundry finished and then even had time to head over to Mom & Dad's to show them the pics of our week over dinner.
Reflecting on the week that had, it couldn't have gone any better, I couldn't feel more refreshed and – especially with today to get caught back up – ready to get back to the every day. Which is the sign of a perfect vacation. And that is all you can ask for out of time away. It was the most prefect mixture of wanting to getting away, combined with being okay to be heading back.
Wow, what a great week!
As I sit here a little sad but grateful for the week we just enjoyed. Sad because the week as always went by in a flash but grateful for the memories we made, the friendships we strengthened and the life we have for our daughter.
Once we arrived Sunday around noon it only took a few moments before the girls were attached at the hip. It is always amazing to me these three shy girls we only see each other for a week or so each summer and have only known each other for a few years have anchored their friendship so strong it will be one of those amazing childhood memories I hope stay with them forever.
As Crista and I chatted about over the week it is amazing that a chance meeting 3 years ago has become this. If Crista hadn't taken that chance and walked to our campsite 3 years ago at Sandbanks we wouldn't have made these amazing friends, and our girls wouldn't be camping besties. This week is the one week a year we look forward to all off-camping season. Not only do both families love this amazing park and we get to camp with a family we have so much fun with.
This week was amazing. The weather was sunny for most of the week, the weather was on a cooler side but still warm enough to enjoy the amazing water and scenery. The bugs were barely an issue (except the mystery bug I got bit by on our second night that made my right hand swell up like a balloon) so we got to enjoy the campfires at night and the windows open all day and night. Our days were filled as always with bike rides, nature hikes, camp programs and lots of fun. The evenings were filled with grown-up drinks, campfires, games and lots of laughs.
The week was absolute perfection and we are already talking about plans for next summer. Only 51 weeks to go and counting!