I was back at school this week. And Ballet. And Acro. And Gymnastics. I am busy and love it!
It was Danielle who first recognized that this weekend was very first music festival that we’ve been to this year, and she was right. I was a little bummed that it’s already September and the camping trips are winding down with only two left in the cards and neither them are music focused. Typically Wolfe Island is one of our guaranteed trips but this year the festival was significantly paired back and camping on the island cut out which in effect pulled the rug out from under our feet. That put us in a place that the only music festival in our camping plans was the Sandbanks Music Festival which always fall near our anniversary weekend.
We once again made plans to get away an evening early – leaving Thursday after work and heading to the OnRoute in Port Hope to mooch-dock before carrying on the hour and a half to Sandbanks on Friday morning. Leaving this way allows us to break up the four hour drive and get us to the campground much more relaxed way Friday morning. We did it for the trip to Presqu’ille and now again for this one to Sandbanks. Quite frankly, I think we’ll do it for any of our camping trips to Eastern Ontario from now on as it makes it so much easier.
For the four years that we’ve been attending this festival we’ve gotten a mixed back of absolute soakers as well as scorchers like last year. The forecast for this year was a bit of everything: cooler temperatures, higher winds, and *gasp* … rain. Friday through the day we experienced the rain and cooler temperatures. But it made for the perfect excuse to build a day fire and keep it stoked all day long. We spent the day relaxing and ended the evening with a roaring game of Suspend™ (basically what I call “Coat Hanger Reverse Jenga“) before going to bed to be treated to a heavy rainfall throughout most of the night. But, by morning the rain was gone, the sun was out and the forecast was clear and dry!
The festival has become a fast favourite for us because it has something for everyone. For the last four years, Emelia has spent a considerable portion of the day at the kids’ area creating costumes with the recycled fabrics while I check out the bands. There is the beach you can walk down to, as well as food and grown-up drink trucks to boot. Between the three of us, there is something we can all find entertainment in for the entire festival. And the best part is it’s held in one of our favourite Provincial Parks. This years headliners was a back-to-back shot of music Danielle & I came of age in Lava Hay and The Grapes of Wrath reuniting and playing the festival as a favour to festival organizer Dave Ulrich of Inbreds fame (another band I loved in the 90’s).
This morning we were up earlier than we usually debark camp from as Emelia had gymnastics, we had our niece Zoe’s birthday, and there was a half marathon running through the campground between 9:00 and 10:00am that meant we’d have to leave before or wait until after—I’ll let you guess which we opted for. We made it back to London in reasonable time despite a slow leak on one of the trailer tires (thank the deities for tire pressure monitors to alert us of the leak). We got to Emelia to gymnastics, we solved the flat tire, and had the trailer emptied in time to get showers and pick up Emelia from gymnastics and head to Zoe’s birthday.
It was a little bit of an exhausting day, but to know that we were able to wake in a Provincial Park four hours from here in Eastern Ontario, to be able to get Emelia to her beloved gymnastics, and then able to round out the day laughing with family made it all worth while! It was the perfect way to end what was a very busy week and weekend! And it’s the way we’ve found to celebrate our anniversary as it represents who we are as a family!
It was a busy week for sure, from start to finish. This week we were back into our new normal, Emelia is back in full swing of sports, we have dance for two hours on Mondays and three days for four hours at a time for gymnastics. Add in that she has also joined the school cross country team it has made for some busy days and a very active girl.
Emelia was so excited to get back to dance, especially to acro after a year off. Last year her gymnastics training just would not allow for her to do acro training but this year the stars aligned and she is back to two of her favourite dances, acro and ballet. Her acro teacher just adores her and was so bummed at first when I contacted her to tell her that Emelia could not return this year. With some creative scheduling and help from Poppa we have been able to make acro work this year. So Monday John took Emelia to dance and Lisa (her teacher) ran right over and squealed and hugged her so tight with excitement. Emelia was instantly the rockstar of her acro dance class. All the girls were in total awe of her natural ability which made our very shy girl feel pretty amazing. She made some new friends pretty quickly and this made her unease of moving up multiple levels in ballet this year. Some of the same girls are in both classes and she is adapting very fast.
Tuesday we were back to her regular training time for gymnastics. Things are shifting quickly at gymnastics as they start working on their programs. Since making this level Emelia has been most excited about this, making her own custom routines and being able to blend her love of acro and gymnastics. This week they started the dance components of their floor routines and Emelia is so trilled.
The week was so busy that it felt like in a blink of an eye we were nearing the end of the week. As John mentioned we were heading out for our annual anniversary trip to Sandbanks Provincial Park. This park is one of our favourites but it is a long drive, its over 4 hours and with only having a weekend (even a 3 day weekend) away we have to make the most of a very long trip. After deciding to try OnRoute parking for our August trip we opted to try it again for this weekend. It worked perfectly. We packed up the truck after supper and were on the road before 8. Even with construction hang-ups once we got off the 407 we still were in the parking lot in Port Hope and asleep before 11. We were able to sleep in a bit the next morning, get some breakfast and cleaned up and get on the road to Sandbanks arriving before 10 in the morning. Even with setting up in a tricky site, unpacking, heading into Picton getting groceries and supplies at LCBO all back at camp before 12:00. This gave us a nice weekend trip, perfect when we were making such a long trek for a weekend.
The weekend was perfect, even with rain overnight on Friday night we were able to wake Saturday to sunshine and temps in the low 20s. Emelia and I took this weather as a chance to take a long hike and just chat. I love these moments as she gets older, I want to know she can always talk to us the bigger her worries and concerns become. We talked at length about her wants and dreams for her gymnastics season, chatted about what she loved about school this year and basically all that is so important to a 12 year old girl.
Once we got back to the trailer we got a quick lunch, shower and headed down to the festival. As a family we all love this festival. It is a low key festival with lots to do for everyone. Emelia had a blast again at the crafting tent (this time making her cousin a super hero cape for her birthday) but her highlight was the hula hoop classes they put on. She loved learning lots of new tricks, her flexibility and dance background really paid off and she was a natural.
As the day went on we moved in and out of the festival, making trips to the beach to enjoy the sounds of the waves and the sunset while Emelia did her gymnastics poses in nature. The whole day was incredible, and I hope that these will be the moments Emelia remembers – the memory of her parents taking her out of school so she could come to a music festival at a beautiful park for the weekend. I hope these become some of her favourite memories because I know they are our favourite memories.
This morning we started very early and after a very long day we made it home and wrapped up the weekend like we love to, with family. Tonight we celebrated our niece Zoe’s 3rd birthday surrounded with family. As always it was an incredible night filled with laughs and love. We are all exhausted so I will end things there, next week will prove to be busy again but all the right kind of busy.