Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Camp! recapping

All packed up and ready to go!

Well we made it. We've been here a few days and mom and dad should have just made it home early Monday morning (we got an email at 3:50am!). Here's a quick recap (note - long and detailed summary)!

The drive here was surprisingly good. We made it to TBay by 2pm on Friday - about our regular time. We left the house at 10am - the predicted hour after the time we really wanted to leave. But I have to leave the house in a tidy ready to welcome us home manner. What can I say?

Mitchell fell asleep pretty much immediately even though we returned home quickly to retrieve my hat. Then we stopped at the library to drop off our things and to pick up a book on hold. Our last stop was the church to pick up my flash drive and then we were off. We made it all the way to Jeremy's in Nairn Center - one of our favourite stops, for needed gas and a late lunch. (One pee break by Matt in a cup!) It took us an hour an a half for our pit stop after all was said and done. A little longer stop then usual but it is good home made, although fried food. Mitchell seemed to take a while to feed and be toileted and then be ready to go again. Cierra got her magazine though and she was in heaven for the rest of the day. By 3:45 we were on the road again and Mitchell was asleep in 10 minutes. We made it to Walmart in Sault St Marie were we grabbed some drinks, had a quick wander and then got gas.

We had a picnic dinner at Havilland Shores Park - where there was a playground and a beautiful gradual sloping beach.

We drove to check out the washrooms at the next beach but they weren't any better. Thankfully we had the potty and we were soon on our way again. I had to stop to nurse at 9pm and then by 10pm all 3 younger kids were asleep. By now we were encountering some serious fog so we cut our evening short and slept at the White Fang just near Wawa. Mitchell throws a bit of a curve ball now - especially without a pack and play. I shared the bed with him and Marlee, Cierra had an air mattress and the boys shared.

In the morning we were up at 7am and out by 7:42. Not sure why it took so long - we just had an over night bag and the cooler to pack back up. I have to say that by this point I think I am already regretting the decision to bring our own diapers to care for. And seriously wondering if we brought enough. Time will tell! (This is after I hand washed a few just to be on the safe side).

Mitchell was quickly asleep even through the Tim Horton's breakfast stop in Wawa. We made it to Marathon by 10am for a pit stop and nursing. The engine light and TCS came on for some reason but after reading the book (and the fact that we are in the middle of nowhere) we decided to chance it and keep going. Mitchell was asleep again but then awake after 1/2 an hour so we stopped in Schriber and fed him again. The kids played at the playground in the rain and we got going by 11:45. We finally pulled in to TBay right on schedule at 2pm. No stopping at Terry Fox this year. We immediately went to the library and then called mom and dad. After getting some groceries we pulled up to camp around 4:30. Phew! It always feels like a whirlwind drive but we were certainly pleasantly surprised at how well this one went. We were really not sure how this would go.
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We spent the evening catching up with mom and dad and letting the kids get into camp mode.

The men folk discussed the trees that need to be cut down.

The water is really low the year, which actually makes for a great beach and more play area. It was really warm and sunny so we had an early dinner (for camp) of shepherd's pie and then had a fairly relaxing evening. The water is beautiful and I may actually go swimming this year!


The day was beautiful! Sunny and warm and we were all up to enjoy most of the day. Poor mom and dad were probably up earlier then they had been all month but we were all down at the water for a lot of the day. The cousins arrived shortly after 1pm and we had a great time together. We discussed their recent travels and then had a late lunch of hamburgers and hot dogs. We then spent some time reminiscing about Aunt Elsie.

Dad loved the times that Aunt Elsie took care of him in Calgary - especially when his mom was busy with his brother. They took the train downtown and spent the day together weekly. He also remembered the time that she took him on the roller coasters and then had greasy dinner and then spent the bus ride home throwing up in a paper bag. Good times! I hope that our kids have memories of Ya-Ya like that!

Rob talked about visiting Aunt Elsie in Calgary, as well as the time that she spent living with them with Gramps in the later years. She did a lot of chauffeuring of the boys back and forth to school, to hockey and to Bingo. She was a fiercely independent lady those days! This turned to some memories about Gramps as well - how Rob used to greet him daily by rubbing his comb-over to the other side. That is until Gramps "caned" him one day in the side! He also remembered how he was "forked"one day while attempting to take the last pork chop. You can bet he remembered to ask anyone else if they wanted to have the last one from then on!

Adena enjoyed the regular lunches that Aunt Elsie used to make for her when she came home for lunch. When that got difficult for her they still made it a priority to eat together which was nice.
What I enjoyed most about this time of remembrance was that it wasn't sugar coated. Aunt Elsie really wasn't that pleasant to visit in her final days. She really didn't want to be here and was ready to move on. Aunt Marilyn and Adena did an amazing job and were faithful in visiting her regularly despite this. With dad so far away, the burden fell to them and we are so grateful for that. We are thankful that we were given the opportunity in a way to give back to her for those early years.

It was a great time full of laughter and memories. While we didn't see her nearly as much as everyone else there did, it was nice to be a part of it. And to get these memories recorded. Maybe one day I'll be able to get a tribute album of her done. I've been promised some photos of the early days of camp - I can't wait to finally get that one album done!

We said our goodbyes around 6:30 and cleaned up. While the adults still felt full from lunch,
a short time later the kids felt that they needed dinner so some snacks were prepared. You certainly can't get out of routine with them! The kids were soon separated for bedtime and we were left to tidy up, finish helping my parents with last minute closeup instructions and then we settled down for some more tv. MacGyver! We watched the pilot the night before and caught another hour this evening. Not as cheesy as I had thought it might be! Not to say that there isn't some, just not as much!

My parents got on the road around 8am and the rest of us slowly crawled out of bed. Drew left for a game of golf with the boys leaving me behind with the kids. It was a fairly windy and cool day so we spent most of it inside. Mitchell was rather out of sorts and really only got a few hours of scattered naps. We watched The Railway Children in between nursing and attempts at napping and lunch prep. We also caught some Scooby Doo videos. Needless to say, by the time Drew returned at 5 pm I was ready for some relief. Mitchell wasn't quite ready though to spend time with Drew and I finally went for a walk with him in the sling. We made it to the end of the road and he was asleep. Finally. I walked to the rock pile for good measure and then back. As soon as I opened the door (this had been about 1/2 hour), he woke up. Exasperating! Back out we went. He failed to fall asleep again but he was at least in a better mood. Good enough for Drew to hold for a while once we got back. Soon the kids were down for the night and we watched The Jane Austen Book Club. Even Drew enjoyed it. That is another thing with the library movies - we find ourselves watching ones we might not ordinarily watch. We were pleasantly surprised!

Monday brought about more cool windy weather. Great for the indoors! Matt and Drew attempted to go play golf together in town but were rained out after a short time. (They still had the hour in and hour back though and some time at MacDonald's for lunch). Marlee, Cierra and I spent our time watching more Scooby Doo and trying to get some nap times for the boy. We got one good nap in - which I then spent getting lunch ready and eating with the girls and that was it. When the boys got home we only had a short time before we turned around and starting getting ready to go into Rob and Adena's house for dinner. Oh - that and we dealt with a hygiene issue but that is another story.

Btw - did I mention it was cold? And windy? And wet? And that since we had an extra person to pack for we decided to condense this year and not bring all the stuff we never seemed to use? Some of which was warmer clothing? Yeah well, it was good to head into town - even a little early because perhaps the weather was a bit different. And we might as well go shopping and get some more clothes.

So into town we went. It was still cool but it was dry and we were inside. We tried the library at the mall but it was closed so we headed to the other one where although bigger, didn't have much of a selection unfortunately. Still, we got a few more movies and books and headed to get some salad.

We decided against getting more clothes (and we were out of time) but that's besides the point. It's funny how when we are missing something our immediate instinct is to go buy some more. I only brought Mitchell one pair of pants. Yes I know. What was I thinking? And the problem was that they got wet and with the damp weather at camp they weren't drying very quickly. But we did have blankets and lots of towels and we can make do. And spot clean instead of immersing in the future!

Fast forward to dinner - great spaghetti and play time with the cousins. Again Mitchell didn't sleep (although he did on the drive into town) so he was getting a little antsy by 8pm. Since Rob had to work in the morning it was a good time to head out. And he immediately fell asleep so we decided to stop at the superstore. We love this place! After an hour and a half we had picked up some good bargains - a tether ball set for home (14.95), a 2 in 1 basketball and garden tennis set (10.00), some clothes for Cierra and I, some pants for Mitchell (2 for 2.94 down from 10.00!) and the best deal? Star Wars light sabers marked down to $4.44 from $29.99! We got 6 of them! Of course we only went in for grapes and $200 later well... So much for just keeping it simple eh?

On a side note, we stopped in the washroom before heading out and well, let's just say that we were quite the sight. The whole family, kids included, dressed in "aahheeemmm" our best (Marlee in her pajamas even), out at 10:00 at night at the grocery store with very little groceries. I'm sure there were a few looks.

Tuesday (today)
A nice sunny and windy day. It started late for me - up with Mitchell at 10am. Poor Drew - since we have limited tv more this year, Matthew has been getting Drew up early for breakfast. He usually crawls back into bed but I'm sure it's not quite the same. He took the kids down to the beach for an early bonfire. We managed one good nap for Mitchell during the day and attempted a few others (what is with this rolling?).

We had a few good saber fights and a little bit of tv.
All in all a good day!

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