The Camping Trip

It started with a list days before. Every time we thought of something we’d need we’d add it to the list. By the time we were done we nearly needed a 26′ U-Haul. I swear we had as much stuff for a 3 night camping trip as we did for a two week trip to the States.

On the highway, DW likes to spot eagles soaring overhead. She’ll point them out when she find them. Then this happened…

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We laughed and laughed and laughed…

Then on the Ferry to PEI the boys found a puppy to sit and pet and talk to. Five month old Riggs was a good dog. An English Bulldog. They played with him for a solid hour. The owners thanked our boys for entertaining their dog during the trip. Likewise, we thanked their dog for entertaining our kids.

Back in the truck and en route to our campsite Bang was restless and bored and so he decided to look for trouble. He usually doesn’t have to look hard. This time he put his hand in his mouth and tried to wipe it on his big brother. DW told him to keep his hands out of his mouth since he was just getting licked by a dog who had probably licked his hole.

Bang replies in complete horror… “I didn’t lick his hole!”

The weather was fabulous, though a bit hot. The nights were cool and perfect for sleeping. Even if our camping neighbors talked until 12:30. Even if the sun acted as a damn alarm clock at 6 am. We really didn’t spend much time camping. Our 8 person tent was more of a bedroom than campsite. Once we were awake and had breakfast we weren’t back at our site until bedtime.

Do you know how hard it is to cook pancakes on a BBQ? Once you get past the whole needing something to cook it on because a grill won’t hold pancake batter, you better have something to make it non-stick. I used a tin bowl. At first I just poured the pancake batter in. It cooked up like a loaf of bread. Except it was still liquid in the middle. And the top wasn’t cooked because I couldn’t flip it over. So, being above average intelligence, I cut the tin so it would lay flat, then poured the batter on. Worked like a charm until it was time to flip it. It was stickier than a toddler with a roasted marshmallow.

We went out to eat for breakfast.

After breakfast we went to visit Anne Shirley’s house. She’s the character created by L.M. Montgomery in Anne of Green Gables. The boys really enjoyed it. The house was set up as Lucy would have envisioned it in 1908. There was even a girl dressed as Anne and in character!

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After this we joined DW’s brother and his family and went to Sandspit – a small, carnival-like amusement park. There were lots of laughs, lots of screams and endless rides. It was so hot there was barely anyone there as they were all at the water park. We could ride a ride, get off, and get right back on. No lines.

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lovebirds atop the ferris wheel

Then it was off to supper to feed hot, hungry, thirsy (a deadly trifacto) people.

Then back to DW’s brother and his family and the trailer they had rented for a week. A dip in the campground pool, a bonfire, and meeting up with new and old friends. A friend I went to high school with in Maryland, now lives in Ottawa. She and her family happened to be in PEI at the same time as us and even camped at the same campground! So we got to play catch up on the last 20 years.

Then back to the tent to sleep.

Day 2 started with another attempt at pancakes on the bbq. We borrowed a bottle of olive oil and I used that to keep the cakes from sticking to the foil pan. Worked like a charm. Other than them taking 15 minutes to cook…

We spend most of the day hanging out with family. The kids visited the campground store for treats. They rode scooters and bike and played on the playground. They were inside and outside and back inside and back outside and back inside then kicked back out.

It was hot. We were hoping to go to Shining Waters, the water park, asap. DW’s brother said, “Nope. You don’t want to spend the day there. You are going to be there for a couple hours and then you’ll be done and ready to leave.” He was right.

The lines were long. 45 minutes long. Bang rode a big water slide with mom in an inner tube built for 2. He was skipping and jumping and hooting and hollering the whole way up the stairs. He was singing a different tune on the way down the slide.

He hated it. Both times. Both slides. I’m pretty sure he was convinced his mother was trying to kill him. After that he wandered the park with his older cousin to ride some rides that had neither water nor slides.

Then Saturday night happened. The wind picked up. Gusting at 50 kph. 31 miles per hour. Not really all that bad unless you’re in a tent under some trees. The boys were fast asleep. I lay my head down to sleep after reading (I’m reading The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay) and then a thought crossed my imagination and my stupid brain decided to wreck havoc and tell me that with that wind a tree might fall. Stupid stupid brain.

We woke Sunday to overcast skies and the wind still howling. Then it started raining. Not so bad in the tent. We were dry in there. Except that it was Sunday and time to take the tent down. We packed what we could and I backed the truck up as close to the door of the tent as I could without running it over. With my history of backing up, that was an impressive feat.

We got it down in record time. It didn’t fit back in the tent bag, but I didn’t care. It was down, packed in the roof top carrier and I was in the truck, mostly dry and ready to drive.

We stopped in Charlottetown for some more Cows ice cream and to visit the Provincial House which is under construction. So we visited the replica at the Confederation Centre of

 

the Arts. This is where Canada’s forefathers came together from across the Great White North to create the country now known as Canada.

 

One forefather and 2 foresons…

While the Province House wasn’t all that exciting they did have Lego sets so the boys could build their own Lego Province House….

 

That’s our trip in a nutshell… if a nutshell were 1,140 words.

Of course there was excitement over riding the ferry and seeing cousins and being allow far more freedom at the campground than they’re allowed at home.

We’re home now. All unpacked. We set the tent up in the yard to dry out. It’s now raining…

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The whole gang (minus Nanny Moe and Pop)

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This Summer’s Schedule

I love summer.

I love winter, too. But summer is way hotter.

Unfortunately, it’s not conducive to blogging. The kids are home all day. They either need entertaining or forced encouraged to clean something. They magically get along when they’re told to clean. It’s like a miracle.

Then there’s traveling. We don’t go far. Basically, around the block. Though we did make it to the beach yesterday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, we got home a bit late and after a day of sun, sand, surf, and supper, blogging didn’t make the to do list.

Then there’s the later than usual bedtime every night because “It’s still light out!” and “My friends get to stay up until dark!” By the time they’re finally asleep all I have left is to watch as many Game of Thrones episodes we can fit in.

Which is usually one.

There’s also baseball. It’s going to take up more time than a Lord of the Rings extended version trilogy marathon. Actually, that’s about the same length as just one game. This year, however, I have stepped into the role of Coach for Crash’s team. Yes, I’m a Coach Daddy. Except for baseball. I’ve coached soccer and wrestling and golf. This is my first stint at baseball. So far, so good. We haven’t lost! We won one and tied one. We have three games next week. Sunday. Monday. Tuesday. So we’ll be spending a good portion of our summer on the field of dreams.

The boys have been begging to go camping. I love camping and used to camp frequently. I’ve never taken along two rambunctious kids. I would love to teach them what I know about camping and the wilderness and the night sky without light pollution and about cheese filled crust pizza (but not while camping). There are a few day trips we’d like to take and trip to visit DW’s brother and sister-in-law. The boys love playing with their cousins.

I’ll be TweetingInstagramming and Facebook our adventures so feel free to follow along. What will you be doing this summer?

Sorry, South-of-the-Equatorians, what will you be doing this winter?

I’m Not An Adult. I’m Just A Grown-Up

When you go exploring, you’re never quite sure what to expect. You never quite know exactly what’s going to happen, where you’ll end up, what will happen along the way, what you’ll find.

For me, everything has been an adventure.

Growing up undoubtedly was.
Teaching has been for sure.
My marriage most certainly.
Being dad most definitely.
This blog, too.
There are still plenty more to come.

I may have grown up, but (as DW can testify to) I’m not an adult. I firmly believe in what George Bernard Shaw told us. We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

Perhaps that’s why I can relate so well to Calvin and his best friend Hobbes. Thanks to Bill Watterson for creating these lovable, philosophical adventurers. Now let’s go exploring!

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Taboo Word Challenge

There will be a new challenge coming to the blogosphere in September. Warm up your thinking caps. Loosen up those blogging fingers. After those pesky kids get back to school we’ll start up this new and exciting adventure!

It requires you to do nothing but blog as you normally would. There are no photos or topics to write about. However, there will be something missing.

Each post you make will be missing a word… or rather written without using a given word. I have 20 words chosen. Each day, the taboo word will be a little harder to omit so you’ll have to be creative. The challenge will start on the first of September and run until the 28th. It’ll be a Monday to Friday challenge so there will be no taboo words on the weekends. I’ll post the full taboo word list on the 21 of August for those who like to plan ahead. Check back here then!

Simply visit the Linky below and click to enter and join the party! Hope to see you there!

Oh… and please share this post however you can to help me spread the word. The more the merrier!

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

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Coasting Through Life

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There is a hill in town that is famous for being THE hill for coasting, aka sledding. Last Satuday was nice day, if one degree can be considered “nice”. But the sun was shining and the wind was calm. So that definitely counts as nice. Crash asked “Can we go sledding at Prince St?”

I hmed.
I hawed.

“Sure. Load up the sleds.” Three sleds, a snowboard, and helmet on board off we went. Two minutes later we were standing at the top of Prince Street Hill. The biggest sledding hill in town.

Standing a the top looking down, we had that nervous excitement settle in. It made us giddy and giggly and trying to figure out who was going to be the first one down. Big, brave Bang won the toss.

Fearless. He attacked that hill head on. Laying on his belly on his penguin sled with me holding the sled so it wouldn’t leave without him he was set for launch.

“3…2…1… GO!” he hollers.

He’s racing down the hill picking up speed. Then he hits a bump. The sled turns sideways and off he rolls at the bottom of the hill. He was not impressed. That ride was NOT was he was expecting.

So Crash and I jump on the remaining two sleds, zoom down the hill hittting the same bumps Bang banged over. Now I know why he wasn’t impressed. It wasn’t the smooth ride it usually is. He was okay, of course. It just wasn’t a fun ride for him. Now the three of us were sitting at the bottom looking up.

This hill isn’t just coasting hill. It’s the hill of life. There we were standing at the top, barely knowing what to expect. Just as if we were anticipating a big move, a new job, a baby-to-be. We had an idea what was coming. But not really.

Then came the trip down. We knew others had been down this path before. They left their trails for us to follow. We didn’t take the path less travelled. It was thrilling. Exciting. Wind in our face making our eyes water. Time travelled faster for the one zooming down the hill than it did for those watching from the bottom. Exactly in the same way time passes faster when you are watching your kids grow up. And what life isn’t complete without a few bumps? As always, we made it through over with a little bit of careful steering.

Then we rested, looking back up that monster of a hill. We laughed. We talked. We reminised about the grand time we had flying down that slope. We looked back, even if it was only 30 seconds back. From the bottom, that hill looks SO much bigger. We found ourselves amazed at what we had just done. No, we weren’t the first. But we did it.

But to get that thrill again, we had to make the climb back up. A hill that steep isn’t easy to get back up. We slip. We fall. We take five steps up and slip back two. Much like when your potty trained toddler has an accident. Much like when you have car touble on a thousand mile (or even just 10) trip. But we’re tenacious (a fancy word for stubborn). We get our footing back and continue up the hill. We know it’ll be worth it.

This hill has other aspects that resemble life as we know it, too. It’s social media, IRL. In Real. Life. It brings people together, planned or not. You’re bound to make at least one new friend when you come here. You’re more likely to make more than one. Just like life, sledding better with your buddies.

If you time it just right, you can have the hill completely to yourself. No waiting for others to get out of the way. No waiting for others to have their turn. Plus there’s peace and quiet, with the exception of your own screaming self coming down the hill. Perfect for the introverted adventure seeker.
This isn’t just a hill. It’s an adventure. It’s also a great source of fresh air, sunshine, a bit of exercise. I know my fitbit loved climbing back up. I made it up 70 flights of stairs that day. Crash made it more since he climbed up more than I did. Bang was content to slide down on his bum or belly sans sled after his wild first slide down on the sled. Lesson learned. See? That was life lesson right there!

Happy Mocha Monday

If we were relaxing having a mocha, or tea, or coffee, or hot chocolate, or a glass of wine…

I would be telling you all about our adventure on Saturday to Riverbreeze Corn Maze. Though I have been in hundreds of cornfields before, I’d never been in a corn maze. First, we found a spot to park. It really wasn’t that difficult, we were just in the overflow parking lot and had to walk a bit. We didn’t have to park in overflow, it was just the first parking lot we found for the farm and we didn’t know there was a closer one.

Once in, we found out that “Farmer Joe” had gone missing and we were going to have to find him, find out which animal took him, and find out with what weapon the accused wielded. So off we went into the maze. Fortunately, they gave us map. DW let me be in charge of that. She knew full well we’d get lost, but I was determined to prove her wrong.

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There were 7 suspects and 6 stations with picture puzzles to be solved to let you know which animal didn’t kidnap Farmer Joe. I got us all the way to station number 5 without getting lost. Naturally, and not to disappoint, we had no idea where we were or how to get to number 6. After a bit of walking, we got it and solved the mystery.

Bang got tired of the maze pretty quickly. All he wanted to do was carry a stalk around like a sword. Unfortunately, he ended up with a leaf cut (very much like a paper cut) on his hand. Nothing a couple band-aids couldn’t take care of.

After we completed the maze, we had our picture taken on a few attractions. One was a HUGE chair. The seat was wide enough for both DW and I sit “comfortably” on while Crash and Bang sat on the arms. Then there was “stick your face in the hole” boards. DW was a cute, fluffy sheep. Crash was a horse. Bang was a pig. I was an ass donkey. The boys played with the tetherball, then from there it was on the bouncy pillow. They had been on one of these on a camping trip and they loved it. It was no different on Saturday.

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See the mud on Bang? He fell down in the maze. Knew that would happen.

Then we got see the pig race. The littlest piggy, Wilbur, won. They all got Oreos. I nearly jumped in the pen to steal the Oreos, but I refrained. Mmmmm Oreos! From there we slid down the Shotgun Slide. I’m assuming it’s so named because the kids are shot out the end at about 1300 feet per second. At least it seemed that fast. Of course, they slid down no less than 10 times. I only went once.

You can hear Crash and Bang laughing and screaming at the end of it. They thought it was great.

After that, the boys went on a tractor train ride pulled by a Gator. Upon their return from the train ride there was a large tractor pulling two “hay wagons” (there was no hay, but there was a bench for us all sit on). This tractor ride took us to a pumpkin patch.

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I may have been pretending to drop a rather large pumpkin on DW’s head to get them to laugh like this. Thankfully, I didn’t really drop it on her head. I’m sure she would have shoved that pumpkin so far up my you-know-what that I would have been spitting seeds for days.

Afterward, Crash got to shoot some paintballs at some pots and pans. He thought that was great. Then I told him I used to have a paintball gun of my own, once upon a time. I’ve been in my share of paintball wars.

From there we went to the petting area. They had bunnies, goats, sheep, a donkey and a cow. One stall of the stable was set up as a wild west jail cell. There was an area cut out in the corn field to play laser tag using giant, round hay bales to hide behind. Lastly, we made our way back to the bouncy pillow for one more jump before heading out for supper.

We were there for about 4 hours total and we had managed to play on everything, do everything there was to do. Overall, Crash and Bang had a blast. Naturally, there were areas and times when one was having more fun than the other. Or mom and dad were having more fun than the kids.

Sunday we cleaned house. Crash and Bang were wishing we were back at the farm.

What did you do this weekend?