Thursday, July 26, 2007

Summer Trip 2007: Day One

Amazingly enough, a mere 5 hours after arriving home, all the laundry is done, all the pictures are edited (out of focus & doubles nuked), dinner is over, devotion is over and the kids are in bed. Oh, and the van is already clean. I have no idea when we became so organized, but it sure worked out well.

I wasn't planning on doing this, but the thought occured to me that it would be a really good idea to log our entire trip. I had actually sat down our first night and planned to write out my thoughts on last Sunday's sermon, when my thoughts drifted and remembered the time we moved to Canada in the spring of 1998, and our oldest daughter (then 15) logged the whole trip. All the funny things that were said, all the cool things we saw, times we crossed state lines and all of that sort of thing. It was such a treat to read that whole log after we arrived in Canada, and we didn't even know she was doing it the whole time. So it occured to me, how fun it would be for us (and the kids) to do the same for them. I'm going to turn this log (it's mostly shorthand written highlights, that most people wouldn't be able to read except me) into a photo album/scrapbook. I thought I'd also share each day for the blog as well, sort of like a live-blogging after the fact - so you too can see & read where we were and what we did. So without further delay, here is our first day:

Day One - Monday July 23, 2007 - Sunny, High of 85

We had everything packed & the van loaded right on time. In fact, I mentioned to Kevin that we were so organized and prompt, that we hadn't forgotten anything, that everything was going so well, that this would be the trip where we hit a moose. Yes, I am incredibly optimistic!

We pulled out of the driveway expecting the 4 hour drive to take at least 4.5, maybe even 5, with all the pit stops we knew we'd have to make. Between all the kids and someone who shall remain nameless who refuses to not drink coffee before road trips (I'll never admit it!), we always have to stop at least two or three times in a four hour stretch. Oh, and then there's that mandatory stop along the way in which I also cannot not get myself a cafe mocha. Ahem.

Jordan & Rachel at Tim Hortons

If you zoom in on this picture, you can see where we are. This was after the insane traffic jam west of Toronto that put a 1 hour delay in our trip time. We'd heard that it was a tar truck that overturned but then later realized (by the time we go to the scene) that it was a different truck. The tar truck was headed westbound, and we were going the other way. Side note but certainly important to note: the man driving the tar truck was apparently (according to the news reports) covered in hot tar as the accident caused the stuff to pour into his cab after the truck overturned. Here's one news item about it. The man was seriously burnt and according to the latest update I could find, he's in very serious condition.

Amazingly enough, the kids do pretty good behavior-wise in traffic jams (if you've ever been stuck in one in the midday heat of 85 degrees, with a van load of kids, you already know how miserable that can get).

After that, the trip was fairly uneventful. We arrived around dinner time and had a fantastic dinner of barbequed pork chops & caeser salad. The kids played at the onsite playground while dinner was cooking, and then we all went for a quick swim a little later. It started to cloud up and sprinkle a little bit, so we headed back to the cabin and waited it out. It didn't last long, so when it cleared up again we all went down to the docks & the kids met a nice man who was there with his wife and young son, and a fishing pole.

Gone Fishin'

The fellow vacationer was nice enough to show the kids how to cast it, and gave them each a few turns. Our kids don't fish (only because we don't live within walking distance to a place to fish - or they would!) so this was their first experience with a pole, and it turns out Rachel is a natural. They all loved it, and loved being down on the docks.

We stayed down there for some time, and as you can see, it was hard to take our eyes off the water. A summer storm is a great way to get an amazing sunset, and I took multiple shots of this one.

Sunset over Picton Bay

I don't remember (I don't even think I checked the clock) what time the kids finally went to bed, but we stayed up with Kev's dad & his wife Grace and visited until around 11pm.

The fishing boats had already come in and docked so the only sounds you could hear were the gulls, terns and ducks calling out to each other, and the unmistakable sound of water lapping at the shore. It was the most peaceful and serene way to close out the evening!

One of the last thoughts I had before I zonked out, was how the setting of no phones, no computers, no tv (there was one there, but it didn't get turned on) has a completely different feel to it. Very much like the way it works when the electricity goes out and families actually sit around the candle lit table and enjoy each other's company and good conversation. It's a non-rushed feeling, a more relaxed feeling and more than likely something more families should spend more time doing - just unplugging and talking to each other without distraction.

I wrote all this with a cheap ballpoint pen on a notepad, while propped up on my bed covered by a heavy, hand-made quilt. In a room with pinewood paneled walls, in a cottage on the water. I absolutely love it here. I could easily live here year round.

Well... that was day one. Day two is much longer, and day two also has considerably more pictures to go with it. You can see the other pics of day one here. Stay tuned for day two, tomorrow, Lord willing.