Friday, August 17, 2012

Summer 2012

Summer days are the best of days, aren't they? Time moves without being watched so closely, laughter comes more easily and there is a general air of laziness that is not well tolerated during other seasons. As a person who spends 95% of my time doing what needs to be done, when it needs doing, I especially relish the three weeks holidays we set aside each summer to be completely, utterly unscheduled. Dinners slow cooked by barbecue while sipping wine, waking without and alarm, reading trashy novels while digging my toes in the sand, cut off from the world. No jewelry but my wedding ring and a hair elastic around my wrist. No makeup but the bronze on loan to me from the sun. That is what summer means to me.

There was time for crafting, too! Items were knit; quilts were made. But I will share that in a later post. This post is about memories made. Warning: prepare for family vacation photo overload. I am hopeless at keeping a journal, so this is it!

Maybe summer is so cherished because it is so fleeting. In Canada it only lasts about 2 months, give or take. Kids finish school on the last day of June and summer is promptly heralded in with fireworks and parades on Canada Day, July 1. As always we spend the July long weekend in the cottage community of Lac du Bonnet, where my husband was raised, with his family.

The first week of July we welcomed visitors from Japan, and spent 7 days being hometown tourists, taking in all the sights through foreign eyes to gain a new appreciation of how good we have it. This was a friendship forged 20 years ago, when Wakako and I met during a Rotary exchange trip, and we have kept in touch over the years. It was amazing to bring our families together, and my most precious memories of this visit involve watching our children bond without the luxury of language, to see them find common ground and share the universal language of laughter.

Next up- vacate to the lake! With our cottage still out of commission, we decided to rent one for a couple weeks in Whiteshell Provincial Park.

It was heavenly. Long days on the beach in the sunshine, making sand castles, out on our boat tubing and fishing, roasting marshmallows on the campfire, and leaping off of docks and waterfalls!

Some of our favourite memories: We packed a picnic lunch and canoed to an island on the lake, pulled up and swam and ate and explored. There were some animal bones on a rock, a bird or some such thing, but it was so cute to listen to our kids talk of their "dinosaur bone" discovery!

The kids made a new game, "sink the tube," where they purposely did just that, ending with the tube popping into the air and sending them all flying, followed by gales of laughter.

And I don't think I have ever seen Big G smile as wide as when he caught his fish!
It's not a trip to the beach unless someone gets buried in the sand...too inviting have a pile of fresh stuff conveniently dumped right there!

And I am sure I will never forget when the kids heard the "Sexy and I Know It" song come on the radio....and instantly stripped down to their gitch and put their hands on their heads and did this mildly horrifying pelvic thrust wiggle dance! Where do they learn this stuff?? Luckily inside the cabin....oy vay! Will skip that photo.....

And here is where I was attacked in a wrestling match by "The Underwear Boxers" gang. Yes, I am under that pile of hooligans. I am sure you can see where the name originated!

After our cabin time was done, we had more fun in store. We hooked up the trailer and headed west to Riding Mountain National Park to Clear Lake.

We hadn't been there since before we had kids, and it was a blast. The lake is located on the beach town of Wasagaming, and it is full of cute shops, wonderful bakeries (best cinnamon buns EVER!), an adorable 75 year old log cabin movie theatre, and restaurants and such.

You know a place has everything when they have lollipops with insects in them (eew).

Everything at Clear Lake is accessible by bike, so we had a blast peddling from beach to town for ice creams, and taking in a festival with a parade and bouncers and the like.

Another bonus? Government operated kid camps! Every day they had camps that ran for an hour or two with arts and crafts, or where they would learn about fish or birds or insects and the like. The kids participated in a few of the camps during our week there...and we adults would then operate a "Cocktail Camp," enjoying sangria and appetizers at on of the local patio restaurants. Good times!

Speaking of cocktails, in one store the hubs came across this and nearly hyperventilated with joy-

You see, he mistakenly read this as "BEER bell". A bell to ring when it is time to replenish my beer??? What in life could be better than that? I felt a little bad when his first grade daughter corrected his error, he looked so crestfallen. But this was also and excellent segue into the importance of literacy...stay in school kids!

Speaking of school, that is just around the corner. A couple more weeks to enjoy the summer sun (though hockey camps have already begun. sigh). Hope you all had an amazing time with your families! I will be back again soon to share my crafty conquests :)


felicity said...

Can I spend next summer with your family? You guys look like you had tons of fun. I wholeheartedly endorse the concept of Cocktail Camp for grownups.

Jacey said...

ha! beer bell. Yes, that would be quite an invention. ;) I'm glad you had such an enjoyable break with your family! And I love your description of what summer means to you. I see some knitting going on, too! Can't wait to see the crafting!

Svetlana said...

wow, what a fun summer. Love the beer bells and cocktail camps. We totally have to look for these next summer.

Katie B said...

Your summer sounds like a dream! I love your attitude. Luke starts kindergarten on Monday. I'm so not ready!

Angela said...

oh I love it! It just sounds heavenly. Those are some happy kids you have there.

Lynne said...

I can almost hear the excitement in your voice by reading your post!

Little Blue Mouse said...

It looks like you had a whale of a time!

Unknown said...

OK, reading this made me realize you're relatively local to me, and I've never even heard of that campground/park. It looks like a blast, so I'm going to have to be sure to check it out, maybe camp there next year or something.