Category Archives: Holidays

Valentine’s Card Regifting

I was thinking about what sort of post I would do for Valentine’s on the ol’ blog this year and was considering some sort of cartoon…but then I kept coming back to my very favourite Valentine’s Day memory, and that’s what I want to write about. It doesn’t even involve a significant other, though my first Valentine’s Day with Evan is a close second. My favourite Valentine’s Day memory is all about my Nana.

It makes me feel good to remember her, so it seems fitting to tell this story this year.

Forgive me friends and longtime readers because I have mentioned this several times so you may have already heard it. Hopefully it hasn’t gotten old.

So my Nana was obsessed with greeting cards. They were her favourite part of any gift to both give and receive. All she wanted from us on any occasion was a card (and pictures of us), and she saved every card her family and friends had given her over the years and kept them in a photo album so she could go back and look at them from time to time. She was sentimental, that Nana.

Her favourite cards to give to us were those super cheesy ones with long messages on both sides written in script. She took her card selections very seriously and would choose the perfect card with the perfect message for every family member. She would then decorate the cards and envelopes with stickers she had bought (for this purpose, of course), and she would write the sweetest messages inside. My birthday card every year, without fail, had the message “May your dreams come true.”

Sometimes in her later years they would also say “Happy New Year!” which I also loved and appreciated.

Nana would watch our faces and truly take in our reactions as we opened and read her cards. Those cards gave her great joy. We would get them for Christmas, our birthdays (and on Christmas and birthday’s those cards came with cheques!), St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and of course, Valentine’s Day (and when I was younger my Valentine’s Day card would come with a Babysitter’s Club book!).

The last few years though, it was difficult for her to get out and buy cards being in the nursing home. One Valentine’s Day a few years ago, she didn’t have a card for me. But she couldn’t just let me not receive a card. Unthinkable. So, she did what any resourceful grandmother would do.

A group of elementary school students had recently made Valentine’s cards for residents of the nursing home, so Nana decided she would just use the card she received from one of the kids.

When she presented this to me I remember thinking “Wow, did they have craft time in here or something?” (which, they should!!!) But when I opened it up I saw that Nana was probably not the original creator of the card.

It may have been the “Nana” over the the whited out child’s name that tipped me off.

I’m sure she appreciated the card when she received it (I’m sure there were proclamations of “wonderful,” “beautiful” and “fantastic”), but she didn’t need a card from this stranger, she needed a card to give to her granddaughter!

I erupted with laughter when I realized what had happened and Nana said “Oh I didn’t make this card! I just…borrowed it.” which made me laugh even harder because Nana, I can tell!!! She totally regifted that card, but I loved that she didn’t just try to pass it off as her own.

I’ve saved the card and I think I’m going to frame it because it might be the most precious card I’ve ever received (it’s certainly the most hilarious). I love the thought behind it so much, that she did what it took to ensure she had a card to give me. I think that’s kind of a metaphor for our entire relationship — she went to great lengths to ensure she was taking care of me, and she went to great lengths to show me that she was always thinking of me. What a Nana she was.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Holiday Eating Week and New Year’s Eve

My bestie Lisa was home for the holidays (I’ve mentioned this many times but she lives in Calgary) so last Wednesday, the day after Evan and I arrived home and exchanged our gifts, I went on a solo road trip up to her parents in the afternoon to get some quality visiting time in.

Such a beauty view they have. Though I prefer it in the summer.

Remember when I posted our Christmas card and said Evan wanted you to print it out and put it with the rest of your Christmas cards? Diane (Lisa’s mom) actually did this and then texted me this picture:

We’re front and centre! Warmed my heart.

I definitely associate Lisa’s parents place with good snacks – they usually have a wide variety of cheese and crackers and that is a quality that I admire. When I was growing up they had a Costco membership and we didn’t, so they had a lot of exotic (for me at the time) snack foods. The snacks didn’t disappoint this time, Lisa made us quite the spread of cheese and crackers, probably my favourite snack of all time.

It included Phil’s dills (her dad Phil’s dill pickles) which are the most garlicky and tangy pickles I have ever had, and they sent me home with a jar of them so I was pretty pumped about this.

A great addition to my own cheese and crackers spreads that Evan and I have been having for lunch lately.

I stayed for the afternoon and we hung out and caught up until dinner, which was delicious. We had a meat pie and this delicious squash soup that Lisa’s mom made.

So good!

After dinner Lisa and I headed to Dawn’s house for a night in with her, Emily and Joanna. And Dawn’s little daughter Scarlett until her bedtime, who just SLAYS me. She is on a big poopoo kick right now and it’s hilarious. I was changing into my pajama pants in front of her and she poked the cellulite on my thigh and said “Wow Lindsey, you’re old!” Thanks Scarlett. You can always count on an almost three year old to tell it like it is.

We ate more snacks and had drinks and hot tubbed it up and chatted – it was a really cute night. I only took two pictures of us the entire night, the midnight cheddar bay biscuits we made from a Red Lobster mix around midnight…

Probably not the best decision but OMG it was good. No regrets.

And the birthday card I got for Dawn back in December, still proudly displayed in her kitchen.

I guess I wanted to show it to you. My group of friends likes to get ridiculous cards for each other, and sometimes that includes cards for other holidays. That one was a good Urban Outfitters find.

The next morning Lisa and I woke up to these two in our bed.

Miyou (Dawn’s dog) and Marcus (Emily’s son). I could get used to waking up with snuggly things in my bed, as Tilly refuses to snuggle with me in the morning (only when I get home from somewhere, and I only have a 10 minute window!) It was a good wake up call.

Give me all the snuggly babies!

I have such a love burst for those two.

Look at that chunky chicken nugget!!

It snowed quite a lot during the night so we were not in a big hurry to get on the roads. Lis and I hung out and snuggled and Dawn made us pancakes. Pretty perfect morning.

On the way back to my place we were somehow still hungry so we stopped for all-you-can-eat-sushi, as we do.

We came home, napped, chatted and watched Grey’s Anatomy (which I have never seen and am only now getting into!) and then ordered tandoori chicken pizza for dinner. It was the week of eating, I’ll just say. After dinner we showered (so our hair in the below photo is wet, not greasy) and got into our jimjams for another night of leisure.

That would be my new Christmas onesie. We did face masks and watched trash TV that I can’t remember. It was an early night but it was a good night!

Lisa was leaving the next day so we went out for a late brunch to Uncle Betty’s around Yonge and Eglinton. I’ve heard good things but have never been there so I was excited to check it out. I ordered the donut breakfast sandwich because they make their donuts in-house and I could not resist.

I showed that picture to Evan later and his response was “That actually…doesn’t look very good,” but I think he’s crazy. It was delicious!

Then we just did more hanging out and Grey’s Anatomy watching before it was time to take Lisa to the airport. I was sad to see her go, however I am pretty excited about the next time I’ll see her ’cause it’ll be at our wedding in Cuba!!!! AHHHHH!!!!!

For New Year’s Eve Sherrie had a party so that’s where most of our friends headed. I love a good low key house party for New Year’s, it’s my favourite activity. I would much rather do that than have to worry about going out somewhere. The babies were in attendance!

2016 was definitely the year of babies – three arrived in our group of friends. Busy baby year.

We had a family-style dinner for 12 that Sherrie and her boyfriend Will made us and it was freakin’ good.

Roast beef, squash, glazed carrots, mashed potatoes and yorkshire pudding (Will is a chef and he is also British, I have mentioned this). There was SO MUCH FOOD the entire night – we had different snacks and dips coming out all night after this, and after midnight Will busted out his famous make-your-own poutine bar. I was absolutely stuffed. We all ate so much that no one actually got drunk, but that is probably for the best as we are old now and 2016 hangovers are much worse than 2006 hangovers.

We recreated this picture from Sherrie’s first New Year’s party four years ago in 2012 – just after I started dating Evan!

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I think those four years look pretty good on us. Photo credit to Emily for capturing that, it took a few tries!

It was a lovely New Year’s Eve with some of my favourite people!

Really love those girls.

And this guy.

The end of the holidays for another year.

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Christmas Things

On Christmas Eve we headed to Evan’s aunt and uncle’s an hour north of the city where we were staying until Boxing Day with Evan’s mom, Brotherman and Kelly and our little nephew. Their house is absolutely beautiful and the town is cute in a Stars Hollow sort of way, so it was a really great place to spend Christmas.

Evan’s Uncle Stevie and Auntie Jan used to live in Tobago but moved back to Ontario in 2016 (whyyyy didn’t we go visit them when they lived there??? Dummies!), so this is the first Christmas we have spent with them. I briefly mentioned in my last post that Evan’s nana unfortunately passed away in the early fall and this was also the first Christmas that the rest of us didn’t spend it with her (first after three years for me). She loved to host Christmas and it felt really weird not to not have her around, and not be watching House Hunters and true crime TV shows in her living room and laughing at her sassy commentary in her proper British accent. I’ll have to tell you some stories about her sometime because she was such a character and her presence was noticeably missing, for all of us. But, that is life and it goes on. At 90, she lived a great one herself. We made the best of the situation and had a wonderful Christmas together.

On Christmas Eve we all congregated in the kitchen and made pizzas.

Evan being a good son and taking pictures for his mom on her iPad.

We picked up dough from Nino D’Aversa (Italian bakery in Toronto) and added all the toppings. They turned out deliciously.

We listened to Christmas carols and drank wine and ate our pizzas with a big Caesar salad with homemade dressing from Uncle Stevie. A very good Christmas Eve.

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On Christmas morning we woke up, had a leisurely breakfast, and opened our presents. This year we decided to just do stocking stuffers for everyone, which worked out really well because we all had a pile of fun things to open but we only spent $20-$25 on each person. I think that might become a tradition.

It was awesome having Landon around. At a year and a half he is not super enthused about Christmas just yet, he mostly enjoyed the boxes and wrapping paper. Next year though I think he’ll be getting there! He was so cute though and was so good the entire time. Just a little muffin.

I also fell down the stairs, which was not a Christmas day highlight for me… But also not a huge surprise as stairs and I sort of have a history. Actually it probably would have been a Christmas miracle if I didn’t fall down the stairs.

My most embarrassing stair fall was probably at my bestie’s grandfather’s funeral last year because I was in a dress and I almost took out an old man – I realized at the last moment before grabbing onto him that he wasn’t going to be able to save me. This was a close second in embarrassment though because I was carrying my phone and Nintendo DS (with Harry Potter Lego in it!), both of which went flying and made such a giant racket that everyone came running. I don’t know what happened but the stairs were polished wood and slippery and I stepped on a narrow part where the stairs curved and my foot went flying out from under me. I felt it happening but I was powerless to stop it and hit every. single. stair. on the way down.

I had some pretty bad bruises on the right side of my body and am still sore but otherwise escaped unharmed, though I still can’t do a pushup because my right arm/shoulder can’t take it (not that I could do a proper pushup before anyway). Everyone said they couldn’t believe I didn’t hit my head or break a bone and I don’t know what to say except if there is one thing I’m good at, it’s falling. I’ve fallen enough times that I know to let my body go slack and roll with it for minimal damage. Anyway, it was not the first flight of stairs I’ve fallen down and it will likely not be the last. But (YES DAD) I am going to be more careful.

After presents and my big bad fall, Evan, Kelly, Uncle Stevie and I headed out for a walk to the lake. It was super cold but it was super beautiful.

I love a frozen lake. That is certainly not the type of ice that you can just blow across on though. There’s a beach there so we’re going to have to come back in the summer when it’s hot for some swimming!

After our walk we napped, read our books by the fire, took our annual Christmas Day selfie…

The fourth one we have now! The first with champagne, fancy. And then we popped open our crackers and donned our colourful paper crowns for dinner.

Christmas dinner number two (we had our first at my dad and Mona’s the week before) did not disappoint. It was delicious. Holidays are really the only time I have turkey and stuffing with gravy so I cherish every bite.

After dinner we played this hilarious game that Evan’s Uncle Stevie and Auntie Jan introduced us to – I don’t know what to call it other than try to unwrap a present wearing oven mitts.

Evan and Brotherman got matching shirts for Christmas and I love that they were wearing them proudly.

Anyway, there were about four layers of wrapped boxes and you had to try to open them wearing oven mitts while the person in front of you rolled the dice. If they got doubles you had to stop what you’re doing, pass the box and the oven mitts to them and they had to try to unwrap the box while the person in front of them rolled trying to get doubles, and so on. I will definitely be busting this out at every Christmas party I attend in the future because I tell you, it was a time.

By the end there was just a tiny box to open. That man is 96 years old and was killing it. But of course, Evan won, because that’s what he does best. Wins all the things.

The final present was a deck of cards, so we can play together and he can beat me at more games!

On Boxing Day we left Uncle Stevie’s bright and early to hit the road to Evan’s dad’s for Christmas number three, about a two hour drive east. Unfortunately, it had been freezing rain since the early morning and the roads were pretty crappy. They were mostly just wet by the time we set out but there were several accidents on the 401 (the biggest highway that crosses Ontario east/west) and they actually shut down a big section that we needed to travel on. Getting off was a nightmare, and then we had to take a side road that was RAMMED with traffic and that two hour drive somehow ended up taking us six hours. I’d like to say the drive was a good time but I was in the front of the truck in the middle, between Evan and his mom (who we were dropping off) and the hump of the seat was digging into my bruise from the stairs. The worst thing about this though, was that the snacks were all in the back of the truck. So that’s a lesson learned – keep the snacks up front! I have to say that Landon was a SERIOUS trooper through all of this.

When we finally got to Evan’s dad’s, his road was basically a skating rink and we could not get up a hill before his driveway. So Brotherman and I (VERY CAREFULLY) slid across the road and up the hill and trekked to the house to retrieve their dad. Then he had to come and rescue us with his tractor and pull the truck up the hill and into his driveway. It was quite the adventure.

Luckily after that ordeal, dinner was waiting for us.

And Christmas dinner number three was just as delicious as the previous two! I loved the addition of sausages and sauerkraut.

Since the roads in that area were not great and we got there so late, we decided to stay over another night, which ended up being really nice because we got more time with Evan’s dad and Loulou.

It was such a good Christmas with all of Evan’s family and I was so grateful for everyone for having me. But after three days of traveling, I was so excited to go home on the 27th. Evan and I made it home in the afternoon and immediately got into our pajamas and did our Christmas together with Tilly.

My favourite present was this custom ornament of Winnie from Evan!

I love it so much! Dawn’s sister Melon has her own business (Garbaroo Co.  you should check her out, her stuff is really cool) doing custom pet portraits, magnets, ornaments, basically everything, and she sculpted and painted this, that talented minx. The funny story behind it is I had actually contacted her back in November and asked her if she could do one for Evan for Christmas, but she told me she was unfortunately too busy and wouldn’t have time to finish it. I was disappointed and then I saw her signing up to do things for people on Facebook so I was all “WTF I THOUGHT SHE WAS BUSY!” Then I received this and Evan said he told her to tell me that because he was already getting her to make the Winnie ornament for me! I had no idea, those tricksters. I will cherish it forever.

So that was Christmas 2016, a good one all around.

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Jingling and Mingling

Only five days ’til Christmas!!!!!!!  Ahhhhhh! I’m excited. We have been back in a winter wonderland for a couple of weeks now and doing all the holiday things, so let’s talk about that!

You may remember just before I left for Florida I went to the Eaton Centre’s tree lighting with Choir! Choir! Choir! The video is up and it is just wonderful. It gives me all the feels.

Rachel and I have quite the closeup at 1:18.  I’ve said this before but it is so great to be a part of something so inclusive, where men, women, children, of all ages, of different colours and nationalities come together to sing the same song. It’s a beautiful thing.

The weekend we got back from Florida I went to see Nana to tell her all about our trip. Emily and little Marcus joined us and Nana was just thrilled about that.

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She looooves the babies. She loved meeting Marcus and he loved her, too. He was quite the little celebrity in the nursing home that afternoon. Everyone wanted to see him. Emily went to visit my Nana back when she was super pregnant and for a minute my Nana got confused and thought it was me and that I was the one who was pregnant. Um, nope. Then Emily explained she was pregnant with Corey’s child and my Nana was all “But what about Evan???” She was so embarrassed when she realized it was Emily and not me. I get it, we sort of look alike. She wasn’t the only one, the next time I went in there some lady was like “Oh you had your baby!” Sure. Anyway, I’m happy to report we didn’t have another mixup and Nana did not think Marcus was mine. We had a great visit.

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And my Nana continues to slay with her sassy nails.

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I still cannot get over that those are the hands of a 102 year old. She looks so fantastic.

We put our tree up!

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Tilly likes. We were concerned with how she was going to handle having a live tree in the house, since she is all over anything new that happens… Evan says whenever we talked about it I got a mad gleam in my eye like I wanted to see her get into shenanigans. It would be pretty funny… She’s been a good kitty though, she was all up in that tree at first but now she mostly just prefers to sleep under it.

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We have a lot more presents under there now and she just sort of wedges herself between them. It’s cute. I really thought she was going to attempt to climb it but so far so good. However, the night we got it up I left to go to choir (we sang Last Christmas and it was the best) and about 20 minutes later I got a text from Evan of a picture with water and decorations (some smashed) all over the floor. I of course immediately assumed Tilly knocked the tree over but Evan said she was innocently sleeping on the couch with him when it happened. I guess we didn’t secure it properly… It seems to be good now, thankfully.

Evan had to call a neighbour over to help him put it back up, and neighbour is in his 80s and really obsessed with the conspiracy theory that Michelle Obama was born a man and went on about that for a while so…I’m sure that was just as much fun to deal with as the toppled over tree (and if you ask my opinion on the Michelle Obama thing, I don’t think so but who cares if she was, good for her if she was, and I like her regardless.)

Last weekend was my friend Dawn’s mom’s 60th birthday party but first I hit up the Sunderland Santa Claus parade with Emily, Corey and Marcus. Evan was doing some tiling in their kitchen and needed to finish up before the party, so we left him to do that and paraded it up. I like to crash family parade parties.

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It was awesome, as all small town parades are. Many tractors and pick-up truck floats. There was actually a float that advertised parade floats, so a float that had a few different float options on it, should you be looking for a float designer. That was interesting.

After the parade we picked up Evan and headed to Dawn’s house for the party. It was a legit house party! An amazing food spread, and I took this before all the things were brought out.

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‘Tis the season for eating!

Dawn’s mom Brennie was looking beyond fabulous. We played this game that my brain is not feeling up to explaining right now but it ended with Brennie wearing a bunch of different clothing options. She embraced it.

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She embraced it hard. And she looked about 40 doing it.

It was a surprise party and she seriously had no idea! Her reaction was priceless, she actually screamed. I think Scarlett was upset the party wasn’t for her.

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But she got over it.

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I took very few pictures but it was a good time with all our friends!

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My friends for almost 20 years now (Emily for almost 30, which is crazy to say) – I hope to be partying it up with them when we all turn 60!

This past weekend Evan and I had my family Christmas with my dad and Mona and Mona’s fam – we usually do it the Saturday before Christmas since actual Christmas is so busy with everyone’s blended families. I made Nana’s cookies for the occasion!

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They are so good, and I know my dad loves them.

We had a DELICIOUS Christmas dinner.

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The first of many, I am very, very lucky. I don’t mind spreading out the good stuff over a week. We always open presents up after dinner (I got a onesie and I’ve hardly taken if off), and then we have dessert.

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My step sister-in-law (?) Lesley and I got our annual picture in front of the tree! I think it’s the third or fourth now.

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It was pretty chaotic at times with the kids and the giant golden retriever who thinks he’s a lap dog, but it is the kind of chaos I like.

And finally, Sunday was Emily and Corey’s annual “Jingle and Mingle”, a Christmas party that happened this year at their new and beautiful love shack, as they recently moved. Santa (Joel) made an appearance, so that was exciting.

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I like to crash family parades and pictures with Santa.

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Evan and I wore our festive sweaters for the occasion.

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I picked those up last week at Bluenotes for buy one get one 50% off, pretty sweet deal. They were a big hit.

Emily does a SERIOUS food spread, and this one is usually the highlight of the year.

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And once again that’s not even everything. I love Christmas for the parties! And I love parties for the eating! And hanging with the lads.

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Over 30 people ended up coming, which is an impressive turnout considering Em and Cork sort of live in the middle of nowhere and it was snowing on and off. It was so nice to see everyone. Another fun party day. And the holiday fun is just beginning!

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Remember

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Thank you to all the brave men and women who have served, and continue to serve, our country. Today I remember that many men and women have selflessly volunteered their lives to protect our people and the oppressed people around the world.

I am always incredibly proud to be Canadian, but this year I feel even more appreciative of the true north strong and free. Given everything that’s happened this week, my love for Canada is at an all time high. I would be naive to think that the new US President won’t affect my country – the leader of the free world impacts the entire world, and I am heartbroken at the result of the election. I know that in a corporate setting it is the leadership that sets the tone and culture for the entire organization. And with a country, it is the leadership that sets the tone and culture for the entire nation. It starts at the top. And for that tone to be of hate and intolerance is extremely disheartening and scary. I just want everyone to have the same rights, privileges and freedoms that I enjoy, and I can’t understand why everyone doesn’t want this. I don’t know what’s going to happen and unfortunately I do think we’re in some weird, dark times… But I am thankful to live in a country with a leader who embodies inclusiveness, tolerance, kindness, freedom, love and acceptance, and who values everyone of all religions, races, genders, and sexual orientation. I truly hope that Canada is able to continue to set this example for the world.

Today please remember that there are so many people who have and will continue to give everything to stand up for you.

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Canada Day Camping

Happy belated Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day! #proudtobecanadian

And happy belated Fourth of July to all my American chums. We had Friday off so I was envious of you as I sat at my desk yesterday. I hope everyone had a great long weekend! We went camping with my friend Sherrie and her boyfriend Will, and sadly not in the beautiful mountains above where I was last year, we went to Silent Lake, where my family always went when I was a kid and where Evan and I went to last Labour Day weekend. The weather this time wasn’t wonderful but we had a gooood time.

The reservable sites at Silent Lake booked up really early and were gone by the time we decided we actually wanted to go camping, but there were several sites reserved for walk-ins that you couldn’t book in advance. I called them and they said it was first come first serve for those sites and we should be good if we got there as early as possible. So on Friday morning I left my house at 6am (Evan was coming later with Will), booked it to get Sherrie, left there at 7am, and made it to the park just after it opened.

A lot of people had arrived Thursday night and taken sites so when I checked in the morning there were only a three sites left. It was almost a two hour drive from Sherrie’s place so we sped up there and prayed the sites wouldn’t be taken when we got there. We were super lucky and got the second last available site. A guy in a truck came just after us and got the very last site, and a lady came just after him and was SOL. If we had been even 10 minutes later we wouldn’t have gotten a site, so we were pretty happy about that and raved on about how lucky we were. There were only walk-in campsites left, which meant we had to park offsite and walk our stuff in, but we are resourceful. We made friends with a ranger with a golf cart who let us load up all our stuff.

My tent (on the left in the pic below) is a complicated beast but we were able to get those puppies and the dining tent set up pretty quickly.

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Which was a good thing because as soon as we finished it started raining annnnnd it continued to rain for almost the rest of the day. It figures. We’ve had a bit of a drought lately and have had beautiful sunny weather for the past few weeks, but Canada Day weekend comes along and of course it rains. We still thought we were so lucky though, first snagging the site and then getting everything set up before the rain. Typical Canadians raving about their good luck when it rains all day.

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We got wet but what can ya do. It wasn’t bad, Sherrie had an extra pop-up tent that is meant to be used to shield from the sun, but we set that up over our chairs in front of a fire we built and it kept us pretty dry. Even with the rain I’d rather be camping!

Our first meal of the trip was not extravagant but it sure did hit the spot.

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Sherrie makes the best Kraft Dinner. You can’t get more Canadian than eating Kraft Dinner while camping on Canada Day (it’s our national dish and we eat 55% more than Americans, take that Paula!). I love it. I need to eat more of it.

The rain eased up a bit in the afternoon so we walked down to the lake and then went on a little hike.

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It is a beautiful park. One of my faves in Ontario!

The boys arrived together around 6pm and I’m glad they came when they did even though they missed the day. Evan was pretty sick on Thursday (I think he had the bug I had the week before, it was no good) and it was Will’s first time camping, so if they sat around in the rain all day I think they would have hated their lives. Thankfully by the time they arrived the worst of the rain was over.

I was on dinner duty and made us some tacos.

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Camping tacos are the best tacos.

Evan still wasn’t feeling 100% so he had a spectacular napular in our tent.

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Poor muffin. He’s a trooper.

It rained on and off until about 9, but we got a little sunset break!

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We spent the rest of the evening hanging out by the fire.

In the morning Will cooked us breakfast.

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And it was probably the best camping breakfast I’ve ever had.

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Scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, fried tomatoes, and potatoes. The potatoes were the highlight. He had boiled and seasoned them before he left so he just had to throw them in a pan and brown them up. Excellent idea and so, so good.

After breakfast we headed down to the lake to rent kayaks for a lake adventure.

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Evan and I kayaked the whole lake last year in a couple of hours — we also walked around the whole lake in about five hours. It was 15k on uneven hilly ground and it was torture, this was not the weekend to do that again. But the kayaking we knew was a good time. There are no motorboats allowed on the lake so it is perfect for kayaking and canoeing, and it’s small enough that you can see the entire lake.

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I love the rocky shoreline and the little islands you can explore.

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Evan picked us water lilies! Romantique!

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Mine had bugs all over it so it went overboard pretty quickly…

At the far end of the lake it gets pretty shallow and narrow. It’s a fun area to explore.

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It was a windy day and it was quite choppy in the main part of the lake, but the little channels were calm.

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It’s so pretty.

After our kayak adventure we headed back for burgers (homemade by Will and delicious) and then hit up the beach. It was not the warmest of days but I really wanted to go swimming. That was basically the entire point of leaving the city for the weekend. You can’t have Canada Day weekend without swimming! So, we swam.

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We also played some beach bocce ball.

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We stayed at the beach for a few hours before going back to hang at our site. I was feeling pretty groovy in my camping attire.

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The lake was really close to our site so we walked down for one last hurrah before it got dark.

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And then Will made us the most amazing dinner. Corn on the cob cooked over the fire…

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Shrimp skewers, chicken and vegetable skewers, and coleslaw.

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It pays to be friends with a chef!

And we had some spider dogs later that we cooked over the fire.

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We also went down and looked at the stars over the lake once it got dark, and they were some of the best stars I’ve ever seen. I’m so glad we had a good day on Saturday, it made up for the Friday rain.

We all had to work on Monday so on Sunday we just packed up and headed home. It was a real good time camping with these guys!

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And we didn’t even have one noise complaint! There was a group in their early 20s who had two sites just down from ours and they really took the attention off of us. We were walking by them in the dark on Saturday night and one of the guys yelled “HEY do you guys want to come hang out with us? …or are you cougars?” I said “Maybe we are…” and we kept walking back to our old people site with our old people music (70s/80s rock — probably not cool to them). Ah to be young. And then they got a noise complaint, suckers.

We actually have a big group camping trip coming up in a few weeks which I am really looking forward to, even more now. I have the camping fever for sure.

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