During our long drive we planned to make some strategic stops along the way to break up the trip. Since we were driving through Sudbury, we took a couple hours and visited the science center (we thought it was funny that it was located on 100 Ramsey Lake Road). The science center had a lot of cool stuff including some giant bugs from Malaysia which we got to hold. After the science museum we drove by the big nickel and snapped some touristic photos. Then it was a couple more hours driving. Midway between Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie there is a city called Elliot Lake and while Elliot would have loved to make a pit stop here, we decided not to. It was too far off our route so instead, we hit a motel in a place called Blind River.
After our successful camping experience, we drove up to the Orsi’s cottage on Georgian Bay to visit Kim, Chris, Lucas, and Matthew. We got lucky that the weather turned a bit warmer so it was straight into the water after a long drive north through traffic. In addition to celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday on the 1st of July, we got a lot of fun activities in; kayaking, paddle boating, fishing, tubing, sea-do riding, and boating. In between the water action we played some games inside and tried to avoid the mosquitoes. We all kept really busy and before we knew it, it was time to head out on a long drive towards Minnesota.
A visit to the Aylmer area would not be complete without a visit to the kids’ most active Canadian mail buddy. A visit to Gump’s house is like a trip to a Southwestern Ontario botanical garden, and we got the full summer tour. We also managed to sneak in a load of laundry while doing the tour and chasing some chickens. Thanks again! It’s always fun seeing you!
While camping we also did some visiting with Farmor in Copenhagen (i.e. the very little village in Ontario, Canada, not the capital city of Denmark). Farmor puts the kids to work painting concrete and they let their creativity loose making some unique paint jobs like Elliot turning an owl into a penguin, and Sienna painting a rainbow serpent (not featured). When they got tired of painting the cousins hung around inside, playing games and relaxing by the TV.
Our first attempt at family tent camping was in Port Burwell with Angela, Pete, Kenzy, and Logan. Our first night Farmor and Penguin (aunt Suzy) came to visit and hang out by the campfire while Crystal, Derek, Kyle and Owen came to visit on another night. Although the weather was a bit on the cool side, the kids still braved the water and got in a nice day at the beach. We also tried to catch fish along the rocks next to the pier, but the water was too murky and the fish were not biting. To make up for the missing fish the kids toasted a lot of marshmallows and we took turns at telling spooky stories by the campfire. All in all a very successful time where everybody had fun. We are already looking forward to next year!
Our first stop in Canada was to Jane and Oliver’s place in Milton. We had a lot of fun with Vanessa who was the star of the show. She was very engaged playing with Sienna and Elliot and there was never a dull moment when she was around. We had some fun times at the park and goofing around the house. We also took an afternoon to visit Pakizah, Adam, Ethan, and Cayden. We met at a trampoline park in Toronto and after a lot of jumping we sat down for a nice dinner where the kids had a lively discussion around who their favorite youtuber was. After another night in Milton the weekend was over and we were off to Port Burwell for our first camping adventure.
We spent the weekend with Jane and Oliver at their house in Milton. The kids were excited to play with Vanessa and Hayley and I think Vanessa was really happy to get some kids to goof around with. We did some other quick visits, meeting up with Pakizah and Adam and family, and Chris Orsi and family later at the science center in Toronto. Last but not least, Oliver got the chance to show his skating moves to Sienna and Elliot at the local Milton skating rink.
We arrived in Canada just in time for Valentines day. Our friends Pakizah and Adam were throwing a Valentines party for the kids and we had a good evening catching up while the kids enjoyed some wall climbing and good treats.
All the cousins came to Kitchener for our last day in Canada. The kids had a lot of fun playing superheroes with Shawn and in the quiet times they relaxed and played their Ipads. Time flies when you are having fun, so Elliot and Sienna were a little bit sad that the visit was already over.
We went to the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory for a very interesting and educational trip. The place was packed with all kinds of new and exciting things for the kids to see and explore. There were worms, caterpillars, giant bugs, and butterflies of all shapes and sizes. The kids had fun trying to find all the different kinds of butterflies listed on the tour guide and as always, Sienna was pretty brave when it came to letting little creatures crawl on her hands.
Tobogganing and skiing in sub -20 degree weather is not something you do every day and the kids could almost not get enough. In the end, it was the parents that could not take the cold any more but we all had a lot of fun.
After visiting Farmor, we stayed a couple days in Waterloo at Angela, Pete, Kenzy, and Logan’s house. The kids immediately hit it off as usual and got in a lot of game playing and fun. We took a day trip around Waterloo and went to the geological museum at the University with lots of rocks, bones, and even a little bit of gold digging.
We took the kids tobogganing with Derek, Crystal, Owen, and Kyle in Aylmer at a big hill where Shawn used to go as a kid. The snow was really packed and it made for a fast trip down the hill. Everyone had fun and got a lot of exercise running up and sledding down probably over a 100 times.
This was the first time we saw Farmor’s new house, which – believe it or not – is located in a little place called Copenhagen. We stayed for a night and the snow was in full force. The kids could hardly walk through it but did manage to get some sled rides in. The rest of the time was spent indoors playing games and relaxing.
After Milton we went to visit Oma in her nursing home and she is still quite the character always coming up with a big smile when she sees us. Suzy was there to visit as well and gave the kids penguin socks as a reminder of her visit with us last year. After Oma, we made a wintery stop over at Gump’s place to say hi and to thank him for all the packages he mails the kids. Elliot and Sienna got their traditional quick ride on his wheelchair while I was busy admiring the colorful birds.
Our first stop in Canada this year was at Jane and Oliver’s house where we stayed for a couple nights. Sienna and Elliot got to play with Hayley and we had a fun and relaxing time catching up and hanging out in Milton.