lol, remember when we had to write that essay the first week back at school. Most of the time, mine sucked. Our family never did anything interesting and by the end of August I was dying for September to arrive. As a parent now of three monsters, ahem delightful children, hubby and I decided it was time to take a family vacation. Not visiting extended family or friends. Just us and a new place to discover. I spent a few months researching some family-friendly places. We wanted to give the kids a cottage experience where they could fish, swim, canoe etc and where I wouldn’t have to cook or go without internet. Have I mentioned before that I panic when there’s no internet? lol. I am a workaholic who can’t go more than few hours without checking in.
I digress though. So, I found a wonderful place. Calabogie Peaks Resort. With a restaurant on site, a cabin option with enough beds for all five of us and all kinds of activities, including golf, to my husband’s delight, we were all excited to go. After careful checking of our schedules, because heaven forbid we interfere with my son’s lacrosse schedule, I reserved a cabin for 3 days.
The kids were ecstatic. The countdown began before school even finished. Stories abounded of the things they planned to do. I chewed my fingernails nervously at the thought of leaving home lol. The day arrived bright and beautiful. The kids were packed and raring to go. I managed to hold them off until lunchtime, but then, despite the fact we’d arrive way too early to check in, we piled into the minivan and left. The drive went quickly, and next thing we knew, we’d arrived, two hours too early, so we drove around the area, admiring the trees, and more trees. And did I mention it was really freakn’ green in the Calabogie area? After thirty five minutes of aimless roaming and needing a glimpse of civilization, we finally headed back to the resort to check in — and pee. Stupid latte.
And that’s when the storm hit. The sky went wickedly dark. Thunder rolled and boomed. Lightning cracked. Rain poured. But that wasn’t all, along with the vicious wind buffeting our poor minivan, hail fell. Grape sized pellets, pounding against our vehicle, freaking out the children with the rat-a-tat. Hubby slowed to a crawl as we inched along, the wipers working double time. I’ll admit, I was kind of nervous about ending up in a ditch or hitting the deer we saw while roaming around. When I say there was nothing around, I mean nothing. No houses. No cars. No people.
Just as we hit the main road — and I chewed down my last nail — the storm subsided, leaving everything wet, but not completely intact. Branches lay on the road as we traveled to the resort, a constant litter of leaves and sticks, a reminder of mother’s nature’s awesome force. The resort allowed us to check in a bit early despite the power being out. We thought nothing of it. Storms often knock out power, and in minutes to a few hours, it usually comes back. The cabin however, needed power to run water and without electricity, we couldn’t get dinner at the resort. So in the van we piled, our bellies growling, to hit the town and get some grub. We didn’t even drive half a kilometer before we saw the first downed tree. Leaning against a power line, we oohed and OMG’d. We drove on down on the road. After the fifth fallen tree, we turned around and went back to the resort, handed in our key and said sorry, but there’s not going to be any power anytime soon. The resort then informed us, a freak tornado went through and that the resort would have to shut down anyhow due to the lack of power.
A tornado?! Seriously? Tornadoes, you see, are quite rare in Ontario. Of all the things to ruin our vacation, that I could have never predicted.
Before the children could cry at the change in plans, hubby packed us all in the van and off we went, eyes wide in astonishment at the path of destruction lining the road. Electrical poles snapped in half. Old trees, tall and lush, down, blocking the lanes forcing us to inch around them on the precarious lips of ditches. Power lines snaked across the tarmac. Dead lines thankfully as Hydro One had already cut the juice to them. Check out the pics we took.
We made it through the twenty or so kilometers of destruction and hit the highway in search of food. We decided on Renfrew as it was close by and had some alternatives for the family vacation. Yeah, that didn’t work out. As we entered the town, Poof! Off went the power, leaving us hungry, the kids cranky, and me, convinced our trip was now cursed.
Hubby is an annoying optimist though. He drove us to another town and found a restaurant that just had its power restored. We ate ridiculously large portions at Jim’s Family Restaurant in Arnprior. I said screw the low carb diet and inhaled a tummy stretching amount of their yummy home fries with gravy (mmmm gravy…) Bellies full, we used hubby’s internet on his cellphone to call around to other cottage resorts. No power. No power. No power. No one we called could take us.
The kids, while disappointed, didn’t cry as we headed home, our vacation over before it started. But we weren’t giving up. That night, I looked up more places to try. My sister in law made a recommendation for a place called Logosland. The next morning, we called and found a place with an opening at Logosland. Made for family’s to vacation, it has a mini waterpark, lake, canoes, fishing, paddle boats, everything you could want for a cottage experience. The kids were ecstatic so off we went again. This time, the sky stayed clear and despite the A/C in the unit being broken, there was power and we checked in happily to start our family adventure. We visited the beach. Hit the paddleboats for a ride. Hubby took the kids on their first canoe trip. Then the kids discovered the frogs in the weeds. They spent the rest of the afternoon frog hunting. No waterslides. No swimming, just catching as many wiggly green things as they could. The next morning, after a short fishing bout and breakfast, they clamored to find more frogs. We made them go on the waterslides. They protested the entire way. They did one run each. And then back to the frogs they went. Hubby and I watched them, scratching our heads. We dragged them away for lunch at the chip truck. And then forced them back on the water slides. They did three runs each, then guess where we went? Back to watch them catching frogs. Sigh. Did I mention we have a frog living in the pond in our back yard? And that they can catch frogs around the corner from our house at the big pond? Yeah. We paid money to stay somewhere my children could do it all day, ignoring all the amenities we thought they’d so enjoy.
Hubby, determined to get them active, forced them to swim in the lake. They lasted about fifteen minutes. At that point, we gave up and let them frog hunt to their heart’s content. The next morning, when the rain hit, with no intention of leaving, faced with the prospect of entertaining them in a small space with seven grainy television channels, no video game system, or any frogs, we packed them up and brought them home. To quell their protests, we treated them to an afternoon at the movies, Ice Age 4 with any treat they wanted.(My wallet will take time to recover). But they had fun, we ended the day with smiles, and came home to our beds. Our comfy beds without spiders hidden in the sheets. (my poor son almost had a heart attack when he found it the first night at the cabin lol)
And that was our summer vacation. Next time, I’m not going to bother looking for family activities. I’ll just rent something with a clear view of the lake and make sure it has frogs. Oh, and bring a recipe book. I hear they taste great, battered and fried. Muahahahaha.
How was your summer vacation?