Thursday, September 23, 2010

O Canada

1:00 AM - Leave home, husband driving, child sleeping.

4:30 AM - Arrive at international border, and enter Canada carrying two kayaks, vast array of camping equipment and rather large dog.

8:00 AM - Wake child for Canadian national breakfast...Tim Horton's doughnuts in Orillia, Ontario.

9:00 AM - Arrive in Trout Creek, Ontario at the Brobst family vacation villa:

Cozy isn't it? Wait, wait, you haven't seen the cooking and dining area:

My family's been coming here for fifty years, and the cabin's been there nearly as long. My Grandfather built it one rainy summer with the help of the whole family. This was my daughter's first visit, and despite the constant rain and rather cool temperatures, she had a great time.

On Saturday, we enjoyed a soggy hike with Aunt Hazel and Diane before they went home, and also visited the historic Commanda Store on the final day of their season. We did a few crafts in the children's area and enjoyed tea and butter tarts. This former general store is interesting in that, when my grandparents first starting visiting Trout Creek, this was still a store, and now it's a museum. I recommend the butter tarts.

On Sunday Kate and her daddy took their maiden voyage in their new kayak.

At last, Rick and I both get to kayak and no one is stuck in a canoe. He says it's not too slow to paddle, although he's still playing with the set of the seat to get the balance right. We went up the South River to this chute.

Kate was a very good little voyager. She saw a beaver, a tree full of buzzards, and chatted with her Papa on the two-way radio. She even went potty in the woods for the first time without complaint. (Of course she's been asking to pee outside for nearly a year because her boy cousins do it all the time, so she should have been excited.)

After our paddle the rain set in, for the next few days. Kate went moose spotting every evening with her grandparents, and spotted one the very first night. We paid North Bay a visit on Monday, and again on Tuesday to use the laudromat and show Mom and Dad what we found. After years of admiring Lake Nipissing we discovered a second, smaller lake to the East of the city. On Trout Lake, we found the Green Store, a good source of souvenirs, fudge and ice cream. Sitting on their porch licking our ice cream cones, Kate spotted her first Canadian Loon, a momentous event for any Brobst child. She and her papa also found a unique photo opportunity.

What with the nasty weather, Nona had to resort to a variety of methods to keep Kate busy. Behold, home made bubble machines.

(Is it just me, or do they look like equal amounts of fun are being had?)

On Wednesday, my mom and I took Kate to visit Misty Haven Alpacas. We both wanted to buy some yarn while on vacation, and discovered this lovely little business online. I was able to contact the proprietor and arrange a visit. We both bought some great yarn, but the best part of the place, by far was the owner, a fellow librarian, sitting down on the floor and reading a story to my kid while we shopped. Anyone who pays that kind of attention to my (sometimes overly) inquisitive kid is the best kind of person in my book. (And she's got great taste in books too. Check it out.)

Yarn and roving in hand, Rick and I decided we'd better take Kate home. The rain and the mud were getting a bit much for us, so we set off around 9:00 PM and got home around 5:00 AM. It was a rough drive, lots of construction and we were very tired, but it was great to be home. As a bonus, we didn't tell anyone but parents that we were home, so we kind of hid out in the house for a few days and enjoyed the rest of the vacation at home.

Kate had a great time on her first visit to the cabin, and I'm sure she will be back. Here she is on the swing Papa built just for her last year. (Incidentally, she's also wearing the hat I was knitting on the drive up. It's knit from the yarn she dyed herself. It was great to have it, as it was rather cold. Unfortunately, the main color of the hat is white, and main color of Canadian mud is...not.)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

August blew past me at the speed of light. Here are some things I want to remember about that crazy month:

1. A convention of yellow butterflies have spend the last few weeks meeting at the end of the driveway. Each day, when I drive home I'm met with a flurry of yellow joy, no matter what happened that day. Is someone trying to tell me something?

2. We always knew Kate was a princess. Turns out she's of the Arabian variety.

(Great Lakes Medieval Fair)

3. I and my daughter are truly blessed in our friends. My friend Diana arranged a dyeing day, in which I and my four-year-old learned to dye yarn with kool-aid. Here's a sample of Kate's work.

4. I own possibly the most patient dog on the planet.

(Kate was also dressed as a princess.)

5. The garden has been bountiful.

This is possibly the largest green pepper I've ever seen in real life.

6. Karl loves kids almost as much as they love him.

It's been a good month.