Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mad Cabin camp out

Charlie's water fountain

Realizing that we had a free night coming up in our schedule we quickly scrambled to make a booking at the infamous Mad Cabin. This is by far our favourite little riverside getaway on the Madawaska River owned and operated by our friends the Neills.

Friday around supper, we loaded up the van (with enough gear to stay a week) and then zipped out to Kanata to pick up Maddie who had been spending the last few days at Grandma and Grandpa's luxury spa and retreat. Finally we were off to Burnstown... well, technically not "Burnstown proper", more like country-living Burnstown. A subtle difference often overlooked by non-Burnstownies.

Morning mommy

We arrived around 6pm to warm greetings (though Charlie's were a little wet) and monster hugs before making our way down the hill to the river cabin. Funny sometimes how life's everyday luxuries - hydro, flush toilets, clean underwear - are often the very things you leave behind when trying to rejuvenate the soul with Mother Nature.

Breakfast at the river cabin Searching for a safer place to eat

Saturday's breakfast of fresh bread, scrambled eggs, and sausage was gobbled up in no time. The rest of the day was spent relaxing on one of the enormous tire tubes or paddling in the handcrafted canoe.

Loading up the voyageurs
Taking a dive The tube challenge Laurel in a rainbow
Friends, summer, and a big black tube

Good times and yet another trip ending in heartfelt promises to visit more often - promises we too often let slip as time chews away at our lives.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Soccer in the hot hot sun

Nepean City Storm

This weekend was the end of year soccer tournament for Nepean City house league soccer and it was freakin' hot. The afternoon reached 40°C with the humidex and it most definitely affected the girls soccer as they were just not playing at the level that we'd seen them play during the regular season. Regardless, nobody passed out from heat stroke and in the end they all had a great afternoon playing 4 games back to back.

Ceremonies Emma receives her medal

Medals and team photos were handed out after several rounds of applause for coaches, referees, volunteers, and even parents. Well done girls and we're already missing the busy but fulfilling schedule.

Later that same day our daughter had an invite to come out to the competitive girls soccer practice. So after a quick shower and an awesome meal of pulled pork sandwiches and various fruit dipped in a delicious chocolate yogurt the entire family whipped back out into the heat to watch some more soccer.

Cooling down thanks to the Ottawa Fire Department Cooling down thanks to the Ottawa Fire Department
Sorry about the crap quality, I had to resort to my cell phone's camera.

The effort was well rewarded though as one of the players' fathers (a fireman) paid a surprise visit with the fire truck to hose down the girls. They absolutely loved it, as did some of the parents and family dogs. A day not soon forgotten.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Murphy's Point getaway

Silver Queen Mine

With a forecast for the first summer heat wave coming up this weekend we decided to squeeze in a one night trip out to Murphy's Point where we could keep ourselves immersed in water. It turned out to be a great call as the temperature soared into the 40's with the humidex.

Dragonfly Give snakes a brake

We opted to keep the trip simple and brought only a tent, some floating chairs (my awesome Father's Day gift), some BBQ ribs, and lots of fluids.

R&R at Murphy's Point Relaxing day in the heat

Friday evening we signed up along with 83 others for the Silver Queen Mine tour. We learned a little about the geological history of the region, about the Lally homestead once located here, and of course about mining mica, feldspar, and apatite (not a fun job by the way). A great piece of local history if you ever get the chance to take the tour yourself.

Silver Queen ghost miners Silver Queen Miners

Nice helmet eh. I think my head is too big to be a miner.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Birthday girl at Pancake Bay

Birthday girl at Pancake Bay
Happy Birthday Emma!
(this photo was immediately followed by a 13 hour drive home - ouch)

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Pancake Bay 2009

Path to Pancake Sunset on Pancake

Pancake Bay on Lake Superior is one of the most beautiful places in Ontario. In a storm, the wind and waves crashing on these shores can be both breathtaking and devastating - hell, they can sink ships (read: Edmund Fitzgerald). But when the sun is shining and the winds calm it's simply paradise. A paradise that we have been visiting with the family now for the last 7 years.

Stream jumping Mica Bay, Lake Superior
Swirls Yellow moon Moonlight
Sunset stroll Chippewa Falls

As the kids get older the options on how to fill our days start to expand. What started out as sand castles, diaper changing, and naps is now bocce ball, badminton, snorkeling, and... well the naps are still slipped in there from time to time.

Sister and brother
IMG_5827 IMG_5582

The other pass time out here, and for some their favorite, is eating. You just can't beat a home cooked Italian meal. This year it was cousin Dianne who put together another fabulous spread. Pasta, perogies, meatballs, chicken in sauce, and veal with peppers. Cousin Suzanne impressed everyone with some chocolate and peanut butter fudge and oreo cookie fudge as well as a delicious lemonade pie.

Pino's in Sault Ste. Marie
IMG_0588 Homemade Italian
Dessert time IMG_0591
Uncle Jay Pino's sausage
Pino's sausage is by far the world's best.

I'm already looking forward to next year. Making memories....

Pancake Bay sunset