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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

2010 Summer Vacation

Well we are finally off on our summer vacation We bought our holiday trailer at a recent farm auction. It ain't pretty, it's extremely heavy to pull and the fridge doesn't cool. But it's ours :)

As we roll down the highway the engine temp is a bit warmer than we'd like. So Dave is driving slow about 80 kph. The trailer was made in 1973 and I'm sure constructed with cast iron and oak! It's a heavy pull for our 1997 GMC Sierra 2500. I'm glad we don't have a smaller truck. Now I know why the new trailers are "lite".

The boys and Bella are in the back seat asking "when's lunch?". Oh I remember back in the 70's on my own summer vacation with the family. We had the lunch eaten and water drank before we got to Hart. (You need to know that Hart is only 6 miles from Coronach!)

Upon our arrival at the park we ran into some road construction. The park access road suffered a lot of broken pavement and it was past due for repairs.

It's official now! We are on vacation. We have our park pass and Maple Vale #26 is Home Sweet Home for the next few days.

It took Dave a couple tries to get the trailer into the site. Unaccustomed to backing up the trailer tho he did better than I would have done.

Our trailer is ready for living. It's warm inside so I hooked up a small fan to blow the cool park air into the interior. We even have our own patio lanterns up and ready to plug in tonight. I can't wait!!

The boys are relaxing after a snack of jelly beans and sunflower seeds. They are in their canvas lawn hairs playing their Nintenso DS games. Dave is texting with his sister on his Blackberry Storm. I'm enjoying the park sounds while I type this out on my iPod Touch using the Notebook app.

We don't have wifi coverage in the park but Dave can access the cellular network. Perhaps when I'm out of the site down by the lake I will be more successful until now I'm disconnected and loving it :o)

We've had a bit of rain tonight. And the requisite thunder and lightening too. Wouldn't be a proper camping experience without some rain! Thankfully we have a fairly rain-proof trailer. There is a bit of dampness at the table through the side window. But considering the age of the unit it's faring rather well.

We had a family game night in the trailer while listening to the rain outside. We played UNO for the first time as a family tonight. I taught the boys a few days ago and tonight we taught Dave. I rather enjoyed the family time.

We did manage a fire about 8:30 to cook up some hotdogs. We barely finished when the rains began again so we hustled back into the sanctity of the trailer.

It's 9pm now and the boys are showing their weariness. Or perhaps it's my weariness coming out in them. In any case the rain is back and I think the fire is almost out so no s'mores tonight. I'm saddened as I really wanted them our first night. But there's always tomorrow.

We made it through the night rather well. We had a bit more rain but the ceiling didn't leak much if at all. I woke a few times as usual and by 6:30 had to pee. I took Bella out with me and left the menfolk behind. I crawled back into bed upon my return and Bella joined us. We snoozed for a short while until the boys woke up. Dave took them all for their morning pee and when they returned we put away the bedding. It was time for coffee!!

We fried bacon on the firepit and the eggs in the electric frying pan. The kids didn't care for the bacon but I really savored that woodsmoke taste it had. We cleaned up breakfast dishes and headed out to go exploring.

We started at the playground and then made our way to the lakeshore. There is a rule of no pets on the beach so Dave and I took turns wading through the water. It wasn't icy cold but it wasn't warm either. More like refreshing.

The kids were picking through shells on the beach and found a clamshell still intact so I checked and there was a clam inside! We took a few pictures of it and then returned it to the water to live another day.

We made our way back to the playground since that seemed to be the boys' favorite spot. I'm enjoying the sun's warm rays as I relax on a bench watching the boys on the playground equipment.

Our lunch today consisted of the finest frozen dairy products the Park had to offer...namely ice cream! It was a hit with the boys that's for sure. The boys each had a single scoop of chocolate on a cone. Dave had 2 scoops of hokey pokey, which was a toffee flavored ice cream with chunks of toffee. My cone was topped with mint chocolate chip. We shared with Bella and I'm not sure which flavor was her favorite, she wanted them all. Back at our site we are enjoying the sights and sounds. Dave is surfing the cellular Internet while the boys and I munch on some chips. We hope to head down to the trout pond to do a bit of fishing. Here's hoping we have fish to fry up at suppertime.

Well fishing was a bust. The trout pond wasn't stocked this year, probably due to the road construction adjacent to the access road. So we headed out on Hwy #2 and up to the causeway to do some fishing. Lost a couple hooks in the rocks and caught enough seaweed to feed us all. But no fish :( I hope we can get out more often now that we have our fishing licenses and the knowledge of what to do. Poor kids really wanted to be the one to haul in the fish with the net. LOL

We came back to the campsite to find there was a water break and no washroom facilities. Of course that was after I roasted our Jumbo marshmallows. Hard to wash sticky fingers without water. I took the boys to Elm View campground to wash up while Dave stayed behind with Bella.

We grilled some burgers for supper, starting them on a foil pan called Grill Buddies. It's a rectangular shaped foil pan with drip holes on the bottom side. Grease doesn't drip thru completely as the bottom has a ridged corrugated shape. Once the burgers firmed up a bit I grilled them directly on the park's BBQ to get that outdoorsy woodsmoke flavor. Mmmmm supper was yummy! I sliced some potatoes and grilled them with butter, seasoning salt and black pepper in foil dishes. They cooked up way better than using tin foil alone. I'll be sure to keep stocked up on cheap foil dishes from now on.

(In the picture are our Flat Friends, Alex & Evie from Ohio, enjoying some bbq burgers with us.)

The boys made some friends next door to our trailer. Hartley and his younger brother came over in the evening to watch Toy Story 2 and munch on some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I made us all some hot chocolate to drink while the movie was on.

It started to rain again too. More rain to make it a soggy evening and overnight. The rain continued into the wee morning hours and by morning I was chilled. I haven't had my hoodie off much this camping trip due to the cool damp weather. But like Dave said it hasn't been excessively hot and unbearable either. Good point Dave.

I cooked some breakfast sausage over the fire this morning. We purchased a cast iron frying pan this season and it worked perfectly! We boiled the sausage first then grilled them to give them that woodsmoke taste I've come to enjoy. Dave scrambled some eggs for the kids in the trailer with the electric frying pan while I fried some eggs (rather slowly tho) in the cast iron pan over the fire. They took longer than I expected to fry up but they were worth the wait.

We stayed inside this morning due to the cool weather. I was feeling the chills settle into my bones and didn't want to catch a cold. Dave made lunch today: gourmet mac & cheese with hot dogs, cooked over the open fire. I opened a can of beans and heated them on the grill.

I'm sitting here on my lawn chair enjoying the warm sunshine do it's magic getting the chills out of my bones. Dave took the boys to the playground. I expect they'll be awhile as he took his novel and bb. Bella and I stayed behind for some girl rest & relaxation.

Time for my novel and a beverage. TTYL!

We took the boys down to the boat launch. I had hoped to do some fishing off the dock but a sign was posted prohibiting it. So we went to play a round of mini golf.

We started out keeping score and once we finished the first hole I knew scorekeeping was not necessary. The boys handled the golf club like a hockey stick and if we had been on the ice they would have done very well. But on the golf course not so much. (Notice Alex & Evie helping the boys aim their shots through the tunnels?)

Up until the afternoon the weather had been very moody. Lots of cool damp weather. But it improved dramatically as the day wore on.

Supper was burgers and hotdogs again. As soon as the boys were done they wanted to go play with Hartley and Kelmin. It looked like they weren't eating so I sent them over to ask. Well nobody returned so I assumed they were welcomed. Dave & I finished up supper as Doug popped over asking us over for a drink. We cleaned up supper and headed over. It was nice to finally talk with other adults! Doug & Tracey live near Pense and both work in Regina. David lives near Saskatoon (he's Doug's brother). Tracey's parents were also staying with them. David and the grandparents had tents while Doug and his family had the trailer. It's a classic like ours. Built in 1975 and Doug says the manual has it at 5400lbs. No wonder ours is so heavy too! The modern trailers are a lot lighter in weight and can be towed with just a SUV. We did admit tho that our trailers will survive a tornado or rollover and won't need to be reassembled. LOL

We brought over our Jumbo marshmallows and made some s'mores. They introduced us to "bush pies". You use a bbq sandwich maker (available in any camping department). Spread margarine on the outsides of two slices of bread and then fill them with whatever combination you desire. A few minutes on the fire and voilĂ ! Tracey made them with cherry pie filling between brown bread. Mmmmmm they were tasty! Forget the s'mores, I want bush pies from now on.

I didn't sleep well again mostly due to my sore lower back. Perhaps the mattress or pillow is to blame. But I was up at 3:30 and again at 7:00. Time to start the day as we're going home today. And just when we made some friends. Typical.

Took some effort to build the fire this morning. But its going good now to get breakfast on the go. Breakfast was bacon and eggs again and then cleanup. The boys helped by playing at the neighbors while Dave and I got the gear put away and the camper repacked.

I was sad to see the campsite in the rearview mirror for the last time as we pulled out of the park. But I really enjoyed the short holiday at Buffalo Pound. Our family really needed the time away from all responsibilities and just enjoy life again, without all the schedules and appointments.

Until next time....

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