Summer days

As the summer approached this year, I made a conscious decision to skip the camp circuit and keep the lils with me all the time. I wanted to spend the summer exploring our city and beyond, and figured that the lils were at the perfect age to accompany me. I jokingly told the lils that they were going to “Mom camp”, and that we would spend the summer going on adventures together.

They bought in, in a big way. After the first week, they would wake each day and ask what our daily adventure was. The plan to go on two or so adventures a week grew to almost daily outings.  We added weekend adventures so that Willy could join us, and the weeks just flew by. Since late June, our adventures have taken us to:

  • Mud Lake
  • Mer Bleue
  • Bate Island
  • Andrew Haydon Park
  • Dick Bell Park
  • The Museum of Nature
  • The Museum of Civilization
  • The Agriculture Museum
  • The Aviation Museum and the Star Wars Identities exhibit
  • The Museum of Science and Technology
  • The National Art Gallery
  • Upper Canada Village
  • Several of the local farmer’s markets
  • Berry picking (followed by jam making!)
  • Glow in the dark mini golf
  • The Senator’s development camp
  • Several public skates
  • Wading pool at least 1/2 a dozen times
  • Splash pads
  • Playdates with friends
  • Photowalks
  • Toronto and Meaford where we spent ten days on the beach, in the pool, playing mini-golf, exploring the farm and it’s fabulous old barn, visiting old friends, Junior Caribana,but most importantly, connecting with family.
  • Montreal for a trip on the train, some wandering, a new Science Centre, the Biodome, and some time with an Uncle.
  • Numerous biking adventures, longer and longer trips for both lils.
  • Spelunking at Bonnechere
  • A tea party at cousin V’s
  • Wandering in a couple of sunflower fields
  • My Uncle’s orchard to pick the earliest apples
  • Wednesday trips to the library, where each lil logged almost 200 books read this summer, as part of our library’s mission to have children read over 14,000 books (the goal was met with two weeks left in the summer!)
  • The ‘Tech Wall’, one of Ottawa’s legal graffiti spaces
  • Parliament Hill to see the changing of the guard and explore
  • The locks where the Rideau Canal meets the Ottawa River, to follow a group of boats as they moved down
  • Ribfest
  • Shakespeare in the Park
  • The Dragonboat festival
  • The Lumiere Festival
  • Greekfest
  • The fire station, for a tour

Last week, I started to write out this list so that we would remember, and have something to add on to. As I kept listing the adventures, it dawned on me that our pace this summer might be why I am so tired these days, and why the lils are somewhat out of sorts. I decided to see if the lils were still interested in attending the hockey camps that they had seen weeks before.  They assured me that they were and I signed them up. I figured it would give them a little bit of structure, and give me a small window of time each day that was mine and mine only.

Today was the first day of camp, and it was my busiest day of the summer!  By the time I’d gathered their gear, made their lunches and snacks, gotten them appropriately dressed and packed the changes of clothing they needed, driven to the rink, signed them in, changed Goose and gotten her on the ice, ensured that Woo ate while watching Goose, helped Woo get ready, got Goose off the ice, and fed her lunch, I had just enough time to quickly duck out and get groceries before I returned to the rink for Woo. It was way more work for me than just hoping in the car and going on an adventure!

With all that we have done, there are still a handful of places that we did not get to, places that I am not sure we would have gotten to this week.  Places like Wakefield, Gatineau park, and Saunders farm among them. These are places that are thankfully still nice to experience in the fall, nice because we can keep on “adventuring” for a while yet, but also because it gives me a time to recover, once they are back in school!

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Category: life, Lils, Photography | 1 comment

  • Lynn says:

    That is AWESOME. Your kids are at the perfect age for this kind of adventuring – sadly I found mine were getting a bit old and jaded this summer. I am adding a few new things to my list for next summer from your list, though!

    The past few years, at the end of summer I’ve made a “summer of awesome” photo book (on Shutterfly, because a coupon comes with the kids’ school photos, but you can make one anywhere). My kids love to page through it and look at all our past adventures. I recommend it!

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