On Our Summer Vacation, We…

Just like a prompt in elementary or middle school, it’s tricky to decide how to write about summer vacation without making it a laundry list or a scheduled play-by-play. It’s a challenge, no matter how long or short the post, to capture everything that happened – especially when it’s just four weeks and a bit!

Anti-meat-eating marches and nude bicyclists; “The Great Canadian Cruise” with poutine and Tim Horton’s… we missed you, Canada!

Toronto skyline from the Canada Day Cruise

Toronto skyline from the Canada Day Cruise

A whirlwind trip, we managed to visit Ontario, Kansas, Maryland and Connecticut – and within Ontario, both Toronto and points north (Miners Bay). Our plans to go to the zoo were foiled by inclement weather and migraines, but we managed a visit to the Toronto Curry Club (Woodstock alumni gathering) and a pair of trips up to the cottage, as well as visiting the US naval ship “Constellation” in Baltimore. There were many things we just didn’t quite get to do – not only the Toronto Zoo, but a trip to Assateague Island National Park to see the wild ponies, spending more time with one of our Woodstock kids in NJ, and seeing other friends in various parts (Canada and the USA).

It was great to see family — Asha is lucky enough to have one set of great-grandparents on both sides, so we made sure to see them (and get pictures). She also got to see both sets of grandparents, as well as great aunts – she may not remember this trip, but we’ve made sure to give others the chance to see her. My mother and stepfather came up from MD to Miners Bay and spent about a week up in Canada (there’s a certain degree of happiness and terror in having in-laws and parents who get along well!), before they headed back south.

Nothing does say “welcome back to the West” like sitting down for Korean barbecue at a restaurant on Yonge and Bloor, though, and watching a PETA march followed no more than 5 minutes later by a group of naked bicyclists/rollerbladers/skateboarders. There was a moment where I was certain I was hallucinating, or at least having some sort of vision problem – but no, it’s just the amazing dichotomies of Toronto. Frankly, I was surprised it wasn’t naked PETA bicylists!

While in Maryland, a dear sister-friend came up to visit from Atlanta, and we drove off one morning with the intentions to go to Ocean City – but we did not make it quite that far, stopping for lunch in a town called Berlin (voted the Most Something Or Another Small Town In America); we had brunch and then stopped a yarn store (A Little Sheepish) around the corner, before heading back to Nanticoke. My mother was adamant we visit Berlin – and we found out why, since it resembled our hometown (New Milford, CT) to an almost disturbing degree, down to particular aspects of the architecture, such as faux arches out of brick over second storey windows.

Canada Day we spent in Canada with friends on The Great Canadian Cruise (run by Indie88, a new radio station in the GTA) – from poutine bar to an apology station (small whiteboard speech bubbles, on which you could write an apology and then get your photo taken with it), costume contest and a tower of Timbits. We were able to go on this because a pair of our friends had won tickets, so we spent the afternoon with them cruising in the harbour around Toronto.

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We spent the Fourth of July up at the cottage in Miners Bay with everyone, and while there were no fireworks, we still had a good time playing in the lake and teasing my mother about drinking her “Kool Aid” (Moscato and similar wines), and her teasing back about the nasty dry sour red wine. Asha enjoyed the lake (one day, it was… refreshing… and she cried for a minute before settling down and paddling around in a float under close supervision!); on our second trip up, Adam seemed to enjoy himself just as much with an electric bug-killing tennis racket from the city. There was a noticeable drop in the mosquito population!

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Even though it’s months away, we’re already looking forward to coming back in the winter – time to see friends we didn’t get to see this time around, visit family again, and go to events/places that we did not get the opportunity to on this trip. It will be quite different in the winter – but it will give us another chance to see people (especially, hopefully, some of the 2014 WS grads who will be at school in Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa!).

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