We had a short summer vacation this year — short, but sweet! After slogging through lots of work all summer long we got out of town for the long weekend. Matt was in the wedding of a hometown friend, and I’m glad for the timing of it all because it ensured we got a breather and family time after running the Summer 2015 gauntlet!
We started out by driving into Thunder Bay and setting up at a hotel the night before our flight. Usually we stop at Subway in Ignace but decided to check out the Burger Scoop this time. My wrap was kind of impossible to eat but Matt’s burger was awesome AND they have slushies with soft ice cream in them. Totally worth it.
My only other complaint — FYI, the Best Western near the Thunder Bay airport isn’t a park and fly hotel… my ‘pay for the hotel then don’t pay for parking’ routine failed, here. Oh well. We headed to Hillcrest Park to let M stretch her legs after checking in and were rewarded with a really beautiful view of the lake.
We flew Porter into downtown Toronto the next day, having rented a car from Avis. Matt wanted a more luxurious car than what we normally drive so he picked out a Chrysler 300 which was upgraded to the one with a sunroof and built-in GPS upon arrival (for $5 more a day). I didn’t drive at all, but I thoroughly enjoyed the legroom! We would have flown into Pearson but had some stuff to do downtown, and the Porter flights were pretty cheap.
After running some errands we set out toward Orangeville. It was a bit late by the time we got in but my aunt hooked us up with dinner and beer and we visited until everyone was sleepy. The next morning we got up and wandered down Broadway for a bit (read: ate cookies and chocolate) then went out to the Orangeville Fair. We ended up skipping all of the exhibit stuff because we wanted to get back to my grandpa’s house before everyone came home from work, but M enjoyed the rides and games!
That evening we enjoyed warmer weather, though the pool wasn’t very toasty after the rain we had the night before. Matt braved it for M’s sake. We visited outside a bit, then headed in — and I actually went to bed relatively on time, with no hangover, which is probably a historic moment in Orangeville history for me. 😉
The next morning we set out for Toronto. The wedding was that day, and we got stuck in insane traffic while heading downtown to grab Matt’s tux. We got to our Airbnb, Matt went out for food, and ended up getting stuck again, this time waiting for the order to come up. I was kind of concerned that we weren’t going to make it but the groom was running late too and we ultimately drove him to the wedding after finding him waiting for a cab downtown.
We didn’t get any family photos but here we are! It was a beautiful wedding, at Allan Gardens conservatory. It was mighty warm, but a great place to duck out with a kid who didn’t want to sit still — there were all kinds of amazing flowers to look at, and I was still able to hear the ceremony. M had an awesome time at the reception and could barely sleep once we got back to our rental — she kept popping up to announce “Wedding! Fun! Dance! PARTY!”
The morning after, we vacated the Airbnb, grabbed the bride and groom, and left for brunch. A note on the Airbnb experience — it worked out really well, and I was grateful to be really close to the reception area. There are no hotels in that particular part of Toronto, but the rental was a really short drive, so Matt could bring M and I ‘home’ early and still enjoy the night solo without making a long hike across the city. Our host was accommodating and communicative, so it was a good introduction to Airbnb.
After brunch we tried to back road into Peterborough, but we were starting from Vaughan so it didn’t really work. We drove through Vaughan, and part of Markham, and then Matt decided to just get on the 401 and the 115 and call it a day. We pulled off into Millbrook and meandered in for the last bit of the drive, though!
We stayed up late outside chatting with various family members that night, and had another awesome BBQ meal. The next day we ventured off in search of ice cream, which we found in Lakefield (“orange ice cream with sprinkles” was M’s request). Then we visited the zoo, rode the train, and let M loose in the splash pad.
Some more family members came by that night which was fun! We had to get up really early the next day to drive back into Toronto for our flight so it was kind of a rough wake up call but we managed to return the car only 20 minutes late. A quick breakfast and a ride on the Porter shuttle — and we were late. Late enough that I was panicking in the check-in line because it was 10 minutes until our plane was boarding and we weren’t moving. Luckily, our flight was delayed. I’ve never been grateful for a delayed flight but bad weather that morning bought us enough time to get on the plane with time to spare.
We did a bit more running around in Thunder Bay — a visit to Home Depot to look at bathtubs, Michaels for art supplies, Party City and Old Navy for some Halloween costume pieces, the Persian Man (of course), and dinner at the mall food court for one last taste of Manchu Wok. 😉 We cracked into the persians on the drive home, which was long and kind of torturous, but we made it. M was super excited to see all of her cats and toys, and I was super excited to go to sleep in my own bed.
I’m glad we get to see our southern family at least once a year, though we wish it was more frequently. It felt like a whirlwind, as it always does, but it was fun!