Summer Vacation 2017 – Part Two

Continuing from Manitoulin Island…

We woke up July 2 with a mission to get to South Baymouth on time to catch the ferry. We’d done it before a few years ago so we knew where we were going and how much time it would take, but our late night/morning previously meant that we hadn’t done the organizing and packing we had intended to do. So, in the morning we hustled to get the cottage clean and the car packed. We made it with time to spare, which is super rare for us, and our car was one of the first ones in line! We also found out that Matt could drive the car on and I could walk the kids on separately, which was a relief knowing how tight those parking spaces are onboard.

To pass the time we bought overpriced fish and chips again, as our breakfast. There’s a restaurant further back from the main road we’d like to try the next time, because we think it might be less pricey, not being right on the main drag. It was good food though! When the boat arrived, I walked the kids on, settled M and A in the newly revamped lounge, and waited for Matt. He wanted to go out on the deck while the ferry left, so he took (a reluctant) M while I held onto our table.

A few musicians arrived in the lounge and I discovered that it was the first day for an initiative where the Chi-Cheemaun played host to established and newcomer musicians every Sunday in July! I texted Matt that there was live music happening, so he brought M in and went off in search of the popcorn she had been promised. In the meantime, the bar opened so I snagged myself a local beer. A fell asleep in his carrier on me, and I definitely felt like I was on vacation.

We whiled away the ride to Tobermory drinking local beer, listening to music, and looking at the sights with M. We all squeezed back into the car instead of walking off, and the moment the doors opened to Tobermory, the skies also opened. We got a bit turned around trying to get out of town, and were being followed aggressively by a woman in a giant truck. She kept honking at us incessantly — we were going 35 in a 40 km/h zone — and when she wailed on the horn for a good thirty seconds straight after gunning it up to us and backing off, gunning it up to us and backing off… Matt stopped. In the middle of this dirt road where we were the only two vehicles. And I stuck my head out and yelled, “WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM, SERIOUSLY?!” And then she honked more.

So, Matt got out of the car. Not to escalate things, but to say, listen, there’s no need to freak out, you can just go around us if it’s that bad, why are you losing it so hard? But when he unfolded himself from our car and approached her window, she grabbed the steering wheel and started screaming, “YOU’RE IN A FIFTY! YOU’RE IN A FIFTY!” And then she literally tore past us on the right, messing up two people’s lawns in the process because she drove all over them. Welcome to southern Ontario.

Then it started to hail. So we left town (we were going to get more ice cream for M, but things seemed to be pointing us toward getting the heck away from Tobermory). We ended up in a long, weird line of traffic, all the way to Orangeville. I didn’t realize Tobermory was such a destination, but we would get backed up at the only traffic light in each tiny town the whole way, because of the sheer number of cars heading back home.

But we made it, and it stopped raining, and we were greeted by a good spread of food thanks to my aunt, and scooped ice cream for M, and a few drinks while we caught up with my mom and her partner, my aunt and her partner, my cousin, and my niece.

Again, we had a big day ahead the next morning — we were destined for Darien Lake, NY. We were either going to have to get up early to make the most of a full day in the theme park, or take our time getting everyone awake and fed in the morning, and be able to check right into our campsite, then spend a bit of time at the park without going all-out. And that’s exactly what we did! The traffic wasn’t too bad getting out of Canada, and our border crossing at Lewiston was incredibly fast. Once we were over the border to NY it was only a half hour drive or so into Darien Lake, where we had a rented RV waiting for us.

We pulled up to our campsite and realized we could all fit in the RV, which was a nice surprise — we were thinking someone would’ve had to go in a tent but we fit with room to spare. Mom and Eric went out to get some food supplies down the road while we tried to hold the kids off from going completely squirrelly waiting for their chance to hit the park for the rest of the evening. With a rented wagon for A, food plans secured, and wristbands on, we spent the first evening in the little kids’ area, which M loved and O, at seven years old, tolerated so that people would go on rides with her the next day like she was doing for M. A was happy to be towed around in the wagon (thank goodness he wasn’t as mobile yet!) and eventually went into the Ergo carrier. We had spider dogs and marshmallows for dinner and watched the lights from the nightly laser show shoot out over the campground.

The second day, we woke up, had our breakfast at the buffet, and sped off to the water park to try to find good seats. We thought about renting a cabana but they were all booked. We managed to snag a little shaded umbrella area at a lower cost, right near the kids’ water park area, and Mom settled in with a sleeping A while the rest of us took the girls into the lazy river. The breakfast, the splashing in the park, and the heat knocked M out so she went to stay with Mom and A while we navigated some larger slides with O. I realized that I was mostly just standing by waiting — I’m not a thrill slide person — so I went back to check on the kids. Some food, some naps, and we decided to head ‘home’ for lunch.

After that we decided to move onto the amusement part of the park, with various rides for various people. We rode those giant animal things (above), which was hilarious. Matt and Eric went on one of those ridiculous flying slingshot rides, much to our delight. They and O went on a roller coaster, the pirate boat, and a few other larger rides; Mom took M on the Ferris wheel, and we finished the evening out in the more intermediate kids’ area, which featured some more thrilling rides for slightly older kids but still accommodated M’s size. We also took in the fireworks and laser show, which was especially epic because it was the Fourth of July!

The last day, we opted to stay longer and get home later rather than leaving by noon — those were really our only options to beat Toronto traffic. It was a super hot day, and Matt and I were burned already despite layering on sunscreen the day before, so by the time we headed home we were definitely crispy, sleepy, and sweaty! We really enjoyed the park, and it was an awesome way to spend time with Mom and Eric and O. We didn’t get much facetime in Orangeville, unfortunately, but Peterborough was calling us the next day so we’re hoping we can go back with the kids again before long for some more concentrated family time.

But first… shortbread! Can’t do a trip to Orangeville without Wicked Shortbread.

Next up: Peterborough!

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