We had well laid plans to meet Tammy, Jeff, Georgia, Joey and Herby at a place called Pinery, a campground 3.5 hours from each of us however the best laid plans... With to many moving parts we decided to abort the camping trip and Tammy & Jeff made the journey from Grand Haven to Toronto, all the kids were upset about not being able to camp and the adults were excited to sleep in a real bed, age and youth the old debate!
In record time for both travel and border crossing they arrived unharmed around 7:00 on Friday night and the fun began. In order to offer the best of both worlds we set the tent up in the backyard, the kids moved all of their worldly belongings into it and began fighting as to who and who not was a member of the elite "camping club", really. We had a great night catching up. eating awesome smoked tenderloin, mashed potatoes infused with smoked garlic, baby back ribs, fresh green beans and of course fresh cold beverages! The sun went down and the moon came up and the camping club began to waver and by the time the dust settled the tent was empty and the basement was full!
Saturday morning was a bust time as Jimmy headed off to football, Tammy and Tracy to get pedicures Tom, Jeff and the rest of the kids had coffee and organized the leftover chaos from the evening before. Lunch was served, backpacks were filled, sunscreen was not liberally applied and we were off to explore Toronto. First stop the historic Lawrence Market, which is a city itself. Vendors from all over the world have fresh produce, meats, cheeses and prepared culinary delights for sampling and enticing one into their web. The kids moaned and groaned at first then finally got into it and we had fun seeing all the different ethnic foods and wares.
The trip to Center or as they say 'round here, Centre, Island is a hit or miss kind of event. There is rally only one way to get there and that is by boat. You have a couple of boating options, big public fairy type boat, small boat taxi, renting a manually operated boat, you cannot however swim. The lines for the boat dictate whether we stay or go, this time we were fortunate and the was no line and we made the journey with ease. The Island has many options, an amusement park, swimming/ splash pad, several beaches, electric trams, and picnic areas. No trip to the island is compete without a photo opportunity with a deranged looking batman and whomever his green side kick is!We wondered around, found the small petting zoo, the kids finally gave in and swam in Lake Ontario, we spend an arm and a leg for 5 ice creams and then headed off to our new favorite place, Jack Astor's for dinner, beverages and sports on the 300+ TV's the seem to have. The tent was a repeat of the previous night and again the basement was full.
Sunday was a big breakfast followed by Jimmy's first football game of the season. The excitement was building and the Grizzlies took the field, the whistle blew and we were off the Grizzlies' Football 2013! The team was in awesome shape, played extremely well and at the half were up 18 to 6. Jimmy is playing tight end as well as on special teams and also 2nd string linebacker. He only had one offense opportunity however the throw was way behind him. The Grizzlies' won 28 to 12 and the opening day was a success. The afternoon was full of a whole lot of nothing as they kids just wanted to play and hang out, so that's what we did. We ended the weekend with the traditional Hickey family fare, Challupa's, awesome.( Basement 3, tent 0)
Monday morning was spent packing up saying goodbye and planning our next vacation, Christmas, skiing, skating and lobster tails! The Basil's set out for home and the Loud Americans began the end of the summer ritual, packing the backpack. In keeping with tradition we had an full scale Indian Feast for dinner complete with butter chicken, Channa Masala, beet root, chapatti, rice and Dal. Tuesday came rushing up at us as everyone hopped out of bed at 6:30 ready to go to school. 6:30! The kids were all excited to see their schoolmates and catch up. It was a great summer, fast, fun and furious!
Happy back to school to everyone and enjoy! more to come...