The Misadventures of Kai and Pixel »

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The Lovely Lake Huron

>When I left London, Ontario over twenty years ago, I hated the Southwestern Ontario landscape. Rolling hills, red barns, straight roads everwhere. Hmph, not for me, I thought. I had just had my first European experience — three months in the south of France — and I was itching to explore the world. I left in a huff and a puff and I vowed never to return.

Twenty years of exploring later, I find myself obsessed with the same landscape which drove me away. In particular, I love the area north of London, near Lake Huron. I love the heavy air (heavy in comparison to the dry breezes of the Prairies), the rusty-tasting water, the yellow brick fair houses, the restored one-room school houses.

But most of all, I love the blue, Mediterranian-like waters of Lake Huron. Looking back, I realized that many of my happy memories are connected to the Lake. When I was younger we had a piece of property up near Goderich. We would go often during the summer and my sisters and I would run around in the woods all day long. I was always disappointed that our property wasn’t on the lake because this is where I wanted to be. I remember a trip to Point Farms, the provincial campsite near our property when I finally got to swim in the lake.

Kai and the lovely Lake Huron
Later, as an almost-adult, i.e., graduate student, I was re-introduced to Lake Huron by Julia, my best friend. Julia grew up in the area and her family has a cottage in Bayfield. Many of my Sturm and Drang days were lightened by weekends at the cottage when we built campfires on the beach and skinny dipped as the moon set over the lake.

Now as a mom, I have the opportunity to share Lake Huron with Kai. This summer we planned a six-week long trip away from Edmonton. We spent almost two weeks in Ontario and most of this time on Lake Huron. My sister Susan and her kids were dying to camp and the Pinery campground seemed an obvious choice — only one hour from London, we had a fair easy escape to my parents if the weather went awry.

What an absolutely lovely experience. We were only about 200 metres away from the beach, tucked in behind some dunes and pine groves. The kids spent hours and hours playing in the sand and the water, while the adults zoned out to the sound of the waves. We left all of our electronics at home and we didn’t miss them all! Because we were close to London, my parents were able to join us for dinner or activities without having to sleep in a tent or a camping mattress! Kai was truly in heaven with his cousins and the beach, even if he didn’t dare put a toe in the water!

Kai, Nicole and Brayden

Canoeing with Grandpa

When you are four, you can run around with your pants around your ankles
When we returned from camping, Mom, Kai and I made another trip north to visit some relatives who live not far from the lake. We spent one morning on a beach south of Southampton, another jewel of Lake Huron. To cap it off our vacation, Mom dropped us off in Bayfield where we spent two days with Paul and Julia and their kids. (I should note that the exciting days of watching the moon set over the lake are long gone. Now, we can barely stay up past 9 o’clock after running after our kids all day.)

Building a sand castle with Simon, Klara and Kai

Why be scared of the water when you have Lightning McQueen water wings?
There are lots more photos of our trip to Ontario here.

The two weeks in Ontario were the first chapter of our long trip. At the end of July, we flew to Hamburg for a month of excitement in Germany. More on this to come!

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