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My summer vacation.

 
Last week, the DS and I, her two teenage sons and one teenage son’s friend rented a minivan and drove to Grand Bend, Ontario for a six day vacation. As you can see if you check out the hyperlink to Grand Bend, "the fun never sets" and "there is always something to do in Grand Bend".
 
Vacation Diary: Day 1
 
In typical DS fashion, she had us get up at 5am on Friday morning so that we could beat the traffic out of the city. 5am! 5am! If I’m going to work, I don’t get up until 6:20am. But on Day 1, I had to get up at 5am. We don’t call her the DS for nothing, folks.
 
The cottage itself was built in the 1970’s and not renovated since. Red shag carpet, wood panelling, furniture very similar to what my grandfather had in his apartment. All that was missing was the velvet Elvis.
 
But the good news was that it had running water, a fire pit and was across the road from the beach. Well, it was across the road and 49 stairs up from the beach.
 
Oh – and the DS decided the fire pit had an inadequate supply of rocks around it, so we were required to carry two large stones from the beach, up the 49 stairs and across the road to the cottage every time we went.
 
Vacation Diary: Day 2
 
I had to go into town to buy firewood, garbage bag tags, beer and a pool noodle. At the store, there was a pop machine. Cans of diet coke (actual diet coke, not diet cola) were fifty cents. Fifty cents!  I was so impressed, I took a picture.
 
Vacation Diary: Day 3
 
The DS is not romantic. She insists she’s not romantic. In fact, she gets offended if you suggest she may be romantic. (Visualize her stomping her foot and throwing a femme tantrum at the very thought.)
 
On Day 3, the kids were sleeping or watching movies or doing something equally teen-like and the DS suggested we go down to the beach and watch the sun set over Lake Huron. It was beautiful. We sat in a tractor tire, entwined together, talking and watching the sun set over the water.
 
It was beautiful and awesome. But I’m not saying it was romantic. Nor will I point out that it was her idea to do it. I’m not saying anything.
 
Vacation Diary: Day 4
 
I would have to say that I ate better on this vacation than I ever do at my place in Mississauga. The DS brought her blender (naturally), her food processor, her rice cooker and her electric skillet – pretty much anything she could plug into a kitchen outlet. The first day we had satay chicken with peanut sauce. The second day, we had jerk chicken. The third day, we had beer butt chicken. The fourth day, we had soft tacos. This is in addition to healthy breakfasts (for us anyway, the teens were never up before noon) and rather nice snacks.
 
And one afternoon, while we were reading on the beach, she went up to check on the boys (who were napping) and she came back with tea! She brought tea down 49 stairs! She’s so sweet (but not romantic…).
 
Vacation Diary: Day 5
 
We went to the Pinery. It’s a campsite and Provincial Park. It also has a number of hiking trails, a gorgeous beach (where someone made a cute sand sculpture of a dog lying down, gnawing on a bone), and Oak Savannah. Apparently, that area has 50% of the world’s remaining Oak Savannah so you should send them money to protect it.  We walked on a 2.5 km hike through it. It reminded me of girl guide hikes only this time I was hiking with a lesbian. Although I suppose it’s entirely possible that one of the girl guides in my group was a lesbian. In fact, if the rumours are true, most of them WERE lesbians. <Aside: I wonder if the DS has a girl guide uniform that still fits…>
 
Vacation Diary: Day 6
 
We drove home. We had to reverse the directions that the cottage owner gave us to get back to Toronto. Apparently, we aren’t good at that. We wound up getting lost. But I always wanted to see London, ON anyway.
 
And a co-worker had lent me her DVD player with multiple screens. It’s specially designed to occupy children on car trips – the monitors slide over the seat backs and there are headphones attached to each monitor so that the adults in the vehicle don’t have to actually listen to the movie. When the co-worker lent me the player, she said "Tim just borrowed it and says he may have left a movie in it." I was hoping it was porn, but it was just "Shrek". Anyway, I put "Kill Bill" in there and those boys were so quiet that we hardly noticed they were in the van. I highly recommend this technique of teen control for road trips.
 
So that was our trip. Lots of lying on the beach, lots of good food, lots of beer. What more can you ask for? Oh yeah – there was no wireless internet connection so I couldn’t check my work email. Yay!
 
Now it’s back to the real world: confined space train the trainer course, new market strategic meeting, soccer tournament, rotc board meeting.
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