Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sibbald Point

After three years I finally decided to give camping a try again (our last time was when we went to Pinery’s in 2008).   Camping is not exactly my idea of a holiday.  We have gone at least once a year since we got married up until James became ill and we started spending the summers in the hospital, so we missed out in 2006 and 2007 (although the girls still went with my parents/siblings).  After we went over the “bill” for our trip to Grand Rapid and the Pinery’s we decided that pulling a big fifth wheel trailer with a gas guzzling truck at the price of gas now-a-days was not exactly a cheap holiday (I am proud to say we managed to do our holidays last year for $90 less and this year for $2 cheaper then our simple basic  trip in 2008 … but more on that later).  Since I don’t do the tent camping that would reduce the cost of moving a trailer around, thing that meant camping was out.  Actually we did talk about just doing overnight trips … sort of like extended day trips … to some of the local campgrounds, allowing the kids to get a bit of taste of camping while enjoying some swimming and hiking and such.  That never happened as that same year we ended up going for the day to Chippewa and sleeping at my parents at night.   The kids got their camping fill that way and the mosquitoes were so bad that year that when we talked about going to Bying overnight they were quite in agreement that they had had enough of mosquitoes and rather just for during the day.

I have to also point out that we had never been on a trip where we have not been rained on!!  And I’m not talking sprinkles, or showers, I’m talking poured upon.  Every camping trip we have been poured upon.  When we go camping the splash pants and rubber boots come with, there are bound to be big mud puddles of water on our campsite at some point during our trip.  And while we don’t completely tent it, we do sometimes go with my parents and sleep in a tent on their site, while enjoying the other luxuries of their camper when needed.  So we’ve had the wet, moist tenting experience, along with the pouring rain while in the camper experience (and even one year when the roof leaked and poured rain onto our bed all night).  And then after this so-called holiday we get to come home and do loads of laundry because everything is either filthy dirty or stinks of smoke

Nope, camping has never really been my thing.   But I decided to give it a try again this year.   There were a few factors that made me decide it would be worth trying again.  One simply being the kids.  While I may not like camping, the kids do enjoy it … of course the kids enjoy day trips as well, or most any sort of holidays or time away from home.  But most kids have fun memories of camping so since the opportunity was their it seemed worthwhile to give them the experience.  Another reason was the fact that the kids are older.  We no longer have a baby, no longer a child in diapers, no little one crawling in the dirt, no longer a child that has to have a nap everyday (although Matthew still does, he can manage without).  And let me say, this factor made a huge difference on the trip.  The other factor was the fact that we weren’t paying for the site.  Since you are allowed two tents on a site, my parents generously allow us to pitch our tent on their site.  Since we’re not paying if the forcast is rain, rain, rain … we go home without feeling like we spent money on nothing.  (Thanks Dad and Mom!)

You’ll be happy to know the trip went well enough that we’re planning to go camping again on the Labour Day weekend … same deal, tent on my parents site.  Enough said, on to the pictures.

So after school let out and the kids had a few days to unwind we packed up the van and headed off to Sibbald Point (bottom of Lake Simcoe) to go camping for the July long weekend.  We left later on Wednesday afternoon, stopped for supper in Orangeville and arrived around 8:30pm

mmmmm …. breakfast cooked over the fire.


This became Rob and Marietta’s department.  Rob enjoys cooking over the fire on the hot plate … really I think it’s the only time he eagerly offers to cook.  Marietta seemed to take to the idea also and each morning she would be out there helping Rob.


Here is Matthew, nearly 4 years old and still riding a tricycle (Rebecca was riding a two-wheeler without training wheels at 3, doing a good job of it at 4).  He finally really got the concept of pedalling this year.  He just didn’t seem to have the desire last year and would just use his feet to push himself along (or wait for someone to push him).  I guess here is where living in the country makes a difference.  The girls learned to ride on nice paved roads whereas he only had the sidewalk and the rest is gravel, a bit harder for someone just learning.   Well Matthew really took off on his tricycle during our camping trip, man did those little legs ever fly.  When it was time to go home we opted to leave the tryke behind for my parents to bring back (we had it strapped to the roof on the way up and the straps would blow in the winding … a bit annoying).  Part of the reason we left it behind was also so when he got home he wouldn’t have it as an option and would give his two wheeler with training wheels a try (we’ve tried to get him to ride it but he had no interest).  This decision seemed to work, as the tricycle is still at my parents and he’s now using the two wheeler (with training wheels).



This blow-up boat has been with us for three summers now … it’s done us good and it’s still floating.  The kids love using it and it creates lots of fun for them.  We forgot the paddles this time, so they ended up using sand shovels – worked pretty good until the one cracked.


Mom bought the kids some blow up toys to pay with.  Even though one of the toys had Lightning McQueen on it, Matthew fell in love with this alligator.  He would spent his time playing and talking to his alligator friend.  Matthew didn’t like to go far into the water, he would just splash and play along the edge, that kept him quite content.



Skipping along the slippery stones.  Watching them made me a bit nervous and when Rob came back and said next time the kids should be wearing shoes because it’s really slippery didn’t make me feel much better.  The kids loved it and the rocks were usually full of lots of people, making me like it even less as they would have to manoeuvre around other people



July 1st fell on a Friday this year, making it truly a long weekend  … and what a zoo it was at the campground.  I’m sure that the long weekend had something to do with it being so busy, but I would have to say the worst part about Sibbald Point was how busy it got.    You would think by the size of the beaching parking lot that there would be no lack of parking, but indeed there was.  People had to walk into the park because it was so full.  Cam and Jess arrived on Friday and spent over an hour waiting in line just to get off the road onto the parks road … nevermind getting through registration.  We enjoyed the park and liked it’s setup, especially that the beach was within walking distance, but it being only 45 minutes from Toronto means that it’s a very popular beach get-away for the city. 

We decided to enjoy some fireworks for July 1st.    We left Matthew with Dad and Mom and took the girls.  We weren’t really sure where to find them since the ad in the paper was rather vague … guess you gotta know the area to know where to go … so we figured we’d just go for a ride and find the crowds.  We took a ride along the lake and it didn’t take us long to find the crowds.  Everyone was parking along the side of the road and watching from the road.  As we staked our spot Rob looked down below the fence and seen a bench at the waters edge.  Rather an odd spot, kinda in the water, hard to access, almost like it was meant to be up by the road but someone had dropped it down there.  Regardless we found our way down the rocks and took a seat … front row seating and we didn’t have to stand the whole time.  It was a beautiful night to be sitting by the lake!

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The following day the beach area was still busy but a bit more reasonable.  Later in the afternoon their was a snake show which Matthew, Marietta and Rob attended.  Rebecca wanted nothing to do with the show, apparently she has a bigger phobia of snakes then I do, she wasn’t even going to go near the area of the show.  So Rebecca and I stayed at the beach while Rob took Marietta and Matthew.

Marietta says that as far as she can remember this is a corn snake


  and this is a water snake

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EW!!  YUK!!  is all I have to say


One of the best parts of camping is relaxing around the fire in the evenings.  And for the kids it`s eating roasted marshmallows and wiener spiders.  Marietta is our roasting expert … Rebecca and Matthew are the eating experts  ;)

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Matthew was asleep within minutes each night.  Since he still naps daily at home I did try a few days to have him nap since he was up late, but he wasn`t interested.  There was one night where he actually just said he was tired and we put him to bed before it got dark, but for the rest he was in bed late and he actually slept in until 7:30-8am each morning … wow!


And here`s one of Marietta`s funny sleeping positions.  Every now and then we find her in the weirdest position


Yes, we had a good time.  The kids were old enough that they could go walking and biking on their own (as long as they took the walkie talkie with … and didn`t leave it in the bathroom).   The little park wasn`t far from our campsite so the girls (with walkie talkies) could take Matthew there and we did not need to go with him all the time.  Our kids are at a nice camping age.

Well I can almost say we FINALLY had a camping trip without rain I would be lying.  We did get rain!  It was only a very small amount, a sprinkling, a short little nice rainfall with a loud energetic thunderstorm at night, which thankfully Matthew was only awake for a short bit and went right back to sleep.  We were fortunate as the next day on our way to church we seen that not far from the campground their were small lakes in the fields … the dumping just missed us.  So this is our FIRST camping trip where we DID NOT get POURED (key word) upon.  What a difference that makes!


L.V. said...

Congratulations on a successful camping trip Steph! Glad you gave it another go - can't believe you were in a tent!!
Laura :)

Steph said...

Oh we've done the tent things before!! Remember, we're just sleeping and changing in the tent, all our cooking and such is done in the camper ... I wouldn't go without the camper!!