Summertime and the livin’s easy.

I’m pretty sure that my boyfriend had his son’s summer fully planned (campgrounds booked, summer camps registered, family visits scheduled) in March.  I’m also pretty sure that was when I was first asked to submit my own summer vacation requests at work.

Yo guys. It’s still snowing. I can barely make plans to put on real pants and leave the house let alone plan my summer.

The actual date of my final vacation request submission: June 27th (2 days before the last day of school).

I’m not much of a planner. (this is the secret to all of my kick-ass road trips!)

And to be fair, Rain and Moxie are now old enough that they don’t need constant adult supervision, nor do they want it. Trust me, I’ve put in my time of coordinating 10 weeks of summer. I’m done.

But mostly, I just didn’t want to.

I didn’t want to have to wake them up before work and drag them out of bed to make lunches for summer camp.

I didn’t want to spend hours searching out summer vacation spots and all the logistics that go along with that. (how many pairs of underwear do we need? did we pack enough food?)

I didn’t want to feel like I was rushing all summer long to cram as much awesomeness down our throats in fear that otherwise we’d be wasting this time sensitive and precious season.

So I didn’t.

Well not really.

I did book us tickets to go camping at Shelter Valley Folk Festival for a weekend.

I will be coordinating the merchandise table at the Peterborough Folk Festival again this year (come visit!)

We are going camping with my bf and his son for a week (three cheers to him for booking the campsite in March!!).

The kids will spend about a week with each set of grandparents. (Yahoo!)

We will spend a weekend in our hometown having some much needed family-time with aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings and grandparents!

And there will be incredible paddling trips sprinkled into the mix with a close, family friend. (they’ve already been happening almost weekly since April).

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So for sure, there will definitely be some pretty awesome stuff coming at us. But in between those weeks, it will be unstructured, easy breezy summertime sublime.

Doin’ Time – Sublime

Last week was week 1 and a blank slate.

I was at work and the kids were home all day. They stayed up late every night reading, giggling and sneaking their iPads while I slept (somewhat) soundly in my upstairs bedroom.

They slept late every morning. I left a note with a couple chores to do and reminders (eat breakfast, brush teeth, put clothes on…).  The first couple days, they spent a LOT of time on their iPads. In their pjs. Typically in bed. Food was optional. As was teeth-brushing. (So much for my reminders).

I’ve never really set limits on screen time. Mostly because they’ve always been able to self-regulate at a pace I can live with so it didn’t seem worth the hassle of timing, tantrums and god forbid – planning – their screen time usage for the day!

And sure enough this week they did decide on their own to go outside to play road hockey, climb their favourite trees at the end of the street and they traded their iPads for paper (books/drawing/writing).

On their second day home, they biked downtown to the Farmer’s Market. I’d suggested they could go get a snack with their allowance. Moxie bought 4 tarts and Rain bought a whole pie, all of which became their entire lunch that day. (Eat lunch. check).

The next day they biked to the beach (fresh air AND exercise!). This also included a stop at Mister Convenience where they pooled their money so Rain could get some groovy new sunglasses and Moxie could get candy. (Eat lunch. Check.)

By the end of the week they were on their iPads less and less. They rediscovered the giant Lego bin and they (along with the neighbours) spent hours in our living building all sorts of creations.

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I’ve also started a musician of the week activity where they have to listen to 3 songs by a featured artist and be prepared for a family discussion about them and their music at the end of the week. First was Joni Mitchell, this week is Run DMC.

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Rain is also playing baseball a couple nights/week and refereeing soccer about once/week. (you gotta make some dough to buy the pies)

All in all it was a pretty rad week.

This week they’re spending about 4 days at my parents.  No doubt, they will all have a blast!

Me? I’m working and living the easy summer life at home with Lucy. She totally feels me on this summer lifestyle thing.

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I’m also learning how to fix my bike up at our community bike hub, checking out (mostly free) live music in town whenever I can, going for runs around the lake and spending a lot of time on my back deck with popsicles. I love the slow pace of hanging my clothes on the clothesline, stopping at the farmers market before work and picking herbs out of my garden. Nothing epic to see here…just bliss.

 

And secret confession? Tonight’s the first night they’re gone and despite my list of things I was going to get done around the house, I’ve brought home take-out, went for a run and then just sat outside on the deck writing for hours.  (apparently I follow check-lists as well as Rain and Moxie do in the summer.)

The kids will be back home by the weekend and they’ll have about a week and a half before the next grandparent trip.

Maybe they’ll spend it sleeping, eating sugar and staring at a screen until their eyes are completely glazed over. They’ll survive.

Guys look, I love adventure. I mean, I love it in a way that burns through my veins and gives me cravings that keep me up at night.  And if you are off having an epic adventure somewhere in the world, I will definitely feel pangs of envy. But right now, I’m pushing the summertime easy button and it’s kinda like magic.

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xo
e

#TeamAdventurers
@pixiepaperdoll7 (Twitter)
@pixiepaperdoll (Instagram)

 

Another day (in the Kawarthas) another beach (or two)

Since moving to Peterborough at the end of June, we have mostly stuck close to home. And really…why wouldn’t we? We have beautiful water at either end of our street and are a 10 minute bike ride to two beaches and downtown. It’s truly been like living at the cottage.

But today when I was out for my (semi-regular) morning run, it dawned on me that we are living in an entire region of lakes and beaches and since school is only a week away we should really start exploring! I think I am in a back-to-school nesting phase: trying to do everything that we didn’t do this summer in the last final moments before our freedom is restricted.

So I jumped on my best sources of travel advice: Google, Twitter and my handy Kawartha region map. I decided to start our adventure by heading out toward Buckhorn and visit Sandy Beach.

Just outside of Buckhorn we stopped at McLean Buckhorn Berry Farm for some beach snacks: mixed pack of plums, cheese curds and butter tarts! (yum, yum and yummmmmmm)

While there we also got affirmation that Sandy Beach was the place to be as well directions – thank you! The directions I’d found until then were somewhat sketchy and the kids are rarely amused with my ‘hmm… i think we are going the right way..’ mutterings.

In no time at all, we were at the beach!

Sandy Beach

Sandy Beach

It seemed oddly named at first since there was very little sandy area but then we soon realized that you could walk on and on in under waist deep water. Rain and Moxie explored and swam and explored some more. They are currently collecting shells which they hope to sell and use profits for either candy or university. I alternated joining them in their fun and sitting in the shade writing in my journal. It was a perfect spot, lots of shade and lots of water! We stayed for over 3 hours before I finally dragged them out of the water, into the car and onto our next adventure…

Lakefield!

When we first hit town, we made a quick stop at the beach but Rain was starving (I guess growing boys need more than snack food to survive) so we decided to find dinner.  We strolled downtown Lakefield (cutest town ever!!) and ended up on the Canoe & Paddle Pub patio.

Bangers 'n Mash

Bangers ‘n Mash

'Draw a component and pass to the person next to you' game while waiting for dinner

‘Draw a component and pass to the person next to you’ game while waiting for dinner

The food and service were superb – as was my pint of 5 Paddles Home Sweet Home beer (mmm…..refreshing…..) Moxie received a free kids ice cream coupon for the Kawartha Dairy ice cream shop next door as part of her kids meal so we obviously headed there next.  Ice cream for kids, cappuccino for me and more amazing service! Life is good here in the Kawarthas.

Ice Cream Challenge - who's in?

Ice Cream Challenge – who’s in?

“Can we go back to the beach?”

Sure – one more dip to cool off before heading home. It is a shame to let that great beach go to waste.. (just don’t go far out – it hasn’t been 1/2 since you ate and as much as I will rescue you, I’m kinda happy just chillin’ with my cappuccino)

Lakefield Beach

Lakefield Beach

Refreshed, full and getting sleepy, we loaded back in the car for our quick 20 minute drive home (my goal is to bike to Lakefield by end of the year – only 17km each way – piece of cake!)

Today, our adventures reminded me of our Western Canada road trip which we did last summer. Traveling around in a hap-hazard way. Vague plans but easily side-tracked. Lots of snacking and giggling. I love our team.

Once home and everyone had showered, I had one more burst of energy. I decided to hang white Christmas lights on the patio. Yes of course I realize it is NOT Christmas but … I have wanted to have lights outside on a summer patio for as long as I can remember.. so I did it. And I love it. And I’m sitting out here right now. And I might even sleep out here.  Okay.. no not really.

My new happy place

My new happy place

But I am going to play my guitar for a bit so sweet dreams to you and cheers to another day of adventure!

xo

e

@pixiepaperdoll7