toronto, oconto, and cottage country

Earlier this summer, I was thrilled to have the chance to travel east to rendez-vous with my two dearest Canadian friends. We all went to summer camp together back in the day, and although we’ve stayed close as life has taken us in different directions, it’s been a long time since we’ve all been in the same place at the same time. So, when we saw an opportunity for a visit, we did not pencil it in. We BOOKED IT. There were Google invites and calendar dates and it was HAPPENING.

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I flew to Toronto gloriously solo, and then spent the night with Carolyn and her husband Marcel (who I was so delighted to finally meet!). The next morning, we jumped on VIA Rail to Kingston where Cat picked us up. We hit up the LCBO and Farm Boy before devouring legit cheese curds and dill pickle chips en route to Carolyn’s family cottage on Big Rideau Lake.

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We packed a lot into two days at the cottage (and to rest up in between days, we slept on that beautiful porch!):

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2016-06-24 18.25.02-1^^we canoed. deep talks on lake. and solid paddling. we all have our basic D canoeing certification after all. j-strokes all day.^^

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DSC01535^^we ate good food and drank good libations. i mean, pamplemousse radlers!? oui, s’il vous plait, canada.^^

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DSC01586^^there was lots of swimming. including a long (LONG!) distance swim to one of those islands in the distance. i was a reticent participant, but we made it there and back safely and i only suffered slight neck pain, ear pain, and muscle fatigue as a result. friends, man, they push you to try new things!^^

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DSC01597^^we of course took lots of group photos amidst all the activities.^^

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2016-06-24 20.41.22^^there were lots of hugs, lots of laughs, and lots of conversations. these girls love me for who i am, and encourage me to be exactly that. it is so comforting to be around friends who have known you forever. friends with whom you can pick up exactly where you left off. like you never left off.^^

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2016-06-25 13.52.18^^on our drive back to toronto from the cottage, we went by the camp where we all met. cat and i were campers together at age 12 and at the swim test on the first day i remember thinking she was going to be my new best friend. carolyn came to camp a few years later, and we were counselors together until after high school. it was unreal to visit camp; i hadn’t been there since a reunion in 2005. lisa, the director, welcomed us with open arms (and lunch!) and we got to skip around the dining hall (a camp tradition for visitors and birthday girls) to the cheers of current staff. it was truly special to be back for a visit.^^

2016-06-25 20.39.52^^back in toronto, we grabbed our other dear camp friend jenn, and hit the city scene for a delicious dinner at DaiLo. it was the perfect end to a perfect visit.^^

So much love to ALL my camp girls, and huge thanks for all those back home who helped make my trip happen!

 

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memorial day in kansas city

How is it August already? Didn’t summer just begin? What is it about summer that makes us all so busy? The nice weather and conceptualized “break” from the routine of the “school year” seems to be engrained in me, even though it’s been a long time since the academic year dictated my life. Although, Willa is now wedded to the school calendar, so summer has brought a lot of freedom with her schedule. A lot of bonding time for us.

As soon as school finished, we hit the road as a family and headed due East. Some tornado warnings slowed our initial progress, but once the skies cleared we made good time and were delighted to spend a weekend with Dan’s mom and other extended family. There was lots of pool time, good food, and a baseball game. Most importantly, there was family bonding and the road trip was totally tolerable. The kids rocked it.

Photo highlights:

DSC01325^^shortly after we arrived, we went to check out the pool. the kids couldn’t contain their excitement and started to climb in, clothes and all (and helmet!).^^

DSC01333^^memorial day weekend marked willa’s discovery of her love of the pool! she had been really timid up until that time, but she realized how well her floaties would hold her up, and she then spent hours swimming around the deep end. it was the beginning of a summer of swimming willa!^^

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DSC01384^^frozen treats at grandma’s house!^^

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DSC01388^^humidity = green!^^

DSC01355^^cousins!^^

IMG_3635^^yay family and yay KC royals.^^