Monday, May 14, 2007


1000 Islands, 1000 pictures

I remember back in the day, when a weekend away meant throwing a change of clothes in a bag and a stack of CDs into the front seat.

This is how we pack for a weekend at the cottage with kids:

It was an altogether lovely weekend to be outside. When we arrived, it was in the low 20s and humid, but the air became clear and cool overnight - perfect for campfires, but just a little too cool to take advantage of the campground's inground pools and hot tub. The little cabin has a playground on one side and on the other side a lovely little rock outcrop, perfect for climbing and for admiring the giant trilliums.

The boys seemed to grow up before my eyes this weekend. They were able to play independently, running in and out of the cabin without overt supervision. They're finally at an age where I don't have to hover over them, fretting that they'll slip on the rocks or fall off a climber. (It helped, of course, that the playground is easily visible from the cabin's many windows, and that there was always a spare adult around to keep a benevolent eye out.)
There was a wagon ride, an ice-cream social, and a community hot-dog lunch. It's really a lovely little KOA. I'm as impressed with them this year as I was last year.

I was struck by the friendliness of the children on the playground. (And boy, were there a lot of kids! I'm sure the campground was close to capacity, at least for trailer and RV spaces. It was still on the cool and windy side for tent camping.)

I loved sitting on the edge of the playground, watching Tristan and Simon play with the other kids and listening to the conversations going on. I worry sometimes about Tristan's sociability, because he doesn't seem to have a lot of friends at school. But on this playground he was friendly and outgoing, and all the kids played together in one big gang. Tristan in particular seems drawn to the six-to-eight year old boy crowd, while Simon was a hit with the nine-to-twelve year old girl crowd. You've got to love a playground that comes with built-in babysitters!

Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the weekend's other annual highlight, the family Texas Hold'em poker tournament. I really don't know how the kids slept through the gales of laughter that reduced us to tears, gasping for breath. And for the second year in a row, my mother cleaned our collective clocks. She's a shark, that one.

The best part? This is only the *beginning* of what promises to be a stellar summer.

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