60 Adventures in 60 Days: Summer 2017


To say I’ve had a great Summer would be an understatement.  I’m a chronic over-planner, and my family is always up for adventure, so we cram our Summer FULL of fun.  I’ve published two other Summer-fun lists, in 2013 and 2014, and now my children are eight and five years old, so our exploits and abilities are expanding as they grow.


We’ve found some incredible hidden gems this year; check out some of our experiences, and keep them in mind for yourselves!

1. BlueJays game on Canada Day.

2. Canada Day fireworks at Spencer Smith Park.

3. Port Dover beach.

4. Golfing at Lowville Golf Club.

5. Both kids playing baseball with BOMBA.

6. Batting cages at Mainway Sports Centre.

7. Tri Kids triathlon at Appleby College.

8. Blood donor appointments at Canadian Blood Services.

9. Hockey Hall of Fame.

10. $5 movies at Cinestarz Burlington.

11. Hot yoga.

12. Honda Indy in Toronto.

13. 11-year anniversary dinner at DiMario’s Trattoria.

14. Half marathon training, including weekly long runs with my wonderful Michaela.

15. Sunday brunch with girlfriends.

16. Royal Ontario Museum.

17. A week at The Wave hockey camp for my son.

18. A week at Pedalheads bike camp for my daughter.

19. Weekly Monday-night dinners with cousins.

20. Monthly book club meetups.

21. Coffee catchups with friends.

22. Regular massage tuneup appointments.

23. CrossFit Kids Saturday morning sessions.

24. Food truck festival.

25. The Donkey Sanctuary, just outside Guelph.

26. Rainbow loom bracelet-making. (Thanks to family and friends who handed down their rainbow-loom supplies a few years after this trend passed; my kids were too young for it  then, but they both love it now.)

27. Fishing (Robert Edmondson Park and LaSalle Park marina).

28. Having nieces and nephews for sleepovers.

29. Evening beachside walks with friends.

30. 1-on-1 Date Days with our kids: BlueJays games, pony rides, Mountainside Pool, and bowling/laser tag at Splitsville.

31. Dinners on downtown patios.

32. Bi-annual optometrist appointments for the kids.

33. Checking out the newly-renovated Nelson outdoor pool.

34. RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey.

35. Trips to Central Library.

36. Ottawa!

37. Helping at Wellington Square’s Friday Night Community dinners.

38. Lemonade stand.

39. Family reunion for my mother-in-law’s family.

40. Touch football league games for my husband.

41. Standup paddleboard yoga at Christie Lake.

42. CrossFit classes.

43. Assumption Sports Camp.

44. Bad Axe throwing with the Burlington Sports & Spine team.

45. Disco Dash 10k race.

46. Toronto Island sprint triathlon for my husband.

47. Fit in the Core outdoor yoga class at City Hall.

48. Burlington Children’s festival.

49. Backyard BBQs and fireside chats with wonderful friends.

50. Writing letters to Samuel, our sponsored child through World Vision. (As an aside, this is one of the BEST things we’ve done; we began sponsoring Samuel in the Spring, and we write to him often.)

51. Dinner and arcade games at QB’s Sports Grill.

52.  Family workouts at the Chedoke and Dundurn stairs.

53. A cottage weekend at my sister-in-law’s cottage in Muskoka.

54. Go-carts at Lakeland Kartway.

55. Assumption Football Camp.

56. Zac Brown Band concert at the Budweiser Stage.

57. Regular kid’s visits and chiropractic appointments at Burlington Sports & Spine Clinic.

58. Aspire Climbing gym in Milton (American Ninja Warrior course, climbing walls, and bouldering).

59. Family sleepover at our dear friend’s home in Kitchener.

60. Ribfest.


I hate camping.

This past weekend, I went camping with my family.  Just a short trip, for two nights and three days, we ventured to Pinery Provincial Park, on the beautiful shores of Lake Huron.  But I have a shameful secret to share:

I hate camping.

It’s true.  And now I feel exposed and raw and vulnerable.  You now know the real me, one that includes a hatred of camping.

I grew up in the foothills of the Alberta Rockies, and regularly went camping with my parents and brother.  I don’t remember loving or hating it, it was just something we did every Summer, and I would bring my books and fishing rod and head out into nature for a few fresh air sleeps.  Back then, I lived in a small town, and “nature” was a big part of my everyday, so camping wasn’t much of a stretch beyond my normal.  But now, living in a very urban centre, it’s more of an adventure for my city kids to camp.  And they love it.  We go annually, and my husband and I suck up our camping aversions, load up the SUV until we can’t see out the windows, and take our children to a campsite for a few days of marshmallows, lake swims, and free-range parenting.

Logically, I can’t quite figure out my negative feelings towards camping.  I love the campfire part, the fresh air part, the hikes, the swims, the fishing, and the tent sleeps.  But the higher-maintenance part of me wants clean feet and easy access to coffee, and I still haven’t figured out how to cook a gourmet meal on a campfire, like I see our camping neighbors doing.  In fact, just last night I overhead a mother tell her son they were having Tex-Mex fajitas as I choked down my burnt hot dog and lukewarm beans.  Sigh.  And I can’t quite understand the appeal of spending hours making lists, grocery shopping, and packing the car, only to head to a campground to try to emulate the comforts of home.  To each their own, and a true camper I am not.

I am writing this post from my iPad in the car, on our way back to Burlington.  My grimy, exhausted children are colouring in the backseat, and my hairy, sweaty husband (he just wrestled the tent back into its bag.  Another question: WHY OH WHY are tent bags always so small???) is looking for the nearest Tim Horton’s.  In a couple of hours we’ll be home, and I’ll be scraping the filth off of me and washing campfire smoke out of my hair so that I can head into work and look forward to a blissful sleep in my own bed.  But first, we’ve got a few hours of unpacking, de-sanding, and laundry to tackle.

Happy children.  Check, check, double-check.  So I can pretend to love camping for a few days a year.