Saturday, August 8, 2009

Way Up Nooorth!

I always wanted to start a blog with a quote from a Johnny Horton song..

OK, many people continue to bitch about the lack of blogging. And Jen has decided that Facebook takes up too much of her time, so blogging about our lives now falls to me. You've been warned...

Time to recap the vacation that Jen, Cooper and I took to our family cottage up in Canada last month.

We got up there on Saturday the 18th and as we were driving in I thought "I wonder when the fish fry is this year? I wonder if we'll be here for it?" For the uninitiated, the "fish fry" is a fundraiser that the little town where our cottage is (Perth Road Village) does for the local volunteer firefighters. Growing up, it was a HUGE part of our summers at the cottage. We always went, even after the unfortunate "no sugar in the pie" incident that ended with me and Cousin Jen nearly hurling.

Anyways, I hadn't been in a long time, and lo and behold as we're driving through Perth Road Village to get to the cottage, there's the sign.

"Fish Fry. July 18th. 4 to 8 pm"

It dawned on me that today was actually the 18th and I was super pumped! So I get to the cottage, and Mom and Grandma are there to greet us, along with Aunt Patty and Uncle Gary (who own the cottage next door). And I was all excited, "What time are we going to the fish fry?!"

And my mother made a face. As did Aunt Patty. Come to find out, they knew it was today and didn't tell me because they didn't want to go!! It had been a big conspiracy! They claimed because they didn't want me speeding to get there in time, but I don't know.

Anyways, I said "to hell with that, we're going!" and we went.

Here's the deal about the fish fry. 12 bucks for a shitload of fried fish, french fries, cole slaw and baked beans. actually, 2 plates full of all that (you could go back for seconds)...unbelievably old-timey and good.

Here's a picture of me and my grandmother about to enjoy the food!

Also, the fish fry also has become famous for its crowds that I can only describe as "State Fairish." You ever seen someone so ugly you got out of line to go point them out to your friends? That kind of crowd. Hilarious. Canadian rednecks. Good times.

That was Saturday...the next day my cousin Jen came with her husband Ken and their nearly 4-year-old daughter Alexandra. I tell you, this kid is a hoot. All she wanted to do was catch butterflies and other bugs for awhile, then it was all about catching fish out of the lake. She brought her own net and everything. So after lunch, Alexandra, Ken and I went down to the dock, and lo and behold "Alexandra Caught A Fish!!"(tm)

That's been trademarked as a catch phrase now because that was all she repeated as she stormed up to the deck to show off the sunfish she'd lured into the net. She actually caught two fish, so big day for her.

Cooper had a good time too because Jen and Ken brought their little dog Luka as well. Cooper and Luka got along splendidly, and Luka got to show off his boogie board skills..

Cooper felt a little left out I think, and since I was in the water swimming, he decided to jump in after me. I think he immediately regretted the decision, but he dog paddled out to me at the raft, and then dogpaddled back to shore. Nothing like a soaking wet dog!

All in all, a really good time hanging out with our cousins, and of course, we made time for the world-famous "Couch Picture"

Monday, I drove in and played golf with my Uncle Dick and Cousin Joe at a course near where both their families have vacation homes. As usual, I came in dead last. I just don't play enough to have a decent game these days. But it was still a lot of fun. We went out for our traditional ice cream cones afterwards, and then the whole family came back to Uncle Dick and Aunt Irene's home in Kingston for a visit, Cooper included.

Tuesday, Jen and I took a day trip into Westport, which is a little town about 20 minutes away from our cottage. Brought Cooper and wandered around the town, did a little shopping for stuff, and overall had a nice day.

Wednesday, we drove to Toronto for a little overnight trip. I wasn't going all the way to Canada without seeing the Blue Jays, God dammit! We got it early in the afternoon and went IMMEDIATELY to the Jays team store, at which point I spent entirely way too much money on a golf shirt, a nice sweatshirt, and two hats. We also managed to get Jen a Blue Jays hat as well.

Before we went to the game, we met up with my cousin Tasha, who lives in Toronto. I hadn't seen her in six years, so it was good to catch up with her and see what she was up to. Lots of Canadian family to see when we're up there!

We went to the game, where we both proceeded to get mildly drunk. Good God, Canadian beer continues to amaze me with its potency compared to American beer.

In an added bonus, the Jays actually kicked the crap out of the Indians and won the game (no small feat these days). So it was good to see them win.

The next day we walked around Toronto for awhile. Went to the St. Lawrence Marketplace, where I seriously pondered buying some ground camel (though it might have been a tough time getting that past border patrol). We also went to the Eaton Centre to do some shopping for Jen and wandered part of the city to do some general sight-seeing.

We then got caught in a torrential downpour and had to pull over for awhile, but eventually made it back to the cottage. Before that, though, we drove by my old house where I grew up when I lived in Toronto. I lived there til I was 5 years old, and though I don't remember too much, I still have fairly vivid memories of walking to the school just down the block, and getting in trouble with my friend Ryan Whalen for throwing stones in his neighbor's pool.

Anyways, Mom says the house has changed a bit on the outside, but it sure looked familiar to me.

Friday, and frankly, the rest of the weekend was spent relaxing, which was one of the best parts of the trip. One of the great things about the cottage is there is no TV, no're forced to relax and either read a book, or head out into a canoe, or learn how to knit from your mother-in-law and aunt-in-law.

Fortunately, Jen managed to learn how to do all three of these things, as seen in the pictures below.

She's quite a knitter now, which is good, because I can always use scarves.

Uncle Gary also took us out in his boat for a toodle around the lake, so Cooper could get a good look at the loons, other cottages and the overall scenery. =)

All in all, a wonderful vacation, and we can't wait to go back next year!!


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