I know, it's been a long time since my last post. Sorry! My excuse is we were just having too much fun. We had an eventful flight into Toronto (resurgence of Otto's worst nappy moments but this time stuck on a 6 hour flight! We decommissioned one toilet which was sealed up like a nuclear disaster and had the flight steward s offering to call a doctor for us!) But one freezing night of recovery in an airport hotel and we were good to go.
We drove up to the beautiful Lake Nosbonsing to stay with friends, Pete & Anne. Their place is stunningly serene, so peaceful, right on the lake with amazing views. The hospitality we received was also amazing, from the mini camping chairs, to the slip and slide, Pete & Anne couldn't have been lovelier hosts.
We spent an awesome few days relaxing, SUPing (that's stand up paddling on a flat canoe/surfboard), not to be confused with supping as in copious beers and wine (ouch!). Wildlife sightings included: bear, deer and a porcupine!
After sharing many travelling tales from Sri Lanka, Bali and Ko Phayam, We borrowed a car full of camping gear and headed out without the bear spray (which we forgot!) for the Algonquin National Park. There were ‘bear in the area’ warnings and after having watched 'The Revenant’ only a couple of weeks before, I was slightly anal about the food storage, but thankfully our camp was only trespassed by racoons and skunks.
The lakes in this part of Ontario are plentiful and mostly deserted with clear cool water to refresh you after hiking. Jess & Otto continued to be camping troopers, helping with the tent, the firewood, coping with the 2°c minimum temperatures on our first night, and hiking 2km trails with ease (well, actually with bribes of sweets and raisins).
After Algonquin, we headed to Sand Banks for more National Park camping and to meet up with more friends, Sarah & Paulo. The campsites in Canada and the US all beat the average UK sites hands down, with picnic tables and fire pits complete with grills for cooking, all you really need to camp and cook is a tent, some wood and a stove pot.
Sandbanks was lovely, the weather warmed up for the beach and sweltered us all and the kids on our bike tour of the wineries. Before we knew it, it was time to ditch the tent (thanks to the Manns for letting us stow it at their airbnb place), get clean and get back to the city.
Toronto city is the best for food and beers of any North American city I've been to. We stayed in Trinity Bellwood's and then in Parkdale and within a few block of us each time there were cool bars and awesome cafes. I had the two best breakfasts ever at Saving Grace and Mitzi's.
But all the awesome restaurants, bars, cafes and shops were nothing compared to Ted & Vanessa's wedding. What an awesome week we had, with old friends and new. I haven't laughed so much or talked more in months. It was 7 days of non-stop action with the actual wedding day on Tuesday topping off the lot.
Ted looked dashing in tweeds and Vanessa looked timelessly glamorous in white. The venue was intimate and Toronto cool. The guests were raucous and fun. The dancefloor saw back flips from Debz, Rock n Roll from Richard & Barbara, shoulder hoisting for Ted, Shoulder crashing for Al, a good egg to the head for Davis and lots and lots of vigorous dancing.
I wish it could have gone on forever, but all good things must come to an end and after a final few days recovery up at the Lakes again, it was time to fly to California.
Canada we salute you and your folk. You gave us a great time and be sure we will return soon. Pete & Anne, I'll help you tow the ice house out onto the lake one winter. And finally, Ted and V, massive congratulations to you both. We miss you lots xx
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Kelly and Mikey (but mostly Kelly). We sold up in the UK to travel with our two littluns for a year or so. If you want to know more click the about us!