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Journal Entries for July 2011
July 10, 2011
The End of an Era
Parting ways with an old friend
My Ex Motorcycle


Last night I sold my motorcycle. Ten years we rode together, but it was time to move on. Family life has changed my priorities, and while I won't be trading it in for a station wagon, this move is symbolically similar. July 11, 2011
And the rain does fall
It's raining
It's pouring
The old man
Is snoring

Who would write such a poem anyway? And what kind of stereotype is that - old men sleep when it rains?! Last night I dozed off to the magical sound of rain pouring outside my bedroom window. Having spent most of my life living at ground level, either in a bungalow with only one level or in a basement, there is something about sleeping in a second storey bedroom. Maybe it's the kid in me, imagining myself safe within the heights of the tall branches of a tree house, or maybe it's the elevated feeling I get looking out over everything lower than my window, but I feel quite cozy in my bed, especially when it's raining outside. And you have to sleep with the window open when it's raining, otherwise how will you hear that tranquil sound? Of course, having spent the day installing my underground sprinkler system, only to have the entire city watered by God shortly thereafter makes me wonder just how futile some of my efforts are.

July 31, 2011 12:54 PM
Camping Trip 2011
Our family goes to the Shuswap
Replacing the last entry, these pictures are in no particular order. For our family vacation this year, we packed up and went to the Shuswap in British Columbia, where we stayed at Pierre's Point campground. More on that later! But first — some pictures!

Even with the warm weather, it cools down a lot at night. Fortunately there is fleece.

The girls got their first ride on the Seadoo this week. (Apart from pretend rides in the garage.) Braver and braver as the week went on they were, until we actually did some big splashes and water tricks.

Now the proud owner of a few teeth, she's been learning their uses - both proper and playful. Can you guess which use of teeth this is?

Camping is so much fun I can hardly stand it!

Proper hygine is learned early in life, and camping is no exception. Fortunately, ours are quick studies (and incredibly cute too.)

What started out as a fun bobbing babies in a boat thing...

Ended up beocming an interesting way of getting the twins to sleep!

It takes a lot of work to get camp set up for seven people. Fortunately, we had lots of help.

Hey hey - No pictures please!

One afternoon while we were hanging out at the camp site, an RV backed into one of our neighbours' SUV, doing the damage seen above. The driver tried to flee the scene and floored the RV up the lane, but by now, half a dozen people had appeared and taken his license plate number and other details of the event. Even so, he tried to give a fake phone number and claimed he'd lost his driver's license at the last campsite they stayed at... With BC plates and their infamous "ICBC" insurance, I sure hope the Alberta victim is able to get his vehicle fixed. The poor guy wasn't even at the campsite when it happened. Bit of a downer to come back and find your car smashed...

In order to accomodate everyone, we had to borrow a super massive tent from my parents. Seen here with the fish-eye lens on to capture the view in one shot, we had a queen sized air matress, two pack-n-plays, two sleeping bags and a few full-sized suitcases with room to spare and space to to stretch! I've never seen a tent so big.

Sometimes you don't know how good you have it until you go somewhere else. Other times, you don't know how bad you've got it. We were staying at Pierre's Point campground, just past Salmon Arm as you drive West. It's situated on Native land and operated by such. The experience was mixed; the staff at the office were friendly, courteous and helpful, however the facilities were such that we won't be returning to this campground. With us having two tents (ours plus one for Grandma) it ran us $45 / night! Now, you are right on the water and the beach is decent (and apparently the water is quite high for the lake - causing all the beaches to shrink.) However, the showers and washroom facilities in particular lacked MUCH to be desired. I wouldn't dare use them without keeping my sandals on. There was no soap, paper towels or air dryers, so anyone washing their hands in plain water was left to shake them off or rub them on their clothes. The shower temperatures were fixed but variable — That is, you couldn't adjust them yourself but they ranged from "too hot" to "ice cold." The floors were dirty and grimy, the walls looked like they'd been painted once when the building was erected in 1980 and hadn't been touched since, and particularly for the Women's side, there weren't nearly enough stalls for the quantity of campers that may need to use them at any given time. Yet several times a day, bottle pickers came through the camp, looking for your loose recyclables. Where we were situated was adjacent to the "staff-only" storage area, and frequently throughout the day you could hear the distinctive sound of cans and bottles being sorted. It annoyed me so much so that when I was packing up to leave, I brought all our bottles with me - an entire garbage bag full - because I thought to myself, "If these people spent a little more time cleaning their bathrooms and a little less time picking our bottles, this campground would be a much better place to stay. The last straw was the fact that there is a very busy railroad right next door to the camp (read: Other side of a wooden fence.) On average, one per hour through the night rattled and clanged through the still air of the darkness, literally shaking the ground beneath our tent. During the day, the number was less, but it is stated (as advertised on their web site) to be 20 trains passing through per day. Next year? No thank-you.

We did make one day trip to a provincial campground, and what an immediately noticable difference. Clean, brightly lit washrooms (with soap and hand sanitizer.) Clean, adjustable showers. A comparable beach (which we were told by regulars there had shrunk considerably from the high waters.) Mowed grass and green spaces, tall trees offering significant privacy between sites, amphitheatres and bike paths through the woods. You would never think the two places shared the same water. Next year, we will be booking here instead. The picture above is just one of a few pictures I shot while walking around the public, provincial campground.

Authentic sandals

We did get an afternoon of downpour rain, but thanks to a few tarps we were quite cozy beneath. Our fire kept us warm and the tents stayed mostly dry. There was a bit of a mud problem following the waterflow, but all in all, quite nice weather for the week.

Nothing says cool like a baseball cap on backwards.

First Rollercoaster Ride
After we had somewhat recovered from our trip to BC, we loaded back into the van and drove out to Calaway Park. With the long weekend pending and a skeptical forecast set in place, it was the perfect day for the park. We even had a few first rides, not the least of which was a very first rollercoaster ride. Don't let this picture fool you though, 90 seconds later she vowed not to go on the ride again until she's at least ten. .. Or maybe nine.

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