We were determined not to let the pandemic take away our summer tradition – the family roadtrip.
In August, we always take two weeks off to visit the hubby’s parents in New Brunswick, two provinces East of Ontario, and add a detour. This year, we hoped to visit New Hamsphire.
It goes without saying the pandemic kiboshed those plans.
So we took the opportunity to explore our province – which had recently reached Stage 3 of 3 of its reopening plans – to head north to Thunder Bay and explore detours along the way and back.
In my 30+ years living in Canada, this is my first time exploring my province in this depth.
For context, Thunder Bay is a 15-hour drive from our home – longer than to visit two provinces to the East!
We planned activities that allow us to keep to ourselves – provincial parks, hikes and swimming.
We left bright and early on Saturday and divided the drive over two days.
“We’re going on an adventure!” T said excitedly as we drove off from our driveway.
Day 1, we took a detour at Sudbury – five hours from home – and took a photo at the Big Nickel.
Then we drove another three hours north to Sault Ste Marie, our pit stop for the night.
We left the motel bright and early the next day. We had a seven-hour drive to Thunder Bay but we wanted to make a few detours.
The highlight of this day was stopping by in Wawa. There, we went off the highway and drove down a dirt road for 10 minutes until we hit Sandy Beach.
We then walked down a boardwalk that led to a narrow path with tall wild grass on either sides that led to this beautiful white sanded beach.
Would you believe we had this slice of heaven on Earth all to ourselves?!
Well, except for the first few minutes when a cute guy, with his three friends, took off his clothes down to his boxer briefs and ran into the water. The hubby and I were like, “What the hell is going on?” Good thing T wasn’t off to the side drowning, because we were a little distracted!
But soon, the guys left and my family had this gorgeous beach all to ourselves for the next hour!
T ran up and down the beach with full abandon, while the hubby walked around and I was lost in a daze soaking in the wonderful view, inhaling the fresh air and feeling the soft sand on my feet.
It was a chilly and cloudy day – 16 degrees. But the sun soon emerged. T and I decided to brave the icy water and changed to our swim clothes – we didn’t need a change room because no one was around! – and swam. The cold water woke me right up!
We then sat on a log and opened up a tube of Pringles and a bottle of Coke and shared it.
T built a few sandcastles – destroying them along the way – and then explored the empty beach some more.
We were sad to leave but we had to get on our way as we had another five hours to drive to Thunder Bay.
Near our car, the hubby found wild blueberries growing. So naturally, we had to have some. And I lived to blog about it, so they must really have been blueberries!
We had hoped to get to our motel by 7 pm but ended up arriving closer to 10 as we took a few more unplanned detours.
It has always been my wish for T to develop a love of adventure, to see the world and to be able to step outside of his comfort zone.
Our summer roadtrips – now year 5 – is one way to cultivate that spirit. I am so thankful we are able to continue that tradition this year, despite all the darkness and uncertainty in the world. I feel immense gratitude for the gift of these precious moments – especially the look of joy in T’s face and the sound of his pure glee.
I hope you enjoy the next few days of our adventures with us. The fun has just begun!