What My Kids Did On Their Summer Vacation

With a new set of rear brakes and rebooted air conditioning in the car, it occurred to me that a road trip was in order, mostly for my sanity after counting out the coins for the repairs but also to spend some time alone with my kids before the twins head back to school next week and my oldest son and MomG continue their journey to first-time parenthood. 

With older children, travelling is a bit easier because in this house they are responsible for packing their luggage and that includes doing their own laundry. If I happen to toss in some clothing of mine it’s still a win win. 

I had no set itinerary in mind other than getting as far out of town as possible. I looked into cabin rentals at a few KOA sites along the 401 corridor and any site that could easily accommodate us was already booked up. Toronto it was, then.

The Suite Life (In The Suburbs)

Want to have a comfortable stay in the GTA without breaking the budget? Go north (like we did, to Vaughan). The TTC will bring you downtown and back out again with fewer headaches, which for me involves finding a safe, inexpensive parking spot near our intended destination. Always, always, use the most appropriate discount rate at your disposal – in my case, the federal government employee discount saved us quite a bit on the hotel room. And we got a mini-suite, aka an Extended Queen Room with two queen beds and a pullout couch, complete with microwave and mini-fridge. Best Available is trumped by AAA/CAA in most situations as well.

Let Fun Rhyme With Education

Our options were broad but limited for the summer heat. As it was, it had been about 35 years since I was last at Black Creek Pioneer Village and my children had never been at all. We all have our ideas of what constitutes fun and mine was reacquainting myself with a 19th century conservation site that has also provided a backdrop for an episode or two of Murdoch Mysteries. Turns out my sons enjoyed it too.

My youngest, who at 13 has rediscovered the joy of playing dress-up 

My almost 19 year old 

Calling all Murdoch fans! Does this look familiar?

Proof in the Gift Shop that the 19th century was at least somewhat kind to busy mothers?

The reward for my daughter came later, when we went to Vaughan Mills and discovered a Hot Topic location across from the Disney Store. I myself will be checking out Torrid more closely on a future visit.

The following morning, the last day of our trip, MomG suggested a visit to Trenton to check out the National Air Force Museum of Canada. Admission is free and there were opportunities for my sons to interact with some of the artefacts on display.


If you haven’t been, it’s absolutely worth it to take the time, even if only as a reminder to thank the men and women who have served Canada in military roles for their service. +

Questions? Comments? I’d love to get your feedback and suggestions for future family flash getaways!

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