We're home now, from a week away on the French River. We've been there before, twice actually, but not for seven years.
Seven years is a long time. The photos I have from 2010 have two small children in them...
...now they have two (one freshly-minted) teenagers.
When last we went there, we were coming from a townhouse in the city. B was commuting to a full-time job and I was struggling with working part-time, away from my young children. It's safe to say that neither of us was particularly happy. So a week in a cabin on the river, with vast expanses of stunning scenery and peace was a tiny slice of heaven. So much so, that we briefly considered moving up there. Inquiries were made but it didn't work out. It was heartbreaking at the time, but, obviously, things worked out for the best.
As they do.
Seven years later and my perspective is entirely different. Our little cabin on the river wasn't nearly as peaceful and quiet as I'd remembered -- a lot of boat traffic on the river, the comings and goings of other lodgers in adjacent cabins -- in fact, we all commented that it's far more peaceful and quiet at home. The hiking trails, too, where last time we were able to walk without seeing another soul, this time -- it seemed everyone and their granny was out there. At the one park, anyway -- Killarney -- you can perhaps see why with views like the one above. :)
Happily, though, we found another that we liked far more. The trails were clearly much less-traveled...the park itself is hard to find, the signage is practically non-existent or sneaks up around a bend in the road and you go sailing right past. In other words, it was perfectly deserted. :)
With a few notable exceptions....
Interestingly, we didn't actually see that much wildlife -- plenty of evidence in the beaver lodges and dams, the piles of moose droppings and the occasional bird-call. I finally saw a moose in one of the marsh clearings -- from the highway, as we were driving home. :) Even at the cabin, it was strangely quiet (at night, anyway, when the people and boats were finally asleep). The savage beauty of the landscape made up for that, though, manyfold.
One of the most notable parts of the trip, however, was the realization that 'holiday' means something very different for us now, than it did seven years ago (which was the last time we actually went on holiday, which might mean something. or it might not.). Some of us love the hiking most of all and some of us most love taking a boat out into the bay to do some fishing. (some of us wish we could've brought our Lego). We all still love campfires and setting marshmallows aflame; we all love the call of loons and the wild northern beauty of this province. So, if we do this holiday thing again, that's something we'll have to think about.
But now, we're Home.
Where, if I'm to be quite honest, I'm at my happiest. It's nice to get away, but it's even nicer to come home.
Sometimes you have to go away so that you can come back, y'know?