Thanksgiving over and crunchy leaves cover Tilly. It’s time to winterize, another camping season comes to an end.
This morning I think back to one of our shortest trips of the year — but one with inspiring improvisation and glampiness.
This past July two of our three children embarked on their first overnight camping adventure in Pictou County, along the Northumberland shores with Nova Scotia’s warmest salt water beaches.
With our family temporarily shrunk and our littlest happy to receive a healthy dose of one-on-one time with Mum and Dad, we decided to take advantage of the area and camp at Caribou/Munroes Island Provincial Park.
The beach offers a beautiful island-speckled view, is a short distance to the Prince Edward Island ferry and is a trolling haven for hermit crabs and sea shells.
This campground is also conveniently located beside the areas finest resort, Pictou Lodge.
Why did this save the glamping-integrity of our weekend?
It was a crazy week organizing this getaway.
Hours of packing to happily launch our two girls on their first over-night camp involved many tasks: labelling, sorting, ‘care-package’ wrapping, a little reassurance for them and for me.
And at the end of it all, packing for our own weekend became overshadowed.
And while I usually commend my expert packing capabilities, somehow we found ourself on Saturday night (after an emotional farewell to the girls) discovering I had forgotten to pack the red wine.
Yes, the red wine. Oops.
Sunday night’s menu was sorted: T-Bone steaks, potatoes, sour cream, asparagus & prosciutto — I had packed it all.
Except the Cabernet Sauvignon that was sitting in the cupboard to the right of the fridge.
Glamping for us means great food, great wine and a great setting. We had ticked two of the boxes…
But Sunday morning, as we sat playing with our youngest on the beach, we gazed right and spotted the oasis that was Pictou Lodge and a lightbulb turned on.
“How about we take a little bike ride over to the lodge for lunch?”
In European fashion, we’d have some wine with lunch, cork the bottle and cycle the rest back to our campsite for dinner. Genious!
Only a short five minute cycle (with backpack onboard) and we were feasting in the historical fireside lounge at Pictou Lodge. We dined on chowder, fish cakes and cheese pizza, two spicy Caesars, the epitome of a glampy cocktail, one Shirley Temple and of course a cheeky red for our evening BBQ.
We could have driven to the NSLC to buy wine, but once you’re camping, it’s nice to stay camping. We enjoyed a delicious lunch in a sun-filled verandah, overlooking the sea, with no dishes to wash up… we definitely weren’t roughing it.
Dilly was mesmerized searching for birds through the binoculars at the lodge.
Remember the first time you looked through binoculars?
With one arm on the binoculars, her free arm flailed outwards trying to touch the birds in the distance. It was like magic.
By Monday morning her buckets were filled with shells, which she turned into a collection of necklaces she planned to sell.
$5 dollars a chain, $3 dollars for Nana.
Needless to say, we’ve still a collection of shell necklaces sitting in our garage.
We camped in Loop B at Campsite 43. It’s a well laid out site, close to the toilets and most importantly two sites down to the little trail that leads to the beach. Beware, it’s a hike to the showers, but for our short jaunt this wasn’t a priority. And if you bring your bikes, it’s a two minute cycle.
And for the week of ‘no phone calls aloud’, did the girls miss us while at camp?
The letters say it all…