During our last year of middle school, all the grade 8 students were offered an overnight trip to Camp Pigeon Lake. It was a leadership event that lasted 2 nights and one afternoon and as it was considered part of the celebration of graduating, my parents agreed to let me go. There was a variety of activities to do, canoeing being one of them, and that was the first time I’d ever experienced it in all my life. It didn’t last very long, because it took time to train us, and make sure that we all had our life jackets on, etc. (all the safety precaution stuff). My paddling partner was Yuting. Still being amateurs, we got stuck in the nicks and crooks of the pond a lot, and at one point, a bunch of our canoes drifted into the same corner where everything just became a tangled mess in the end. Overall though, I had a lot of fun and it is something that I’ll definitely try again.
That turned out to be sooner than I’d expected because when my parents were taking their break from our restaurant, my sister booked us all a trip to the lake-side, as well as a small summer cottage (or cabin if you will) for two nights. It was an amazing trip, where we all bonded and shared quality time with one another. I couldn’t remember the last time that our whole family came together and just had some fun without worrying that there was school the next day, or work to go to. Our cabin was facing the directly the lake, where you could see other vacationers coming out for a tan, or children taking paddle boats and such out for a spin. My mom asked whether those were included or not with the trip, and it turns out they were. Everyone changed into their bathing suits automatically, ready to try everything out – everyone but my dad who had rather claim his spot on the dock and start fishing (something he hadn’t done since the time before he took over South Sea). There were peddle-boats, canoes, kayaks, even smaller versions for little kids. While my sister and Paolo took to a canoe, I decided to try out a kayak for the first time to which my mom was puzzled afterward, as to where I’d ever learned to paddle one. lol The next day, I wanted my mom to try out the boats too. After all, when would be the next time that they took a break from everything? She got into a kayak just like mine, but when she started paddling, the whole thing ended up wobbling under her weight and she risked tipping over. I hadn’t considered that since I was shorter than her, it was much easier to paddle without worrying that the wrong stroke would send me plunging into the waters. When we got back to the shores, I grabbed us a peddle-boat so that we could go out into the lake together until evening. It was very relaxing and the mood of everything put me into one of those moments where you think “When was the last time I spent time with my family like this? And when will the next time be?” The following morning when my sister, Paolo, and I went out into the lake again, we saw my dad off in the distance in a canoe, fishing rods leaning off the side. I took my canoe again, something that became familiar to me, and took off with steady peaceful strokes. We all visited my dad to see how the fish were biting, before going off our separate ways. Not only until I saw them both heading for shore that I followed after them. Upon seeing each other again, my sister took the moment to look over in the direction of my dad, and realized that he was not there…but his canoe was. And it was upside down. Paolo asked if he needed help and both he and Janice took to their canoe again. I was still in my kayak so I raced off towards him. Now that I think back on it, I would have loved to have taped the entire thing. It was a pretty hilarious scene. When we reached him, a man who lived nearby had already helped him up onto the rocky ledge, and uprighted his canoe. We all burst out laughing at the whole thing, and spent many more days teasing him about it afterwards. Best trip ever.