Great Lakes Adventure part 4: Lake Ontario

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

After our wonderful time on Manitoulin Island, we headed out for our longest day of driving on the trip: 6 hours. We were trying to keep the driving days shorter, because we have lots of kids, several of whom get carsick (along with yours truly). Our 6 hour drive ended up being almost TEN, because of horrendous Toronto traffic. I have been in pretty bad traffic in a lot of cities, including Paris, Rome, Frankfurt, London, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco — but Toronto was the WORST EVER. Which was crazy, because I went there last year and had NO problems at all!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Three of our four with Toronto’s famous CN tower! I’ll give you two guesses as to which kids didn’t want to be in the picture. {The one crying and the one missing…}

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

The old fashioned train station across the street from the CN tower is SUPER cool!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Playing at a downtown playground.

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

A bed! A real bed! I was pretty excited to sleep on a MATTRESS for the first time in a week.

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Lake Ontario!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

It was pretty nice, until the algae rolled in. Then the lifeguard said the beach was no longer safe to swim. But we got to for a little while at least!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Then we headed to a nearby splash park instead.

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

…which the kids thought was super fun anyway!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Gotta love free water parks!

If you missed my posts about Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, or Lake Huron, check them out on my North America Travel page here. Stay tuned for Niagara Falls, Lake Erie, and our Grande Finale!

Great Lakes Adventure part 3: Lake Huron

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

After our wonderful time up at Lake Superior Provincial Park, we headed back south, then east, then south again, out to Manitoulin Island. Our camp ground was called Providence Bay Tent & Trailer, and it was right on Lake Huron. (And it had free wifi!!!! I might have been dying a little from internet withdrawals. My phone didn’t work once I crossed into Canada, so this was amazing!)

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Our campsite!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

This campsite had the coolest forest for exploring! This was only steps away from our tent!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

We got a little rain, but it sure didn’t put a damper on our fun!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

This campsite also had the coolest creatures! We found tons of neat animals and wildlife, and TONS of snails!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Our day at the beach!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Lake Huron had the biggest waves!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

They love the water so much!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Finn really had a blast!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

A few of the waves were so big they knocked him off his feet! (And pulled down his shorts!)

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

The girls, being brave!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Exploring the woods some more — it was such a cool place.

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Connor, king of the rock.

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Finn, practicing his letters in the dirt. Homeschooling, old-school style!

This campground was a blast! Getting on and off the island was sort of a nightmare, and I’m not sure I would do it again… but at the same time I don’t regret it. It’s hard to say! Either way, we enjoyed it! If you missed the posts about Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, catch up on them here. And stay tuned, next up is Lake Ontario!

Great Lakes Adventure part 2: Lake Superior

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Lake Superior ended up being our favorite all-around lake! It was absolutely beautiful, so peaceful, awe-inspiring… words do not do it justice.

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

First we crossed from Michigan’s lower peninsula to the upper peninsula, on the famous Mackinac Bridge!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Then we stopped at the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, to watch the boats go through the locks. Soon after that, we crossed the border into Canada!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

This was my favorite campsite, by a long shot. We were surrounded by trees on 3 sides, with the beach on our 4th side. I fell asleep to the sound of waves crashing on the shore. 

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Lake Superior!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

They loved playing in the rocks and collecting their favorites!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

The stones were a colorful display of hues!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

We went hiking on some crazy terrain!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Big rocks, big cliffs, no railings!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Climbing out on this VERY dangerous ledge to see some Native American cliff paintings.

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Connor and the cliff paintings! It was super cool!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Byron and Lia climbing out to see the paintings.

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Sitting down for a rest on the climb back up.

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Swimming in Lake Superior — it wasn’t NEARLY as cold as I had anticipated!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

We went down the road to a sandier beach for our swim time.

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Burying mom in the sand.

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

They love climbing out on the rocks!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

We had fun exploring the tide pools and rock formations.

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Sophie and I on the beach. I love her smile!

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

We went back to the beach again after dinner. Byron and the kids “skipped rocks”, while I read a book.

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

…until this guy came to give me presents!  

Our Cozy Den's Great Lakes Adventure! ~ All 5 Great Lakes in 10 Days!!

Stay tuned for the rest of the trip! We still have Huron, Ontario, and Erie to go! If you missed my last post about Lake Michigan, read it here!

Niagara Falls Mission Trip – part 3: Canada

The final part of our trip: Canada! The drive from my house to Niagara Falls is about 5.5-6 hours either way – driving through Pennsylvania/New York, or driving through Canada/Michigan. So we decided to head through Canada on the way back, so we could check another country off our list!

Crossing the border took 30-45 minutes both times.

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A short drive later, and we arrived at our destination: Toronto!
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Downtown Toronto was SO pretty! IMG_1443

The kids loved the moose on the juice. IMG_1448

We went to the top of the magnificent CN Tower! IMG_1450

And we stood on the famous glass floor! IMG_1457

Connor lying down on the glass floor. IMG_1459

Lia wasn’t so sure about it. IMG_1460 IMG_1463

Connor got attacked by a bear in the gift shop!!!
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And we saw an awesome Lego replica of the tower there, too. IMG_1474

Outside: Dusty Crophopper!!! Finn would have LOVED this. IMG_1475

Next, we went to the old steam engine yard. IMG_1476

And we rode a mini steam engine around. IMG_1481

Even the playground was shaped like a train!

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Then, we went to the harbor and put our feet in the water. IMG_1489

And looked at all the different kinds of boats. IMG_1491

Last, we went to a Chinese heritage festival, because we’ve been studying ancient China in history class. While we were there, we got to make REAL Chinese kites. (for free!) IMG_1494 IMG_1502 IMG_1506

And check out the ancient Chinese clothing! IMG_1515

After our day in Toronto, we went back to our hotel and enjoyed the pool. The next day we grabbed some Tim Horton’s (of course) and headed home! We missed Byron, Sophie, and Finn, but we had a GREAT time!