This month’s topic is about Labour Day weekend, such as memories about family traditions or trips. I don’t like crowds and avoid them if at all possible, so I tend to avoid doing trips on Labour Day weekend. Also, with the kids going back to school the following week I’ve always preferred to have a nice settled weekend before launching into the hectic fall schedule.
We do have an August tradition in our family, though. It all started after we had our first child. This tiny baby kept my husband and I pretty busy, as all babies do, so after a year with no time to ourselves, we decided a little couple’s time would be a good idea. My sister-in-law agreed to take care of our son while hubby and I went away for an overnight trip. We had nothing definite in mind, but decided going to our neighbouring province, Quebec, would be a nice change. We live about two hours from Montreal, but we didn’t want to go to the city, so we found a nice bed-and-breakfast about a half hour north of Montreal in the Laurentian mountains.
It was a lovely place and the setting was gorgeous, but we wanted a little more excitement and discovered a water park nearby. Since we both love water parks, we decided to check it out.
It usually takes about twenty minutes to travel down the mountain. There’s a mild current in the pools, so your tube gets caught in a circular motion rather than going right down the next slide. Then more tubes come down and bump into the tubes already in the pool. Suddenly, you find yourself gliding over the edge and on down. See a video of this water slide (click on ride #11 on the map.)
My husband and I were thrilled to find this park and it immediately became a tradition. Every year we would get someone to take our kids (we had a second son within two years) and we’d head off to Mont Saint- Sauveur and our favourite water park. Once the kids were old enough, we started making it a family affair. Soon they invited friends to join us. Since it’s an hour and a half away, we’d drive up early in the morning, then when the park closed at 7 p.m. we’d go to a restaurant for dinner, then drive home. It makes for a long day, but one we thoroughly enjoy.
Once the kids were old enough to drive, they’d sometimes go on their own, with a carload of friends, but we always make time to go as a family, too. This year my eldest son graduated from university and he’s taking a gap year to earn money so he can go to the UK for his Masters next year. That might be preceded by an internship in Belgium next summer, so that means there might be an interruption to our tradition, but I hope it continues once he returns.
I think it’s great having traditions like this with shared adventures, and it helps a family stay close.
Do you enjoy water parks? Do you have any unusual ones to tell us about?