It is not very often that our whole family is together in the same place at the same time. So, to make the most of this occasion, we decided to take a family vacation to visit the VanEssen family in Ontario, Canada.
Waking at 4:30 in the morning on Friday, August 15, we drove all the way from Salem WV, to Kawartha Lakes ON, a leisurely 13 hour drive. On the way, we stopped for a short time at Lake Erie. Some of us had never traveled along the Great Lakes, so to feel the unceasing lakeside breeze and see the vast, unending expanse of water was a new experience. The road-side pullover was not exactly extraordinary in appearance; but with family, it became a very memorable place indeed, especially when we identified a Bald Eagle soaring nearby.
We really didn’t know what to expect when we arrived in Canada. Most of us had never been outside the US. We cruised into this “foreign” country with eyes and ears open to taking in the new surroundings. Here are some of the things we noticed: First was the traffic! We hit Toronto at rush-hour and experienced first hand the fact that 3/4 of the Canadian population live within 90 miles of the US border. We noticed that road signs were in both English and French. It was also strange seeing signs reading speed limit 100; we quickly learned to translate from miles to kilometers. As we continued north out of the densely populated areas, we began to notice the striking geographical changes. The countryside was broad, rolling and forested. Farms and fields were scattered through the coniferous forests. The setting sun reflected off of countless lakes and obscure marshes.
Finally we arrived at our destination at the northeastern tip of Stony Lake where the VanEssen’s greeted us with warm, Canadian hospitality. God had pro-tected us on our journey on the first day of our vacation and we were excited to see how the Lord would continue to work in the next few days, for indeed, He did!