Our Fifth Annual Unplugged on the St. Lawrence River vacation

StLawrence2As we drive into our favorite vacation resort parking lot, I can see the St. Lawrence River down the hill. I take a deep breath and turn my phone off, zippering it into the secret compartment of my purse. Unplugged. That’s how I like to vacation.

Although the motel boasts “We have Wi-Fi,” we have left the laptop at home to gather dust. We want to hear the sound of the waves, the birds, the wind in the trees, an occasional horn from a barge floating on the river, and the ever popular sound of silence.

We do the business transactions: check-in, bring suitcases to the room, put items from the cooler into the mini-fridge. Then it’s outside to jump in the pool. Oh yes, I did change into my bathing suit first. So did hubby. Just so you know.

After an afternoon of swimming, er, treading water and flapping around in the pool, it was time for some serious grilling of hamburgers. No, sorry, I don’t have a photo.

The next morning, we drank our complimentary coffee, and shuffled off to town to grab some breakfast. The Diner had a 30 minute wait(!) so we scuffled across the street to the other, more expensive breakfast eatery. Little did I know this would cause the day to spin downhill.

A waitress greeted us, “Help yourself to coffee, and sit where ever you would like.” Yes, this is my kind of service. I’m not a morning person, so I helped myself to the Midnight coffee and we scurried to find a table. Strange, all those people waiting outside.

Just as I was about to put my coffee cup down, the hostess yelled out, “May I help you?”

“She told us to sit where ever we want.”

“Oh, no, no, no, there is a waiting list.”

Ugh. I’m hungry and I want me some eggs.

Table for two. Twenty minutes.

I helped myself to more Midnight, aka, “Mud” coffee and cream.

The Java Jolt.
The Java Jolt.

Finally, we are seated, but we cannot order food for another twenty minutes, as the waitress takes care of a table of ten. Eventually, our eggs appear. The accompanying toast arrives ten minutes later, with one serving to split between us. That’s okay, I’m trying to cut down on my carbs anyway. We receive the check thirty minutes later. Sheesh, it’s almost time for lunch.

It seemed a good idea to drive to the next town over to go to the YMCA and work-out. But thank you Mapquest, we were caught in the pouring rain in the wrong town, and the alleged location was a parking lot. Hubby called the YMCA and asked for directions (yes, I got a husband who asks for directions, I know you’re jealous….) and we continuing driving in the rain, circle the block a few times, and park the car and walk through the rain to the Y.


The clerk at the desk is not satisfied with just the YMCA membership card, we must also have photo id. Because I’m sure people are always breaking into the Y to work out. Or maybe they really are?

Back into the rain goes hubby to get his photo id. Phone calls are made. We are cleared for admittance.

So I start pumping some iron. My chest starts to hurt.

I go to the next machine. My chest hurts more, and so does my stomach.

I inform hubby that I am having chest pains. I know it’s not my heart. It’s Acid Reflux.

The clerk looked surprised to see us leave so soon, but wished us a “good day” as we went back out into the rain.

The burn continues down my guts, into my lower abdomen, reminiscent of childbirth pains. “What should I do?” I ask hubby.

“Call your sister.” Duh, my sister is a nurse and has Acid Reflux to beat the band. [Okay, that’s a little 1940’s but whatever.]

I dig out my phone from the secret compartment, and text her. Help, I have the worst Acid Reflux of my life. What do you do?

Pepcid, came the response.

“Please buy me some ice cream. And some Pepcid.” Screw the Weight Watchers points. It’s August. if I can’t have ice cream in August when I don’t feel good, what’s the sense of living?

After a few spoonfuls of soft chocolate, I turned the corner, pain-wise. Relief was within my grasp. Hubby ran into the pharmacy, bought Pepid, and Pepto.

We drove back to the room and I took a nap. Day two was used up.

The sun came out again on day three. We drove around, saw the sights, fed some seagulls. I love to watch the seagulls’ determine pecking order in their kingdom.

I named this one MIMI; no particular reason. ;-)
I named this one MIMI; no particular reason. 😉

On our last day of vacation, Hubby decided he wanted to find a state park beach on Lake Ontario. Through the back roads we drove, past farms, oversized McMansions, dilapidated trailers, and acres of corn. Finally (we thought) we found the beach. I was actually driving at this point and Mr. Porter was riding shotgun and reading the maps. I drove into the parking lot and dutifully paid $7 the machine requested so we could park there. I continued driving past the “Private Beach”, “Members Only” signs. I paid my seven bucks and I’m in, baby. A woman was hanging laundry on her porch, and I expected her to yell, “Get out,” but I quickly determined that we were the “Atkinsons” and parked at their space–like we belonged there.

We found ourselves in front of a body of water which boasted tall green plants. Hmm. Not exactly how I imagined Lake Ontario, but what do I know, I’m not Canadian. To the left was a footpath which led to a bunch of private beach houses. I shaved my legs for this? Er, I mean I paid seven bucks for this? We walked back to the car, thanked the Atkinsons for their hospitality and chalked it up to Life Lessons Learned.

While driving out–there it was–the sign for the beach! I will now spam you with pictures.

Mr. Porter in the surf.
Mr. Porter in the surf.
The waves were similar to an ocean beach.
The waves were similar to an ocean beach.
Crystal clear water.
Crystal clear water.
Mandatory Seagull Picture 1.
Mandatory Seagull Picture 1.
Mandatory Seagull picture 2.
Mandatory Seagull picture 2.
I knew I was in another dimension when I saw this.
I knew I was in another dimension when I saw this.
I called Keanu Reeves and we left the Matrix. Time to go home.
I called Keanu Reeves and we left the Matrix. Time to go home.


Until next year–we will miss you St. Lawrence.

Where have you been?
Where have you been?

Home again. Back to “real life.”

4 thoughts on “Our Fifth Annual Unplugged on the St. Lawrence River vacation

  1. Apart from the acid reflux (but really, what can’t ice cream fix?) sounds like a pretty great adventure. Love the seagull pictures (hello, Mimi!) and of course coming home to that Bailey face at the very end.


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