Toledo Zoo

2009 July 31

It’s been about two or so months since we went to the Toledo Zoo. At the time, Nature’s Neighborhood was not finished. The boys have been wanting to visit Nature’s Neighborhood but with them going to camp at the beginning of July, we couldn’t find the time.

I had Friday off and the weather was perfect, so we headed out stopping for breakfast/lunch at Denny’s in Monroe.

Our first stop at the zoo was Nature’s Neighborhood. The boys had fun climbing the rock wall, playing in the tree house, the forest and home sweet home. Jeremy got to hold a Guinea Pig. The boys could have spent all day in Nature’s Neighborhood.

We grabbed some cold treats and Corbin made a schedule for us. We watched the monkeys chase each other. Jeremy looked at every fish tank in the aquarium. The penguins were out but not swimming. The polar bears were swimming and playing in the water – there were having way too much fun. One of the polar bears was doing back flips.

All of us had a great time at the Toledo Zoo. A good way to start a four-day weekend.


The Boys Are Back In Town

2009 July 19

Travelled to Brantford Friday afternoon to see our youngest, Jeremy. He was very excited and very happy to us again. It was nice to see that smile and get big hugs.

Jeremy showed us some of the things he collected/received during his two weeks at Babcia Camp. A fish stuffed animal from a claw game. A Nerf shooting game. And a few other things.

Saturday was the drive up to Camp Winston. The 403/407 combo was fine. The 400 not so much. All three lanes were filled with traffic all the way to Barrie. Hey, look, I’m doing 40 km/h on the 400. Hey, look there is a person doing 90 km/h in the middle lane causing the backup. Highway 11 was a little better.

Arrived at Camp Winston. It was sunny with clouds and it was cool. It is summer right? I almost ran over Corbin with the van. We collected his things and waited for lunch. After saying his goodbyes, it was time to leave Camp Winston.

The drive back on Highways 11 and 400 was okay until I saw a sign that said the Highway 407 West ramp was closed. Wonderful. If I knew that way back at Highway 9, I would have taken that road and worked my way over to Kitchener/Waterloo.

At the “401 5 km” sign, traffic was bumper to bumper and moving very slowly. At the 401 split, I found myself on the wrong side, so I headed to 401 East and eventually we made our way to Yorkdale. Good thing because the 401 westbound was a parking lot back to Yorkdale and I needed gas.

So we walked around Yorkdale, grabbed a bite to eat had a bathroom break or two. A quick stop at the Best Buy for some headphones and then the Shell gas station for gas and we were back on the 401 – which at this time was moving well.

Three or so hours later, we were in Windsor. A long day. It was nice to be back home

He Speaks

2009 July 14

Well, Corbin finally called us tonight. Seems the Calling Card we purchased did not work. We’ll be visiting Wal-Mart on our way back from Camp Winston to get that fixed. Note to self: Try the card before giving it to Corbin.

One of the Counsellors – Alistair – was nice enough to let Corbin use his calling card. Thanks!

The conversation was classic Corbin.

Hi Corbin.

It’s expired.

What is expired?

It says it is expired.

What is?

The card.


Are you having fun?


Did you eat pizza?


Did you go on the ropes course?


You get the drift of the conversation.

Near the end, I was trying to get Corbin to be a little more emotional, and a little more wordy. He took that to mean that I was not understanding him: “Dad you know I have trouble talking sometimes”. “Yes, Corbin, except that I can’t see you to know that”.

And with a “I love you” and a “I miss you”, the phone call was over.

We return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Still No Word From Corbin

2009 July 14

It’s been over a week since we dropped Corbin off at Camp Winston. He must be having way too much fun since we have yet to receive a phone call from him.

Now, our standards our not too high. One phone call is all we want. We would rather have it in the first week rather then the second week as a way of checking in and making sure that there are no issues – Corbin has a tendency to be unable to communicate concerns, issues or problems with authority.

Several years back, Corbin was identified as having a dairy allergy. The doctor said he should out grow it. When he first went to Camp Winston, they were aware of the allergy, so they kept dairy product away from him. Over the past 18 months, we noticed that Corbin was able to tolerate dairy products.

So last year, we told Camp staff that he could have cheese and other products (but not a full glass of milk – we believe that he is lactose intolerant). Unfortunately, that information did not get communicated and he was not able to enjoy foods such as pizza (well at least not with cheese). He didn’t mention anything during his phone call last summer.

We took care of that issue this year. It was wiped off his file. But still, it would be nice to know how camp is going and if there are any issues that we need to discuss with staff.