Friday, July 4, 2008

Family Vacation

We returned last night from our family vacation. We try and get away around Canada Day to kick off the summer and relax after the crazy month of June. This year was extra special for me. We went to a place that I have not been in 20 years. It is a place that I grew up at and holds so many special memories for me. It was great because now I have some special memories with my family. Growing up my grandparents owned a fishing camp - Camp Mac Mac on Lake Nipissing. Each year since the time I was 1 my family would go there each year for 1 week and then when I turned 10 I spent every summer up there working with my grandparents. It played such a big role when I was growing up because I moved around alot when I was a kid, this was the one spot that was a constant in my life. It is a totally rustic and isolated spot. You have to take a boat - the Lady Mac for 45 minutes to get to the camp. The cottages have running cold water and indoor plumbing and fridges but you cook your food on a wood stove or coleman. The beach is beautiful and fun for the kids with great sand bars. The fishing is good and the landscape is truly breathtaking. Words can't describe my experience. It was a very emotional trip for me because I was remembering so much about my grandfather and the amazing person he was. The kids had fun and Andy had fun. I think that we are going to make this an annual trip. Can't wait till next year!





!


20 comments:

jenn said...

Looks absolutely amazing my friend! Can't wait to see more pics of it...i feel a mini album or two coming on!!!

xoxo

Tracey said...

Such a beautiful place!! So glad you were able to take your family back there and share a piece of your childhood!

Patti said...

WOW. That sounds like such a fun vacation and so full of memories! Love all your photo's - together they all tell your vacation story.

Stormtwin said...

Hey Michelle :)

I grew up going to Camp Mac Mac every summer as well. My family always stayed in cottage seven. My dad and sister still go there most summers. You might even know them; my dad is Ken Brown and my sister is Kim. Kim and her husband Chris take their three daughters to Mac Mac now. I haven't been there myself since 1975. Camp Mac Mac is where I learned to love the wilderness. I rarely spent time swimming or waterskiing with the other kids, opting to hike to the point to catch frogs and snakes and take the old tractor trail back to the beaver pond, which was way back in the woods. The Macleods ran the camp when we first started going there. They later sold it to the Neals(?), which was probably your grandfather.
Things that I will never forget about that place: The smell of the pine tar on the docks, the smell of the fish skins and tiny frog ponds at the point, the sound of the pump for the minnow tank in the boathouse, the sound of the door at the store, the sound of the tractor moving along the trail, the sound of the cooking covers on the old wooden stoves being taken off and put back in place, the old icecream cooler at the store, being bitten in the face by 5 foot Fox snake in Frank's Bay(ouch), falling in love for the first time with a girl named Alison( I was 8 years old), and everything about the Lady Mac. In fact, there is very little that I do not remember about Mac Mac and all of it stings to think about soemtimes because I miss it all so much.

I know I am responding to very old post, but the trip back was just to good to not take.

Tom

Anonymous said...

My family went to Camp Mac Mac in 1966. I was about 6 years old at that time. I beleive the "care takers" at that time were the Timmons Family. Their Grandson Barry Timmons became a hero to our family.
My yougest Brother (age 5) was missing. We all searched for over an hour for him. Barry found my brother floating upside down in the bay. He ran and retrieved my brother from the water and got him to the sand. There just so happend to be a nurse on the beach that was vacationing there. My Brother had drowned there. The ambulance had been called and they took my brother to the hospital and was working with him and by the Grace of God, they were able to revive him. A TRUE MIRACLE !
He was in the hospital for several days with no brain damage or anything !!! We went home from our vacation "changed". We never returned to Canada again. That has been 46 years ago... and I will never forget the beauty and the gift of life from Camp Mac Mac.
My "little" brother grew up to be a Pastor and continues to do God's work. :)

Anonymous said...

Stormtwin.......

I have all of the same memories and miss my Camp Mac Mac dearly. My wife and I even spent our honeymoon there. We stayed in cabin 5 for many years and then after my father had health issues we moved to cabin 1. Two weeks every summer over 4th of July weekend.

Not sure if this blog is checked at all bu does anyone know if the Camp is still open........

J Beinhaur

Anonymous said...

I spent 2 wks going there every summer from 86- 92. We used to have family reunions up there. I always dreaded the boat ride but loved getting there and enjoying the beach. I have a lot of fun family memories up there.

Shawn said...

Funny I found this old blog. I also went to MacMac every year growing up in the 80s and 90s. I remember a cute young girl about my age that used to work there, very likely Michelle.

Going back for the first time in 10 years with my family now, hoping to start new traditions!

Tessie said...

I can't believe I found this blog. My family has been going up to Mac Mac since 1973 and still continues to go up for one week each July. Michelle, I think you have a brother named Richie. The summer of '88 there were a pack of us kids who hung around for a week. My name is Theresa, my sister's name is Jennifer, our friend Brad, and Kim and Steven from Ohio. We had so much fun that week. Your grandparents took such good care of Mac Mac. It was never better or more fun than when Neil and Gert owned it. Our mother passed away in 1993 but I still have such strong and wonderful memories of her at Mac Mac. She is still up there with us each year. Thanks for the blog Michelle!

Kathryn said...

Like many others, I spent many enjoyable weeks at Mac Mac beginning in the late 60's, in fact, the MacLeods allowed us to bring in a small black and white tv and we all crowded around to watch the moon landing. When our children were born we started taking them as well; it was always our favourite family vacation. As an 'empty nester' I went back for a few years in a row, my last trip was September 2007 after I dropped my youngest child at university. To the best of my knowledge it is still operating.

Anonymous said...

I was looking into whether Camp Mac Mac was still open when I found your blog.
My family began going to the camp every summer in the 60s. I believe the last time was in 1985.
We knew Ed and Grace MacLeod, the first owners. I actually worked at the camp one summer for them.
I would love to return. Please let me know if it is still open. Thanks. Margaret

Anonymous said...

I spent many a family vacation at Camp Mac Mac in my youth (1978-1986) still my favorite memories growing up. I would really like to take my wife and son but can't find very much info on it.

Will S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Winston said...

I ran into this as a result of doing a search for Camp Mac Mac. My parents knew the MacLeods, they started going there every year from (as far as I can remember) the late 50's. My first time there was when I turned 11 or 12, so about '67 or '68. My Dad and I would go fishing almost every Victoria Day weekend, and for several years we often made another trip in the summer.

It's a beautiful place and I have many fond memories. It would be nice to make another trip, I haven't been there since the early '70's.

Winston

Unknown said...

Tessie I just came across this blog aND our family as well would go to camp mac mac. I think you are talking about my brother and sister, Kim and Steven from ohio. If you ever read this please contact me at flora3677@gmail.com. I would love to get you in contact with them. Laura from ohio

Laura Zilka said...

Tessie I just came across this blog aND our family as well would go to camp mac mac. I think you are talking about my brother and sister, Kim and Steven from ohio. If you ever read this please contact me at flora3677@gmail.com. I would love to get you in contact with them. Laura from ohio

Unknown said...

Best summers were spent there with my family . We would stay in cabin 7 and my grandparents up on the hill. Gert and Neal were amazing ppl and loved Brandy there dog. Great memories had there.

Unknown said...

Best summers were spent there with my family . We would stay in cabin 7 and my grandparents up on the hill. Gert and Neal were amazing ppl and loved Brandy there dog. Great memories had there.

Scott McLeod said...

Many of my fondest memories growing up are from Mac Mac. From when I can remember till I was 20 we went every year for the 2 weeks before Labour Day. It was always the highlight of summer. Some of the things I remember are the complete freedom, the lifetime friendships and the "big" waves from the Chief Commanda.

Mac Mac has always been a special place for my family as my uncle Ed (actually my dad's uncle, so my great uncle) started Mac Mac 60+ years ago. I still have pictures from the early days.

Unknown said...

Thats is truly amazing♡