Chase the checkered flag

Girl in go-kart
This pic of Clare says it all

With summer approaching the finish line, we shift gears from lazing on the dock to back to school planning and preparation. But before we cross that finish, we try to squeeze in as many fun activities as possible during those last few laps.

Last weekend we doubled the fun and took our pit crew of eight birthday party goers go-karting.

I’m not a speed demon on the highway. I’m a very responsible driver, but on a go-kart track, all that changes. As soon as they start your engines, I apply full throttle to the gas and speed out of the gate, rallying driving through the course and trying not to brake on the curves.

Mom and girl in a go-kart
Go-kart selfie

It was especially fun watching the kids tear up the track. You can see it on their face. The feeling of power and control of operating their own motorized vehicle, and sheer joy and exhilaration of racing at high speeds and beating the adults. The grins were a mile wide.

I had a flash back while we waiting to go on the track of one girls weekend where we had booked to go tree top trekking at the new rope course and zipline at Santa’s Village in Gravenhurst. The only other time I had been ziplining was in Costa Rica in the mountains and rainforest, so I was pretty disappointed when we arrived and the entire course was in a compound that was barely a few hundred feet wide. It was their opening weekend and they overbooked, so we spent most of our time waiting on the ground or on the tree platforms. I was bored out of my skull in about 10 minutes.

As I’m standing up on the platform in the trees, I can hear the roar of go-karts to the right of me. All I could think of was getting behind the wheel and ripping up the course. I’m ashamed to admit I bailed on my girlfriends and spent the rest of the day on the go-kart track instead of testing my mettle tree trekking.

This week’s #HappyAct is to start your engines and cross the checkered line at your local go-karting track. Plan a few fun things to do this last week of summer. Have fun everyone.

Girl in go-kart
Grace in car 71
A beautiful night for a race

Go to the drive-in

Girls at the drive-inThere aren’t many things today that take you back to your youth and simpler times. The drive-in is one of them.

When Dave and I were dating, he drove a 1969 Wildcat convertible. We’d pile six of us in the Wildcat, and with elbow room to spare, watch the latest big screen double feature at the drive-in on Ford Drive in Oakville.

There aren’t many drive-ins left today. I read somewhere that more than 4,000 drive-ins have gone dark in North America in the last 40 years, a victim to urbanization and development. If you have one left in your community, consider yourself lucky.

Selfie at the drive-inIn Kingston, our drive-in is Kingston Family Fun World and it’s everything a drive-in should be and more. Last night we took Clare and six of her friends there for her birthday. It was a perfect night. The kids raced around as the sun set, a half crescent moon rose in the sky and there was just enough chill in the air to make curling up in a blanket under a lawn chair inviting.

A perfect night…except for the eight kids in the back of the car.

This week’s #HappyAct is to go to the drive-in. Order a big bucket of popcorn and a monster drink that will make you have to go the washroom twenty minutes into the first feature. Just don’t forget your flashlight so you can find your way to the concession stand in the dark.