MacRae Summer Vacation (2016) -or- I Know What You Did Last Summer!

MacRae Summer Vacation (2016) -or- I Know What You Did Last Summer!


So far none of the other people in the neighbourhood have noticed I’m on vacation. I think I’ll keep it this way because it’s low profile and I’ve always wanted to use the term, “I’m keeping a low profile”.

Went running this morning. Tried to beat my 5km time record. I almost succeeded but I got a call from a company in Florida telling me a won a cruise and they’d just need my credit card number to cover the taxes. Seemed legit so I stopped and took the call.

After a bit, I had a late morning nap and dreamed I was the physical embodiment of Kim Kardashian’s over-inflated sense of self worth. I can’t describe what that looked like. Sort of a taco with an unripened banana running through the middle.

Got some laundry done. Found a quarter in the dryer. I put it with the quarter I found a couple days ago on the floor in the men’s change room at work when the elastic broke on my underwear.

I have to go for now. I need to fix the chain on the toilet flusher handle in the main floor bathroom. I broke it yesterday while trying to get the rubber cap inside the tank to beat to the rhythm of “Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen.


People in the neighbourhood are starting to get suspicious. I think they may have noticed I’m on vacation. So much for the low profile. I’m thinking my “F#%& You!! I’m On Vacation!!” T-shirt might have given me away.

Haven’t got a run in yet. May go tonight when it’s cool and dark and no one around to notice I run naked.

Had lunch with a friend at a patio restaurant. Dropped my fork on the ground and switched it with his when he wasn’t looking. Felt bad but just for a few seconds. I guess I’m over it now.

Saw Les Femmes Ghostbusters today. Unfortunately, SONY Pictures did not offer me enough money (any money) to write a positive review. But here’s a freebie: I liked it. It was fun.

This is the last day to take it easy. Tomorrow is packing day. Making a list. Checking it twice. Gonna find out who’s gonna bring ice. There’s no cause for slowing me down (ya gotta sing it to the tune to get the joke).


First off, I apologize for not posting “VACATION 3”. I DID post it but apparently it was alleged that I took portions of Michelle Obama’s vacation journal and Facebook took exception to it and pulled my post. C’est la vie!

What're YOU laughing at?!So, after a long and arduous journey, we made it to New Brunswick. A few minutes into our travels Leanne and I realized that not only did we forget the iPhone charger, we also forgot both our children. We drove another two hours, having a conversation on whether or not we should turn around. After a lengthy review of child welfare laws, we went back and got our children and started anew.

The trip was hard on all of us. Lots of arguing, at times quite heated. Having had enough, my wife and I divorced just East of Cornwall, Ontario. But after several hours the mood lightened and we were remarried just north of Fredericton. It was a nice reception. Thanks for the flowers Tony.

Next stop… Prince Edward Island!!


Woke up this morning to face another long drive. Not a long as yesterday’s but long nonetheless. It reminded me of various scenes from Mad Max. Just had to keep moving. As though it was for my very survival.

GPS-ing it!Several hours later I shifted my brain out of cruise control and we found ourselves in Prince Edward Island. More specifically, Darnley. God’s country. Location of one of the greatest beaches on Earth. And it’s practically at our doorstep. It’s like literally stepping inside some incredible dream. Everything almost seems like it’s in slow motion here. We arrived around 6pm so the sun had already begun bathing everything as far as the eye can see in a beautiful golden hue.Home!

We had pork chops and mosquitoes for dinner. Who cares. We’re here and we’re not leaving for seven days.


Beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach.

Beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach.

My beach!! Go away!Beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, peed in the ocean, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach, beach and beach.

Wax on?


Awoke to the sound of rain beating down on the metal roof of our cottage. Supposed to rain all day today however city council heard we were on the island and voted against foul weather while we were here. The rain stopped and I got in a nice morning run past a mix of potato fields and ocean scenery.

The kids were running out of cottage activities so we tossed them in the car and went to the Sandspit Amusement Park in Cavendish. Funny how children are so brave until they actually go on a ride they’ve never tried before. Before they know it, the colour and smile has left their faces and I’m taking a few steps back so I don’t get hit by any yet-to-be-digested lunch.Holy crap are our kids EVER blonde!!

The day ended with a campfire under a trillion stars that heavily disappointed the children when I explained how long it takes some star’s light to reach Earth and how they might not even exist any longer. Tomorrow I tell them there’s no Santa Claus.


Missed my window to see the sun rise this morning. Was too deep into a dream involving my accepting a job offer at the Playboy mansion as the new towel boy. But I digress. We still got up early enough to enjoy a quick swim in the ocean before friends of ours had to head back to the mainland.Our girls at sunset (Darnley, PEI).

Threw a semi-surprise 70th birthday bash for my mom (on the opposite side of the island). Glad we didn’t go with the usual stripper in the oversized novelty birthday cake this year. Feasted on hamburgers, sausages and freshly boiled clams. The party was sponsored by Pepto-Bismol.

Red!!!Nice having everyone under one roof again. But it’s tough seeing your parents age. It’s tougher walking in on one of them using the toilet. I’m sure with a little psychotherapy and a few bottles of Johnnie Walker I’ll be back on my feet in no time.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, a new sand sculpture.


Got up at the crack-o-dawn to watch the sun rise out of the Atlantic Ocean. Kind of a family tradition. Although, most of the family opted out of a beautiful sunrise to catch a couple more hours of Z’s.

My wife and I braved strong winds this morning to assemble a beach tent that took a masters degree in engineering to set up. Well worth it because it was followed by a long nap on the beach.Horsing around

My oldest daughter found a toad. She was quite thrilled with it so I gave it a back story. His name is Timothy Toad. He’s in his late forties, unemployed and still living with his mother. He went to the Hollywood School For Amphibian Actors where he met a frog named Kermit (yes, that one). They were roommates for a few years but things went sour when they both applied for a leading role on a new variety TV show called “The Muppets”. We all know how that worked out. Broken and without hope, Timothy moved from the hustle and bustle of life in California to a VERY different life in Prince Edward Island, Canada where he now takes care of his ailing mother, Beatrice. He still working on his “tell-all” novel.

Award winning sunset in Darnley, PEI.A bad storm has just moved in. Took my girls to the top of the dunes to watch it roll in. Good weather or bad, the beauty of this place is indescribable. I’m proud to have grown up here. Always nice to come home.


The weather was a bit grey for the beach so we threw everyone in the car and went into Charlottetown for some shopping and a movie. Most will limit their shopping excursions to locally created art or even famous PEI potatoes. My brother? A BMW Z4 convertible.

Two Men and a BeemerSpent most of the afternoon cruising around in the new wheels. Then we had some bubble fun with Leanne’s not-so-secret recipe for BIG ass bubbles. It got a little carried away (literally) when our youngest daughter became trapped in a bubble but was located safely by the Coast Guard on an oil rig 150 miles off the east coast of the island. We got her home in time for dinner (even if she did smell like Quaker State).

Tonight, marshmallow roast over an open, but closely adhered-to municipal regulations, fire. Tomorrow is our last full day in PEI. The weather is rumoured to be lovely. It’ll be our last beach day here.Bubbles, and then some!


As the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end.” Not sure who coined the phrase but I’d like to punch him in the neck. Not ready to leave the paradise that is Prince Edward Island but on the up side, it marks the halfway point of our family vacation. Hand in hand.Still another week to go. Tomorrow we pack up our things and head back to the mainland for our rendezvous with friends in Moncton, New Brunswick.

It’s hard for me to leave this place. I spent a large part of my life here on this island and I have a spiritual connection to the ocean, as many of us do. It calls to me me whenever I’m close to it. I have a ritual whenever I visit the ocean (specifically the beaches here). I play a song through my headphones by Enya called “Exile”. Highly recommend you check it out. There’s a line that always hits me: “I’ll wait the signs to come. I’ll find a way. I will wait the time to come. I’ll find a way home.” Every time I’m near the ocean I feel a ridiculously strong pull to find a way to get back home (to the ocean). But I’ve always been a believer in fate. I can do a lot of amazing things. I‘ve got faith I’ll inevitably be able to use these gifts to make my dreams come true. As far as careers go, I’m where I NEED to be right now but not where I WANT to be. I know, in time, things will work out in my favour.Calling me home.

Thank you Prince Edward Island (PEI). You remind me that tough times don’t stay tough forever. You NEVER disappoint.


After stopping off for a clams and scallops lunch at Fred’s in Cap Pele, New Brunswick, we made it to Moncton. Great to spend some time with old friends. Especially old friends who don’t mind if we raid their refrigerator.

Me in NB.Spent a wild evening at St. James’ Gate in the thriving metropolis that is downtown Moncton. Great live music. Great live beer (yeah, I know that makes no sense but I was drunk). The next morning we got up early to get the kids prepped the kids for a day at Magic Mountain (Splash Zone). Overlooking the 60 tons of kid urine in the water, it was actually a pretty great day. Lotta fun. Lotta photo ops. Tomorrow: Hopewell Rocks and a walk on the ocean floor (if we can figure out when the tide’s out).Hopewell Rocks, NB.


Got up early, quickly, quietly, stealthfully, tactically to get out of the house without waking the kids so Leanne and I could go to Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick. It was like a scene from Mission Impossible. Are we bad parents for going without our kids? Yes. yes, we are. Do we care? No. No we don’t. It was a good time walking on the ocean floor at low tide around colossal rock formations that were strikingly similar to, at no fault of their own, giant penises sticking out of the mud.

Later, we reluctantly said goodbye to our Moncton friends and began the 3hr drive to my brother’s place in central New Brunswick (roughly the halfway point home). We’re here for the next few days before heading home.Holy muck!!

My bro and I went out for a boys night on the town of Woodstock (a village really of about 6,000 people). Saw “Star Trek: Beyond” at a cozy little theatre then grabbed some wings and a beer
at a local purveyor of mind-numbing intoxicants (a pub).Me and my stunt double.
Tomorrow: who knows where we’ll end up or what we’ll do. But it ain’t work and I’m LOV’N that!!


As I write about Day 15 of our family vacation, I’m sitting in my late (paternal) grandmother’s favourite recliner (bequeathed to my brother). It brings back many memories of visiting her and my grandfather in their tiny home in Cherry Valley, Prince Edward Island. We’d all gather in the living room and chat about things going on in our lives. Then, one by one, we’d fall asleep. It’s gotta be something in the MacRae gene. No one could stay awake. It was like a forced mid-afternoon nap and it was magnificent! It was a happy time in my life. I miss my grandparents a lot. They were the compass that kept this family on course.

Nan's chair.I was close to my grandmother. I sit in her chair right now writing and wonder what advice she would give me if she were alive today. She died a year before I began career #2 (my current career). I know she’d be damn proud but now that I’m almost ten years into it, I think she’d see my heart is somewhere else. Would she tell me to follow it? I know she’d tell me that there’s nothing on Earth more important than family. She’d tell me that the quest for happiness is equally as important. I think I have some serious soul searching to do over the next little while. Some major changes are afoot.

We crossed the border into the USA today. My brother’s place is minutes away from the great state of Maine. We lunched and shopped in Presque Isle. I bought a couple of T-shirts from this movie I heard about once. ... and MORE bubbles!Now we’re relaxing the rest of the day back at the house. Scooby Doo is keeping my kids busy. Leanne is cooking up a fabulous batch of chicken parmesan for dinner and I’m allowing my brother to sucker me into to trying his ride on lawnmower. There’s grass out there that apparently ain’t gonna cut itself.

Till tomorrow and our last full day in New Brunswick.


Plans have changed. Today was to be our last full day in New Brunswick but taking into consideration that Friday would be rather nightmarish to travel on ANY highway (cottage country traffic) we decided to leave this Saturday instead. It’ll still give us a full day before going back to… work (it’s so hard to even TYPE that word).

CopperTook the kids to the Woodstock (not the hippy one) fair only to have Mother Nature tell us to go somewhere else as she decided to relieve herself on all the attendees. No worries though. Luckily (in italics) we ended up at the Covered Bridge Potato Chip Company on the way back to my brother’s where Leanne and the kids went on what I’m certain was a very thrilling tour of the facility whilst learning how potato chips are made. Yes, sarcasm meter is at about a 12. I stayed in the car in case my brain exploded from the massive injection of knowledge on which oil they used to cook the thin slices of potatoes. In all honesty though, I was happy they brought me out some fresh samples.

We spent the rest of the day watching Leanne unleash her new batch of Godzilla bubbles on the world. The secret ingredient? Farm animal rectal lube. Don’t ask! Just know that it works well (on the bubbles, not me)!


Well, we’ve reached our LAST day in New Brunswick. This is the part of our family vacations that I hate the most. The thought of having to go back to work isn’t so appealing to me at the moment, especially after all we’ve experienced in the past couple of weeks. But, c’est la vie!

Took it easy today. Had some packing to do then we took the kids to a nearby waterpark. Completely different cost of living out here. I snickered as I handed over the one dollar per person entrance fee. Jokes on them! I would have paid $1.50 with a minimum of fuss.

We’re up bright and early tomorrow morning to face the 14-hour drive home. Bringing home lots of memories, photographs, seashells and mosquito bites. We’ll have one day to recuperate before going back to work on Monday. I hope it’ll be enough.Poutine.

All-in-all it’s been a great trip. The kids took us to the brink of insanity but we survived!! If this was one of life’s little tests we can happily look life in the eye and raise a middle finger. We passed!!!

Tonight we’ll say goodbye to New Brunswick in an age-old Maritime custom. All you can eat Chinese food.


1,268 kilometres (12hrs door-to-door from central New Brunswick) and we’re home!! Not hard to tell we’re back in Ontario either. I was cut off on Hwy 401 immediately upon exiting Quebec into Ontario. Every driver we past (or passed us) once inside Ontario had the same frustrated, stressed out look on their faces. Yup. We’re home!! Fan-freak’n-tastic!!Miles'n miles!