When most people say Canada, they mean the second largest country in the world, producer of hockey players and maple leaf memorabilia, birthplace of Tim Hortons, poutine, and Justin Bieber. When I say Canada, I mean a very specific location – a small island on the French River off the Georgian Bay in Ontario, Canada. This was illustrated when, about two hours north of Toronto, I commented to Zach that it was starting to look a lot like ‘Canada’.

This is what Canada looks like to me

The island is owned by family of family friends and growing up, we would head up to the French River every year with our family friends, the Youngbloods. We would spend the week tubing, fishing, swimming, picnicking and playing games. Many of my favorite and most memorable childhood experiences took place in Canada.  The countless days of trying to fit three people onto a tube with only handles for two and the endless nights of drinking virgin strawberry daiquiris and winning Euchre tournaments. Each year we spent a week in paradise and the other fifty-one counting down the days until we returned to Canada.

Megan is handleless

This continued through high school but busy schedules have prevented us from returning the past few years. The rest of my family headed up in 2011 after dropping me off at West Point, Matt was working in Des Moines when we returned in 2013, and my dad, Matt and I made it up for a long weekend in the fall of 2014. This would be the first time since 2009, which concluded 15 straight years of the trip, that all 5 Cymanski’s would be on Power’s Island.

My first trip up to Canada circa 1995

I spent the past three years telling Zach about Canada so I was thrilled he would be able to see for himself why I loved the area so much. Unfortunately, the Youngblood’s couldn’t make it up, but we would have Mike, our French River Sherpa.

Another old pic because there’s so many good ones

Powers Island is about an acre large with one main cabin on it. There is no power other than a generator which is sometimes run at nights, no internet, no cell service. We leave our cars at the marina and travel by boat for the week. The French River is at some points a rapidly flowing body of water and at others, such as where Powers’ Island is located, more like a lake than a river.

Powers Island

I had a fabulous week in Canada.  Not only was I in my favorite place in the world with my favorite people in the world, but I was also on vacation! To you, it may seem like we’re always on vacation, but we actually work 40 hours a week.  I love CoverMyMeds and am very thankful for everything they do for Zach and I, but it was nice to get away for a week.

Zach happy to not be working

We did all of my favorite Canadian things.  This was my first summer up since turning 21 and I took full advantage of that by drinking beer, wine, margaritas and  some non-virgin strawberry daiquiris.  We slept in, went tubing and water skiing, ate great food, took naps and played a lot of cards.  Unfortunately, I didn’t win the Euchre tournament this year, but I have won the most tournaments overall, so I believe that still makes me the best player in the family.

Waterskiing like a champ

The weather was great – mid 70’s and it only rained once.  Appreciating the good weather, we picnicked at both Lovers Lane and the Dallas.  Lovers Lane is an area with small rapids – gentle enough to go down in person.  While Matt and my dad were using the current as a make-shift endless lap-pool, the rest of us played in the rapids.  The Dallas is a much larger set of rapids.  No swimming here, but we hiked around a bit and unsuccessfully fished.

Riding down the rapids

Unsurprisingly to anyone who knows my family, we returned to the mainland a few times in order to run and did near daily open water swims. Due to life on the road, I haven’t been able to swim much in the past months but it was nice to get in the water.  I used to be the fastest swimmer in the family but now I can barely keep up with my parents and am blown out of the water by Matt.

Ready for a nap!

The end of the week came too quickly, especially considering we hadn’t seen a bear or a moose! Not only was I sad to be leaving Canada, I also was saying goodbye to my family for a few months.  The five of us are only together a few times a year so I cannot put into words how happy I was to be able to spend a whole week with my family in our favorite place. I look forward to seeing some (or all) of them in Hawaii in October!


I really struggled picking pictures for this post because there were so many good ones! We recently bought a DSLR camera so the quality of our pictures skyrocketed! Check out other pictures from the week here! Below is the video Megan made – it’s much more exciting than the usual clips of Zach or I walking around.


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