Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Fun Family Visit

We last visited our daughter and her family in Boulder a year ago. We had planned to visit again in June, but their washing machine hose broke in the night at the beginning of March flooding their house. All sorts of problems with contractors delayed repairs until the end of August when work obligations made it impossible for us to get away. Since they were planning a trip to Canada in October, we decided to wait.

Our daughter, son-in-law, grandson and granddaughter finally arrived October 8th for Thanksgiving staying for our niece's wedding two weeks later. Happily our son and his puppy were able to make it home for the duration too. Our spacious house suddenly seemed full with five adults, two children, a cat and a puppy creating plenty of chaos and clutter. Shoes and jackets piled up in our laundry room. Old toys pulled out of storage and scattered about entertained our grandchildren. Our mostly empty fridge soon filled to the brim.

It was absolutely wonderful having our family together for two weeks. We stretched one week of vacation into two working Tuesdays and Thursdays leaving time for our children to visit with their grandparents. 

We thoroughly enjoyed our two weeks full of fun and laughter despite catching nasty colds. My daughter and I started with scratchy throats the first Wednesday. My husband and granddaughter succumbed a few days later on Sunday. By the second week our parents were coughing as well. Having colds slowed us down, but we still did lots of fun things together.

Saturday - our Fun Family Visit started with a drive to Detroit Airport to collect happy hugs, gather luggage and load the van (borrowed from my husband's parents) before heading home making three stops along the way ... Biggbee Coffee, dinner and Tim Hortons. We had planned to dine at The Current (our new favourite restaurant not far from the airport), but it was closed for renovations. We ate at another restaurant instead.

Sunday - lovely afternoon to visit the fancy new playground at Springbank Park followed by Thanksgiving turkey dinner at my parents' house.

Fancy chocolate favours adorned each plate at my parents' house.

My Mom looked appropriately festive wearing her Thanksgiving apron.
So happy to have the whole family together for Thanksgiving dinner featuring all our favourite foods - turkey, bread stuffing, gravy, squash, mashed potatoes, cream corn, broccoli and cranberry sauce. For dessert - lemon meringue pie and pumpkin pie with whipped cream on top. 
Monday - sunny and perfect for a trip to my husband's brother's new cottage near Bayfield. We enjoyed fun 'beachy' things - walking, wading, skipping stones, searching for pretty pebbles and beach glass - then relaxed on deck chairs in the sun before heading back to London.

Tuesday - we worked. The kids went to Stratford with my parents to visit chocolate shops and a friend.

Wednesday - Mom, my daughter and I went shopping. We bought clothes for the kids then enjoyed a nice quiet lunch with just the three of us. It took two more shopping trips and another 'quiet' lunch to sort out proper pant sizes for our grandson. It was worth the effort. The kids now have a decent selection of outfits for winter.

After shopping and lunch, we took the kids apple picking at the Dwarf Tree Orchard on Byron Baseline Road. They loved it. Our daughter baked two apple tarts and an apple crumble cake. She added apples to her morning smoothies. The kids ate apples every day for the rest of their stay. I wish an 'apple-a-day' could have kept the cold virus away.

Thursday - we worked. The kids went out for lunch and shopped with my husband's parents. My daughter and I had full on proper colds. 

Friday - we walked to the Sifton Bog Boardwalk through the woods (no photos this time) then went to my parents' house for a delicious lasagna dinner with Lois from Calgary who was visiting for a week.

Saturday - Kusterman's Berry Farm such a fun place for kids and adults too. Luckily, it was a warm sunny day.

Sunday - a trip to Toronto and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). Our grandson loved the dinosaurs last time he visited and wanted to see them again. My husband and granddaughter both woke up with colds, but that didn't stop us. We packed tissue for all and meds for my husband.

Digging for dinosaur bones is fun.

The tyrannosaurus rex skeleton towered above us.
Our daughter introduced her daughter to the bat cave she loved to visit when she was little.
I was happy to find a fun activity for adults at the ROM.

I was a bit disgusted to think people used to share a wet sponge on a stick in unisex public toilets. Of course that was many, many years ago. I like to think public toilets are much more hygienic these days.
After visiting the ROM, we drove to our old neighbourhood to eat dinner at McSorleys - a favourite pub style restaurant where they serve roasted peanuts and throw the shells on the floor. Kids love that.

Monday - we bought a red beta fish for the big pot in our bedroom. Our grandson named him Greenback because green is his favourite colour. Greenback is happy in his new home.
We walked to the Sifton Bog Boardwalk with cobbled-together tadpole catchers. My husband duct taped metal strainers to sticks. Catching and releasing tadpoles entertained the kids and adults for ages.

We found a very cool praying mantis on the boardwalk.
It was unseasonably hot, so the kids enjoyed a swim in the hot tub after their walk. It was so much fun, they went in every day after that.
The rest of the week flew by in a flash. We worked Tuesday and Thursday. My parents invited us for dinner on Wednesday. They served yummy beer can barbecue chicken. Our kids stayed overnight to play games after their kids went to bed. On Friday, we walked to the bog again with our tadpole catchers. Our daughter took some lovely photos. I chose this one for my new profile picture.
I love the colours in this photo of our grandson. He was so happy because he hid in the grass and managed to startle us as we walked by.
Saturday - Our niece's wedding day. We splurged for this special occasion getting our makeup and hair professionally done at Blackfriars Salon and Spa. It was a fun mother/daughter thing to do. 
The wedding took place in Stratford at the Revival House. The venue was perfect. Our niece was a beautiful bride. We all loved her gown. 
Her grandparents were so proud (and cold) posing with the new Mrs. W. 
We got one photo of the new Mrs. W. with her husband, parents and grandparents. 
We all wrote special messages in their custom photo guest book. 
This sign says it all "LOVE" a perfect decoration for their special day. 
Fun selfie of the bride and groom with her cousins. 
Just me and my kids all dressed up ... we had a wonderful time at our niece's wedding. 
Sunday - All too soon, our Fun Family Visit had come to an end. We packed up the van to drive back to the airport stopping at Thumb Coast Brewing Co. in Port Huron for a late lunch.
It's always sad to say good-bye. Let's hope it's not too long before we're all together again. 
I love looking through these photos of our Fun Family Visit. It helps to preserve the memories of our time together.

Posts covering last two family visits to Canada:
July 2015
October 2014

Posts covering recent trips to Boulder, CO:
October 2015
February 2014

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  1. It was a wonderful visit for all of us.

  2. Pleased to know about your fun family visit. I am planning to arrange my family get together and looking for elegant event space Chicago. Searched online and got to know about lovely venues. Looking forward to book one of best venue soon.