Saturday, 2 July 2011

Happy Canada Day!

Very busy, very fun. Here it is in short:

- drove up Thursday afternoon to Bobcaygeon with the three boys, James and my sister. (2 and a half hours in the car.) The drive went well until they lost it halfway, just in time for a stop for dinner. Note to restaurants: someone else badly needs to hop on board the "playplace" idea for kids. Small, contained, air conditioned place to play always seems to beat out the need for food that doesn't make us sick. Why, oh why do we continue to eat there? Oh yea, the playplace.

- Benjamin does not do well overnight in other places. He couldn't sleep until the room was dark, when the sun went down about 10pm. Then he was restless all night, so I pulled him into the twin bed with me. He wriggled around constantly. I slept not at all.

- Canada Day started with games at the local park area. Races and duck fishing and face painting and hot dogs and prizes. Crazy, but loads of fun. I also learned that red Canada shirts are not an overpriced holiday money-grab, but a necessity for festivities. My boys and I were the only ones not in red and white. But I did look really cute in my new shirt, shorts and sandals!

- Ice cream at the Kawartha Dairy. BEST ICE CREAM EVER. Except they have discontinued my favourite flavour. Apparently, while I have been eating it constantly for the past ten years, I have been the only one eating it.

- Naps for everyone. Hurray!

- Canada Parade. Basically a couple of bands and a whole lot of decorated classic cars. And one float: the local "department store" (small town department store!) celebrating 100 years with a 15 foot cake and a 15 foot red high heel. Plus 10 young girls with long blond hair in red and white bikinis. Definitely said "department store" to me!

- Wedding shower for my cousin and his bride-to-be. So wonderful to meet her for the first time. She was so lovely, and a breath of fresh air to the group. I'm very much looking forward to seeing her again at Thanksgiving and Christmas. My cousin is very lucky. Plus, she was so astonished and grateful at all the presents. She emigrated to Canada as a child and her family worked hard to bring other relatives over, so she rarely, if ever, received gifts growing up. Truly a breath of fresh air.

- Caught up with another cousin I spent a summer with back when I was 17, working with her in her parent's small store in cottage country. We haven't had much of a chance to connect in the years since, but we had a great chat on the back deck there.

- Fireworks. A-W-E-S-O-M-E. Best show I've ever seen. Thousands of dollars went into it, and every firecracker was a big one, with absolutely no "filler." It went on and on and on, with a constant "ooh" and "aaah" soundtrack from the listeners. And did I mention we watched it all from the back porch/yard/kitchen window (for the little ones) of my Nana's house? That's right. Her house looks right over the lake where they set the fireworks off from. We could see the sand piles where they were set up. And the house is on a small raised hill, above the trees, which gave us a perfectly clear view. It was the first time the boys have ever seen fireworks. It's usually so late, and I've never wanted to brave huge crowds to get there and then battle out through them on the way home. This was a perfect solution. They watched in their pyjamas and were in bed as soon as they finished. Colin's eyes were so wide, and every display of lights brought another comment of amazement from him. Caleb was loving it until he swallowed a bug (after we ruled out him having bitten a glow stick!) and screamed in pain for the last half of the show. Benjamin squealed over the lights from the kitchen window, where the sound was deadened enough to be enjoyable.

- Late night for everyone, which still didn't mean sleeping in for Benjamin. I snuck out with him just before 6 am and went for a three hour walk around "town" with him. Smoothies, breakfast and timbits at Tim Hortons, down to see the boats at the locks, a play in the playground, a wander through the Farmer's market. And we were far from being the only ones up!

- Drive home, getting off late and having to stop for lunch half way. Then James got called into work. He got picked up on the road to head down there, and it wasn't until I got home that I realized he had the house keys in his pocket. Locked out, I drove around town until I found a home we could crash in for a few hours until James returned. I realized how grateful I am to be living in a place where I not only have many friends, but at least 6 good friends on whom I could drop in unannounced to stay for a few hours and possibly have to eat dinner there also. I am blessed beyond belief.

- James returned, only to tell me the keys were actually packed somewhere in the van. He found them, and we finally returned home. Adventure over!

Happy Canada Day! How grateful I am to live in this beautiful, free country, with all the privileges it affords me.

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