Friday, June 29, 2018

A Family Reunion in Kingston, Ontario

Our Canada Day weekend family reunion was taking place in Kingston, Ontario this year. After our first reunion in 2012 on an Alaskan cruise, the family had been making it a point to meet each year in a different location.

This year it was Jennifer's turn to host the reunion in her city and plan the events for it. This is Jennifer's son, Nicholas, with our great-granddaughter, Grace, born in February 2018. Grace has her mom's beautiful eyes!

We met the first night at Jennifer's and enjoyed snacks and drinks on her deck before going for dinner. Jennifer and her daughter, was great to see Alina again after several years. They don't look much alike, do they?

Catching up with Alina...we had an interesting discussion sharing ideas on podcasts, and the next day she presented me with a long list. I now have a lot of podcasts to listen to!

Damian took control of the family photos at the restaurant. Bless Kelsey's in Kingston for handling our last minute request for a table for 16!

Damian and I amusing ourselves while waiting for our food...

Once again, we went with Airbnb for a rental and shared this spot with Jeff, Nadine, Damian and Dominic. We wanted to find a rental downtown with at least 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. This one fit the bill with an extra bathroom as well.

Jim and I took the basement suite, which Damian explored and found that we had an interesting curtain.

Kingston was the capital of Canada from 1841 to 1844. Love these old, elegant homes...

We had been told we were visiting on a great weekend for activities. Not only was it Canada Day, it was also Art Fest weekend in City Park, which was close by.

Sir John A. MacDonald, the first prime minister of Canada...

"A British subject I was born; a British subject I will die..."

It was incredibly hot over the weekend with temperatures above 30°C and high humidity.

The vendors who snagged spots under the shade of the trees were very fortunate. It was a huge event with many artisans and items that we could have easily purchased. When you live in an apartment, you try to live by the motto of "admire and move on."

The kids were having fun staying cool along with some of the parents.

Our house had wonderful air conditioning. Amen! Some of us got together in the afternoon before we headed out for dinner. Pretty good photo, Damian!

The guys...

And Damian taking full advantage of the selfie stick. You might wonder if in fact we had another grandson there. Dominic was quite happy in his bedroom on the third floor reading Harry Potter.

Yeah...I might have had 50 or more self portraits of Damian...

Until Grandma decided to take the selfie stick away. Not flattering in the least!

Jennifer had made a reservation at the Wolfe Island Grill, which involved a ferry ride. The ferry takes cars and pedestrians, the latter for free.

We do have another grandson! Dominic sporting my foldable sunglasses, which were free with a bottle of wine we purchased. Somehow they became "his," and I never did see them again!

Three generations...Alina, Ilona and Jennifer.

The Kingston was so refreshing to be on the ferry with a somewhat cool breeze.

The ferry does nothing for your hairdo!

Damian sneaking in to give mom a kiss!

Another 3 generations...siblings Jeff and Stephanie with Stephanie's son, Erik, in between, and Grandpa/Dad, Jim.

Stephanie's husband, Randy, loves to tease the boys and they're usually up for it!

Approaching Wolfe Island...the windmills have certainly changed the landscape. Wolfe Island is the largest of the Thousand Islands with a resident population of 1400, which doubles or triples in the summer.

The gang's all here! Actually the whole gang would have been complete, but Patrick and Krysten and the kids were unable to come this year from Calgary. Hopefully, next year...

We walked past the Wolfe Island Bakery on the way to the restaurant. Bakery? Sign me up! While everyone was getting seated at the restaurant, my partner-in-crime, Stephanie, and I went back to the bakery and bought some yummy goodies for dessert later. Butter tarts, mmm!

The Wolfe Island Grill...the food was really good.

Randy snapped a photo of the staff in the kitchen...thumbs up for a great meal!

My family will understand my happiness at seeing this. My mother needlepointed this same picture and it always hung in our living room. I'm the proud owner of it now.

It was soooo hot! We were all trying to get under the shade of the umbrellas on the patio. The scenery was lovely though. We could watch the ferry coming and going...

Randy took the opportunity to capture some portraits...great photo of Nadine.

Me looking perplexed...

After a yummy meal, we waddled back to the ferry...the Wolfe Island Grill from the water side.

Thanks for a fun evening!

This is the Royal Military College where the fireworks would be launched tomorrow night.

The next day, Jim and I and some of the family headed to the Kingston Brewing Company for lunch. It is Ontario's oldest brew pub, established in 1986, and they make wine, beer and cider on the premises. It used to be owned by my cousin until he sold it to a group of the employees. It is now run by six employees, some of whom have been with him since Day 1.

Lots of craft beer choices...

My cousin, Richard, and his wife, Lynn. So nice to have lunch with them and catch up a little. Richard's mom and my mom were sisters. We have such a small family. My mom had one sister, as did my father. That doesn't make for many cousins.

We admired this lovely flower box with lots of ivy and coleus. I always think I'll remember this next year when we plant our window boxes, but I usually don't! Maybe if it's in the blog...

It was Canada Day and there were lots of activities in the downtown core. Jennifer had arranged a dinner cruise for that evening.

It was steamy hot! I was hoping the boat had good air conditioning or we would soon be roasting with all those windows.

It had lovely air conditioning! Leaving the Kingston pier...

Jeff, Dominic and Stephanie...

A chance to see more of the Thousand Islands...

Oh dear...there was entertainment on board. At first, we were a bit dumbfounded, but once you realized he was actually a pretty good singer, you could see the humour in it. Well, some of us did. His impression of Willie Nelson. Oh yeah, the outfits were bad; the singing was pretty good.

Elvis, anyone?

A little Hey Jude...nah, nah, nah, nananana...

We did manage to enjoy the scenery and the meal was excellent as well.

If you can't leave by boat, take your sea plane!

It was such a beautiful evening to be on the water...

This looked like fun! All the animals lined up...

There are huge homes and some more modest ones...

Oh Lord, he was back. Can you guess who? How about Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers? Jeff's face says it all!

So many little islands...

I'll just take the boat house on this one. I don't even know where the house was.

This looked like a magnicent older cottage...

And this one took up the whole island...that must be a little strange, not being able to walk anywhere.

We found out we would be staying on board for the Canada Day fireworks! A bonus we weren't expecting! So to amuse ourselves to pass the time? You guessed it...selfies! Such great memories. I can picture everyone laughing and having fun when I look at them.

The sun was starting to set...

Nadine and the boys and moi...I'm rarely in any photos in the blog because I'm normally the photographer. That's until I get a hold of the selfie stick!

Stephanie and her son, Erik...

Happy Canada Day!

Dominic was in control now...

We lost half the group somewhere...probably listening to the entertainer. 😆

Dominic and me...

Guess who?

The boys and their two grandmas!

I think we were about selfie-ed out.

A beautiful sunset to mark a special day...

OK...maybe just one more!

I captured this ghostly image while I was holding a small flag. Spooky!

And then we were back in the harbour and ready for the fireworks...

We had a prime viewing spot!

Great fireworks, Kingston!

And the grande finale!

We had such a wonderful visit with everyone. Looking forward to next year, when we may try to go to Noranda where Jim, Ilona and I were born.

We were up bright and early on Monday morning to hit the road. 6:17 am and it was already 24°C. It was going to be a hot one! 1010 km to our destination.

We did it all in one day and were lucky to have great weather and no construction delays. Thanks again to Jennifer for a well-planned reunion! We had a great time!